letterstotheeditorsmall.jpg (14279 bytes)

 

December 2001
(Names and Contact Info Removed)


Dec. 2, 2001

Dear Sandra,

I am a Christian woman surrounded by a large devoted Mormon family. And something really strange seems to be going on with the Mormons and I would like your take on the situation.

Very recently, they have prancing around proclaiming that they are "Christians" every other story or sentence I hear now contains references to how "we Christians" would never do this or that. Etc.

So do you have any idea of what is going on with the LDS church?? It is very, very sad that now they are trying to call themselves Christians, but have no clue on what Christianity really means.

Please let me know what your thoughts are on this situation. Thanks...

[Sandra's Note: The Mormons are seeking legitimacy in the world by down-playing their real doctrines and mimicking Christian talk. In order to get more converts they have to keep insisting that they are 'Christian' so people will not just think of them as some strange cult. Seems to be working to some degree. Many are fooled into joining without really knowing what the LDS Church teaches.]


Dec. 3, 2001

Subject: polygamist sentenced to five years of prison

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tanner,

We do thank you for the Messenger Issue of October 2001 (#97). I like to add, ...that when Abraham was promised offspring as many as the "sands of the sea" or "the stars in the heavens", it had to be through one woman not many as the LDS Church are like us to believe, nor was it justified see Genesis. Sorry, it was the UNBELIEF of Sarah that did do it, although he, Abraham was warned not to have intercourse with another woman. For the LORD promised her and him a son. More over she laughed over such a stupidity that an old woman could have child at that age.

Now in this day and age we pay all the price for the foolishness of one woman, Sarah, by terrorists assaults in the streets of modern day Israel. 2 Peoples are fighting over a piece of land of the size of the Netherlands, while the Arabic's have space and the means to give the "Philistines" all what they need. But no, they claim in the Name of the Father that THEY (only) are heirs of this land, while in the Torah and even in the Quoran is mentioned differently, it was promised to Abraham (only) and his offspring through Isaac, Jacob, etc. ...


Dec. 4, 2001

...I am thankful for the gift God has given you and your ability to put it into terms even I can understand. The tools you have provided me, has equipped me to reach my LDS friends and family....During these conversations [with LDS people]...I will read portions of the BofM, D&C, and Pearl of Great Price over the phone. It amazes me that the response I often get is, "That's not what we believe." Sometimes I may get a response, "I'm not sure, but I will get an answer for you." I am thankful I have the opportunity to discuss the Gospel with them. I am thankful for you providing material that allows me to direct intelligent questions.


Dec. 4, 2001

Subject: Unbelievable

I cannot believe how many Mormons write into this site complaining about your non-Christian behavior. If my mind does not deceive me, I was under the impression that "one" of the many good things that a Christian is to do, is to lead others to Jesus and God. If you aren't trying to do that, what are you trying to do? Can they not read your messages?

Hey, all you Mormons, if you were truly Christian, you'd see that's exactly what the Tanners are trying to do. Have you noticed how all the people that write into this web site about leaving the LDS faith are thanking the Tanners for helping them find the "real" Jesus and God? It's not from a burning in the bosom, it's the calmness associated with knowing that one has done right.

It's not a "proud" feeling. It's a sincere feeling that you are on the right path. Very different to the arrogant, pompous belief that helps deliver you to the position of "I can become a god." You should all pray that God give you the wisdom to help you make the necessary decisions in your quest for Him. Not in a quest for a so-called "perfect" church....

Over and over we see letters from MOs attacking your site concerning so-called incorrect facts. Mormon people, wake up. The information that the Tanners have is from your own church history. Check it our yourselves.

My wife checked it out herself before she walked out of the church being a lifelong member. You supposedly only read works from your church.

Well, this information "is" from your church. It's just not talked about by your church leaders because it would cause some of you to question. It is fact. ...


Dec. 4, 2001

Thank you very much. Your ministry is an answer to prayer.


Dec. 5, 2001

Thanks for the info. I perused your website, and I'm confused... why would members of one Christian denomination seek so exhaustively to denounce another Christian denomination? Is there some compelling, ultimate goal in that work? If so, what is it?

[Sandra's Note: The same reason that the Mormons send out 60,000 missionaries a year to get others to join their church. If you feel someone is practicing false doctrine and they need to come to the true faith, you try to persuade them.

If, as we believe, Smith is truly a FALSE prophet then he should be exposed.

For example, if your mother was buying insurance from a very nice salesman, but you had the evidence that the company never paid out a claim, wouldn't you try to show her that she was placing her trust in a false hope?]


Dec. 5, 2001

Subject: A miracle

Dear Gerald and Sandra,

I promised I would write to you and tell you when I finally was free from the Church, I got the letter from the Bishop "freeing me" in July, (sorry it took me so long to write), I was so excited.

The reason I am writing to you now is because the most wonderful thing has happened. One of the missionaries I knew during my membership called me tonight. We haven't talked in about a year.

He told me that he was quitting the Church. He said that he has found out by reading books that the church isn't true. (I told him about your web site and he is going to check it out) He said that he remembered when I was doubting the church and how he had tried to persuade me to stay in, all of the questions I had, made him start to doubt. He said when he got home from his mission he decided to investigate not anti-stuff but church stuff.

He read a book on polygamy written by a member of the church and he was shocked about all of the wives Joseph had. It made him read more and more and the more he read the more he doubted. The more he doubted the more angry at the church he became. He could not believe that he had lived his whole life in a lie. He was so angry. He was afraid I would be angry at him because he had been a missionary and had tried to keep me in. I told him that I would never be angry with him, that I loved him and I had been praying for him to find the truth.

He also told me that his soon to be fiancÚ has also been reading and together they are both going to quit the church. They are also going to move out of Utah so they can get away from the church. He says his parents don't know his feelings, he is not quite ready to tell them, but he knows he wants out and he knows the church IS NOT true.

I guess the reason I call this a miracle, is because like you he is a descendant of one of the "Prophets" and I guess I thought he would be less likely to come away from the church, then I realized God can do anything...even things we don't think are possible. I hope you both have a very joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year! God bless you both and your family too!

Sincerely,


Dec. 6, 2001

Dear Tanners,

I have been wanting to write to you for quite some times. ...Our life experiences and story in and out of the Mormon church stuns people in disbelief in a way that you probably would not be surprised to hear. We have both suffered unmerciful divorces from Mormon fanatics who have managed to keep our children from us (we each have four) with deceit, fraud, violations of our court orders regarding visitation and with their custodial power...

For me, my life's regret has been and will be that I ever got into the Mormon church and born children into it. While my husband does not share exactly that sentiment, our lives have been altered so negatively from [LDS] membership. He was born into it and initially did want to be excommunicated. I was 21 and a naive Methodist ministers daughter when I thought I was missing what a Mormon church bishop promised I would have if I joined them. My turn to the [LDS] church came from being an Osmond fan in my youth.

To make a very long and complicated story as short as possible,... My ex husband is gay, having lived a secret gay life which included over one hundred secret sexual encounters with men until he tried to commit suicide in 1988. This occurred for four years beginning just three years into my temple marriage while I was raising and having my four children. ...When he claimed God forgave him and he was no longer gay, I took him back. The church had a court but only placed him on probation due to the fact that I was willing to take him back. They did tell me, the wife, to never bring up his transgressions again. For five years after that I continued to suffer with his lazy, neglectful attitude and subtle emotional abuse....I decided to leave the church and the marriage....

Obviously we have overcome by the grace of God I am sure. We have tremendous blessings, a good strong healthy marriage....We see our children several times a year, but we still suffer hearing the horrors of abuse and oppressions our children endure at the hands of our former, severely ill minded and hateful ex's. My [current] husband's youngest son was sexually molested by his mother's second husband's son who had been molesting his own sister for years. ...And the courts didn't change custody for that among so many other horrendous abuses we have heard about directly from the children....She has since divorced again subjecting the children to more change....

The good news is that through your selection of books, research and efforts to help people like us, we feel enlightened by truth and can work with our children to provide the truth about the Mormon church....Our lives outside of the church show our children that we can have God's blessings and are not lost souls outside of their church. It has worked for our older two children, both 21. They are now reconsidering whether they want to stay in a church that preys on the weak and deceives them. We are actually excited to have the opportunity to open their minds and it is because of your efforts. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!...


Dec. 6, 2001

Subject: the evil empire yep, it's here. right in your backyard. as they 'hie to kolob' slowly absorb your food sources, acquire all rights to irrigation, and sign a mutual 'no competition agreement' with sam walton (all rights reserved). (hitler's favorite trick) and you're worried about HOW they did it?

maybe it's time to quit worrying about how they did it and start thinking of how you can join them, with the wealth of info you've obtained.

i did not write this. a spiritual force was at work at my computer.

[Sandra's Note: It may have been a 'spiritual force' but from which side?? Did you apply D&C 129 and test the spirit by asking it to 'shake hands' with you? I think you need to anoint your computer.]


Dec. 6, 2001

Thanks for the important and revealing information from your research. It helps a lot, living among the people and organizations that see me as an object for control, to understand the ends and the means.


Dec. 6, 2001

Received the Salt Lake Messenger the other day on Polygamy. Thank you for the information. Always nice when I receive information.

My family are still staunch TBM. I'm the only one out of the family and 116yrs of history that stands alone in my quest to be true to myself and God.

I am Maori and the Mormons say we are cousins of the Native Americans who are Lamanites. What a lot of bunk.

For 38yrs, I believed that, for 38 yrs I was a TBM. now I have been out for 4 yrs and its been awesome. I still have my recovery struggles but is nice to reaffirm why I took the pathway I did.

Thank you Gerald and Sandra for your dedicated work and the intellectual process in referencing all your material and quotes that's the academic side which is so very important unlike the Mormons.

Peace and Tranquility


Dec. 6, 2001

Dear Lighthouse,

Your website is terrific! Its also amazing that anyone is still in the LDS Church after reading the information you've discovered concerning the church. After hearing the truth, those that stay in the LDS Church are determined to do so, with disregard to logic or The Gospel.

Thanks again.


Dec. 7, 2001

Subject: my faith on the Book of Mormon

I am greatly saddend by the material that is contained in this website. In the words of the Dali Lama "We are all of the same pursuing God and His love."

Recently I lost my copy of the Book of Mormon, ...and I honestly wept. Because I bore my soul to that book, felt of its spirit and have gained a testimony in the sacred name of Jesus Christ that it is true....and that to me is a much greater knowledge than that which you have posted in this website. I ask with great concern that you remove this, and promote your own faith, and do not badger another faith.


Dec. 7, 2001

Subject: Curious

As an ex-mormon I have a curious question. Do you ever get tired of hearing the exact same testimony from TBM each month about your "evil web site"? I have read a few months of emails and can freely state that it was very funny how many times I read the exact same illogical argument about, testimony, sincerely praying about the BOM, etc. ...

Happy to be an Ex


Dec. 8, 2001

Subject: Your ministry

Can you find nothing better to do with your time? What a waste of energy and intellect. Why don't you try being a little Christlike yourselves and go out and do good, rather than persecute your fellow beings.

Even if you don't like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, can't you find something positive and more uplifting to do? How sad your life must be, wallowing in hate and anger.


Dec. 8, 2001

Subject: Thanks

Thank you so much for providing all the information you do. I appreciate it immensely!


Dec. 9, 2001

Dear Gerald and Sandra,

I thank God for bringing you out of the Mormon church and your ministry now in exposing their false teachings. Last week I received some articles from Utah Lighthouse Ministry exposing the Mormon Church and the teachings of Joseph Smith.

I must let you know that Mormons are very active in my Country and are growing at a very fast rate. I find your articles to be very helpful in witnessing to Mormons and showing them the errors of their founder, Joseph Smith.

I also have in my library a copy of your book, "The Changing World of Mormonism". It is enough to show the Mormons the errors and false teachings of Joseph Smith and his false prophecies.

It is not easy witnessing to the Mormons but God be thanked for many that have come out and have made it their ministry to witness to the Mormons.

I know there are many people out there who misunderstand your ministry but God knows your hearts desires and I'm sure and praying that the eyes of many will be opened to the TRUTH (THE WORD OF GOD) any Many will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

With all the articles and information i get from Utah Lighthouse Ministry, I will use it to be a witness to the Mormons in my country.

Thank you & God bless you both and I love to hear from you.

On the Victory Side,


Dec. 9, 2001

Subject: My Current Experience

Dear Tanners,

Thank God you exist and so does your ministry. I guess I just need to tell someone about what I am going through. I've been a born and bred Mormon. 6 weeks ago I asked the local bishop to remove my name from church records.

I have had no response--- not from him anyway. I have had a lot of response from church members trying to get me back--- people who never came to visit while I was the church, but who now are given me as an assignment, it seems.

The reason I am writing is this: I know I am doing the right thing--- going to an actual Christian church that even has a crucifix on it's wall and a cross on the outside top of the church. However, there is a small part of me that is terrified.

1.)All the promises I made in the temple,

2.) all of my family members,

3.) whether I really will be deprived of the Holy Ghost when they finally take my name off the church records--- these are the main points that concern me now.

Intellectually I know I am doing the right thing by leaving the church. However, when my older brother left, he felt cursed and ended up killing himself.

HOW DO I AVOID FEELING THEIR CURSE UPON ME?

Thanks,

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for sharing with us. Strength comes with each step we take in our walk with God and TRUTH.

The covenants you made in the temple are not binding before God. He did not ask those things of you. He does not expect us to stay in falsehood, even if we swore to do so. Otherwise, thousands of people trapped in witchcraft and pagan religions could never come out and become Christians.

The church purposely withheld information from you that would have shown you the error of Mormonism. You are not bound by promises made under false pretensions. Since you entered those covenants under the assumption that the church was being honest with you and now you see they were lying, you are no longer bound by the agreement. They already broke the agreement as they did not uphold their end of the deal.

Glad to hear that you are attending a Christian church. I hope you will find strength in your study of His word each day.]


Dec. 9, 2001

Subject: Hi there

Wellllll i was trying to look up the mormon website..and stumbled on yours by accident..

I believe that everyone has a right to freedom of speach.....i have been mormon all my life..and have had many struggles along the way..and some were boughts of my faith and religion...but never once did i turn my back on my heavenly father,or he turn his back on me..or could i ever dedicate my life to try and share with others why i think there religion is wrong...to each his own..and i wouldnt want that on my conscious when i returned to my Heavenly Father..

He gave us the freedom of choice...But to dedicate an entire website on what is wrong with a religion and try and change faiths is not what i was taught...I have friends of all faiths..and love them all..I would never try and make them feel there religion was not the right path or something was wrong with it...I dont know what else to say..But i will bear my testimony..My Heavenly Father loves me and will always support me...Bearing a testimony is not giving an opinion of a religion...its your spirit singing...

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. Since you say "I would never try and make them feel there religion was not the right path or something was wrong with it" I assume you also condemn the Mormon missionary program?

The whole point of Joseph Smith's first vision story and the LDS missionary lessons is to establish that ALL other churches are false and ONLY the LDS Church is accepted by God. As long as the Mormons continue to send out 60,000 missionaries to promote their beliefs, others will continue to counter those claims.]


Dec. 10, 2001

Subject: Just some comments.

Hello,

Having been raised in a broken (Utah) Mormon home, I'm painfully aware of the intolerance and bigotry towards those who do not present themselves in a way that fits the perceived Mormon mold. Now that I'm a single parent, I'm reliving my childhood; I'm subject to the same intolerance and bigotry that I experienced in the mid 1960's.

Faith is sorely tested when subjected to the bigotry of the church. Church doctrine teaches that apostates are engaging in some form evil, but those members who engage in the practice of intolerance are planting those seeds of apostasy in their intended victim.

I believed in the church for many years, despite the pain it brought to me. I was taught that questioning the doctrine or history of the church was "of the Devil" and a sin. I found that keeping me in the faith was to keep me afraid!

I'm offended by the "warm and fuzzy" T.V. commercials produced by the church, which seem to target well functioning middle class families with money (the Mormon mold again).

I've never seen any LDS commercial that targets the drug-addicted teenager or a homeless family on the street for which the need of hope is greater. One has to conclude that the homeless or drug-addicted teenagers have no money, which means no cash flow from tithing.

I can't describe the incredible fear and anxiety I felt when I began to withdraw from my belief in Mormonism. The process is like detoxification from a horrible drug addiction. I don't believe in organized religion anymore, let alone god. Maybe someday that will change.

Sincerely,

Betrayed by my own beliefs.


Dec. 10, 2001

Subject: Thank you for your diligent labors.

Dear Jerald and Sandra,

I have watched you from afar for a good long time, and I have stopped in to purchase items from your bookstore while a member of the LDS church and later, as an "apostate".

You have consistently been generous and (apparently) untiring in providing all who are interested, answers to questions, so as to save them a lot of personal study when a yearning to know something quickly was wanted.

Thank you for all you have done. What a thankless task you have! I hope you feel that your labors have been of great value, for they have been.

How you stayed in Salt Lake City, I may never understand. I cannot live among mormons. I get too confrontational inside.

Let me share with you a personal story. I attended ...High School [in Utah] in1970. I had a Health teacher whose name was P....S....... One day he came to me and said I was failing his class, and that if I would give him $10.00 per grade level, he would alter my grade.

I was shocked. I didn't know that adults were dishonest, especially Mormon adults. Especially an adult who was a teacher. Mr. S......also was a Judge, there in.......Utah. He was married to the daughter of the President of the .......Temple. He was a pillar in the community.

I was just a 17 year old kid who was quite new to the ways of the world. As time passed, Mr. S......... was found out and lost his teaching position and also his position as Judge. He served 6 months in jail, too. This, because when an investigation by a grand jury discovered that he not only received monies from students for grades, but had been taking cash from traffic ticket cases, too. And this, for a long time. (He was able to go home Sundays, so he could attend church with his family.)

Years later, (about 4), I was delivering soft water tanks to the cafeteria on the top floor of the building [that] housed the Utah Education Assn, (I think it was called The University Club Bldg, there on South Temple (at about 250 East). Well, there in the elevator, I was face to face with none other than P....S....... He was presently employed there in the upper bowels of the Utah Education Assn!

Again, I was shocked. He couldn't teach, legally, but he could still dip into the trough. His father-in-law had assisted him financially and socially and in the Church.

This whole circumstance caused a stain on my testimony as a young man. I had supposed that there was integrity in those who served in various Church positions. (As years passed, I came to learn that such was not always the case.)

Delivering those soft water tanks ...brought me into the homes of over 400 residents of the Salt Lake Valley and Bountiful. [LDS President] Harold B. Lee and Freda Joan were also customers. I was once invited to "meet the prophet" in his home one Sunday. I spent about a half hour with him. He showed me his library. He took quite an extensive interest in Egyptology. Perhaps you are already aware of this.

You learn a lot of wondrous things when you go into the basements of people each week or two.... Amazing how much access I had, in uniform, back in the 70's. I saw the fine cars of the General Authorities, and how they were fawned over, as great, special men. I was convinced of that, then, too....

I just wanted to say thank you. You are appreciated by at least one reader, here. As I communicate with Exmo's over the internet, I am pleased to see how extensive your work's influence is. God bless you. Stay warm this winter. Pat yourselves on the back. You are precious.


Dec. 10, 2001

Good Afternoon,

Do you know where I could find a copy of the document read in 1990 to all patrons of the temple explaining that the changes were merely "procedural" and not major doctrinal changes?

Thanks for your help

[Sandra's Note: Sorry, don't have that. It was referred to in an article, "LDS Leaders Revise Temple Endowment" in the Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday, April 29, 1990:

"Sacred ceremonies for the living and dead, performed by faithful Mormons within the walls of the church's temples, have undergone what some view as their most significant changes this century. ...

"The revisions are contained in the 'endowment' ceremony, seen by Mormons as necessary for eventually dwelling with God. Among the changes, women no longer must vow to obey their husbands. And a portion of the ceremony with an actor portraying a non-Mormon 'preacher' paid by Satan to spread false doctrine has been eliminated. ...

"Bruce L. Olsen, managing director of the church's Public Communications-Special Affairs office, said church leaders would have no comment on the revisions because temple ceremonies are considered too sacred for public discussion.

"The changes were not announced to the membership at large, but temple attendees are being read a statement from the governing First Presidency which says the revisions, following long and prayerful review, were unanimously approved by that three-member body and the advisory Quorum of the Twelve Apostles."]


Dec. 10, 2001

Subject: Information on your website

I am a member of the LDS church and have gone through the material on your website. On the surface all these things could appear to be tremendous blunders on the part of the LDS church.

However, when one looks more carefully, with the intent to understand these scriptures, it becomes clear that these teaching are not contradictory.

For example the scripture you quoted from Alma where Ammon is talking about a Great spirit it is his intent to build on common ground or to make reference to something that King Lamoni understood. He knew that King Lamoni didn't understand God but that he did have an understanding of a Great Spirit. He used his understanding of the Great Spirit to teach him about God.

If it is your intent to find out the truth about these scriptures I would be glad to address each issue individually and resolve any concerns that you may have. However, if it is simply your intent to tear down something you don't understand and have no interest in finding the truth then you will not understand these things because you will have not the spirit of understanding. It is my hope that you would try to understand these things that the Lord through the Holy Spirit would reveal the truth of these things unto you as he has me.

Your Brother in Christ,


Dec. 11, 2001

having wasted 15 years in the Mormon Church, it is still hard to live it down....I used to be a Bishop and when I converted to real Christianity, all of my Mormon friends treated me like I was the enemy... I read just about everything I can on the internet just for reasons I can't explain...but I am proud of the work that you do and the knowledge that you must have... thanks for being you...


Dec. 12, 2001

Hi, ...your website is very informative, my Pastor recommended I look here for information about Mormonism. This site has been a real eye-opener... Great job!


Dec. 12, 2001

Subject: Right

To whom it may concern, I have been a "mormon" since by birth. That was 18 years ago. I was baptised when I was eight and am still a mormon today.

I really would like to know where you get your information. You are making false statements about a church that you obviously know nothing about. You seem to claim that you are very well educated about "christianity" and the "mormon chuch."

However, if you really knew anything about the basic beliefs of christianity you would not be making these slanderouse comments about mormons not being christian. I am a mormon, I am a christian. ...Please stop with your lies. Please stop trying to turn people away from the light and the truth. With out the mormon church to support me , I would probably be dead by now. Please, see the light of Christ. ... Please stop passing judgement on a christian religion and a people that you obviously are grossly misinformed about.

Thank you

[Sandra's Note: It is fairly easy for someone to verify our research and we encourage people to do so. Most of the books and material from which we quote are at the University of Utah library, the BYU library, and various other libraries around the country that have collections dealing with Mormonism.]


Dec. 12, 2001

My husband and I have been praying for a few years about being missionaries to Utah. I spent 2 summers in St George and was overwhelmed by the need for truth. We have one more year committed to the church we currently minister in as my husband works towards ordination. Being so far away from the center of America's mormon influence had begun to dull me to the urgency of the need. Thank you for your work that the Lord has used to light His burden fresh in my heart. We would love for you to be praying for us over the next year as we prepare to serve as missionaries to mormons. ...


Dec. 13, 2001

letter 12-13

Hello!...Please continue your excellent work among the Mormons.

I try to write to remind you each year that it was Sandra's talk at the United Church of Christ in Provo about 1976 which gave this poor Methodist-raised kid the pointer to the Gospel.

In diving into God's Word to answer the Mormon arguments I was not only able to withstand the pressure by the LDS at BYU, but was to learn the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, later on and to take him as my Lord & Savior.

During my two years at BYU I took two Bible courses by .......who knew enough Greek to use a Greek NT in class, translating as he went. I pulled straight A's in his class even tho I always sought where Mormon doctrine departed from Scripture (relying heavily on your large book - Mormonism-Shadow or Reality?). Dr......often walked with me to the next class discussing something I had written about. I wish I had been more knowledgeable then in the Word--maybe he could have been reached. This was in 1976-77....

Anyway, I always credit Sandra with the witness to the reliability of God's Word which led me to salvation. God bless you all!

In His love,


Dec. 13, 2001

Subject: Journal of Discourses

Dear UTLM,

I have been in an email correspondence with a Mormon since May. I have finally gotten him to admit that Brigham Young's statement that: "He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost" (Journal of Discourses, vol.1, pp. 50-51) is suspect.

He wrote: "This business about Mary not being a virgin sounds completely foreign to me in terms of L.D.S. church doctrine. If Brigham Young really did say that, I would like to know what he meant by it - thus it probably is out of context to his meaning."

If I can prove to him that Young is teaching that Jesus "was not begotten of the Holy Ghost" in context of his Journal of Discourses teaching, I believe this might put some doubt in his mind. I have read pages 50-53 and it is obvious to me that Young does teach this doctrine and defend it! I would appreciate any corroborating thoughts you might be able to add.

May Jesus' name be lifted up (John 8:32).

[Sandra's Note: You might find our Godhead and Virgin Birth Photos helpful. Also see chapters 7 and 8 in The Changing World of Mormonism and also see Topical Index: View of God--Virgin Birth for more info. The books we reference (such as Journal of Discourses, The Seer, etc.) are in the various libraries here in Utah.]


Dec. 13, 2001

Subject: Nauvoo Expositor Issue

Dear Sir or Madame,

One of the items that you distribute through your very useful site a photocopy of the single issue of the Nauvoo Expositor.

Could you please tell me about the original. Is it in your collection? Is it elsewhere in a public collection? How can the authenticity of this document be verified?

Thank you.

[Sandra's Note: Our copy came from the Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, Ill. There is also an original at the New York Public Library, NY and one at the LDS Church Historical Dept in SLC, UT. Photos of it are in many university libraries that have an LDS collection, such as the University of Utah and the BYU.]


Dec. 14, 2001

Subject: Poelman conference talk 1984

I couldn't find info on your website concerning the Poelman [LDS] conference talk [in 1984] censoring and re-taping. Were you aware of it? It seems like the kind of thing that would show up on your website.

[Sandra's Note: Yes, I am aware of the remaking of his speech. Here is some background on the issue. LDS scholar L. Jackson Newell reported on the revision of Ronald Poelman's LDS Conference talk in an article in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought:

"President Gordon B. Hinckley's recent affirmation that "Fundamental to our theology is belief in individual freedom of inquiry, thought, and expression" is a notable exception (Hinckley 1985). But taken in the context of...contemporaneous statements and actions by other Church leaders, his words appear almost sentimental.

"The rewriting and refilming of Elder Ronald Poelman's October 1984 Conference address, originally a rare and inspiring defense of free agency, so that it became yet another cry for obedience. His text was not edited--his ideas were turned inside out (Fletcher 1985)....Elder Poelman's original address was the most inspiring I had heard in conference in years, an expression of trust in members' ability to act from their own understanding of gospel principles, an open honoring of free agency. ...Finally, as one whose profession it is to generate, protect, and disseminate human knowledge and to safeguard the healthy, systematic skepticism by which this knowledge is refined, I am shocked by recent attacks on that knowledge and on the principles of free inquiry and free expression on which it is based." ("An Echo From the Foothills To Marshal the Forces of Reason" by L. Jackson Newell, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol.19, No.1, p.27-28)

In one of the footnotes to this article, p.33, is a reference to an article in Sunstone Magazine, No. 1, 1985, 'Poelman Revises Conference Speech.' This report includes in parallel format the first and second versions of the speech.

Lavina Fielding Anderson commented on the remaking of Poelman's speech:

"October 1984. Elder Ronald E. Poelman, speaking in conference on 'The Gospel and the Church,' observes 'As individually and collectively we increase our knowledge, acceptance, and application of gospel principles, we become less dependent on Church programs.' This statement, along with many others, is recast in the Ensign version to read 'As individually and collectively we increase our knowledge, acceptance, and application of gospel principles, we can more effectively utilize the Church to make our lives increasingly gospel centered.'

"Elder Poelman, though not the first general authority to have his talks edited, becomes the first to retape his talk to make it consistent with the video version that is sent to the foreign missions and for the historical archives. His retaping is complete with a cough track to make it sound as if an audience is present." ("The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology" by Lavina Fielding Anderson, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol.26, No.1, p.23)]


Dec. 14, 2001

Dear Tanners

Thank you so much for your much needed ministry. Please accept the enclosed gift to help to reach those deceived by the LDS.

I have been witnessing to my very devout Mormon friend....from Washington DC. Please pray for her to leave the LDS for a true relationship with the Biblical Jesus.

You and your ministry are in my prayers.


Dec. 15, 2001

I was wondering what type of information do you have regarding Mormons in comparison to Muslims. The reason I had was to see if Mormons count as "People Of The Book" which we as Muslims say are the Jews and Christians. But do Mormons count as "Christians" and hence being part of the people of the book?

Thank you for your time and help...by the way I have read "Mormonism: Shadow or Reality". It was very impressive and interesting.

[Sandra's Note: We sell a booklet called Joseph Smith and Muhammad by Eric Johnson.

The regular Christian community does not recognize Mormonism as being a legitimate part of Christianity, mainly due to its polytheism and the belief that God, men and angels are all the same species.

Mormonism states that God was once a mortal on some other world and after diligent effort achieved the status of a god. He supposedly has a wife, father, a grandfather, mother, in-laws, etc. He works under the supervision of his father-god, who in turn works under the supervision of his father-god. Thus they believe in countless gods, all running other worlds out in the universe. (See: Joseph Smith's King Follett Sermon)

Mormons say they are not polytheists because they only PRAY to one God, but that is putting a very fine point on it. Their belief in multiple gods, a god who started out as a mortal and earned the right to be a god for this particular world, who has a higher god ruling over him, is not the God of the Bible (or Koran for that matter).]


Dec. 16, 2001

In debating LDS on the Word of Wisdom, I came across an interesting possibility of the source of Smith's "revelation."

Sylvester Graham invented the Graham Cracker in 1829, 4 years before Smith had his "revelation." Also in '32, Graham gave a series of lectures in NY state advocating abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and promoting vegetarianism.

Smith's claptrap was revealed the next year. I hadn't seen this connection before and wondered if you had considered this possibility.

Smith was not averse to claiming other people's notions for his own.

[Sandra's Note: Numerous writers have looked at contemporary sources for Smith's Word of Wisdom. Writing in 1979, N. Lee Smith commented:

"Joseph also reported, from the golden plates, that Nephite fevers had been cured by 'the excellent quantities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases' (Alma 4640). And Latter-day Saints as well, Joseph revealed, were advised by the Lord that "whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild food" (D&C 42:43). Through the Word of Wisdom he added that "tobacco is ... an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill ... all wholesome herbs hath God ordained for the constitution, nature and use of man" (D&C 89: 8,10). While the latter reference is more in the context of foods than herbal remedies, it is clear that Joseph believed that God had endowed the earth with plants having healing capacity.

"By the 1830s, the Popular Health Reform Movement also had spread from New England to Ohio. While not, strictly speaking, herbalist, this crusade had many advocates and ideas in common with the botanical approach. Spearheaded by Sylvester Graham (of Graham cracker fame), Ellen G. White, and later the Kelloggs and C. W. Post, the Popular Health movement condemned (as did prominent herbalists) the use of alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, opium and artificial stimulants. Excessive meat eating was condemned and grains encouraged. Enthusiasm for the reforms was high in Ohio, and in 1833, Joseph's inquiry of the Lord led to confirmation of the validity of several. The wording of the Word of Wisdom frequently parallels that of Health Reform tenants. In addition, there were other reformist (and often herbalist) health guidelines in Sections 89 and 88124 ('cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated')." (Herbal Remedies God's Medicine? by N. Lee Smith, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol.12, No.3, p.40, 1979)

For further reading, see:


Dec. 17, 2001

Hi Sandra

I'm doing a report about your ministry and just have a couple of simple questions. What year did you start the ministry and what year did you first publish "Mormonism-Shadow or Reality?"

Thanks

[Sandra's Note: Our first book, although not the first item we printed, was Mormonism: A Study of Mormon History and Doctrine in 1963.

That same year we set up the publishing/printing company Modern Microfilm Co. In 1964 we brought out an enlarged edition called Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? printed by Modern Microfilm Co. This was enlarged again in 1972 and 1982. In 1983 we closed out the business and set up as a non-profit organization, Utah Lighthouse Ministry. An enlarged edition of Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? was published by Utah Lighthouse Ministry in 1987.]


Dec. 17, 2001

...I purchased your book Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? in about 1980 and found it to be very helpful to me as I was a young Christian (in my 20's) working in a small Mormon-owned business.

At the time my faith was being greatly challenged by the Mormons around me. Your book and some others, along with the aid of my father (a Christian pastor) helped me greatly to maintain my faith. Much appreciation...for the materials sent to me.


Dec. 18, 2001

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I just wanted to drop you a quick note, saying how much I appreciate your work in defending the faith. I know there are many who question your motives, but I'm not one of them.

I know you are doing as the Bible calls us to do, in earnestly contending for the faith. ...please keep up the good work.

Yours in Christ,


Dec. 18, 2001

...Thanks for your web page,... I have had my name removed from [LDS] membership recently.


Dec. 18, 2001

Does your organization realize that sexual abuse is a GLOBAL problem within the walls of many churches and orgaizations and not just confined within the LDS church? It is simply a result of the times that we live in...Your articles and information is shallow and twisted, just like the people running this organization. ...

Your references to Tom Green and other affiliates are completely unnecessary and unrelated to the LDS church. Many times the LDS church has denounced any relation to people like him. ...

Your oganization is completely ignorant and shallow and your "lighthouse" is pointing light in the wrong direction, misleading people in shock value literature that is manufactured for ignorant people to feast on.

Don't think for a second that you will succeed against the LDS church in your lifetime or that you will not be accountable for your actions in your individual judgement... I testify that day will surely come that you will plead with the lord to have mercy on your soul when you realize that you have forsaken god and truth.

Shame on the Tanners for forsaking the experiences that have been given to you within the LDS church....You have been sorely mislead and the happiness you have come across will not extend past this world.


Dec. 18, 2001

Subject: Support of men becoming gods

Sandra,

Mormons often quote Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, as indicating that men can become gods. I believe that this quote is out of context. They also neglect the teachings of Irenaeus on apostolic successsion which would refute apostasy. Do you know the proper context of St. Irenaeus comments? Where could I find them?

[Sandra's Note: There is a good discussion of this in Mormon America: The Power and the Promise, ch. 18, 'How God Came to be God' by Ostling. The Ostlings point out that the early church fathers statements on deification are not to be construed to mean God and man are the same species. They were not teaching that God was ever human. Irenaeus taught "God is always the same and unbegotten" and that God "alone is uncreated." Irenaeus was not teaching that God was once a man who progressed to godhood. They quote one cleric as saying "in theosis the saints participate in the grace, power, and glory of God, but they never become God by essence."

Others have done articles on this in the past. Christian Research Journal, Winter/Spring 1987-8, 'Ye Are Gods? Orthodox and Heretical Views on the Deification of Man' by Robert Bowman; Christian Research Journal, Fall 1992, 'A Summary Critique Are Mormons Christian?' by Gordon Lewis, and 'Reasoned Answers to tough Questions' by Norman Geisler (same issue). Their web site is www.equip.org.

Also, contact Alpha & Omega Ministries for their work on this, www.aomin.org.]


Dec. 18, 2001

Mr. And Mrs. Tanner.

I've really enjoyed examining your website, and think it provides valuable information to the LDS community and the world at large. However, I was surprised to learn that you had both joined a Protestant church after leaving the LDS church. I am curious to know why didn't you become deists or agnostics once your eyes were opened? Do either of you presently feel that you should rely on your own experience and empirical evidence as the basis of your worldview, or do you both merely continue to place your faith in what feels good? I don't mean to sound as if I am making an attack, instead I really want to understand why anyone who has been once burned wouldn't be twice shy when it comes to relying on the unverifiable religious claims of others for the answers to the questions daily posed to us by the miracle of our own existence. If you reject a religion on a rational basis, but then accept another on a 'faith' basis, haven't you just played a shell game with your psyche?

Inquisitively,

[Sandra's Note: Your email implies that anyone who accepts the existence of God must be doing so purely on emotion, devoid of rational thought. I disagree.

Joseph Smith claimed to translate authentic historical documents. Yet there is no evidence that Nephites or Lamanites ever existed and clearly he invented his 'translation' of the Book of Abraham. However, there are Israelites, there is a Jerusalem. Hebrew and Greek are real languages. An unbeliever could argue that parts of the Bible are unsupported by other historical texts, but one cannot argue that Israel never existed. Christianity has a historical base.

As to your basic charge, I could just as easily say how could anyone look around at all that exists and doubt there is a creator.]


Dec. 18, 2001

Subject: The Ether Genealogies

Sandra and Jerald:

Do you know whether anyone has done any in depth analysis of the genealogies presented in the Book of Ether?? A causal review of the genealogies in Ether shows 26 generations from the time the Jaredites left the old world until they were destroyed.

Looking at the genealogy of Christ in the New Testament, the generations from Christ to Babylon were 14, the generations from Babylon to David were 14, and the generations from David to Abraham were 14 -- for a total of 42 generations. Further, Genesis records a number of generations from the Tower of Babel to Abraham. Given the time span between the Tower of Babel and the demise of the Jaredities, as well as the Book of Mormon's record of only 26 generations during this time, each of the Jaredite patriarchs would have had to have been over a 100 years old when the next heir was born. It all seems a little too incredible.

Sincerely,

[Sandra's Note: Don't know of a specific study on this. The book, New Approaches to the Book of Mormon, has a chapter on the problem of population growth.]


Dec. 19, 2001

hey - while you were so busy "disproving" the LDS church, you forgot all the other religions. What about Buddhism - don't you want to dispute their faith as well?

Do you really truely believe that this is what our Heavenly Father wants you to spend your life doing - bashing another religion?


Dec. 19, 2001

Dear Sandra & Jerald

Just a little note to thank you for all the work you have done to inform people of the error in Mormonism....

In Jesus Precious Love,


Dec. 19, 2001

Dear Editors:

It really dissapoints me to see that there are people out in the world(such as yourself) that can find nothing to do with there lives but sit around and try to find fault in a religion that they obviosly don't understand or can comprehend.

YOu people are hypocrites and liars and I'm ashamed of YOU!!! I'm sure god is also. YOu are not doing anything productive by this web page so why have it up? It's funny how everyone attacks mormans yet do you see them attacking judaisim or any other religion????? Are we a threat to you or what??

I was babtized a morman and only wish that I could be holy enough to actually feel like one!!!If I were to say I was one then I would be a hypocrite (like yourselves)

Anyway have you ever been to the temple??? or are all of your accuasations just by here say!!!!

[Sandra's Note: While Jerald and I never went through the endowment ceremony, many of our friends and family have and have discussed it with us. We have also listened to tape recordings of both the 1984 and 1990 version of the endowment ceremony. Mormon scholars do not charge us with putting out a false transcript of the ritual. They may disagree with our assessment of the origins of the ceremony, but not the text.]


Dec. 20, 2001

Sandra,

I wanted to thank you for your web site and all the detailed information on Mormonism.

I wrote a term paper called Mormonism: From God or Man? for my World Religions class at college. I used your site as well as a couple others to find documentation for the paper. The professor said my points were made very well he was impressed with all the references and he hadn't seen that thorough of a paper for quite a long time. I received a 40 out of 40 possible points.

Thank you again for your ministry.


Dec. 23, 2001

Tanners--

Thank you so much for your diligent research and your ministry. My wife was able to come out of Mormonism (this happened prior to our engagement six years ago) due to God using your ministry and also CRI. Thank you for making an eternal difference in so many lives!


Dec. 23, 2001

Just wanted to say thanks for the great job you are doing.

May God continue to bless you and Merry Christmas.


Dec. 23, 2001

Subject: my sympathies to you

I'd just like to tell all of the people associated with your website that I'm sorry. I just felt the desire to expess my sympathy to you & your opinions on "mormonism". I feel the desire to express this to you because I'm only 17 years old & I know the truth about where we're going after this life, why we are on this earth, & I belong to the only true church on the face of this earth. I feel sorry for those of you who are undoubtedly older than myself & still don't know the truth. I just wanted to express my deepest symathies to you in regards of what you (apparently) once had and gave up. I can only hope you find your way back.

Sincerely,


Dec. 24, 2001

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Tanner:

Most certainly you either seem to know for a surety that your writings are true, or you obviously have a vengeance against towards LDS doctrine.

I have two thoughts that cross my mind when reading your literature. First, why do you seemingly waste your time with such matters? Secondly, when you do die, as we all will. Do you really feel that Christ will look upon you with gleam & praise you? I think not! He taught principles of love towards ALL. You're overwhelmingly doing the opposite.

So, simply worded, I feel sorry for you. Cutting down others is the exact opposite of what he taught. I think he'll with sadness look upon you and wonder why you squandered away your earthly probation with frivolous negativity towards you fellow man.

Anyhow, someday I sincerely (And I do mean this) do hope you find a way to feel peace and serendipity. Not just here & now, but at the judgement bar of Christ. ...

Cordially yours,

P.S.: I'll never change your beliefs. But also, You'll sadly never likewise be likely to change others. It's a simple universal concept of life. You someday may well wake up, only to find you've wasted your months & years in frivolity!


Dec. 24, 2001

I left the LDS Church 3 years ago (praise the Lord) and have been performing research for the last 3 years. You both have provided a wealth of information backed up by references. Thank you for bringing the truth to millions. I have worked with many LDS people who still refuse to "investigate" their own faith. God bless you both.


Dec. 26, 2001

Dear UTLM,

My wife and I have supported you for years and are most thankful for your life's work. We recently moved to Iowa, right across the river from Nauvoo.

I am ex-mormon and will retire in two years from the Navy and intend to go into full time ministry to mormons in the area we have moved to. ...


Dec. 27, 2001

Subject: JS/Wives/Children

I am desperately seeking a list of Joseph Smith's wives and children in my quest to get my spouse out of the LDS church. Any resources would be greatly appreciated.

Bless You,

[Sandra's Note: The most current book on this is In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, by LDS scholar Todd Compton. He gives a biographical sketch of each of Smith's 33 plural wives, a number of whom already had living husbands. Some wives were teenagers.

Another important book on Smith's polygamy is Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Linda Newell and V. Avery. This is a biography of Smith's wife and, among other issues, explains her struggles with polygamy.

While we carry these titles, they can also be ordered from the LDS owned book store, Deseret Book, here in Salt Lake City, UT. (Phone 801-328-8191)

Also we can make photos of a short list of his wives which includes statements by some of his various wives and friends about his practice of polygamy, from the book 'Historical Record' (done by LDS Historian Andrew Jensen in 1887) for $2 plus $2 shipping.]


Dec. 28, 2001

hey listen here you. how DARE you write false things about the Prophet Joseph Smith. Have you ever prayed and asked GOD if Joseph Smith was a Prophet, by the look of things i guess not!

whats the point of trying to prove the mormons wrong? do you really have nothing else going on in your life? you can try, but you'll never prove us wrong. you can't. you need to quit being so bitter.

the church will still accept you if you will repent. you must repent of your wrong doings. otherwise a fierce judgement will be in store for you. .... we know that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of GOD and was called to restore the TRUE CHUCH to the earth in the last dispensation. pray about it and youll recieve your answer but pray sincerly with FAITH in CHRIST. by the power of the HOLY GHOST you may know the truth of all things.


Dec. 29, 2001

Subject: baptism by proxy

When a non mormon has been baptised after death by a relative, does their name go on record within the church. If so, how do we remove it?

[Sandra's Note: Sorry, there is nothing you can do to stop the Mormons from listing your dead relative in their genealogy files. The dead relative would not be a part of the count of 11,000,000 live Mormons. But he/she would have a file showing when someone did his/her baptism for the dead and temple work. You could write a letter of complaint to the LDS Church, or to the editorial column of your local newspaper, but there is no process for removing this entry.]


Dec. 30, 2001

Subject: Qualification(s) to become a "Bishop" in the LDS Church

To whom it may concern: Unable to find, contained in your site material, answer to above subject. The location of the subject matter on your site would be helpful. Find your site informative. Thank you in advance:

[Sandra's Note: A man does not seek this position. The Stake President picks the new bishop. The bishop (head of a local LDS congregation) is chosen from one of the active men in the ward and serves an indefinite term (usually around four years). He would have been married in the temple and a full tithe payer. If he is not already a High Priest in the Melchizedec Priesthood, he would be made one at the time of becoming the Bishop.]


Dec. 31, 2001

...I was reading in omni and mosiah [in the Book of Mormon] and was stumbling through some confusion with who was alive during certain time lines. It seems to me that either some of the characters lived a very long time or others were living very short lives. Anyway I am wonder if you have created any graphs to show the time reference errors? thanks,

[Sandra's Note: Sorry, don't have one. But the chapter 'Multiply Exceedingly Book of Mormon Population Sizes,' in New Approaches to the Book of Mormon, shows many of the population-growth problems.]


Dec. 31, 2001

Sandra,

...I [have] a question about the "history" that is referred to in the Preface to the History of the Church, and ...the various histories that were written by (as best I can recall) John Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery and possibly even Joseph himself, among others. ...I have not seen any other discussion of them anywhere.

If you could tell me ...of the various histories and where they fit together time wise, as well as where I can find copies of them, I would be very grateful....Thank you for your efforts in behalf of the truth....

[Sandra's Note: Here is a short list.

1831--Joseph Smith gave a revelation that John Whitmer, one of the eight witnesses to the Book of Mormon, to keep the history of the church (see sec. 69 of the D&C). Whitmer's short history covers from 1831 to 1838. We sell a copy of this, John Whitmer's History.

1832--Joseph Smith started his personal history. This is included in An American Prophets Record.

1834--Oliver Cowdery, with the help of Joseph Smith, published the first history of Mormonism in the LDS paper Messenger and Advocate, vol. 1, no.3, Kirtland, OH. We sell a reprint of the three volume Messenger and Advocate.

1838--Smith started working on his official history, but did not complete it. Smith began printing it in serial form in the Times and Seasons but had only covered about 40% of his life. The rest was compiled after his death, in Utah, using various diaries and newspapers, then edited to make the entries appear to be in Smith's own words. The history was also printed in the Millennial Star, in England, then reprinted in the Deseret News, during Brigham Young's time. It was published in the 6 volume book form in 1907 (volume 7 covers Brigham Young), some editing has been done since then. It is on the LDS CD-ROM 'GospeLink 2001.'

1853- Joseph Smith's mother, Lucy Smith, published her history of the family, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations. We publish a reprint of this under the title Joseph Smith's History by His Mother. Also see Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir.]


Go to Letters to the Editor: Main

Go to Online Resources

 

Home | FAQs | What's New | Topical Index | Testimony | Newsletters | Online Resources | Online Books | Booklist | Order/Contact | Email | Other Websites