Ministry at Temple Square
Last month I was able to go a handful of times to minister right outside the south gate of Temple Square. I was able to advertise my lighted JosephLied.com sign, wish people a Merry Christmas, preach, dialogue, and distribute literature and DVDs. Here’s a short video of that.
The first day I went out, I was almost immediately approached by a Mormon named Mitch. He is another liberal Mormon. These liberals are well-aware of many of the problems of Mormonism, but still choose to accept it on faith. They form their own theology and usually deny that Smith taught that God had to become a God. They also are much more vocal about all their Standard Works being fallible, especially the Bible.
Mitch immediately asked me what Smith lied about, so I went into what Smith said about being a monogamist and then I went into all the lies of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST). As for the former, Mitch claimed that Smith was merely affirming that according to the law, he did in fact only have one wife. As if one could ever be legally married to more than one wife here in the U.S.! No, of course Smith was dissembling here and that explains his strong reaction to burning the Nauvoo Expositor down when it went public with all of Smith’s wives.
As for the JST, Mitch was not apparently bothered by all the changes. For him, even if these were wrong, the Bible has many errors to it as well so, who knows? The only thing that matters is, again, their own private testimony (i.e., their “burning in the bosom”). He wanted a perfect translation, which of course there are not any I could give him. Nonetheless, Jesus taught that God’s word was true and it could not be broken (Jn. 10:35 and 17:17). I tried to explain to Mitch that the truth is out there to be pieced together from many ancient manuscripts, Church fathers’ citings, as well as many ancient lectionaries. Variations in content are very rare, but when they happen, we can still figure what the most probable readings are. Having said that, some translations are much more accurate than others. The JST is an example of a horrible translation.
We also talked about the nature of God and a few other topics within about 20 to 30 minutes. His wife came back out of Temple Square and they had to go. I pray that I at least piqued Mitch’s curiosity to go spend some time on my site and get more answers.
As usual, every time I go out to advertise my JosephLied.com site, the stats go way up! Conventional wisdom would say that the sign would simply turn people off and of course God would never use something that offensive. However, this is obviously myopic given the stats.
Religion has become so privatized that people generally don't care what you believe in your faith. However, what gets people to wake up often is someone claiming that certain beliefs are lies or certain prophets are false and we must be warned about them. Why in the world would someone claim that instead of saying something like, "Yeah Jesus!," which of course not even atheists would have a problem with? Curiosity gets the best of them when it comes to seeing the JosephLied.com sign, and immediately or much later, they go to check it out. And they cannot unsee it! It literally burns on their retinas!
We had our friends Jason and Ambure Critchlow come to share their story. They did such a great job, and their video is doing extremely well on YouTube. You may either watch it there or on MeetTheExMormons.org. YouTube, though, has many different encouraging comments that you may be interested in reading.
I was also able to give out 4 of Micah Wilder’s book “Passport to Heaven” to neighbors with cards that extolled Jesus, and we also gave out different food goodies. I also gave Micah’s book to a friend who works at our local Walmart. We met last spring when she commented on my cross. She showed me one she was wearing too, so I assumed she was a Christian. However, she told me she was LDS, and she likes to do things her own way for the most part. So I thought of her when I gave her this book, since Micah writes about wearing a cross that was given to him while he was serving his LDS mission.
Update on Doctoral Studies
I am beginning my second year at NWU. Please pray that I will receive the bursary again this year. This allows most of my finances to be covered. My supervisor has written a nice progress report for me in order to obtain this bursary. He said, “This student continues to show a strong commitment and has been busy with his research project, finalizing the research proposal according to the requirements of the University. We are about to submit the whole refined proposal to the Scientific Committee for the topic registration. As his promoter, I hereby strongly recommend that he may be offered a research bursary.” Also pray that I will have my proposal done soon and that the school will accept it.
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Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6)!
President, Courageous Christians United
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[One of my Facebook friends sent me this last month. We've been friends for years, but I don't recall him ever telling me this before.] [ [O]ne of your signs changed my life about 20 years ago! I know it was a J Lied sign. I was watching channel 2 news, and someone walked behind the reporter, who was live at some scene, with a J Lied sign. I can 100% remember which living room I was sitting, it was when we lived in Riverton….and we sold that house in May 2002! So maybe it wasn’t you…I have always thought it was you!
I am pretty solid on the dates/timeline.
I just can’t remember who the reporter was…it seems like it was at an I-15 overpass, maybe reporting on the new freeway construction at the time…I don’t know, nevertheless the sign pointed me to answers to many, many questions i had been having for years. Eventually, helping to bring me, my wife and children to Christ.❤️
Rob. Does it seem like more and Mormons are leaving the church?
[I replied:] No doubt that they are. The internet is killing them.
Keep up the good work!!!!
I can't support you as I already am supporting others and am retiring soon. Love to read what you write. God bless. Keep up your good work.
Love that seed planting! 🌱🌱🌱
That's great. Pray lots of folks look up the site. Certainly is easy enough to remember.
I'll be honest I joined [your Facebook discussion board] to see what true Christianity is, as an ex mormon I personally have 0 idea what to believe anymore......so I guess as of now I'm agnostic looking for what I do believe
[I replied:] I'm reading through Rob Bowman Jr.'s book "Jesus' Resurrection and Joseph's Visons." Bowman is a top Christian scholar on religions. He lays out the case for Christianity and against Mormonism so well in this book. I highly recommend it!
and as for what Christians believe, check out the Home page chart of differences on MormonInfo.org.
[She replied:] you all r so sweet and thnk you!!!!
…I just Wana say thank you.. thank you for this group!! I have learned so much here things I’ve already known in my Spirit. But some of you are so articulate and clear and I appreciate you so much.
Wow, Rob . . I truly appreciate what you're doing.