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Hello, I am a lifelong atheist. I grew up in a household that was Christian in name only, and my family attended a local liberal Christian church very irregularly. My mother tells me that I told first her I did not believe God was real at six years old. My parents divorced when I was eight and after the divorce all church attendance stopped. In high school I was very active in debates and I have in my life probably sat through days, cumulatively, of recorded debates between Christians and Atheists, Christians and Muslims, et cetera. I know a lot of the common arguments both for and against theism, Christianity, and, to a lesser extent, Mormonism. I always envied the certainty of apologeticists who would talk about the "self-evident nature of the Universe" in regards to its having a creator. For me this was never self-evident. Now on the other hand, I would consider myself very conservative. I believe strongly in no sex before marriage, just due to my research into the statistics of number of partners a person has and their outcomes. I also believe that homosexuals make terrible parents and should not be allowed to adopt, or marry because I view marriage as a contract for raising children. I support very open free markets, and politically I would say that I am libertarian. To cut to the chase: I'm getting older. My fellow atheists, morally, leave much to be desired. I really want to settle down and have children, but it seems that there are no good women to be found in the secular world. I've been studying a lot about Mormonism, and to be honest I don't really think it's true. The apologetic arguments for the Book of Abraham are not convincing, and if that's a fraud then it is easy to conclude that Joseph Smith is not trustworthy. I really do find it worrying that in Mormonism, the text is not the standard; the prophets are...this means, in my view, that the good morals that Mormons espouse could easily be swept away by a divine revelation coming to a Generation Z "living prophet" telling him that (just for example) homosexuality is AOK. After all, as that snake Justin Trudeau would say, "it's the current year!" My research of history has shown the living prophets to be quite spineless: they quickly threw away their beliefs in polygamy and the unacceptability of black Africans for the priesthood to win some good public relations. But still, I really do like all of the morals espoused by Mormons and in my own life I follow them to a tee: cessation of coffee drinking would be my only change. I think that the Church could be a good place to raise my children in, as it would give them a good moral foundation. Do you think it's wrong to convert for belonging and virtue and hope that I can find faith in the history and Joseph Smith later? Or would you be disgusted to know that someone like me had joined your church? Thanks for your time.
Conversion and anti-Mormon family
Jane_Doe posted a topic in Missionary WorkHi everyone, I know a lot of people on the board are converts, and I was wondering if anyone has had experience/advise dealing with the anti-Mormon family obstacle course. This is a conversation I'd rather have via PM, if anyone is interested. Thanks in advance!
Conversion stories that go deeper
prisonchaplain posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionGrowing up in an Evanglical-Pentecostal church, I loved hearing conversion stories. Christians who had left some dead, false spirituality for new life in Christ were thrilling to hear from. They might talk about hypocrisy, or meaningless rituals, or realizing that what they had been doing was empty and unfulfilling. I imagine that LDS often have these same stories to share. In the past couple of weeks the seriousness of such stories hit me hard. A dear friend and fellow clergy has resigned his calling, and is converting to Catholicism. While I agree with the decades-old assessment (on the Catholic side) that we are really just "separated brethren," it still hurts. So, what I would appreciate reading are posts from those who have converted from another faith. Of course, you should bear your testimony. However, to the extent that is comfortable on an internet forum, it would help to hear about the struggles over doctrine, over close ones who are still in the former religions who feel betrayed, etc. What I realize is that conversion is seldom short, sweet, and without heartache. For those brave souls willing, I really hope to learn from your stories.
"I'd like to get to know you" as an old song states
lynnpca7 posted a topic in Introduce YourselfForty two years ago, I ran into a friend from high school in a public restroom. We hadn't seen each other in two years. We renewed our friendship. My friend invited me to her apartment for dinner and a singles family home evening group which the full time missionaries also attended. I thought of myself as "the devil's advocate" rather than as curious andI asked many questions. One of the missionaries said that it would be a lot easier to answer my questions if I just took the Missionary lessons. My first thought was, "What have I gotten myself into now?" I then decided that I couldn't condemn something I knew nothing about. I decided to take the lessons, read the assigned scriptures and pray as instructed so I could look my friend in the eye and tell her that I had learned for myself that she was being deceived. I received answers that I was not anticipating and three weeks later I was baptized. I have since served a full time mission in the Harrisburg Pennsylvania Mission, Married my sweetheart in the Salt Lake Temple, raised four wonderful children (three of whom are curently married) and become a Grandma. I have also had many trials, served in many callings and had my testimony challenged and reaffirmed time after time. My testimony of the divine origin of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remains strong. I have joy in my life and hope for my future. I do not fear what life or death have to hold. I love my Savior and I'm eternally grateful for the inspired church leaders he has called upon to guide me through this wonderful journey.
So, I've had a long spiritual journey. And I'm absolutely the last person you'd expect to be trying to become Mormon. In the last year, I was baptized Episcopal and have joined a very liberal and wonderful community. But I can't stop thinking about the LDS Church. For one, I am fascinated with their "plan of Salvation" and other teachings, that I find myself saying , "yeah, okay that makes sense." And I actually believe the gospel. I don't know if I believe that the Book of Mormon is literally true, but there is something special and divine about it. And yes, I do realize that the LDS Church isn't the best place for feminist and pro LGBTQ + people to find themselves in, but I am so drawn to it. I met with the missionaries last summer and had all the lessons, and was invited to be baptized. I declined, but I have been having dreams of baptism and converting to the church. But for those who read this and are part of the LDS Church, do you feel like there is a place for me and that I should work towards the Baptismal date I have set with the missionaries (which I have just met back up with this past week)? I know it's a completely different ballpark than what I'm used to, but I feel called to experience this spirit of peace, and to become a baptized member of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Can someone tell me (in depth) what the baptismal service is like? What happens - if the jumpsuit is mandatory (do you wear it over your dress)? And what are your experiences of what it feels like? I really feel this is where I am called to be.
Husband concerned over factual errors in church?
Lucky4341 posted a topic in Advice BoardHello! I was raised in the LDS faith and later was given the freedom to explore other religious sections in my teens and early adulthood. I'm 31 now and would like to return to the LDS community because I love its emphasis on family values, rejection of drugs and unhealthy lifestyles, continual effort toward self-improvement, and helping others. I would be most happy if my husband would at least tolerate this venture with me, but he did not grow up in the faith and has serious reservations about becoming involved in the local LDS community because of some of the churches more far-reaching groundwork. Examples of this are the church's history of having leaders that practiced polygamy (and it still teaches believe polygamy will be practiced in the spirit world) and the fact that the archaeological record in North America does not collaborate with the Book of Mormon. These issues (especially when it comes to the historical record) trouble me as well, but I am able to look past them because of the present teachings of the church. The LDS people I know and have known have generally been nice, helpful and sincere people, and I rationalize these inconsistencies by pointing out that the faith obviously serves some people and drives them to be better versions of themselves. My husband, however, has become increasingly against my having any involvement with the church, and is presently at a place where he realizes he couldn't stop me from going alone, but he wouldn't go and wouldn't let me take our toddler, either. I live in a geographical area without a lot of religious diversity (most people here are catholic), and some of my motivation for wanting to reactivate in the church is social in nature. Am I interested in the church for the wrong reason? If not, what are some talking points I can use to help my husband understand where I'm coming from? Thanks in advance for your help!
DarksDad posted a topic in Introduce YourselfHey, Name is Matt, my life has changed so much in the last two years, I converted to the Church in Sept 07 , got married in Dec 07 , graduated from college in May 08 , and had a baby in Sept 08 . My goodness, its is kinda overwhelming that everything came on so soon, I had no idea three years ago that I would have had to grow up so much so fast. I hope to find someone to be able to talk to about these things cause I know I'm not the only one out here going through this. Thanks in advance.