October 3, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

Have you ever heard the saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can vinegar?” This is often used against the sort of ministry we like to engage in. We stand up against false teachings and give people truth, and people want to complain about it being negative. And if they don’t complain about this, then they complain about the way it is presented.

There are certain problems with this analogy though. First, it depends on the type of flies. Fruit flies are more attracted to vinegar than they are honey. Second, humans are more complex than flies and the former respond to truth. Truth is apprehended in all sorts ways. Third, humans are more valuable than flies. Christians should be the last people who would allow other fellow humans to die in a pile of sweetness. Fourth, can you imagine telling Jesus this when He railed on the Pharisees (e.g., Matthew 23)?

This is in no way to minimize our responsibility to be “all things to all men” (1 Corinthians 9:22) and to, as far as possible, “live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). I am simply trying to counteract idols that paralyze us from preaching the word and rebuking, ready “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2).

Last month I posted a testimony of a friend of mine named Amanda Foreman. She mentioned me in her testimony. I first met Amanda years ago in front of Temple Square, downtown Salt Lake City. I never gave her “honey” that night. I gave her and her Christian mom a tract that demonstrated how un-Christian Mormonism was. Amanda was Mormon, and she snapped on me that night. Nonetheless, we continued to see each other around town and at different events that were critical of Mormonism. Eventually Amanda came to her senses and left Mormonism, committing herself fully to Christ.

I was also able to dialogue with an atheist friend for a bit last month. You can read it HERE.

The Arlington Small Groups
Thank you for your prayers for the time we had sharing with a couple small groups in Arlington, TX. It went so well that they invited me back for another night this month. Tara and Maddy were able to come for a couple nights as well. Tara was able to share her testimony one night of how the Lord brought her out of Mormonism, and then she answered many questions on Mormonism. She does such a good job! I was able to explain the Mormon worldview the first week, and then critique it the following week. We were also able to share about our ministry and our vision.
Tara Sharing Her Testimony
 

We also had a very good dinner with 3 new ex-Mormon Meetup members. One has been out of Mormonism for quite a while now, but the other couple has recently intellectually left Mormonism and no longer goes to the LDS Church. However, this couple is concerned about the reaction of their LDS family and friends, so they are undercover at this point.

We weren’t able to meet with that Campus Crusade for Christ couple yet. Hopefully that will happen later this month so we’ll be able to learn their fundraising techniques. In the mean time, I have been reading a huge book that Crusade put out on this topic.

Your financial contributions and prayers make this ministry possible. We need your continued support. Tara and I are planning on returning and staying in Utah in about a couple years. We would like to have enough of a support base that would enable us to move back, and we need your help to make this a reality. We ask that you please consider and pray about supporting us on a monthly basis. If you would like details on how to contribute financially to this ministry, please see our "Invest" page. Thank you so much for your concern and prayers for this ministry, and for those trapped by false religions and philosophies.

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

****PRAYER REQUESTS****

1. For more speaking venues
2. For guidance in fundraising
3. For more members to join our Ex-Mormon Meetup group
4. Tara’s LDS family

****MAILBAG****

I just wanted to drop you a note and thank you, Tara and Maddy so much for coming to speak with our groups.....everyone is so excited! It amazes me that anyone is interested...If I hadn’t been Mormon, I don’t know that I would be as interested as they all are.....but thank you for taking the time to do this....they love it, I love it, and it seems to me that even you guys enjoy it somewhat... You know it’s making me realize how critical it is for me to get started witnessing more to my friends.....yikes!
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Either way, thanks so much for your ministry on the Internet! …At some point in time, I would like to come to Utah and do missions, or else go up to Nauvoo and help out in the Christian Visitors’ Center.  For now, I continue to study up and compare their beliefs with the Bible, and I thank the Lord that I know I have eternal salvation through Jesus!  It’s things like this that make me thankful for ministries like yours, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, the Nauvoo Christian Visitors’ Center, etc.  Keep up the good work, and keep working for the glory of God!
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And i do not consider you my christian brother as you solicit your service to people who have not asked, nor do they express a need for your christ.  Real christians lead and represent by example, not by inconvenience. And by the way, you should start using soy ink instead of this coal based ink on your flyer, and switch to 100% recycled paper if you must put flyers on doors. Thanks.  BTW, i am not attacking, nor am i suing, yet, but if you ever agian post anything on my door i will.  I thik you have wonderful things on your websites, they just should not be forced on anyone. As i always say, the best way to make someone hate something is to force it upon them.
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I met you Sunday after service
thank you  and your wife for taking the time and searching me out
I am thankful for the [dvd] I was given by you through Todd
thank for serving in an area we should all be focus on
may the Lord use you and your family to bring many to HIM
I look forward to studying your cd and if I have any questions I will certainly let you know
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[The following is a short dialogue I had with a returned LDS missionary. I said:] Hope you leave Mormonism and come to the true Christ someday.

[He responded:] who is "True Christ"? haha

[I responded:] The one the Bible teaches--the greatest thing you can even imagine. The One who rules over literally everything since He created it.

[He responded:] Oh Him! Yeah...I already know Him.

Hey...there's a lot of Mormons out there. Do you have a good plan to change us all? I mean...a lot of Mormons.

Will the very small amount of time on Earth that you have studied compare with the spiritual witness that many of them have?

[I responded:] I wouldn't bother Mormons if they believed that Jesus, but I know better. I know they think Jesus is their elder bro, and Jesus didn't create Lucifer either since they're brothers. Jesus didn't create His spirit-grandfather's planet, etc., etc. That's a blasphemous Jesus, and Jesus said to beware of false Christs (Mt. 24:24). Jesus created all things in heaven and in earth (Col. 1:15-18). Many LDS are figuring out that the "spiritual witness" they received isn't from the Holy Spirit. My wife's a good example.

[He responded:] Probably indigestion sometimes. You'll always be able to find examples of people going from any religion to any other religion. Every person I know who lives the standards of the Bible and the Book of Mormon is a better person for it. I have my spiritual witness, and that's amazing to me.

…I hope the people you love die, and that your toes fall off.
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…Thanks for all you do to expose the truth about Mormonism.  It is such a difficult thing for "protestants" to understand, especially here in the South where there are nearly zero Mormons.  Mormons prey on this ignorance, of Baptists, Methodists, etc, and it's something they're not armed to combat because they just don't know when they're being lied to and being told half-truths.  I'd love to see a movement that educates Christian churches about Mormonism because it's not going away, and it is definitely the work of the devil in my view.
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HI Rob, I just wanted to follow up with a quick question for you.  In short, how do you think Joseph Smith came up with the BOM?  Because having read parts of it, it is so closely aligned with the Bible.  By that I mean, he obviously knew the Bible backward and forward because of the characters presented, the storyline, the way he weaves his characters into the fold.  A former Mormon once said to me, "read that [$%*^], there's no way it's made up by a human, there's something going on there...it wasn't written by a human", meaning it had to be a spirit or demon that gave him the ability to write such an elaborate tale.  Do you think he was really visited by an angel, just perhaps a BAD angel?  Or do you think, as some have expressed to me, that he was simply manic or prodigious or schizophrenic or "genius" in the same way that the 14-year old kid who wrote the "Eragon" books is a genius?  I just wonder your opinion of how he came to write the BOM. 

[I responded:] I really don't know what was going on in Smith's mind.  Perhaps he did see a demon.  I do know that he was a smart guy even though he didn't have much of an education... but then again, same goes for Abe Lincoln.  I do know that Smith was 24 when the BM came out in 1830.  The 1820 story doesn't fit the facts of history, and the first vision was an evolving and contradictory development (cf. HERE and HERE).  I also know that Smith ripped off a lot of the Bible... word for word with the 1611 King James Version in some cases.  Entire passages from the book of Isaiah (KJV) were lifted.  Smith also had influences of Ethan Smith and Solomon Spalding.  It's also important to keep in mind that the original BM was such a BM that it needed to be changed over 4000 times!  So with all this in mind, it's not difficult to see how someone with the creative imagination of Smith could come up with the BM.

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