God's timing is pretty funny! Last month I had just finished working in the backyard, and while going through the gate into the front yard, guess who stopped by to pay my next door neighbors a visit. Yep, the LDS missionaries! My
With Pastor Ruscettaneighbors weren't home, so I tried to get the guys to come over and talk with us. They were acting weird and giving lame excuses, so I just went into it with them by asking them why they think Mormonism is true. (They have never come to our place and must have us marked, since we've confronted them numerous times outside our home as they are passing by.)
I only had about 10 minutes with them and went through the basic talking points (they really wanted to get out of there!). One of the most important things I recall was telling these guys, who claimed that they knew Mormonism was true, was that God had given them a strong delusion to believe a lie (2 Thes. 2:11). One of them said that God can’t do that, so I told him that he was putting himself in a higher authority than God and His word.
While I was dialoguing with them, my good friends Jannette Mavis and Joe Hobbs drove by. Both former Mormons, they came over unexpectedly to bless our family with a generous financial gift, an encouraging note, and an article on the preservation of the Bible in contrast to Joseph Smith's perversion of it in his so-called "Inspired Version." After the missionaries bolted, we encouraged each other and prayed together and for those missionaries.
Logos Christian Church
We had a great time again sharing at Logos Christian Church in Escondido, CA. The church is led by my long time friend, Dave Ruscetta. Tara briefly shared her testimony of coming out of Mormonism and coming to Christ, and I shared about “10 Big Statements LDS Make that Trip Christians Up.” Actually, I shared what they were, but only had time to respond to one—viz., LDS saying that the Bible can’t be trusted today.
While there, I reconnected with a member, who reminded me that he briefly was LDS. He said he converted to Mormonism, since LDS did a great job on loving on him. However, after being in a while, he began to notice how anxious he was becoming due to their stressing
Tara sharing at Logospersonal worthiness. He concluded this couldn’t be of God.
More Stranger Evangelism
While in CA, I ended up preaching to a couple gay couples walking by holding hands. I simply told them I loved them, but they needed to repent. They all looked shocked that I would say something. I figure if they can go public, then so can I.
This was very similar to what I do with LDS passing by me coming out of the temple. For example, some honest LDS guy walked by me coming out of temple and told me he just wants to be with his dad. I told him that if his dad was following Joseph Smith, then he's in hell with him. Then I said he needs to follow Jesus instead.
Rob sharing at LogosOf course a number of Christians get upset about this, since it’s so foreign to their conceptions of evangelism involving a friendly prolonged relationship. However in these stranger situations, there simply wasn't enough time for drawn out relationships. My thinking is that it is loving to give something rather than nothing, and the something given is going to be unmistakably to the point. This isn’t to say that if I don’t preach to every stranger walking past me, then I’m being hateful. It is simply saying that I can’t think of a more loving thing to give a stranger than an admonition to repent and follow Christ. Further, not all strangers get the same amount of time. For example, a passersby demands a different tactic than a person stopped in front of me waiting to cross the light. The latter have time for me to dialogue with and question them even though both types of strangers are treated with love and respect.
Jesus, Love-incarnate, did not have a prolonged friendly time when He cleaned out the temple on occasion or when He told the Jews they were children of the devil (Jn. 8:44). Niceness is not identical to kindness given the actions of Christ, as well as His prophets and apostles. Even common sense ought to confirm this. For example, disciplining my kid isn't niceness, but it's certainly kindness.
When I evangelized outside the LDS Conference Center last month, it was certainly nice having lots of people drive by to give me thumbs up and cheer me on. However, I was treated unkindly by a number of people who didn’t have my best interests in mind. One guy even threw my DVD back at me and hit me in the head with it!
Some other LDS guy named Nate came by and told me that he doesn't agree with me, but he thanked me for being out here because it shows how much I sincerely care. He gets it! I hope more LDS, as well as Christians, do too!
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 we have no financial guarantees each month. Ministry partners come and go. 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).
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
Rob & family, Each of you is a light; continue to shine bright! For Jesus
Dear Rob and Tara,
As you know, [we] love and care about you and your family, but perhaps more importantly, your ministry. We serve the same God and like Apostle Paul, we are both persecuted for our Faith. Paul’s journey was tumultuous, as is yours and Tara’s. We don’t speak of it often, but [we] suffer the same persecution. Please find enclosed our faith offering and we pray in the name of Jesus that you and Tara will have all you need to continue the journey.
Your friends in Jesus,
Mormons "search the Word" every day and have come to the same conclusions as other Christians--Jesus Christ is the Sin [sic] of God and the only name by which we can be saved. This is the qualifier for being a Christian. You're wasting your time with all of your screaming and yelling at our celebrations, trying to get a rise out of imperfect people in hopes that you come out of it looking like a martyr. You're just a chump.
Praise Jesus. One of my dreams is to see the Mormon Church collapse in my lifetime. Every effort that we true Christians do is worth it.
I'm a Mormon if you couldn't guess by the subject line of the e-mail [“Unimpressed with your website”]. I had a friend on Facebook post one of your videos with the cartoon missionaries and after watching it I decided to visit the website. After spending some time there I just wanted to write to and make mention that it probably isn't fair to present doctrine of Latter Day Saints incorrectly. If you're going to list all your accreditation and resume on all your accomplishments at least use correct doctrine when explaining your points about what the Mormons believe especially when comparing to other Christian faiths.
I spent my mission in South Carolina and talked to many pastor, priests and heads of other various Christian denominations discussing the bible and the many interpretations therein. As I read the information on your website where you make the comparisons on certain doctrinal points, I thought they were lacking on not only the LDS side but the Christianity side too. Obviously I do not feel it's fair to call Latter Day Saints non Christians, but at least draw the line realistically.
For example the doctrine of being saved. Both mainstream Christianity and the Mormons believe that we are saved through and by Jesus Christ. The only difference is Mormons believe in order to be clean you must repent of your sins and the atonement of Jesus Christ makes up for the rest, but it is only through Jesus Christ we can be made clean.
Either way I guess I'm not really here to dispute doctrine, but to really just see what your motivation is for making a website like this and using either completely incorrect doctrine to make a point or just twisting it to lose full meaning of what Mormons believe. There's always the chance that you fully know this information and still present in such a degrading way, and if you do that wouldn't be very Christ-like of you either. At least when I was on my mission talking to the good Christians in South Carolina there was almost always a level of respect and we could walk away from a meeting knowing we (the missionaries) and investigators were both Christians. Lastly the question I really have is why? Why go through all this effort? Is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints directly from the devil in your eyes and a plague to the world? Is it so bad that you have to go out of your way and risk your name and your credentials? If it is, that's cool and I get it. I guess I was just really curious is all. Well I'm sure you get these e-mails all the time and I would be surprised if you read this. Either way all I ask is that you at least consider us Christians. It drives me bonkers when people don't think we believe in Jesus Christ. Thank you!
[I replied:] A former LDS missionary put that video together and simply used our site to point people to it.
Of course I realize that LDS hold they are saved through Jesus. I said under the section of "What is divine salvation?": "In one sense, salvation is universal immortality and resurrection by grace alone, and is given to everyone except apostates. In another sense, salvation is eternal life or exaltation into the highest kingdom. The latter is dependent on grace through faith and one's works (2 Ne. 25:23; D&C 76:40-4; and Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 669-71, and 746)." So I acknowledge LDS hold Jesus' grace as they define it to save them. Further, the next couple sections on my Home page chart of differences speak of Christ's atonement as LDS understand it, so there's no reason to think that I've misunderstood what LDS teach regarding Christ's role in their salvation.
Do you have another example of me not fairly representing LDS doctrine?
I've talked to too many LDS and former LDS, who have affirmed that I'm fairly representing LDS doctrine. So unless you can cite another example, I'll keep listening to what they have to say.
The problem for you is how I have disagreed with what LDS hold concerning Jesus' involvement in our salvation. I hold that He paid it all, and it is received through faith, which means repenting. However, for us, that repenting is never perfected in this life and we don't trust at all in our good works, which LDS scripture is clear are *necessary* to make God accept one into the celestial kingdom. We reject that, since the Bible is clear that our works have nothing to do with it (Eph. 2:8-9) and they are all filthy rags anyway (Isa. 64:6). You may not agree with this and the way I laid it out on the Home page chart of MormonInfo.org, but I'm still fairly distinguishing what LDS and the Bible teaches.
To put it simply, you think Jesus' work was only a *necessary* condition whereas we think it was a *sufficient* condition. So because I have received His work as an act of grace, I've been made new. My sins are forgiven. I am adopted into His family. There is no reason whatsoever to think that I don't have access to God and His kingdom. Therefore I'm assured I'm going to the celestial kingdom immediately upon my death. You don't have that hope and peace with God, because you've still got to do "all that you can do" as 2 Ne. 25:23 says and deny yourself all ungodliness and love God with everything as Moroni 10:32 says.
Now obviously I've have gone to all the work I have into MormonInfo.org, because I believe Mormonism is of the devil and it's leading people like you to hell. If I didn't think that, I'd be simply wasting my time. So I have created the site in order to call you to repent of your false god, false Jesus, false Holy Spirit, false gospel, and false scriptures given by false prophets. It's as simple as that, and I pray you wake up before it's too late, so you can be assured of spending eternity with me in the celestial kingdom.
Thanks for writing!
Hi Rob and Tara -
I'm sure you are bombarded with requests, but I recently found your website and have found the info there very helpful.
...I now find myself in a situation to talk to family I barely know but want to share the truth with while still allowing our relationships to grow. I am not as nervous to talk with those who have left the LDS church (i.e. my siblings and their families), but I will admit to feeling nervous and intimidated about talking to my family that is still Mormon and have been for years/generations. I do not think they are in the FLDS sect - everything has indicated they are LDS.
So - that is the nitty-gritty of my situation. My reason for writing you is to ask for any insight or recommendations before I begin talking with those that are still in the LDS church. In addition, I would appreciate any prayer support you are able to give.
Thank you for your time in reading this and considering my request!
[Tara replied:] I am 5th generation Mormon so the majority of my family is all LDS. All of my siblings have left, but only one has come to Christ (I am one of 5 girls) and that was 10 years after I accepted Christ and prayed for those 10 years.
My advice is to just be yourself around them. Share the love of Christ and when difficult conversations come (and they eventually will), speak the truth in love and let the Holy Spirit guide you.
What an awesome opportunity!
...Sorry this is short, my grandpa passed away yesterday (very devout LDS) and I'm very tired. I will keep you in my prayers. God is so good!
[She replied:] I am not one who "pushes" my faith on others, but that does not mean I am silent about it either. So far, our spiritual related conversations have been very general, but I anticipate that a long weekend together will probably lead to more in depth conversations - especially since it is Thanksgiving. I want to be sensitive to God's leading in both my timing and words. I also want to be loving in my approach.
When you are up to it, I would appreciate any suggestions for books or other materials that may assist me as I prepare myself for the discussions that will happen at some point in time.
Thanks for being willing to pray for me!
[I replied:] Please find Tara's testimony on the Testimonies page of MormonInfo.org. Also put my name in YouTube and watch a lecture I gave titled, "10 Big Statements LDS Make That Trip Christians Up." Lynn Wilder has a great testimony book out called "Unveiling Grace." Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson's "Mormonism 101" is a good intro. Please friend me on Facebook and I'll set you up on our Discussion page.
Praying for direction as you minister to your family.
I left the Mormon church 30 years ago and they have doggedly pursued me since. I am preparing my resignation letter.
I am a born-again Christian, but have great difficulty attending church. I listen to K-LOVE radio (contemporary Christian music) almost exclusively. I became saved 2 years ago when I had the revelation that Jesus died on that cross personally for my sins and would have done it had I been the only person on the Earth to believe in him. That changed my life profoundly.
Although my husband (non-Mormon) and I do not attend church, we are moving to Texas in a few years and found a cowboy church that we like. We watch the sermons online.
I know little of the bible, so my Christian friends talked me into signing up for Bible Study Fellowship with a year-long study of the book of Revelations. It is nondenominational. I was so excited.
Yesterday was the first class. As I neared the church, Casting Crowns was on the radio singing, “We were meant to be courageous.” Thank you Lord, I needed that.
There were hundreds of women (only women) there, as Bible Study Fellowship divides its classes into men and women. The church is large and it was standing room only as this is the first time classes were about the book of Revelation.
Trouble came when we broke into our small group classes. It felt like Relief Society. It didn't help any that the leader looked remarkably like a Mormon friend of mine. Panic and dread enveloped me. I wanted to cry and run out the door. When it came time to share, my mouth was so dry it was difficult to speak. When we all gathered back together again in the church sanctuary, it took quite awhile for that awful feeling to pass.
Normally, I would think the reaction was a sign telling me this was not a good place to be, but I honestly feel God wants me to be there. I’m terrified of sharing anything of myself, or worse being asked to do a job in that church. And of course, the relentless thought of whether or not anything they tell me about God is actually the truth.
I am praying about it , but feel I need help. Are the overwhelming negative feelings of being in that group of women just a sign of the damage the Mormon church did to me? Do other exMormons have similar feelings when trying to join the Christian world?
Not sure what to do. The leader of the group will be calling me later this week. I’m not sure what to say to her. To keep the atmosphere truly nondenominational, we are asked not to speak about religion, only the Bible. I’m not sure what to say to her about my feelings, especially since those feelings might prevent me from returning.
Do you know anything about the international Bible Study Fellowship?
[I replied:] BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) is an excellent program to intensely study the Bible. My mom and other close friends are involved in it. Your feelings are normal, but you've got to find a way not to be governed by them. That's an important lesson in your transition out of Mormonism. Former LDS have such a difficult time being a part of our www.MeetTheExMormons.org due to their feelings.
I'm glad you'll be attending the Cowboy Church soon. I'm also glad to hear that you're finally resigning from the LDS Church. That should get them to back off quite a bit.
Thanks so much for writing and opening up about your struggles. If you're on Facebook, if you friend me, I can set you up with a lot of Ex-Mormons who will encourage you in your new faith. My page is https://www.facebook.com/rob.sivulka.
I pray that you'll continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus (2 Pet. 3:18).
[She replied:] Thank you for being so prompt with your reply. I did peruse your Facebook page to get a sense of who you are. Your comments on LDS, Christianity, and gay marriage are right on track with my beliefs and contacting you was the right thing for me to do.
I appreciate all the work you are doing. Although I love my friends who are Mormon, since coming to the foot of the cross I now feel Mormonism is not just wrong, it’s evil.
I look forward to reading your words on FB. Thank you for reminding me to stay strong in the Word and stand up to my fears.
Your sister in Christ,
Thank you so much for your efforts of loving the LDS church and bring Truth to them. My heart breaks heavily for them. Thank you!
The only person you should be concerned about is yourself do a little research before you think you understand! Read these articles [here and here] and really think! I'm not a witness but to think Jesus prayed to himself is just insane!
[I replied:] Straw man. The Bible doesn't teach Jesus prayed to Himself. He prayed to the other person that God is eternally comprised of. You need to get Rob Bowman's book called something like "Why You Should Believe the Trinity."