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In the following e-mail exchange, the e-mailer's comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.
My name is Melanie and I came across your website when I started having discussions with Missionaries and wanted to know more about Mormonism without it being "flowered up." I began last November if I'm not mistaken and have had a discussion every month or so because I hardly have time and at first I really wasn't interested.
At first it seemed too different, not like me at all. I am a Catholic and became more spiritual these past few years. My parents aren't that religious at all, but they come to church every Sunday because of me. Now I am dating a Mormon, and he's the main reason I accepted to go on with the discussions, but now it seems as though becoming a Mormon isn't such an odd thing. Reading the Book of Mormon and listening to what they believe has become a part of me.
I have told them I do not intend to convert now because I am going to college in a couple of months and it's already a huge change for me. I can't handle such a major change right now, and I still feel my church to be true as well. I am also being confirmed May 12th, which is another reason why this is a bit confusing for me right now. I'm not so sure what to believe in anymore, other than what I have always followed - my heart.
Right now, however, my heart is overjoyed as I have met a truly special and unique guy... He's going on his mission in September or so, but as of May 27th I won't see him until 2003. We're going our own paths now and we'll see what happens in a couple of years, though the way I am feeling right now I honestly see myself spending the rest of my life with him. I would, however, have to convert for that, and I believe those are completely wrong reasons to convert. That is also another reason why I want to wait and find out more about Mormonism in college, away from my family and from him. I want to figure it out for myself.
I read through sections of your website and I guess the reason I write to you now is because you converted at the age of 14 and seem to stand up strongly and truthfully for what you believe. Since you were a part of it I wanted to have a little bit of insight from you. What made you leave the church, where do you stand now, how has your life change, and any thoughts on what I might do or how I might go about doing it.
My boyfriend has already told me a few times that no matter what I decide (convert or not) he will never look down on me and hopes we'll be friends indefinitely. He's quite a gift I received, and I want to do this right, but I feel like I need some guidelines. I have also been taking confirmation classes to learn more about my own religion and I also feel close and strong to my church, but as you can see, I am a bit torn apart. Thank you kindly for your time,
Thank you for your e-mail. First, to be clear I have not been a Mormon. You must be thinking of the author of one of the articles on my site written by someone other than me. But I have studied Mormonism quite a bit and have spoken with Mormon missionaries on several occasions.
Since you have apparently fallen in love with a Mormon it is understandable you would be open to his religion. But as you correctly note, this is not a good reason to convert to a religion. But it is going to be hard for you to be objective as your feelings for him will cloud your judgement.
It's interesting that you are currently Catholic as I have always felt there are many similarities between Mormonism and Catholicism. But there are profound differences between either and Protestant Christianity. I try to discuss these differences on my site, and it would help to clarify things if you tried to understand these differences.
When you say you are beginning to understand Mormonism, please note that they often will not tell people "up front" their real beliefs. I document on my site what Mormon "prophets" have taught over the years, but such teaching are often not taught someone until they are far into the Mormon religion. But as you see, I document clearly on my site that Mormonism does in fact officially teach such tings.
As for Catholicism, I also try to document what they teach on my site. So I would suggest you read through the articles on my site on both Mormonism and on Catholicism. You'll see I've also posted discussions I've had with Protestants who were dating Mormons or Catholics. you might find these interesting as well.
Otherwise, you are also correct that what you need to do is to settle what it is you do in fact believe. Only then can you be sure if you can convert or even tolerate Mormonism enough to stay with this guy. Articles throughout my site will help you in this endeavor. You also might find the "Scripture Workbook" mentioned in my signature to be a help in this regard. But most of all, you need to spend some time studying the Bible and deciding for yourself what you believe it teaches.
And finally, I would encourage you to settle these issues long before you seriously start talking marriage. I know breaking off a relationship with someone you love is extremely difficult, but it is much easier than a divorce. And many people have gotten divorced over religious differences.
So try to separate yourself from your feelings now as best as you can and look at things as objectively as possible, and be honest with yourself. Don't gloss over problems you might have with Mormonism as they could become major problems in the future.
I hope the above is helpful.
I have a rather fantastic story to tell you; even though we've been writing for years, it's going to be hard for you to believe it! A woman reported this story about herself to me several years ago. I have no reason to disbelieve it, especially since it's not something a person would want to brag about. It relates to the Catholic girl who is dating a Mormon.
The woman was an attendee of the Presbyterian church in my hometown. Two Mormon missionaries came to her door one day, and she found one of them to be quite attractive, and apparently the feeling was mutual. Somehow, one or the other of them pursued it and they began dating. She found the Mormonism to be pretty weird, and admitted to attending only a few of their services during the time they were dating. It's been a long time since she told me this story, but I'm thinking she went to four Mormon services. However, she liked the guy, and tried to put the differences in religion out of her mind.
One day, things got out of hand and the two of them had sex. The girl was already a single mother when this happened, so this was obviously a very callous disregard for her situation as well as God's Law on the matter for both of them.
After this, I seem to recall as he was getting dressed, the Mormon missionary said that since they'd had sex, they now had to get married--but he could not marry her if she was of another religion, so she had to convert to Mormonism immediately! He insisted, and she refused, so he left her then and there--she never saw him again.
She was fortunate not to become pregnant, especially since this was "unprotected" sex. However, she didn't know that for sure at the time--so here's the poor girl, a single mother already, facing a possible pregnancy, facing the conviction of the Holy Spirit (if in fact she was a Christian) for her act of fornication, and facing abandonment by the person that she loved and had thought loved her. It was terrible evil on the part of this Mormon missionary.
I have an inkling that this sex act was premeditated. He was gone immediately on another assignment back in the United States, so it would seem that either he had an "exit plan" in place in advance of what he did, or his church had a policy on how to quickly deal with such matters. As I recall, he was not in town even one Sunday after this happened. I think she tried to contact him through LDS after he disappeared but she got nowhere with it.
This gives me grave doubts about the whole intention of the relationship. Was there ever a goal other than proselytization on the part of the Mormon missionary? The spookiest thing to me is the possibility that the act might have been done with church sanction.
Sexual perversity is a cornerstone of original Mormonism. Though the book of Mormon forbids polygamy, Joseph Smith had a "special revelation" allowing polygamy, and amassed to himself fifty wives--many of whom were already married to other men. (These men who had lost their wives to Joseph Smith were the founders of the Nauvoo Expositor, which reported and condemned Mormon polygamy. Smith destroyed their printing press, and was imprisoned for it, and as we both know, was shot when an angry mob stormed the prison.)
Brigham Young taught that the marriage in Cana was Jesus' own marriage, and at it, he married Mary and Martha in addition to Mary Magdalene. Mary and Martha were of course sisters, and such an act as marrying two sisters was forbidden in Leviticus 18:18.
Mormons do not believe in a virgin birth, but that a resurrected "Adam-god" had sex with Mary to produce Jesus.
Mormons teach a doctrine of "celestial marriage" that allows a marriage to continue on into the afterlife, against Jesus' teaching that men and women will not be married in the afterlife (Matt. 22:30).
My point is, Mormonism is rooted in false teachings that seem to revolve around sexual immorality, the denial of God's laws concerning sex. This missionary was acting out of what was within him, unrestrained sexual perversity that was, if anything, encouraged by his religion. It would be a shame if your Catholic correspondent were to be caught in the same sort of immoral trap my Presbyterian acquaintance was....
Anyway, Gary, I've prattled on long enough. One last thing about this Presby--I remembered her name, and looked her up in my new phone book and her number isn't there anymore. My old phone book is not recycled yet, so I looked it up in there, and her number was listed. So, perhaps she got married in the past year or moved away. Hopefully she's repented some time between then and now, and there will be a "happy ending" to her story.
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