Nov. 1, 2001
Subject: glad to see!
Got a knock at the door tonight... two Mormon missionaries! they are coming next thursday for dinner and to share our testimonies with each other.
I and my wife and 16yr old daughter are Christians and have been for some time. I and a friend of mine back in 1976-80 had a ministry to mormons, ...and other cults....we used your materials extensively....works like Mormonism/shadow or reality....
I dug them out tonight...to prepare/review/and refresh for next thursday...I wanted to see if you all had a website...and you do! good to see you are still in the fight. too many have simply given up. Pray for us and them that they might see the truth.
Nov. 1, 2001
Just thought I'd share a moment that caused me some dismay. Apparently enough time has passed since the mid 80's that the mormons can work their revisionist magic yet again.
My beloved niece, a high-school senior, told me that her seminary teacher last year had told the story of Mark Hofmann and his crimes. He twisted it up so that it demonstrated just how inspired were the noble men who lead the church, that Mark was found out and discredited because of the Lord's inspiration to the leaders of his church.
My niece knew that I was very familiar with the story, having known Mark and some of his family when I lived in Utah, and she asked what really happened. At least now she knows the truth, but how many young people have a completely warped idea of the events surrounding Mark Hofmann?
[Sandra's Note: For more information on the Hofmann forgery scandal, see our Topical Index: Hofmann, Mark. A new book on the Hofmann forgeries/murders is due out in April of 2002. Journalist Simon Worrall's new book will be titled The Poet and the Murderer: A True Story of Literary Crime and the Art of Forgery.]
Nov. 1, 2001
As apostates of the true Church of Jesus Christ, you will continue to spread your satanical lies and reap the reward of a life with the author of lies in the hereafter.
Keep your lies to yourself!!!
The lies are not worth refuting. This is obviously your evil livelihood.
Nov. 2, 2001
Do you really think that it's possible that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon?
It seems to me that even with the amount of information and knowledge we have today, it would be very hard for someone to write. Therefore the idea that Joseph Smith with his limited education could have done so, seems a bit ridiculous.
[Sandra's Note: Yes, I believe that Smith had the ability to write the Book of Mormon. Even Mormon scholar B.H. Roberts felt that Smith could have written the Book of Mormon. After presenting material to demonstrate Joseph Smith's abilities, Roberts concluded:
Nov. 2, 2001
...I am a Grace College Student right now, and am enjoying a good time of studying the Bible. ...I lived in Utah for the first 10 yrs of my life. ...In Utah I had always seen the burden my dad ....and my grandpa .....had for the mormons and I have acquired a burden for seeing them come to know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
I just wanted to email you guys and thank you so much for all that you are doing in order to see the furtherance of the true gospel.
I hope that this may have encouraged you, because your ministry encourages me. Keep on fighting the good fight of faith!
Nov. 3, 2001
I've been a Christian since 1981 and lived in Utah since 1988.
...I have observed here in Utah is the sad plight of former LDS members, or those struggling to "come out" of Mormonism. At 50, I have seen people who've escape the grip of drugs, alcohol and even other cults, however, I have never seen people so emotionally and spiritually injured as those who have escaped or are escaping the LDS church. Whatever it does, it does with a vengeance.
Accordingly, I have put several donation in the mail to you recently, and plan to do so again. Best wishes and Godspeed.
Nov. 3, 2001
Subject: question about mormonism...
I read an article about the LDS Church changing their name, but it did not state what their new name will be. Any idea...?
Is there anything that supports the possibility that they are doing this to appear to be more "mainstream" to lure people in, besides the fact that they are conveniently doing it just prior to the olympics?
[Sandra's Note: The LDS Church hasn't changed its name. They are just telling people not to call them Mormon or LDS, but to use their full name or else just refer to them as the Church of Jesus Christ. So far, the news media has tended to ignore this. And, yes, I believe that this emphasis is just "PR" to try to convince people that they are a legitimate Christian church.
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (headquarters in Missouri) did change their name to Community of Christ.]
Nov. 3, 2001
Subject: Praise the Lord
Your tracts are an answered prayer! I've come across so many tracts on mormonism that only express hate, and do not present a message that is worth sharing. I ordered a catalog, and will be ordering some of your tracts in the near future. I am working on putting stuff together for the upcoming olympics in Utah, and your tracts will accompany this mission. Maybe I'll see you guys out there!
I offer the Lord all the glory and thank Him for bringing your ministry across my path. Keep up the hard work! You will be in our prayers (here in "sin city" LV, NV).
God Bless each and every one of you!
Nov. 4, 2001
Subject: a candid responce
Hmm interesting site, I'm sure your periodicals prove to be somewhat profitable, I must question what religion you would be. The only American faith I have known to withhold the unChristlike nature you betray for fellow Christians would be a self run church.
I prey that people of all faiths would live in harmony. I study religions abroad and in the Americas, and unfortunately came across one of your sites. people like you make my prayers to God seem in vain; however my beliefs are that God hear every richouse plea. I hope you can hear it as well. maybe the acts upon your land on Sept. 11 wasn't just a show of world distollerance, but a reflection of the turmoil within also...
God Bless, and I do not wish a reply if it is directed to negativism toward anyone.
Nov. 4, 2001
Subject: In need of guidance
I am a United Methodist pastor here in Tampa, FL. My experience with the LDS church really began with a few visits with some missionaries during my undergrad studies at FSU.
Since then, I have learned quite a bit about the LDS through books such as White's Is the Mormon My Brother and Letters to a Mormon Elder. The more I learn, the more I realize how for in the dark I really stand when facing this issue.
I have noticed the "ecumenical" nature of the LDS, as of late, and am having a hard time coming to grips with their new "curb appeal." I have a young woman in my congregation who left the UMC just over 4 years ago to join the LDS. She has, by the grace of God, returned to the Christian faith due, in part, to several long talks we shared over herbal tea.
She has been reading Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons and has found a new, deep relationship with Christ. As we reasoned, prayed, and searched scripture together, I was convinced of a need for purposeful ministry with members of the LDS.
...I appreciate...the work you do to further the Kingdom. May God continue to guide you and bless you as you are about His work.
In His grip,
Nov. 5, 2001
Subject: Thanks for the good laugh
I happened upon your site today.. I must admit I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. Thanks again!
Nov. 5, 2001
Subject: Thank You!
Dear Tanners and all others involved in UTLM,
Thank you so much for all the great information you sent me! It was more than I imagined. I'm also looking forward to receiving the Messenger. God Bless you and your ministry! I will keep you in my prayers.
Nov. 5, 2001
The Unmasking a Mormon Spy was very sad to read and scary as well. I can't believe that an unauthentic "ex-Mormon" tried to spy on you and other ministries in order to compile information for the Mormon Church.
...I didn't know about the Christian polygamists out there. I also noticed they [A&E video on polygamy] didn't mention Blood Atonement at all or the LeBaron murders either. ...
May God richly bless you and your wonderful ministry.
Nov. 5, 2001
Subject: Masonic Lodge Membership
Are Mormon's allowed to join a Masonic Lodge? I have heard both that it is OK and that church members who join are excommunicated. Is there an official church policy?
[Sandra's Note: Back in the 1950-60's Mormons were told NOT to join the Masons, although I suppose some might have. I am not aware of people getting excommunicated for it. During this same time, the Masons in Utah would not allow Mormons to join.
Today Mormons can join the Masons but the LDS Church discourages it. Don't know of any official policy statement.]
Nov. 7, 2001
Does it say somewhere in the BOM, D&C or PGP that a prophet or general authority of the church can't be fooled such as Mark Hoffman had apparently been successful at?
Also, my wife's old Mormon gospel says that a revelation given previously to polygamous actions by Joseph OK'd it all. They didn't show the revelation itself however.
Thanks for your help...
[Sandra's Note: If you have a copy of Where Does It Say That?, see section 7-1 through 7-6 on LDS claims. Also see D&C 21:4-6. The 'Lord' instructed the LDS Church to 'give heed unto all his [the prophet's] words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them...For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth...'
The LDS Ward Teachers message for May 26, 1945 was "When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan--it is God's plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy." (Deseret News, Church Sec., May 26, 1945, p.5)
Nov. 7, 2001
...thanks for the wonderful site..my family left the church 1 year ago..and thanks to your site 8 other friends have followed as well as another family from Utah moving here..to finally find the truth..She has realized God of mormonism and God of the bible are 2 different Gods..we worship the God of the bible and condemn Mormonism...thanks
Nov. 7, 2001
My husband & I left the Mormon church 2 months ago, and I can't count the number of times Mormons have come to our door to discuss our decision. It's gotten out of hand...an average of 3-4 visits per week, and now we simply do not answer the door. Is there any way to get Mormon visitors to leave us alone?
[Sandra's Note: You will need to write an official letter to the bishop stating that you want to terminate your membership, that you do not want to meet with him about it, and that you do not want any visits from the ward. Tell him you view the excessive visits as an invasion of your privacy.
Request a letter be sent back to you stating that your membership has been terminated. See: How to Remove Your Name from the LDS Records.]
Nov. 7, 2001
Subject: Lost Daughter
...We have raised our 4 children from birth in the Christian church. My second daughter (19), has been dating a Mormon for nearly 3 years. He was not practicing for the first year they were together, so we didn't do anything to stop it. Little did we know he would jump back into it and take our daughter with him. She has completely rejected her foundation in the Christian church for what she has been told is the true church.
I have several books and pamphlets with info gathered by you and others. When I first began to research this cult, I freaked out. I couldn't believe these people believe this crap. I know my daughter has only seen the sugar coated parts. She refuses to hear anything negative about their faith.
She says we are biased and refuse to see anything other than our current religion as truth. I'm sure you've heard all this thousands of times. ...She is a follower and very naive. -Prime recruiting material....
Thank you for your help,
Nov. 9, 2001
Subject: God still progressing?
I have enjoyed your work for years (about 11). I have been having some discussions with some LDS people and the King Follet sermon came up. It seems that I have read *somewhere* that the LDS doctrine teaches that their God (the Father) is still progressing? I can't seem to find it anywhere. Am I wrong? If you could lead me in the right direction I would really appreciate it!
God Bless you both,
[Sandra's Note: We deal with this in our book, MormonismShadow or Reality?, pp.170-171:
A Changeable God
The idea of a progressive God was a natural outgrowth of the Mormon teaching of a plurality of Gods. The Apostle Orson Hyde made this comment:
Brigham Young, the second President of the Mormon Church, made this statement:
Wilford Woodruff, who became the fourth President of the Mormon Church, made this statement:
This idea of a progressive and changeable God is very different from the concept of God taught in the Bible and Book of Mormon. In Malachi 3:6 we read: "FOR I AM THE LORD, I CHANGE NOT;..." In the Book of Mormon, page 517, verse 18, we find this statement: "For I know that God is not a partial God, NEITHER A CHANGEABLE BEING; BUT HE IS UNCHANGEABLE FROM ALL ETERNITY TO ALL ETERNITY." While Brigham Young and other leaders of the Mormon Church openly rejected the Book of Mormon teaching that God is "unchangeable," the Apostle Orson Pratt had a difficult time accepting these new teachings. Although he accepted the idea of a plurality of Gods, he did not seem to believe that they progressed in knowledge:
Brigham Young openly differed with Orson Pratt on this issue. In a sermon delivered in the Tabernacle on Jan. 13, 1867, Brigham Young stated:
J. M. Grant, a member of the First Presidency under Brigham Young, made this statement concerning Orson Pratt's teaching about the Gods:
It is very interesting to note that the Mormon Church is still divided over this issue. Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth President of the Mormon Church, has sided with Orson Pratt, declaring that God does not progress in knowledge:
Nov. 9, 2001
...I have been an active member of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day for my whole life. Just a few hours ago, I was reading the Book of Mormon and pondering over the wonderful messages entailed in it. The spirit which has flowed into my soul... Did you ever gain anything of spiritual value as you read the Book of Mormon? Did you ever feel something unique as you read it? ...I have read the book and have gained a pure testimony of it.
When I was 9 years old, I visited the Sacred Grove [in New York]. ...I felt my whole entire soul become covered with a feeling that was sweet above anything I have ever felt. At the tender age of 9, I experienced a feeling that had such an effect over me that I could not speak. I knew without any doubt that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he was who he said he was, and that he translated those plates by the power of God.
In conclusion, I do not write this E-mail in an effort to tear you down, but I do it because I am saddened that the Book of Mormon did not bring to you the Joy that it has brought to me. I hope that I have not offended you, and I hope that I have expressed myself in a manner of civility.
Thank-You for your time,
[Sandra's Note: I have had similar spiritual experiences when I have read various Christian books. But that does not make them 'scripture.' Simply because the Book of Mormon says good things about Christ does not make it the word of God. There is no physical evidence that the Book of Mormon people ever existed. There is a lot of material that shows it to be a novel written in the 1820's.
By the way, have you read the Doctrine and Covenants? It contradicts the teachings of the Book of Mormon. Why don't the Mormon missionaries give that book to contacts to read? Especially section 132? That section alone shows that Smith was a false prophet. He was already living in polygamy before he supposedly got the revelation. Can you really believe that God threatened Smith's wife Emma with destruction if she did not obey the revelation? She refused the doctrine of plural marriage so why was Joseph destroyed a couple of years later but not Emma?]
Nov. 9, 2001
I am a 22 year convert of the church and have taken the time to read over the material on your website. I appreciate the fact of your futal attempt to enlighten the public about some ritualistic expreiences within the church, but they just are not true.
It's really a shame that you focus so much on the untruths regarding the church. You quote many passages from the book of mormon, and even the bible. You have taken it upon yourselves to interpret the doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is also a warning given by our heavenly father.
How can you possibly see that you would be in a position to interpret scripture for others? I suggest you become more educated in the gospel so that you may truly share the light of the gospel with others and pray that you will see beyond your ignorence of the same.
Nov. 9, 2001
Subject: God still progressing?
I have enjoyed your work for years (about 11). I have been having some discussions with some LDS people and the King Folett sermon came up. It seems that I have read *somewhere* that the LDS doctrine teaches that their God (the Father) is still progressing? I can't seem to find it anywhere. Am I wrong? If you could lead me in the right direction I would really appreciate it!
God Bless you both,
[Web-editor: Joseph Smith's King Follet Sermon]
Nov. 9, 2001
I have read enough of your stuff to realize that it is deceitful. In most cases, simple logic justifies why things were changed but you try to make a legal case of it. You guys use the same kind of logic as we see currently being used in the third world countries. Perhaps you could find something more productive to do.
Nov. 10, 2001
Subject: Traditional Christ
I have been told that one of the priests in the LDS church said something like: The christ of Mormonism is not the same as the Christ of the traditional church. Can you give me the reference to this. An LDS friend denies this was ever said. Thanks,
[Sandra's Note: Yes, Pres. Hinckley made such a statement. Here is the quote:
Deseret News, Church News Section, June 20, 1998, p. 7
Nov. 9, 2001
It is truly pitiful that you would spend so much of your time putting down a religeon. What do you think you are accomplishing?
Nov. 9, 2001
...My guess is that Mormon's would be discouraged from becoming Mason's since the ceremonies are so similar. Your material on the temple ceremony is very informative. In my way of thinking, any religion that advocated signs and grips to gain heaven has to be very suspect. They must present it in a very kind way or intelligent people would be running out of the place!
I've become very interested as my son has become a Mormon after becoming involved with a very evangelical family and their daughter. I am a Catholic which makes it especially painful since I am a member of that "great and abominable church", that Satan founded.
Keep up your efforts, I will do my best. These people are very kind and very emotional. Logic and reason do not work well but perhaps some seeds that are carefully planted will grow.
Yours in Christ,
Nov. 9, 2001
Dear Light House,
I appreciate the blessing of free speech, and I know that you are doing something that you believe in, and I respect that. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I too have strong feelings and beliefs that just so happen to be in opposition to yours...but such is life.
This is not hate mail by any means. This letter is just a little note to say thank you. You see, I know that the Book of Mormon is true, a conclusion which I reached on my own. I was raised a "Mormon" and have always gone to church. ...
So why the" thank you"? ...For all of the time you have devoted to finding new ways to dis-prove the validity of The Book of Mormon, or any other part of our Doctrine you must understand that it does not always work in the way you had intended. I highly doubt that I am the only one who has been strengthened by such opposition. You are one of the reasons I know the scriptures so well, you encorage me to study the truth of all things that I may know them for myself, and I do know, not everything of course.
But truth is Eternal, and that is how long I have to learn.
One who is ever being educated
Nov. 9, 2001
...I have been a Mormon since 1991. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I have one child in seminary. The other two are not interested.
I've never believed that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. I am so sad and my heart hurts from finding out so much information. I feel that my family has been duped. I feel like since I was the primary example of church education, that I have sent my children the wrong way.
My heart hurts so much. But I know that the church is NOT TRUE. ...We haven't been active in quite a while, and its because I knew from the statements in the D and C that if mrs. smith did not agree with Joseph on the concept of polygamy that she would surely be destroyed. I always knew that God is a God of love, and why would he destroy someone if they didn't agree with someone that used their station in life to make and break the commandments as he willed???
So mostly what I'm saying is this, where do I go from here? I thank you for you time and patience.
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. A good book to read at this point would be something like Out of Mormonism by Judy Robertson or God's Word, Final, Infallible and Forever. It has a good section on Mormonism and a good section on Christianity. Also, the book The Ins and Outs of Mormonism.
I hope you can find a good Christian church in your area with an active youth program and Bible study. You might ask at your local Christian bookstore for a couple of suggestions for good churches to visit.]
Nov. 10, 2001
What do you have in your list of publications that discusses Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery's visitation and ordination by John the Baptist? This seems to be a major sticking point to some, and I recollect that the event didn't appear in Church History until the Doctrine and Covenants was written.
[Sandra's Note: A good discussion of the Aaronic priesthood claims and problems is found in the book The Creation of the Book of Mormon by LaMar Petersen, see appendix B, p.141, Problems in Early Mormon Text. See also the booklet Latter-day SaintsWhere Did you get your Authority? by Hal Hougey.]
Nov. 11, 2001
Subject: Hitler records
Greetings As a former television journalist, the article written by Helen Radkey with regard to the Mormon Church deliberately hiding records is in complete opposition of all journalistic ethics retained here in the United States. Yes, it was well-written, but completely biased (my professional opinion) and quite possibly partially unfounded.
More so, she sounds to me (again, my opinion) like a current or former Mormon who became disillusioned when their strict rules didn't conform to her ideals. I might well be wrong, but it is an observation.
In my own knowledge of the Mormon Church and their beliefs as well as ordinances, any Mormon with the credentials, a Temple Recommend it is called, can do the temple work for Hitler, Genghis Khan, or any other fiend. Why anyone would, especially a knowledgeable Mormon, escapes my comprehension. Why? Simply, the Mormon Church, like most Christian churches, believes no person will enter Heaven having shed innocent blood.
Thus, if the ordinances were indeed done, and the person(s) had to have had a viable Temple Recommend, I question their belief in the Church. ...Bottom line, Mormons believe a person who sheds innocent blood, and unless all the history books are playing a big joke on us, Hitler did manage to do just that, and more than once.
Helen, please correct me if I am wrong. Thus, what is the big deal? Hitler will be in Heaven no sooner that Satan. Whether the endowments were done or not, concealed or not, lied about authenticity or even reality or not, the point is, Hitler is not going to Heaven, Helen, Eva, not my say...who did she kill? The rest, Hess, Himmler, etcetera, little Hitlers. Why worry.
Besides, once again, what kind of Mormon, any Christian for that matter, who has even the remotest belief in God and His Son as well as Hitler would try to save those people's souls? ...I want to thank you for the website. My best wishes to you and only the best of luck.
[Sandra's Note: I think you missed the point of the article. I understand Mormonism has traditionally held that murderers can't go to the top heaven. So why would a Mormon do temple work for Nazis? Evidently some LDS think they have a chance. The issues are:
We are not worried that Hitler might have a chance to now enter the "Celestial Kingdom." But one wonders why a Mormon would waste his time on this. The work for various Nazis has not been done by just one person. Does this suggest some LDS do NOT view Hitler and the Nazis as committing murder? I think this is a disgrace to the memory of all the innocent victims of the Holocaust.
By the way, since you claim to be a professional journalist, I am surprised that you would revert to the standard LDS polemic of attacking the messenger by suggesting that Helen Radky may be a "former Mormon who became disillusioned when their strict rules didn't conform to her ideals." Helen is a former Mormon, but that does not invalidate her research, of which you have presented no evidence to counter.
Nov. 12, 2001
Howdy, our daughter is married to a mormon, when she married him she said that she wouldn't be forced to join their church. However it has been almost 2 years and the pressure is mounting. We have taken her with us to our church (Calvary Chapel) and she has accepted Christ. But she still thinks that it is ok to join the mormon church, they came over to her house last night and talked with her. She is leaning toward them. Help! What can we say?
[Sandra's Note: A good video to show her is Latter Day Facade. It is kindly done but documents problems in doctrine and history.
Good photos from LDS sources on some of their crazier teachings:
Good tape to give her:
Have her read sec. 132 in their Doctrine and Covenants on polygamy. Temple marriage is part of the same revelation. They teach both will be lived in heaven.
They have probably warned her not to read 'anti' Mormon literature. So if she will only read something 'neutral' or LDS try Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith. It is a biography of Smith's wife, written by two LDS women historians. It is not written to get someone to leave Mormonism. But it gives a true picture of early Mormonism that shows many of the early problems. They tell about Smith's magic and his practicing polygamy behind his wife's back.
Good starter books on LDS beliefs
Nov. 12, 2001
Subject: I need info, please help
Hello. My name is _____ and I am a Born-again believer. My best friend, who I thought was a born again believer, just recently converted to Mormonism. I am having a very hard time understanding and dealing with this. Do you have any books or information that could help me? I am open to recommendations. How can someone who "knows the truths" about Mormonism become a Mormon. Please help. Thank you for your time.
[Web-editor: See note above.]
Nov. 12, 2001
I'm on your mailing list and I've been reading thru the latest "Messenger". I have a question.
When angry Mormons write to you accusing you of being "LIARS" do you ever write back to them asking them to be "specific" as to just exactly where it was that you lied. I perceive that you folks come from a position of "facts" whereas most of your critics come strictly from "emotion". Anyhow I was just curious about this. Keep up the good work.
[Sandra's Note: Yes, I often write back and ask for references or quotes to back up their charge. They almost never write back.]
Nov. 12, 2001
Subject: Looking For A Particular Article
Blessings in Jesus Name I am currently witnessing to several Mormons and am looking for the reference to a statement I came across several years ago. I believe it was by Spencer W. Kimball. It was in reference to the LDS Church someday re-establishing animal sacrifices and/or other blood sacrifices. I cannot remember where I read it but I know it was in an LDS publication. I'm currently referencing the establishment of God's priesthood in the Bible and I want to quote the article by Spencer W. Kimball (?) Thanks for you help.
In Christ's Love,
[Sandra's Note: I don't know of a quote from Kimball. Here is a quote from Joseph Fielding Smith in Doctrines of Salvation, vol.3, p.94:
Nov. 12, 2001
Subject: I don't understand?
I don't understand why you have gone through so much time and trouble to try and prove the church wrong. I tried looking at it from your point of view as well. But the only conclusion I came up with was that if I didn't believe in mormonism, I would let others find out for themselves.
When I read anything anti-mormonism, it only builds my testimony of the church even more. Your more concerned about destroying something then anything else. It seems to me that a different spirit is pushing you to do all this. I'm sure Heavenly Father isn't pushing you to do it. ...Your web site only tells people that they dumb and not smart enough to come to their own conclusions. Just because you don't believe in the teachings, doesn't mean that others shouldn't. From your picture, you two look like a very warm, loving couple. And I am sure that you are. But all this anti stuff just doesn't look good on you guys.
Now I don't believe in homosexuality, but that doesn't mean I'm going to write anti literature about it, or try to tell people to stay away from that lifestyle. Everyone has their own free agency to choose what they want to do or believe. Can you honestly tell yourself that the amount of money, time and effort you have put into this web site and anti literature is a positive thing?
Nov. 12, 2001
...I'm just a confused ex-missionary who was baptized in the church five years ago. I'm in the process of trying to get my head on straight after a sticky entanglement post-mission.
at first i beat myself up for lacking the conviction to uphold the commandments. i put my own self through hell. at first i thought the spirit had withdrawn from me. but than a miracle happened! i began to forgive myself. at first i thought, hey, you're just trying to ease your conscience. i thought i was just letting go of the "iron rod" down the dark path to the river, or the tower, or whatever. time has passed and i can put the parts back together again.
but, i look back on the time when i was hearing the discussions was the happiest times in my life. i had never felt such joy. i had finally found the truth. what joy! what immense joy i felt to find the truth through two dorky looking guys who knocked at my door. at first i was reluctant to learn about the church. but i had been walking through a spiritual desert for years. i wanted to change my life.
man did i change my life to be a member. but life was great!. i was a Mormon. yeah my family loved that one. don't get me wrong. they were understanding. but all the time i knew they were thinking, " how long is this gonna last?".
hey, i persevered until that life altercating day of receiving my endowments before my missionary stint. what peace and absolution i felt to be there dressed in white. it was great preparation to spend my life in a spiritual conundrum for two years. hey, serving a mission was great. an experience i would never forget. i think anybody would say that if given the chance to live in Brazil under such circumstances.
but it has been a bitter pill the past two years to lose something i found so precious in my life. but relief in the fact that i can live my own life again. ...
Nov. 13, 2001
Subject: Jesus as Lord
I was born into a family whose history goes back to the beginnings of the LDS church. I grew up in the church, attendance was inconsistent. As a teenager I was spiritually hungry, I sensed something was missing there. It all seemed so mechanical and uninspired. I thought that that is what Christianity was.
After many years of searching in all the wrong places, the occult, New Age, Eastern religions, ect. I found my way to Jesus Christ. A few years ago I attempted to have my name removed from the church roles and got the run around, ...
One month ago my wonderful Mother, 96 years old passed away. She had always been afraid of death. I would have thought that her faith would have been an assurance to her as her life here approached it's end. She hung on to life with everything she had and resisted letting go.
It saddened me so to see her so afraid, I prayed and asked others to pray with me that Jesus would minister to her in her sleep, in her quiet moments. That He would give her peace.
...I was thinking about the love and mercy of God, that Jesus had died so that no man would perish. I wondered if in that moment between life and death that the Lord gives each of us one last opportunity to receive Him or reject Him. I felt like surely He must. I was hoping He does.
When I arrived Thursday evening she seemed to be slipping away quickly. She said, "Thank-you and I love you too", those were the only words I heard her speak until Saturday morning. ...Saturday morning ...my Mother suddenly had a surge of energy her eyes were open and she began to speak but was not looking at us or speaking to us.
...She said many many things but there is one thing in particular that I want to share with you...She said, "My eyes are opening, I can see. Opening, opening, opening. (pause). Jesus the Lord. Christ the Lord. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. (pausing peacefully). Jesus loves who I am." I bowed my head and thanked God. It was so clear to me that she was having an encounter with the Living Lord! I felt assured in my spirit that she will spend eternity with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I don't ever recall hearing mormons speak of Jesus in this way.
...I told her Saturday to go to the arms of Jesus, that He loved her and was waiting for her. She did exactly that .... I am so grateful that the Lord put it on my heart to intercede for her, that He put that question in my heart and then showed me the answer, and He allowed me to have that precious time with her. I have such love and gratitude in my heart for the Lord, more than ever before. I know that He is near. I love Him so! Thank you for listening ...
Love in Christ,
Nov. 13, 2001
Last week I was asked to give a talk on Mormonism at our church and wondered about the marriages of Jesus and His children.
Has any Mormon ever claimed to have traced their genealogy back to Jesus? ...
Do you know of any Mormon dictionary? I went to the church's website, found dictionary, but it was a concordance and didn't give any definitions. I have been asked to define faith, grace, etc. from their viewpoint.
Thanks so much!
[Sandra's Note: The Mormons today don't usually know that earlier leaders claimed Jesus was married and had kids. But here are the references on that.
LDS Apostle Rudger Clawson, in his diary for July 2, 1899, described a meeting of the leaders in the temple:
Apostle Heber C. Kimball, preaching in 1857, said:
Here are some references to Jesus being a polygamist:
As for a Mormon dictionary of their beliefs, the closest thing would probably be Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie. It is sold at LDS book stores. There is a topical guide and dictionary at the back of LDS bibles as well.
Also see our Terminology Differences.]
Nov. 14, 2001
Subject: Brigham Young quote sought...
This is probably a pretty simple request for you. I have seen in your publications (as well as others) references to a Brigham Young quote whereby he states that if the LDS are in error, someone should point it out and that he would be grateful for them doing so...Does that thought ring any bells for you? If so, could you please send along the entire quote and reference? I would greatly appreciate it. I am currently witnessing to an LDS, and could use that quote.
[Sandra's Note: Yes, but it sounds like a quote from Orson Pratt. See p. 4 of MormonismShadow or Reality?
Orson Pratt - "convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of God, and we will be ever grateful for the information" The Seer, p. 15 (1854) Or go to:
They have photos of the quotes.]
Nov. 14, 2001
Subject: Web Site
Dear Friends: As Professor of Religious Psychology and Comparative Religion I have found your web site to be informative, helpful and of specific value to me and my students as we delve into various religious beliefs. I have recommended your site to my students as a reliable view of religious experience involving Mormonism. Thanks you for your work and willingness to share ideas and opinions.
Nov. 14, 2001
Dear Jerald and Sandra,
Last spring I met a girl in my college English class; gradually we became friends and spent time together. I knew that she was religious, but I didn't know that she was Mormon.
Through my acquaintance with her I met the set/s of Mormon missionaries at her ward since I play basketball with them on Saturdays. We've gotten into some interesting conversations. I really believe that God dropped me in the middle of the LDS church in my area (before this time I wasn't very aware of Mormonism, but vaguely knew it was "bad.") I still think it's bad, but my reasons are no longer vague!
I have been challenged so much as a Christian, and I want to know the Bible. .... My thought is that God needs to people to pray, and "having done all, to stand." Blessings to you both. Sincerely,
Nov. 15, 2001
Hi I am mormon and proud of it. I just thought I'd let the creators of this site know how blind and hypocritical they are being by having this site on the web. Obviously Christ never said "Go and defame other religions that their members might turn their hearts away from me."
Your site is not in accordance with gods will. It is fine with me for you to preach to people and try and persuade them to see as you do, but creating an entire site just to show what's wrong with someone else's religion is just plain retarded, and probably hypocritical of what your religion teaches. Thank you
Nov. 15, 2001
Subject: Scales gone from eyes
Dear Lighthouse Ministries:
I have just finished reading Latayne Scott's "The Mormon Mirage," and I am astonished that *anyone* with a brain cell would still believe in this "religion." I had not had much contact with Mormon doctrine, even though I live in a Mormon-strong state (Idaho), ... I ...just consigned LDS people to "they have different beliefs" without having any idea what those beliefs were or how baldly they contradict other beliefs.
In 1998, I became a Christian (growing up atheist, this was a radical change in my life) and got married. My husband is also a Christian. ...Then I read Mrs. Scott's extraordinarily well-researched book, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about what a travesty the LDS doctrine really is. "There are none so blind as those who will not see..." and don't ask me who said it! :)
I'm shocked that all this information is available to any LDS who cares about accuracy and the truth, and they delude themselves into thinking that the *truth* is the lie. I also took to heart Mrs. Scott's suggestion that should an LDS missionary appear on my doorstep, if I am not feeling fully prepared to combat their logic and agreeable, persuasive salesmanship, that I should simply not open the door.
I am interested, however, in learning how to witness to Mormons should I get the chance. ...I feel that God has touched my heart in this. ...
Nov. 16, 2001
Subject: This is a load of crap????!!!!!
Dear : To whom it may concern, I'm an 19 year male, whose being in the church since I was 15, the church has always provide the emotional & physical support and truth that all people deserve, they been there since I at the start, the church is not here to steal, lie or do any thing bad that Satan would do.
I come from a poor area which homeless families, people are common, please tell me then Tanner's that why would the church provide for the homeless family with all the needs and items for them FOR free....I beg of you please quit stating that the Latter day saint church are bad people, before it gets too late and then you will regret for what you say to the people who will be standing with Jesus Christ of his second coming....
Nov. 16, 2001
Subject: A personal proclamation
To those who would hear..
I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, and was sent, by God, to earth to die for our sins. I believe Jesus Christ, after three days, was resurrected, and rose into Heaven where He now prepares a place for all who have received Him in their heart and obey His commandments.
Further, I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was founded on lies and deceit. I am a descendent of Mormon pilgrims, the Jensen and Tanner families, who traveled west and founded Salt Lake City. I was raised in the LDS faith and believed that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and that the LDS Church was the true church of Jesus Christ. I believed that what the leaders of the church taught was true and righteous.
I never had a reason to look beyond the teachings and investigate the origins of the church. The actions of leaders of the church throughout the years caused doubt to creep into my attitude toward the church. Without really understanding why, these doubts became a constant source of anxiety, and soon I became inactive.
My initial probing into the real history of the Mormon Church began with Fawn Brodie's No Man Knows My History, which I checked out from the local library. This book was the first I had heard of Joseph Smith's past. I learned of his use of "water dowsing" as a means of earning a living. I also learned of his arrests for "shady dealings". I began to see him as a first-rate con man. It was not until I happened upon Jerald and Sandra Tanner's Utah Lighthouse Ministry web page that I learned the full extent of Joseph Smith's deceit.
I have read the Book of Mormon several times, even during my inactive periods, and always came away with the feeling that the words sounded like someone attempting to write new scripture and making it sound like the accepted Bible. I was frequently counseled to pray about the truth of the Book of Mormon and the Holy Spirit would come upon me and let me know that it was true. This I did in earnest, but have yet to have that "burning knowledge of truth" bestowed upon me. Now I learn of Smith's involvement with Masonry and the occult. The Book of Mormon is a compilation of words dreamed up by an agent of the devil.
I have never been comfortable with the Church view of not allowing black people to become members of the church, or allowing the priesthood to be held by black males. But, like a good saint, I believed the Book of Abraham to be the Word of God and did not question it. I was in one of my inactive membership periods when I heard that blacks could become members of the church but still could not hold the priesthood. I thought this strange because of what I had been taught while growing up in the church.
Was the end near? Because of the political situation, and racial unrest, during the mid-70's, I assumed that external pressures from the politicians and the public forced the church to open it's doors to blacks. I knew this was a good thing for the church authorities to do to avoid the persecution that was mounting against them.
I had no knowledge that the Book of Abraham translation by Joseph Smith was completely fabricated! This certainly cut the legs from under the teachings about why blacks were dark skinned and why they could not hold the priesthood. Of course the Church had to have a "revelation" to cover their decision.
In light of the false translation of the papyri Joseph Smith purchased, not a divine acquisition, I can only conclude that all other books and revelations are likewise false and contrived. Joseph Smith and his Mason cohorts came up with the perfect scam that has perpetuated to this day.
Millions of God fearing, Jesus loving Christians have been falsely converted to the Mormon Church, and the church is growing day by day. On the surface the precepts and doctrine of the LDS Church are attractive to Christians who are disillusioned with their current church or are searching for Jesus on their own. The LDS Church is not presenting the dark facts to prospective members during missionary discussions. It is hard to convince a practicing Mormon that his beliefs are built on sand and are slowly eroding from under him with the waters of truth.
To become one with God, we must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and open our hearts to receive him joyfully. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and us. Drop to your knees today, ask for forgiveness, ask to be saved, for time is growing short and His coming is near.
Nov. 16, 2001
Why do you consume your lives with writing 40 books about a religion that you don't believe in, and that you are not a member of, instead of spending this same time, resources, money and energy in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, whatever your affiliation, I don't care.
There are real needs throughout the world, go to orphanages in Romania, in South America, help the blind, the needy everywhere and then you can say you are true Christians. You don't have a lifespan of 500 years. Have you examined in your hearts that you are diverting precious time in worshipping the Lord to preaching against another people's religion?
Jesus Christ preached the gospel and lived the gospel, he didn't waste time trying to dissuade people from all the other sects. Where in the Bible can you find another example of Christians primarily preaching against other religions as a lifelong endeavor. Consider directly helping the poor and the orphans instead. It seems like you have the time. Why do you care so much which church people believe in?
Nov. 16, 2001
Has anyone noticed that the reconstruction of the Nauvoo Temple is completely surrounded by pentagrams....both in stone and windows......Isn't a pentagram the mark of Satan worship? If this is original to the Joseph Smith design, maybe it suggests a dark undercurrent in temple worship.
Nov. 18, 2001
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tanner, I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your web page. I have found it to be most helpful in learning more about Mormonism.
I am a senior in high school and have been witnessing to some of my Mormon friends. ...I would like ...to let my friends know about my wonderful relationship with Jesus and I want them to realize I have something they don't have. I want to see them again someday in Heaven. .... I would also appreciate your prayers and I will pray for your ministry as well.
Nov. 19, 2001
Subject: Letter to Bishop
Dear Editor, I am attaching the letter I sent to my Bishop a few months ago. You are free to use any and all of it on the website if you feel it will benefit your readers. Thank you for all you have done for me and my husband.
11 September 2001
This letter is to inform you that as of 11 September 2001, I have terminated my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will not meet with you regarding this matter or attend a church court. I know that you must wait 30 days before you remove my name. At the end of the 30 -day period, I will expect a letter from you confirming the removal of my name at my request. The term "excommunication" shall not be used in the letter you send me or in the official records of the church.
I know that this letter will be distressing to you because you love my family and me. I have been distressed over what I have learned about the LDS church over the past 18 months. I cannot be a member of a church that is full of contradictions, changes, and deceit. Because of my many years in the LDS church and my feelings for so many of its members, I have been too timid to do this sooner. From now on, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16). In Journal of Discourses, Brigham Young writes that salvation comes by believing in Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith and himself. I do not need any man to secure my salvation. "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord" (Jeremiah 17:5).
I have come to know the Jesus Christ of the Old and New Testaments, not the different Jesus of Mormonism. I know the God who never changes and who has been "from everlasting to everlasting" (Psalm 90:2), not the God who was a man and became God. Not the God who is exalted only because his creations choose to sustain him (Leon Skousen's The First 2000 Years). "The Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (Revelation 19:6). God is God and will always be God. Not believing in or accepting God does not diminish his omnipotence or glory.
There is only one God and there will never be another. Men cannot attain Godhood, no matter what LDS doctrine says. "Before me there was no God formed neither shall there be after me" (Isaiah 43:10) and "To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? …I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me" (Isaiah 46:5 & 9).
I remember Gordon B. Hinckley in an interview when he was asked about the belief "as man is, God once was; as God is, man may become". He, as the living prophet of the LDS church said he understood the philosophy behind that statement, but thought it was more of a couplet than a basic tenet of our religion. I know that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Lorenzo Snow, and Spencer Kimball all taught that there are many Gods and we all have the opportunity to become Gods. I also know that President Hinckley teaches it, too.
Why would a prophet of God lie? Why do people, including members of the LDS church, not get told about the changing and strange doctrines of Mormonism? Many prophets and true followers of Jesus Christ have stood up to ridicule at best and death at worst to share the gospel with others. If the LDS gospel is the truth, the LDS prophet should not be scared to share its truth with everyone. Mormons try to smooth over their differences in doctrine and fit into Christianity publicly while at the same time belittling Christianity among themselves.
Salvation comes by faith on the Lord Jesus Christ, not by works, not by strange doctrine, not by following a prophet who won't even admit to what he teaches. "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9). "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6) to God. No matter how long a person works and no matter how hard a person tries to earn heaven, salvation comes as a gift from God to the believer.
I have found in Mormonism many instances of putting the cart before the horse. LDS doctrine says you do A through Z and beyond and you just might gain exaltation. Christianity says you confess Jesus and are saved. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). You then follow Christ's teachings and walk in the Spirit because you love him and want to please him, not because you are compelled by organized religion to do so.
The LDS church makes you "prove your worthiness" in order to gain blessings, hold positions, bear the priesthood, go to the temple, go on a mission, etc. Evidently, Paul didn't realize he wasn't worthy to serve God after he persecuted and killed the Christians of his day. If Paul were LDS, no bishop would ever have deemed him worthy to serve a mission or hold the priesthood. God chose him: "for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel" (Acts 9:15), men did not. Another of God's disciples, Ananias, even questioned that God would use a person of such reputation as an instrument for spreading the gospel.
My point is that God changes your heart and uses you no matter how you have lived your life up to your conversion. Some of the most effective gospel messengers are those who have seemed to men to be unredeemable.
In the LDS church, you pay tithing so you can be saved (unless you are a tithe payer, you cannot go to the temple and therefore cannot gain exaltation). In Christ's church, you pay tithing because you have been saved and want to help spread the gospel and bring others to salvation.
I have had to rethink almost everything I have been taught for 30 years and it has been the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. I have had to rely on the Bible as God's infallible word. After the research I have done on the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price, I trust that God has the power to keep the Bible pure so it will be a hope, inspiration, and guide to me and to all believers. I cannot put my trust in the other books accepted by the LDS church as scripture and exalted by the LDS church above the Bible.
The Book of Mormon, supposedly "the most correct" of any book actually agrees with the Bible on most points of doctrine. If a person can get closer to God by following the Book of Mormon's precepts, why did the Doctrine & Covenants need to come along so soon after and contradict almost every basic doctrine? According to the D&C, the Book of Mormon contains the "fullness of the gospel" (D&C 20:9 and 42:12). If this is so, why does the Book of Mormon disagree with the D&C about the nature of God, the creation, the unchanging word of God, the pre-existence, baptism, heaven and hell, forgiveness for murder, polygamy, and paid ministry?
I said before that I would not meet with you about having my name removed from the LDS church records; however, I am willing to meet with you or anyone else who would like to find out more about the conflicting doctrines of the LDS church. More importantly, I will meet with anyone who wishes to find out about the true "good news" of Christ.
I know that God loves us and wants us to be saved through belief in his Son Jesus Christ. I now have confidence in my salvation. I have been forgiven of my sins and am saved. "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:4). This is in the past tense meaning it is already done. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross was all that was needed for the salvation of all.
The LDS church teaches a very different salvation and forgiveness. According to Spencer Kimball's Miracle of Forgiveness, "It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven, and when. It could be weeks, it could be years, it could be centuries before that happy day when you have the positive assurance that the Lord has forgiven you" (p. 325). We are human and fallible. What if I sinned years ago and should still be repenting for that sin, but I have forgotten the sin? There is truly no miracle in the LDS version of forgiveness. Alma 34:32-35 shows us that if you "have procrastinated the day of your repentance" (either through willful choice or human frailty) "even until death, behold ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his…and this is the final state of the wicked". How can we repent for centuries as Spencer Kimball said if we are under the power of the devil after we die?
I remember how I felt when I first started reading what the LDS church would call "anti-Mormon" literature. I felt sick and scared and angry. That feeling does not mean that the material is untrue. I get the same feeling looking at pictures of the holocaust, reading about the rape and murder of children, or listening to the reports of what is happening today at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Truth sometimes is sickening. The good news is that we have Jesus Christ's assurance that the truth of the gospel "shall make you free" (John 8:32).
Nov. 19, 2001
Dear Gerald & Sandra, A quick note to let you know about 2 families who have recently left the Mormon church. They left the church about 5 yrs. ago, then got hooked up with George P. Lee [an ex-communicated Native American LDS Church General Authority] ...they had him in their home up until 2 months ago; they asked him to leave as he was getting more weird all the time, like saying he was a " twin to Christ ". PTL !!!!
They are free & now coming to our church- New Covenant Christian Center in St, George. It is an amazing story!!! they have taken off the garments & gotten rid of the book of Mormon. Amen. ...This is all very exciting!! Praise the Lord,
Nov. 19, 2001
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tanner; Earlier this afternoon I e-mailed you and about seven hours later here I am still on your site perusing your on-line library. What a goldmine. Thank you for presenting these volumes free on your site (although I believe I'll be requesting for a Christmas gift this year the CD ROM that contains much of the earlier versions of the b.o.m. and d.&c. and possibly a few other titles--I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to your book lists and am afraid that, while the publications you offer are extremely reasonable, that, if I asked for all the titles I wished from you all at once, my family would have a list from me that would cost hundreds of dollars....so I'll make purchases when I can afford them.)
This is the best site I've been to pertaining to any cult in general and the amount of information that you have available for your visitors to your site is wonderful and even-handed. I cannot say enough good things about your efforts--I would have much less dependable information on the history of this cult if not for work. I sure there are countless others who would agree with me. I just wanted to say thanks-now I'm going to get back to reading....
Nov. 21, 2001
Subject: II Nephi 25:23
Dear Sandra Tanner: Could you please explain the meaning of the last part of this scripture that is in bold: II Nephi 25:23 - "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."
How does this scripture compare to Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of your own doing, it is the gift of God."
[Sandra's Note: One needs to keep in mind that when a Mormon talks about being "saved" he is not referring to "eternal life." Mormonism teaches that almost everyone, even atheists, will be "saved" in some level of the LDS heaven. But eternal life is reserved for those who have been faithful Mormons and were active in the LDS temple rituals. Here is a brief comparison between the LDS view of grace and the Bible.
LDS: Latter-day Saints believe Christ's death paid for Adam's transgression and secured universal resurrection. Salvation by grace is defined as universal resurrection. Beyond this we must earn our own place in heaven. We are saved by grace after all we can do. Mormons also make a distinction between general salvation (resurrection) and individual salvation (exaltation). In the Book of Mormon we read "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" (2 Nephi 2523).
LDS President Harold B. Lee, writing in "Stand Ye In Holy Places," p.236, explained:
LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie explained it this way:
Bible: The Bible never equates salvation with resurrection. Resurrection merely initiates the final stage of salvation (Romans 8:23). Salvation is not universal but is based on each individual's response to God's offer of eternal life through faith in Christ. If a person has salvation he also has eternal life. Paul makes this clear in Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." Hebrews 9:28 reads "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
Paul also taught "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 28-9). While Christians believe in living holy lives, they do not believe that acts of righteousness add to a person's eternal life.
Mormonism makes LDS temple marriage a prerequisite for eternal life. The Bible contains no such doctrine.]
Nov. 22, 2001
Subject: my personal experience
Hello Jerald and Sandra,...The Mormon church, literally, has ruined my life and that of my sister. I have Mormon parents, 6 brothers and sisters, and from a long line of mormon church members.
I am not dealing well with all the pain that the church has brought me. It seems every day of my life, I am bombarded by the influences of the the church. I am now divorced for 14 years, where I had 5 boys. ...I am scared to death with the effect that the church is having on America. If you know, or perhaps not, the agenda of the Mormon church is a takeover of the whole country. Can you believe how many mormons are the Washington D.C. area, helping to run our government in a quiet secret way? ...All of Utah, voting as a block. I can't do anything about it. The point is, that it matters who has the power in the country and who makes the laws. ...I could cry when I find out that the book of mormon has been changed thousands of times, and the church has changed wording of documents, history, but the members don't even care to check it themselves. Perhaps we are all caught up in the fact that our families are in it so deep. I am examining my own life to see where I really stand, so I can go on from here. Perhaps being in Utah is almost like living on another planet, where nothing makes sense. ...
Living in Limbo, a 53 year old man
Nov. 22, 2001
Thank God for people like you. Because of your books I have left the Mormon Church. My husband is still a mormon but I pray one day he will come to know the truth.
May God Bless you and your network. When you speak God's word it will not return void. I hang onto that scripture all the time and know that each truth told to mormons will plant a seed and some day they will come to know the real Jesus Christ.
Nov. 22, 2001
Subject: The Mormon God of this World
Sandra: I have trouble trying to clearly understand who Mormon's believe is the God of this world. There is the God spoken about that is the creator of the Universe, etc. But there seems to be a separate God of this earth who is sending spirit children down here for tabernacles. There are other Gods who have earned the rulership of other worlds. The God of this world appears to have had a father and mother. What region does his father rule over? Is Jesus, his son, the God of this world, and having spirit children to send here? I don't think so, in that Jesus father appears to be the God of this world, and sometimes the top God who created the universe. I am really confused. Please help.
P.S...I appreciate the work you are doing, and your publications are excellent.
[Sandra's Note: You are not alone. The Mormon gods are very confusing. In essence, they believe that God the Father had a father (and mother), and each god has a father (higher god) over himself. So some other god (and wife) is the creator of the whole universe, while our god (and wife) is the creator/organizer of our particular world. Jesus and all good Mormons who lived on this earth will go on to make their own worlds and people them with their spirit offspring, just like God the father. A good treatment of this topic is in The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism. Also see our page: Mormons Hope to Become Gods of Their Own Worlds.]
Nov. 23, 2001
...My question is this: what resources do you have, or can you direct me to that will help me approach witnessing to my mormom friend Tammy in the best way?
I appreciate the work that you do for the Lord. I'm so thankful that
many have done the research and worked so much on disproving what is
clearly not from God. I would be at a loss without the work of you and
others like you! THANK YOU!
[Sandra's Note: There are a number of good books out on the subject. Here are a few suggestions:
Nov. 23, 2001
I am an evangelical Christian who started learning about mormonism about a year ago. God brought a friend, Tammy, into my life that is a member of the LDS church. In the last year, I've researched the church enough to learn it is built on lies and deception. Resources from your organization and others have been very helpful!
Nov. 25, 2001
Subject: USU-LDS Agreement
The Deseret News describes the non-Temple documents which were returned as follows:
So, what was the topic that Arrington was commissioned to research for a private church study? If you don't find out and tell us, nobody will. Thanks and best wishes for your continued good works.
[Sandra's Note: It may have to do with Mountain Meadows Massacre references in the council of twelve minutes. Can't say for sure at this point.]
Nov. 25, 2001
Subject: grand canyon book
I was in the Grand Canyon in August and bought a book on deaths in the Grand Canyon. It contained information (and evidence) that the 3 (or so, I cant remember the exact no. now) crew members who left the John Wesley Powell raft expedition and walked off (and whose disappearance has been considered a great mystery) were actually killed by Mormons in Utah on orders from the church. the book offered as evidence excerpts from a journal which talked about 3 strangers being murdered (and then the murderer murdered) at the same time of the disappearance.
I did not e-mail you before because I thought the authors of that book or another reader probably had already contacted you and you would write about this new revelation in your new newsletter. ...If you haven't seen this information yet, please let me know and I can dig up this book and tell you how to contact the authors.
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. We were aware of the situation but had not written on the subject. We now have a small article on the issue. See: 1869 Murder in a Mormon Ward House?]
Nov. 25, 2001
Subject removal question
dear Sandra and Jerald Tanner, i have a question to which you may or may not have an answer to, but i believe that if anyone outside of the lds church has an answer to this, it is you. I am in the process of composing my request for name removal to the lds church. your organization has been instrumental in my decision, as well as several other websites.
my question is this i have a 2 year old son of whom i have physical custody of, if he is counted among the numbers of the mormons, i wish to have his name removed from their rolls as well as mine. he received a blessing as a baby, and has only attended mormon church accompanying his mother for the matter of obtaining free money from them. do i need to include his name in my request for name removal? i do acknowledge the fact that if my request is granted, it means only a mark being placed next to my name on their records, but for me it is symbolic of my renunciation of the false teachings of joseph smith and the other false mormon profits, and a step towards the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our saviour. i would appreciate any information that you could give to me. please feel free to contact me via any means that are comfortable to you....
[Sandra's Note: A two year old boy wouldn't be listed as a member of the LDS Church but he would be on their rolls and contact lists. However, I believe you need to list him in your letter. Tell them that he is to be removed from any rolls, contact lists, etc. Tell them that as the legal guardian, you have the right to determine his religious upbringing and you will not allow any contact between him and the LDS Church, that you will consider it harassment if they try to contact him.]
Nov. 26, 2001
Subject: Thank you
I am studying the mormon church for a while now. I was actually born and raised a member. Recently I have decided to figure things out for myself. I find your books very interesting, and resourceful. ...Thank you very much.
Nov. 26, 2001
[I am] an ex-Mormon. It is really nice to read your web site and to see that there are others out there like me. ...Thank you and may your message continue to save people.
Nov. 26, 2001
It is almost a full year (come Dec.6th) since my release (FREEDOM) became final. I'm enjoying every minute of it. I am now 85....Wishing you continued success. Those posts which condemn you have their day coming...that will be when they get their eyes opened, and see for themselves how duped they were.
Sincerely, Ever Onward!
Nov. 27, 2001
Subject: RE: Sacraments
Hello, I am researching the Mormon religion and was wondering if you could answer a question for me. Does Mormonism follow any sacraments? And if so, what are their roles and meanings to the religion?
[Sandra's Note: The Mormons believe one must be baptized by full immersion into the LDS faith, by a holder of their priesthood, in order to be forgiven of past sins and become a member of the 'true church.'
Every Sunday the Mormons observe the 'sacrament,' meaning their observance of communion or Lord's Supper (which is done with bread and water). This is a time of renewing their baptismal covenant. Participating in this ceremony does not bring forgiveness of sin, but one is expected to repent of any sins prior to taking the elements.
At some point in an adult's life he/she should attend the LDS Temple ritual, which includes taking out their 'endowments' and entering into an 'eternal marriage' with their partner. These rites are essential for one to gain eternal life in the presence of God.
Hope this answers your question.]
Nov. 27, 2001
Subject Arrington info.
Recently there has been a controversy between the mormon church over some documents that were owned by a man named Arrington. The mormon church college was supposedly supposed to get the docs. when Arrington died but this didn't happen and the mormons sued to keep info. in them private. Where can I find what was in these documents? Do you have info. I can locate or purchase? Thanks in advance.
[Sandra's Note: There have been a number of articles on the Arrington papers in the Salt Lake Tribune. Leonard Arrington was a well-respected historian in his own right, a former professor at Utah State University. He served as the official LDS Church historian from 1972-1982 and then went to the BYU. During his life-time of research he collected vast amounts of photos and documents relating to sensitive areas of Mormon history. After his death his papers and research were placed in the Utah State University in Logan, Utah. The Salt Lake Tribune explained:
The Oct. 26th article contains a long list of disputed documents minutes of various top level leaders, items relating to the temple ceremony, private letters of church leaders, etc.
Then, on Nov. 4, 2001, Prof. Dean May, of the University of Utah, wrote to the Salt Lake Tribune Editorial page ( p.AA3) protesting that the Arrington papers do not belong to the LDS Church and should be given to the Utah State University as Arrington requested.
In a Nov. 11, 2001 Tribune letter to the editor, p. AA11, Steven Sorensen, director of LDS Church Archives, argues that Arrington's papers included items owned by the LDS Church and they should be returned to them. "Among those items were some 70 years of minutes of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, temple records, employment file, and other materials considered by church officials to be sacred, private, or confidential."
One wonders how the church determined what was "sacred, private, or confidential." Could it be that the real criteria was whether the documents were potentially embarrassing? After all, most of this material is about 150 year old and some of it is already available in other college libraries.
On Nov. 25, 2001, The Salt Lake Tribune reported:
Nov. 27, 2001
i am a member of the LDS Church and am currently questioning that membership. I am in a very hard spot due to my wife being a devote member. i have asked my local authorities for an address to the budget or tithing department of the LDS church but have yet to receive an answer (8 months now). Do you have an address for them? i would like to write them and ask for a breakdown of the church assets and the break down of where tithing goes. i would also like to know what holdings the church has and what it is worth. any info you can provide would be helpful in my quest....
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. Regarding LDS Church finances, I believe you would just write to the Financial Dept., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 50 E. North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. As for the wealth of the LDS Church, the most current information on that is in Mormon America: The Power and the Promise by Ostling.]
Nov. 28, 2001
I converted to mormonism about six years ago, mainly for acceptance and fellowship. I was baptized a Catholic but never really had a strong foundation there. After my second child was born, I began to long for fellowship and a "religion" to start my children on the "right track". With the help of a friend, I began to take the "discussions" with the missionaries and was baptized soon there after only to find many surprises.
I attended church regularly and was active in many callings in the church, however, I really never fit in. On the 1st Sunday of every month, I listened to testimony after testimony and I longed for that faith. Even through prayer, I could not find the same testimony. I was tired of others telling me that I "had" to prepare to go to the temple and have my children "sealed" to me and my husband for all eternity. With my husband being inactive, I knew this was to much of a reach for us. But, "they" said I wouldn't go to heaven and live with Jesus if I didn't do the "rituals" that were commanded by Joseph Smith.
So I've recently started really reading the Bible and became confused at what I found. Would God really deny me and my family eternal life because of a temple ritual? No, I think not. And we are told in the book of Matthew that there will be NO marriage in heaven contrary to what I have learned as a mormon.
Thank you for this website! A friend directed me this way to really learn more.
Due to my faith in Jesus Christ and the truth that is being given to me through the Word of God (The Bible) I am choosing to leave the mormon church and venture other opportunities. Last Sunday, I attended a Christian Church and felt truth there because they preached straight from the Bible and never once proclaimed that they are the "only true existing church".
I have a long way to go, because I know my fellow "mormon" friends are having a cow about this. I know that it will be hard, but my craving for the truth is the Lord telling me that "you need to look more". I am thankful for the Bible and the help and peace it gives to me. I'm going to continue to read and praise God in the way I see fit. Its nice to not have all the rules and rituals and no answers to my questions.
Thank you for your research, it has answered a lot for me. Thank you again. I just wanted to share my story with you. God Bless and keep up the good work. You could save someone you know???!!
Nov. 28, 2001
Thanks for the documents you sent recently. They were a great help. I think about 99% of the members of the church have no idea that the "history" of the church being taught in the church, is not very accurate, and in many cases, is pure bunk.
...Another of my family members has left the church and I know my father is starting to listen to what I have been telling him....I was thinking of requesting my name be removed from the rolls, but then again, being a lawyer, I thought I'd wait to see if they ever get around to "taking me to court" and then I'd insist on two of the high council to defend me (as is my right) and then we would make the truth, be our defense....then, on the other hand, is it worth all the bother....
Keep up the good work.
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for the note. When Jerald and I left Mormonism back in 1960 the only way to get your name of their membership rolls was to go through an excommunication hearing. So we were 'thrown out' because we 'quit.' Nowadays, you have to write a letter to your bishop instructing him to terminate your membership. See: How to Remove Your Name from the LDS Records.]
Nov. 28, 2001
Subject: The Danites
Just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for your informative website. I've been reading Arthur Conan Doyle's A STUDY IN SCARLET, his first Sherlock Holmes novel, and was surprised to find information on Mormon history. I had never heard of the the Danites or the Avenging Angels and wondered whether they were factual or figments of Doyle's imagination.
Thanks for providing an answer. By the way, any idea how Doyle became aware of such events?
[Sandra's Note: Here is a quote from Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Spiritualism and 'New Religions' " by Michael W. Homer, Vol. 23, No.4, p.101:
Nov. 29, 2001
I just wanted to let you know I spent several hours on your web site and found it to be very hypocritical…If someone is looking for objective information I'd recommend someone who is unbiased, unlike this web site.
Nov. 29, 2001
Subject: A brutally honest letter that I got from a friend of mine
I thought you might be interested in posting this letter that I got from a friend of mine the other day. He has been back from his mission to Melbourne, Australia for about a year now and he stopped going to church. I asked him why and this was his reply:
I'm not angry with the Aussies. I would be pissed too if some idiots kept knocking on my door every three months or so trying to get me to switch religions. No, I am angry with the way I was treated by members of the Mormon church, especially other missionaries and mission staff.
First, they treat you like a piece of crap, like you are nothing. They order you around like they own you. They tell you what time to get up, how to dress, what to say, etc. You can't listen to any music, you can't talk to the opposite sex, you can't go anywhere of your own free will, you can't be away from your companion for more than a minute, etc.
You have to knock on people's door all day long and into the night. You have to put up with all the rudeness and humiliation each and every day. You sometimes have to take physical abuse, stuff thrown at you, people yelling at you, dogs chasing you, etc.
What put the icing on the cake for me is the way I was treated by my so called fellow missionaries. The so called leaders are always suspicious of everything you do. They question everything you do. They treat you like crap. They yell at you if your stats aren't perfect. They yell at you if you don't have enough baptisms. They search your stuff. They act like Nazis all the time. You can't have fun, you can't sight see - and if you do (once) - they tell you how wonderfully lucky you are that you had the privilege to do so.
You have to treat the assistants like they are gods. You can't say anything wrong to them or they will freak on you. I was called names by my district leader. I got bitched out because I turned in 28 hours of tracting instead of 30. "What did I do for two whole hours" they said. I had one zone leader jump up on the table and rip his shirt off and told us that we are all wasting our times here and that we should all go home. I asked one assistant if he was happy to be going home, and he turned to my companion and asked if "he was training me right?" And on and on...
Finally, the nightmare was over and I was back home. My mission president forgot to write me a release letter because he was new so I was given the third degree by my steak president as to whether I had served a worthy mission or not. I decided to grow a mustache and was questioned by the stake president about that.
I kept going for a while but I noticed for the first time that these leaders also used the same kind of guilt trip techniques to get you to do their bidding. "Its not your money, it's the Lord's money" about tithing. "If you're the best the Lord has, this church is in trouble" at priesthood meeting. I can go on and on for hours about the guilt-driven trips this church tries to put you through. They expect you to bow your head the entire time and admit that you are a filthy piece of crap not worthy of your next breath.
If this is what Christ is all about, then I'm having second thoughts. I will not be controlled like a robot for the rest of eternity. I'm not going to go through life like a mouse walking on broken glass wondering if I offended the mighty one, or if I said the wrong thing, or if I had the wrong thought, or if I dared utter a rebellious sound to a church official.
I made a promise to myself at that point that nobody is ever going to treat me like this again. I'm not going to be anyone's butt-boy anymore. I don't care if the church is true or not, and I don't know that it is. No one is going to treat me like that ever again! As far as it being the best two years of my life? NOT!
p.s. I forgot to tell you that my friend said it was OK to post it as long as you don't use his name, ...He also went on to say that he was very depressed and feeling suicidal. I appreciate what you are doing. Bye.
Nov. 29, 2001
You've obviously received a fair amount of response regarding your M[ountain] M[eadows] M[assacre] internet site, both pro and con, depending on which side of the fence your on. All I can add, is that, "I'd hate to be in your shoes on Judgement Day".
Well put together site, though. Then again, Lucifer has some talented people working for him.
Nov. 29, 2001
Has there been any recent studies in Central America that disproves the
Mormons claims of the existence of the Lamanites?
[Sandra's Note: See:
Another way of looking at it is -- Has the Mormon Church made any recent official claims of 'proof' for the Book of Mormon or Lamanites? Or even issued a map?]
Nov. 30, 2001
Hello! I was seriously considering the things you put on your website until last saturday. A pair of Mormon Missionaries came to my doorstep....i allowed them in. I cannot describe the feeling i got when listening to the first discussion. If, by chance, you ever get the chance to hear the discussions, I would recommend it, because it would change your life forever. After that, you would surely revise your website and realize how biased you are. Obviously you havent ever experienced what I have. Thank you, and please take the discussions.
Nov. 30, 2001
Subject: Need Help
I thank you for this ministry. You have helped me on a number of occasions by sending information I need in witnessing God's truth in love to my family and friends still in Mormonism.
I am currently witnessing to a scientist, engineer/ LDS High Priest that is into the DSScrolls deeply and is currently telling everyone to read them, especially the ones found in the Cumran caves. He is will not write out the name of God anymore and does it this way G_d. I have seen Jews write this way but not a Mormon. Can you send me any credible resources to the Dead Sea Scroll issue and how it affects Christianity. I have heard other LDS say it has strengthened their testimony of the Bible being incomplete. Thanks for any help.
In Christ's Love,
[Sandra's Note: Some Mormons make a false assumption regarding the scrolls. Simply because there were various writings in the Dead Sea collection does not mean they were all viewed as scripture and that they should have been part of the cannon. In the book Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary we read:
Mormon writer Scott Kenney observed:
LDS scholar Boyd Kirkland does not see that the Dead Sea Scrolls prove anything significant for Mormonism:
It should also be kept in mind that when Smith did his revision of the Bible he did not add any of these "lost" books. Obviously the LDS Church today does not recognize any of these scrolls (outside of the books of the Bible) as a part of the cannon. It is dishonest of Mormons to raise the issue of any of these books being "missing" books of the Bible since they do not officially accept any of them as such. None of them have been added to the LDS cannon or officially recognized.]