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Mormon Convert

Richard Sherlock

Richard Sherlock is a professor of philosophy trained at Harvard. He has 2 wonderful adult children and many wonderful friends who are with him and supportive of him in this journey.

Converting to Catholicism: My Journey

Richard Sherlock
Prof. of Philosophy

Utah State University


One should never leave the religion in which one was born or raised for anything but the most serious of reasons. Warm feelings, family, friends, a social ethos, should never be the reason for joining or leaving a religion. The fact that you do not like the priest, pastor or parishioners should never be a reason for staying or leaving. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have never been a person to "go with the flow" or seek popularity. I was a conscientious objector in the Vietnam War and I have a 1-0 draft card to prove it. I have been an absolute opponent of abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment my whole adult life. When I was a professor of moral theology at Fordham University in the mid-1980's I happily defended the view that artificial birth control is morally wrong. This was at a time when many, if not most, actually Catholic moral theologians wouldn't do so, or wouldn't do so strongly. I have not left religion or Christianity. But I have left Mormonism. I have become a deeper, more intellectual, more spiritual and truer Christian than I have ever been, literally. I am converting to the Roman Catholic Church. All true roads do lead to Rome.

Though I grew up in a "Mormon" household my family was not the typical Mormon family. My mother was a member who was semi-active. My father was not a member until late in life. Neither my brother nor I went on missions when Mormon boys are supposed to at 19. I did not think I could bear witness to Mormonism. I was not active in college and I had my doubts. My brother is now a Rabbi. That leaves only my sister in the Mormon fold.

In my journey to Catholicism I have in some ways been the last to know that this is where I truly belong. On the first weekend of October 2010 my brother closed off the side street in downtown Salt Lake where he lives and had a great Oktoberfest party. At the party I pulled my brother aside and said, "we need to talk." He was the first person I told of my decision to leave Mormonism and become a Catholic. He looked at me and said straightforwardly: "Rick, you haven't believed in Mormonism in decades." As we talked he said that he knew when I was a graduate student at Harvard in the 1970's that I was essentially a Catholic theologian. After all, I wrote my dissertation using the resources of Catholic moral theology.

When I showed up to Harvard in the fall of 1970 I roomed in Divinity Hall with a budding Catholic patristic scholar from Notre Dame, Michael Hollerich. We have been friends for 40 years. 20 plus years ago he was teaching at the University of Santa Clara. I was presenting a paper at a conference in San Francisco. My family and I went down together and stayed with one of my brothers in law who has a big house in the bay area. I went down for part of a day to see Mike. After we talked for quite a while and he showed me around his campus, he turned to me and in all seriousness said " Richard, from the way you talk and think, you should be a Catholic." Even then something inside of me knew he was right. But life intervened.

A third example is another old friend and also Harvard graduate who is senior vice-president for academic affairs at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He is a devout Catholic. About 15 years ago we were at a small discussion conference I was running. The format allows for about 2 1/2 hours each afternoon for breaks, informal discussions, or walks. We went on a long walk together and talked animatedly. When I told him recently of my conversion he said that after our first long discussion he thought for sure that I was a conservative Catholic, until I told him I was not.

Finally, this last summer I was a speaker at a summer honors program for really talented undergraduates run by his organization. Two other faculty members, Jonathan Yonan from Eastern University and Paige Hochscheid from Mount Saint Mary's University became friends. Jonathan is an Oxford trained church historian and protestant. Paige is an Augustine scholar and like her husband a convert to Catholicism. Until I told them at the end of the week, they also both thought I was a conservative Catholic.

Enough of the "I am the last person to know" stories. What you want to know is "why."

Conversion must be a matter of both the head and the heart, both the intellect and the spirit. But it must be a whole reorientation of one's life, a whole that transcends just the sum of the parts. Two further points I must make. First, conversion in the Catholic faith is never a completed event. It is always a process. Even devout "cradle Catholics" are still on a journey to become closer to God. Second, conversion as an adult Catholic cannot be begun and completed in a short period of time. In Mormonism one can meet missionaries and be baptized in a few weeks. In my Catholic case I started attending weekly meetings of the adult conversion class in October, 2010. I hope to be a catechumen in June 2011 and I hope to be received into the Catholic church with baptism, confirmation and first communion at Easter 2012. I believe that this is superior. One should understand the Catholic communal, sacramental, liturgical, and theological life before making a true commitment.

Let me begin by telling you of 3 deeply moving experiences that brought my heart to where it is now, where it must be, and where it will always be.

In February 2010 I got a flyer for a conference In Rome at the end of May devoted to the work of the great Catholic phenomenologist (and convert) Dietrich von Hildebrand, especially his seminal work The Nature of Love. Since I had just finished working through the Christian love literature in Catholic and protestant forms I decided that if my university travel budget would pay at least part of my trip to Rome I should have a paper accepted so that I could see Rome for the first time. I persuaded good friends who are devout Catholics to come with me so we could see Rome together. The conference went from Thursday through Saturday. On Friday after the conference was over, the conference had a special Latin mass in a majestic cathedral next door to the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross where the conference was being held. If my friends had not been with me I probably would not have gone. But we did. In that mass I felt the power of the Holy Spirit in a way I had not felt in years. It was a feeling but it was more than a feeling. It was a grasp of truth; an illumination if you will. I both felt it was right and knew it was right.

A second decisive moment also was the result of what some would think a coincidence, but I do not. In early September last year I heard a rumor from someone I thought should know, that the monastery in Huntsville, Utah would be closing in the next 6-9 months. A friend and I decided that if this really was true then we should visit the monastery in September when the weather is good.

Suffice it to say that we spent time in the chapel twice. The first time was not very moving for me because several monks were deep in prayer and the door made a small noise. I was concerned that this would disturb the monks. We went to the chapel later and I brought my Catholic Jerusalem Bible. I was deep in meditation and reading the passion narrative in Luke. For only a second or two the Holy Spirit touched me like I had been touched in Rome, only stronger. I almost broke down. I am not one to break down easily. I will never forget it. Feeling was present but so was a Biblical narrative that anchored my feeling.

The third moment came on the first weekend in October. A Catholic friend in Cache Valley picked up an announcement at the parish for an Immaculate Mary, Divine Mercy, Pro-Life Conference in Park City.

We went in Friday afternoon and then to the conference Saturday and Sunday. I'll be blunt: Saturday was transformative. Saturday afternoon, hearing Father Wade Menezes and then Deacon Jones (for you old enough to remember not that Deacon Jones who played with Merlin Olson in the fearsome foursome), I was reduced to tears. I tried to hide it. I took my glasses and rubbed my eyes constantly, like I had something in them. I did, but not what I tried to have people think. A couple of times I thought I would have to go out for a minute to collect myself. The experience was majestic. The presence of the Holy Spirit to me that afternoon was more than just feeling. It was and remains a gift of truth that is more than just feeling. I knew it was right and what I was being called to do. That night was when I told my brother and then a few others.

Each of these moments was unplanned and unexpected. If you had asked me 2 years ago if I wanted them I might have said, "I don't know". I know now. As physical human beings such experiences will involve emotion. But it cannot be merely emotion. If it remains emotion it cannot ultimately lead to eternal truth

Conversion is a matter of both the heart and the head. Mormonism is all about feeling and almost never about a conversion of the head. But conversion must be more than just feeling. The experience of the Holy Spirit often, but not always, involves feeling to be sure; The Holy Spirit, however, is a profound sense of the presence of God, not merely emotion. It is hearing a music that is transcendent. But if it is truly the presence of God it will lead to wisdom and intellectual curiosity, not away. Reason is a precious Divine gift. We should use it. If the beliefs to which you become emotionally attached are intellectually wrong, emotional attachment won't magically make them right.

In a truly moving opening passage in his seminal encyclical Fides et Ratio Pope John Paul II expresses this marriage of faith and reason: " Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know Himself—so that by knowing and loving God, men and women may come to the fullness of truth about themselves."

I was a "head convert" much longer than I have been a heart convert. It began really at Harvard. Even a non-specialist study of patristic literature convinced me that the story I had grown up with about the "great apostasy" in patristic period was wrong. Of course the Nicene Creed is not found literally in the New Testament. But it is an essential development out of the teaching of scripture. I am not even in the same intellectual universe as Cardinal John Henry Newman. But my journey, like his, was begun by realizing that there is a development of Christian doctrine, not a sharp break.

A passage from a book chapter written by one of the most distinguished Mormon thinkers of the last 50 years tells a story so much like mine that I must quote it. It is from Edwin Firmage, a truly distinguished law professor at the University of Utah and grandson of the beloved Mormon leader Hugh B. Brown. Ed writes this after he has left Mormonism: " As I consciously look back, it began for me probably in the mission field because I smuggled into my digs in England and Scotland the writings of the early fathers—Origen, Tertullian, Clement of Rome, Clement of Alexandria, I read these writers of the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries I felt that they had been touched by God ... I was laying some mines that would be detonated later, because the idea of preaching an apostasy and restoration was wrong. ... The idea that God was sort of snoozing until 1820 now seems to me absurd."

Augustine's theology is a theology that develops out of the Bible. It is not a break. But once you realize that the story of an apostasy is wrong, you must conclude that the need for a "restoration" is simply untenable. Once it starts to unravel it unravels. I have come to realize that the teaching of my former church is inadequate and in key cases, and I do not say this lightly, incoherent. If the theology developed by Joseph Smith in the 1840's, a theology that has become canonical for Mormons, is seriously wrong, then it should not be believed no matter how passionately it is asserted or how comfortable is the social environment where it is asserted.

Let me just give you four additional points that are central in my intellectual journey. I do not have time or space here to do anything more than a summary statement. But I am prepared to defend any of these points at length including the material about the patristic period and Augustine.


The central problem that theists must face, the problem that gives rise to serious atheism as opposed to the adolescent rebellion against all things traditional or the pseudo scientific claim that no one has proven the existence of God like one would prove the existence of a new asteroid, is the problem of evil.

When I was an undergraduate philosophy student and in graduate school every professor I had argued that the solution to the problem of God and evil was provided by John Hick in his magisterial 1966 book, Evil and the God of Love. It remains a great book, and the best defense available of perhaps the most commonly held theist response to the problem of evil.

Hick's solution was also a solution that Mormons might find and did find congenial. To be brief, Hick thought that evil could be understood as allowed by God for building human character, "soul making" he called it. Difficulties make people stronger, so a good God gives us difficulties. Character development requires human freedom so you get a combination of character building and free will as a comprehensive answer to the problem of evil.

Unfortunately, however, this sort of solution is biblically inaccurate, philosophically flawed, and spiritually deadening. The problem has been most deeply articulated by Marylyn Adams in her crucial book, Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God from 1999. The problem is not some hard times that we all have and from which we typically grow better. Rather, it is "horrendous evils" that cannot, without special pleading, be interpreted as building character: e.g. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, the genocides in Rwanda and Armenia. Consider just the current plague of child pornography and pedophilia. Pedophilia does not build character. It destroys souls and lives.

How then can horrendous evils be comprehended by those of us who are deeply committed to the Christian faith? The answer is not in a character building/free will theodicy. It is in scripture and it leads to a picture of God that is seriously at odds with that of my former church but which is richly reflected in the classic Christian tradition. The answer is in Job 13:15: " Though He slay me, yet will I trust (or hope) in Him." Job is faced with truly horrendous evils for himself and his loved ones. His 3 friends and then Elihu at the end want to find reasons they can comprehend. They want to make God, in a way, just like us. Job wants such an answer too. He pleads with God to answer one central question: why? But his insight in 13:15 is a breakthrough. It leads directly to God's answer to Job in chapters 38-42. God tells Job to have faith in him. He, God, has a larger purpose than Job can comprehend. God has created the whole universe for reasons that transcend human wisdom. Job must trust in God, even when reason fails.

But what kind of God is it in whom we can have such trust? What must be the nature of such a God in whom we can hope and on whom we can rely in the face of the most terrible suffering, sufferings that in Job's case and millions of others appear endless, undeserved, and purposeless? It is not a God whose wisdom, power, and goodness are limited or finite. It is not a God who is like a great scientist, a good friend, a brilliant philosopher, or a powerful ruler. It is the God of the tradition who is perfectly wise, good, and powerful; who knows the end from the beginning and who created the whole universe out of his bounteous goodness and love. Anything less cannot be our anchor in the midst of grave tragedy or horrendous evils. Christians cannot accept anything less.


Mormonism is and must be committed to the idea that God is a physical being like us and, as a corollary, that matter is eternal. This belief leads to what philosophers call an inconsistent triad. This is three propositions that you cannot hold together.

  • 1. God created the whole universe.
  • 2. The universe starts with big bang that begins with a singularity of energy. No matter is present.
  • 3. God is a material being.

Mormonism is committed to number 3. I can demonstrate this with dozens, if not hundreds of citations from Joseph Smith onward. This means that they must either deny number 2 or number 1. Denying a very well established finding of modern science such as 2 seems equivalent to denying that the earth is several billion years old so you can preserve a literal reading of Genesis. Once this is granted matter cannot be eternal. If you think that matter is eternal then you have denied 2. I do not think that any Christian faith can be accepted as true if it requires us not to believe something very established science shows to be true.

Denying 1 is both philosophically wrong and deadening for faith. I have, however, seen eminent LDS astrophysicist Hollis Johnson say, in writing, that since 2 is true and God must be physical, members of his faith must deny that God created the universe. To be blunt, I stand aghast. If you are a passionate believer as I am then denying that God created the universe is, I believe, spiritually lethal. Theists of all people should believe that their lives have eternal meaning or purpose. But how can my life or yours have such a purpose if it exists in a universe that has no purpose because it was not created by God.

Furthermore, I believe that the cosmological or first cause argument is correct. Without it, the universe has no purpose. Basic to human beings' way of interpreting the world is the principle of sufficient reason. Basically this is the idea that everything that exists has a cause. Once this is granted as basic then the universe must have a cause. Things, i.e. matter, energy, etc, cannot have purposes. Only intelligent agents can have purposes or intentions. For those who are Christians as I am this cause or this intelligent agent must be God.


Mormonism is also committed to the idea that God became God through a developmental process on a world like ours. However, if God created all the universe then He cannot have started out on a part of the universe. This is not debatable. Trying to believe both is incoherence. Many of my students say that God became God on some part of the universe or in an alternate universe. So the God they worship is only the God of this world or this part of the universe. But why worship the captain and not the 4 star general? When some students tell me after this sort of discussion that they do not believe in a "top god" I am speechless. I remind you again that warm emotional feelings cannot make the incoherent, coherent.


Since the creator God is not "just like us" and our destiny is to rejoin His presence what then is required for us to do so? This topic is much too large to discuss here. Let me make one argument. For humanity to rejoin God's presence we need a mediator, a person who is both divine and human. As human, God the Son shares our pain and suffering, our hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and especially our mortality. As God, he can show us God's qualities of love and mercy, teach us God's way of life, and especially give us eternal life by overcoming the barrier of our mortality. This is why there must be an incarnation of God in human existence. The incarnate God is the only anchor of our salvation, the foundation of our hope, and the root of our trust. Mormonism does not invest much effort in thinking about the incarnation because a commitment to a God who is just an "exalted man" does not allow them to see the need. But a need there is.

Jesus as God the son is utterly unique. The New Testament shows this in a way we often ignore. The New Testament does not often call Jesus God or even the "son of God". But the phrase "son of man" is used about 40 times if we take out the textually doubtful cases and those places where one writer quotes another. In every case of " son of God " or "son of man" the phrase is preceded by the definite article. It is always "the son of man" or "the son of God". Jesus is not like us only better, as I might say that Plato is a mortal, physical being like me only a far better philosopher.

Since we need a mediator who is both Divine and human and since Jesus is the mediator, the son must have a special relation to the father. It cannot be that they are "really close friends." It has to be different. They must have the same divine substance, in Greek "homoousion". It cannot be anything less or Jesus cannot be a true mediator between the Divine and the human.

Once the nature of a God in whom we can have absolute trust is admitted and the place of Jesus as both divine and human is recognized we are right back with the Nicene Creed, which we joyously recite as a Catholic community every Sunday in the mass. Since the Creed represents a truth developed out of scripture and sustained by reason as I have done it cannot represent an apostasy from biblical truth. Since the Creed states essential truths, how can you not be a member of the Church that, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, developed and defended it for almost 1700 years?

I have not gone over to the dark side. I am a richer, deeper Christian than I have ever been. The other day I received an online poll that is done by a political scientist in Utah. I do this perhaps twice a year. One of the questions asks about one's religion and how strongly one is committed to it. It was truly liberating to answer Catholic with a strong commitment. The experience of Holy Spirit does, sometimes, have an emotional component. But it is more than just emotion. The Holy Spirit is one person of the triune God who is wisdom itself. One of God's greatest gifts to us is reason. Thus we cannot remain content with emotional moments or warm feelings. If we are to remain true to the gift God gave us we must use this gift, like the man in scripture who expanded his talents, to deepen and enrich our faith with the gift of reason.

As I am sending this in I have just gone through the Easter Tridium. This one of the most majestic spiritual experiences I have ever had. Before my journey began in earnest a year ago I had been to mass a number of times. But I had never been to a mass of the last supper, including the washing of the feet. Nor had I been to a stations of the cross with the seven last words. I even was asked to read one the seven last words. I was moved almost to tears with the request. But literally nothing in my journey could have prepared me for the Easter Vigil on Saturday night. Coming into the dark chapel with little candles in our hands I realized in a way I never had before that Christ is the light of the world and we are his people in the church he left.

I know this journey is right and I have known it for a long time. But it has been more joyous than I could imagine. For those of you who are doubting or unsure, even for those on a different path: come on in. The water is fine and neither God nor those of us already on the journey will let you sink. 

If you have found this story helpful in your spiritual journey we hope you will consider sharing it. Have feedback or would like to share your story? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  • Comment Link James Tuesday, 10 May 2011 13:48 posted by James

    Excellent article, good sir. Welcome home.

    The only 2 things I'm confused about are the following statements:

    "Basically this is the idea that everything that exists has a cause."

    I think maybe this needs to be changed a bit; everything that exists does not have a cause.. God exists, and He has no cause.

    "Things, i.e. matter, energy, etc, cannot have purposes.
    Only intelligent agents can have purposes or intentions. For those who are Christians as I am this cause or this intelligent agent must be God."

    Are you using purposes and intentions interchangeably here? If not, then isn't it true that matter has no intentions, but does have purpose?

    Take care! Keep up the good work!

  • Comment Link donbtex Wednesday, 11 May 2011 11:22 posted by donbtex

    "First, conversion in the Catholic faith is never a completed event. It is always a process. Even devout "cradle Catholics" are still on a journey to become closer to God. Second, conversion as an adult Catholic cannot be begun and completed in a short period of time".

    I found this statement particularly relevant to our life long journey to reach our final goal of being with God for all eternity. It certainly goes against the popular "Are you saved?" philosophy so prevalent with our Protestant brethren.

    Thank you for your very clear witness and welcome home.

  • Comment Link Margarett RBC Zavodny Wednesday, 11 May 2011 16:58 posted by Margarett RBC Zavodny

    Welcome Home!

  • Comment Link Ronaldo Wednesday, 11 May 2011 19:30 posted by Ronaldo

    Thank you sir for this article, this just reminded me of the passage i read today in John 6:44. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. " I know this is not a coincidence.

    Peace and God Bless.


  • Comment Link Dan OSullivan Thursday, 12 May 2011 00:30 posted by Dan OSullivan

    Very lucid and lovely. Thank you!

  • Comment Link sallyr Thursday, 12 May 2011 01:34 posted by sallyr

    thank you for this. I have always found Mormons to be wonderful people, kind, family-oriented and sincere. But I could never figure out how they could believe the things this religion teaches to be true, based on the supposed revelations from an angel to a single man, when that revelation contradicts so much of what Christianity has taught for hundreds of years.

    In any case, I will pray that God will continue to bless you as you come into the Church, and that you will have the faith to overcome whatever obstacles the evil spirit tries to throw in your way (as he likely will try to do).

  • Comment Link Manny Thursday, 12 May 2011 02:26 posted by Manny

    Great story. I know so little of Mormonism. I find it very hard to relate to. But welcome to the R.C Church.

  • Comment Link Liz Thursday, 12 May 2011 04:22 posted by Liz

    Great article. I was raised LDS and was a very devout Mormon for the first 25 years of my life. A few weeks ago I was baptized, confirmed, and received the Eucharist (hooray!) at the Easter vigil. Having been removed from the influence of Mormon teaching for over a year now, it's easy to look back and see just how wild and inconsistent the claims were which I professed to believe, and it's only now that I'm able to spot the psychological reasons that allowed me to do so. It's a fascinating study, let me tell you. I consider it a miracle that I was able have my mind opened enough to even consider that I might find the Truth elsewhere. Three cheers for the Holy Spirit! I pray for everyone on their unique spiritual journeys.

  • Comment Link Will Thursday, 12 May 2011 08:05 posted by Will

    Welcome Home. Welcome to Peter's Barque. We are sailing toward our Homeland... I was a Protestant Convert who ended my rebellion and came home as well...

  • Comment Link Sharee  Friday, 13 May 2011 00:08 posted by Sharee

    I, too, converted to our Roman Catholic faith from Mormonism. The theological arguments made here are completely on point. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  • Comment Link Areruu B. Baati Sunday, 15 May 2011 08:27 posted by Areruu B. Baati

    I'm a fully Catholic since I was born until this age, 34. As a single man but still interesting reading reasons of "hows" and "whats" non Catholics believers want to join Catholicism. This helps me a lot to remain permenantly in my faith, particularly your sharings help me to know thinks that I don't see and have never feel them as a believer (thats only me). Thank you my brothers and sisters and welcome to the Church whom Jesus has been established........

  • Comment Link Emmanuel C. Okorie Monday, 16 May 2011 17:04 posted by Emmanuel C. Okorie

    Well articulated story of a journey. The decision you have taken is surely not an easy especially having spent that number of years in your old faith. The Good Lordd who has led you thus far will not abandon you. May he continue to sustain you until you reach home. Welcome to the faith, the Catholic faith.

  • Comment Link Zena Monday, 23 May 2011 01:31 posted by Zena

    Awesome, made me cry in thanksgiving...i became more proud of my Church, our Church, the Roman Catholic Church...welcome home brother...we love you with the love of Christ.

  • Comment Link Jim Dandy Monday, 23 May 2011 02:24 posted by Jim Dandy

    I've been corresponding with a student at the University of Utah. I sent him a link to your story and suggested that he might want to talk to you.

    Thank you for sharing your journey! I'm a former Southern Baptist, agnostic, atheist, now ecstatic to be Catholic!

  • Comment Link John Thursday, 02 June 2011 03:09 posted by John

    To all of you folks here the converted to Catholicism, if you have not done so yet, please attend a Latin high mass. I stumbled through about 37 years of VatII masses and of course it's the true faith and I received graces. I was shocked, stunned, and amazed at the beauty of the Latin Mass and you will be too. The Latin Mass is the mass of all ages and the bedrock of Catholic faith and something which many evil men worked very hard to eliminate. Fortunately they all failed!

  • Comment Link Patrick Monday, 06 June 2011 19:01 posted by Patrick

    A convert from Pentecostalism, I have become deeply devoted to the Traditional Latin Mass, its sacred structure, cadence and transcendence. The sung High Mass is truly Heaven on Earth; the Low Mass, too!

    Our small TLM community celebrates on Sunday, "on loan" in a church building that is structurally inimical to the Sacred Liturgy (e.g. the altar is done in cedar shakes!). Even that no longer deters me from appreciating the solidity and depth of the TLM.

  • Comment Link Bosco Stromboli Wednesday, 08 June 2011 09:44 posted by Bosco Stromboli

    you are exactly right... horrendous evil is the core problem that any religion must explain to be credible. The Catholic answer, as found in Job is that God says 'trust me on this one'. ... and such asking of men to accept cruelty is why so many find Christianity to be not credible.

  • Comment Link Ruth Becker Friday, 10 June 2011 03:37 posted by Ruth Becker

    Thank you for sharing your journey. Conversion stories help not just those on the journey but us cradle Catholic. The stories strengthen our faith and help us help others on their journey. We have an awesome God and a beautiful faith. I can't imagine not having the Eucharist, Eucharistic Adoration, Confession, the other Sacraments, Mary, sacramentals, etc., etc., We are so blessed. Although a life long Catholic, the journey continues. I feel like a child, empowered by the Spirit, journeying with Jesus to the Father. It is an awesome journey and I am so glad that you are also on it.

  • Comment Link Ron Hales Saturday, 09 July 2011 08:17 posted by Ron Hales

    Thank you for sharing your journey, I am on a similar one having left the Mormon faith 3 years ago. My reason for initially leaving was after 48 years of activity I finally looked deeply into the origins of my faith and came to the conclusion that reality and the claims of the church were often out of harmony. I spent about 18months studying and satifying my intellectual curiosity regarding the church andthen began my own open minded journey of faith. I attended many denominations and had wonderful experiences. I attended many Catholic churches as well. I found that the preaching may have not been quite as dynamic as those of some of the other protestant faiths but the reason for being there was always crystal clear. The focus was on the Eucharist and on worship of God. I begin R.C. I. A II this fall, and am also looking forward to the 2012 Easter Vigil. My study of the early fathers was another key area of awakening. Of course the church is not perfect but when did this great apostacy as we taught as Mormon Elders occur? It appears to me that there is amazing consistency with what the bible teaches and what the deposit of faith for 2000 years in the Catholic church teaches. The more I learn the stronger my faith is in the fact that God has been working with the church all along. Another tid bit of faith that has helped me is a daily reading of the Magnificat, it has been a transformative experience. Thank you for the information on the inconsistent triad. My question was alwasys who came first God or Man? It is a chicken vs. egg canundrum. I found Thomas Aquainus and his Shorter Summa to be very helpful when it comes to thinking deeper about God and our relationship with Him.

    Ron Hales
    Fresno CA

  • Comment Link ken masugi Saturday, 06 August 2011 04:00 posted by ken masugi

    Welcome home, Richard. Blessings. As a convert myself, I urge you to stay steady, as sometimes the exuberance of the early months fades.


  • Comment Link Raymond Takashi Swenson Wednesday, 17 August 2011 00:56 posted by Raymond Takashi Swenson

    Dear Brother Sherlock:

    While I will miss your contributions to LDS intellectual dialogue, you know that we Mormons believe that good Catholics go to a heaven that suits their preferences. In God's plan, as I understand it, it is better to be a good Catholic than a poor Mormon.

    I have just one substantive comment on your very interesting and heartfelt essay about your spiritual journey.

    In your reasoning about the place of God, as conceived among the Mormons, in the universe, you state as your premise #2: "The universe starts with big bang that begins with a singularity of energy. No matter is present."

    This statement is incorrect. The whole point of the equation E=mc2 is the equivalency of matter and energy. In every volume of "empty" space energy is constantly collapsing into pairs of particles, one matter, the other its antimatter twin, and then the particles mutually annihilate back into energy. All of the matter of the universe (in the classic Big Bang Theory) was present in the energy at the point of the "Bang" and as the energy and space expanded, the energy cooled and started converting into all the matter in the observable galaxies.

    Additionally, you should also take note that the "classic" Big Bang Theory is being modified by physicists, who argue, for instance, that there was not a true "singularity" within a topologically closed boundary, but rather a smooth transition across an open boundary from a state prior to the "Bang". (See Stephen Hawking's new book.) Another view is that the "Bang" takes place when two parallel higher-dimensional "membranes" collide and spawn a new explosive expansion of the pre-existing matter and energy. (See Lisa Randall's book on higher dimensions.)

    One of the most significant issues for cosmology is the uniformity of the cosmic background radiation. To explain this, the theory of Cosmic Inflation has been proposed, which states that, shortly after the "Bang" started, the universe (with space, matter and energy) rapidly expanded at an effective speed many times the speed of light, and then settled down. A few years ago, astronomical observations led to the conclusion that the universe is not only expanding, its expansion is ACCELERATING, so that 80% of the mass-energy of the universe is the energy field that is driving this speeding up, called Dark Energy because we have no idea what it is. Many current cosmologists propose that Cosmic Inflation happens on a recurring basis, so that the underlying Universe is really eternal going back in time, and that at random times and places, a sudden Cosmic Inflation creates a "local" Big Bang within the eternal Universe.

    There are other cosmological theories, some of them related to String Theory and its variations. But the main point is that the traditional "Big Bang Theory" as you describe it is at best only a description of PART of the history of the real Universe. And some of the most current theories that physicists are supporting NOW (in 2011) are VERY much sympatico with the kind of eternal but material God that Joseph Smith claimed he had seen.

    I understand you have philosophical reasons as well as emotional ones for your affinity to Catholicism. But poorly understood, and outmoded, cosmology should not be one of them.

    My personal thinking about Joseph Smith's statements about the universe focuses on the several places in which he affirms that God is constantly creating new worlds like the earth and inhabiting them with his children, including Doctrine & Covenants 76, a vision he received and dictated in concert with Sidney Rigdon, and the Book of Moses. Those passages describe for me a Creator God who is fully in charge, who knows the end from the beginning, who can be relied upon to maximize the opportunities for eternal life for all humanity, including those who lived their entire mortal lives without ever hearing the Gospel, whose infinite compassion and omniscient and empathetic experience of all our passions and sorrows promises to make up to us in the eternities all the transitory pains of mortal life (no matter how gruesomely intense). When Joseph Smith wrote those things, scientists still had a constricted concept of the size of the universe that had no room for such infinite worlds, so I cannot help but see his assertions as scientifically prophetic.

    You may also have heard once of his simple statement, attested by several men who heard it, that the earth was made up of other "worlds" or "globes". While Joseph Fielding Smith tried to turn this into support for a hybrid kind of quick creation narrative, the latest planetary science (in just the last decade) tells us that the Solar System first formed as perhaps a hundred separate small planets that over time collided and formed the 8 major planets we know today. The last such collision has even been pinned to a date some 4.3 billion years ago, when a Mars-size globe collided with the early Earth at just the right speed and angle to melt the two worlds and spin off the moon, with its great relative size and prodigious momentum. And in modern times, we have the curious coincidence that it regularly precisely matches the apparent size and shape of the sun, a sign that the world is not an accident. And oddly enough, 21st Century science was again anticipated in a simple remark by Joseph Smith.

    So if you want to point to cosmology and its implications for theology, I will stick with Mormonism.

  • Comment Link GADEL Tuesday, 30 August 2011 21:25 posted by GADEL

    Welcome home! God bless you.

    "It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey" St. Ignatius of Loyola

  • Comment Link Phillip Tuesday, 20 September 2011 18:42 posted by Phillip


    As a former Mormon hoping to become Catholic, I have found the traditional Christian doctrine of creation out of nothing to be more consistent with modern physics than the LDS doctrine of the 'elements' being co-eternal with God. I have also found it to be much more compelling philosophically (the whole uncaused cause thing). Colliding membranes, eternal inflation, etc. are interesting speculations but do not currently have empirical support (especially anything dealing with string theory). The standard Big Bang model does have empirical support, Augustine who predates Joseph Smith by 1400 years, argued that time came into being with the physical universe, which is exactly what the modern understanding of a Big Bang singularity would imply. You may want to read 'Modern Physics and Ancient Faith' by Stephen Barr, 'New Proofs for the Existence of God' by Robert Spitzer (who also addresses philosophical arguments for God), or 'God and Stephen Hawking' by John Lennox. We'll have to see where cosmology is at in 50 or 100 years from now. I suspect that the traditional Christian/Jewish/Muslim concept of creation will find even more scientific support.

    You have the opportunity to come home to Christ's original church, the one that could not be overcome, don't let the chance pass you by. I'll pray for you.


  • Comment Link DENISE Saturday, 03 March 2012 03:51 posted by DENISE


  • Comment Link Elizabeth M Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:43 posted by Elizabeth M

    In reponse to this specific segment of your article: "Character development requires human freedom so you get a combination of character building and free will as a comprehensive answer to the problem of evil.

    Unfortunately, however, this sort of solution is biblically inaccurate, philosophically flawed, and spiritually deadening. The problem has been most deeply articulated by Marylyn Adams in her crucial book, Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God from 1999. The problem is not some hard times that we all have and from which we typically grow better. Rather, it is "horrendous evils" that cannot, without special pleading, be interpreted as building character: e.g. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, the genocides in Rwanda and Armenia. Consider just the current plague of child pornography and pedophilia. Pedophilia does not build character. It destroys souls and lives."

    ---- ---------------------------------------------

    You have contradicted yourself. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Plot, the genocides in Rwanda and Armenia tie in with Hick's 'FREE-WILL DEFENSE.' John Hick combined the 'FREE-WILL DEFENSE' with the 'SOUL-MAKING DEFENSE.' You are implying that Hick only created the 'SOUL-MAKING DEFENSE' when he crucially implies that the 'FREE-WILL DEFENSE' explains the "horrendous evils" perfomed FREELY by persons such as Hitler, etc.

    Also, Mormons DO NOT reject The Big Bang Theory, God being the creator of the universe, or that God is a material being. The Big Bang Theory isn't contained within a Mormon doctrine, that is simply a personal belief free to any Mormon's interpretation. (Just like how some mormons drink caffeinated drinks like pop, while others choose not to, or having the choice between republican or democrat) It is, however, Mormon church doctrine that God has a mortal body like ours, defending so using the creation of our bodies being under his image(implying he has a body as well). A mormon might also supply this argument: How can God be all knowing if he doesn't have a body? He wouldn't know how it feels for us to experience physical pain, sickness or other senses. This could be a logical impossibility.

    Mormon's would say that God created the universe that we know. Our universe. The epistemic distance for the rest of this belief is extremely far, according to a mormon. One would probably say that it's irrelavant to our current existence.

  • Comment Link richard Sherlock Tuesday, 05 June 2012 05:29 posted by richard Sherlock


    I suppose that you believe that Hollis Johnson is wrong. I have it in writing and I heard him say it in spring 2010

  • Comment Link richard Sherlock Wednesday, 13 June 2012 03:05 posted by richard Sherlock


    2 comments. Tell me how pedophilia builds character ? Pedophilia destroys both character and freedom. Hick never argues that free will alone explains evil. Catholics believe that human beings have free will. We just believe in a true God described at the end of Job.

    Second, The Big Bang is not just an opinion like caffeinated drinks. We know that the universe started with the big bang as surely as we know the age of the earth. But at the time of the big bang there was no matter. So a material God cannot cannot have been present at creation. Hollis Johnson got the problem right he just got the conclusion wrong

  • Comment Link Jeanne Nickels Thursday, 26 July 2012 01:40 posted by Jeanne Nickels

    Congratulations! Welcome to the Catholic religion! I am exceedingly delighted for you! I wish you all the best!

  • Comment Link Ren Gonzalez Wednesday, 05 September 2012 04:28 posted by Ren Gonzalez

    Thank you for your evangelizing spirit! God knows that so many of us cradle catholics need to work on the evangelizing aspect of being a Christian. May he always bless you with the fire of the Holy Spirit :)

  • Comment Link Marjory M Saturday, 29 December 2012 01:52 posted by Marjory M

    Dear Mr. Sherlock,

    I am a cradle Catholic and I appreciate all that you shared here. Most especially I love that you recognize the unique place that Jesus holds in all of history. Nothing matters more than seeing our Savior and Lord as the prescious gift He is for us. We love our Church so much because Jesus can only be truly known in the sacramental life that he shares with us. We do not flaunt the greatness of the Church because WE are right, but because Jesus commissioned us to go and make disciples. Your charity and clarity will disciple many.

    Reason will support the Church teachings, but reason cannot convince the unconvincable. May the Holy Spirit prepare the way for your beautiful words to reach many.

  • Comment Link Jeanne Nickels Tuesday, 08 January 2013 04:39 posted by Jeanne Nickels

    Welcome to the Catholic religion! We Catholics are so glad you are joining us! I am positive you will not regret it!

  • Comment Link Paul J Elliott Tuesday, 27 May 2014 02:15 posted by Paul J Elliott

    I was Mormon for most of my adult life until I could no longer reconcile so many LDS teachings which depart from their own scriptures. The Lord led me back to the Catholic Church of my childhood, and was confirmed this past Easter. The problem with Mormonism is the number of different doctrines they can make dance on the head of a pin. I appreciate a faith where Jesus Christ is the focus of everything we do.

  • Comment Link Susan Ralston Saturday, 05 July 2014 06:25 posted by Susan Ralston

    I am a Mormon and have been all of my life. I am educated (BA in History and JD), practice law and am active in the Mormon faith. I have studied Joseph Smith's teachings in detail as well as the current teachings of the prophets and apostles. Everything I have ever seen in the Church leads me to Jesus Christ. He is my Redeemer.

  • Comment Link Julie Friday, 11 July 2014 19:02 posted by Julie

    Richard: You never was able to get to know the truths of the Restored Gospel. Your parents was people with not knowledge of the restored gospel, and of course, you never was able to learn the wonderful blessings that come from Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Praying with intention of heart, the Spirit will testify to you that the restored gospel is true. I will pray for you that maybe one day you will find out that the Mormon church is the Church of Jesus Christ and you can find out about all the blessings of eternity here in earth. The Plan of Salvation is a glorious plan for every son/daughter of God. Read Malachi 4. Good luck!

  • Comment Link Devin Bost Tuesday, 02 September 2014 10:19 posted by Devin Bost

    Have you ever actually confessed and repented of your sins prior to reading the Book of Mormon? And have you actually read the Catholic bible in comparison with the full standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?

  • Comment Link Donald G Porior Friday, 19 September 2014 03:15 posted by Donald G Porior

    Welcome home my friend. As Catholics we ask the holy spirit for wisdom and guidance in our lives. Never to wish evil on others but to send prayers to them that the Holy Spirit will act in their lives to leave them to their heavenly father.

    I appreciated your article. May St Michael Protect Your as he does me.


  • Comment Link Herb Sunday, 28 September 2014 20:52 posted by Herb

    We'll it seems like intellectual gymnastics have given you a limit to the god you can believe in. Catholicism is so divergent from the teachings of the bible that you cannot find any of its doctrines in it. If you would read and deeply ponder the scriptures, you'll find that they teach of a universal apostasy and a restoration of all things prior to the return of the living resurrected Jesus. The Catholic Church has no right to represent the God of heaven, Catholics do have the right to talk with God themselves with no intermediary other that Jesus Christ! The traditions of the Catholic Church are just that...the traditions of men, not of God. Be clear on this...your salvation rests in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his Atonement, not the Catholic Church, you've drifted the wrong direction. Moroni 10:3-5

  • Comment Link Rev Chris Miller Thursday, 02 October 2014 18:46 posted by Rev Chris Miller

    I am a Lutheran Pastor; I have noticed that a number of Mormon posters in response to Mr Sherlock seem to think that Catholicism somehow varies from Christian faith. But my own studies on the two faith communities shows me that Mormonism is what I do not find in Scripture. As a devout Christian, my faith is based on the Bible, not on additional materials. The Book of Mormon is not accepted as canonical by the Church for a lot of reasons, among them that of the nature of the persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit portrayed in the Book of Mormon.

    What Mormons seem to say is we want to add additional materials to the Christian canon and demand that you accept it, even though the Church throughout history has said the canon is not open to additions. It seems that the question of what is orthodox Christianity depends on the church which is already part of the orthodox community. For another group to say: despite our different beliefs, we wish you to accept our beliefs as correct, and we judge your beliefs wrong. You can call yourself whatever you want. But if you differ from the historic Christian Church, you cannot call yourself orthodox Christian. Yes, you call on the name of Jesus...but it is a Jesus who is not the Logos, the Word of God who was with God in the beginning, through whom all things were made. Who is God himself. He is both human and divine; eternally coexistent with the Father and the Spirit. That is not some uniquely "Catholic" doctrine which has wandered off from true faith; that is scripture itself.

    The Great Apostasy taught by Mormons is specifically denied in the NT by the sending of the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, the Comforter, which is a subject not frequently discussed by Mormons. For those of you who are Mormon, to tell someone that your faith is more "Christian" than their's, but then to cite texts which Christians do not accept as valid basis for doctrine is a futile effort.

    I am a Christian according to the orthodox Church. My faith is based on the Nicene Creed, which is a clear definition of the biblical witness. It is based on the Bible, alone. the Book of Mormon is never going to be something that defines my faith, for it teaches "another gospel". That "other gospel" does not hold true on an internal consistency basis. Why would I want to trust something like that for my salvation? I am a child of God, Baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as the Church has always done. My salvation is assured, not because my feelings, but because of the testimony of the bible and of Christ himself. If I was to rely on myself or my feelings for truth, I would be lost, but I do not rely on myself. I am redeemed by Christ, with his own body and blood; I am kept in the faith by the Holy Spirit, and I will live eternally with all Christians.

    Instead of reading the Book of Mormon for once--or even the LDS translation of the Bible. Try reading the bible as you find it in any bookstore. Try the New Revised Standard Version; the New International Verion, etc. It will be an experience for you.

  • Comment Link Kim Cowan Friday, 05 December 2014 18:15 posted by Kim Cowan

    I left the Mormon church 30 years ago. I found the teachings of Mormonism to conflict with the Bible. Galatians 1:5-10 tell us not to take another gospel, even if it's preached from an angel from heaven... There was never an apostasy, and I was angry after my conversion to Mormonism that they were not honest with all the hidden things if their church... I later found out about blood oaths, free masonry in the temple ceremonies and weird anointing of body parts. The test for a prophet is that if he prophesies even ONE false prophecy, he is in fact a false prophet. Brigham Young, in his journal discourses said that man was inhabiting the moon and the sun... All Mormons have access to these writings... God bless you good sir on your journey home!

  • Comment Link Richard Sherlock Friday, 09 January 2015 22:10 posted by Richard Sherlock

    This is a short response to recent comments. To say that I don't know mormonism well is not an argument it is an excuse. Second, in Matthew 16 Christ says that he will found the church on Peter (the rock, Cephas in greek means rock) and the gates of hell will prevail against it. Mormons will say he meant revelation. What ever he meant Mormons must hold that Christ got the part about "gates of hell" wrong. If he got it right then no one should be mormon. If he got this wrong then no one should be Christian. Thirdly, 5 places in the new testament Christ teaches the real presence, i.e. the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ. Mormons deny this so they must believe that either Christ was wrong or that all 5 places are mistranslations.

  • Comment Link Lou Rosinski Friday, 06 February 2015 14:57 posted by Lou Rosinski

    To Rev Chris Miller,

    Your comment "What Mormons seem to say is we want to add additional materials to the Christian canon and demand that you accept it" is inaccurate although the caveat is "it seems" to you.

    What Mormons actually say is we don't need any of the Standard Works, Bible and Book of Mormon included, as we (ie Mormons) have access to modern revelation from the Savior Himself. Remember, Moses did not have any Bible (and neither did Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob).

    Whether you are a good Catholic or a poor Mormon, agnostic, or atheist, Buddhist or Muslim, all will have to receive the Baptism of John before entering Eternal Life with God. Even Jesus required it. And that alone defines what the apostasy was all about - authority. And, that fact found in the New Testament, is why Mormons are being guided by Him to prepare for His Second Coming and His Judgement for all of God's children to do Baptism of John for all.

    And anyone who relies or quotes scientific knowledge as fact is relying on the arm of man rather than faith in God and is being deceived.

  • Comment Link Brad Baum Wednesday, 18 February 2015 15:22 posted by Brad Baum

    Martin Luther said
    “I have sought nothing beyond reforming the Church in conformity with the Holy Scriptures. The spiritual powers have been not only corrupted by sin, but absolutely destroyed; so that there is now nothing in them but a depraved reason and a will that is the enemy and opponent of God. I simply say that Christianity has ceased to exist among those who should have preserved it.”

  • Comment Link Eric Lopez Tuesday, 10 March 2015 21:18 posted by Eric Lopez

    Nice to see this. I myself am a Mormon and when studying Catholicism, I noticed this as an ad. I am actually a convert from Catholicism to the Mormon faith. Fun times. Check out my blog when you've got the time. Personally, I love the Catholic church and find it's history very interesting. If anyone is interested in researching my faith even more, check out this site! The Church of Jesus Christ had lead me closer to God and the Book of Mormon has lead me closer to God than any other book on the face of the planet.

  • Comment Link Jack Friday, 17 April 2015 01:57 posted by Jack

    Its amazing how secretive and unnoticed and cunning satan really is, tainting the bible and using so much of it, and truth but not total truth. I see you traded one false belief for another. We are all suppose to be part of one body in Christ, the groups you choose single out one Christian from another, the Lord said we are all made in his image. Many are called and few are chosen. I am a Christian and know that Jesus Christ is my personal savior and is God in the flesh. Read Revelations 22 17-19 which stats do not add or subtract from this book, which both the beliefs you have chosen have done. I pray that you allow the Lord to open up your eyes of His understanding not yours, to see the truth and it will set you free.

  • Comment Link AngelHeart Tuesday, 07 July 2015 23:08 posted by AngelHeart

    Hi There,

    I was searching online when i landed on this page. I felt, as patronizing, or condescending, or mere presumptious as i may sound, I feel a need to give my 2 cents here like a good Roman Catholic who also hails from the place of origin of Christianity; and I appologize once more for my arrogance but I'm not a good diplomat nor have too much time. :)

    1. This Hick seems to have a good interpretation of the problem of evil. Saying that christians cannot accept anything less (in the context you put it there) makes us look like a bunch of extremists - and we should not be.

    2. The Triad there is not inconsistent. God IS all of those. On number two for example, you claim it doesn't work since it conflicts with three. No, it doesn't. You simply don't know how E=MC2 works.

    3. Here again, false assumptions . It's just like saying Jesus was born 2015 years ago. But he was there since eons as well as we all (i hope) know.

    4. You don't need anyone. Each and every one of us is that mediator with the right work. And yes, it is very long to describe that. I'll suffice it to say, jesus said: 'give everything away, and follow me'.

    And I'll tell you, you gotta do that, and, it would only be the beginning.

    i'm gonna read more on LDS this joseph smith sounds interesting. But for his followers, look guys, you really got all your answers in Jesus. Just stay the course.

  • Comment Link Shasta Jones Saturday, 11 July 2015 06:12 posted by Shasta Jones

    I am a lifelong Mormon. I had a babysitter who was Catholic and on Sunday I had to go to the Catholic Church. I would sit there for an hour listening to Latin. it drove me crazy. The Catholic Church believes in absolute silence. I have ADHD so sitting through Mass is a challenge for me. I have a lot of respect for the Catholic Church. I cannot believe in a church that has broken off another church. Catholicism preserved Christianity in the Dark Ages. I believe that God has a physical body because we are created in His image and we have bodies. Also as an animal lover I can only unite with a denomination that believes in the resurrection of animals. It is important to belong to a denomination that we believe in--not our parents or our friends.

  • Comment Link Mother Raphaela Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:37 posted by Mother Raphaela

    You have entered into a larger Church than you realize yet: Thankfully, even the last popes have recognized once more (after 1,000 years +/-) that the Eastern Orthodox* are fully Christian, members of the One, holy, catholic Church. (A joke: "The pope was the first Protestant...") Please God this is a schism that will be healed in our lifetime.

    There are numbers of converts from Mormonism to Orthodoxy as well as to Roman Catholicism, for many of the reasons you state so succinctly and beautifully. So from our part of the Church also, "Welcome Home!"

    *We are members of the Orthodox Church in America, begun in 1794 by Russian missionary monks in Alaska. Today, descendants of Russians, Greeks, Albanians, Romanians and many other Eastern European countries as well as Orthodox refugees from communist Ethiopia and China and others from Asia and Africa make up the American Orthodox Church.

  • Comment Link Mother Raphaela Wednesday, 15 July 2015 15:06 posted by Mother Raphaela

    P.S. I hadn't read all of the comments before I added mine and the one before mine leads me to a clarification:

    A number of the differences crept in between "Eastern" and "Western" Christianity both before and after the Great Schism of 1054. Some, for instance, involve interpretations of the Dormition (or "Assumption") of the Blessed Virgin Mary (whom we Orthodox pray to and celebrate with far more poetry than the conservative Latin West).

    In others, the East didn't even begin to follow some of the dogmas of the European "Enlightenment" until the time of Peter the Great, so never accepted Decarte's belief that only humans will be in heaven. C.S. Lewis presents a very Orthodox vision of heaven in his ending to the "Narnia" children's book, "The Last Battle:" All of creation, all time and every place are held in God's eternal present moment.

    At the 15th Century Council of Florence the East rejected the concept of "material hellfire" along with any concepts of heaven and hell as physical places (akin to the Mormon view of life after death on another planet). Rather, we are all now, and eternally will be, present to the Fire of God's love, which after death we are unable to avoid . Then it will burn away the dross of sin (our version of Purgatory). Those who continue to hold on to their sin will experience God's love as burning hell-fire for all eternity; those who turn from their sin (in "metanoia," the Greek word frequently translated into English as repentance), with St. Peter (2Peter:3) becoming "partakers of His Divine Nature," will spend all eternity growing into "all the fullness of God."

  • Comment Link Jb Fanjul Saturday, 25 July 2015 22:37 posted by Jb Fanjul

    I know Richard Sherlock personally. As a Mormon and as a teacher and he was not much of nice man before and he is not any better now. "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!"

  • Comment Link Alexandra Wednesday, 12 August 2015 04:21 posted by Alexandra

    I am happy for anyone who believes they have found the truth. I myself am LDS. I have several Catholic friends. Three who were born and raised in Italy and joined the Mormon church in college when they came to Utah, to attend school and live with a relative. They have often told me, they simply could not believe in the teachings they had been raised with in teaching them God and Jesus Christ and the Holy spirit are all the same being. Who was Christ praying to in Gethsemane, and on the cross? Himself? No, he was praying to the Father. We have discussed their previous faith often and I do believe as they do the Catholic church was very right in the beginning, but kings changed much of the doctrine over time and came up with their own teachings. Such as filling up the baptisimal founts and changing it to sprinklings. I dearly love my Catholic friends, We hold dear many of the same teachings, but I am also grateful for my own personal beliefs and know that we must all live together in peace. After all the greatest commandment is to love one another.

  • Comment Link John Tuesday, 18 August 2015 20:41 posted by John

    To Alexandra who posted on Wednesday, August 12, 2015. You asked "Who was Christ praying to in Gethsemane, and on the cross?" Obviously, He was praying to the Father. You are confusing the Orthodox teaching of the Church (the Trinity) with an early "christian" heresy known as Sebellianism/modalism. This heresy is currently taught by Oneness Pentecostals. Teaching that God is one Person who wears different masks or plays different parts. This is NOT what the doctrine of the Trinity teaches. Please try to familiarize yourself with the Athanasian Creed which teaches: "That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost."

    Do you understand what "confounding" means? Trinitarian Christians don't do this. Those who don't understand the doctrine often do. That is your fault/error, not ours.

  • Comment Link Marguerite Hart Sunday, 06 September 2015 16:48 posted by Marguerite Hart

    Dear Richard;
    I very much enjoyed reading your article especially since I have been struggling with reclaiming my Catholic heritage and leaving the Mormon church. I always had questions and never seemed to get any satisfactory answers but I always assumed that was my problem and not the Leadership's until recently. A situation occurred within the church that caused me great sorrow and stress and once again I was left with the feeling that if there was an issue for me then it was myself who was misinterpreting the events. If I thought that my feelings were going to take precedence over what a priesthood holder had said, well I was the one that was going to be thrown under the bus. It hurts but I believe right now on this lovely Sunday that the Spirit has been trying to get through to me for a very long time and I finally get it. Although I will always feel compelled to drop in on them once in awhile and say hi to those I love I will be renewing my membership in the church of my forefathers and mothers. I never did care for all that "Great and Abominable Church" stuff at the beginning of the Book of Mormon. I felt it was an insult to all the wonderful people in my family who had been faithful Catholics going back hundreds of years. I also want to thank you for your comment on the age of the earth, as I always had a huge problem with the whole 6000 years nonsense. And now thank goodness I no longer have to try to convert everyone I meet. Thank you so much for answering some of the questions I was struggling with. Peace with you and your family!

  • Comment Link dianne sabido Sunday, 04 October 2015 19:05 posted by dianne sabido

    I was also raised Catholic, and while I now LDS, it comes to my mind, of being abused by the Nuns, and criticized by the Priest because I would say things such as God Bless you, and their response telling me How dare I say that because they are a representative of God, and they are on his level. I saw my mom being refused the last rites Extreme Unction, because she could not longer give me to the church. I do admire the faithfulness of those who are in their faith. I have found the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to have the same beliefs I have, and am grateful to have been blest in the Holy Spirits direction and testimony. I was raised to know that we should be belittle others faith, to do so we are judging others. Jesus Christ condemns those who does so. He along will judge and forgive. If Catholicism is your choice of faith, then by all means worship. However using the church to voice your thoughts is only hurting yourself. No one has anything gain by trashing anyones beliefs. Just as I don't harbor any ill feelings at the treatment of what happened to me, I am grateful for it, as it gave me discipline, and a path of direction to follow. May God bless all his children, that goes for all of you, and those who don't know him.

  • Comment Link Byron Sunday, 04 October 2015 19:35 posted by Byron

    I was raised in the Catholic Church. I went through all of the things required even through catacism and school. I had considered becoming a priest. I went through alter boy training school. So I speak now from one who knows and has been there. I left the Church in search of things I found in the Bible. Like a prophet to lead the Lords people. I never understood why a man and a woman could not be married, when it was a commandment to do so from the beginning. I read where throughout the bible where God walked with Moses, and how angels appeared to profits and guided the people with direction and purpose. I have studied the scriptures for years and have saught truth through prayer and the Holy Ghost. I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for almost 40 years now. I have received so much understanding of Our Father in Heavens Plan of Salvation, where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. And I have come to understand that we as a people need to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit to be repentant. It is my Testimony as a witness of Jesus Christ, and having been at deaths door, that the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are true, and that a man or woman can get closer to God through obedience to the commandments and gospel principles taught there, than by any other means on the face of this earth. I so testify of these things in the name of Our Lord - Jesus Christ, Amen.

  • Comment Link Jason Hirst Tuesday, 13 October 2015 22:52 posted by Jason Hirst

    Just stumbled across this, and I find the author's story fascinating and his points very logical.

    It does seem that the author claims to have converted from mormonism, but never really experienced the religion. It's kind of like someone saying they converted from catholocism when they only went to church twice a year as a child. He didn't grow up with active parents, didn't serve a mission, presumably never made it to the temple.

    However, I find it very reassuring that the author was able to find truth and spiritual light elsewhere. All too often these days, all religions lose members to the lure of secularism. All of us Christians are now united in the cause of proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ, even though our particular beliefs and traditions may be different.

    Though I am LDS, I agree with many of the author's points regarding doctrine, and I think he has mischaracterized or misunderstood many of our beliefs.

    However I will just respond to one argument, Sherlock's third point (and partially addressed in others). That is, how can we believe that God was once like us, that we may become like him? Doesn't this mean that God is only one of many, that he himself has a father, and why then wouldn't we worship his god/father?

    Christ prayed to "the Father" as an example for us. Paul says we are all children of god. Our relationship with our mortal parents is addressed in the 10 commandments. The symbolism of a child/parent relationship is throughout all of scripture. The Son of Man, the Son of God, the Father, the Son, all these titles reference the familial relationship.

    So then if God is our father, why does the fact that he may have a father diminish his importance to us? We are commanded to obey our parents, despite the fact that we have grandparents and great-grandparents. So why is it surprising that our Heavenly Father is the god that we worship, even if he is part of his own family? If you start to think of heaven in terms of family relationships, everything fits together perfectly. There is no need for there to be one "four star general" or one god higher than all the rest. All that matters to us is our own father, and we obey him, even though we may have other ancestors.

    This also opens the door to there being "other universes". And why couldn't there be? If god created all that we can see, does that exclude the existence of something that can't be seen? Some cosmological models have been proposed (and while not theories yet, certainly have potential) which describe the universe as eternal, with the big bang as only one step in a moment of time. See . I'm not saying I believe this hypothesis, but it does show the possibility that the big bang doesn't have to be the "end of all scientific inquiry".

    It is true that the Mormon conception of God is, in some ways, less "miraculous" or "mysterious" than the traditional conception of God. We see God in terms of our own families here on earth. He is the master of our universe, but he is still like us, with flesh and blood, and he had to progress to become what he is. We are his children, and He is our father. He isn't the "first cause" or the "unmoved mover"; he isn't the end of our philosophical inquiry, because there is much more beyond him. But for now, he is all that matters to us.

  • Comment Link s.ceja Thursday, 15 October 2015 03:04 posted by s.ceja

    Some one mentioned they know sherlock personally and that he isn't very nice. I don't know him, but I will say, I do know philosophers. People often think they arent very nice. Philosophers just have this way about them. Like this seriousness and everyone perceives it as not very nice. That's just how they are. I don't know him personally like I said But I loved this article. Welcome home Mr. Sherlock.

  • Comment Link Paul Yost Thursday, 22 October 2015 13:52 posted by Paul Yost

    I'm a member of the LDS faith. I love the Lord and my love for him just as it grows for the gospel, A never ending process. Baptism in the Lords church is one of the first 4 principles of the gospel and is the beginning of a life long journey of study and prayer, progressing thru the church in its different steps till we meet our Father in Heaven and begin another journey with him as our teacher. I just wanted u to know that the process is a matter of the heart and baptism is just having the faith to start the greatest journey of anyone's life if they put that faith to the test. I know God lives, and answers prayers, and that he answered all my prayers about his church. May God bless you in your journey and who knows if u would have done your work on The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints it may have been different.

  • Comment Link Denise Friday, 23 October 2015 13:29 posted by Denise

    Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints hold to the article of faith which states ," We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." So you're actually was in Mormon doctrine to follow the dictates of your unconscious it worshiping God. No reason to attack the Mormons because you found another religion.

    I enjoyed reading your article. I have many friends who the Catholic faith.

    I would suggest that God being material and creating the universe are not exclusive from each other, but rather they exist together. God being material has power to create the universe. The material which is made of and the power of which he has are elements that are unknown to us. That doesn't shake faith, because man is always discovering new things. Though we do not have the power that our father in heaven has, we are his children. Someday he will enlighten us.

    May your journey be as rewarding as you desire.

  • Comment Link Denise Friday, 23 October 2015 13:30 posted by Denise

    Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints hold to the article of faith which states ," We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." So you're actually was in Mormon doctrine to follow the dictates of your unconscious it worshiping God. No reason to attack the Mormons because you found another religion.

    I enjoyed reading your article. I have many friends who the Catholic faith.

    I would suggest that God being material and creating the universe are not exclusive from each other, but rather they exist together. God being material has power to create the universe. The material which is made of and the power of which he has are elements that are unknown to us. That doesn't shake faith, because man is always discovering new things. Though we do not have the power that our father in heaven has, we are his children. Someday he will enlighten us.

    May your journey be as rewarding as you desire.

  • Comment Link Denise Friday, 23 October 2015 13:30 posted by Denise

    Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints hold to the article of faith which states ," We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." So you're actually was in Mormon doctrine to follow the dictates of your unconscious it worshiping God. No reason to attack the Mormons because you found another religion.

    I enjoyed reading your article. I have many friends who the Catholic faith.

    I would suggest that God being material and creating the universe are not exclusive from each other, but rather they exist together. God being material has power to create the universe. The material which is made of and the power of which he has are elements that are unknown to us. That doesn't shake faith, because man is always discovering new things. Though we do not have the power that our father in heaven has, we are his children. Someday he will enlighten us.

    May your journey be as rewarding as you desire.

  • Comment Link Charles A. Sudholt Sunday, 25 October 2015 20:24 posted by Charles A. Sudholt

    I am a convert to "Mormonism" who joined The Church after losing a friend in Vietnam, so right off the bat we differ in our thinking. At the Last Supper, Jesus broke BREAD, and blessed it. The "host" in Catholicism is NOT broken to symbolize the broken and bruised body of Jesus Christ, and in fact it isn't even bread. I challenge you to find the words pope, cardinal ,or archbishop in the Bible. Mormon bishos must be married just as pointed out in 1st Timothy 3. Three new apostles were added at the recent October Conference. Catholicism claims apostolic authority but has not a single apostle. Perhaps you don't even find that strange, but I do. The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth was given to Adam and Eve, no one therefore was exempted. That commandment has NEVER been rescinded, but the entire collection of Catholic clergy and all the nuns live in violation of it every day and have for centuries. Mose had a fatherin-law, Jethro, and Jesus healed the mother of Peter's wife in Mark 1. The Catholic Church has not a single temple, nor has it any plans to build even the first, while the LDS Church has 148 in operation and more announced or under construction. The Catholic Church has no Seventy as mentioned in Luke 10, nor elders (who are to use consecrated OIL, not water) to bless and heal the sick. The Catholic Church does not bear the sacred name or title of Jesus Christ who said "I will build MY church". Rather the title of the RCC is based on a geographical entity which is identified in Revelation 17 Verses 9 and 18 as a great harlot which is a city which is set on seven mountains, and that fits Rome pretty well in my thinking. The Catholic Bible conveniently removes the 2nd Commandment forbidding graven images and has added one on coveting, actually having 9a and 9b, but not ten separate and distinct commandments. The Catholic Church teaches nothig about exaltation or three degrees of glory, both of which are mentioned in the Bible. The catholic Church cannot explain any of the 29th Chapter of Isaiah because that deals with the restoration of the Gospel and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, mentions the sealed book which prophecy was fulfilled by Martin Harris' experience with Charles Anthon of Columbia University. You seem to ignore or deny all of these feature of the true Church as covered by the scriptures. You have been seriously deluded in so doing.

  • Comment Link CameronEmery Tuesday, 22 December 2015 15:02 posted by CameronEmery

    I have had doubts about "mormonism" before, but instead of turning to one person or another, i ALWAYS decide to turn to God and the Scriptures for guidance.... some of the scriptures do not make much sense to our natual minds... but that's why, with sincere prayer, we must turn to God asking our most troubling questions. and every time, if we really want to know the truth, he comforts us with the truth. And gives us the warm witness from the Holy Ghost that it's true...Life is not a competition to find out what's true, its a test to see if we will trust God even when reason fails.

  • Comment Link T Monday, 25 January 2016 18:14 posted by T

    @ Charles A. Sudholt,

    I'm afraid that you have misunderstood many aspects of Catholicism.

    Mormons should agree that the Bible is not all exhaustive, and is not the only authority on the Christian Faith, since Mormons (like Catholics) adhere to scripture + tradition (with an authoritative interpreter) and practice many extra-biblical traditions as well - so It should not be surprising that there are things that Catholics practice that are not found exclusively in the Bible.

    Catholic priests and bishops do "break the bread" after consecration. The Eucharist is the fulfillment of the Passover, and the hosts used in the Latin rite of the Catholic Church are unleavened bread, just as Jesus used during the Last Supper. However, the Eucharist is celebrated using leavened bread in many Eastern rites of the Catholic Church. I could ask why Mormons do not use wine during communion if Jesus explicitly instituted the Eucharist using wine, not water?

    Catholic bishops and priests do indeed bless the sick using oil, during the "anointing of the sick" or "extreme unction" which is one of the seven sacraments instituted by Christ. The following is from the catechism:
    "The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given to those who are seriously ill by anointing them on the forehead and hands with duly blessed oil - pressed from olives or from other plants - saying, only once: "Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up."129
    All Catholic priests and bishops hold the priesthood authority and have an unbroken line of apostolic succession going back to Jesus (transmitted through the "laying on of hands" during the rite of ordination in the sacrament of holy orders) which is well documented in history. Some terms have developed over time to better articulate aspects of the faith, and even the positions of the hierarchy. The cardinals and popes are actually bishops. The pope is the prime bishop, and the office of "pope" (the prime minister) was established by Jesus, and is supported scripturally. We may not call our bishops apostles, but that is basically what they are. We typically reserve the title "Apostle" in reference to the original 12 Apostles of Jesus, but we also consider the bishops and priests the apostles to the apostles to the apostles, etc. etc. etc. The term "Apostle" means "missionary" or one who is "sent-forth."

    About the papacy:

    Jesus Himself established the office of the "papacy."
    Jesus changed Simon-Peter's name to Kephas (Rock in Aramiac) said He'd build His Church upon Kephas (Peter) gave Peter the "Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven" and the legislative authority of "binding and loosing" ("Binding and loosing" are the rabbinical terms for "forbidding & permitting"). Jesus quoted Isaiah 22 as He did this, to make clear His intentions of re-establishing the office of "prime minister" or "royal chamberlain" with Peter. The Jews would have known what Jesus was doing.

    Compare Matthew 16:17-19 to Isaiah 22:
    (Matthew 16:17-19) And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    (Isaiah 22:19-23) "I will thrust you from your office, and you will be cast down from your station. In that day I will call my servant Eli′akim the son of Hilki′ah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your girdle on him, and will commit your authority to his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a sure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father’s house."

    Isaiah 22 refers to the office of "royal chamberlain" or "prime minister" to the King of the House of David. The prime minister to the king helped to govern the kingdom and was also in charge of governing the kingdom in the king's absence. The "prime minister" to the king of the House of David, wore the "keys to the kingdom of David" on his shoulder and had the legislative authority of "closing and shutting" or "binding and loosing". This office was traditionally carried on by succession. This is exactly the office that Peter was appointed to.

    Jesus is our King, descending from David. Jesus is also our Eternal High Priest. The office of "pope" or "vicar of Christ" is really the office of "royal chamberlain" or "prime minister" to or King and Eternal High Priest - Jesus. Jesus is the actual but "invisible" head of the Church, but the pope is the "visible" governing head of Christ's Church, which is the earthly visible part of the Kingdom of Heaven. The pope's role is to maintain unity and lead Christ's flock in truth, until He comes again.

    Also, another reason that Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter (Rock) when He said He would build His Church on Peter, was to indicate the that His Church would be built on a solid foundation that could weather the storms and not ever be destroyed just as He promised. Jesus is fulfilling the prophecy in Daniel 2, that during the Messianic age, God would set up "His Kingdom that will never be destroyed" with a "stone cut from the mountain without hands" and that this "stone" would eventually encompass the earth and grow to be a "massive mountain." This Messianic Kingdom is in fact the Catholic Church founded by Christ upon the "rock" of St. Peter.

    Daniel 2:44-45 "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be hereafter. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

    Jesus is not the " fool who built His house on sand." He built His Kingdom on a solid foundation of a rock, and it has weathered the storms for 2,000 years. In that time, many empires have risen and fallen, but the Church has survived just as Jesus promised, despite the odds and many trials.

    "and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock." - Matthew 7:25

    About the discipline of celibacy:

    When Jesus founded His Church, He set it up with a hierarchy with His authority to teach and administer the New Covenant sacraments. With Peter, Jesus established the office of His "prime minister" - what we recognize today as "vicar of Christ" or "pope". Jesus gave Peter the "Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven" which symbolizes authority of the office Peter was appointed to, and the legislative authority of "binding and loosing" which are rabinnical terms meaning to "forbid or permit" and relates to governing His Church and the authority to enforce certain laws and disciplinary actions within the Church.

    Celibacy is a discipline (not doctrine) of the Church. Disciplines can change as long as they do not conflict or contradict with any doctrine, which is basically unchangeable. Certain rites of the Catholic Church, such as the Eastern rites, do allow married men to become ordained as priests. However they must abstain from sex for at least a day before saying Mass, so in the Eastern rites, it is not as common to have daily Mass, unless it is at a Monastery or a larger parish with more than one priest to alternate days.
    In the Latin rite, which is more common in America, priestly celibacy is the norm, however there are exceptions to the rule (dispensations) to allow for some married former Protestant men who convert to Catholicism, and wish to be ordained into the Latin rite, to become Catholic priests.
    The priests must be married prior to entering the priesthood. Dating would be inappropriate and too much of a distraction for priests.

    It's true that some of the bishops of the early Catholic Church were married before the discipline was implemented, however there is evidence that the married bishops practiced abstinence in their marriages after ordination. 1 Timothy 3 is not requiring bishops to be married. It states that if married, they must only have had one marriage with one wife (not subsequent marriages or multiple wives). With Mormonism's past practice and doctrine of polygamy, many Mormon "bishops" did not adhere to this rule.

    In Catholicism, marriage is considered a vocation, as well as is the religious life. Marriage and child-rearing are not for everyone, and we are encouraged to discern the right vocation for us. Some of us are called to married life, and some are called to a life of celibacy.

    Celibacy is supported by scripture, both Jesus and Paul taught about it. And, Jesus was unmarried and celibate, so priests and religious also strive to live in imitation of Christ.

    (Matthew 19:12) "For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.”
    ~ Jesus

    (1 Corinthians 7:32-35) "I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord."
    ~ St. Paul

    (Revelation 14:4) "These are they who were not defiled with women; they are virgins and these are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They have been ransomed as the firstfruits of the human race for God and the Lamb."

    About the Ten Commandments and "graven images":

    The Catholic Church did not remove any of the commandments. Originally, the commandments weren't even numbered. And numbering of the Bible verses weren't added until much later.

    The Catholics and Protestants just differ slightly in the way they number the commandments. The Catholic numbering is actually more accurate and in context.
    In the Catholic List of Commandments, the "making of and bowing down to idols" is joined in with the 1st Commandment (which is the appropriate context). However, both are acceptable and used in the Catholic Church.

    "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them."

    That is the entire First Commandment in context. The prohibition of the making of "graven images to worship" is a provision that goes along with the Commandment to not have any "other gods." God is not prohibiting the making of images or statues, he is forbidding the "worship" of graven images, because back in those days, ignorant people did in fact "worship" statues and images. Catholics do not "worship" statues and images.

    Protestants have lifted the second part of the first commandment out of context and made it into an entirely "separate" commandment. This is not accurate, because now we have God contradicting Himself shortly after giving the commandments when He orders two cherubim to be made to embellish the Ark of the Covenant, and also when He tells Moses to make a "bronze serpent" and to raise it upon a pole so that all can look upon it and be healed. God cannot contradict Himself, so it is the Protestant listing that is less correct.

    And because Protestants have lifted part of the 1st Commandment out of context and made it into an extra separate commandment, they make up for this by combining the 9th Commandment "Thou shalt not covet your neighbor's wife", with the 10th Commandment "Thou shalt not covet your neighbor's property" thus equating a person with "property".

    The Catholic listing keeps the 9th Commandment,"thou shalt not covet your neighbor's wife", separate and above the 10th Commandment to "not covet your neighbor's property.

  • Comment Link T Monday, 25 January 2016 18:46 posted by T

    Also, the Catholic Church teaches "theosis" where we are sanctified and made perfectly holy in heaven, and become partakers in God's divinity. We share in varying degrees of His "beatific vision"(which relates to the "many rooms"). and although the many individual saints partake in varying degrees of God's beatific vision and glory, they do not become "gods" in the same sense that God is God. God is uncreated and is being and existence itself. We are created beings and our existense depends on God, and we cannot do anything apart from God, so although we will share in His divinity, and become adopted children of God by spiritual filiation through baptism, we will never become a God like the one and only.
    Even though saints may share in varying degrees of glory, there is only one heaven, and we all belong to one great big heavenly family.
    When Paul speaks of being taken up to the "third heaven," he does not mean that there are three levels of heaven. The "third heaven" is heaven itself, and the earth's firmament and outer-space are the other "heavens" as they were commonly understood and referred to as such in Paul's day and ancient times.

  • Comment Link lynda dias Wednesday, 27 January 2016 21:12 posted by lynda dias

    What is the cost of the beautiful temple on Linder Road, Meridian Idaho

  • Comment Link Luciana Monday, 02 May 2016 17:29 posted by Luciana

    Hi Richard,
    It was interesting for me to read your story. Being raised catholic and finding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as an answer to prayer is my life story. I have deep respect for you and your experience because I know how hard that move is.
    Doing my family history I was blessed to learn about all my wonderful Catholic ancestors and I know that the Catholic faith holds principles that brings us nearer to God -- had that not been the case I would never have found the Church of Jesus Christ.

    Personally, it is my interpretation of the Scriptures that it is easier to find God striving to be a good Catholic than a Mormon who does not care or who is skeptical about everything he hears at church. So, I will be praying that this is just your beginning of an eternal journey of getting closer to God. But I would plead with you not to look down on the faith that you left behind. I have found it to be the true church of the Lord, not because of some occasional feeling, but by a constant and long standing personal journey of prayer and counsel keeping.

    May the Lord bless you that His light will grow within you brighter every day.

  • Comment Link Sara Kay Wednesday, 25 May 2016 04:44 posted by Sara Kay

    I don't understand how anyone can be a Mormon anymore if they have studied the whole of documented LDS history and not the sanitized version that I was fed as a teen. I converted to the LDS church based on that erroneous history. Decades later, I am finding incredible spirituality at the Catholic Mass. I feel the Lord directing me there. I had never fit in as a Mormon no matter how I tried, and for decades carried uneasy feelings about many of their teachings. I will be taking RCIA this fall. I left the LDS when I learned their true history and I don't miss them at all.

  • Comment Link jason kelly Saturday, 23 July 2016 17:47 posted by jason kelly

    Sara Kay what history are you referring to that was erroneous and the fact that you never felt you belong as a Mormon no matter how you tried, and carried uneasy felling about the teaching tells me you never read the book of Mormon nor prayed to god to see if such teachings are true. No one in the Mormon church ever tells you to join they simply invite you to read study and pray. We are all gods children and I truly hope you find peace.

  • Comment Link Rocco Gandy Thursday, 18 August 2016 06:06 posted by Rocco Gandy

    Look around people, we are quickly being outnumbered in a really bad way. Atheism is taking over and here we sit arguing amongst ourselves. Catholics and Mormons
    Have so much in common.

    1. Belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God.
    2. marriage between man and a woman is vital to God's plan
    3. Immorality in any form is a sin.
    4. Read the scriptures daily
    5. Pray to God
    6. Have children

    Stop the bickering, we need each other now more than ever. Let's accept our theological differences and worship Jesus Christ together.

  • Comment Link Charles Brown Monday, 22 August 2016 01:52 posted by Charles Brown

    Catholic theology doesn't account for the endless nature of the cosmos. Mormon theology does. Catholicism also considers mankind a creature creation, not children of God.

  • Comment Link patricia stewart Wednesday, 21 September 2016 23:20 posted by patricia stewart

    if the early behavior of popes does not convince you that the church was lost, then i do not know what else would. the early branching off from the catholics were because of that--luther and calvin knew that what the catholic church was doing was not right. so its either catholics or mormons as the only 'restored' church on earth. this article makes me sad, but, as one of the commentators has said, better be a good catholic than a bad mormon and since it was obvious you were never actually a mormon, then its all good. btw, i had a profoundly spiritual experience in a st paul's cathedral prayer room in rome, but thats because my Heavenly Father is welcome everywhere there are people found praying.

  • Comment Link David Hampton Saturday, 15 October 2016 12:28 posted by David Hampton

    The Catholic Church is the church established by Jesus Christ. I love my Mormon friends and admire their sincerity of purpose but believe Catholism is the teaches that Jesus Christ is way, the truth and the life to the Father. Thank you Richard for your conversion story, as I pray that others in the Mormon faith will find true conviction for conversion and a rerun home.

  • Comment Link Keith Van Soest Tuesday, 25 October 2016 00:25 posted by Keith Van Soest

    As a fellow ex-Mormon, your conversion to the R.C. church really puzzles me. Obviously you haven't studied the history of this church or you would never have given a thought to joining it. It is based on lies, murder and evil. I suggest you read the book "Constantine and the Conversion of Europe" by A.H.M. Jones. prof. of ancient history at Cambridge University. It's an eye-opener, and tells you the cruel truth. Mormonism isn't "the truth" but it has no one who enriches himself at the expense of Joe Blow, but it is the Church in Action, and it's theology is OK, because it does NOT contradict the Bible, as the R.C. Church does. The R.C. Church is Paganism camouflaged by fake Christian non-biblical tenets. Mormonism looks after its members, spiritually and physically, which, to my knowledge, no other church does, and that is Christianity! If you were to read toe early history of Catholicism, you'd be horrified.
    Let truth be known.

  • Comment Link Basem Thursday, 27 October 2016 22:26 posted by Basem

    I am a follower of the Eastern Orthodox Church but I am not writing to discuss theological differences (not understating their importance) but reflecting on Luke 12:10 "And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven" in reference to many of your heated discussions above. Self-proclaimed followers of Christ have been in the business of labeling others as "heretics". As early as the Ancient Church days through contemporary Internet and social media ministries. The bible has not been silent about heresies and "strange teachings" (Hebrews 13:9) but, surprisingly, there was no mention of God the Father, Jesus, or in any of the epistles any charged warning and eternal condemnation to "heretics". In essence, with traditional Jewish theological views and under the Mosaic Law, Jesus was a "heretic". The irony is that only two that Jesus has condemned were "religious hypocrites" and "blasphemers of the Holy Spirit". I know that there had been many comments about the "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit" from Ancient Church Fathers to contemporary theologians. I would see that believers of the Christian Trinity (who view the Nicaean creed as an adequate statement of their Christian faith) that would condemn other Christians (out of differences in theological views), followers of other beliefs, atheists, individuals charged with heinous crimes to the "fires of hell" are at a great danger of committing this grand blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Christ, in His humility, chose to appeal to every heart "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20). If anyone knows anything of the character of God The Father, would stand in awe of His unfathomable mercy (so unfathomable to be seen as "scandalous" by man's myopic eye) spoken in His words to Jonah on the Godless city of Nineveh “Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?” (Jonah 4:11). Behold, when we condemn our sisters and brothers to the "fires of hell" we run a great danger of committing the eternal sin of "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" by denying the Power of The Spirit to appeal to hearts “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26). That is in addition to assuming the judge chair. One other character in history dared to do so and said "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:13-14). We all know the eternal fate of this character! May the Lord bless and keep you in His loving care!

  • Comment Link Roger Green Sunday, 08 January 2017 19:49 posted by Roger Green

    Much of my family history is LDS. I guess my comment is that your article seems very personal and I don't see why you would post it. I mean, I don't know you, and why should I care? I have been into history of religion for half a century so I know a great deal about the history and theology of religions. I have good loving friends and relatives who are LDS, ones who are RC, and ones who are most everything else including Jews and Muslims. As for the "truth " of the various religions, I don't think that anyone who loves and does good should have anything to worry about, otherwise the God and the religion in question aren't worth a pinch. If you feel that you have a mission to save me, please go away. Getting down to specifics, I prefer LDS theology to RC theology. Labelling Pelagius a heretic was really stupid and not done while communing with any God I want to worship. Anasthasius was a vicious rottweiler, and I don't care for Tertullian, Augustine, Epiphanius, Theoophilus, Jerome, or Cyril of Alexandria. Paul was a guy with serious personal problems, and to a large extent he made Roman Catholicism what it is.. I think Jesus of Nazareth existed but I am agnostic about whether he is/was divine or not. The Muslims may have it right in saying that he was a divinely inspired prophet.

  • Comment Link GT Schneider Monday, 16 January 2017 10:41 posted by GT Schneider

    I came into the Catholic faith in 2004. I was an active Temple Mormon, I lstopped attending sacrament meeting in 1996, had my name removed from Mormon church records in 2000, I still get anxiety and panic attacks over certain things, I still believe in the first Vision accounts, I'm still curious about the list 116 pages that Martin Harris lost, and the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, when I get off on that tangent I miss mass.

  • Comment Link David B Friday, 03 February 2017 21:45 posted by David B


    I appreciate everyone's comments before me. I, too, am a convert to the LDS (Mormon) faith. I have studied both religions meticulously throughout my life. I believe whether an individual belongs to Catholicism or Mormonism, all Christians would/should agree that are relationship with Christ and His influence on our lives is greatly treasured, regardless of what channel brought us to that faith and relationship. That being said, we do know certain facts. We know that key principles and ordinances of the gospel as taught by Jesus Christ were changed during the time after His death and resurrection. The only Christian historians that we have record of during the apostolic times and the few hundred years after make clear record of this. Now, knowing that Christ is our savior, and having come to this knowledge, one would then feel the necessity to follow His teachings and fulfill His commandments and take the necessary ordinances He gave us upon ourselves, as taught by Christ and His apostles (while they were yet living). An apostasy within the church is more than evidently foretold by Christ and His apostles. I feel that many wonderful Catholics have a deep faith in Christ, but yet don't know the full extent of the history of the Catholic Church during the dark ages or soon after the last apostle (aside from John) was killed. I pray that if anyone reads this, that they would do three things. First, open your heart and your mind to the spirit, who truly is the testifyer of all truth, and approach all material you will read, prayers you will say, and conversations you will have with a clean slate, only holding on to the faith in Christ that you have - never lose that. Secondly, that you would become learned, or more learned, in both the teachings of Jesus, AND the history of the Catholic Church. The teachings of Christ you will find in the New Testament. I would suggest reading several different versions if you feel so, but know that the version that is considered more sound in the English language is the King James Version (you can read the history of the various translations of the bible as well). The book that I would suggest reading to know more of what Christian (catholic) scholars said of the church IN that very time, would be "The Great Apostasy" by James E. Talmage. For example, it may surprise a Catholic to know that the ordinance of baptism by sprinkling or dousing was historically proven to have come into practice in a specific year. Previous to this baptism was done by immersion, although there may have been some accounts of sprinkle baptisms before it was instilled officially, it was not the practice of the church until some years after Christ. This is only the smallest and perhaps of smallest importance of examples of change within the church. Now, lastly, I would ask of you to read the Book of Mormon. Many, if not all of you that read my words won't doing any of what I'm asking. I understand the world can be confusing. How can you trust my words when you don't even know me? I hope I would be one to listen anyway, but I can't blame you if you choose not to. This book is maybe the most greatly misunderstood piece of literature (to those who HAVEN'T read its pages) than any other book. You won't believe me until you read it. And how will you read it? Now is when I refer to my first request - that you open your heart and mind, and rely on God to lead you. If you do so, you will see, feel, and experience that its words are true and are of God. This answer will have greater importance to you once you have learned of 'why' exactly the Book of Mormon's truthfulness means so much. I know many of you may dislike the book, even hate it, but ask yourself honestly, "Have I even read it?" Have you ever opened the book alone to see what it has to offer? If you have, with what purpose were you reading? Where you sincerely looking for truth? I can promise from my own experience and from countless others that if done in harmony with the spirit, reading the book and praying for an answer, with the intent to follow that answer, will always, always, result in some kind of a reply or sign from God that the Book of Mormon is true. I give my best regards to all here.

    God bless you all,

  • Comment Link Bob Erickosn Monday, 27 February 2017 09:13 posted by Bob Erickosn

    I was raised Catholic. At age 14 I desired more. I prayed for more. Heavenly Father led me to the Mormon Church. I am ever so thankful that my journey led me to Mormonism. I love the Church. I love the Prophet & Brethren who serve and guide me. I love Jesus and am thankful for those early teachings from the Nuns that instilled in me a love for the Savior. I look forward to eternity spending it in the presence of God.

  • Comment Link John Monday, 06 March 2017 06:37 posted by John

    Your mother was semi-active in the Mormon church, your father was not active in the Mormon church (until late in his life), and, from what you say in this writing, you never had a serious part in the Mormon church. It sounds like you never left the Mormon church - you never belonged (except, perhaps, having your name on their church roles. I can imagine being reared in Utah and the Mormon social culture, that you need some rationalization for "leaving" something to go to something else. You really give yourself a lot of back-pats to convince others that you are - and always have been - a very moral person. British General Bernard Montgomery was another that was self-promoting and he needlessly sent hundreds, if not thousands, of allied troops to their death. He did this because he allowed his arrogance to cloud his judgement. Be careful that you don't slip on the banana peal of pride.

  • Comment Link Edward Monday, 06 March 2017 07:03 posted by Edward

    There is the "true" history written by anti-Mormons and there is the "true" history written by the Mormon church. You say the Mormon church wrote a sanitized version of their history; I agree that the Mormon church has not always given a complete accounting of their history, but that was never the mission of the church. Up until about the 1970s, the leadership of the Mormon church were frontiersmen, backwoodsmen, and some really tough men and women (women who walked across the plains pulling hand-carts and could wrestle a griz and kill it). From the time of Joseph Smith, to the thirteenth president of the Mormon church, Ezra Taft Benson, there was not a church president that was born before 1900. I believe the reason the church was not all that interested in producing a complete expose of Mormon history is because they lacked the resources (money, personnel, time) to make history a high priority. If you studied the administration of the Mormon church you would probably be astounded by what they have accomplished in such things as charitable involvement with other religions, cultures, countries, etc. There is a funny story that took place in, I believe, Kansas, City when a tornado ripped the city. A news station reported that two organizations were provided an amazing amount of assistance: the Mormon Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is nothing in the Mormon history that the Church has to be ashamed; if you know a history that has been "sanitized", I would love to hear from you.

  • Comment Link Edward Monday, 06 March 2017 07:19 posted by Edward

    Richard, Matthew 16:18 "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". With the restoration of the gospel, through the prophet Joseph Smith, the gates of hell did not PREVAIL. The Savior and apostles made it very clear there would be an apostasy (or as Paul described, "a falling away". Some say that it was not a total apostasy, just a partial apostasy. History would agree that there were some who picked up the remains and saved some of the pieces. These were the "early church fathers" who were schooled in Greek philosophy who tried to get understanding out of that which was - to the gentile mind - a mess. The Catholic Church, historically, did not come into existence until 325 A.D. thanks to Constantine and the "scholars" at the Council at Nicaea. Christianity owes a lot to the Catholic Church for protecting the Bible from total destruction (and other things) but "the gates of hell" were closed on Christianity when the last apostle died. Revelation no longer existed and only "rational thought and analysis" prevailed. When the Father and Son appeared to Joseph Smith, the "gates of hell" were no long victorious.

  • Comment Link Doug Seymour Tuesday, 14 March 2017 02:58 posted by Doug Seymour

    Interesting.. I read and knew of the Nicene Creed.. Athanasian Creed... Chalcedonian Creed and the Apostles Creed... I was an atheist.. and due to those creeds I was a devout Atheist. All made me believe with those creeds.. God and Christ was just made up rhetoric. When I heard the logical "Feed my hands and my feet.." creed of an actual existence of .."..made in the image of God.. to man logic. I could believe in a God that made sense :D I really don't intend to put your Catholic beliefs in check but that's just my logic and mind set. Good on you for finding your truth in life.. Enjoy :D

  • Comment Link TheWay Monday, 10 April 2017 21:34 posted by TheWay

    I too noticed the false statement that you went from Mormon to Catholic
    If you admit that your father was not a member, and you and your mother were never an active member of the Mormon faith... then you were never really Mormon to start with.

  • Comment Link James lee Sunday, 14 May 2017 20:49 posted by James lee

    You have got to be joking! If you can say all of those things about the mormon religion that you were apart of then you never really and never will understand the truthfulness of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints!

  • Comment Link brianna Friday, 21 July 2017 03:01 posted by brianna

    it may only take 3 weeks to be baptized, but it takes your whole life to convert and continue to strive to be like Jesus and when you start to truly convert its more then just the heart or the head, its your whole body. it feels as though every fiber of your being knows and at first (especially if your not very active) it may seem confusing until you start truly diving into the gospel and then things start to come into place, i know i dont know everything, but i know that The Church Of Jesus Christ is the fullness of the gospel and THAT i have had testified unto me again and again

  • Comment Link Neil Whitbeck Saturday, 22 July 2017 16:22 posted by Neil Whitbeck

    I took several classes from Dr. Sherlock many moons ago and stumbled on this article. HIs experiences are different from mine and I would have a far different interpretation than his, but I'm gonna print the post and file it with my copy of James' Varieties of Religious Experience. He was a great professor, by the way.

  • Comment Link Bob Wiles Thursday, 21 December 2017 20:22 posted by Bob Wiles
    The Collapse of Mormonism: Why Millions Are No Longer Mormons
    Published on September 7, 2011
    Why people shut their doors when Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses come near.
    Since the book of Abraham is a Fraud, how can they trust the book of Mormon or Joseph Smith? They can't. (As a result, millions are abandoning the Mormon Church and returning to biblical truth.)
    This is an expose on how and learn why Mormons are NOT Genuine Christians and they teach a false gospel and a False Jesus. A False Jesus cannot save nor restore a person's relationship with God. There's no substitute for Jesus Christ. Don't allow yourself or others become deceived by this cult. There is One and Only One God.

    The promotion of family values and not ingesting any hazardous substances is highly commendable (not sure if I could ever give up regular tea). However best to drop the Book of Mormon and only accept the King James version of the bible. / B