Even as a young child, I’ve always been both scared and mesmerized by prophecy. Drawings of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and the woman riding upon the beast always lingered in my mind. As some of you probably know, an interest in prophecy for an SDA is also an interest in some pretty heavy anti-Catholicism. Just a brief study of SDA books on prophecy soon gets the idea across: “Bigotry and Adventist prophecy are like love and marriage … you can’t have one without the other.” It wasn’t long before I had them both. You could say I was the love and pride of my family. At age 7, I was not only a bit of an authority on Adventism but also the youngest known to be baptized in my family’s history and the youngest member to be baptized in the church I attended [to my knowledge]. I continued my studies on prophecy, reading from Ellen White and other notable SDA authors. With this “knowledge” I also became the self-proclaimed bigot of my family. When my mother, always the liberal with Adventist teachings, recommended I attend a Catholic school, my reply was that of any other learned Adventist youth … I thought I would be forced to worship graven images, pray to the dead, and be beaten and/or persecuted by the nuns if I did not. I should also mention that the very idea of spending any amount of time surrounded by Catholics was also quite appalling to me at the time. Were not these the followers of antichrist, and my future enemies? Even as I matured, I discriminated infinitely against Catholics, looking down at them as Pharisees. I found nearly every one of their doctrines, from prayers to the Saints to Sunday worship, baffling if not utterly absurd. This was all do nearly entirely to Adventist literature which seemed to say “Love them, but WATCH OUT!” Any interest whatsoever that I had in the Church wasn’t at all religious, but simply due to the manner that they were portrayed on television, etc. Anyway, I was hardly in the 13-14 age area when my collection of Adventist prophetic literature exceeded the 100 limit. My readings not only satisfied my bigotry but also gave me a large dose of fear. Images of beasts haunted my mind, and I sighed desperately when hearing of progresses within the Church on television. Throughout all this time, and most of my Adventist life, I never thought to look outside Adventism for information on Catholicism. It was when I finally did, due to age giving sense, that I realized what a fool I had been. Instead of finding the Holy Father as a dark figure lacking true Christian ideals and harboring a private agenda, I found THE HOLY FATHER. With the Blessed Mother, I did not find a silent stone image but instead a purity and beauty that I had longed for all my life. I have always attributed my conversion to her divine intercession, for the doctrines concerning her were the first I accepted, and she led me with her own hand through the others. In each, I found how little sense Adventism made, both in a theological and historical matter. Following the final doctrine I accepted, the doctrine on the Day of the Lord, I knew I was ready to join the Church. Today, I am proud to be a true believer in the faith and am happy to announce that my own mother, bless her soul, has found truth in the Catholic Church and is going about the motions in becoming fully in communion with Rome. I am a much happier person, and one who’s proud of his church and his beliefs. I’m proud to be a Catholic. Hallelujah!
Dec 31 2004