Comments about ‘New Harmony: Never underestimate the cost of conversion’

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Published: Wednesday, June 11 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Michael Matthews
Omaha, NE

Jerry you always makes me think deeply about things I didn't even realize I need to think about.

Thanks,

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

I wonder if the same sympathies would be shown to someone who abandons his/her faith for non-faith? Or abandons Mormonism for Judaism? Or .....

For whatever reason a person abandons the "faith of his fathers (and mothers)", it should be considered shameful that his/her former co-religionist family would shun them simply for this change of conscience. Yet this happens daily. Just when did "faith" become more important than "blood"? Why would anyone shun and abandon children because they "lose' their faith for another one, be it for intellectual or marital, or any other reasons?

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

@ordinary folks

As someone who was raised LDS, served a mission, married in the temple I can tell you that it was extremely hard to leave the church after discovering it and all religions were wrong. Atheism is still very much ostracized in America. Even in the Dnews comment sections atheism looked down on and derided. My family had a very difficult time with my decision and I still am asked to never talk about atheism around any of my family members. There was a great deal of anger thrown my way, many of my family members tried to make me feel ashamed or guilty by telling me I'd never be with them in the next life. The process of leaving faith for non faith is not an easy one.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . it should be considered shameful that his/her former co-religionist family would shun them simply for this change of conscience."

It is considered shameful -- if we're talking strictly about the change of conscience.

I have friends and relatives that have retreated from or abandoned faith, to one degree or another, who remain close and beloved -- as well as an object of my evangelistic pursuits, to whatever degree they'll permit.

It is, rather, the insistent heretical evangelism that typically drives family and friends away.

It never ceases to amaze how quick people are to doubt their faith, while being curiously uncritical of their doubts. And how, once doubts are embraced, they often become much more central to a person's existence than their faith ever was.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

It may be costly to switch, but it can be liberating to abandon.

islandboy
Honolulu, HI

It takes hard work and effort to maintain and endure to the end. Surely worth it though.

Pops
NORTH SALT LAKE, UT

I agree with the Givens' in their statement, "It is the only summons, issued under the only conditions, which can allow us to fully reveal who we are, what we love and what we most devoutly desire." I celebrate the conditions that allow us to find and reveal who we truly are or wish to be. When Judgment Day comes, it will be an acknowledgment of what we have become, with the rewards and punishments being not capricious or arbitrary, but rather a natural consequence of our choices and the path we've taken in mortality.

If you hang with people who shun you if you should change, maybe you're hanging around the wrong people.

wisetimes
Phoenix, AZ

Although the path in search of truth is not easy, it is worth the climb. Nonetheless, many of us come scratched and bruised as a result. Interestingly, the empathy or support is not always there to greet us at the Church doors. It leaves one to question did I break my Baptist mother's heart, become the brunt of ridicule and jokes by family, have my intelligence questioned by professional peers,apparently lose any chance of marrying at this late date(only non-LDS interested in me) only to be underestimated among the LDS culture? So I encourage members to grasp the concept of our sacrifice of change, as our full reward does not always come as expected. I recognize the reward, thus I remain a member as I see the power for good, yet I feel lonely in the mortal sense at times.

JeffinOC
Mission Viejo, CA

People must inevitably follow their own paths and while some would state the path is straight and narrow, it rarely is. Often it is circular as we test ourselves and our faith against what the world teaches us. Some will indeed spiral away feeling they cannot find what it is they seek, others find it and stay. As a convert my conversion was strong and fast, as a member, I still had questions and as I sought answers my remaining in place was confirmed at my pace through my own efforts to understand. I have children now, and a son on a mission, a daughter that questions her faith, and another daughter that loves her faith. Even as I grapple with my children's understanding, firmly in place with my beliefs, I also have come to realize that their destinies are their own to find. I hope they see things as I do, but I cannot make them see what I see. Their choice, their eyes, and in the end, their path. I will encourage but not detract the love I have for them. All in all a good article.

K
Mchenry, IL

It is not the family of the former faith that does the abandoning. I think this is more a problem in the US than in other countries. In other countries marriage and sealings are different events. In the US because the gov allows the sealing to serve as the ceremony for marriage there is not a ceremony for all friends and family to attend. The ring ceremony just feels like a fancier reception. The year wait makes the decision more difficult. In another country they could hold a civil ceremony and then shortly after marry for eternity. In past generations when there were less temples the practice was a wedding first and sealing second, but as soon as possible. Add to this the time expected. Three hours on Sunday. Callings. Home teaching. Where most churches are two or three hours a week the LDS church is easily 3 times that. That means less time for family who isn't a member.

Pops
NORTH SALT LAKE, UT

@JeffinOC

You're right, the path isn't straight. The word in the scriptures is "strait", which means strict or rigorous.

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