Well, I'd say it's time for me to get back to my conversion story. A good facebook friend of mine prompted me to want to finish it, or at least get the next part written. Even as I write this I am not sure how many posts this section (From Mormonism to Catholicism) will be because it seems like it took so long and was such an important part of my life. I posted before about my conversion from Secularism to Mormonism on a previous blog post that you can check out if you like.
I had been entrenched in the Mormon life for about 4 months when I met Jason. We met at work and I figured out that he was Catholic (he wore a St. Christopher medal, and hey, I'm smart), and after a few emails also learned that he was really moral and proper. He did not drink, he did not swear, he did not like movies with sex or other immoral things in them. And I thought that was so cool because I had lost all of my friends who weren't married with kids (those were my new Mormon friends) because of giving up drinking. So, I thought it would be fun to hang out. I did *not* have any desire to date him at that time, and he didn't have any desire to date me. Although, if you ask him, he's certain I had a crush on him. ;-) Anyway, I honestly just wanted someone to hang out with that I didn't have to worry about judging me for my new-found morals. We started spending more time together and since I was so "on fire" for my new religion and Jason is very dedicated and passionate about his faith, the subject came to religion.
We discussed so many aspects of our religions, it was really neat...and it was really heated. It got to the point that we couldn't have the discussions in person. We were soon sending emails back and forth. Jason would question something, and I would counter, sometimes hatefully; I distinctly remember even sinking to the "yeah but all those pedophile priests..." and he answered really well. He did not deny them, and he did not defend anything. This was so new to me, because often if you question a Mormon about polygamy you get some major defense of the situation, or you get some major anger. Also, as I've stated before, I did not have a lot of religious background, so I did not know the Bible particularly well. Moreover, there is a lot of stuff that as an "early" Mormon you aren't necessarily told. So, when Jason would ask something, I'd take it to the Missionaries or my coworkers. That sort of made Jason uncomfortable, but I think it also gave him some leverage. When he asked me why I did not drink tea and I told him because it was in the Doctrine's and Covenants, he was able to really push it and help me to question it more. Honestly, I don't even know if he knows this or not, but some of the conversations we had about why I would blindly follow some random proclamation to not drink tea or coffee stuck with me the most. I spent some time on Mormon Apologetics websites trying to get a good answer, and couldn't come up with one.
The conversation that really sent me questioning the first time though was about Communion. I was babysitting for one of the families, and was using their copy of the Bible, BoM and D&C but couldn't find the answer. Jason asked me if we believed that when we received Communion it was the body and blood of Christ. I said yes. He questioned me, and said that most non-Catholics believe it's symbolic. Based on the prayer that is said before the Sacrament (what Mormons call Communion), and the fact that it has to be said PRECISELY or it was not valid, I believed it was more than symbolism. I made a phonecall to one of my coworkers, and spoke with his wife. She told me of course it was symbolic, otherwise it would be cannibalism. Well, how do you argue that?! So, I regurgitated what she told me to Jason and we moved on. But I didn't. Jason quoted John Chapter 6 to me and I went home and read and reread that. Jason said that if Christ was being symbolic, why would He not clarify. He pointed out other parts in the Gospels where Christ corrected those that had things wrong, but I didn't remember the specifics of those references. What spoke to me was Christ present; yesterday, today, and always. How intriguing, how exciting, how could one not want that?
**Looks like my trip from Mormonism to Catholicism will take longer than one post. ;-)**