August 5, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Rob at the Ogden, UT JW Convention (7-4-10)
Last month was the first time in over twenty years that I was involved in an outreach to Jehovah's Witnesses on a large scale. I took a buddy of mine, Kevin from church, and advertised my JWInfo.org site outside a Jehovah's Witness Convention in Ogden, UT. Over the next 2-3 days, the site had over 200 hits. This may not seem like a lot to you, but since the site launched a little over 2 years ago, we've only had about 14,500 hits. That averages out to about 17 hits a day. Again, advertising with the signs works!

Part of the July Salt Lake City Ex-Mormon Meetup (7-11-10)
We had a great ex-Mormon Meetup for July. It was probably our largest Meetup ever with around 20 people. We even had an active LDS come with her Christian husband. We prayed over Jan Jensen, who is an ex-LDS and now serving as an English pastor for the Anglican Church in Algiers.

The most exciting news though from last month was that I got to meet Glenn Beck. He was doing a book signing for his new book at the Deseret Bookstore in downtown Salt Lake City on the 16th. My CFO Matt Vessey and I stood in line for over 2 hours to get a book signed and shake his hand. During this time we got to witness and challenge 3 elderly LDS-Eric and Renae, and later Brad who jumped into our conversation. They were all very staunch LDS, who were unable to give us any positive reasons for their faith.
Rob meeting Glenn Beck
They simply knew it was true. At one point I told them that a basic problem that keeps me from becoming LDS is that as a Christian I can't believe that we can become gods someday like God became a God for us, and have our spirit kids bow down and worship us to the exclusion of the God of this world. Renae simply responded, "It does seem kind of preposterous, doesn't it?"

When we were about to meet Beck, the bookstore workers were herding us through like cattle. We gave one of them a bag with two books (The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller, and Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith by Floyd McElveen, which included the DVD) to give to Beck. When it was my turn, I shook his hand, told him how I appreciated his work, and then as I was being moved along, I asked him how the United Order wasn't socialism. (This was a question that my good ex-FLDS and ex-LDS friend Brian Mackert wanted me to ask him. D&C 104 clearly talks about a revelation Joseph Smith got to establish this order as a redistribution of wealth! Cursing would be upon the Church if they didn't continue it!) Beck simply said he didn't know. He looked puzzled, so I asked him if he knew what I was talking about. I told him where the United Order was in his scripture, and that I'd appreciate him talking about it sometime. Brian wrote to tell me, "I pray that he was truly puzzled and that God won't let him let go of it, but that it will eat at him and he will investigate it."

Aaron witnessing at the Twilight concert series (7-15-10)
In addition to our Temple Square evangelism, Aaron Shafovaloff and I took a night to witness to primarily a liberal/secular crowd outside a summer concert series at Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City. Many in this crowd were former LDS, and were quite please to see my Joseph Lied.com sign. We got out a ton of Temple Square Visitor's Guides, and got to preach and dialogue a little.

Here's part 1 of a video of me street preaching at Manti. For any bothered by this, here's a great video that responds to Rob Bell's "Bullhorn Guy" video.

Our budding theologian!
One of our ministry partners asked for an update on Charis. She gets cuter every day. Her front bottom 2 teeth have finally come in, and she’s crawling quite a bit now. She’s finally sleeping 10-12 hours a night, praise the Lord! I’m so thankful for her and love her so much. Given the recent ruling on Prop 8 in CA, it makes me think how tragic it would be for her to grow up without the unique contributions of a mother and a father. My love for Charis makes me want to be a good husband as well, since I know this is one of the best gifts I could give to her. Why would we want her and other kids to grow up in a society that doesn’t value traditional marriage? That also rules out polygamy, incest, and easy divorce, among other things.

Speaking of divorce, our pastor gave Tara and me the opportunity to lead a Divorce Care program beginning next month! This will be a great opportunity to not only bring healing to lots of people, but also to get a lot of LDS into a Christian church!

Please remember our financial needs and send in your investment today. Your investment is not simply for us, but for the lives of others we reach with the gospel. The standard way to invest is by writing a check to Courageous Christians United. 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 see our "Invest" page for more information. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and in your financial giving!

Defending the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3),

Rob Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84084
(801) 708-4865
Rob@CourageousChristiansUnited.org
MormonInfo.org (Check out our new design!)
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. To be a good dad and husband
4. For Tara and I to do a good job in leading our church's Divorce Care ministry beginning next month

****MAILBAG****

Wanted to let you know that I went to Lanta's Frozone last night. I saw a guy with one of the Temple Square guide handouts. He was reading the whole thing while he ate some frozen custard. He pulled it out twice while I was there and probably read it for about 20 minutes total. He exited the establishment with it still in hand.
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Thank God for His work and manifested glory in Manti. Love to you,
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Glad we're able to contribute and it helps the ministry. It's been a little slow financially but the Lord always provides. Keep up the good work and we really enjoy the newsletters and updates. We'll keep praying for you guys... Hope all is well with the family...
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Thank you again for your commitment to helping the Mormon people find the true Christ of the Bible. You know if it weren't for you getting the ball rolling it is possible I would still be lost. I have used your example when speaking to others about Christ. I may not have a website or organized ministry but would like to someday and I want to live in Utah when I retire, sooner than that if possible.

I know there are days when you might wonder if it is all worth it. Well it is, count me among those who have been affected by your faithfulness. …Anytime I can help, please let me know. …I would be glad to help out anyway I can.

I have now been a Christian for nearly eight years. I was LDS for nine years before I left. As I have matured in Christ I have only grown to look at those years in the LDS Church as more of a training ground for witnessing to Mormons. I just wish that people would open their eyes to the truth. Organizations, no matter how wholesome, cannot save people from their sins.

I have been witnessing off and on for eight years. There are some days when the opportunities don't seem to be there but I started reading the Bible daily about two years ago and have noticed that the opportunities are there but sometimes I am just too busy to notice them.

Keep up the good work Rob. Your friend always,
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Hey brother. I know that I commented to you before that I did not like the way that you did open air preaching at Manti and I also know that this arrangement was legally set up by the Manti authorities but I prefer this a whole lot more. I find this set up to be much more respectful than yelling into the area where the people are seated waiting for the pageant to begin. You also do not look like a crazy man just yelling about. I just think that if someone were open air preaching contrary to my religious beliefs then I would be far more receptive to this approach than the former. The bull horn is also easier on your voice. Anyway keep it up.
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I am so happy to have met you at pageant and to now be on your e-mail list.

I would suggest that you inform your Catholic "friend" who is offended by you attacking the Mormon Church, What the LDS Church believes and teaches about Catholicism. I wonder how this person would feel about your ministry, if they knew that Mormonism attacks Catholicism as part of their doctrine?

The following is copied & pasted from an unidentified user in an online forum:

"There's a couple of things to consider before examining the Book of Mormon and what it says about the Catholic Church:

1. Starting with the First Vision, Mormonism teaches that all churches except the Mormon Church are an abomination in the sight of God.

Joseph Smith History 1:18-20:

'My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong) and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof. He again forbade me to join with any of them;...'

2. The Doctrine and Covenants also has Jesus Christ condemning ALL other churches, and especially the 'great and abominable church'.

D&C 1:30-31
'And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;'

D&C 38:10-11:
'Verily I say unto you, ye are clean, but not all; and there is none else with whom I am well pleased; For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven"

D&C 29:21:
'And the great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall be cast down by devouring fire, according as it is spoken by the mouth of Ezekiel the prophet, who spoke of these things, which have not come to pass but surely must, as I live, for abominations shall not reign.'

D&C 88:94:
'And another angel shall sound his trump, saying: That great church, the mother of abominations, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood she who sitteth upon many waters, and upon the islands of the sea behold, she is the tares of the earth; she is bound in bundles; her bands are made strong, no man can loose them; therefore, she is ready to be burned. And he shall sound his trump both long and loud, and all nations shall hear it.'

3. The [LDS] Church has a history of identifying the Catholic Church as the great and abominable church."
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I just thought about you both, and thought I'd check in. How are things going? We have been praying, and thinking about you.

______ has a friend at work that we want to witness to. He is Mormon , we are just looking for anything you might think could help us. Tips, ideas etc. I know in most cases there aren't any magic formulas for witnessing. I guess I just mean, if there is a particular method or verses that help you the most.

[I replied:] Try having your friend watch [this video]. Then work through these points with him. Let me know as questions arise!

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