Provo Temple Opening
Last month the Provo City Center temple opening began on the 15th. I went through the tour pretty quickly just to tell others I witness to that I’ve been through it. I had toured this building ages ago when it was the Tabernacle. When I came out, I ran into my buddy John Kauer of ThinkAboutEternity.org passing tracts out. He told me that he was just thinking of me and wondering if I was going to show.
I went to get my big sign to advertise my site on a busy corner street just outside and north of the temple. (There were not many pedestrians there, but lots of cars to see my sign.) My time was so much better than I expected! As soon as I got there, I had a great time talking to a cop named Josh. He wanted to know my story, so I talked with him for quite a while. I got to hear his story. Heck of a nice guy!
After that, it was just more long conversations all afternoon... one right after another! I talked to a guy named Nick in a wheel chair. He grew up LDS, but is now a skeptic. We talked about "where did God come from?" Another really nice guy!
After that I talked to two more guys (Brennan and Bennet) probably around 20 years old. They took my paper and DVD. They grew up LDS, but aren't active since they discovered a number of historical problems with their church. I got to share the gospel with them and how different Christianity is. They also let me pray for them.
Then another guy named Josh came by. He asked if I was passing anything out, so I gave him the paper and after we got done talking, I gave him the DVD. He grew up LDS, but got tired of the guilt trip. He had a ton of great questions and I ended up praying for him as well.
The next day, however, was quite a different one outside the temple. I went to the corner of 200 S. and University where there were a lot of pedestrians coming and going. Funny... a cop named Mark came up to me and said they watched some of my videos and were wondering where my lighted and flashing JosephLied.com shirt was the night before!
Josh and RobAnother cop later came up to me and said that if someone called them for disorderly conduct against me, they would have to cite me because, get this... I was making disparaging comments towards individuals as opposed to Mormonism in general! I was telling individuals they were sinners and unworthy, that they make lousy gods! I told the cop that he could push it if he wants, but he was limiting my free speech and enforcing something that goes against my constitutional rights which protect my religious convictions. Those religious convictions include preaching to individuals of their need for the Savior and to repent of the cult of Mormonism.
No pedestrians really wanted to talk at that corner, so I preached. On one occasion, a guy dressed in suit and tie stood next to me waiting for the light. I assumed he was LDS and he quickly corrected me that he wasn’t. He got rather upset about me preaching to him, and thankfully a cop came and stood between us until the light turned and angry guy took off. In the couple hours I was there, I only got out seven Temple Opening papers.
Here’s a video of one of my interactions that day. The guy I was talking to near the beginning of this video jumped out in front of his kid to keep him out of the busy street. I thought that was a good illustration of what I was doing spiritually speaking!
Meeting with Missionaries
Lynn Wilder, a former Mormon that taught at BYU and author of Unveiling Grace, put me in touch with a local Christian who wanted another Christian to come over to her place to witness to LDS missionaries. Tara, the kids, and I went over for the event. The LDS elders (really “youngers”) showed up and we had about a half hour with them. I could tell when one answered the first question that it wasn’t going to be a very receptive audience. In response to the question Bertha (the lady who invited us) initially posed about how can families be together forever if they are all ruling other universes, the elder said, “I really don’t know and I really don’t care.” Nonetheless, we did give them both a lot to think about and challenged them to read the New Testament with the eyes of a child as Lynn’s son Micah was challenged on his LDS mission. When they became eager to bolt, I asked if I could pray for them, and they let me. So I prayed that God would continue working on them to bring them to Himself.
Meet the Ex-Mormons Fellowship
We had a great time with our good friend Renae Storms last month sharing her story at our monthly fellowship. Renae moved up here last fall from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to do ministry at her friend’s (Kevin Routledge) church (Redeemer) in Orem. Renae was part of our very first Meetup when we used to live in Dallas. You may watch the video here and see the pictures here.
I wrote a very controversial blog last month entitled “Is Catholicism a False Gospel Like Mormonism?”
Philadelphia Temple Opening
Last month I found out that the Philadelphia Temple will be opening the beginning of August for a month. If you believe in this ministry and are interested in helping my family and I get there, please let me know. This will be quite a costly trip, but we’ve got six months to raise the funds.
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
I know that if you listened to what others said of Joseph Smith that really knew him, you would have a different opinion. Joseph told the truth. He saw God and Jesus Christ. He helped restore the True Church of Christ in its fulness with Priesthood for every man, and ultimately, every woman, Celestial Marriage, Ordinances by Authority, Prophets, Apostles, The Fulness of the Gospel, and Christ Leading the Church. Churches of Man are good and well intentioned, but lack the authority of God and are man directed. The true Church is not. God and Christ Direct the prophet Thomas Monson in what to do.
Listen to the histories and read of the miracles that happened in the early church, especially at the Kirtland Temple dedication, and on the day many were sick and dying around Nauvoo and were healed. Listen to this speech in which the Apostle Matthew Cowley in 1953 tells of how a man was raised from the dead, how he healed a blind and deaf child, that also was lame, and many other miracles. The Priesthood of God is Powerful and can even move mountains. Miracles happen daily, especially within the KIngdom of God on Earth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
To hear the speech, click on the left on Audio and Listen on the link.
I know that this is the true Gospel of Christ and his Kingdom on Earth, even the Church of Christ with Full Authority and Divinely Guided by Christ and God his Father. I know through prayer and Spiritual Confirmation.
[I replied:] Not only have I listened to others who really knew him (e.g., William Law in the Nauvoo Expositor or Smith['s] wives), but more importantly, I have listened to Smith himself. Since Smith taught other gods than the God of the Bible (e.g., see the Home page chart of differences between Mormonism and Christianity at www.MormonInfo.org), Smith failed the test of being a true prophet as Deut. 13:1-5 says. And since Smith also made false prophecies (e.g., see http://www.mormoninfo.org/false-prophecies-32), he also failed the other test of being a true prophet as Deut. 18:21-22 says. Now notice the first passage. It says that the false prophet may perform miraculous signs. Further, Mat. 7:22-23 is clear that people who the Lord doesn't know and end up damned in fact do miraculous signs. So it really doesn't matter to me what miraculous signs were coming out of the early cult of Mormonism. It's been proven to be of the devil and it's leading you to hell. So please repent before it's too late.
[He replied:] William Law was a murderer and adulturer. Joseph Smith saw Elijah, Moses, Elias, Christ, God, Adam, Seth. It is the Church of Christ. Founded as that. Listen to Truman Madsen. Miracles continue daily. The leaders donate their time
[I replied:] What proof do you have that Law was a murderer and adulterer? Wiki says of Law: "For many years, Law was accused of being a member or a leader of the mob that killed Smith. However, Law's diary shows that he was not in Carthage at the time of the murder, though he had been present there earlier in the day." Being accused is quite different from proving. Do you have someone else in mind that Law murdered and was it proven?
As for adultery, what proof do you have of that as well? Again, accusation doesn't entail proof.
Speaking of adultery, it was William Law's wife, Jane, who described Smith hitting on her when William was away (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Law_(Latter_Day_Saints)).
Smith married 12-14 women who were married to living husbands (https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-in-kirtland-and-nauvoo?lang=eng)! That by definition is adultery... serial adultery! And according to D&C 42:25-29, there is no forgiveness in this life nor the life to come for more than a 1 time offense of adultery. So according to your own scripture, Smith is a damned prophet.
Again, I believe miracles happen daily. I just don't think LDS own the market on them, and Satan is also at work in performing them.
[He replied:] He was among those plotting to kill him. The fact Joseph was murdered is proof he is a prophet. Greatest ever besides Christ.
[I replied:] Again, proof? So you think David Koresh was a prophet of God to[o]?
[He replied:] Google byu speeches matthew cowley miracles...listen to his 1953 speech...man raised from dead..blind healed by a prophet of God...by power of Priesthood of God
[I replied:] Satan
[He replied:] No. Listen to his speech..Apostle...Prophet Seer Revelator..Matthew Cowley is a Man of God. Listen to his Speech!!
[I replied:] He's of his father the devil just as Jesus told the Jews in his day (Jn. 8:44). You're not listening to what I'm saying. So if you can't get that Satan can appear as an angel of light as 2 Cor. 11:3-4, 13-15 and perform miracles. This means you need to do better than demonstrate that miracles happen in Mormonism. However, the Bible is quite clear that Smith and Mormonism are from the devil from the tests I already gave you. If you can't see this, then there's really no point in continuing to waste my time. Blind is as blind does to paraphrase the great theologian Forrest Gump.
[He replied:] Listen to the Speech!!
[I replied:] Listen to God!!
[He replied:] If you listen to Matthew Cowley..you will know he is a Man of God. Sent by God!!
I enjoy reading your Newsletters (via email is fine) to keep up with what you all are continuing to do for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rob and Tara,
You are always in our prayers. Thank you for your commitment to the Lord and His ministry for you.
Here is my verse for the Provo Temple outreach and the weather concern.
2Tim.2:3 "Suffer Hardships as good soldier of Christ Jesus"
It's a shame so many Mormons are so brainwashed that even when facts are written they can't see the truth. Thank you so much for this site, even if 1 Mormon leaves this false church it means it served it purpose well.
I saw you outside the Gilbert Temple in AZ a couple years ago, went to your website, as I was already having doubts, and went down the rabbit hole of disbelief.
I understand that Mormons have beliefs so different from most of Christianity that Christians don't want to be equated with them. I agree, the beliefs are quite different.
My question for you is, Once you expose Mormonism to the mind, all religion falls apart for many people. How are people supposed to trust their feelings again after realizing their whole life and belief system was an elaborate long con? How are we supposed to believe the Bible is the word of God when something we believed to be the same turns out to be a poorly written piece of fan fiction?
I ask this sincerely, not to argue.
I do maintain a belief in a higher power. I don't know exactly what that is right now. But it looks to me that Christianity pushes it's message with the same dogmatic approach of mormons. Yes, the Bible has Jesus' words, but how am I supposed to know the legitimacy of those words aside from the same war fuzzy feeling I sought after with mormonism?
Wishing you well,
[I replied:] Excellent and appropriate question! One of the most difficult things for former LDS to realize is that religion for Christians ought not to be about feelings being the engine that drives the train. The Bible values feelings, but realizes how deceptive they are. The heart as well as our own understanding are wicked (cf. Prov. 3:5-6 and Jer. 17:9). Thus, for the Christian, feelings ought to be the caboose of the train.
For the follower of Christ, we let Him dictate reality for us. He claimed that He was the way, the truth, and the Life, and no one gets to the Father, but through Him (Jn. 14:6). Jesus taught the scriptures, God's word, are truth, that we should be sanctified by them, and that they cannot be broken (Jn. 10:35 and 17:17). So regardless of whether we understand everything that is taught by them (no one does), we submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ and trust Him to direct our lives.
Why do we do this? Because Jesus is the only one really worth trusting. He alone has the words of life (Jn. 6:67-69). He's the only option for a Savior for our sins that we all know we have and separate us from God.
Further, He demonstrated that He was the one scripture referred to as the Messiah when He fulfilled prophecy (e.g., Isa. 7:14 with 9:6-7 and chapter 53) and when He performed miracles--most importantly His own resurrection, which He promised to pull off (Jn. 2:19-21). The resurrection was affirmed by the historical facts that Jesus lived, died, was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, the tomb was known to be empty three days later, many testified of experiencing Him after His death even by being killed for what they knew to be the case, their lives were radically transformed from scared men to bold preachers, and the early Christian Church continued to grow as a result of this resurrection story. These facts are held by the vast majority of New Testament scholars, whether they be liberal and actually deny the resurrection or whether they be conservative and hold to the story. It seems to me that the best explanation of these facts is that Jesus really is alive today.
The basis of whether Christianity is true or not is the resurrection of Christ. According to the Apostle Paul, "If Christ be not risen from the dead, your faith is in vain" (1 Cor. 15:12-19).
Keep in mind that the origination of this story comes from the first century, within about 30 years of the alleged event. We know this because the book of Acts had to be written 1) prior to Paul's death in 66 AD, since it was never mentioned in the first book of Church history, and 2) Acts also had to be written before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, since this event wasn't mentioned either and one would assume it would be if it had already happened, since Jesus spoke of this going to happen in Matthew 24. The fall of Jerusalem would have been mentioned to bolster Christ's prophecy. Now the book of Acts was Luke's second work after his gospel account (Acts 1:1-3), and it wasn't even the first gospel written. Scholars debate whether that was Matthew or Mark. This all means 1) the Christian religion was easily falsifiable by producing the corpse of Jesus, 2) others could be consulted for their eyewitness account, and 3) there just wasn't enough time for this to become a fabled legend.
In addition to all this, archaeology continues to confirm the reality of the Bible. Every year, there are findings that confirm it. I'm still waiting for an undisputed case of this sort with the Book of Mormon New World story. That leads me to believe that the latter is pure myth like "The Lord of the Rings."
If you want more on evidences for the Bible, a good place to start is Josh McDowell's "The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict".
More can be said, but I think this should suffice. Let me just end by saying that the history of Christianity is based in reasonable truth claims. It's not based on simply praying about it and getting a warm fuzzy feeling. Sometimes that feeling never comes or sometimes it does and then it goes away. As such, I'm open to working through any other specific problems you have with Christianity that you find are keeping you back from committing your life to Jesus. If you can't trust Him now, then hopefully as problems get resolved, God will eventually grant you the trust you need to see that it is more probable than not that Christianity is indeed true. Trust never removes problems completely. We live in a fallen world. But the best we can hope for in this life is for God to give us peace despite all the problems we have on the basis of knowing all the good He is and has done for us, particularly in sending His Son to take our place on the cross.
I have enjoyed and been instructed by watching your videos on YouTube. Some Mormon missionaries came by and after awhile I finally decided to invite them in to talk, but I wanted to be somewhat prepared, so I started looking up information on the web. I appreciate the information you share and your passion to reach Mormons. God bless you.
You're a bad man - not a true Christian! REPENT!
As with EVERY ministry I have looked into, seems like money is uppermost in the ministers minds. Please unsubscribe me and do not ask me for money. If God wants you to succeed, He will provide through other measures. Go get a real job and leave me alone. Why make you rich when many are suffering and going without. Last ditch effort to give before taxes? Get real! God NEVER did that.