An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Surprise Convert

My brother Dooby developed contempt for Mormonism from his childhood experience with active Mormons including our stepmother, who indulged a grudge against him, and our dad, who was blind to the pain his son suffered. Dooby extended his feelings about Mormonism to all religions and enjoyed making atheist statements which shocked our relatives. His first marriage to a devout Mormon ended in divorce, and Doob vowed to do everything possible to undermine the Mormon beliefs of his children.

Dooby’s influence with his daughters’ belief system was minimal. Eventually, he married Kato, a practicing Buddhist, began practicing meditation and yoga, and spoke against religion less frequently.  Despite his mellowing, I never expected Dooby to become a believing Christian.

Maybe, I should have seen it coming. A few years ago Dooby decided he needed a Bible since literature is so full of biblical illusions. Then he began advocating for Intelligent Design to be taught in public school science classes. I believed his interest in the issue was mostly political and found it odd to be arguing against Intelligent Design with a confirmed agnostic. Still, Doob surprised me when he said he was taking instruction in Catholicism.

“I’ve been looking for a church for awhile. I knew I couldn’t attend one that had cars with Obama stickers in the parking lot, so the Unitarians were out. I checked out the parking lot at St. Olaf’s, saw no bumper stickers, and went in.”

After a year of instruction, Dooby was baptized. “They made me a deal I couldn’t refuse. When they said I would be forgiven for all my sins, for every bad thing I’ve ever done, and go to Heaven when I died, I was in. I did think about getting a load of Viagra and committing a bunch more sins first, but Kato said with a load of Viagra I might not live long enough to get baptized.”

Dooby didn’t rush into his baptism decision. After a year of instruction, he understands the doctrine and traditions to which he has committed. Catholicism seems to be working for Dooby. He likes and respects his priest and the parishioners he has met. He is currently dealing with his recent cancer diagnosis and treatment with reasonable serenity.

I suspect the early teaching in religion Dooby received from our mother and from Jr. Sunday School and Primary kicked in. I rather think God is pleased that Doob is receiving peace from the Catholic fold. Surely, an all-knowing God knows that not all people respond to the same faith tradition.

Comments on: "Surprise Convert" (5)

  1. I think finding a faith system that works is important for anyone; there seems to be something hardwired into our psyche that needs faith of some sort. I also have a great deal of respect for Catholics, their belief system is interesting, they have a rich intellectual history, and I honestly like their ritual. Were I not LDS, I would probably be Orthodox first, and Catholic second, because I like and respect their lineage. If I were not LDS, I would probably be an Orthodox priest, I like that sort of thing, but I am what I am, so…

    All of that being said, I think it is good to have something to believe in, as opposed to something to believe against, and the Conservatism notwithstanding, this may be a good move. Please wish him my best and I hope this serves him well and I am sorry to see him leave the Mormon fold (I am a Bishop, I have to feel some failure in not meeting his needs), but I am glad he found something that suits him.

    • Joseph Abraham,

      I agree that it’s more important to have something to believe in than something to believe against.
      Love your comments. You are so open-minded–I’m sure you are a wonderful bishop!

      • It was a recent calling, and I am honestly terrified, prayers would be welcome!!!!

      • I’m never quite sure whether to offer congratulations or condolences to someone who is called to be a bishop. I’m sure you will be a blessing to the members of your ward. I do hope this new calling will leave you enough time to keep blogging!

  2. melodynew said:


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