Feb. 1, 2003
Subject: Better spent time
To whom it may concern:
You should spend constructive time building up the world. I see enough radical Muslims with bad attitude in the news, without reading Internet web sites from so called "Christians". (I was only searching the web looking for prophetic visions)
I have only seen good coming from the Mormon Church. Such as helping the poor people in the world, encouraging morality/marriage, eating/drinking correctly, abstaining from tobacco, (I believe the Church forbad tobacco long before any government or health fanatic group saw the light), and traditional families (Father-Mother-Children).
Perhaps you feel threatened by this religion. I have read the Mormon Church is one of the fastest growing churches in the world. Thank goodness for moral values.
According to Jesus, a house divided against itself cannot stand. As I interpret this statement, the Mormon Church will collapse if it's evil, because Satan will not allow righteousness near him. I believe a wise Jewish, New Testament leader said about Christ, leave Him (Jesus) alone because if he is from God, your better off not caught fighting against God, and if He is evil, he will go away. (Of course Jesus did not go away - He is stronger today then ever!!) Perhaps the Mormon Church is true and Jesus will return to this organization, instead of YOURS.
Spend your time and money on definite evil organizations, such as terrorism, radical Muslims, and the ACLU. I don't appreciate reading your spin. I want just want the facts from men of God.
[Sandra's Note: Great. Lets stick to facts. One of the myths about Mormonism is that it is one of the fastest growing churches. For a good study by a Mormon, see www.cumorah.com/report.html]
Feb. 1, 2003
Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Tanner. Thank you for your work; I hope you are able to continue for many years to come.
My question concerns the issue of divorce/remarriage. I have been unable to find an answer that resolves the issue. My husband and I have never been Mormons, but we are currently studying with some and are pointing out some ways in which the Mormon teachings and practices are different from those in the Bible. ...
What is the official stance of the Mormon church regarding divorce by its members? Is there a different policy if the Mormon wishes to divorce another Mormon, and if a Mormon wishes to divorce a non-Mormon spouse?
In the case of a divorced Mormon, can he or she remarry in the church freely, without any restrictions, regardless of the circumstances of his or her divorce? Is this especially permitted or encouraged if the Mormon has divorced a non-Mormon spouse?
Thank you for any help you may be able to provide.
[Sandra's Note: While Mormonism is known for its emphasis on families being forever, they are somewhat liberal on divorce. One can divorce a fellow Mormon and remarry in the temple, but it has to be cleared through church leaders. However, they don't usually promote a divorced man to be Stake President (regional director) or higherthere are probably exceptions to this though. Divorce of a non-Mormon spouse seems to be less serious. In fact, many LDS are encouraged to divorce the non-member or ex-member if the church sees the person is adamant against Mormonism (especially since the Mormon mate must have a valid temple sealing in order to go to the Celestial Kingdom). This is never written down officially, but I have counseled many people who's mate divorced him/her after getting council from a church leader. This is especially true of the marriages where one partner leaves Mormonism.]
Feb. 2, 2003
First of all, I must begin by telling you that I respect your legal right to publish and say whatever you want about anybody. I mean not in this e-mail to cause contention.
However, it is amazing to me that a church that proclaims to be Christian devotes an entire website to try and find fault with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Is this a Christian act? Did Christ go around criticizing others in the way that you guys are doing to our faith?
I personally know, as do many other millions of people that The Book of Mormon is an inspired writing and that it is true! We could talk about different aspects of this all day. My simple reason that I know that the book is true is because I have read it several times and I have prayed about it. I know it's true and I always will!
So my question is, what is your purpose in trying to make others disbelieve in The Book of Mormon? Don't you have better things to do? You are Christians, right? I say these things out of love and concern for you and for everyone.
Truth is the knowledge of things as they are. God knows all truth about everything. We humans may have our opinions about anything, but opinion is not necessarily truth. I challenge you to let others ask Him who knows all things ...God ... if these things are true or not. I even challenge you to ask Him in sincere prayer about these things. Please seriously think about and consider these things I have said.
God Bless You
Feb. 3, 2003
...Did Pres. Hinckley make a statement (at Conferencre or during an interview) confirming the fact that Mormons believe in a "different Jesus" than "other Christian" churches?
...I am so grateful that I was able to leave Mormonism and to find the only True & Living God! I wish my walk was a little closer to what I feel in my heart - But at least I know and believe in my Savior. How blessed to have that gift and assurance!
Bless you both
[Sandra's Note: Yes, here is the quote from Pres. Hinkley in the Ensign, May 2002, p.90-91—
The Deseret News, Church News section, June 20, 1998, p.7, also carried a statement by Hinckley rejecting the standard view of Christ
So the question is, what did Smith declare about God and Jesus? His teaching is laid out in his King Follett funeral sermon (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 342-358, also comments on p.312 & p. 369-375). Smith taught that God was once a mortal who achieved godhood millenniums ago He also taught Jesus is our older brother who achieved godhood before us and that man has the same capability, being the same species. This is completely opposite of the teachings of the Bible.
In the official LDS magazine Ensign, Sept, 1994, p.59, Hinkley refers to Smith's Follett sermon as "an important doctrinal document in the theology of the Church." It is amazing how few Mormons have read this sermon.]
Feb. 3, 2003
Subject: Mountain Meadow Massacre and Young
Why do most non-mormon scholars put Brigham Young as an accessory to the fact on the Mountain Meadow Massacre?
If the man says he will "let loose the Indians on the pioneers" in his sermon, authorized action against the military, was planned to be contacted before the attack, and lies about what happened -- He looks guilty to me. Or is some of what I am hearing about him just unproven myth?
[Web-editor: See Will Bagley's book, Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows.]
Feb. 3, 2003
I just wanted to say thanks to you all for the work you do. Thanks for your recent e.mail, and thanks also for the book "Major Problems with Mormonism" which I am half way through reading.
I went to the Mormon Church for the last time yesterday, and being the first Sunday of the month I was able to get up and share my testimony of the Saviour and explain why I would not be going to that church again. I kept it short as I wasn't sure the bishop would let me say too much, but I used 2Cor 6:17 as my text and then left the chapel. The only surprise was that around 15-20 people said amen. I'm not sure whether they meant it, or were just not listening.
Still, I feel I have much to thank you for. I'm sure you've had your share of abuse for what you do and thought it only proper to say how grateful I am. Many thanks. may the Lord continue to bless you and your work.
Feb. 3, 2003
Your website is untrue. The things that you say about Joseph Smiths words are false. Surely, knowing that you are relating lies and calling them truth should cause fear in your very soul... May God forgive you.
Was it not Jesus, whom you say that you know, that said " A prophet be without honor in his own country? " Thank you for your persecution. By it, I know that I am founded in true doctrine.
Feb. 4, 2003
Subject: LDS Comments about your site
As a member of the LDS church, I find it very disturbing to read the comments from other members. Having been a bishop, a member of a stake presidency and long-time gospel doctrine teacher, I am appalled that anyone in the church would even worry about what someone else is saying about it unless they have taken the time themselves to study and learn about what they believe.
I had a history professor say that to study history is a complex thing -- one can look at it from many perspectives in hindsight. But until one looks at it from all perspectives, one cannot know what really happened. Members of the church should read the journals of the early saints, both of the faithful and of those who left the church (why did they leave?). Members should read newspaper accounts, and other historical documents that are closer in age to the actual events.
Through this research they will be able to come to decide if the Tanners or anyone else are distorting facts. I am afraid though, they will find that much of what is published is not distorted (although not always presented in a balanced way), and their own faith may be shaken. Perhaps this is what so many of the Mormon respondents are afraid of.
Feb. 4, 2003
Dear creator of this site,
I am offended that you have snooped down so low to this kind of discrimination. These people have not done anything to harm anyone in any way. Why can't you just leave them alone? You don't see them going around bashing other religions do you? They are a kind natured people. Have you ever went up to a member and asked them about their religon? Maybe you have been misinformed about them and should ask them the truth. I hope I have not made you mad but I was just expressing my opinion.
Feb. 5, 2003
Subject: Free and Thankful
The last time I wrote I had only begun the process to have my name removed from the mormon records. I am writing to tell you that as of December 20, 2002 I am officially no longer a member of the mormon cult!
I attribute much of this accomplishment to your work and the information you provide. I have begun to receive the Messenger and love it! Without your work, I might never have found the strength to leave that cult.
Thank you especially for your information about having a name removed from the records, I would not have known how to go about it.
Relations with my family continue to be rocky, but they are slowly coming to terms with my decision. My younger brother has told me that he is beginning to have doubts and questions about the church. I don't want to make any choices for him, but I recommended your website for him to read and have told him I am always here for him. I pray for him and for everyone who is searching for the truth.
I hope that people who have questions really pay attention to this site, and that perhaps even those who come to insult the documentation on this site will be touched by the truth. Thank you again Sandra and Jerald! May God Bless you and Keep you in your lives and in your work.
Feb. 5, 2003
Subject: My wife has converted to mormonism
First of all, great job on a very informative website that fairly presents both sides of the story. My wife converted to Mormonism in 2000 and has spent the last 2 years trying to convert me to this faith. Prior to this conversion, we attended several churches in our joint search for faith. This conversion, as you might expect, has caused great divides in our relationship. My wife is also ready to baptize our daughters into the faith and I am adamantly opposed and have let her know my opinions. Her response is that I "obviously haven't prayed enough to know the truth"...Thanks for your time,
Feb. 6, 2003
I love your site and the hard work you do for Christ!...My family are all Mormons and they contend that they worship the same Christ, in the Bible, that we do. But I watched the LDS conference in April and President Hinckley said they don't. ...Again, thanks for all you do. I dedicated my life to Christ last year and your site helped me make that decision.
Your sister in Christ,
Feb. 7, 2003
...I am a Compared Religion teacher for high school twelve graders students [in Puerto Rico]...All your written work is truly a lighthouse. Keep going announcing the truth.
God bless you,
Feb. 7, 2003
Dear Sandra or Jerald,
I have a problem. ...I was born and raised Southern Baptist by my dad. I've always known that the LDS faith was different than ours, and as I've grown older I knew a little about them and I knew that what they taught didn't agree with our teachings from the Bible. ...
I met a guy last July and I really liked him a lot. I knew he was LDS. But I wasn't what you'd call strong in my faith, and I was willing to overlook the fact he was LDS. So we dated for awhile, and we started to care for each other very much.
Anyways, a few months after we met is when he dropped the bomb on me. If he married me he couldn't achieve godhood and be in the Celestial kingdom. I don't have to tell you how that made me feel.
Well, I started studying like crazy, and I know well more than the average Mormon does about their own faith. _____ and I are very aware that our faiths do not agree with each other. But, he won't listen when I try to point out to him WHY. His lack of knowledge has made it extremely difficult to witness to him. When I point out why I think his religion isn't correct, he gets very defensive. I can't say I blame him, but he's been really stubborn to start learning for himself.
I was wondering if you maybe had some advice that would help me. I've prayed for him so much, and I've tried to show him the truth. But he gets so upset when we talk about it, ...He's already sacrificed a lot for me. I feel I have an opportunity to help bring him to the Lord, and I can't give up on him.
I know that witnessing to Mormons is a difficult task. Asking for advice is kind of high hopes. But at the very least, can you pray for me? I'm gonna need every bit of help I can get.
I really admire what you two are doing in Utah. .... Keep up your hard work.
Yours in Christ,
[Sandra's Note: From my years of experience I would say your relationship is doomed unless he sees the errors of Mormonism and embraces the Bible.
As for something to share with him, try the The Lost Book of Abraham video. It's well documented and done in a fair way.
A good book for a Mormon is An Insider's View of Mormon Origins. It is by a retired LDS Institute of Religion director and very factualhe is still a member but sees many of the problems. It is a good place to start.]
Feb. 10, 2003
Subject: I have a few questions
Is there a particular why you are picking apart symbolism you don't understand? Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Do you live His commandments? Do you really love Him?
Is it wrong to try and live a sin free life? Is making covenants with Heavenly Father wrong? Is it wrong not to drink alcohol, have pre-marital sex, do drugs? Is it wrong to be healthy? Is wrong to actually believe that God wants us to strive to be more like Him? I don't understand why you would call Mormons Satan worshippers. Watch what you say from worldly beliefs. Increase your knowledge through prayer. Prayer is what testifies to my heart the truth.
Feb. 10, 2003
Subject: Thank you!
Dear Mrs. and Mr. Tanner,
I am the girl that requested several books, and I just received them. I do not even know how to thank you, except right now to say thank you! I will support your ministry as soon as I can in the future, and if God allows me to pursue this subject like I would like to, your ministry will be the first and foremost, after God of course, that I will have to thank. God bless you and thank you so much for your generosity!
Feb. 10, 2003
For one professing to be Christians, I find it appalling that you spend so much of your time trying to disprove mormonism!! Shouldn't you be focused on the ministry of the Savior! Sure they maybe missing the boat but so are you!
Feb. 11, 2003
I am sure that the Savior is greatly sadden by your inability to understand the scriptures and his life and teachings. The Book Of Mormon is TRUE and I know that because I asked our Heavenly Father in the name of his Son Jesus Christ if that book really was true or if it was false and time and time again he has confirmed its truthfulness to me through the spirit of truth even the Holy Ghost and and I can't doubt GOD who is the source of all truth
you may persists for all the remainder of you days on this earth in your apostate position trying to lead others astray form the truth but the book is true and so then is The prophet Joseph Smith and the revelations he received and this Church is TRUE and god has raveled that to me, it is my pray that at the last day I too may be there with Nephi and testify with him before our LORD that the Book is true 2 Nephi 33:(10,11 and 14)
May the LORD forgive you all and grant to come to the light of truth once again.
Feb. 11, 2003
Subject: Falling a bit behind?
I am curious how you respond to the fact many people are feeling your "ministry" is so far behind in the relm of Mormonism. While you are still talking about age old "issues" that have long since been slapped around over and over, with the LDS members doing very well to explain the LDS side, the rest of the world is going to the acedemic side of things, discussing DNA issues and other such. Basically, UTLM seems to be becoming obsolete. How do you feel about that?
[Sandra's Note: I agree that DNA posses a new threat to the claims of the Book of Mormon, and I welcome all research on the issue. In fact, we sell a new video on that issue, DNA vs. the Book of Mormon.
However, new areas of research do not negate the seriousness of "age old issues" that have never been adequately answered by the LDS. Some of the "age old issues" we have dealt with are the changing first vision story, development of doctrine of God in Mormonism, Book of Abraham translation problems, racial statements, changes to the revelations, Smith's lying about polygamy, Mountain Meadows Massacre, development and changes to the temple ceremony, etc. Simply because these have been discussed for years does not lessen their importance. Truth does not have an expiration date.]
Response: Feb. 14, 2003
The difficulty I have with you types is you miss a serious point:
"Truth does not have an expiration date."
"My interpretation of events in which I wish to enforce as truth."
For example, I have examined all versions of the temple issue (I also go to the temple weekly) and find no issue. It was condensed so that people can get through it faster. Sure, I don't like it as well, but perhaps there just is a need to make it easier. I, for example, could not go to the temple weekly if it were 6 hours long.
And I am sure you are into discussing the "punishments". Two things to easily consider:
As for Smith lying about polygamy, heck, I'd lie too if God told me to do something I really wasn't comfortable with. My point is that each of your "truths" have two sides. I chose a side on faith. You seem to chose a side on vengence or anger.
Feb. 11, 2003
Thank you for your help, Sandra. Your book on Major Problems of Mormonism has been a great help to us in our studies.
Feb. 11, 2003
Subject: What happens to Mormon Children at around 12 years of age?
Dear Sandra and Jerry,
I have two children, 11 and 10, and we live in ........, Arizona, a heavily Mormon populated city. We are Christians..........My children are experiencing something in 5th and 6th grade with their Mormon friends and classmates. These Mormon friends at around this time, stop wanting to be friends or they start to distance themselves from non-Mormons. Seems to be more prevalent with the girls than the boys.
Is there something that happens around this age for Mormon children that would make them distance themselves from non-Mormons? Also, it seems that as a non-Mormon, it is more and more difficult for my kids (and other non-Mormons) to be on student council, and other high-profile positions in their schools.
Thank you for all you do!
[Sandra's Note: As the Mormon children approach dating age and start their teen activities, they receive increasingly more instruction on the need to only date and marry a faithful Mormon in the temple. In a heavily Mormon community this results in a type of segregation of the non-LDS kids. Unfortunately, this ostracism tends to affect the non-Mormon teen's sense of self-esteem and worth. Some, in an effort to be accepted, will give in to the pressure and join the LDS Church.]
Feb. 13, 2003
Dear Ms Tanner:
Thank you very much for the info. Your website is excellent. The book you recommended, Marvin W. Cowan's Mormon Claims Answered, did have the help I was looking for. Your website will undoubtedly be a great resource for me in combating the errors of Mormonism. Thanks again! God Bless You and Your Ministry,
Feb. 15, 2003
Subject: wow !
you guys are brave...we have some mormon friends down the road...they can't be talked to at all. my dear friend just retired to roy utah. she is raising her grand daughter, and her teacher asked her, ' are you lds?' is that even LEGAL to ask? anyway..i told my friend about your website. keep fighting the good fight.
jesus lives !
Feb. 17, 2003
I was raised in the church and as time has gone by I have learned for myself that mormonism is true and that everyone can knoe that the church is true through the holy ghost and I think that if you really prayed and read the book of mormon and desired with all your heart to know that the holy ghost would confirm the thruthfullness of the True Gospel of Jesus Christ to you. I am 19 years old ...I love this gospel with all my heart and know without a doubt in my mind that this is the only true church on the face of this earth.
And as Joseph Smith said in the opening of the Book of Mormon that a man can get closer to god by obiding by its precepts then by any other book on this earth ever written. I hope that you...really think hard about the book of mormon I don't know how anyone who reads it could ever doubt that it really took place and that it was translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith ...
Feb. 18, 2003
I am just wondering where all of this is leading and what will you do when you have won, or lost, depending on the outcome.
With all of my research I have come to the conclusion that so many people lied during Joseph's time and after his death, people on all sides, that one is not able to make a 100% conclusion on some issues unless they were there and saw with their own eyes.
Isn't it better to embrace the religion you now have instead of discrediting the founders of the one you used to believe in, after all, it would be a grave situation to be at the judgement bar and find that you may have discredited someones reputation and were wrong.
But even if you were right you might be looked upon by God as one who judges, and aren't we told to "judge not lest ye be judged?"
Be at Peace......I feel that Christ will come soon and sort out the whole matter to everyone's satisfaction!
Feb. 19, 2003
Subject: Thank You
I would just like to take a minute to thank the people who put this site together. Though I am a Christian I am researching the Mormons and their history as part of a social studies project. Before I found this site, I was getting discouraged by how little information I was finding that was arranged in an interesting manner. I really liked how this site was presented and found all the information helpful. Thank you once again.
Feb. 19, 2003
Subject: LDS growth
I thank God for ya'll. Keep up the good work.
I came across this LDS website (http://www.cumorah.com/report.html) and found it very interesting. It seems that the LDS aren't doing as well as they would have us believe. In spite of their missionary efforts the Christians are winning more to the TRUE Christ.
Feb. 19, 2003
The Utah Lighthouse Ministry has to be one of the laziest and most delusional group of people anywhere. Imagine not being able to "hack the standards" so much that you spend your whole life trying to prove a religion is false, just so you can convince yourself that your actions and conduct, which is apostasy, is justified.
Folks like you can't give [up] a simple cup of coffee, so you try and poke holes and President Hinckley. Folks like you at some point, can't pay their tithing, so they try and disprove the First Vision. Folks like you can't understand the language of the Spirit, so you try and re-invent what revelation really is. Folks like you would rather rely on your own supposed intellect, rather than the promptings of the Spirit. Is that not the easy way out? Folks like you can't follow simple laws pertaining to copyrighted materials, so accuse the Lord's Kingdom of being a multi-billion dollar empire picking on a small ‘ministry'. Folks like you can't obey the Lord's commandments, so you call President Packer a bigot.
When it comes right down to it, this is way Joseph Smith inquired of the Lord to answer his humble prayer. He saw the Tanners and the Deckers and the Maxine Hanks of his day. He saw their true apathy towards revealed religion. He saw how they would re-invent religious feeling to manipulate the untaught. ....
If there were a definition to all of your sick disorder, it would be:
Tannertantium...(t n r-t n tr - m) .... A not so subtle mannerism and sickness displayed in those who are repeatedly shown to be wrong. They vigorously pursue half truths, especially when discredited. Rather than acknowledging any mistake or wrongdoing, those who suffer from this debilitating disease become even more engaged. In severe cases, some of these die-hard anti-mormons have been known to develop a form of color blindness. They see all that is white as black, and vice-versa. The only known relief has been found in the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, this remedy is rarely accepted due to another anti-mormon disease known as pridecomethbeforethefallitis.
Feb. 20, 2003
Subject: first vision
I have just had a visit from my Bishop, in which he tried to ease some of my concerns. He assured me that the handwritten account of Joseph's first vision had been proven a fraud, I think he believes it was a Hoffmann creation. How can I assure him that it was definitely an authentic Smith original. I am sick of being discounted at every turn and accused of being gullible. Sorry, I am getting a lot of opposition to my apostacy, I don't know how I am going to cope if this keeps going,
Thanks for your website. You are great people,
[Sandra's Note: The 1832 first vision account, where Smith only mentions Jesus appearing to him, is accepted by ALL historians as authentic. It was not a Hofmann forgery. It is printed in two different books sold at Deseret Book
Feb. 24, 2003
I was once a Mormon, but after learning about them and trying to witness to them I was excommunicated and have never been happier. I am teaching other Christians about how to witness to Mormons ... Also, I am interested in "Blood Atonement." Did the Mormon leaders ever write this in any of their books? If so which ones so I can order it. Thanks.
[Sandra's Note: You will find information on this in our Topical Index under Blood Atonement. Brigham Young preached this from the pulpit here in Salt Lake and his sermons are printed in the Journal of Discourses, a 26 vol. set of books that is out of print but available on the LDS CD-ROM GospeLink 2001, which can be purchased from any LDS bookstore.]
Feb. 24, 2003
I have been searching and praying daily for about a year and a half about polygamy. I could see where the church was wrong with their multiple changes and cover-ups. So I went back to the fundamentals and now, I have recently discovered some very disheartening information regarding Joseph Smith.
I have read several of your articles (the tanners) and I would like your opinion on polygamy. I have lost my children over this issue (an ex-husband took them when he found out) Believe it or not I am intelligent. I am in the legal profession and trying to gather evidence but it is difficult....as what information is true and what isn't. I felt that the Mormon religion was true, however, working in a political environment I see how they would fold under political pressures, and therefore, I went back to the beginning. I felt that the initial teachings of the church were true and correct as God is the same today as he is tomorrow. However, now I have discovered a wealth of information that Joseph Smith plagiarized the book of Mormon. Temple signs and tokens taken from The Masons, etc. Nothing you don't already know.
I am currently in a polygamous relationship and it sort of makes sense as far as becoming Christ like, you have to get rid of jealousy, care more about other people than yourself, and just completely change yourself. I have changed and grown more in this relationship than any other. It is, however, very hard and I do not want to do it if it is wrong or just ok. I have heard that Jesus had multiple wives...maybe you can answer that for me.
I am lost in this religious maze of confusion. Any words of support will be helpful. I know that you are well researched and I am just exhausted.
It stresses me out to think if the Mormon religion is wrong, where do I go from here. I'm lost.
[Sandra's Note: Her letter was forwarded to a former polygamist for answer.
Subject: Lost in the world of religious confusion
Sandra Tanner forwarded your email on to me and asked if I could respond to your questions and concerns. If this offends you, please forgive the indiscretion. I'm sure that Mrs. Tanner's motives were to be of assistance in the best way possible.
I'll take the contents of your email and address each concern in order.
You stated: "I have been searching and praying daily for about a year and a half about polygamy. I could see where the church was wrong with their multiple changes and cover-ups. So I went back to the fundamentals and now, I have recently discovered some very disheartening information regarding Joseph Smith."
The religious confusion starts with NOT having a final authority. Any religious organization that does not have an unchanging final authority, has a cultic nature. It leaves the followers subject to the whims of men and makes the leaders God. Mormonism lacks any final authority. It was founded by a man that questioned the final authority, the Bible. The doctrines of Mormonism are not found in Mormon scriptures. The doctrines of Mormonism are established by their prophet and change with the leadership.
However, God's Word is found in the Bible and is the Bible. Within this book you will find an unchanging God. This is His love letter to His children. Though many polygamous people will point to the polygamy found in the Old Testament as a justification for this practice, the New Testament states that a bishop (which is a man in leadership) is to be the husband of one wife.
Now God always required a higher standard for those in leadership than He required of others. Polygamy was the cultural standard, and Christ required a higher standard (monogamy) for those in leadership. To pray about doing something that is so contrary to God's Word seems foolish. The answer seems obvious to others, except to the religious zealot looking for an excuse or justification.
It grieves me to hear that you lost your children over this issue. That has to be heart-wrenching. However, I do believe that a polygamous environment is not a healthy environment for children. I grew up in Colorado City, Arizona. My mother was my father's third wife and I married into polygamy. Visit my website for my testimony and other information about a ministry to the polygamous people. <www.xpolygamist.com>
I am not surprised that very intelligent people are drawn to this practice; especially those that come from mainstream Mormonism. As a legal professional, evidence is most paramount and I understand how this would compound your confusion. I also clung to the initial teachings of the church as true and the teaching that God is the same today as he is tomorrow. However, when I studied polygamy in the Bible, I discovered that is was a cultural norm. God has NEVER commanded men to live polygamy. In Genesis during Noah's day when it "repented" God that He had made man, what was the reason? Polygamy! Sarah gave her handmaid, Haggar, to Abraham. But not once will you find that the Bible calls Haggar his wife. She was to be a surrogate mother. Then Haggar wanted all the rights of a birth mother. Sarah doubted that God give her a child in her old age.
And look at this awesome God!!!! He managed the miracle without her help. But what a sad scenario! Then look at Rachel and Leah. SAD, SAD, SAD!!!
I got back to basics. I got into the Bible without trying to prove any particular doctrine. I used the Bible to establish my doctrine. There's a big difference.
You stated: "I am currently in a polygamous relationship and it sort of makes sense as far as becoming Christ like, you have to get rid of jealousy, care more about other people than yourself, and just completely change yourself."
One of the most interesting "revelations" from God's Word that hit me regarding this "caring more about other people than yourself" was the second great commandment. The first commandment being to love the Lord thy God and the second commandment, to love your neighbor as yourself..... as yourself..... as yourself.... Doesn't that mean that you must love yourself in order to know how to love your neighbor?
In my efforts to care more about others than myself, I gave up big pieces of my individuality. I lost myself. I ceased to exist as an individual. I existed for the betterment of the whole. God did not create me as a unique individual so that I would give all that individuality and uniqueness up to serve a group cause or organization. I began to trust God (the one that made me uniquely me) to make the changes He saw fit to make. God doesn't make trash, or junk. And He always does what is right and good. I embraced myself where I was at and knew that I was His creation, and He would perfect it, not me.
As far as "getting rid of the jealousy"... God gave us feelings and none of your feelings are wrong. What you do with those feelings can be wrong. All feelings serve a purpose. Some keep us safe and warn us of danger. When you deny or stuff your feelings, you can't selectively stuff some of them. You get out of touch with all your feelings, and your safety is threatened. And as the caregiver for your children, the safety of your children is ultimately threatened. Without a healthy understanding of your feelings, you are numb to the red flags that God wants you to have.
You need those feelings and cautions to keep you and your children safe. You stated: "I have changed and grown more in this relationship than any other." I believe that. And all that sacrificing... and sacrificing... and sacrificing feels right and religious. It makes you look at life differently. You don't need to be the sacrifice... God provided the Lamb.... and you couldn't be the sacrifice because you don't have sinless blood.
You stated: "It is, however, very hard and I do not want to do it if it is wrong or just ok." VERY HARD!!! And very unnecessary. You stated: "I have heard that Jesus had multiple wives...maybe you can answer that for me." There is no Biblical foundation for such beliefs. Nothing in the Bible confirms any such thing. Polygamists would like it to be true. This is one more example of making the Bible fit your doctrine instead of using the Bible to establish doctrine.
You stated: "I am lost in this religious maze of confusion. Any words of support will be helpful. I know that you are well researched and I am just exhausted. It stresses me out to think if the Mormon religion is wrong, where do I go from here. I'm lost."
I understand the confusion you are experiencing. I'm encouraged and I hope you will be also.... you see, you must be lost before you can be found. Christ said, "I came to seek and to save that which was lost."
I hope and pray that these words of encouragement and support have been helpful. We must talk again. Please check out the website at www.xpolygamist.com.
In His Service,
Mary Mackert ]
Feb. 25, 2003
Subject: Heaven & Hell
I am a born again Christian and I have been trying to witness to a young
girl who has left the Mormon church (she has yet to remove her name from LDS
records). She no longer believes the Mormon church to be true. She states
that she believes the Bible yet she doesn't believe in Hell. I have
mentioned to her of my beliefs of unsaved people going to hell. Can you give
me any suggestions as to what scriptures from the Bible that might help or
any other suggestion as to how to overcome this issue?
[Sandra's Note: You might find the material in Reasoning from the Scriptures with Mormons by Rhodes, ch.20, helpful on this. Jesus was very plain that there were two classes of people, those who have eternal life and those who don't. Matt.13:30 & 49, Matt.25:36-43, 47-50, Luke 16:26 and John 3:14-17 & 36. One can not choose to believe Jesus on one teaching and reject him on another if one is going to claim to be his follower.]
Feb. 26, 2003
Subject: Reinstatement of John Doyle Lee
I have a good theory as to why john doyle lee's memebership was reinstated. I am a direct descendent of his last legal wife to stick around him in the end.
It should be interesting to point out that the descendents of JDL remained faithful in the church and the direct ones stayed in the southern utah/st. george area. That is not to say that they were not reviled by the people there as my mother can certainly recount even from her growing up years that they were not well liked by the church members.
Anyway reinstating Lee's membership was probably a way to get people from my family to keep silent. There are, after all, supposedly a million descendants of John Doyle Lee and we couldn't have that many people forming negative opinions of the church just because of a little family history. It is my humble opinion at the moment in time that I write this email that by 1961 people had forgotten enough history to allow the church to whitewash over this inconvenient little event by removing responsibility from those who were involved.
Feb. 26, 2003
You ...have a place on your web site that people would write in and ask questions or make comments for any visitor to read. .... I got so much out of that area. My daughter has a young friend that is getting serious about a young LDS man. She is a believer but not real strong right now. I thought that part of your web site would be very helpful, as well as the rest of your site. We are so thankful to be able to direct her to your sight. We pray she will visit it and get the info. she needs to stand strong and be a good witness to him.
35 years ago you were a real help to me when I was living and going to high school in Sandy, UT. The other kids had their seminary teachers to go to to get answers from. I had the Spirit, the Word and your help, because of your books. God Bless You! ...
Feb. 28, 2003
Subject: Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon
Presently two young men are informing me concerning the Mormon religion. They use the Bible almost all of the time because they know I am well versed in the Bible. These fellows are nice guys and I wish they could have their eyes open to the controversy surrounding Mormonism...but they are steeped in it!!
I would love to counter them at every turn, but try not to as I know that "all education is a form of Indoctrination" and they truly believe what they are saying and that Joseph Smith was a profit.....I don't believe it for a minute!!!
If I didn't have the internet to research Mormon controversy, I would have a hard time refuting much of what they say....
Thank you for providing this site for people like me. I invited the young men in my home because I wanted to learn about various religions. On the first day I asked two questions:
How is your church different from other churches
What is the controversy that surrounds your church?
I think because I asked those questions so quickly, I caught them off guard. They said that would be made clear as we continued our discussions. Needless to say, they have no convert here.......Thanks for everything you do to clarify things. I am sure Church membership would not be as great had there been such a resource for everyone who has been approached....
Feb. 28, 2003
Subject: leaving the church
I am currently a member of the LDS Church and want to leave the church...how would I go about getting my name taken from the church records?
Thank you so much for your time :)
[Web-editor: See our page How to Remove Your Name from the LDS Records.]