Nov. 3, 2000
Subject: Praise God!
I wanted to encourage you in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Acts 6:10 "And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake."
Amen and Amen. God be with you.
Your sister in Christ,
Nov. 3 2000
I would just like to say one thing. Theres two sides to everything and ignorance is your worst enemy.
[Sandra's Note: Amen! That is why we are trying to post as many facts and documents as we can.]
Nov. 5, 2000
Subject: Reality check...
This is just my personal opinion, but it's about time that the church files suit against defaming liars like yourselves.
It's a pity that you have to spend your time and resources attempting to tear down the beliefs of others when those funds could be used more wisely elsewhere-- like on feeding the hungry, visiting the sick or other acts of compassionate service.
I guess that we can only hope for you to spend your time and resources more productively than operating a web-site fueled by bigotry and prejudice. When you do, I will raise my voice with many in welcoming you into the 21st century and congratulating you on finally learning to tolerate the beliefs of others as they have tolerated you.
[Sandra's Note: First, the LDS Church is not suing the ministry for telling lies, but for simply putting out information on how they handle discipline and excommunication. By the way, the Handbook is all over the net, and not because of us. Others have posted the entire Church Handbook of Instruction and have not been sued. We only posted one chapter, as an information item.
Second, we do spend time and money helping the poor. Jerald spends every morning, except Sunday, at the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake. Plus the ministry supports 44 children through World Vision.
As long as the LDS Church sends out 50,000+ missionaries to tell people of other faiths that they are wrong and only the LDS Church is accepted by God, there will be those who will tell the other side of the story.]
Nov. 6, 2000
I agree with a previous months' letter which stated that too many members of the LDS church have made unnecessarily caustic remarks towards the Utah Lighthouse Ministry. While most people are passionate about their religious beliefs (and thus understandably passionate about defending their faith), there is a need for greater discretion in expression of such feelings.
In that spirit, I pose a question to readers (and editors) of this forum. The Tanners have, in no uncertain terms, made it clear that seekers of truth ought not join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a faith fraught with doctrinal fallacy and disingenuous leaders. Fair enough.
We now know what NOT to do. But what TO do? Where should we be on Sundays? The truth IS out there, right? To supply such information with equal passion would seem to tie the argument into a nice, neat package. Says the doctor, "To be healthy, stop smoking and exercise 3 times a week." So, what is our prescribed exercise?
Excluding the LDS church, there are over 100 MAJOR Christian churches in the U.S. alone. As it turns out, many of them teach contradictory doctrine.
They can't all be right, then, can they? Can you help us narrow the choices down a bit--and be specific? How about a name for "a local Christian church in Salt Lake City"?
Perhaps the "local Christian church" is simply a placeholder for any Christian church that teaches the true doctrine of Christ as the Bible teaches it: that we are saved by Christ's grace. Maybe Christ didn't intend there to be any one "true" Christian religion. In any case, the same request applies. Clearly, not all Christian religions fit that mold, so we need to know--specifically, by name--which are OK are which are not.
That's a fair question, is it not? Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics, and Seventh-day Adventists all claim to be the true church. Are they ok? If not, aren't they as damaging to people as the LDS church?
In other words, if you are nailing your metaphorical "95 Theses" to the church door, where is your Protestant movement?
[Sadra's Note: There are many books that discuss the differences between the Catholics and Protestants. There are web sites and countless books discussing the teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists and how they differ from mainstream Christianity.
While there are many churches with different names there is only one Christian religion. Jerald and I are members of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. We view this church as one of many in the area proclaiming the gospel as laid out in the Bible. A Christian may be a member of the Baptist Church, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Assembly of God, Nazarene, Methodist Church, etc. A person is a Christian if he/she has come to Christ for full salvation, by grace, trusting in His finished work on the cross as payment for his/her sins. It is not a matter of which denomination he/she chooses to join. But before joining a particular church a Christian should examine its teachings to make sure it is in line with the Bible. All Christians, using the Bible as their guide, believe in only one eternal God. Mormonism does not accept this position.
For more help on the Christian beliefs I suggest you read:
These books are used by many different Christian groups and are listed on our booklist.]
Nov. 7, 2000
Subject: Just another appreciative letter...
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tanner,
I would just like to take an opportunity to say "thank you" for the hard work and dedication for which you labor in your documentation of the actualities of the LDS faith.
I have read accounts of people who have diverged from the LDS faith, and thanked you for it...but I thought my experience with your works was a little different from the rest I've witnessed, and I would like to share it with you...
I am a Utah native who grew up in Catholicism; always feeling like the "persecuted" LDS people have always claimed to have been treated since their inception: like a small (and unworthy) fish in a bigger, "holier" pond...
I first started investigating the LDS faith and its unique teachings with good intention while I was engaged to be married to a member of the LDS religion while in college (with the remote possibility of even eventually converting to "make it work"). The relationship eventually dissolved following my seemingly unassuming questions/inquiries into the details of the LDS faith (as have many Utah "inter-faith" relationships). Some of my inquiries led me across literature you had produced (even before the advent of the internet). Many years have passed since then, and I found that I had held a (mostly) unconscious resentment toward the LDS religion, and it's members due to growing up a minority in Utah. My years of perceived (even if occasionally experienced) "oppression" by some saints prevented me from seeing ANY member of the LDS faith as anything other than pompous hypocrites and judgmental ignoramuses (sadly, THOSE were the nice things that I had to say about them!).
Eventually, I realized that any ill feelings I was harboring were misspent as a truly "good" person should not have such an outlook toward another human-- regardless of one's standing as a Christian, Buddhist, atheist or otherwise.
My newest quest for knowledge shifted toward gathering information about the LDS faith in order that I might better understand THEIR views, feelings, and history as to better coexist with them here in the Land of Zion. The LDS faith has since become a VERY fascinating piece of human history to me (by which, I do not aspire to judge the actions or viewpoints of its past or current members).
I truly believe that if we ALL took such effort to understand our fellow humans and practice more tolerance than judgment, this world would be an invariably better place. I believe it is no small coincidence that humans have suffered the greatest atrocities toward one another in the name of "my god is better than your god" than for any other cause in human history (and unfortunately, we still continue to do so).
I have read both "faith promoting" and "faith destroying" LDS literature alike in my efforts. I am happy to say that I have been able to rid myself of most of the animosities that I had been holding due to my own research (hey, I don't claim to be "perfect"...but at least honest!). And I owe at least a portion of my newfound outlook to familiarization with materials you present through your exhaustive and much appreciated research and presentation (although, I don't profess to agree with everything, you seem to be well-intentioned in your efforts, and that should be commended).
I am happy to say that I no longer look toward the LDS people with a pitiful or condescending eye, as I understand their faith and history much more than I ever thought Iíd care to. In fact, my LDS friends and acquaintances rarely try to "preach" or "enlighten" me any longer as my knowledge of their faith (more often than not, sadly enough) supercedes understandings to which they themselves prescribe to "know."
Thank you again for your time and efforts, and I want to let you and your organization know that the tens of millions of dollars that are being spent by the LDS church to "blow you out of the water" will never be successful in the minds of those people who have had (and continue to have) an avenue to gather ALL knowledge and think for themselves; be they Mormon or non-Mormon...your honest approach is appreciated by many thousands around the world who will never have the opportunity to call or write you. On their behalf, I'd like to offer a very humble "thank you."
Keep up the spirit, and if there is anything in which I can be of service, please don't hesitate to reply.
Nov. 7, 2000
Jerald and Sandra, I carefully read with great interest, your testimonies. I also read David Whitmers testimony. He says you are prejudiced. That your testimonies are way out of line.
I agree that Joseph Smith may have woven some of his own personal translation into the D&C and the runnning of the Church from time to time. Literary license, I believe it is called. Same as you take.
And I agree that Brigham Young and others may have usurped their authority with regard to the doctine of polygamy. I personally know descendants of Joseph Smith and I know stories the public may not have heard. Some of these descendants have come back into the Church. I have participated in and have attended their baptisims. Many are rethinking their ancestors decsions.
What I don't agree with it your personal prejudice toward the Church and your out of context interpretations of scriptures. If you believe in David Whitmers testimony, you have to believe in the Book of Mormon as being another witness and testament for Christ. David Whitmer and others stood steadfast to their testimonies to their dying day.
They left the Church because of personal differences but they never once denied Joseph Smith being a Prophet or the authenticity of the Book. That being the case, how do you dare question it? If you are wrong in the end, you are a blasphemer of the worst kind. You have blasphemed against God and the Holy Ghost and I really would not want to be in your shoes.
I believe that men in authority did drift from the original doctrine. I also believe that God has replaced those men with rightious men who have brought the Church back in line with Gods intended Doctrine. I will stick with the Church and all of the faults of the men in authority because, in spite of it all, no other Church on the face of this Earth comes close to using common sense when it come to teaching the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Where in the Bible do we find the word "Pope"? Where do we find, Vicars, Reverends, diocese, and all of the other man made names that connotate so called eccelestial authority?
The fact that the LDS Church is steadfastly growing by leaps and bounds, is recognized as the best managed church in the world and has no real bad publicity about dissent, child molestation and morality, says an awful lot to me.
Your pathetic little ministry is an irritating itch. If you are so right, why are you not the leader of one of the greatest Churches in the world? Is it because you have spent your lives tearing down instead of building up the kingdom of God. I have a friend who has the leading television ministry. He doesn't agree with all of our beliefs either but, he will not speak ill of this or any other Church because he feels it would only degrade himself and tear down all that he has worked for. This is a man who respects God and all others right to believe as they may. "It is only for God to Judge in the end". It is his calling to only preach the ministry of Jesus Christ. This loving man, in his own way, has done much to build the Kingdom of God and has done much good in the world. He has taken the message of Jesus Christ to the world throughout his ministry. And he did it with out tearing down any religion. He will be greatly rewarded in Heaven. Can you say the same?
Will you be greatly rewarded? Why are you not great leaders or ministers? Because you are too consumed with your personal prejudice of the LDS to ever do any good or anything praiseworthy in your lifetime.
Instead you have become a joke to the membership of the Church and to the lay Christian Community as well. Real Christians do good works. I have a real close Baptist friend and real close LDS friend. I can't tell the difference in their religious preference because of their love for their Heavenly Father and all the good that they do for their fellow man. My great grandfather gave his life for the Church and after visting his homeland, walking the church grounds he grew up on, I now know why he did what he did.
I wish you well,
Nov. 9, 2000
Subject: your website
To whom it may concern:
I just wanted to say thanks for fullfilling prophecy about how so many people in the last days will be lead astray from the true Church of Christ through crafty and cunning teachings of men. Why don't you spend time working on your own relationship with Jesus Christ and God rather than trying to convince others of how their beliefs are wrong. Honestly, reading your website reminds of the "cunning words" and trickery that Satan used to get Eve to partake of the fruit. "If ye eat the fruit ye shall not surely die" Just like your website, Satan used half truths. Yes, most of what is published on your website is true however, alot of what you have taken from church doctrines, etc. is taken out of context and then your "opinion" has been added. This all equals "half-truths" that ultimately aren't true. Well, I am sure that this email won't convince you of anything so keep publishing your "anti-Mormon" literature, keeping "warning people about Mormons", etc. And at the same time, the true Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today will continue to grow, families will continue to be strengthened, the use of alchol and other drugs will continue to be reduced, and the world will continue to become a better place. Just remember that it is never to late to repent and change your life. Have a great day.
Your brother in the Gospel of Christ
Nov. 9, 2000
Subject: my feelings about Jesus Christ
I found your website in analyzing the article in US News and World report, the cover story about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I am a baptized member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I would like to share with you and your readers my love that I have for Jesus Christ.
I am so very thankful for His love and tender mercy towards me. Without Christ in my life, I am nothing. I know He is the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. He atoned for our sins and my prayer is to be more Christ like. I love the hope that He gives me. I love the Church He established for all of us.
I think that the lighthouse in your website is great. To me and my family the lighthouse is certainly a powerful symbol of the hope that the gospel of Jesus Christ gives to us all.
I grew up in Virginia Beach and the lighthouse is a great teaching tool for me and my family, my family being a military (Coast Guard) family, and is certainly an excellent symbol in descibing Jesus Christ and His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
This world is certainly toubled and am amazed at someone spending their time in doing something so very destructive towards those of faith and belief in Christ. I appreciate the dedication put towards such a cause. There has always been great persecution towards followers of Christ and wonder why those who profess to follow the Savior would even imply or suggest that Latter-Day Saints are not followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, when that is our central message.
The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It testifies that Jesus is the Christ. That is the principle message of the book. I would encourage all to read it's contents and know that those who love and appreciate the Bible as I do, will love and appreciate the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon as well. I felt this testimony to be of importance to you and your readers, seeing on how the gospel of Jesus Christ has touched my life with nothing but goodness and hope. thank you for your website in allowing me to share with you my feelings about Jesus Christ and His Church,
I say these things in His name, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Nov. 10, 2000
...My husband was born into LDS but hasn't attended church since he was about 12. We have recently moved to a small rural area and the missionaries found out he is an inactive member and have been comming over for about a month. I have very BAD feelings and TOO MANY questions to change from Baptist to Mormon & even my husband has some concerns since I have bringing home info from the internet...Hopefully this will shed some light. Thanks so much!!
Nov. 10, 2000
Thank you for providing this research that I may depict the Mormon so-called church in a more accurate light to my son!
Nov. 10, 2000
Subject: Great Site
I'd like to congratulate you on your work and your web site. It's very informative and a place find things you can't find in many places. I'm a former Mormon myself, but I wouldn't overplay it. I have allot to thank the LDS religion for at the moment and many reasons to resent it. First of all I was becoming a lackluster Christian. I thought I was doing well but I really wasn't doing anything. When I met my wife, she was a Mormon and I was a Baptist. I thought it was great she was a Mormon. I had dated many and found they had morals like I had unlike allot of the "Christians" I met. I didn't know their good morals mostly were rooted in being good enough to see their family again when they die. I always felt love and respect for God was reason enough to do what he says. She cried anytime I mentioned my different beliefs and it became evident that both of us had to some bending, not just her. I went to church with her. I was greatly offended going to her singles ward. Even though I went many times to my local LDS church in Pahrump, NV, I hadnít noticed the attacks before. Anytime anything was mentioned from the Bible it was presented as flawed with President Whoeverís explanation of what it really meant. In their Sunday school they were looking over a passage in the New Testament (I donít remember which one). A question was asked and all these answers along with the standard "Obey the Commandments" answer that followed every question were answers like "join the church" that I remember jokingly looking at my Bible upside down trying to see what they were reading it from to my wife (girlfriend at the time). Although my wife was impressed that I had my own Book of Mormon from a previous missionary visit to my house, this was a failed visit.
We were engaged and everything was going great. The next thing I know sheís hysterical on the phone with me saying she canít get married unless itís in the temple. I told her that just wasnít going to happen. I told her of a new plan, Iíd find a place where Mormonís arenít invited and get married there so her parents canít come. For the first time she understood my side somewhat. She eventually came around when I was going to break off the relationship (I donít know if I really could have, I love her to death). Although hearing a lot of "apostate" crap from her dad, her parents didnít stand in her way, only complained and offered her trips and various other things to change her mind. I was a unique case for them, they were under the impression that non-Mormons all drank, smoked, and were immoral. I proved them wrong and the marriage happened. To keep things going smoothly I decided to go to church with her after we were married. I had left my Baptist Church do to a bad preacher (his church membership is currently around 10-12 including his family because everyone left him). I invited missionaries over. I really liked the guys. We had similar interests in games and music and I just loved those guys. I listened to them very seriously this time and even though I felt I could shoot them down easily, I kept my mouth shut. I read the entire Book of Mormon. Where were all these bad things everyone said were in there? Where were a lot of things they were teaching me? I began to like the Book of Mormon and joined the church on that premise. I never accepted things like sealing, eternal marriage, and Baptism for the dead.
After joining, I was treated very well in the church. They had been after me for years and I was a prize possession. I was immediately made a priest. I immediately started having nightmares. I always woke up with the words "what have you done?" stuck in my head. I felt I had betrayed God somehow. I at first looked forward to the temple them started having nightmares about it too. Much to my wifeís horror, I kept reading. I wanted to know how I could have been so wrong about this church. How could I have been so blinded and fooled by these other churches. I kept reading. The Book of Abraham and D&C 132 horrified me. I started to notice that things from the Bible were being read out of context and the meanings were being altered (for example, the celestial and terrestrial bodies being changed into kingdoms). When I read the King Follett sermon I was angry. I started making excuses for the prophet Joseph Smith. Maybe he went wrong somewhere. That would explain a lot. He was a prophet and lost it around 1841. Then it became 1835, then 1833, and then I just had to admit to myself that the guy was a fraud. The nightmares stopped. I immediately felt right again. To the horror of my wife, I told her that I was leaving the church and that I was very grateful for my experience in it. The reason I was grateful was because it made me read again. I had stopped reading the Bible. After just a little reading, I can counter any LDS attack made to me now. I feel Iím a true Christian again.
Once I stopped defending the Mormon faith for a moment, everything else seemed to just poor into me. I found the horrible things I had heard were in the Book of Mormon. They were really in the Journal of Discourses. During my further reading of the Book of Mormon, new things started jumping out at me. Greek and French written by Hebrew speaking, Egyptian writing people.
I would like to thank you and other organizations like you. Although I found my way out without you, Iíve found more and more evidence on your web page. Pray for me as I slowly try to pull my wife away from this church now. She has accepted that Iím not a Mormon now and for the first time sees her church as imperfect. I think Iím getting through to her. But sheís afraid of losing her family. A VERY legitimate fear. ...
Thank you again.
Nov. 10, 2000
Dear Lighthouse Ministry,
I am a convert to the Mormon Church. I had searched out endless churches looking for what makes sense. God the Father is a God of order, justice and plain truth. He tells us that his ways and thoughts may be different from ours, but he is not a God of confusion.
In attending all the various Christian churches, I witnessed their version of a God of confusion....one that set up a creed to follow, and is difficult to interpret, hence the reason they have a modified version of gospel truth.
In my search, I knew certain biblical passages (like the separateness of God the Father and his son Jesus Christ) were so clear, yet "their" version seemed to complicate things. When I sought out, and found, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I knew I had found the only truth on the face of the earth.
No other church or interpretation of the bible makes sense. The LDS Doctrine is concrete...and plain...and simple. And it is real.! It added great meaning to my life.....The spirit of God testifies of this...it is pure and simple...
I just thought, in welcoming letters, you would also welcome someone who does not share your view about the LDS church.
On seeing your site in the U.S. News online report, I wondered why you want to spend so much time on looking at negatives. The one thing that appealed to me when I joined the Mormon Church is the lack of attack against other churches. I absolutely heard nothing of that sort on Sunday or any other time.
Yet, at other churches, they spend time talking against and comparing other churches. I found that very unappealing.....
Just thought you might want to hear someone's gratitude for the truth they have found...
Nov. 12, 2000
Subject: solid proof of christianity
you claim that religious truth cannot be arrived at through spiritual guidance, but rather through historical legitimacy.
my question: how, by that means, can the existance of God be known? how can you know that Christ is a divine being? how can it be shown that the principles of good are heaven sent?
i have not found a way, purely through reason, to prove any of these concepts. you seem to be more successful at it. please enlighten me.
[Sandra's Note: We believe in spiritual experience, but it must be tested against (can't contradict) what God has already revealed in the Bible. Even Mormonism makes a similar claim, that they judge anyone's teachings against the four standard works. See: How Do We Test A Prophet.]
Nov. 12, 2000
Subject: you kickin' against the pricks
why kick ye against the pricks? the book of mormon is either completely true or it is utterly, totally, and completely of a satanic nature. joseph smith was either a fraud or he was a prophet of god. can there be any in between? well heck no.
you guys crack me up. you dedicate your whole lives to try and destroy something that cannot and will not be destroyed. what a waste. is the devil divided against himself? last time i checked he wasn't.
so lets try and figure your logic out. you're telling me that we have this book of mormon that is a satanic book and the lds church has somehow indoctrinated 60,000 missionaries to go out for 2 years of their life and share a message about a book that isn't true but has been some how been concocted by joseph smith? give me a break. well, whatever. anybody who believes that it is POSSIBLE to get 60,000 missionaries out to tell people all over the world about a book that isn't even true.....gosh, we won't even go there.
i have to thank you, however, for giving me my first laugh of the day. the information on your website here is more funny than informational. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church here on the earth and the book of mormon is true and joseph smith was a prophet. i'd get used to those three facts of life.
Nov. 12, 2000
Subject: Why persecute ye the Kingdom of God?
Instead of fruitlessly trying to damage the Kingdom, understand that Christians united can be a much more effective force against such things as pornography, the break down of moral values, and the constant brutal attack on the family.
I have many friends that are of other denominations. They have never spewd out any venomous attack or opinion towards me or my family. They are very descent folks.
Instead it is more important to live the first and great commandment AND the second one which is like unto it. I have never ridiculed them or their beliefs. I did in fact attend others church's and have found that some of God's greatest defenders are there.
I hope and pray that instead of focusing to dim our light that you will consentrate on increasing yours. That is our philosiphy. We don't put any other religion. We just go on preaching our message.
The spirit of contention is the spirit of the devil. Let us not be found with that when we come before the judgement seat of God. We do know that that day will come.
So my brothers and sisters, I will pray for you as I hope that your prayers will also abide with us. Indeed it is my hope and prayer that truth through education, experience, and revelation, will come to all those that seek the Kingdom of God.
I love ya'll. May a portion of Heavenly Fathers blessings be upon you all. And thanks be to all those that sacrifice in behalf of the Kingdom I pray in the Holy name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Nov. 15, 2000
Subject: Get a life!
Why don't you get a life and live like a true Christian instead of putting down other people's religions. It is absolutely ridiculous.
I am not LDS, but I have many friends who are and I find them to be wonderful people who have a true belief in Christ. You on the other hand are just a hateful person who obviously has some complex about yourself so you have to preach against another religion instead of worshipping Christ correctly.
You make me sick!
Nov. 16, 2000
...I used to be a member of the LDS church. I wanted to... thank you so much for you wonderful site. I am really glad to see so many devoted christians working to teach people about the Cult of Mormonism. ...God Bless you and thank you for your time.
Nov. 16, 2000
HI! I was a member of the mormon church for 20+ years i left the church 2 years ago, i am now an asst. pastor.
Nov. 16, 2000
Yeh, YOUR'RE CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nov. 18, 2000
Subject: It's hard to love.
I appreciate your dedication to the freedom of speech. Life in these United States is so unpredictable because of it. I appreciate the fervor you display on your web site.
I'm LDS. I'm a Christian. I will not appreciate any comments you have toward me disagreeing with that. I'm writing to you to point out how similar you are to the LDS church. Please post this on your web site.
On your web site you say, "We are not attempting to disparage those of the LDS faith". However, you continue using the word "cult" as if it's a bad thing to describe the LDS faith. As defined by Webster on the web Cult means 1 : formal religious veneration (veneration: 1 : respect or awe inspired by the dignity, wisdom, dedication, or talent of a person)
Thank you for the compliment.
I've always understood cult to mean a less accepted and smaller religeon. I think that is a more common definition. Please don't forget 'pride cometh before a fall'.
Nov. 18, 2000
I have read some of your stuff. It sound like that you are working hard for Satan. If you do not believe what the Mormon church believes then you need to grow up and get on with your life and find the church that is for you. What you have is not of God. God does not preach hate that you do. What goes on with the Mormon church is none of your business. I feel sorry for you and others that do what you do for Satan not God. You will be judged on judgement day and you will not be able to justify what you are doing. Satan has a hold on you and he has brainwashed you into believing that what you are doing is right. Another Waco. I will pray for your repentance.
Nov. 19, 2000
Hello Mr and Mrs. Tanner,
First of all I would like to thank you for all of your hard work and research that you have done concerning the history of the Mormon Church. It is has been extremely helpful in search for the truth about mormonism.
Also I would like to thank you very much for the information about how to resign from being a member of the LDS Church. It has helped a young lady that I know who was forced into the church by her mother a long time ago.
She looks at life with hope now that she has been shown a way out of a very uncomfortable situation. She was very thankful for the information that Mrs. Tanner wrote about how to resign. I couldn't have been able to help her if it wasn't for you. Thank you so very much!! ( I wish you could have seen her smile when she got a hold of your information.)
Nov. 19, 2000
How do I know what is real, Is it what I see or what I feel? All of my life I've tried to find out, What the meaning of life is all about. Deep down inside I earnestly try, To find the answers and reasons why? But just like this earth has four seasons, Everyone seems to have their own reasons. They'll talk and they'll preach till they're out of breath. But the TRUTH will be known at the time of death! Read St. Luke 6:22-23 & 42-46
I don't know if Joseph Smith is a true PROPHET. But I do know that the SPIRIT is real. And I do say this in the name of JESUS CHRIST, Amen.
Nov. 20, 2000
Subject: It Amazes Me......
I've been reading about the LDS Church in more detail since the opening of the Temple in St. Louis. I attended the Open House three times and even went up to Columbus, Ohio and saw the new Temple there.
Recently, I had tickets and travel arrangements for the Boston Open House, but cancelled them due to issues at home. I was, I guess, mesmerized by the Temple and did a lot of research into how it was constructed with regard to symbolism (sun, moon, stars on the outside of the SLC Temple, progressing upward on the outward face of the Temple and it's correlation to the different levels of exaltation; the representation of the Veil, the construction of the baptismal fonts below ground level to represent the true death and resurrection, the significance of the "circle within a square" which we see in many Temple designs, the three spires of the SLC Temple and their orientation of East/West representing the two preisthoods - so many things to numerous to mention).
Then, once I discovered the UTLM, I began to see another side. I've continued to research and still visiting Temples in the US to photograph the architecture and keep a journal. The Temples truly are beautiful.
Today, I discovered a Web Site [with] pictures of the Masonic Temples, showing the interiors in some of them. I got a absolutely sick feeling in my stomach! In their own way, they too are elaborate, much like the Temples of the LDS Church (well, not as elaborate but there is a connection). Each one has an alter, the Temples are constructed on and East-West configuration, text details how candidates enter the room, etc.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that for what at one point in my life I thought was "magical" and had meaning, I feel so let down and deceived. I'm not even a member of the LDS Church so I can imagine how some of them feel!
...Your site is impressive and has opened my own eyes to the truth. I just feel sick when I think of what appears to be so wonderful is really so cruel that words cannot explain and unless you know about the Church and many issues related to its belief, you cannot understand! Thank You
Nov. 20, 2000
What do you have against the LDS Church? Isn't it every ones right to believe what they want? What makes you the supreme authority on TRUTH? Why have you made it your personal mission to tear down the LDS Church? Do you really think or believe you are being of service to God?
Nov. 22, 2000
I think it is sad that you don't have anything else to do with your time than to dig up unsubstantiated evidence that tries to disparage the name of such a great organization. After years of personal research, I joined the LDS church. I have never met a more loving people. You can't show me another church that takes better care of its members and does more for the good of the world. You must be so lonely in your "ministry," surrounded by negative feelings and attracted by only by one unifying factor: contempt/hatred for the LDS church. The only dissatisfied LDS members I know are excommunicated individuals who have left because of what can be categorized as either pride or sin. I discount all such anecdotal evidence. The sources are biased. You claim your efforts are benign, but they are only masked by that claim. If you are so into "exposing" or presenting "truth," why not do it with other religious beliefs? I would appreciate an answer to that question. Why only Mormonism? What has it done to destroy the souls of its members? Can you show me a more prosperous (economically/ spiritually/ physically/ psychologically/ philanthropically) religious mainstream organization? I don't mean this to be a "flame," I just can't see a valid justification for what you do.
[Sandra's Note: Just as the LDS missionaries are on a mission to proclaim what they perceive to be true, so we are on a mission to tell people what we believe to be the truth--both in regards to the falseness of Mormonism and the truthfulness of the Bible and Christ. We believe everyone needs to come to a true faith in Christ, Mormons included.
Mormon teachings lead away from the Bible (by saying it has been changed and is not complete) and depend on belief in Smith, his revelations, and temple marriage. This is adding to the gospel of Jesus. Christ paid it all. What more could a sinful person add? Salvation (ETERNAL LIFE) is by GRACE. If a person truly places his/her full trust in Christ and His atonement for eternal life they would realize that they donít need temple marriage. When LDS say a person can go to heaven and be saved but not have eternal life (exaltation) they are changing the gospel.
To be "saved" is to have "eternal life"--the Bible never separates them into two different things as the Mormons do. I do not assume Mormons are saved (have eternal life), I obviously worry that they are not. Otherwise I wouldnít spend all this effort trying to reach them.
Do Mormons really believe they are able to achieve perfection? Are any of them SURE they will get exaltation (godhood)? If not, according to Mormonism, they donít get an eternal marriage, an eternal family or eternal life. It is an endless chase with no hope of getting there. Just look at today--did you do EVERYTHING God wants of you? Eternal life must be on Christís merit, not ours. It must be by grace or we are all lost, since even with the greatest effort we still are not without sin.
Every time a Mormon tells someone they need Mormon baptism, priesthood, temple marriage, in order to get eternal life they are demeaning Christ and his finished work on the cross.
Many LDS people ask me why I donít give this campaign up and just let God sort it all out later. I might ask them the same question. Since Mormons believe almost everyone will go to some level of heaven, why are the LDS missionaries trying to convert people who already go to a Christian church and disrupt their lives? Why not let it go and let "God sort it out."
We are firm believers in freedom of speech. We do not want to stop the Mormons from being able to spread their message. We only ask for the same opportunity.]
Nov. 26, 2000
Hello, I was clicking on some various words on the net and I typed in Book of Mormon. To my suprise I found this interesting site. I am a devout LDS member and to begin with I find your complaints very funny and of course, as always, off of the righteous path. You bring up some points that are as usual, misiterpreted by you and your staff. I deal with people all the time that are anti-mormon and that does not bother me because I have a philosohpy: to begin with if you hate a church so much as to spend your lifes career tearing down other religions, you do have a slight problem. Not with me, but with your Judge, your redeemer, Jesus Christ. Do you think that He would be doing what you are doing or would he be nice? What do you think Sir or Mam? You do remember Jesus Christ saying: "Love your Neighbor" now do you think that you are a true example of this saying? I would love your input. It must be a pretty pathetic life to lead to get your jolly's out of tearing down Jesus Christ. But as the scriptures say: "After my departing, shall grevious wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock" it continues..."men do arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples..." Now I do not think that you would be proud of yourself for this but if you are glad to be a grevious wolf then I suggest some deep repenting. By the way if you did not realize, I just used two verses out of the bible, the new testament to be exact. Now that should be sufficient enough for you to remove the derogetory statement that we do not agree with the Bible yet teach that it predicts the Book of Mormon. Jon Stewart Mils once said " If a truth is a truth, it will always withstand the attacks of lies" I am sorry for you to say that we are still here and are not planning on leaving at all. Now, I do not delight in telling you these things but as Disciples of Christ we are warned that we must watch out for people like you. I am sorry that you have to be part of that group that Luke warns us of. I do love you brother and cannot wait for the day when you realize your mistakes and accept the Lord as your redeemer and be baptized into his church. Just watch, and then you will absolutely fall in love with the Book of Mormon. Always remember what Jesus Christ said through Paul "and he gave some apostles and some prophets and some evangelists and some pastors and teachers..for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ... till we all come in the unity of faith and the knowlege of the son of God. I do hope that you will come to be a part soon.
Love, your eternal brother
Nov. 28, 2000
Sandra, Thanks for speaking so freely w/ my wife and I when we visted your store a few weeks ago. (I'm the guy who bought a couple boxes of stuff + the CD ROM database all at one time!) It's been a real education. I just placed an order for a couple more books that hold interest for me. ...
While I do not approve of many of the tactics used by some people I'd call "anti-mormons", I have come to respect the commitment you and Jerald have to careful scholarship. It bothers me the way the FARMS people have treated you and Jerald in their reviews. Their mocking tone is in-excusable in a forum that's supposed to encourage scholarly debate. If you or Jerald ever slipped and used the kind of language they have in berating you, you guys would never hear the end of it! Even though I understand their point of view, there's still no excuse for the treatment Tom Nibley gave you. I actually wrote an e-mail expressing my disgust, and that's how a dialogue with one of FARMS more notable scholars began. (I found I couldn't speak to many other people about my doubts w/o inspiring panic reactions) My correspondence w/ the FARMS's scholar haven't progressed very far. He sent me an excerpt from a presentation he did on the Book of Abraham supposedly showing that JS was putting forth a "labeling system" in the alphabet and grammar! (ie: the references to degrees etc. were not actual attempts at a grammar, but rather an arcane system for labeling the columns of characters on the Sensen Papyri!) A careful look at his statements leads me to believe that he's completely grasping at straws! Unreal. By his own admission the system only works for the first column, then it's reversed, and then apparently abandoned. The entire thing defies logic when you can see that the degrees when added to different characters simply give more license for interpretation as demonstrated by comparing the different characters in their degrees on successive pages, with their descriptions.
In any case, I've been very disappointed as I've seen the answers available (or lack of them) from this defender of the faith.
p.s. - Have you ever examined the article by Truman Madsen in the Ensign (I believe it's June 1983 but not certain, it's available at lds.org) titled, "BH Roberts - Still witnessing for the Book Of Mormon after 50 years"? I stumbled across this in reading the Roberts Book and reading some things that Truman Madsen wrote in defense of Robert's. Madsen *compeletly* misleads the LDS public in this article by saying that Ethan Smith's "View of the Hebrews" contains only two lose parallels to the BoM (Urim & Thummin Mentioned + Restoration of lost 10 tribes, which point he contends) and in addition, he goes so far as to say that the work is a work of fiction! He calls it "Ethan Smith's novel"!!! This really upsets me. As a member looking for answers I turn to supposed defenders of the faith and find them ducking the issues and obfuscating the truth. Two parallels!! Indeed, there are two + at least 1 dozen more by my count that are too close for comfort. Also, to diminish the book by calling it a work of fiction is more than just carelessness. Madsen wrote the article b/c he was one of the foremost authorities on BH Robert's work, having just completed a lengthy biography on his life. As such Madsen *must* have had access to Robert's work on View of the Hebrews, and even a cursory glance would show that it was a work of serious non-fiction. In any case, just wondered if you'd seen that. Perhaps this kind of thing is commonplace, but I havn't run across it a lot. Perhaps it's b/c I rarely read the ensign and see what apologists are spoon feeding the masses.
Nov. 28, 2000
...Deep down I still wish that the Church was really true. But I'm losing hope everyday.
Nov. 29, 2000
You need SUPER faith to be a Mormon. There is no evidence for the many claims this religion makes. You just have to have faith. Faith is the key issue because once you get this super faith you can be molded into the servant the higher ups always wanted you to be. You will spend your whole life serving this Corp. Joseph Smith learned early that is was much easier to live off the faithful than to do an honest days work. You say I am mean and cruel to say such a thing. You need to read what his father in law said about him. Shhhhhhhhhh. He said that anyone that followed Joe was a dupe soon to be separated from his money. Read it for yourself........Just how much money does a G.A. make??????????? Love to have one of their expense accounts. They only travel 1st class. Work hard Mormons, Your leaders need to live better than the rich and famous, and to think poor Jesus had no expense account or limo and still saved the sinners of the world. Wake up Mormons...
Nov. 29, 2000
Subject: your work is Gods work
Sandra and Jerald,
I stopped by your bookstore last month just prior to closing and Sandra was there, politely waiting while I picked up a hardbound copy of your classic ""Mormonism, Shadow or Reality?" (The other paperback copy I loaned out and never got it back) and other selections. ) The research in this book gave me the empetis to have my name removed from the LDS church in 1999.
While there, I filled my arms with one each of the free "Salt Lake City Messenger" bulletins, not aware of this publication. I have spent the last month reading them and it has reinforced my belief that Mormonism and the BOM is a creation of the 19th century. I too, like Jerald and Sandra, had a hard time letting go of the Book of Mormon, but after reading the bulletins, the doubt has vanished. Your issues #80 and #81 were excellent. During this time 1991-93 I was active LDS, but the Holy Spirit led me to a ex-SLC police investigator who has unraveled much of the occult/satanic influence in the church. You may know of him (_____ ______, Snowville, Utah). My association with him over the years since then has proven out much of your research and conclusions.
Since my wife and children still attend the LDS faith, it has been hard for me to break way and attend another Christian service, so I spend my Sundays studying your documentation. I know my children will come to me some day desiring the truth, and I have been preparing myself to teach them. I used to work at Ricks College as their broadcast engineer, but was terminated - not willing to be 'religiously correct.' I was a model employee, always getting above average performance reviews, but when the church found out I was attending a study group and learning about LDS history, I was terminated. I found my family of eight without income and applied for unemployment benefits through the State of Idaho. The LDS church's most blatant offense occurred when they denied me those state benefits even though the termination was based on religion. I knew enough about the constitution that I retained an attorney (which was very hard) who researched this problem, although this was a first in Idaho. After many denials of benefits, and a final telephone hearing listening to the Ricks/BYU lawyers and to the Ricks College President _____ perjure himself, the case was decided at the Idaho Supreme Court of Appeals in my favor. Unfortunately, my lawyer expenses ate up most of the benefits, but the truth shown through. I see this trend will balloon with other LDS employees as the truth is made known by your good research,...
Interestingly, now my wife works at the College, and she is finding out the strife that exists even in a LDS setting.
Keep up the fine research. I will be sending you a donation. You can print these comments in your bulletin. By the way, please put me on your list to receive the Messenger. I would like to received a few extra copies to deposit around Rexburg so the college students and others can know the truth. I have a desire like you to minister to those good people who are "walking in darkness in full daylight."
Nov. 30, 2000
Subject: Dear friend
As Sons and Daughters of our Heavenly Father, his loves everyone of us and wants each of us to live our lives so that we will return to live with his again.
As a Mormon, I have no doubt that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It has helped to build a testimony that Christ does live. Because of that testimony I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to be the true Church restored back to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. And the Holy Bible confirms that fact.
The Bible teaches of Temple work, the Holy Priesthood, Eternal Life, the Holy Ghost, other Sheep and much, much more. How plan and beautiful the gospel of Jesus Christ is. I don't know if you have ever read the Book of Mormon, but I invite you to do so and pray about it. I would also invite you to talk with the Missionaries from the Church.
One thing I have always noticed about other Churches is that for some reason the feel it necessary to tear down others to make them happy or to look better. You will not find that in the Church. We believe that everyone who believes in Christ has a piece of the truth. That most people are good or try to be. I'm sure you have a believe in Christ. Please share that testimony.
I invite you to instead of using this Web-Site to try tear down, that you would use it to help build that belief in other that Jesus is the Christ. No man has the power to make The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints go away. We have over eleven million members of the Church around the world. Trying to stop the spread of the gospel and the Book of Mormon is like trying to stop the sun from coming up every day. Gods work will forever go on.
I bare my testimony to you that the Book of Mormon is true, that the Bible is true, that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, that we have a living Prophet on the earth today who guides and directs us today, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ Church and do so in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. May God Bless you!
With great love,
Nov. 30, 2000
To whom it may concern:
I am one who loves to search the internet for more information on the Mormon Church. Generally speaking, I fine two types of sites: those that are pro-Mormon and rarely address questions that may embarass the church, and those that are anti-Mormon, those that pick only those topics that seem to be "proof" of error in the Mormon church and pick at peripheral teachings and doctrines.
Frankly, I would be much more receptive to the information your sites provide if you were more factual than pessimistic. As I read through your texts, it really seems like those running the site are angry with the Mormons and are trying to get back.
Further, I don't feel that you are very up front about many things. I see a billowing accentuation of the negative and the pushing away of the positive, frequently making certain teachings or events seem to be more or less than what they probably really were. And honestly, I do not feel like what I read on your sites are what I'd call, "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." It is a God-given right that we should be able to freely express opinions and frustrations and disagreements, but I'd even go so far as to categorize "information" I get from your sites as slanderous.
If you have any questions or would like specific examples, I'm more than happy to respond. But I feel that after reading some source from one of your sites, it is necessary to go to an official Mormon resource where more information that was somehow overlooked (and yet played a key role) is surfaced.
But keep up the investigation and the bringing of Mormon history to light.
Nov. 30, 2000
I want to let you know that your ministry has helped many of my wifeís and I friends who needed help in leaving the LDS church. You will be happy to know that your site alone has turned at lease 9 couples that were in our ward [in California] to the true Christ and gave them strength to leave the church from all its pressures. ...
Anyway, thank you again...Your ministry is in my prayers.