Marty Romero

Faith Transition (Bullet Point Version)?

I have been spending some time making a list of significant things in my past that have contributed to my faith crisis transition. These are just in list form and in no particular order of importance. I am not really wanting to comment on any of these, but I did want to keep a list of significant events, ideas, moments etc., that feel important.

It’s interesting to see how the majority of thee are centered around my early to mid 20s.

5 - 10 years old

  • Watching monks share the Bhaghavad-Gita in the train station and being afraid of the pictures because I believed that they were of the devil.

  • Asking God for a sign that I would find my lost kitten, and getting an answer.

  • Feeling peace so profoundly that I hated to go home on Sundays after church service.

  • Trusting in the sign of the cross—a gesture made by my mom—before falling asleep, that without it I was scared.

11 - 15 years old

  • Performing baptisms for the dead at the LA Temple and feeling a tangible “clean” feeling each time.

16 - 19 years old

  • Having a general feeling that the most boring topic in church was Jesus’ Atonement.

20 - 25 years old

  • Reading The Mormon Murders and feeling my testimony of the Mormon church shake more by that book than by reading Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible.

  • Telling Eddie “Even if God himself told me that the Mormon church was wrong, I would not leave it.”

  • Not knowing how to answer the question “How difficult does it have to be?” by an evangelical preacher asking me why I believed that salvation was something that I had to work hard to earn.

  • Feeling uneasy after going through the temple ceremony for the first time.

  • Trying desperately to receive a confirmation that the Book of Mormon was everything I was taught it was.

  • Lying to Ralph about receiving a confirmation about the Book of Mormon.

  • Deciding to go on a Mission and driving to Bishop Cabrera’s home at 1:00b a.m. to have my worthiness interview and get the process started.

  • Lying about my testimony and “spiritual experiences” to people I met while on a mission.

  • Realizing that other denominations were NOT an abomination nor ALL of their professors/preachers were corrupt.

  • Realizing that the doctrine of the Atonement was the most beautiful idea in religion.

  • Pastor Walter Knight challenging me to list a single evidence for the Book of Mormon, and not being able to.

  • Reading W. Kleon Skousen’s A Personal Search for the Meaning of the Atonement, and feeling that I had been in a state of slumber all of my life until then.

  • The absolute feeling of certainty that God would answer if I called during the most difficult time as a Branch President and missionary.

  • The tangible feeling in my chest to Gordon B. Hinkley’s closing remarks in the 1997 October General Conference; “I have a confession to make, my brothers and sisters. It is simply this: I love you.”

  • Feeling dishonest when saying the phrase “I know that this is the true church.”

  • Feeling anxiety after reading Ed Decker’s The God Makers.

  • The loneliness of returning home from serving a mission.

26 - 30 years old

  • Being disappointed at the shallowness of my childhood friends’ conversion compared to Beth and her friends.

  • Believing that I was disgusting, unclean, and unworthy to associate with God because of masturbation, and the deep shame and sorrow that followed. I remember bargaining with God, to help me stop sinning.

  • The feeling of safety and refuge like never before the morning I decided that the views that I had learned in regards to masturbation were wrong. I was NOT disgusting.

31 - 35 years old

  • Walking out of the theatre after watching the movie Milk and being overcome with the feeling that I was a bigot.

  • Coming to the conclusion that the images of Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon as are presented by the LDS Church were a type of dishonesty.

  • Turmoil over marrying Beth.

  • The peaceful feeling I had when I decided to marry Beth.

36 - 40 years old

  • Being called to serve in the Bishopric.

  • Reaching the apex of a lifetime of dishonesty.

  • Facing all of my lies.

  • Looking for traces of God in my past and not finding any.

41 - 44 years old

  • Finding evidence of God in my past in a most insignificant experience.

  • Meeting Davis.

  • Krishna.

When I wrote this, I was listening to this song :

Jose Romero