Well, we’re a day late, but here are some more Mormon conversion stories in response to a reader who was asking about former Catholics who became Mormon, and why they chose such a path. (See one former Catholic’s story in our previous post.)
But first, here’s a snippet from a 2010 Mormon conversion stories post that we think is worth quoting again, quoting President Gordon B. Hinckley:
We recognize the good in all people. We recognize the good in all churches, in their efforts to improve mankind and to teach principles that lead to good, stable, productive living. To people everywhere we simply say, ‘You bring with you all the good that you have, and let us add to it. That is the principle on which we work.’
We as Mormons believe there has been a restoration of truth that can add to the good that people already have in their lives, and help them both face the challenges that life brings and also deepen its joys . Reading Mormon conversion stories can help you get a feel for why people choose Mormonism.
Jason, a Mormon convert, writes:
When I went to college, I was exposed to the Mormon Church and met with the missionaries. After learning a little about the basic beliefs, I honestly felt a little intimidated. I had grown up Catholic and knew that what I had learned as a kid was good. I didn’t want to replace that feeling with something that was new and unfamiliar.
Jason continues, explaining that a couple of years later, he started attending Mormon church services. He came to understand that showing interest in Mormonism did not mean that he had to abandon the faith he had grown up with, but rather that Mormonism built upon what he had felt and believed and cherished about his Catholic upbringing.
I had originally thought that I would have to give up the faith and beliefs I had come to know as a Catholic. As it turns out, it was just the opposite. What I have learned in the Mormon Church adds to and gives more meaning to truths I learned as a boy such as knowing that I have a Savior, Jesus Christ.
Jason was baptized in 2004. You can read more of his conversion story here.
Kathleen’s Mormon conversion story is shorter, but the sentiments are similar:
I’m a Mormon. I grew up a Catholic. My parents always took me to church and helped me to know and rely on Jesus Christ. I am so grateful that my parents taught me what they knew. One day 2 missionaries knocked on my door. It was mid-winter and they were freezing. I let them in and gave them a drink of water. They started telling me about their love for Jesus Christ. We had that in common. I listened. I asked tons of questions. They had answers.
Paul also grew up in a large Catholic family. He feels his life was spared (many times — he’s had several near death experiences) so that he could find the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. His reason for conversion mirrors the experiences of many Mormon converts. A testimony of the Book of Mormon is also what Mormons who have been born in the faith share as one reason why their faith in the Church is strong.
I was born and brought up Catholic and never thought I would ever be anything but Catholic. However, after meeting with the missionaries and being asked to pray about the Book of Mormon and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I received an overwhelming and undeniable confirmation from the Holy Spirit that the Church and the Book of Mormon are true.
Editor’s note: When we say we believe the Church is true, it’s that we believe that God restored it through direct revelation to prophets, and that prophets continue on the earth today, with priesthood authority to perform saving ordinances such as baptism, by immersion.
Toni, a 74-year-old Mormon convert, was a Catholic nun for eight years. She grew up in an abusive home, and hoped that joining a convent would help her find happiness. She learned through much hard experience that happiness had to be found within. At age 36, she heard about the Mormon faith, but was skeptical. But through studying, fasting, and praying, she gained her own testimony of the truthfulness of the Church. She shares some of the doctrinal teachings that are meaningful to her:
As a member of the Church, I feel an abiding joy in knowing where I came from, what my pupose is on this earth, and where I am going after this earth life. I love the fact that Mormons believe salvation is offered to every single person who ever lived on the earth, not just a chosen few who happen to be “born at the right time in the right place”.
Lynnette grew up Catholic, was then a Lutheran, but continued to feel that questions she had were still not answered. Over time, she gained her own conviction of the truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hers is a story that shows that sometimes the journey to conversion can take time and come with challenges and opposition. (The answers don’t always come quickly or easily!)
A different Jason writes about how his questions were answered through Mormonism:
I was seeking for truth, for answers to my questions that were deemed mysteries in my early years of a Catholic upbringing, particulary about life after death, and the Second Coming of the Lord. After a few visits with the missionaries and as they taught the message of the Restoration, I found the answers to those questions and so many more.
These are just a few of the examples of conversion stories from people who were Catholic but found truths in Mormonism that resonated with them. Many more conversion stories can be found at Mormon.org
We also have several links to other Mormon conversion stories on the Mormon Conversion Stories post that was previously mentioned. (For a direct link to conversion stories of former Catholics, you can go here.)
I was born and raised Catholic. However, I once had opportunity to visit a Mormon church- well the entrance portion anyways. We were given a photographical historical tour of Mormonism and at the end the guide told us about how much Christ love us. I was moved to tears. He asked us to pray and reflect on if we were called to Mormonism.
I did not, but I was touched. And the Mormons I met were such wonderful, Christ loving people with beautiful families. Today, I am not the nominal catholic I was, but as an adult, GOd’s grace brought me to the fullness of faith. I am a fully practicing CAtholic (versus ill informed and or selective one) and I understand what the Church teaches and why. 2000 years ago, Christ said he would never abandon his church to the gates of hell and I believe he kept that promise. I don’t believe a “restoration” is consistent with an all powerful God who left us a church and a promise of indestructability already. I have read many of the stories shared here and wonder how many of those catholics were knowledgeable, beyond “cultural” faith. Even the former nun mentioned that she was happy that LDS believe all people had a chance and it didn’t matter what church you were born to. That demonstrates a lack of understanding of the catholic church teachings….The cathechism clearly states that all people must be saved through Christ and his church is the way BUT they clearly denote that GOd looks at how much each person has pursued him to the best of their ability in cooperation with the grace God has given said person. Thus a person born I the middle of nowhere is held accountable to how much they followed their conscience. A catholic born and raised with the correct information is held accountable for that. God is a God of context…but he is objective, not relative. The catholic church is very misunderstood, it is sometimes demonized by many protestant groups, as well as Mormons and JWitnesses. It breaks my heart to see so many people leaving the church Christ founded because they see other sincerely good people, who have love and passion, but don’t possess the fullness of truth. Jesus Christ is human AND divine. He is GOd. To leave the catholic church to enter the Mormon church is to deny the divinity of Christ. That saddens me. I think it is amazing to see the wonderful Mormon witnesses who have good hearts and love Christ as they were told…but we have to really look at scripture, history and really ask ourselves if Christ was lying to Peter. I don’t think he was. I ould like to see a person who was well versed and understood CAtholic teachings-especially on the Eucharist- that left the catholic church!
Linda, thank you for taking a moment to share your story and perspective. It’s interesting how there are so many parallels to our beliefs. The doctrine of the restoration really is a key place where we diverge, but the beliefs that there is a church of Jesus Christ, that Christ is divine, and that “all people must be saved through Christ and his church” and that “God looks at how much each person has pursued him to the best of their ability in cooperation with the grace God has given said person” are so similar.
We are hopeful that our faiths can continue to find ways to work together and build on common ground, in spite of any differences of opinion that may exist.
Thank you for your sweet words. I have had the privilage of learning a little bit about your church and I can appreciate the goodness that your church has brought to the earth for many centuries. I just wanted to touch on my belief about what Christ said about “the gates hell shall not prevail” against His church. This statement reminds me that death did not prevail against Christ. He experienced death, but in the end He prevailed. The scriptures prophesy of a falling away and in the end a restitution of all things. The gates of hell is a final resting place, and Christ promised that the truth will never leave the earth again. When you were brought to tears, that was the Holy Ghost witnessing truth to you. Listen.