Feb. 2, 2002
Subject: Our Mother in heaven?
Greetings in the name of Jesus!
Where in any of the Mormon writings does it specify that we have a mother in heaven? I have read alot where it talks about Elohim having spirit children but I can't find any reference to his wife (wives).
[Sandra's Note: In the book Achieving a Celestial Marriage (currently sold at the LDS bookstores, published by the LDS Church) it says:
The book goes on to quote LDS apostle Melvin Ballard as saying:
The chapter summary, on p.132, says:
At the back of the set Encyclopedia of Mormonism, appendix 4, are several doctrinal statements by the LDS First Presidency (which makes them as binding as the Doctrine and Covenants). Writing in 1925, the First Presidency wrote:
This set of books is available at all LDS book stores and in the Ward libraries.
In a speech entitled 'Daughters of God', LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley stated:
In the Deseret News, Church News, April 8, 1995, LDS apostle Dallen Oaks is quoted as saying:
Thus we see that it is a central part of LDS theology that God has a wife. Hope this answers your question.]
Feb. 2, 2002
Subject: Please read and use at will.
I don't know if the following topic has ever been brought up. I have searched your site and many others to see if it had been published. If the topic has been addressed, please send me a link.
I discovered this some years ago while on a LDS mission. I have asked questions about it to other LDS people and their reaction is saying it doesn't say that. I don't bother to show them the evidence because the knee jerk reaction if pushed, is only followed by a testimony of "Truth".
This is not the only issue that I have with the LDS faith. But it is one of the only ones where you can use the LDS doctrine exclusively. I have now decided to let it loose....
If Plagiarism isn't bad enough... Many people complain because of the similarities of the sermon on the mount in Matthew 6 and the account of Jesus visiting the people in 3 Nephi 13. Other cries of plagiarism can be found in the LDS doctrine.
With this alone I do not have a problem because if Jesus were the perfect being, he would have no problem restating in verbatim his teachings.
The problem is the passage Matthew 6: 25-27 and 3 Nephi: 25-27 and then bringing in Joseph Smith's Translation (JST) of the Bible.
Except for a little addition to the beginning of the passage in 3 Nephi 13: 25, the 3 Nephi 13: 25-27 and the Matthew 6: 25-27 version are identical in writing and in meaning. Now look at the JST Matthew 6 25-27.
Other examples are Matthew 7:1-2 versus 3 Nephi 14: 1-2 and the JST Matthew 7: 1-2.
Matthew 7:12-17 versus 3 Nephi 14: 12-7 and the JST Matthew 7: 12-17.
Other examples not as blatant:
Matthew 5: 48 versus 3 Nephi 12:48 and the annotation of JST Matthew 5: 50.
Matthew 6: 30 versus 3 Nephi 13: 30 and the annotation of JST Matthew 6: 30.
Matthew 6: 33 versus 3 Nephi 13: 33 and the annotation of JST Matthew 6: 38.
An example of interest is Matthew 5:22 versus 3 Nephi 12:22 and the JST Matthew 12:22.
How could Jesus say exactly the same sequence of words in two locations and the first location in chronological order be wrong? Especially when you take in the consideration why the translation was made.
How could you even say that the Matthew version wasn't even close to what was said but it was identical to that in the 3 Nephi version?
You may point to the verse JST Matthew 6: 27 and say how nicely it collates the meaning of both accounts in original context, but where in the hell did the other stuff come from? It goes for the other examples.
What about Matthew 5:22 versus 3 Nephi 12:22 and the JST version? Why would the LDS church point that out but fail to point out the other examples?
Funny observance. I think the LDS church is aware of the above and now have moved the JST into the category of Study helps on their web-site....
[Sandra's Note: We have some material on problems with the Smith Bible revision in our book, MormonismShadow or Reality?, starting on p.386, and in our book Mormon Scriptures and the Bible. See also the chapter The Joseph Smith Translation and Ancient Texts of the Bible in the book, The Word of God edited by Dan Vogel.]
Feb. 2, 2002
Subject: suggestion and opinion
I have recently been to your web site...I know that you mean well in what you are doing, but the overall objective of your site falls short of being Christian. Christ would never teach lies about another religion.
As Christians, you should be spending your time and energy to teach people about what YOU believe. Don't waste your talents in attempting to teach people about something that you do not understand.
Feb. 3, 2002
It has been my observation that those who attempt to direct members of the LDS Church away from mistaken belief seem to pay a high personal toll for their efforts. No doubt, their reward in heaven (as well as here on Earth) will be vast; still, it is troubling while we are down here.
Best wishes. The story in the most recent newsletter was heartening. I've never seen anyone come away from Mormonism and embrace Christianity (although I have seen unbelievers turn to Christ, and that is a wonderful experience). You are harvesting souls in a particularly thorny patch, and we are honored to be able to assist you financially and with prayers.
Feb. 3, 2002
What a very sad lot of people you are, as I have searched your website, all I can say is that I know that the Church of Jesus Christ is the truth and everything in the church is true. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible is God's work. The work will go forth whatever you poor sad people say or think. Please try and get a life.
Feb. 3, 2002
Dear Sandra, I wrote to you a year or two ago with a question about my husband's puzzling behavior. He was born and raised in the Mormon Church, was married in the Idaho Falls Temple at the age of 20, was totally turned off by that experience yet continued in the church for a few years, then broke away, which contributed to the demise of his first marriage. His former wife obtained a temple divorce.
He later became a Christian, but he was never rebaptized. He and I married in 1976 and have raised our three childre (now 24, 22 and 18) in the Christian church. To the outside world, we are the ideal family with the ideal marriage, yet his behavior has often been as if he were two different people. The "dark side" he hid from others, but his children and I were so often the recipients of his turmoil and wrath. .... I know God led him, and us, to New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, because of how God has reached in to my husband's life and has transformed him to a new creation.
Within the past year especially he has been opening up his heart and life to the Lord in new and amazing ways, and on August 12, 2001, my husband was baptized in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean with 274 other people from our church. My husband had felt a real urgency to "come clean" through baptism. Before he was baptized, the pastor asked him if there was anything special he wanted added to the prayer. My husband explained to him his Mormon background and that God had been calling him to be rebaptized so he could be cleansed of any residual bondage from the satanic rituals performed over him in the temple. Praise God it was Pastor Mark who baptized him. He was sensitive to my husband's needs, and as he began to pray, the Holy Spirit descended upon them. ...After he baptized my husband, Pastor Mark told him that he sensed that God would be using him to reach other Mormons. A peace overcame my husband that he has never experienced before, and it remains with him today, five months later. My husband has been faithful in his Bible reading, journaling and prayer, and he is moving ahead in the Lord--by leaps and bounds, and learning all the way. ...
Finally...my husband has a burden for his large, devout Mormon family, many of whom are in the Salt Lake City area. His oldest brother and his wife are in .............for two years on a mission. Strangely, his family never disowned us, in fact, there has been a lot of love, and I think that's a God thing too, because the lines of communication are open. We've even been able to take two sisters and their husbands to church with us when they've visited, ...
...I am in awe of your determination to serve God against all odds. I'm excited about how God is going to use us in the future. ...I think we will soon have a story to tell to Mormons, particularly Mormon women, for whom I have always had a burden.
May God continue to protect you and your husband and your ministry. Our son .......ordered many books and pamphlets from you a few years ago and wrote a 62-page "epistle" to his high school girlfriend back in Washington. It took a while, but a year ago she turned her back on Mormonism. Her family has disowned her. She is not my son's girlfriend anymore, but I know God used him in her life to show her the Light.
Feb. 3, 2002
Subject: mormon church, Scotland
Been working up to this for some time (years). I am now an ex-mormon, and it has taken me three years to finally get my name removed from church record (I've seen lists with names and addresses still bearing names and addresses with 'name removal' next to them).
I have a story wish I'm sure may interest you. I owe a lot to your web site as its supplied me with a mountain of information which finally set my mind to rest as to what decision I would make in regards to my leaving the mormon church (I no longer spell 'church' with a capital 'C'). ...Your site does a marvelous job of informing the world as to the reality of the mormon church as to its standing in the USA, but its influence is world-wide!
We here in Scotland do not have access to the information that you have in the States! We can't go to our local library and research the church. We don 't know what happened to Jo. Smith in the year 'dot'. We need some support!
My own concern (and within my own experience) is the way that the church takes advantage of the mentally ill here in Scotland. Missionaries bring 'hopeful converts' to the Ward who are clearly 'mentally disturbed' to be interviewed by the Bishop. They are consequently baptized, and their tithes taken (one case: £21,000). The missionaries promise these individuals 'joy in this life, and heaven in the next' and then leave them to 'reap pastures new'. I've witnessed this over and over again. ...
Feb. 4, 2002
My husband and I, both Priests in the RLDS church, have just left!!! I have read a few anti-RLDS books and one of yours, ...It seems the biggest roadblock is the BOM and whether or not it is truly inspired of God. To me, it's obvious (NOW) but explaining that to the "intellectuals" is tough....
Feb. 4, 2002
My son who is now 25 years old joined the Mormon church about a year and a half ago and now it is making me nuts. I was raised a Mormon but quit attending 30 years ago. At the time he was having the missionary discussions, I thought it would be a good thing for him (which it has been in a lot of ways).
I have since become a Christian and have done a lot of reading (via the internet) on Mormonism. I know now that the Mormon church is not true and want to be able to tell my son that it is not true. Right now I don't know how to approach him on the subject because I am just angry about the whole thing.
I need to arm myself with more information and your website and others have been very helpful. ...The reading I have done on your website and others is what lead me to know that the Mormon church was not true but I feel like I still need to know more.
Thank you very much for your help.
Your sister in Christ,
Feb. 5, 2002
Dear Jerold and Sandra:
Just going thru some old SL Messengers when I came across the term "antimormonoids". Are they sure they want to use such a term of derision? When you break the word down to it's component parts we have,
Anti - a suffix - to be in oppostion to;
Mormon: believer in the writings of Joseph Smith
oid - a thing of unthinking robotic existence.
Undoubtedly the creator of this word was using it as a term of derision but if you/me are antimormonoids, does that make true believers Mormonoids? Unthinking, placid, robotic creatures? What a strange title to apply to oneself.
Feb. 5, 2002
Subject: % or Mormons vs other religions
Hello, some friends & I are talking about Mormonism, and one, (C.R.) tells us, there are more Mormons in the whole world, that ALL of the other religions combined !
Wow, what a statement, we thought, and set out to see just how many there are. I have found on source The Deseret News 1999-2000church almanac list membership of the LDS at approx.10,400,000 & approx. 1/2 live outside of the U.S. I found no percentages comparing LDS to any others. ...Could you please tell me the approx. % of people in U.S. or the entire world that are Mormons ? Thank you in advance,
[Sandra's Note: The Deseret News 2001-2002 Church Almanac, p. 167, states:
The Salt Lake Tribune, March 2, 2002, p. C1, ran an article 'LDS Church Grows Into Fifth-Largest Faith in U.S.'
The article stated that in the USA there are 63.6 million Roman Catholics; 15.9 million Southern Baptists; 8.3 million United Methodists; 5.4 million Church of God in Christ; 5.2 million Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; 5.1 million Evangelical Lutherans, 3.5 National Baptists, 3.4 Presbyterian Church (USA), 2.5 million Assemblies of God; 2.5 Lutherans-Missouri Synod.
It went on to say "the LDS Church added around 95,000 U.S. members in the past year--about the same increase experienced by the Southern Baptist Convention."]
Feb. 6, 2002
Subject: LDS information
I am always upset when I see anything that I call "anti-Mormon", and by the way, we like to be called members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I think it is simply not Christ-like to criticize anyone's religion, or point out things you think are particularly inappropriate.
We all have our free agency and the right to believe what we think is correct. The LDS church simply teaches that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind and the church today is set up exactly the way Jesus Christ himself set up His church when He was on the earth, i.e., prophet (which he was when on the earth), apostles, etc.
I would never consider creating a web site to critize another faith. I would feel very ashamed of myself if I ever could do such a thing.
Feb. 6, 2002
I understand that many people leave the church for many reasons, however i have just joined a little over a year and a half ago and feel that this descion was the best one i have ever made. ...It angers me that people such as yourselfs have nothing better to do with your time then to try to tear down others faith.
[The web site] said you have devoted your whole life to this.. could you not find better things to do.. It does not mean that you would have to come back to this church but being christians think about how much of the time you have used on this subject you could have used on doing something worthwhile. I am sorry that you left the church, i know that i would never want to give up such a blessing in my life.
May Heavenly Father and Jesus watch over you..
Feb. 8, 2002
Subject: about leaving the church
My name is Marcia and I was raised LDS. I spent many years going back and forth from doubting to believing mormonism. A year and a half ago I turned my life to Jesus (the real one). My husband was very supportive since he was never LDS (I married him during a "doubting" phase). We attend a nondenomiational church.
I have been thinking that I should probably have my name removed from the records, since my skin crawls everytime I hear them boast about their membership, knowing that they are counting ME! ...Part of me feels like I need to do this because I can still kind of hang on to mormonsim and I feel like it has some kind of a hold on me, you know? Thank you for your time ...
Feb. 8, 2002
Are you aware of the publication of the Historical Society of Middleton Springs, Vermont, that contains an account of 'treasure hunting' in that area before the Smith's moved to New York? It is a fascinating account of schemes that are very similar to Joseph Smith's later work. There is strong evidence that the Smiths knew about this treasure hunting and were possibly involved in it.
[Sandra's Note: Yes, we have a copy of it. It is titled "The History of Middletown, Vermont, in Three Discourses, Delivered before the Citizens of that Town, February 7 and 21, and March 30, 1867," by the Hon. Barnes Frisbie, Poultney, Vt.
There is more on the Vermont Wood/Winchell affair, treasure digging and the Smiths in Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon by D. Persuitte (also has info on early Cowdery family) and Early Mormonism and the Magic World View by D. M. Quinn.]
Feb. 9, 2002
Good morning, I just stumbled across your web site. I read your testimonies and what a wonderful seed you are planting. ...I will be praying for your ministy, espeacilly since the harvest fields are so ripe with all the visitors to your city.
your friend in CHRIST,
Feb. 11, 2002
I hope you can give me some ideas on a situation I have been experiencing. I have a Mormon friend, who I have been friends with for over 10 years. We have spent a lot of time doing social things together and talking, and were very, very close.
Here is the problem: my family has never gone to church, and now we have found an evangelical, Bible teaching church that we really like. In fact, my husband and children are very happy with it, and I told her that it has been good for all of us. Since that conversation, she seems to have cooled towards me. Is this my imagination?
It seems like we have been drifting apart for a little while this past year, but this is more obvious and seems to be connected to our last conversation when I told her we have been going to church. Have you ever heard or encountered anything like this?
[Sandra's Note: Sounds like she may have been 'friend-shipping' you with the hope of converting you. If you have now become strong in another church, she realizes you aren't good convert material, so friendship with you may just be a waste of time for her.
Or someone may have warned her that, with you becoming more active in a local church, you could be a 'bad' influence on her and that she should back off from the friendship.]
Feb. 11, 2002
Subject: family life
As a Christian minister I have been asked to explain the Mormon reputation for high standards of moral conduct and family living. Is their reputation true or only a mirage? Is Mormon family life really what the TV commercials portray?
[Sandra's Note: First, you need to understand that the LDS Church has probably the best PR department of any church in the world. They only tell their successes, not their failures. Utah, which is at least 72% LDS, does not have the best moral statistics in the land. According to the Provo Herald, 6/15/2001, rapes in 2000 were up 5.4% to a total of 838 for the state. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, 9/14/99, "Utah's suicide rate was 30 percent higher than the national rate in 1995-96, and the 10th highest in the country behind nine other Western states."
The Salt Lake Tribune, 8/14/98, reported "Utah high school students are slightly more likely than their peers nationally to attempt suicide, carry guns or other weapons and inject illegal drugs, and far more prone to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet, a survey found. The results show Utah ninth-through 12th-graders are much less likely than other U.S. teen-agers to drink alcohol, drive after drinking or smoke cigarettes or marijuana." The Salt Lake Tribune, 1/26/87, reported "High divorce rates, prescription drug use, and teen suicide contribute to another kind of Utah high--teenage drug use....Sharon Anderson, prevention specialist for Salt Lake County's Division of Alcoholism and Drugs,...noted that in Utah, where more people abuse prescription drugs than in any other state, parents set poor examples."
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, 3/27/99, Kenneth Macnab, member of Association of Mormon Counselors and Therapists, reported: " 'If the divorce rate is at 60 percent nationally, among LDS couples it is between 40 and 50 percent,' he said. 'It is not a whole lot lower with temple marriages.' " The Salt Lake Tribune, 8/3/97, also reported "Statewide, an estimated 55,000 women, equal to the national average of one of every 10, are being abused by the men in their lives."
Second, any group that promotes Christian family values will produce some good families.
Third, since they are a works-based church, they have more pressure to perform well. Active members are requested to attend a yearly interview with their bishop where they are directly asked how well they are meeting LDS standards.
Fourth, they can't attend the temple without meeting LDS requirements of church participation, tithing, moral standards, etc. Without temple participation they can't achieve the Celestial Kingdom (eternal life/exaltation), where families are supposedly joined together for eternity. Thus there is strong motivation to stay on the straight and narrow (or lie).
My personal observation is that active, committed Mormon families are about the same as active, committed families of other churches.
Hope this helps answer your question to some degree.]
Feb. 11, 2002
Subject: thank you
I know you probably get a thousand of these a day but please let me add another one.... As a former Mormon I am so glad to be able to read about the experiences of others who have had the guts to leave the church.
I used to think I was crazy and wasn't sure what reality was. My depression became so bad that I attempted to take my own life. But thankfully I remembered God loves me, and I became determined not to let the depression win.
The mormon church is like an onion: so many layers. I graduated 4 years of lds seminary, and I had the same problem other independent thinkers have had, i was told to be quiet. to stop asking questions. or i was simply told my teachers did not know. never did i have a true testimony of the church. of christ yes, the church no.
I was so very sad when my family disowned me for marrying a man brought up as a pentacostal. it did not matter to them that he was the first to be able to give me the love and emotional support that i needed. so much love!
I wish my family would have come to my wedding.... they chose not to because they stated it would only last 2 years tops and then i would come crawling back home. well, two years has come and gone and I AM home. my home. with my wonderful husband and our christian faith.
So please post this for all of the others that are out there struggling to find faith amidst contradictions and hypocrisy. those who would discredit you do not know from where they are coming from, they are just programmed to do it. May God bless you all.
Feb. 11, 2002
Looking up information for a lesson I'm to teach on Sunday, I stumbled upon your site. Like many unofficial church sites your introductory page says all the same things. But you are a wolf in sheep's clothing. ...
The items you have written about are nothing new. You haven't highlighted any life changing things that would make me, a member of the LDS church, want to give up my religion and follow you. ...You might consider your time better spent to study scriptures, pray and ask for answers instead of taking a path that Satan would have you follow that is marked with deceit, slander and bad will. Remember, Jesus taught by example. His good works were intended only to glorify His Father. I will pray for you.
Feb. 12, 2002
Subject: thank you
I just wanted to thank you for helping a good friend of mine question his self worth. Second guess his decisions he once knew were correct and utterly send him into despair. He had finally found something good, something to make him a better person...what is wrong with that??? Obviously you people think other wise. He is a good person that had made great leaps and bounds in becoming even a better person.
But because of your filth and decieving words he is now a lost soul once again, with nothing to hold onto...not even your words because we know they are false....and how can a person hold onto that in this life or the next?...
Feb. 12, 2002
Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ, I found your web page though the weekly magazine "Pentecostal Evangel." My Next door neighbor is LDS and i have been praying fervently for her and her families salvation. we talk about the Lord all the time (I bring Him up all the time). I don't want to offend her but I have a yearning to tell her all I know of the Mormon church.
I have studied some concerning this religion/cult. ...I want the entire world to know that without Jesus Christ there is no hope of ever-lasting life. Or peace in the troubled times of this life. I admire your ability to hang on and persevere in the face of what must be a so difficult. Yet rewarding when the seeds you're sowing come to life and blossom in front of you. Thank you for all you do!! God bless and Keep you and the ministry He has bestowed upon you.
In Christ alone
Feb. 13, 2002
I am L.D.S.(Mormon). I feel so much better after reading "Is There No Help for the Widows Son".
I have always believed in everything I've been taught in church & learned at the Temple, but recently started questioning the relationship between Masonry & the temple ceremony. So I started searching the internet & found this article ("Is There No Hope for the Widow's Son").
It made complete sense & cleared up any questions or doubt I had about the truthfullness of my beliefs. Thank you for helping me understand better.
[Web-editor: For more information on Masonry and the Temple ceremony see: Captain Morgan and the Masonic Influence in Mormonism.]
Feb. 14, 2002
Subject: Ceremonies for Babies
...I attend ..........Church in Lubbock, Texas. There is a new Mormon temple being built here and it has created a lot of interest in the Mormon beliefs. Our church is beginning a study of Mormonism and I will be leading the study. I have a fairly good background in Mormonism, but I was asked a question last week that I did not have an answer for.
A lady in our church was born in Utah and said that her mother told her that the Mormons performed a "ceremony" over her when she was a baby. Her mother would never tell her what was done and she has wondered for a long time what might have happened. I have not been able to find out anything about ceremonies involving babies and wanted to know if you had any information that might be helpful.
Thanks so much for all that you are doing to make folks aware of the differences in Christianity and Mormonism. Keep up the good work! Thanks again.
[Sandra's Note: I assume this was a regular blessing of a baby, when the child was a few weeks old. The father (if a good member) and several men would take the baby to the front of the congregation and say a special prayer over the child, and confer his/her official name as it will be recorded on the church records. The mother does not participate in this, but watches from the audience.
This special prayer/blessing is usually done during their monthly Fast and Testimony meeting. The prayer varies, but would usually include some sort of blessing of health, long life, temple marriage, etc. The LDS 'Church Handbook of Instructions' states that the person giving the blessing
"1. Addresses Heavenly Father.
Hope this answers your question.]
Feb. 14, 2002
First of all, I would just like to say how thankful I am for people such as yourselves. You're truly doing God's will, and I commend your efforts--keep up the good work and never get discouraged!
I'd like to ask a quick question, if I may... One of my best friends is Mormon, and I've recently tried dropping subtle hints in convincing him that Mormonism is NOT like the Christian faith, despite what he believes to the contrary.
I'm trying to be very, very careful in how I approach my discussions with him, and was wondering if you guys have had a lot of success with a particular argument of some sort. In other words, what is the most compelling information I can refer to? I'm sorry for being so vague, but I think you understand what I mean. Is there any one thing (or more, perhaps) that you have personally discovered to be more convincing than any other? Any advice you can offer me would really be appreciated. I realize that you're quite busy (as stated on your site), but please reply whenever you have some spare time. Thank you all, and God bless! Sincerely,
[Sandra's Note: I would suggest giving him the book By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus. It is about Smith's failure to translate some Egyptian papyrus he bought. He claimed it translated to the Book of Abraham. But anyone that can read Egyptian knows it has nothing to do with Abraham, but is about the Egyptian pagan religion.
A good video to show him is Latter-day Facade. Good documentation on problem areas of Mormonism, but done respectfully.]
Feb. 15, 2002
Subject: Re: How can I reach the LDS?
After 15 years of study and prayer, I don't seem to be able to make any headway with the LDS. No matter what I show them, from false prophecies to scriptural inconsistencies, they always have an answer. They never seem to bat an eye over these problem areas. What can I do to reach the LDS with the Truth?
[Sandra's Note: Am I right in assuming you are trying to reach a few specific Mormons, like family or friends, as opposed to doing some sort of general outreach to LDS? Those closest to us can sometimes be the hardest to reach. Jerald and I still have some family and friends that are good LDS. It is a great sadness that they are opposed to looking at any other point of view.
Maybe you could try a different approach, like giving them the book Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith. It is written by two LDS women historians (Newell and Avery, Univ. of Ill. Press) and they tell a lot of the problem areas of early Mormonism, like Smith's involvement with magic and his plural wives. This is not an 'anti' Mormon book, they never say Smith was a false prophet. It is just good history that demonstrates that Smith was very human. You could give it to a Mormon for his/her birthday, Christmas, etc. and just say someone recommended it as a good biography of Smith's wife and since the Mormons don't seem to be as familiar with her as they are with Joseph, you thought they would enjoy reading it.
You can buy this book from the official LDS bookstore, Deseret Book, 801-328-8191, 36 S. State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111. Then they can't say you are giving them bad literature. But this could start them rethinking Mormon truth claims.
Another book you can buy from Deseret Book is Studies of the Book of Mormon by B.H. Roberts, a well-known LDS church leader. In his book he raises serious questions about the historical validity of the Book of Mormon.
Another book that is good to give a Mormon is By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus. It tells the story of Smith buying some ancient Egyptian papyri and his claims of translation (which he published as the Book of Abraham), then showing that the actual translation has nothing to do with Abraham or anything Smith wrote. This is written in a kindly, factual way, yet shows all of the problems.
Ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit that opens the heart. We do what we can to reach those around us and then commit them to prayer. The seed you plant today may not grow for years. Sometimes we are just one of many in a long line of people that God will use to reach that person. We talk to people all the time that tell us of many different people witnessing to them before they finally started to pay attention. There are thousands of former Mormons that have gone through this painful process of leaving Mormonism and then find a wonderful relationship with God.]
Feb. 15, 2002
Subject: Mormon Letters.
I'm glad to see that LDS members are at least taking the time to read some of the things on your website.
I was wondering if any of them try to get in touch with you to dispute any of your documentation. It seems to me that all they can do is just write some hit and run letter with no documentation to support their claims that you guys are just "Satan Worshipers" and this website is full of lies and that you guys are just "Mormon bashing". I find these letters rather humorous.
I've spent hours and hours going through your website and I think I've read just about everything on it.
I check every day to see if a new month of "Letters to the Editor" has been posted. These hit and run Mormon letters have become my favorite thing to read here. I'm just waiting for some Mormon to write in with some documentation to support their claims. I'm sure it's going to be quite a while, if ever.
You're very courageous in your fight for Christ. (with documentation)
Thanks for your time.
[Sandra's Note: When a Mormon accuses us of lying, I write back and offer to correct any false statements. I just ask them to send me the quote in question so I can research it. They don't usually respond, but when they do it is usually just to argue the interpretation of a Bible verse, not an issue of a falsified quote.]
Feb. 16, 2002
Hi, I was wondering if you could clarify something for me. I had purchased a copy of Mormonism-Shadow or Reality..., it quotes 2 Maccabees 1:36 as saying..."but many men call it nephi." as evidence for Joseph Smith coming up with that name for the Book of Mormon.
I had borrowed a New Revised Standard Version of the Bible with the Apocrypha and in 2 Maccabees, it quotes "naptha" instead of "nephi". I was wondering if this is a different translation than what was used at around Joseph Smith's time. I would appreciate it if you could clear this up for me. Thanks a lot! I appreciate everything your ministry does! God Bless!
[Sandra's Note: You have to look it up in the KJV of the Apocrypha. That is the version that Smith owned. We sell a reprint here: Apocrypha.]
Feb. 16, 2002
Subject: horses, elephants, etc....
[Editor's note: This letter is in response to our statement that wheat (Mosiah 9:9), horses (1 Nephi 18:25), chariots (Alma 18:9-11; 20:6; 3 Nephi 3:22), cows (Enos 21), elephants (Ether 9:19), silk (Alma 1:29; 4:6; Ether 9:17), linen (Mosiah 10:5; Helamon 6:13; Ether 10:24), money-pieces of gold and silver (Alma 11:3-20), steel (2 Nephi 5:15; Jarom 1:8; Ether 7:9) were not here before the Spaniards.]
These items have been proven to been here before the Spaniards. Scientists and renowned Archeologists have said that there were Horses, Cows, Elephants in the America's before the European's arrived here. I hope in telling you this, that maybe you will retract that statement and apologize for not looking into the facts.
With much love,
[Sandra's Note: I am willing to look at your claims but you have not given me any references. Where are the statements to that effect from reputable scientists who are not LDS? It is not enough for you to simply affirm that those things have been proven, you will have to give me references.
Anyone could state that the moon is made of green cheese, or that Columbus listened to the radio while crossing the ocean, but why should anyone believe that without any evidence?
Even some of the LDS scholars admit there is no evidence for horses during the Book of Mormon time period.
Can you cite a single Mormon scholar who has produced evidence (as opposed to suggestions or possibilities) that there were horses during the Book of Mormon time frame here in the Americas? Don't give me references to the La Brea tar pits in Calif.--they are too early for the Book of Mormon and don't contain true horses that could pull a chariot (as in the Book of Mormon).
Feb. 16, 2002
Subject: How To Open Mormon Hearts...For The Truth!
I began questioning Mormonism when I started exploring the lack of depth I felt when I attended Church. It began to grow over time, but incident after incident at Church began to cast a pall across the perfect life I was valiantly trying to create from the disharmony I lived. So, I explored my emptiness, and tried to put my finger on the unease.
The best analogy that I can apply is that it was like living in the eerie light of an eclipse. You can see everything, you recognize it, you know what it is, but you know something is very different from the way it should rightfully be.
The first principle of enlightenment was my conviction of the utter simplicity of the Gospel. What I was living was incredibly complex and required a great deal of time and maintenance. Not at all simple!
The second principle of enlightenment was the lack of joy in my life. Most of the things I did were mechanical without soul and without conviction. I was serving as an indentured, though willing, servant. I was going through the motions, and most of the people I knew were also living a "mechanical" life.
In this metamorphosis, I came up with three areas that convinced me that the Mormon Church was an incorrect version of Christianity. And, I should add that these insights were gained prior to discovering the various truths related to the foundation of Mormonism. From my perspective, I don't think "shock exposure" by giving members the Tanner's books and publications are of any benefit in helping them to question the Church. It may instead harden their resolve. Think back to your own "true believer" days.
However, there is a method to place the seed of doubt in their hearts. And, best of all, this method will work within them when you are not there, and will allow the rational thought process to be given an opening. These questions will frame the falsity of the life they are living, and will convince them to question the form of Christianity they are enslaved in. Then, you may have your opening to provide them with the documentation and witnesses that starkly contrast with the cleansed and whitewashed myth that is Mormonism.
So, if you are working with family members or dear friends that you need to rescue, here are three simple questions based on how I came to question Mormonism.
1. Whose Church is this?
Note the citing of religious authorities and who is cited the most: Do they use the words of Prominent Prophets, Presidents, and Presiding Mormons (in other words, doctrines of men)? Or, do they use the words of the Bible and generally acceptable authorities regarding God, Heavenly Father, Jesus, Christ (words of and about God)?
If Mormonism truly were a Christian Church, you'd think you'd mostly hear the latter. Instead, it's often a 10 -to- 1 ratio the opposite way. Despite the comfort people may have with Prophets and the "Restored Church", there is an unease about it that is palatable. This will cause them to listen more intently to the words of these "Men" and to try to understand the reasons for them. It will also serve to starkly contrast the simple words of Christ with the complex words of men.
2. What is the overriding message?
Note the embracing (or lack thereof) of traditional Christian concepts through mentally measuring the use of the following: How often are the words Obedience, Commandments, Judgment & Worthy, (self or group condemnations) used? Juxtapose this with the use of the words Grace, Mercy, Love & Forgiveness (in other words, God's acceptance of all.).
This is pretty startling the first time it is done. Every time a word from the first set are used, their head and hearts will ring with the harmonic of a word from the second set. It can't be stopped. For example, how many people know that the Mormon Church is the only mainline religious sect that does not have the song Amazing Grace in the Hymnal?
3. How much of Member's efforts are involved in "saving themselves"?
In most of the meetings and classes, the cacophony of exhortation revolves around "performing" up to expectations or standards; Home Teaching, meeting attendance, tithing faithfulness, "magnifying one's calling", Temple attendance, and other areas of service, including Sunday School & Primary.
Contrast this with the freedom most Christians have in attending
however often and whichever faith in whichever facility they wish. They
also have the choice to involve themselves to the extent they wish without
expectations, condemnation or judgment.
Does the Church espouse and facilitate the teaching of the doctrines of man or God?
How prominent is the concept of and understanding of God's Grace and Love?
How much choice does a Member have in participation levels and determining the extent of individual efforts?
I hope this is benefit to someone who may need a method to approach others.
Feb. 16, 2002
Subject: i don't understand
i am still having trouble in understanding why you have so much information about a religion that you don't believe in and when a lot of the information you give is not even true. you claim that the lds church is drawing people away from christ, but it is obviously you who is doing this since you are preaching to people about something you have no ideas or affiliations with.
why not try to preach about the gospel that you believe, instead of teaching false information about another religion. the lds church, has the fullness of the gospel and is the only church that can provide that with the full authority of god. until you can show me a different church that has these things, i will have to stick with being LDS.
Feb. 16, 2002
Subject: Question About Justification of Polygamy
First, I want to thank you for a couple of the books I purchased from your store. Being new to Utah (and to Mormonism), I've had a great deal to learn.
How do Mormons justify NOT actively practicing polygamy? If Joseph Smith really had a revelation that members of the "church" should take on plural wives, then one would think that today's Mormons are not true to their faith. Or, is it their belief that God changed his mind in the 1890s with a new "revelation?" If Smith is indeed a true prophet, then God must be pretty inconsistent. Otherwise, Smith was lying all along. How do true blue mormons respond to this line of reasoning?
By the way, you have a very good website - both from a content and technical perspective.
[Sandra's Note: They just rationalize that that was then, this is now. 'We have a living prophet, isn't it wonderful, he keeps us right up to date with God's current program! It was introduced by God for that time, but not necessary today, like doing away with the Jewish laws after Christ. New revelation does not have to square with old revelation, each has its truth for that time, etc.']
Feb. 17, 2002
I have read your article with interest. However, i find it fascinating that there are many people or non-members/mormons who find time to 'research' and relay their 'finding's' in such a big way. All that you have researched, have you found to be the utmost truth? If so, how? Are these sources to be believed?
...Finally, may I ask, with all due respect, why do you find yourselves spending much time telling the world of the 'deception' (so called) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? Has there been a calling for such articles? Or is it of pure interest? Or is merely 'ignorance' to the facts of it all? Has history plagued many a mind to the 'real' dealings of the history of the Church?
I see a growth of The True Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. ...If only hearts are softened and the truth allowed to encompass therefore allowing others to choose for themselves rather than listen or read material that is not all fact. Precious time wasted on belittling facts that only destroy the one chance they may ever have to coming very close to what matters the most, knowing who their Father in Heaven really is.
Have a wonderful day and hope you're enjoying the olympics.
Feb. 17, 2002
Subject: Thank you
Just a short note to Thank you for providing the information we needed to have our names removed from the membership list with the Mormons. It took a few letters, and we have now lost "all blessings" from the church. We are very pleased to not only be able to say that we are not LDS but that we took the time to make sure we are no longer a part of a religious group.
Feb. 18, 2002
...I think your web site is very interesting, my whole life I have lived in a mormon family upraising but always had questions even when I was a teenager that just were never fully answered almost bounced around and said to have faith instead of facts, I always found my self questioning the church, but I guess who doesn't question things.. I think your right there is missing history in the LDS religion and people don't know how to explain it to many who ask....
ALL MY FRIENDS, ALL MY FAMILY, Almost everyone I know is LDS ...Its just tough because its basically implanted in you I almost feel ... "EMPTY?" I don't know a void.. I just feel very confused with my life right now.. I almost don't know where to go.. ...I still hold a lot of things I learned dearly... I don't want to get involved in immoral acts.. I think what I have been taught is good.. You said you were christian..so do you still hang on to what you have been taught? do you find your self very moral person? I don't know why I am telling you all this.. I was just maybe hoping you have felt some what the way I feel.. ...I want to move on with my life in a good and very positive way with out feeling so guilty ?? I don't know what I feel.. sorry for the crazy letter.
Thanks for taking the time reading my letter and best to you and yours.
[Sandra's Note: I was a very active Mormon as a teenager. Graduated from Seminary, attended Institute of Religion, taught Sunday School, in the road shows, etc. So when I left it was very lonely. All my good memories were somehow tied into LDS events or people. But I KNEW Mormonism was not from God. With Jerald standing by my side, knowing I was making the right decision, I had the courage to walk away. In the place of Mormonism I found a wonderful, personal relationship with God, based on His grace, not my works.
My family was very upset but in time we reconciled and could get together as family without arguing about Mormonism. They, at first, thought Jerald and I were leaving because we couldn't keep the standards, probably wanted to drink or something. In time they realized we left for reasons of conscience, not lack of morals. We still do not drink or smoke (but do have coffee).
We found a nice Christian group of friends and attend the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church here in Salt Lake. I hope you, too, can find a good church to attend. It will really help to get you grounded in the Bible and to find some new friends. You might ask at your local Christian bookstore (probably listed in your yellow pages under bookstore) to suggest a good Bible study group.
A book you might find helpful is Out of the Cults and into the Church. It is about the struggles of people leaving groups like the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. Also my tape Sandra Tanner Tape #4, Struggles of Leaving Mormonism.]
Feb. 19, 2002
I was recently talking to a mormon and she told me that mormon archeologists have found the tree of life spoken of in 1 nephi in south america. Is this a lie? If so what is the best way to show here that. I know they have lied about other alleged archeological finds in the past.
Thank you for your time God bless
[Sandra's Note: Some sixty years ago a large carved stone, referred to as Stela 5, Izapa, was found in Chiapas, Mexico. A few LDS writers have claimed that this stone depicts a scene in the Book of Mormon and is thus evidence for the historicity of that book. However, the National Geographic Society does not make that connection. In a letter dated April 27, 1965, George Crossetter, Chief, Geographical Research, National Geographic Magazine, stated:
It should be noted that there is no written text on the stone, only drawings of various people and objects. Problems arise from the unsupported interpretation of the drawings by LDS writers. Stan Larson, Marriott Library, University of Utah, wrote:
Hope this helps. There is also material on this in our book: Archaeology and the Book of Mormon.]
Feb. 19, 2002
My family and I just returned from the Olympics...We are Christians. ...We also spent some time talking with some of the "sisters" [at temple square] who seemed more interested in surface talk than anything else. We then spent some time talking with some of the Christians witnessing outside the Square. Then we prayed for them that they might be able have doors opened to reach some of the inquiring minds.
Upon returning home to California we read a copy of The Facts on the The Mormon Church by Dr's. John Ankerberg and John Weldon where we saw your names mentioned, and looked you up on the internet. We just want to wish you well, and keep up the good work of the Lord.
Feb. 19, 2002
I have been curious about the names used in the Book of Mormon...names in the bible have specific meanings..Jabez means pain, Peter means rock, etc....but I was thinking about the names like Nephi, Moroni, Alma, Helaman, Lamanites, Mosiah and Mormon. Are these names made up???? Or do they have any meaning in any language???
Also, I appreciate the work Sandra and Jerald are doing..They are so good about not slamming the church but stating true facts, documented and available to anyone who desires to seek the truth for themselves. It is much easier for man to believe in man rather than God.
When I read about the law suit the Mormon Church tried to bring against UTLM for internet copy rite infringements... There was a statement made in regards to this large billion dollar organization coming against a ministry with an employment of 5...The Lord spoke to my heart, and I was overwhelmed with emotion when I heard "With little I can do much"! I am an ex mormon born and raised in the church and I believe the time is very near when the Almighty will shake the foundations of this false church. I'm not sure what all will transpire but I do believe there are those who are in the lds faith that love the Lord and will be zealous for him when they come to know the truth.
Sadly, there always seem to be few in number. But with little GOD (the true and living God) can do much!! Right?? I look forward to your answers and appreciate your Ministry..You have been a great inspiration to me..Thanks!!
[Web-editor: See our page: Possible Sources For Book of Mormon Names.]
Feb. 20, 2002
Subject: Question about bible
Hello! I am currently mormon and have been doing a lot of research and have concluded pretty much the only logical thing to conclude. I am having a hard time admitting it though. :) (I have contacted a group here to help with that)
My question, though, is about something I have not been able to find anywhere and I was wondering if you had heard this and if you know where I can find factual info.
I have "known" for as long as I remember, that the Bible was altered. Certain doctrine had been removed. My mom even brought this up a couple days ago. She said that there was a king, I think it was Constantinople, who had problems with obedience to doctrine in the bible and had parts of the bible removed so that he could justify his behavior.
Does this sound at all familiar?
Well, thanks for any help you can give!
[Sandra's Note: Yes, it sounds familiar. Not because it is historically accurate but because it is the common LDS assumption.
THE BIBLE --There is a good chapter on the formation of the Bible and the supposed lost books in Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons. See also the chapter on the Bible in The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism, our book, Mormon Scriptures and the Bible, and Halley's Bible Handbook, pp. 745-758.
SUPPOSED LOST BOOKS--The LDS Church uses the same books in their Bible as are in regular Bibles. If these supposed 'lost' writings were of such value why hasn't the LDS Church restored them? Where is the evidence that these writings, such as the book of Jasher and the book of the wars of the Lord, were ever intended to be a part of the sacred cannon? Simply because they were mentioned in the Bible doesn't mean they were intended as scripture. They could just be historical writings.
In fact, when Smith did his 'inspired translation' of the Bible, he didn't add any of these 'lost books'. His Bible was actually a book shorter due to his elimination of the Song of Solomon. So even by Smith's standard, these other books must not be important since he did not add them to his canon.
THE CANON--In Halley's Bible Handbook we read:
There is no evidence that Constantine caused any revision or doctrinal tampering of the existing manuscripts. In fact, the oldest copies of the books of the New Testament, which pre-date the time of Constantine, teach the same doctrines that are in the Bible today. Rather than condemn Constantine, we should thank him for helping to preserve the writings of the New Testament.]
Feb. 21, 2002
Dear Tanners, Thank you for all the stuff I have read on your site. I, because of your site, was beginning to question my faith in the restored gospel. It caused me to study all and everything pertaining to the lds church that I could get my hands on in the last few months. With due diligence of study and sincere prayer I have felt the still small voice, and it has spoken again truth and faith that I thought I had lost. So thank you in a very odd way. May God bless.
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. I am glad to know that our site caused you to do further reading. However, if you did not read our book MormonismShadow or Reality? you have not studied it 'all.']
Feb. 21, 2002
Subject: Energizer bunnies?
I was perusing your list of "Letter's to the Editor" and felt compelled to write. I have ordered/read many of your books along with others'. To me it was a fascinating discovery to learn about Mormonism (history, theology, structure) and it's very vivid contrast to historical Christianity.
Having my own experience with Mormons, it proved invaluable to learn the "nooks and cranny's" of their faith rather than trusting heresay and tall-tales passed down from post-Sunday school church-goers gathering around their cups of coffee remarking on the absurdity of coffee abstinence and other odd doctrines imposed by that "weird church".
Having resolved to base my decisions on truth (Mostly. I am still human-emotions are difficult to argue with), I found your information and links very helpful to achieving this goal. So, for that: thank you!
I wanted to remark though on something I noticed in a few of the letters you received. While very many seem to be of an appreciative/thankful nature and some on the inquisitive side, there is a good percentage of spiteful and rude writings. Some having gone so far as to associate you with Satan's servants ("you are evil, you look evil and you talk nothing but evil"), and other's simply being confused at why you are "wasting your time disproving the church".
As a simple-minded follower of Christ, I shudder to think that these are some of the minds and hearts of professing Christians (Mormons). They make comments saying "where is the love in saying my church isn't true and yours is?" or "Most minister and pastors are Satan's tool. You are one of them. To be honest even Hitler doesn't get what you 2 have to have."
Of course, emotions flare (some just flicker) when a dearly held truth is challenged; but I wonder where such comments begin to burn. However, when comments like the following: "if you love someone let them alone with there free agency not your poor opinions" are sent to challenge the "right-ness" of your Christian mission, it makes one wonder if they understand the motivating force behind your actions or, for that matter, Christ's death on the cross.
Certain comments in specific make me wonder if these advocates of Mormonism have missed Christ's meaning behind the Great Commission, or Paul's motivation for witnessing in the temples and synagogues to orthodox Jews, or John the Baptist's position of humility prior to Emmanuel's coming. The reasoning: lift up the truth of Christ in ALL circumstances and to ALL people showing Him to be the ONLY way to eternal life for ALL mankind. We/you are commanded by Christ to spread his truth. You are currently doing this, I believe, within the context of your gifting, experience and calling.
Furthermore, we live by example and learn from experience. When you get burned by the fire do you sit idly by and let your friends jump in to their destruction? In the same way, Paul argued to the self-righteous Pharisees because HE WAS ONCE LIKE THEM (sound familiar?). He had experienced Christ and felt a great burning to share the TRUTH and FREEDOM of Christ with those of whom he had once been. And so, that is the biblical foundation for such a ministry as UTLM.org. Is that not plain? (Mark 12:24)
And lastly, everyone should know their place in the hierarchy. John the Baptist understood he was simply the voice of the one calling in the desert to usher in the Messiah. He knew his mission and submitted humbly to the power of God working through him (Matt. 3:11). And so, we as professing believers must hold fast to the power of the Christ working through us. "Without Him we can do nothing."
As far as can be determined, you are not placing yourselves in positions of authority or arrogance over the Mormon people, rather in willful obedience to the truth of God's gospel and the burden of your hearts to usher in the Messiah to the deceived hearts of Mormonism (Boy! I hope I am right). So now the charge comes back to those who allege a lack of love from this ministry: are you the blind and hardened-hearts after all? Some show this to be the case with their words (remember what James had to say about the tongue?): "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" But there are others who write within the peace of the second command of Christ: "I hope that I have not offended you, and I hope that I have expressed myself in a manner of civility."
So, I guess my encouragement is this: you are doing right (as you already know) by your ministry. And my challenge to quick-tempered Mormons is to consider the words of Paul in the first chapter of Romans within the context of Jerald and Sandra's ministry:
"[J. and S. Tanner, servants] of Christ Jesus, called to be [apostles] and set apart for the gospel of God-the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And [Mormons] also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ."
Consider the following words: "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."
I wonder, do you think this person ever considered the Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 2:18-19? I wonder if the mission of this website is "retarded"?: if they continue to send hateful e-mails, I hope for your sake they find the spell check function first.
So, let us not be rash in our deeming someone fit for heaven or destined for hell, for we are all condemned by our first sin; but made free unto eternal life through belief in Christ Jesus, our resurrected Lord and Savior.
I hope this is encouraging to you, although the sheer number of people who have come unto the light through the aid of your ministry should do that far beyond my simple words. Oh, and the subject title? I just hope you guys keep going and going.....
Feb. 21, 2002
Subject: No Subject
It's been 18 years since I left Mormonism. Regarding my salvation, it was the second best thing I ever did. Of course, accepting the Jesus of the New Testament was by far the best. I'm a former missionary, was married in the Los Angeles temple, and was considered a "worthy" priesthood holder. What a waste! It was nothing compared to the gift of eternal life through our Lord and Savior. Jerald and Sandra, keep up the Lord's work.
Feb. 22, 2002
It amazes me how you can twist the truth to fit your needs. You look at the Danites as a bunch of murderous thugs and when people like Joseph or Brigham say they do not know about the sort of murdering you assume they deny the truth.
Joseph did indeed know of the Danites he formed a group to protect the Saints from their enemies. The leader of this group later took it upon himself to take vengeance upon those that killed the Saints. This part is what Joseph and Brigham said they knew nothing about. When Joseph found out about this he put a stop to it.
When Brigham said the Saints had some of the worst devils among them and they intended to keep them to rob satan of them he was speaking in context of what Joseph said about the church "we make bad men good and good men better". This in way implies that either of these men intended to have murderers amongst them working for them it says that they wanted to help men change their lives.
Anything can be taken out of context and made to look like a person represents something they don't. As for the testimony or confession of someone that has been removed from the church can you honestly trust it?
I notice that you make no mention of the fact that when the U.S. Army was dispatched to put down the so-called Mormon rebellion( what would later be called the Utah war) Brigham told the Saints sent to slow the army down that they were NOT to kill. They were to instructed to do things like block the roads, get everyone away from powder wagons and blowup the wagon so they would have to take time getting to Utah giving the Saints time to protect themselves. No blood was ever shed by a Saint and the solders reported back that the claims were false. If Brigham had as you claim ordered murders why than would he order people not to shed the blood of those who were sent to kill them.
[Sandra's Note: The subject is more complicated than you seem to realize. I suggest you read The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri by LeSueur, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power by Quinn, Forgotten Kingdom: the Mormon Theocracy in the American West 1847-1896 by Bigler, Reminiscences of Early Utah by Baskin, and One Nation Under Gods by Abanes for a more accurate assessment.]
Feb. 22, 2002
...My dad told me that it was King James that had things removed from the bible. He also told me that the Dead Sea scrolls have a lot of things that talks about the same things Mormons believe in like baptism for the dead, the use of metal plates and burying them in times of danger, organized religion headed by 12 and a separate presidency of 3, etc. Have you done any research into this?
My dad seems pretty upset with me. I wasn't expecting that. My mom is being really understanding. I [teach] with four other ladies in my ward, ...I just can't imagine them not being my friends, but I am afraid they will disassociate with me. I can't imagine these people going from being really great open friends to being distant and not wanting anything to do with me. But I know it could happen cause I've had it happen before and it is scary. Sometimes I feel like I should ignore it all and just keep going to church, but I feel like that would be lying to myself and my kids. It's very frustrating. Well, sorry to blab, but it feels better to write to someone. Thanks!
[Sandra's Note: No, the Bible was not changed by King James. The old Greek and Latin Bibles could not be read by the average person in England, King James just had it translated and printed in English. The Dead Sea Scrolls do not teach baptism for the dead. Metal plates were mentioned by Josepheus in his history. His writings were available in Smith's day so I assume Smith had heard about the Jews having some records on metal.
If you have access to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, see the entry on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Vol.1, p361-364. Under the heading "LDS Perspective" it says:
If there were actually any material that supported specific claims of Mormonism one would think that it would have been highlighted in this article. The similarities mentioned in the above article, such as the Essenes having a leadership of twelve men, would prove nothing for LDS claims. It was obviously modeled on the twelve tribes of Israel.
LDS writer Boyd Kirkland commented on the Mormons misuse of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the article "Elohim and Jehovah in Mormonism and the Bible," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol.19, No.1, p.90:
If the Dead Sea Scrolls were an obvious support for Mormon claims why are these articles minimizing their importance to the LDS? Because they know that the scrolls were written by a group very different from Mormonism and that the parallels are superficial at best.]
Feb. 22, 2002
Someone just sent me a link to your site because I asked for prayer for my brother-in-law who is a pastor... He was led to Utah by the Lord and in four months their church....has grown from 20 to 72. They have many new converts every month and all the teenagers in his neighborhood...have begged him to let them come to his church. Of course, all those teenagers are Mormon....
I read your testimony and wanted to tell you something interesting. One of my best friends was raised a devout Mormon. Her brother, she tells me, is "high up" in the Mormon church in Salt Lake City.
She used to teach Sunday school. She was the first one to tell me that Mormons sang songs of praise to Joseph Smith. However, she said, for some reason she didn't understand back then, whenever everyone would start singing songs to Joseph Smith, she would see a ticker tape in her mind's eye that read over and over again, "Thou shalt not worship false idols". Because of it, she could never sing those songs with everyone else. As an adult, my girlfriend left the Mormon church and years later, became a Christian.
Feb. 23, 2002
What makes you so hateful. Hate is how the Jews were persecuted by the nazis. If hate is what your religion believes in I suggest you questions your own believes. You should try praying sincerely some time and at least try to feel an answer.
You draw near to god with your words but your heart is far from him. I have never hated someone for their beliefs I feel this is racist almost but instead of having to do with color it is the hate of other religions. You have probably been hurt by one person of this church and that is why your mind is not open to the good things of other religions especially the Mormons, will you really let one person swarm your life with hate towards others. I am only 14 and I have felt some of the most remarkable feelings due to this magnificent church. Why do you take every little sentence and alter its meaning in order to make people share your misery?
Feb. 23, 2002
Subject: Mormon Clothing
I saw Sandra on TV today (A&E Program about Hoffman forgeries?) and it reminded me of something.
I have long heard about Mormons: that there is some kind of undergarment that men are supposed to wear every day. I looked through your site, but was not able to find anything on clothing. Please advise as to the accuracy of what I have heard.
[Sandra's Note: When Mormons goes through the temple for the first time they go to the locker room of the temple, disrobe, put on a poncho-like sheet, and are then they are ceremonially anointed with oil and water (men and women are separated for this ceremony). The attendants then help the person put on the special Mormon underwear (produced and sold through LDS stores). For a man it is a white undershirt and briefs with legs to the knees. For a woman it is a camisole top, with small cap sleeves, and nylon panties with legs to the knee. On the breast of both the man's garment and the woman's garment are small embroidery stitches that form an L and a V. These marks represent the compass and square, as in Masonry. There is also a small embroidery line at the naval and at the right knee to remind them of the covenants they make in the ceremony. They take an oath to always wear these garments (they can remove them for bathing and during athletic activities).
After they put on the special undergarment they dress in white clothes, with a green apron and a large white sheet that has been gathered in the middle, and placed over the shoulder. The men wear a funny round-shaped hat, the women wear a short veil for the ceremony.
During the ceremony they will learn special handshakes and passwords that they need to know in order to get in to the highest LDS heaven. All missionaries, and good Mormons that have gone through the temple, wear the LDS undergarment. Faithful Mormons are buried in the special clothes they wear during the temple ritual. We tell about the garments in our book: Evolution of the Mormon Temple Ceremony.]
Feb. 23, 2002
Subject: Mormon Excommunication
My sister and I have a question about being on the books as far as mormon membership. We were members of the church when we were young and we would like to know how we go about getting taken off the books so to speak.
We have become believers in the teachings of Jesus Christ and this is a burden he has laid on our hearts that we feel we need to take care of.
Our parents were married in the temple but have since become excommunicated, but we believe they may still have us on their books as we were sealed to them because of that ceremony in the temple. If you could give us some direction in anyway to help us with a solution it would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time.
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. For instructions on how to terminate your LDS membership see this page: How to Remove Your Name from the LDS Records
Once your membership has been cancelled, it terminates any temple sealings.]
Feb. 24, 2002
...Sandra, I appreciated your reply so much and all the work you do at UTLM. I have been accessing your site for years now and have gleaned so much information from it. In my opinion it's the best LDS info. site on the web.
God bless you and Jerald. The row you hoe must be so tough sometimes. My prayers are with you.
Feb. 25, 2002
Subject: Book of Commandments Changes
In chapter three of your online book:
By the year 1835, when this revelation was reprinted in the Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith had pretended to at least one other gift besides that of translating the Book of Mormon. He had pretended to the gift of correcting the Bible (his so-called Inspired Version), and a short time after this he brought forth the Book of Abraham.
And you have a gift to translate the plates; and this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you; and I commanded that you should pretend to no other gift, until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished" (Doctrine and Covenants, 5:4).
Even if these bolded/highlighted passages are removed, isn't it true that the Book of Mormon was finished before both the Translation of the Bible and the book of Abraham. It seems that these later translations fall within the bounds of the original statement, thus these additions wouldn't change meaning, but clarify it. I think the "until it is finished" part is the most important. Isn't this a reasonable interpretation?
[Sandra's Note: No, because you didn't highlight the change at the end of the sentence. In the 1833 Book of Commandments the sentence originally ended 'I will grant him no other gift.' Note the period after 'gift.' Smith added the end phrase 'until it is finished.' in 1835. So, originally, it was an explicit statement that his only gift was to translate the plates of the Book of Mormon.]
Feb. 25, 2002
Subject: Thank You
Thank You for your web site. Keep up the good work!
Feb. 26, 2002
...I really enjoy your website. I find it very informative. Would you happen to know where I could find a copy of the orginal or later (pre 1981) version of The Book of Mormon?
[Sandra's Note: You can purchase a reprint of the 1830 Book of Mormon from us here: Joseph Smith Begins His Work Vol. 1. You can find later editions at the Deseret Industries, the LDS thrift stores. Also, you could probably buy one from a used-book store like www.benchmarkbooks.com.]
Feb. 26, 2002
My Husband and I grew up in Utah, married and moved to Arizona in 1986. I was raised catholic and he was raised LDS. We turned away from all religion when we got married but a year ago came to know our Lord and Savior and became born again, Bible Believing Christians.
My Husband and I found out that he is still on the LDS rolls. Since he was baptized Mormon as a child we heard that he has to write letters to get off the rolls. When some men from the local ward came they said that Todd was on their list and he needed to come and talk to the bishop. Can you help us get off the rolls without Todd speaking to the bishop? Where do [we] write the letters?
[Web-editor: See this page: How to Remove Your Name from the LDS Records.]
Feb. 26, 2002
Subject: Thank you from England
...we are a married couple from ...England, who have a great interest in Mormons being able to have a personal relationship with Jesus. We have just finished a series of six discussions with two lads (Elders), and we have listened quite a lot and shared a few things.
We have been so grateful to be able to connect to your site as it has enabled us to communicate in a friendly way, but also from the point of view of seeing where the Mormons are coming from. We have another session with them next week, ...and we ...hope to discuss a couple of points with them, to send them away to think out points for themselves, but not to ride roughshod over what they believe, as we appreciate the sincerity of their faith.
Your personal testimonies on the website have greatly encouraged us to believe that even those steeped in LDS beliefs from birth can personally find a true saving relationship in Jesus Christ, so keep up the good work!
Feb. 26, 2002
Subject: To Editor from Former LDS Member
I received an inspiration from the Lord about a month ago indicating that the Mormon church was not right for me any longer. I have been a recent convert since March of 1996. I had many doubts at first but the Mormon church soon replaced my doubts, like they always do. However, this time the Lord spoke to me telling me that this church was not true. Which I was then lead to a Christian book store. I came across Out of Mormonism by Judy Robertson. Some how I was inspired to read this ...I found your web site as a link from Concerned Christians.
For this past month I have been searching for answers as to my relationship with Jesus Christ. While attending the Mormon Church I discovered that every ounce of scripture evolves around Mormonism, including the Bible. For example, When they study the Old and New testament they incorporate Mormon doctrine into the Bible. This was done not only by Joseph Smith, but others as well.
Which I can see a LDS member becoming confused about the true fulness of the Bible. Especially, the Old and New testament. I want to bear my testimony that I have discovered that the Mormon Church is the false church that Paul speaks of. That I have written to the LDS church to have my name removed from their records. That Jesus Christ is finally once and for all Lord of my life.
I do have one problem though and that is my wife is still a member of Mormonism. I have tried very hard to convince her that the LDS church is not true. But, she seems to be brainwashed into believing the Bible to be false. I do not no how our marriage will ever survive with two religions now. We do not have children thank goodness, as I do not believe in raising children with false teachings. So, I prefer not to have any children at this moment, not until my wife becomes a believer in Christ. I am afraid this will take a life time of convincing her different and to abandon the Mormon Church.
Today, it has been 11 days since I sent my letter to the LDS church instructing them to remove my name. I have not heard back yet. Thanks
Feb. 27, 2002
...Hi! We have just found out about your ministry, and now have several of your publications.
We have had 2 Mormon missionaries to dinner twice now. We've been discussing with the one who is an archaeology major at BYU the LACK of archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon. ...
Also, as we spoke with them, they spoke of having to be in bed at 9:30, and up at 6:30, and of not being allowed to watch T.V.--and therefore not being allowed to watch the Olympics in SLC!!! What incredible legalism!!!! ....
Feb. 27, 2002
Subject: SLC Olympics
As I leave the Olympic Games at Salt Lake City, I am induced to ask the question, "Why were the 'Christians' proselyting outside of the Mormon Temple so unChristian?" You're organization appears on the brochure which they were handing out so I ask this question of you. For the most part, your representatives were well mannered but I witnessed a diatribe of anger and venom as some of your representatives "yelled" at the Mormons, and others, entering the Mormon Temple grounds. ...
I have concluded that until Christianity, in general, understands that there are many, many errors in the, over 100, versions of today's modern Bibles, they have no room to point fingers at the Mormons. Perhaps the Koran is correct, Christians have departed from the true revelation of God. In that case, the Mormon position becomes more tenable and we do need Prophets today! By the way, I am unaware of any passage from the Bible which states that Christ's Apostles were the final revelators. Can you help me with that.
[Sandra's Note: I am sorry to hear that some people passing out literature during the Olympics were rude. We have always advised people to show the same courteous attitude to others that they would want shown to them.
I have had a few Mormons come into my store and be very rude to me. I know that the LDS Church would not condone their hateful words. I hope you, too, can ignore the few people that were too loud or rude outside temple square.
As for prophets, see Heb. 1:1-2. Also, anyone claiming to be a prophet must meet the test of Gal. 1:6-9.
Joseph Smith failed the test for a prophet laid down in Deut. 13. He preached a doctrine of multiple gods that contradicts God's clear revelation to Isaiah that there is only ONE God. See:
Feb. 28, 2002
Subject: i read the comment from others about mormonism
Yes I am an LDS individual....and have read many of the letters written to you. I had to gain my own testimony, as all people do, you can't live on your parents or your husband's or wife's. I had a hard time as a youth growing up following Mormon teachings, even though I had wonderful parents, that taught me good things. ...Hey, the Church is true...the Gospel is true, and it is perfect. but.....human beings are not perfect, that's what we are here for...to work towards our perfection, even though we will not attain that in this lifetime.
Leaders of our church are not perfect either, as you are not either. We all make mistakes. But its really hard to read the Book of Mormon, with prayer, and not see that it is a true history of people who lived many years ago. And yes there are some who are finding evidence that people did live here many years ago. There are going to be imperfections...in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, as it has been recopied so many times... But you have to have a little faith that there is a reason for our being here. We are made just too well, to not have purpose.
And yes, Latter Day Saints, are Christian, we believe we should live after the life of Christ for heavens sake. We don't say we are perfect....but the gospel is, ...
In James 2:20 it says: "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" Yes our religion is based upon faith.......I will pray that you will have a little bit of faith, and really think things out. God Bless each and everyone of you....
Feb. 28, 2002
Hello, I do not wish to offend or bore you at all but I want to tell you that what ever you say or what ever you preach you are either apostate from the Mormons or Catholics. The pattern fits.
I am an LDS convert and I have seen the promises in the Book of Mormon come to light in my life. I have seen all of the prophecies come to light as written in second Nephi. I have heard ministers profess what is written. I have read in great leangth your scriptual arguements and must tell you I have heard it all before. The matter at hand is interpritation, here in this time: meaning 2002, and writs and rewrits.
Good people of light house, I am a convert, ...Satan blinds, and so I was, now I have seen. The Holy Ghost testifies. You will argue I have been decieved and am on a trek to hell. Satan is blinding me now. What I have seen before now is greed, pride, corruption, and blindness to the power of God. "Having a form of Godliness, denying the power there of....".....That is a bad deal my friends. Pulpet pounding for profit is the fast lane right to hell. I have felt and seen it. PEACE BE UNTO ALL OF YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! dispite my view of you, having lived it, I still love you.
Feb. 28, 2002
Sandra and Jerald Tanner,
I just wanted to thank-you for the volumes of work that you have done in the name of our savior, Christ Jesus. I was raised LDS and last April my family and I left the church. By the grace of God we have been saved and delivered from our lives of deception.
Your website continues to be a valuable tool for me put my life back together. At this point I am still a little embarrassed to see just how wrong and deceived I was for so many years. Please be encourage that God is working through your ministry and you are touching lives in a positive manner. I pray that God will use the seed you are planting, especially in those that disagree with your site.