Rob at General Conference
General Conference Report
The fall conference is the first weekend of October. I was only able to go Saturday, since Sunday was my 2-year-old’s birthday party. Saturday was a very long day for me, and very much worth it. It was the first Saturday I ever stayed until the very end—after the Priesthood session. The day before Conference I only had 66 hits for www.MormonInfo.org. Saturday I had 180 and Sunday I had 204! So once again, advertising worked! Here are a couple videos of us preaching (see here and here).
I got in several conversations, but the one at the end of the night was one of the best I’ve ever had with a Mormon. A man named Neil approached me with I believe his son. His son ended up talking to my friends Jannette and Joe while I talked to Neil, who was probably in his sixties. We had a great time talking, because he wasn’t defensive at all and simply wanted my take on things. He also left by hugging me after at least a good half hour! He readily admitted that Joseph Smith probably did lie about his polygamy. Neil seemed to have a difficult time grasping the Christian doctrine of God, but he amazed me at how sincere he seemed in wanting to know what I believed. Too bad all the conversations can’t be like this!
Phoenix Temple Report
The ministry at the Phoenix LDS temple was quite the opposite of the ministry at the last temple opening in Ogden, UT (August-September). Phoenix had zero foot traffic (since the temple is in a neighborhood, the neighborhood streets were closed and the LDS were busing people in from a parking spot a couple miles away). The other reason it was the opposite of Ogden was that the cops in Phoenix didn't really bother us (I went down with my buddy John Kauer from Think About Eternity Ministries for almost a week)! In fact, there were 2 community relations cops out across the street watching us the whole time, they would even escort us back to our car each night, and then they’d get out and chat with us each night. They gave us their cards and told us to call them if we ever needed anything. We felt totally
Rob outside the Phoenix Templeprotected! (As you may recall, I had 5 confrontations with cops in Ogden--see the August newsletter.)
However, we did have one minor issue with the cops. After a few nights into our ministry, a regular city cop came by as we were just getting out of our vehicle to inform us that we couldn’t park on any of the neighborhood streets. We’d have to try getting the LDS to bus us with our signs into the church parking lot (fat chance that would happen!) or we’d have to hike for miles! Well praise the Lord that the night before, we met a Christian guy from the neighborhood, who came up to us while we were preaching. He encouraged us and gave us his card. The next night he wasn't home, but we texted him to see if we could park at his place which is only a block from the temple, and of course he said it was no problem to park at his place!
When we first got to the temple, I went through the tour alone. At the end of the tour, I talked to a wife and then her husband, who were ushers. The wife passed me onto her husband to talk about why the temple is still needed today after Christ taught "it is finished" and God ripped the veil of the temple from top to bottom at the crucifixion. He told me it was simply because that temple was run by evil men and needed to be reinstituted. He also told me that the covenant for no loud laughter in the temple ceremony applies simply to inside the temple. I told him that there's no qualification of that sort in the ceremony just like there is for the law of chastity. He said in typical LDS fashion, "We can argue forever, but it won't change anything. The only way you can know is if you go and ask Heavenly Father for yourself." I told him this doesn't sound at all what the Bible teaches. It says to contend for the faith. He disagreed, so I quoted Jude 3 to him. After about a half hour with him, I knew I wasn't going to get any further, so I thanked him and took off to do ministry out on the street.
Rob outside the Stake Center next to the templeThis mission trip was primarily restricted to preaching and advertising our websites outside the temple. Occasionally, we would talk to people who pulled their cars over to encourage us, or we would talk to Christian neighbors who would hear us preach, and they would come out to also encourage us. I was also able to witness to a few LDS ushers, one of which gave me a chair to use along with a Gatorade and a granola bar! In addition to ministry out in front of the temple, we took a couple afternoons to distribute the Mormonism Research Ministry temple paper as well as the Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD door to door. While doing this, I got to witness to a guy named Josh, who was raised in an inactive LDS home, but just recently got baptized LDS. He got baptized it seemed, because he desired something spiritual and that was the only frame of reference he knew about. However, he’s recently been checking out videos against Mormonism on YouTube just to get a different take. So he was very open to what I had to say.
It was very interesting watching the progressive compensation the LDS Church made to counteract our preaching from only about 60 feet away! We were on the sidewalk on the other side of the fence, right outside the temple, and just across from a slipper changing station. People would exit the temple, and would be greeted by several workers, who would take everyone’s slippers that were placed over their shoes at the beginning of the tour. The day after our preaching, they moved that station from in front of the temple to behind the wall a little further east. The next day, they put greeters out to distract the tour group from our message and they set up a little speaker to play the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for everyone right outside the exit to the temple. The next day, which was our last day, they set up a couple more speakers and really started to blast their choir music! At that point, we simply walked a little east and parked it in front of their Stake Center where everyone would pass by and get on the buses. This spot was actually better, since it was only about 30 feet from everyone walking by! However, at this point, I was pretty wiped out. My voice was about gone and my head felt like it was going to explode from preaching so much.
Here are some videos to give you an idea of what we were doing out there. The first is of my buddy Jeff Baran, who came out from CA primarily to evangelize at the Arab Festival on the 18th. The second is of me preaching during the day in front of the temple. The third is of me preaching at night in front of the temple. The fourth is of me preaching during the day in front of the Stake Center. The fifth is showing how the LDS began using speakers to drown us out.
As expected, the Arizona stats for www.MormonInfo.org were #1 of all the states the entire time we were there. The day before we got there, Arizona was 8th in all the states to visit my site. Thousands of people were confronted with the God of the Bible and how false Mormonism really is. Keep in mind that God promised that His word would not return void (Isaiah 55:11), so we trust that He will give the increase to all the seed that was planted during this time (cf. 1 Cor. 3:6-7).
Phoenix Arab Festival
Mario, Jesse, John, and RobJohn and I also were able to get outside our comfort zone and do a little evangelism to Muslims at the Arab Festival on the 19th. This was a Sunday and the LDS temple is closed on that day. We met a couple Christian guys—Jesse and Mario—who were into evangelizing Muslims like we are to Mormons. Jesse and Mario gave us some very important pointers in dealing with Muslims. John and I made www.MuslimInfo.org signs, and we were able to get Arabic Gospel of Johns and DVDs of the Jesus film in a lot of languages (including Arabic) to pass out. It was so refreshing to see how readily Muslims took our material, but the highlight for me was talking to an Arab guy who wanted to know if he could study the Bible with me! He wanted a Christian church to go to, so I got another local Christian worker to help him.
My preaching from Arizona was transferred to simply talking to individuals or small groups right outside the entrance to the Salt Lake City temple. No yelling was needed, so I didn't get any headaches. I was calm, polite, but very upfront with no-candy coating. I was privileged to be called a bigot, hater, fool, hypocrite, offensive, pervert, and un-Christlike. I was also told to "get a life" again. And this is all in one little outing to Temple Square! One guy came back to apologize. He calmed down, but was still very bothered by my "un-Christlike" behavior.
Another gal blew up and threw my DVD into the air in front of her Catholic boyfriend. She asked me how Joseph lied, so I told her about the monogamy statement he made a month before he died (History of the Church 6:411). (He had around 34 wives at the time!) She immediately went into defense mode regarding these poor women that Joe benevolently took upon himself. So I started going through all the problems as she was walking away. I told her Joe was a pervert, and she childishly called me one.
Another lady responded to the monogamy statement by saying, "If that's all he lied about, then you're reaching for the bottom of the barrel." I told her this is who you're trusting for your own salvation and he lied about many other things—most importantly about needing secret handshakes and passwords to enter the celestial kingdom. She didn't want any more of it and walked away as soon as the light changed.
Had a great talk with an agnostic guy, who was raised Catholic. I got to share the gospel with him. He even asked me what I would say to get into heaven after I painted such a pathetic picture of all of us humans. I also got to give him some arguments for God's existence as well as Him showing up as Jesus. He was one of only a few who took the DVD.
So pray for God's Spirit to move upon all these people as they recall the bothersome things they were confronted with.
Tara on the Ex-Mormon Files
My wife was on former LDS Bishop Earl Erskine’s TV show last month. Tara looked and sounded great!
Popular New YouTube Video
Last month, a buddy of mine put out a short parody video against Mormonism entitled Mormon Secrets: What the Missionaries Don't Tell. The video entertains the question, “What would it be like if the LDS missionaries were upfront and honest about what they believe when they come to your door?” Minus my buddy putting an extra marking on the temple garments, the video is spot on… despite what LDS gainsayers are saying in the comments section. The video has been so popular that it’s the first video listed under a YouTube search for “Mormon.” In about a month, it had just over 30,000 views! So he’s averaging about 1,000 views a day! Why am I telling you about my buddy’s work? Because he stuck our www.JosephLied.com at the end of it for more information!
New Film Review
The LDS Church put a full length feature film in theaters across America last month called Meet the Mormons. I went the opening day to write a film review on it.
New Blog Post
I was so irritated by a Huffington Post blog attacking biblical marriage that of course I had to respond with my own blog called A Critique of Jennifer G. Bird’s “Biblical Marriage: I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.
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 more information on various ways to invest in this ministry, including online giving, please see our “Invest” page on any of our sites. Please keep in mind that this is my full-time job and we have no financial guarantees each month. Ministry partners come and go as jobs do. 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).
We are about almost half way toward our goal of having 20 new partners to invest $50 per month in this ministry. Thanks for the prayers, but keep praying that we’ll be able to get the rest. We still have quite a bit of debt to pay down, so any amount will help regardless of whether we get new partners or not. However, having new partners certainly helps with our monthly budgeting.
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
5. Pay off our large debt primarily from medical and dental expenses
Today in church our text was from 2nd Timothy 2:1-13. All I could think of is that you were/are Paul! All I could think was I am so proud to you and everything you are doing, especially with all the crap you have to take because of it. I am so happy to be a friend and supporter of a modern day Paul!
Rob, so appreciate that you are doing the most important thing in this world... letting folks know there is a true Savior and real hope. May the LORD heap blessings upon you and other guys today as you share with precious Muslims.
thank you for your faithfulness,
So grateful to read of these Saints of the Lord who truly do the work of evangelism. Heaven alone will attest to the rewards of these wonderful men and women when they see the fruit of their labor. My Grandfather and my Dad were saved on a street corner in Ecorse, Mi when an Italian man preached the Gospel. He and my Dad received Jesus in their heart. My Grandfather donated a piece of property for this evangelist to build a church and it is still going strong today. This impacted the whole direction of our family for Christ.
Blessings and prayers on all of these fishers of men.
I feel a lot of sadness for everybody involved in your website. I'm so surprised that you and your anti-Mormon friends actually have such a low-life that you spend time ragging on a religion. It saddens me that people spend their lives like this. Get a life.
[I replied:] We've got The Life, and you and LDS need to know Him before it's too late (see John 14:6).
So you can rag on us, but we can't rag on a false religion that blasphemes the only true God? Do you really think any religion is off limits? Even the religion of Islamic terrorists? Of course the Mormon Church isn't physically killing people, but according to God's word, they are killing people eternally in hell.
We really just love people and want them to spend eternity with us in heaven with Jesus.
Thanks for writing!
This is the stupidest website ever. It has all the wrong information.
Clearly these people hate Mormons. I am not a mormon but I have been to there church. Trust me, that isnt at all what they believe. I suggest you go tolds.org and never come back to this horribe website AGAIN.
[I replied:] Can you show me just one piece of information that is wrong with www.MormonInfo.org and document why it is wrong?
WE had fun meeting Rob Sivulka & John tonight in front of the Phoenix temple! You guys are my heroes! Keep on showing the love of Jesus! And may He download more strategies! You're awesome!
Thank you brother for the news letter,
...Wonderful to see your basket filling for Jesus Rob, praise the LORD.
God bless Brian Mackert! what a gem of a testimony with all the other gems!, gut wrenching and sickening insights! oh boy! Listening now intently to his heart.
Way to go Rob, prayers are being answered
Great report! thanks, Rob, and praise GOD for all the ways He sustains you in reaching out to these dear people.
blessings to u and your family,
Good work Rob!
praying for you
ya big pervert
you must be
praise the LORD
HE is with you...
Next to counseling and my life-love, Joe, this is the most crucial thing I will ever do. It's an honor to serve with Rob and everyone who supports him and Tara.
Love, love, love the content and delivery of your preaching. Well done.
I am so encouraged by reading about you "Adventures in Ministry".