Right before Thanksgiving and prior to advertising JosephLied.com at Temple Square with all the Christmas lights, I was getting about 90 total hits on the site with about 20 from Utah each day. December peaked one night at 474 total visits and 195 from Utah! Many people were so impressed by the lighted sign, even LDS people, that they were taking pictures, and obviously these ended up on social media. Again, advertising obviously works!
A number of people would also come by to ask me what did Joseph lie about. So I had a lot of good conversations too! One time I had a whole family, including a young girl on her dad’s shoulders, that were firing away at me.
I got some great news last month about our new book, Sharing the Good News with Mormons: Practical Approaches for Getting the Conversation Started, coming out in June with Harvest House. Well-known apologist and speaker Josh McDowell has written the forward to the book, and long-time researcher on Mormonism, Sandra Tanner, also has come aboard to contribute a chapter. I’m really excited to be a part of this work!
Viewpoint on Mormonism
Rob with Bill and EricI was also interviewed last month by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson of Mormonism Research Ministry concerning my chapter in the book. They host a daily radio show/podcast called Viewpoint on Mormonism. My interview will air for a couple days sometime in May/June.
My long-time friend, Laurie Molsberry, came up from Southern California to share her story. In addition, she was also able to share it on former LDS bishop Earl Erskine’s ExMormon Files show. You can watch Laurie’s testimony at our fellowship here and see the pictures here.
New Temple Opening Paper
Eric Johnson is also putting together a new Temple paper to distribute at LDS Temple Openings. I am writing the chapter on “Testing the Prophets.” We hope to have this printed by mid-March when a local temple will reopen—the Jordan River one. That opening will go for six weeks! This will be the longest temple opening I can recall. Eric is asking different ministries to collaborate on this project, and asking them to help fund it. If you would like to help, I’d like to contribute $200, which will allow me to have an article published as well as to have our ministry’s contact info listed.
We Need Your Partnership!
We not only need your prayers, but we need your financial partnership as well. Keep in mind that your investment is not simply for us, but for the lives of others we reach with the gospel. The standard way to financially invest is by writing a check to Courageous Christians United (CCU). For more information on various ways to invest in this ministry, including online giving, please see our “Invest” page on any of our sites. Please keep in mind we have no financial guarantees each month. Ministry partners come and go. If you’re not a partner and are blessed by these monthly updates, please consider joining our team and let us know soon. We’d love to be your missionaries here in Utah. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and in your financial giving!
We expect God to provide for our needs through you. Why? Because the Bible is clear: “the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:14).
Happy New Year!
New JosephLied.com shirt Mom got me for ChristmasRob Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
Happy New Year! Keep up the good work! Thanks for all you do.
This site is amazing! This is a great resource! Rob, keep up the great work! May God bless you. Don't ever give up.
You people need to re-evaluate how you try and gain converts. Standing out there on the streets yelling at people that they're going to hell while holding a ridiculous sign is high up on the list of stupid.
Being dismissive of people who come to you for help and questions is on the level of &$%*.
Thank you for letting me mom share her story.
I got a great endorsement last month from a friend, who used to say some pretty nasty things about me!
I did enjoy the newsletter, thank you. I specially enjoyed the videos where you were calling to people and some Mormon church official came by and asked you to move along:). I don't know how you do that and keep your voice!
Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas and a very happy and healthy new year!
As I continue to prepare for my baptism, I have had Catholic and Agnotic friends pose some additional points about which I have limited knowledge. I was hoping you might be able to help to address the following:
1. "Alma" was used, meaning "young woman" rather than virgin: Mary as a virgin in the New Testament in Mark
2. Jesus' father not descendent from King David in Talmud
3. In Jewish religion, God cannot be split into 3
4. Shamash.org. It's a Jewish group explaining against Jesus as Messiah
5. Jesus didn't fit within the parameters of him being a prophet based upon Jewish prerequisites
6. Most Jews needed to be in Israel and not divided during the time of Christ' initial coming
7. Judaism believes the Messiah was only to come once, rather than twice or three times
Thank you in advance,
[I replied:] Not sure what a "Catholic Jew" is (in your subject title above) unless it's a Catholic who has Jewish heritage. Every Catholic by definition holds that Jesus was the Messiah. So perhaps these are simply a type of Messianic Jews.
1. Isaiah 7:14 in the Hebrew uses that term, and it's generally understood to be a virgin in that ancient culture unless noted otherwise. Further, the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) uses the term "virgin" there, and that's the term that the writers of the New Testament used to describe Mary under direction by the Holy Spirit.
2. The Babylonian Talmud calls Jesus the bastard son of Mary. The Jerusalem Talmud calls Jesus the son of Pandera. Yeah, Jews don't hold to the New Testament description of Jesus.
3. Yeah, Jews deny the Trinity.
4. Yeah, non-Christian Jews deny that Jesus is the Messiah. JewsforJesus.org affirms He is.
5. Yeah, many Jews deny Jesus being a prophet, however I don't see why some can't affirm it and still deny him being the Messiah. They would simply claim that Jesus never taught the things that Christians assume He did, but were false statements added by either the Gospel writers or later writers who added these to the Gospel accounts. Whatever items brought up against the claim of Jesus being a prophet need to be dealt with on an individual basis.
6. I'm not following this and don't see what its relevance is.
7. Yeah, that's what Jews believe. However, Christians hold there's no good reason to think Messiah couldn't come first to conquer sin and then come again to conquer all earthly political systems.
This really isn't my field of expertise. I have friends of mine, Henry and Darlene Mataritta, who do evangelism to Jews in Israel. You should contact them at [email protected]. I've Cc'ed them.
Glad you had a busy good month, keep on keeping on for our Lord.
I have always admired the fact that you are willing to do anything for the Lord. I just want you to know that I have never forgotten your example of the help you gave me in coming to Christ. This Christmas Eve will be 15 years since I was born-again!
Thanks for all you do for the Truth and witnessing to Mormons!
Have a fresh LDS missionary from up here in Palmyra NY area from my former ward who just started his mission in the Salt Lake City LDS mission. Being a former LDS I am praying he will bump into a ministry down there. Praying for your work.
Sudden thought: I hope, in all the work you do, have plenty(or at least enough) time to just sit back, close your eyes, and smile because of God's wonderful waves of mercy, love, and grace that crash over us in Christ. The Lord delights in you, my friend!