Robert Verdin and LDS JudyGeneral Conference
I was surprised how many tracts/DVDs I got out the first day… around 50! General Conference tends to attract the most committed LDS.
One of the biggest problems we had was with a so-called Christian, Robert Verdin, who has continued to derail conversations that other Christians have with others. He has been admonished for years about this behavior, and he just doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. He’s rude and there is no reasoning with him. He is not tied to any particular Christian church, and has in fact been kicked out of churches. He has been a particular problem to a group of evangelists that used to meet on Thursday nights outside of Temple Square. They would move locations to try avoiding him.
While our ministry associate and board member, Aaron Shafovaloff, was having a good dialogue with LDS Judy, Robert came to insert himself into their conversation. Aaron told Judy that Robert is not part of our group, and Robert became unglued. The conversation with Judy bombed. Right after that, Robert came over to insert himself into a good conversation we were having with a couple ex-Mormon guys who now have no religion. Of course that conversation bombed as well. At least I was able to give them some tracts before that happened. It’s still really discouraging. You may watch a short video of this interaction here.
Later that day, Robert confronted me to ask me something. I just ignored him and left. As I was leaving, he was calling me names. You may watch that short video here.
Joseph, Rob, Micah, & AaronDespite the confrontations with Robert, I was able to have some good conversations with others. One guy named Bernault is from Brazil, but studying at BYU. He’s been raised LDS, but is now agnostic. I challenged him on Jesus being either Lord, liar, or lunatic. Given what we know of what Jesus taught, those are the only options. Bernault still wasn’t sure what to think.
I also talked to a Black guy who saw my sign and asked what Smith lied about. I rattled off a couple examples, and this guy asked me what I believed. I told him how all my hope is in Jesus. This guy went into his religious experience and how he knew Mormonism is true. I shared my experience of how I knew it was not true. He concluded we both can’t be right. I told him he should pay careful attention to what we both know Jesus already taught prior to our experiences. I brought up the example of John 17:3 and how Jesus taught there was only one true God contrary to what Smith taught. This guy had to go, but I left him with the problem of God supposedly cursing people with dark skin in the Book of Mormon.
I had a ton of people take pictures of my lighted sign and received a number of compliments on it. Of course the advertising paid off, and the visits to my site went up way above average!
The following day I wasn’t out as long and only got out around 10 tracts. The conference also doesn’t go as long as Saturday. Here’s a video of the preaching I was doing when the crowd came out.
I saw our state representative Burgess Owens again. He walked right past me and obviously saw my sign again. I pointed it out to him again and told him to check it out, and I also told him that I was disappointed in his summer vote to sustain gay marriage.
There was another LDS guy that I talked with. He also asked what Smith lied about, so I gave this LDS guy the examples of polygamy and Smith’s translation of the Bible. This guy knew that Smith’s translation was correct despite having zero evidence and all the evidence going against it. Then this LDS guy started to play a word game with me concerning whether Smith technically “lied.” This guy claimed that despite all the evidence, we don’t know whether Smith really “intended” to lie or not. The intent to deceive is critical to lying. I thought, if this guy has zero appreciation for evidence, then absolutely nothing can be proven to be a lie… in any area, since the intention is something that lies beyond absolute proof. At that point, I knew this guy was just wasting my time, and I turned and left for home.
When I entered my neighborhood, I saw the sister missionaries that I’ve talked to the month before. They said they saw my lighted JosephLied.com sign at the conference the night before. I gave them a tract, and they said they would read it.
Our friend Kaitlyn Rosas shared her testimony. You may watch that and see the pictures at the site linked above.
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Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6),
President, Courageous Christians United
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84088
[Here’s one of the more depressing emails I’ve ever received. It may or may not be legit. Pray for this individual anyway. My site expressly gives external sites to pursue the impressive evidences for God and the historic Christian faith in particular. Just because Mormonism is found to be intellectually bankrupt, that doesn’t entail that no other religion true. Jesus is worth believing. Hope is in our living Lord and Savior. He wasn’t a nut job or a liar. The evidence points to Him being who He claimed to be, viz., God incarnate.]
Thank you for convincing me the LDS church is false, and we shouldnt trust what any church writes about themselves. Sure, even as a kid, I knew J.S. had numerous wives and the problems with the book of Abraham, etc..., but you really have a much more complete picture.
After I spent time reading your convincing arguments, I realized religions were dubious and so spent time reading atheist logical arguments that clearly shows all religion is made-made and no reason to trust anything pretending to be from god, just because a book says it or because we feel a certain way. At the end of the day, all facts, logic and arguments, are infinitely undecipherable, so dummies like me (even though I went to college) I'll never really figure it out. As a post-modernist, there is no truth.
Thank you for steering me away from God because now, with no solid evidence of life after death and a complete loss of trust in all humanity, I can safely kill myself without any concerns or guilt, except having enough insurance to cover my large family (+counseling). It's now very hard to stop thinking about killing myself with a gun sitting so close to me.
Thank you again for driving me away from religion. I hope at least you address the fact that most people that leave their religion do not become religious again, and HuffPost article says atheists have higher suicide rates--no surprise.
Dont bother responding cause this is a throwaway email that I will never see.
i know Joseph said he had direct revelation of Jesus, if true, the liars are those that lie about Joseph
[I replied:] But Joseph did lie, and I have tons of proof. Here for starters…
Praying for you Rob! Thankless work this side of the resurrection, but I know there will be many who are grateful for your faithfulness in the life to come!