January 11, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Christmas in Texas
Reflecting on the past year, I am even more amazed at God’s amazing grace… despite our efforts! He has brought us through another year of “dangers, toils and snares.” “T’was grace that brought us safe thus far… and grace will lead us home!” He has “given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pet. 1:3). God has truly been good to us, and we look forward to what He’s going to do with this ministry this next year!

Here are some highlights from this past year: we have been used in one way or another to help 4 people commit themselves to the Lord that we know about, and 2 of those were LDS. We’ve been able to shepherd around 10 people through DivorceCare. We have hosted and trained hundreds of people at our home for either our monthly Ex-Mormon Meetup or for Christian missionary events. We have preached the gospel to thousands all over the world in various venues. We have gone from averaging around 100 hits per day on MormonInfo.org to around 150. In fact, last month, we saw the most hits ever in a single day… 1,513, and it was this day that was the first day we got hit from every single state! We also did a live TV show on Mormonism, and were interviewed for a film documentary. Probably more can be added to this list, but the point is that God’s graciously allowed us to minister to many people this past year. And when I say “us,” that includes all of you who partner with this ministry in one way or another. Thank you so much for standing with us, so that we all can see this fruit!

While I was in Texas for the holidays, my folks’ pastor tipped me off to this article. It is about another pastor who got burned out with ministry here in Utah. Pastors and other Christian workers need to consider this potential prior to moving to such a dry and depressing place as Utah. It is very hard soil here. As one local pastor has said, “Utah is the most un[Christian]churched area of the United States.” We don’t need any more gimmicks here. We need more Christians moving into Utah who will persistently trust the Lord in tilling the soil. So please continue to keep us in your prayers as we minister here, since none of us are immune from all the spiritual attacks that go on here! Many years ago, I used to, and my wife still does, feel the oppression here, and she has a sense of relief once we cross the state line to go on vacation. Not only do we live in a state that is 60 to 70% LDS, but many of our own Christian brothers and sisters look down on the type of ministry we engage in. Our philosophy is that the best defense is a good offense, and others often confuse that with being needlessly offensive. This makes little sense to much of the modern Christian Church, which is suffering from a bad case of what Walter Martin used to describe in Latin as “non-rock-a-boat-us.”

We not only need your prayers, but we need your financial assistance as well. Your investment is not simply for us, but for the lives of others we reach with the gospel. The standard way to financially invest is by writing a check to Courageous Christians United (CCU). 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. For more information, please see our “Invest” page. 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. At this point, we would like to raise at least $300 each month to cover costs. If you’re not a partner, please consider joining our team and let us know soon. We’d love to be your missionaries here in Utah. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and in your financial giving!

Happy New Year!

Rob Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84084
(801) 738-0539
Rob@CourageousChristiansUnited.org
MormonInfo.org
JWInfo.org
MuslimInfo.org

****ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS****

1. Health & protection for our whole family
2. Tara’s and Maddi’s families to be saved
3. Wisdom in all our dealings
4. New members for our DivorceCare class starting soon

****MAILBAG****

I must share an experiance which has born fruit from your Ministry is that I have had two replys from the testimony you posted for me and was able to serve the Lord in helping one sister who just recently came out of the Mormon church who wandered into our paths and is now settled in a Christian Bible believing church in Philli so that was a blessing to me to be able to serve the Lord on her behalf and another brother sought my help to pray for the salvation of his girlfriend, her mother and friend which has also been a blessing and I pray that they to will be delivered, so I praise God for that and look forward to more fruit and opertunitys to serve Him in my ability.

I am planning to write a small book on the Mormon body and how it works and catches souls and from the polishing of those experience's now, so if that's any good I'll give it to you which may contribute in one way or another to The Ministry if God be willing.

It's great to hear you hold and ex-Mormon meet up Rob I Know myself that is so important to have that initial love and support to helped to be settled in the Word and the Lord as that transition is made, I think like me many Mormons come out scolded by the experience and dazed and shocked as the wander out the burning building and desperately need someone to take them by the hand, I can't speak for all but that seems to be my experience and from the experiance I just had from the sister who contacted me in desperation which reminded me of my need and the hope I had of serving in this area some way with the Lord.

Thank you again brother,keeping you and all the Mormon ministry's in my prayers and every blessing to you in your labors for God.

Look forward to reading the news letter and the future ones to.

Your brother Andrew.

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Merry Christmas Rob, Thank you for all you do in Utah. I am always encouraged by your posts/newsletters/emails. May the Lord continue to bless your faithfulness & obedience.
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You certainly do meet up with a wide range of temperments, don’t you? I do enjoy reading about the people you meet and talk about the Lord with, but there are some who definitely need a leash on their tongues!
_________________

…I have been having an online conversation about repentance. He sent me an email that read like it was quoted right out of Miracle of Forgiveness...I replied and he sent me this link and asked if I would read it and give him feedback on it.

I don't know if you already read it or not....but you can shoot from the hip a response that would take me hours...would it be too much to ask for your input? If you don't have time or are disinclined I understand....I just get so bogged down with this stuff and you seem to thrive on it....maybe I'm just tired and not sure if it is worth the trouble....
Thanks for everything you do,

[I replied:] I thought it interesting that the Ensign article cites D&C 58:43 says, "By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them." This is why LDS repentance isn't biblical repentance. Our repentance is never perfected in this life. That's why if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth isn't in us (1 Jn. 1:8, 10). Contrast this biblical truth to Kimball's Miracle of Forgiveness, which teaches in Ch. 12 "Abandonment of Sin" as a prerequisite to forgiveness, and desire or trying is not sufficient. That's why he goes on to say, "No one can repent on the cross" (167).

One other thing to keep in mind that LDS often forget: this life is all we have to make our repentance complete. If one hasn't really repented by confessing and forsaking all sins, then one hasn't repented. Instead, if one has procrastinated the day of repentance, then one is sealed to the devil and "this is the final state of the wicked" (Alma 34:32-5). This passage is addressed to men in general. And this fits with what the Bible teaches in Heb. 9:27: "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Second chances are ruled out.

For us as Christians, repentance is a change of mind (that's literally what the Greek term "metanoia" means). Because there is this change of mind (and heart, but both heart and mind are internal things), it manifests itself in 2 ways: confession and external performance.

Simple confession, which this Ensign article condemns, is sufficient for forgiveness of sins. 1 Jn. 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." This is why we claim to know, unlike LDS, that we have eternal life as 1 Jn. 5:10-13 say. It's not based on our external performance of forsaking all sin. It's based on simply having the Son now. This is exactly what happened to the thief on the cross, and our Lord promised to be with him in the 3rd heaven when they died (Lk. 23:43 with 2 Cor. 12:2-4).

This change of the internals is what motivates us to work. The change on the inside, a "heart transplant," manifests itself also by our good works... imperfect as they are. But the Bible doesn't teach that we get forgiveness of sins when our external performance is perfected. The thief didn't have the time we have. He came at the 11th hour and received the same blessings from the Father that we get (Mat. 20:1-16). This is totally incomprehensible to LDS categories!

The LDS gift of repentance is simply a way for us to work for eternal life. They thank God that through the atonement, there's a way for us to "confess and forsake," doing all that we can do (2 Ne. 25:23 & Moroni 10:32).

Christianity is God simply giving us an mansion if we accept it through faith. We could disbelieve Him and reject it, but it's still a gift if we want it. Given such a great gift, we naturally want to work to show God how much we love and appreciate Him. Mormonism, on the other hand, is God giving us a mansion via a mortgage that we must work to pay off. That may be refinanced via Christ and His atonement, but it still needs to be worked off under terms of an external law if one really wants it. No wonder Mormonism is such a drag! But Jesus taught, "For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light" (Mat. 11:30).

________________

Rob,

Interesting website; not quite my flavor, but I thought I would point out an error for correction.

On your comparison page, you make say that Mormons believe that "Jesus may not have been born of a virgin." Now, however you may interpret Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball (both of which do not say that Mary wasn't a virgin), or a number of other sources that also do not say she wasn't a virgin, I turn you to the Book of Mormon.

1Nephi 11:19, 20, when Nephi the Prophet is having a vision of Christ's birth, it says, "And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the agnel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms."

Very definitive that Mary was, indeed, a virgin after giving birth to Jesus.

Thank you for the correction and happy holidays.

[I replied:] Yes, I realize the Book of Mormon contradicts other LDS sources. For example, Alma 11:24-31, 44 contradicts the Book of Abraham 4-5. Only 1 true and living God vs. many true and living Gods. Or how about Alma 34:36 contradicting D&C 130:3? The Lord dwells in hearts vs. He doesn't. So it shouldn't surprise us when LDS leaders have taught that since Jesus is the Son of God that must mean that the Father produced Him *naturally* just as everyone else is produced (cf. the sources I cited). LDS are notorious for twisting scripture, so it also shouldn't surprise us that they *could* twist the 1 Ne. passage you gave to mean that she was a virgin in the sense that she hadn't had sex with any mortal. Nonetheless, even if that won't work, the point is that Mormonism can't be from God since God doesn't contradict Himself.
__________________

Rob thanks for your website. I was watching Shawn Mccraney Show on HOTM.TV and he was talking about MORMONINFO.org anyways thanks for all your work and help against mormonism. I am glad that I have been out of MORMONISm for the last 10 months or less. Happy New Years to you and your family. I will continue to pray for all those Apologist and Pastors who defend our christian faith. Thanks so much. Bye.
_______________

Wow, that was some mail bag. I don't think I ever heard anyone talk about Islam with such ignorant arguments, really more like twisted and illogical.
________________

[On Facebook, I wrote the following on one of my LDS friend’s Wall:] Happy B-day C…! Live for Jesus and leave Mormonism, and may He use you in tremendous ways for His kingdom this next year.

[J replied:] Wait a minute...that doesn't make any sense at all...why would she leave the only TRUE church? She is already helping build HIS kingdom with the unshakable faith she has in her religion now. Sorry....couldn't help but say something after you ruined a happy birthday post by throwing religion into it. :)

[I replied:] Obviously there are millions of people that don't think it's the only true Church, but a counterfeit of genuine Christianity. For more, see www.MormonInfo.org.

[J replied:] Ha ha and obviously there are millions that KNOW its the true church...over 14million do be exact. For more info on this see [here.]

[J2 replied:] Hahahahahahahaha, sense when do people bash someone's religion on their b-day? I think ill just skip the whole religion debate and wish my cuz a FANTASTIC BIRTHDAY!!

[K replied:] Bahahaha Rob... I'm going with J on this one... However, before you go and say "counterfeit Christianity" you should test it out for yourself. Instead of reading a website, go ahead and read the book of Mormon from front to back.. and if you can still say that we're counterfeit Christians then at least you'll have an educated opinion!

[I replied:] Regardless of 14 million, there's no good reason to think it's true and plenty of good reasons to know it's false. Mormonism teaches a false Jesus, false God, false scriptures given by false prophets. It contradicts what the Bible has always taught, and it was founded by someone who was charged by Justice Albert Neely in 1826 for peep stone gazing; someone who pretended he could translate Egyptian Hieroglyphics into the Book of Abraham (which every Egyptologist recognizes Smith didn't get the translation right); someone who started to translate the bogus Kinderhook Plates; someone who was married to 11 women who were currently married to living husbands; and someone who married 14 and 16-year-old girls not unlike Brian David Mitchell.

K, I have read the BM, D&C, PGP, and God told me by the power of the Holy Ghost that they aren't of Him. So I think warning someone of a false religion and pointing them to the Jesus of the Bible is the best B-day gift I could ever give someone.


[J3 replied:] Rob, we live in a world that has religion, and those religions have to be guarded by faith. Who's gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You wrap for C, and you curse the Mormons. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what we know--that, while C's religious decision seems tragic, it saves souls. You don't want to know what we know because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want to be a mormon. You need to be a mormon. We use words like salvation, covenants, and eternal family. We use these words as the backbone to a life spent believing in something. you use them as a punchline. I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the freedom of religion, and then questions someone else's beliefs. I'd rather you just say "thank you", and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a Book of Mormon. and stand for something.

[C2 replied:] Rob not that I really know or care what you have to say or think about the church of Jesus christ of later day saints, but I have quite a few friends who are not of the faith of the LDS church and believe much of what we teach to be true. We teach 80% of are lessons out of the Bible and I have a testimony given to me from the holy ghost not built on a mans words that it is true. No amount of apologetics can change that because man's interpretation is flawed so I ask God what is true we are all trying to build the kingdom of God on earth and any one who belittles the the Christian belief of another Christian belittles Christ him self and is not of him. C we love you HAPPY BIRTHDAY

[I replied:] Well of course I take issue that Mormonism saves souls. Since Mormonism teaches a false God, and the apostle of our Lord said that idolaters won't inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9), then I, being a follower of Christ, need to warn people as Jesus did of "false Christs and false prophets" (Mat. 24:24). Mormonism claimed to be the only true Church (D&C 1:30), which damned all of traditional Christianity, and we have every responsibility to answer that false charge.

Your psychoanalysis is just as silly as if I were to tell you that deep down inside you want to be free from Mormonism and become a follower of the Jesus of the Bible.

I stand for the Bible, which Joseph Smith distorted in his translation of it. There no Hebrew or Greek manuscripts that back him up in what he did. He was a false prophet who is leading many to hell. You need a much more powerful God than the wimpy God of Mormonism. The latter is simply an exalted man like we have the potential to become. That means that your God had to bow down and follow some other God before He could become a God for only a certain sub-section of reality. Thus, it's very possible that your God could have been a sinner like us--child molester, drug addict, rapist, etc., who repented and went with the LDS program. With all due respect, that's blasphemy and is not the God of the Bible, who has always been God from everlasting to everlasting as Ps. 90:2 says.

Look, I love Mormons. My in-laws are Mormon. I've given my life to reach them for Christ.


[C2 replied:] Is the God you spewing of the God of isaac abraham and jacob? God the father the God who told noah to build an ark who came and spoke to joseph as a burning bush? And is the christ you speak of not the 1 who came from the virgin mary who is born in a manger. Jesus of nazarus ? The only begotten son of god the savior of all mankind? Because if this is the jesus you speak of [and the] god you speak of then we follow the same got a we fallow savior.

And there would be no hebrew or ancient aramaic text of christ visit to the americas the only be ancient american text which very few can even be translated today

[J replied:] Rob I wish I knew why C is friends with you. I have many friends who are non believers of my religion, and in religion of its self and they would never ask me to leave something that I believe in, and know to be true in my heart. Out of 14 million people your telling me there is no good reason to be LDS? For every "bad" reason you have to be LDS there is 2 good reasons. It was wrong of you to ask a friend, and our cousin, on her birthday to leave her religion and if she does then God may use her, as if he wouldn't use her if she didn't ...God loves all...regardless of what you believe in. This is now a dead subject and should probably end. Good luck in life....secrest out! Sorry...I had to say it.

[A replied:] Honestly, rob, all you've done is make a complete fool of yourself. I'm sure you'd be peeved if someone posted slander on you wall, too. Especially when it wasn't asked for. I'm sure we all hope one day you'll make sense and realize ignorant comments like the ones you've made are laughable, to say the least. Butt out of her religious decisions; nobody asked you and she's a big girl ;) Happy birthday, C! I'd love you no matter what you worshipped!

[J4 replied:] What a remarkable thing that has happened. Because one person told C to leave her church, I was able to read the testimonies of a handful of my cousins and two of my brothers. I love my family and I love this Gospel. In all actuality there is nothing we can say that any anti-mormon would be able to comprehend because you have to be listening to the Spirit for that to happen. God told a 14 year old boy that other religions teach for doctrines of man, having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof." It is also funny that you would slander our religion by indirectly calling us what the world has nicknamed us instead of our true name which is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints. With certainty we exclaim that we KNOW that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God our Father and that he has atoned for the sins of all mankind. "By their fruits you shall know them." I'm grateful that you Rob, believe in Christ. We are only saying to bring what you know of Him and let us see what we could learn from each other. Love you C, happy birthday.

[S replied:] Wow seems like anything I say would be overkill but Rob, you should be ashamed as a 'friend' speaking down on your 'friends' anything, especially beliefs but then again you'd know that it's not your place to pass judgement on another if you were in the true religion, so good on ya for standing strong to your beliefs. Happy B-day

[I replied:] C2--Ya, my God is the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, but that's not the LDS God, since Abraham, Issac, and Jacob would never claim that God's an exalted man, who could have very well been a sinner like us prior to His exaltation.

Again, Jesus warned of false Christs in Mt. 24:24. So just because you claim certain features in common with Christ doesn't entail you've got the right one. I could say that I hold to Jesus being the son of God, born of a virgin, and be referring to my next door neighbor Tom. Well Tom isn't "over all God blessed forever" as Rom. 9:5 says or the creator of all things from the beginning whether in heaven or in earth as Jn. 1:1-3, 14 or Col. 1:13-8 say. So since LDS devalue Jesus from this position, then they follow a false Jesus in contradiction to the Bible.

J--Perhaps C is friends with me since she's open-minded enough to hear different points of view... including one that challenges her faith. I agree God loves all. The Bible is clear that He so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to die for it (Jn. 3:16). Look, just because LDS claim to belong to the only true Church doesn't make me think that they all hate me since I don't belong to it.

A--There was no slander here. I gave C my heart-felt wishes, and then I gave reasons why Mormonism is untrue and is teaching something different about God than what the Bible has always taught. I get people on my Wall who tell me things I don't agree with all the time. We're still friends and I love them. Jesus told me to go out and teach everyone about Him in Mat. 28:19, and that includes C. If she wants me to stop, then I'll respect her wishes.

J4--I submit that you're not listening to the Holy Spirit of God, but some other spirit who is taking you away from the truth. About the Mormon reference... "Mormon" Tabernacle Choir, "Mormon" Times, "Mormon".org, etc., etc.

S--Whatever gave you the idea that we can't pass judgments on others? If that's true, then everyone here isn't following that, since they are passing judgments on me. When Jesus told us not to judge in Mat. 7:1, the context goes on to tell us that He was referring to hypocritical judgments. That's why He tells us to take the log out of our own eye before we take the speck out of our neighbors. If you don't have that as an understanding, then it's hard to make sense why He would also tell us to make righteous judgments in Jn. 7:24.

All--I am yet to hear any good reason why Mormonism is true and why my beliefs are false. I love all of you and am simply trying to warn you that your sorrows shall be multiplied for hastening after a false god as Ps. 16:4 says. "There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death" (Prov. 14:12).


[J replied:] Rob--And we are yet to hear any good reasons as to why our beliefs are false. We shall see who's sorrows are multiplied in the after life....good day Rob, and good luck in your preaching. I'm done with this....

[I replied:] So believing what the Bible says about God being God from everlasting to everlasting as Ps. 90:2 says isn't a good reason why we shouldn't listen to Joseph Smith teach something different? Did you see all the biblical differences between Mormonism and Christianity on my Home page chart at www.MormonInfo.org? Knowing Smith's character in being an adulterer, and pedophile isn't a good reason why someone shouldn't trust him? In case you missed it, here's what I said earlier: "[Mormonism] was founded by someone who was charged by Justice Albert Neely in 1826 for peep stone gazing; someone who pretended he could translate Egyptian Hieroglyphics into the Book of Abraham (which every Egyptologist recognizes Smith didn't get the translation right); someone who started to translate the bogus Kinderhook Plates; someone who was married to 11 women who were currently married to living husbands; and someone who married 14 and 16-year-old girls not unlike Brian David Mitchell."

[C2 replied:] You are wasting your time on here everything your saying contradict oh we're telling you We believe in jesus christ the only begotten son of god the savior and redeemer of the world. God the father the god of isaac abraham and jacob. The same god you claim to know worship and follow And as for S passing judgement on you I have not seen 1 person pass judgement on you simply state facts not state that Anything against you yourself except for telling a friend on her birthday to change a religion was wrong and they were not judging you simply judging And action of yours. We all have much better things to do than sit here and argue with you May god bless you with knowledge truth and light in all your life.

[A replied:] K seriously, if you STILL have an issue, take it up with the person individually. This is getting so ridiculous, especially all over C's page. Rob, you don't agree with the LDS church, we get it. Got it like 10 freakin' comments ago. So let's just AGREE to freaking DISAGREE and MOVE ON. Nobody is going to shift anyone else's opinion, SO DROP IT ALREADY!

[I replied:] C2--My God isn't your God simply because my God is the Creator of everything outside Himself and thus is infinitely more powerful than the weak God of Mormonism, who only created some things. Mormonism has a false God & thus a false Christ.

How about the judgment that I don't know what I'm talking about and that I'm wasting my time and that we have the same God? What is everyone upset about here if they aren't making a judgment against me? They are judging an action of mine, viz., telling a friend that she needs to repent of the false religion of Mormonism? OK, if you can judge my actions, then I'm judging all your actions for continuing to worship a false god. If that's true, then nothing is more important now. If you all die following your false god, you will all follow him to hell, and because I love all of you, I'm simply warning you.


[C replied:] WHO ARE YOU? Im sorry but it's my birthday and you can back of[f] my facebook wall :D I would never think to leave mormonism. It is the ONLY true church and truly makes me Happy :D Have a good day "Rob Sivulka"

[C3 replied:] look guy. My sister doesn't need to be preached to. We all have strong testimonies of god which IS the eternal father, his son which is Jesus Christ, and in the holy ghost. Nothing you say or do can change that. Your preaching can be taken elsewhere.

and by the way we do not teach that the book of mormon replaces the bible but that it is another testiment of christ.

[C2 replied:] This Guy knows Verry little about the LDS church and of Jesus christ. I went to his website it is nothing more then anti Mormon rhetoric. People who care nothing for the salvation of the lost sinner just perching against the church. Good on you C and C3 and everyone who did not buy into the bull crap this Guy is spreading. This is the last thing I will post on here. May God the father bless all of you, may Jesus Christ the only begotten son of God walk with you, and may the holy ghost dwell within all of us.

[I replied:] C3--I never said that LDS think the Book of Mormon replaces the Bible. I know it's called Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The problem though is that it isn't. It contradicts the Bible (e.g., 2 Ne. 25:23 & Moroni 10:32 with Rom. 11:6 & Eph. 2:8-9), it's racist (2 Ne. 5:21 ff., Alma 3:6 ff., & 3 Ne. 2:14-16), and a fairy tale where no city/country/person has ever been found in the New World. Do you really think that Moroni being the capitol city of the Comoros Islands off Africa is simply a coincidence?

C2--Thanks for judging my motives of not caring about your salvation. I wouldn't waste my time unless I was convinced you guys are all headed to hell for following a false God, false Jesus, and false prophet. You call this "bull crap" without even demonstrating how it is. You simply don't like it, but you haven't dealt with any of the arguments why Mormonism is regarded as heresy by the historic Christian Church (Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox).

Merry Christmas! I pray you'll follow the true Christ of Christmas rather than the weak one of Mormonism, who isn't the Creator of literally everything outside Himself.


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