| April 6, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
Last month I noticed in my morning devotional that the Jews, at least in John 6, had no understanding of a pre-earth life for everyone except perhaps the Messiah, and that's why they were confused when Jesus told them that He came from heaven (vss. 38-42). Obviously the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus then went on to say that no one has seen the Father except He who came from Him (vs. 46). If LDS are correct, we all saw the Father prior to coming to earth. I posted the preceding in the CARM forum, so you may view various responses to it there.
We have continued going out in front of local high schools to preach. Last month was very peaceful over all. I was very thankful for this, since one school (Hunter High) we went to had a shooting just the week before we went. Some school official came out to meet us and even took my tract and DVD. There were many students here that were non-Mormon (mostly Catholics and non-religious), however one LDS student walked home and then came back with his Book of Mormon to set me straight. He said, “You said that I should be a little open-minded and consider both sides. Well, have you considered both sides? Have you read the Book of Mormon?” I responded, “Of course I have. I’ve also read the D&C and the Pearl of Great Price (other LDS scriptures), and God told me they were all false!” He just said, "Whatever," and then closed up. Then while he waited to cross the light, I got to preach to him for a good minute or two.
|Rob at Hunter High School|
At another school (West Jordan High), a school cop came out with the assistant principal to meet me. I shook their hands and told them I appreciated them making sure I was clothed and in my right mind, and the cop said, “Just keep doing what you’re doing.” I wish the students were this supportive. One car drove by and threw a cup of something at me. Fortunately it never came near me. Other kids were yelling at me, cursing, giving me the finger. One mom who picked up her kid was yelling at me in her car, and told me she used to be Catholic. I told her, "So now you believe in Mother God?" She either hasn't been in that long or she simply lied to me when she flatly denied it. I told her to look up her own popular hymn "O My Father" where it not only mentions a heavenly mother, it actually sings to her! Another dad drove by with his daughter, and told me that I was a brave man. They go to a good local Christian church. Another student came by named Ashley. She said she wasn't LDS, but a Christian. She wasn't going to church anywhere, so I invited her to come to ours. Another student claimed she worked with the school newspaper, so she took my picture, and then took my tract and DVD.
|Aaron Shafovaloff witnesses to a student at Hunter High|
Some friends from Colorado (Mychal, Brodie, and Jordan) also interviewed me last month for a film documentary they were putting together on Mormonism and Christianity.
Speaking of films, we had Ross Anderson at our Ex-Mormon Meetup and you can view his testimony online. He’s a pastor in Roy, UT, and has thought quite a bit about evangelizing Mormons in a personal context.
|Charis Sivulka, Kevin Olmore, and Ross Anderson at our Ex-Mormon Meetup|
My baby Charis started saying "Amen" after our prayers on her 16 month birthday, and this also is online to view.
We really value your partnership with this ministry. 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. 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. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and in your financial giving! For more information, please see our "Invest" page on any of our sites.
Contending for the faith (Jude 3),
|Charis and Daddy reading Dr. Dobson's "Bringing Up Girls"|
President, Courageous Christians United
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84084
****ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS****
1. To get more speaking engagements.
2. To get more partners who will faithfully invest in this ministry
3. Health for our whole family
5. Tara’s and Maddi’s families to be saved
I love your content... love your youtube videos... you have alot of courage... i find you very inspiring..... I wish you the best on all your ministries.....hopefully more mormons will wake up and one day see that they are worshiping and following a false doctrine.
let me know if i can ever help you
Idk if you remember me but me and my family witnessed along side you n utah for a couple years. I'm currently n a discussion with a friend of mine who is a mormon and hitting a brick wall lol. I have fed her the gospel truth and told her to look at josephlied.com if she will the find out for herself. Wish you were here to help me with this. I was also wondering if you had any josephlied.com shirts? I witness here like crazy when not training n the army and would love to have one if you have any. Thank you so much, bc of training and witnessing with you for those couple of years I can now witness to the mormons here with actual truth and knowledge. God bless you my friend, keep the faith!
I just read your newsletter. I am SO GLAD that you are out in front of the schools and seminaries. With people like [Lady] Gaga out there brainwashing the mainstream and young minds especially it is really good to see somebody getting the young to think about deeper things and true things. :)
I read your news letter every month. We are praying for you. It is encouraging to hear all that the Lord is doing through you.
[Instant message--LDS elder:] hey Rob do I know you?
[Me:] No, I just love LDS
[Elder:] oh you do?
[Me:]Of course, why wouldn’t I?
[Elder:] It just doesn’t appear that you do
[Me:] It doesn’t appear that I do when I wipe my daughter’s nose either
[Elder:] whatever that means
[Me:] It means that just because you may not *feel* loved doesn’t mean you aren’t
Since when is warning someone somehow not loving?
If you are so consumed by your feelings then it doesn’t surprise me that you’d think you weren’t loved
By and large LDS are programmed this way
So when someone offers some constructive criticism they are often written off as haters or “anti-Mormon” (the LDS “N” word)
Do you get that?
[Elder:] your trying to chip away at the rock I stand on, I don’t respect that, God bless
[E-mail--I replied:] The rock you stand on isn't true. Your feelings are deceiving you. Even if they are of God, His word is clear that He can give you a strong delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:11). You blaspheme God by making Him into an exalted man, having to become a God "for us" and not all of existence. God's word is clear this is not the case (Ps. 90:2, Isa. 43:10, and Jn. 17:3). You are following a false prophet to hell.
[He replied:] I truly appreciate you. I know that you truly want what is best for me. I have dedicated two years of my life to spread the Word of our Savior Jesus Christ. I wouldn't do that if I, myself, did not know it was true. I know that nothing I say can change your mind, like it says in 1 Jn. 5:9, I can testify to you that I have come to that knowledge by the power of the Holy Ghost (Gal. 5:22), but if you do not ask God, our Eternal Father, you can not know if what I say is true or not. I give you my testimony that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that He is the only way to return to live with our Heavenly Father again. I know that He uses prophets today, like in days of old, to lead and guide His people (Amos 3:7).
I really don't want to fight or argue or contend, one with another, but if you have any questions about what we believe feel more than free to ask me.
P.S. I don't think you are going to hell, I think that you are a wonderful person for doing all that you can to teach people about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. :)
[I replied:] Thanks for your kind words! Just realize that I teach a much more exalted Jesus than what you're teaching. Jesus warned of false Christs and prophets who come in the last days in Mat. 24:24.
I'm why you still claim to know what you do by the power of the Holy Ghost when I claim the same thing? I read all the LDS scriptures and prayed sincerely about them, and God told me that the BM, PGP, and D&C aren't of Him. So one of us at least has to be wrong (perhaps we're both wrong). Why me and not you?
I think you're a great guy too, but the Bible teaches that great guys go to hell too.
[He replied:] I am not one to say who is right and who is wrong. I only that I have read the Book of Mormon, I know that it is true. The Bible warns us extensively about false prophets, and the way that Jesus Christ tells us to identify them is by their fruits. I know that the prophets who lead and guide The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are true prophets with the authority to act in God's name on the Earth.
I don't know much about what you believe so I can't really tell you where we differ, but like I said any specific questions you have, I will gladly answer. That is why I am here; that is why I chose to serve a mission. Thank you kindly,
[I replied:] But you already said who is right when you said that you knew what you believed is true. If it's true, then by definition, doesn't that mean that anything that contradicts it is false? If the LDS Church is the only true church as D&C 1:30 says, then doesn't that mean that my church is false? Is it false to say that the Mormon Church is not Christ's Church, but a cult that teaches an imaginary, weak God/Jesus, who wasn't big enough to create everything outside Himself? Because that's exactly what I know to be true.
[He replied:] Yep, I would say that if your religion is specifically based on hating other religions, then it is not Christ's church. A church should focus on loving the Lord our God, and loving our neighbors.
I think we both agree that those two are the greatest commandments, as given by the Lord Himself. Perhaps we should just agree to disagree on other points, so there can be a relationship of mutual respect and not one of anger or ignorance.
The word cult is defined as: A system of beliefs used to worship a deity. So by the very definition of the word, any religion that professes to worship God or Jesus Christ is a cult.
Rob, I really don't want to argue with you, nothing that you say will sway the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost, and nothing I say will soften your heart to the true Word of God.
[I replied:] Well since our church does focus on loving God and our neighbors, then we must be Christ's church. But of course your own scripture won't allow that or for any other loving church besides the LDS Church to be the "only true Church" (D&C 1:30). Actually, your own scripture says that any other church is of the devil (1 Ne. 14:10). Do you really think we're just supposed to shut up and just let you believe this if we really love you? So if we tell the truth do we become your enemy? (Gal. 4:16) Or if we defend our faith as scripture tells us (Jude 3), then does that mean we're unloving? Or if you follow D&C 71:7-8 are you unloving? "Wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye are faithful their shame shall be made manifest. Wherefore, let them bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord."
[Another LDS elder on Facebook email:] Do I know you?
[I replied:] No, I just love LDS. I pray God will draw you close to Himself. Your bro,
[He replied:] are you LDS??? I was just wondering because you picture looks like you are trying to keep people away from the church...
[I replied:] Well if you go to the site you'd see that I'm not LDS. I'm warning people about Mormonism.
[He replied:] why would you say you love LDS and then say you are warning people about mormonism? that is like saying you love food but you want to encourage the world to be anorexic? It sounds ranther confusing and hypocritical to me??? Would you agree?
[I replied:] Since when is warning people of evil an act of not loving or hate? Look, you are simply attempting to point out the error of my way. Do you hate me? So if you can do it, and still be loving, then why can't I? That sounds hypocritical to me.
If you follow D&C 71:7-8 are you unloving? "Wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye are faithful their shame shall be made manifest. Wherefore, let them bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord."
[He replied:] Sorry I come off being rude or hating, I just get offended when people miss judge our beliefs… I’m not here to change what you believe I would love to know what YOU believe and I would love to see your beliefs on your page rather than Anti-Mormon lies… I would love to talk about what we both believe in but I really don’t want to fight against preconceived thoughts or ideas that you have read and suggest others to… if you want people to know what is true and what we believe, it is by asking us. If I wanted to know what you hold dear to you I would simply ask you not a catholic or even a member of the LDS church.
[I replied:] My beliefs are on the Christian side of my Home page chart of differences on my MormonInfo.org site. Now what "Anti-Mormon lies" are you referring to? I know what LDS believe since I've already asked them and read their scriptures. But if I want to know what is true, it is only wisdom to get both sides of the story.
[He replied:] I feel bad that we are just attempting to bash eachother, I think we can agree that we wont change what we believe so lets just leave it at that, I was always told not to bash so I wont start now.
[I replied:] So you won't follow your own scripture and do what D&C 71:7-8 says? Is that bashing? Why can't we simply do what it says without having feeling of animosity toward the other? Are you saying there's no way to do this command? Why think that the other won't change the other's mind? Can't God use what He's commanded to change people's minds? It sounds like you just want to stick your head in the sand.
The Bible seems clear that the God of Mormonism isn't the God of the Bible. LDS teach God is one God among many Gods, and each of whom had to grow up to be a God by needing other things (e.g., another God, a temple, etc.), but the Bible has always taught that God's the only God there is (Isa. 43:10, 44:6-8, 24 and Jn. 17:3), He's always been God (Ps. 90:2). So it seems like Mormonism is teaching a false God.
[He replied:] maybe you are right, guess we will have to see :) great isn't it? Also when I said anti mormon lies that is a good example of half truths and whole lies.
[I replied:] What is a good example of a lie?
[He replied:] :) I think we will both be better off just to agree to dissagree? can you handle that?
[I replied:] It's fine with me if you want to wimp out.
[He replied:] that was very christ like :) congrats Brother
[I replied:] To speak the truth is Christlike. Notice Jesus calling the Jews hypocrites, white-washed sepulchres filled with dead men's bones, serpents, etc. in Mat. 23. The problem is you don't know Christ to even make a judgment as to what's Christlike or no[t]. Again, it's is true that you're wimping out, and I'm OK with that.
Thank you, and God bless you, Rob, for all you and your family do in your wonderful ministry, that is truly being such a very "Courageous Christian"!
Watched the vids Rob.... Keep up the fight!!!! God Bless,
[From my Utah neighbor:] Wow amazing!! Great Job Rob! Keep up stirring things in people!! I love that you go to the schools and I truly believe that you will be very productive and bring many young adults to Christ. I will pray for your ministry and pray that you will keep stirring things up!! Love it!! Praying for you!!
[Another LDS elder on Facebook:] Well I have a web page on lds.org about my story and a blog called "what is the true" you can go see my story, but all together it is the simple answer that God anwered my prayers and I felt his love through th e power of the Holy Ghost. My parent sure did try to encourage me, but I didn't grasp the whole concept until I prayed with the most sincerity I could and now I know God loves me and all his children and I know that Jesus is the Savior. How about you? Why did you decide to love Mormons?
[I replied:] Thanks for the blog. I became a follower.
God answered my prayers as well and told me that traditional Christianity is true and Mormonism is false. I know Christianity is true, not only because I’ve prayed about it and got good feelings from the Holy Ghost, but I’ve confirmed it by the word of God, and that has been confirmed by prophecy and miracles, particularly Jesus’ resurrection. Christianity is a Faith based in historical fact. On the other hand, the Book of Mormon's New World places, people, or events have no confirming historical evidence to it. There are all sorts of prophecies written of Jesus hundreds of years before He came. Those prophecies were confirmed by eyewitnesses as well as other historians. Jesus’ resurrection is an inference to the best explanation of all that we know about history. As a result, Jesus is worthy to believe, and if He believed the Bible as well as its preservation, then so will I.
Now since Jesus taught there’s only 1 true God (Jn. 17:3), and Jesus warned of false Christs and prophets who will come in the last days (Mat. 24:24), then we shouldn’t believe Smith when he taught God had a God before He became a God for us and that we can become Gods too for our own worlds. That’s blasphemous. But since God lives in me, He has wired my heart for the lost who believe such blasphemous ideas.
I became a summer missionary to UT back in 1982, and I fell in love with Mormons, UT and its outdoor activities. I moved to UT in 1996. I married a former Mormon (you can read her testimony here), and we want to see Mormons come to know our God, the God of the Bible.
Thanks for your openness to me and hearing what I have to say!
[He replied:] Wow I have been warned that you would say those types of things but I still want to share what I know with you. God has always been God. He always will be God and if we are the children of God we will become like Him. We were there before this earth was (proverbs 8) and children of God (romans 8:16) before. He organized us and this world so he will always be our God. I love Him and know that He is Jesus, and that He is the Father of this world and Heavenly Father is His Father. I hope we can still be friends on here. If you don't understand what I am saying ask me some questions. And there is evidence of things you read in the Book of Mormon...have you read it?
[I replied:] So you don't believe Joseph Smith when he said, "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! …I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form--like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; ...I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see (Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345 [pre-2002 edition)"? Or you don't believe Lorenzo Snow's "As man is, God once was; as God is man may be"? If you believe this, then you really don't believe "God has always been God."
If God's always been God, then how can we become like God in always being God? You're not God, are you? So if you must become a God, and God is of the same nature as us, then He must have become a God too.
Now this is completely different from the God of the Bible (Ps. 90:2), as well as that of the Book of Mormon (e.g., Moroni 8:18).
I have read and continue to read the Book of Mormon, even prayed sincerely about it, yet God told me by the power of the Holy Ghost that it wasn't of Him even though it does contain some truths like Moroni 8:18.
Just because we disagree doesn't mean we can't be friends. Heck, I disagree with my wife a lot, but we still love each other.
[He replied:] I always end up saying wow after reading whatever you write. I am suprized at how you can have read the Book of Mormon and not know that it is true or at least not admit it. I know that it is true and I am not even half as smart as I think you are. I do believe Joseph Smith was a prophet of God Almighty. I know that Christ lives. Weather I am in training to be a god I don't really worry about but knowing I have an eternal destiny to become LIKE God gives me a great deal of direction in my life. I know that God is who he said He is Alpha and Omega the Beginning and the end, and Joseph Smith knew it too.
[I replied:] I do know the Book of Mormon isn't of God. I know Joseph Smith was a false prophet, who married 11 women who were currently married to other men (www.familysearch.org). I know he lied about translating the Book of Abraham when every Egyptologist who has looked over the papyri has concluded as much. I know that Mormonism promotes a false God who needed to follow another God before He could become a God simply for us and not for all other existence. I know I am becoming more like God as He works in my life, but I also know I'll never be a God who gets worship from His own spirit-kids to the exclusion of the God of this world. I know that I could never become the Creator of literally everything outside my own being, and thus, I could never become a God in this sense. I know Mormonism doesn't follow God in this exalted sense. I know that Mormonism promotes a false Jesus who isn't over all, God blessed forever as Paul refers to him in Romans 9:5. I know that Mormonism as a result has devalued the God of the Bible. I know that my sins are completely and eternally forgiven, and Mormonism puts people in bondage to doing all they can do before they can have that assurance (2 Nephi 25:23 and Moroni 10:32). I know there is no peace with God here like I have through being justified by faith alone and evidenced by my good works (Romans 4:5 and 5:1). I know my good works being used to make God think I'm worthy or that He owes me His presence is "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). Finally, I know that you are deceived and need to repent of Mormonism before it's too late.
[He replied:] I see no basis for your argument. Went to familysearch.org and everything and I still have Mormanism inprinted on every part of my being. Thank you for helping me strengthen my oun testimony of the Book of Mormon and Jesus.
[I replied:] You only see no basis if you are blind to the facts and God's word. Not only does www.familysearch.org confirm Smith was married to over 30 women (11 of whom were currently married to other men, Smith also married 16 and 14 year olds not unlike Brian David Mitchell), but so does the LDS site www.wivesofjosephsmith.org. You are only strengthened in your blindness and rebellion against what God has clearly revealed to you.
Praying you'll get it before it's too late!
[He replied:] Don't tempt me anymore. You are not trying to uplift me. You are tring to wea[k]en me. In the name of Jesus Christ I ask you to stop abusing is gospel of peace,and repent, or you will see the judgements of God.
[I replied:] So you can call me to repentance but I can't do that to you? Sounds like hypocrisy.
Thank you for your ministry. As a Catholic Christian here in UT with 5 children I appreciate all you do. You will be in my prayers every day. Keep up the excellent job
I so enjoyed reading your latest update – so encouraging!! What an awesome God we have! Thank you for your amazing ministry to the LDS – may God continue to bless and protect you and your precious family. You are all in my prayers!
I stumbled upon your webpage looking for cast and credits from the LDS movie, “The Testament.” Upon further investigation, I saw what your webpage and foundation are really there for. I was hurt and offended. I would like to know how exactly do you feel that it’s your right and responsibility to condemn Mormons and pass judgment on them? You’re trying to save true followers of Christ from going to hell? That is a pretty brazen thing to say and attempt to do. God is the only one of us that can make those kinds of judgments on us. And you know that.
Personally, I don’t think you know a whole lot about the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Have you ACTUALLY read the Book of Mormon and compared it to the Bible and vice versa? Instead of criticizing it, have you looked to see how each book compliments one another? I don’t think you have. I think that you have looked at and scrutinized it, to see what flaws you think you can find. Well guess what, the bible has flaws as well. If it didn’t, there wouldn’t be so many different “flavors” of the bible. i.e. King James Version, Communion Bible, Apocrypha, Geneva Bible, World Bible, Watchtower Bible, etc. If it was perfect, no one would feel the need to change it, or make it “work” for them. Regardless, I read the Bible and the Book of Mormon and appreciate what each have to offer and appreciate the way that they interlink with one another. I am sorry that you feel the need to “save” us. I have worked hard to earn and build my testimony of this gospel of Jesus Christ. The very same gospel that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is built upon. I know it to be true without a doubt. I KNOW Joseph Smith was a Prophet that was called of God, same as Moses, Abraham, Noah, etc. I know that our current Prophet, Thomas Monson has been called by that same God for the same purpose as the ancient prophets. I know that they have answered the call, and have executed the responsibilities placed before them as best as they have been able to.
I know you said that you had married into an LDS family. Have you ACTUALLY learned about what we worship? Have you actually done research into our beliefs? Have you actually looked non-critically upon us? I don’t think you have. If you really had, and had prayerfully done so, you wouldn’t have started your “lets save the Mormons” group. I would exhort you, to do EXACTLY what Joseph Smith did when he read James 1:5. Prayerfully and humbly ask God where the Latter Day Saints stand with Him. Ask Him if we are true. Ask Him if the Book of Mormon is true. Ask Him if what you are doing is what He wants you to be doing. I am sure you are smirking and saying, “I know where I stand with God and don’t have to question my actions.” I beg to differ. I WOULD question your actions. I would rethink the things that you say about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and your desire to save us from a fiery fate.
I do not wish to convey any sort of hostility and if you felt that from this email, then you have my sincerest apologies. Those were not my intentions. I simply want to defend my position, and the position of some 12 million + other members of our faith. I hope that you will seriously and prayerfully re-think your opinion about our faith and humble yourself before the Lord. I know that you will be blessed abundantly if you do so. Thank you for your time.
[I replied:] Thanks for writing and your thoughts.
Well obviously I don't agree that LDS are true followers of Christ. If they were, I wouldn't waste my time. We think LDS are promoting a false devalued Christ and God--one who isn't the Creator of literally everything outside His being and one who literally hasn't always been God.
Of course God is the only one to pass the final and ultimate judgment, but He commands His followers to tests the prophets (Deut. 13:1-5 and 18:20-22) and to beware of false Christs and prophets who come in the last days (Mat. 24:24). It's because I've not only prayed sincerely about Mormonism, but because I've read all their scriptures sincerely that I know it is false Christianity. Jesus told His disciples to make righteous judgments (Jn. 7:24). In the same way you've judged me for being in error, I also judge LDS for being in error. If you can do it, then so can I. And if you won't see the obvious contradictions between the Bible and the LDS scriptures (and even among the LDS scriptures themselves), then you're simply sticking your head in the sand. That's not glorifying the God who gave you a mind to think with.
Of course I admit that translations of the Bible have flaws, but that's different from saying that the Bible as God gave it has flaws or that He promised to faithfully preserve His word nonetheless. For example, I know that the JWs' New World Translation is in error in numerous places. I know, for example, that the Greek, from which the New Testament was originally written, won't allow their translation of Jn. 1:1, which would fit well with Mormonism by the way. I also know that many famous Greek scholars have condemned their translation. Or take Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible. He added a prophecy of Himself to bolster His own credibility in Gen. 50. The problem is that not one Hebrew manuscript has his translation concerning this prophecy. The same goes with the Greek not backing up his perversion of Rom. 4:5. As a result, God was right when He said that if you add to His word, you'd be found to be a liar (Prov. 30:6).
See when you go back to the Greek and Hebrew, you can get a better translation. That's what scholars continue to do when they faithfully transmit the text to a modern way of speaking. And when they do that, then the discrepancies among the various translations are rather minuscule, all things considered, and no variant translation affects my Christian faith one way or the other.
As a result of having faithful translations of the Bible, I know that what you're believing in is false, and that either your feelings, Satan, or God is giving you a strong delusion to believe a lie (cf. Jer. 17:9, 2 Cor. 11:13-15, and 2 Thes. 2:11). This is because we know that the Apostle of our Lord said that if we or an angel give you any other gospel than that which you've *already* received, it is to be damned (Gal. 1:6-9).
My ex-Mormon wife as well as her former bishop, as well as many other LDS friends of mine, all recognize that I know Mormonism better than most Mormons. I've been a missionary to Utah and Mormons since I was a kid, and that was many years ago unfortunately. :>P
As a result, I would urge you to rethink Mormonism before it's too late.
I traveled with Wally Tope on one of his outreaches to Mormons in the early 80's. We hit the high schools, seminaries, and universities from St. George to Rexburg, along with General Conference. I am keeping your group in prayer for protection and fruit.
Wow... good movement forward, I never knew (as a Mormon) that there is so many out there
who care about the Truth and love the Mormons enough to teach them, even if they at first
do not understand that at all.
Keep up the good work.
Your Brother in Christ,
Man, I just checked out your newsletter you sent me and your website, and.......WOW!!
I must say I'm impressed, dude! Reading about your exploits made me think of the apostle Paul when he was confronted by the idol makers, and how they wanted to kill him for turning people away from the false religion of that area. And all he was doing was speaking the truth in love. Amazing how that infurriates some folks, huh?
I loved the one story about that guy who was calling the cops on you, saying you "had guns." It's amazing what a little brainwashing can do to those "impressionable minds," as that one woman put it. Only it's them, not us.
Man, is the Spirit speaking to me right now! I've got chills! We should sit down soon and talk about this, really. Sounds like you need some more soldiers and I want to find out how to enlist! I'll try and call you in the next couple of days and see what our schedules look like, ok?
May God continue to richly bless you, my brother! Keeping you in my prayers, too!
Just a quick note, and I say this with respect and not as slander. I am currently deciding on leaving the LDS faith after deep doctrinal research. However, I was just reading your differences between Mormon and your beliefs. The one about baptism is way far from what the Bible states. I have read the subject widely in the Bible and its very clear that its a commandment and not an option. There are also a lot of contradictions in the Bible within mainstream Christianity. I won't go into that here. It is my sincere hope that Jesus really is the person we read about in the Bible, but like the Mormon faith, there are many great contridictions both in the Bible and in mainstream Christianity. You may want to spend more time studying up on baptism because the Bible is clear on it being essential for all.
Thanks! No response required.
[I replied:] I agree it is a commandment. I never said it wasn't. I don't think keeping the commandments, though, are necessary for salvation. I think the Bible is quite clear about that, and I've given the references for that in the Home page chart of differences on MormonInfo.org. Given God's grace, though, in saving us from all our sins (past, present, and future) through faith in Christ's complete work, we want to keep His commands and trust Him to make us more like Himself. People who are given such an amazing gift naturally want to follow and love their Savior.
Thanks for your thoughts, and please let me know if I can be of any further assistance. I'm glad you're leaving Mormonism. Trust Jesus; He's all you need. He'll direct your paths through His word.
[He replied:] I appreciate your reponse, and I do know where you are referring to your understanding in the Bible, and I do respect your position. But I have to agree to disagree with that point of view. Its very clear that one can not enter into the kingdom of Heaven if they are not baptised of water and of the spirit per the Lord. But I also understand the scripture you are referring to. Hence, this is my point about there being a contradiction in basic Christianity. There are many of these all throughout the old and new testaments.
But I am not typing this as a means to help you see things my way. I am engaging in this conversation more for me as a healing process. I don't like the idea of adopting Atheism as my alternative choice outside of the LDS faith. But I don't know what else to do until my sincere prayers are answered. I want to believe in a loving God, but I don't want to follow the teachings of men.
I really hope that I am wrong, and that Jesus really existed and is the Christ. Regardless of my stance religiously, I still love to read the words of Christ in the new testament. They are profound and sweet words and teachings regardless of divinity or not.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. I am sure you are very busy.
[I replied:] You just assumed that the water in John 3 is a reference to the physical water of baptism. I don't think that's what Jesus had reference to since He thought Nicodemus should have known what He was talking about from the Old Testament (cf. Ez. 36:25-6). It's a spiritual birth of the Spirit and His water rather than the physical birth of the physical mother with her water that's the reference. Jesus goes on in Jn. 4:14 and 7:38-9 to refer to this spiritual water that's essential for salvation. So I don't see any good reason to buy your view here.
There's no contradiction here with other scriptures. Sure there are apparent contradictions, but that's our own problem and not the fault of God's word. Once a little study is applied, many of these apparent contradictions are worked out.
I understand your dilemma. Many former LDS go through it in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It's important for you to realize all the good evidence there is for the Christian Faith. It's rooted in historical fact. Further, there are good arguments for God's existence and they point to a radically different God than the God of Mormonism. Whether you get your sincere prayers answered or not in your time table is really a bad criterion for determining if God exists or not. Maturity dictates that we serve God because we know He exists and is good and worth serving regardless of whether we get anything from Him or not. God owes us nothing. It's His grace alone that He's revealed Himself to us.
There are many good books you could look into to give you arguments for the Christian Faith. A good intro is a former atheist, Lee Strobel's, "The Case for Faith." I'd be able to provide more if you're interested.
Hi Tara, A recent question came up of what a person is supposed to do if they are in a polygamous relationship. Obviously, not a situation a follower of Christ should be in, but what if the situation already exists and a person involved (not sure if husband or wife) wants to do what the Bible teaches. I wanted to know what you and Rob thought about this. The Scripture that was quoted in response to this was 1 Corinthians 7 and this was the response: "Don't change the situation you're in. Be faithful and continue." I am not convinced that the context of this passage allows it to be applied to polygamy. Paul even says, "I, not the Lord, say this" in this passage of scripture and polygamy is not even mentioned. I know polygamy is not what God intended for marriage, although it existed in biblical history. I don't want to get caught up in legalism about what a Christian should/shouldn't do but this situation is disturbing to me. Anyway, I value your insights and appreciate your adherence to sound doctrine.
[I replied:] Christians are divided on the subject. Shawn McCraney, following Chuck Smith, believe they should stay in that situation and use the 1 Cor. 7 passage to justify it. God did tell Hagar to "Go back to your mistress and submit to her" (Gen. 16:9). But then after Sarah later sent her away, God was fine with it (Gen. 21:10ff.). God gave special provision for Hagar and Ishmael leaving. So it seems that God thought the 1st wife ought to have the final word in the matter. If that's the case, then what woman would really want other women in the equation? The problem is that many women in polygamist situations are brainwashed and pressured to think that they need the other women in order to go to the celestial kingdom.
Ideally, since polygamy tears up the one-flesh arrangement, I think the man should get rid of the subsequent "wives," 1 Cor. not withstanding. The context here isn't specifically about polygamy, but it may be interpreted as such by simply talking about marriage. The polygamists would claim that they are married too.
If they do remain married in a polygamous union, the New Testament is clear they can't be church leaders (1 Timothy 3:2, 12 and Titus 1:5-6). Nonetheless, I think that remaining in a polygamous union is one of those issues where we can't be dogmatic. It's a difficult issue.
[She replied:] Thank you so much for your e-mails. Those were excellent insights on a challenging issue. Rob, I truly appreciate the verses you shared and concur that we can't be dogmatic about this since there is some room for debate. Tara, I tend to agree with you in that moving toward the biblical design of one flesh is the optimal choice, even if that means separation from others one is "married" to. Although, if there are children from multiple marriages that presents another problem. Its a tough issue. My sympathies to the people in this situation who have been so deceived. I do trust God's grace to bring good even out of that mess, if those involved are seeking his will.
[I replied:] You're right that kids certainly [do] complicate this issue of polygamy. Child support typically is a problem in polygamous unions, regardless of whether they stay together or not. Again, ideally I think that a separation should occur (it's not really a "divorce" in the eyes of God or the state, since they were never technically married in the first place), as well as the father should be paying child support and regularly interacting with the kids. Of course ideally usually doesn't happen! But again, I'd be a little gracious with a polygamous family that wants to stay together and follow Christ. Very messy issue!
Hey Rob. I have been impressed by some mormons to research some of their claims and I found some very interesting things. Could you look into it also? Why did Christ (God) appear to the disciples after his ressurection to show them that he had a body of flesh, bone, and blood, and had them examine the wounds inflicted on this "body". I thought "God" was a sexless being that existed everywhere without any physical attributes!? Why did "God" have to bleed from every pore in the garden before his crucifiction? Why crucifiction at all...couldn't "God" just excuse whomever he wanted for whatever reason he/she felt appropriate?
Good luck with your research and I hope you have some better answers for me.
[I replied:] The problem is that you don't understand Christian doctrine. Of course Jesus as man has and continues to have a body, but Jesus as God isn't a man and doesn't have a body. Since the Creator of literally all things outside Himself (including matter) exists in 3 persons, anyone of those persons can take on an attachment as it were and show up. It's no big deal for Him to show up as a man as Jesus did or even a dove as the Holy Ghost did.
As for the atonement, the whole Old Testament pointed to the ultimate sacrifice that would come through Christ. The Bible says, "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins" (Heb. 9:22). God doesn't just wink at sin. He loves us enough to pay for all of it Himself.
I pray that God will soften your heart and realize that you need to stop exalting yourself, in fact die to yourself, and live and exalt Him above anything you could even imagine.