June 9, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Our baby girl!
The big news from last month is that we found out that we’re having a girl! Tara is at 18 weeks, and her and the baby are doing very well. Please continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy.

I also wrote a couple blogs last month. One was called “24 and Redemption.” This concerned the biblical imagery and the insufficiency of false religion portrayed in the last episode of the TV series 24. The second blog was called “Gay Marriage and Equality.” There is a fundamental misunderstanding of equality that promotes such corrosive activities as gay marriage.

Last month I had a great and lengthy Facebook dialogue with an LDS friend named Benjamin. He thought I didn’t know what I was talking about when I claimed that His Christ did not create everything outside His own being. Benjamin gave me a quote from a late LDS general authority, who claimed that Christ had in fact created all things. After I gave examples of things that the LDS Jesus didn’t create (e.g., Lucifer, the planet He and Lucifer were born as spirit children of heavenly parents, etc.), Benjamin then readily gave the standard LDS reply: this concerned “all things of this universe.” He never responded back when I asked if he could see how Christians think this devalues the Jesus of the Bible. Instead Benjamin attacked me as a self-proclaimed preacher who doesn’t have the priesthood of Christ’s Church. I simply responded to Benjamin that I’m no more of a self-proclaimed preacher than he is when he defends his own beliefs, and then I demonstrated to him from the Bible that there are no Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods for believers today. Instead believers have a holy and royal priesthood by becoming a child of God. I pray that God will help Benjamin to admit his error before it’s too late.

The May Dallas, TX Ex-Mormon Meetup
We had probably our largest ex-Mormon Meetup Meeting last month. It was good to have John and Laurie Kauer with us. They are missionaries in UT, who moved from Arlington, TX last summer and work with Timothy and Suzi Oliver of Watchman Fellowship.

I also posted another encouraging testimony last month. This is the story of one of the gals from our ex-Mormon Meetup--Stephanie Ice (pictured far left above).

As for our townhome, it looks like we’re going to be selling it very soon. We are accepting a good offer. Praise the Lord! Thank you for praying for this! Please continue to pray that there won’t be any problems finalizing this deal.

At this point, we are wondering about whether we should rent an apartment in Texas for 6 months or just move to Utah. The only thing holding us back from the latter is finances. Tara has the health benefits through her work, so we think it’s a good idea to take advantage of this for the cost of delivering the baby. Tara just found out that Texas state law mandates that her work provide for up to 6 months of continual coverage after leaving. This would be about $600/month more. Once the baby is born we can get our own health coverage (no one will take us now that Tara is pregnant). So technically there is only one reason why we are not leaving for UT immediately: we don't have enough in monthly financial pledges coming into this ministry. We would like to raise enough so that we can have some health care coverage in Utah. Also, God has provided enough for a down payment on a home and we have an emergency savings in place, but we will need to increase our monthly income in order to secure a loan. We could save a lot more by getting a home rather than paying rent on an apartment every month. Would you pray about your involvement in order to get us to UT as soon as possible?

Speaking of health care, last month we found out that one of Tara’s sisters in Utah has developed a serious health condition. She is young, and married with 2 kids. This has impressed upon us even more the need to get back to UT as soon as we can. We obviously love Tara’s family, and desire to minister to them more than we can living here in TX. None of them know and follow the Lord. Please continue praying for them!

Would you also please take some time to seek the Lord on how you can best invest in this ministry? For those of you led to financially partner with us, please send in a tax-deductible investment today. The standard way is by writing a check to Courageous Christians United. But we also have a secure electronic funds transfers program available if you are interested in the simplicity of monthly withdrawals without the stamp. Finally, if you are interested in taking advantage of tax-free stock donations (e.g., an IRA rollover to CCU), we can also help you with that. This will help you avoid capital gains taxes. Please see our "Invest" page for all the details of how you can partner with us financially.

Thank you so much for your concern, financial investments, and prayers for this ministry, and for those trapped by false religions and philosophies.

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

****PRAYER REQUESTS****

1. For my book I’m writing
2. For the Manti, UT Mormon Miracle Pageant I’ll be going to later this month
3. For 3 lectures I’ll be doing later this month (1 here at our church and 2 up in UT)
4. For wisdom of God's timing in moving us to UT

****MAILBAG****

I just have a question. I'm considering joining the mormon faith, but I have had my doubts of the church. about 99% of these doubts were relieved by pretty strong answers from the missionaries, their answers including scriputral references from both their Book of Mormon and the Holy Bible. My last and final question is for you. Why did I choose you? Over the years I have been reading stories and watching videos from anti-mormon people and have been trying to find the truth from each side. I've been staying neutral on each side and allowed myself to hear both sides of every story. I noticed that a lot of anti-mormon teachings were about how the mormons don't pray right, so I've allowed myself to pray to Heavenly Father and only him, and then a prayer like that of the mormon faith. I've been really testing all points of view and the outcomes have been very insightful.

Anyway. Here is my question for you. I've asked the missionaries and I hear their answer, but I am mostly concerned about yours. Why is it that the people in the mormon faith understand people and families so much more? I understand that a select few of mormons don't have this gift, and reading your wifes testimony she sure didn't have a supportive family, but for the most part people of the mormon faith understand me and my family. I understand that a lot of anti-mormons say that the mormon faith brainwashes its members into thinking that by being faithful and true to the "everlasting gospel" will keep families "together forever." I am just wondering why it is that these people believe this so strongly and have such a loving and supportive attitude towards others in general, whether they are a different nationality or creed.

I would really like an answer that explains to me your side of this story, but please refrain from cruel words against the church. I've heard it all. All I want is an answer that simply explains your side of the story.

[I responded:] As a follower of Christ, my master is Him, not my family, so I really don't understand why the family should be the deal-breaker for you... unless of course you really don't care about having eternal life in knowing the only true God and Jesus (Jn. 17:3). Jesus was clear in Mt. 10 that He didn't come to bring peace, but a sword to divide family members. He was also clear that if we love father, mother, son, or daughter more than Him, then we aren't worthy of Him (Mt. 10:37). As a result, Satan will use all sorts of gods to drive people away from Christ. Satan will even use the family as something so attractive, but the end thereof is the way of death (Prov. 14:12). Since I follow Christ and know Him, I know that other gods are false, including other gods that are false Christs (Mt. 24:24).

Now your question to me assumes that I agree with its premise, viz., that LDS understand people and families so much more. That's an assumption I don't share. I have reasons for that if you're interested, but that would entail me speaking negatively against the LDS Church.

Thanks for writing!


[He responded:] Is it not possible to both have only one God before you but also keep your family together? I love my family very much as well as God.

[I responded:] It certainly is possible, and actual. My family is together, and I love them very much as well. But I love them properly by putting them into the perspective that God wants of me. So for me, if the deal-breaker in joining a group is whether they are the best with families, then this shows me that you've got the wrong deal-breaker. The deal-breaker ought to be... is this group teaching the God of the Bible or not? If not, then so much the worse for that group despite how good they appear and how good my feelings are toward them. Again, there's a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death (Prov. 14:12). The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). God's word is a light unto our path as the Psalms say. Focus on who God is and commit your way unto Him, and He'll protect you from the evil one who wants nothing more than to have you in hell with him.

[He responded:] Thanks for your input. The family is not the only dealbreaker, I just want to make sure that whatever I choose will also in turn help my family. I am glad that our emails were respectful and thank you so much for your time. Best to you

PS If I have questions in the future, I hope that it'll be okay for me to email you my questions.

[I responded:] I appreciate your questions, and you're welcome to write me any time! If I could leave you with one word of advice, if you haven't already done so, please read my Home page chart on MormonInfo.org and read the links to the sources cited. This will give you a fully informed decision on God before you join.
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Hey how's it going? I'm not even sure how I came across your page but I'm glad I did. So here's the short story version of what's going on: I met this guy playing soccer a little while ago who turned out to be Mormon. One thing lead to another next thing I know I'm at the local institute talking with him and a few of the missionaries.

I came across your page on my friends list and noticed you had a heart for reaching Mormons and probably had more experience than I do. Is there any advice you can give me as far as witnessing to this particular group of people?

Thanks and God bless!

[I responded:] I think you’ll find my Cheat Sheet helpful. I also recommend, if you haven’t done so already, going through my Home page chart on MormonInfo.org and pulling up the links to read for both LDS and Christian perspectives. I advise being respectful with the LDS, and letting them give you their whole presentation. I’d also be careful, since you’re dealing with wolves, and you need to have someone more experienced with you. If that can’t happen, then you need to be constantly writing me or someone else with your questions.
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I have seen the video DNA VS The Book of Mormon and soon did some digging of my own, that actually proves the contrary to the popular belief that there is no pre-Columbian/Viking DNA evidence of middle-eastern descent in America. The Great Lakes Indian Tribe's DNA has a haplo (X 1,2) group that does have ancient mitacongrial origins from Israel. A couple of those tribes are the Fox, and Sac for example. Scientists don't have a clue as to where it came from. All they do know is that it is directly connected to the people who are centered around the Sea of Galilee, which came over way before the Vikings or Columbus. Another popular belief is that the Book of Mormon took place in central America, this is not true. It took place in North America, and I have multiple ways to prove this. Joseph Smith never said it took place in South or Central America, he has always said that it took place in North America.

[I responded (with help from Aaron Shafovaloff):] This smells like Meldrum's stuff, which FAIR has been ripping apart HERE.

I think you'll find this link helpful, particularly HERE and HERE.

So I'd take this issue up with FAIR first.

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Been thinking about this too long, and I hope this adds to what is needed. Praise God for you and your family’s work, and I’ll continue to be praying for you!
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I am personally encouraged and inspired by the great and meanifull working you doing.
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I just want you to know how God has grown me recently. I have a heart to witness but I've been so frustrated lately running into "scientific arguments" about creationism/evolution thats way over my head. I just felt drained and discouraged. I thought maybe I was driving people away rather than leading them to Christ. I decided to just walk in the light and bring others to Christ with my love.

Well, God had different plans- over the last 30 days I have been saturated with "voice of the martyrs" material in mail and over the radio. I've stumbled by accident upon websites that have totally opened my mind and eyes to importance of people like you and Tara...never giving up. I see now the importance of perseverance in witnessing, always having a reason/answer for my faith. My so-called "suffering" was nothing but a pity party. Good work you two! and keep it up. Your family and ministry are in my prayers.
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May the Lord continue to bless you richly with His unending resources as you tirelessly serve Him with all your heart. I will send monetary help as the Lord provides. Glad you got to be amongst our Texas bluebonnets—I got lots of pix of them too! God’s timing is perfect.

Add Comment
casey says...
"I suggest changing the name "Cheat Sheet" to "Tip Sheet" or "Fact Sheet" or "Help Sheet" because the word cheat has a negative connotation.

Your Friend,

Casey" (6/11/09)