Comments about ‘How I became a Mormon’

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Published: Friday, Nov. 22 2013 11:09 p.m. MST

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A Scientist
Provo, UT

The self-assured arrogance of many Mormons is not only off-putting but contrary to everything Jesus taught.

?
SLC, UT

antodav:

What difference should it make how and when someone was converted to the gospel, raised in the church or not? For whatever reason, where you grew up can be an issue for some folks, too.

Why can't we recognize a brother or sister in church as just that regardless of the circumstances of one's conversion or their life experiences?

If you are a convert who came into the church later in life and you have children, grandchildren or maybe even great grandchildren who may now fit the description of being raised in the church, thanks to the legacy you paved for them, how would you want others to treat them?

killpack
Sandy, UT

A Scientist,

Some LDS are bold in speech, yes, if that's what you mean. I have the utmost faith and every confidence in my God. I believe with all of my heart that He not only wants me to achieve what the world teaches to be impossible, He has commanded me to do it. Additionally, He will provide a way for it to happen, through His almighty power. This is despite my countless sins and incorrigible weaknesses. To God, nothing is impossible. These are not my words, they are The teachings of Jesus Christ Himself. If it is arrogance to believe in His own words, then I am most guilty of arrogance. To quote a Book of Mormon prophet, 'I will boast of my God, for in His strength I can do ALL things' (emphasis added). I know absolutely that He has the power to save me from everlasting destruction. That means He can and will forgive ALL of my sins, if I desire and believe in it. On the other hand, salvation will never come to me if I lack the faith or desire to be saved.

Shelama
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I became a former Mormon – a Formon – and former Christian, when I finally actually read and studied the Bible more honestly and seriously and critically.

Although there was with a sense of loss, the gain was greater. Including the much increased enjoyment and appreciation and love for the Bible itself. And an infinitely greater appreciation for, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Although no longer religious, to the degree I have a physical, brick-and-mortar spiritual home, it's in the Synagogue. Both for what it is and what it's not; for what it teaches and what it doesn't teach.

Visiting Mormon churches now is a pleasure as a place to hear the laughter of children and feel some warm-fuzzy nostalgia related to a few songs.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Killpack, this core tenet (after all, what is the grace of God.

For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is “not from yourselves”, it is the Gift of God— Not by Works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.(Eph 2 8-10).

Jesus is theanthropos (theos = God and anthropos = man. Kenosis
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.( Phil 2:5-8 NLT)

@,quote a Book of Mormon prophet? 'I will boast of my God, for in His strength ‘I can do ALL things'
I can do all things through Christ] who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)

John M
RExburg, ID

Although I affirm that the LDS church is the one true church, what that doesn't do is give anyone a reason to look down on another, or assume that their faith has no validity. God is the father of us all, and because of that he will listen and care for each of his children, whether or not they have found or understood the full teachings of the gospel. This church is amazingly unique. Although we believe it to be the one true church, we will undergo the required ordinances (such as baptism) by proxy for those who pass on without accepting it, giving them the opportunity to accept the teachings in the afterlife. When we claim this is the one true church, that never diminishes the value of all individuals, regardless of their beliefs, before God.

killpack
Sandy, UT

sharrona

Mercy cannot rob justice. If I choose to reject the salvation the Lord has so gracefully offered me (and it is my choice), I will not be saved in His kingdom. That is an impossibility. I have no doubt that salvation is a gift from God, and it is offered to me regardless of my own actions. The gift will have no effect I do not choose to accept that gift, however. It would be totally unjust to force upon me Lord's salvation, against my own will. I must choose it for myself. Only then can the impossible even begin to happen, that is being saved. And, until the Lord has totally and completely delivered me from my sins, through my own acceptance of that deliverance, I am not nor ever will be saved. God is perfect and any deviation from His perfection cannot dwell in His presence. We cannot be saved even in the slightest of sin.

Moontan
Roanoke, VA

@J.D. re "What's interesting is the unusually large number of former Mormons who are saying they are in a much better mental and spiritual place outside of the faith than they were within it." Of course they say that. How many people, religious or not, say "I was much better off in the past."?

Re. "Islam claims the same thing about their holy book the Quran." True, but the claim doesn't make them right, or Sasha wrong.

@Shelama ... You rejected the Bible as inspired of God and gained a "much increased enjoyment and appreciation and love for the Bible itself" after deciding it was fiction?

G L W8
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Interesting conundrums coming out of these comments but instead of relying upon man's philosophies and reasoning, why don't more people go to the source? Only God himself can solve these riddles. Those who go to him through his prescribed order have arrived at the same conclusions: that the Book of Mormon is true, that the LDS Church is his kingdom on earth, that all are his children but he gives them agency to act as they will and will reward them with the glory they've obtained through obedience to various of his commandments; but in order to achieve the highest, they must be obedient to all. Is that possibly why some get different approbations in their different courses in life? Obtaining the same results through prayer and obedience are not just faith-based, they also satisfy the scientific requisite for peer review.

G L W8
SPRINGVILLE, UT

With only 200 words available; it's difficult to describe God's "prescribed order", so here are a few points that need consideration: {paraphrased for brevity)
James 1:5-6: God will answer liberally those who lack wisdom, yet ask in faith, nothing wavering.
[Book of Mormon] Moroni 10:5-6: God manifests the truth of the Book of Mormon, and all things, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Joseph Smith: The Holy Ghost may fall upon a man, yet not tarry with him (presumably LDS and Non-LDS alike. No room to summarize here, but the scriptures are replete with references that the Holy Ghost cannot dwell where unholy conditions exist).
John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
There are many more; but one must seek them out and put them all into place.

Shelama
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@Moontan, but I didn't decide the Bible was fiction, only that it was totally and purely and only a human invention. That happens to include a lot fiction.

btw, I also have "enjoyment and appreciation and love" for the works of Shakespeare. Some of which, just like the Bible, also contains a mixture of fiction and history and poetry and prose and invention. Or not: ...the pure fiction of Shakespeare is also great.

I also love the fiction of Mark Twain.

I'm hoping you've not impoverished your own life by rejecting all fiction : )

The Scientist
Provo, UT

J.D.,

If you are correct about the increased openness and ecumenism of the LDS Church, we should expect to see a more balanced approach - instead of just stories about how people have come to embrace Mormonism, we should see articles about how former Mormons embraced evangelical Christianity or Scientology, and stories of how Mormons embraced atheism, and how Baptists became Jewish, and how a Catholic embraced Islam.

Where are such stories?

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Killpack,We cannot be saved even in the slightest of sin.

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned,

V.19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. We inherit sin.

God based salvation on His own will in predestination for His own glory. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Eph 1:5-6,12)

16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. (Rom 9:16).

killpack
Sandy, UT

sharrona,

Destiny, grace, the will of God are ALL fundamental to my salvation. Certainly I would never be saved if I wasn't destined for salvation, by the grace and will of God. And, as you've pointed out, those facts are backed by scripture. Mercy, however, cannot rob justice. Destiny cannot rob freedom. Moral agency is as much a part of salvation as destiny and grace. Though it is God's will that I be saved, He would never force His plan for salvation on me. To say otherwise is neither Biblical nor logical. If I succeed, I most certainly did so by the grace and will of God. If I fail, however, that was NOT God's will.

Thinkman
Provo, UT

As I have had many friends who have "left" the LDS church, perhaps the DesNews should have a series focused on why people leave the LDS church so that others can better understand what leads one to no longer believe and instead leave.

Michigander
Westland, MI

Sasha Pachev,

My testimony along with 20,000 other members is that WE KNOW The Church of Jesus Christ (WHQ: Monongahela, PA) is the only true succession of the Restored Gospel, and the only church on the face of the earth that correctly interprets the entire Book of Mormon and the KJV BIble.

southmtnman
Provo, UT

"Mercy cannot rob justice."

Says who?

Many religions hold that deity’s mercy is always exercised at the expense of its justice.

For example, in Islam, Allah may grant mercy to an individual, but it’s always done at the expense of his justice, effectively laying aside the requirements of the moral law in order to be merciful.

In Christianity, God exercises His mercy _through_ His justice. The doctrine of penal substitution states that sin and injustice were punished at the cross of Christ, and only because the penalty of sin was satisfied through Christ’s sacrifice does God extend His mercy to undeserving sinners.

Paul explains: “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:24-26).

cval
Hyde Park, UT

@Killpack: Perfection is a long term, not a short term goal. We are not exempted from that commandment. We do, however, recognize that the only way we can ever accomplish it is through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We will never be able to become perfect through our own efforts.

The difference between Mormons and other Christians in this regard is that Mormons believe the atonement does not excuse us from trying... from doing our best to do good works.

I would rather be the person who keeps trying, sometimes fails, but doesn't give up than the person who sees that they can never be perfect, and thus stops trying.

To say I believe, but not try my best to live the Gospel and serve my fellowman seems a bit dishonest to me. Without Christ, I will never be perfect. I show my belief by my efforts, knowing that my efforts will never be enough with out his grace.

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