Welcome to my first post! My name is Emanuel Zevallos and I am the author of a book being released called “25 Catholic Mormon 26″. I had the idea of writing this book after 8 years of being baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Why did it take so long? I once heard someone say ” Every level has a new devil.” I had embarked on a compressed spiritual journey for one year and it came with many inner and outer devils (obstacles) to battle. This next devil would be the fear of making a book that would tell my conversion story and allow people to begin either praising or criticizing my personal venture. I had meant to share my blogs on a website and then started seeing the impact it was having with those who are loyal within my faith those and those who were falling away. Later, I started sharing it with those not in my faith and began receiving great remarks and thoughts of admiration even though we had different beliefs. However, these things did not convince me to pursue an actual book that I would publish.
It was the meeting of a stranger in Starbucks that changed my perspective. He said something to me that changed the way I viewed my internal struggles to write and assisted me with allowing vulnerability to become my “best friend”. He was a Christian and began sharing his miraculous visitations and I concluded that he was telling the truth. I told him ” You need to write a book about these moments”. It was then that I heard myself in his response. He said ” I just don’t know where to start; its something I have never done before…but I’ll do it someday.” I said to myself ” Are you serious? Figure it out.” It was then that I realized that a new characteristic emerged from this candid conversation; a seed of inside all of us called FAITH. Faith that would banish all darkness or negativity from doing what I have always wanted to do. I wish this moment upon everyone in your own special way if something is holding you back from that tugging to commence a project but continue to procrastinate. Below is the summary of what the book will be about. After this small conversation, I decided to disregard my unbelief. I have always wanted to start a blog to share my thoughts that coincide with my book. That would still leave a very important question.
Why did I start a blog?
The goal is to build bridges with other faiths and with people who don’t believe in God. Joseph Smith Jr., the Founder of Mormonism, said some wise words about truth and where to find it. He never said Mormonism has all truth or anything dogmatic like that. He actually said one of the most open-minded statements in religious history.
“Mormonism is truth. … The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or … being … prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men.” – Joseph Smith Jr.
I find so many great truths in other people’s beliefs and I want to make it a journey for myself and my bloggers to connect the dots with my perspectives and views from the Mormon lens. My stomach aches to see so many people compare and fight over doctrine, this will be a place where people can see how we relate. It will be uplifting to know that we all have a ton of similarities and we just express it in a different way. You might even learn more about the Mormon faith and why we act the way we do. Most people don’t make the connection that our actions stem from our beliefs. I CHOOSE TO BE THE ONE WHO CONNECTED MY FAITH WITH THOSE WHO HAVE DIFFERENT BELIEFS. I hope you gain insights as we take this journey together. I would love your feedback and suggestions ; feel free to comment on the blog and I promise to read all of them. I am excited to release my book and I have written a small summary below.
Summary of the Book “25 Catholic, Mormon 26”:
When I was younger, I wrote some poems that gave my family some uneasiness about my youthful mindset. One of the poems included these types of questions:
Who is God? What is love? Why do we live in families? Why am I here? If I don’t know these things, there is NO reason to LIVE.
Did my soul yearn for these answers as if to say if I didn’t get them, that I should terminate my existence? I knew these poems to be honest and that at one point these things were pressing me.
Up to the age of 25, I never questioned my faith nor did I start taking actions to support my questioning. Should I climb the Catholic positional ladder? Why not become a Catholic Priest or take an oath of poverty and become a Franciscan? I would be poor on earth but rich in heaven right? All these questions came with a price.
25 Catholic, Mormon 26 is a transparent look into my journey and windy road that answered the questions of the poem written in my youth. You will find all the struggles and strife I went through with no tendency to censor anything. Everyone must go through some type of conversion or renewing of mind to become his or her better selves. Mine took 26 years; but serious action was taken in one.
25 Catholic, Mormon 26 will not only be a journey about Mormonism, its actually more than that. Its the idea of being open for one year. Its the concept that T. Harv Eker (author of Millionaire Mind) once stated.
“You can either be right or rich, but you cant be both.” – T. Harv Eker; Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
After I read this statement, I asked myself: What aspects in my life did I feel so right about but had nothing to show for it. Where did I think in my life did I feel full, but deep inside had anorexia. That one year was a choice I made to be open to anything that will lead me to feel happier. I just wanted to be HAPPY. I believe happiness can come from knowing who you really are. I read a ton of books about Franciscans, Priests, General Christian Books, Zen Books, books about Rockstars, Buddhist philosophy, but I came to my conclusion in the end after much praying and guidance. Mormonism found me in that one year.
(Baptism Date: August 2006 / Left to Right: Peter Gardiner, Emanuel Zevallos, Chris Hughes)
25 Catholic, Mormon 26 will challenge every truth seeker to run towards change and to also inspire the voyager to truly enjoy the journey. The book release will be on July 2014. I hope we can use comments to add value and praise the different people we are. Let me ask you this question. Have you been someone who loves to disconnect others due to their belief or are you finding ways to promote connection? Which one felt better and do you have any examples in your life where you personally brought a connection in regard to different beliefs? I know in my life that as soon as I connect with my friends and family no matter what they believe ; I feel the love of my Creator.