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Former Catholic Church Member

 

"He Guides us Through The Voices of Others"

By Catherine Inscore

Being truly converted was the topic in Relief Society on this particular Sunday. I recall I was still angry. I was angry at the ward, angry at the powerlessness of the priesthood, angry at my decision to make that all knowing change from Catholicism to Mormonism, and angry most of all at myself. I had been through a painful ordeal; the loss of my son.

I had made the choice to give it all up and move into this religion; it seemed like the best thing when I read the Book of Mormon. I did feel that burning in my bosom that is spoken of in scripture, really, I did!

Moroni 10:4 "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost" [Book of Mormon]

I recall the feeling of assurance and truthfulness felt that day, that I knew this was true. Why not, my life was going great! I had a new wonderful husband, a wonderful home, and a wonderful way of life. What's not to love?

Soon after, however, my faith would be rocked to its foundation.

Just when I thought my life was finally taking shape not only spiritually, but in every other facet as well, one after another my foundation started to falter. The day I was baptized it started.

I got news that the one person in my life who gave me stability and taught me to have faith was dying, my grandmother. She loved and stayed true to her catholic faith from the moment she converted.

I went ahead with my baptism regardless of how I was feeling inside; like a part of me was doing something my grandma would not be proud of. Her funeral was evidence of all that, and then some. I came home feeling as if I was a woman without a family.

Within a month, one more straw would weigh down the back of this already heavily beaten camel. I was soon awakened by several calls and then the pounding of the front door.

My eldest son was standing there scared and with a look I will never forget as long as I live. He informed us that his younger brother was in a horrible auto accident just a state away.

By the time we made it from Utah to Colorado, my son, Robert, was pronounced brain dead. My only function was to sign papers, take him off life support and plan whatever it is a mother must plan next.

I recall thinking, when I first got the news, "this is great! All I have to do is have faith! How many times, in how many ways have I heard time and time again about the great healing powers of the priesthood?" So, like a dutiful faithful daughter of God, I called upon my loving husband and asked him to give my son a blessing,

I could feel the tears fall as he tried hard to force the words to flow. They did not. All that he could say was: "Hold tight, until your mom comes, Your Heavenly Father loves you, your mother loves you."

We left and drove there as quickly and as safely as we could, but when I asked Barry "why?", my sweet husband said, "Sometimes, the answer is no." I never could "buy" that answer.

The relief society lesson being taught that day was by a woman, who at that moment, I really didn't think much about. As a matter of fact, I listened to too many other gossipy women in our ward and had developed a poor opinion of her. Though I'm not proud of it, it's true.

So when she asked about conversion and what she thought about mine verses hers, it was my time to let her have it with "all cannons blazing"! I became too snooty too quickly! I told her what I thought about her and the Utah goodie two-shoe Mormons: "You have no idea what itís like it is to give up so much, and how hard it is to do just that!", I spit like a cobra spewing venom.

I was shaking; everything I ever wanted to say came out except, telling Sister "What's her name" how angry I was. I was angry because she had told me I was not mourning like a Mormon but that I was still in Catholic mode. I was angry because she didn't know what losing a child was like, but most of all... I was angry because she didn't know anything about grief and the process.

I knew a Mormon friend who also lost her son; that friend's husband was a bishop and she mourned just as hard as I did! A loss of a child is a loss of a child, it is painful and the pain goes so deep it is unexplainable.

I sat down, took a deep satisfying "job well done" breath and awaited the teacher's reply, if she could...

I must say, the Spirit was with her; she was ready for me. Sharon looked at me with the most sympathetic, warm, and caring eyes I have never seen to this day and said. "Cathy, we should all feel like that every day."

I shook my head in utter disbelief. Sharon continued. "Each day we need to look upon our conversion as if it is something to be worked on, it is difficult, it is a struggle. Every day I struggle, I struggle with daily prayer, Family Home Evening, scripture study, and reaching out to comfort those in need"

My heart and soul was overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit, I learned much that Sabbath day; I learned not to take others for granted, to listen to the Holy Spirit and that mostly that He guides us through revelation in the voices of others.

My conversion has not been a simple one, and to this day I still struggle with so many things. I am grateful for Joseph Smith and his divine wisdom and inspiration that gave us this great organization, the Relief Society and the restoration of this church.

The fact I was even there to receive such a powerful relief society lesson was because of one of the relief society sisters. This faithful visiting teacher gently guided me back to church while this wonderful teacher allowed me to realize that we all work each day at our conversion process.

So, yes, I have given up much, but oh, what I have been given in return is far grander than these eyes will ever see. It is like the mirrors in the temple sealing rooms, Eternal.


 

 

 

 

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