October 30, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Elizabeth Smart
The most exciting news from the month of October is that I got to meet Elizabeth Smart in front of the North Gate of Temple Square (Smart is the gal who was kidnapped by Brian David Mitchell, and forced to be his plural wife). I was witnessing with my buddy Aaron Shafovaloff as we usually do on Thursday nights. Since Aaron started the conversation with Elizabeth and her friend Erica, I didn’t want to derail the direction that Aaron was going. Nonetheless, I introduced myself with my MormonInfo.org/JosephLied.com big sign, told her that I had prayed for her through her whole ordeal, and how happy I was when she had been found. I told her that I had also met her folks not long after she was found, and told them the same thing. I told her that I also gave them a Temple Square Visitor’s Guide that Aaron had just given her (he also gave her a Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD). I asked her about her upcoming LDS mission, and she said she’s going to Paris soon. Aaron went on to talk to her about Joseph Smith’s polyandry and the spiritual power-play he put on others, including a teenage girl, that an angel would slay him with a sword if he didn’t enter into polygamy. Elizabeth had never heard this before. Aaron also shared with her and her friend about the gospel of grace. Please continue to pray for Elizabeth!

Maddy with Scout
Our family also has a new member! His name is Scout, and we adopted him. Maddy has been bugging us for years about getting a dog, and we told her we would when we moved to a house that has a backyard. Tara took him for a walk the other day, and ran into those LDS missionaries that Matt Vessey and I talked with the other month. Tara had a great time talking with them, and Scout was a good ministry partner.

Speaking of LDS missionaries, Tara and I had another conversation with another set and their driver at Wal-Mart. We talked with them about how their God isn’t as Jesus taught, “The only true God,” and how their God had to grow up to become a God. The driver thought this was all very deep doctrine, and said that it was more important to simply follow what God wanted. Tara told them that this was very basic doctrine, and that it was crazy to think that God is more concerned about us learning a silly secret handshake in the temple ceremony than knowing whether He possibly was a sinner prior to His exaltation.

Rob with ministry partner Sue Montiel as one of Smith's wives
Witnessing at the General Conference went really well. The display of Smith’s wives generated a lot of questioning and even got some media attention. I got to preach to a ton of LDS as they filed past me. I was even interviewed and recorded by Scott Bosworth who works for the largest LDS blog By Common Consent (click HERE for a picture he took of my sign as LDS patrons passed by). I had a great conversation with a guy named Ray, who was not LDS, but was in town on a lay-over. He had a Christian background, but was basically agnostic. After sharing some arguments for God’s existence and Jesus’ resurrection, Ray opened up to me about his wife and son dying not that long ago. He let me pray for him, and he seemed to be really encouraged in his faith. I also sadly discovered this weekend that a friend of mine named Mary Beth has gotten back into the LDS Church. She told me that she’s going to BYU and I saw her singing LDS hymns with other LDS along the sidewalk. I had a part to play in getting Mary Beth out of the LDS Church and living for Christ, so I’d appreciate your prayers for her.

An obviously disgruntled LDS guy
I also edited another testimony last month--that of Debbie Beppu.

2 Cor. 9:7 says that God loves a cheerful giver, so why not consider giving to this ministry? We really need your help now that Tara no longer has an income, and we have a baby that will be here any day now.

As the year is closing, keep our ministry in mind as you’re looking for a year-end tax deduction. Please send in an investment today. The standard way is by writing a check to Courageous Christians United. But we also have secure electronic funds transfers programs available if you are interested in the simplicity of monthly withdrawals without the stamp.
Rob in the midst of LDS hymnal singers
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 lessen your capital gains taxes. Please see our "Invest" page for more information.

Keep praying!,

Rob Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84084
(801) 708-4865 (Note the new address and phone number!)
Rob@CourageousChristiansUnited.org
MormonInfo.org
JWInfo.org

****ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS****

1. For a continued healthy pregnancy and baby (due November 9th)
2. For Tara and Maddy’s family

****MAILBAG****

Just attended the Exmormon Conference in SL a couple of weeks ago. I’m sorry I can’t remember the details, but someone got up and talked about leaving the Mormon Church. The person said that years ago, someone gave him/her a business card w/ JosephLied.com (org?) on it. S/he forgot about it for years, but when something else happened, either remembered that website, or found the card – like I said I don’t remember the details – anyway that is how the person found out the truth about the LDS Church. So it’s all in God’s timing – not ours.

I’m amazed at your tenacity and admire you guys so much. …May God continue to bless you, Tara, Maddy, and the new little one.
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It’s interesting with my LDS background … I was asked to teach “Share Jesus Without Fear” study to the women of [my] Church... We are about 2/3 through the study. Because of my trip with you to Salt Lake, etc., I have a lot of material to share. This next week I’m going to be open to questions from the women. I’m a little nervous that I will have the right answers, but am praying for the Holy Spirit to be with me. We can do all things with the Power of the Lord. Please pray for me.
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I’m so glad that you finally are settled in Utah. I trust Tara’s pregnancy is going well with all the excitement and pressures of moving! Keep up the good work with your most valuable mission – that of helping misled people find the Lord!
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All I can say is WOW! Your Grandpa Mike and Grandma Helen would be and are beaming from ear to ear. God has certainly filled you with His Holy Spirit. I went looking for your dad and have spent the last few hours being blessed by all the things God has Blessed you with. Praise be to God!

My parents and your Grandpa Mike and Grandma Helen were best of friends. They met in Chicago, were my dad was studying for the ministry. They remained best of friends until God called them Home. This is something I am sure you probably know. I know your Grandma is telling not only my mom and dad about you, but all the Heaven host.

I just sat here with one of my friends listening and watching(again) you witness to the Mormons at Manti. My friend commented, you reminded him of what John must have been like. You certainly have that reckless Spirit that John had. Oh, if only Christians World Wide were filled with that same reckless Spirit we would have a Global Revival! I know this was always the prayer of both your grandparents and my parents. Are we Blessed to have had grandparents and parents who Loved the Lord! Amen and Amen!

...Rob, my God continue to Bless you, Tara , Maddy and your new arrival(congrats). I recently heard Kristyn Getty sing a song. She wrote it and sang it. It goes to the tune of Danny Boy. I have enclosed the words. It is titled: What Grace is Mine. In the last line of the song she says, take up my Cross and follow Him. May we ALL take up the Cross and follow Him. May God's riches Blessing continue to be upon you and His Spirit pour from you.
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I always enjoy your newsletters. I liked your comments regarding the Trinity and creation. I've heard the Mormon arguments about God creating using existing matter, so it was interesting to hear your take on it.
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I am a Born Again Priesthood Holding Latter-Day Saint. I find what you believe you are doing is so funny. People like you are the reason we have most of our 13 Million souls. People like you drive people into our church.

[I replied:] If that’s the case, then please invite me to preach at your church. I’d love to drive more people to your church!

You’ll never be a God of your own world. You’ll never be worthy enough. There’s only One who’s worthy, and He rules over literally everything outside His own being.


[He replied:] Jesus said we are joint heirs with him in all that God gave him. He makes us worthy, and gives us all he has just out of love.

I would love to go preach the gospel to people, and have you offer your verison to people with you sometime.

[I replied:] Christians believe we are joint heirs. That doesn't mean what LDS assume, viz., that we can become Gods of our own worlds to receive exclusive worship from our spirit kids. It never says we can become Gods. Pure wishful thinking on the part of LDS. That’s blasphemous! God didn't give Jesus the ability to become a God. Jesus was God with the Father and Spirit from the beginning (Jn. 1:1-3, 14, 18). Just as it's impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18), it's also impossible for God to make other Gods, since He's the Creator of literally everything outside Himself. So you’ll never be worthy to become the Creator of literally everything outside yourself, and receive worship from your spirit kids. The position is already filled. What, do you really expect to hear someday, if you’re worthy enough, “O most holy and powerful Father!”? Please! You devalue God for this blasphemous thinking. You're a horrible sinner who needs the Only True God (Jn. 17:3). Do you also think it's at least possible that God was once a horrible sinner who repented and became exalted for us?

[He replied:] I would rather believe in everything taught by Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, The Holy Ghost, The Prophets, The Apostles, and Joseph Smith/Brigham Young/John Taylor than in anything said in all the translations of the Bible or in anything said by anyone other than those listed.

You find the most controversial doctrine of the Latter-Day Saints, and I completely believe it.

Include the following principles:

The Council of Fifty

Celestial Plural Marriage

The Law of Placing

Exchange of women

Placement marriage

The law of consecration also known as the United Order

The Adam-God teachings taught by Brigham Young and other early leaders of the LDS Church

The principle of blood atonement

The exclusion of black men from the priesthood

The belief that missionaries should teach "without purse or scrip"

One Mighty and Strong prophecy by Joseph Smith in 1832.

Theocracy, and Theodemocracy

1886 Revelation recieved by John Taylor.

Also I think all male LDS should be Freemasons

Any I missed?

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