March 1, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

Rob on Doris Hanson's TV show
February has been a very exciting month of ministry. I was on Doris Hanson’s TV show again on the 17th to finish up our discussion of polygamy and the Bible. The show may be watched here. We prayed for better callers, and I’m happy to report that God answered that prayer! If you’d like to see the 1st show from December 2nd, click here.

I also started going back outside the high schools to evangelize every Friday afternoon. It has been years since we have evangelized there. This has caused quite a stir! Even certain Christians are not comfortable with what we are doing. The end of January, I was talking to my buddy Aaron Shafovaloff about the late evangelist, Wally Tope, and my fond memories of him evangelizing out in front of LDS seminaries near high schools back in the early ‘80s. Being motivated by Wally’s example, I determined we needed to be doing this again. I was debating whether or not I should start while I was in Arizona for some business on the first Friday of February. A few days before I left on that trip, I woke up in the morning with a sense that this was definitely something the Lord had for me. I determined that I needed to go back to my old high school in Tempe and stand in front of the LDS seminary with my sign—“MormonInfo.org” and “JosephLied.com.” I recalled Wally handing out tracts and getting a large group of angry LDS kids around him at this very spot.

LDS seminary with cop talking to seminary teacher
As soon as I got out there, sure enough, the fireworks began! Some LDS parents were telling me to leave and as the students came by, these thought-police were telling the students not to take my literature. The seminary teacher came outside and told me to leave and to leave his students alone. He had his cell phone out to threaten me with the real police. I told them I wasn’t going anywhere, and that I had every right to be there. I was having a difficult time getting literature out, and was telling the students as they passed by me that they should be a little open-minded and see what I have to say. They called the cops on me, and a school cop came by to check me out. He said I have every right to be there, so long as I wasn’t harassing the kids. Not long after he left, one kid got out of his car and began cursing at me to leave and calling me unrepeatable names. As he approached me, he appeared like he was going to hit me, so I simply called to the cop down the street, and he came to my rescue! He took the kid to the seminary teacher, and had a little chat with them. Not long after this, a cop car pulled into the seminary parking lot to watch my every move.

Later the students came out and I had a large group of LDS kids firing questions at me. As all the rest of the students from the high school came out, I was surrounded by students. One kid ran his skateboard into the back of my left ankle. The LDS students were having a difficult time understanding my apparent disrespect by just being there. Among the LDS students were a couple irate non-LDS student friends. One was a Muslim. He showed me his goose bumps on his arm, and claimed that was faith! He sort of calmed down when I showed him polytheistic passages from the LDS scripture. (Muslims are very much monotheistic.) The other non-LDS student was a gal, who claimed to be Christian. She had a filthy mouth and thought I was totally out of line for calling LDS out. I explained to her how inconsistent she was when she was calling me out for calling LDS out, and I also told her that I didn’t think she was a Christian and needed Christ to come into her life.

Amidst all the angry students was one LDS student named Cody. He had recently joined the LDS Church out of mere social reasons. He actually stood by my side and defended me against his LDS friends, telling them I have every right to be there. He is looking forward to joining the military soon and fighting for our freedoms, including freedom of speech and religion. I ended up talking with him for quite a while after everyone else had left. He was somewhat skeptical of all religion, so I gave him some evidences of Christianity. I also gave him tracts, DVDs, and even ended up praying with him after he walked back to my car with me. This is one of the first times I got somewhat emotional as I prayed for someone. I ended our time together giving him a big hug.

Rob in front of the Kearns seminary
The next week, I was in front of the Kearns, UT High School witnessing with Aaron. As soon as I got out there, some lady pulled into the median and began telling me that she worked with the police department, and that I have no legal right to pass out literature and speak to kids under 18 years of age. I pulled out the video camera, and this is what I got. Of course the cops came, and of course they told me that I had every legal right to be there, but that I wasn’t to stand in the walkway and impede foot traffic. I told them I understood and appreciated them.

I got a lot more tracts out this time than I did the week before. I didn’t get a crowd around me this time, but students still came to talk. I talked with one gal for 10 to 15 minutes. She wanted to know what I believed, so I told her how different the God/Jesus of the Bible is from the LDS Jesus. This was hard for her to understand, so she played the typical “disrespectful card” on me.
Christian, Rob, and Aaron
I explained to her that just because she doesn’t like something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s disrespectful. My kids hate it when I discipline them, for example, but I do it because I love them. She seemed to accept that somewhat. I also talked to another couple guys: Christian and Austin. Christian is a Christian, but having trouble trusting Christ when Christian’s prayers don’t seem to be answered. Austin used to be LDS, but he’s now just agnostic. So I invited them to our church, which is just around the corner.

As we were walking back to our cars, I asked some guy if he’d like my tract. He threw it on the ground, got right in my face, and started swearing at me and threatening me. So I calmly asked him if he’d like for me to call the cops on him. Aaron started to call them, and of course this punk beat it. Thank God for cell phones!

There were a few immediate results from our witness there that we were able to experience. One was a Facebook thread with a handful of Kearns students talking about us. (This is one of the reasons I have felt so strongly about targeting the high schools. The students love to talk, and they talk quite a bit on social media outlets. Thus, the word gets out to more people!) I found out about it from a buddy at our church whose daughter was sticking up for us on it. The second result was an email dialogue with a student who wrote me. See the MAILBAG below. The third was a huge Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM) forum thread that discussed the appropriateness of what we were doing. I also made some posts there.

The last couple weeks have been spent out in front of Copper Hills High School. The school is huge, so we wanted to witness in a couple different locations. Again, as soon as we got out there, another angry parent drove right past me and started telling us to beat it. He was worried about us forcing our views on his daughter. As soon as I mentioned our free speech rights, he told us that he serves in the National Guard. So I told him he ought to know better. He stopped the car, and got out to yell at us. The Proverbs say that sometimes you answer a fool according to his folly (26:5), so I went right back at him and loud enough so he could hear me given that he parked down the street. He tried to distance himself from the LDS Church, but it was a little difficult to believe with a huge BYU sticker on back of his car as well as the BYU hat he was wearing. If you’d like to see the brief video interaction, click here.

Again the police showed up again, but this time it was while we were walking back to our cars. He was really nice, and told us that someone had called to ask if we could be out there like that. We asked him whether or not the sidewalk out in front of the LDS seminary there was public property or not, and he didn’t know. Many of the seminaries here in Utah appear to be on school grounds. At Copper Hills, you have to go into a long school driveway to get to the seminary. I later called the police department, and was told that this was in fact their property. So best we can do is stand on the public sidewalk in front of the high school.

The next week we moved down to a very busy intersection on the end of campus. We had no run-ins with the cops this week, despite the fact that we know at least 2 people called them! The first was the traffic guard who walks the kids across the street. She was telling the cops that we had anti-Mormon signs—as if the content had any legal weight in taking our free speech rights away. She later told me that if there was an accident, we would be held legally responsible. I wonder if this has been tried on those who advertise with billboards. She also was telling the students waiting at the corner to just ignore me.
Guy calling cops and telling them we could have guns
The second caller was some guy who pulled up to me. He was with another gal and I offered them a tract, but he was already calling the cops on us. He even got out of his SUV to let us hear what he was telling the cops. He told them that we were creepy looking and could have guns! I should have called the cops on this guy and told them that this guy could have had a bomb! Nonetheless, I could understand people being freaked, especially since there was a school shooting just the day before at another local high school. (Pray for us as we witness there this Friday!)

Timothy Oliver of Think About Eternity Ministries and Rob prior to the Alpine DVD distribution
As for other news, we did a DVD distribution of "The Bible vs. Joseph Smith" in Alpine, UT. The LDS guy who is featured in the film has family there, and we made sure to hit their home! For more info on this film, see my review of it.

I also was able to talk to a couple pairs of LDS missionaries. One pair I ran into at the local deli. I had a great 10 minutes or so with them! One missionary was from Romania and has a Baptist background. He asked me what I would do if Jesus told me to get married in the temple. I told him that I knew it wouldn’t be Jesus, since Jesus already said that there was no marriage that continued in the resurrection (Mat. 22:23-32), and since the point of marriage in a temple would be to become a God, I couldn’t believe that as well, since Jesus already said there was only one true God (Jn. 17:3). My wife and I stopped to talk to a second pair in our neighborhood while we were driving home. We didn’t have much time, since we had a fussy baby in the back seat, but after going back and forth on the legitimacy of praying and relying on their feelings for truth, I asked one of them if they would pray about adultery. After a long pause, I told them about Joseph Smith marrying 11 women who were currently married to living husbands. Of course these missionaries never heard of that, so we gave them their own church’s genealogical site to document it. Then I told them they needed to listen to God’s law (the 1st commandment) and Jesus in Jn. 17:3 concerning there being only 1 God, and not trust our feelings which may tell us otherwise.

I have also been corresponding with many LDS missionaries on Facebook. My buddy Aaron showed me that all you have to do is search for “Elder” (or “Sister”) and all these names pop up. I simply add them as friends, they see my profile picture of “MormonInfo.org,” and away we go! I’ve posted a couple conversations in the MAILBAG below.

Rauni and Dennis Higley at our Ex-Mormon Meetup
We also had a great time with Dennis and Rauni Highley of HisMin.com at our last Ex-Mormon Meetup. They are both former Mormons with amazing testimonies. You may watch them share their testimonies to our group here and here.

As for MormonInfo.org updates, I posted a written testimony by a friend of mine named “David S” as well as a discussion page concerning BYU’s Daniel Peterson article “Evidences of the Book of Mormon.”

We really value your partnership with this ministry. We not only need your prayers, but we need your financial assistance as well. Your investment is not simply for us, but for the lives of others we reach with the gospel. The standard way to financially invest is by writing a check to Courageous Christians United (CCU). But we also have secure electronic funds transfer programs available if you are interested in the simplicity of monthly withdrawals without the stamp. This also helps us with our monthly budgeting. Please also keep in mind that, particularly in this economy, we have no financial guarantees each month. Ministry partners come and go as jobs do. If you would like more information on financially partnering with us, please see our “Invest” page. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and/or in your financial giving!

Contending for the faith (Jude 3),

Rob Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84084
(801) 708-4865
Rob@CourageousChristiansUnited.org
MormonInfo.org
JWInfo.org
MuslimInfo.org

****ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS****

1. To get more speaking engagements.
2. To get more partners who will faithfully invest in this ministry
3. Health for our whole family
4. Protection
5. Tara’s and Maddi’s families to be saved

****MAILBAG****

I wanted to share with you a story about my experience in your Church. I joined about a year ago, I tried it out for awhile and decided it wasn't where I wanted to make a lifetime commitment so I moved to another state and began attending a different Church and everything seems to be working out great so far. The problem I seem to be having is that members from my old ward have started contacting my new landlord along with my roommates, neighbors and pretty much everyone around my new community, from what local people are telling me is that the LDS members are saying some very negative stuff about me in general, on top of that they say the Mormons are doing everything humanly possible to ruin my conversion to my new Church just so that it appears I would have been better off staying with the Mormons. I have enough evidence of a personal testimonial nature to be 100% convinced this is in fact what the LDS members are doing, along with some of the local LDS members around my new community.

Why is this considered acceptable in the first place, and why can't the LDS members just leave me alone and let me join my new Church without any interference. I just can not understand what the Mormon Church members think they have to gain from spreading hateful information about me around my new community, and why are they so focused on ruining me reputation when I have a 12 year child to raise and they are making it difficult for me to get a job or make new friends, or get help from anyone to make ends meet just because they are mad about me deciding to join a different Church.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions on how to help these obviously misguided LDS members to just leave me and child alone, and move on with their lives as there is absolutely
no chance I would even consider returning to the Mormon Church after what these local members are doing to my reputation in my new community, and making everyone around me biased towards
me based solely on their testimonies of who I am and what kind of life I lead.

[I replied:] I hope you realize I'm not LDS, but am a Christian. You said this was a "story about my experience in your Church." My wife used to be LDS. She had her name removed, and we do Christian outreach to them, but they never bug us.

I suggest you get your name off the roles ASAP. Please see the links at the top of [our Testimonies page]. You need to be a little threatening yourself... with the law as well as the media.

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[A friend passed along to me some replies she got from an LDS friend of hers:]

In regards to the Bible..The Bible is full of contradictions. Don't get me wrong, I still think it is a powerful book, and I'm certainly not saying the Book of Mormon is any better, but my views on scripture and church, in general, have changed..Here is a tidbit of the book I was telling you about:

This kind of realization coincided with the problems I was encountering the more closely I studied the surviving Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is one thing to say that the originals (speaking on the original manuscripts) weren't inspired, but the reality is that we don't have the originals - so saying they were inspired doesn't help me much, unless I can reconstruct the originals. Moreover, the vast majority of Christians for the entire history of the church have not had access to the originals, making their inspiration something of a moot point. Not only do we not have the originals, we don't have the first copies of the originals. We don't even have copies of the copies of the originals, or copies of the copies of the copies of the originals. What we have are copies made later - much later. In most instances, they are copies made many centuries later. And these copies all differ from one another, in many thousands of places. As we will see later in this book, these copies differ from one another in so many places that we don't even know how many differences there are. Possibly it is easiest to put it in comparative terms: there are more differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.

[I replied:] This is just myopic and naturally assumed without checking the facts. No Christian scholar claims we have the originals, but through textual criticism we make inferences to the best explanation of what the original more than likely said. Because the Bible was thought to be the word of God, it was treated with respect and many copies were made. The Bible is the best attested work of ancient history. For example, the Iliad has only 643, but the New Testament (NT) has 24,970 early versions! And it’s because of this, Geisler and Nix have said that it’s “possible to reconstruct the original with virtually complete accuracy” (“A General Introduction to the Bible,” 386). The oldest complete NT copies date to the 4th century, but compare that with other ancient works and the NT is way ahead! Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, the principal librarian of the British Museum said, “In no other case is the interval of time between the composition of the book and the date of the earliest extant manuscripts so short as in that of the New Testament. The books of the New Testament were written in the latter part of the first century; the earliest extant manuscripts (trifling scraps excepted) are of the fourth century… This may sound a considerable interval, but it is nothing to that which parts of most of the great classical authors from their earliest manuscripts. We believe that we have in all essentials an accurate text of the seven extant plays of Sophocles; yet the earliest substantial manuscript upon which it is based was written more than 1400 years after the poet’s death” (“Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament,” 4). Dockery, Mathews, and Sloan said, “For most of the biblical text a single reading has been transmitted. Elimination of scribal errors and intentional changes leaves only a small percentage of the text about which any questions occur” (“Foundations for Biblical Interpretation,” 176). They go on to say, “Although there are certainly differences in many of the New Testament manuscripts, not one fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith rests on a disputed reading” (182).

[He went on:] A few quick contradictions:

"...Maybe when Mark says that Jesus was crucified the day after the Passover meal was eaten (Mark14:12; 15:25) and John says he died the daybefore it was eaten (John 19:24) - maybe that is a genuine difference. Or when Luke indicates in his account of Jesus's birth that Joseph and Mary returned to Nazareth just over a month after they had come to Bethlehem (Luke 2:39), whereas Matthew indicates they instead fled to Egypt (Matt.2:19-22) - maybe that is a difference. Or when Paul says that after he was converted on the way to Damascus he did not go to Jerusalem to see those apostles before him (Gal. 1:16-17), whereas the book of Acts says that that was the first thing he did after leaving Damascus (Acts 9:26) - maybe that is a difference..."

[I replied:] 1. Jn. 19:24 doesn’t say Jesus died the day before the Passover, so I have no idea what he’s talking about. Perhaps he’s confusing the day of preparation for the Sabbath with the Passover. After doing a quick internet search, [this] may be what he’s alluding to. If so, there’s still no clear contradiction here.

2. As for when Jesus went to Nazareth, why is there a problem with Jesus returning there at different times for different circumstances? Really don’t see a contradiction here.

3. The context of Acts 9:26 tells us that Saul got saved, and immediately preached in Damascus. Then “after that many days were fulfilled” (vs. 23), then Saul went to Jerusalem. That’s perfectly in harmony with what Gal. 1:16-17 says. That passage says that Saul didn’t go immediately to Jerusalem. Instead, he went to Arabia, then came back to Damascus, then went to Jerusalem. So what’s the problem with Saul preaching immediately in Damascus, going to Arabia, returning to Damascus, and then as Acts says, many days later going to Jerusalem?

It sounds like more lame attempts to prove what’s already assumed, viz., that the Bible must be full of contradictions. With all the consistency that we do have with the Bible, I think we ought to give it the benefit of the doubt when we do have problem passages that aren’t necessarily contradictions.


[He continued:] If we can't even get the day that Christ was crucified right, I'm nervous about things. Lol. The Bible is full of these errors. In today's world my view on the Bible now puts me squarely in a more liberal happy go lucky church, and let's just say I am definitely not like that. I need a church whose moral code I agree with and who share the same viewpoint with me when it comes to scripture.

[I replied:] So you see, since your friend’s foundation isn’t God’s word; it’s himself, and he’s going to look for whatever fits him. He doesn’t have to worry about conforming to truth. He is the standard of truth.
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Thank you for the Newsletter, outstanding information and it sounds like the work in moving forward in a big way. I will take copies to our Chapel this Sunday. …May God Bless your work.
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Thank you for your faithful service, I love to be able to enter into the work that God is doing through you and your family
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On February 11, 2011 I was walking out of the Kearns High Seminary, which I attend to find one of your protesters standing on the sidewalk with a sign advertising your website, and handing out pamphlets to the students exiting the building. I'm here to tell you that, that was absolutely disgusting and uncalled for. I understand that there are those who disagree with the teachings of the LDS Church, however I have absolutely no respect for individuals who would stand on the sidewalk holding signs, and giving away papers trying to weaken young teenagers faith. It is especially saddening when people claiming to be Christian attack me for my faith considering I am a fellow believer in Jesus Christ as Son of God and Savior of the World. Attacking someone's faith is a serious insecurity. The sooner that these so-called "Christians" stop attacking members of different faiths, the sooner they will realize how much true Christian doctrine they are neglecting which has come from Jesus Christ himself.

[I replied:] Well I just disagree that it's disgusting and uncalled for. Christians are called by their Lord to go throughout the world and teach everything He taught (Mt. 28:19). People thought what He taught was disgusting and uncalled for and that's why they nailed Him to a cross. The fact is He taught truth and it is called for since we warn people from going to hell for following a false Christ and false prophets. Jesus warned about them Himself in Mat. 24:24.

Now you freely admit that you have no respect for us, but we don't admit that about you. We respect you enough to give you a different point of view that you can freely make your mind up about. If I didn't respect you, I wouldn't bother and just let you go to hell... assuming you are LDS. If you are, then you aren't a fellow believer in Christ. You've got a false Christ. For how different He is, see the differences chart on my MormonInfo.org Home page.

Now here's how inconsistent you are, and you don't even recognize it. You attack my faith for going out to preach, so according to your own logic, you must really have a "serious insecurity." If you can attack me, then certainly I can attack LDS for their blasphemous doctrines.


[He replied:] Okay, I understand but why do you have to take the trouble to bother to send preachers outside of seminaries. You need to let people believe what they believe in. If you don't like that were Mormons, fine. Do us a favor please and let us believe what we want to believe.

[I replied:] We're looking for good avenues to talk with a lot of people, and we enjoy the interaction we get from seminary students. BTW, it's not just seminaries that we preach in front of; it's also in front of wards, temples, conventions, parks, etc.

Now of course we let people believe what they want. We aren't Muslim extremists who will cut their heads off if they don't believe what we believe. What you just said is like me telling you, "Why don't the LDS missionaries allow us to believe what we want?" Of course they let people believe what they want, but so do we. Do you really think I'm forcing you to believe like me? You really don't have a choice here?

Come on!


[He replied:] No, I don't believe your forcing me into anything. I'm just saying if we wanted to hear your church's message, we would go to your church. We go to seminary to hear the message we believe in. We don't go to listen to preachers on the street. I apologize earlier if I sounded a little harsh, I do respect your beliefs, you sound like great people judging from your website, and a very respectable Church. But you just have to understand, it really made me, and quite several others I talked to upset seeing one of your preachers standing there trying to hand us pamphlets after we had just gotten out of seminary. America is very diverse, and has many religions, I just think we should all just believe what we want to believe without others telling us our religion is wrong, and that we're going to Hell. Make sense? I wish you the best of luck, and I'm glad that your a good, fellow testator of Christ.

Best wishes Rob

[I replied:] You wouldn't even know of my church if I wasn't out there to offer you another option. Your attitude isn't that of Christ's who told His disciples to go all over the place to get His word out. No it doesn't make sense that we can't tell each other that we're wrong, especially when you're telling me that what I am doing is wrong. I understand it upset you and others, but big deal. If that's what it takes to give you another option, then so be it. I genuinely love LDS people, and want them to know my God. I also love my daughters. They also get upset when I correct them. So what? They still need correction. Heck, I just had to wipe my baby's nose, and she hates it.
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Takes a mighty strong man to devote his time towards picking at the testimonies of 15 years olds

[I replied:] Actually, there were more than 15-year-olds there. The seminary teacher looked much older than that, and so did all those people passing by in cars. Why should I care about being might and strong here anyway? I can reserve that for a lot of other areas of my life.

[He replied:] You know full well that you are going to have little to no influence on the seminary teachers. You are seeking to "enlighten" the children coming in and out of the building each day.

[I replied:] So you have the Urim and Thummim to look into the contents of my consciousness? If I really believe that, then I wouldn't be waving to the cars and pointing to my sign "MormonInfo.org" and "JosephLied.com." And since I don't have the Urim and Thummim, I pray that others like the seminary teacher as well as the students and drivers may be open-minded enough to check my site out. I do know that advertising works though.

[He replied:] You don't have to be able to look into the contents of somebody's mind to understand some things. Maybe I am wrong, but I still don't think that you honestly believe that you are going to get the seminary teachers to check out your site. If you wanted to influence the people in cars, you'd pick a street with more traffic, or at least a location where cars are stopped more often.

[I replied:] Well of course the main target is those poor LDS students, but I also advertise to everyone else. Actually the seminary teacher came out of the seminary and took a picture of me with my sign. So suspect he eventually went to the site. Now you seem to have a problem with my main target for only one day during the week. Did you happen to see that 1st quote from Brigham Young on my wall? What do you make of it?

[He replied:] I assume that the teacher took a picture so he could show it to his wife, not so he could visit the site. I agree with his statement. I am not telling you to leave, and I am willing to hear your beliefs. I am simply pointing out that you are taking advantage of those who are most impressionable, and that it doesn't take a great religious mind to pick at the testimony of a teenager. I don't even know what church you belong to, if any, all I know is that you oppose Mormonism. If you honestly wanted to spread awareness of your doctrine you'd probably advertise your own religion's website.

[I replied:] Great if he shows his wife or anyone else, since "JosephLied.com" will be burned on their retinas. And if they ever deal with some doubt, they'll go check out my site. That's what happened to a friend of mine in Manti. My site is my own religious site that not only explains what I believe as a Christian, but I contrast that with Mormonism. I also have a link there to our ministry web site that has a statement of faith. Perhaps you would be open-minded enough just to see what I believe. Yes, I'm going after the young impressionable minds, but I'm also going after everyone else when I witness or evangelize at other LDS functions. Everyone needs to hear what the truth is.

[He replied:] I think you take a lot of scriptues in ways that they are not meant. Doctrine and Covenants 42:26 isn't saying that repeat offenders are incapable of salvation. It is saying that by returning to our sins it is as if we had not repented the first time, because the final step on true repentance is to forsake the sin forever. We are capable of repenting for those repeated sins it is just harder now.

[I replied:] The problem is that is not what the passage says. It says that repeat offenders "shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out." Christians don't assume perfect repentance, but imperfect repentance that usually includes repeat offenses. Thank God that He forgives 70 x 7! Mormonism is impossible. You read the Miracle of Forgiveness by Kimball? "Trying is insufficient" (164-5) in keeping all the commandments. You'll never be able to do your best. You'll continue to fail for your whole life.

[He replied:] Trying is absolutely insufficient. That is why (contrary to popular belief) Mormons believe in Grace from God. The scriptures people usually refer to in the Bible that state that it is not by men's works that they are saved but by God's Grace, I believe that is what they are saying. We have to give everything we have to the Lord, but we cannot reach perfection on our own, once we have given everything we are to God, then and only then will his Grace bring about our perfection, and that time will never come in this life.

[I replied:] But Mormonism doesn't teach what the Bible means by God's grace. Romans 11:6 says that if it's by grace, then it's no more of works otherwise grace wouldn't be grace. But 2 Nephi 25:23 says that only after all you do can you get God's grace. Moroni 10:32 says you have got to love God with all your might, mind, soul, and strength, and then only is His grace sufficient. No one has done this or can do this. Further, if you kill or commit a more than 1 time offense of adultery, then you can forget about forgiveness as we've already seen in D&C 42. You've got to keep yourself perfect, and trying is insufficient. So how are you doing? Are you perfect? Do you think you'll ever be? Alma 34 is clear you've only got this life to do it otherwise you're sealed to the devil and that's the final state of your soul (vss. 33-35). You'll never do it. That's why you need to repent (imperfectly) of Mormonism and trust Christ alone to pay for all your sins--past, present, and future. That's why I can say that my sins are forgiven. Christ has paid it all. He's living in me now, so why would I want to reject that and join Mormonism that teaches in the 3rd Article of faith: "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." That's a joke, since God's already said that all our own righteousness is filthy rags to Him (Isa. 64:6).
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"I am ultimately under Jesus' authority and am His student for life. As I trust Him, He does the work in my life that's pleasing to God. Some live ultimately for sports, some for money, sex, drugs, family, nature, a church, a country, or a job, but I live ultimately for "Christ... who is over all, God blessed forever" (Rom. 9:5). He has given me His worthiness, so now and forevermore, I have peace with God."

I really enjoyed your information post above. I realy appreciate the friend request as well. However, I am not here to argue or bash. Such things are not conducive to the spirit. However I am here to answer questions if you have them and I would really like to know your views if you don't mind.

sincerely,
Elder Sean

[I replied:] I don't think of arguing and bashing as the same thing. God instructs us to argue, i.e., give reasons for faith (Isa. 1:18, 1 Pet. 3:15). Also, D&C 71:7-8 says, "Wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye are faithful their shame shall be made manifest. Wherefore, let them bring forth their astrong reasons against the Lord." So since the Spirit gave us His word, I don't know why I'd think that such "things are not conducive to the spirit."

I appreciate your openness to learn my views and why I hold those views. I have articulated these on the Home page chart of MormonInfo.org.

_______________

I was just stating my own opinion. Just like Kayla. We both love our religion and I know you love yours too. But if your not a fan of the mormons, why do you live in Utah??? And you can't say you love me enough to "warn me about my false religion" if your just gonna try and throw all these scriptures at me and try to twist the words. We've been around for a while, granted not as long as the Catholic Church, but we're here. And we're not going away anytime soon. So thank you for sharing your opinion. I love my religion and I'm glad you love yours. Have a nice day :)
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[In reference to my Facebook profile picture in which I’m holding my MormonInfo.org sign next to a sign that says “Wrong Way Do Not Enter” in front of the San Diego LDS Temple, one LDS missionary said:] I think its cool that you are telling people not to go to that false Web Sit[e]. Good for you!

[I replied:] You must have missed the LDS temple in the background. That's the place you go to listen to Lucifer and wear your temple garment throughout the ceremony, and learn secret/sacred handshakes and passwords in order to enter the celestial kingdom. So of course I'd try warning LDS about getting sucked into this cult.
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I was walking home one day with my friends and we saw two of your preachers or people holding signs standing there me and my friends were like ''o gosh here we go' and it totally went that way they were really disrespectful first preaching outside of a PUBLIC SCHOOL (Copper Hills High School) you could get in loads of trouble I mean LOADS of trouble, and i know you have first amendment rights to have the freedom of religion, but seriously why do it outside of a school!!! second those people that were holding signs were way disrespectful to me and my friends and a crossing guard one of your preachers said "don't listen to the her she is taking away your soul" wow!!! if you are going to "try" to change people that is NOT a way to get your point across! yes me and my friends are Mormon if you couldn't catch that but really catch up on your info like when Joseph smith prophesied the civil war!!! wow big clue right there!! and also it states that it would lead to many wars!!! which did happen!!! anyways i am not trying to be like your religion is wrong but i just want to say we believe something that is different than you SO WHAT!!! is it that big of a deal!!! really!!! And we are Christians!!! it really makes me upset that the world would really come down to this why would your disrespect another person! why would you think that your better than us! we are all humans here on earth to experience this life to serve god and to bring to pass his eternal glory!!! since we are both Christians i hope you can take it into heart about this. and i just want to see what you think about this prophesy in the bible verses 5 and 6! and please respond thanks and have a great day

thanks so much Jordan

[I replied:] Thanks for your thoughts. Just because you don't like us advertising our web sites doesn't mean it's disrespectful. What I told the crossing guard about not listening to her was only in response to her telling all of you to just ignore us. I'm glad you listened to me and not her, and that you actually wrote.

If your house was on fire late at night, you may at first find it to be disrespectful if I were to try waking you up. But after you found out that I was trying to save your life, you'd probably thank me. Right now you just don't realize that I'm trying to save your life.

We aren't all Christians. If we were, I wouldn't be wasting my time. Since Mormonism is false Christianity, and since I love people, I'm trying to warn them about not getting ripped off by Mormonism. Keep in mind that Jesus warned of false Christs and prophets in the last days (Matthew 24:24).

As for the civil war prophecy, it was clearly a false prophecy since no other nations were brought into the war. I wrote a response to that here. This is just one of the many reasons why Smith was a false prophet. For other reasons, please see the MormonInfo.org Home page chart of differences. Smith flatly contradicted God's word.

I'm not better than you. I'm just saved and going to be with the Father when I die, and you're not or you're at least not sure. So because I have the cure to sin and separation from Him, I don't get why you'd accuse me of such arrogance. I think the same compliant may be said of LDS missionaries too, but just because people invite others to repent is no reason to think that they think they are somehow better than everyone else. Further, I wasn't saved because of my efforts. I was saved as an act of God's grace alone when I trusted Him completely for all my sins--past, present, and future.

As for the Malachi passage, I think it specifically finds its fulfillment in John the Baptist, who was a forerunner of Christ. The Angel Gabriel and the Lord Jesus said John came in the spirit of Elijah (Luke 1:17 and Mat. 11:13-14).

Thanks again for your thoughts and also for being open-minded enough to hear what I believe.


[He replied:] hey i totally understand but i will not change my ways! i hope you understand! also Mormonism is a form of Christianity because quoting from a definition christian - a religious person who believes Jesus is the Christ and who is a member of a Christian denomination, which is Mormonism is it not?? we base are teachings around Christ and his teachings! were you LDS?? and also i am taking US history and during the civil war "england" did get involved but said they didn't they were on the confederations side to break down america! this is found in the AP US text book! and don't you remember that you will be judged for your actions in this life? so how can you say that you will automatically be with our heavenly father right of the bat we have to be judged for are actions, words, thoughts that we have done in this life. and also after we die according to MY faith people can still repent of our sins we will just have to suffer through them like Christ did when he was at the garden i cant spell the other word sorry. and we still believe in the bible as far as it has been translated correctly, we study the bible like every other scripture we have just because it is not are main point of study does not mean that we do not believe in it! but is your religion based off of someone who made there own religion? i saw you were protestant and while i was taking AP EUROPEAN HISTORY protestantism was people making there own churches because of the roman catholic church am i wrong?

[I replied:] Whether you want to claim you're a Christian or not is really not that big of a deal to me. What's more important than how you describe yourself is truth. Given that Mormonism teaches a different God and Jesus from what the Bible has always taught, Mormonism is false... whether it's Christian or not. So if it is Christian, then it's obviously false Christianity, and this is why you need to repent of it. Again, see the MormonInfo.org Home page chart differences as to why Mormonism is not following the teachings of Christ. By the way, Mormonism never claims to be a denomination of Christianity, but "the only true church" as D&C 1:30 says. No Christian denomination should say that, since they all go to manifest the only true Church, the Body or Bride of Christ.

I never was LDS. My wife used to be, so I've got a lot of LDS in-laws. You can read my wife's testimony here.

I realize Great Britain favored the South, but they certainly didn't defend them against other nations (what other nation was involved in the civil war?) as D&C 87:3 says. Further, that passage says that war would be poured out upon all nations in reference to the civil war, since slaves rising up against masters is the context of verse 4. This didn't happened the way Smith described it. Just because he got somethings right doesn't excuse the fact that he screwed up on things, but if he really were a prophet of God, Smith wouldn't have screwed it up, since God gets it right.

My judgment in the future is for rewards or the loss of them, but I don't have to worry about condemnation, since Jn. 5:24 says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." This is the peace believers have with God through faith in Jesus as Romans 5:1 says. LDS don't have this peace. Why anyone would want this worry is beyond me.

As for the possibility of repenting after this life, the Book of Mormon is in agreement with the Bible. Alma 34 says you only have this life to make your repentance complete, and if you fail to do so, then you are sealed to Satan, and that's the final state of your soul (verses 32-35). Good luck denying yourself of all ungodliness before then and making yourself perfect, never committing sins again before you die! Moroni 10:32 says only until you do this will you get God's grace. Or as 2 Nephi 25:23 says, you've got to do all you can do, and then you get God's grace. None of us ever do all we can do. We can always do better. That's why Mormonism is bad news. It's impossible!

I know LDS use the Bible. The problem is that they distort it like all other groups who claim to be the only true Church. Jesus, for example, taught there's only 1 true God (Jn. 17:3). The Bible knows of no other true God. All other gods are false gods or idols (Ps. 96:5). But in Mormonism, you've got all sorts of true Gods. You've even got 3 Gods for us who simply act in 1 purpose. That is blasphemy.

Keep in mind there's a difference between a church in the sense of a denomination and the Church (the Body or Bride of Christ) which is made up of various denominations. Mormonism has hundreds of denominations to it, all claiming to be the one true Church, yet each thinks of the other as apostates. We don't look at it so narrowly in Christianity. We see all the denominations making up the only true Church.

Thanks again for your thoughts and allowing me to share mine.


[He replied:] you are really interpreting section 87of the D&C totally wrong, in verse one it talks about it will begin in South Carolina which happened!! ITS IN HISTORY!! south Carolina was the first to split from the Union which followed many other states causing the civil war because of slavery. verse 2 it talks about how this war will cause MANY wars UPON MANY nations they all dont have to be involved in this war! verse 3 it talks about how Great Brittan will FAVOR the south then in has a coma stating that it will call upon other nations to defend themselves against war WW1 AND WW2. and in verse 4 it talks about how the slaves would rise against there masters which happened all the time and there were armies that were made intirelly of slaves! and how do you know your church is not false Christianity?? do you have proof?? do you have a burning testimony of what you believe in?? do you fill the power of the holy ghost in you after you read the bible?? i was a convert to the church and i KNOW its true! and Mormonism believes that everybody gets everlasting life because of the atonement of Jesus Christ! and we do have a piece after we die we will be in a better place like all other Christian religions believe! just because we have a spirit prison and a spirit paradise is the same as when you die you will go somewhere because you cant get rezerected on the spot after they die we have to wait for the lord to come down "second coming"! and we can become perfect through the atonement, Jesus is are pleader and are helper are bigger brother who has gone through everything! and Mormonism does NOT have over 100 denominations there were other churches made from are theology like the church of Christ etc.. if there is over 100 denominations right down all of them so i can see?? because i know that there are a TON of protestant denominations more than Mormonism! and why do you not like Mormons?? why dont you like any other religion that has been made like Jehovah witness or something other than that why us? why?? do you put up a big add about how bad buddism is or Hinduism why do you want diss on us it seems like everybody does lately thats why the world is such a bad place! i just want to know why does everybody HATE US! would you be happy if a mass geniside happened because a bunch of Mormon haters said to kill all of us would that make you happy! killing over 13 million people because thats what i am getting out of everybody that hates mormon's. and can i have an email to your wife's email address so i can talk to her too?

[I replied:] Your interpretation of D&C 87 doesn’t even fit with the section heading: 1-4 deal with the Civil War, and 5-8 deal with the upcoming great calamities. So given 1-4, the Civil War was to become a world war. But there’s no reason to hold that other wars like WWI and WWII resulted from the Civil War, and certainly the Civil War wasn’t WWI. And if you’re simply claiming the Civil War was the cause of all subsequent wars, then why? Why not some other war prior to the Civil War? You are yet to show a correlation between the Civil War and subsequent wars to confirm your interpretation. Further, given 1-4, what were the other nations that were called upon besides Great Britain to defend the Southern States? And how did they “defend” the Southern States? Even Great Britain never defended them; they simply sided with them. And what were the other nations that these nations called upon “in order to defend themselves against other nations”? You can’t say WWI, since that didn’t start until 1914 and it had nothing to do with the Civil War, which ended in 1865. Further, slaves and masters in verse 4 had nothing to do with WWI or WWII. It was one of the main issues with the Civil War. Also, it’s no great accomplishment that Smith picked S. Carolina, since the escalation going on there was already all over the press in Smith’s time. I’ve already documented this in the Civil War link I sent you. Finally, as my wife pointed out even if somehow you can confirm Smith’s Civil War prophecy, it doesn’t excuse the fact that he screwed up many prophecies, and that is indicative of a false prophet.

I know Christianity is true, not only because I’ve prayed about it and got good feelings from the Holy Ghost, but I’ve confirmed it by the word of God, and that has been confirmed by prophecy and miracles, particularly Jesus’ resurrection. Christianity is a Faith based in historical fact. It’s not a fairy tale like The Lord of the Rings or the Book of Mormon. There are all sorts of prophecies written of Jesus hundreds of years before He came. Those prophecies were confirmed by eyewitnesses as well as other historians. Jesus’ resurrection is an inference to the best explanation of all that we know about history. As a result, Jesus is worthy to believe, and if He believed the Bible as well as its preservation, then so will I.

Now since Jesus taught there’s only 1 true God (Jn. 17:3), and Jesus warned of false Christs and prophets who will come in the last days (Mat. 24:24), then we shouldn’t believe Smith when he taught God had a God before He became a God for us and that we can become Gods too for our own worlds. Again, that’s blasphemous.

LDS think everyone will live forever, but they don’t think everyone will get to go to live with the Father in the celestial kingdom. In fact, most don’t make it. Since Jesus and the Father live in me, and they promise to never take me out of their hand, then when I die, I’m still going to be with them (cf. Revelation 3:20, John 14:23, 10:27-30, Phil. 1:21-24, and 2 Cor. 5:6-8). LDS don’t have this peace, since they aren’t sure they’ve done all they can do. A better place isn’t the best place. Believers are assured of being in the best place—with God.

We are perfect forever in Christ (Heb. 10:14). He’s forgiven me all my sins—past, present, and future. LDS still think that Christ’s sacrifice is insufficient, since they still need to do something else to make God think they are worthy. This is no good news, since no one will ever do all they can do, and that’s what Mormonism requires in 2 Ne. 25:23. Why in the world would I want that stress?

As for splinter groups of the Mormon Church, [see here]. Nonetheless, denominations aren’t a problem with me as I’ve already explained. We are all one in Christ, but you aren’t in Christ. You’re in a false Christ, and that’s why Mormonism is ripping you off. Mormons don’t even pray directly to Jesus. They only pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. As His follower, I have a personal relationship with Him, so obviously I talk with Him all the time. The Bible tells us not only to pray to the Father, but also to Jesus, since they both make up the only being of God there is (Mt. 4:10; 28:16-20; Jn. 5:18-23; 14:14, New American Standard and in the best Greek manuscripts; Acts 7:59; 1 Cor. 1:2; and 1 Jn. 5:13-5).

Not everyone hates you or Mormons. In fact, I love Mormons enough to tell them the truth and warn them of the cult they are in. Perhaps others want to kill you, but I want to save you.

Praying you’ll get it before it’s too late.
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Okay. So, would Abraham and Sarah fall into the "David" or "Job" category? It seems like it would be more of a suffering/consequences, but then, why didn't God intervene with His desires to NOT participate in polygamy prior to them practicing it? It seems to me like laws are given, and then broken. But, I don't see a law stating polygamy is wrong prior to Abraham and Sarah participating in it. Please help me understand/clarify it for me. This has been a weighty/frustrating subject for me, personally, the past year or so.

Thanks again

[I replied:] You're right. There was no *biblical* law explicitly prohibiting all polygamy. It is prohibited by taking the one-flesh arrangement God established from the beginning and then observing the laws God set up in nature. You add to the members, and you'll destroy it. There's no biblical law that says that you shouldn't let young children play with sharp knives either. But you look at the way God has set nature up and that's how we should know that *all* polygamy goes against His law(s). Polygamy was Sarah's idea, not God's, and it really made a mess of things (Gen. 16). It was also Sarah's idea to finally get rid of Hagar, and God went along with it (Gen. 21).

Hope this helps!

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Dear rob and Tara,
How can you be so stiff necked? It is so hard to look at your website and see all of this misleading information about the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. I cannot see how you get pleasure in following in the ways of Satan... It pains me to see all of the lies you have on your website. I ask you this, how can you be so despiteful and hateful? How can you tell these lies? In the scriptures Christ said, forgive 70 times 70 and he did come down here and atone for every single person on this earth. And for you Tara, how could you let the son if perdition get to your heart? I would really appreciate it if you would answer my questions and if you have any for me I would be glad to answer them. Thanks

[I replied:] It would be very helpful to have a conversation if you could demonstrate exactly what lies you're talking about. One would be good for starters. Obviously we believe that Mormonism is full of lies, and because we love people, we want to warn them.

Thanks,

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Why would you like to be my friend on here [on Facebook]? I am a Mormon missionary.

[I replied:] Because I love Mormons. I pray that God will draw you close to Himself. Your bro,

[He replied:] Alrighty then! Are you a Mormon? Thank you for your prayers I love to be nearer to Him! I pray you my brother may be nearer to Him also!

[I replied:] No, I'm not LDS and never was. My wife used to be LDS, so I have lots of in-laws who are LDS.

[He replied:] Oh okay. Are you meeting with the missionaries in your area right now?

[I replied:] They never come to our place. We have to talk to them off the street or other places. So how long have you been LDS and why are you LDS?

Well I have a web page on lds.org about my story and a blog called "what is the true" you can go see my story, but all together it is the simple answer that God anwered my prayers and I felt his love through th e power of the Holy Ghost. My parent sure did try to encourage me, but I didn't grasp the whole concept until I prayed with the most sincerity I could and now I know God loves me and all his children and I know that Jesus is the Savior. How about you? Why did you decide to love Mormons?


[He replied:] Well I have a web page on lds.org about my story and a blog called "what is the true" you can go see my story, but all together it is the simple answer that God anwered my prayers and I felt his love through th e power of the Holy Ghost. My parent sure did try to encourage me, but I didn't grasp the whole concept until I prayed with the most sincerity I could and now I know God loves me and all his children and I know that Jesus is the Savior. How about you? Why did you decide to love Mormons?

[I replied:] Thanks for the blog. I became a follower.

God answered my prayers as well and told me that traditional Christianity is true and Mormonism is false. I know Christianity is true, not only because I’ve prayed about it and got good feelings from the Holy Ghost, but I’ve confirmed it by the word of God, and that has been confirmed by prophecy and miracles, particularly Jesus’ resurrection. Christianity is a Faith based in historical fact. On the other hand, the Book of Mormon's New World places, people, or events have no confirming historical evidence to it. There are all sorts of prophecies written of Jesus hundreds of years before He came. Those prophecies were confirmed by eyewitnesses as well as other historians. Jesus’ resurrection is an inference to the best explanation of all that we know about history. As a result, Jesus is worthy to believe, and if He believed the Bible as well as its preservation, then so will I.

Now since Jesus taught there’s only 1 true God (Jn. 17:3), and Jesus warned of false Christs and prophets who will come in the last days (Mat. 24:24), then we shouldn’t believe Smith when he taught God had a God before He became a God for us and that we can become Gods too for our own worlds. That’s blasphemous. But since God lives in me, He has wired my heart for the lost who believe such blasphemous ideas.

I became a summer missionary to UT back in 1982, and I fell in love with Mormons, UT and its outdoor activities. I moved to UT in 1996. I married a former Mormon (you can read her testimony here), and we want to see Mormons come to know our God, the God of the Bible.

Thanks for your openness to me and hearing what I have to say!


[He replied:] Wow I have been warned that you would say those types of things but I still want to share what I know with you. God has always been God. He always will be God and if we are the children of God we will become like Him. We were there before this earth was (proverbs 8) and children of God (romans 8:16) before. He organized us and this world so he will always be our God. I love Him and know that He is Jesus, and that He is the Father of this world and Heavenly Father is His Father. I hope we can still be friends on here. If you don't understand what I am saying ask me some questions. And there is evidence of things you read in the Book of Mormon...have you read it?

[I replied:] So you don't believe Joseph Smith when he said, "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! …I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form--like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; ...I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see (Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345 [pre-2002 edition)"? Or you don't believe Lorenzo Snow's "As man is, God once was; as God is man may be"? If you believe this, then you really don't believe "God has always been God."

If God's always been God, then how can we become like God in always being God? You're not God, are you? So if you must become a God, and God is of the same nature as us, then He must have become a God too.

Now this is completely different from the God of the Bible (Ps. 90:2), as well as that of the Book of Mormon (e.g., Moroni 8:18).

I have read and continue to read the Book of Mormon, even prayed sincerely about it, yet God told me by the power of the Holy Ghost that it wasn't of Him even though it does contain some truths like Moroni 8:18.

Just because we disagree doesn't mean we can't be friends. Heck, I disagree with my wife a lot, but we still love each other.


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