Soren Kierkegaard Converted Me to Mormonism
Sometimes people ask me how I became a Mormon. I think what they mean to ask is why I did it, not how I did it. So I answer the question I think they're asking, not the one that came out of their mouth. The answer to the question of how is too terrifying for a lot of people. Read on at your own peril.
How did I do it? I decided a couple of things.
1) Finding something true is about as close to God as anyone can rightly hope to get.
2) The Evangelical System I grew up in gave me a taste of truth. Insufficient though it was. When I found Thomas Howard's book, Evangelical Is Not Enough I started to put some pieces together. I had been taught some truth, but not enough. This partial truth-telling inoculates some people against needing more. That's what it did to me for a long time. Longer than I would like to admit - see point #1.
I suffered under the system of half-truth. But I couldn't ever work out what to do about it. I tried to fight against it, but like a swimmer in the ocean who gets caught in seaweed, the more I fought, the more entangled I got. I felt desperate.
It was Soren Kierkegaard who helped me become a Mormon. Sort of.
In the year before I read the Book of Mormon for the first time I had become obsessed with Kierkegaard. In his book Fear and Trembling he tells the story of Abraham over and over, each time emphasizing a different aspect. He ends up saying there are 5 important things about a person who is going to grow in their faith. That person must...
1) Be willing to set aside their own comfort
2) Be able to tolerate their own internal distress
3) Be flexible enough to try and see things differently
4) Be willing to resign themselves to the will of God
5) Be brave enough to act, even thought it seems absurd
If that's not the life of a convert, I don't know what is.