Brian, John, Bob, and Rob
LDS General Conference Weekend
Awesome time at Lehi High School with 3 other guys (John Kauer lives in Santaquin, UT, and Bob Pilch and Brian Buchanan flew in from WA) the day before General Conference (a biannual event held the first weekend of October and April at the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City)! Numerous Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVDs were taken by the students. Many good conversations! One student named Rhodes told me that he recently converted to the LDS Church from Lutheranism, even going against his whole family. He admitted to me that he was wavering in his faith this past week. We had a very long conversation, and he took the DVD. Pray for him! He was probably a little overwhelmed with all the info I gave him.
Rob talking to Rhodes with RM in backgroundI also talked with an RM (returned missionary). Sharp, nice guy, who honestly wanted to hear what we believed. Heard many shouts from cars as we got into these conversations... something to the effect of, "Leave these teenagers alone!" with a lot of profanity! But I was surprised how many thumbs up we got in this heavy LDS area!
I also ran into 3 Christians: 1 student goes to CenterPoint EV Free in Orem, another student goes to South Mountain, and another lady gave me a gospel tract having just moved to UT (she's Foursquare). The CenterPoint kid said, "You against Mormonism?" I said, "Yes," and he said, "Good, screw Joseph Smith!"
As for the Conference itself, I had a very difficult time. As soon as I got there, I started preaching, but this woman started singing to drown me out. Well I certainly wasn't going to let her win, so I kept preaching until she bailed and everyone was basically inside for the conference. I also thought that together we would be so annoying that it would force people to look over our direction, and at least they would see my sign even if they couldn't understand the cacophony going on! It was very difficult to concentrate though. Here’s the video.
Rob talking to 2 agnostics outside Temple SquareI also dialogued for a while with some real hard heads. One individual was just being a real jerk to me as we talked.
However, I did talk to a couple agnostic guys (one had grown up in the Christian Church), and they were both really open to hearing what I had to say. They had plenty of questions. We talked about the reliability of the scriptures, prophecy of Christ in the Old Testament, proof for His resurrection, and how to have all your sins forgiven.
MormonInfo.org stats: The Thursday prior to General Conference had a total of only 144 with 24 from UT as the highest state to visit, and then 23 from CA. The next day when we began our street evangelism, we had a total of only 157 hits. UT had 45 (almost double from the day before) and the next highest was CA with 24. The Saturday of General Conference had 53 hits from UT, and the next highest was from CA with 17. The total for Saturday was 191 hits. Now get this… Sunday, our final day of evangelism and advertising, we had a total of 269 hits! 84 hits came from UT, and the next highest was from CA with 18! Yes, advertising works... even with a big sign on a public street!
Now you think that’s pretty good, just imagine what a big sign truck does! While witnessing at Temple Square on October 17th, I saw Randy Gavin drive the truck pictured to the right. It advertizes their site WhatMormonsDontTell.com. Randy offered to have a JosephLied.com tarp made to go over the truck if any of you are interested in subsidizing that. Perhaps, though, having MormonInfo.org would be safer for driving around!
Do You Have Paul’s Attitude?
Now if you’re one of those who aren’t that impressed and think that this simply creates more of a mess for Christians to deal with, let me remind you that St. Paul never seemed to have this modern worry when he preached the gospel. He was much more optimistic! Phil. 1:15-18 says that even those who are preaching out of contention and not sincerely are still preaching the gospel, and in that he rejoices. Of course individuals who preach should do it out of love for Christ and their fellow man, and thus become more like Christ Himself, but the focus for Paul is that the gospel goes out... even if it creates such a mess that it lands him in prison and even if he has to suffer more in prison because of it.
Encouragement From My Pastor
My pastor gave me some encouraging news last month. While he was lecturing for a class in OR, he met the boyfriend of one of his students. He said that he joined the LDS Church for 8 months while he was going to community college. He was fully invested, but then he read JosephLied.com, and now he's out and living for the Lord!
It's always great to hear these stories. I expect to hear much more like this when we all get to heaven!
Charis hands out candy and JC/JS DVDsHalloween
This year, Charis and I gave out candy and the Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD for trick-or-treaters, who came to our door!
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, please see our “Invest” page on any of our sites. Please keep in mind 1) this is our sole source for income, and 2) we have no financial guarantees each month. Ministry partners come and go as jobs do. 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 1:9)!
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 and Maddi’s families to be saved
3. Wisdom in all our dealings
4. Strength to keep going
Dear Mr. Sivulka, or Rob:
I don't know how to start this e-mail except to first and foremost thank you for your article called Seven Differences Between Mormonism and Christianity...
...This morning came, and I knew at 11:30 they [the LDS missionaries] would be here. I just sat down and prayed to Jesus to guide me and guide my tongue when I had to speak with them because I did not want to continue this dance with them. I cannot and will not accept Joseph Smith as a prophet. I sat down on the computer and searched for something like "Mormon prophet vs Christianity". Your article was the second or third hit that came up. I read it and knew now that God was giving me the "ammo" to deal with them once and for all.
It was very civilized, everyone was cool, calm and collected. This time there were even 3 of them versus me. I knew the Lord was guiding my every articulate word when I told them I believed in the Holy Trinity and you cannot have 1 without the others, and you cannot choose to pray to one. 1 are 3 and 3 are 1. I told them there is no other word but the word of God as that passage in Galatians says. I even had a copy of McConkie's book on the table as it was in the library of this home.
Your article was just truly a lifesaver for me today. I was able to eloquently explain my beliefs and point out the many differences our religions have. I felt full of confidence; I had the strength and tenacity of a weed. They again insisted that I needed to read the Book of Mormon and I would find it in my heart to accept it as the truth. I had to hold my tongue, I didn't want to, but I had to. I wanted to read them the last 2 sentences of your article and ask them to "Please consider praying to God (Father, Son or Holy Spirit), asking Him to cleanse you from all your sins, particularly of following another god and another jesus, and then repent from those idols by leaving the Mormon Church. Then please consider committing yourself to a genuinely "Christian" denomination in order to grow in your new spiritual life."
I wish them no harm but they are wrong, they are brainwashed with 856 pages McConkie's drivel called Mormon Doctrine and their religion is a cult that has amassed a fortune by having bookkeepers for ushers and spending a lot of time and money ex-communicating people who don't tow the line. You may ask, but... how do [I] REALLY feel?!?
They did not make another appointment to see me. When they left I bowed my head and had a moment of silence and thanked God for my free will, I thanked him for my unshakable faith in Him and I thanked him for guiding me to your article.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing it.
[From an individual who saw my sign outside Temple Square:] Rob-
Thanks for your response. I appreciate the time it took you to write it. I can tell there is no reason to continue a discussion. But your response has strengthened my resolve and knowledge as to the truthfulness of the Gospel as restored through Joseph Smith. I have a surety as to where I will end up as long as I remain faithful to the teachings of the gospel as taught by Jesus Christ and His apostles. I have peace in that.
Christ will never "make" any one worthy of His sacrifice. That is a choice that must be made by every individual, everyday. We may try our best to be worthy of His sacrifice but sometimes we come short and we must realign our wills, desires with His (repentance). As long as we repent we can return back to God. And as we repent hopefully it becomes less and less that we need to do it because we are becoming more like Christ.
The knowledge I have comes from the scriptures Bible included, confirmed by the Holy Ghost. Your last comment is most disturbing of all, as you seem to discount the importance of the Holy Ghost (John14:26 and John 15:26). Without the Holy Ghost no one could ever know that the Bible is the word of God and His dealings with man throughout time. Know one could know that Jesus Christ is Lord and Redeemer, that the atonement is real. No one could know God's will for us. No one could know that God is guiding them today. Well I know what I know because of the Holy Ghost who Christ sent to testify of Him.
Do not underestimate the need for prophets either. The Bible is full of prophets that "attacked" different religions. They were to call people back to the correct form of worship centered in Jesus Christ. That is what prophets are called to do.
Again, thanks for the response.
I met you at temple square in July. You handed out a CD that was very informative about LDS. I gave it to my son, who is in bible college, and my pastor to review.
I am a Christian and think the work you are doing is great and a great mission field.
A co-worker of mine has a brother that is in LDS. His brother's wife has had some mental issues and a nervous breakdown the last few years.
He has been doing some study on LDS since I have been talking to him about it and he admitted his brother was LDS. He has been looking into it as a way to help his brother in a hard time.
He asked me a question this morning about the marriage in the mormon temple. I know from talking to an LDS worker at the chapel at temple square that she told me some LDS get married in the chapel and choose not to marry in the temple. I cannot remember what she said exactly on that. He said that his brother and wife were married in the temple and they wore a garment with a sign on the shoulder and a sign on the opposite hip. He has heard that couples married in the temple have to have the marriage consumated by the priest that marries them. This means to me that the priest would spend the first marriage night with the wife.
As we travel with our work, we will be in Sandy, UT again in January for a couple of weeks. Maybe we can link up or whatever.
Thanks and God Bless
[I replied:] It's a complete fable... the priest consummating the marriage. They do wear garments 24/7, but the signs are over both nipples, belly button, and right knee.
Look me up when you get out here.
In the B of M Alma 11, 18 and Mosiah 15 refer to one God and that the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the one true God. How do the Mormons defend/explain those statements in their scripture?
I have recently had two visits from missionaries, one came twice and the second time he brought along someone else. I gave them your booklets the first time. When they came the second time it was allegedly for the purpose of meeting my daughter's family who live in our basement. I had an opportunity to once again reiterate the differences of Biblical Christianity and Mormonism....focusing on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. After about 15 minutes of hearing my spiel, they said they had another appointment and had to go. I asked them why they came by unannanounced to talk when they had a previous engagement and couldn't spend time to seriously discuss the issues. They left in a huff. I told them that I was very concerned about their eternal destiny and that they were now accountable before God because they have heard the truth. One of them said, "well, we heard something." then left with a mocking attitude. I told them to come back that they were always welcome here.
[I replied:] Well most LDS I talk with understand those monotheistic passages as referring to a "Godhead." So there is one God, since the F, S, and HS are 1 God in purpose. What does that mean? It means, given the context of further LDS scripture, that there's only 1 Godhead, which is a team of separate Gods, each of whom have become exalted to this function. So in their minds, there is no other God or Gods... "for us": [see the Des News article.]
I would also qualify… that the BM doesn't teach Mormon doctrine with the exception of salvation after all one can do (2 Ne. 25:23).
Question for ya. Here at work one day I noticed that there were no copies of the Holy Bible in the chapel. I told one of the chaplains and he said the he put some bibles in the chapel. Before I go check to see which kind of bibles it was, I wanted to ask a question.
The free copies of the Holy Bible that the LDS missionaries pass out, is that the KJV or the KJV with Joseph's interpretation?
[I replied:] As I understood it, this is it. It has footnotes to other LDS references.
We are grateful to be able to support and be a part of your ministry, we certainly are not gifted as you are but are glad to be able to at times sow into this work God is doing:) We will continue to pray and give when we can:)
[After having Lynn and Michael Wilder over for dinner, she wrote on my Facebook:] I have to say I half expected a street preacher to have a strong personality, but I was surprised to think that Rob Sivulka is one of the most humble lovers of Jesus I have met. And Tara Nelsen Sivulka was absolutely delightful! We clicked with this family right away. Wow. Sorry we have not met until now. Felt immediately at home. Thanks so much for sharing your special family with us.
[I posted on Facebook:] Would any real Christian make the claim to "become as great as God, 'and you cannot wish to be greater'"? This is exactly what Mormonism teaches in their *Melchizedek Priesthood Personal Study Guide,* "Search These Commandments," Lesson 21: "Man May Become like God."
[An LDS friend replied:] It's fatherly nature to wish the best for your children, god loves his children. Sorry if my beliefs bother anyone, I just like to speak my mind on occasion..
[I replied:] you, as well as the rest of Mormons, have limited the concept of fatherhood by thinking only in literal, physical, human terms and applied it to the Creator of literally everything outside His Being. That's what anyone who understands what the Bible teaches to be B-L-A-S-P-H-E-M-O-U-S. Love you Ben, but you need a bigger, more exalted God. When you get that, then you'll understand how the Creator, not the Organizer, is the Father to His beloved children. There's only 1 who's begotten from the Father (Jn. 3:16). All other children are children by creation. For more on this, please read my [blog on this].
[He replied:] This is off topic, but one thing that bothers me is when people disregard the Book of Mormon simply because they believe Joseph Smith wrote it, he translated it... They claim the text is just Joseph making up prophecy and principle for the benefit of his church. But how can they say that and then claim the Bible is perfect. The books within the Bible were written by men, along with the books within The Book Of Mormon. There has been thousands of years since God inspired man to write the words that make up the Bible. The original manuscripts likely no longer exist. There are many possibilities that the Bible was altered by man since then without authority from God. Yet somehow we Mormons are not justified in our beliefs, that Joseph had authority from God to translate scripture that God had inspired the early people of America to write. Oh yeah, and I forgot. I'm a Mormon. So I guess that means my beliefs lead me to hell, because they inspire me to become more like Christ, and to serve others.
whether it be Bible or BOM, the question is the same. how do I know the truth? God Will make it known unto you, in his own due time. If you ask with a sincere heart and a lack of bias. I should probably go to bed now, I have school in the morning.
[I replied:] The BM… only teaches that there is no more than 1 true and living God (e.g., Alma 11:24-29). It's not until later revelations that you have a change in Joseph Smith's theology. D&C and the PGP are obviously polytheistic.
The originals of the Bible no longer exist, but we have early copies from various locations and times, as well as early Church father quotes, as well as early Church prayer books to piece together a consistency of what the original probably said. With all this, we can tell when scribes make mistakes. For example, we know that Joseph Smith's changes to the Bible are totally made up, since they don't fit with any of the testimonies from ancient history. We don't have these various accounts for the BM. The alleged gold plates don't exist, and we have one printer's manuscript, which has been changed [3,913 times] to contradict the story and there's no good reason to hold the latter BM rather than the former BM... unless you just blindly accept whatever the modern LDS Church tells you.
All the manuscripts say the same thing in Gal. 1:6-9: if we or an angel from heaven give any other gospel than that which you've already received, it's to be damned. The message of Mormonism contradicts what is already firmly established, and as such, it's to be damned. The message of Mormonism is not inspiring you to become more like Christ. It is inspiring you to become more like a false Christ, who is leading you to hell.