I was reading an On the Square post from a Mormon to Catholic convert and was struck by the way he described his enounter with grace:
Early in the evening of May 28, 2010, I am attending Mass in the majestic Basilica di Sant’Apollinare next to the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce in Rome. From Utah I have come as a scholar to deliver a paper at an international conference on the work of the great Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand, and I have come as a tourist to see the Eternal City for the first time. Mass is being celebrated in the basilica for those attending the conference.
I am not Catholic—in fact, I was raised a Mormon, though I have had serious doubts about the Latter-day Saint faith for decades. Yet my journey of the heart—which ultimately ended in the Catholic Church—came long after I had intellectually departed—so I cannot receive Holy Communion. But when Archbishop Raymond Burke places his hand on my head in a blessing, the extraordinary presence of Jesus Christ moves my soul to tears. I now know, in my head and in my heart, that I have come to Rome as a pilgrim. I have finally heard his voice, and I will not turn away.
I still don’t find this kind of evidence very convincing. A lot of different religions have had converts who were ‘convicted’ a similar way, so either it’s easy to be mistaken about this sort of thing (uh-oh) or God is extremely ecumenical. I’ve got reasons to be skeptical, but I also know I’m a little badly calibrated on how to use emotions as evidence, so I wanted to thrash this out with someone else.
I pinged Michael, the Mormon friend of the blog who handled questions about Romney’s Mormon priesthood to get his thoughts. So I’ll be running a guest post by him and then a couple of rambly (on my part, not his!) follow up questions about conversion and evangelization.