This article demonstrates one of the many reasons I adore the Catholics.. They stand up for what they believe in. Many people/ churches just cave in.
I know I have not blogged for a few months. I have had to deal with a few things. Now that is all in the past. I am a proud member of the Catholic Church and it feels FANTASTIC! I am definitely going to write more details later. I just wanted to let everyone know I have not fallen off the face of the planet.
The Rite of Election was this past Sunday. It was really beautiful. I really liked the spanish. The way the reading were set up, when spanish was read, English was printed and vice versa. When the spanish was read, I noticed there were particular words that were used. For example, when the text said “Beloved”, the reader said “Hermonos”. Do not get me wrong, I adore the use of “Beloved”, however, using “Hermonos” made me feel more at ease. It is more of a family oriented word. After listening to some of the spanish, I could not help be less alone. I have to admit going into the Rite of Election, I was doubting my desire. (I still am to a point.) Honestly, I wasn’t going to go. Stuff just kept coming up. I got the opportunity to work 10 hours OT,and I had a mini family reunion. The list is endless. I decided after reading CCC 158…. “I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe.”.. to go. I have to admit, I went on a leap of faith. When I got there I looked up at the ceiling. The first thing I saw was the four Saints. One of which was the person behind the quote in CCC 158.
Last week I made the decision, I would decide whether or not to take the job that starts April 5 or to keep the original job and leave for China on June 7 by tonight. I chose the latter. I am probably making my Priests head spin, I keep going back and forth. He is one of the most patient people I have ever met (or fakes it well). I have made this decision and have accepted that some of my phobias are going to come up. I do not like being the odd one out. With my bad knee this is enviable. (and the fact my nearest Catholic practicing family member is far away and very old doesn’t help) I have accepted that at least 5 good friends of mine that are Mormon are ejecting me from their lives. There are a few that say they are fine with my decision, regardless of what it will end up being. I had a wonderful conversation with a Mormon friend of mine tonight~who got me thinking (never a good idea, I over think too much).
Anyway, I am currently thinking about the First Council Of Nicaea. My friend on the phone reminded me that Mormons believe the early church believed in a Godhead and not the Trinity. My understanding is the major reason the council met was to determine the divinity of Christ. The Trinity is a concept that was formed here. The Godhead has always made logical sense. I can not help but think of the many times I have heard Jesus sits at the right hand of God. However the Trinity makes more sense to me. I do not know why.
A friend of mine once said, take the people out and look at the docrine. A person does not go to church (or shouldn’t at least) for the people. He or she go for God. I truly believe that. After all, when it is all said and done???
For the past few months are so, I have heard “a sin is not a sin unless a person knows it is a sin”. This has come from a variety of Catholic sources. I am wondering how is Natural Law applicable then? I know somethings are built-in (i.e. murder is bad) however, Natural Law seems to encompass much more. I really hope I can figure this out before class tonight. I am going to feel really silly asking this. I think I am just a little confused.
~Warning, I do tend to ramble here.~
As I go through this process, (when I have had time) I have been researching a few things. I recently ran across a speech given to BYU students by Bruce R. McConkie in 1982. As the Mormons that read this blog probably know he is the author of “Mormon Doctrine”, an encyclopedia of basic beliefs of Mormonism. The speech was titled, “Our Relationship to the Lord”. After reading this, I was enlightened to why I have struggled some with the concept of the Trinity. After I first read this speech, I started really reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Below are a few quotes from the speech. I believe the quotes speak for themselves.
McConkie starts with a brief introduction to his words that contains this statement:
Please do not put too much stock in some of the current views and vagaries that are afloat, but rather, turn to the revealed word, get a sound understanding of the doctrines, and keep yourselves in the mainstream of the Church.
When a member of the “Brethren” brings up the topic of the “revealed word”, what they mean specifically is that revelations from the current leaders of the church trumps the teachings of previous leaders if they contradict them. Joseph Fielding Smith once said “Now, brethren, I think there is one thing which we should have exceedingly clear in our minds. Neither the President of the Church, nor the First Presidency, nor the united voice of the First Presidency and the Twelve will ever lead the Saints astray or send forth counsel to the world that is contrary to the mind and will of the Lord.” When the Brethren speak, it is considered to be the voice of God. This is especially true when the remarks are prefaced with one like McConkie makes in this speech.
McConkie then begins discussing some of what he sees as errors in teaching of other Christian religions:
True and saving worship is found only among those who know the truth about God and the Godhead and who understand the true relationship men should have with each member of that Eternal Presidency.
It follows that the devil would rather spread false doctrine about God and the Godhead, and induce false feelings with reference to any one of them, than almost any other thing he could do. The creeds of Christendom illustrate perfectly what Lucifer wants so-called Christian people to believe about Deity in order to be damned.
These creeds codify what Jeremiah calls the lies about God (see Jeremiah 16:19; 23: 14–32). They say he is unknown, uncreated, and incomprehensible. They say he is a spirit, without body, parts, or passions. They say he is everywhere and nowhere in particular present, that he fills the immensity of space and yet dwells in the hearts of men, and that he is an immaterial, incorporeal nothingness. They say he is one-god-in-three, and three-gods-in-one who neither hears, nor sees, nor speaks. Some even say he is dead, which he might as well be if their descriptions identify his being.
These concepts summarize the chief and greatest heresy of Christendom. Truly the most grievous and evil heresy ever imposed on an erring and wayward Christianity is their creedal concept about God and the Godhead! But none of this troubles us very much. God has revealed himself to us in this day even as he did to the prophets of old.
*** Mormons often ask, “Why must you persecute us? We simply wish to have the right to believe as we feel dictated to in our hearts?” But very high leaders of the Mormon church say very negative things about other Christian churches (or at least they did when I was growing up). This is evidence of one of those times where the Mormon church says some very negative things about the rest of the Christian family****
The Nicene Creed appears, to me, the explain the Trinity. I do not completely understand it; however, I do know it is there.
McConkie then goes to basically create a Credo of the beliefs of the LDS church in relationship to God, which shows the contrast between the Apostle’s Creed/Nicene Creed and teachings of modern-day Mormonism:
We know thereby that he [God] is a personal Being in whose image man was made. We know that he has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; that he is a resurrected, glorified, and perfected Being; and that he lives in the family unit. We know that we are his spirit children; that he endowed us with the divine gift of agency; and that he ordained the laws whereby we might advance and progress and become like him.
We know that God is the only supreme and independent Being in whom all fullness and perfection dwell and that he is omnipotent, omniscient, and, by the power of his Spirit, omnipresent.
We know “the Almighty God gave his Only Begotten Son” (D&C 20:21), as the scriptures attest, to ransom man from the temporal and spiritual death brought into the world by the fall of Adam and to put into operation all of the terms and conditions of the Father’s plan.
We know that the Holy Ghost, as a “personage of Spirit,” is both a Revelator and a Sanctifier and that his chief mission is to bear record of the Father and the Son.
Thus there are, in the Eternal Godhead, three persons–God the first, the Creator; God the second, the Redeemer; and God the third, the Testator. These three are one–one God if you will–in purposes, in powers, and in perfections. But each has his own severable work to perform, and mankind has a defined and known and specific relationship to each one of them. It is of these relationships that we shall now speak.
The Catechism says this about the Godhead (Any Catholics reading this, PLEASE correct me if I am wrong)
To believe in God alone
150 Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. As personal adherence to God and assent to his truth, Christian faith differs from our faith in any human person. It is right and just to entrust oneself wholly to God and to believe absolutely what he says. It would be futile and false to place such faith in a creature.
To believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God
151 For a Christian, believing in God cannot be separated from believing in the One he sent, his “beloved Son”, in whom the Father is “well pleased”; God tells us to listen to him. The Lord himself said to his disciples: “Believe in God, believe also in me.” We can believe in Jesus Christ because he is himself God, the Word made flesh: “No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” Because he “has seen the Father”, Jesus Christ is the only one who knows him and can reveal him.
To believe in the Holy Spirit
152 One cannot believe in Jesus Christ without sharing in his Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals to men who Jesus is. For “no one can say “Jesus is Lord”, except by the Holy Spirit”, who “searches everything, even the depths of God. . No one comprehends the thoughts of God, except the Spirit of God.” Only God knows God completely: we believe in the Holy Spirit because he is God.
The Church never ceases to proclaim her faith in one only God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It’s easy to get one’s mind around the concept of two resurrected, glorified beings. Granted, the Holy Ghost is a little more difficult. God is much easier to understand as three separate and distinct beings (two of which are very similar to myself) than as a glorified essence of sorts. Reading this speech, I was reminded why the Trinitarian concept was not only foreign, but also was so hard for me to believe. My whole life I had been taught of the “heresy” of the concept of God as not being a resurrected being, and now here I was trying to believe that heresy.
A lot has happened recently. On Wednesday, I got two phone calls. The first explaining that I could get baptized a few days early because of leaving for China. The second phone call was from China. The building I was contracted to work in is having fire code issues. (highly important to me. I was in two fires in South Korea***pics on my Facebook) This delays the opening. My boss offered to move me to another site and keep my same departure date. If I stay at this site, my date is moved to June 7. I have not made a decision yet. On one hand I want to start this new adventure. On the other hand, I want to go through Easter Vigil. Even though the outcome is the same, I think attending Easter Vigil will be very good for me. I also think the reason I have not made this decision yet is I have been doubting my desire. I am not feeling like I thought I would by now. Do not get me wrong, I agree with 90% of what I have so far encountered. I am making connections everyday to strengthen this belief. I know in my heart this is the Church. All roads do indeed lead to Rome. I am not exactly sure why I feel this way..it simply might be I am not focusing enough…I just don’t know. I do know I do not want to stop this process; however, I do not want to complete it for the wrong reasons.
Lent as a whole has always been one of those “things” the Catholics do, that has made complete sense to me. I remember at times I would wonder why the Mormons did not practice it. Maybe I understand it just because it is forty days. Forty seems to be an important number through most western religions. On Mount Sinai, preparing to receive the Ten Commandments, “Moses stayed there with the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights, without eating any food or drinking any water” (Ex 34:28). Elijah walked “40 days and 40 nights” (I Kgs 19:8). Jesus fasted and prayed for “40 days and 40 nights” in the desert before He began His public ministry (Mt 4:2). The list seems endless. I could also like it because I agree with the purpose. I like the idea of reflection. I like the idea of giving something up to be closer to God. As much as I like Lent, I am still a little unsure about Ash Wednesday. I have a vague memory of ashes being mentioned in the Bible. I like to say in Samuel, but I am not sure. I think if I can just get to Mass tomorrow, then maybe it will be more clear. I hope I can wake up early enough in the morning to go to the 6:30 AM Mass. I guess I will see how it goes.
- Book of Mormon
- Catholic Church
- Catholic Guilt
- Great Apostasy
- Holy Orders
- How to be a good Mormon
- LDS Doctriine
- National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes
- Natural Law
- patron saints
- rite of election
- st genevieve
- St. Anthony Monastery
- St. Francis