Top 10 Resources About Catholicism for a Mormon


#1

Hi everyone,
I have browsed these forums for a while, but I only just created an account. I'm a very traditional cradle Catholic well-versed in my faith, but I love reading the discussions about everything on this forum.

Currently, I have a Mormon coworker (LDS, not any of the reformed branches), who has been asking me about Catholicism. He even came to mass with me at Notre Dame cathedral here in Paris. From what I can tell, he is still very skeptical about our faith and quite rooted in his upbringing as a practicing Mormon, but I am thankful that he is at least curious enough to ask me questions and even come to the mass.

I have found my conversations with my Mormon friend both hopeful and maddening at the same time: the more I listen to him, the more I am convinced that Joseph Smith-- wittingly or unwittingly- basically copied the structure of the Catholic Church, but theologically, we differ so profoundly that I am amazed whenever any former LDS member finds his way to the truth in Catholicism.

Unfortunately, my friend has exhibited a lot of the typical Mormon traits ("either it's all true, or it's a lie, but you just have to have faith," "you just need to read the Book of Mormon and ask God to reveal to you whether or not it's true," etc.), and when he has pushed back against my efforts to explain Catholicism, his arguments are the usual salvos we hear all the time ("The Catholic Church of today doesn't look anything like the Church of the 1st century," "there were plenty of bad popes so how do you trust what they say," "the Crusades, the Inquisition," etc., ad nauseam). When I've proposed looking at the historical record to examine the veracity and trustworthiness of Joseph Smith's claims vs. the historical record which lends strong support to the Catholic Church's claim to be the Church of the first century, he doesn't seem able to understand my appeal to both reason AND faith and instead gets worked up about how I have to use just as much faith to believe that Jesus was resurrected (for lack of historical evidence) as he does to believe that Joseph Smith really did translate the golden tablets.

All of that being said, though, I think that the structural similarities between our Church and Mormonism intrigue him, and he himself asked me to compile a list of "Top 10" books about Catholicism that I would recommend to him, so I'm hopeful that he isn't completely blinded by faith but is amenable to reason, as well.

Here's the thing: I grew up in a protestant school, and most of my apologetics experience has come from explaining the faith to them rather than our more off-beat, quasi-Christian cousins in the Mormon faith. I know a lot of the big names like Peter Kreeft, Scott Hahn, Fulton Sheen, etc., but I was wondering if anyone has some recommendations specifically for approaching Mormons, especially writings that can offer a compelling presentation of such sticking points as the nature of God in the Trinity, the way grace works through the sacraments, and especially anything which can clearly show that the first 12 apostles taught the same doctrines that we do today.

Of course, it doesn't have to be just books; I definitely want to include Fr. Robert Barron's excellent Catholicism television series on the list, and any articles or videos you can think of would be most welcome.

Lastly, please pray for my coworker in his search for the truth. Based on our exchanges and how agitated and insistent he becomes when pressing his points, I have the strong impression that his faith in Mormonism is not as stable as even he might believe, else I don't know why he would be willingly asking me for information about our faith. In my experience, Mormons tend to be discouraged from questioning their faith too much lest they be considered doubting, so I am encouraged by his continued dialogue.

Furthermore, my other Mormon colleague once remarked to me that when he visits the Sacré Coeur Basilica (my favorite church here in Paris, and incidentally, a perpetual adoration chapel), he feels a peaceful presence unlike any of the other churches he has been in, which astonished and greatly touched me, since he does not exactly understand the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. I am convinced that, as Dostoevsky said, "Beauty will save the world," and it is clear to me that there is a great Beauty reflected in our physical churches which draws people to the Beauty of the truth of our faith.

Merci beaucoup in advance for your prayers and assistance!


#2

I would recommend having your friend listen to Catholic Answers Live. They can listen to it online, or if there's a local catholic radio station they can listen to it then.

It is a great, passive way to learn a great deal about the truth of the Catholic faith that I think works very well with people skeptical about Catholicism.


#3

Radio broadcast (recorded): catholic.com/profiles/gene-fadness

I like Peter Kreeft's lectures.

From (previous) Bishop Hunt, of the Salt Lake Diocese: The Continuity of the Catholic Church

"Church Fathers: From Clement of Rome to Augustine", by Pope Benedict XVI

"Jesus of Nazareth", by Pope Benedict XVI

ANY of the Brazos theological commentaries on the Bible. If there is a particular book of the Bible your co-worker is interested in, use that one (there isn't one for every book, yet).

"The Rapture Exposed", by Barbara R. Rossing (I recommend this one because of the shared (nearly identical) erroneous way in which Mormons and Evangelicals read and understand Revelations. This book explains the Book of Revelations and does it well.)


#4

oh, and a daily visit to sacredspace.ie or unmomentsacre.com


#5

Thank you for your responses! These are excellent, though I’d like your thoughts on a few more. I might have to see if he would be interested in going to RCIA classes just to learn something, even if he doesn’t continue as a catechumen.


#6

Catechesis books then:

The New American Bible

United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (I don't know of a French equivalent. This book is U.S. centric. In the sense, it ties U.S. Saints and other faithful into catechesis.)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Ascend: The Catholic Faith for a New Generation (modern, orthodox, lots of photos and other images)

I've used all four of these in teaching RCIA.


#7

As a former Mormon, I can tell you that the books that drew me to the Catholic faith were Chesterton's "Orthodoxy" and "Everlasting Man" along with Edward Feser's "The Last Superstition." Listening to Peter Kreeft's speeches also helped. If you can demonstrate to your friend that the LDS faith is a lot more similar to modern day Humanism and materialism than the ancient Christian faith that was much more metaphysical and philosophical, it might help him out.

I never cared too much for the Catholic Answers Live stuff, as they often didn't address issues in enough depth, or the exact question I was looking to have answered.


#8

amazon.com/Tale-Two-Cities-Comparison-Experience/dp/0933046022/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353278521&sr=1-1&keywords=A+Tale+of+Two+Cities+Catholic
I read this in my public library loooong ago. it's a good one


#9

If anyone wants a book that goes in the opposite direction try "Restoring the Ancient Church" by Barry Robert Bickmore. The author addresses many Mormon doctrines that are considered heresy in today's orthodox Christianity that were clearly taught in the early Christian church.


#10

[quote="gazelam, post:9, topic:305210"]
If anyone wants a book that goes in the opposite direction try "Restoring the Ancient Church" by Barry Robert Bickmore. The author addresses many Mormon doctrines that are considered heresy in today's orthodox Christianity that were clearly taught in the early Christian church.

[/quote]

Please name one....:D


#11

Sorry Porknpie, I'm not falling for your threadjackin' ways. :tsktsk: This is a thread about resources. If you want to argue Mormon-Catholic views on apostacy you can buy the book and rebut sections you believe the be incorrect... in a separate thread.


#12

[quote="gazelam, post:11, topic:305210"]
Sorry Porknpie, I'm not falling for your threadjackin' ways. :tsktsk: This is a thread about resources. If you want to argue Mormon-Catholic views on apostacy you can buy the book and rebut sections you believe the be incorrect... in a separate thread.

[/quote]

Come on. You read the book, yes? Tell us! You make claims now back them up with something.


#13

[quote="gazelam, post:11, topic:305210"]
Sorry Porknpie, I'm not falling for your threadjackin' ways. :tsktsk: This is a thread about resources. If you want to argue Mormon-Catholic views on apostacy you can buy the book and rebut sections you believe the be incorrect... in a separate thread.

[/quote]

Resources for a Catholic about Catholicism.....threadjacking fool.


#14

[quote="gazelam, post:11, topic:305210"]
Sorry Porknpie, I'm not falling for your threadjackin' ways.

[/quote]

This is a thread about resources. If you want to argue Mormon-Catholic views on apostacy you can buy the book and rebut sections you believe the be incorrect... in a separate thread.

Better to read the book on line for free. fairlds.org/authors/bickmore-barry/restoring-the-ancient-church-joseph-smith-and-early-christianity

Here's the author starting to discuss apostasy

What exactly was this “apostasy,” and when was it supposed to happen? According to LDS scholar Kent Jackson, the word apostasy is derived from the Greek word “apostasia,” which means “‘rebellion,’ ‘mutiny,’ ‘revolt,’ or ‘revolution,’ and is used in ancient contexts with reference to uprisings against established authority.”4 Thus, the apostasy was to be a rebellion against God’s established authority on earth.

Latter-day Saints believe that the apostasy was underway even while the Apostles were alive, and that it inevitably completed its course after the last Apostles were gone. While the New Testament does not give many specifics about the timetable of the rebellion in its predictions, it contains a number of clues pointing to the fact that a massive rebellion was taking place in the Church, and that there was not much time left.

Now that's funnier than "threadjacking ways"

A book reviewer on amazon.com says

Finally, the book's chapter on the alleged "apostasy" fails to take into account the traditional Catholic teaching on the nature of the Church's indefectibility and infallibility. The author leaves a footnote to discuss the "gates of hell" passage in Matthew 16:18 but this, if I understand correctly is a reference to the indefectibility of Peter's faith (an by extension, the Catholic Church's). . In contrast, the idea of the indefectibility of the Church as a whole is based primarily on the belief that the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, in spiritual union with Him, and that the Holy Spirit is the Soul of the Church. From this leads the notion of ecclesial indefectibility (this is how I understand the Catholic view. It is not simply that Peter was given a promise in Matthew 16:18).** This view of the Catholic Church's indefectibility, however, is nowhere treated in Bickmore's discussion of the alleged "apostasy", a fact which further weakens his already hopelessly unsubstantiated case.**

What's also telling is the author is a science professor not a theologian. That would at least help explain a lack of Catholic teaching and theology in his book. IMHO he needs to focus on his science teaching as his own students don't grade him very highly.

ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=173550

All in all, this book appears to be a very good source for Catholic apologetics. :thumbsup:


#15

[quote="gazelam, post:9, topic:305210"]
If anyone wants a book that goes in the opposite direction try "Restoring the Ancient Church" by Barry Robert Bickmore. The author addresses many Mormon doctrines that are considered heresy in today's orthodox Christianity that were clearly taught in the early Christian church.

[/quote]

Gaze,

So in your opinion on a thread that is about 10 resources to help someone out of the cult of Mormon thought you propose this as helpful and then accuse someone of hijacking the thread?:eek:


#16

[quote="Porknpie, post:14, topic:305210"]
Better to read the book on line for free. fairlds.org/authors/bickmore-barry/restoring-the-ancient-church-joseph-smith-and-early-christianity

......

All in all, this book appears to be a very good source for Catholic apologetics. :thumbsup:

[/quote]

Thank you. I got it. :cool:

CAF and another poster have been asking about my inactivity here. 'Puter problems, but back online.


#17

[quote="gazelam, post:9, topic:305210"]
If anyone wants a book that goes in the opposite direction try "Restoring the Ancient Church" by Barry Robert Bickmore. The author addresses many Mormon doctrines that are considered heresy in today's orthodox Christianity that were clearly taught in the early Christian church.

[/quote]

I asked my friend who studied ancient Christianity as a graduate student (he began his studies as a devout Mormon, and is now a devout Catholic because of what he discovered about the early Church) and he told me that Bickmore's book either flat out lies, or at best cherry picks historical sources to make his case.

One thing I love about Mormon apologetics is they will immediately jump on anything, with great enthusiasm, that seems to give their faith any credibility; however, whenever they come across something that clearly discredits the claims of the faith, they are quick to write it off with some ridiculous theory, i.e. "when the Book of Mormon says horses it means deer."

I would actually love it if we started a thread to discredit Bickmore's claims.


#18

To the OP-

Be of good cheer! I found my way out of Mormonism by trying to defend it. :D

Steph


#19

[quote="creativeflux, post:1, topic:305210"]
Hi everyone,
I have browsed these forums for a while, but I only just created an account. I'm a very traditional cradle Catholic well-versed in my faith, but I love reading the discussions about everything on this forum.

Currently, I have a Mormon coworker (LDS, not any of the reformed branches), who has been asking me about Catholicism. He even came to mass with me at Notre Dame cathedral here in Paris. From what I can tell, he is still very skeptical about our faith and quite rooted in his upbringing as a practicing Mormon, but I am thankful that he is at least curious enough to ask me questions and even come to the mass.

I have found my conversations with my Mormon friend both hopeful and maddening at the same time: the more I listen to him, the more I am convinced that Joseph Smith-- wittingly or unwittingly- basically copied the structure of the Catholic Church, but theologically, we differ so profoundly that I am amazed whenever any former LDS member finds his way to the truth in Catholicism.

Unfortunately, my friend has exhibited a lot of the typical Mormon traits ("either it's all true, or it's a lie, but you just have to have faith," "you just need to read the Book of Mormon and ask God to reveal to you whether or not it's true," etc.), and when he has pushed back against my efforts to explain Catholicism, his arguments are the usual salvos we hear all the time ("The Catholic Church of today doesn't look anything like the Church of the 1st century," "there were plenty of bad popes so how do you trust what they say," "the Crusades, the Inquisition," etc., ad nauseam). When I've proposed looking at the historical record to examine the veracity and trustworthiness of Joseph Smith's claims vs. the historical record which lends strong support to the Catholic Church's claim to be the Church of the first century, he doesn't seem able to understand my appeal to both reason AND faith and instead gets worked up about how I have to use just as much faith to believe that Jesus was resurrected (for lack of historical evidence) as he does to believe that Joseph Smith really did translate the golden tablets.

All of that being said, though, I think that the structural similarities between our Church and Mormonism intrigue him, and he himself asked me to compile a list of "Top 10" books about Catholicism that I would recommend to him, so I'm hopeful that he isn't completely blinded by faith but is amenable to reason, as well.

Here's the thing: I grew up in a protestant school, and most of my apologetics experience has come from explaining the faith to them rather than our more off-beat, quasi-Christian cousins in the Mormon faith. I know a lot of the big names like Peter Kreeft, Scott Hahn, Fulton Sheen, etc., but I was wondering if anyone has some recommendations specifically for approaching Mormons, especially writings that can offer a compelling presentation of such sticking points as the nature of God in the Trinity, the way grace works through the sacraments, and especially anything which can clearly show that the first 12 apostles taught the same doctrines that we do today.

Of course, it doesn't have to be just books; I definitely want to include Fr. Robert Barron's excellent Catholicism television series on the list, and any articles or videos you can think of would be most welcome.

Lastly, please pray for my coworker in his search for the truth. Based on our exchanges and how agitated and insistent he becomes when pressing his points, I have the strong impression that his faith in Mormonism is not as stable as even he might believe, else I don't know why he would be willingly asking me for information about our faith. In my experience, Mormons tend to be discouraged from questioning their faith too much lest they be considered doubting, so I am encouraged by his continued dialogue.

Furthermore, my other Mormon colleague once remarked to me that when he visits the Sacré Coeur Basilica (my favorite church here in Paris, and incidentally, a perpetual adoration chapel), he feels a peaceful presence unlike any of the other churches he has been in, which astonished and greatly touched me, since he does not exactly understand the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. I am convinced that, as Dostoevsky said, "Beauty will save the world," and it is clear to me that there is a great Beauty reflected in our physical churches which draws people to the Beauty of the truth of our faith.

Merci beaucoup in advance for your prayers and assistance!

[/quote]

I wish I had the information you are seeking! But unfortunately, I am unaware of such documents. However, I do want to say that I agree with so much of what you said and have found TREMENDOUS similarities between Catholic Church structure and the Mormon Church. I find it interesting that so much of the battling between Mormons and other Christians is within Protestantism, especially considering how similar Catholicism is in logic and structure to Mormonism. Although doctrinally very different, I believe Mormons can relate to Catholicism much better because many of our arguments to Protestants are the same.


#20

[quote="tundramom, post:18, topic:305210"]
To the OP-

Be of good cheer! I found my way out of Mormonism by trying to defend it. :D

Steph

[/quote]

Welcome home, and I've heard that before.

Many of those who leave mormonism basically study their way out.


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