January 9, 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

In case you haven’t noticed, Mormonism is all over the news lately thanks to Mitt Romney. As a result, people are scrutinizing Mormonism like never before!

Rob at the George H. W. Bush Library and Museum, Texas A&M (12-6-7)
Last month, I had a great time informing the world about the differences between Mormonism and Christianity at Romney’s “Faith in America” speech at Texas A&M. (If you are interested in my thoughts on the speech itself, please see my blog entry on this site.) Mission accomplished! I arrived at A&M at about 6:30 AM and stayed until about noon. I was surprised that more people weren’t there. I was expecting a huge crowd. As such, it was primarily a Romney press conference with a handful of invited guests. It was not open to the public. I passed out quite a bit of literature (primarily my Seven Differences Between Mormonism and Christianity and Racism in Mormonism tracts) while I carried my “MormonInfo.org and JosephLied.com” sign for all to see. I was also interviewed by many press agencies.

I got behind the CNN camera with a group of Ron Paul supporters and made it on CNN a couple of times. I called my mom afterwards, and she was just happening to watch it. She and others told me that they could see my sign very clearly. I also went behind Carl Cameron while he was broadcasting live on Fox news. I was told by others that I was clearly on for a good minute. Immediately afterward his camera man came over and bumped me, swore at me, and told me to get a job and leave. Then Cameron came over and more politely told me the same thing. I told them it wasn’t their property, it was public property, I wanted some free advertisement, and if they didn’t like it, too bad. (My brother later told me that they should be thankful I didn’t walk in front of Cameron!)
Rob with Jay Sekulow
I also immediately called Jay Sekulow over who was standing in the outskirts. He went over to tell the camera man something. Jay, for those of you who don’t know, is probably the most well-know and respected Christian attorney alive today (he runs the American Center for Law and Justice). He has argued against the ACLU countless times on behalf of Christian free speech issues. He was also there to show his support for Romney. There was also a Baptist pastor from the Austin area—Scott Talbert—who defended me, and later took me out to lunch.
Rob with Scott Talbert


A couple news agencies have printed distortions of me, which was to be expected, but I really don’t care. Any press is good press. The day before this Romney speech I had about 136 visitors on MormonInfo.org. The day of, I had 676! I’d say it was well worth the trip! I have received many emails. Here’s one from viewing me on TV: “I found your site when someone held up a sign following Mitt’s speech today. I commend you on your commitment to the truth!” Here’s another from reading about me in the press: “Hello from the UK. …I just found out about your organisation from the World Magazine article on Huckabee (click HERE for another version of the article). God Bless You All. …I pray that when I return to the States - hopefully in the next 5 years - I can join you in God's March for Truth. Shields Up - Swords Out!”

Rob with Dan Baker
One important example of a distortion by the press was The London Telegraph calling the discussion I had with an LDS guy Dan Baker “vigorous.” Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but it made me think that we were raising our voices and getting quite hostile with each other. But Dan was probably one of the most gentle and caring LDS guys I’ve ever met! We even got our picture together. “Vigorous” is certainly not the word that comes to mind concerning our interaction. One thing this ought to teach us is that perceptions are often distorted, and THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT! The sooner we stop worrying about being perfectly perceived, the sooner we can get to the business our Father has for us.

For those interested, here are other articles that made reference to me: Newsweek, and the ComMITTed to Romney! blog. Reuters also published a picture of me with a description.

Thank you so much for your concern, financial investments, and prayers for this ministry, and for those trapped by false religions and philosophies. Those acts of love make this ministry possible. We need your continued support. Tara and I are planning on returning and staying in Utah in a couple summers. We would like to have enough of a support base that would enable us to move back, and we need your help to make this a reality. We ask that you please consider and pray about investing in this ministry on a monthly basis. If you would like details on how to contribute financially to this ministry on a regular basis, please see our “Invest” page on our site. If you would like a ministry info packet sent via regular mail that outlines what we do, what we’re planning on doing, and how you can help, then please send us your address.

Happy New Year,

Rob Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
MormonInfo.org
Rob@CourageousChristiansUnited.org

****PRAYER REQUESTS****

1. For more speaking venues
2. For guidance in fundraising
3. For God to use Romney’s campaign to draw Mormons to Himself and inoculate others
4. For more members to join our Ex-Mormon Meetup recovery group
5. Tara’s LDS family
6. For JWinfo.org to take off

****MAILBAG****

I believe what I believe and you as you. I respect what you believe. Please just don't offend what I love most. Even though I don't agree with things you have written I'm not going to argue because there is no way a person can force another to believe. That would ruin that whole point of believing and faith. Please don't reply. I just ask you to take your pictures of our holy temples off your profile. I wish you to be happy.

[I responded:] You assume that arguing means "forcing" your beliefs on others. I don't hold that assumption. Jesus argued and commanded His followers to argue (e.g., 1 Pt. 3:15), but that doesn't entail that we are forcing our beliefs on others. Our faith is based on good reasons. Your true friend, Rob
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You have no idea what an encouragement you are to me! The perception thing is RIGHT ON! Last week I had the opportunity to present my ministry to the board at my church for a possible staff position. The comments that were relayed back to me from these 7 men were just so disappointing and disheartening, but, God is FAITHFUL and he always provides encouragement and a sign that you're on the right path! I don't know when Christianity will get a wake up call, but I am hopeful that where The Spirit of the Lord is there is LIBERTY! Keep up the awesome work!
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There has been so much made of Romney's statements lately. A couple of days ago Huckabee asked if Mormons don't believe that Satan and Jesus are brothers. I'm sure you have heard this. I am absolutely incredulous at the official response of the LDS church that that assertion is a smear. This morning I heard Romney call it a smear as well. I have heard from many Mormons explaining that relationship. That is to say, that Satan and Jesus are brothers. To my understanding that is basic theology of [Mormonism] not doctrine.

I found the following [o]n the Lighthouse sight [a bunch of quotes from LDS apostles and prophets that clearly identify Jesus and Lucifer as brothers];

…How is it that an official spokesman [today] doesn't know this [that LDS teach that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers], nor Romney? I guess that is a rhetorical question. And further, how do these pronouncements from the official scripture and an apostle rate suddenly as a smear? Are all the above leaders smearing the church? I am astounded! Maybe that is naive.
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Doesn't the Bible mention that Satan is a son of God?

[I responded:] If you mean was Satan *created* by God, then of course Satan is a son of God (cf. Job 2:1). What LDS don't understand is that Christians hold to Jesus being the unique Son of God ("only begotten" in Greek). That means for them that He's God the Son. He's the second person of the *only* God there is. Every other son of God is not a son with the nature of God. They are *creatures* with different natures ( e.g., angels and humans). Jesus, for Christians, is exalted above anything imaginable, since He is literally the Creator of everything outside Himself--including us and Lucifer (Jn. 1:1-3, 14; Rom. 9:5; and Col. 1:13-18). So Lucifer is a son of Jesus.

LDS devalue Jesus since He didn't create everything. LDS don't even believe that there is a God for any world who is God by nature. Each God (since Mormons are polytheists) had to become a god, and is worshipped exclusively for that world. "Worthy" LDS hope to become gods of their own worlds to receive exclusive worship from their own spirit kids. But Jesus taught there is only one true God (Jn. 17:3), and He warned us of false prophets and false Christs that would come in the last days (Mt. 24:24).

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I was linked to your site, and while I can appreciate your passion for religion and knowledge, it seems like the only thing you stand for is -- not mormons. I am LDS, and I'm happy to be. I can also tell you exactly what I stand for, and it's none of those points of "gotcha" doctrine that is all open to interpretation. I stand for family, God and country... I'm not concerned with obscure points of doctrine that change nothing in the way I pray, feel the spirit and love my fellow man. Where is Mormonism failing it's members in regard to family, and loving others?

My point is not to argue doctrine, but to say that the greatest people I know actually stand for something. As I browse your site, I'm missing the parts that tell me what you do believe. I only see anti-mormon stuff. Do you have any doctrinal issues with Jews or Muslims? Where are those at? It seems like in this "PC" world we live in, it's only okay to bash Christians (especially Mormons).

I'm glad to see you are exercizing your religious and 1st amendment rights, but where is the goodness in what you do? The LDS church is very good to a lot of people, and does many wonderful things around the world, but you can only recite hate? What's up?

Glad to take a response, but not necessary

[I responded:] If you read the right side of the chart on my MormonInfo.org home page, that will tell you what we believe. As for a more concise doctrinal statement, please see "Three Statements" on our CourageousChristiansUnited.org site (where we're against everything non-Christian).

I feel Mormonism is failing in love of God, since they have a blasphemous and imaginary one. Christians love the truth, who Jesus is. Mormons don't, but are more concerned about what works for them. Jesus taught to beware of false prophets and false Christs (Mt. 24:24). If the LDS Church doesn't have a false Christ, then I don't know who does. You misinterpret warning and rebuke as hate. If that's the case, then you must be filled with hate as well. Love your friend

[This ended up being a long dialogue that basically ended up with me producing the following FAQ on Mormon fruit .]


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