I was raised Mormon, served as a Bishop, but lately I have become disenchanted with being Mormon. I think Mormons are good people, are seeking to serve God and be closer to God, and honestly think that being Mormon will help bring people closer to God.
I have found that I prefer Catholic services, the intellectual history of the Catholic Church, the rites associated with the Catholic Church, and so on…
Nevertheless, I do not necessarily agree with some things like the Nicene Creed on the Trinity (think it is more Platonic than the expression of Hebrew theology). I believe that there are a number of paths to God, and when we die we will be surprised by what God really wants of us, but I find myself being drawn to Catholicism, mostly because of peripheral reasons.
First of all, welcome to CAF. There are many ex-Mormons here who are very knowledgeable and have already gone through this experience (I’m not one of them).
I would suggest that you really learn what the Church teaches before you make a judgment on whether or not you agree. Do you really understand the Catholic Church’s teaching concerning the Trinity? You have been heavily influenced by Mormon doctrine concerning the nature of God.
I would recommend that you begin the inquiry stage of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) and spend some time exploring. In the end, yes, you must accept all that the Church teaches and proposes as true. We believe that God has protected the Catholic Church from teaching error.
Seek truth, and when you find it, set aside your preconceived notions and conform your life to it. We would love to have you in our Church.
First of all, welcome to CAF. I think you will find that your questions can be answered here. We have many former Mormons who post here, are familiar with both religions, and have already gone through this experience. (I am not one of those.)
You may want to check into joining an RCIA class as an inquirer. Learn the truth of what the Church teaches before you decide whether or not you agree with it. Seek the truth and when you find it, set aside any preconceived notions and conform your life to it.
A good think to keep in mind is that the Creeds point to the holy truth of the Trinity and keep us from falling into heresy - but indeed, the Trinity is a mystery of faith and we can’t fully understand.
This is a good thing! If we could fully understand, then it wouldn’t be God!
In order to enter full communion with the Church you have to hold the faith of the Church which is exemplified in the Creed. You of course are loved and are welcome to come pray and have spiritual communion while you deal with your questions.
RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, starts out with a period of inquiry and that sounds like it’s exactly what you’re looking for now. It allows you to ask questions and begin to explore what it means to be Catholic without necessarily making a commitment to go forward.
I wouldn’t worry too much about whether you believe the Creed right now or not. Explore and see where the Holy Spirit leads you.
Ultimately, if you decide to become Catholic, you will need to profess your faith in what the Church believes. In good conscience, no one would expect you to say you believe things that you don’t. But I think worrying about it right now is getting ahead of yourself. Simply be open to where God is leading you and take it one step at a time.
I think if most of were honest about it we had issues with one precept or another about the Catholic Church.
Catholicism demands education on the faith and there is a great depth and breadth of study that seems to me to be life long.
I had issues with the family based parishes and found a better start at a Benedictine Abbey. You may want to seek such more serious venues of Catholic prayer. When moving I search out parishes run by Carmelites or Jesuits or Franciscans as opposed to the vanilla diocese parish. YMMV but don’t give up! I move a lot and often it takes me a few tries to find a parish and priest who clicks with me.
A title that helped me was/is Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft. He takes the Catechism and breaks it down in a more readable fashion. Of course get the Catechism as well but that is a little dense for cover to cover reading.
Another book I just got is a reprint of an old book from ~1949 “My Catholic Faith”. probably aimed towards middle to high school age but is quite good and I am learning many things from it. Some “arguments” a bit dated but still worth searching out.
Scott Hahn has many numerous titles you may find useful. The Lambs Supper is wonderful. If you download there smart phone app here: lighthousecatholicmedia.org/app
There are a number of free mp3 lectures by Scott Hahn that are fantastic!
RCIA is a wonderful start as well.
Be open minded. If you hit a wall about a subject such as the Trinity seek out more information. I had problems with Mary at first but once again Scott Hahn’s Hail Holy Queen showed me a way.
EWTN radio and tv can have some good material as well. Fr. Mitch Pacwa is a favorite.
Sorry to be long winded but I want to assure you, that you are indeed welcome!
I think the place for you right now is in an Adoration chapel near you where you can sit and quietly go over your doubts, fears and questions in the Presence of a loving God who wills nothing more than your Salvation. All your answers will be found there. Go!
The way to find an chapel near you is to go to www.masstimes.org and type in your zip code. That will bring up a list of all the parishes in your immediate area and look in the 3rd column for “Other Services” and go down till you see “Adoration” listed. It will tell you the times and exact locations. Look for one that is an actual 24/7 Adoration Chapel or something close. When you see just a single day listed, that means Adoration is between certain hours in the main church unless specified elsewhere. Get ready to have your Mormon socks knocked off by an awesome God who loves you and died for you and will surprise you with His love. No better place on earth than to sit at His feet in an Adoration Chapel and gaze on His loveliness.
God bless you and welcome to the Church of Jesus Christ.
I tend to agree, but I wonder how many who join the Church for the sake of marriage really “hold the faith of the Church which is exemplified in the Creed?” Many “convert” for convenience - at least as I have observed.
Hi Christian Piper! Are you a bagpipe player by any chance? If so, I think that bagpipes are awesome!
When I was considering converting, I too believed that there were many paths to God, even though I considered myself a Protestant. But with thorough study, and listening carefully to the good homilies at the Mass I was attending, I realized that the ideas that
I had about who is saved just weren’t accurate (I thought that pretty much everyone would go to Heaven). I couldn’t, at first, wrap my mind around the idea that one Church holds the full truth, and salvation is dependent on membership in the Church. It just didn’t make sense - at first. But then I learned that it is possible for non-Catholics to be saved, due to invincable ignorance, or lack of culpability on the part of some, or the great mercy of God (there can be no assurance at all about this, though). I do request Masses to be offered (Mass intentions) for my deceased family members, non of whom were Catholic, on the off-chance that some of them may have made it at least to Purgatory.
Also, I began to be more receptive to the Catholic faith after I learned to pray the Rosary. I can’t recommend the Rosary enough. It’s amazing. God bless!
I should have also mentioned that if you convert, you will be required to accept and believe all that the Church teaches. Hopefully you can eventually grow in understanding of what the Church teaches, but if you find that you still cannot accept some of the things that the Church teaches and therefore cannot convert, you can still, as has already been mentioned, attend Mass and participate (except for taking communion, of course).
Give yourself plenty of time to study and pray about it. It has been mentioned here that going to Adoration would be a good thing to do, which is an excellent idea, IMO.
I appreciate the answers. My problem is not one of study, I have studied Christianity extensively for almost two decades. I fully understand why the Catholic Church believes as it does, but I respect the beliefs, I simply do not share them. I am more inclined towards Mormonism in terms of theological belief. I do not believe in the Trinity, I believe in things like eternal marriage, etc… It is Mormon practice that I find unsatisfactory. I hate the meetings. The sermons (we call them talks) are inane, simplistic, and honestly poorly thought out disasters. I even agree with the need for having normal congregants give sermons, in theory, it is the application in practice that simply does not work.
I like Catholic services better, even if I disagree with theology.
Hi ChristianPiper and welcome to the CA Forums. First let me say that since you said “Catholic” with a capital C, I take it you mean in communion with Rome. (I tend to use a small c for other catholics like Anglicans, at least when on CAF.) With that in mind, if someone is going to enter into full communion with Rome, he/she needs to agree with Rome’s dogmas.
Secondly, I would point that even other catholics like Anglicans and Lutherans are trinitarian/Nicene Christians just as we are. So while they may be more liberal in terms of who can join, they would take issue with some of your beliefs as well.
Then you desire to join for the wrong reasons. If you think Mormon doctrine and theology is true then you should follow it and not abandon it just because you don’t like how they conduct their services. We should seek truth, not comfort. While I would take issue with the truthfulness of Mormonism, no one should leave something that they hold as true.
The Trinity does not quite follow logic (and yet it does!)…it is not something that can be discerned with the intellect and is very difficult to convey especially on a forum.
While you have a rich theological background it is as mine was not fully Catholic in essence. A lot of what I had read was counter-Catholic doctrine steeped in protestantism. While I grew up Catholic I had strayed and eased back in via softer protestant beliefs. While these allowed me to open my heart to Christ they did not prepare me for and actually worked against the deeper truths of the Catholic faith.
Have you studied the Church Fathers? St. Augustine wrote a great deal on the topic. Here’s a link with some writings on the Trinity:
I have found not all I read speaks to me and either through grace or simply finding another source most if not all of my doubt has been lifted.I say most as I am not all that sure how much I know myself and am constantly growing in faith and comprehension of the Church. I don’t for a moment think another stumbling block will be set before me, to test my faith. I pray not but have been given a strong foundation to weather the storms to this point.
Judging by your posts you must have an inquisitive mind. I think with study and prayer on the matter you be rewarded greatly and probably come to a deeper understanding that eludes many of us. I am of the opinion a strong doubter receives a strong faith through perseverance. This was true of St. Augustine.
Keep an open mind and heart!
As a Catholic you would have to have a belief in the Trinity but there is no such requirement to begin the path. Work on the smaller aspects and perhaps you will find the truth in the larger picture as well.
Then keep attending Mass, pray a Spiritual Communion, and continue your study until you can understand the Truth as it is revealed to the world by Christ. But to request Baptism would be a sacreligious lie for you. Not a good way to celebrate the apex of your conversion.
“And why, at the end of the day, do I choose one religion over another? I can accept that all religions ultimately are looking for the same God. But I suspect that some religions do a better job of it than others… just as Newton’s physics was an improvement over the medieval view, and quantum physics picks up where Newton’s version fails. The religions of The Book – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – all recognize a God outside of nature who created this universe and found it good. Of these, I adopt the Catholic view because to me it is the most complete, most coherent vision of God and God’s interaction with our universe.”
I find that in an outward sense, Catholicism fits me, even if I may disagree on finer points of doctrine (I would still practice birth control for example), but are these disagreements enough to keep me out?
Your in luck! The Catholic Church is not against birth control! But if you meant contraception you will have some issues. Search for posts about natural birth control.
I would rely upon your current desire to take positive steps towards learning more about the faith and see if any issues you have are easily dispelled before being overly concerned with the particulars. if you still have issues after a time I’m sure you’ll have made some connections with those who can help you through it.
I am attending an adult catechism course that is also for those seeking confirmation. Father assumes it will take a year to complete! So once you dive in it will take some time and you are welcomed and encouraged to investigate.
As much as I like CA I would caution about putting too much credence in many responses. It seems sometimes responses can be rather cold and rigid to the point of error at times. Find a good local confessor/priest and work out the your bigger issues in live discussions.
Piper: you are aware I hope that Mormonism “restores” nothing. To ‘restore’ a thing it had to have existed before. There is no proof in history of a faith that claimed to baptize the living in behalf of the dead. And many more Mormon practices that were invented out of whole cloth.
The COJCOLDS is a part of Protestant Christianity popular at the early 19th century. Much of it derives from Campbellism. Baptism of beleivers for remission of sins, by total submersion only comes from Campbellism, as does observance of a memorial Communion.
The similarity came from a single man named Sidney Rigdon who changed from Campbellism to Mormonism. After the assassination of Joseph Smith Rigdon tried to become church President but was defeated.
I originally was a “churches of Christ” Campbellite and the simularities are amazing. But both of those “Restorationist” groups deny it. The churches of Christ also consider themselves to be the “only true church” as well.