We had a very busy month with hospitality. We had three mission teams, but we combined two of them together and ended up having one of the largest meetings ever at our place. We had just about 70 people here at the beginning of the month! One team was a large Ratio Christi team from North Carolina and the other team was from Heartland Evangelical Free Church in Central City, Nebraska. Then the following week, we had a much smaller team of 14 from around Tampa, Florida. On both occasions, after dinner, Tara shared her testimony and I shared about ministry to LDS.
A couple days before we had the last mission team over, we had our small monthly Feast & Testimony meeting with Leslie Angilau. She’s a friend from church. You can check out the pictures and watch her video at our site linked above.
I had to go to Walmart for some items for the small Florida mission team that was coming the following hour. It was P-day (preparation day), so of course LDS missionaries were there. All sister missionaries! 2 were standing right next to where the ice was and 2 were checking out. I got the ice and felt impressed to start witnessing to the 2 who were waiting even though I was in a rush to get back home and get things done for the mission team that was coming quickly. Very torn! I told them that I was concerned about them and wanted them to know that Joseph Smith failed every biblical test for being a prophet of the Lord.
The 2 others came, so I brought them up to speed on what I had told the other 2. I told them all that Deut. 13 says that God's prophet won't teach other gods. Joseph Smith did. Deut. 18 says the same thing, but also says that God's prophet won't make false prophecies. Smith did. Jesus taught in Matt. 7 that God's prophet won't have bad fruit. Smith did. I told these missionaries how God loved them so much that He died for them and as such they didn’t need to keep a Word of Wisdom, paying a full tithing, wear temple garments when it’s a 100 degrees outside, and memorize secret handshakes and passwords in a temple ceremony before they could be forgiven for all sin.
I went into how the 38-year-old Smith went after 14 and 16-year-old girls, had about 30 to 40 wives, and according to the LDS Church, around a dozen of those were currently married to living husbands. This all went against Paul's injunction that the Church leader today ought to be the husband of only 1 wife.
Then, since one of the other sister missionaries who just came over was Black, I shared how the BM is racist and gave as an example 3 Ne. 2:14-16. There, as the Lamanites repented, their curse was taken from them, they got white skin, and were able to forego their segregation. The Black missionary asked me, "Why are you doing this?" I told her because I'm concerned for you all and someone has to warn you that you're in a cult following a false prophet to hell. She said, "Well, I don't feel Spirit and feel really uncomfortable." So I responded: "That's because you're blind." Needless to say, she didn't appreciate that response.
Right after this, another lady with little kids came by and told me to go home, and that I was obviously making the sister missionaries very uncomfortable. I told them, "Well, I really do need to go. My ice is melting. But they are free to leave and she asked me a question. Also, if you can confront me and make me feel uncomfortable, then certainly I can do the same thing with these missionaries." After about a minute of trying to reason with her, I just called her a hypocrite and hurried back home.
I pray that God will use something of this messy situation. Actually, I think it was helpful for the mission team to hear this story. Too many of us think that they’d only share with others when the situation is perfect. But why have that as a standard? Most of the time, it’s not perfect, yet people still have needs to be met. Sometimes those needs have to do with God using some stranger to speak truth into other lives. Some may say, “Well, they weren’t at all receptive!” OK, but I don’t know that until only after the event has begun. Further, who’s to say that God wouldn’t at some point down the road bring to mind something that was said to them? After all, Paul reminds us that some plant, some water, but God gives the increase (1 Cor. 3:6-8). Christians use all sorts of excuses to keep their mouths shut when they should be opening it more and letting God fill it (cf. Ps. 81:10). Of course there are times when we should keep our mouth’s shut (e.g., 1 Pet. 3:1), but I think too many times we miss out on many opportunities that God may use for His glory in His timing.
I submitted my research proposal to my supervisors last month. I had to cut it down from 67 pages to 32. It should have been 18 to 25 pages. My assistant supervisor changed. Now I have two black professors, who will be working through my dissertation on Mormonism's racist problem. Please continue to pray as I research and write.
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A neighbor here in UT asked if my bumper sticker was referring to Joe Biden. We said no but we think he lied too, josephlied.com
I don't feel the Spirit. What a line. Anything that makes them feel uncomfortable of course has to be bad. I hope some other Christians make them feel bad enough to repent of all the Mormon lies.
Do as the Spirit moves. There is no perfect way to witness. Because we are imperfect we count on the one who is to give us the words to speak.
I love how Paul describes those who witness differently than he (and some of them even with selfish motives).
"Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice."
I don't think this is wholesale endorsement of any and every method for proclaiming the gospel, but it seems there is a lot of wiggle room. And if people takes steps toward saving trust in Christ then I rejoice (or, help me God, I am working to do so)
You said exactly what they needed to hear, the Truth!
Witnessing is never easy. Satan's minions are always there whispering in the ear of the unsaved. But the Holy Spirit is with us leading us to share the Truth. God is always with us. Be in His Strength and Peace.
Thank you for sharing! Truth is, everyone will be made uncomfortable. If we truly believe there is a God, then making people uncomfortable is the LEAST of our worries.
What is the name of that novel The Book Of Mormon is plagiarized from?
[I replied:] A Manuscript Found by Solomon Spaulding and/or View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith... not to mention large portions of the KJV Isaiah and Sermon on the Mount.
Rob, when speaking about J Smith's failed prophecies which are your go-tos? I usually use the Toronto Prophecy. I need to learn more about the prophecy about the Missouri Temple as that seems a really good one too.
[I replied:] https://www.mormoninfo.org/false-prophecies-32
I usually go to the Civil War one and then the temple lot one.
It's hardly our fault that you all choose to misunderstand our doctrine. ...The misunderstanding is this: You all seem to have this conviction that we are trying to be "worthy" of exaltation by keeping the law.
Our worthiness is deterimined by our commitment to Christ, not by our level of obedience. When we take the sacrament, we promise to do exactly what all Christians commit to when they become Christian: to take upon us His name. In so doing, we express that we are willing to keep His commandments (understanding that we cannot keep the whole law, and that we need Him to be saved). The "worthiness" stems from commitment, not from success. Those that receive exaltation are those that have faith and do what Christ asks, which is to repent and turn to Him in all our thoughts, words, and actions. If you have faith in Christ and receive His restored gospel, then you receive the commandments He gives to all that wish to live with Him--the willingness to keep them being expressed through outward ordinances.
You can refuse to accept modern revelation and revealed scripture, but please stop thinking that we're trying to be "worthy" through works. We're just keeping the new law, which is to obey Christ. Again, obedience to Christ means to have faith and to repent.
[I replied:] That sounds great. Now can you break down for me who goes to what degree of glory (telestial and terrestrial kingdoms) and what is required to enter the celestial degree of glory and what is required to reach exaltation? Are all of us who think Joseph Smith is a false prophet and don't think the Word of Wisdom or temple garments or memorizing the sacred handshakes and passwords or following Lucifer and wearing a temple apron throughout a temple ceremony and even being buried in them is a New Testament command going to the kingdom where the Heavenly Father is? Are we not forgiven? If we have nothing keeping us back from God's acceptance, then are we going to his presence/kingdom after the judgment? If not, and we are all God's children, then... God has segregated his children in the afterlife based on them obeying Christ, and really hasn't excused our sins after all. ...As the last temple recommend question asks, "Do you consider yourself *worthy* to enter the Lord’s house and participate in temple ordinances?" (emphasis added).
Joseph Fielding Smith still has way more authority than you even though he's dead. He said, "Therefore the words of James are true. Unless a man can abide strictly in complete accord, he cannot enter there, and in the words of James [2:10], he is guilty of all. In other words if there is one divine law that he does not keep he is barred from participating in the kingdom... So in the celestial kingdom, we must be worthy in every point, or we fail to receive the blessing. The kingdom of God must exist in absolute unity. Every law must be obeyed, and no member of the Church can have a place there unless he is in full accord" (“Answers to Gospel Questions,” 3:26-7). Regardless, God's children are still segregated into 3 different kingdoms.
It says a lot about this website that the comments of all contributors is published. Try to find any site sponsored by the Mormon Church that allows opposing views.
Thanks again for hosting us and for your prayers. The rest of the trip went really well considering we had a pretty young group.
We really appreciate you and Tara and your faithfulness. Continuing to pray for your dissertation process.
After reading your news letter I was impressed to RE up my donation to you. You’re an awesome representative of Christ and I’m grateful to be a partner. Keep up good work👍