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Wright Words: Former priest, pastor share their journey to Mormon faith

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  • Nickelsworth Salt Lake City, UT
    July 8, 2014 6:00 p.m.

    Thank you for a wonderful heart warming and faith building story. These are the pearls of great price we find and cherish along life's pathway that confirm the truthfulness of the gospel to anyone who will let the spirit touch their heart.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    July 8, 2014 6:50 p.m.

    This journey of faith is uplifting and inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with us. Every faith journey is special, and no two are exactly alike. I came to the LDS faith after a circuitous "s-curve" journey through conservative Protestantism and then the Unitarian church.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    July 8, 2014 9:38 p.m.

    Thank you for this beautiful story and testimony. The spirit of this fine, honest-in-heart, and inquiring couple was eloquently worded. I was deeply touch and humbled. Having been reared in the Church and still a devout member, I can truly say, I also know that the Church is true by the same study and prayer that they went through.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 9, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    RE: Randy left Catholicism over doctrinal disagreements?

    They had a Christian background before becoming Mormons. There is hope, But remember that each person coming out of Mormonism has a unique experience. They may have been the only Mormons in his or her family. Like anyone having a traumatic experience, each person is affected differently. The most important thing you can do is to pray for them. When a Mormon becomes a Christian, they give up all for the sake of Jesus Christ. i.e..,

    Pre-existence VS, 1Cor. 15:46-47: “However, the spiritual is Not First, but the Natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second is man is from heaven.”

    "...God who gives life to the dead and Calls into Being things that were not.(Romans 4:17 NIV).

    Tertulllian wrote against the Platonic doctrine the Pre-existence of the soul (200 A.D. On Souls), Origen believed in the Platonic pre-existence The Council of Constantinople .. in 453 CE posthumously excommunicated him

  • pmccombs Orem, UT
    July 9, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    I once read an article like this one on a Catholic web site. It recounted the story of a Mormon who "came home" to the Catholic church, receiving "an hundred fold" and glorifying Christ. As a Mormon, I didn't find the article faith-promoting. I wonder what our Catholic and Episcopalian friends think of this article?

    On Sunday I had the opportunity to listen to two different LDS fast and testimony meetings. The theme in both seemed to center on the sadness of a few who were struggling with loved ones' decisions to leave the church. I remember hoping that those who had lost their faith had at least found another. They who join a church often leave behind profound faith. Whether or not their stories are faith promoting, or faith destroying, is entirely a matter of perspective.

    Interestingly, I find that ex-Mormon Catholics (i.e., a few I interviewed on Catholic Answers Forum) describe conversion experiences very similar to those shared by ex-Catholic Mormons. Curious... I am left without means to know whose experience with the Spirit of God is more authentic. My own experiences range widely, seeming to settle on no single thing.

  • Frissie West Valley City, UT
    July 9, 2014 9:04 a.m.

    @sharrona:

    Re: Pre-existence VS, 1Cor. 15:46-47: “However, the spiritual is Not First, but the Natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second is man is from heaven.”

    In Jeremiah 1:5 the scripture reads: "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

    We are all spirit children of God and mortal children of our earthly biological parents. Jeremiah was taught that he would become a prophet "unto the nations" before he came to this earth. This scripture explains that our spirits existed before our bodies did. God knows us better than we know ourselves because of the veil that was placed over our minds when we came to this earth. He is there for us and wants us to return to live with Him again. We are only on this earth to gain a body and to gain experience and to receive the saving ordinances that will bind us to our families and live with them for eternity.

  • tuffgong POCATELLO, ID
    July 9, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    I really enjoyed this article.. My sheep hear my voice..

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    July 9, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    I noticed that people who love to "quote" scripture in their defense against Mormonism use, not the King James version that is most universally used, but some other version. In the above example, the New "Inspired" Version, (NIV). Just one question, Who was this inspired person who changed the wording? Is it a Prophet of God? Who told him/her to change it? Why do we have so many different "versions" of the scriptures. I don't think any of these people claim to be Prophets or Apostles.

    Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the Prophets". I think the scriptures do indeed represent his secrets, for in them we find the truth.

  • DoloresCruz1982 BOULDER, CO
    July 9, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    The NIV was not changed as to meaning. It was changed to modernize the language (King James English is antiquated) and to take advantage of more recent manuscript material.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    July 9, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    @DeloresCruz 1982: You didn't answer the question--who changed it. Did they go back to the Hebrew or Greek translations? Did they understand the imagery of the Hebrew language? Did they change it to fit the world view and to justify what they believed rather than the intent of the authors as demonstrated by the Hebrew text?

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    July 9, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    @ sharrona, I rejected right wing Protestant theology (long before becoming LDS) for the following reasons: (1) Their doctrine of the Trinity (which struck me as unbiblical and nonsensical); (2) Their doctrine of Original Sin, which asks us to blindly accept guilt, without proof, for the sins of Adam. This contradicts the American concept of justice, wherein we are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law; (3) Their contradictory mixed messages regarding whether we possess free will (moral agency) and whether it counts for anything in the eternal plan of things; (4) Their continual degrading and belittling of the individual (as being "unworthy," "totally depraved," "by nature evil," etc.) This promotes an attitude of little more than chronic self-loathing. This is unhealthy - especially for young children - I don't care how "Christian" it is.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 9, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    Re: Frissie, Jer 1:5 Christians believe that God is omniscient, knowing everything about each person before birth. The emphasis is on God’s foreknowledge (“I knew thee”), not humanity’s knowing God.

    In Job 38:4, God rebukes Job, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Job 38:7 NIV …” and all the angels(sons)shouted for joy”.” In effect, God was reminding Job how Job wasn’t even in existence when the world was created.

    We are all God’s creation in a generic sense but,“He predestined (Christians) for ‘Adoption as sons’ through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” (Eph. 1:5).

    RE: Sashabill, Original sin“… just as sin came into the world through one man(Adam), and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned(Romans 5:12.) For as by the one man’ disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s(Jesus) obedience the Many(not all) will be made righteous (Romans 5:19) Self-righteousness VS Christ’s righteousness.

  • DoloresCruz1982 BOULDER, CO
    July 9, 2014 2:33 p.m.

    @ Danish American. Information on the NIV translation process is pretty easy to find. Wikipedia has an extensive description that names names. Over 100 scholars worked on it. Joseph Smith was not a Bible scholar in any but the casual, amature sense.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    July 9, 2014 4:03 p.m.

    Hooray for Wikipedia! The most correct source of information on the earth today. The keystone of truth and knowledge. Ask Tim Howard...

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    July 9, 2014 4:05 p.m.

    Dolores,
    Do you really want to go there? Stop and think of examples from the Bible itself. Indeed, changing words DO change the meaning of things. Changing to modern language has really disrupted the English language. Try " Boy, she is really hot" or "This is really cool". Are we talking about temperature? "man, that was a Bad movie"...so was it good or bad by today's language?

  • DoloresCruz1982 BOULDER, CO
    July 9, 2014 6:27 p.m.

    There is no reason for anyone to be in the dark about how the NIV Bible came to be. Multiple sources of information are easily retrievable whether from the Internet or the Dewey Decimal system. The language of the King James Bible and our modern language are different. Many more manuscripts and archeological discoveries have turned up since the King James Bible was produced. If anyone has changed things, it would be the LDS Church. What about all the changes between the original Book of Mormon and the version we use now?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 9, 2014 8:39 p.m.

    Sharrona,

    I agree with Sashabill.

    Also, reference Origen vs. the Council of Constantinople. Origen predates the Council by at least 200 years. He was far closer to original Christianity. The Council of Constantinople was as close to original Christianity as we are to the founding of New York City. Or as close as our great, great, grandchildren will be to the founding of our country. In other words, not close at all.

  • Jeffrey Swanson Sandy, UT
    July 9, 2014 9:45 p.m.

    Isn't it wonderful that we can disagree theologically and not be in fear for our lives? Protestants ( a form of Christianity), Catholics, LDS, Jews, Muslims and others can vigorously debate religion and in the end still be safe from religious retribution. I would suggest that our inspired Constitution has enabled us to freely move spiritually in any direction we wish. I am so grateful for this great country.

  • Scott M Soulier South Jordan, UT
    July 9, 2014 10:23 p.m.

    I so much needed to read this story tonight. I am filled with admiration and hope because of the devotion to uncovering the truth that this couple exhibited. God bless them along with the countless others who similarly seek for pure, diamond truth; and those who selflessly share it with others.

  • jasonlivy Orem, UT
    July 10, 2014 1:19 a.m.

    Dolores:

    I've read some of the NIV Bible and I simply don't get the same message as I do from the King James version. I think the reason is that, in my mind, the language used in the KJV is much more sacred and holy. Re-writing it to be more 'relevant' kind of destroys it's intent, at least for me.

    As far as the changes made to the Book of Mormon, most of these were grammatical changes and a few clarifications. However nothing was done to change the meaning or language. I don't think this is a fair comparison.

    And finally, Joseph Smith was an amateur at almost everything including the Bible. However if you believe, as I do, that he was a prophet of God, called to bring the fullness of the gospel back to the earth, then his 'expertise' didn't really matter. The only thing required of him was to be worthy of the Spirit which was no small task. His translation of the Bible was based on revelation, not education. As the Bible says, "The Spirit, which is the Comforter, shall teach you all things."

  • deniron Effurun/Nigeria, 00
    July 10, 2014 5:49 a.m.

    I am grateful they were humble. Now they will see beauty of the spirit. I for one tour several denominations, got tied, and stop attending churches and sat at home. I almost became an Eckist when the spirit whispers "why not visit the church(I always see them as an occult church)".
    I am confidence if they continue faithfully they will see the beauty of FATHER.

  • redhat Fairfax Station, VA
    July 10, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    In the case of the couple in this article, in this early part of their journey in the Mormon faith they will/are treated as "rockstars"-probably have been invited to do a number of firesides on their journey and why they believe. In all probability they have spoken in stake conference.

    With the doctrine, theology and history of the Mormon Church becoming more available, let's check in on this couple, in say 5 years-will they still be Mormon or will they have moved on?

  • DoloresCruz1982 BOULDER, CO
    July 10, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    So, the Book of Mormon was changed from "white and delightsome" to "pure and delightsome" "the lamb of God is the Eternal Father" to "the lamb of God is the son of the Eternal Father" "King Benjamin" to "King Mosiah" are not significant?

    Besides, the language of the King James version is not sacred or holy. It represents the common speech and writing at the time of Queen Elizabeth I to King James I. There is nothing special or spiritual about it.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 10, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    RE: Twin Lights, Original Christianity,(Heb 11:3 Greek N.T) “… the worlds=(time,G. aion)were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made =(receive being, G. ginomai) of things which do appear.

    VS,Abraham 3:26,”And they who keep their “first estate”=(G archē) .“As translated correctly“.

    Jude 1:6 Grk N.T.“And the angels who did not keep their ‘positions of authority.” Fallen angels or, demons.

    “We know that in the laws of nature (something Evangelicals would say was introduced in the creation) that something cannot come from nothing. So Mormons need to answer “where did the pre-existing natural materials come from that God used to create?” And I would follow that question with “if they were created, why aren’t we worshiping ‘their creator?” William Lane Craig

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    July 10, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    @ DoloresCruz1982

    "If anyone has changed things, it would be the LDS Church. What about all the changes between the original Book of Mormon and the version we use now?"

    Question for you: Has a printer ever been known to mess up book printings? This is the 1800's we are talking about!

    Have you looked into or been to Palymra where it was printed? Do you know anything about the technology that was available to them back then?

    So because the original printing of the BOM had printing errors then suddenly it is uninspired?

    If you want to read an interesting story of book printings going all screwy look into the printing of the Lord of the Rings and that was over 100 years later!

    The publishers messed the printings up and Tolkien had to continue to have them fix stuff over and over again.

  • higherednerd Denver, CO
    July 10, 2014 3:32 p.m.

    AerilusMaximus: Surely you aren't suggesting that "white and delightsome" was a printer's error! It was in all the editions of the Book of Mormon until rather recently.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    July 10, 2014 6:32 p.m.

    Article quote: "Randy was careful to add that it wasn’t merely an academic experience. “We were aware of how the Spirit was guiding our study.”"

    And there you have it, folks.....the very KEY to gaining knowledge of heavenly things: the Spirit of God.

    You can't fake it. You can't replicate it. You can't force it. And it will not touch you unless you truly want it to, meaning, you truly ARE ready and willing to follow whatever it teaches you.

    I have a very, very good friend who has left the LDS faith and scorns any discussion of the influence and power of the Holy Ghost. How tragic. He said the heart is easily fooled. Instead, he puts all his confidence in "facts".

    Well, "facts" can look like "facts" but can come from manipulated information, too.

    But the Holy Spirit, like salt, though it cannot be adequatley describes with imperfect words, is recognized the instant it touches us.

    I applaud this man and woman's extreme courage in following the Master.

    The caravan moves on.

    Are you coming?....

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    July 10, 2014 6:44 p.m.

    @ higherednerd

    No, I never said that phrase specifically but some of the stuff Dolores mentioned such as switching King Benjamin with King Mosiah could've easily been.

    I recommend you to take a look at the book "The Earliest Text" by Royal Skousen. If there is anyone who has examined the text down with a microscope it would be him. Check it out on googlebooks

    In intro / beginning of the book he extrapolates about why changes may have been made.

    From what I recall some of the changes that were made were made to help it be more readable, grammatically understandable, etc.

    Some of the changes to me just come back to logistical sense. For example from what I understand the first edition of the Book of Mormon had A LOT more of the phrase "And it came to pass".

    To me it makes sense to eliminate some of the "And it came to pass" because there are plenty of enough in the Book of Mormon as it is.

    Just imagine how much ink, paper, and time was saved by not printing the extra "And it came to pass".

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    July 10, 2014 6:45 p.m.

    @ sashabill - Morgan Hill, CA - "@ sharrona, I rejected right wing Protestant theology (long before becoming LDS) for the following reasons: (1) Their doctrine of the Trinity (which struck me as unbiblical and nonsensical); (2) Their doctrine of Original Sin, which asks us to blindly accept guilt, without proof, for the sins of Adam. This contradicts the American concept of justice, wherein we are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law; (3) Their contradictory mixed messages regarding whether we possess free will (moral agency) and whether it counts for anything in the eternal plan of things; (4) Their continual degrading and belittling of the individual (as being "unworthy," "totally depraved," "by nature evil," etc.) This promotes an attitude of little more than chronic self-loathing. This is unhealthy - especially for young children - I don't care how "Christian" it is."

    I could not have said it better myself. Excellent, excellent job! We should absolutely be respectful of others' beleifs but we should also never, ever apologize for having received more truth from God. As Christ said, "the truth shall make you free".

    Indeed!

  • Nickelsworth Salt Lake City, UT
    July 10, 2014 8:32 p.m.

    As I read these comments I have become fascinated with the different views. I have to admit however that some seem to be weaved together like a spider web with some degree of a pattern but mostly leaving me with a feeling of despair and confusion. Others feel very warm and almost give off a certain light or at least a feeling of such.
    I am convinced that anyone who truly wanted to know the truth could come to that knowledge if they followed the same pattern as Randy and Meredith. I suppose those of different views and or beliefs could and would say the same thing concerning their religion in that I should pray about their religion to know if its true – but why would someone who has been given a witness of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ pray to know if another religion was true? That is my position like many of you. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true and living gospel of Christ.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 10, 2014 8:41 p.m.

    Sharrona,

    You never addressed my comment but rather moved on to something wholly unrelated. I made a point reference Origen being much closer to original Christianity in time than the council that (posthumously) excommunicated him. I don’t believe Origen to be 100% correct but to believe that a council four centuries removed from the original church somehow was better placed to know original Christianity is not believable (absent a restoration process).

    Reference the scriptural quote. You forgot the next line “but abandoned their proper dwelling”. Also, that is the NIV rendering. It is also translated as own position, own/first/proper domain, own/their principality, first state, as well as first estate (a very common translation). So yes, yours is one possible translation but it is hardly the only possibility. Please do not present it as if it was.

    As to the elements. D&C 93:33. “For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy”.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 11, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    Sharrona,

    You did not address my comment but moved on to something else. I don’t believe Origen to be 100% correct but to believe that a council four centuries removed from the original church somehow was better placed to know original Christianity is not believable (absent a restoration).

    Reference the scriptural quote (and new subject). You forgot the next line “but abandoned their proper dwelling”. Also, that is the NIV rendering. It is also translated “own position, own/first/proper domain, own/their principality, first state, as well as first estate (a very common translation). So yes, yours is one possible translation but hardly the only possibility. Please do not present it as if it was.

    As to the elements. D&C 93:33. “For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy”.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    @pmccombs
    "I wonder what our Catholic and Episcopalian friends think of this article?"

    Granted I'm only technically Catholic by infant baptism but I think it depends on how strongly one (Catholic/Protestant/LDS/etc) adheres to the belief that you should be of one specific denomination. I don't particularly think it matters so I'm not inclined to care strongly what one joins or leaves as long as whatever they become helps them. I was surprised that a female member of a different denominations' clergy would join, I'd have assumed that was one of the least likely demographics to make that switch.

  • netsrik Draper, UT
    July 11, 2014 4:04 p.m.

    My philosophy is wherever you find peace, that's where you should be. Whether it's Mormonism, Catholicism, Born Againism, atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or any other "ism" you can think of. And nobody else can tell you that you've made a mistake, that your peace "doesn't count". They don't know you, just as you don't know them. What's true for you may not work for someone else. And that's ok.

  • will7370 LOGAN, UT
    July 11, 2014 9:18 p.m.

    Regarding Joseph Smith, there is one thing the Evangelicals don't think about (or conveniently ignore). Most Bible believing Christians can accept the fact that Noah was the prophet called of God to warn the people a few hundred years before the earth's baptism by water (during the great flood). But who was the prophet called of God to warn the people a few hundred years before the earth's baptism by fire (during the second coming of Jesus Christ)?

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    July 14, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    Welcome home Castos family... Welcome home. Your attention to the inherent truths carried with you from childhood have led you home. Please stay... we love you and we need you.

  • KT 23 Meridian, ID
    July 15, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    What a great story!! I was baptized 20 years ago next month in the Lexington Park Ward!! I still keep in touch with some great people from that ward. Glad to see the missionary work is still going strong!!!!

  • demantee Saratoga Springs, UT
    July 15, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    The picture caption states, "Randy and Amy Castro". According to the article, Randy is married to Merredith. Amy was the one who challenged them with "It's never too late".

  • maezona Bryn Mawr, PA
    July 25, 2014 5:49 a.m.

    Way to go, Amy Henderson!

  • Isabella68 washington, DC
    Sept. 15, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    Remind me again what the LDS teaching is on audacious adultery and pathological lying.