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If you convert *away* from Mormonism….

April 22, 2009

So, in my email inbox, I got this story about a Mormon boy going to Notre Dame. His parents were happy…or at the least, “reassured” in his decision to go there, because they knew that a school with “religious values at its core” is a better alternative than most. I guess that’s reasonable if these are your criteria for schools.

…but they weren’t so reassured, most certainly, when their son converted to Catholicism.

While the article itself doesn’t say so much from the parents’ perspective, what’s fascinating to read is this one Mormon commenter’s comments.

As commenter Roymondo writes,

…If only BYU featured an article on the thousands of Catholics who convert to Mormonism every year. Is that transition expected and not newsworthy also?. He obviously didn’t seem too committed to Mormonism anyway, as he didn’t fulfill his Priesthood responsibility of serving a mission. I highly doubt Leave-I had a testimony anyway. He went to Church because mommy made him, fumbled his Priesthood duties, met a bunch of drunk party dudes in college, read an anti-Mormon book, and the choice was too easy. How’s he going to get into all the cool parties with LDS values? I think Christ referred to this in the ‘parable of the sower’ as those that get caught in the cares of the world. It’s only eternal salvation Levi. Put down the beer and ask God what you should do.

This guy sounds personally hurt that some kid not even related to him converted away from the church. As if Mormonism is slighted and grievanced by this situation.

And then, our friend Roymondo has to rationalize that it must have been that Levi (note that clever pun Leave-I), the son, never had a testimony at all. One of his principal pieces of evidence: Levi obviously wasn’t magnifying his priesthood callings  — he never went on a mission. Gasp!

What’s perhaps worse is that Roymondo assumes that even in a relatively religious university like Notre Dame, all  the attendant vices that lead unsuspecting Mormons down the path to apostasy were in full swing. Obviously, it must have been some party with drinking, and Levi couldn’t hold up under pressures of the higher law that the Superior Mormon religion has.

But Roymondo doesn’t stop there…he then turns this into an opportunity to PROSELYTIZE!

“Robert King, 38, writes about religion, faith and values for The Indianapolis Star. He is on a seemingly never-ending quest to find the right church.”

This scripture might help you:

James 1:5-6

On a Spiritual quest you need a Spiritual answer. Expect a Spiritual answer.

This is the message of the LDS Church; Learn about it and ask God if it is true. He answers prayers by the power of the Holy Ghost, and by the power of the Holy Spirit you may know the truth of all things.

A contemporary of Christ would have seen the fruits of those that followed Him, yet they would also have heard many opposing viewpoints from the Pharisee. How were the early followers to know whether to trust this Jesus of Nazareth or these Prominent Jewish Pharisee who bitterly opposed Him? It was through this Spirit that they found truth. There are those that are ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. Why? Because they must exercise that faith and expect an answer, even if the answer requires change.

I testify to you that I have done this. At perhaps the lowest point in my life I exercised a small amount of faith and received a very Divine answer. Perhaps the most peaceful feeling I have ever felt. The truth is out there Robert if you want it.

Now, at this moment, because of Roymondo’s vitriol against Levi, if I were a nonmember, I’d already have walked away from whatever Roymondo was saying. Robert, the author of this article, is kinder than I when he simply states:

Dear Roymondo,

Thanks for your concern. I need to update my brief bio. Not only have I turned 39, but I’ve pretty well settled on a church.

Now, I know what Robert means when he says he’s “settled on a church.” But Roymondo…goes completely differently.

…Robert, you don’t need to settle on a Church. You need to find truth. Take all the good you have gleaned from your Church and see if the LDS teachings can’t add more light and knowledge to what you know already…

Perfect Overbearing Salesman Technique right there.

Thankfully, the Latter-day Guy, who I’ve seen comment on other places around the Bloggernacle, posts with a voice of reason.

Geez, Roymondo. I’m a Mormon myself, but had I been approached by someone who uses the same rhetorical techniques as you have been demonstrating here, I never would have gotten baptized. You’re being spectacularly pushy and judgmental. To reduce someone’s personal decision to join a church to meeting “drunk party dudes in college” is reprehensible and disgusting.

I cannot speak for Levi–I’ve never met him–but you ought to have the charity and not to make gross assumptions about someone whose heart you can’t know. Maybe it was a jerk like you who made him want to leave in the first place.

…but things don’t improve. Roymondo simply continues to make character attacks on poor Levi:

Robert, I appreciate your responses. I even appreciate you pointing out my lack of restraint at times. I’m very passionate about the doctrines of the LDS Church and can get a little feisty. I feel that those like Levi may have experienced LDS culture, but never really understood what it meant to be a Mormon. If you were to ask Levi what he believed about a pre-mortal existence he would probably tell you about it not knowing it is a unique Mormon teaching. Then if you explained as a Catholic he would have to reject this as a heresy he’d probably be surprised. It would have been interesting to see what specific doctrines Levi mentioned or what ‘driving force’ caused him to change. Was it the Catholic lifestyle or the doctrines? My hunch is he liked the easier lifestyle. My point is that judging by the fact he didn’t go on a mission, Levi wasn’t much of a Mormon zealot. I doubt he’ll be much of a Catholic zealot. We might want to do a follow-up story in 5 years and see how often he attends Mass, and how his newly permitted alcohol/ tobacco/ coffee consumption has led him closer to God. Mormonism is a very demanding religion. It requires huge amounts of time, health restrictions, monetary tithes of 10%, a 2 year missionary service, and having to be a religious minority among other things. Contrast that with Levi’s new responsibilities as a Catholic: Little or no time requirement, no health restrictions, donations aren’t required, missionary service is optional, and he never has to feel like a foreigner at Notre Dame. Mormon leaders never said it would be easy, they only said it would be worth it.



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  1. Well, I was baptized 25 years ago, served a mission, was branch president and temple worker and I stopped going to church after many years of psychological abuse. My wife and I got depressions and there was no help from the church, not even for a blessing. Everybody was busy with meetings each time we asked for one. My wife is also a RM.
    We have been called bad names by leaders such as “Satan, bloody monkey, go back to your country” etc. Instead we were punnished and those people got higher priesthood callings. The last time was in January and since then I don’t go to church anymore. The abuse is gone and I never felt happier. I go to the catholic church on sundays because it’s the nearest church from home. There I feel a stronger spirit than I ever felt in the temple/church meetings. When I sing during the services I feel that my singing/prayer is heard. I am welcomed as I never was in the LDS church.
    The way some church leaders behaved broke my hart, broke my good health and broke my testimony. Now I don’t have any but after a few weeks without even not believing in God, I spoke to a catholic priest and he listened to me for 1 hour. I told him everything that was in my heart for years, even that for me his church didn’t have the fullness of the Gospel! During that hour he gave me more love and more caring than all LDS leaders in 25 years. Think about it!

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Andrew. This Roymondo dude is a real piece of work. His ignorance shines through in his ridiculous statements.

    “Was it the Catholic lifestyle or the doctrines? My hunch is he liked the easier lifestyle.”

    The “Catholic lifestyle?” LOL, what is that supposed to mean? Because he can take a drink if he wants? You know, I find Mormon doctrine to be very challenging sometimes. But Catholic doctrine is by no means “easier.”

    “Mormonism is a very demanding religion.”

    Try keeping up with all your mortal sins, plus venial sins, plus making sure that you attend mass each week no matter what (unless you’re sick), going to confession, etc. Yeah, Catholicism is a real cakewalk.

    If he’s going to attack a religion, he should learn something about it so that his attacks don’t sound as ridiculous as these did.

  3. Meanwhile, Levi and some of his friends have shown up in the comments and made Roymondo look even sillier…

  4. What a moron.

    FD said it best. Catholicism is no cakewalk. I tire quickly of LDS who pat themselves on the back for handling such a tiresome religion as if it is the only one which requires such a strict lifestyle.

    “Uhm, you don’t drink coffee. Good for you?”

    While there are fantastic members like FD around, there are far too many who revel in playing the part of a martyr. It really is no way to live.

    It makes me wonder just how perfect Roymondo is.

  5. lol, the Internet! 😉

    Actually, I’m glad a sensible Mormon came by to reign in Roymondo a bit, so people don’t just assume all Mormons are nuts.

  6. Roymondo was still going at it yesterday.
    I think my favorite thing he wrote was, “[The Book of Mormon] still shakes the foundation of Catholicism.” Um, Catholics 1.1 billion – Mormons 13 million. It doesn’t look so shook up to me. 😉

  7. Oh, and Levi’s brother came on to say that his and Levi’s mother is as big of a nut as Roymondo. lol

  8. Reading the comments AFTER Levi and friends join in is EXCITING.

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