Very delicate situation- need advice


#1

Hello, I was hoping I coyuld get some traditionalist advice,

I have a friend who is Mormon and very religious. He is making what’s called a “Testimony” at his church on March 2 and invited me to attend. Initially I said yes (it was in person and I had no time to think it through), and even went as far to praise how good it was that he was a devout Mormon. Later I realized my error and went to confession for encouraging the practice of a false religion. But I am still set to go to his church on March 2, as I have not told him otherwise.

However, here’s what changes the situation quite a bit-

  1. He is a lapsed Catholic. I am hoping to draw him back into Catholicism.

  2. I made a comment along the lines of “Now that I’m attending your church I guess you’ll have to attend my church sometime”. He agreed. If I don’t show up or back out of his Testimony, he may not come to Church with me to “see what he missed” (I would take him to a TLM, which he has no experiance of).

What should I do?


#2

I think the decision lies in what both your intention and what he will perceive.

Is your intention clearly to befriend him and build him up, make him a better person? Do you plan on sharing the faith with him?

And does he understand that? Does he understand that you are attending as a sign of friendship and openness, not as a sign of agreeing with his religion?

I don’t know if the Mormons I have met differ from the norm or not, but I always viewed a Testimony as a special event that was celebrated even by lukewarm or “in name only” and generally anyone can attend to celebrate. For example, weddings, baptisms, bat mitzvahs…


#3

Did the priest in confession give you any advise on how to handle that? Hard to show up at his event since it could appear you support his beliefs which are contrary to your faith. Might want to explain that to him, but would leave the door open on bringing him to your church. Kind of a tough one either way…


#4

I would tell him very plainly that although you believe the Mormon faith to be a false one that you want to support him as his friend and then also make sure you get a firm date for him to attend mass (TLM sounds really good!) with you.:slight_smile:


#5

Yikes. My first reaction was “absolutely don’t go!”, until I read the part above. I’d seek the adivce of a good solid traditional priest. This is a new one for me…sorry!

Peace in Christ,

DustinsDad


#6

I can assure you of one thing. His reason for asking you to the temple is to convert you, thats it. If you can accept that fact its OK I guess, but I sincerely doubt that he will ever go to your Church in return.

Also, you will never bring him back to Catholicism by attending his groups service. It isn’t going to happen.


#7

I think you just reminded me to trust the first reaction - it’s usually the best.


#8

My first reaction as well was “No, don’t go.” Particularly since he is giving his testimony. However, I do agree with brigid12’s advice if you do go to get an agreement for him to attend a TLM in exchange (hopefully one with Gregorian chant). Otherwise, if you just attend without a commitment on his part, he may not ever agree to attend a TLM.

I would also highly recommend the book, “One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church” by Richard Abanes. He is a Protestant, but he does one of the best jobs I have ever read of covering the history of Mormonism and Joseph Smith, and it’s extremely well documented (as well as an interesting read). Here’s a link:

amazon.com/One-Nation-Under-Gods-History/dp/1568582838/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203642469&sr=1-1

Maybe you can even get him to agree to read a few chapters at least in that book in exchange for you going (or reading something he would give you). And if he won’t agree to read at least part of a book like that, at least that might help open his eyes to how Mormonism in general teaches people not to read anything critical of their faith, even if it is done in a charitable way.


#9

Pray a rosary a day for him. The Rosary is our Lady’s lasso to bring people back to the church! :thumbsup: It worked with me!


#10

I would go. What’s the harm? You don’t think that they’ll convert you so what’s the big deal? If you want to try to bring him you the catholic chuch I’m pretty sure Our Lord isn’t going to be that upset that you went to a mormon service to build a bridge. Don’t get your hopes up though. Just my humble opinion.


#11

This is sticky, that’s for sure.

I’m no canon lawyer, but it’s my understanding that under Catholic moral teaching, one may not engage in an objectively sinful act, even if the intended end is for good.

So I guess what we’d have to find out first is, what is the nature of this “Testimony?” Is it an offcial “rite” in the Morman community, designed either to a) encourage, deepen and strengthen one’s beliefs and practices with regard the teachings of Mormanism, or b) attempt to persuade onlookers to accept some aspect of Morman teaching, or c) an informal observance whereby one extols the work of God in their life.

It would seem to me that both a & b above would be “No Sir-ee, Bob!” time, as the purpose is to either further one’s commitment to the LDS organization or to encourage others to consider Morman teaching. Mormanism is an objectively malformed belief system; originally a hybrid of 19th century low-church protestantism with a fair amount of freemasonry thrown in the mix. It is also materially heretical, although it may not be formally so (insofar as the individual holding Morman beliefs may not realize or understand that many of their teachings are in obstinate opposition to the Catholic Church’s doctrines.) Consequently, if there’s any purpose to the practice of this Testimony to either confirm the individual in the Morman faith, or to “proselytize” others, it would seem to me to be decidedly verboten.

Option “c” above is a little more dicey. So long as it is informal and does not attempt to “evangelize” others, it may be permisible provided one gets the go ahead from their spiritual director, who should be able to make an educated judgement call as to the spiritual state of the individual and whether or not placing themself in this environment might be potentially dangerous to one’s remaining strong in the Catholic faith.

Again, I’m not an expert, but that’s my take on it just off the cuff. May God grant you wisdom in how to deal with this situation. I don’t envy you, that’s certain!

God bless!


#12

I think I will go- but I will first explain (with charity, of course) that my going doesn’t necessarily mean I endorse the Mormon religion as true or salvific. But I think actually going will undoubtedly make him come to the TLM with me.

Prayers most appreciated!


#13

I guess i would go because that was the deal. Then i would not mention it again. Now you know he is going to ask? then i would say i would like to thank you very much for asking me but as you know i have my own faith. I take my faith very serious and believe in it very strongly. And you are always welcome to come with me. But i am very content where i am but again thankyou for thinking of me… If that dont work you could do what i usually say. thanks but dont even try once you are Catholic you are always Catholic and we cant change? At least i cant it would kill my Dad or he would kill me. People usually laugh because they know my Dad and quit right there.


#14

I agree completely with your impressions.To go is to bear witness to a testimony that includes rejecting the Catholic Church. To bear witness in SILENCE while he rejects your faith, his former faith is an act that neither friendship nor evangelistic desires requires of you. On the contrary. Tell him now that you’ve thought it over and KNOW that in good conscience, you can’t attend his testimony any more than you could attend his services; it’s not allowed to you. You hope that he’ll agree to come to Mass with you sometime but STRIKE NO DEAL. We don’t do trade-off/s to spread the Faith.


#15

I am new to the forums but think I might have a unique perspective that you may find valuable. I spent 8 + years in Salt Lake City (going to school/working) and have attended a few testimonies. I am a practicing Catholic with a son who is about to go on a mission for the Morman Church (that is another story). Testimonies are designed to allow church members to profess the strength of their faith. Quite a few of the testimonies usually end up exalting the person giving the testimony over someone else or another group (like Catholics). I heard a testimony from a ex-Catholic a few months ago who was visiting the local church. He talked about a family wedding he attended and his Catholic experiences. First, he ran down his family because they consumed alcohol at the wedding and acted in a manner beneath the standards set by the Morman Church. Secondly, he spoke about the Church and how it never made any demands on him or his family. The Church didn’t force him to tithe a full 10% and didn’t require him to fulfill different positions in the Church (i.e. Sunday School Teacher etc). He felt the Morman Church was better because they demand more. His testimony reflected more on his lack of character than it did on his family or the Catholic Church. However, I am sure the other church members didn’t view it in the same way I did. I can’t tell you how disgusted I was with this individual. I also felt sorry for him.

Attending a testimony will give you an opportunity to keep an open dialogue with your friend. Keeping the door open means you may be able to eventually help your friend see the grave mistake he has made. If you want to make a difference you must be engaged. Find out why your friend left the Church and what attracted him to the Morman Church? I have to be engaged with the Morman Church because of my son(s). I don’t like it but I can’t write my son(s) off without trying to keep the door open. Keeping an open dialogue doesn’t mean you approve of his choices. It means you recognize doing God’s work sometimes requires you to associate with non-believers.


#16

You’ve made my point - twice. First you have a parental obligation to your sons that willl never end. The OP has no such obligation to his friend.Second, yes, a testimony of the sort mentioned by both of you - abandoning the Catholic faith to go with LDS - mean one will be speaking AGAINST the Catholic Church. How can one justify listening to this sort of harangue in the hope that a Mormon will listen to you? Your presence has already assured the Mormon that you are open to hearing new things; that fact undercuts any witness that you would give to the solid rock of Peter, the foundation of a faith that it bears no challenge to truth. Why go to salute the words of such a challenge? It makes my blood run cold.


#17

I can only morally advise on the matter of attending the testimony: DON’T DO IT! On the matter of sharing Sundays, I can only say to talk with your spiritual director.

I had a friend, best friend actually, who converted to the LDS (from being a lukewarm Protestant).

It’s a hard thing to do. Pray, pray, PRAY! When I have a moral moral dilemma I set up a meeting with my spiritual director-confessor; before the meeting I pray very hard for light to be given. I explain the situation in detail, and obey what he says. Wish I had more to offer.:frowning:


#18

Nicely put:thumbsup:


#19

I had asked for help myself in the way of directing questions along these lines to the Forum Apologists with no response. So I find it interesting that in the responses to the posts here, I find the answer to my predicament. It is a very sad decision I must make, but one I feel necessary in order to stand fast to my Catholic (traditional) convictions. My estranged daughter, Baptised Catholic was raised as a non-Catholic by her Mother. Yes, I was married in the Catholic Church many years ago and 20+ years later granted an anullment. I am so blessed to be able to partake in the Sacraments. But my daughter who was raised non-Catholic (Baptist) by her mother who promised to raise her Catholic, but left the Church, has been re-baptised Mormon and now is marring a Mormon and expects me to attend the nuptuals at a Mormon Bishop’s home who is presiding over the wedding. I did pay for my daughter’s dress, though our relationship has been strained for many years, an d I have not been in her life but to help with financial matters. The invitiation did not include me as inviting folks to the marriage of my daughter. You see where this is going. She did not ask me to give her away, nor was permission asked by the young man. First and foremost, I am against this union, and do not believe our very large Catholic Family should attend, or can attend. Prayer and more prayer.

In Jesus, Mary, and Joseph


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