I will have a chapter in Eric Johnson and Shawn McDowell’s book Sharing the Good News with Mormons, which is scheduled to be published with Harvest House sometime later next year. This is a compilation of many different contributors sharing a particular tactic in reaching out to Mormons. I will be sharing the sign tactic.
Tucson LDS Temple
Advertising to people being bused in to take the tourI began ministry in Tucson by taking a tour of their new temple. Afterwards, I easily began talking to Hermana Hernandez in the reception area. We talked for about 1/2 hour and Hermana Jones came in at the tail end of the conversation. Hernandez sure has a lot to think about. Let's pray that something I said will stick with her. For example, Hernandez had no answer to why they do baptisms for the dead when the thief on the cross obviously didn't need it when he went to paradise that day. I discussed with her what "paradise" means in LDS categories, viz., the place where the righteous, worthy, baptized LDS go and from there they go to preach to those in spirit prison, who wait for someone living to be baptized for them.
Later that day I went to put some newspapers out on the doors around the neighborhood I was staying, and ran into a couple that had just moved down from Utah a couple months ago! Jack Mormons--John and Nicky--were very open to what I had to say. They took the newspaper, and they let me pray for them. We had a great conversation for about a 1/2 hour until she got too hot and wanted to get back inside. It was over 100 there!
The next day I had a very interesting experience putting papers on doors near the Tucson LDS temple. I was out in 100 degree weather and I ran out of water. My car was far away and it had the water in it. I felt like I was winding down. I called Tara and asked her to pray for my strength.
Right afterwards I walked up to the next block. I hunched over to take a break. An old guy (85 years old) in an SUV asked me if I was all right and if he could get me anything. I told him a water would be great. He said he had water and asked if I wanted a sandwich. I said that would be great too. He told me to get in. His name was Johnny. He took me to his place, which was just right on the corner. He had me get out and get a water in his carport. He then took me to Arby's. He got 1 sandwich and got 2 for me with an ice water. I thanked the Lord for the food and Johnny and prayed for him.
Johnny told me that he grew up in Baptist, but because of over-bearing preachers and all the whippings he got as a kid, he never really believed. I told him that I was sorry that those experiences affected his view of the Heavenly Father, who loved him so much that He sent His Son to die for him.
He then told me that his grandboy was over at his pool 3 years ago and drowned. They rushed him to the hospital, and many religious people told him that they'd pray for him, and one Jewish guy told him that he knew his grandboy was going to be all right. Sure enough, he was all right. So for Johnny, all religions are basically the same.
I told him about my mom being prophesied over. Her friend Rusty was in Africa and ran into a preacher, who asked him if he had a friend recently diagnosed with cancer and whose family have led a lot of people to Christ. Rusty said yes, and the preacher said to him that he was to tell my mom that she'd receive news within a couple weeks that she was healed. Sure enough it happened.
Johnny said that he believed in a higher power. I told him that higher power was Jesus, and He taught "I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one gets to the Father except by me" (Jn. 14:6). Johnny said that was just a belief with no evidence. I told him that our faith has plenty of evidence to it... from prophecies of Christ to the best case of history demonstrating that He rose from the dead. And since He did that, He should be listened to and followed.
Johnny expressed to me that he just doesn't have much faith. I told him the story of the guy who told Jesus that he believed, but asked Jesus to help with his unbelief, and Jesus healed his boy.
Johnny then told me that he had done a lot of bad things in his life. I told him I have too, but I've trusted Christ, who paid for my guilt on the cross, and that I'm now forgiven and right with God.
Johnny let me pray for him one more time. He also took my newspaper and DVD.
I was refreshed and God used an unbeliever to strengthen me. I went back out door to door, but should have got another water bottle from Johnny. I barely made it back to the car, but I felt I had to get these papers out so I could concentrate on advertising with my sign for the rest of my time there. I only had 5 papers left. I probably got around 200 papers out that day (including some in the neighborhood where I staying—on Mormon Drive of all places)! I was out for 5 hours total.
I kept saying the 23rd Psalm after meeting Johnny: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me besides still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name sake. Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou anointest my head with oil. My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
The rest of my time was devoted to advertising my site on the busy intersection near the temple. Here’s a brief video to give you an idea. Even though there was zero pedestrian traffic (very rarely cars would stop by to talk with me), it was obvious from Google Analytics that people in cars and buses were checking the site out. As is typically the case in these outreaches, AZ was #1 in all the states checking out my site during my time there.
The piece of property at issue
A real nice, but very closed-minded LDS guy, who had his boys look me in the eye and bear their testimony to me.
Where the Christians now gather prior to evangelism
Some guy placed his JosephLied.com sign right in the middle of the intersection.
Preaching over the gate
Some guy's spit on my arm!This year was a little different at the Manti Pageant given that the LDS Church had purchased the main street right outside the gate of their temple grounds in an obvious attempt to keep evangelicals away. They could no longer meet on it to sing and pray at the beginning of the night, so that was moved to the southeast corner of the intersection right outside the temple grounds. I could no longer preach to groups gathered to get into the north gate, and I could no longer preach on the street to the crowds sitting on the grassy area across the street, west of the temple grounds. People wouldn’t want to sit there anyway since there were big temporary structures blocking their view, and the temple grounds were never completely filled anyway. The food court right down the street was moved to downtown, about a few blocks away, so evangelism was more spread out this year. Other than this, I really didn’t notice much of a difference. Mormons were still confronted as they were going to and coming from the pageant.
I still got into a number of good conversations with LDS, got a number of Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVDs out, and even had some LDS let me pray for them. My preaching was limited due to the lack of people who could hear me, and my buddy Aaron Shafovaloff preached most nights when the crowds were around. I was able to preach the last night of the pageant, and I was immediately greeted with people attempting to shout me down, impede my foot traffic, and was even body pushed from behind. It’s quite an invigorating experience for me!
When the pageant was over (by the way, it was trimmed down about 10 minutes), I advertised my lighted JosephLied.com sign to the crowds leaving. I would constantly tell them that I loved them and how concerned I was about them. On the last night, some guy walked past me and spit at me! It was dark and he did it right in front of a cop. I told him, “Thanks for blessing me by persecuting me!” I was so happy, I didn’t even think to tell the cop about this act of assault.
Video Producing Hits and Class Sign-Ups
The video “Mormon Secrets: What the Missionaries Don’t Tell” was recently picked up and repackaged by The Reformation Resurgence Facebook page. Since the video references JosephLied.com at the end for more information, the site has been getting a ton of hits since the end of last month. The high was 516 for the first day, but is solidly averaging in the 200’s every day since. This distribution has also almost doubled the sign-ups for our Questioning Mormonism and Christianity? class from the last time I reported on the size.
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President, Courageous Christians United
I agree with you when you say Joseph Smith perpetrated the greatest con (and I add LIES)! Akin to Muhammad!
Your ministry is reaching those that many others will not. Be encouraged! We are happy to support you.
Thanks guys for sharing, Praise the Lord. May the Lord continue to roll out the way before you, every blessing and prayer and support in service that's available to you. I haven't read all the news letter yet to follow all that you have been doing but I pray brother it rains on all that you sow together, God bless you.
Thanks again brother,
Good morning Rob,
Just a shout out to let you know that Barbie and I are praying and will be praying for a Great Outreach this year in Sanpete County! We will miss being part of the boots on the ground this year, but are excited to hear what Awesome ministry God is going to pour out over the Mormon people through your family and the many others that have made a pilgrimage to reach out in love to these lost individuals and families.
May God give each of you Amazing conversations and experiences this year and we pray that His Truth will spill out on these streets. For even if the Mormon Church somehow bought the whole Town of Manti, God’s Word will not be put asunder, and His people will not be moved or be muted from giving Him Praise and Adoration and testifying of His Love, Mercy, and Forgiveness !!
We pray for Protection and Peace for each of you over these two weeks!! Love You All and we will look forward to being there next year if it is God’s Will.
You wrong fool
Get a life the LDS church is real
From your mom #your mom lied #boi if you don't
So what scriptures would you use ( bible and book of mormon) to show what mormons believe is contrary. And how would you present it? Cause quite a few Elder missionaries know there scriptures pretty good, I will be meeting with some later on next week.
[I replied:] Challenge their burning in their bosoms and then use the scriptures I list on my home page chart of differences on www.MormonInfo.org.
I always appreciate what Rob and Tara Sivulka do. I deeply appreciate them giving me a voice by recording my testimony at their home and uploading it on you tube, doing the Meetups every month, missionary work, etc. I also always deeply appreciate everyone who was there that night and everyone who supports them financially, attends the Meetups every month and so many other ways! You've all definitely blessed me far more than I can express! I love you and I am elated that we'll be together in God's kingdom eternally!
I would like to take a moment to tell you how much I enjoy your news letter each month! I feel so blessed to be a part of your ministry! In Christ,