June 1, 2001
If Joseph Smith was the only "weak link" in LDS theology it would be enough to discourage the seeker. The truth is there is a veritable mountain of evidence that the organization is a cruel hoax but when someone wants to believe and most of them do, nothing can be done except pray. Mormon culture, not the truth, is their support system. This is why the social activity is so important to them. Exposure to orthodox Christian thought is dangerous to their theology and must be discouraged. I salute your courage and your Ministry.
June 1, 2001
I have recently left the church and want thank you so much for your site. I cannot tell you how many times I visited UTLM so that I could regain and maintain my strength when faced with the condescending arguments of family and friends. God bless you and your important work. But now here's my question Having gone through the difficult and painful process of leaving Mormonism the last thing I want after I die (we're a ways off here I'm 41) is for my well-meaning Mormon family to "do my work" for me.
I know that temple work is a meaningless waste of time but it's a matter of principle. Shouldn't I have the right to prevent people from doing to my good name after I've died what I fought so hard to get out of while in this life. Is there not a registry somewhere that I can register with. A place where I can tell those arrogant Mormons to leave me alone. After all, if they're right and I'm wrong I can do my own work in the millennium thank you very much.
sincerely and with thanks,
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for the encouraging word. As to temple work, I agree with you. However, I do not know of any legal way to stop the LDS from doing temple work for you after you have died.]
June 1, 2001
Hi I am involved with a man who has been ex-communicated about 3 yrs ago. He was married in the temple, he chose to leave his wife and date me. We have dated 3 yrs, we are in love and would love to be married, both of us.
We do have one large issue religion...My background is born again christian, and he being raised mormon. Coming into this relationship I knew only a little about mormon, I mean just the good value, lots of kids thing. So we have definitely had some run ins when we discuss.
He comes across very christian. So i have researched, purchased many mormonism books read tons and i am convinced that this mormon religion is not of my God.. very evil i think. [He]....... says he has such a strong testimony, burning inside that he is convinced he [already has] the only truth, and he needs to get back active. so i just wondered if i could learn somehow to deal with this.
I love this man and I care so much. I want him to know the truth. he just wants to love who he thinks is the same God I love and pray to..????? I have prayed and I feel a peace, I just don't want to burn this bridge. I would love to teach him the truth..
He has been inactive for 3 yrs. His kids are active with their mom. She was converted from catholic about 8 yrs ago.. Any comment or help or advice would be great.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR WEB INFO AND BOOKS.... GREAT HELP IN EDUCATING ME!!!
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for the kind words. You really are facing a BIG problem. If he will not look at any evidence on the errors of Mormonism you are at an impasse. To marry him while he is still LDS would be to just postpone the inevitable problem.
See if he would be willing to read By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus. It deals with the problems of the Book of Abraham and ends with a good Christian message.]
June 1, 2001
We thank God for all of you. You are doing a wonderful work for our Lord. Keep up the good work as you are much needed. Our family has been touched--God bless you.
June 1, 2001
Dear Mrs. Tanner:
I heard your comments on plural marriage on the radio. I used to enjoy that program...it was a disappointment to hear someone like you...to ruin the spirit. You obviously are in utter ignorance as to why it was lived.
1st, it was a commandment. None of the early brethren wanted to live that law.... When Joseph Smith was given the commandment to live that law, he said an angel appeared with a drawn sword & commanded him to live it. He knew it would mean his death but true to the cause he loved he willingly obeyed. ...
Another reason for plural marriages was it made it so choice spirits could come into good homes where they are trained properly and not abused as so many, many are that want a body so badly that they will go into homes of the wicked. ...
When plural marriage was lived in the early days of the church there was not one prostitute in Salt Lake City....My grandmother said in her journal that she was never happier than when she lived polygamy....
But getting back to Joseph Smith. You can tell by looking at a picture of him he was NOT a wicked, evil man. Even a child can tell that. ...
Before signing off, I would like to state that Celsus, a heathen philosopher that lived at the time of Christ, said the reason they killed Jesus and the apostles was because they had so many wives....This did not come from the Mormon church so don't blame them for this quote--yes Jesus himself. So from now on refrain from showing your ignorance. ...
Sincerely, A devout church member of the true church and a descendent of Polygamous Great Grand Parents & proud of it!!
June 2, 2001
...thank you for your site....I have yet to read it all ...as I am not a Mormon, and don't wish to be one, but my brother now is and wishes to convert me, I am interested in all viewpoints on this religion that at the moment I have a hard time accepting any of its beliefs and since I value my own religion. But I do not want to be ignorant of LDS religion...just want viewpoint from other than a member or missionary of their church.
June 2, 2001
Hello dear fellow Christian.
I am a christian with a husband and family of 4. We are in the process of a possible move to Utah... We love your ministry and if we do end up there would love to be a part of sharing the good news with many lost people in that state. ...
Thank you for your time, and God bless you.
June 4, 2001
As a second cousin of Dallin Oaks, and whose ancestor was the first white woman to settle in Ashley Valley, my roots in Mormonism are deep. Can't tell you how happy I am to be out. ...
June 4, 2001
I love your work and your website. I have been teaching a Sunday School Class on Mormonism for about a month contrasting our differences. I have my first meeting (face to face) with the Mormon Missionaries in our area. I have been invited by a couple in our church who is letting them come over to their house.
June 4, 2001
In regards to polygamy, I am trying to find out when the law was passed in the United States that polygamy was illegal. I have seen a reference to 1879 when it was upheld. Is that the year when it was a law or had it already been a law prior to that?
[Sandra's Note: Many states already had laws against bigamy. It is my understanding that Smith's practice of polygamy would have been illegal in Ohio and Illinois.
In 1862 Federal congressman Justin Morrill secured passage of the Morrill Anti-bigamy Act. Up to this time there was no federal statute on polygamy/bigamy. However, the probate judges in Utah were mainly LDS and were not enforcing the act. In 1867 the Mormons tried to get the act repealed. This led to a series of acts to try to strengthen the Morrill Act. This was all put to the test with polygamist George Reynolds. He was indicted for bigamy in 1874. This was later overturned. A second trial was held the next year, and Reynolds was found guilty. The LDS Church obtained an appeal to the Supreme Court. In 1879 the judge handed down the 'Reynolds v. the United States' opinion which upheld the earlier territorial court decision, which upheld the 1862 act. In 1882 the Edmond's Act was passed that made it easier to get a conviction under 'unlawful cohabitation.' Thus started many federal raids on Mormon communities to arrest offending polygamists. Thus the pressure was on and ultimately the LDS leaders bowed to pressure and issued the 1890 Manifesto. This is all explained in Mormon Polygamy: A History, ch.10-13.]
June 4, 2001
Hi .. I am leaving the LDS church and believe it is going to be a long long process. I am sending my resignation from the church letter tomorrow. Thank you so much for being there for people in my situation. At this point, I must remain anonymous.
June 5, 2001
I want to thank the Tanners for their in depth research into the LDS church. It has helped me to make a more informed decision about this church that still holds my membership records. ...My husband and children are still "believers' and I am dealing with this completely alone, given the fact most people I associate with are LDS ! I am so very afraid of losing my family because of this decision...
Thanks so much!
June 5, 2001
Dear sir I must ask if you consider yourselfs a relegion or just out to cut down the morman faith ?? I find faith bashing very unlikeable in my book no matter what religion you bash. What fuel has caused this hatered of the LDS people ?? And why don't you put things that happened to the LDS people on your web site ?? What about their sufferings and the treatment of their people by the people of the US ?? I asked this due to I enjoy web sites like yours but like I said I hate bashings. People in white sheets or skin heads do this not true and honest people. I ask that you respound to my questions in the same manner that I repled to your web site with honesty and respect. Sincerely
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. Not sure if you were looking at our official site www.utlm.org or at a friends site that has some of our material posted on it. Our site gives our background and reasons for researching Mormonism. Presenting another side of the story is not hate. People need to hear both sides of the story to make an informed decision.
As to the 'sufferings' of the Mormons, they killed far more non-LDS than non-LDS killed them. There were about 18 Mormons killed at Haun's Mill and then Smith and his brother = 20. These killings can not be justified. However, there were plenty of reasons for the community being upset with the Mormons. In a skirmish at Crooked River the Mormons had killed a member of the state militia and injured several others. This happened shortly before the Haun's Mill event. I suggest you read The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri done by Steven LeSueur, an LDS historian, published by the University of Missouri.
As to the Smiths, they were in jail due to events following their order of the destruction of an opposition press in Nauvoo, denouncing the secret polygamy of the LDS leaders. Mormons usually fail to tell people that guns had been smuggled into the jail and that Joseph Smith was firing back at the mob and shot a couple of people.
Mormons also killed 120 innocent men, women and children in So. Utah in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. They've done far worse to other groups than was ever done to them.
There are more Christians killed for their faith every day than the number of LDS killed for theirs. I don't understand this great fixation with 'Mormon persecution' as though no one else has suffered for their faith.]
June 5, 2001
My wife and I are good friends with a Mormon couple. _____ and I have been Christians since we were very young and are fairly aware of the problems with Mormonism and its falsehoods. I am currently researching the topic. Tomorrow 6/6/01, the mormon couple has invited us over for dinner. Some elders as I believe they are called will be there also. It is our impression that it will be a discussion with their intention of defending Mormonism. Both the husband and wife have completed their mormon mission trip. ...Sincerely,
June 6, 2001
I have not been LDS in my mind and practice of religion for a full 2 years now; neither have my children. Up until now I've been perfectly content to let the church record thing be as it is, feeling that I don't need to ask permission to leave an organization. However, I am increasingly uncomfortable being "counted" as a member of their mind warping, soul steeling, life crushing organization every time they do the numbers in General Conference; and I am tired of the visits which I used to just feel were annoying but now feel are harassing. So here's the problem, if it were just me I know how to easily have my name removed from the church records, BUT I was married to my children's father in the Mesa, AZ temple and KNOW that I have to have his permission to get a temple annulment (which he has repeatedly refused to give me even though he remarried in the LDS temple years ago and I recently remarried outside of the church). I have seen on the website that the parent or legal guardian needs only to write a letter and sign and have the child sign but I think that the church leaders will let my kids dad know too and that could create issues for me and for them.
How can I go about doing this without being trapped or caught? It seems so stupid that I can't get my kids out. I have SOLE legal custody not joint legal custody so my kids' dad does not have the right decide where they live, go to church, or go to school, BUT in the past the church leaders have told me that he does have "Patriarchal Authority" over both me and my children still. For example, 2 years ago when I was trying really hard to catch back onto the mormon iron rod and it was time to have my twin daughters baptized, I pointed out to my Bishop that I am the one who should decide who is to baptize them because I have SOLE legal custody and HE chooses not to see them. Well the Bishop I guess felt it was his duty to make sure that their dad knew when the baptism was scheduled because as their father HE was the only one with the right to baptize them. So of course their dad showed up with ALL his extended family and baptized my twins. Anyway, that was the last time I and my children set foot in a LDS church. I'm just not in the mood to play this game again with the church.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
[Sandra's Note: My guess is that if you try to remove the kids names the bishop would contact your ex-husband. So I suggest you just write a letter renouncing your own membership and inform them that any attempt to contact you OR YOUR CHILDREN will be considered harassment and invasion of your privacy. That you will go to the media, tv, radio, press, etc. and expose their tactics if they try to make any contact other than to send you a letter, in 30 days, stating that your membership has been terminated AT YOUR REQUEST. If you threaten legal action they will automatically move to excommunicate you, which ends up making it look like you sinned.
Make it clear that you, as the children's legal guardian, have the right to determine their religious upbringing and you REFUSE to let them have any contact with the LDS Church. They are not to send letters or people to visit your kids.]
June 6, 2001
...I converted to the Mormon Church two years ago and have since resigned from the church after a extensive study of what the Bible teaches. I am now a witness of truth to my friends and family and active in the Bible believing Baptist Church.
June 7, 2001
In 1970, I met my first Mormon Bishop. I worked for him. Interestingly enough, I was a teenager and ready to enter a seminary to study for the Catholic priesthood. I was open-minded and studied everything he threw at me, which was considerable.
Well, I never became a priest, but never lost my interest in comparative religions either. About 5 years ago I happened to live across the street from a devout Mormon family who had a couple of missionaries living with them. I invited them over to here what they had to say.
By day I listened to them and by night I scoured the Internet. That led me to your organization and the incredible amount of information you have here. I felt like you really educated me. Today, a good friend of mine told me her husband had suddenly, and unexpectedly become a Mormon. He didn't consult her. He just did it. Now, she feels bombarded by people trying to convert her. She is afraid it may ruin her marriage. I told her that arming herself with knowledge was the only way to confront the issue and possibly save her marriage.
I sent her all the notes I'd taken 5 years ago, and a link to your website. I would hate to see her marriage break up. I love her like a sister. I hope she finds the information that she needs on your site. I truly believe that the truth shall set you free.
I remember 5 years ago, at the peak of my knowledge intake on the subject, 14 missionaries came to my house on their "day off". Let's just say that the next day one of them called me in tears and told me he could no longer continue on his mission. I talked him into continuing his mission because of the good he brought people and told him to continue learning and arming himself with fact and information, and not to rely on that "feeling" any more because it was just biochemical. I told him he could hold his breath for a really long time and have the same "feeling". I just wanted to share all this with you. Keep up the good work.
June 8, 2001
well done guys
June 8, 2001
...I came across your website just yesterday and have found it to be interesting. I myself, after being a member of the LDS church for 16 years have within the past few months decided it's really not all that it claims to be. I am relieved to have the support of your website because I certainly don't have it from my husband!
One thing continues to confuse me ...I know how some people have little knowledge of the doctrine and follow it faithfully anyway but he seems to know a great deal about the doctrine, swears he has a steadfast testimony, but doesn't live the religion or follow the beliefs. I can only think of one reason why he may be doing this and that would be to just impress people but I have to wonder really how many is he truly impressing. ...Thanks.
June 8, 2001
I have always been taken aback by the Mormon Article of Faith that says "We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." I find this one of the most ridiculous teachings of the church. To place a condition on believing the Bible, despite the fact that it has a vast amount of transcripts and history to support it, and then accepting the Book of Mormon, with absolutely NOTHING to support it historically, is ludicrous.
What I would like to know is this. If Bible manuscripts in the original languages are available for translation, why doesn't someone issue a strong challenge to the Mormon church to take care of this issue of "as far as it is translated correctly"?!?! I mean, there are Mormons who read Hebrew and Greek, are there not? Then let's settle the issue of whether it has been translated correctly or not. They obviously keep it this way as a loophole or escape route for all the instances where the Bible condemns Mormon teaching.
I would like to see someone compile evidence for the Bible and then compare it to evidence for the Book of Mormon.
Incidentally, I have spoken with Sandra Tanner in the past while I was living in Japan. ...there is a heightening awareness in Japan that the Mormons are deceptive and teach false doctrine.
...Keep doing the Lord's work by defending the faith.
[Web-editor: Ref. see The Changing Articles of Faith.]
June 11, 2001
I have always thought of myself as very religious and very opinionated, so now I take the opportunity to express both of the above in one letter of disapproval. If the Tanner's had actually one contradiction of mormonism than they have found flaw in something that they are too simple-minded to comprehend. On the subject of Church Leaders maintaining all calmness and silence; it is for the simple fact that in accordance to the law of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints they have chosen to remain Christ-like in every form possible by letting members follow their hearts, and faith, and not start war against someone who doesn't understand why we are the way we are.
Also I would like to add that even though many members followed the Tanner's in their crusade against the Latter-Day Saints, most remained not only convinced but strong, and true to the church. In accordance to that simple fact; thousands of Mormon Missionaries preach more truth every year, and hundreds, if not more, of non-active people feel the love of God, and have a growing testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and all its' teaching.
Thus, I must ask that all ridicule of President Gordon B. Hinckly, and all past Prophets, seer's, and revelators cease to continue.
Thank You for your time,
June 12, 2001
Subject: Leaving the church
Dear Sandra and Gerald,
I wanted to first of all thank you both for the wonderful ministry you provide for others. I left the church almost two years ago, but did not send my letter of resignation until a month ago. I called the Bishop last night and asked him the status of my "request" to have my name and my son's name removed from the church records. He said it was a lengthy process and would probably take another month to become final. He had to forward my letter to the Stake President and then to Salt Lake, etc...
I told him I had no animosity towards him or anyone in the church, but that I did not belong there, because the church does not teach what I believe in.
He let it slip during our conversation that "several" people had told him that they wanted their names removed from the records, but did not write a letter like I had. I was so excited to hear that there were other people in the Ward that wanted to have their names removed. I only wish I knew who they were so that I could tell them how to do it properly. I am so thankful that God is working among the people of this Ward and hopefully more of them will open their eyes and leave. By the way, I did not get the information on how to leave the church from your website, but I did get it from another ministry website.
I have however, over the past few years, absorbed as much information from your site as I could, and have talked with many missionaries about things I have read on your site. Many have kept in touch with me after their missions and have told me that the information I had given them has caused considerable doubt about their testimonies, and they have been doing research of their own after they got home from their mission. So even though they did not directly read from your site, God touched them with the information you gave to me.
One night two missionaries came over and we got into a discussion about my doubts about the church. One of the missionaries was fresh from the MTC. By the end of the night he was in tears. They were both spouting their testimony and they were both transferred the next day. I found out later from the Bishop, that the young missionary was so shook up that he was transferred to the same town the Mission President was in so he could keep and eye on him. The other missionary was promoted to Zone Leader and transferred to another area, probably to keep him so busy he would forget about our talk. I thanked God for using me to touch them and I thanked him for the both of you, because without the knowledge you provided I would have never been able to witness to those young men on their level of understanding. As you know Mormons see things in a totally different way than non-Mormons. I guess that is why God allowed me to be a Mormon for a while, so that I could understand how they think and feel, so that He could use me to be a witness to them in their understanding.
Please, never stop what you are doing. So many souls have been won by what you do, and even if you don't know how many or who they are, someday, I am sure they will all be in heaven waiting to thank you for helping to show them the right path. I apologize for writing such a lengthy letter, but I thought you might want to know these things. God bless you both and your ministry.
_____, in Texas
P.S. I will let you know if and when they have removed my name from the records.
June 13, 2001
Hello, You have some very interesting, though very incorrect facts about the Church of Jesus Christ published here. It is unfortunate that you have turned your heart away from God. I would admonish anyone who is searching to know about the Church of Jesus Christ, to go to the church and ask them. I must admit that the idea of going to a source that is quite obviously against what you are researching seems a bit absurd to me. It would be like going to a Honda Dealership to find out why a Toyota is better. There is only one Church restored to the earth that is true and complete in both it's teachings and authority. It is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. by the way, The Book of Mormon is not only a historical document, but also a deeply religious one. It does teach the standards of the Church. It does teach about the 3 degrees of glory, and the other doctrines you dispute. If you will read it with an open heart and pray about it - you will know it to be true.
You should always pray. I pray for you.
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. But you failed to give me a single reference to some statement I posted that was false. You state that my 'facts' are wrong. Where is your correction?
By your logic of not listening to someone outside of your own beliefs, we can dismiss the statements of anyone who converted to Mormonism from another church, right? Lets see, many of the first Mormons were Methodist so I guess I can't trust their word about Methodists being wrong and Mormonism right? I guess we can ignore any statements from people fleeing Cuba and only listen to Castro?
If I were shopping for a new car I certainly would want to talk to the different dealers. I can't expect the Ford salesman to tell me if there is some basic flaw in the new Ford. You can bet I would be asking both the Toyota and Honda dealerships why their product is better than the other one. And if the Toyota guy told me that there was a real problem with the current Honda I would want to look into it. That doesn't mean I would just accept his word, but I would certainly want to check it out.]
June 13, 2001
Subject: cancellation of temple sealing
Dear Sandra Tanner:
I am writing to you to inquire as to what is the exact process in the LDS Church for a cancellation of a previous temple sealing.
My ex-husband's bishop has written to me here in Twin Falls, Id informing me that _____ ______ is applying for a cancellation of our temple sealing in Oct '92.
I left the LDS Church in April '93, + have since been born again. _____ was given physical custody of our two daughters, ...in June '97. _____ remained in the LDS faith + has since remarried another LDS woman.
My two daughters would like to live with me and their sister .... But so far the courts here in Idaho have continued to allow _____ custody of _____, and _____. Is my permission required in order for LDS Church to cancel my temple sealing? This is very important for me to know what the official position of the LDS Church is on this matter. As I would like to maybe use my stance to further our cause for receiving custody of my two daughters.
[Sandra's Note: If you terminated your LDS membership I assume your husband can easily get a temple cancellation from you. If he can establish that you have apostatized that might be enough to get a cancellation.
The LDS church handbook is a little unclear about all this. If your husband asks your permission to have the kids sealed to him and his new wife, tell him no. Not that I believe any of their ceremonies mean anything, but your kids may feel like you gave them up for adoption to the step-mom. She thus becomes their 'true' mom.
I thought at some age kids could request to live with the other parent. You might want to check with a lawyer. Your kids might be old enough to request this.]
June 14, 2001
Yesterday the packet of SLC Messengers and other pamphlets arrived. Thank you so much for that considerate gift! I'm glad to get up-to-date. We were amazed to read the story of the lawsuit over the Handbook. What an exiting life you have. God bless you, as He has and will continue to do.
My husband, also a long-time minister to Mormons, says you and Jerald are heroes. ...
We appreciate you!
June 14, 2001
Could you please tell me has the following claim be refuted? Thank you sincerely.
[Sandra's Note: HAS NAHOM BEEN FOUND?
In the February, 2001, issue of the LDS magazine Ensign, there was a small notice, on p.79, that stated:
So what have we learned?
First, this is not the name of a place, it is an inscription on a monument. Who or what is it referring to?
Mormon scholar S. Kent Brown related "A certain 'Biathar, son of Sawad, son of Nawan, the Nihmite' donated the altar to the temple. The altar has been part of a traveling exhibit of artifacts from ancient Yemen...." (The Place That Was Called Nahom New Light from Ancient Yemen, by S. Kent Brown, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Vol. 8, , no.1, 1999, p.66-68) Mormon apologist Jeff Lindsay states "Thus, there is ancient evidence referring to the tribe of Nihm, a member of which was wealthy enough to donate an altar to a temple. The reference cited above shows a picture of the finely carved, beautiful altar. The reference to the tribe of Nihm doesn't prove the existence of a place by the same name." (www.jefflindsay.com) He goes on to suggest possible connections, but these are only speculation.
What ties this altar to the Book of Mormon? Nothing, other than wishful thinking. They are only writing about possibilities, not proven identifications tied to the Book of Mormon people.
Second, the altar just had the name 'Nhm' (Arabic wouldn't have had vowels, so the spelling depends on which vowels are added).
There was an article in the Ensign for Aug. 1978, p.73, about such possible name associations. The article pointed out that in 1763 there was a map of Yemen showing a place called "Nehhm". This is an Arabic name. Is that the same as Hebrew "Nahom"? They don't know. The article says "Perhaps the next step would be to invite semiticists to give their opinions as to whether Nahom and Nehhm are probable phonetic equivalents." I have yet to see such a study. I understand that there were a number of sites in Arabia with similar consonants in the name.
Third, the article refers to a group of LDS people, not outside scholars.
Fourth, the LDS Church did not officially comment on this altar. They just put a small notice at the back of the Ensign. Sort of like saying, 'Here is a small sliver of hope, but we aren't committing ourselves to this interpretation.'
Fifth, notice that they admit that this is the "FIRST ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIND THAT SUPPORTS A BOOK OF MORMON PLACE-NAME." If this is the best they have, they are in DEEP trouble.]
June 14, 2001
We have been misled by the Mormon church for 10 years and are now attending a Baptist church. What a breath of fresh air!
Anyhow, we have recently received an order from you and are devouring the info. Thanks for the prompt shipment, by the way. My husband is making his way through the pack of 40 tracks, which we hope we will eventually have the nerve to give to Mormon friends and acquaintances, and I am reading "The Ins and Outs of Mormonism" with opened eyes....Thank you!
June 14, 2001
Hi, I have been trying for years, and recently have made it a commitment to have my name REMOVED from the LDS record's. I am, and have been a born again Christian since 1979, and have presently, reaffirmed my faith, but, I am experiencing a Great deal of Spiritual attack. I used to think, that "oh, it's not that important, they find me where ever I move but, I just tell them I'm not interested, but, now, I really have to get my name removed! I've emailed them, and called the local Bishop, but, I can not get them to respond, I was told of your ministry, by two others and was wondering if you could help assisting, as to what I do now? please let me know, thank you
[Sandra's Note: You have to write a letter to your bishop of the ward you currently live in, informing him that you have resigned and he is to send you a letter stating that he has done this. He will say it takes 30 days to make it official. Fine, tell him you expect the letter from him after the end of the 30 days.
Also see our page--How to Remove Your Name from the LDS Records.]
June 15, 2001
You probably don't remember me, but in November-December 3 years ago I brought my New York Pastor....to your bookshop, and you and he discussed some items and history for an hour or so. He was quite impressed with your knowledge of history.
...I am no scholar but I am interested in getting information on Mormonism into the hands of the public which Mormons proselyte....
June 15, 2001
...thank you so much for the newsletters in the mail that came yesterday. I will definitely read them! I will keep them out of sight however, because if I don't they will get thrown away by my husband. We were always taught to stay far away from such material but I feel that if there's nothing for the church to hide then they shouldn't teach people to necessarily not read material about the church. God bless you and your work.
June 16, 2001
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tanner:
As always, I enjoy visiting your website and in particular, enjoy reading the Letters to the Editor section.
The research you've done regarding the historicity of the Book of Mormon is extremely interesting and valuable. I never get tired of reading about the ever-growing number of problems with the Book of Mormon. If ever there was an example of a synthetic religion, Mormonism would have to be it.
June 16, 2001
Hello there -
Know that you are prayed for down here in Southern California. I was wanting to look more into the claims of the Mormon church that the early Church Fathers taught that we could attain godhood. Aside from the fact that I know this is false, the only book I've been referred to is 'Offenders for a Word', and I'd like a broader (and Christian) base to draw from. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks a ton!
Papers on this subject are available from the following ministries:
Also, Christian Research Journal (www.equip.org) has run several articles on this. Robert Bowman did an article in 1987, Winter/Spring issue, p.18-22. Gordon Lewis wrote on it in the Fall, 1992 issue. See the article by Norman Geisler in the same issue.]
June 17, 2001
Subject: Bapatisim for the Dead, what are my rights?
I am a strong believer that Mormonism is not a true Christian religion. I have never been involved personally, but my father has converted and now my brother. I have informed both of them that I do not wish to be baptized after I pass away.
Unfortunately I do not feel that they will respect my choices. Can you please tell me how to protect my rights and decisions that I have made after I have passed on? I believe my father has or will try and baptize my grandmother is there anything I can do to stop that, she was a devout Baptist.
Thank You for any assistance you can give me. I am also interested in ways to educate those that are considering becoming Mormon before I lose my sister and also to help save those I meet along lives path. I feel a great burden to stand up and protect the choices we make, and lately it has been getting stronger.
[Sandra's Note: Sorry, don't know of any legal way to stop the Mormons from doing work for the dead. Public pressure worked for the Jews, however. See:
June 19, 2001
It is an honor to email with you. I have read about your work and the troubles the LDS Church has given you. I have had only limited contact with Mormons. My first encounter, (while I was only a Christian in name, but not practice), was in the summer of 1985 during basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. I learned a valuable lesson about interfaith dialogue in what not to do, (bursting out in laughter at a Mormon's testimony of Jesus coming to America is not the best way to establish rapport).
More recently, while getting "up close and personal" I attended a Mormon service to witness a baptismal ceremony, (not for the dead, just for a new convert to Mormonism). However, the group was told they'd have to come back next week for her to receive the Holy Spirit. That caught me off guard. I hadn't read anything on Mormonism that taught about a receiving of the Holy Spirit through ritual. Could you explain what that was all about?
Thanks again for your free material and the information about the LDS Missionary materials. I'll be ordering them right away.
Your brother in Christ Jesus our Lord,
[Sandra's Note: Yes, you are baptized one day and then the next Sunday you are confirmed a member of the LDS Church. They lay hands on your head to confirm you a member and then pronounce that you have now received the gift of the Holy Ghost. See Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce R. McConkie, p.156 and p. 312.]
June 19, 2001
Subject: a copy of a letter to remove LDS records that you may find helpful!!
I was a member of the LDS church until I was baptized Lutheran about 2 years ago. Today a man from the LDS church came to my door and told me that he recently received my records. I explained to him that I am not LDS and that they were probably sent to him by way of a concerned family member. I explained that although my family is wrong, there hearts are in the right places.
This man was very pleasant and told me that if I intended to have my records removed that I would be required to attend a "court" with the Ward Bishop. I told him that I was aware of the process, but that I no longer considered myself LDS and did not intend to go through the LDS process. He then said that If I did not, that "elders" would be sent to my home. I told him that they had already been sent, and I advised them that I was not interested and they politely went away.
After I had this conversation, I remembered that your site had suggestions on getting your records removed from the LDS Church. I logged on and using your suggestions, compiled quite a nice letter explaining a little about my new beliefs, and requesting my records be removed. While printing the copies that I intend to mail tomorrow, I was inspired to send a copy to you so that you may post it for an example that may serve to help other Christians get their records removed as well. ...Thank you for your efforts. You are truly a blessing!!!
June 18, 2001
Dear Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints officials;
My name is _____ _____ ______ (_____) and my birth date is __/__/__. My records are currently in the possession of Canyon View 5th Ward in Ogden, Utah. The intention of this letter is to inform you that I have resigned my membership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as of June 1st 1999. It also serves as a request that any and all records or archived records in my name be removed. This request is being sent to:
Canyon View LDS 1st Ward
LDS Stake President
LDS Church President
LDS membership Department
The reasons for this notification are numerous and I wish to share a few of my beliefs and motivations with you. Please keep in mind that these are my beliefs. They are not up for debate and I am not asking for an argument of who is right or wrong. I only wish to share what I now know to be the truth. Please do not send anyone to my home to speak with myself or any other member of my family.
The most obvious of these reasons are explained in Bible verses. Here are a few of them that are the most important to me:
John 3:16 – "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
This verse is explaining that salvation is a free gift from God, not something to be worked for or earned. This concept is shown in the following verses:
Romans 3:23-25 – "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses and was raised again for our justification."
Romans 5:1 – " Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our lord Jesus Christ"
Ephesians 2:8,9 – "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not that of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works least any man should boast"
Titus 3:5 – " Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost"
It is impossible for us to earn our way into heaven; even in repentance we are imperfect.
Romans 3:23 – "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God"
Another reason for this request is that God is perfect and consistent. This must mean that his prophets were also guided by perfection because they were guided by God Himself. The LDS "prophets" are fallible and human. They are neither consistent nor cohesive. What one "prophet" says at one time is changed many times by other "prophets". Nowhere in the Book of Mormon does it state that man can become a god. The only reference to this is in the Bible:
Genesis 3:5 – " For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
This statement is made by Satan as he is tempting Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. Satan lies, God does not. This concept was introduced to the world again by Joseph Smith, and since then becoming a god is something that every LDS member strives for.
More examples of these inconsistencies are abundant in the Book of Mormon. Many members of the LDS church believe that they are reading exactly what Joseph Smith "translated" over 100 years ago. They, in fact, are not. There have been over 3,000 changes in wording and content made to the Book of Mormon since it was first published in 1830 ( a copy of the original version of the Book of Mormon can be found in the UofU library. This copy was donated by the Mormon Apostle, John A. Widtsoe.) Here are a few of those changes:
1 Nephi 13:40 (1830 edition pg. 32) – "...shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people that the lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior..."
1 Nephi 13:40 (1986 edition pg.27) – "... shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people that the lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father and the Savior..."
In the 1830 edition, references in Mosiah 21:28 and Ether 4:1 are made to King Benjamin. In the 1986 edition "King Benjamin" has been changed to "King Mosiah"
The last page of the Book of Mormon 1830 edition, eight witnesses sign to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon: " ...that Joseph Smith, Jr. the author and proprietor of this work has shewn unto us the plates....."
In the 1986 version of the Book of Mormon it says " ...that Joseph Smith, Jr. the translator of this work has shown unto us the plates....."
These are but a few of the changes, and perhaps not the best examples, but they clearly prove my point, and are sufficient for my purposes.
God is consistent and would not allow this inconsistency to happen to His Word, and in fact he has not. Gods consistency is shown in the production and reproduction of the Bible over thousands of years. In my scrutiny I have also compared the King James version of the Bible to other versions of the Bible. Almost no changes exist in these versions and where there are small changes, the content remains intact. The same can not be said of the Book of Mormon and it has existed less than 200 years. The Bible is truly the complete word of God.
I urge you to research the information that I have presented you in this letter. I also urge you to pray on this matter to ask God for guidance and the ability to look upon this with an open heart. If not for yourself, than please do it for the guidance of the LDS faith. I know that you would be sad to learn that you are not teaching truth. I know that I was devastate to learn that I was not taught the truth. I thank God every day for this beautiful gift.
I have been informed by the LDS Canyon View 5th Ward Secretary that I will need to meet with the local bishop for some kind of hearing or court so that my records may be removed. This man was very polite, but uninformed. Perhaps he should be notified that Federal and State laws provide that a person has the constitutional right to disassociate themselves from any organization and request that any records of themselves in that organization be removed.
I have deliberately resigned and disassociated myself from your institution. I am no longer under any obligation to meet or attend "court" with anyone and, I have no intention of doing so. I am also informing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that nobody is to be sent to talk with me or my family of this matter. I expect that my records, archived or not, and membership will be absolved pursuant to this notification and I will expect a letter within the next 30 days indicating that this matter has been handled as I have requested.
Please do not take my insistence on this matter as course or rude, I do not intend to portray myself in such a matter, however I do want to make it known under no uncertain terms that I am the instigator in this matter and that my records and membership have been terminated at my request. I have not been "excommunicated" and the word "excommunication" is not to be used in any form in either the letter to me stating that this action is completed or in any of the records that the LDS church possesses in my name. I am not making a request or asking a favor. I am exercising my right to terminate my membership whenever I choose.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. God will provide guidance to us all, all we need to do is ask and receive with an open heart.
June 19, 2001
Subject: Julia Foster
I am a direct descendent of Julia Foster, wife #36 of Brigham Young. According to my family, she had her marriage to BY annulled, mainly because he pawned off her young daughter, Julia Ann (age 13) to Farmore Little, the mayor of SLC at the time. I know that my great, great, great grandmother, Alice Vilate Hampton Cole (Julia Foster's daughter) was an outspoken opposer of the LDS church.
June 19, 2001
Subject: How does it feel?
I am not LDS.
I ran across your website while searching for something else totally unrelated. It caught my eye so I spent some time reading information from your site.
I can't help but feel pity for people like you who spend so much time and effort trying to tear down the beliefs of others. It's the very reason why there is so much hate in our world. The media and people like you destroy the possibility of truth.
My kids reminded me a few weeks ago about how weak the communication is between people. As we were driving they played a game where one child whispered to another child a sentence. The child had to whisper what they heard to another and so forth. The point and fun of the game was that what was originally said never was what was finally said to the last person. In fact the difference in what was originally said and the end result were so different that it either was really funny or caused my children to argue because one child couldn't believe what the other child said.
Our whole society is plagued with this problem. Instead of recognizing the problem and using common sense, our society has people like you who critique and build so much hate around ideas that were misinterpreted from the start.
I believe in a higher source and that this life isn't a mistake. I think people should be taught to think, feel and decide what that means to them individually. Organized religion has it's problems (mostly because they have members who think like you), but it serves a purpose in general form. (I am sure you would agree that not all Mormons are idiots.)
The anomalies in humans like you create the divisions. I have met a few Mormons in my life time. Some have been zealots like you and others were great people who used the basics beliefs they were taught to charter a great life style.
Your uncompromising attitude about the Mormons fuels societies problems like racism. Why are we all different? Why am I white and Michael Jordan is black? People like you have to have an answer. Some questions in life can't be answered or will be answered at the right time. Your impatience and short sided thinking is your weakness.
I bring this up only because it's people like you that cause harm in the world I live in and the world I am trying to raise my children in.
Who cares what the Mormons claim? Really? What's worse than what the Mormons believe is your organization trying to get others to join your hate against them. Again this is the root of our world's problems.
So if you thought you were doing something good and of God, well you failed. You only added to the world's problems. You may as well be in Israel killing innocent people or in the Philippines taking people hostage for ransom. Your belief system and values are not far off.
June 19, 2001
Thanks for being there!! My sister and niece are LDS. I visited your website in hopes of learning how to minister to them. Pray for me that it works!!
June 19, 2001
Subject: encouragement and some info on a mormon offshoot group
dear folks at utlm:
i greatly appreciate your ministry and those of the other ministries you link to. i am a christian who wants to know about the evil and errors of mormonism, so i can inform others who think it's just another denomination and that mormons are just christians with some quirky ideas and an additional book.
the more i read, the more i conclude that mormonism is an evil snare camouflaged by the appearance of propriety. it must take a miracle of the true God to penetrate that darkness.
i just ordered "inside the mind of joseph smith" from your bookstore. sounds interesting...can;t wait to read it.
by the way, i came across a strange mormon offshoot which claims to have converted to true christianity (you are probably already aware of it) on the net: here's how i got there...i used your link to alpha ministries. i used alpha's link to restoration.org, which is a website of an rlds businessman. one of his links is to the "new covenant church of god" with a website and headquarters in sweden. the main leader is chrisotopher warren, which sounds like an american name. how they ended up in sweden, i don't know. this group claims to have formed in 1996 from an rlds-offshoot called "independent church of latter day saints" and then to have gradually dispensed with the "restoration paradigm" and morphed into a real christian church that no longer holds the book or mormon as scripture.
at first glance this sounds good, but they actually retain many features of mormonism, which they don't come right out and talk about. they think the book of mormon is a "semi-inspired religious novel" containing valuable truth in addition to the Bible, and they include parts of the apocryphal books and pseudopigraphal books, plus their own revelations, in their "secondary canon" (they say the Bible is the only book in their primary canon). they have this theory that the "angelic" visions which jos.smith received were real visits, but from fallen angels called the "nephilm" or nefilim, which are mentioned once in the early part of genesis (translated "sons of god" in king james). i am sure you know the interpretation held by some, even in real christian circles, that these nefilim were fallen angels who came to earth and married human women and produced giants as offspring after the fall from eden and before the flood. (as a presbyterian, i do not ascribe to that interpretation, since as far as i know from the Bible, angels are sexless and do not procreate. but i digress.)
this people at the new covenant church of god attribute the writing of the book of mormon itself (through the agency of smith), plus later revelations and false doctrine promoted by jos. smith, to the nephilim fallen angels. they set great store by the fact that much of the book of mormon was written by, or about, "nephi" and "nephites", hence the name of these "fallen angels". anyway, these people think they are the new stage of evolution of the church and they are developing a communal way of living up in sweden. they seem very confused and it's deceptive that they portray themselves as real christians.
i wrote to you because of their "nephilim/nefilim" ttheory about the origin of the book of mormon. another theory to add to your collection.
God continue to bless you and uphold you.
P.S. can you point out a definitive work by the tanners which gives
their views on how smith produced the book of mormon? i would appreciate it.
[Sandra's Note: See our book Joseph Smith's Plagiarism of the Bible. Another good book on this is Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon by Persuitte.]
June 20, 2001
Subject: anti-mormon ministry
I referred someone to your web page for help in witnessing to a Mormon.
They asked me a question that I was not prepared to answer.
"Why do people spend time tearing down someone else's faith instead of building their own?"
This is not a disparagement to you on my part but it is often used by Mormons. What do I say.
I am considering giving talks at local churches in my area (Michigan) about Mormonism.
Thanks for your help.
[Sandra's Note: Here is the answer I give to LDS.
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 the falseness of Mormonism and the truthfulness of the Bible and Christ.
Many LDS people ask me why I don’t give this campaign up and just let God sort it all out later. I might ask them the same question. Since Mormons believe almost everyone will go to some level of heaven, why are the LDS missionaries going to people who already go to a Christian church and disrupting their lives? Why not let it go and let "God sort it out."
Joseph Smith claimed in his first vision, as told in the back of the Pearl of Great Price, that God, himself, told Smith that ALL churches were wrong:
Since Joseph Smith proclaimed that all other churches were in total apostasy and that only the LDS Church, and its ordinances, could lead a person back to the presence of God the Father, one can hardly be surprised that people of other churches would question his claims. Why should anyone accept his word or accept him as a prophet? We believe that the facts of his life clearly demonstrate that he was not such a prophet.
We believe everyone needs to come to a true faith in Christ, Mormons included. Mormon teachings lead away from the Bible (by saying it has been changed and is not complete) and depend on belief in Smith, his revelations, and temple marriage. This is adding to the gospel of Jesus. Christ paid it all. What more could a sinful person add? Salvation (ETERNAL LIFE) is by GRACE. If a person truly places his/her full trust in Christ and His atonement for eternal life they would realize that they don’t need temple marriage. When LDS say a person can go to heaven and be saved but not have eternal life (exaltation) they are changing the gospel. To be “saved” is to have “eternal life” --the Bible never separates them into two different things as the Mormons do. I do not assume Mormons are saved (have eternal life), I obviously worry that they are not. Otherwise I wouldn’t spend all this effort trying to reach them.
Do Mormons really believe they are able to achieve perfection? Are any of them SURE they will get exaltation (godhood)? If not, according to Mormonism, they don’t get an eternal marriage, an eternal family or eternal life. It is an endless chase with no hope of getting there. Just look at today--did you do EVERYTHING God wants of you? Eternal life must be on Christ’s merit, not ours. It must be grace or we are all lost, since even with the greatest effort we still are not without sin. Every time a Mormon tells someone they need Mormon baptism, priesthood, temple marriage, in order to get eternal life they are insulting Christ and his finished work on the cross.
All of our research can be verified at libraries throughout Utah. One does not need to just accept what we say. Any one can go to various libraries and look up our quotes. The LDS doctrines, scriptures, temple ceremony, etc. have all gone through repeated changes. Why? If God gave them they wouldn't need changes. Truth will stand up to investigation.]
June 20, 2001
Subject: Ministry Opportunities
...I am seriously considering a mission trip next summer and feel that the Lord might be leading me into future, long-term ministry to Mormons. Are there any opportunities for a short (2-3 week) internship (or something) in your ministry or could you recommend any other ministry I might contact?
[Sandra's Note: Yes, contact Utah Partnerships for Christ, PO Box 150571, Ogden, UT 84403, phone toll free 866-504-8732, web page www.upfc.org.]
June 20, 2001
Subject: Gold and Silver??
I just read on your where you stated Elephants, Horses, Gold and Silver did not exist before the Spaniards arrived in the Americas.
Unfortunetly I had just watched a documentary on ancient animals in America.
Elephant fossils have been un-earthed in Floridia. Horses, according to my daughters third grade teacher, were caught and traded by inhabitants of the Americas before the Spanish arrived.
In addition I really don't beleive that the Spanish filled the California hills, and southwestern mines with ore such as Gold and Silver. In fact I would suggest that the Gold and Silver were in the hills and mountians long before the Spaniards or any other people put their feet upon the soil in this continent?? Of course I could be wrong. Maybe someone like Johnny Applegold went around planting gold and silver for other people to find.
Given these facts and information it's very difficult for me to tell who has more credibility you or the Mormons. At-least the Mormons can point to the Discovery Channel for evidence of elephants. How did you come to these contridictary conclusions yourself??
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. Sorry, but I believe the facts point in the other direction.
Scientists maintain that there were mammoths and mastodons in America during the late Pleistocene era (10,000 to 12,000 years ago), but were extinct long before the time period for the Book of Mormon peoples. The same problem exists for the horse. These all date to prehistoric time in America. See Quest for the Gold Plates by Stan Larson, for a detailed discussion on this. If there ever were any Book of Mormon people they couldn't have been riding horses or using Elephants.
Besides the book mentioned above, I would suggest you read The Maya by Michael D. Coe (considered one of the best scholars on the Maya.) He states "By the ninth millennium BC, the first Indians were already camped on the wind-swept Straits of Magellan,...Large areas of both continents were grassland over which roamed great herds of herbivores - mammoths, horses, camels, and giant bison." (p.42, 1999 ed.) This may sound promising for a Book of Mormon position, however, these animals had died out before the Book of Mormon time frame. Mr. Coe goes on to state "By about 7000 BC, the ice sheets which had covered much of North America in the higher latitudes were in full retreat,... A fatal combination of hot, dry weather, which turned grasslands into desert, and over-hunting by humans had finished off the big game." (p.43)
We never said there was no gold or precious metals in America prior to the Spaniards. We do maintain that there is a problem with the Book of Mormon claiming that the Indians used gold and silver as money, prior to the Spaniards arriving. The National Geographic Magazine ran a great article on the Maya in their December 1975 issue. The article points out that the Mayans used "shiny brown cacoa beans" as their currency (p.808), "cut every stone without the benefit of metal tools," (p.738) and carried building blocks "on slings," because there were "no beasts of burden or wheeled vehicles" (p.808).]
June 20, 2001
Subject: Being put on the LDS lists!
Hi, I wanted to share my experience with the LDS church. Last summer I married a man who had joined the LDS church, but he later left prior to meeting me. Two friends of his, who are devout members of the church, were invited and attended the wedding ceremony.
About a month later, I received a letter stating that I had been added to some sort of historical list. In this letter, my full name was listed (including maiden name) and including the place and date of my wedding. Is it me, or is this INCREDIBLY intrusive? I understand the Mormon church's position of keeping records, but I found it offensive that "someone" took it upon themselves to assume that I wanted to convert.
At any rate, that is my story.
June 20, 2001
Subject: The Temple
My question is this: Why are children excluded from a Mormon temple wedding?
Any information would be helpful.
[Sandra's Note: Only adults with a temple recommend can attend the wedding of friends or family. Since the ceremony is secret they don't want to have kids there that might talk about it after they leave.
Any kids born to the couple after they married in the temple are automatically considered 'born under the covenant' and would be considered 'sealed' to the parents for eternity.
If a couple had a civil marriage first, then had kids and then later wanted to have a temple marriage, their children would attend the temple for a sealing ceremony with the parents. They would then all be sealed together for eternity. This is the only time children attend a temple ceremony, other than when doing baptisms for the dead.]
June 21, 2001
last night I again saw the documentary about the salamander letter. this is the third time i've seen the tv broadcast. i still find it hard to believe, but being a non-mormon, i'll accept the facts. just a small side note, both my son and daughter attended christian schools here in san diego. without asking, my daughter told me the school definitely places lds in the CULT category. ...
can't wait to get more of the truth about this organization. another side note - our family dentist was looking for another site for his office. he thought he had found a great location. his enthusiasm was short lived. looking out his office windows he was overpowered by the view of the new mormon temple. he said he refused to practice dentistry under the shadow of that building and quickly found another office site.
June 21, 2001
I found out about your paper on T.V. on A&E's City Confidential about Salt Lake. I have for a long time been interested in the corruption of the church and what they are hiding and I'm so excited that there is something out there that can confirm my suspicions.
I have in-laws that won't tell me or my husband, who is there son, about things in the church because we're not mormon and they say we wouldn't understand because "we're not ready." I was raised in North Dakota as a Lutheran and hadn't even heard of the Mormons until I moved here in 1992.
I have spoken to Missionaries on 4 different occasions through the years and they cannot convince me though they try real hard. It's especially funny when my husband talks to them and makes them sweat because he asks them questions they simply cannot answer. They just keep telling him that they "just feel the truth in their hearts when they read the book."
June 23, 2001
Thanks for ...your informative website ....
As Jesus said, " I am the the beginning and the end " so our faith is pretty simple, you can't add anything or take anything away as the Mormons try to do.
June 25, 2001
Subject: News on the Manti Pageant's Wind and Rain on its last night...
Hi! I'm _____ ______ and I was with Mark Chapneys' group from Washington. I came in with my daughter, _____, and had a short but very nice visit with you at the bookstore last week.
The reason for this email is to let you know about the last night of our street witnessing experience at the Manti Mormon Miracle Pageant this past Saturday night. We had another great night of sharing with Mormons on the street. Among other things, my daughter, and two other teenagers from our group talked with the Mormon Pageant President for 45 minutes on the street. He was very cordial, but I don't think he expected such young teenagers to be so well-informed about their faith!
BUT the reason I am emailing you is to let you know that it started raining when the pageant began (around 9:30 PM) and it rained HARDER AND HARDER until the wind picked up in strong gusts. People began to leave by the thousands, and the rain just seemed to pour down harder every minute! The pageant continued to the end, though, although only a few weather-beaten souls still remained in their rain soaked seats. The wind and rain combined to effectively cancel the enjoyment of the evening and sent most driving home early. We Christians were pleased that we had the chance to witness, and then we were thrilled that the "pageant" was soaked!!
THEN, as we returned home to our tents in the park, the rain began to taper off. Within an hour after the pageant stopped (which was around 11:00 PM), the rain STOPPED completely. The strong, windy rain could not have come at a more convenient time!! I think this was another kind of "Mormon Miracle," and we just praise the Lord.
By the way, we have counted at least 9 people who accepted Christ on the streets the 4 days we were there, and we only have heard these results from among our friends only. Perhaps between 100 to 150 Christians were present on the streets Friday and Saturday nights. It was an exhilarating time of personal evangelism and it seemed very productive. Praise the Lord!
We all appreciate your ministry so very much,
June 25, 2001
Subject: Get A LIFE!!!
I don't want any of your crap. Why are you spending your time destroying a religion. To me that is not very Christian. If you were really concerned with the salvation of man than you would just teach what you believe without destroying another faith. THat is not a religion. Get a life you are just out to get money! Are you an excommunicated member of the LDS church? That would explain your bitterness.
June 25, 2001
Another question if I may. I once heard Dr. Walter Martin (Kingdom of the Cults) say that "No Mormon could disregard anything that Joseph or Brigham said." The reason being was that when Joseph or Brigham spoke "it was as the word of God."
Do present day Mormons have to follow that? Or do they follow the statement by a more recent President that latter day presidents can override anything taught by previous presidents? Aren't they bothered by the fact that truth 100 years ago may not be truth today?
Sorry the question is so long.
[Sandra's Note: In theory the Mormons are to accept the words of ALL their prophets. The D&C says "And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;..." (D&C 114) Also, Sec. 21, v.1, 4-5 says "...thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church...Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith."
D&C 52 9 instructs the church missionaries "And let them journey from thence preaching the word by the way, saying none other things than that which the prophets and apostles have written,..."
However, in my experience, the Mormons today place the greatest trust in their current leaders. They will often dismiss any statements by past leaders as the words for that particular time. They say "That was then, this is now. God's word to the living prophet takes precedence over past prophets." This leads to the peculiar position that today's truth may be tomorrow's heresy. Some are bothered by the changes, but the majority seem to simply accept whatever the current leader says, regardless of what other prophets have said in the past. Most LDS are unaware of the changes, or chose to ignore them.]
June 26, 2001
I wonder if you can help ... How can I find out more about the story of Enoch from the "Is there no help for the widows son" article?
In this article there is an amazing story of how the whole Joseph Smith story is strikingly similar to the Enoch and Hiram Abif story....This one parallel is enough to make me want to leave the church.
I would appreciate your help.
[Sandra's Note: Sorry, don't know what sources they were using. We have some material on the Masonic legend of Enoch in our book, Mormonism, Magic and Masonry. This is a good companion to Is There No Help for a Widow's Son.]
June 26, 2001
Hello Mrs Sandra Tanner. I want to ask about the fact that Gordon Hinckley makes a plausible denial or tries to sidestep media questions about the fact that the LDS believes our god was once a human man and mormons believe they will one day be gods. When a reporter for TIME magazine etc questions Hinckley over thus issue, he seems to try to not answer the question directly. I am a former mormon who believed all this teaching very strongly and would have been absolutely shocked to see Hinckley deny to the press this most fundamental mormon teaching. How did this affect their faith? Could you give examples to me or display some information about this on your website? I am most interested in this? Because I believed I would be a god some day.
[Sandra's Note: Don't have any direct examples of people's responses to this. However, I had a number of people come in to the shop who commented on Hinckley's statement and were as surprised as you.]
June 26, 2001
Subject: Baptizing the Dead?
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tanner,
I have recently left the mormon church. I was baptized August 19, 2000 & my 9 yr old daughter was baptized November 5, 2000. I was presented w/ some information by a former mormon on June 8, 2001, and he pointed me in the direction of your website, and after praying, studying, and researching, It became clear to me that God did not want me in the LDS, and that they are not the true church, but the false church.
The missionaries stopped by yesterday and had actually not been told yet, by the people that I had told in the church, that I was leaving. So of course we had to go there, and of course they tried to give me answers to pull me back, but I stood my ground, Glory be to God!
However, they did leave me with a card that stated 17 things that are needed for the Church to be true. All of the reference verses provided on that card, in no way, proved that they were the "only true church". Be assured that before I began studying, I prayed. There was this one point on the card that had a reference verse that I am curious about, and also be assured that this point is in no way making me question my decision to leave. I would like to know if you could explain what it means though. The verse is 1 Corinthians 15:29. Thank-you, and GBU!
[Sandra's Note: Great to hear from you. This verse has nothing to do with what the Mormons claim. Paul is just referring to some group that has some sort of practice that wouldn't make sense if there was no resurrection. He never says Christians should do this, or that he does it. The whole chapter is about the resurrection, this is just an aside to illustrate a point. For more on this see the online book on our site: Mormon Claims Answered.]
June 29, 2001
Subject: Gods many, Lords many?
Hello Mr. & Mrs. Tanner,
I wrote to you the other day and asked about baptizing the dead (1Corinth. 15:29), and I thank you for your response. It made perfect sense, and I also did a topical search in my online bible, and it is the only verse in the bible that discusses it at all, so I am sure that if it were something that we are supposed to practice as Christians, that not only would it be listed more than once, but we would be able to see it being practiced by the Christians in the bible. It is also clear that Paul said "why then are THEY baptized for the dead", not "why then are WE". So I am satisfied with that explanation.
I write you today with another question. Joeseph Smith said that Paul said there are "Gods many and Lords many...but to us, there is but one", trying to implicate that there is more than one God, but that He is the God of us and that there are other Gods of other people. So, I did a search to find that verse and I read before and after the verse, but am still having a bit of confusion in understanding the verse. He was talking about idolatry, I know, but that verse seems confusing to me, because it says... "whether in heaven or in the earth..." 1Corinthians 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many) 1Corinthians 8:6 But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him. I was wondering if you could tell me what you think these verses mean. I was a Christian before getting mixed up with the LDS church, and I have always been taught and still choose to believe that there is only ONE God, but I want to make sure that I am not misunderstanding things. I will also be praying for understanding, and I still know that the church is not true. ...
I look forward to hearing from you and again thank you for all your help. God Bless You!
With Love in Christ,
[Sandra's Note: Notice that Paul did not say there were true gods of other worlds, only that there are those 'called' gods. Notice v.4 refers to sacrifices to 'idols' but maintains that 'there is none other God but one.' If we were to take v.4 & 5 as literally teaching there were others gods, they would be other gods for THIS earth. Even the Mormons do not believe there are other gods for various groups of people on earth.
V. 5 refers to those 'called gods' not to actual gods.
The whole section, I Cor. 84-13, is about food sacrificed to local 'idols' and whether Christians should eat such food after such ceremonies. Paul says it is a matter of personal conscience, but doesn't seem to have a problem with it. But he warns that if a weaker Christian is offended by a brother eating food that was once sacrificed to an idol it would be better not to eat such food.
There is a section on I Cor. 84 in Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons.]
June 29, 2001
Subject: "Holy Underwear"
I heard that Mormons wear this under their clothes to "protect themselves?" From what are they protecting themselves from? Who made up this idea? Why do they do this? By the way, Praise the Lord on what your doing.
May God richly bless your ministry.
[Sandra's Note: Joseph Smith invented the LDS temple garment when he introduced the temple ceremony in the early 1840's in Nauvoo, Ill.
The garment originally was full-length, like long underwear. After 1900 the garment was gradually shortened and made into a two piece garment to make them fit under current clothing. They are to wear them all the time, except for bathing and sports activities. All the missionaries are wearing these under garments. Mormon folklore has garments protecting people from fire, bullets (during war), car accidents, etc., but these stories are usually passed around only amongst Mormons.]