February 7, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Brian Mackert
It never ceases to amaze me how Christians get duped by wolves in sheep's clothing. Not long ago, my buddy Brian Mackert, who wrote Illegitimate: How a Loving God Rescued Son of Polygamy, told me he went to share his story at Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral. When Brian went to the bookstore/welcome center, he was approached by two Mormon missionaries who were wearing Crystal Cathedral name tags! Brian also noticed their LDS literature on the counter ready to be distributed.
Dr. Robert Schuller
The missionaries kept trying to distract him while he was signing books and ministering to others. He sent them on errands for him, and didn't want to offend his host by getting into a theological dispute with the missionaries.

Christians really do not understand how the Mormon Church could really be a church of wolves when they claim Christ is their Lord and Savior, and that He's the Son of God who died for our sins. Christians simply shun our Lord's command to beware of false prophets and false Christs (Mat. 24:24). In an effort to not rock the boat, they simply roll over to the false prophets who want to steal their sheep. That's what they think is the loving and respectful thing to do. Christians, as well as the rest of society, have such a perverted conception of love and respect, and Satan has used this to keep the mouths of Christians shut.

Last month I added more videos to both our MormonInfo.org YouTube site as well as our Courageous Christians United YouTube site. One individual posted on one of my videos that he was sent home from his mission with only 6 months left. Among other things, he said, "I am now starting to see that the God of the lds church is different from the God of the bible."

I also started a couple lengthy dialogues with a couple LDS guys online. Please keep Austin and Gary in your prayers.

In the October newsletter, I mentioned Brian Mackert's new book that lists both MormonInfo.org and CourageousChristiansUnited.org on his More Information page. That book is now partly online, and HERE is where you can see our ministry listed.

I also discovered last month that our ministry is listed on a Muslim web page under the section called Christian Extremist and Terrorist organizations.

We need your help in getting back to Utah. We need prayer that our townhome will sell soon, and that we'll be able to have enough financial support needed to move back and keep us in Utah. We realize what difficult economic times these are, but we cannot underscore enough what a strategic time this is for us to buy a home to house missionaries for short periods of time. Our CFO, Matt Vessey, sent the following to us: "The average interest rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 4.96 percent this week from 5.01 percent last week, Freddie Mac reported yesterday. A year ago rates for 30-year mortgages averaged 5.69 percent. The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage has not been lower since Freddie Mac started its Primary Mortgage Market Survey in 1971."

Tara, Maddy, and Rob
Would you please take some time to seek the Lord on how you can best invest in this ministry? For those of you led to financially partner with us, please send in a tax-deductible investment today. If everyone reading this simply gave $25 per month, we would have no problem being at 100% of what we need. We have an electronic funds transfers program available if you are interested in the simplicity of monthly withdrawals without the stamp. 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 you avoid capital gains taxes. Please see our "Invest" page for all the details of how you can partner with us financially.

Thank you so much for your concern, financial investments, and prayers for this ministry, and for those trapped by false religions and philosophies.

Rob Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
Rob@CourageousChristiansUnited.org
MormonInfo.org
JWInfo.org

****PRAYER REQUESTS****

1. For my book I'm writing (I'm done with a first draft of 47 out of 63 chapters)
2. For more members to join our Ex-Mormon Meetup recovery group

****MAILBAG****

"journal of discourses" the LDSchurch are still using this, am i ryt?? y some members of their church are denying that they dont know what journal of discourses is...???

[I responded:] They are not part of the standard works, but they are still an accurate record of what their old general authorities have said. Further, Brigham Young said that all his sermons were to be considered scripture (Journal of Discourses 13:95).
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Ok, a few things. First, I find it incredibly sad that people get together to be negative, and close-minded. I work with very religious people, none of who are Mormon, and when we talk they say how they can feel the spirit. No one makes fun of anyone, no one is critical of the other, it's just about each of us finding similarities in what we all believe. A very rewarding and positive experience for all involved. And we all learn a little more about the other's beliefs, which actually are all pretty much the same except maybe the trinity, and even that I'm not sure if they believe in. Many protestants don't.

Second, anyone with half a brain cell knows that a fundamentalist Mormon is NOTHING like what an active Latter Day Saint is expected to be.

Third, and I'm sure I could come up with many more, I just really need to get working, but obviously someone here has never looked up the definition of "cult."

- A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader. Ok, this refers to pretty much every religion out there,( I live in the South. These people are crazy,) except authoritarian, which we aren't either. I believe what I want and do what I want. No one makes me believe or do anything. And for someone to call President Hinckley or Monson authoritarian does not know either men.

The definition of authoritarian is: exercising complete or almost complete control over the will of another or of others.
Again, the leaders of the LDS church make us do nothing. So then what is the definition of "unconventional." Is it the definition each of you agree upon or do each of you have a different view of what it is and isn't and decide individually. Or is the definition of unconventional what the world makes it out to be. This seems very close-minded.

Continuing on with cult:
- Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
- A system or community of religious worship and ritual. Ok, this is half the religions in the world. And do you know what the definition of "ritual" is? (See definition of ritual at the bottom)

- The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.
- Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
If this were literal, then I would have to dieine Obama as a cult leader and his followers as cultists. And I'm not joking.

- An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest. People have their own little cliques in their own little interests. Does this make each of them members of a cult?

I could continue but I hope you understand, although you still may not. You probably won't listen to anything anyone has to say that differs from what you believe, or at least you would never listen to an LDS member and what they have to say and the possibility that you may possibly be wrong. My point is that definitions are extremely inclusive. Each of you I'm sure fall into these definitions yourselves. So are each of you a part of a cult? According to many people and dictionaries, the definition of a cult is "a group of people that worship or follow a single person." To much of the world, and by definition, Christianity is considered a cult. So to many each of you is part of a cult. But of course each of you would adamantly disagree. But who is to say that you are right and they are wrong. So who are you to be judging others? And who are you to publicly ridicule someone else and their beliefs when each of us is so imperfect and so limited in our eternal and universal knowledge of all things. I guess, if you were true Christians, you wouldn't want to judge others. You would find it shallow and inappropriate and not your place. You would recognize judgement as for Christ only. You would look to love others and would not organize and become actively involved in attacking or mocking someone else's religious views, something they believe are so personal. A true Christian wouldn't do that because they would know that Christ himself would not do that or want them to participate in that kind or behavior. That is how a true Christian would act. Good luck in all you do and may God bless each of you.

Ritual-
-observance of set forms in public worship. At your church, do you have an "observance of set form?" All religions do. It's called a routine, a pattern, procedure. And if you didn't know, marriage is a ritual, along with many other common religious practices.
-a book of rites or ceremonies. We don't have this, BUT I guess anyone could if they just wrote all these things down regarding their own religion, in book format.
-a book containing the offices to be used by priests in administering the sacraments and for visitation of the sick, burial of the dead, etc. Ok, this is the Catholic Church or Judaism or any number of other major churches. Are these cults in your eyes? Again, who are you to decide what is and isn't a cult?

Not sure if you are still with me, hopefully, but here is the kicker of a definition:
- ANY practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner.
- A prescribed code of behavior regulating social conduct, as that exemplified by the raising of one's hat or the shaking of hands in greeting.

So yes, even each of you are involved in daily rituals. Sorry.

[I responded:] If you can attack our beliefs, then there shouldn't be any problem for us to attack others as well. We really don't mind if you attack our beliefs, but please recognize the hypocrisy you exhibit when you attack us and say we can't attack. Further, if you really read the Bible, you'd see that the prophets, Christ, and His apostles all critiqued false beliefs, and they commanded their followers to do the same (e.g., Matthew 23, John 7:24, and 2 Cor. 10:4-5). God gave us minds to use His word and avoid false prophets. If we don't help others avoid false prophets, then we are being unloving toward others. We disagree with your childish view of love. Every child thinks its parents hate them when it is corrected. Love demands correction.

Regardless of whether individual Protestants hold to the Trinity or not, the historic creeds of Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox do hold to what the Bible teaches about the Trinity. Since we hold to what the Bible teaches about this, we share our faith with those who don't hold it in hopes that they'll repent. To deny the Trinity entails that Jesus is devalued from being "God overall blessed forever" (Rom. 9:5). LDS think that Jesus is only God over a small part of creation, not literally over *all* creation. LDS have a false Jesus, and Jesus warned us to beware of false prophets and false Christs (Mt. 24:24).

I readily agree Christianity is considered a cult to Judaism. I don't have a problem with that. You do have a problem with Christianity viewing LDS as a cult. But you have to put yourself in our shoes to see how we see things. You can't go through the LDS temple without getting a temple recommend. To get that, you need an interview. You don't obey and follow the current LDS prophet, you can't go through the temple. And if you don't go through the temple, you can't work on going to the celestial kingdom. Keep in mind that Joseph Smith stated: "God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.363), and "if the President makes a statement it is not our prerogative to dispute it" (Minutes of the School of Prophets, Provo, UT, 1868-1871, p.38-39). "When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy" (Ward teachers message, June 1945). Ezra Taft Benson stated: "the Living Prophet...is more vital to us than the Standard Works [Bible, Book of Mormon, etc.]...The living Prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet [an Old Testament Prophet]"..."Keep your eye on the President of the Church. If he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it" (Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophets, BYU Devotional, Feb 26, 1980, p.3,6). So if you choose to not listen to your prophets, then you are not acting like you should. The only similar devotion the Christian Church gives is to God as revealed through the Bible. It is by that that we "test all things and hold fast to that which is good" (2 Thes. 5:21). LDS have got this backwards. They test the Bible via their modern prophet. As such, the modern prophet can't be judged. He gets a free pass.

Since you're so into similarities, then you should understand the similarities between the LDS Church and the FLDS. You both hold that the exalted will be polygamous gods in the after life. In fact, both hold to polygamy now, but the LDS don't allow its *living* members to practice it with other *living* members. This explains why some of your apostles are now polygamists (e.g., Russel M. Nelson). Their wives died, and they went on to get sealed to another wife. Since temple marriage is for time and all eternity, these men are now polygamists. Both LDS and FLDS hold to the early Mormon prophets and their revelations, except the former no longer practices polygamy between living members, allows blacks to hold the priesthood, and denies the Adam-god teaching of Brigham Young. Both think God's a man who progressed to becoming a god for us, that Jesus is His first born son, who later became the brother of Lucifer. Both think that you need to gain God's approval via good works before you can enter the celestial kingdom. Both think there are 3 heavens. There are too many similarities to list.

Thanks for writing!

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just wanted to reach out and say thank you for taking your time to preach to mormons the reality of life. someone needs to do it and some of us have that gift, mine is not in missions. i think that once their light bulb is turned on God's reality would hit them like a ton of bricks.God bless,
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Hi Tara, I just came across your website and read your testimony. I am a 28yo Christian who lives in Auckland New Zealand, and have completed two years at Bible School. I have lived next door to mormon's for about 6 months now. Not only are they mormons, but I have since found one of them is a mormon minister, and the house infront of them is a homestay for the mormon's who go out on the streets. I dont know if I should do anything? I would appreciate your advice if you have the time. Kind regards,

Add Comment
Dennis M says... (Reply)
"The word "cult" can be a bit of a distraction, given its multiple meanings and connotations. In a formal sense, Christianity and Mormonism are both cults in a respectable and even boring way: they both involve religious ceremony and ritual. On the other hand, neither is a cult in the crazy Jim Jones sense. Whatever is wrong with Mormonism (or vice-versa, from an LDS point of view), Mormons aren't about to isolate themselves from everyone outside their faith, jump on a plane to Africa and then commit mass suicide.

What Evangelicals mean when they call Mormonism a "cult" is roughly what Walter Martin meant:

"A cult, then, is a group of people polarized around someone's interpretation of the Bible and is characterized by major deviations from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, particularly the fact that God became man in Jesus Christ" (Walter Martin, The Rise of the Cults, p. 12).

It refers, in this context, to a group that has gone off the rails doctrinally; is has nothing to do with the "kookiness" of the group's behavior or rituals. The question that matters is whether the LDS have gone off the rails and departed from "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Judging by the comparisons Rob makes on the http://www.mormoninfo.org site, it looks pretty clear that they have." (2/7/09)