Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Conversion to Mormonism

Many of my readers know that I was born into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  But all people need to be inwardly convinced of the validity of an idea or religion if they are going to follow it passionately forever.  I am grateful to my brother for placing before me a stumbling block that ensured I seek truth independent of my upbringing.  My brother had a falling out with the church when he was 19 and began preaching anti Mormon propaganda.  He told me with no little venom that I only believed what I was taught because I was ignorant and overly submissive.  He didn't understand my nature.  I have always been a seeker of truth, not submission. 

Over the next two years I studied intensely anti Mormon literature.  Being very young I believed much of what I realize now were malicious lies.  I prayed often to whatever God might be listening, imploring this Deity to show me truth and I would sacrifice everything I had, even my family and home, to follow it.  My head clouded with lies against the church I concluded it must be false.  Then the thought came to me "Okay.  That is fine. But before you walk away, you must answer the question: Who wrote the Book of Mormon?"  It is a physical object and we cannot deny its existence.  At first I thought that the answer would prove simple.  But I could find no logical answer.  Joseph Smith was an untutored farm boy of only 23 years when the Book of Mormon was already in hand.  It is a book that all the great thinkers and teachers of the English language together could not have written.  It could not have been written by one person alone.  I struggled with this question and began mapping out what seemed the only logical explanation - that it was an extensive plot created by many people and with many authors ranging several generations...but then why would Joseph give his life to defend it?  Inspired by the devil perhaps?  Then why would it teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, requiring love and kindness toward our fellowmen?  At length I threw up my hands and declared that these ideas were absurd and the only really logical answer was the one Joseph Smith gave - that he translated an ancient record by the power of God. I felt calm and peaceful like God was watching me and had mercifully let me figure out the right answer on my own.  I am grateful He trusted me enough to allow me to pick this religion to bits and discover for myself the truth of it. 

And here I invite your comments, either here publicly or in private.  You may reach me at etherealliving@yahoo.com.  I realize there are many who do not believe as I do.  Read the Book of Mormon in its entirety with an open mind and then explain to me how it came into existence.  Convince me that it came of some other means than by the power of God and I will throw my scriptures into the fire.  Only let it be proven by logic and by plain reason, and not by anger and malice that so often follows after the church and seeks to destroy it for personal ambition or gain.  Anger finds its inspiration in arrogance and arrogance has no real place in cool headed logical argument.  I think you will not find another answer, but I look forward to hearing from you anyway.



3 comments:

  1. I have the utmost respect for you my friend and admit that I too once traveled down the same road thinking as your brother did. It has been in the past two years getting to know you and your sister Crystal that I have felt so wrong for the way I thought and am happy that I now love my Mormon friends and will not fall into that ignorent trap I was in again. Thank you for this post and keep on keeping on.
    Odie

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  2. I feel that everyone must travel down that road. I was a very strong teenager in the church. I was seminary president for 2 years, married my returned missionary in the temple at the ripe old age of 17. I thought I believed with all of my heart and soul. I was the only one in a family with 7 children to believe as I did. My mother practices wicca, I have 5 brothers, each a different belief. 1 athiest, 1 buddist priest,one agnostic, and 2 inactive LDS . My sister is a born again christian , married to a pastor ( an anti-mormon pastor). I have always had alot of questions. At the end of my marriage to my husband, I just kind of drifted away from everything I was so sure of in life. I started a self loathing life style, which was never for me. That went on for about 2 years. Then I had 3 wonderful children, out of wedlock. Now it would be time for me to reevaluate my belief system, as it was not all about "only" me any more. I discovered that I did believe in the LDS church. That never left me. I always knew the Book of Mormon was true. That was never my personal issue. I began going to non denomination churches, I wanted my children to know God , and Jesus. I wanted them to make their own choice about religion. When my oldest children were 9 years old, one of them wanted to go to the mormon church. I tried to talk him out of it, many times. It was one of the most devinely inspired moments of my life. I told him that he could join, I would see to it that he did get there, and I would be supportive of him 100%. I was at a point in my life, where I was pondering, Why? I was praying to God, hoping he wouldn't be so disappointed in me for all of the horrible things I had done. My answer came in such a huge way, that not even my skeptical self could deny. I met my husband at my son's 2nd missionary discussion. I had a cigarette in one hand , and my Starbucks cup in the other. He didn't judge me, and said what I needed to hear as answer to my prayers. It was so odd! My husband has researched the book of mormon quite extensively. He has taken all punctuation out of the text,because that is proper hebrew. He has studied it so thoroughly that it would dazzle and amaze even the biggest skeptic. Joseph Smith had a 4th grade education, there is no way that came from him. I find it interesting that on a History channel show, "before Christopher Columbus", not a religious program, they talked about the book of mormon. They said that the Cherokee indians have traced their heritage back to Jerusalem. These are recent discoveries. How much more will come to surface? How exciting is it? I think it is awesome to discover the similarities in the non-LDS indian beliefs. They are so similar. I myself have tried to dispute the book of mormon, and the Gospel in it's entirety. I wanted to justify not being a mormon any more. I just couldn't do it. So eventually I gave in, Maybe my need to disprove everything just needed to end. It was mentally exhausting, and I was so much happier when I let the the spirit in, and let it guide me, rather than trying to do everything on my own. Michelle, I didn't mean to babble so long, but this is a subject that means so much to me. I may not be the one most people would think of as a highly spiritual person, but I am. I agree with your asking this . I would love to see if people post .

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  3. I'm glad you babbled! I loved every word. Yes, we could go on and on about how the unraveling of Native American civilizations points to the Book of Mormon, but at the moment I just wanted to show that I am willing to question everything and learn. Thanks Odie. We all completely forgive you for being human.

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