Dad's 1st General Conference
Saturday was a difficult day. It was good that my dad came out for his first time to GC, but we were having a difficult time engaging people. I talked to an ex-Mormon atheist, and 4 Mormons, but all of them checked out of the conversations not long after we started them. The atheist didn’t even believe in the historical figure of Jesus. I challenged him on that, and he admitted that the whole supernatural theory is just too incredible for him. I preached to a ton of people, but no real bites.
As usual, one day at conference is quite different from the other. Sunday I had several great and long conversations. One was named Reggie, who was a really
Preaching at G.C.nice and open LDS guy. He let me pray for him and asked me to pray that his eyes would be open for whatever God had for him!
Another guy was an ex-LDS named Darrel, who wanted to know what Joseph lied about. Darrel was still with his LDS polytheistic baggage, so I was able to deal with that. He was very thankful for the enlightening conversation that gave him much to think on (his words), but he wouldn't let me pray for him.
Also talked to a young couple named Doug and Sadie. They came up to me and asked why I was doing what I was doing. I got to go through the 3 biblical criteria for testing Joseph Smith. My dad even got involved in the dialogue.
We finally had a great time talking to Catherine for quite a while with my dad and ex-Mormon Evie Wilson. Catherine admits “she’s” a rarity. S/he was born a male, but thinks he's a female and is married and sealed to a woman. He's even a Tea Party conservative! He took my DVD at the end.
ReggieFriday, the day before I went out to advertise my sign MormonInfo.org/ Josephlied.com, I had 42 total hits with only 9 coming from Utah. Saturday I had 103 total with 42 coming from UT. Sunday had 193 total with and 89 came from Utah. I keep telling you, advertising works and people are curious enough to check it out.
Finally, HERE is a video of some of my interactions this weekend.
Our friend Michael Lapray shared his story at our last monthly fellowship. Please watch his testimony of leaving Mormonism and coming to Christ on our site, and please check out the pictures.
Memphis Temple Opening
Tara and the kids went out to this temple opening with me. We all went through the temple and got to engage with 3 tour guides as well as a Christian lady on the tour. I was proud of Charis asking them a good question regarding baptism. She enjoyed the conversation so much, she said she wanted to be a missionary to the Mormons when she grows up!
Catherine and Dad
Later that night when I came back to advertise my lighted JosephLied.com sign, I had a young 28-year-old LDS guy named Dan approach me. He was a great guy, and we must have talked for about an hour and a half. He let me pray for him, and he said it was beautiful. Ironically, at the end of our time there, I ended up talking to another LDS guy named Daniel. He was also a super nice guy, and Tara and I had a great time talking to him about the Lord for quite a while as well.
Most of the Mormons were super nice here. The temple Public Relations director, Richard Foley, came out to talk with me for a while. He told us (Eric Johnson of Mormonism Research Ministry and John Kauer of Think About Eternity) that we could use their parking lot as well as their bathrooms, so long as we don’t bring any of our material into the latter.
Eric and I talked to a black guy named Marcus, who has been studying with the LDS for year. His eyes were really opened on racism issue in the Book of Mormon where God cursed people with dark skin and as they repented, their curse was taken from them and they got white skin. Marcus found our meeting to be God ordained and agreed with us that Mormonism is not Christian after all, but a cult.
Memphis templeI also had a great time talking to an agnostic ex-LDS guy named Brian, who thought science made the Bible irrelevant. I gave him a lot of good things to think about that challenged his agnosticism.
Despite two days of very bad weather (one of which made my fingers go numb!), we still saw TN first in all the states to visit MormonInfo.org every day we were out doing ministry there.
Oklahoma Temple Opening
This temple opening was quite a bit different. My family wasn’t there. Even though I had a little help from a local guy named Rick who was doing a prayer walk one day, a local Ex-Mormon friend, Lowell Johnson, his associate pastor Cliff, and a Texas friend, Keith Riley, it was basically just myself out there. Only one day had lousy weather, but it was only for half the day. I did a lot of walking door to door to get our Temple Guides out. I spoke at a church--Midwest City Free Methodist (you may listen to the talk HERE). The LDS officials, particularly their security, were bending over backwards to keep me as far away as possible.
I got in a day prior to the public open house and thought I could take a pastors’ tour, since I am a mission president and I took one last year at the Jordan River Temple and Eric Johnson in Memphis took one.
Marcus with Eric JohnsonOne gal took me in the reception area and said that we'd have to wait on another gal to get permission but didn't think I'd have a problem. This one gal told me about their temples and how they are sacred not secret. I made the mistake of challenging her on that. The other gal comes in that we were waiting for, and the gal who was entertaining me whispers something in the other's ear right in front of me. (If I was snarky, I would have said, "See, that's a SECRET.) The gal then tells me that they are all filled, and that I'd have to come back the next day for the start of the normal public opening. So I came back the next day and I was met by some guy named Tom, who told me to come outside. He told me they looked me up and said that's not my purpose here. I told him my purpose was going to see the temple, and he said they weren't going to allow it and then thanked me for coming.
I immediately went to work putting papers on the surrounding doors. I came back to the LDS church entrance with my buddy Lowell and unexpectedly met my LDS mother-in-law Kaylene there. She saw me and my big sign as she was leaving to go back home. She lives 2 and a half hours away and she goes there to do her temple work about once a month, so I just wasn’t expecting to see her at this open house. She knew that we were in Memphis the week prior, so she wasn’t expecting that I would turn around and fly back to OK.
Mother-in-lawNot long after this, as expected, the Church called the cops to get Lowell Johnson and me removed from their property, which I claimed was a public easement. 3 cop cars came. 3 security stayed with us until they showed. One cop said usually an easement is 12 feet from the curb, but I'll have to check with the county assessors' office for the final word. They told us they wouldn't bother us if we moved across the street and to the island, so after at least a half-hour of drama, we finally complied. We ended up getting more tracts out, but I still wanted to use an easement whenever I'd like.
The next day I called the county assessor, Tammy Mohow, and she said there was an easement where we were standing. So I then went to stand in front of the temple. Security showed up again and told me to move and that I was disturbing the peace by preaching through their gate. They called the cops again, and they showed and confronted me, but ended up doing nothing. The next day I stood at the exit. One of the security guys approached me and said not to distract drivers and don’t go on their property. In other words, I was right and they were wrong. Later that day, another cop approached Lowell and me and told us that we were fine being where we were. To watch a couple videos of this drama, see HERE and HERE.
The last day of the outreach, I said hi to the security guy and asked him how he was doing. He said he was not good and I was too close to the entrance. I told him I was too close to the exit the other day. He said he'd be better if I was across the street. I said, "Well I like to move around and don't worry I'm leaving tomorrow." He said, "Good!"
Despite the legal drama, I had plenty of good conversations! Among others, I talked briefly with two sets of LDS missionaries, an agnostic LDS gal, and an agnostic LDS guy. The LDS gal said I should read some philosophy books! She was taken back when I told her that I had done doctoral work in philosophy at the University of Utah! The agnostic LDS guy named Charlie really made the trip for me. He approached me as I was talking to some missionaries. They took off and I then got to talk to Charlie for at least an hour. He was playing agnostic and devil’s advocate at first, and then told me that he joined the LDS Church about 9 years ago after being raised Baptist. He quickly became disillusioned with Mormonism and religion in general. He said that he was just eating up everything I was giving him. It was like he was starving for good, articulate answers that his family couldn't give him. We ended up praying for each other and hugging. We became Facebook friends, and there he had this to say about our interaction:
Rob has worked hard to be informed on scriptures, and he has well-developed critical analyses on a broad range of topics. I thoroughly enjoyed his ability to articulate his thoughts.
Unfortunately, the topics that we discussed often become a source of contention between God's children.
Rob, however, is one of the most loving people I've ever met. He's made so many sacrifices in order to preach on these topics, and his motivation, I've discerned, is truly out of his deep love and compassion for others. His goal was not to contend, but to share his love, and yeah, I'm starving for that.
God asks us to love one another. In Matthew 12:28-31 the Bible even says that there are no commandments greater than that - to love our Lord, and to love one another.
I'm grateful for Rob's willingness to be a servant of the Lord. He's a man of great faith. I admire the faith that Rob has exercised and will exercise. If there's one thing I do know to be absolutely true, it's that we can all have things revealed unto us by the Power of the Holy Ghost, and that acting in faith will help us magnify those revelations, and draw nearer to God.
CharlieAgain, the stats proved that advertising works! OK was #1 in all the states going to visit MormonInfo.org every day I was outside evangelizing at the temple, and since there were so many visitors from TX, it was #2.
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Just a quick reminder that we can’t do all this without your help. For more information on various ways to invest in this ministry, including online giving, 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!
Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6)!
President, Courageous Christians United
(801) 738-0539 (leave message)
I am a man who was not churched at all previous to the call of Jesus on my life. God has placed in me a burning spirit of evangelism to the lost and deceived; especially those who, through generational inclusion into false religion, have been sheltered from the truth by the ones who love and care for them. Thank you for your ministry, and please pray that God will continue to open doors for me to grow my passion into a ministry of scope and impact for the glory of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I currently have been blessed to find out that a long time coworker, who has seen my conversion to Christ, is a Mormon who has been displeased by His church. This is how I came to your website, as I was searching for information to assist me in loving my friend to the truth of The Gospel. Praise God for such opportunities as this! May He richly bless your ministry and your family.
Cop talking to LDS security about meLove In Christ,
I am trying to leave the Mormons’ church. I would love to read all the information of comparisons between Mormons and Christians.
I am 43 years old. I left the lds cult when I was 28. I got very lost and have recently found the God of the bible. I feel very alone and know I need fellowship in my life.
I got your news letter a few days ago. Thank you. Always read them.
I'm from England and for a few years I've had a real stirring to reach Mormons despite living in a place where I know of none. I've moved the the North West of England, and discovered that it is a hub for Mormon missionaries to be sent on mission; so over the last few months I have been meeting up with Mormons to talk about the Bible and hopefully show them the danger of calling on the name of Jesus who isn't the eternal God. I live in a place where Mormon interaction wasn't heard of before I started seeking them out, but my church do not know of much equipping or resource they can offer me, so I was wondering if you know of any good books / websites / or any other resource I might find helpful.