For this post, I decided to ask myself a rather difficult question. So, why do I, as a convert, remain LDS despite my struggles with certain aspects of Mormonism? As it turns out, I have some good reasons, and the positive far outweighs the negative.

Here are my reasons…please don’t consider this list exhaustive or as a detailed apologetic of any sort; it’s not meant to be.

  • My testimony of the Book of Mormon–  When it comes to this issue, my testimony is solid. I believe the Book of Mormon is the Word of God alongside the Bible. Yes, I believe it is true. When I say “true,” I believe these accounts really did happen; redaction discrepancies aside.
  • My testimony of Joseph Smith– Yes, I do believe he was a prophet of God and restored the Church. I’ve been the Sacred Grove and felt the Spirit very strongly. That said, I did not feel that same Spirit visiting Salt Lake City. I guess that makes me a “Joseph Smith Mormon,” and not a “Brigham Young Mormon.”
  • Genealogy– I love doing genealogy, and now I have an excuse.
  • Belief in Heavenly Mother– It was not an option growing up Baptist. At all.  She’s the real deal, folks!
  • No Premillennial Dispensationalism in Mormonism!–  Why do I always feel like a rebellious teenager when I say I no longer believe in this crap? Evangelicals call it “the Rapture.” It’s bad theology on all accounts. And very frightening!  (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the Left Behind series, but please don’t take it too seriously. I also wrote a Rational Faiths post on this topic a while back if you’re interested in checking that out)…On a side note, I prefer the Mormon expression “translation” instead; it’s much more comforting since it implies if you’re walking with God, you’re good to go! And since I’m totally cool with Enoch, I figure “translation” is a much loftier goal to work towards than being “raptured,”  even if the two concepts are eerily similar.
  • I love the film Saturday’s Warrior! Can’t wait to see the new version. And yes, I believe very strongly in the Preexistence. (and Todd is like, totally cute!….oops, did I just admit that?) I wish they had showed us this film in Christian school instead of those horrible “what happens after the Rapture” films they forced us to watch.
  • Belief in the Spirit World- Growing up, I was taught that you either went to heaven or hell when you died. Now it’s okay to believe in “purgatory.” I’ve had some experiences with the Spirit World, so I know it’s real. However, it is important to keep in mind that the Church actually discourages us from seeking out these experiences because you never know what kind of spirits are out there – good or bad. I agree this is sound advice. Seances and Ouija Boards are not cool…..Seer stones? Well maybe there are exceptions.
  • I’m a huge fan of Margaret Barker, author of Temple Theology– …. But wait, she’s not even Mormon!

Here are my issues with Mormonism….

  • Patriarchy, Patriarchy, and more Patriarchy…..need I say more?
  • Because I don’t like #1, I can’t seem to get a Temple Recommend, irregardless of my sincere desire to make sacred covenants.

Yes, you could say I lost my mind six years ago when I joined the Church, but I have good reasons. Just consider this my testimony, even if I don’t yet have a testimony of Visiting Teaching.

Dr. Michelle Wiener holds a Master of Arts in Theology from Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky and a Master of Ecumenical Studies from the University of Geneva in Switzerland where she studied for a year with the World Council of Churches. A convert from the Bible Belt, she loves genealogy and serves as Temple & Family History Consultant. A devotee of Heavenly Mother, she also runs the Finding Heavenly Mother Project. Michelle just completed her PhD in comparative theology through Euclid University.

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