June 1, 2002
Sandra--thank you for the May Messenger. I read it with interest in one quick gulp. It is a good thing you document your findings or your critics would have your head. Their criticisms are so empty that I laughed out loud at the hilarity....
[Web-editor: #98 Messenger.]
June 1, 2002
Jerald and Sandra:
I really get a giggle from some of the email comments from LDS members that were published in the May 2002 Salt Lake City Messenger. By they way another well research and informative issue as usual. I would just like to say to the LDS members that are so critical of the Tanners. Due to your comments, certain key phrases, and your anger I can conclude that a lot of young people (under 30) are posting the messages.
First of all, persecution of Christians is not new; we have endured it for centuries.
Second, you really should be thanking the Tanners. You would not be able to post what you wanted to say had the Tanners not defended the right to free press over the internet. LDS authorities want to censor information to the public.
Third, the Tanners believe in doing their homework, do you? Remember that Mark Hoffman white salamander letter? LDS authorities were about to accept the letter...but the Tanners felt that the documents were forged.
Hmmmm let's sum it up. The Tanners saved the LDS from the white salamander, protected your right to have freedom of press on the internet, and have endured your attacks. Well this shows a deep love for the LDS people if you ask me. In Utah the harvest is truly ripe and the laborers are very few.
May God Richly Bless You,
June 1, 2002
Subject: Heartfelt Thank You and Word of Encouragement
Though we have never met, I want to express my deepest appreciation for your consistent pursuit of truth and faithfulness to the true Gospel. And I certainly admire your sheer chutzpah for ministering right there in the heart among so many sincere, but profoundly deluded people.
Your material has been thoroughly tested in my twenty years of presenting Jesus Christ, and because of your scholarship and documentation, not once, not once! has a single member of the LDS church been able to refute scripture, the true face of Christianity, or that a horrific charade has been foisted on them by Joseph Smith.
Sadly, so many times it goes from the flicker and recognition of being pierced to the heart and then, not being able to make the leap of conscience, to the 'burning in the belly'. Of course, scripture asks us to "come, let us reason together", not to have our bellies burning.
The best to you; you are not alone at the front lines. The Lord has many, many other "true prophets" left in Israel.
June 1, 2002
I wrote to you a while ago and you very kindly answered my letter which shocked and amazed me.
...I had seen a program about the mason ceremony on A&E and I was looking for proof that the masons had the ceremony from the ancient church. Of course I didn't find it as in my heart of hearts I knew the truth as soon as I saw the program. I hoped against hope for a miracle but that was not to be.
...I saw a comment written by someone who said that mormonism was like a brahmah bull, a few good points with a lot of bull in between! Quite cheeky but right on the money as far as I am concerned. I really believed the church was true because all I had ever been taught was the nice icing on the cake. If I had the full truth, I'd have made tracks as far away from them as possible.
Thanks for listening and keep up the good work.
June 2, 2002
Hi Sandra and Jerald,
I felt compelled to write to you about your newsletter for 5/02. Some of the evil antics I have suspected and knew of in the LDS church are absolutely shameful, but the Mountain Meadows Massacre was the epitome of awful!
...Thanks again for the newsletter! Sandra, I'm hoping to be able to stop in again this summer when I come through Salt Lake City. May the Lord Bless you! All of you for your needed ministry!
[Web-editor: #98 Messenger.]
June 2, 2002
Praise God for the truth in the publications of the Salt Lake City Messenger. Just a few lines of thanks to you all for publishing the very interesting issue of the times before and now. It is sad that so many folks in Utah do not want to face the truth about the evil empire. It is very discouraging to meet the apathetic reaction of long time friends and family when one confronts them with the truth about their doctrines and their leaders. It sure hits a sore spot when you mention the truths as taught by the Lord. But then they have been carefully brain washed just as we were at one time until the truth set us free. ...
June 2, 2002
To begin with thank you for your website and information. Reality and facts are continually distorted by the cults.
As of yesterday the book of mormon has finally closed forever with my family with the burial of my father. He was taken to Florida by my converted sister ....She thought if she controlled him then she could force the family to convert to mormonism, when that did not work they tried outright bribery to convert with money they had stolen from my father. Yesterday we all stood our ground and took control and his service and burial were Christian (Methodist)....
June 2, 2002
I am going at it slowly but surely!! I have been deprogramming myself for the last 12 years, after 40 years in the "traditional" Mormon Church. ...
Anyway, I have a question. Have you ever heard (I am sure you did.) of a Jewish (Marrano) writer and theological scholar from the 15th Century, by the name of Mennaseh Ben Israel and his book (originally written in Spanish) "Hope of Israel, the origins or the American Indians"?
[Sandra's Note: Yes, I have heard of his writings. He was one of many of the day advocating that the Indians were a part of Israel (which is rejected by scholars today). Here are several references to his writings.
Ethan Smith, View of the Hebrews, Ch.3, p.80-81—
The LDS paper, Times and Seasons, Vol.4, No.15, p.231, makes mention of the book 'Hope of Israel.'
Robert N. Hullinger, Joseph Smith's Response to Skepticism, p.54—
Dan Vogel, Indian Origins and the Book of Mormon, Ch.2, p.21-22—
Dan Vogel, Indian Origins and the Book of Mormon, Ch.4, p.57—
Dan Vogel, Indian Origins and the Book of Mormon, Ch.6, p.103-144—
Thus we see that Joseph Smith's ideas about the Indians were not original.]
June 4, 2002
Subject: Membership in the church
I always am amused that people worry about there name remaining on the church rolls if they do not believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints is not true, then what difference does it make.
Strange that the church membership should be a problem. People change churches all the time and never bother taking there name off the list. I am certainly happy that My Church does not drop us just because of inactivity as many of those inactive people believe but have just gone by the way side and will be back.
I would suppose though that if a church were true the names would not be automatically dropped as God would not want to lose any of his lost sheep and would give them many chances to redeem themselves.
Have a lovely day
June 4, 2002
Get a life
June 4, 2002
Just a comment- I am a Christian, and I know that Mormonism is a cult.
But for those LDS members who complain and put you all down, i want to say something about. I find it interesting how they can say they practice love, and have the love of Jesus, when they hate people who put it down, and how they can call us demons and devils. Maybe one day, they'll realise that they are following a religion built on hate and people, not on Jesus's grace.
I am praying for you all, on getting the truth out. Matthew 17:20" ...if you have faith as small as a mustard seed...Nothing will be impossible for you." May Jesus continue to use you to fight the good fight against evil.
June 6, 2002
Subject: Book of Mormon page
I definetely agree with the right we all have to freedom of speech, but sometimes of course I think people take that freedom way too far.
...If you don't believe in the Book of Mormon go your own way and leave everyone alone to find out for themselves what it is all about. Why go attacking a people who really have nothing to do with you.
Of course I know that this for you is a "business". I don't say this to be vindictive in any way. I just feel that when something doesn't hurt you, turn the other way. There is NO reason for you to print such false information.
It's as if you had never tasted chocolate before and I told you that it was the most putrid substance on earth and not to try it, do you think you would try it? Of course not. But, if I told you, well just try it for yourself and decide, you would find out whether you liked it or not. Let the world excersize their own free agency and decide for itself whether the Book of Mormon is true or not. Do not go and try to force your opinions and those of your partners on the rest of the world.
...You can worship the way you want to and I am NOT going to take away that right or critisize you for it, and let me worship the way I want to worship and I DO NOT want you or anyone else to critsize me for it either. May you find it in your heart to change and repent of this wrong doing. You are a child of God and no matter what he loves you.
June 7, 2002
You are a nincompoop! Take my name off your mailing list. I've no interest, none-what-so-ever, in any thing you have to say. Keep your garbage at your door, not mine.
June 7, 2002
...thank you for sending the Salt Lake City Messenger. The Sept. 11th Massacre article is of utmost interest as my step-daughter's grandfather was Charles Fancher, whose relative lead the Fancher wagon train. May God bless you for your continued work of unbasised reporting. My son-in-law, once LDS became a Christian while at Brigham Young University. PTL!.
In Christian Love,
June 7, 2002
God bless you Sandra and Gerald,
I'm a former Mormon who was fortunate to have a friend at church tell me about your ministry when I was struggling as a confused baby Christian about 16 years ago. Sandra, you spent a couple of hours on the phone with me, just calming me and letting me know I wasn't alone. I've always been grateful for that. Later when I wrote an article on Mormon liberals for Christianity Today, you were very helpful with insight into this unusual group....
In His Grip,
June 7, 2002
Subject: Did Joseph Smith get asked to leave Masonry?
---I thought that I read once on your site or in one of your books that Joseph Smith was asked to leave (or was 'ex-communicated') from Masonry. But I have looked through your site and I haven't found it; am I thinking about something else maybe?
[Sandra's Note: The Freemasons revoked the charter for the Mormon lodges. According to Fawn Brodie:
In her footnote she says: " *This was done in the 1844 meeting of the Grand Lodge. ..."]
June 7, 2002
Subject: Paid Ministry
From my youth, one of the reasons given to me for the Mormon church being "true", was that "our leaders and ecclesiastical ministers are laymen, not corrupted by the rewards of "filthy lucre".
Oh what pride I took in such knowledge. For as Jesus instructed "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." and "But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you".
BUT ALAS, the Mormon Church has given up on these teachings, to ensure control of its membership. How? I have noticed that an increasing number of the "lay" positions in the Mormon Church are being filled with full-time Church employees. Notice in the "Church News" how many of the South American and Foreign Stake leadership positions are filled by "Church Education System (CES)" employees or some other full-time Church employee. Note how many CES employees are now "Bishops" in local wards and branches. Note how many local leadership positions such as High Priest Group Leaders, Elder Quorum Presidencies, Relief Society Presidencies (oops, women aren't suppose to have real jobs, just be housewives and good mommies), etc. are employees of the Mormon Church.
Also note that the Mormon Church Missionaries are no longer financed by the missionary and his family alone (all funds for a Mission are now collected by and administered by the Mormon Church).
HOW CAN EMPLOYEES OF THE CHURCH BE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILTHY LUCRE WHILE SERVING THE LORD? HOW CAN THEY CLAIM NOT TO BE EMPLOYED MINISTERS?
If your "daily bread" requires unquestioned loyalty to the very organization that oversees your "worthiness", how can you receive the uncorrupted inspiration of the Lord? No, just as the "Great and Abominable church" that the Book of Mormon warns about, the Mormon Church has begun to see the benefits of controlling its clergy, and using their need for "daily bread" to insure that the position of the Mormon Church will always be taught. This also insures that independent thought will be ridiculed and reported as needed.
But hopefully as the Mormon Church moves into a professional clergy, we will get better teaching and more "Christ" in our lessons. It should also make Church meetings more professional and entertaining (you know more Paul H. Dunn like, not much on truth but a good "faith promoting" story).
June 8, 2002
Subject: Sexual Abuse
I just starting reading some of your on-line reports...It didn't surprise me that there were many things written about sexual abuse by members of the LDS church. I wonder how widespread it is, and if it is of greater proportions than found in the general population. My guess is that it would be, because of the power of the patriarchal system in the church.
My sister converted to the LDS church when she married her first husband a convert also to the church. They adopted two daughters who were Native American sisters. The oldest had already been sexually abused before she came to them, and my sister's husband immediately began abusing her. She was 7 years old. When the other one reached 7, he began abusing her as well.
When I started to read between the lines of things my sister was telling me, around the time of their divorce, I counseled her to report this to her lawyer and also to keep him from having visitation rights.
Eventually because she would not or could not bring herself to do this, I reported it to an abuse hotline in their city. Wanting to comply with some of her religious beliefs, I also contacted a Mormon counselor in my home town and was shocked at his reaction. The local LDS church had given me his name as being skilled in counseling.
When I discussed my suspicions on the phone to him, his reaction was less shocked at the possibility of sexual abuse and more concerned that the girls father was not following the "Words of Wisdom." He said, "Well, if he is doing that, he may also be engaging in drinking and masturbation," which would be a violation of what he is taught in our church. I had hoped he could give me some answers as to how to approach my sister who was hearing from her counselor in the church that she should keep the family together, pray for her husband to repent, etc.
Unfortunately my sister is still a member of the LDS church, saying that the church and her children are the only two good things that came out of her marriage.
What continues to interest me regarding the LDS church, is also the attempt to censor or limit the amount of reading people in the church do, that might expose the church. Even the Bible reading is discouraged, even though it is an accepted work in the church. In my opinion their "Triple Combination" should include the 4th book of sacred scripture they claim to accept, "as far as it is translated correctly."
Since I am pouring through many books, pro and con, that I picked up when visiting the temple in Nauvoo, I feel I can now challenge my sister, to do the same, starting with the Bible. Surely that can't be censored! I look forward to receiving The Salt Lake City Messenger.
June 8, 2002
I've been accessing your site for years, and my only real comment is: Keep up the good work, brothers and sisters!...
June 8, 2002
I came a crossed your web site by accident, I was attempting to search for temple information. I am saddened to see that you are trying to teach about another religion instead of focusing on your current beliefs. You must have your own doctrine to teach, so preach it and convert others by its own power. A true Christian would not cut down another religion. If I wanted to know about plumbing I would not learn from a beautician. A question for you, if Mormonism is wrong and evil wouldn't it destroy itself without the help of others; like you are attempting to do?
June 9, 2002
Subject: we want out!
My husband's family is mormon. One of the grandfathers on his mother's side was a bodyguard to Joseph Smith. We are Christians and serve the real God faithfully.
The problem is that he (we) are still listed in their records as being mormon. So everytime a new set of missionaries come to town, we are on their hit list. I was told that we can contact them and ask to be taken off. I was also told that if we did not word our request just right, they would list our removal as dishonorable or something like that.
Can you tell me how to go about having our names removed from their member list? Can it be done without them listing us as undesirables? Should I care what they think? I do feel that we need to do it respectfully. His mother is very active in the church and I would not want to shame her or cause any more trouble in the family than we have already caused. We live in a small town, would it be better to wait until she passes away? She is in her late 70's.
Thank you very much for your response to this request. I can't tell you how valuable the information that you provide has been to me.
God Bless You
June 10, 2002
Believe me I am not demonizing you for following what you believe. ... I have NEVER read or seen any books or documents written by LDS leaders that criticize people of other faiths. ...So my question was that, why don't you spend all the time you do on criticizing the Book of Mormon and the LDS beliefs and learn more about what you believe? ...Shouldn't you be more concerned with yourself more than anyone else? Of course you have the right to send out missionaries to teach what ever they may, but do not criticize the beliefs of others. Let the people find out for themselves whether ANY church is true. NEVER talk down about another church. ...Go out and teach people of your beliefs and help them to gain a stronger faith and love for God. But please do not waste your time trying to convince the world of why the LDS church is wrong. ...
[Sandra's Note: I am amazed at your claim that the LDS Church does not attack other faiths.
If you went through the temple prior to its revision in April 1990, you KNOW that it had a section in it ridiculing other churches. The devil made a pack with a minister (in black suit with clerical collar) to teach the devils doctrines. In return, the devil would pay him well.
The WHOLE basis for Mormonism is that ALL churches, other than LDS, are wrong, teach false doctrine and have no authority to act in the name of God.]
June 11, 2002
Subject: changing truth
...What do you think that Joseph and Brigham would have thought about the present day LDS people believing that anything they had said (and they spoke as the voice of God) could be changed by a later president/prophet?
What I am looking for is evidence that the LDS cannot disregard what Joseph and Brigham said because their revelations were eternal. Can today's Mormon be held accountable for not following the teachings of Joseph and Brigham?...
[Sandra's Note: Joseph Smith and Brigham Young both felt that their instructions and revelations to the church were the will of God, binding on the church, and to be obeyed.
Doctrine & Covenants 1:37-38 'Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.'
D&C 21:4-5—speaking of Smith-(which should be true of any LDS prophet)'give heed unto all his words and commandments...for his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth,...'
D&C 28: 2-3, 7—speaking of Smith—'for he receiveth them [revelations] even as Moses. And thou shalt be obedient unto the things which I shall give unto him,...for I have given him the keys of the mysteries, and the revelations which are sealed,...'
Also, in the official LDS manual Gospel Principles we read:
I guess the trick is to figure out when their words are "inspired."]
June 11, 2002
Subject: History question of the first church JS set up
Hi all; I had a question, perhaps you can point me in the right direction. It occurs to me that the first church JS set up (Church of Christ or Church of Jesus Christ) either still exists or spun off several variants which are still around today.
Given the nature of Protestant churches in the 1800's, is it possible that JS was really pushed out of the first church he organized and then went ahead and reorganized another with a different name, eventually to become the the current LDS church?
If that conjecture were true it would certainly add some irony to the JS boasting quote on your home page. Anyway, do you know of anyone who has researched this subject or any printed matter concerning my question?
[Sandra's Note: Smith first set up his church in 1830 under the name 'Church of Christ,' then in 1834 changed the name to 'Church of the Latter Day Saints.' Then in 1838 he changed the name once again to 'Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.' These were all the same organization and people, just a new title. The name changes may have been an attempt to distance/disguise himself and his people from the problems/criticism the church was having in a given area.
However, many of his followers split off along the way and started rival groups, claiming Smith was in apostasy. There is a book called 'Divergent Paths of the Restoration' by S. Shields, detailing over 100 various groups claiming to be the true successor of Smith's church.]
June 12, 2002
We DO NOT directly attack any church or religious organization. I can assure you of that. What we do teach is that yes, there was an apostasy and that there is only ONE true church of God. You and I both know that to be true.
Any learned person who has read, better yet studied, the Holy Bible cover to cover can tell you the same thing, no matter what religion they are. All you have to do is pay attention to what is written there. You can take the Bible and follow exactly what the Lord said and what the ancient Prophets said about the church that Jesus Christ established while he was here and it's plain to see that no other church has the foundation of which the Lord spoke of. I can guarantee you that any Pastor will agree.
All you have to do is read the Bible and it's easy to see that there can ONLY be one true church, not thousands. My point being, we teach the doctrine. We do not go around pointing fingers at the other religions and telling the world why they are wrong. I know that to be true. I have studied a great deal to be able to say this. We teach why we KNOW that the Church of Jesus Christ is the ONLY true church on the earth. Why don't you dedicate your time to doing the same? Try to prove why your church is the true church WITHOUT trying to discredit the other religions, specifically the LDS church.
From reading the Bible you and I both know how the Lord set up His church when He walked the earth, is your church set up the same? We need to make sure that we know what we are doing. Know your religion, don't know another man's.
May the Lord bless you, ....
June 12, 2002
...I continue to look at your website for answers to my questions and you have truly been a God send! May the Lord bless you and your ministry.
June 12, 2002
First I want to congratulate you for the great job you are doing!! Keep going!!
My question is: Does Moroni in the Comoro Islands, has something to do with the LDS or Joseph Smith?? Thank you for your attention
May God bless you!
[Sandra's Note: I can't prove it, but I believe Smith either saw some book or heard some talk, sermon or debate where he found out about the Comoro Islands and the capital of Moroni. I understand he read pirate stories, like Capt. Kidd, who visited the islands.
I have the geography book used for school children in his day and it mentions the Comoro Islands, but not the capital.]
June 13, 2002
Subject: FARMS Response
Hi there. I wrote you a few weeks ago and asked you if you were familiar with FARMS, who claim to have evidence supporting the Book of Mormon.
You mentioned lost cities that the BOM talks about. I wrote them asking if any lost cities have been found, just as there are cities that have been found that the Bible talks about.
Here was their reply:
Read Sorenson's "An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon." It along with a number of other books will explore cities, sites, and geographies for the ancient Book of Mormon. The book is available in most LDS bookstores.
Are you familiar with this book? Have any lost cities in the BOM actually been found as they claim they have? Thank you and God bless you.
[Sandra's Note: I guess it depends on your definition of 'evidence.'
Mormons point to internal, literary styles in the Book of Mormon in an attempt to prove similarities to Hebrew thought, etc. However, these would be open to other interpretation (such as, is a closer tie simply copying the Bible?).
There are no Book of Mormon historical sites (other than suggesting possible places), no sample of Nephite writing found anywhere (other than the little script Smith wrote), no artifacts made by Nephites or Lamanites, no official map of B of M locations (only possible suggested sites).
In fact, the Book of Mormon Student Manual, Religion 121-122, has a page entitled "Possible Book of Mormon Sites." It shows Book of Mormon place names on a sort of hourglass-shaped land, but it does not attempt to make it look like either North or South America. The caption at the bottom reads:
"Possible comparative relationships for use of the sites mentioned in the Book of Mormon based on internal evidences. No effort should be made to identify points on this map with any existing geographical locations."
If the LDS Church will not commit to a specific site location for the BofM, how can they talk of 'evidence'? They have maps in the Doctrine & Covenants to show where NY, Ill., and Ohio are, why not have one for the B of M? If we don't know where the story happened, how can we look for historical verification?
So, no, I do not believe they have any 'evidence' - only supposition.
We don't know where every city of the Bible is located, but enough of them have been located to give us guidelines for further excavations. The Bible has maps, samples of Hebrew writing and Greek manuscripts of the OT and NT, why isn't there anything like this for the Book of Mormon?
Since there is no external evidence for Nephites or Lamanites and internally we can show how Smith plagiarized other writings, why should we consider the Book of Mormon to be any type of historical record?
Yes, I am familiar with Sorenson’s book. Responses to many of his points are in the following:
June 13, 2002
Subject: Thanks so much!
Just wanted to tell you how courageous I feel you are...
Have been following your ministry for nearly 20 years. I had a cousin and a very good friend who were both LDS; I was a new Christian. I just wanted to understand what they believed. One day I found your address and began to get your newsletter. It led me into many hours of deep study that strengthened my faith and belief in God's Word and broke my heart as I read actual Mormon writings and saw the tangled web of trickery that has led so many into the darkness of the LDS faith.
Today I know many wonderful LDS people who strive so hard to be all that their church, family and community expects them to be...hoping that they can do and be enough to be exalted in the afterlife. Jesus made it so clear and so simple. HE was and is the Gospel in its fullness.
Any LDS person who has the courage to honestly read for themselves the very beginnings of their church...all of the historical writings of that day...will get the truth. You are the best source I know of for obtaining that truth. God bless you both as you spend your lives on this most important task of revealing the whole story.
Unfortunately very few LDS people will risk discussing this or seriously looking for the truth. They have been taught that it's wrong to question what they have been taught. I have always felt that ANYTHING that cannot stand the light is really just darkness. My prayer will always be for LDS people to be bold enough to risk looking at all that the two of you have spent so many years researching and compiling....most of it from LDS journals, books and writings. If they are so sure they have truth, your books and writings should only strengthen their faith. I'm afraid that the reality of it is that the LDS people belong to a way of life...even more than a belief system.
They are much more afraid of losing what they have known all of their lives than finding they have believed doctrines of men. I will join you in praying that more and more of these dear people will be bold enough to ask the Lord to show them truth...no matter what the cost...before it is too late. God's blessings on you and your ministry.
Because of Him,
June 14, 2002
Subject: The Good Fight
Dear Jerald and Sandra:
I live north of Albuquerque, and several years ago we worked for a Mormon dentist and his wife....the wife was "born" Mormon and her husband converted from the Baptist faith. His grandfather was a Baptist minister.
She had a lot of very serious questions about her faith, including her despair at not feeling the "burning in her bosom"...etc...we shared Christ with her and she did a lot of investigating. ...this woman struggled so hard with her (in)decision. Her desire to know the truth was great. The point to this story is that she found so many discrepancies and problems that she contemplated leaving the church...her husband called her an apostate and told her she would have to leave her children to be raised as good mormons..she could forget proselytizing them. She went away to the mountains and made a profession of faith. She was never able to worship freely though and I see her still. ... In conclusion, if you ever are discouraged, don't be, take heart because you have touched many lives. I pray for your ministry, the Lord's protection and providence, and your well-being.
June 14, 2002
We applaud the compassionate and educated way in which the Tanner's try to help hurting mormons...it is a very sad thing to witness...but I believe there is always HOPE..
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
June 14, 2002
Why are people given a new name in the temple? Why are men's new names kept secret???? Seems strange, every one is Sister Doe--Brother Doe--no first names. But yet one is given a new first name [in the temple ceremony]
[Sandra's Note: There is nothing in the Bible about receiving new personal names. I think Smith took the idea from the Bible, where John speaks allegorical about receiving a new name.
LDS people are given a new personal name when they first go to the temple. This is supposed to be their name for all eternity. For example, if your name is Rose you may receive the new name of Ruth or Sarah. If you are a man named John you may receive a new name like Paul or David.]
June 14, 2002
Subject: my opinon
Dear whom ever, I think that it is kinda funny that no matter how many diffrent faiths try and attack our fatih, and yet you will never find one moromon protesting,writing or anything of that nature against another faith.
But yet your faith along with many others I find, have some inscurities about what we are about. Other wise why would you go out of your way...to make a scene about how "Moromons" are such bad people.
You claim to be christan. But are u really??? God would never turn against his children. And if we are all god's children...wouldn't that make us brothers and sisters??? If I'm not mistaken that's what you preach as well that we are all god's children?
Do you think your heavenly father is looking down on you now with pride knowing that you are turning against your brother's and sisters...I think not!!!! You tell your members to be more christ like...but yet your obivously not practicing what you preach.. You have the nerve to stand up before the memebers of your church and GOD and the whole world and say that we are such bad people and that our faith is sooo wrong....but yet you can't even show how you can be christ like...
I read the testimonys in you webpage...and if i may say so...I find it TRULY hard to belive that anyone that had a true and honest testimony of the gospel would just one day wake up and say" humm I don't think I want to be moromon anymore". That my friend I find a little to weak for reasoning. I don't know why that you feel the need to attack our faith, but we are that of a GOOD and PEACFUL people and we strive to come closer to our heavenly father,so that one day we can return to him in heaven.
If you had any morals or values what so ever...and were even the least bit christ like you would STOP this little outcry for attention and STOP writing things that are untrue and once and for all leave us ALONE!!
June 16, 2002
Subject: Just a few comments
I just took a few minutes as I was surfing the net to glance at various articles regarding the Mormon faith. I was searching in hopes to find worthwhile, accurate, and un-biased information regarding a religion often criticized for whatever reason. I must say, I was sadly disappointed in your website, and very honeslty surprised.
I was surprised to discover that so many people spend so much time trying to destroy the faith of others; trying to downgrade, criticize, and mock a worldwide faith. Now, I'm not just talking about Mormonism, though that is the faith you particularly decided to insult, but that goes for any religion. As we enter into the 21st century, I would have hoped, especially in the Amercan culture, that we would have progressed to at least a religious tolerance. After all, that is the basis of why America was established.
But as I read literature from such a digusting display of hatred, more or less, towards a religion who is only trying to follow something good, to make a difference for good in the world, as I do in your website, I am disgusted, and disappointed. I don't write this, however to vent, or to send "hate mail". That is far from my desire.
But I would appreciate it if you would answer just one question for me, as I find myself curious to know: Why spend so much time searching to criticize other religions? You don't have to beleive it. No one is asking you to do that. But you live on this earth once, and your time is very valuable. Aren't there more productive, important things you could be doing with your time? Like trying to be a strong follower of your own faith, for example. Or helping others. If your purpose is to try to lead people to the truth by leading them away from what your opinion of false is, you try in vain. I believe there are a myriad of other things you could be doing with your lives that would make you much happier.
Anyway, I hope I didn't seem to offensive. I would appreciate a response. Thanks!
June 17, 2002
Subject: Levitticus 18
Hello!! ...I have a thought for you. Maybe I misunderstood some of your writings, but if I understood them correctly, some early Mormons violated the laws of Levitticus 18--incest. Is it possible that some of today's Mormons (or NON-Mormons who are descended from the early Mormons but have renounced Mormonism) indulge in questionable behavior and beliefs because they, like the Biblical Canaanites, are descended from incest? The various "anti-Mormon" books I've read (John Ankenberg, etc), discuss Mormon theological errors, but I've never heard anyone bring up ancestral incest as a possible root problem. Thanks for your time...
[Sandra's Note: During the polygamy period of Mormonism Joseph Smith and a number of other Mormons violated the Old Testament laws on incest. They married various mother/daughter sets and sisters. We read in Lev 18:17-18—"Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen it is wickedness. Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, ..."
One scholar observed "Forty of the 153 Nauvoo polygamous husbands married sisters,...Ultimately about one-third of Nauvoo's polygamous families included sister-wives." ("Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy, 1841-46: A Preliminary Demographic Report," by George D. Smith, Dialogue A Journal of Mormon Thought, vol.27, no.1, Spring 1994, p.29)
At least one mother-daughter pair married Joseph Smith, Sylvia Sessions and Patty Sessons (In Sacred Loneliness by Todd Compton, p.171)
Another problem arises when we consider the LDS teaching that we are all literally spirit-born children of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother in a prior life. This would mean we are all marrying our brothers and sisters (or at least half brothers and half sisters, assuming God has more than one wife).
So there is a sort of built in rationalization for incest, if one were looking for it (but this is not mentioned in LDS writings). If your mother, wife and daughter are literally your sisters, what's wrong with intercourse with your daughter? According to LDS teachings, God evidently had intercourse with his daughter, Mary, to beget Jesus (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p.67-68). At least one of the polygamist groups believes it is the father's right to introduce his daughter to sex. I assume this stems from the God/Mary idea.]
June 18, 2002
Subject: sealed plates of Ether
What does your organisation know about the 24 sealed plates spoken of in the Book of Ether that are promised to come forth to future generations of believers of the church?
[Sandra's Note: Supposedly Ether made an account of the Jaredites on 24 plates, telling of the creation up to the point of their last battle, with Coriantumr the only survivor (other than Ether). Then Ether hid up the record. Moroni supposedly had these 24 plates and took parts of them to make the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon. See Book of Mormon, Ether 1:1-5 and 15:33-34.
The whole story doesn't make sense. If there were only 24 plates containing the WHOLE history of the Jaredites and Moroni said he only used a 'hundreth part' of the record (see Ether 15:33), how could Moroni's account take 30 pages in the Book of Mormon?
Personally, I do NOT believe there ever were ANY plates written by Ether or Moroni. The Book of Mormon happened only in Joseph Smith's fertile imagination.]
June 18, 2002
Subject: Comment on your site
I was very moved by your personal testimonials. I have never been a member of the mormon church and would never consider it based upon testimonials from former members I heard at a christian youth camp I attended as a child (where I subsequently received Christ).
I, however, work with a man...who is a bishop (and a lawyer). I have a very hard time dealing with his personality (personna of superiority - cannot be corrected). I pray that God will help me to overcome and let His love shine through, that maybe I can somehow be an example to this man of God's work in my life.
I must confess it is not easy. The more research I do about his religion, the less I want to do with him. I feel terrible about this, but and as I said, I continue to pray about it. He is so arrogant...I will continue to faithfully pray and would ask if maybe you could also remember me in yours. Thanks for your site and the ear.
[Sandra's Note: The LDS teaching on the need for priesthood and striving for eventual godhood tends to make the Mormon male a little prideful and arrogant. He feels he has superior knowledge, power and authority compared to any non-LDS person. You might find the book Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons helpful.]
June 20, 2002
Subject: Mormon 9:9
Dear Tanners or whoever checks this, I read a lot of your stuff. And many other views of mormonism.
Well today as I was organizing the many contradictions between the Book of Mormon God, and the God of Mormonism I came across Mormon 9:9 which states, "For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?"
Well yes we do read that. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8, and "...No variableness, neither shadow or turning." James 1:17.
I don't know much about the time period in which the different Books in the Book of Mormon were supposedly translated, but where did Mormon read that? It is just another example of how Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon. But he made this one very obvious by saying haven't we read...(from the bible).
I haven't yet purchased your books, just have received your newsletter, so if that is already in one of your books sorry for wasting your time. But I just found that interesting.
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for the note. We list the phrases taken from the New Testament that appear in the Book of Mormon in our book, Joseph Smith's Plagiarism of the Bible, but don't comment on them. The verses you mention are listed on page 264 of our book. Although Mormon supposedly lived after the time of the writing of the books of Hebrews and James in the NT, he could not have "read" them. You have touched on one of the major problems of the Book of Mormon. How can a supposed ancient American text quote verbatim from material written on another continent and in a different language?]
June 20, 2002
Thank you for all that you have done. I have read one book by you...don't remember the name, but it was very enlightening.
My son became a Mormon when he was 18, he is 31 now. He is married to a very nice girl whom we love dearly...... I spent much time discussing (at times I guess it was more arguing) the problems I found with Mormonism but he turned a deaf ear.
During his mission he challenged me to read the Book of Mormon and if I could show him anything wrong with it he would consider leaving Mormonism. I did (very tedious) and sent him volumes of problems. He ignored them all and simply stated that it was too bad I didn't see any of the good stuff in it. I told him at the end of his mission that I had done all that I could and now it was up to the Holy Spirit.
I pray for he and his family without ceasing. I also pray for people like that are attempting to get the truth out to the Mormon church. Thank you,
June 23, 2002
Just wondering if you people would like to send me your religion so I can send you back every change ever made to it, every misunderstood phrase ever uttered, and every backwards believe written down by a backwater believer who doesn't understand the Church. Lemme know.
June 23, 2002
I recently came across your website as I was preparing for a lesson about the false doctrines of the Mormon Church. All I have to say in regards to my experience is, "Wow". I used many of the material offered from your site. ...Thank you and God continue to bless you in your ministry.
June 23, 2002
I arrived at your website thinking it would be full of lies and false notions. Besides a few ideas you twisted a bit, it's mostly true doctrine of the church.
I actually left the website believing even stronger in the church. There is nothing, nor will there ever be anything that can be said or done that will hurt the church, or invalidate the truthfulness of its doctrine. Remember, by their fruits, ye shall know them. If you were once a member of the church, we'd love to have you come back!
June 24, 2002
Subject: Every Mormon Woman ....
Every Mormon sister loves the LDS Relief Society and I am happy to see that none of the Anti Mormon sites have anything BAD to say about it. This only proves one thing. Even though the LDS Relief Society is the largest women's organization in the world .... NO ONE will ever disagree that it is the best thing that ever happened to the Mormon women.
I am shocked that 20/20 has never had an Interview with our LDS Relief Society leaders and their OBEDIENT followers. Please reconsider and come back into the fold.
June 25, 2002
Subject: Question of Prophets
Aloha! I have a question, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church today with a living prophet. Why is that other churchs do not have one? If God gave the people prophets long ago, why did he stop? I would appreciate it if you could help me answer this question.
[Sandra's Note: Christians believe that the age of prophets, such as Isaiah and Jeremiah, ended with Jesus. Jesus declared, 'The law and prophets were until John; since that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it (Luke 16:16) The Bible also teaches "God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son." (Heb. 1:1-2) Since we have Christ's words in the New Testament, we don't need a prophet like those in the Old Testament. Prophets in the New Testament were not the president or head of the Christian Church, but preachers. The Mormons claim that there is to be a prophet at the head of the church. Notice that Acts 11:27 speaks of 'prophets' in the plural sense. Also note that the passage names Agabus as one of the prophets, who was not even listed among the twelve apostles. This topic is dealt with in a number of books. See Mormon Claims Answered by Marv Cowan, p.84 "Prophets." Also, see chapter 4 in Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons, by Ron Rhodes and Answering Mormons Questions, by Bill McKeever, section 8. They are listed on our book list.]
June 25, 2002
Subject: Do you have literature on....AGE OF REASON connection?
I understand that Mormon church archives contain a letter from Joseph Smith's mother, Lucy, entitled the "Preliminary Draft" in which she mentions that her father-in-law gave Joseph Smith, Sr., a copy of Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason" and "bade him read that until he believed it." How much do you know about this? ...THANKS!
[Sandra's Note: Joseph's mother started a manuscript in 1844-45 telling of the family's history. Then in 1845 she worked with Howard and Martha Coray on a final version. This is recounted in the book Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir. Page 291 quotes from Lucy's preliminary draft
A good book on Smith and Pain's reasoning is Joseph Smith's Response to Skepticism by R. Hullinger. It is listed on our book list. The only reference relating to Pain in early church literature that I could find is one in the Kirtland Council Minutes, as quoted in the New Mormon Studies CD-ROM.]
June 25, 2002
With all the serious problems and evils in the world, couldn't your time be spent in stopping "real" problems? Put your energy into something that will make a difference. What you are doing now isn't going to better the world. You may gain infamy, and perhaps that is all you really want. Are you just attaching yourselves to the name of the LDS church in order to gain "fame"? I guess this is a faster way to become well-known than "just" the helping the world become a better place.
June 26, 2002
Subject: Your Work
I am so pleased to see the amount of information you have available for those of us who are witnessing to Mormons and other cults. Don't stop, despite the number of LDS members who write to say where you will spend eternity.
Thankfully, we preach a Gospel which promises us eternal life through God's grace alone. It continues to amaze me that God was so gracious in saving ME, and that He is working in the hearts of these cultists to offer them the same free gift. Praise God through whom all things are possible! God bless your work---He is good.
June 26, 2002
Well of course there is always someone out there with a disagreement about every religion.
To clear a few things up i will give you the scriptures you are looking for on some of those ones you said there were none for and i will also give you more that will help you understand what the TRUE church must have. The true church must bear the name of jesus christ Eph. 5:23. The true church must baptize by immersion. Matt 3:13-16. The true church must teach that god and jesus christ are separate and distinct individuals. John 17:11 John20:17. The true church must practice baptism for the dead. 1 cor.15-16 and 29.
As for the geneology i could show you a scripture about that also but right now i cant remember it off hand but i am sure you will hear more from me the more you down grade our religion. The one thing i dont get is do you people see our religion with sites of yours saying bad things about it?? NO because that is not our way...Our prophet said in these ladder days any religion is better then nothing at all.
June 26, 2002
I am teaching a class at my church in Dallas (Grace Bible Church) on Mormonism. I have been doing research on the Planet Kolob. Maybe I didn't look in the right area on your website but I could not find information that would clear up my understanding of Kolob.
Here's my question: Does the Mormon God (Elohim) currently live on Kolob? Does Elohim live on a planet near Kolob? In doing my research it seemed like some would say he lives on Kolob others would say he lives on a planet near Kolob. Can you clear this up for me?
[Sandra's Note: The Book of Abraham, in the Pearl of Great Price, Facsimile #2 Explanation says:
So evidently Kolob is just the closest star/planet to God's actual residence/planet.]
June 29, 2002
Subject: A thought from Arizona
First of all, bless you for taking the word of God into the midst of so many sincere, loving misguided people.
...While taking my daily walk the other day I had this thought come to me. If the Mormons are correct, then God cannot be trusted because He is not true to his word. He tells us numerous times in the Bible to not change, not add to or take away any part of his word. If He changed his mind in the 1800's then we cannot trust Him. The Mormons must also be careful because if He changes his mind one time, then He might do it again.
I know that God is true to his word and did not change his mind. Keep up the good work.
June 30, 2002
I browsed your site when looking at some information about Mark Hoffman. I've heard of you and your crusades. It seems sad to me that you spend your life's work, energy and time to supposedly 'rid' the world of or 'reveal' mormonism to the world. It all seems so hopelessly trivial for you. Is this really all that you do or hope to accomplish with the short time we all have to live?
You seem like intelligent people from your writing style. I think the world would expect and need more from people like you.
You need not respond to this email, I'm not looking for an argument. Even though you may spend your time in trying to root this 'evil' from the world, you might ask yourself if your thirst might be quenched on more worthwhile, fruitful and friendship-building endeavor. Life is too short to go around hating everyone.
[Sandra's Note: I don't 'hate' Mormons. I disagree with the theological claims of the LDS Church and regret that 60,000 missionaries are being sent out to people of other faiths, disrupting their families and lives by converting them to something I believe to be false. I defend the Mormon Church's right to preach what it wants. I only ask for the same right.]
June 30, 2002
I praise God for people such as yourself that will defend the truth about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
...At my work, I have fellow workers that are of the Mormon faith . Really nice and seem to be honest people. My prayer for them is that the Lord Jesus Christ might use me to speak, that grace may impart from my lips.
Also, my father is married to a Mormon gal. She is not practicing right now, but still holds dearly the doctrine of Mormonism. ...I have done small study on Mormonism. But I feel that I need to understand this faith better before I go up against her. With Jesus love of course. I do love her, but it just seems that Satan attacks when your heart is sensitive. I don’t know how much longer my pops will be here, I just hope he can be reached before it’s too late. ...I thank you so much for your time and help! May the Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless your ministry and most importantly, your family.
June 30, 2002
First, allow me to quickly say that I love your web site. To say the information is valuable would be a monumental understatement.
Now the question. I read in one of my books that the mormons believe that Christ was the full brother of satan, and that they were the first sons of our "exalted human" father. Is this true, and where can I find this ? I ask this because a "friend" who is mormon denies this, and says that they were only brothers in spirit, as you and I would be brothers in Christ. Can you clarify ?
Thank you for your consideration in this matter, and again for your work in general.
[Sandra's Note: The Mormon Church teaches that God and his wife/wives literally gave birth, in heaven, to all the spirit children that would eventually take on mortality here on earth. This would mean that we are all literally the same species as God and Jesus, the only difference being one of advancement. Supposedly we were all born and reared to maturity in this prior earth life. When God called a meeting of his grown children to plan for their earth experience, His two oldest sons (Jesus and Lucifer) stepped forward to volunteer their services as savior. When God chose Jesus, Lucifer rebelled and persuaded one third of God’s spirit children to fight Jesus and the other two thirds of God’s children. Lucifer and his following were cast out of heaven and became the Devil and his fallen angels. Plans were then made to send the rest of us to earth to have a mortal birth, life and death, at which time we would then return to God in the spirit world.
LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie taught:
Speaking in 1857, LDS Apostle Joseph Young explained:
Past LDS President Spencer W. Kimball observed:
At another time, President Kimball stated:
LDS Apostle Joseph F. Merrill also declared Satan to be the literal brother of Jesus and mankind:
Thus we see that when the LDS Church talks about Jesus being our older brother or that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers, they mean it in the most literal sense. The Bible, however, portrays Jesus as the Creator, not the literal brother of Satan. (See 1 Tim. 3:16; Col. 1:16-17)
I trust this answers your question.]