New LDS Converts


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Hello All!  I've been perusing a few topics here and folks on this forum seem very genuine and polite for the most part which is refreshing.  

I've been interested in the LDS community for some time and no doubt because I have surrounded myself with LDS members but it truly has seemed coincedental and random.  In all regards, the LDS Members I have met, have been very kind, welcoming, and engaging.  I am in no way saying perfect but I do think many practicing Mormons will allow go the extra mile to help others.  I must admit some of my "best friends" are Mormon.  LOL!

I must say that I am an individual who loves to help others, feels that there is "something" Higher than us to which we need to contribute...its not just all about the NOW.   However, I am currently not an LDS, but more of a general non practicing Catholic.

Throughout the last couple of decades, I've been drawn to LDS community.  Here in American we are very blessed that we can investigate a new religion to which we may not had born without being killed--AMEN-- but I want to ask folks here:   For converts to the Mormon Religion, are converts looked as "tainted" or not "real" LDS. because we were not born into the religion?  

I read some articles saying that people who are not "real LDS" are never really accepted, is this true?   To me, spreading the gospel and the Book of Mormon is exactly what it's all about.  Someone who is 30, 40, 50, 60, .....  something and finally accepts Christ and the Book of Mormon is celebrated rather than looked down upon. Am I incorrect?

 Next month I shall go to The Local LDS Church with new LDS friends, and I'm really looking forward to it, looking forward to learning about Christ, meeting new people, and how I can help others.  

Thanks for any comments!  Kind regards to all! Peace and blessings!

 

Edited by Blissful_Heart
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I'll try to be as brutally honest as I can be.

Converts are seen as "real" LDS.  Many Converts become leaders of their congregations, leaders in the church, and integral parts of their wards and stakes.  Converts are just as real LDS as any other LDS.

Just like many other arenas, at times, there is a culture in the LDS church that affects some areas where there are cliques.  At times, one could say like attracts like.  Among some of these, for whatever reasons, at times, they will stick with each other and really don't associate with those who are not part of those cliques.  AT times, these are composed of those who were born in the church and grew up around others and are very common with the others.  They became a close knit group of friends and may have problems letting others in.  Other times it is centered around those of certain monetary status.  Sometimes it's based around those who are in a certain club or group.  The reasons and groupings vary from place to place and area to area.  This can, at times, make it seem like there are those who are considered the "real" LDS vs. those who do not fit into whatever this clique's representation seems to be.

This is more of a cultural thing than anything dealing with the doctrine of the LDS church. 

In the gospel, all are equal and loved in the Eyes of our Lord.  We all are given the same ability to attain the same blessings as any other.  Those who convert to the church have the same rights, blessings, and attainments as anyone who is born into the church. 

My family is not members of the church (my wife is and my children are members as is her family, my family is not).  In some ways, I have been blessed in ways that some members are not able to appreciate.  It means that I have the opportunity to try to bring the gospel to the rest of my family, or at least represent the LDS church to them.  It means that I have an understanding of life outside the LDS church, and have the chances to look to my ancestors in regards to that desire for an eternal family. 

If I remember, I believe a majority of LDS members ARE converts overall (I think in the time of David O. Mckay there was about 1 million members, where as today there is over 15 million members).  I good comparison is that in the year 1990 there were about 7 and a half million members.  That number has doubled in that time.  I believe that is mostly converts.  Thus in 25 years, the number of members have doubled and that is due to people converting to the LDS church.

This probably means a good 50-60% of all the members you meet will be converts.  If you get baptized, then you will actually be in the majority.  Good company to be in...eh?

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3 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Just like many other arenas, at times, there is a culture in the LDS church that affects some areas where there are cliques.  At times, one could say like attracts like.  Among some of these, for whatever reasons, at times, they will stick with each other and really don't associate with those who are not part of those cliques.  AT times, these are composed of those who were born in the church and grew up around others and are very common with the others.  They became a close knit group of friends and may have problems letting others in.  Other times it is centered around those of certain monetary status.  Sometimes it's based around those who are in a certain club or group.  The reasons and groupings vary from place to place and area to area.  This can, at times, make it seem like there are those who are considered the "real" LDS vs. those who do not fit into whatever this clique's representation seems to be.

This is more of a cultural thing than anything dealing with the doctrine of the LDS church. 

This isn't even a "unique to Mormons" thing - every large organization has this problem - employers, schools, social, political, geographic, charitable groups - they've all got it.  This is human nature happening.  (And I'd bet it's far more likely in groups with low turn-over rates.)

7 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

  For converts to the Mormon Religion, are converts looked as "tainted" or not "real" LDS. because we were not born into the religion?  

Absolutely not!  Not doctrinally and not organizationally.  (See JJ's post about cliques - yes, they're everywhere, but that's not a Church thing, that's a "humans failing to follow Christ" thing.)

7 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

I read some articles saying that people who are not "real LDS" are never really accepted, is this true?

Obviously, the authors had experiences they interpreted this way.  What really happened, how localized the problem was, and how much all the various parties were at fault, is a whole other question (such articles only tell one side of the story).  I would not put a lot of stock in these reports.  Indeed, I would recommend not going out looking for them - not that you necessarily did, just suggesting they're not reflective of the broader reality and not likely to help you to be the master of your own experience.

That said, we tend to cause fulfillment of our own expectations, so if you go into it expecting this, watching for it, your mind will amplify anything that can possibly be interpreted as rejection, and diminish anything that is unmistakably acceptance, and pretty soon you'll be convinced everyone is rejecting you and no one is accepting you and go away convinced those articles were right.  Therefore, I recommend you choose instead to expect and look for acceptance, and diminish any sense of rejection as isolated or misunderstood or irrelevant.  (It seems from your post that this won't be a problem - you have a very positive and hopeful attitude and I'm sure you will be well received!)

7 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

To me, spreading the gospel and the Book of Mormon is exactly what it's all about.  Someone who is 30, 40, 50, 60, .....  something and finally accepts Christ and the Book of Mormon is celebrated rather than looked down upon. Am I incorrect?

You are absolutely correct!

7 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

Next month I shall go to The Local LDS Church with new LDS friends, and I'm really looking forward to it, looking forward to learning about Christ, meeting new people, and how I can help others.  

This is a wonderful attitude! :) I hope it's a positive experience for everyone.

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8 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

  For converts to the Mormon Religion, are converts looked as "tainted" or not "real" LDS. because we were not born into the religion?  

 

I'm a convert.  I've never felt this way.  I live in Florida and there are tons of converts here.  I'm a convert from the big Catholic Church next door to the LDS building but even the Catholics (I was active Catholic and served as a cantor), after they got over their initial dismay, continued to be my friends.  The Catholic and LDS church do a lot of service work together.

My husband has had some uncomfortable moments when the men talk about their missions and they find out he didn't go on one.  But it's not something terrible or anything.  It's just that people who grew up in the Church are expected to go on missions so they tend to wonder why somebody didn't.

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11 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

 For converts to the Mormon Religion, are converts looked as "tainted" or not "real" LDS. because we were not born into the religion?  

 

I am a convert. You'll get weird comments sometimes, but almost all of them can be easily explained if you just say "I"m a convert" after your answer. People will ask you "Did you advance to Eagle Scout?" and if you say "No" they'll look at you funny. Just explain "I'm a convert" I've had that question asked twice. You'll also get "Did you go on a mission?" And you have to answer "No, I'm a convert." so they won't think you couldn't go on one for behavioral reasons or something.  Other than that some might treat you with "suspicion" at first, simply because many converts go to church once then never show up again (was told this from a bishop, not an insult) but that changes quickly too once they realize you aren't going anywhere. 

 

In other words there might be some awkward conversations but 95% of the interactions will be fine and members will treat you like gold, and sometimes even better than they would lifelong members. 

Edited by MormonGator
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@Blissful_Heart 

I am a 5th generation “Mormon” - Old guy with grand kids and not far away from great grand kids.   I was taught in my youth that if I loved and honored G-d that I would serve a mission – which I did.  I have never encountered a missionary that did not love those they taught – even those that they taught that did not become members.  Often this great love of investigators developed by missionaries, go far beyond individuals to entire cultures in which young missionaries serve.  It is rare that any Mormon congregation is void of missionaries and previous missionaries that have learned through their service to dearly love new converts.  I am sure that with effort some exception could be found – but such would be the exception and not the rule.

As a side note.  Mormons once lived in the Midwest (in Illinois) and were driven from their homes during the winter.  This is part of our history – when our Prophet Joseph Smith was murdered and we (my ancestors included) were forced out of the USA into the western wilderness that was then Mexican territories.  One in 5 Mormons died of illness and exposure that winter in a place called “Winter Quarters”.  During our time of distress and great need there was only one Christian organization (church) that offered aid and relief – that was the Catholic Church.   Previous Catholics make some of our very best Mormons.  :D

I thought I would add that most of those I have taught and helped prepare for baptism on my mission were previous atheists – on my mission, I served a lot at Universities.   Now, as an engineer and scientist – I continue to spent much of my working experience with atheists.  After reading your post it dawned on me that often I will side with atheists as being less “tainted” or misguided in truths than those from the religious sector.  Thanks for helping me become aware of this!!!

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler
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34 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

You'll get weird comments sometimes, but almost all of them can be easily explained if you just say "I"m a convert" after your answer.

I'm going to try this all the time now:

Boss: How was your weekend?

Me: Fine, I'm a convert!

 

Bishop: We'd like you to serve as Relief Society President.

Me: No way, I'm a convert!

 

Grocery store clerk: Paper or plastic?

Me: Plastic, I'm a convert!

 

I may have to start wearing a camera attached to my glasses so I can capture the reactions.

Edited by zil
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6 minutes ago, zil said:

I'm going to try this all the time now:

Boss: How was your weekend?

Me: Fine, I'm a convert!

 

Bishop: We'd like you to serve as Relief Society President.

Me: No way, I'm a convert!

 

Grocery store clerk: Paper or plastic?

Me: Plastic, I'm a convert!

 

I may have to start wearing a camera attached to my glasses so I can capture the reactions.

This post explains a lot  :eek:

 

The Traveler

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9 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

Throughout the last couple of decades, I've been drawn to LDS community.  Here in American we are very blessed that we can investigate a new religion to which we may not had born without being killed--AMEN-- but I want to ask folks here:   For converts to the Mormon Religion, are converts looked as "tainted" or not "real" LDS. because we were not born into the religion?  

Not at all!  Rather, you'll find that LDS folks LOVE to hear convert's stories.  Heck, some of my favorite posters here are converts (ping @Grunt, @anatess2, @An Investigator).  Then again, something like 70% of LDS folks are converts, so that's hardly surprising some are my favorites.

9 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

I read some articles saying that people who are not "real LDS" are never really accepted, is this true?  

It would help if I knew what articles you're talking about.  A person is never "not" LDS because they were a convert.  A person's only not LDS if they're not LDS-- like an atheist, Catholic, Warren Jeffs, etc.

9 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

To me, spreading the gospel and the Book of Mormon is exactly what it's all about.  Someone who is 30, 40, 50, 60, .....  something and finally accepts Christ and the Book of Mormon is celebrated rather than looked down upon. 

That's TOTALLY right!!!   An often quotes verse: "how great shall be your joy if you bring but one soul unto Christ"

9 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

 Next month I shall go to The Local LDS Church with new LDS friends, and I'm really looking forward to it, looking forward to learning about Christ, meeting new people, and how I can help others.  

That's awesome!!!!   Let us know how it goes.

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9 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

For converts to the Mormon Religion, are converts looked as "tainted" or not "real" LDS. because we were not born into the religion?  

Full disclosure - our membership is not perfect.  We have sinners and jerks just like anyone.  But if anyone treats you like this, come let us know and we'll go toilet-paper their house until they stop.

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Most of my ward is converts, I believe.  New converts are treated as somewhat of a celebrity, since we’re so small.  We love new faces.  I’m a recent convert, though, so I rarely know what I’m talking about.  I dont let that stop me from talking. 

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I love converts.  I am always impressed by their faith.  I'm also always worried that their faith is fragile and some rude member might offend them intentionally or not.   I really think it's pretty easy to be born and raised mormon and although all members have to come to know the truth I am far more impressed with those who have the strength to leave Babylon and search for truth.

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3 hours ago, zil said:

I'm going to try this all the time now:

Boss: How was your weekend?

Me: Fine, I'm a convert!

 

Bishop: We'd like you to serve as Relief Society President.

Me: No way, I'm a convert!

 

Grocery store clerk: Paper or plastic?

Me: Plastic, I'm a convert!

 

I may have to start wearing a camera attached to my glasses so I can capture the reactions.

This totally cracked me up!!  

Ya, you're so right!  

Methinks @zil and I are gonna be good friends!  

:lol:

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3 minutes ago, Blissful_Heart said:

Oh boy... @pam, not even 5 posts, and already I'm messing up!  ;)

I think you and I will get along just fine.  You are like a breath of fresh air to this place.  But let's leave zil out of this.  :P    Looks like you are into sarcasm a bit and I'm the queen of sarcasm.  :)

@zil  You know I love ya.  :)

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6 minutes ago, pam said:

I think you and I will get along just fine.  You are like a breath of fresh air to this place.  But let's leave zil out of this.  :P    Looks like you are into sarcasm a bit and I'm the queen of sarcasm.  :)

Sarcasm... is that where you use irony as a joke.   Nope, never heard of it.  :P

 

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13 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

For converts to the Mormon Religion, are converts looked as "tainted" or not "real" LDS. because we were not born into the religion?

I have never seen or sensed anything of the sort. If anything, you sometimes get the opposite vibe, where converts are considered "real" members and lifelong members start getting all neurotic about whether they would have "measured up" had they not been born into the Church. But that's unusual. For the most part, on a functional level, it makes no difference to anyone. Converts do get to tell their conversion story, which everyone always loves to hear. Lifelong members may get to tell their mission stories, which people may or may not want to hear. :)

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1 minute ago, Vort said:

Converts do get to tell their conversion story, which everyone always loves to hear. Lifelong members may get to tell their mission stories, which people may or may not want to hear.

I think there's been more in the past ten years or so (maybe longer, I lose track) about the fact that lifelong members also need to be converted (and that conversion isn't a one-time thing, but an on-going process).  So really, lifelong members ought to have conversion stories too, but it's probably more common for their conversion stories to be more gradual over the long haul and therefore overlooked, or the story is the kind where you wish there was a trap door behind the podium...

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3 hours ago, e-eye said:

I love converts.  I am always impressed by their faith.  I'm also always worried that their faith is fragile and some rude member might offend them intentionally or not.   I really think it's pretty easy to be born and raised mormon and although all members have to come to know the truth I am far more impressed with those who have the strength to leave Babylon and search for truth.

I believe most people's faith, or at least aspects of it, are fragile.  That's why study and prayer are so important.  That's why the Mormon culture, home teaching, and church activities are so important.  Faith needs to be fed and supported.  Communities are great avenues for that support.  Be mindful of what you say not only to new converts, but to all members.  Not because we all walk around in fear of losing faith, but because faith is SO much better when it is strong and clear.  That is when I make the best choices, am in tune with the Holy Spirit, and happiest. 

This past weekend I felt like my Sunday School lesson was a TRAIN WRECK!  I can't believe how many people came up to me and ranted about how much they liked it.  I can only assume the Holy Spirit used me to deliver a message that was needed.  I always feel good about my lessons when the missionaries start taking notes.  

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16 hours ago, Blissful_Heart said:

Hello All!  I've been perusing a few topics here and folks on this forum seem very genuine and polite for the most part which is refreshing.  

I've been interested in the LDS community for some time and no doubt because I have surrounded myself with LDS members but it truly has seemed coincedental and random.  In all regards, the LDS Members I have met, have been very kind, welcoming, and engaging.  I am in no way saying perfect but I do think many practicing Mormons will allow go the extra mile to help others.  I must admit some of my "best friends" are Mormon.  LOL!

I must say that I am an individual who loves to help others, feels that there is "something" Higher than us to which we need to contribute...its not just all about the NOW.   However, I am currently not an LDS, but more of a general non practicing Catholic.

Throughout the last couple of decades, I've been drawn to LDS community.  Here in American we are very blessed that we can investigate a new religion to which we may not had born without being killed--AMEN-- but I want to ask folks here:   For converts to the Mormon Religion, are converts looked as "tainted" or not "real" LDS. because we were not born into the religion?  

I read some articles saying that people who are not "real LDS" are never really accepted, is this true?   To me, spreading the gospel and the Book of Mormon is exactly what it's all about.  Someone who is 30, 40, 50, 60, .....  something and finally accepts Christ and the Book of Mormon is celebrated rather than looked down upon. Am I incorrect?

 Next month I shall go to The Local LDS Church with new LDS friends, and I'm really looking forward to it, looking forward to learning about Christ, meeting new people, and how I can help others.  

Thanks for any comments!  Kind regards to all! Peace and blessings!

 

As I convert, I felt I was treated with respect and admiration. I did not deserve it! I don't know how many members in my little branch were converts also, but I certainly felt welcome. I always felt grateful for being a member, and the fellowship extended toward me.  I learned the ropes from the best, I felt. I had heard a few second-hand stories of Utahans coming across as superior to converts but I've never experienced that myself, and I lived in Utah for 18 months after my mission.

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