My name is Daniel, and I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was born and raised Catholic but got baptized into the LDS church when I was seventeen back on March 17, 2001. I stopped going to Mormon church when I was in my early 20s. I lived with a girlfriend and that is disapproved in every religion I know about so I stopped being religious. Well, I eventually broke up with her and moved back in with my parents. I went to Catholic Mass with them for a while and that is when I realized that I wanted to be faithful to my baptismal covenants I made when I was baptized Mormon. I couldn’t stand thinking about Christ in a church I only partly believed in. Catholic Mass is great, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not exactly how God wants his church ran in the latter days. I knew I had to come back to the fulness of Christ in the church I fully believed in.
I am now 31 years old. I started going back to church earlier this year (2014). I am in a great ward with lots of friendly people. The people in my ward have changed since the days I first got baptized. But they are definitely full of the spirit and I love them all.
I was saved partly by watching Big Love on HBO. On one episode it shows Bill reading a Book of Mormon that looks like the ones the LDS Church publishes. It was blue and reminded me of the first Book of Mormon the missionaries who converted me gave me. On another episode it shows Bill giving his son the Aaronic priesthood and this is when I knew I wanted to be faithful to my receiving the Aaronic priesthood back when I was 17. I also watched the episode where Barb goes to the temple and it shows an endowment ceremony. I read later online that the Church disapproved of showing this and I regretted watching it, but I became very jealous of Mormons who have done this ritual. I wanted to be one!
The most important thing I did to get me to revert back to my Mormon religion was visiting the Gilbert Temple during their open house. Before the temple is dedicated, and only Mormons in good standing can go inside, they let the public tour most of the building — even the celestial room. It was so beautiful! It made me feel good that people build such majestic and gorgeous structures for God. I also felt the Holy Ghost with sweet jealousy for Temple-attending Mormons. I felt like I was doing something Jesus would do. Even when he was just 12 years old, Jesus got lost from his parents in the Temple. Many of God’s people have had the privilege of worshiping in a Temple. In Solomon’s day they had Solomon’s Temple. In Jesus’ day they had the Temple at Jerusalem. Now, we have Temples all over the world. And the one that opened near my house is evidence of God’s majesty in the latter days. I am so lucky that I got to visit. At the time, it felt like that was the only way I’d get to go to see a Temple. But now I know I might get to go someday.
Back in June of this year I tried to contact the missionaries online because I wasn’t sure what I had to do to be Mormon again after being inactive for so long. On June 30, 2014, they visited me and told me I just had to go to the ward I always went to. They arranged for somebody to give me a ride to church. I was so blessed. For some reason, I thought I might not be able to go. But there they were providing transportation so I wouldn’t have to wake up my parents so early on their day off work.
Sometimes my mom drives me to church but I am fortunate enough to also have people in the ward who still give me rides from time to time. I love being Mormon! 3 hours of church every Sunday is not too much for me. I love every minute of it!
And since I’m still living under my parents’ roof I respect their religion and so I still go to Catholic Mass every now and then when my mom goes to the one in the afternoon. I’m still at my church if my parents go to the Mass at noon. Our ward goes from morning to noon. But if my mom had to work Sunday she goes to the one in the afternoon and I go with her. But I don’t take the Eucharist. I get the body and blood of Jesus at Mormon church through what they call the Sacrament. And I don’t say some of the Catholic prayers I don’t believe in.
Anyway, some Sundays I actually am at some sort of church for 4 hours! And I have been going to Christmas rosaries with my mom. Not to brag or anything. I’m far from perfect.
I don’t fully participate in the Catholic services. I will say the Our Father because that is in the Bible. But I don’t pray the Hail Mary even though the beginning to it is also in the Bible because I am not the angel Gabriel to be saluting Mary like that. Nor am I Elizabeth declaring the fruit of Mary’s womb to be blessed. But the angel Gabriel and Elizabeth did indeed greet Mary like that as recited in the Hail Mary, so I have no problem sitting with people praying a rosary. What they do doesn’t seem like idol-worship to me like it does to some Mormons. Sometimes I do cringe when they pray a prayer called Hail Holy Queen, though. Hey, I gave it a chance to please my mom and dad! I’m just not Catholic.
But I’m definitely a Mormon. I love everything we do at an LDS service. Nothing makes me cringe. All of it makes me feel the Holy Ghost fully — especially the singing. I was invited to sing with the ward choir a few Sundays after church and it made me feel so good that people wanted to hear me sing!
Like I said, I love everything about the Mormon Church. I love how the Sacrament is administered. The white cloth that covers the bread and water trays represents Jesus’ funerary clothes. It is administered by adolescent males just like how the Levites were commanded to be priests as early as adolescence. All males are called to have the priesthood in LDS doctrine. Even I hold the priesthood which makes me feel like God wants me to have the authority to think about him and praise him. I am so thankful for the priesthood. It is one of the things I love about being Mormon. I love my Sunday school class because we always have different people and I’m learning Gospel essentials. I was surprised that they wanted me to attend Elders Quorum because I am not an elder. But the bishop tells me that, if I am worthy, I can be ordained to the office of Elder and receive the Melchizedek priesthood and go to the temple someday! This makes me so happy. Lately, it’s this hope of going to the Temple that is what I live for.
The purpose of this blog is to help me stay strong with the faith. I was reading in the Bible where Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” True Christians have in them a spirit of poverty. I feel so guilty using modern-day luxuries such as TV and the Internet. I feel like God only wants me to use these decadent machines for spiritual purposes. So I try to only watch religious programming on TV. And I want to start this Mormon blog. I’ve had a couple spiritual journals since I started being Mormon again this year. I want to start publishing online so I can share my faith with the world. Enjoy.