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Former Catholic Church Member

 

"A Longing For The Spirit "

By Emily Mockus

I was baptized into the Catholic Church when I was a baby, and of course went to church every Sunday until I was about 5 or 6. We stopped going because my mother couldnít handle the death of her mother anymore and lost motivation, especially since there were other hard things to endure for our family at the time. I think it is either a great disadvantage or a great blessing that I stopped going at such a young age.

When youíre 5/6 years old you donít care for sitting on a hard bench for an hour listening to a bored-sounding man talk. You pay attention to everything BUT the priest. The choir balcony, the statues (and how scary they look, except for the Virgin Mary), the tapered ceiling, the stained-glass windows, the possibility of drinking the holy water, the altar and the "pretty castle". I knew there was a God, but only because Mom said so, and I didnít know anything about Him or His Son.

Eventually, in Elementary School, I started to want something to believe in. Isnít it amazing that a 9 year old girl would suddenly want spiritual guidance by her own desire?

There was a trailer thing in the back of the school lot where kids could go to Bible Study, and it was called "Good News." I wanted to go and asked my mom, who of course was thrilled that I was searching for God. However, being in there felt so fake; the prayer, the lessons, everything. I didnít go back after the first day. It was not fulfilling.

I had two friends at the time who were LDS: Elizabeth and Lauren. Elizabeth would invite me over to stay the night at her house and take me to church on Sunday, but of course since I hated church and how boring it was and how you had to dress pretty, I didnít pay attention during the whole 3 hours. It was Laurenís family who actually introduced me to their Gospel.

When I was in middle school, already lost, depressed, suicidal, and struggling with my belief in God as well as my sexual identity, I went to Laurenís house one night (as usual) and waited for their Family Scripture Reading time to be over so I could hang out with Lauren. However, I felt this sudden desire to join in, and was curious. They asked me if I wanted to read a few verses, and I said yes.

Ever since I said "yes," my life became an emotional roller coaster. Every time I was with the Mormons, I felt this warm feeling, a feeling of peace and for the first time in my life since my church-going days, I wanted to follow God and be a good child of Him.

Iíd get this great feeling that I was meant to be there but then when I got home, back to my normal environment where I was not supported in my desire to join, Iíd fall down harder than before. Battling suicide, depression, and sex was the norm for me. I had very little resources at home to read into the Mormon Church except for the Internet, which is crawling with anti-Mormon stuff.

Lauren gave me my own set of Scriptures, and I read them behind my momís back. I was 17 and determined to be baptized. I knew I was a better person with the LDS community. I began to research other religions to try and find that same feeling I got elsewhere, but I found no comparable church.

I research Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, general Christian churches, Paganism, and even my own Catholic church, but with the Catholics, I felt disturbed by how high the Church was held, how high the priest was considered, how the Pope was regarded almost as high as God, how the mass was so robotic and rehearsed, how you had to confess your sins to a priest, how there were so, so many hypocrites that used the title "Catholic" to gain higher social status, everything about it was against my heartís beliefs.

Buddhism was very peaceful, but it felt more like I was interested in it only because it was exotic, new, outlandish and intriguing, it was not for me. The Pagans were also very admirable to me (the REAL Pagans and Wiccans, not the gothic witches who focus on the "magic" stuff), but it also felt like it was just something I was intrigued by, but not for me.

Finally, after many tests by Satan to drive me away from religion and continue my constant sexual sins, I made the decision in my heart to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was in college and ready to change. My parents did not like my decision and still feel that I did it because Laurenís family influenced me. They still love me, but the tension is still there.

There are tons of things that separate the LDS Church from the "Christian" denomination, but I do not care what people think of the Church as a whole.

I consider myself a Christian because I accept Christ as my Savior. There are some very minor teachings in the LDS Church that I do not accept only because they seem merely agreed upon facts to me and NOT set-in-stone doctrine, (it is hard as a convert to accept everything at once, after all,) but as far as the Book of Mormon being a true, honest testament of Jesus Christ and an account of the happenings in the Americas during his time, yes. I believe in this Church and I feel the best I have ever felt.
 

 

 

 

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