September 30, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Sivulkas at Provo Falls
This past month my family and I have talked to 5 LDS missionaries in our neighborhood. Tara, Maddy, and I talked to 3 of them outside our home after they visited our next door neighbors. Tara asked the missionaries a question about what they would think if someone claimed to do more than Jesus. One missionary said that person would be prideful. So I went inside to print Joseph Smith’s quote for them: “I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet” (History of the Church, 6:408-9). After going back and forth on whether we should pray about the Book of Mormon (we asked if they would pray about adultery), I started praying to ask God if it was true. After I got done, the head elder said it wouldn’t work, since I actually prayed to Jesus. So I prayed again, but this time directly to the Father, and then I told them that God revealed to me by the power of the Holy Ghost that they’re in a cult. Tara started talking to 2 of the missionaries, then Maddy and I started to talk to the one who made that statement about a prideful individual. This missionary just got on his mission, and was surprised to hear that LDS taught we could become gods. Unfortunately, the missionaries had to hurry to another appointment.

A week or two after this, Charis and I were walking our dog (no, Charis isn’t walking yet), and we came across two other LDS missionaries. (The missionaries have never come to our home, by the way.) These missionaries were much more passive than the other ones. This time I was able to challenge these missionaries on their spiritual experiences by asking them if they believed the Bible to be the word of God. After they agreed, I asked them if they believed 2 Thes. 2:11 which says that God could give them a strong delusion. They doubted that, so I then asked them again if they really believed the Bible. Now they weren’t sure really what to say, so I got to explain to them how Mormonism is polytheistic and this goes against what God teaches.

My friends and I have been continuing to have productive times at Temple Square. In addition to preaching to small groups, getting out a lot of tracts, and advertizing MormonInfo.org to many, we’ve had some great dialogues with people. Merrill comes to mind first. He’s been watching Shawn McCraney (who holds a local weekly TV show that critiques Mormonism from a Christian Ex-Mormon perspective) for 3 years now (even going to Shawn’s studio and his other events), but claims that he has no doubts concerning Mormonism. Merrill doesn’t think the differences are significant enough to claim that we have different Gods. So I shared with him that by the very definition of terms, his is a weaker and devalued god. One can’t even think of anything greater than my God, since He’s always been God and is the originator of everything outside His own being. Anything other than this, including the LDS God, is by definition a creation with a certain limited kingdom, and thus weaker. Merrill also wanted to know if I thought LDS were Christians. I told him that whether LDS are Christians or not really isn’t the point. The point is truth, and I take it that at best they are false Christians, since they devalue Jesus from the position true Christians give to God.

Now contrast this with an LDS gal who told me that I’m limiting God since I didn’t see Him as giving us all that He has. Since God can’t make another like Himself, I’m limiting God. So I asked her if God rules over this world. After she conceded, I asked her if we’d be able to rule over this world. LDS think that we won’t rule over this world if we become exalted; we’ll rule over other worlds. See, even she has to qualify what is meant by God giving us all that He has. Christians qualify that according to the parameters laid out in the Bible, viz., that there is only one true God who created literally all things outside Himself. Now certain things like creating another uncreated are obviously nonsensical. God’s omnipotence doesn’t entail the nonsensical. It simply entails Him doing every power. So given the most exalted Christian view, it is nonsense for God to make another being of His sort.

Demon-guy with hat confronting LDS guy
In addition to all the good conversations we have at Temple Square, every once in a while we’ll have individuals come by who may in fact have demons. Such was the case with one guy who told us that he didn’t think we should be standing in front of the LDS temple and ripping on Mormonism. What wasn’t OK for us to do was perfectly acceptable for this one guy to do with us. He shadowed us as we passed our tracts out and told everyone not to take them—they were garbage. He’d get in our faces and call us liars, homosexuals, and other perverted things. Then he would also get in the faces of LDS and say the same things to them! Thank God he ended up leaving, but that was after about 30 to 40 minutes.

We are starting to go out to Temple Square on Saturdays, since we are leading Divorce Care on Thursdays now. We have about 4 people at this point, so pray for all of us, and that God would bring more.

Sandra Tanner at our last Meetup
We had a great time with Sandra Tanner for our September Ex-Mormon Meetup, and the testimony she shared is now on YouTube. This was our largest Meetup yet. All the pictures from this event may be seen here.

Due to all the buzz over Glenn Beck, we created 2 pages on him for MormonInfo.org: a discussion page, and a film review of his “An Unlikely Mormon: The Conversion Story of Glenn Beck.”

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 also keep in mind that, particularly in this economy, we have no financial guarantees each month. Ministry partners come and go as jobs do. For more information, please see our "Invest" page on any of our sites. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and in your financial giving!

Let us not grow weary in well-doing (Gal. 6:9),

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

****MAILBAG****

two and a half years ago while on line looking to buy temple clothes I saw a picture of a man holding a sign and shaking it at a bus that said, Joesph lied.com I think, . I read the message went to the site, tried to call the office but it was near christmas and the person answering the phone said everyone would be out of the office till after new years. I couldn't waid and desperatly wanted info. I ended up talking with Becky and Keith walker and getting saved. Although I was saved that January it has taken me this whole three years to get my footing. I'm doing very well, but after telling Helen my story she said the person in the picture was probably you.

…at the time it was sort of scary. I thought why is that man so mad? Once I saw the picture there was no turning back. I had to know why you were so angry with mormons and just knew it had to a misunderstanding. well at least now I know. where is your group based? and where do you live? I would love to meet you in person some day.

…As I look back on it , I was so taken by the picture. It felt like it was me you were yelling out. (weird huh?) I don't know, I guess I just wanted a better look at the person that dropped the seed. That doesn't even make sense when you think about it. I remember the signs and I think the man had gray in his hair. I think it was you. anyway. good seed planting. isn't it weird how God can take someone from Utah, who wasn't even there and minister to him using you? Now that 's awesome. by the way, I know it's been 2 1/2 years but I'm just now getting up off the ground. It's taken me this long just to pull enough weeds so I can see what I'm doing. I still have a long way to go but I still witness to others what God has done.
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I came across your website this morning. It's sad that you have decided to waste your time and efforts of this mortal life to tear down the beliefs of others. The even more sickening part is you are making money off of it, talk about a wolf in sheep's clothing. If you were a true follower of Christ, truly serving him rather than your own selfish desires, you might make the world a better place. I know a lot of true christians and they DO NOT tear down the beliefs of others rather they love them and appreciate their shared common beliefs- Christ is Lord and Savior of the World, by him through him and of him we are saved. Christ may have thrown the money changers out of the temple- as he should have, but Christ is not going to punish those that are doing the best they can to serve him and the children of God, why would you want to devote your life to destroying something positive, something good.

God Bless

Hopefully one day you will see your errors and truly accept Christ with a desire to serve your fellow man instead of tearing him down.

[I replied:] Your critique is typical, so I'll give a typical response. If you can tear down me, then so can I with Mormonism. You seem to recognize that when you mention that Christ threw out the money changers. Was that tearing them down? Some things need to be torn down. Mormonism is evil, so of course is needs to be torn down. They teach a false Christ/God, and have false prophets.

Not only do I tear down, but I build up others into the true Christ/God.

As for being supported by my family and friends who partner in this ministry, God's word "is filled with passages that tell us to support those who "work" in getting the gospel out. When Jesus sent the (unprepared) twelve disciples out to minister, he told them not to bring money, since the "workman is worthy of his meat" (Matthew 10:5-14). Since they freely received, they were to freely give. That is why I don't charge people when I preach the gospel to them, and neither did the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 9:18). Paul said very clearly that those who preach should expect to be taken care of materially (1 Cor. 9:7-14). He commended the Philippians for taking care of him through their gifts (Phil. 4:15-18)" (http://mormoninfo.org/paid-ministry).

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Just over a year ago I started to notice the presence of Mormonism within my city, and have a desire to share with them the true gospel. I currently spend much time befriending Mormons, and loving them where they are at. It is God's grace which has given me a love for Mormons, and as this love has grown, so has my love for Utah. In a week I have an opportunity to come to Utah, for a week, and I have absolutely no plans once I get there. I would be interested in meeting with you, and learning from you. If you have some time between October 6 and 10th, please schedual me in, and share your heart with me.
I look forward to hearing from you
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Why are you bad mouthing the mormon religion? Don't you have anything better to do? I mean really name a website mormoninfo, really? Im pretty sure everything on you website is your beliefs so why would you name your website so factual seems kind of ignorant to me. so i was expecting some actual info about the beliefs of mormonism, instead i just find a bunch of balogna trying to bad mouth the mormon church. Great job buddy it just makes you look like a jerk and a person who shows no respect for his fellow man.

[I replied:] Thanks for bad mouthing me. You doing it just confirms to me that I'm on the right path. May God give you eyes to see before it's too late.
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Hey Rob! I just had the pleasure of seeing your 10 things LDS trip up Christians with.(or something along those lines lol) I am a Christian follower and I have several LDS friends, whom I love and treat as my fellow brethren. I want to lead them on to the path of Jesus but they are more educated in their teachings than I am in mine. I was just wondering if there was a chance I could maybe get together with you and you can explain some more differences between the Bible and their beliefs. I have been trying to do as much research as I can but there are several, multiple, topics I do not understand. I also need to know how to convert them to being Christians rather than believe that highly misleading of a religion called mormonism.

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