March 1, 2002
Subject: Defenders of the faith.
Hi Sandra and Jerald, you guys are awesome. I'm a born again Christian that has lived in Utah almost all my life. Growing up here as a non mormon was to say the least. Now my children struggle with the LDS bigotry. We lost our oldest son to mormonism three years ago. He went on a mission came back and has nothing to do with his mother and I, a harsh and painful ordeal to say the least.
I just wanted you to know, God Loves You And So Do I ! My family and I appreciate the work that God is doing through you and your ministry. ...Jesus is counting on you and I and all Christians to make a difference here in an upside down community. God bless you indeed.
Your Brother I Christ
March 1, 2002
...I really appreciate the hard word and dedication you have put into your writings, web site and other means to teach the truth on the Mormons. ...
Is Brigham Young your great great great Grandfather? ...
[Sandra's Note: You put one too many 'greats' in there. Here is the genealogy:
My great-great grandfather, Brigham Young married Mary Ann Angel.
My great-grandfather, their son, Brigham Young, Jr. married Abigail Stevens. (Abigail was still alive when I was a young girl)
My grandfather, their son, Walter Young married Sylvia Amelia Pearce.
Their daughter was Georgia Young, my mother.]
March 2, 2002
Sandra, by the grace of God I heard you on WMBI Moody radio on 03-01-02. Thank you for your love and devotion to the Lord.
I have a brother in Utah getting married in June to a girl he met in Orem. He has been baptized into the LDS church. I have been Born Again for about 10 yrs. ...I have been sharing Christ with my brother for about 5 yrs. He accepted mormonism over Christ and I have been praying for him and I mailed him a copy of your testimony...I appreciate the courage and boldness you and your husband have shown as faithful followers of the one true God and Lord, Jesus Christ.
I encouraged him to visit your web-site and I pray he will do so. I am sure you have not been embraced by many of your mormon neighbors but I encourage you to finish the race well and He who began this good work in you will bring it to completion before the day of our Lord, Jesus Christ (phil 1:6).
May the Lord Bless you and your husband for all you do in His Name,
March 2, 2002
Subject: So What
So what if the LDS Church did the temple work for Adolf Hitler. Why do you care? You probably don't believe in temple work anyway so why make a big deal about it? The reason the church would make those type of records not available to the public is because of dopes like you who make a big deal out of nothing.
March 2, 2002
Dear Sanda Tanner.
...by the sound of your feeling of the church , I can feel with your husband that you really hate the church, I don't know what the church may have done or have said to you but i hope deep in side of your heart that you could let the negative feelings go, cause by reading your web site and i can now see why you have this feeling and the action of the being rebellion, and wanting the church to go down, please Mrs Tanner and Mr Tanner, I'm not trying to ask you to come back or anything back just to ask you to let go of the feelings you have against the church cause I may be in Australia, but I cant not bare a child of god feelings this way...
I'm still in the church and loving every minute of it, I like to tell i recently lost my mom, and they have been their for me and supporting me every minute of the hard time I had, ...I'm also glad that you are now happy in the other church, ...I'm a convert and my family hates me about what I've done, ...I love you all, and want you to be with me in the after life. Lastly you can feel free to put this up on the notice board but please from a person from far far away Sandra, I 'm writing this to you hoping you could be more in positive an smile.
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. We do not hold any hate in our hearts toward the Mormon Church or its members. The Mormon Church did not do anything to us while we were members that caused us to leave. No one hurt our feelings. We simply investigated its history and doctrines and found them to be false. Mormonism does not line up with the Bible.
We are concerned that the Mormon Church is teaching a false gospel and leading people in the wrong direction. Eternal life is found in trusting in Christ's atonement, not in learning secret handshakes in the temple. Mormonism is adding to the Bible with their teachings.
Many of our family are still LDS and we respect their right to believe differently than us, we do not pester them to read our material. If they do not want to look at it, that is their choice. But I believe everyone has the right to see both sides of an issue before coming to a conclusion.
Simply because a group has been loving to a person does not prove that the group's teaching is founded by God. I am glad for you that you have found some friends among the Mormons. But there are many loving people in other churches as well. Yet you would not accept those churches as being equally true with the Mormons.
How are we to know what God requires of us? Truth is based on more than our personal experiences with people or the feelings of our heart. Those can mislead us. We must judge anyone claiming to be a prophet by how their teachings compare with the Bible, not our feelings.]
March 3, 2002
Subject: The Cold Shoulder
I just examined the LDS and RLDS web pages. The LDS is very disappointing because they have no place to ask direct questions. I guess it saves some embarrassment to the Church.
I attended an RLDS Sunday meeting and found it to be very boring and uneventful. They have changed their name and I guess that they want to look mainstream.
I went to an LDS sacrament meeting and did I ever get snubbed and followed right up to my car. These two bouncer sized missionaries followed me and watch me carefully. I guess that they have an excellent intelligence network because I left the LDS about 9 years ago and I guess I will never be forgiven and go to hades. ...Keep up the great work at the Lighthouse and I pray for and think of you often.
March 3, 2002
March 3, 2002
...I just wanted to write and ask for your explanation as to why it is so important for ex-Mormons to write to the LDS church and request that their names be removed from church membership. I was baptized into the LDS church back in 1977;......I wrote the prescribed format that the web-site suggested...I'm no longer considered a member of the LDS church and I did not confront any problems or delays getting this matter taken care of....I recently called a national television ministry and asked their opinion about being removed from the LDS church. After talking with them for a few minutes, the individual admitted that he didn't see any reason for it. As long as I have turned my back on the cult and have acknowledged my mistake to God [for joining] that should be enough....
[Sandra's Note: I do not believe that it matters to God whether or not a person is still listed on the LDS rolls. I encourage people to take their name off because of the LDS boast of having 11 million members world wide while half don't even attend. If everyone who has walked away from Mormonism were to resign, think of the impact it could have on LDS PR and moral. Also, it is a good chance to witness to the Bishop and anyone else who reads the letter.
An article in the Salt Lake Tribune, March 2, 2002, p.C1, mentioned that Mormonism was the fifth largest church in the USA. But their numbers are deceiving. Other churches drop people from their church membership if they have not attended for a year or two. But the Mormons keep counting you until you die.
The Baptists, Assemble of God, and other churches, periodically prune their membership rolls so their numbers are more realistic. While the LDS are padding the numbers, counting people who may not have attended since their baptism as a child. So to say that there are 15.9 million Southern Baptists, 2.5 million Assemblies of God (or which ever church you want to list) and 5.2 million LDS does not equate to the same type of accounting.
Another issue is the size of a congregation. Virtually everyone attending an LDS ward are members, while a large portion of regular attendees at other churches may not be official members.]
March 3, 2002
Subject: LDS Business Ownership
Jerald and Sandra, I have made extensive use of your web site for a class in our church on Mormonism and have ordered a number of the resources available on your site.
I have had a question come up in our class that I need some help with. Several folks have told me that the Mormon Church is a major stockholder in Albertsons, Marriott, Pepsico and other businesses. Is this true? If it is, where can I go to get the documentation? I can't imagine with all of the money flowing into Salt Lake that they do not have majority stakes in a number of large companies, but I don't know how to find out. I would appreciate your help. Thanks and God Bless.
[Note: There is quit a bit on LDS finances in the book Mormon America: The Power & the Promise. Also in Time mag. for Aug.4, 1997. Both may be in your local library. I don't believe the LDS Church is a major stockholder of any of the companies you mentioned. Marriott is owned by an LDS family.]
March 3, 2002
Why is it a practiced belief in the LDS church that children who are at the age of 8 are known to be able to discern that the church is true? My 8 year old went through the same motions recently, but he also believed, without a doubt, that Santa Claus was real up until 3 months before that.
[Sandra's Note: Joseph Smith claimed that God revealed to him that children under the age of eight were not accountable for sin and should not be baptized until they reach that age. See Doctrine and Covenants 18:42; 29:46-47; 68:25-27. It seems odd that children of eight are accountable for sin, can decide right from wrong, and chose to join the LDS Church; but at age 15 they would not be deemed old enough to decide to terminate their membership.]
March 3, 2002
What I find interesting about the letters from Mormon members to you, is how they claim to be believers in their "church" but yet they disobey their "teachings" and visit your site (and probably others as well) enough to read information to complain to you about. Sounds to me like they are in denial. To those that do this: If you believe your church so much, then why do you even visit? Obviously you are not as staunch as you claim to be or you are already in doubt.
March 4, 2002
Hello, Thanks for your website. I recently got into a debate with an acquaintance who is LDS, regarding the issue of whether or not Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were racists at heart.
To me, an impartial observer, what I have read online more than convinces me that the were indeed, obviously. To even say "God told Abraham, and Abraham told us in the bible, that blacks are accursed.", is obviously a huge cornerstone for racism- but he says it's not, and that the founders had brotherly love for blacks. I seriously doubt that, but have no proof.
I have raised these points to him, but he says all that I have read is simply slander and lies, promulgated by LDS haters. I wonder if you can refer me to a source of irrefutable, (probably LDS itself- otherwise, he'll say it's a non lds person slandering them), piece of literature or book that proves the racism/slavery issue, that he cannot conveniently ignore? Do any of their books or writings clearly define their racist scheme?
[Sandra's Note: In the beginning, the Mormons were mainly northern converts, probably no more or less prejudiced than anyone else. Obviously Smith had his prejudices, when one looks at the Book of Mormon concept of race (color equals a mark of God's displeasure). But when they moved to Missouri they were suspected of supporting the abolitionists, probably due to their inviting free people of color to join. There were a few Negroes in early Mormonism that were ordained to the priesthood. The more time spent in Missouri and Illinois seems to have turned them to a stronger stand on blacks. Thus the Book of Abraham with its references to Cain and priesthood. Then Brigham Young took it even further, with very pronounced anti-Negro statements.]
March 4, 2002
Subject: FREEDOM AT LAST
Grace and Peace to you in the name of our crucified and resurrected Savior, Jesus the Christ!
Today, March 4, 2002, my wife and I received our letters from the Mormon "corporate" office in Salt Lake officially releasing us from that heretical church!
Please keep your website out there!! I spent years as a Mormon arguing the Mormon cause, many times in emails with the writers at this website. At one time, I was the Ward Mission Leader. I was even a member of the Stake Mission Presidency.
The information I found concerning Mormonism was like a seed that grew within me until I knew enough to convince me that the Mormon church is a sham. Today, my wife and I have returned to our Lutheran roots and faith. I am a graduate-level seminarian at a Lutheran Seminary that is planning on entering the Pastoral Ministry. Although I regret my years as a Mormon, I hope that one day the information I learned there can help others from leaving Christianity and going down that dark path without the Savior. A simple "Thank you" doesn't seem sufficient!
In Christ's Love,
March 5, 2002
Hello. ...Thank you so much for your service. Your site is very informative and yet it seems pretty un-biased to me. You present the facts very truthfully, I think. ...In God's eyes, there are no surprises. We humans, with our limited perspective, are sometimes stunned by the events He allows. But God always has a plan and a provision. (see Joshua 1:9) ...
March 7, 2002
Hi there guys...We've spoken before, but you probably won't remember me...We left Mormonism five years ago this coming summer....We are born-again believers in the LORD Jesus Christ, and fellowship with a small Baptist church in ...Utah. ...I'm trying to work with an old friend on the issue of the Bible being translated correctly or not. My question is about the wording of Isaiah 6:2 and 6:6 were the KJV uses 'seraphims' and Joseph Smith's version got it right, 'seraphim'. I know that I read something in your book about this, but I'm at work and don't have access to it.
What can I say about this. Surely, Joseph must have heard about it prior to producing his version, but is there anything in print from the time period that could be used as proof that he could have known about it? If you could help me, I would appreciate it. ...
[Sandra's Note: Ministers of Smith's day knew that 'seraphim' was the plural form of 'seraph' and that the KJV was in error to have the 's' on the end of the plural form. This could have been mentioned in any sermon Smith heard on Isaiah.
Here is a quote from the popular Adam Clarke's Commentary of the Bible, which was in print during the 1820's. This commentary was so popular that it is even reprinted and sold today. I have a copy in my library.
Also, Matthew Henry's Commentary, available in Smith's day, shows the same knowledge:
His commentary on Isaiah 6:5-8also shows that seraph is the singular of seraphim:
Hope this helps.]
March 7, 2002
I do not appreciate your web site and the "information" on it. Are you members of the church, or do you even know any?
You talk about documents being changed, like that of [sealing] "man to man" to "children to parents" and so on. It was changed because of idiots like you who think it means literally that men should be sealed to men. It means that it must be done here on earth, with people who have physical bodies. Why else would we do temple work for the dead? It must be done on earth.
Also, you talk about trying to hide polygamy. No one is trying to hide that at all. It was taken away because we believe in following the law of the land, and the United States outlawed polygamy. You don't even mention how many people felt uncomfortable with practicing it, but they had faith in the Lord and followed His commandments.
And about the blacks holding the priesthood, we were not discriminatory. They are decendants of Cain and have that marking( that's from the Bible ). The Lord has said that there is a time and a purpose for everything, and it was revealed to the prophet that that was the time.
You know, if you would read the Book of Mormon with an open heart and an open mind, you would believe it too. The spirit would so totally testify to you of its truthfulness. But your hearts are probably way too hardened for that. You want to know the truth? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one and true church on the earth today. It was revealed to a fourteen year old boy, Joseph Smith Jr., in a quiet grove who had so earnestly prayed to know the truth. Both Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him. We have been lead ever since then by a true prophet, seer, and revelator. Today his name is Gordon B. Hinckley. The teachings of the church are true and pure. And I know that if I, a teenager, can find out and know for myself through the spirit, certainly an adult can do it too. I hope and pray that you will.
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. Not sure which site you were looking at. A few places have put our material on their sites. Our official web site is www.utlm.org. We are former LDS who left after extensive research. We are now Christians who just follow the Bible. There is more about us on our web site.
The issues you mention are far more complicated than you seem to realize. We try to document everything we say, we do not make things up. Most of the books we quote from are in the BYU library, the University of Utah library and the Utah State Historical Society library. I hope you will continue your research into these issues. Truth will stand up to investigation.]
March 7, 2002
To make it short and sweet, I just have to say that in 1985-86 I served an 18 month mission in Fresno California. I had grown up back east where the mormon church was relatively small in numbers, and therefore, I believe it was not seen as much of a threat, or it wasn't in the spotlight and so 'anti' literature was not really around. But when I went on my mission, I began to hear of the literature and works and efforts of you and others to discredit the church and destroy 'testimonies'. Of course I never would allow myself to be exposed to any of it, telling myself that people should read and explore other religions from a positive standpoint and avoid 'bashing'. In fact, simply hearing the name 'Tanner' would cause shivers in my spine and the hair to stand up on the back of my neck.
For reasons of my own, without ever looking at anything 'anti', I finally was able to admit to myself that I never had a testimony and I was able to take some relief in realizing that it wasn't because of my 'weaknesses' and 'lack of faith' . I began to feel good about who I was again. The popular missionary discussion scripture, Acts 8:32 "and the truth will make you free" took on a whole new meaning. I haven't really felt much of a need to read material to discredit the LDS church in order to support my own personal realizations. However, the web site exmormons.org has been helpful in that during my breaking free I was able to read other exmormons experiences and struggles to overcome the programming (and that really is what it is) of the church.
And that brings me to my point. I came across the article by you on Paul H. Dunn and was intrigued because I was one of those who turned to him to increase my faith and testimony. When I felt my testimony just wasn't there, I could listen to one of his tapes and it gave me hope and inspired me to strive to be the person I knew I could be. I have a picture of Mr. Dunn and I shaking hands after I met him at a conference while on my mission. His faith promoting experiences gave me so much hope for myself that one day I might be the person I needed to be and should be. When I learned of the scandal in the early 90's, it did not help my already weak testimony to say the least. Yet I held on, trying to ignore what I was told to ignore and clinging to what I had been taught and lived my whole life. And as I said, for my own reasons and in my own time, I have been made free. But as intrigued as I was in the Dunn article, when I saw that the Tanners wrote it, my immediate first reaction was to avoid it like the plague, and I began to feel those hairs on the back of my neck again!!! ...guess I'm not as free as I thought! (give me time!)
March 7, 2002
Dear Sandra or assistant....
A peculiar little item for your attention: Remnants of an old wine cellar found under Nauvoo Temple.....
Hi there! My name is _____. I am an ex-mormon, having been thrown-out by reason of my own request some 20 years ago... I do, however, drop into church from time to time when I have LDS relatives visiting, which happened this last Sunday ... when I attended all three meetings with my oldest son, who just returned from a mission. (Now that he is fully indoctrinated, he will be able to understand your work, which I am preparing to share with him soon) I need to let him know first that Spirituality and Receiving Christ are where it's at and he knows that he and I can hold on to that one throughout the process.
This is a hard one for me since I have another son serving on a Chinese speaking mission in New York City. He will be ready in a couple of years. My youngest and brightest son decided that you were right, after reading some of your mailed material to our home, and decided not to go on a mission. Thanks.
Anyway, I wish to share this following odd story with you. A member of the ward, ...just returned last week from a months-long working assignment as an LDS church carpenter for the church's new Nauvoo Illinois temple. [He] told me something rather interesting just following elder's quorum meeting in the basement hallway of our chapel.
[He] reported to me that as the construction crew excavated the old Nauvoo temple site prior to pouring the new foundation, many things were bulldozed-out of the crater, including remnants of an old wine cellar. I asked him if it looked like it was part of the original temple or built afterwards, and he said, "there was no way to tell".
From what I have read in your excellent work, The Changing World of Mormonism, I would suspect that the wine cellar was indeed part of the temple of Joseph Smith, since he had alcohol stocked piled in so many other handy places in the city beautiful. I would suspect that the wine would have been used for sacrament meetings in the temple, and also to have some handy for Joseph and the brethren. Do you have any corroborating evidence in this peculiar little matter of the Nauvoo temple's wine cellar? I would love to have access to the remnants. Surely there are archeological clues......Brother Brigham's initials on the wooden bottle holders?
[Sandra's Note: I know there was a cellar in the Nauvoo temple, but haven't heard anything about a wine cellar. But the Mormons were using wine at that time for sacrament so it is possible.]
March 8, 2002
Don't talk about a church and criticize it. That is the lowest thing that anyone could do. Unless some church authority molested you or proposely lead you astray into deep sins telling you that he was in authority and what he was doing was from God which would actually make him evil and not the beliefs, just shut up. If you don't believe it, don't believe it. But to make a web page and talk down another church is really rude and immature.
[Sandra's Note: Joseph Smith is guilty of just that. He told teenage girls and married women that God ordained that they should enter into secret polygamy with him. Yet they were not to tell anyone, especially his first wife, Emma. Joseph convinced my great-great grandfather, Brigham Young that plural marriage was necessary for eternal life. Consequently Young married at least 50 women, fathering 56 children. My great grandfather, Brigham Young Jr., was likewise taught that polygamy was necessary for eternal life. He had at least three wives, one taken after the 1890 manifesto. I suspect my grandfather was a polygamist as well. If God did not command these things then they should be exposed as lies from a false prophet.]
March 8, 2002
Subject: New Yorker Article on the Church
Dear Jerald and Sandra,
I just thought that I would relate this experience to you and ask if it sounds unique or if this is something that happens with regularity. After seeing the link on your web site in January for the article that was published in the New Yorker Magazine. I tried to get a copy of this issue from the local stores here in Utah. Being unsuccessful in finding a copy, I called my mother who lives in New York to see if she might possibly be able to get one for me there. I thought she might have better luck since the article would probably not be as important to the local community's interests as it understandably would be here.
Anyway, she also failed in her search for a copy of this issue at all the various stores where she looked. Since it now was getting to the point in time where getting a copy of my own from a retailer was getting unlikely, I asked her to make a copy of it for me if it had any interesting items attached to the article other than the text (such as photos, timelines, charts, maps, etc.) from the library the next time when she was there. I just spoke to her about it again recently and she said that she went to the library that she normally visits and did not find the issue anywhere. She asked one of the librarians to assist her in finding this issue. However, even after a thorough search the missing issue could not be found.
She then went to three other libraries in the city in which she lives and ended up with the same result. It was at the last library that she was assisted by a very experienced librarian who told her that he was aware of the missing issue and he had contacted other local libraries to find out whether they still had a copy on hand for her to see. The final word from all these branches of the public library was that this issue of the New Yorker magazine had been reported as missing within three days of its arrival at the library.
So my question to you is: Is this just a bizarre coincidence or is there any possibility that there is more to this ? Are missionaries/church members instructed (or have they ever been) to "purge" the local libraries of unfavorable information regarding the church? Or do you think that this is just an example of a local phenomenon from an overly zealous individual in her area?
Thanks for you help and for your ministry to the Lord.
A brother in the Lord's service,
[Sandra's Note: Yes, we have heard of such things. On page 10 and 13-A of our book MormonismShadow or Reality? we tell of Mormon efforts to destroy or remove critical material from libraries. If you find this has happened in your local library, please alert your librarian that Mormons may be systematically destroying critical books and magazines.]
[Web-editor: New Yorker Article: Lives of the Saints.]
March 8, 2002
Subject: Jer 17:5
I heard about you on Moody radio in an interview done with them, and bookmarked your web address in my brain till I could get to it! We have many Mormons in our area, and of course they are the nicest, and moral kids in the local high school which has spurred some discussions with my high schooler.
My first reaction to your website is to thank you for all the information there! My second reaction is this... Jer 17:5 is referenced in Sandra's testimonial. I looked it up for context and just can't help but ask you: What do you make of the last line of verse 6 in reference to the Mormons chosen headquarters?
[Sandra's Note: Hadn't really thought about v.6--but kind of funny now that you point it out!!
March 8, 2002
Subject: Demographics and Dealing with LDS missionaries
I am a resident of London, Ontario (pop 300,000) [Canada], and have also lived in Toronto, Ontario (pop 3,000,000) and Hamilton, Ontario (pop 500,000). I have moved from city to city to pursue a professional career. Incidentally I am an active member of the Lutheran Church (ELCiC).
Until I moved to London I had never seen an LDS missionary in my life. I wonder if the LDS studies the demographics of cities before deciding to send its missionaries there. London is a "white bread" sort of small c conservative city of mainly anglo-saxon origin. Only in the last 2 decades or so has London Ontario begun to take on the multi-racial, multi-cultural mix of Canada's larger cities.
By comparison, both Hamilton and Toronto have had, for the better part of the last century large east european Catholic and Orthodox communities. During my lifetime Toronto has acquired sizeable populations of Arab Muslims, Indian Hindus, and far-east Asian Buddhists. It would appear that the Mormons are cutting their losses by not going to Toronto at all!
Last summer, while doing some gardening on the grounds of my church, I was approached by 2 LDS missionaries! I don't know if they thought that I was simply a church employee or if they thought that a Lutheran would be receptive to their sales pitch. I think that I caught them off guard by a "full gun salvo" attack on their theology. ...They gave up about 3 minutes later. ...
March 8, 2002
Subject: Answer of Prayer
Jerald and Sandra,
I wanted to let you both know that the Lord has blessed you both tremendously. He will continue to do so, because I see you keep God as the focal point.
I left the Mormon church a year ago and my wife realized the TRUTH 11 months later. She grew up in the church and and I was a convert.
For those Mormons who are on the fence listen to God tapping you on the shoulder. It was not Utlm or me, it was the LORD doing the work with my wife. My father prayed 5 years for me and one day, (in GODS timing) answered my dads prayer. It is so amazing to see the change in our lives because we have relationship with the LORD.
With Christians we do not have to worry if we are perfect enough, because we know we are not. With Jesus dying on the cross he rescued us from our sins. Past and future sins. In the Old Testament they had to sacrifice an animal to hide their sins, but Jesus did it once and for all. If we could become gods Jesus should have never died on the cross.
Mormons need to read Romans 10:9-13. Key words are confess, mouth, believe, heart, saved. That is it Mormons. It is nothing else, everything else falls into place. It is not rules and being perfect and worthy. We are not, that is why Jesus saves us! By his grace and his mercy.
My wife's Aunt made a comment, "that she hopes she goes to heaven". Why would you want to live that way. What is cool is that we don't have to prove anything because the Word of God proves itself. You can not say that about the B of M. I will continue to pray for LDS members. I will pray for your ministry to keep on growing with fans for the LORD! Amen God Bless you both!!!
March 9, 2002
Dear friends at UTLM,
I just discovered and ordered the Quetzalcoatl book on your website. You may be interested in what follows...I converted to Christianity from paganism in college because, as a pagan, I had worshipped Quetzalcoatl. You read that correctly--worshipping Quetzalcoatl eventually led me to receive and adore Jesus Christ as a Christian.
My conversion was strongly influenced by the thought of J.R.R.Tolkien, G.K.Chesterton, and C.S.Lewis. These brilliant Christians helped me to understand that Jesus Christ came to fulfill not only the prophetic expectations of the Jews but also the hopes (Lewis called them "good dreams") of the pagans, however confused. Quetzalcoatl is, like Osiris and Baldur, one of those "pagan Christs" that Lewis mentions in The Case for Christianity (the first part of Mere Christianity).
Imagine my surprise, two or three years after I became a Christian, when a Mormon friend tried to tell me that Quetzalcoatl was really Jesus Christ in the Americas. He could not have picked a worse person to try that ploy on. I knew the whole myth of Quetzalcoatl backwards and forwards and quite a bit of the history and archaeology to boot. My friend came off sounding like a fool, because I knew not only Quetzalcoatl's substantial similarities to Jesus, but also his essential differences. My friend would never try that argument to convert anyone again!....thanks,
God bless you,
March 9, 2002
Thank you...for this site, it is very helpful. I have questions concerning mormon apologetics. I often research mormon websites (i am Christian) to learn from their perspective and i cannot help but notice that they have an answer to everything!
They use scriptures from the bible to prove their authority and at the same time accuse the bible of being in error! So i guess my questions are how do they know that certain scriptures are correct while others are not?
[Sandra's Note: Generally speaking, any verse from the Bible that a Christian uses with a Mormon is considered suspect and probably translated wrong by the Mormons. However, it seems that any verse a Mormon wants to use with a Christian is considered translated correctly. In other words, the Mormons have no systematic way to tell which verse is 'translated correctly.']
March 10, 2002
My husband and I departed from Mormonism about 39 years ago, soon after we married and were students at BYU. It's a long story, perhaps much like yours - we simply stopped believing...........My question for you is: Do you think that all/most of the general authorities truly believe in Joseph Smith's story and if so, why? They/some seem smart, educated, even intellectual. Why did I question? Why doesn't everyone? What do you think?
[Sandra's Note: I assume the majority of LDS leaders actually believe Mormonism is true. However, they seem to believe in cover-up, distortion and/or lying to protect the church image. I assume they rationalize along the lines that the church doctrine is generally true even if Smith or Young, or whoever, made some serious errors. And I think they reason that since the average person would not be strong enough to still believe if they knew of these failings, it is better to just cover them up.
As to why more don't question, it seems that people generally take the path of least resistance. It is easier to go along with the family, friends, neighborhood, boss, etc. than to be labeled a trouble-maker, a doubting Thomas. Most of the time, when one asks a serious question in Mormonism the person is shamed, made to feel guilty of doubting the prophet, told to just 'pray about it,' don't read anything that would lead to questioning the brethren.]
March 10, 2002
Subject: Thank you!
I just wanted to thank you for this website. It's a wonderful resource of books and articles. I recently accepted Jesus as my Savior (just before Christmas!). I sent my request to be removed from the LDS church records on February 8th and I'm hoping to hear confirmation any day. I hope it goes smoothly and not like some of the stories I've heard.
I'm 43 and had been in the church all my life. While I have been inactive for some time, I still believed the church and held my faith. I really wanted to thank the Tanners for their diligent study and all the work they have gone through. ..... Right now I'm focusing on the gaps in my knowledge between what the LDS church taught and the truth. Actually, that would be a great book to have for ex-mormons making that step.
Take care and keep it up!
March 11, 2002
Thank you for your web site, my daughter will find the info there very useful as she has many friends at school that are Mormons, and she is curious as to what the distinctives are, because of course they pass themselves off as "better" Christians than she is!
So thank you for your website!
March 12, 2002
I love your site and find it very informative! Thanks for putting the information out there! My question is this.......I would like to know more about Joseph Smith being a murderer? I found the place where John Taylor made statements concerning Joseph's death, History of Church ,Vol. 7, page 100-102&103. But there is no other references. I would like to know where I can find all information regarding Joseph Smith being a murderer. ...Also, is the History of the Church books still open to public viewing or has the LDS church sealed those records? Thanks again and God Bless.!
[Sandra's Note: While Joseph Smith was in jail guns were smuggled in. The charges of his committing murder arose from his shooting back when the jail was stormed by an angry mob and he was shot. The information on his shooting a couple of men is found in the History of the Church reference. For various accounts on his death, see this page: Joseph Smith's Death.
The 'History of the Church' by Joseph Smith should be available in any library in Utah and in various universities around the country. It is also on the LDS CD-ROM 'Gospelink2001.'
You can learn more about Smith's death by reading his biography in No Man Knows My History by Fawn Brodie.]
March 12, 2002
Is the copy of the King James bible that the LDS church passes out the same as the one you can buy at any bookstore? Is anything left out of it, seeing as they only believe the bible is true as long as it is interpreted correctly. Do you also know what parts the LDS church think that christians interpret wrong?
[Sandra's Note: Usually the Bibles that the Mormons give away free on their ads are just regular KJV Bibles. But it is not the official version that the LDS missionaries use. The Mormons print their own KJV Bible (different from the one they give away free) and their copy has new chapter headings and footnotes that cross reference everything to other Mormon scriptures, plus it has a dictionary and topical guide at the back with Mormon explanations to everything.
Generally speaking, Mormons will consider any verse from the Bible that a Christian uses as being suspect and probably translated wrong. However, it seems that any verse a Mormon wants to use with a Christian is considered translated correctly. For more information on the differences of beliefs see: Terminology Differences.]
March 13, 2002
...I just want to let you know how much of an inspiration you and your husband have been to me. I have been studying what I did believe for so long and every book I picked up had so much anger towards the LDS church or so much twisting. Your information was very honest and well documented and the fact that you would even write to correct some of the other ideas that were put out in books like the Godmakers has caused me to really look up to you two. Thanks again ...
March 13, 2002
This is an excellent web site. Being able to direct individuals to the book "The Changing World of Mormonism" is a real benefit.
March 13, 2002
Hi! What a blessing you all are! I just discovered your website today as I was trying to help out a friend who was invited to a "meeting" with her friend (who just became a mormon.)
Thankfully, she called and cancelled the meeting, but it got me to wondering if there is more I can do when Mormons come to my door. They come every other month or so and I believe being kind to them is the right thing to do. I usually offer them something to drink, but I make it very clear I am a born-again Christian who has no desire to become Mormon. They are very kind and I always pray for them after they leave. Sometimes I wish I could do more, but without trying to debate with them. Do you have anything that I could give them to read or something I could say that would help them?
Thank you for any help you can give me.
[Sandra's Note: It would be a great opportunity to hand one of the Mormon missionaries a piece of literature. The Institute for Religious Research puts out two high quality tracts that would be good to give a Mormon or a Christian. 'Is Mormonism Christian?' and 'Are Mormon Temples Christian?' You can see them at: www.irr.org.
We also sell a Tract Pack. Some of these tracts would be good for a Mormon, others are good to inform Christians.]
March 13, 2002
Dear Jerald & Sandra and Staff,
Thank you...so much for all the wonderful stories you share about people that leave the Mormon Church. I want to tell you what an inspiration you are and how thankful I am that the Lord has blessed us with such special people. What an awesome God we have.
My family story is not unlike so many others. I was a seventh generation Mormon. My (ggggg) grandparents are Winslow Farr St & Olive Hovey. President Lorenzo Snow is also a (ggg?) grandfather and that somehow I am related to President Joseph Fielding but I have forgotten how. Up until five years ago I was very proud of my Mormon roots. To look at their biographies now saddens and troubles my heart.
I know that because of the work he has done through you and others like you (ex-Mormons) that I have been shown the countless lies beginning with Joseph Smith Jr. With a grateful heart I want to share with you that my children, grandchildren and several friends now attend a Christian Church. We have all discovered what it means to truly worship God our Father and his beloved son Jesus.
Like most Mormons who leave the church, I still have countless family members, friends and co-workers who still believe the Mormon Church to be true. As I study the literature you have written, it has made my pathway so much easier to explain to these people what true Christianity versus Mormonism is all about. Most of the time they don't listen, but I look back and remember that that used to be me....
March 14, 2002
...Your website is great! It is very informative! I got it from the Berean Christian Ministry website, also a great one. I have family members who are devout Mormons, so the info you provide helps me better understand them and also helps me to better know how to witness to them.
Thank you and God Bless your ministry!
March 15, 2002
Sandra, thanks for the information. I appreciate the work that you and your husband do. I admire the high level of integrity that you both possess.
March 15, 2002
Subject: Lying About Polygamy
Why can't you just leave it alone? Get a life!
March 15, 2002
Subject: Thank you
Thank you for your good honest work. After 30 years of mormonism I am finding peace for the very first time in my life. Was promised supernatural presence of God when first converted but was left confused and troubled by LDS leaders of yesterday and present.
Though my wife and children are still active I had to take the steps to follow sound truth instead of rewritten history of this group. Thanks for the history lesson, it only made my path brighter
March 16, 2002
I have a question on the name Moroni. My pastor, who is of Italian descent, is preaching on Mormonism, and when I showed him the Book of Mormon, he mentioned that he knew several people with the last name of Moroni. I have found out it is a common Italian surname.
Could this be the origin of the name Moroni that Joseph Smith gave in his "revelations" and placed in the Book of Mormon? It is quite interesting if he knew any Italians with that name.
[Sandra's Note: There was a painter named Moroni. But I think a closer link to the name came from Smith hearing about the Comoro (various spellings) Islands, capital is Moroni. See: Possible Sources for Book of Mormon Names.
These islands are off the east coast of Africa and were a stopping place for pirates. Smith may have heard about them while he was reading about Capt. Kidd.]
March 16, 2002
At what age does an LDS young person typically enter a temple for the first time, and for what purpose? Is it there that the young men enter the "Aaronic Priesthood"?
[Sandra's Note: A young Mormon boy is ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood at the age of 12, becoming a 'Deacon.' Then a 'teacher' at 14 and a 'priest' at 16. During this time he might attend the temple to do baptism for the dead. But this is a different ceremony than when they receive their 'endowments' (where they start wearing the Mormon underwear and learn special secret handshakes and passwords). When he is about 19, going on a mission, he will be ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood. After that ordination, before going on his mission, he will go through the temple ceremony and start wearing the special LDS underwear.
Girls do not have the LDS priesthood. When they go on a mission they are usually 21, a little older than the males. They will go through the temple endowment ceremony before their mission as well.
If a person does not serve a mission, he/she can go through the temple endowment ceremony later when they get married or as an adult.]
March 16, 2002
Dear Jerald & Sandra Tanner,
I praise God for brothers and sisters like you. I can appreciate the fact that you have stuck to the ministry of God's word to the Mormons. Even in times of awful letters and persecutions towards you, you have stuck in there strong and on fire for the Lord....
I have a brother [who] is the only convert [in our family] from Mormonism, other than myself that is. He was converted before I was (approx. 15-20 years ago) and now is a Lay-Pastor in his church. He was one of many tools that God has used over the years in the process of my conversion (approx 1 1/2-2 years ago). As I, he has also been persecuted by our Mormon family. He has been blessed with a very beautiful and loving wife, who loves the Lord with a passion....
March 17, 2002
Recently in a radio program on Moody Radio (103.3 FM Ohio) I heard Sandra ...Thank you for such a wonderful website, you provide so much information and speaking as a Christian I think more people need to dial in to your website and get informed.
March 17, 2002
Subject: Thank you!
Thanks to you, we have another success story. I've written your site a couple of times looking for guidance and information to help us rescue our 18 year old son from this cult.
My son was pulled into Mormonism through his girlfriend who was born into the church. After my son developed strong feelings for this girl, she then gave him an ultimatum to join the church and become baptised or they could not stay together. My son did become baptized and planned on being a missionary. Planning for this, he dropped out of college. He thought why should he go to college if he would soon quit for two years.
Not know anything about Mormonism, I wanted to learn as much as I could, so that I could support my son and his decisions. I started going to church with him and I read the books that he was told to read (BOM, etc.). Through this, I had many questions. I would talk with the missionaries, and other leaders of the church, and the usual response I received was that "The LDS does not believe or follow that doctrine." Or, "I don't know, I'll find out and get back to you on that." They never came back with an answer. Always, they would come back and site a scripture that was unrelated or vague. It made me suspicious why they refused to discuss my concerns in detail, or refused to question anything that they were preaching.
In search for the answers, I found your web sight. I found the information I was looking for, and the answers to my questions. Later, when I would discuss this with my son, his girlfriend, her parents, and the leaders of the church, they could not defend their positions.
And, when I mentioned that I got the information from your sight, they acted as if I was referencing the words of Satan. I have come to realize how afraid these Mormons are. Constantly living in fear of the truth, and justifying to maintain their ignorance by saying or teaching, "To question or doubt is to get off from the path to celestial heaven, and on to the path to Satan." This fear is what makes it so hard to get through to someone in the church. Anything that is contrary to what they preach is labeled as being "Anti-Mormon", and not worthy of listening to. And it doesn't even have to be "anti-mormon" material, because "non-mormon" and "anti-mormon" is synonymous to the mormons.
What I liked most of all is that the information you provided about Mormonism, can be verified through their own books. What was helpful to me were books you recommended, by Ron Carlson, The Mormon Enigma - Emma Smith, literature about Mark Hoffman, and the early writings of Joseph Smith.
I couldn't care less if I was able to convince the Mormon's of the truth. I just wanted to present to truth to my son, and be a voice of reason to him. This is why I kept going to church with him.
I suggest that anyone out there who is going through the same crisis that my family has gone through for the last year, is to become informed. Go to church to hear what propaganda their pushing.
What was so aggravating was that any time I was able to get my son to listen to reason, he would go back home and then his girlfriend and the missionaries would continue their brainwashing. One of the turning points, I believe, is when I suggested that my son read "Mormon Enigma", which is a biography of Joseph Smith's wife, Emma Smith. I was surprised of the reaction I got. I found that the Mormons have vilified her because of her stance against polygamy.
Of course, my son and his girlfriend refused to read it. Then, when my
son took a trip to Nauvoo with one of the missionaries, he saw that they
sold "Mormon Enigma" in their book store. He thought that they
wouldn't sell anti-mormon books there, and even though he still hasn't
read it, he did accept some of the concerns I had discussed with him that
the book brought up.
I'm very proud of my son's strength. For a 19 year old to stand up to the girl he loved, and to the very determined Mormon church, with their 170 years of practice of overcoming doubt with misinformation, took a lot of strength.
My son is now back in college, and he is beaming about how happy he is having control back in his life. He told me that it felt that he has put his life on hold for over a year to try to satisfy his girlfriend's expectations, and that he is glad to realize this before it was too late.
I'm writing this to express my very sincere gratitude to you for your support, and to encourage others that are going through the same thing to educate yourself and don't ever give up. Knowledge, love, and persistence is what will triumph. It doesn't hurt to have a "prophet" that was so flawed, and obviously would not have been God's choice to be the leader of a true church.
I thank you again, and I'm sure I share the feeling of hundred of thousands, if not millions, who are grateful that you there.
March 17, 2002
I wanted to say thank you. I have been investigating several churches through the internet when I happened upon your website. I knew very little about Mormonism until I searched your many informative pages. I know, through reading your opinions that you probably are antimormon but your passages and books have had the opposite affect on me. "Mine eyes have been opened," and I have investigated the church. Upon receiving the discussions from missionaries I have set a Baptismal date in two weeks and I cannot wait. I feel very blessed in falling into your site and felt obligated to thank you for, what I feel, saving my life. I am going to be Mormon!
Thank you so much for what ever you did to influence me to join. The LDS Church.
March 17, 2002
I read the portion of your web sight that talks about the movie legacy. You should pay more attention to the truthfulness of what you print. You claim that the movie is from the journals of one person yet the church made it well known that it was not from the journal of one person but a compilation of different stories put in to one person. as for the claim that she was married to a non-mormon shows that you haven't even watched the film. For in the film he husband joins the church in England before they ever met.
Also it would be against the laws of the commandment received on polygamy for her to be married and sealed to Joseph at the same time. For the law states that men are the only ones that can take plural spouses. If you hate the LDS church that your choice but you owe it to the people that read you material to give them only truth. If you cant do that than you should not publish anything.
Ask your selves this Question when you publish something, Would Jesus Christ publish something that was not true? The answer is NO. So you should not either. From what I have read on your sight this would make you remove 99.9%. Perhaps this why you do not ask yourselves this question.
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. We endeavor to honestly present the evidence for the claims we make.
If you will read In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith by Todd Compton, a Mormon researcher, you will find that eleven women, one-third of Smith's wives, were already married to other living men when they secretly entered into plural marriage with Joseph Smith. This book is even sold at Deseret Book--it is not an 'anti' Mormon book. It contains the biographies of Smith's 33 plural wives.
So the shoe is on the other foot. You owe it to yourself to find out the 'truth' before charging us with making up falsehoods. If God did not tell Joseph Smith to marry already married women, then Smith is a very immoral man betraying these women who obeyed him. Is your love for truth strong enough to look into Smith's marriages?]
March 18, 2002
Hello, Why is it that at the naming ceremony, the husband can know the wife's GIVEN name, but the wife is forbidden to know the husbands GIVEN name? Does this have something to do with Celestial Polygamy?
Not that it matters, but I am not Mormon. I am what they call an investigator.
[Sandra's Note: The husband needs to know her name in order to call her up for the resurrection. See: How the LDS Husband Hopes to Resurrect His Wife According to the LDS Temple Ceremony.]
March 18, 2002
...This July, 550 Mormon youth are descending on our community [Oskaloosa, IA] for "community service", the Knoxville, IA stake of the Mormon Church is "planting" a church here (just bought and surveyed property adjacent to the [Penn] University ). We have quite a challenge before us...please pray. ...
March 19, 2002
Having been raised a mormon and left the church. I also found I was directed back to it and love it even more I don't find that the teachings of the church direct only to the church, but more to the Savior his love for all and his divine purpose to all of our lives, and find it unfortunate that some folks read things into the church that really aren't there.
I'm sure you believe strongly in your opinion but I as well do mine and truly thank every day my Father in Heaven for the opportunity to be Mormon. This is the value of opinion.
I would only ask that while you share those things you consider to be true, you keep in mind those who are hurt by these opinions. And maybe one day like me you'll rethink your own thoughts and find yourself at the same place I did. After all we also are christian and have the same beliefs as other christians. Thank you far allowing me to share my thoughts.
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for sharing your opinion. First, I hope YOU will consider all those who are 'hurt' by the LDS opinion and missionary work. Thousands of families around the world are left to mourn the fact that a loved one has embraced Mormonism. Many mothers and fathers are deprived of being a part of their children's wedding when they are performed in the secret LDS ritual. If Mormonism is not true, this is a great pain for nothing.
Second, the LDS faith does NOT have the 'same beliefs' as Christians. The god of Mormonism has not been God eternally, he was once a mortal who advanced to godhood, along with his goddess wife. He, in turn, has a father/god (with a wife) ruling over him, with an even higher god (with a wife) ruling over that god (and wife). This is the whole point of temple marriage, so that a couple can become a god and goddess over yet another world, under the direction of their 'heavenly father,' who in turn is under his 'heavenly father' etc... Christians believe in only one God who has ETERNALLY been God. We are not the same species as God, we are His creation, not his biological children born to him and his wife in some pre-earth existence.
Eternal Life in Mormonism is only had by those who have a temple marriage, while the Bible offers Eternal Life to all who believe in Christ's atonement (see 1 John 5:11-13). Temple marriage is adding to the gospel, which is condemned in Gal. 1:6-9.
Also see the following:
March 19, 2002
SANDRA AND JERALD, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I HAVE A TAPE OF YOU FROM THE JOHN ANKERBURG SHOW AND YOU HAVE HELPED ME LOTS. [I'VE HAD IT FOR YEARS NOW.] I'M NOT A MORMON HATER, OR A PERSECUTOR OF THEIR CHURCH ...WELL YOU KNOW THE SPEAL, BUT IVE HAD TO PUT UP WITH EXTREME ARROGANCE AND FIGHT BACK THE DARKNESS THAT HAS HINDERED MANY OF FAMILY MEMBERS. KEEPING IT SHORT I JUST WANT TO SAY... THANKS!!!!
March 20, 2002
Subject: Applying your methods fairly
Dear Gerald and Sandra Tanner: You do provide much information which discredits the Mormon Church. In that respect your ministry is highly successful. However, do you apply the same critical techniques to your own brand of fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity? There are as many if not more critical issues with this brand of Christianity as there are with Mormonism. Sadly, many who leave a cult or sect, do so only to join another controlling group. In this respect you appear to have gone from the frying pan into the fire.
[Sandra's Note: Sadly, some who leave Mormonism will turn around and embrace some other fringe group. That is why I recommend people read such books as:
These titles will help a person be more analytical in their decisions. Yes, there are Bible scholars who are very liberal but there are also large numbers that are 'evangelical.' Why should a liberal scholar count more than a conservative scholar?
As to us, we are members of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, an evangelical group. But I am at a loss to understand why you would consider it 'controlling.' Granted, one is expected to accept the Bible as the word of God. However, there is quite a wide spectrum of opinions in the group.
Is membership in ANY group then considered 'controlling' or only those with whom you disagree? If one joins the Atheists, or some scientific organization, is he a part of a 'controlling' group?]
March 20, 2002
According to Mosiah 2:3 the Book of Mormon "Jews" offered the "firstlings of their flocks" as burnt offerings in sacrifice "according to the law of Moses." It seems that I read somewhere in the O.T. that this was not Jewish practice, that the firstlings were not offered sacrificially but rather dedicated to God in another fashion. Can you enlighten me?
[Sandra's Note: In the Old Testament the only ones who could be priests were the descendants of Levi, one of the twelve sons of Israel.
Numbers 39-10 "And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel. And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death" (See also Numbers 86-26).
However, the Book of Mormon story claims that descendants of the tribe of Manasah (Alma 10:3) were made priests. Also, 2 Nephi 5:26 says "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did consecrate Jacob and Joseph, that they should be priests and teachers over the land of my people."
The Book of Mormon also claims that "they took of the firstlings of their flocks, that they might offer sacrifice and offerings according to the law of Moses." (Mosiah 2:3 )
The Old Testament, however, teaches that the first born of the flocks were to be given automatically to the Lord, with the meat being eaten by the priests. Sacrifices and burnt offerings, which were totally consumed on the fire, were to be made from their remaining animals.
Exodus 13:12 "That thou shalt set apart unto the Lord all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the Lord's" (See also Ex. 13:2; 22:29-30; 2 Sam. 24:24)
Numb. 18:15-18 is instruction for the priests. The Israelites were to give the priests the first of the animals, then the priest would 'heave' or 'wave' the offering of the first born before the Lord, burn the fat, and eat the meat.
Deuteronomy 12:6 "And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks."
Thus the Book of Mormon has the Nephites breaking the law of Moses because (1) they were not Levitical priests and (2) they were using the first of the flocks for burnt offerings.]
March 21, 2002
Hi, I have been investigating the LDS church for about a year now, I have come across many questions. I was wondering where I would be able to purchase The Journal of Discourses, I know there are a lot of volumes, so I was wondering if you had any suggestions about which one would be best. If you could get back to me it would be greatly appreciated.
[Sandra's Note: The Journal of Discourses is a 26 vol. set. It is out of print but it is available at many college libraries, and most libraries in Utah. It is also on the LDS CD-ROM GospeLink 2001 (see any LDS bookstore) and on New Mormon Studies CD-ROM.
A searchable version is online here: http://www.concordance.com/mormon.htm ]
March 22, 2002
I have converted to the LDS church, through prayer I have been answered on the truth of the church. Through prayer, I have felt the holy spirit with me. I have strayed from the church and am currently trying to regain that happiness that I have felt when I had been with the church.
I believe in faith, I believe that in this earthly realm, faith keeps us grounded. I believe in the right for all to practice the religion of choice, but I know what I know. I know that when I joined the church I was at an o.k. time in my life, but the spirit made me happy, and calm, and most of all safe. I know that I would never want to lose that feeling.
I will pray about your testimonies, because I do believe that by prayer all things CAN be known. I thank you for your opinion, despite the fact that I find it a slap in the face to all of those who have prayed and received truth, not only about the Lord our Savior, but also about the LDS church.
May God Bless you all your life,
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. First, the Biblical test for a prophet is not through prayer, but by comparing his message with what God has already revealed. See Gal. 1:6-9.
Second, I, too, went before the Lord with much prayer about Mormonism and the Book of Mormon. God led me to the evidence that it is not from Him. I have found in the Bible and Christ all that I need. To say that one needs more than Jesus and his atonement, like temple marriage, is a slap in His face.
Eternal life is given to all who trust in Christ's work on the cross to save them. I John 5:11-13 promises --
"And this is the record that God hath given to us ETERNAL LIFE, and this life is IN THE SON. He that HATH THE SON HATH LIFE; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD; that ye may KNOW that ye have ETERNAL LIFE,..."
The Bible has nothing about needing secret temple marriage ceremonies. Mormons add to the gospel by saying that besides Christ's atonement we need to go through the temple. Have you been through the temple? If so, then you know that it is all about secret handshakes, passwords, secret name, etc. NOT ABOUT JESUS. When you got to the veil to be tested on your knowledge by God were you asked about your relationship with HIM? No. You just gave some weird handshakes and secret passwords, nothing about loving God or trusting in Christ.
March 25, 2002
I can't help but think that Joseph Smith was nothing more than a 19th-century L. Ron Hubbard, creator of the "Church of Scientology".
That the Mormon scriptures are written in the style of King James is, in itself, highly suspect. Nauvoo, Illinois, was founded by J. Smith. He said the name was Hebrew. However, Jewish scholars have stated that there is nothing in their language or history to base such a claim.
I am not a Mormon, nor do I ever intend to be, no matter how many missionaries accost me on the street or on a bus. I feel that Mormonism should have been investigated earlier just as the "Church" of Scientology is now. However, the creation of J. Smith happened at an earlier, simpler time which allowed this cult to grow into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
It is unfortunate that not only does this "church" have power, they have a whole state! I commend you on your investigations. If you are from Utah, you have rough going to say the least.
I must admit that I was looking into Mormonism, but found the claims and discrepancies too much for a thinking man. After a bit of study of Mormonism, I feel that such an organized religion was (and still is) either an excuse for abnormal behavior or money.
Mormonism was created by J. Smith in order to justify multiple wives, among other things. Brigham Young (aka Bring 'em young) further justified this "revelation". I feel it was all a matter of power over people during a simpler time. ...
Best of luck!
March 25, 2002
Just a suggestion----why don't you do your own research instead of taking the word of others? Just who are these Mormon scholars? What makes them scholars? If you were to do some studying, that is to read some Mormon literature (not anti Mormon stuff) you may have a different opinion.
They are honest hard working people, Christians who not only take care of their own but also anyone who needs help. They have helped other countries more than any other religion. If Joseph Smith were like you described, then why is it the second largest church in the world. Must be a lot of good things about it or billions of people are being deceived. Don't know how that would be possible. ...
What are you trying to do? Make Mormons non Mormons just because you believe these so called Mormon scholars? Please do your own research, because what you have just done was to pass on lies. I can see why that person was excommunicated.
[Note: Thanks for writing. Not sure which site you were reading. Some people have posted some of our material on their sites. Our official web site is www.utlm.org, and it has plenty of our "own research."
By the way, the LDS Church is NOT the second largest church in the world. There are only about 11 million LDS world-wide (according to the Mormons). However, just counting the USA, there are 63.6 million Roman Catholics and 15.9 million Southern Baptists. (Salt Lake Tribune, March 2, 2002, p. C1) ]
March 25, 2002
I have recently become aware of your ministry and am very impressed. I am an Evangelical Christian, formerly a Mormon. I served a mission in 1966-68.
I am now feeling called to witness to my family, most of which are still in the LDS church. My children live in Sale Lake City and I visit them regularly. ...
Thank you and God Bless you both,
March 28, 2002
Subject: Awesome Site
Thank God you have the guts to stand up under some heat. Those who read know that the devil appears as an angel of light. Keep up the good work and we say an extra prayer for you!
March 28, 2002
Subject: Thank You
Thank you for your website and tremendous amount of information. It has helped me form my "own unbiased" opinion about the Mormon church and has substantiated my personal doubts and concerns with the doctrine of the religion.
I only pray others who have a blind faith in the church will someday decide to investigate all sources of information to also form their own opinions!
March 29, 2002
Subject: Proving the Book of Mormon wrong.
I have read you web site. I'm grateful that you have a belief in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. ...But, a careful study of your web site along with other related web sites and anti-Mormon literature has yet to "prove" the Book of Mormon wrong or Joseph Smith a "false" prophet. ...at the end of the Book of Mormon, the prophet Moroni give an equation to find out if the Book of Mormon is true. He says to read it, ponder its message, and then with real intent, having faith in Christ, the Holy Ghost will reveal the truth of it unto you.
...I ask that you follow that process, the same process that I followed to see if it is true. If the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God because he translated it. If Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that means that the same authority that Peter, James, and John had to lead the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth is found solely in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is true. There really is only "One Lord, one faith, and one baptism."
March 29, 2002
Subject: Thank You for your Ministry
To all at the UTLM ministry...... Thank you all and may God continue to bless your ministry of truth about the mormon organization. I find your site and the links very truthful and informative.
Having spent 9 years in that organization (I thank the Lord Jesus Christ that I knew Him personally before becoming a member of that organization), I have since returned to his Grace and His Truth. There are many things that I did not even know concerning the doctrine of that org, however you have shed much light on it for me.
I do know that when I was finally allowed to attend the Temple ceremony at the Oakland, California temple in March 1997, it then became apparent to me that this belief was not only untrue but BLASPHEMOUS towards the God that the only TRUE and Living WORD (The Bible) tells us about. One thing that I find much amusement in is how "venomous" these so called "christians" become when we who have the truth speak out against what they put all of their faith in! It is a very sad testament to the untruth of that whole organization.
I know of a woman who attends the Calvary Chapel in our town that has recently left the mormon faith after having been born into it (her family has a history), and has been absolutely ostracized by her family and friends since she has left. They have made her new found relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ a living hell. However, to see the happiness on her face and to know the joy in her heart in having had the bonds of slavery released from her tells me that she will be just fine in her new relationship with our Savior. Thank You all again, and please keep up the spreading of TRUTH!!!
In Christ's Name,
March 30, 2002
Hello..... I have been reading a great deal of your information, and found it most interesting. Certainly there is sufficient "substance" to cause considerable doubt concerning the Mormon Church et al. My question is this, with regards to the published numbers of world membership, what research has been done on the "real" member ship? Perhaps a better way of putting the question, the active membership? Having had privy to real numbers of Ward attendance, and knowing it to work out around 30 to 35 percent activity, what numbers is the LDS Church really publishing to the world. My assumption of course is the highest number possible, for public relations. However has any one attempted to account for the inactives, or those who have just left "with out a forwarding address"?
It is pretty clear to me, once a person has concluded there is no foundation in all the claims of being a restored Church, thoughts concerning the validity of membership must become mute. I know of many whom have just left, and not bothered to have their names removed. Has any of this been calculated? You are performing a much needed service, may the Lord continue to Bless you in your work...........
[Sandra's Note: It is very hard to asses the actual number of Mormons. Since they do not drop people from their membership roles, even after 40 years of inactivity, their claim of over 11 million members is suspect. Also, the LDS Church never discloses the number of people who have formally terminated their membership. Your conjecture that actual Mormons would be 30-35 percent of the 11 million is as good as any.]
March 30, 2002
Subject: Feelings vs Truth
Hi ...Just wanted to say how great your website is.... i must say I find it amazing to read where mormons write in to you bleating about you 'attacking' their poor defenseless religion while at the same time totally ignore every issue you raise.... It seems many of them are content to '....make falsehood their refuge' (Isaiah 28:15)
I had opportunity to talk to a couple of mormon missionaries over here in uk and they came out with their 'I bear witness' stuff. I have since found out that this refers in some way to a 'feeling' of a burning bosom or similar and this seems to be the ultimate test of truth. This is, of course ridiculous and can be demonstrated as so in the following scenario.
Say, for example, a relation phoned and lied to you saying that a family member had died. This would cause you to experience all the feelings of shock, grief, panic, sorrow ... all of which are REAL feelings, but based in FALSEHOOD, showing that feelings can not be related to TRUTH.
I thank God that I am trusting in the words of the true Jesus and not false feelings....
God bless and prosper your ministry.
March 31, 2002
...I just want to thank everyone for their prayers. My wife was a mormon and is still trying to get her name off the registry along with our son's. This site has been inspirational and uplifting, and VERY helpful. Please keep us and everyone else in your prayers.
My wife comes from a background of mormonism. She has been found all over the country (when we would move from state to state with work). Finally she was saved by accepting Christ. She was so denied the truth all through her life and it is sad to see someone you love get lied to.
I thank God everyday for the love he has for all of us. She is now in process of getting everything taken care of with the LDS. We are both proud to say she has been a Christian for the past few months and plans on living and loving our savior. We would just like to thank you again for the helpful links and the concern for the others led astray.
Friends in Christ
March 31, 2002
Subject: afraid of the truth
thank you, tanners for your courage to present the truth about mormonism, or the church of jesus christ of latterday saints. my family has been lost for many generations. i always knew in my heart that something was wrong. when i was active as a young teen. i read the book of mormon many times wanting to have that burning in my bosom, that so many of my friends had experienced. I thought that something was wrong with me because i truly wanted it to happen. i later married and received Christ as my personal savior. my husband and i have raised our kids in christ also. they have grown into young adults who love the Lord.
what you are doing is amazing. if your main goal was to mock the mormon church out of hate and anger why would you also publish the negative letters you receive. i only hear love of the mormon people on your website it is the false doctrine you bring to light that really bothers them. most mormons are afraid to search for the truth because of what they may find. do not be discouraged, when you bring a lie into the light the evil one will do anything to further his lies. thank you for fighting the good fight for the cause of christ. remember greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
love in CHRIST