With my family, just a couple blocks directly west from where Tara grew up
Provo Temple Opening
I really want to thank those of you who have been praying for this outreach, particularly for the weather. I asked specifically for that back in December’s newsletter, and I’m happy to report that for the most part, it’s been pretty warm! So many people were challenged with their non-belief—not just LDS, but many atheist/agnostics, many of whom are former LDS. Here’s just a little taste of what happened last month.
After telling the crowds that Joseph Smith claimed a month before he died that he only had one wife (History of the Church volume 6) and then telling them that LDS.org, however, claims he had 30 to 40 wives at the time, I then ask the crowds who is lying. That really gets their attention! Then I would go on to point out that Joseph Smith was no better than Warren Jeffs in marrying underage girls. On one occasion, an LDS woman who took my paper I was handing out, heard this and said, "That's offensive!" I simply told her, "Good! You should be offended at that."
One guy told me to repent for being inciteful. I asked him what he thought Jesus was nailed to the cross for... kissing babies all the time? My aim was to be like Christ… to be lovingly offensive.
I talked to a 13 to 14-year-old boy name was Jonah, and his voice hadn't even dropped yet. He was dressed in white shirt and tie. He said he was there to support his family, but had also researched the historical problems of the LDS Church and no longer believes in it. I encouraged him to fact check the Christian faith as he had to go be with his family. Thank God for the internet! A kid this young would probably never have been able to fact check his own church prior to the internet!
Later, a guy named Preston came by, and apologized for passing by me earlier and being disrespectful. (Given all the disrespect I get out there, I didn’t even remember him.) He turned out to be very open and admitted he's been LDS, but has been studying Buddhism. We talked quite a while. He took the Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD and let me pray for him.
With Eric Johnson and Pastor Chris DeMorell (Sanatquin Baptist)On another occasion, I talked to a lady who agreed with me that Joseph Smith had problems and still chose to be LDS, because they teach her to listen to God and other good things. I told that she could easily get those things in many other Christian churches without being in a cult like Mormonism. She had her own theology, but didn't think it really mattered. She seemed to agree that everything exists because of God, but didn't think Jesus was that God. I told her she disagreed with Jesus, who thought right belief about God and His nature is important enough for salvation. Jesus said, "Unless you believe that I AM [as He claimed to be the eternal God], you will die in your sins" (Jn. 8:24).
[From fellow evangelist Eric Johnson of Mormonism Research Ministry:] “Rob Sivulka...the best friend of car accident lawyers. Three accidents took place on Saturday afternoon outside the Provo Temple right in front of Rob's sign. One involved a pair of motorcycles. Randy Sweet and I saw and heard all three fender-benders, all of which took place directly in front of Rob. The Provo police officer assigned to Rob's corner told us, "Each of those accidents happened because the people were gawking at Rob's sign." He wasn't angry at Rob but thinks people are too easily distracted, with a cell phone in one hand and a hot dog in the other. So if you see Rob on a corner, be sure you're buckled up because someone could be hitting you from behind!”
This was one of the more bizarre days I’ve ever had doing ministry. I’ve been advertising my big sign on the street for around a dozen years now, and only once did I see an accident happen in front of me due to a driver probably looking at my sign. But 3 rear-enders all in one afternoon! Wow! The next time I came out, I obliged the cop who wanted me to move back a bit from the street. It worked out better for me anyway in being able to catch more foot traffic coming from another angle.
Now it should be obvious to all those LDS questioning if I’m just wasting my time that advertising works and people are certainly checking my site out! The continual rise in the stats for site visits clearly confirms this.
Summer Mission Trip
In addition to the Philadelphia LDS temple opening that we are planning on going to this August, there is also now an LDS temple opening in Ft. Collins, Colorado during that same month. The former goes from August 5th - September 3rd. The latter goes from August 19th – September 10th. So if God provides through you, we’d like to take about a two-week road trip and preach at both temples.
Meet the Ex-Mormons Fellowship
We had a great time with our good friend Carl Wimmer last month sharing his story at our monthly fellowship. We had so many people that we had to turn some away! You may watch the video here and see the pictures here. Carl is a former state representative and now has a ministry taking the gospel to the capitol. Here is the Salt Lake Tribune article covering his conversion.
We Need Your Partnership!
We not only need your prayers, but we need your financial assistance as well. Keep in mind that 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). For various other ways to invest in this ministry, including online giving, please see our “Invest” page on any of our sites. Please keep in mind we have no financial guarantees each month. Ministry partners come and go. 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!
We expect God to provide for our needs through you. Why? Because the Bible is clear: “the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:14).
Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6)!
President, Courageous Christians United
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84081
****ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS****
1. Health and protection for our whole family
2. Tara’s family to be saved
3. Wisdom in all our dealings
4. Strength to keep going
Thank you for your ministry. God bless your efforts.
I came upon your website this morning. I'm an ExMormon from 1980. Over the years I've helped many to see the error of Mormonism and to comfort them on their exit from the LDS Church. There's something that I've wondered about. If the Book of Mormon is not a sacred history of the people of ancient America, then what is it? Is there a video on this topic?
[I replied:] Here's my lecture on the subject.
[He replied:] On the matter of the Book of Mormon, I do not believe that anyone has yet identified the site of Zarahemla, Bountiful, land of desolation etc. If this were known, would such information help the cause of the ExMormons? How would this be used?
[I replied:] LDS aren't typically bothered by the lack of archaeological support for the Book of Mormon. They just claim that's where we need faith. I know it's crazy!
[He replied:] Dear Bro Rob, you know that I honor your mission and the duty you feel toward what you believe is the true message and purpose of the teachings in the Hoy Bible. Rob, you are a loyal and strong servant (as you see it) of our Lord. But I felt that I owed it to you to let you know that I intend to rejoin the LDS Church. I intend to be re-baptized into the faith. This is my heritage and my culture and my roots. Only Jesus is perfect. and I do not expect perfection from anything or anyone. I my opinion, only God knows the absolute truth. I certainly don't. This is a free country, and I do not expect you or anyone else to be silent about what they truly believe I do hope that we will still be friends and that you will believe that I know that you have been truly dedicated, as a Christian, to your calling and to your mission. Please keep in touch. I wish you and your family the very best that life has to offer.
[I replied:] Well that's pretty depressing. So was Elsie putting the pressure on you? You know all the problems with Mormonism, so I'm not going to try to convince you to change your mind, but I would like to know what your reasons are for going back into the bondage of this cult.
Also, do you still want me to graft some pear scions on your tree? I'm ordering a bunch and I should have them next month.
Still love you!
[He replied:] Dear Rob,Thanks for getting back to me. With all of the horrible evil going on around us in the world, people suffering, starving, blowing themselves up because of some theological devotion and ideological education, it is difficult for me to understand that you focus on Mormonism. You are such a strong and charismatic debater, I could never hope to convince you of anything that might disagree with your testimony or belief system.
You have heard it all. You know the Bible, but you do not know the mind of God. You have researched all the pros and cons,but I can promise you that nobody, including my kind and loving wife Elsie, has never, ever tried to push me into this decision. Of course, she and her family are devoted to their religion. But I am a grown man, and please give me the credit that I do deserve (as do you), that I can make free, carefully considered choices and to be able to change my mind if I so choose. I'm sorry that it is depressing to you, but get over it. My decision has been made from strength not from some kind of weakness or from some kind of Satanic influence. But believe what you will.
Felling as you do, I do not see the need to ask you for the grafting.
I am writing this with love in my heart, the best intentions, and without any desire or thought in any way of trying to influence or convert you to anything. May the Prince of Peace sustain you and your family and give you hope, health and comfort. In Jesus Name, Amen
[I replied:] So I'm still wondering why you're joining it. Is it social reasons? Do you really think it's true? If so, why?
The reason I focus on Mormonism is because God called me to love the people being led to hell by it. It's teaching a false god, false Jesus, false Holy Spirit, false gospel, taught by false prophets. So again, why do you want this?
[He replied:] Dear bro, knowing what I do about your intellect, courage and grasp of the precious, simple message of Christianity, there's no way I would question your intentions or motives.
But I must say this: it is my opinion that all religions are true -- to those who believe they are true. Whoever said that Mormonism is the "one true religion" was incorrect....in my opinion. Trying to discover the ultimate and final truth, I have decided, is like trying to know the Mind of God. With all due respect, you have been given a unique and critical gift from God which has been misdirected. You know the Lord. You know the message, the message of love, peace, comfort, joy, strength and of the awesome power of our Creator. May the Holy Spirit remain with you to guide you and sustain you and your loved ones.
[I replied:] Then Mormonism is incorrect or false according to your own logic, because it's scripture teaches they are the only true religion in D&C 1:30. It also teaches that Jesus told Joseph that he was to join no other church for they are all wrong, all their creeds and abomination and all their professors are corrupt in Joseph Smith History 1:19 in the Pearl of Great Price. The Book of Mormon teaches there are only 2 churches: the devil's and the lamb's in 1 Nephi 14:10. So if that is incorrect, then not all religions can be true as you just stated.
See, the religions can't all be true, since they all contradict each other. Perhaps they are all false, but it's impossible for them to all be true. And if I am misdirected, then you are saying that I am wrong--that my faith is wrong or false, and again, not all religions can be true.
My faith tells me you're deceived. Is my faith wrong or are all religions true?
Are you giving me the truth in what you are trying to convince me? If so, then by definition, you are claiming to have the mind of God here. And if you can attempt to do that, then certainly I can as well. Just because we may never in this life have infallible knowledge doesn't entail we can't have knowledge and on occasion ho of and express truth as God sees it.
I'm still waiting to hear why you're joining the LDS Church.
[He replied:] Hey Rob, calm down. Where does all that anger come from? I sense something very disturbing and dark in your attitude and your need to engage in verbal, irrelevant combat. I thought you were a man following the teachings of the Prince of Peace. I guess I was mistaken. I do not think that further discussions would be productive.
[I replied:] I think you are presuming too much. I am very calm and simply laying out the arguments in an impassioned way. I'm simply showing you how your thinking isn't adding up. By the way, the Prince of Peace came as a sword to divide even family members as Matthew 10 says. You will never find peace with God in the bondage of the cult of Mormonism.
Again, conspicuous by its absence is you not telling me why you are joining this cult.
[He replied:] I did not read your latest rant. Please place your hostility and anger elsewhere. I do not need it.
this site cracks me up!! nobody on here knows anything! read a little more before you speak out of your butt!
It is sad that Mormons get on here to either criticize or insult the site [MormonInfo.org] when they know that by Church law that they are forbidden from visiting or even reading "Anti-Mormon" material, also it is pointless to write anything on "successful" prophecies when the Bible clearly states that it only takes ONE false prophecy to make someone a false prophet., read the Bible more then false doctrines and books. The Bible is the only truth you need! do more then just read these articles do the research yourself you might be surprised. If you claim yourselves as true Church of Jesus then you should ask yourself would Jesus come on here to make insults or would he try and teach truth? God bless the teachings of this site and I pray that the Mormons may learn what real Truth is.
I'm super distraught right now. We just talked to _____... He's all in and beyond reason with a cult. I've talked to people in cults before - JW, LDS, etc, and you know how it's all the same. (His group is the World Mission Society Church of God). What's so hard for me with [him] right now is wondering how we lost him, how he was susceptible to this, and what can be done to get him back and to prevent this from happening to more people. I think [he] went to church regularly with his foster family, and yet he's falling for the most ridiculous teachings. How does that happen? And how can people fall for such twistings of reason and Scripture? Or do they not really know the Word to begin with? And how come all the cults have the same style of arguing - is it ever helpful to try to get them to actually think, or is it always pearls before swine? The blindness is deafening, frustrating, saddening. I've been in tears ever since he left this evening. I can't stand to see the beautiful truth of the Word so twisted, to listen to someone proclaim lies and claim it's what Scripture teaches. Go ahead and teach lies, but don't say you got them from the Bible!! And don't blaspheme my Father by claiming there's a Mother, and don't deny my Lord by proclaiming that he returned as another man and going back to the ways of the law.
I can't quite put it into words just how intensely this makes my insides churn. Any thoughts?
[I replied:] [U]nbelievers get hooked into all sorts of things to fill up the place of the true God and some of those ways are religious or cultic. You can't blame yourself. Everyone is responsible before God for their own decisions.
If someone's heart is bent against God, then God reserves the right to give that person over to a strong delusion to believe a lie as 2 Thes. 2:11 says. Under such a scenario, there's nothing you're going to say to get the willful blindness healed. 2 Pet. 3:16 comes to mind in reference to Paul: "as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters.There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures."
If you still have contact with ______, pray for him and love him. He knows where you stand and that you don't approve of his nonsense. Pattern your relationship after the wife in 1 Pet. 3:1-2 with the unbelieving husband... love him to win him over without a word.
And keep in mind that God's still in the business of converting those trapped in the cults.
[She replied:] Thanks for taking the time to respond, Rob. I knew you'd have good perspective on a situation like this. Thanks for the encouragement, especially in clarifying the boundaries of my responsibility, and a vision for where to go from here.