December 8, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Charis and her cousins on Thanksgiving
It never fails. Whenever anything related to Mormonism is in the news, the stats on MormonInfo.org jump quite a bit. We average around 120 to 130 hits a day from all over the world. But when the Brian David Mitchell trial began, we jumped to 384 hits on November 8th. 342 of those hits were for my newsletter of last year when we got to witness to Elizabeth Smart!

Two individuals stood out in my evangelism from last month. The first was an LDS guy named Ryan right outside the north gate of Temple Square. Matt, Aaron, and Ken were all in good conversations, so I was going to get a picture of them all. But before I could, Ryan walked up to me and wanted to talk. He was very polite, and not defensive at all. We could talk freely with each other and not worry about offending the other. He had a lot of great questions. After talking with him for about 40 minutes, I introduced him to Ken. I thought this would be great for Ryan, since he needed someone who had been where he was. Ken told him that he used to say the same thing, viz., that knew without a doubt that the LDS Church was true and nothing we’d say would convince him otherwise. I primarily focused on the nature of God with Ryan, but Ken went right after Ryan’s lack of confidence that he’d make it to the celestial kingdom. Ryan candidly told us that he knew he wouldn’t make it if he were to die now, since he was still working on something. After bringing up the late LDS prophet Spencer W. Kimball’s depressing work, The Miracle of Forgiveness, I invited Aaron to come into the conversation. Aaron has read the work, and was able to make Ryan more uncomfortable with emphasizing Kimball’s insistence for perfection in this life. It was like we were tag-team wrestling with Ryan! We got to share with him the real Good News that offers peace with God in spite of when we blow it. We ended the night with Ryan asking me for my tract and video, and he allowed me to pray for him right there.

Sivulkas with Elder Conrad
The next individual who stood out was Elder Conrad at the UT Olympic Oval. He and his companion got permission from their mission president to go ice skating this particular day. These LDS missionaries were skating in their street clothes and had their name tags clearly displayed. My brother and his wife and 2 boys were in for the week of Thanksgiving, and so we all went skating. I immediately struck up a conversation with Elder Conrad, and asked him why he was LDS. We must have talked and skated for at least 30 minutes. I went through all sorts of problems with Mormonism with him, and defended the Bible with him. I even tried a passage of Scripture I’ve never used before. I told him that I was just reading Proverbs 28:9 and told him that if he was going to ignore God’s law, then his prayer would be an abomination to God. Elder Conrad didn’t seem phased at all with all the problems, because he had a testimony that what he was holding to was true. He wanted to get back to skating with the group he came with, so he took my name and number and promised to send some missionaries over to our place. We’re still waiting! We’ve never had the missionaries come to our home. We’ve been able to talk to them walking past our home or in our neighborhood, but never have they come to our door to share.

The November Ex-Mormon Meetup (Russ East on far left)
As for other news, I wrote a new blog for our CCU site on “Repealing ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’?” We also had a good time with Russ East sharing his testimony at our Ex-Mormon Meetup. The video of the event is online. Finally, I was interviewed by Intermountain Christian News on their live radio program. The topic was evangelism in UT. I was notified about an hour and ½ prior to the interview, but think it turned out pretty well. Click here to hear the interview.

We really need your partnership with this ministry. 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 also keep in mind that, particularly in this economy, we have no financial guarantees each month. Ministry partners come and go as jobs do. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and in your financial giving! For more information on partnering with us financially, see our “Invest” page.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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. To get more people to join our Ex-Mormon Meetup
4. Health for our whole family
5. Protection
6. Wisdom
7. Tara's family to be saved

****MAILBAG****

Keep praying for those Mormons! Also keep my sister in law in your prayers she's a Jehovah's Witness. I have been trying to find ways to talk to her but I get too negative. Your websites have been very helpful...Thanks
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Awesome news letter Rob. I get refreshed and reminded to keep studying hard and to prepare myself for the battle you are in when I read this. Keep chargin forward. I look up to you and will be praying for you.
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I gotta tell you this. When I first saw you in Utah I saw you in the mist of an angry crowd with a "quad" in your hand and a cross on your back. And seeing you do that Honestly gave me courage to stop being quiet and get out there and talk to some people. You are an awesome missionary Rob. God Bless you in "Zion" :)
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Great newsletter as always!

I was surprised at the results of your conference interviews. Wow, the Mormon PR machine knows how to keep the masses repeating just what works on the public relations scene, don't they?

Growing up as a generational Mormon, I knew for as long as I could remember that not only did the Native Americans NOT come down from the Bering Straight, but came over on little barges from Jerusalem and The Old World, but that all dark skinned peoples were born "cursed with a dark skin," not just as the sign of Cain, but because they were waaay less-than-valient on the side of the Mormon Jesus in The War in Heaven in the Pre-Existence. Mormons going to conference didn't say that?!?! It used to be a basic. Musicals were made about it!! "Saturday's Warrior?!" You mean they've stopped singing about it?! The plain old less-than-valiant spirits in the pre-existence were born Christians and non-Mormons... you slackers...lol... us "valiant" warriors were born into LDS families. Interesting. How long does it take to re-write your history...a generation? Jesus will re-write it for them in an instant, and they won't have to worry about all that stuff!

Exciting work you and your family are doing! Hang in there!
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the gospel is at stake here. Please do not plead for charity from other Christians when the gospel is the topic. You either have it right or your ministry is on the verge of being unfruitful. My friend you spend too much time out on the street to get it wrong. Please keep looking into it. Find someone you can take correction from, a true Biblicists, and work this issue out.

Praying for you and your family, since we are accountable to train up our children and sanctify our wife.

[I replied:] Huh? You can take this up with my board if you'd like.

[He clarified:] "Divine Sovereignty vs. Human free-will"
I thought the tone and conclusions to your blog left the winner undetermined. Is God or man sovereign? I am not calling for a resignation but a resolution. A resolution from the Scriptures.

[I replied:] Oh I think I got it now. You weren't at all clear in your 1st email. You could have made this clearer by simply commenting at the end of the blog. Contrary to what I thought, you're not complaining about me asking my Christian brothers for financial support. I think you were making reference to my last paragraph in the blog when I said, "Regardless of where you come down on this weighty issue, I trust that you’ll continue to extend Christian charity to me as one who sees through a glass darkly (1 Cor. 13:12)." If I now understand you correctly, I think you're in danger of writing off most of your Christian brethren as not preaching the gospel. My board is made up of individuals on both sides of this debate, so we don't take it as critically as you seem to.

You talk down to me like I've never really studied this issue. How would you like it if I told you, "Find someone you can take correction from, a true Biblicists [sic], and work this issue out"? And what I meant by that is find someone who isn't a hard-core Calvinist. If you want a resolution from the scriptures, I just don't think you can be that dogmatic on the issue... especially given the entire history of the Christian Church. Most people aren't as black and white on this as you seem to be. After all, there are some things in the Bible that are "hard to understand" (2 Pt. 3:16), and if you don't think this issue is one of them, then I as well as most of the Christian Church simply disagree with you. We think of this as probably *the* hardest issue since the Bible seems clear that God is sovereign and humans are responsible.

As for the determined winner in all this, I thought I answered that when I said, "So at the beginning of the day, God chose this particular world in which I am saved, but He could have easily chosen a world in which I wasn’t saved or didn’t even exist. But regardless of the world, I still had responsibility and He is the one who deserves the glory. Here’s a good article on my basic position:http://www.iep.utm.edu/middlekn/. If you want to deal with this further, I suggest you contact John D. Laing at the bottom of the article."

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I do not speak for Everyone in my faith, but Besides the fact that many Christian churches teaches different things also In the segment where you ask where do we go after we die you said neither Terrestrial, or Telestial kingdom get to see Christ and that only Celestial kingdom The Mormon church Believes that God can only be in the highest kingdom, however since we believe that God and Jesus are separate people Jesus can be in both the Celestial and Terrestrial kingdom and missionaries from the celestial kingdom can visit the Telestial kingdom and even the lowest section of heaven would seem a paradise to man the only way to go to outer darkness would be to know Jesus and fight and attack all that is good

In your post about Christ dying for all sin I agree, but in the Church just because our sins are forgiven does not mean we should sin and we should avoid sin at all cost

I agree we are saved by Grace, and that we should use our works to reflect that faith for faith without works is dead, and actions speak louder than words

Baptism for the dead is to give the dead the opportunity to convert to the LDS faith on judgement day that is all and we do this because we feel baptism is important, but if you don't want to be baptized for the dead it is not a requirement

I am Mormon and I agree with the Trinity part where you say they are separate in being but the same in purpose.

We receive the Holy ghost and allow him to be with us through baptism however everyone can feel his gifts

We do not use the JST [Joseph Smith Translation] and we believe that the KJV is basically the correct translation as opposed to the translations done by those who make school textbooks

[I replied:] Thanks for your thoughts. I never stated in the chart that LDS teach none outside the Celestial Kingdom will see Christ as you stated. Is there a reference you can give that states missionaries will be sent to those in the lower kingdoms? I take it you imply they may convert and progress to higher kingdoms? If so, this goes against what I stated McConkie, Kimball, and Fielding Smith have taught.

I'm glad you agree that Christ died for all sin, but this clearly is not what your church or your scripture teach. I also never stated that we should enjoy and keep sinning after we have been forgiven. I have been forgiven all my sins. God's given me eternal life. He's paid my debt completely. So of course I want to live for Him now. Why in the world would I want to live against someone who has given me such an indescribable gift? I still sin; I'm not perfect. But I don't have to worry about being worthy enough anymore. LDS don't have this peace, since they haven't experienced true grace. They have grace mingled with works (2 Nephi 25:23), but this isn't really grace as Romans 11:6 says.
I know what LDS teach about baptism for the dead, but it's not biblical. It's a requirement to be worthy before God that you at least promote this practice to give others the opportunity to get the LDS gospel in the afterlife. Today is the day of salvation as both the Bible and Book of Mormon teach. Baptism isn't essential to salvation otherwise it would be a work in addition to faith, and thus not of grace. Further, people were saved and received the gift of the Holy Ghost prior to being baptized (Acts 10:44-8), so it can't be essential. It's something you'd want to do, but if you don't get a chance in this life, you don't get a second chance in the afterlife.

I also never said that the members of the Trinity are "separate in being." I said just the opposite. They are different, not separate.
I also never said that you used the JST over the KJV, but you certainly do use the JST in the footnotes of your published KJV. The JST was referred to as an "Inspired Translation," so since the KJV isn't, why don't you use the inspired translation?

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Hello:), I met a friend a couple month ago at a fair singing contest. She is married, in her late 30's with 8 children and has been a mormon all her life. I feel the need to help her see the truth, to see who God really is... i just didn't know how to go about it. I have prayed for her and i wasn't sure about how to contact her. Well i have been sick for a while, haven't been able to sleep for over 2 months and i get frustrated at times but I know God is going to heal me... I posted a comment up on facebook saying something like " God is amazing, i'm still sick but I know He is going to Heal me soon" well she saw that and wrote me a message inviting me to her LDS church to talk to people who could heal me. She said this :

"I am totally going out on a limb but I have seen your posts and know you are still really sick. I know how you can be healed. It required a great deal of faith on your part which I know you have and turning your will over to God, which I know you will do. It also requires a blessing given to you by someone who holds the priesthood, like a mormon missionary or member who holds the priesthood. What do you think? Would you be willing to ask for that and accept that? I could get you in touch with the missionaries…

I have had many blessings in my life, one just about a year ago in which I was healed. My husband gave it to me because of an ovarian cyst I had. I was in an agonizing amount of pain and the only recorse was surgery. He could see how scared I was and he gave me the blessing. I have had many amazing experinces in my life but after the blessing I could actually feel the cyst disolving and within minutes the pain was gone. I have gone through many trials that have built my faith but I beleive with all of my heart that God can heal us. He has sent the preisthhood to earth to let worthy men work in his behalf. Think about it. I know he will bless you. Take care,"

she wrote this weeks ago but i haven't wrote her back because i'm waiting for God to tell me and show me what I should say. well I was looking at christian testimonys this morning and came to your [Tara’s] youtube video, i clicked on testimonys and saw your josephisaliar.com website written on a sign that was being held up. I typed it in and found all this information. She is getting "sealed" with her husband soon... i was wondering how do you go about this? what should I say back to her? I know this may be my only chance to get it into her mind that what she believes in is a lie because she has like no friends, etc that aren't mormons and i want to really make her think. What are the questions you ask mormons while talking to them and questioning their faith? i was going to send this website as well.... thank you for your time and would love a prayer as well... for her and her family. Thank you and God bless

[Tara sent the preceding onto me and I replied:] Thanks for writing and for your concern for your LDS friend. The site is JosephLied.com, but I'd suggest sending her the primary link--www.MormonInfo.org. They both go to the same site, but the latter is probably more inviting to your friend.

First, most LDS don't think that God must heal whenever a prayer or blessing is pronounced on the sick. For His good reasons, God still may decide not to heal until one is with Him.

Second, you need to communicate with your friend that you already have the priesthood of God, since you are a believer and thus, you don't need the false priesthood of the LDS Church (cf. John 1:12 and 1 Peter 2:5 and 9).

Third, you need to demonstrate to her why it is false. You need to invite her to study over the Home page chart of differences on MormonInfo.org looking over the LDS as well as the biblical links. LDS have a false God, Jesus, scriptures, and prophets that contradict God's scriptural revelation.

Fourth, with this as a foundation, you need to express to your friend that you are agnostic as far as whether Satan healed her or God did. If Satan healed her, then he's using it to confirm her in her false belief system. If God healed her, then praise Him for His mercies in loving her in this way, but this shouldn't be taken as a confirmation of her blasphemous beliefs.

Finally, I pray that God will heal you and that you'll continue to trust Him come what may. I also pray that God will heal your friend from her blindness and addiction to a cult.


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