I was in Costco last month and saw an older LDS missionary couple. I really didn't have time for a conversation, but remembered last September when I was in a similar situation and an obvious gay couple was walking past me. I told them I loved them, but they needed to repent. So I did basically the same thing to this LDS guy. I told him I loved him. He said thanks. Then I looked him right in the eye and said, "But I want you to repent. You know you'll never be a God of your own world someday." He laughed out loud, and if I would have thought about it, I would have told him that he was breaking his temple covenant for his loud laughter.
With Bud and Ginny Gundersen
It was another awesome Manti Pageant even though the LDS turnout was considerable low. (And we expected much more since this was the pageant’s 50th anniversary!) I was still able to get into many good conversations each night. Over the week and a half, there were around 300 Christian missionaries that came from all over the globe. There were also 11 people that we know of that gave their lives to Christ. Here’s a video I took of my buddy Jordan retelling how Sidney came to Christ.
Typically, each night I would get there about 15 minutes early to preach to a line of people waiting for the gates to open. The Christian missionaries would then gather to sing and pray before they evangelized outside the pageant grounds for about 3 hours. I made a special effort this year to dialogue with people around the sidewalk in front of the lawn across the street from the pageant grounds. It was as if I were massaging them prior to preaching to the audience that would gather. I would preach about 25 minutes prior to the start of the pageant. After the pageant, I would advertise my lighted JosephLied.com sign to them.
This is the first video of me preaching. It was a calm night, and people were obviously listening to me for the most part. The second video was quite different. The same guy who hassled me last year came back again to hassle me this year. The cops will only intervene when there's actual battery, so I had to ignore this guy and others as best I could. One guy near the end twisted out the large cable wires that hold up the telephone poll in an obvious effort to slash my legs as I walked by. The third video was taken on the last night of the pageant. In this video I had help from my buddy Matt Slick, who runs CARM. We had a bad cop/good cop thing going on, and of course I was playing the bad cop.
There are just too many conversations to tell you about, but I’ll give you a couple. One night I got into a great hour long conversation with a 19-year-old *fundamentalist* Mormon missionary named Jonathan, and he was very open. He, along with his companion Derrick, was dressed in blue shirts and ties with no name tags. They live in Nevada and are out in Manti for a month to proselytize and then they're going to AZ to minister to Navajos. The week before, my Christian buddy, Dave Mitchell, told me that he and Addam Swapp had a 2 hour conversation with Derrick, and he was very open as well.
With Brent and JonathanI gave Jonathan the Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD, and after standard introductions, I asked him about the Adam-God doctrine. He told me that he leaves LDS speechless when he shares D&C 27:11 with them. Obviously the Bible refers to God as the "ancient of days," but the D&C passage refers to Adam as the ancient of days. Jonathan also told me that the missionary who trained them taught that Joseph Smith was the Holy Ghost!!!!! However, Jonathan isn't sure about that.
I walked Jonathan through the biblical passages that affirmed monontheism. He didn't put up any fight with that or anything else I shared with him. My buddy Brent Zenthoefer also quickly got involved in the conversation. We covered a lot more territory with Jonathan: Joseph Smith's false prophecy, polygamy, racism, his translation problems with the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, Book of Abraham, and Kinderhook Plates (Jonathan asked us how to spell this, so he could write it down and look it up later), archaeological problems with the Book of Mormon, answering the supposed prophecy of the Book of Mormon in Isa. 29:11-12, the distractions of miracles in leading one away from the instruments of the Bible, etc.
Massaging people on the sidewalkThere was no one over at the grassy area where I usually preach before the pageant starts, so I just continued with the conversation. Jonathan took my card, and told us that he certainly feels that what he believes is true, but that we had given him a lot to think about and admitted that he could end up being convinced by God that he is in error. I told him I wish more LDS had this attitude, since it would make life so much easier. Brent and I ended up praying for him. He wanted prayer that God would show him if he was indeed in error. I also asked if we could pray for any physical issues. He said that he may have fractured his right hip a couple months ago, so we also prayed for that. So I ask that you would also pray for him as well.
A couple nights later I got to talk with him again for quite a while. This time a couple other Christian buddies were there, and we all gave him much more to think about.
Now for the other conversation… it doesn't happen often, but I was shocked by what an LDS couple was telling me. She was white and he was dark (probably from India and his English wasn't great), so I went right to the racist passages in the Book of Mormon where God cursed people with dark skin to separate them from His white skinned people. The guy said God did things differently back then. I told him that God would still be a white supremacist at one point.
The wife said that God did the same thing in the Bible with giving Cain black skin. When I opened my Bible to Genesis 4, I asked her to show me where it said that. Of course she didn't attempt it, but then she asked me where I thought the different races came from. I told her simply that God created them, because He loves diversity. Then I couldn't believe it when she told me that Adam and Eve were white, since they were made in the image of God.
Obviously in her mind God is white, and the obvious consequence she hadn't put together is that her husband isn't in the image of God! I could probably understand this better if they were both white, but...
They just left the conversation and went into the pageant grounds.
Nebraska Mission Team
We had a great time hosting a barbecue for a youth mission team from Heartland Evangelical Free Church, Central City, NE. We have had this team over a number of times before. Charis recited the books of the Bible, Tara shared her testimony, and I share our ministry and deconstructing Mormon theology. Let us know if you would like for us to host your mission team!
All the money came in for the summer mission trips to Philadelphia, PA and Ft. Collins, CO. Thank you for your prayers and financial investments! However, I recently found out that there will be another temple opening September 30 – October 22 in Hartford, CT. So if you would like to see me ministering at this event, I need more finances to cover it. Let me know if you are interested in partnering with this. Given the location, this will also be an outreach to many atheists and skeptics. Here’s a video I made explaining “Why You Should Support My Mission Work at LDS Temple Openings.”
I posted two new FAQs. The first one concerns the LDS use of Isaiah 29:11-12 and the second concerns their use of Revelation 14:6-7.
Meet the Ex-Mormons Fellowship
We had Jan Prison share her story at last month’s fellowship. You may watch her story here and see the pictures here.
Eric Johnson’s New Book
Eric Johnson of Mormonism Research Ministry wrote me to tell me about their next book project and asked me to contribute a chapter. He said that their “next book project will be a compilation from several different folks in full-time Christian ministry. It will include short essays describing tactics of Christian evangelism.” It will be called “Tactics That Work: Sharing the Christian Faith with the Mormon People,” and I’ll have the chapter entitled "Check out my website: The Internet Site Tactic."
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!
In order to gain greater stability over our monthly budget, we are asking for partners to invest a certain amount each month. We need 50 people to give $10 a month. We also need 48 people to give $25. 25 people that can give $50. 13 people that can give $100. I'm asking you to commit to at least either 12 or 24 months. Check back in this section every month to see how we’re doing!
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).
With Aaron Shaffovaloff
Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6)!
President, Courageous Christians United
****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
thank you. the website is great. keep up the good work. God bless.
God's blessing on you as you go and speak the truth in love. I am behind you bro, and appreciate your witness for Christ. Grace and Peace,
I am looking for and wanting "true" Christian fellowship. After 46 years of service in the LDS Church, I find myself totally disillusioned and devastated to learn that I have been deceived and lied to. And to make matters worse, when the brethren are made aware of, as if they didn't already know, the lies and deceptions being perpetuated on members and non-members alike, they continue to give apologetic answers to try to satisfy the masses. I find myself in limbo not knowing how to move forward from here. I am unable to continue serving in a church whose leaders refuse to admit the seriousness of the falsehoods taught and preached by the early church leaders. I find myself asking, how could I have been so blinded to true Cristian principals and allowed myself to be so deceived. Ashamed? Yes I am. Hurt? Most definately. Feeling lost? Oh yeah!!! Looking for help on how
Tara sharing with mission teamto get out of the mess I find myself in? You bet. A very good friend and brother who attends the group in West Jordan, Utah has invited, recommended and encourages me to attend this groups activities. He feels I can benefit from, receive fellowship from, and maybe eventually find opportunities to serve. I have always considered myself to be a follower and servant of Christ, Jesus. He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one cometh to the Father but by Me ." Please reach out to me.
[I wrote him back, and he replied:] I placed my post on your website just yesterday for approval. It was approved and was surprised to read it this morning, along with other responses from people reaching out to me expressing their love, friendship and support. I'm currently in _____ visiting my son's family and right now I'm sitting in a McDonald's having breakfast. My food is tasting a bit salty as the tears flow swiftly but gently and joyfully as I read the responses from people I don't even know yet. I live with my daughter and son-in-law and two grandchildren in _____. I too am looking forward to meeting you on July 9th. God Bless, and I know He will. My life has already been blessed by those reaching out to me. Thank you so much. Thank you, Rob. I am very quickly finding out how not alone I am.
What is the definition of trusting Jesus Christ?
[I replied:] Trusting Jesus entails believing what He says. He says that He died for all your rebellion against God, and that if you would believe Him, instead of yourself, you will be saved from all that separates you from Him. Believing Him entails believing everything He taught. So read His word in the Bible and then show you really believe it by living for Him. Not yourself or others or other things. Live for Him if you want life.
The following verses clearly state we are all children of our Heavenly Father:
1 Ye are the children of the Lord your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
The following verse shows just because children are born into a fallen world, it doesn't mean they are fallen.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
Mather 18:11 is incomplete verse:
11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. >.....
What has been lost until Joseph Smith restored it tells us why children don't need repentance.
......<"And to call sinners to repentance; but these little ones have no need of repentance, and I will save them."
Earlier I asked which version of the bible does everyone follow and nobody answered. For the record, I follow the King James Version. I solemnly believe the bible is the word of God. However there are too many inconsistencies. With about 900 versions of the bible it is obvious things were lost. There are entire books in other versions of the bible that are not in the KJV. Joseph Smith didn't add anything, he simply restored what was lost, nothing more.
[I replied:] I agree that we are all children of God in the sense that He *created* us. I can build a car, but that doesn't make it literally my child even though I may refer to it as such. I've already argued that the Bible teaches that there's only One Begotten Son. Spiritually, though, we *become* children of God through faith as Jn. 1:12 teaches. This is when God makes us born-again and adopts us into His family who are all led by His Spirit as Rom. 8:15 clearly teaches. Please read the whole of Rom. 8. You have taken it out of context. The chapter makes a clear distinction between those in Christ and have His Spirit, and those who don’t. As Jesus told the Jews of His day, they were of their father the devil (Jn. 8:44). So yes, you’re a child of God in the sense that He created you, but you are still of your father the devil, and need to be born-again and have the Spirit of Christ put in you.
As for which version, all the standard ones are good and don’t really contradict each other. There are a potentially infinite amount of ways to communicate a certain truth. However, translations like the Joseph Smith Translation clearly put things into the Bible that don’t belong there, and there’s no good reason to believe it and many good reasons not to believe it. For my FAQ on your begging the question of this “plain and precious truths” business, please see [here.]
[In reference to me preaching at Manti:] Hey, I saw you. But you kinda freaked me. And my group.
…After going to the Manti pagent in Utah, I came across an LED display. Upon the LED display it showed this website. I honestly don't know a lot of the answers on this, but I know that my church is true. Some of the "truths" here are very exaggerated. I am still full heartedly faithful in my church.
hi. i saw some of your videos and you seem like a person who cares about what he says and wants to be reasonable and precise in his words. can you tell me if the christ prayed to God? best wishes,
[I replied:] Of course he did. See my FAQ on the subject on my FAQ page on www.MormonInfo.org. Best,
[He replied:] I read now, and there is not only an inconsistency about communication but also about needs and asking for help. God has no needs and does not ask for help from Himself. Therefore the praying of the christ to God is a proof that he was not Him.
[I replied:] Here's the specific FAQ I had in mind. Did you read this one? I couldn't send it, since I don't know how to copy and paste on my phone which is the only thing I had when I answered your email yesterday. Trinitarians hold that God doesn't ask help from Himself anymore than we ask help from ourselves, or better yet, anymore than Britney Hensel asks help from Abby Hensel. The members of the Trinity have always worked together to accomplish what Father wills. You beg the question in assuming that God is simply the Father. That needs to be proven, and simply claiming that one member talks to another member is no reason to think of them as separate rather than inseparable persons.
[He replied:] I did read the link. I believe that God is on another level than us. He has always existed, as the only thing, self-sustaining, and created everything else which only exists because God keeps sustaining it. that is not how the Christ was. he was sustained by God, he ate food, drank liquid. i see you admit that the christ had human qualities, and aren't human qualities proof of non-Godhood?
[I replied:] Of course Christ Jesus was created 2,000 years ago as a man. Christianity has always taught that the Person of Christ had 2 natures--man and God. He always existed as God the Son, 2nd Person of the Triune God, and then 2,000 years ago He wired to Himself the nature of a man. God can show up in any attachment He wants, but that doesn't entail He simply is that attachment. I dealt with the 2 natures of Christ in the following FAQ.
Hi. I am tired of pretending and supporting a way of living like the Pharisees. I believe in Jesus Christ and want to know HIM. Friends would be great. This is life changing!
[From the Heartland EV Free youth pastor:] Got back late Saturday. Had two good days doing service projects with churches in Ephraim and Saratoga Springs. Had a short outreach at Rocky Ridge that was really eye-opening for the kids. Thanks so much for the hospitality. It was really refreshing as we had been going hard for a couple days. Know you guys weren’t feeling great so really appreciate it. You are in our prayers.