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6 years ago  ::  Jun 28, 2008 - 5:51PM #1
thomkruise
Posts: 9
Hello!

I have a few issues that I need to hash out with respect to my personal walk in faith.  I came here to ask this question because I found that after reading many posts that the individuals here are not threatening at all.  They open their arms, hearts, ears, and minds to any opinion for the hope of more respectful dialogue.  In advance, thank you for the compassion!

Now, back to my problem.  I have been wrestling with my faith over the past few months.  I was persuing joining the LDS church about 10 years ago while I was still in high school and found it to be very spiritually satisfying.  I found Jesus through LDS missionaries and will thank them for that for the rest of my life, whether or not I am a member of the church.  I was very close to getting baptised at that time, but my parents would not allow it.  They claimed that the church was a "cult" (whatever that means) and that I would not go to heaven for believing what they believe.  My mother had many people come to talk to me to talk me out of joining.  Even though my mother wanted me to be baptized (I was never baptized as a child), she refused to see me have it done at this church.  I decided not to join at that time just to stop the madness.  I kept going though high school and I practiced the religion, just without being a true member.  I learned a lot during my time at the church and found much of the congregation to be actually practicing what they preached, something you don't see too often in most churches.

After high school, I walked away from God.  I started drinking, doing drugs, and other terrible things that kept me away from God.  After college, I came back home and attended a presbyterian church with my mother and husband.  I felt at home in the church for a while, got baptized, but I did not feel complete.  Soon later, I met who would by my lovely bride and got married in that church.  Then, things took a turn.

I started thinking about my faith.  I kept praying and praying for an answer to my search for my completeness in my faith.  About a week ago,  I took a beliefs test on this website, and I found out that I matched 100% mormon.  It kinda threw me for a loop.  I think that the church might be the answer.  I talked to my wife about going back and she is cautiously interested.  She wants to know more.  I am worried about our extended family, though.  We believe deeply in keeping the family close.  Will our choice in faith change our families for the worse?  Should I even be worried about that?  Will the ward that I abandoned ten years ago welcome me and my wife back with open arms?  How do I deal with family that could think that we are following a false teaching? 

I feel that my life has come back 360 degrees in the past decade.  Maybe someone here can look through my ramblings and point me in the right direction with some positive advice.

God bless you.

Thom
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 28, 2008 - 6:15PM #2
ProfitOfGod
Posts: 1,020
What are your thoughts on teaching - or even mandating - bigotry?
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 28, 2008 - 7:19PM #3
Ironhold
Posts: 11,351
If it's been ten years, then there's a good chance many of the old members aren't there anymore; you'll be starting fresh.

As far as your family goes, regardless of what faith you choose it sounds like walking away from their faith will be enough to cause stress in the relationship.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 28, 2008 - 9:03PM #4
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,065
[SIZE=3]Ya ought to dust off that old Book of Mormon and start reading together. Do some praying a little fasting and some more praying. Then ask the missionaries over listen and pray some more, let the Spirit speak to you. [/SIZE]
Wise men still seek him.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 7:12AM #5
ProfitOfGod
Posts: 1,020
[QUOTE=withwonderingawe;593665][SIZE=3]Ya ought to dust off that old Book of Mormon and start reading together. Do some praying a little fasting and some more praying. Then ask the missionaries over listen and pray some more, let the Spirit speak to you. [/SIZE][/QUOTE]

Should he not pick up the Bible first?
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 9:22AM #6
thomkruise
Posts: 9
I have been reading both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, as they should be used together.  At least that's what I was taught.

I went online and spoke with the missionaries and they guided me on how to strengthen my faith.  I will start praying more and fasting.  Maybe I will get answers.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 10:39AM #7
MrNirom
Posts: 124

thomkruise wrote:

I have been reading both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, as they should be used together. At least that's what I was taught.

I went online and spoke with the missionaries and they guided me on how to strengthen my faith. I will start praying more and fasting. Maybe I will get answers.



Let me tell you my story.

I was born and raised Catholic. Joined the Army at 17.. ended up in Germany where at 19 I married a French girl.. joined the church at age 20. At 22 I left the Army and returned home with wife and now child in tow.

My parents were not happy with me at first. 1. Getting married. They fought hard to stop that. 2. Being Mormon. At least their idea of it.

After being home.. the "Mormon" issue never came up with family. I was the oldest of 8 children. Non of my siblings embraced the church.. nor my parents. But there were no disputations among us either. I let them know who and what I believed.. and left it at that. No pushing.

Fast Forward 8 years. Now getting my 2nd divorce. I fell away from the church and decided I did not want anything to do with it. Not because I didn't believe.. but because I could not endure to the end. I could not live the life of Chastity after having been married for 13 years. I was quite soured on marriage and knew I would not be entering into that for quite some time. I even requested that my name be removed from the rolls of the church.

For the next 20 years.. I smoked.. I drank.. I chased women.. I got married and divorced 2 more times. Though I have never been arrested in our system of justice.. I did have a "rap sheet" in the Lord's system.   Quite a long list I might add.

My 2nd wife had moved out of State with my 3 children.. so I did not see them often at all. I didn't even get to be a "weekend" Dad.. more like a once a year for a week Dad. That was all I got to see them. Then on Easter Sunday 2000.. my ex passed away from cervical cancer. I now had 3 children full time.

I got to the point in my life where I started looking over my past. I realized that my ex wife.. could not repent for any of the things she had done. She.. just like me.. was baptized in the church.. left it.. and was "inactive". She was dead and her progression ended. Me.. I am still alive and I can do something about my situation.

But 20 years.. and 1000's of sins on my head. When I went back to church 7 weeks ago... it was like I never left. I told people my story and they welcomed me with open arms. Now I had been living with my girl friend... and she was taking the discussions from the missionaries. In the lessons they were teaching.. we got to that part about Chastity. The situation we were in.. living together and not being married.. was an obstacle in the progression of her baptism into the church and mine as well. There were 3 options available to us. 1. Quit taking the discussions and continue to live our lives as we had been. 2. One of us had to "move" out. 3. Get married.

Now we have been living together for 2 1/2 years. We both fasted and prayed. We had others pray for us and with us. I was very "hard hearted" on the subject of marriage. I had swore to God on high I would never.. never.. never.. get married again. 4 was enough. I was done. And to even consider #5... was so far out there.

Well.. yesterday.. the 28th.. we were married. If you had asked me 7 months ago.. hey.. do you think you can quit smoking after 20 years.. quit drinking after 20 years.. marry this woman you are living with.. and start going back to church, praying to the Lord.. (on your knees), reading scriptures everyday.. I would have told you that you are crazy and there is no way on the Lord's green earth that... "THAT" would ever happen! I was wrong.

When it comes to the Church and family. I have found out that if one can restrain the urge to share your testimony every time you see family.. and just let them observe your testimony instead.. their souls can and sometimes do reach out. A person can only be taught the gospel when the heart, mind and soul are willing to allow the process to begin.

Hey.. look at me. God can and does work in mysterious ways.

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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 1:30PM #8
thomkruise
Posts: 9
Well, thank you for the kind words.  I am trying to turn away from the sinful things that I have been doing for years now and have found that, even in such short time, the world gets a little softer.  Congratulations on your marriage.  It looks like all of the hard spiritual work has paid off!
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 1:44PM #9
BigKow89
Posts: 10
Thom,

I am glad to hear you are taking initiative in your life in order to seek out the truth. My advice to you would be to take advantage of the Church's missionary program and meet with them in your home often. They will strive to assist in bringing the Spirit of the Lord into your home as you meet with them and follow their counsel. As they offer you spiritual commitments, you will develop a testimony of this Gospel and work (Alma 32:26-43). As a convert and someone who has needed that reassuring witness of the Spirit a more than few times in his life I promise that as you study the scriptures, pray about them, and seek to apply the Lord's counsel in your life there will come a sense of clarity and peace to your mind regarding what the correct course for you is.

A few words concerning familial ties: Do the best that you can. Assuming you follow the counsel of Moroni 10:4-5 and find out for yourself that this is Christ's Church upon the Earth in the last days, the path should become clear to you as you seek out Heavenly Father's guidance. It sounds like your family loves you, as they spent so much energy trying to protect you from what they perceived as hurtful. It also sounds like you've lived both sides of the religious coin, and clearly you aren't considering the LDS Church's doctrine in an impulsive or superficial manner. I would assume that as you inform your family of the process you are going through, the care with which you are taking, and the deep significance this search for truth holds for you, they will respect the decisions you make and continue to love you as you love them. I'm sure there is a lot you can do to resolve their concerns about the Church, as all the oppositions I have come across so far in this (short) life of mine has been unfounded or superfluous. The Church teaches sound doctrine, and it is contiguous with both the teachings of the Bible and Book of Mormon. You might consider inviting concerned family members to join you at Church one week, agreeing to leave at any point if they feel uncomfortable. I am convinced that if people are willing to actually expose themselves to the Church and its members, harsh feelings will be replaced by warmth and respect. Nevertheless, there are those who will not open their minds to positive feelings. I hope that is not the case with your family. If so, I would suggest to you that it is better to offend man than God, and that the approval of even family is not worth walking away from saving ordinances and doctrine. Heavenly Father will certainly bless us for making righteous decisions when faced with opposition, and that blessing can often begin to come before the next life. A loving and righteous example from you and your wife will go a long way with time in softening the hearts of your family members.

I apologize for the long-windedness. My hope is that you'll seek after the truth with a loving attitude towards your family, but according to the dictates of your own conscience. I believe that is what the Lord would have us do.

Mike
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 6:56PM #10
moksha8088
Posts: 4,912
Thom and Kow, I would like to welcome both of you to this forum.  Hope it can help you in your quest.
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
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