Friends who came out to hear us in Sacramento
Oakland Temple Opening
When we first arrived in Oakland, we drove up to spend Mother’s Day weekend with Tara’s uncle and aunt in Sacramento. Tara and I shared to a small gathering Mother’s Day evening at Calvary Chapel Northcity. You may watch that HERE.
The first day of work outside the Oakland temple was putting the Temple Guide (click on “PDF Newspaper” at www.SacredOrSecret.com) on the neighborhood doors. I got out about 80 that day. The rest of the days minus the last, I got out only around 20 to 25. The last day was the start of a Greek festival next door at the Greek Orthodox Church. That drew huge crowds out and I was able to get out about 210. So altogether with Sacramento, I got out around 360 papers.
Door to door around Oakland TempleThe next day Tara, our girls, and I went through the temple. I took a video of the video the LDS Church plays right before everyone walks into the temple. You may watch that HERE. This is the video that is played prior to the public entering any temple. However, the video varies from temple to temple with pictures from inside the particular temple opened to the public. Oakland was probably the biggest temple I’ve been through, and outside of Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Oakland had the best grounds of all the temples I’ve seen. The view was the best of all the temples I’ve ever seen. One can see the whole San Francisco Bay area.
The LDS security treated me completely different from the way they treated me in Oklahoma. In Oakland, they treated me with respect, they continued to see if I needed water or snacks, and they even let me continue using their bathroom! Even though I was treated nicer, it certainly wasn’t as exciting as Oklahoma. Most days, there weren’t that many pedestrians to talk to. Most people would park inside. Some parked at the Greek Orthodox Church next door. Some came outside the temple to meet Uber/Lyft drivers. However, most of the pedestrians were LDS volunteers, who parked across the street and were ushered across the crosswalk. I stood just west of that crosswalk to catch other people coming in and out of the entrance.
I met the mission president for the whole area, Paul Durham. He was really nice, but wanted to encourage me to notify others that I was not with them. I thought my JosephLied.com sign and my papers stating “Not an LDS Publication” was sufficient, but evidently not.
Mistaking me for an LDS volunteer probably became more confusing when one of the volunteers that I had a good discussion with (Jackie) let me use a yellow/orange traffic vest like the crossing guards were wearing! I was getting cold one evening, so she let me use it and later she let me use her shawl. She also gave me water and snacks. At one point during our conversation, a guy on a bike came by and interrupted by asking what Joseph lied about. So I got to tell both of them about him lying about his monogamy, the Book of Abraham, and his polytheism. I covered a lot of territory in my conversation with Jackie, but in the end, the Holy Ghost told her what she was believing was true, so nothing else I could say mattered.
Another LDS guy came out with his family to wait for their Uber, and he saw my big sign with “JosephLied.com” on it and said, "Well I know he didn't lie." I replied, "Of course he lied. He lied about the Book of Abraham. Every Egyptologist says..." "It doesn't matter, since the Holy Ghost told me it's true," he replied. I said, "Well the Holy Ghost told me you're wrong." He then told me that the Holy Ghost wouldn't tell you that someone else is wrong! So of course I asked him how he knew that and asked if he could even be wrong about that.
"We don't want to hear what you say," he said. I told him he needed to hear it anyway. He asked, "Are you harassing me?" I told him I have my free speech rights on public property.
LDS family waiting for their UberAs they moved to the other side at the exit to wait for their Uber, I told them they made lousy gods and that they would never be worthy enough and that God never had to bow down and follow some God before him.
Later, one LDS missionary didn't want my paper at first until I told him I went through their temple. Also, a couple of LDS women crossing guards took my paper after I told them about going through this temple and all the other ones I’ve been through. This is why I go through LDS temples. It gives me more respect with them, and it often opens them up to hear what I have to say.
One night ended talking to a couple other LDS missionaries, who came out to give me more snacks. They thought God's nature was a secondary issue--it really isn't as important as serving Him and others. I told them that Jesus warned of false Christs, and if they don’t have one, I don’t know who does. I told them they have so devalued God/Jesus that they don’t have a God who has literally created all things, and this exalts men, so they can grow up to be gods themselves. They quickly had to leave after that, particularly since the rain got bad.
Given that this was Northern California, I had a lot of interactions with secularists and theological liberals. I asked one lady who told me she was an atheist, “Why are you an atheist?” She replied, “Look around.” “I have. A creation implies a creator just as a painting implies a painter,” I told her. She said, “Well that's yours to judge.”
Rob, Eldon, and JeffAnother guy named Eldon came by a couple times to talk and challenge. He told me he was raised Catholic, but never told me what he was now. From what I could tell, he was probably a Unitarian. The second time he came by, I had help from a Christian visiting the temple from Sacramento named Jeff. Eldon was really nice, and had a lot of good questions. For example, he denied Jesus was God and asked how could the infinite be limited to a man. Eldon thought I gave a good response when I told him that precisely because He’s infinite, He can make any type of form to show up in. Just because He shows up as a man doesn’t entail He is a man in His nature.
I was hoping for more visitors to my site than what I got. However, California was #1 in all the states visiting my site the whole time we were in CA.
Thank you so much for all the prayers, encouragement, and financial gifts for these past 3 missions (Memphis, TN, Oklahoma City, OK, and Oakland, CA)! I am very happy to inform you that given all the various venues of giving, we have *basically* met our stated goal of $4,500. Technically, we are only short $200! Pretty amazing!
In order to complete the fundraiser, I have 6 JosephLied.com shirts I will give to the first 6 people who donate at least $30 and tell me they want one. They are 100% cotton XL shirts only. HERE are the pictures.
New Old Videos
I also uploaded some old videos from 16 years ago. HERE’S one of me preaching at the April 2003 General Conference. Also see HERE, HERE, and HERE for certain news videos concerning the tension surrounding the sale of Main Street in Salt Lake City to the LDS Church.
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!
Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6)!
President, Courageous Christians United
(801) 738-0539 (leave message)
Thank you for uploading this fantastic testimony. God bless all of you.
Why do you people feel the need to run a website that quite obviously has no hard evidence of being true? You haven’t ever included the prophecies that did become true which would be every one of them, I appreciate your enthusiasm and dedication, but grow some &^%* and do omsething worthwhile instead of hating on others beliefs.
I enjoyed reading your letter. You had some great ministry opportunities!
Powerful, my friend! Loved your letter, loved the videos! Go get’em!
God is using you in might ways.
Blessed by the Facebook comment that depicted how you spoke the Truth in Love. We can all use more of that!
Well done and God Bless!
Brother Rob praise the Lord for your ministry in sharing the Biblical Jesus with those who are blind.
People are converted through relationships not by protests. Mormonism is ridiculous, but so are you.
[I replied:] If that's the case that people are only converted through relationships, then what are you hoping to accomplish with your remarks here?
[He replied:] I'm trying to get you to realize how ineffective your methods are. Upsetting your targets certainly won't help them view your message with any sympathy. All you are accomplishing is annoying people.
[I replied:] Do you think you are annoying me or do you hope to change my mind? Do we have a relationship? If you hope to change my mind and we don't have a relationship, then you're acting hypocritically. People change their minds all the time through reading books or websites or seeing advertisements and they are all outside of relationships. Further, you know that otherwise you wouldn't bother doing what I do, namely criticize someone else's point of view without being in a relationship with that person. People change their minds all the time without being in relationships. Google Analytics proves that what I do works over and over again. Oklahoma was #1 in all the states going to check out my site the entire time I was doing this in OK. Further, I receive numerous emails telling me that my advertising changes lives. In short, you don't know what you're talking about.
Without any evidence from you other than your mere assertion, I'd rather believe Google Analytics and the testimonies of others. Here's just one of many examples I can give you.