I do not belong to the Mormon Church. I have read of the historical events of the founding and growth of the Church as well as having viewed church documentaries. I feel a closeness to what transpired and can visualize events and feel human emotions concerning the history in a way that is deeper and more real than I would expect, having no ties to the Mormon Church. This has made me interested in the church. I am 40 years old with no religious background to speak of. With somewhat of a checkered past–divorce, etc. My question is: Would I be out of place to think of converting to the Mormon Church, being that I am middle aged and having lived a less than honorable life up to this point?
In the first place, I don’t know of anyone who has lived a completely honorable life. The Lord Jesus Christ took upon Himself the sins of all mankind, and in His great atoning sacrifice paid the full price to an eternal justice for all those sins by the infinite suffering that He endured. His plea to have all people come to Him and receive a remission of their sins is voiced in the last verse of 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon—
Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. (3 Ne 30:2)
A similar plea recorded in the Book of Isaiah is as follows—
Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah:1:16-20)
So you may see that the Lord is calling specifically to those who have led less than an honorable life.
As you meet with the missionaries of the Mormon Church, they will encourage you to repent from all your sins and be baptized in the name of the Savior, as He pled for us to do in 3 Nephi; and they will invite you to participate in the fellowship of the saints. When you receive the gift of the Holy Ghost following your baptism, the closeness that you now feel to the sufferings of the early saints that participated in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ will blossom into a firm and abiding testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel as was restored by those early saints and is incorporated into God’s kingdom on the earth, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.