Saturday, April 1

Bitterness

When I first left the Mormon church, I was very bitter. I was infuriated because I felt like I had been lied to my entire life. Most ex-Mormons who leave because of doctrinal issues feel this way. If you want to see some serious ExMo bitterness, check out the RFM boards, linked on the side of my blog.

Most of my bitterness is gone now. I am happy being Catholic, and I am so happy I made the choice to investigate when I did, and that God has given me the grace to find myself where I am at this point in my life. But occassionaly I am challenged as to why I left, and the person challenging me inevitably makes question of my character or my spirituality when that happens. Normally I let it roll off my back, but I mentioned it in a bit in a post on Friday.

In my passionate and heated remarks, an LDS commenter made note of the fact that they felt I was degrading and disrespecting something that they regarded as sacred in my comments.

While I am over just about all of my anger and bitterness, occassionally the bitterness rears its ugly head again. I have all these facts and figures and reasons floating around in my head, and sometimes they're hard to spit out.

A huge part of this conversion process, as I've mentioned before, is not only finding my way through the Catholic church, but also severing the last ties of Mormonism in my head. Although I do profess to have faith in the Catholic church and a desire to be baptized, I still on occassion have thoughts and concerns about leaving the Mormon church. My entire childhood, and much of my adulthood, I was taught that the Mormon church was true, and all others were false. I was taught that to fall away from the church after knowing the truth was sure to send me straight to the Telestial Kingdom at best, Outer Darkness at worst. And leaving the church after receving the endowments of the church was pretty much a one way ticket to Outer Darkness.

I made my final decision to be inactive in the Mormon church about five years ago, after going to church my entire youth until I was 21, being inactive for 6 years, and being active again from 27 to 30 (when I became Endowed). During those many years between ages 21 and now, I read many pro-Mormon books and many anti-Mormon books. I even read Mormon apologetics books defending against anti-Mormon claims. I looked up primary sources where I could, and I researched as much as I can.

The litmus test, as it were, for all Mormons is to pray about an issue to see if you receive a "burning in the bosom", a testament of the truthfulness of the thing being prayed about by a positive sensation given by the Holy Ghost. I often feel contentment, peace, unexplained happiness by being in the presence of the Eucharist, and when I pray. Just yesterday, my husband and I were driving around the city of Dennison in North Texas, and we found a little Catholic church. I poked my head in, and took a few pictures, and just having the opportunity to kneel in front of the tabernacle for just an instant brought much joy to my heart. I can't explain that away with a burning of the bosom, I just know that it makes me happy.

I have tried and will try to be more "sensitive" about my Mormon bretheren's sacred feelings. But at the same time, I ask that they understand that this is my conversion journal, talking about not only why I am joining the Catholic church, but why I am leaving the Mormon church. It's bound to get ugly on occassion. I started this journal to document this journey, my thoughts on both joining Catholicism and leaving Mormonism. Part of leaving Mormonism is explaining why I am leaving. And those things might be hard for active True Believing Mormon people to hear.

Plus, right now this is the last leg of my conversion. I have 13 more days to truly decide this is my path. Becoming baptized essentially is grounds for excommunication from the Mormon church. It means that I am going to be disappointing my mother and my family. It means committing for the rest of my life to follow the path of Christ, committing to going to weekly Mass and confession, and to do my best to "go and sin no more." This is not something I am taking on lightly.

I'm doing my best to hash all these thoughs out in my mind, and to make sure I am 100% confident that I am making the right choice with my life. That's what this journal is all about for now.

4 Comments:

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

This idea of religion based on "feelings" is one of the things Mormons share with Protestants. Emotions are such unreliable things how can we possibly base the discovery of truth on them?

 
At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Victor said...

Well said, Cynthia! I was going to point out that the purpose of your blog is actually not to please Mormons, but to explain why you become Catholic.
That being said - why did you become Catholic? Did you mention it previously? I might have missed it... Anyway, I would appreciate a hint.

 
At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Victor said...

I just found it - please ignore what I asked before... Sorry!

 
At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cynthia,
I just read this series of posts, starting with the one about praying to Moroni. You DID get your answer. It just was not the one that you expected. God Bless You.

 

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