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July 2001
(Names and Contact Info Removed)

July 1,







July 1,

Subject: "Lost Books" of the Bible

God bless you in the name of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ! I am having a particular problem finding comprehensive information regarding the supposed "lost books" of the Bible that Mormons claim are "proof" the Bible is incomplete.

[Sandra's Note: There is a good chapter on the formation of the Bible and the supposed lost books in The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism. See also the chapters on the Bible in Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons. Also see our book, Mormon Scriptures and the Bible.

IF these supposed writings were of such value why hasn't the LDS Church restored them? They use the same list of Bible books that we do.

In fact, when Smith did his 'inspired translation' of the Bible he didn't add any of these 'lost books.' His bible was actually a book shorter. He eliminated Song of Solomon. So even by Smith's standard, these books must not be important.]

July 1,

Subject: _____ in Spanish Fork, Utah just saying hello! Looking at your web site!

Hi there! Great web site and very informative I might say! ...I live here in Spanish Fork, Utah and work in Provo.

I am a born again Christian and have been a Christian since I was 16 years old. I moved up here to Utah from Southern California back in November or 1994 looking for work. I use to attend Tetelestai Christian Center in Torrance, California where the well known Christian book author Hal Lindsay taught before I moved up here.

I now attend the Sunday morning services at the Salt Lake City Calvary Chapel whenever I can make it although it has been a while since I have attended church. I am a 50 year old single guy and at times feel awkward attending church being single at my age!

Anyway, I am sure I am looked down upon by the LDS community for first of all not being LDS then not being married at my age and having children. I can kind of sense that feeling at work as a big percent of the employees are LDS and they know that I am not married, not LDS, etc. etc. Anyway, I just get that feeling! But I am suppose to love these people in Christ!

There must be another Christian in my company as I keep finding these Chick cartoon type gospel tracts in the men's bathroom at work! One of these days I'll find out who it is! I know the church where the tracts came from however as the name of the church and address is printed on the back. I used to attend that church for a while a few years ago when I first moved here. That employee perhaps does not know that I am also a Christian. I know some companies get pretty upset with that kind of stuff! You know, depositing gospel tracts, Christian posters, etc. But, hey, that's cool that this guy is doing that! I guess I am too chicken or not bold enough to do something like that!

You have a lot of interesting things posted on your web site on the topic of Mormonism and their doctrines and beliefs. I am sure these will be good to research and to compare many things with the truth in God's Word. When I first moved up here, a friend of mine loaned me a book written by John Ankerberg and John Weldon entitled, "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Mormonism" Anyway, I learned quite a bit going through that book as well as some other literature I have picked up. I am sorry to hear about the Law Suit situation, but, I am sure it is all in God's hand! Anyway, keep up the good work on the web site!

July 1,

Subject: ex-communication

Is it true you were ex-communicated from the LDS Church for commiting adultry two times?

[Sandra's Note: No, it is not true. I think you have us confused with someone else.

Jerald and I were both questioning Mormonism as teen-agers. When we met we started studying together. When we married we both felt that the LDS Church was wrong but we still were believers in the Book of Mormon. We had read David Whitmer's pamphlet An Address to All Believers in Christ where he presents his arguments that Smith was a fallen prophet but the Book of Mormon was true. Over the next two years we continued to study the Book of Mormon claims and came to the conclusion that it, too, was an invention of Smith's.

We ASKED for our membership to be terminated, but our bishops (from the wards we were in before we were married) turned around and excommunicated us for apostasy. It was like going into your boss and saying you quit but he writes on the papers that he fired you.

But there was NO MORALS charge made. The letters to and from our bishops can be read at the back of our book, Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? If you want to hear more of the details, get my tape, Sandra Tanner Tape No. 2.]

July 2,

...I've met Bill McKeever as he lives fairly close to me, and we attend the same church as well. He's a great Christian, and his book, Mormonism 101, is very good and informative.

The ten or so books I recently purchased from you have certainly opened up a new dimension of my understanding of Mormonism. Thank you so much for being so faithful to the Lord's ministry of reaching Mormons for Christ. Keep up the good work, and God bless you and your husband, and staff.

July 3,

Hi, the exegesis on Mormon basics is first rate so thanks for sending it to me. The web of confusion and deceit, I would say, is an inherent part of the Mormon Church. The Bible says Lucifer is the father of lies. In contrast, Jesus is 'the way and the truth and the life' (John 14:6) Thanks again,


July 3,

The things I have seen on this web site sadden me very deeply. but I am not angry with you, I do not seek the demise of your beliefs. I refuse to destroy the beliefs that others so cherish. whatever that belief may be.

I love America. I love the freedom in which we live. I love the freedom of speech which we have and I know that must be important to you too. I choose to use this freedom to build up my fellow man, to further the cause of our God. Join with us in our fight against pornography and child sex abuse and in all other worthy causes to denounce all unrighteousness. Why work against each other when we can work with each other?

I love Jesus Christ and His teachings and I strive to follow them. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet and that he indeed saw God and Jesus Christ. And this where you or any body else may say "PROVE IT" but I cannot. I cannot show you facts or evidence of how I know. and I wish this text could convey how I feel. all I can say is best wishes in all that you do may the Lord bless all of us in the beliefs we choose to follow.

your friend,

July 4,

During a past visit to Salt Lake City I had the pleasure of visiting your store front.

While I am not nor have never been LDS, as an evangelical christian I am horrified at the severe mis-interpretation and doctrinal differences that the LDS claim to be the "one true church".

I purchased several of your books; The Ins and Outs of Mormonism, Mormonism—Shadow or Reality?, and Mormon Claims Answered. These publications are extremely good and I have used them in my own awareness teachings and have helped others in their teachings and ministries with these as guides.

Thank you very much, you provide an very important ministry for the body of Christ and to those LDS who begin to realize that it is not the personal God, our Creator that they have put their faith in....

July 5,

UTLM: Thank you for your website. I have been in a two month long email debate with a Mormon, and have been able to use quite a bit of material off your site. The extensive material you provide is amazing. I have been able to counter just about all of his challenges...God bless your ministry!

July 5,

Subject: Ann-Eliza Webb

My wife and I are born again believers. I have been aware of and have appreciated your labors for some time. We just obtained a copy of Wife No. 19. As it turns out, my wife's great great grandfather, Edward Webb, was Ann-Eliza Webb Young's cousin. She was Brigham Young's 27th wife. We noticed that none of the web sights give the date of her death. We were curious as to how and when she died. We are only a few chapters into the book, and have found it fascinating. We would appreciate any help that you could give us concerning her.

Thank you,

[Sandra's Note: Irving Wallace, in his book The Twenty-Seventh Wife, p.380-386, relates that she was alive in 1908 but seems to have dropped from public view after that. No one has been able to find any reliable information on her after that year.]

July 6,

Subject: God Bless ya'll for the work you do...

I am a former mormon in Texas. I just finished reading Fanny Stenhouse's Tell It All and got on line to look something up when I came across your web site. I hope to visit your store if I am ever in Salt Lake.

Many Blessings to you and your ministry....

July 6,

Dear Jerald and Sandy,

Great website! I am ministering to some LDS missionaries. I have learned that despite all I say and valid arguments presented to them, there is great, great blindness. More than anything, I need the Holy Spirit's filling and the power of prayer. Please join me and pray for my efforts as a fight with the powers of darkness for the souls of these men.

Prayer requests:

  1. Darkness lifted and the Great Light of Jesus appear in their minds
  2. Protection for me and my family
  3. For them to know that Joseph Smith is a false prophet
  4. For more LDS souls to be affected as a result of their seeing
  5. Christ's love and patience

I love them and want them to see the true Jesus and Heavenly Father who loves them more than I. ...

Yours in our Beloved Messiah,

July 6,

... Thank you so much for your wonderfully informative website. I will use it much to try and get my parents to see the truth about Mormonism.

July 6,

I am trying to read all that I can -both on the web and from printed material provided .... There is so much to learn about this cult of mormonism - I just can't believe how gullible they are.

Keep up the good work - your on-line newsletters have been a great help to me....

Again, thank you for all of your help.

Most sincerely,

July 8,

Subject: A sincere question.

I ask you to forgive me for taking your time by writing a long-ish email, but I would like to ask for your assistance in learning as much as possible about the Church.

First, just a little background about me and my tie to the Church: Two years ago I was near death in the intensive care unit ...I was kept in a narcotic coma for a month and a half, ...As I was coming out of the coma, I heard a voice tell me: _____, you're being given a second chance. Go to the first church with "Jesus Christ" in its name, and join yourself and your family to that church....

Later, after I had regained the ability to speak and to think more clearly, my wife _____ came to me with a request. She said, "I know we have been looking for a church and I really think it's time for us to join one - it would be good for us and good for _____." (_____ is our son, now 7 years old). "I've been going to church with some people, and I'd like your thoughts about joining it." I asked her what church she wished us to join. "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" was her response. Much to her delight and confusion, I responded that we should go ahead and join (she was confused because I had been so picky about the churches we had investigated...).

So, I had the discussions in the hospital, and I and ..... were baptized shortly after my release from the hospital. We've been members almost two years now, and we are taking the temple-ready classes with an eye toward visiting the Temple and getting the endowment and sealing in August.

I must admit that we've been well-blessed - I'm still out of work on disability, yet we were able to purchase our own home in a nice neighborhood when it seemed as though that could never happen.

But, I've had a lot of questions. Some things have been explained to me, and some haven't. I'm not a good "blind faith" believer, and it's hard for me to just accept things with no good reason. Some things are small: I don't care about coffee, but I do miss my iced tea, and I'd like to know what's bad about iced tea. Some things are large: How in the world can all of these long-dead souls without descendents in the Church have a real chance to attain the Celestial Kingdom? How does sealing work when families become so cross-wired and intermingled due to death and remarriage, adoption, etc.? If Joseph Smith only translated a part of the gold leaves, when do we get the remainder of the Gospel? And where are the leaves today? Are today's prophets to be considered as holy as Joseph Smith, and if so, why aren't their words being added to the D&C?

If you have any insight for me, I'd really appreciate it. I feel like I'm being pulled along by a strong current (_____ would rather that I believe without thinking) and I don't know whether to fight that current or just let it take me where it will. I'm baptizing my own mother this afternoon...

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. I am glad to hear that you are a serious seeker of truth and wanting a right relationship with God. Unfortunately, Mormonism isn't the answer. The Bible gives us ways to see if any man is truly a prophet, test his teachings with the Bible, not through prayer alone. Our feelings can too easily lead us in the wrong direction.

If you will spend some time at our official web site www.utlm.org, look at Online Resources, you will find Mormonism is much more complicated than the missionaries presented. You can read our book, The Changing World of Mormonism on our web site. Another complete book on our site is Mormon Claims Answered.

The temple ceremony is an outgrowth of Smith's involvement with Masonry. He took the same secret handshakes, passwords and symbols into his ritual. It isn't about praising God, but working toward your own eventual godhood, where you and your wife will have millions of spirit babies born to you so you can populate your own world. Then you get to be the god for that world.

Read the articles on our site:

Smith was originally involved in magic, then switched to claiming visions, then started his own church. He gave numerous revelations, then later rewrote them. He changed his doctrines over the years from believing in one God to many Gods, monogamy to polygamy (which is still in the D&C. Have you read Sec. 132? Do you realize Smith was marrying already married women and teenagers in the name or God, but lying to his wife about it?).

Today's LDS scriptures have been edited from the originals. We sell photo copies of the originals, see our booklist. You brought up a good point, where is the current revelation in the church? What has changed? Are the teachings of Brigham Young just as valid as the teachings of Joseph Smith or Gordon Hinckley? Why not, if they were/are all prophets with the same priesthood authority? Brigham Young (who is my great-great-grandfather) taught some pretty strange things that they don't talk about today. Was he then a false prophet?

The Mormons are nice people but they have been lied to by their leaders. They don't realize how the truth has been kept from them. I hope and pray you will take a second look and see that the God of the Bible is not the God of Mormonism.

My prayers go with you and your family. In your search let truth, not comfort, determine your choices.]

July 8,

Subject: Utah is a bizarre and amusing place to live

Dear Jerald & Sandra: I came to Utah from Northern California in 1994 and have lived across the nation as well as overseas. I have never found a place (other than the Middle East), where the issue of religion is as ridiculous - and amusing - than the Beehive State. I was brought up in Catholic schools as a child overseas. As I grew older, religion became one of my least worries, and it became unimportant. There are so many things to fix in our world - the poor, the hungry, wars, disease - that it became evident, at least to me, that service to "God" is being of service to those among us in despair, not "service" to a particular "church." Growing up in predominantly Catholic countries, whether I attended Mass or any other acts of the Catholic Church or not never was an issue. Not with my family. Not with my friends. Not with the Priest - a close family friend. Not with my girlfriends. Not with school officials. No one really cared. Religion was and is seen as an issue of personal choice and preference, nothing else. I commend you and your work for the search - and the broadcast - of the truth.

Keep the good work with the knowledge that you are not alone.

July 9,

Dear Jerald and Sandra Tanner,

I'm 55 years old and was reared in the church. Two months ago I had some extra time so I started to study the origins of the Freemasons. I read the book "Born in Blood" and then stumbled onto some anti-mormon websites. Needless to say the past two months have been very enlightening but disappointing for me because of my lack of energy to research my own religion that has controlled my life. ...

My sister left the church five years ago because she just couldn't believe what the church was teaching. She has never read any anti-mormon literature. My wife, a catholic Mexican American, joined the church when we got married because it was a condition I set for her. She no longer wants to be involved with the church.

I'm in transition with the church and your information has been very valuable to me. To think I spent 55 years in a religion that I never took the time to research. Fear and guilt has controlled my life. I'm so upset with myself for never taking the time to explore the history and doctrines of the church. Culture, fear, guilt, and ignorance has keep me a faithful believer for to long.

I have one of your books and the one Brodie wrote but being the good mormon I was, I never have opened them because you guys were possessed by the devil and were telling lies to stop the work of the Lord! Well just from what I've read about you and Brodie you all seem to be pretty nice folks.

ps You did some fine investigative work with the brochure the church published against your book, it was super. ...

[Web-editor: Ref. Answering Dr. Clandestine.]

July 9,

I am curious to know what was the purpose behind the Book of Mormon. From what I can tell {and I'm no expert} that there is a lot of Biblical truth in the B.oM. If it was written to deceive, either I have been, or I can't find the deception.

From what I've understood, Joe Smith didn't get a whole lot for his troubles, except a few bullets from an angry mob.

But what I'm most curious to know is why the Mormons use the Book of Mormon even though it appears to be quite "anti Mormon" in it's theology.

God bless,

[Sandra's Note: Joseph Smith grew up in a family divided over religion. His father wouldn't join a church. This was partly due to what happened when Joseph's brother Alvin died in 1823. The minister who preached at his funeral implied he went to hell since he had made no profession of conversion or been baptized. The father was waiting for some sort of new work by God. He was evidently impressed with a movement at that time, referred to as the seekers, who were looking for a restoration of some sort. The Campbell brothers were active at the time preaching a restoration of the New Testament church. (This was the time of the rise of the Church of Christ.)

During a revival in the neighborhood in 1824-1825, Smith's mother, sister, brother, joined the Presbyterian Church, Smith favored the Methodists. Joseph's father wouldn't attend the meetings. I see Smith's book as an effort to unite his family on religion and provide an income for the family. The Smiths had fallen on hard times. Smith certainly tried throughout his life to make money, he just wasn't successful at it.

The Book of Mormon acts as the worm on the hook to get people to accept Smith as a prophet, then to accept Mormonism. It is the first thing given to an investigator. Since it mirrors so much of the Bible people are impressed that it 'sounds' like scripture. When people look through the book they do not encounter any of the more unusual LDS doctrines (which appear in their other books of scripture) and so conclude that Mormonism isn't that different from other churches. Much of the Book of Mormon reflects Smith's early protestant training (one God, heaven or hell). However, 2 Nephi, ch. 29, is a direct attack on the Bible and opens the door for Smith's claims of restoration. 1 Nephi 133-42 attacks the Christian churches, again making way for Smith's claims of the true restoration.

As Smith changed his doctrines over the years, his later revelations contradicted the Book of Mormon. But he could excuse that by just telling people that God had given 'new light.'

As for dying for his beliefs, he certainly didn't expect that end. His secret teachings on the political kingdom and his secret polygamy got him in trouble, which led to the Nauvoo Expositor blowing the whistle on his secret teachings. He ordered the press destroyed which led to his arrest and murder. [Web-editor: See Joseph Smith's Death.]

Many people have died for false beliefs. David Corresh and Jim Jones didn't start out planning on dying for their faith. Heaven's Gate people died for their beliefs. People do this a lot. This doesn't prove they were right.

I suspect Smith was mentally unstable at the end of his life. His last sermons seem out of control. [Web-editor: See Joseph Smith's Boasting and Polygamy Denial Sermon.] ]

July 9,

I've been debating with some Mormon missionaries the past few weeks and have found your web site to be very helpful.

July 9,

You have been a tremendously wonderful resource, as I have tried to 'sort through' the overwhelming amount of information on the 'credibility' of Mormonism.

I admire your decision to go against, or rather stand against, such a powerful foe; however, what is most commendable is your ongoing perseverance and commitment to this ministry. You will probably never know all the individuals you have helped.

May God continue to bless you, especially when you need the most encouragement.

July 10,

Hi, Sandra-

Thank you so much for your time with me today. ...thank you so much for your many sacrifices to see the lies exposed.

I thank God for you and your ministry. GOD BLESS YOU!!


July 10,

Thank you, Sandra, for your response. ...I am so grateful for your materials. My husband and I are voraciously reading tracts and the books we've ordered from you. Ins and Outs of Mormonism by Dan Carlson is just jam-packed with great info and well-documented.

Thanks so much for your ministry...

July 10,

Subject: The Church of Jesus Christ?

Dear Gerald and Sandra,

It is always so interesting to read the letters from members of the CHURCH of JESUS CHRIST of Ladder Day Saints and only hear them defend Joseph Smith or other leaders at the expense of the words of CHRIST himself. If they were followers of the true Christ (the bible warns of false christ's) it would seem to me that the Words of Christ would be their most precious.

I challenge these defenders of Mormonism to check all the teaching of anyone (Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Gordon B. Hinckley or for that matter Sandra Tanner) against the words of Christ. Many bibles provide the words of Christ in red so it makes them very easy to identify. Any time there is a question by reading the red letters there can be the direct clarification from Christ.

For example James said "[James 2:26] For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also"

The clarification direct from Christ in the red letters says "[John 6:29] Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."

It takes a great amount of faith to believe that Christ's works was sufficient to save me and not by doing all the other good deeds.

I was a Mormon for the first 43 years of my life and have been born again 8 years. The good works by me has changed and grown but by His power not my own because I believe on Him. There is one true Church of Jesus Christ. It is not a denomination but consists of whomever believes and receives His free gift of salvation. We are then washed in His righteousness and His good works through us follow.

When I hear a member of the LDS Church defend Christ's teaching over all else, including current contradictory revelation, and allow their life to be guided not by an organization but by Christ himself then they have been GIVEN the right to be called "CHRISTian".

For Mormonism to stand the words of Christ must fall. The greatest anti-Mormon book I know is The Bible and the greatest words to use are the red letter words. Every Mormon claim outside mainstream Christianity is refuted by HIS words. A member of His true church will take his words above all else.

God bless and keep the faith and we will rejoice together with those who came to trust the true Christ through your ministry. Praying for His love to you and all who read,

July 11,

I'm in the medical field. ...My analogy of mormonism, as one who was raised a mormon, is this: I see mormonism as a melanoma tumor. It is a cancer that grows at an alarming rate, that spreads in all directions and levels. it is deadly if not caught in time and cut out. It has gotten into the body of christ and people do not see its deadly potential spiritually. It is not selective of its victims, in their Race, Nationality, Religious preference, Gender or financial status. I was willing to look under the microscope at mormonism, I saw the evidence I know the truth now! to L.D.S. members I say the devil is very Clever! thank you for being there utlm...

July 12,

Subject: Solomon Spalding

Dear Tanners:

I was born and raised in Salt Lake City. My mother left the church before I was born. I am 54 years old. I have some of your material from years ago, ...In the 1960's my mother and other Protestant friends passed old books around like No Man Knows My History like they were gold.

I am new to the computer world, and the other day I was talking to a friend about Mormonism, which I have not talked about in years. I checked out a website that talks about the book Manuscript Found as a book used in the writing of the B of M. I checked at my public library today and wonder of wonders there was a copy of No Man Knows My History... Fawn Brodie does not think this book was used since the connecting person Sidney Rigdon was still a pastor before 1830 and was not converted to Mormonism until after the B of M was printed. I don't remember what you thought about it.

[Sandra's Note: I do not see any reason to accept the Spalding/Ridgon theory.

Solomon Spalding, a minister who died in 1816, lived in a different state than Joseph Smith (born in 1805) and never published his novel. So one of the problems is how did the manuscript fall into young Smith's hands. Some have theorized that several years after Spalding's death Sidney Rigdon (a minister who joined Mormonism in 1830) had earlier stolen Spalding's manuscript (around 1820-22) then did some rewriting of the story and then gave it to Smith to publish. But this is a THEORY, not evidence.

Spalding's family may have truly believed this to be the origin for the Book of Mormon but it would have been about 20 years since they would have seen Spalding's writings. I think the family just saw some surface similarities, due to both Spalding and Smith being exposed to the same common ideas about the Indians, and jumped to conclusions. [Web-editor: See Where Did Joseph Smith Get His Ideas for the Book of Mormon?]

To me, it doesn't make sense that an established minister, from another state, would have heard of a young farm boy in NY. Smith's only claim to fame (at the time) was his money-digging with a magic seer stone, when he was 20 years old. Why would Rigdon think that such a youth would be able to con someone into financing the printing and starting a church that Rigdon would join, after it got going?

These are just a few of the problems with the theory.

I believe Smith wrote the Book of Mormon using bits and pieces of things he had read or heard (i.e. the Bible, local sermons, View of the Hebrews, etc. For more on this, see our book Joseph Smith's Plagiarism of the Bible.) But there is no hard evidence that Smith ever saw the Spalding material or met Sidney Rigdon prior to 1830.]

July 13,

...Being raised a Protestant in Idaho I have been well aware of the doctrinal problems of Mormonism but after getting about half way through her book [Web-editor: Wife No.19, by Ann Eliza Webb Young] I must admit that I am shocked at the degree of abuse that these poor deluded victims of Smith and Young were put through and are still being put through of which you are all well aware of. We will add you to our prayer list.

July 13,

Thank you so much for your site.

I have been married to an LDS member who just left me in Alabama to move back to Utah to be with his children and also to be "closer" to the church and his family. I am completely heart-broken.

His decision was helped along by the fact that I decided to leave the church after being a member for about 6 months. There were too many things I could not accept about the "true church".

I needed to find out more about the church after feeling that possibly I was crazy to have doubts.

Again thank you for the clarity of the info on your site.

July 13,

Having recently finished reading the Book of Mormon, cover-to-cover, and having some 20 years ago read the Tanner book, Mormonism—Shadow or Reality, I can offer some additional areas that, in my opinion, discredit the Book of Mormon.

These are not limited to, but include, a Book of Jacob parable about a vineyard which has page after page being an Olive Tree and its branches and the trees and fruit ruining the vineyard. Well, a vineyard is grapes and vines, not trees and branches!

The Savior of the World to be born would be named "Christ." Well, Christ is not a name. It is a Greek title for the Hebrew title Messiah!

Think about all those purported wars and the bloodshed and body counts--Book of Ether--where the shores were filled with so many bodies of men, women, and children, and the stench others had smelled, and yet, war after war, lasting years at a time, over so many hundreds of years, and yet no other people in any land of the entire world have ever recorded anything about these wars identified in the Book of Mormon! What fiction!

Finally, think about all the copying of the King James Bible versus, word for word, especially out of Isaiah, and realize that Joseph Smith would have had King James Translations available to him, but that the plates that were supposed to have contained what Joseph Smith copied would not have been written in King James style, and proof is seen in the Dead Sea Scrolls today, which Joseph Smith would not have had access to as they weren't discovered yet! It is very obvious Joseph merely copied appropriate passages from the Bible, and did not translate from any plates. ...

July 13,

Hi Sandra:

I recently read Ed Yong's article "The Rise and Fall of the LDS Church." I found it to be one of the most interesting articles I have ever read. ...Thanks also for your invaluable website.

July 14,

Subject: Why?

Jerald and Sandra,

I am not a member, but I am curious as to what your motivation is in revealing things about the church that you at one time swore not to divulge. Do you feel the church harmed you in any specific way or that it is teaching people to live in an improper manner?

I think that if Joseph Smith was a fraud, the essentials of his doctrine are as noble an attempt at righteous script as say the Tao Te Ching.

I suppose I'm mostly curious about the reasons you do what you do. I think your information is by far the best presented case against the LDS church and the most interesting and well documented.

Thank you for your time,

[Sandra's Note: I think you are assuming that we went through the temple. We only did baptism for the dead. We never took out our endowments, so we are not revealing anything we ever promised not to tell.

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 as regards to the falseness of Mormonism and the truthfulness of the Bible and Christ.]

July 15,

To all at Utah Lighthouse Ministry

I have found your website to be an invaluable resource as I have been meeting with two Mormon missionaries.

It has encouraged and helped me, and increased my understanding of the differences between LDS beliefs and Biblical Christianity.

I pray that God continues to use and bless your ministry, I'm sure he will! I also pray and long for the two Missionaries that I am meeting with to come to freedom in Christ.

Thanks again,

July 15,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your work that you do re Mormons.

My name is _____ ______. I live in Malta. Malta is a small island in the Mediterren. I am a member of Religious Movement Research Centre in Malta. At this moment I am doing research re the first vision of Joseph Smith (If there is one?)....Thank you

July 15,

After reading some information my married daughter received from you and watching the video on the Mormon Puzzle I went to your web site and read some of the well organized articles....Thank you for your very resourceful work in rescuing souls from Mormonism...

July 16,

Sandra, you would be proud of me. I have been discussing some mormon issues with some of the "faithful" Unfortunately most of them put their head in the church sand, but they really hate it when I provide them with the truth, especially when there are other "seeking" non-mormons in the chatrooms.

The cockroaches hate the light.. Thanks for your website.

July 17,


Why do your publications do the same thing that you accuse the mormon church of doing -- namely brainwashing?

With due respect, your publications sound like a bunch of whining babies wrote them. Don't mean to be rude, but the tone of your publications are too whiney.


July 17,

...My husband and I have been church members for 27 years, with our lives completely centered in it.

I suffered for as many years, thinking there was something wrong with me because I had questions and doubts that kept me from believing that J.S. was a prophet and the B of M and the church in general was true. I successfully kept these feelings to myself, but I suffered from depression, never feeling like I belonged there.

Recently, I met a woman who had been excommunicated for "speaking against the church". She had the same problems that I had and had tried to talk to the bishop. It didn't help, and in the course of the conversation, she had brought up some unsettling information that she had found in a book titled, Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? She had bought it on Ebay. Next thing she knew, she was in Bishop's court, it got ugly, (she got a little outspoken) and she was excommunicated. Then her husband divorced her and tried to get custody of their three teenagers. She was awarded custody and moved up here where she met me in school (we're both college students).

She let me borrow her book and, after reading some of it, I decided I want my own copy. It's pretty substantial and will be great to read and study this winter on one of our typical long rainy days.

I printed out your order form and will use that, since I don't want my husband to know that I'm ordering it. I don't know what's going to come of this because my husband absolutely loves the church and would never want to know anything about it that wasn't "faith promoting."

I feel both angry that I was lied to and made to feel like there was something wrong with me, and relieved that it isn't me that is at fault. To think of how many days of my life I wasted being depressed and pretending to feel something that I didn't feel. And all because I used the sense, reason, and intellect that the Lord gave me to think with. ...Thanks so much

July 17,

Hello Tanners,

I will get to the point. I want to know if there is a list that people could add their names to so that their temple work would not be done after they die. Don't we have the right while we're alive to say, "Don't EVER do my temple work." If telemarketers legally have to put you on a Do Not Call list if you request it, then why not the church? Personally I think temple work is a bunch of BS, but I think something like this would bring comfort to a lot of people. And if the church is really concerned about saving people after they die - as I'm sure they are, then maybe a list like this would create a bit of a headache for them. ...Thank you.

[Sandra's Note: I don't think there is any legal way to stop them from doing their rites for someone once the person is dead. However, if enough people pressure the LDS to stop using their family names in this way, who knows? The Jews have had some success in getting them to stop. See Links to Salt Lake Tribune Articles: Baptism for the Dead.]

July 17,

Dear U.L.M.

Thanks for your excellent work among the "outcasts" of Mormonism. Hopefully the Truth will reclaim some of the souls lost to this vast deception.


July 20,

i have a question about the mason's? i do not understand what it is. i have tried to look it up on the net, and can find nothing that explains it well.

do you have any links or a place were i can get good information?? thank you

[Sandra's Note: The Freemasons are a secret men's club (or fraternity), started about 1700 in England. Men go through various secret rituals, where they swear on their lives not to reveal the ceremonies. They reenact a play about a man named Hiram Abif who supposedly was involved in the building of Solomon's temple, in the OT. They learn secret handshakes & pass words so they can identify one another. They use the symbols of the compass and square (used in building), the all-seeing eye, the beehive, the upside-down star, the sun, moon and stars, etc. They wear special clothing, including various aprons, in the ceremonies.

During these various rites they are taught a certain philosophy about God, the great architect of the universe, how man conducts his life (moral, humanitarian acts), gains proper knowledge in order to return to God. They do NOT teach about Jesus. You can be Christian, Jew, Muslim, and still join. You can get a little info from this Masonic site, click on the bottom of their page where it says 'the rest of this article.'


Here is a page where a man tells why he left the Masons.


On our site see Captain Morgan and the Masonic Influence in Mormonism.

For more information on the relationship of Mormonism to Freemasonry, see the following books:

Hope this helps.]

July 20,

Subject: Question on Hinckley Interview


Thanks for your ministry. I am a post-Mormon who has long appreciated your work and efforts.

Question: Do you have specific material published re: Hinckley's 60 Minutes interview where he discounted the most fundamental of Mormon theology? I ask as it turns out that MANY active Mormons either don't believe that he did this interview or, by not being familiar with its text they blow it off. I would like to provide actual transcripts to these folks and wonder if you have done something with this important issue?


[Sandra's Note: I think you have this mixed up with the Time Magazine article, Aug. 4, 1997, 'The Empire of the Mormons,' and the San Francisco Chronicle article, April 13, 1997, 'Sunday Interview—Musings of the Main Mormon.' (These could be found at a local library or through the internet.)

San Francisco Chronicle article:

Berean Christian Ministries article:

PBS Online NewsHour: Transcript for "Road to Salvation" (July 18, 1997):

Mormons In Transition article:

Hope this is of help.]

July 21,

Subject: Nice Site

I really just enjoyed exploring your site and testimony. May God continue to bless and protect you.


July 22,

I don't find any of the information on your website unbelievable. in fact, most of it seems very believable.

But i guess i have a hard time reconciling how this religion has gone on for so long and has grown so much. it would seem that if this information does come from accurate sources then certainly the general authorities in the church especially in the upper echelons, must know about it.

My feeling is that if they know of it and they can't really believe it themselves they therefore are using their positions for personal gain and power. any proof of this today besides what happened with Brigham Young and his use of the church for gain?

How do we know if the information that is received is valid. What proof can there be that the sources are for the most part good sources. How do we know that "history" in all of this is really history. if you can help me out here i would really appreciate it thanks.

[Sandra's Note: Most of the documents can be seen at the University of Utah library, Utah State Historical Society Library, both here in Salt Lake City, also at BYU (Provo) and most colleges in Utah. If we were making all this up the Mormons would be shouting it from the roof tops, instead they just say we take it out of context. But all you have to do is look at the document and see the context for your self. We sell photo reprints of some of them. We sell a book called Where Does It Say That? which contains dozens of photos from early LDS books.

I think the top leadership of the LDS Church is aware, at least in a general way, with the problems listed on our web site. I believe they are so convinced that Mormonism is true, on some higher plane, that history doesn't matter. Sort of 'that was then, this is now. The church is true today, don't worry about the past.' Mormons often say to me, 'I don't care what the documents say, I prayed and God told me the church is true.']

July 23,

I do love and appreciate you folks & your ministry! ...

July 23,

...You and Jerald's ministry has been so helpful to me over the years, and I've enjoyed your books, articles, and newsletters. I had the pleasure of meeting both you and Jerald at your home almost 20 years ago, and I remember your graciousness when I stopped by your beautiful Victorian home in SLC. I will continue to pray for your work and the the eyes of many LDS may be opened.

July 24,

How embarrassing for you to spend all of your time and effort to degrade another religion!! Shouldn't you be spending your time making yourselves better people and helping others in a positive way? No one is asking you to believe or become a Mormon. Just worry about your own religion!!

July 25,


...My question is in regards to...a reference to the Evening and Morning Star, Vol.14 July 1833, ...[is] that Joseph Smith...speaking regarding how to determine if a prophet is a true prophet. I got the E&M Star from you and the quote is on the right side about half way down. It does not say who is speaking/writing these words? ...is this Joseph Smith? ...Thanks and keep up the good work.

...Former lds for 46 years, just new christians looking for ways to help all the rest get the truth!!

[Sandra's Note: I assume the article, 'Beware of False Prophets,' is by the editor, W.W. Phelps, a faithful Mormon. The Evening and Morning Star was an official LDS publication so would represent the church position at the time. But don't know that you could say it was by Smith directly. The article can be read online at: http://www.centerplace.org/history/ems/v2n14.htm]

July 25,

I would like to share and experience I had with Mormonism.

I'm a Christian and attend a local Christian church here in Salt Lake. Last fall I met a Mormon girl and had a chance to spend some time with her. After we went out about three times she gave me a Book of Mormon.

Not knowing the correct response, I gave her a hug and thanked her for the gift. We had about five more dates and then after the sixth date she told me she didn't know if she could marry somebody who doesn't share the same faith as her.

We had a lengthy conversation about how I felt about Mormonism and it was quite clear that we shouldn't pursue any further beyond a friendship. She was very upset and left my house. The next day she called me up and asked me if I thought is was a good idea that we not see each other anymore. I said it probably was the best thing to do. To this she replied, "I think we should try and work things out between us." Ignorant to what she was really looking for I agreed to go forward with the relationship.

I know now that she was going to try and convert me little by little and she had no intention of doing anything on her part to bridge the gap that was between us.

After spending every night together for about three months, she brought up the subject of religion again. She asked me what I thought about Mormonism and all I had to say to her was that I thought Polygamy was terrible. This was the only thing I could say to her.

I started looking for information about Mormonism and I wanted to get a view from someone besides a Mormon. My Grandmother is an ex-Mormon and she directed me to your website. Thank God I was able to learn about Mormon doctrine and how completely opposite it is to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

These things my girlfriend was trying little by little to bring into my life through deception. After spending hours upon hours on your website I finally had topic upon topic to bring up with my girlfriend. Every time she wanted to have a discussion about religion I had Bible verses to share with her and I had actual quotes from Mormon sources and she was shocked.

Needles to say the relationship is now over after a lot of heartache for both of us. It could have all been avoided had she been honest about what she wanted out of me in the first place.

I am so happy to have Jesus in my life and to have the strength so see through all the lies.

Once again I thank you for your work and the wonderful information.

July 26,

Subject: Dates for apostasy?

Has the Mormon Church officially declared the period of time at which the "Great Apostasy" was completed? And at which point, final divine sanctions had been applied: loss of priesthood, divine disapproval, etc.?

Concomitantly, have official Mormondom stated a date at which the process began?


[Sandra's Note: Early in Mormonism's history it was claimed that the total apostasy was complete by the time of Constantine. In the introduction to the 'History of the Church,' vol. 1, pg. LXVIII, B. H. Roberts stated "I think sufficient has been said to justify the belief that the reign of Constantine marks the period when the paganization of Christianity had become complete."

Here is a quote from the Evening and Morning Star, Vol. 1, No. 1, June, 1832, p.3:

THAT the world at large may the better judge, concerning the above prophecy, we add an extract from the Book of Mormon. It will be seen by this that the most plain parts of the New Testament, have been taken from it by the Mother of Harlots while it was confined in that Church,--say, from the year A. D. 460 to 1400 This is a sufficient reason for the Lord to give command to have it translated a new Notwithstanding King James' translators did very well, all knowing that they had only the common faculties of men and literature, without the spirit of Revelation.

After the above statement there was a long quote from the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 1324-37, which deals with the 'great and abominable church' and the supposed removing of 'many plain and precious things' from the Bible. The editor was W.W. Phelps, devout Mormon. This was an official LDS publication.

However, in recent years the LDS Church has emphasized a much earlier date for the total apostasy. In the official LDS magazine Ensign, December, 1984, p. 8, is an article entitled "Early Signs of the Apostasy The New Testament both prophesies and documents the first-century apostasy." This article states

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has proclaimed to the world consistently since its beginning that there was an apostasy of the church founded by Jesus during his Palestinian ministry and led by his Apostles following his ascension. This is a fundamental belief of the Latter-day Saints. If there had not been an apostasy, there would have been no need for a restoration.

Latter-day Saint theology asserts that the church of the Savior and his Apostles in the Old World came to an end within a century after its formation. The doctrines which its inspired leaders taught were corrupted and changed by others not of similar inspiration, the authority to act in God's name was taken from the earth, and none of the Christian systems that existed after those developments, though they did some good things, enjoyed divine endorsement as the Lord's own church (JS--H 119; D&C 130.)

...We do not recognize the ordinances performed in other churches. We will not exchange baptisms, a practice which has become commonplace in the Christian world.]

July 26,

Jerald and Sandra, what you have compiled and brought to light is wonderful. The Lord has Blessed you both that you may expose the truth.

You truly are a thorn in the side of the LDS Church. You have made them think and embarrassed them with their own scriptures. The simple fact that you published some material that helps people GET OUT which brought retaliation shows the insecurity the church has. They have never sued anyone that has published material that shows them how to GET IN now have they?

Keep up the great work, the truth must be shown. The 2002 Olympics will be a time of preaching the truth, many Christians will descend upon Salt Lake in retaliation to the many missionaries the church is planning to bring in to help spread their lie, we as Christians will be countering with the truth and in great numbers! My prayers are with you both!

July 26,

At page 179 of "Mormonism—Shadow or Reality," LaMar Petersen is quoted from his book "Problems in Mormon Text" regarding "...important details that are missing from the 'full history' of 1834..."

I assume Mr. Petersen was referring to an early version of the "History of the Church." The Preface to the 1951 edition of the "History of the Church" talks about "the 'manuscript History of the Church' in the archives of the Historian's office," and later refers to: "When the Church historians George A. Smith and Wilford Wodruff completed their publication of the 'History of Joseph Smith' down to the 8th of August, 1844, which history was published in installments in the Deseret News, Utah, and in the Millennial Star, England,..."

My question is: Is there anyone who had made a comprehensive list of the various "histories" that have been written and which ones have been published, and which ones are subsequent printings (and/or alterations) of previous ones?

Further, and I realize I have already asked a lot, which ones of them are available?...Thank you for your kind assistance.

[Sandra's Note: John Whitmer started a history of the LDS Church in 1831, in response to a revelation of Smith's (see D&C sec. 69) but this was never completed or published during Smith's lifetime.

Joseph Smith started a personal history in 1832, but it was not made public or published until in the 1960's.

Oliver Cowdery, under the direction of Joseph Smith, started a history of the Mormon movement in the Messenger & Advocate in 1834.

Smith started a new history account in 1838, which was later published by installments in the Times and Seasons and Millennial Star. Later it was reprinted in the Deseret News. But he only finished 40% of the history attributed to him. The other 60% was composed after his death, using diaries, journals, newspapers, etc. and then moving various accounts into the first person so that it would appear that Smith had written it. This is referred to as the 'Manuscript History of the Church.'

This is published as a seven volume History of the Church. (Volume seven covers Brigham Young.) This History was first published in book form in 1902. It has received some editing since then.

Much of this early material can be seen at the University of Utah, Marriott Library, Special Collections; the Utah State Historical Society; and at BYU.

For more on this see our books, Changes in Joseph Smith's History and Falsification of Joseph Smith's History. Also, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 2, p. 647, article entitled 'History of the Church.']

July 28,

Subject: Great Work

I simply wanted to write a brief note telling you how I admire your strength and fortitude in undertaking the task of spreading a great truth. I have been a supporter of yours ever since I read your "Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?" when I was 17 years old, and it certainly was re-inforced when I visited your store in Salt Lake City and met Sandra personally. I am so thoroughly impressed and inspired that you have dedicated your lives and sacrificed so much for this cause...both of you have truly done the world a great service.

I have never been LDS, nor have I ever entertained the notion. But, growing up in Idaho, it was all around me, as well as the fact that my father had the honor to meet Evan Lee, the grandson of John Doyle Lee, in Panguich, Utah. I have always been fascinated by the dynamics of this strange, frighteningly powerful religion, and your books and newsletters have aided me in affirming my belief in the Christian faith, and satisfied my historical interests as well. Thank you, and please keep up the wonderful work. You may have many doubters and critics against you, but you have the support of many people, myself included, that applaud your courage.

July 29,

I do not understand how you guys act like experts on Mormonism without taking into account many other accounts besides those of a negative view on the Mormon Church. Maybe you all should take into account something else besides negativity and attempt to do something more constructive.

Never once have i heard of the lighthouse people attempt to say anything positive of the Mormon Church's virtuous living and faith in Jesus Christ. Mormons are good people. Or maybe there would be less hits on your site. So I guess you all couldn't possibly do that.

To me it is rather embarassing to base your whole basis of a creed on trashing others. Maybe you guys should try strengthening your own followers and own position with Jesus rather than disuade many without taking all accounts of Mormonism into view. I suppose then that your cause would have no leg to stand on if that were to happen.

I also find these sites against the Mormon faith very inconsistent with teachings of Jesus in the Bible who focused more on His doctrine and trying to bless the world with His message, whatever you all might think that is. Or maybe you all feel like that is Jesus' doctrine is to attack and ridicule the Mormons and say that they don't follow Jesus.

I've never read an extensive account in the Holy Scriptures where Jesus explained Heritic and or Helenistic beliefs and then explained to the people why they were wrong. He taught of love and the Father and eternal life and how to get to heaven.

While you guys are at it, why not put all of the negative commentary contrary to Jesus and His gospel on your sites as well. I know lots of people who fruitlessly do that as well (that is ridiculing Christians and their faith and belief in the man called Jesus). That would most certainly tell the whole side of things as you all profess to do with these commentaries on the Mormon Church.

Most certainly the Holy Spirit did not inspire such books and websites as Lighthouse now has. Maybe I should ask someone outside of the lighthouse group about you guys and what you all are trying to do as a company. I'm sure they would most certainly always paint a beautiful view of your company objectives. Right.... I should ask someone who is part of the Lighthouse company who understands its own directives and creeds. Just like one should do with the Mormon Church.

Many of the Mormon Church understand its church's history. They do not hide or cover up their history, rather they embrace their history.


 July 29,

I give deep and loving thanks for the wonderful work that you are doing in the cause of truth. Because of the movement which you have started, I am impressed to share my story, ...I was a Stake 70's Pres. in '76 when I demanded to be excommunicated, threatened to call "60 Minutes" cause they just wouldn't let us go. Our family stood up during sacrament meeting and walked out; the Bishop's 2nd Counselor followed us out to the car, I nearly had to punch the guy to let us leave....My late wife and I "really" believed, and all that goes with it, yep, paid our tithing with our mastercard. She would have loved your feelings about Temple Endowments, as she was just blown away by that stuff! It nearly split us up. ...

Your web page really changed my consciousness, ...Leaving the Mormon Church was one of the biggest deals in my life, I need to help other "rats in the maze," and you have shown me how. I remain on a spiritual quest, ...I am 52, retired and widowed, ...My life is God centered and most joyous; I have been through hell, and heaven,...Blessings,

July 29,

...Your on-line resources are terrific, but I have little or no time on the Internet with any privacy. ...May the love of God and of Jesus be with you always...

July 30,

God bless you for your efforts!!!! I have tried desperately to get my mother away from the Mormon church and have not found the right tool, yet. I still have great hope that one day soon she will see what God's grace is all about. How can anyone expect to go to heaven on their own good deeds? Thank God for his grace!!!

July 30,

Subject: how did they do it?

First, your website is very refreshing!

My question is this: It seems that Joseph Smith was of a dubious reputation. How then, I wonder, did the church get so huge? I mean, I'm really amazed!

Utah really can be a difficult place to live because of the church.

[Sandra's Note: Mormonism developed at a time when many people were at loose ends, many rejected the old established churches and were looking for the coming of Christ. Mormonism appealed to the young, emotional idealist who was waiting for God to do a new work. It only took the right charismatic leader. Smith must have been somewhat attractive to women, yet an appealing leader to men. Most of Smith's followers did not know the whole picture. Mormonism has always hid its inner teachings and practices.]

July 31,

I recently spent some time in Salt Lake City, UT and felt an overwhelming sense of evil and dread with the Mormon influence. I cannot explain it, but the sense of evil has stayed with me and haunted me. i have spent many nights researching the Mormon religion and find the horrors of polygamy, sexual abuse, child abuse, blood revenge and the overwhelming lack of Christ as a central part of their religion to be frightening and do not understand why christians could possible convert to this pagan church.

I came upon your website and would like to know what I can do to support your efforts and what I can do in my own state PA. ... Is there specific literature you would recommend that I can pass out to pastors of our area churches?

Thank you for any help you can provide.

[Sandra's Note: Two good books to give a pastor are The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism and Mormonism 101. Two good videos to give them would be The Mormon Puzzle and The Latter-day Facade.]

July 31,

Subject: thank you

Thank you for the gathering of many great sources which you have organized under topics. I am a lover of church history. I also come from great pioneer ancestors. Some of them are quoted in your works. I don't care for your slanted opinions much but your source work is useful and enjoyable.

July 31,

Gerald and Sandra Tanner,

I doubt if you remember me, but ...we are former Mormons. My mom is a big fan of yours. Currently the Mormons are really hitting our small community hard so as youth group leaders my wife and I are conducting a series on cults and Christianity. Any help you could give me would be appreciated. ...Thanks in advance.

[Sandra's Note: For a basic intro to the problems of Mormonism, we recommend showing the video The Mormon Puzzle. For a more specific discussion of the problem areas, with documentation, show The Latter-day Facade video.]

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