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Timothy wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have been coming to this web site for a few days now, and I cannot seem to stay off. I am was born and raised Catholic and still am one. I appreciate what this web site has to offer and am very much interested in becoming more knowledgable of my faith. I know my basics but I want to further my education and understanding of my faith.

I'm young, only 20, but I have a lot of friends who are not Catholic, and have tried to persuade me to join their faith. I have stood firm, but want to do a better job at defending my faith without getting upset. That said, let me get to the point of my e-mail.

I have been dating this young Mormon girl for about 2 years. She's somewhat strong in her faith, but she doesn't know much about the history and other various aspects of her church. Her family are devout Mormons as well; her dad is a bishop. Her family has tried to convert me and even had missionaries talk to me. I'm not converting because I know a lot more about their past and know what they believe in is not correct. I have seen how they operate and it is a bit cultish. I have tried to talk to her about it because, she always says, "She wants to marry in the temple." I refuse to do that. I do not push Catholicism on her at all. I have brought up my views about the Mormon church to her only once, and it ended pretty fast. I think I got to her when I told her that the mark of Cain is not specified as having black skin in the Bible, and that no one knows exactly what it is. I pretty much stumped her their because she looked it up and saw it for her own eyes that, that the doctrine of her church about black people is false. Needless to say she was pretty frustrated and has not brought up the subject since. My questions are:

  • How do I tell her that what she believes in is not Christian and false doctrine without making her upset?
  • Do I leave her to find a nice Catholic girl, or keep working on her?
    I respect her free will, but I want to marry in my church, just like the rest of my family.

I love this girl dearly, she has stuck with me throughout all the bad times in my life, from losing my loved ones and friends, to my own health issues. I just want to try and:

  • show her why I don't believe in what she does, and
  • show her more of the Catholic Church — something I have not done yet.

If she still decides to stick with what she believes, then so be it. I have to accept that, and move on in the future. I would just like some advice on going about this the right way.

I know it will be a long process, but she is worth it to me.

Thank you for listening my brothers and sisters,

Timothy

  { How do I learn and defend my Catholic faith and do you have any Mormon dating advice? }

Mike replied:

Dear Tim,

Thanks for the question.

We are not priests but let me address your situation the best I can from one who strives to be a practicing Catholic.

You said:
I have been coming to this web site for a few days now, and I cannot seem to stay off. I am was born and raised Catholic and still am one. I appreciate what this web site has to offer and am very much interested in becoming more knowledgable of my faith. I know my basics but I want to further my education, and understanding of my faith.

I'm young, only 20, but I have a lot of friends who are not Catholic, and have tried to persuade me to join their faith. I have stood firm, but want to do a better job at defending my faith without getting upset.

I would encourage you to:

Buying Catholic Apologetics CD's and audio tapes that answer common objections to the Catholic faith can be extremely helpful! Just Google for these from reliable sources like Scott Hahn and Patrick Madrid.

Having a Catholic Apologetics Library of books is extremely important because it will prepare you for questions before you receive them from Protestants or Mormons. Over time, the practice of defending the faith will change your personality.

Instead of having an attitude of:

  • You have to do this, and this now, or you're going to Hell.

You will develop an attitude where the most important thing is:

Listening to where your faith-sharer is coming from, listening to what [he/she] is and is not saying then addressing their issue in charity and love. 1 Peter 3:15

Most of the time this will probably end up in agreeing to disagree while still being friends but there's no reason to compromise. Like Cardinal Law saw when he was bishop of Missouri:

The most ecumenical thing a Catholic can do is be unmistakably Catholic.

On your dating situation.

Like a former helper to our site, Mary Ann Park, said:

You should never date someone you also wouldn't consider marrying.
That's the purpose of dating — to see if there's a life time fit or match.

You are correct to be concerned about Mormon theology. Even Mormon elders will agree that they don't use the traditional Trinitarian method to baptize their children. If you were serious about marrying a Mormon woman, she would have to agree to witnessing you raise the children of your love Catholic. The Church could not baptized your children unless there was a good hope they would be raised Catholic. If her father is a Mormon bishop, I doubt he would allow this.

While Mormons themselves have great Catholic values and family lives, their theology is way off.

I have a few Wiki articles on this page about it.

I don't doubt that your girlfriend takes marriage seriously, which is very good, but you have to explain to her how seriously your Catholic faith takes marriage as well.

I think it's time to have a good conversation with her one-on-one, about the future,
the importance of your Catholic faith, and based upon what you have said, move on
and find another Catholic woman.

I hope this helps.

Mike

Timothy replied:

Mike,

I want to thank you for your timely advice.

We did talk and again it just ended with her just being frustrated and not listening to what I was saying.

I will follow your advice on researching and using those resources for my strengthening my Catholic faith. As for right now, I must be an example of the Church and portray the love and humility that She teaches and at the end of the day, if it is God's will for us to be, or not be together, well then, it is His Will.

I ask that you pray for me — that I can figure this situation out.

Thank you again.

God Bless And One Love,

Timothy

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