With Jolene Phelps and her family









Our good friend Jolene Phelps came back to share her story and her new book–Into God's Arms: A Woman and Her Family Come Out of Mormonism and Find Jesus! Please watch her video and see more pictures at the site above.

Salesman at the door

I had a conversation at my door with an LDS guy who was selling home windows. He came by the day before with another guy and he made mention how much he liked the cross I was wearing. I thanked him, but was too busy to pursue it. Well he came back the next day and hadn't realized he was at my place the prior day. I had to remind him of what he said about my cross, and then he remembered. It's like God really wanted me to talk to him! The following day I had more time, but it was about a 1/2 hour before I had to pick my daughter up from school. His name is Zach and he's an RM (returned missionary).

We talked about the cross, and his LDS mission in the Bible-belt. He didn't understand how his church could have a different Jesus, so I shared how their Jesus is not the creator of literally everything, and that devalues Him. We talked about how God is truly omnipotent rather than the LDS view, which has Him submitting to matter and its laws in order to organize this world and literally not all worlds. God's also not omnipotent for sharing the universe and being equal in power with all other gods as D&C 76 teaches. We also talked about the King Follett Sermon and how the Church isn't committed regarding what Smith taught there. I explained how that even if their church won't accept what Smith taught there (even though their leaders all hold to it in reality), Smith is still a false prophet for teaching a false god there. He also questioned whether that sermon was actually transcribed correctly. I told him if we can’t trust that they got it right, then there’s no reason to think he got anything transcribed correctly. I later sent him an article from a friend who demonstrates more fully how we know it was transcribed correctly.

Then I had him read Deut. 13:1-5, which warns that false prophets teach false gods. We talked about the 2nd law of Thermodynamics, Big Bang, the impossibility of traversing actual infinity one at a time to get to this present moment, and how these things point to a literal first moment of time which goes against his denial of creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing).

We also talked about his experience in the Bible-belt and how yes, Christian churches don't agree on much, but they all still agree that the universe wasn't prior to God or that God is not a man and He never became God. I quoted Isa. 43:10 to Zach, which teaches monotheism. Joseph Smith’s First Vision story and D&C 130:22 point to the Father being a man with flesh and bones. He countered that Jesus is as well, so Zach didn't see what the big deal was. I explained that's the best they have in their theology, whereas in traditional Christianity, God isn't a man, but He still took on a man nature. So Jesus as man limited Himself to die for us, but He isn't so limited as God. As God, He is over all as Rom. 9:5 says.

We talked also about how the First Vision story condemned my beliefs. All of Christianity is consistent with Judaism and Islam on there being only one God who created literally everything outside Himself (classical theism). However, Mormonism fits with pagan Greek philosophy in holding to an eternal universe.

I told him that I've read all his scriptures and I don't have one good reason why I should buy Mormonism. He of course went to Moroni 10:3-4, which tells the reader to ask sincerely if the Book of Mormon is true and God would reveal the truth. I told him that I've already asked God and He's telling me the exact opposite of what Zach was telling me. I told him the Book of Mormon is a religious fairy tale; it just doesn't fit with reality.

I had to go pick up my daughter from school and take my other daughter to her piano practice. I told Zach I am working on my doctoral dissertation on Mormonism's perennial racism problem. He thanked me for being so respectful.

I wish I had more time, but I've got deadlines to keep. It's still, after all these years of witnessing to these guys, frustrating. They obfuscate and they don't commit on what their prophets have taught. They can't see what I take to be so obvious. I pray that God will use something I said to wake this guy up.

LDS Missionaries

The very next day, I was walking my dogs and some LDS missionaries came by on bikes. They were eager to talk… until they weren't and wanted to get going. I probably had around 20 minutes with them. We also began with them complimenting the cross I was wearing. They didn’t know what to say when I told them that they must not really love the emblem of the cross that much, since they won’t wear one and their churches never display it.

They claimed there's only one Jesus and they believe in Him. I agreed there's only one, but Christ taught there would be false Christs in the last days (Matt. 24:24), so what makes them think they aren't teaching one? They were confused by that. They also had a hard time seeing how they devalued God or Jesus, since neither of them created everything. I walked them through the problems, and even quoted Col. 1:13-8, Isa. 43:10, 44:8 and 24 to them. We also discussed 2 Thes. 2:11. They couldn't believe that God would lie. I told them that He doesn't lie, but He can certainly give you over to your heart that is bent against Him and what He's revealed. At the end, I gave them my site to look up sometime after they leave their missions. I told them that they need to get a backbone and stand against what their church has been teaching. They let me say a quick prayer for them. I invited them to come over anytime they wanted, and I’d feed them and we could talk more about these things.

LDS neighbors

Immediately as the missionaries were leaving, I turned around to go home and there were our older neighbors around the corner from us who were at the door to visit another neighbor friend. They were wearing the Church name tags, so I asked them about them. They said they are "MLS"--Member Leadership Support. I had never heard of this before, so they explained it to me. Basically, they work from home and go out to lend a hand wherever it's needed. They just started a few weeks ago.

Before I left, I told them I have a deadline to meet on a dissertation I'm working on: "A Christian apologetic examination of the perennial problem of Mormonism." The lady admitted to me that God is a man who is White and we're all going to be white like Him after this life! I don't think I've ever heard this from an LDS person before. She didn't see how this was a White Supremacist belief when we're all going to be together with Him. I told her, “Well that's certainly a nicer version of White supremacy, but it's still White supremacy.” The husband covered for his wife and simply claimed that "white" can also mean "pure".

Then I explained how LDS scripture as well as LDS prophets and apostles had made very troubling racist statements. She didn't get what the big deal is, since why would she leave what she's comfortable with? I lovingly told them, "You can be comfortable and still headed to hell." That led to a discussion of their segregated kingdoms in the afterlife and being saved after all you can do. I explained how I'm saved before all I can do and how I know I'll be in God's presence not because of my filthy rags of righteous works as Isa. 64:6 says, but because of what Christ did in paying it all for me. She said, “You still need to do something.” The guy said we can disagree and still be good neighbors. I said, "Absolutely. I love you guys and continue to pray for you. I'm thankful you've been such good neighbors."

The other neighbor came out of her garage, so I said goodbye at that point. Really good conversations. Pray for these LDS. I'm so thankful that after all these years of being good neighbors, God finally opened the door to have a pretty substantive conversation!

Transgender saga

Yes, it is continuing! I received word from a friend that she talked to my daughter’s principal, and the principal said the new law the governor signed was confusing and the school wasn’t going to do anything about the boy who pretends he’s a girl using the girls’ bathrooms. I told my friends in government, and Kera Birkeland and Christina Bogess had a meeting with representatives of the Jordan School District (JSD). The law says that the schools have until May 1st to enforce the law. However, after the meeting, I’m not sure anything is going to be done. There will be a $10,000 a day fine imposed on the school if they don’t enforce the law, but that money is just taxpayer money anyway. I was told that the meeting was very intense, but Birkeland stood her ground with firmness and grace and clearly let JSD know what was expected of them.

It seems there is always wiggle room for these leftists to continue with their agenda. If Utah was really serious, it seems that jobs would be lost. We’ll see how this plays out, but I’m not very optimistic. We may end up suing the school and the district.

We need your partnership

If you’re looking for ways to store up for yourself treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:19-20), may I suggest investing in our ministry? 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 tax-deductible 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 our sites. If you’re not a partner and are blessed by these monthly updates, please join 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/or in your financial giving!

Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6)!

Rob Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84088
(801) 792-6373


[In response to a Christian testimony of coming out of Mormonism on our Facebook discussion page:] Out of the frying pan, into the fire. I tried it and came up with atheism. All of Christianity is useless. Just think for yourself and stop being afraid of imaginary things ...Christians have had 2000 years to present a coherent case for Jesus. But Jesus didn't write a book so Christians argue incessantly about the stories written long after he died. That's the opposite of good evidence.

[I replied:] Socrates didn't write a book either, but on the basis of one guy's (Plato's) testimony no scholar is skeptical about what Soccrates taught or did. However, you have multiple testimonies of individuals who put their lives on the line for what Jesus taught and did, and others find it reasonable to doubt their testimonies. Why? Because they are bigots against the supernatural. But the supernatural is obvious to the vast majority of the world. So the onus is on you to disprove that.

Further, we have many good evidences for a Creator, and those evidences point to a radically different God than the finite exalted man of Mormonism. The arguments for God's existence point to a God who created space and time, a Big Banger, who intricately designed and wound up the universe from the first moment. That best explains how we got to the present moment. If the universe was actually infinite, how did we get to any moment, since it would be like trying to jump out of a bottomless pit? So since there must have been a first moment and every event has a preceding cause to it, the the Cause must be eternal (the originator of time), infinitely powerful, and personal (given the Cause acted spontaneously or freely and acted with intricate design).

Now having said that, your mocking skepticism toward the supernatural is not welcome here as per the rules. There are all sorts of discussion boards that are intended for this debate, and this isn't one of them.

[He replied:] wow, not only are you kind, but you're very convincing. I believe in God now. I'm going to force all my kids to be baptized at the nearest church as soon as possible. I feel a little supernatural right now. It's spooky, but it's exciting!

[I replied:] I sense the mocking continuing. I haven't forced my kids to be baptized. If you'd like, I can remove you from this group.

[He replied:] atheism is simply disbelief in God. There is no evidence. Some atheists believe the Earth is flat or have other irrational beliefs unrelated to atheism. The evidence for atheism is atheists. There is no good evidence for God. That's why there are hundreds of different religions

[I replied:] I just gave you good evidence for God. If that's not good evidence, then nothing would count as evidence for you. You just don't like the idea of having to stand before Him one day and have to give an account of your life. As for usefulness, even atheists acknowledge Christianity's usefulness in bringing the world out of the barbaric practices of the Greco-Roman empire. [I then gave him the famous quote by atheist historian Tom Holland who acknowledges Christianity being the reason civilization moved from barbarity.]

[He replied:] American Christians committed incredible atrocities until the end of the 19th Century. Progressive Christians finally ended slavery and other terrible practices, in spite of Christianity, fighting against Christians. Tom Holland makes an absurd argument. He says what Christians want to hear, but I don't think it's accurate to say Christianity elevated women for example. Women fought Christian men for decades in order to win the right to vote.
None of that has anything to do with God.
Islam changed the Middle East and Asia. That isn't evidence for God.

[I replied:] of course there are bad actors everywhere including Christianity. That misses the point. We would still be living under those barbaric practices if it weren't for Christianity. Even Dawkins admitted that Christianity is our best defense against barbaric religions. https://www.thebereancall.org/content/dawkins-says-christianity-bulwark-against-something-worse. It was still Christians who ended slavery. There is nothing in the Bible about women having a right to vote. Nonetheless, the Bible is clear that both male and female are all one in Christ (Gal. 3:28). So to claim Christianity has no objective usefulness is really myopic.

[He replied:] have you ever heard of "the Enlightenment?"

[I replied:] of course, and so does the well-regarded historian, Tom Holland. And most of the figures of the Enlightenment were theists, and many of those were Christians. There would have been no Enlightenment without the rebellion of Christianity.

Sounds like you had a great opportunity! Thanks for sharing about the frustrations of witnessing after all these years. Have you seen the movie ‘Hunt for the Red October”? Sometimes I feel a little like we are having to play a ‘guessing game’ of hunches, the Lord’s guidance, experience—and everything else about what’s going on inside. He gave you his number—is that the one blink signal they have in the movie? Is there a way to offer opportunities to interact with potential doubts without having them ’blow their cover’ before they are ready? Have you encountered this?

Thank you for your effort. It is evident you care about Mormons And were diligently trying to break through the deception. It’s so hard, I have spent years and hundreds of hours talking to some of them, and I feel in many respects that I’ve gotten nowhere. Lol. It’s more than a religion to them, it’s a complete lifestyle. It’s their entire identity. Asking them to consider giving up Mormonism is like asking them to give up air. It seems Satan has a lock on them. It’s kind of mind blowing, in many respects.

Amazing! If he gave you his number that means he wants you to contact him again! Keep up the great work

What is fine example of preaching with love and truth, Rob. Mormonism can be such a moving target with different doctrines and “policy” over time.

Sometimes it takes years. It did for me.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to him. I have been wallowing in self pity. Guess it's time for me to repent for not taking the time to witness. To God alone be the glory! 🥰

Praying that you have planted a seed of truth that will grow in his spirit and lead him out of Mormonism.

Wow! That's incredible! I love how God works!

Hi Rob,

Thank you for the work that you do.  I was raised lds and have been trying to save my family and friends.  Your work has helped me connect a lot of dots and increased my knowledge and understanding. 

While reading through some of the resources you've provided (namely the cold case Christianity article: Scientific Consistency In The Bible Is More Important Than Scientific Revelation), I noticed that not one of them have taken the creation account as the bible portrays. 

I believe it is very important to understand creation in order to truly understand who God is.  Psalms 19:1 the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork.  Psalms 19:4 Their line (like a line extending from the center of a circle, it must be straight) has gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world.

Where are the ends or corners of a sphere?

Do you believe in biblical cosmology (aka geocentrism, flat earth)? 

In Genesis Chapter 1 (KJV), God separated the waters above from the waters below.  God created the firmament on the second day.  The hebrew word translated to firmament is 'raqia' meaning a solid, stretched out surface. 

In Isaiah 40:22, when God says he sits above the circle of the earth, a circle is not a sphere, the definition of circle is a circular level plane, a flat surface.  Isaiah could have used a different word for ball.  How can God look down on us as if we're grasshoppers if we're on a spinning ball blasting through an ever expanding vacuum of space?  At the end of the creation account God said the heaven and earth and all the host of them is finished (Gen. 2:1).

How can you believe the bible when it continually says the earth has a foundation, is set on pillars, has four corners, has 'ends', that the sun and moon are rising and setting (hebrew translation is coming forth or going out) if you believe we live on a sphere? 

This guy J. Warner Wallace believes big bang theory is consistent with the bible? The only way to believe in big bang theory is to believe in heliocentrism and evolution as well.  There is no way you can believe the bible and also believe in the teachings of satan. 

The same people who diminish and denounce the bible are the ones telling us we live on a ball.

With respect,

[I replied:] These are not questions that pertain to salvation or Mere Christianity, and as such, I have more pressing matters to occupy my evangelism. Nothing in scripture says you must get these scientific matters right or you can't be forgiven of your sins. So major in the majors.

The biblical writers convey truth, but they weren't doing a treatise on the metaphysics of the earth and solar system anymore than I am when I speak from my own viewpoint of the sun rising even though I don't think the sun actually rises and sets. It's called phenomenal language.

God bless!


I hope you and your family are well!

We met years ago (perhaps 2005) when the Newport Beach, California, temple had its outreach. I approached you and seeked to encourage your work. You mentioned that you could use some help. I was convicted and showed up the following Saturday asking how I could help. You gave me your sign and took off to lunch. Wow, talk about jumping into the deep end! It was a powerful experience and I am grateful to this day for opening me up to what real spiritual battles look like.

I also had the opportunity to meet and speak with you by a mutual friend...

Through God's providence and grace I am now a Pastor of a church in Irvine. I'm writing to you because I have been having conversations with a young man who was baptized in the Mormon church almost a year ago. He was convinced about 3 months ago that the church was false, was connected to me, and we were having fruitful conversations. However, just this week he let me know that he is now convinced that the Mormon Church is the true church.

My heart breaks for this young man. I have been in communication with him about how wrong this is, but I do not know enough about the deeper Mormon beliefs to warn him against what he sees as basically the same as other churches. He is open to having conversations though he states he is resolute in his recent convictions.

Would you and your wife (as a former Mormon) be willing to have a phone call with this young man? His name is Luka.

I hope and pray that this would be something we can work out. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Also you can feel free to contact me via phone...

Thank you!

In Christ,

[I replied:] Yes, I remember that time quite well. Great to hear from you and what God's doing in your life.

I won't talk to this guy, since primarily, I'm trying to finish my doctoral dissertation by the end of this year. Right now I have 2 chapters that need to be reworked by the end of this month, and then by the 20th of next month, I need to have my initial draft of the following chapter in. In addition, it sounds like his heart is set and God needs to loosen him up a little bit more before anyone else may be of help to him. Since you seem to have a relationship with this guy, my suggestion at this point is to love on him and not worry about trying to set him straight--much like Peter's command to the believing woman with the unbelieving husband in 1 Pet. 1:1. She's then told to be ready to give an answer with gentleness and respect (vs. 15). If he comes around and wants to sincerely question, then give him JosephLied.com and you can easily challenge his testimony and give him a case for why Christ is God over all (Rom. 9:5) and not the brother of Lucifer. In addition, I'm also open to any questions you may have if it comes to that point.

God bless!

Your bro,R

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