Rob and his dad Bob at Logos
Speaking at Logos Christian
The beginning of last month, I shared at Logos Christian Church in Escondido, CA. I shared about the various ministries I had been involved in since I had spoken there almost a year prior. I even had my dad briefly share about our time evangelizing in Rome and at General Conference.
This was the last year for the Manti, Utah Mormon Miracle Pageant after 53 annual performances. I have mixed emotions. Yes, I’m happy that this propaganda isn’t going out anymore. However, I will miss a great venue to share with many LDS people. I will also miss the fellowship of many evangelists to Mormons, who get together annually for an extended period of time. It was truly a unique event.
Rob at Ephraim Church of the BibleNo one knows for sure why the word from on high came down against the continuation of this beloved performance. Latter-day Saints love urban legends, and the word on the street in Manti was that with such a high concentration of people in one public spot, the likelihood of terrorism was great. If that’s the case, then what’s taken so long to stop it? Further, this doesn’t explain other huge public events that will continue (e.g., General Conference). Given that LDS have put “No Evangelism” signs up on their property, have prohibited evangelists from using their bathrooms one year, and have even gone so far as to buy a public street to move evangelists further away, it seems that a more reasonable theory is that the LDS Church has simply grown weary of all the headaches the evangelists have caused.
This year’s outreach began with speaking at the Ephraim, UT Church of the Bible. (Ephraim is the next town north of Manti.) I spoke on “Reminiscing on Manti and My Evangelistic Methodology.” You may watch the half-hour talk here.
It was great to have three generations of Sivulkas evangelizing at the Pageant for the first time. My daughter Charis did a great job getting many DVDs and papers out. God used her cuteness for His glory! (Please click here to watch a brief video of her and Asher Kauer tracting.) My dad Bob actually got to pray with a gal to receive the Lord. Her name was Kendra. She told my dad that she’s been trying to be a good Christian by going to the local Christian church. My dad asked her if she was willing to pray and trust Christ with the work that she can’t do. I found out later that a mutual friend had already prayed with Kendra to receive Christ, so please pray that Kendra would simply rest in the sufficiency of Christ.
Rob's daughter Charis and his dad in the backgroundWe talked to many people. Of course most of the conversations were brief. Some claimed they couldn’t be wrong, since God personally told them. They quickly pulled out of the conversation, since there was no point for them to continue. I also pulled out of certain conversations. On one occasion, a Mormon guy was being quite evasive when I was asking him some very pointed questions. When I brought up Joseph Smith’s King Follett sermon, the LDS guy I was talking with questioned me as to what the date of that sermon was and who transcribed it. Since I wasn’t precise in my answer, the LDS guy wrote me off as not knowing what I was talking about. There was no point in continuing with someone who obviously wasn’t open with what I had to say. On another occasion, I had a nice long conversation with a guy named Ralph. He was convinced that Deuteronomy taught that marriage was an eternal covenant. I asked where specifically it was in Deuteronomy and he took my number to later text it to me, but I never heard back from him. After a while, I got a sense that this guy’s mind was already made up, so I backed out of the conversation.
I did have some worthwhile conversations. I, along with a visiting pastor from AZ, briefly talked to an elderly lady who has been a lifelong member. I believe her name was Evelyn. She denied the LDS Church taught polytheism and affirmed there was no more than one true God. When I shared with her some passages from her own scripture in the D&C and the Book of Abraham, she said, “Thank you for helping open my
Dad sharing with some confused LDS guys
eyes.” That’s not something I usually hear from a Mormon!
I also got to talk to a Mormon teenager named Ammon, and then talked to his Mormon dad Bruce for quite a while. Both were really nice to talk with. Both had a view of the gospel that I think is in keeping with the Christian Faith. I told them I don’t think their leadership teaches their position, but instead of wasting time trying to prove this to them, I simply told them that they are trusting the wrong God/Jesus. I told Bruce that the basic problem is that he thinks I’m trying to denigrate man and exalt God whereas LDS are trying to denigrate God and exalt man. Bruce understood my point even though he disagreed with my doctrine of God.
I also got to spend more time with an LDS guy who regularly comes to the Pageant to talk to evangelicals. His name is Brian. There’s also another guy who comes named Bob. The latter is very closed-minded and has an agenda to convert evangelicals. Brian, however, is very open-minded and isn’t agenda driven. He’s very personable and loves learning from evangelicals. As a matter of fact, the other day when I was watching Ravi Zacharias speaking in the Salt Lake City Tabernacle back in 2014, I saw Brian in the crowd. I just enjoyed getting to know Brian better without overtly evangelizing him. He even bought me dinner one night.
Kendra and Rob's dad BobI preached the last night of the pageant a couple times. First was about a half hour before the gates were open. You may view that here. The second time was about a half hour prior to the start of the pageant.
Right after the first occasion, I met a local 17-year-old girl named Semira. She gave me some great encouragement in her testimony of coming out of Mormonism and atheism, and then coming to Christ. You may watch that brief testimony here.
Hosting a Mission Team
Tara and I also hosted a mission team for dinner last month. This mission team of about 40 was up from Christ Community Church in Southern California. After dinner, we gathered on our backyard deck and Tara shared her testimony and I talked on becoming good missionaries to the LDS people.
We Need Your Partnership!
Just a quick reminder that we can’t do all this without your help. For more information on various ways to invest in this ministry, including online giving, please see our “INVEST” page on any of our sites. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and in your financial giving!
Rob, Brian, and Charis
Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6)!
President, Courageous Christians United
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84084
(801) 738-0539 (leave message)
Your site has a wealth of information...it's a great resource for a/one who comes upon it. Thank you for the time & effort that has gone into putting it together.
I watching/listening to numerous videos by "NONAMENOAH" and o/videos surrounding his testimony. I watching one of them I thought for sure that he indicated that he founded the site, or what connection does he have with the site if any? I may have misunderstood what was said, but there's too much to go back and find even exactly where it was or what it was I recall him saying :)
Of course when a/one types in "josephlied.com" they're redirected to your site and I u/stand how that works, but is Mike
Tara sharing with mission teamNorton associated with your site in any way?
May the Lord continue to bless your work & labor of love.
[I replied:] Mike originated the site. I loved it and used to advertise for it prior to even meeting him. For whatever reason, he let it go around 2008, and we picked it up to redirect to our site.
Thanks for your encouragement!
Y’all are so dang cute!!
Prayers from Socal!!
Thanks for your tireless and loving work in the gospel! I always appreciate getting and reading your newsletter. Your time in CA was encouraging to me!