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May 2003
(Names and Contact Info Removed)

May 1, 2003

Subject: Infant blessing information

Our daughter married her Mormon boyfriend several years ago and joined the Mormon church. We are Christians and she was raised in a Christian home and attended church all her growing up years. She just had her second child - a son.

My question is about the blessing of this child that happens at their place of meeting. We attended the blessing of our granddaughter and were surprised that only the father went up to the front of the meeting place with the baby and some of his priest friends (one priest friend forgot to come!!).

Where is mom in all of this? How come she does not participate in this blessing? In my reading about it I can only see that it is a priestly duty. I am looking for an answer that goes deeper than that. For a church that claims to be so family oriented it's almost insulting that the baby's mother is not a part of this blessing.

Thank you for your help. I really appreciate your ministry. You have been very helpful to us over the years. We really appreciate your newsletter.

[Sandra's Note: You make a valid point. Why can't the mother participate in this prayer? Even under LDS concepts, I don't see what harm there would be in allowing the mother to stand in the prayer circle. Women are allowed to stand in the prayer circle in the temple.

Mormonism is based on a patriarchal plan--only men have the priesthood and become gods. Thus only men are allowed to perform these blessings. The woman's role places her in a second-class situation. The wives are silent partners.

Just look at the LDS concept of our Father in Heaven. According to them, God is married (see doctrine statement by LDS First Presidency in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol.4, p.1667-1669) but they hardly ever talk about his wife, Mother in Heaven. This is what the LDS woman has to look forward to—endless pregnancies, so her husband/god can procreate children for endless worlds. While their children are mortals on some earth they will not pray to her, only to their Heavenly Father. She will not be referred to by name, only her husband. I don't think most LDS women have thought these issues through.]

May 1, 2003

Subject: FAQ under General Information

Dear sir or madam,

Recently I went on your website and was browsing through your FAQ. Under the General Information FAQ #3 you stated the following.

"The LDS Church claims to be the 'only true church' and the only church with the authority to act in God's name. They do not accept any other church's baptisms. According to their teachings, their baptism is the only one recognized by the Lord. This belief, coupled with their belief in the need for a Mormon temple marriage to gain eternal life, compels them to take their message to the world."

Whether this was done by accident or purpose I do not know. But this statement is false. Yes you must be married in the lds church in their temple to go to the highest degree in the Celestial Kingdom. However Heavenly Father is in the whole Celestial Kingdom. Now to get into the Celestial Kingdom you must be baptized in the lds church, receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, have faith in Jesus Christ and repent of your sins. Here you gain Eternal Life. Therefore what is also known as salvation. Whether this was done by accident on your group's part or purposefully to deceive people that are looking in to joining the lds church is beside the point. I would hope that this change on the website is made immediately.

Regardless of whether or not it is I shall be making many people aware of this error on your group's part. And hopefully make everyone cautious toward your group. I don't have anything against your group gathering information about the church that I choose to be a member of but when it appears that you malicously lie and deceive in order to appear right is very wrong. I also shall be looking through your whole website to make sure that there isn't any more of these little false statements in there. It is easy when you do put accurate info on the site to slip in lies to deceive.


[Sandra's Note: Sorry, don't get your point. I still don't see that our statement contradicts LDS doctrine. 'Eternal life', according to the LDS leaders I have read, only applies to those who have a temple marriage. LDS leaders define 'Eternal life' as something beyond 'salvation' (which is equated with immortality, resurrection, entrance to Heaven but not 'eternal life'). 'Eternal life' is defined as the ability to procreate life eternally, not just a matter of who is in the presence of Heavenly Father.

Pres. Spencer W. Kimball was quoted in the Deseret News, Church News, Nov. 12, 1977, as saying: "Only through celestial marriage can one find the strait way, the narrow path. Eternal life cannot be had in any other way. The Lord was very specific and very definite in the matter of marriage."

Also, read the D&C sec. 132 again. Look at v.21-24, 55. "Eternal lives" are only promised to those who marry in the temple. Here is a quote from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism:

"Eternal life" is a higher state than immortality alone and means to live forever in a resurrected condition in the presence of God, and to become like God....Receiving eternal life is conditional,...It requires voluntary obedience to all of the ordinances and principles of the gospel, beginning with faith in Jesus Christ and continuing through baptism, the laying-on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the covenants of the Endowment and marriage in the temple, and of enduring to the end. (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.2, IMMORTALITY AND ETERNAL LIFE)

George Q. Morris, speaking at LDS Conference, October 1959, stated:

"I cannot help feeling that many are not being properly married because they are not properly taught. It is not enough to urge temple marriage. They must know what temple marriage means. It is a matter of eternal life and exaltation in the presence of God forever and forever."

Apostle Milton R. Hunter, speaking at BYU, December 15, 1964, stated:

"There is one principle and ordinance of the gospel of which I shall make particular mention, because without rendering obedience to it no man nor woman can receive eternal life. I am speaking of the law of celestial marriage."

We try to be accurate. I assume this establishes that our statement represented the LDS view correctly.]

May 1, 2003

Subject: Thanks very much Sandra Tanner, you have truly blessed me :)

Greetings in His Love, Sandra & Jerald Tanner:

I have been a person that has scanned your sight from now and then. I have emailed you before, and you had responded several years ago to a simple question I asked. I stumbled again on your sight, and am very appreciative that you continue to do this.

I was adopted into a Mormon family when I was 13. Have experienced (unfortunately) most Ceremonies that occur in the Temple. i.e. Baptisms for the dead, was sealed to my Parents from being adopted, witnessed my Sister get sealed to her Husband in marriage, and finally took out my endowments in the Temple...

I will be honest, when I received my Mission Call ......., I felt something on the inside of my Spirit that said, no Jason, this is not for you, and I kept sensing this. My Bishop was actually accommodating to the fact I didn't feel right about going, and he said, it is okay Jason, you don't have to go on a Mission.

I will honestly say, when I "received" my endowments in the Temple, it felt cold, kind of like, what does this have to do with God. Why am I reaching through a veil spouting off "secret" oops, "sacred" tokens and signs through occult markings in a veil that was ripped from top to bottom in some of the synoptic Gospels in the Bible when Jesus died on the Cross and said "it is finished".

It has been a painful experience trying to find who I am but, ultimately, feeling brainwashed by the Mormon Church, I have not yet mustered up the courage to get my name removed from the "church rolls". I don't believe they are telling us the whole truth, and yes, they usually use scare factors to keep people involved in their cult. Yes, they are good people, and as I heard one person say, you can be sincere about your beliefs and believe it is the "ultimate" truth, but at the same time, you can be sincerely wrong.

I have tried to commit suicide on several occasions because I have been continually crying out to God for why we are here in the first place. I accepted Jesus christ as Lord and Savior when I was 22, and even now still feel a pulling inside me from Jesus.... the True Biblical Jesus.

My Mormon adoptive Parents think the Mormon Church is still true, and wish, someday I will see the "light". Honestly, Sandra, it kind of hurts me, it's like why has the Mormon Church thrived for so long instilling fear in people with false doctrine without any integrity backing it up from their shady past? (And becoming billionaires in the process.) How long should people continually endure this, and why do people even fall for this?

I appreciate, so much, what you and your Husband Jerald have done over the last several decades. (Sorry to hear of his health, I pray for him). What you both have done is brave and remarkable, in the midst of so much opposition, and especially knowing you don't give into the deceptive ways of the "brethren". It's like, are they truly deceived, and don't know it? What the heck is going on? Are they afraid of seeing the Truth? Too much at stake for them and their supposedly untarnished reputations?

Ultimately, I believe that Jesus is who he says he is in the Bible, and Joseph Smith was involved in the occult, and I cannot stand people being deceived and being lied to, thank you for standing against so much opposition and for your studies of bringing earlier Mormon history to light.

At times I have quoted some of your findings to my Parents, and they scoff and respond in disbelief, "they are not being truthful, quoting things out of context." Alas, I point out to them you don't take things out of context... you have everything, from the start to finish in sermons and teachings the "church" would like to get rid off for fear of further embarrassment, including the underlying quotes available for everyone to see in its original format the Church is trying to cover up in the first place.

Sorry this email so long, I just felt, even though I am sure you are busy, to give you my testimony of your Ministry, and how it has been a blessing to me, even though it is scoffed at, I appreciate it, because it is a hard long road out of being "force-fed" lies you thought in your heart to be true at a young formative age and coming to the place of realizing you have been ultimately brainwashed and lied to, and the often intricate, arduous, complex long road to establishing yourself in the Truth after the broken glass has fallen onto the ground and the damage has already been done.

Again, I admire and appreciate what you both have done over the years, and wish and hope the best for you both.

God bless you,

May 2, 2003

i have been told that the journal of discourses cd's have been altered by the mormon church and are not true copies of the original discourses???? is this true??? if so, where can the volumes of the Journal of Discourses be obtained or purchased...i've only seen them on E-bay rarely and they went for big bucks!!!!!

[Sandra's Note: All of the Journal of Discourses references I have looked up on the LDS CD-ROM GospeLink have been accurate. Contact www.deseretbook.com to purchase GospeLink. They're also on the New Mormon Studies CD-ROM. A reprint of the 26 vol. set of the Journal of Discourses is in most libraries in Utah and some other states have the set in their universities.]

May 4, 2003

I am an x-Mormon of about fifteen years -- your ministry assisted me greatly in leaving and seeking a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Thanks for the help many years ago....Thanks.

May 4, 2003

You all sure seem to waste a whole lot of time dissing Mormonism. You could find something better to do with your time.

May 4, 2003

Subject: Your Ministry

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tanner:

I've read your material for many years, and tried to keep track of what you are up to. Just wanted to say, I cannot tell you how much I have always admired you folks and the good work you do....What you have accomplished in your careers, the obstacles you have overcome, the unbending integrity with which you have done it, have been an inspiration. God bless you,...

May 5, 2003

Subject: A thank you note from a brother in Christ

Dear Jerry and Sandra;

Thank you so much for your perseverance, research and commitment to follow God (the one and only God)! I am an African American man in Los Angeles, California. I love Jesus and God has been working great miracles in my life. ... Most recently I was visited by two Mormon missionaries. They were very polite and earnest in their effort, but I was not a neophyte to the Bible or the word of God.

To make a long story short, we would talk about the Mormon doctrine and the Bible. The "elders" would get stuck on questions about polygamy and baptism of the dead. But they were very prepared about blacks and the priesthood. In fact, they believed that the reversal [Pres. Kimball's revelation to allow men of all races to hold the priesthood] was a sure sign that God was speaking through their prophet.

I prayed to God to make clear the truths they had presented and God ... drew me into biblical scriptures that clearly pointed out the false doctrine. However, I found it hard to shut the door on these young missionaries (I must admit that I had become fond of these clean cut young men).

I prayed again to God to give me strength and words to share with them as I closed the door. And again, our awesome God, showed up and showed out! (that's a popular saying here in LA). He directed me to your web site. It was all there. Everything I needed to read and share with my Mormon friends. I'm not worried whether they will except the truths (and errors) you have revealed. I will leave that up to God. But I am happy to share in your ministry to get the truth out.

God bless you both.

May 5, 2003

...It is amazing to me how many people here in CA don't really know what the LDS church teaches, even with a large number of members here in our community. I pray every day for my Mormon friends. Your work is not in vain, the pastor from my CA church is requesting info too. We now have LDS members attending our church, looking for answers.

Thanks again

May 5, 2003

Subject: Mormon Help

Dear Jerald and Sandra,

...I am a student at UCLA. I wanted to thank you for your extensive work with Mormonism. I am a Christian that has had a ministry to LDS members for a few years now. Some day I hope to use my doctorate (once I get it) in psychology to helping those getting out of such religious systems. ... Your work makes it much easier on me. I am well prepared when the ward missionary couple comes over for dinner, or when my good school friends ask me why I am not a Mormon. So primarily I just wanted to say thank you. ...

I do have a question for you. Your ministry has been going on for some time now. While mine is just starting I find that these people can be rather hard of hearing. My question is this, do you see a lot of people leave the church? And if so under what circumstances?...

[Sandra's Note: Good to hear from you. Many are leaving Mormonism, but the reasons vary. Some see a lack of spirituality in Mormonism, others start questioning some particular aspect of its history or changing doctrine.

The LDS growth rate isn't near as impressive as they make out. More than half of their converts drop out in the first couple of years. Many in Utah have doubts but feel locked in by family, job or social pressures. We talk to more people that are questioning or leaving Mormonism than we did ten years ago. But it is still a slow process. The Internet has opened many doors to doubting Mormons. Some that might not have felt comfortable coming to our store can go to our web site anonymously.

Here is part of an email I received dealing with LDS Church growth:

Subject: Survey on religious identification

The numbers are quite a bit off than what Mormons are claiming.


The number of adult Mormons in America is 2,787,000 in 2001, and only 57% of people in Utah identified themselves as Mormon (most stats I've seen have that in the high 60's to 70 percent range).

In 1990 the total number is 2,500,000 showing a growth of only 287,000 Mormon adults in America over 11 years. Fairly good evidence that their claim of 11 million members is grossly inflated.

Here is a web site done by a Mormon showing that the growth rate isn't as good as officially claimed.


Hope this helps.]

May 5, 2003

Subject: personal ?, hope u don't mind

I read the article in the City Weekly about the Lighthouse ministry and I'm left with a few questions, one in particular. Upon leaving the LDS religion, which religion did the tanners affiliate themselves with?

I have done quite a bit studying of the LDS religion and have also learned quite a bit about the alternative Christian religions along the way. I'm just curious to know which of the alternative religions the Tanners found the truth in upon renouncing Mormonism.

Also, do the Tanners believe that there is one true religion or that, as many Christians believe, there are numerous paths that lead to salvation or exhaltation, whichever it is that you seek (if the Tanners do believe this then I think they should refocus because Mormonism makes its members better than any other).

…I would seriously like to know which religion the Tanners chose after leaving Mormonism, because any one of them I could tear apart in a tiny fraction of the time that it took the Tanners to amass their nice little collection of "proof" that Mormonism was created by Joseph Smith. I certainly hope that it was one of the Protestant religions that don't claim to be anything more or less than a creation of man (and then legitimize their beliefs by claiming that their is more than one way to get to heaven); or maybe it would be funner if they turned to the time-tested Catholic religion which had its beliefs decided in the great comprises organized by the then Pagan Constantine (the ambiguity of the beliefs resulting from the council in Nice was very beneficial to the political aims of the great emperor). Or maybe Jehovah's Witnesses, please don't tell me that you became J.W.'s.

Maybe the Tanners are just smarter than everyone else, definitely more intelligent than Elder Henry B. Eyring with his degrees from Harvard, and certainly wiser than Elder Dallin H. Oakes with his degree in Juris Prudence from the Chicago University Law School, who would possibly believe that Elder Scott, a former nuclear physicist, could be smarter than the Tanners.

…. Not one of the educated men that I mentioned appointed himself to lead and serve God's children, but apparently the Tanners were given special priviledge to do just that. The Tanners claim that they are not Mormon bashing or pushing anti-Mormon propaganda. They feel that they are doing weak minded and confused Mormons a favor by making them feel comfortable with their decision to follow the easy path (that doesn't lead to heaven by the way) and to leave behind the conspiring Mormon church.

I thank the Tanners for strengthening my testimony of the restored Church of Jesus Christ through the modern prophet Joseph Smith who HAS done more for mankind than any other man who ever lived on the face of the earth, save only Jesus. Joseph Smith admitted his own weaknesses and imperfections, maybe its time that the Tanners follow suit and admit that they lacked the faith to follow the less traveled path that leads to eternal life.

… The people that listen to you aren't looking for the truth, they are looking for an easier way, nothing more and nothing less. If you managed to read all of this, i really would be interested to know which church the Tanners found comfort in.:)

[Sandra's Note: We are members of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church here in Salt Lake, which would be somewhat like the Baptists. The one true religion is Christianity. The Christian church is comprised of all true believers (which includes people who attend many different denominations) in the complete salvation/eternal life offered to us through Christ's grace and atonement. The LDS Church, however, does not fit in this category since it teaches that, in addition to Christ's atonement, eternal life (which LDS define as different from mere salvation) is only attained by being a member of the LDS Church and participating in the Mormon temple ritual. They also teach that all other churches are corrupt, not accepted by God and teach false doctrine (see Joseph Smith's first vision account). So Mormonism has drawn the line of distinction between itself and other churches.

Granted we do not have degrees such as Oakes, Eyring or Scott. But are you really prepared to say that degrees guarantee one has made the right choice in religion? Joseph Smith had no degrees yet many of the ministers of his day did. Surely you realize that most religious scholars and ministers have had years of schooling. They have studied Greek and Hebrew, the history of Christianity, the formation of the Bible, done graduate work, etc., and have reached totally different conclusions than LDS apostles. Which of the LDS apostles have even studied Greek or Hebrew? One can have a degree in English, Law, or medicine but still not be an authority in Biblical issues.]

May 7, 2003

dear Mr. and Mrs. tanner,

what an incredible site. seems your site is the basis for most other sites concerning Mormons and Mormonism.

my question is: it seems that the Mormon religion is really out there in "nutty land" why would anybody follow it especially since most Mormons i have ever met seem to be well educated, and if smith and young were so complete insane or delusional how did they get so many followers. and start a religion that became so wealthy. love your site,

your friend

[Sandra's Note: Joseph Smith grew up in New York during a time of great religious upheaval and revivals. Many were dissatisfied with the established churches and were looking for some new movement of God to set things in order. Many were also speculating that the American Indians were descended from Israel. So Smith's claims of restoring New Testament Christianity and finding the record of the Israelites that were the forefathers of the Indians found a ready audience. His more outlandish doctrines, plural gods, plural wives, secret temple rituals, political kingdom of God, etc., did not develop until years later.

Mormonism has evolved over the years into a much more mainstream religious movement. However, it retains (though muted) much of the doctrines Smith proclaimed in the 1840's. With one of the best public relations departments, the LDS Church is able to carefully craft its image and gloss over its more notorious history and teachings.

The LDS Church maintains a missionary force of over 60,000, which may exceed the entire Protestant missionary force of North America. With that many people knocking on doors they are sure to find people looking for a new religious direction. People are usually impressed with the fact that two young, well groomed, people are willing to leave their homes, schooling, etc. to talk to people about their church. Many parents assume that if they could just get their kids into such a church it would straighten them out. Also, in a world of uncertainty and moral decline, many are looking for something solid, with a set purpose. Mormonism is seen as offering stability to the family. However, most converts do not know the core doctrines of Mormonism that set it apart from the Christian world.

As for the church's wealth, in order to be considered an active Mormon, with the privilege of attending the temple, one must pay a full tithe. This generates millions of tax-free dollars. The church has also invested its money well and has built an amazing financial empire. While local Christian congregations support a pastor (and possibly other staff, plus missionaries) all of the LDS leaders on the local level (Bishop, Stake President, etc.) are not paid. Thus most of the tithe from a local LDS congregation will be used by the denomination's headquarters. This generates income for LDS headquarters that other denominations do not receive.

As for the education level of Mormons, I think the more educated LDS are usually ones who were born into Mormonism rather than converted into it. But again, you must factor in that most LDS have only heard the P.R. side of things and don't know about the problem areas of Mormonism. They are trained to not look at material from the outside, don't question the leadership, read only faith promoting LDS material, etc.

A good book on the beginnings of Mormonism is No Man Knows My History. A good book on the LDS growth, finances and power is Mormon America.]

May 7, 2003

Subject: Information about temple sealings after divorce

I'm exmormon and divorced. My ex-husband is planning a new sealing. I'm looking for what the church's official stand is on this. What does it mean for me and the children that I had with this man after we had been "sealed?" What does the church believe the role of his second wife is to my children? I've searched in vain for some official information. Can you direct me?

I've asked my ex, but basically he told me he doesn't really know what the church's official position is. I'm very confused as to why that doesn't bother him. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can give.

[Sandra's Note: If you have not formally removed your membership from the LDS Church, they would consider you still sealed to your ex. He can marry the current wife in the temple, and thus have two wives on the books for heaven.

If you were sealed to your husband while a Mormon but you are now out of the church, your marriage sealing would be cancelled. This would mean that your kids have no 'eternal' mom.

I advise divorced women against giving consent for their children to be sealed in the temple to another wife. Not because I think the sealing actually accomplishes something, but it could give the impression to your children that you didn't care about being their mother anymore. They could thus come to view the step-mom as their 'real' mother, since they are sealed to their dad and her for eternity. This could also lead to your kids feeling abandoned by you.

Your ex-husband can be sealed to his new wife in the temple without including your kids. Just tell him that if your kids want such a family sealing (to him and the new wife) they can have it done when THEY are adults and make that decision themselves.]

May 7, 2003

Subject: Witnessing tips

To whom it may concern,

First and foremost, Thank you for the efforts and time you have given.

I am a Christian, with a very close Mormon friend. She has me taking the discussions with the Missionaries in the hope that I will "See the truth." Your website is a welcome fountain of information and witnessing tips. It is my sincere hope that through the love of our Lord Jesus Christ that she may see a light within me and begin to question the teachings of her childhood.

As I have been raising questions with the missionaries I have been given a wide array of excuses why the witnessing tips presented (they are unaware of my sources) are possible within the LDS Church.

I have searched everywhere but without luck in finding help to show them the faults within Mormonism based upon a Jewish standpoint. This has so far been the only point that they have no countering answer. The argument is as follows.

  1. Christianity is based upon the teachings of the Jews. Torah (Old Testament)
  2. Jesus came and fulfilled the Law Torah (Old Testament)
  3. Jews who believed Jesus was the Messiah (and Gentiles) formed the early Christian Church.
  4. Jews who did not believe did not change the Torah or their beliefs. They are still on this Earth awaiting the Messiah.
  5. According to Mormonism the apostasy happened within the early Christian church shortly after the death of the Apostles. "Many plain and precious truths removed." Thus the bible is no longer completely reliable.
  6. If Joseph Smith was correct, and his inspired version of the KJV was true, and he restored those things missing, it would be identical with the teachings in the Jewish Torah.
  7. Conclusion, if the apostasy happened the records of the Jews who did not fall away from their faith would be the same as Joseph Smiths story and the Old Testament we have today would reflect those things that are missing or changed.

It is within this argument that I am hoping you may have some sources to draw information from. The standpoint of the Jewish Torah cannot be considered Anti-Mormon as any publication of a Jew has no concern for converting or misleading Mormons.

If you have any information on this subject or where I may find it please let me know.

God Bless You and glory to Christ Jesus, Amen.


[Sandra's Note: You are making a valid point on the Old Testament. A good verse to show a Mormon is 1 Nephi 13:24-26:

"Thou hast beheld that the book [Old Test.] proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the plainness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record;...Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God. and after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lord, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the foundation of a great and abominable church, which...have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain..."

Thus the Old Testament that has come down through Israel, and not from the Christian community, should be reliable. So where are the peculiar teachings of Mormonism to be found in the Hebrew scriptures? The Old Testament does not teach plural gods, evolution to godhood, secret temple marriages, LDS concept of Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood, etc.

Two good resources on the topic are The Use of the Old Testament in the Book of Mormon and The Golden Bible.]

May 8, 2003


Just a note—visited this page...WANNA SAY: Thanks, sincerely for you dedication, labor/effort toward exposing error and exalting Truth!

We're united when EXALTING HIM!

May 8, 2003

Hello again,

I have another question that I hope you will be able to help me with in talking with a Mormon teen whom I work with. Are there any LDS missionaries in Israel? Why or why not?... Thank you.


[Sandra's Note: The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, v.1, p.226, gives some information on the BYU campus in Jerusalem:

"In the early 1980's the construction of the Center faced resolute opposition from certain religious circles and Israeli nationalist groups who feared that the Center might become a base for Mormon proselytizing of Jews. In the spirit of accommodation and out of a desire for peaceful interfaith relations, BYU agreed with the government of Israel that the Center would be used exclusively for educational and cultural activities."

Thus there are no LDS missionaries in Israel. Here is the web site for their campus. http://ce.byu.edu/jc/]

May 10, 2003

...I have read your book The Changing World of Mormonism off the internet and it really opened my eyes. It didn't take me long to write the letter to the Bishop to have my name removed from the records of the church.

It wasn't easy; I've been an active member for 25 years (convert 1978), married in the SLC temple and the father of 5 children, ages 14 through 21. But my eyes are now open and I feel real joy and freedom in my life as never before. I feel like I'm breathing fresh air for the first time in many, many years. Thanks to you I am rediscovering the real Word of God!

Thank you for Your Dedication,

May 10, 2003

Subject: Some thoughts

I recently read your interview from City Weekly here in Salt Lake City. I also read a recent comment in a later edition of City Weekly from a woman who said she was grateful for Jerald and Sandra Tanner for helping her to get out of Mormonism and save her marriage.

My comment is the fact that many of the issues this woman brings up are very valid yet in some respects very hypocritical. I say hypocritical because these same dillemmas and dysfunctions found in Mormon culture (especially along the Wasatch Front) are found in many Baptist, Methodist and other Evangelical communities as well. For example the woman who wrote the letter to City Weekly said that she was grateful that she may now celebrate full and true intimacy with her husband whereas prior to her leaving Mormonism she had a lot of body shame and shame in general connected with intimacy even in marriage.

Unfortunately this is a rather common problem in many conservative Christian faiths who associate "the lusts of the flesh" with any connection even in marriage. This is a cultural issue and not a Gospel issue. ...

You bet there are problems in this culture. I see it as clear as a bell, especially being an outsider looking in. I wrote my former Stake President a letter about 4 years ago about this. I said that sometimes I feel that the Church as an institution can be like a huge family and it has its dysfunctional side as well. He wrote me back and said that my letter was gutsy. It really caused him to think about things. I think it was because it was not caustic or accusatory (i.e. "Mormonism is all bad or a cult" as you claim); but really looked at the issue in a balanced and positive way.

...It seems that the human condition heavily influenced by religion (i.e. Christianity, Mormonism, etc.) tends to have its problems. That is because people are human and organizations are led by human beings. Whether it is Jerry Fallwell, Billy Graham, Paster Chuck Smith or President Gordon B. Hinckley they all are men who have their shortcomings.

If the Tanners are reading this letter I would like to pose some other questions. What do you think of writers like Maxine Hanks and Lavina Fielding Anderson? Are these writers too liberal for your thinking?

How about Michael Quinn (he is a very dear friend of mine by the way) and his well balanced, well researched historical books, documents, etc.? If Mormonism has such documentation that has a lot of warts and negative information that the general reader somehow cannot get access to; why has Michael Quinn written so extensively about these issues and not only shown the human side of these historical figures but also the very positive and amazing documented stories of these individuals and of the Church as a whole? In other words presented balanced, historical documentation. Are you not aware that Mormonism Origins of Power and its sequal Mormonism Extensions of Power has been available to the general public (Yes even at Borders Books and other major bookstores across the nation) for several years now? Do you think you have some sort of special information and a pattent on LDS historical research that is not available to the general public?...

When I see the kinds of arguments that you make in your book Mormonism—Shadow or Reality I see good old polemics are work here. You are very good at arguing like a lawyer and stacking the deck in your favor; however you need to use the same judgements about mainstream Christianity that you do with LDS theology. You don't do that. In fact I find your book Mormonism—Shadow or Reality much like a good old fashioned marketing strategy in that you tear down your opponant in order to build up your case. I have also learned that the anti-Mormon career isn't bad as far as money goes either if you can convince the Christian masses how horrible it was in that horrifying Mormon cult and how evil the Church is. I remember when I was in the Church of Christ as a kid. The louder the preacher preached how much they needed to come to Jesus and how much money was needed for this ministry or that one the more money was passed into the plate. Things don't really change do they? Whether it is a Christian leader at a revival meeting or your lighthouse ministry the scenes are different but the message seems to be quite the same. Fear can be extremely compelling.

The bottom line is that it is virtually impossible to be balanced in your assessment of history when you already have your mind made up from the beginning that Mormonism is all evil and that traditional mainstream Christianity is all good. Selective reasoning and polemics based only in negative historical accounts definitely constitute a major departure from true historical accuracy and balanced historical research; but again that is impossible considering the premise of your work.

Just some thoughts.


[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. Your long letter seems to be judging us in the same way that you complain we judge Mormonism—from only a 'negative' position, with no balance.

First, you accuse a woman who wrote to City Weekly of being hypocritical because she didn't mention these problems exist elsewhere. That doesn't negate her experience. So are the Mormons hypocritical every time they give their testimony because they don't also mention that millions of non-Mormons have testimonies for their faith?

I agree that many relational/marriage problems are common to people in every religion. But Mormonism, as an institution, seems to hold a tighter ecclesiastical and emotional grip on its members than other churches. Also, most bishops have no training in family counseling or sexual problems in marriage, which can make for very uneven counseling. (While most people think of Mormonism as a great advocate of marriage, I have had many people tell me that their Bishop advised their mate to divorce them because they left Mormonism. So much for eternal marriage.)

Also, since we had no part in her writing her letter to the magazine, your criticism would have been better directed to City Weekly rather than to us.

Second, we have never said that everything in Mormonism is all bad. When I tell people of my personal experience in Mormonism I always say that my childhood and teen years were very positive. Overall, I did not have a negative experience or problems with any person in the ward. My Bishops were very genuine and friendly. My problem was with LDS claims, not people.

Third, I have enjoyed reading Hanks, Anderson and Quinn and feel they have added a great deal to our understanding and knowledge of Mormonism. I do not agree with all their conclusions but very few people agree totally with any particular author, especially when it deals with religious topics. I don't even always agree with Jerald.

Fourth, all three of these people (Quinn, Hanks, Anderson) were excommunicated from Mormonism due to their writings. Obviously the Church fears straightforward research. We sell and display their books at our store, which can't be said for Deseret Book. One also needs to keep in mind that it has taken years to get the LDS Church to give access to much of the material these authors used. Items in the LDS Church Historical Department were not always as open as now. Even so, there are still old LDS documents being restricted.

Fifth, we have never claimed we were writing a general overview of Mormon history. Yes, we do present the material, as a lawyer building a case, to establish that Mormonism is the product of Joseph Smith and later leaders, not God. One does not expect the same type of book from one writing an overview of a church or business as one would expect if the author was trying to expose fraud. By way of example, if I am reading a book detailing how company X is dumping its toxic waste in the lake I don't expect the author to also mention the company's gifts to charity. Just as we need consumer watchdogs in the business world, we need people to keep tabs on those claiming to speak for God. The LDS Church does a very good job presenting its good side. But it has always fought to hide its problems.

Sixth, how and where have you "learned that the anti-Mormon career isn't bad as far as money goes either"? This is a common charge by our critics but where are the facts and balanced reporting? Do you claim to have some sort of financial evidence or are you just making assumptions? I don't believe that LDS authors write in defense of Mormonism with the assumption of making money. Why do Mormons automatically assume anyone writing something negative about their church is doing it for financial gain? One side can author books, sell them in various bookstores, have web sites and special conferences, but not the other side? Where have we shouted at people to get money? Or used any fear tactics to get an offering? We have never threatened anyone that they will miss the Kingdom of God if they don't pay us a "full tithe" as the Mormon Church does.]

May 10, 2003

Subject: thank GOD you found the truth

Im glad you got out of that church!!!

May 12, 2003

Subject: From a former bishop

I was just released after serving six months as a bishop of the LDS church because I don't believe the church to be true. I am working with my family on helping them to see some of the problems that I found with the doctrine and practices of the church.

Could you please provide any information on the following:

1. There are a lot of quotes from the Journals of Discourses which plainly expose the fallicy of the church. I don't live in Utah I don't have access to the Journals. Are they found anywhere on the internet so that I can access them and show my family the exact citations referenced?

2. In my last interview with my stake president before I was released he cautioned me about the intellects of the church many of whom had fallen. He mentioned that there was a former director of the C[hurch] E[ducational] S[ystem] that had left the church and had written a book. Are you familiar with who this person is and/or the name of his book?

Thank you for your support and your ministry.

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. The Journal of Discourses is a 26 vol. set and is on the LDS CD-ROM called GospeLink. This program also contains the History of the Church and many other LDS reference works. You can get it from any LDS bookstore. Contact www.deseretbook.com.

Also, we sell a book called Where Does It Say That? It contains many photos from the Journal of Discourses on some of the wilder statements of the brethren.

I assume the book he means is An Insider's View of Mormon Origins, by Grant Palmer. We mention it on p.16 of our newsletter, Salt Lake City Messenger #100. Have you been to www.irr.org/mit? You might find it helpful as well.]

May 12, 2003

...It requires a bit more than belief in Christ to receive exhaltation, salvation is free for everyone, but exhaltation... faith without works is dead Sandra. Being Christian means following Christ and his example (we must all follow Christ into the waters of baptism, and like Christ we must seek out someone who has the authority to do so). You can not purchase authority or learn authority, it comes directly from God. Mormonism teaches that all can receive exhaltation in the mansions of our Father, obedience is necessary however, you can not simply say I accept Jesus Christ into my life and expect to be lifted up.

...Contention is of the devil Sandra, and what you and the Lighthouse ministry do is create contention. I have been through the temple, I have read numerous books on mormonism as well as books and anti-propaganda against Mormonism. The only thing that "anti's" can say about the LDS religion is that its members and leaders are imperfect... well now isn't that a surprise! Mormons and the leaders of the LDS church have never claimed to be perfect nor near perfect, we only claim to strive for perfection.

...Mormonism does not teach that all other religions are corrupt, I have read all canonized works distributed by the LDS church and never have I read anything to that effect. Again, if God is truth, (there can only be one truth, 4+4 does not equal 9 sometimes), then contradictions and disagreements among churches require that there be a right and a wrong answer. Whereas Mormonism is directed by Christ himself, not some self-appointed minister as in other religions, the truth lies in the LDS church. So yes, other religions teach false doctrine in addition to the true doctrine that they teach, they are good but incomplete and mistaken on certain doctrinal issues.

There has never been a time when Christ's church was lead by anyone other than a prophet with direct communication with God, enough said. .....your "discovery" of these hidden imperfections in the Mormon religion are not really hidden and very wise and educated men have looked at the same information and still been able to differentiate the imperfections of men including the imperfections of God's chosen prophets, from the doctrine of salvation and plan of happiness that was prepared by God and Jesus Christ themselves....Education does help to strengthen testimony of God given knowledge however but it is only study of correct information that allows this strengthening to take place. You could study false doctrine your entire life and you would (or will) never find the truth. Remember though, humility is the key... people who arrive at conclusions through their own study and understanding will never be blessed with assistence from the Holy Ghost to arrive at a Godly understanding... remember, humility is the only way.

May 12, 2003

Subject: ThankYou!

It's late, and I fear that I am about to fall asleep, but I feel that I have to do this. I need to say thank you for your website...you have no idea how much it has helped me on this day. ...You are truly God Sent...

May 12, 2003

Subject: Retirement?

I have just read that you have plans to retire. I want to thank you for your tireless work in advancing the truth of the gospel.

My dad once told me that if you have never made an enemy you have never done anything of value. The fact that the LDS church sees you both as it's worse enemy speaks for itself. I hope that you will find another to at least care for the research you have done so that it is not lost in time.

I will be praying for you both . May God hold you both in His hand

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for the words of encouragement. Jerald has retired but I hope to keep working for some years.]

May 13, 2003

Subject: Support for you

Just another supporter out here in southwestern United States. My history on one of my ancestors shows polgygamous families and intermarriage that today is called incest. I thank you for what you do.

May 13, 2003

Dear Mrs. Tanner,

...Today i was reading the (FARMS web site) review of you and your husbands books. when they are not agreeing with you they seem to be frustrated. I am not a Mormon never have been and never thought about it. came across your web site by mistake and have been enjoying it a lot have learned a lot about Mormons from your site. keep up the good work,

May 14, 2003

I've read what you claim joseph smith has said-i am 15 and a member of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. I was trying to get onto the real website but ran into yours and couldnt help but read the "quote" of joseph smith. I think you should try reading the book of mormon because every single one of those things you claim joseph smith said-is the opposite of what he said in the book. Maybe for a change, you should try to bring churches up instead of mocking them.

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. I assure you, the quotes are genuine. Try looking them up before making a judgement. You can find them in the books we cited at about any library in Utah or at the Deseret Bookstore. Keep studying, truth will stand up to investigation.]

May 15, 2003

Subject: Another irredeemable rant.

I honor academic discussion more than most worldly things, but I can't sit idly by and let you try to pass off your website as informed intellectual discourse.

I am a member of the "Mormon" church, and have been all my life. I'm sure you've heard from many of my types. I've been studying Mormon doctrines and history, including the "negative" histories for a few years now. In that space of time, I've read some intiutive arguments against the validity of the Mormon church. I can say that, without a doubt, your website and your articles are some of the poorest anti-Mormon and poorest logically constructed editorials I have ever read.

I believe I read four of your articles in their entirety, and can honestly report that I could write essays upon essays in response to ridiculous claims and sub-par arguments made in practically every sentence. But, such bickering is ridiculous, and I'll have no part in it.

We all know that no matter what argument I could make in response to your tripe, you would refuse it just as stubbornly as any good Mormon would refuse your arguments. We're at an impass here. People have been arguing over religious views for thousands of years, resulting in some of the greatest attrocities in the history of mankind. And here you are with your little website, and me with my little e-mail, and you honestly think we can solve anything?

So, where do we go from here? Who's right and who's wrong? Or are those liberal relativists right? Is there no universal standard of truth? Neither of us could rely on that argument without ripping out the foundations of our fundamental value systems.

Thus, we are as the young Joseph Smith, assuming he was at some time earnestly questioning the validity of religious forrays. And to where will we turn? There must be some wisdom in Joseph's quotation of James, chapter one. "If any of you lack wisdom..." To deny that would be to deny the truths of the Bible.

So, continue on with your work, if it needs be. But recognize that academic inquiries can only take you to a certain point. And poor academic inquiries can lead you nowhere but down.


May 15, 2003

I am a teenager in high school and I have many friends who are Mormon. What is the best way to witness the true Gospel of Christ to Mormon teenagers?

[Sandra's Note: First, you need a basic understanding of your own beliefs and then a general understanding of the teachings of the LDS Church. It would help if you will read the various articles on our web site under Online Resources, especially Terminology Differences and Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints. A couple of good books for you to read would be Mormon Missionaries and Questions to Ask Your Mormon Friend. Another good book is Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons.]

May 15, 2003

Subject Church of Christ?

I just found your web site and am impressed with your work.

[A friend]...has married and been baptized into this church that believes the book of mormon. I was all set to discuss some of my misgivings, but she cut me off and says that her church is not Mormon at all. She denies any resemblence to the LDS church and she assured me that she and her "branch" are Christians and that I am being paranoid. This group claims to have 3000 members in the U.S. and about 10,000 overseas. Don't you think they are Mormons if they use Smith's book?

[Sandra's Note: First we need to determine just which church she means. There are many splinter groups using the Book of Mormon that would have very different doctrine from the LDS Church. If her group only uses the Book of Mormon, and no other of Smith's revelations, their doctrine may be fairly similar to the regular Church of Christ. Is she a part of the Church of Christ (Temple Lot)? or the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (now known as Community of Christ) or the Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonites) or one of the other break-off groups? This would help clarify her doctrinal stand. Where is the headquarters of her group? This would help establish which group it is. Most break-off groups use either the 1833 Book of Commandments, as well as the Book of Mormon, or one of the later printings of the Doctrine and Covenants.

At any rate, the group would still have to accept Smith as a prophet, called of God, and view the Bible as incomplete. She may be a Christian, giving her the benefit of doubt, but she is still embracing false scripture that God did not utter, and following a false prophet. Those things we discuss relating to the Book of Mormon and history would apply to her faith. Also, items relating to Smith's money digging and magic should be a problem as well. But she probably doesn't believe in temple marriage, plural gods or plural marriage. Her groups probably doesn't use the Book of Abraham.

A good video to show her would be DNA vs the Book of Mormon. You would probably benefit from reading Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon.]

May 15, 2003

...I used to be LDS - converted in 1973, requested release in 1983. I was summoned to Bishop's Court, told I could bring witnesses to assist in my defense of requesting removal from church records, etc. I never heard another thing.

I quite honestly don't know if I was excommunicated for requesting removal of my name (which amounts to the same thing in my book - why would they "threaten" me with something I was requesting!) or if I was simply released. At this point, I don't even know what ward I was in back then in Ogden. Should I try to find out if I'm still considered a member or not? I've not been contacted since.

[Sandra's Note: If the Mormons haven't contacted you for years you may not be listed as a member anymore. Or they could have just lost track of you. If you want to find out if you are still listed on their files you can call the LDS Membership Dept. in Utah, 801-240-3500, and ask them.]

May 16, 2003

Subject: Adam-God Doctrine


...I'm a Christian who is working on an ongoing dialogue between myself and ......a Mormon. I accidentally stumbled across what appeared to be a scan of a Deseret news article which supposedly proved that Brigham Young taught what was known as the Adam-God Doctrine in the Church. The belief that Adam was God.

I thought this was quite interesting because in our ongoing dialogue my [friend] told me that Adam in his former spirit state was Michael the arch-angel. When Spencer Kimball became president of the Church he supposedly put a stop to this by proclaiming this to be false doctrine. If that was the case, it would make Brigham Young out to be a false prophet.

My question is as follows:

Is there a reliable Mormon source, which a Mormon would believe, that proves that Spencer Kimball called a halt to the preaching of the Adam- God Doctrine that Brigham Young taught in the early years of the Church?

[My friend] said that he would only look at what he considered a non Anti-Mormon source or publication. Any assistance on this would be greatly appreciated - if you have the time.

Thank You,

[Note: The Mormons still teach that Adam was Michael in his pre-mortal life.  But they do not teach that he is the god in charge of our earth. The current temple ritual depicts Elohim, Jehovah and Michael working together in the creation play. Then the play shows Michael becoming Adam in mortality.

But the question is—who did Smith mean by these terms? Today a Mormon sees the terms 'Elohim, Jehovah and Michael' as clearly meaning the Father, Jesus and Adam. However, early Mormonism used Jehovah for God the Father. So was Smith just trying to depict the hierarchy of gods, Elohim being a god (or council of gods) before/over Jehovah, who is over Michael/Adam? Did he mean it as a Mormon would interpret it today? See the book Line Upon Line, edited by G. J. Bergera, for a discussion of the changing use of Elohim, Jehovah and Michael in early Mormonism.

When Brigham Young said our god was Michael he also believed there were many gods before him, that he was under the authority of higher deities. The Doctrine and Covenants, sec. 27:11, states "Michael, or Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days." The Adam-god doctrine probably developed due to Smith claiming that Adam/Michael is the 'ancient of days.' Most Bible scholars feel the term 'ancient of days' refers to God, not Michael or Adam. So did Brigham Young see this verse as teaching the Adam-god doctrine? In D&C 78:15-16 we read:

"That you may come up unto the crown prepared for you, and be made rulers over many kingdoms, saith the Lord God,...who hath established the foundations of Adam-ondi-Ahman; who hath appointed Michael your prince, and established his feet, and set him upon high, and given unto him the keys of salvation under the counsel and direction of the Holy One, who is without beginning of days or end of life."

Could Young have interpreted this as teaching a hierarchy of gods, with Michael appointed to be the god over this world?

Here is the quote from the official LDS magazine, Ensign, "Our Own Liahona", by President Spencer W. Kimball, Nov. 1976, p.77:

"Another matter. We hope that you who teach in the various organizations, whether on the campuses or in our chapels, will always teach the orthodox truth. We warn you against the dissemination of doctrines which are not according to the scriptures and which are alleged to have been taught by some of the General Authorities of past generations. Such, for instance, is the Adam-God theory. We denounce that theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine."

Anyone can purchase the LDS CD-ROM GospeLink, which contains, among other titles, the various issues of the Ensign and the full 26 vol. set of the Journal of Discourses (which contain a number of Brigham Young's Adam-God sermons). This can be ordered from www.deseretbook.com.

See the end of our chapter on Adam-god in our book, The Changing World of Mormonism, p.203, for a quote from a BYU thesis affirming that Brigham Young did teach the Adam-god doctrine. Mr. Turner went on to become a professor at BYU.]

May 17, 2003

Subject: Freemasons

Hi there,

Please can you tell me how many of the Mormon Prophets/Presidents are known to be 'Freemasons' , and can you quote the source of the information you have?

Thank you,

[Sandra's Note: The first five presidents of the LDS Church were Masons: Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff and Lorenzo Snow.

In the article "Similarity of Priesthood in Masonry" The Relationship Between Freemasonry and Mormonism, by Michael W. Homer, we read:

"Mormon leadership in the nineteenth century was not particularly concerned with comparisons between Mormonism and Freemasonry. The original Holy Order consisted of four Masons (Brigham Young, William Marks, William Law, and Willard Richards) who were initiated, passed, and raised less than one month before being endowed, and five who were Masons before becoming Mormons (George Miller, Hyrum Smith, Newell K. Whitney, Heber C. Kimball and James Adams)—four of whom were charter members and officers of Nauvoo Lodge (Miller, Master; Smith, Senior Warden; Whitney, Treasurer; and Kimball, Junior Deacon) and one of whom (Adams) was Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Illinois when Nauvoo Lodge received its dispensation. Since five members of the Holy Order were long-time Masons and the remaining four were fresh recruits, Joseph Smith undoubtedly knew that comparisons would be made between Masonry and the endowment." (Dialogue A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol. 27, No. 3, Fall 1994, p.67)

Further on in the same article we read:

"Twentieth-century Challenges by the Craft and Mormon Responses—

"During most of the twentieth century both Masonry and Mormonism opposed dual membership Masons in Utah prohibited Mormons from joining or visiting their lodges and Mormons counseled members to avoid joining secret societies. During a discussion of secret societies on April 12, 1900, in a meeting of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency some brethren wondered if "Freemasonry was in some degree excepted [from a general condemnation of secret societies], as it was thought that in some instances it might be advisable to join that body." Despite the suggestion, Lorenzo Snow, the last surviving general authority who was also a Mason (Franklin Richards had died the previous year), authorized a statement that church leaders were "opposed to secret societies," which made no exception for Freemasonry." (Dialogue, Vol. 27, No. 3, p.75)

In the book Heber C. Kimball, by Stanley B. Kimball, we read:

"Heber thought he saw similarities between Masonic and Mormon ritual. In a letter to Parley Pratt, June 17, 1842, Heber revealed:

"We have received some pressious things through the Prophet on the preasthood that would cause your Soul to rejoice. I can not give them to you on paper fore they are not to be riten. So you must come and get them for your Self. We have organized a Lodge here of Masons since we obtained a Charter. That was in March. Since that thare was near two hundred been made masons. Br. Joseph and Sidny [Ridgon] was the first that was Received into the Lodg. All of the twelve apostles have become members Except Orson Pratt. He hangs back. He will wake up soon, thare is a similarity of preas Hood in Masonry. Bro. Joseph Ses Masonry was taken from preasthood but has become degenerated. But menny things are perfect." (Heber C. Kimball Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer, by Stanley B. Kimball, University of Illinois Press, 1981, p.85)

LDS Apostle Rudger Clawson wrote in his diary:

"Pres. Richards made a few remarks upon the importance of the brethren keeping sacred matters that are brought before the brethren for their consideration. Also, dwelt upon the importance of keeping proper minutes of our meetings. Said he desired to say a few words about Freemasonry. A Masonic Lodge, he said, was established in Nauvoo and Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Willard Richards, John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow, Orson Hyde, F. D. Richards, and about 1000 others in all became Masons. Joseph, the Prophet, was aware that there were some things about Masonry which had come down from the beginning and he desired to know what they were, hence the lodge. The Masons admitted some keys of knowledge appertaining to Masonry were lost. Joseph enquired of the Lord concerning the matter and He revealed to the Prophet true Masonry, as we have it in our temples. Owing to the superior knowledge Joseph had received, the Masons became jealous and cut off the Mormon Lodge." (A Ministry of Meetings The Apostolic Diaries of Rudger Clawson, edited by Stan Larson, Signature Books, 1993, p.41-42)

D. Michael Quinn, in his description of members of the Council of Fifty, lists Wilford Woodruff as a Mason:

"Wilford Woodruff, age 37; Zion's Camp; Apostle; former Nauvoo city councilman; Freemason; Anointed Quorum; second anointing; political missionary to Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan; national delegate; in Massachusetts at martyrdom." (The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p.525)]

May 17, 2003

Subject: Mormon Lies

Hi there,

I was a member of the Mormon church for over 35 years, and it wasn't until I started praying for truth and light that I found out what a fraud the church was....I now have a file about 4 inches thick on all the lies the church tells....Interestingly I have found that all the members of the church I have spoken to reject truth, even when its staring them in the face....

Cheers, The Truth has set me free.

May 18, 2003

Several years ago I remember hearing about a group of BYU Scholars who had concluded that the Book of Mormon was not factual. I would like to know how to find info about them and thier work, and also see what became of them as result of their work. I came out of Mormonism and appreciated your work, espically Myth or Reality. Thanks so much for your work and may God Bless You.

[Sandra's Note: I am not sure which scholars you have in mind. Our SLC Messenger #85, 1993, talks about several scholars who were excommunicated, but it was not due to giving up the Book of Mormon. See the article on our web site.

SLC Messenger #91, Nov. 1996, has an article about Thomas S. Ferguson's, who gave up the Book of Mormon after years of research and writing in its defense. Also, in the 1920's B.H. Roberts, of the council of seventy and respected church historian, wrote a manuscript detailing various problems with the historical aspects of the Book of Mormon. This has been printed under the title Studies of the Book of Mormon.

Also, SLC Messenger #100, March 2003, p.14-17, tells of three scholars who have recently given up on the Book of Mormon.]

May 19, 2003

Subject: The Apostle John & the Three Nephites, Immortals?

Question: If John the Apostle never died and is still here on earth (D&C 7) and the three Nephites in the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 28:6-8) never died, what does that do for the Mormon claim of the complete Apostasy of the Church?

Don't they claim that there were no representatives left on earth who had or could pass on the keys to the kingdom, which I assume is the authority to confer the Melchizedek and Aaronic priesthoods and whatever other mumbo-jumbo they deem necessary for the establishment of the Church? If that is true, why was there a need for a Restoration since it was still present in the persons of John and the Three Amigos, I mean Nephites? And what do Mormons say these two thousand plus year old men are doing these days?

[Sandra's Note: Good point. Haven't seen any good answer. Can't see how an apostasy would have been complete with four apostles roaming around who could have ordained others. Writing in 1979 LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie, in Mormon Doctrine, commented:

"They [the Three Nephites] continued their ministry among the Nephites for some 300 years, until the time of Mormon, when they were finally withdrawn because of the wickedness of the people (4 Ne.1:30-37; Morm.1:13-16.) Unbeknowns to the world, they are continuing their assigned ministry at this time, and there have been occasions when they have appeared to members of the Church in this final dispensation. It is the common practice in the Church to call them the Three Nephites." (Mormon Doctrine, 1979, p.793)

Now days the apostles don't seem to comment much on things like this.]

May 19, 2003

Dear Sandra and Jerald,

Thank you for issue 100 of Salt Lake City Messenger. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Keep up your good work!


May 23, 2003

I am looking for some help. I am concerned about the whitewashed version of religion that we are taught in church . I have had several questions that I wanted answered for almost 20 years, but my bishop(s) reply was to not worry about the past, but only focus on current teachings. This leads me to believe that the doctrine is dynamic not static. I do not hate my religion, but I want honest answers. I am not a mindless drone, but I do not want to be filled up on anti-Mormon literature. where can I find some balanced articles about the church, and how do I go about having my bishop give his, or the churches standard reply?


P.S. I have heard about the terrible Tanners for most of my live, but after reading the City Weekly article I view you and your organization as balanced historians only providing information and not dictating what a person should or should not believe.

[Sandra's Note: Some books by historians, some of which are still LDS, who give a more honest history would be:

Good articles on Book of Mormon problems:

Good book by nationally known reporter:

You can read our book, The Changing World of Mormonism online.

If your library has the magazine Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought or Sunstone you would find many well-researched articles in them.

This should at least give you a start. If you are in Utah, all the universities have great collections of the above books, original LDS books or original resource documents. Even the Salt Lake City Library and the Utah State Historical Soc. Library have great collections. All of our research can be verified at these libraries.

As for answers from your bishop, most don't know enough about the issues to discuss them. They just refer you to prayer and tell you to stop reading what ever you are reading that brought up the question. Or they will tell you to read on Jeff Lindsey's or FARM's site. The fastest way to find all the Mormon apologists is to do a search on www.google.com for 'Jerald Tanner'—should bring up all the Mormon defender sites attacking us.]

May 23, 2003

Subject: Thank you.

Thank you for putting up with so much abuse to get the truth out there about the LDS church. I've been an exmormon for five years now.

The information that you post on your website is that which needs to be heard by a lot of LDS people. I know you get a lot of hate mail, but I just wanted to take a few minutes and thank you all for trying to help those who are naively allowing themselves to be manipulated by a bunch of old men in SLC.

I have family members who I wish would move on from the LDS church, as it's destroyed our family. In time, I hope that information like that which you folks make so accessible might finally help my parents and sisters see how misled they've been their entire lives.

Thanks again.

May 23, 2003

Subject: "The Mormon Murders" book


I had picked up a used copy of "The Mormon Murders" book seven years ago at a local used bookstore and only recently read it. I was surprised to see you and your ministry prominently discussed in it. Obviously, the Lord is protecting you! I am impressed at your dedication and service to Him. Thanks.

May 23, 2003






May 23, 2003

Dear Tanners,

Thank you for all of your hard work and ministry! I am just another jewel in your crown, as much of the information on your site served to confirm my decision to leave the Mormon church. I have attached a copy of the letter to my bishop requesting that I be removed from church records. If you feel that the letter would be a blessing to others, please feel free to post it.

I hope to have the opportunity to meet you in person some time later this year when I'm able to make it down to Utah. I pray for your continued health, inspiration, and blessing! Thanks again for all that you have done and will continue to do!!!

God Bless,

May 8, 2003

Dear Bishop _____ ______,

I am writing you to share my heart as well as to make a formal request. But before I state the request I would first like to share my heart…I feel that only by trying to understand my heart will you be able to understand and honor my request.

For as long as I can remember I have had a deep longing in my heart after my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for my Grandma, _____ ______, who faithfully took my brother, _____, and I to church and Vacation Bible School while we were young. It was through this, as well as her faithful example of selfless love and her love of Jesus that I attribute such deep longings in my heart. While in the rebellious and headstrong years of adolescence I stopped going to church with her and started exploring other Christian denominations. GJ's (Grandma ______) church was Valley Alliance, a Christian Missionary Alliance (non-denominational, evangelical) church. My mom really didn't attend any church yet seemed to have a penchant toward Catholicism. My Aunt and Uncle, whom _____ and I lived with for a year while I was in the first grade and attended Christian school, were Methodist and my dad, whom _____ and I had been praying for for years, came to know Christ and attended a Charismatic Christian church. To add just a little more confusion to the pot—my best friend was Southern Baptist and I was attending her church. It was during my junior high years that I began to learn that there were differences in beliefs in Christianity. In high school, my boyfriend's parents changed churches and we all attended an Assembly of God church. I knew that Christ was the answer…yet, began to search for answers and understanding concerning which church to attend. I went to Whitworth College (affiliated with the Presbyterian Church) and my favorite classes were the "Core" classes, which were required studies of the Judeo-Christian tradition. At the end of my second year of college, my long-time boyfriend from high school and I were married. He joined the Coast Guard and we moved to NYC. While living there for two years I had no church affiliation. I missed attending church and became so hungry after the Lord. I prayed and prayed for God to lead me to a church. Transportation was a problem and there were no churches nearby to attend. Well, to make matters worse, even though Russ and I attended church together with his parents before we wed…he now refused to step foot in one. We eventually returned to Spokane and about a year later divorced due to his drug and alcohol addiction. Upon filing for divorce, I was blessed that my job promoted me to the corporate office in Vancouver, WA. I began checking out churches but then was on the road for over a month with my work. Knowing that I would be spending so much time alone, I decided that I would focus my spare time seeking after Christ and trying to re-establish my relationship with Him. Well, one night while in Billings, MT, I was watching TV and saw a LDS Church commercial. It spoke of how the B.O.M. was "another testament of Jesus Christ". This shocked me since I had been raised to believe that Mormons believed in/worshipped Joseph Smith. So, to make a long story short, I called and eventually took the discussions. I must admit that I was surprised to learn that so many of the beliefs that they shared with me were ones that I held as well. And I am sure you can see, by what I shared above, how well I related to the Joseph Smith story. My original intention for calling was NOT to investigate the church…but to get a copy of the B.O.M. for myself and become a better "basher" of the Mormon Church. So you can probably imagine my surprise when I decided to join The Church. I found that The Church answered so many of my seemingly unanswerable questions. I found myself saying, "It just makes so much sense". There seemed to be a logical answer for everything.

I was baptized on December 16, 1989. The Church became my life. I obtained my Patriarchal Blessing the following October and received my Endowments in the SLC Temple almost a year to the day after my baptism. I eventually relocated to SLC and attended a YSA Ward and institute. From October of 1993 to April of 1995 I was privileged to serve as a sister missionary in the Ohio Columbus Mission. Upon returning from my mission to Spokane, I immediately got involved in a YSA ward where I met _____. We later married that summer. Since he was waiting for a Sealing Cancellation or approval from the First Presidency to remarry in the temple, we were later Sealed together, shortly after, in November of 1995 at the Portland, OR Temple. We were active in our wards and I was blessed to serve in many callings. As I said, my life truly had become centered in The Church. I spent much time and money on books, studying to learn all I could about Church Doctrine and history. The only calling that I ever aspired for was to be a Church Seminary Teacher.

I have been an enthusiastic member for 13+ years. When I joined The Church, I was very excited and so hungry to learn. I remember when I first attended Relief Society and listened to the various lessons…how I was troubled by the underlying talk of guilt and discouragement expressed by so many sisters. I remember thinking (in all of my enthusiasm), "What is their problem?! Don't they get it?!". Yet, after all of this time passing and extensive study of Mormon doctrines, I have found that they did indeed "get it". I too, have found the guilt and extreme discouragement reflected in my own life as I—like they—have striven for "perfection".

I do not want anyone to say or even think that someone has offended me. I have been nothing but blessed by my associations in the church. As recently as mid-summer 2002 I could never have even imagined my life outside of the LDS faith and church. But, just as it was my seeking after my relationship with Jesus Christ led me into the church…it is the very thing, which has led me out.

While I have had access to many books and historical documentation disproving Mormonism's basic claims, my decision to leave the LDS Church has not been prompted by a testimonial against Joseph Smith's character, or an explanation of the changes to the B.O.M. and the D&C over the years that are in glaring contrast to the original works, nor some other grudge against discrepancies in LDS Church History. My decision to leave the church is based purely upon my rediscovery of God's Grace—the grace of the Bible. Please, let me explain…

Grace, according to Mormon Doctrine, as found in the Bible Dictionary in the Standard Works is


A word that occurs frequently in the New Testament, especially in the writings of Paul. The main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.

1.)It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, made possible by his atoning sacrifice, that mankind will be raised in immortality, every person receiving his body from the grave in a condition of everlasting life.

2.) It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.

Divine grace is needed by every soul in consequence of the fall of Adam and also because of man's weaknesses and shortcomings. However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, "It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" (). It is truly the grace of Jesus Christ that makes salvation possible. This principle is expressed in Jesus' parable of the vine and the branches (). See also ; ; ; .

In spite of the above listed biblical passages being referenced, the grace referred to in the Bible is actually quite different from the LDS definitions. Grace (Greek word, "charis", Strong's #5485) is from the same root word as Chara, 'Joy', and Chairo, 'To rejoice". Charis causes rejoicing. It is the word for God's grace as extended to sinful man. It signifies unmerited (can not be earned) favor, undeserved blessing, and a free gift—with out any qualifications.

The problem lies in definitions. There is the Biblical (and Christian) definition of key doctrinal issues — grace, salvation, redemption, justification, sanctification, etc. Then there is the LDS use of the same terms, yet with completely different meanings and understandings. A prime example of this is the term 'Salvation". The LDS definition (according to Mormon Doctrine, pgs 670-71) is "Salvation in it's true and full meaning is synonymous with exaltation or eternal life and consists in gaining an inheritance in the highest of the three heavens with in the Celestial Kingdom…Salvation in the Celestial Kingdom of God, however is not salvation by grace alone. Rather, it is salvation by grace coupled with obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel." Based upon the many teachings of the Church and from what is taught in the Temple, only those who progress, who fully obey "Celestial Law" and observe all of God's commands and precepts will be saved in the Kingdom of God. But Bishop, there is not one of us who can honestly say that they are doing "ALL they can do". None of us can fully live and obey the "Celestial Law" doing all that it requires. So who then will qualify for God's grace, (according to 2 Ne. 25:23) especially in light of the "insufficient grace" as defined by The Church? So, you see, those dear sisters "got it" all right.

However, in contrast, Biblical Salvation is being "saved" from the righteous wrath of God-His justice…which demands that because of our sins we must be eternally separated from God, both physically and spiritually. Of course, God is just and mercy cannot rob justice, which is why we needed a savior, a redeemer. Going back to the most basic tenants of Christianity and of the Bible we read,

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be SAVED."

The book of Romans clearly states that the "law" can not save. The sole purpose of the law is to show us our absolute need for a savior — not to just redeem us from the grave, but to "atone", make us "at one" with our relationship with God. To SAVE us from His wrath and enable us to enter His Kingdom. And, finally, in glaring contrast to the LDS doctrine and definitions of salvation and grace is Eph. 2:8-9,

"For by grace you are SAVED through FAITH; and that not of yourselves; it is the GIFT OF GOD; not of works, lest any man should boast."

 And not to be accused of taking this out of context—please, read the whole chapter…even the whole book!!!

Bishop, by going back to my Bible — the true word of God — I have rediscovered the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout the Pauline Epistles; Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, etc, I have rediscovered God's truly amazing love, grace and salvation. Because of this I KNOW that I am completely forgiven and fully pleasing to God, having been justified through Christ. Not because of my being a good person, doing good works, nor because of my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints—but, because of Christ Jesus.

"For He (Heavenly Father) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us,

that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Cor. 5:21

I know that I, as will all people, will one day stand before my Lord and will need to account for my life here on earth. Yet, I KNOW with absolute assurance that I will be SAVED (not just resurrected) into the Kingdom of God. I know this because of WHOSE I am — not who I am or what I have done or not done. I am fully reconciled — totally accepted by God. As Romans 5:8-10 says,

"But God commendeth (demonstrates) his love toward us in that, while we were

yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood

(Christ being the necessary blood sacrifice by dying on the cross), we shall be

SAVED from the wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were

RECONCILED to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled,

Shall we be SAVED by His life."

It is because of what He has done for me and because of the work that He has begun in me ("being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus" Phil. 1:6); changing my heart and my sinful nature, that good works naturally follow. Any good works are a result (the fruit) of Christ working in me—a result of His grace NOT the qualifier for it. (See Eph. 2:10)

Bishop, I know that I am deeply loved and completely forgiven by God. I am fully pleasing, totally accepted and complete in the eyes of God because of Christ Jesus and what He has done for me. THIS truly is the Gospel or Good News of the Bible!!! God's love and grace toward us truly is 'chara" — Joy and cause for rejoicing!!!

When I joined the church, those many years ago, I did so to follow Jesus. I accepted the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ, and with so much of the KJV of the Bible being quoted, how could It not?! There are many wonderful things and precepts found in the Book of Mormon. One of my favorites is Alma chapter 5. Because of this simple faith that the Book of Mormon stands alongside the Bible to testify of Jesus Christ and what He has done for us I joined The Church. And, as I stated before, I was surprised by the beliefs that The Church seemingly held in common with the basic tenants of Christianity. The Church claims—as Joseph Smith said—that the BOM contains the "fullness of the gospel" as does the Bible. Yet in retrospect, due to the many additional doctrines espoused by the church, the supposed 'restored gospel of Jesus Christ' is not found in either book. For example, the temple endowment, eternal marriage, tithing (found in the Bible but not the BOM), eternal progression, the word of wisdom, searching out our kindred dead and performing the 'saving ordinances' of the gospel for them, the LDS view of the nature of God—"As man is God once was and as God is man may become", etc. The reason that I point these things out goes back to an important issue at the fore front of the Church today as it strives to be accepted as "Christian". The question is "Are Mormons Christian?". Most bible-believing Christians say "no" and many Latter-Day Saints wonder why. I've wondered that myself. If a definition of 'Christian' is a believer in Jesus Christ, then I know and would defend to the death anyone who would argue against the LDS belief in Jesus Christ. But, to define being a Christian in such general terms would belie the definite differences between Christianity and Mormonism. Perhaps, a better way to more clearly define the true answer would be to reverse the question…"Are Christians Mormon?".

Yes, The Church does have many supposed answers not found elsewhere. For years this was comforting and fascinating. I believed them deeply and during this time I served a mission and shared what I felt to be true. Because of the many blessings of active church life I did not step back and fully compare and consider the importance of the differences between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity. Also, just because logical and comprehensible answers are found in the church—even though "it makes so much sense", it does not make those answers true. The Bible says,

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

Nor are your ways My ways,

Says the Lord.

For as the Heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways,

And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

For the past 13+ years, The Church has been my life. Bishop, while in the process and heartbreak of my divorce, I was blessed to become a member of your ward. I will never be able to fully express my debt of gratitude to the many wonderful people who helped me to get the trailer livable—who gave the stove, much time, and effort on behalf of me and my children. The ward and its people are so special. Thank You!!! Yet, what started out as some simple questions and concerns about "Mormons becoming Gods", I have been led to take a deeper look into my faith as a Latter-Day Saint. In my confusion, I was driven back to the basics—back to my Bible and seeking after my relationship with Jesus. In early September '02, while reading my Bible and praying for guidance and answers, I had a profound experience…I was pondering about the temple and about my beloved Grandma. In November it would be one year from her death and I was thinking about her temple work. As I did so, I saw in my mind the Endowment Room of the Temple. I heard the voice of Brigham Young stating the oft quoted, "Your endowment is, to receive all the ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key word, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation". As I heard this, my mind was then flooded with light, as if from the parting of clouds and the sun breaking through and shining down (it is what I saw). I then heard the tender voice of the Lord, who simply asked, "Why? Wasn't what I did enough?". Oh, how my heart just broke!!! Jesus did pay it all. This experience has changed my life. In spite of the wonderful ward and people, regardless of the many blessings of my church association, I could not return to activity in the church. This experience led to my rediscovery of the truth of biblical grace and salvation through Christ alone. Yes, as Latter-Day Saints, all we do is in the name of Jesus Christ. Yet, I am reminded of Matt 8: 21-23, "Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name, cast out demons in Your Name, and done many wonders in Your Name? And then I will declare unto them, "I NEVER KNEW YOU, depart from me".

To know the Lord—that is my heart's desire. Through this heartbreak and struggle to come to terms with 'my religion' I have realized that this is not about my religion — but about my relationship with Christ. Religion can not and will not ever save (see Romans).

So, dear Bishop ______, it is with great solemnity that I come to my request. Please accept the receipt of this letter as a formal request that my name be removed from The Church records. I DO realize the seriousness of this decision, and it has been only after much reflection, study, and prayer that it has been made. I can not be part of a church which I feel leads people away from the true, Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ. I have found that the "Restored Gospel" is "another gospel" spoken of by the Apostle Paul when he states,

"I marvel that you are turning so soon from Him who called you in the

Grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some

Who trouble you and want to pervert/distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we,

Or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have

Preached to you, let him be accursed." Gal. 1:6-8

Please know that I am voluntarily requesting to be removed from Church membership and that no church disciplinary actions or excommunication is to take place. Also, please wave any Church-prescribed waiting period and process this request immediately. To confirm that these requests have been honored, please send me a letter within the next 30 days confirming that my membership has been terminated at my request and that the word 'excommunication' not be used in this letter or on my church records.

Bishop, I love the people of the church and I know that they love Jesus Christ, yet my heart breaks at the unnecessary discouragement and guilt that so many fall prey to because of their being misled; not fully realizing all that God has done for them because of the true unmerited favor (grace) and salvation available to all who believe and have faith in Christ Jesus and what He has done for us. The understanding of these things can only come from the Bible, God's Holy Word.

Thank you for taking the time to read this terribly long, but important, letter. Thank you for honoring my request. I look forward to receiving the confirmation letter from you within the next 30 days. God Bless you Bishop. You are a wonderful person and I hope that what I have shared in this letter will prompt you to search out the Bible and to see for yourself what I have found.


May 24, 2003

Subject: No more "New Age"

Dear Tanners,

...Thanks... for the package of information you sent. It is life-changing material:... By the way, when the missionaries stopped by and I told them I had read the BOM and had been through all of the lessons and did not believe the doctrine, they asked if I had met the local congregation. I said that I had and that the congregation was very nice, but that I did not believe in the doctrine. They then asked what my name was and each stepped forward and shook my hand and left. I thought this was interesting because they gave no fight once I acknowledged that there was no personal problem with the members themselves, but that it was the doctrine.

May 25, 2003

Subject: 1979--my BYU D&C class--shocking revelation! :)

I attended BYU 1978-81 in the full bloom of my youthful faith that everything my seminary teachers and Young Women's leaders had always taught me about the Mormon Church was true, true, true.

(I do remember, however, once asking my Beehives advisor if the Eternal Plan was in fact for Jesus to be betrayed and crucified so that he could be resurrected, etc., why was Judas considered a Son of Perdition? It seemed to me that he'd played a crucial role in bringing the Plan to fruition...after some frowns and hems and haws, I got the usual, "It's an interesting question, but it's not essential for your salvation that you understand such things.) ...

Oops...sorry for the digression. OK, so I'm in a D&C class with the very popular church scholar Brother (Professor?) ______ ...who reveals to us the little-known doctrine that Jesus and Mary Magdalen had, in fact, married (I guess they did the secret marriage handgrip, too), and that Jesus's posterity had indeed survived throughout the ages. And guess what?? Joseph Smith, Jun. was a direct descendent of Jesus and Mary Magdalen. How's that for exhaustive geneology. Or perhaps that "God has revealed it to me" escape clause obviated the need for well-documented evidence.

Like I said, I was starry-eyed and fully invested in the Mormon claims of religious exclusivity in those days, but Brother ______'s announcement evoked a gut-level response in me that I'll never forget. It was anger, fire-white, quaking anger, and I was surprised at myself; I didn't even know why I would respond in such a way. So I suppressed it.

After I'd married an RM like a good girl in 1980, and had done about 60 temple endowments, I realized that I felt that same quaking, trembling anger every time I went into those sessions, and finally, on my husband's birthday (unfortunate timing, but whaddyagonna do?), we arrived at the LA temple in May of 1986 to do yet another session (that's what he wanted to do for his birthday celebration), I found that I could not get out of the car. I couldn't go into that building one more time, I couldn't don those demeaning temple clothes again, nor pantomime gruesome acts of torture, I wouldn't veil my face, or listen to the threats one more damned time in my life.

And that was the night my first marriage ended, and I've always been grateful for my gut, which acknowledged YEARS before the rest of me did that the mormon church is corrupt, disempowering, rapacious, and altogether bogus. I wish I'd listened to my gut in that D&C class back in 1979...but that sort of thing is frowned upon by church leaders.

Thanks for the forum...almost 20 years later, it feels really good to share a few steps in my long journey from the choking murkiness of mormon doctrine to the bright, clean light pure spirit within each of us.

Rock on, Gerald and Sandra!


P.S. My temple name was Naomi, and it was a good 8 years after leaving the church that I finally had enough confidence that I wasn't really going to be joining Judas in Perdition Land (you know, we apostates have a special place in H-E-double toothpicks--we and murderers and, of course, Judas Iscariot) to share that little tidbit with my friends.

May 25, 2003

Hi, Sandra

...I am a recent ex-mormon and I was very excited to hear about your web site and when I read your personal story I gasped because I asked many of the exact same questions. I asked the bishops wife one time about satan and Jesus being brothers, and even at the age of about 12 that really troubled me and I asked questions about our "heavenly mother" and was told we don't talk about her because she is sacred. So many things did not make sense to me and troubled me a great deal.

I have been struggling very much lately about how to witness to my family members and how to get my name off the Mormon records and how to go about it. I was glad to find the resignation letter its says exactly what I wanted to say but wasn't quite sure how to word it so I printed the resignation letter and am eager to send it. Thank -you for the help.

...But [my LDS family] are so blinded by the lies and they look and me as the one that is trying to lead them astray. But it wasn't very long ago that I was where they are right now but by the grace of God I have been set free from the terrible bondage of Mormonism and have accepted Jesus Christ and my personal Lord and Savior

I commend you for your courage and your strength, you have given me strength and encouragement because if I don't witness to them who will? ... May God bless you and your husband.

May 25, 2003

Subject: Blessings

To whom it may concern,

I would like to make a comment about your information on patriarchal blessings...I just had to write you and speak my mind. I'd hope you'd give me the courtesy and time and allow me to express my feelings with you. I feel that it was extremely inappropriate.

I don't believe it is fair for anyone, of any faith or denomination, to put anything that is sacred to any other faith or denomination on the internet. This is extremely UnChristian. Do you honestly think Christ would do such a thing?

Patriarchal Blessings are an important part of my church. We are asked to not share them to many people and it's not because of the fact that they are secret, but because they are sacred. I would not go around showing something that someone feels is sacred, and I don't think any true, honest Christian would.

I also feel that if you are trying to make more information readily available, you should be less one-sided about it. The information should be stated clearly, truthfully and straightforward without any twists or trying to make it sound evil or not evil.

People have heads. Let them decide for themselves. It's unfair to share information in a cutting or biting way to people who may not be familiar with the teachings of the LDS church and may not understand and will recieve tinted views. If a person learns everything truthfully without any embellishment or one-sidedness and then decide they do not like it, it is fine, but to not give them a fair chance is cruel.

Please, why don't you spend your time building up your own faith instead of tearing other people's down? Or is it the new "Christian" way to try and rip other faiths important sacred topics apart on the internet? I certainly don't remember Christ teaching that. I'd like to know what Bible you are referring to. If you're going to do it, at least get someone who knows what they're talking about to write the article. ... Sorry for getting so rude, it's just that I love the LDS Church with all my heart and it tears me up inside and hurts my heart to hear someone talk about it in such a bad way. Thanks again!

Oh, by the way, the LDS church is true. I know that with all my heart. You really should look into it with an open mind some day!

Respectfully yours,

[Sandra's Note: I assume you are referring to this page on our web site, LDS Patriarchal Blessings.

I can understand your concern. On the other hand, I believe the Bible to be sacred and yet it is sold all over the world. I assume Mormons feel the LDS scriptures are sacred yet the church makes them readily available to the public. I assume a Mormon would consider the LDS Sunday services as sacred, yet they are open to the public. LDS General Conference is broadcast all over the world. Wouldn't these meetings be considered sacred?

So why would it be wrong to publish or discuss a patriarch blessing? We can read of Isaac and Jacob blessing their sons in Genesis, chapter 27 and 49. God didn't seem to be concerned about it being written down or being publicly available. Even the Book of Mormon tells of Lehi's blessing of his sons in 2 Nephi, chapters 1-4.

While we certainly do not believe in the LDS concept of patriarchal blessings we have tried not to be flippant in our treatment of it. "Sacred" should not be equal to "secret" but it seems to be with many Mormons. Communion (sacrament) service is sacred to me, but anyone can attend a Christian church and observe the service. Christians are free to discuss any and all aspects of their scriptures, rites, and religion. Too bad the LDS people do not enjoy the same freedom.]

May 28, 2003

I just wanted to thank you for your work on this website. You are truly helping others to see the truth behind the Mormon charade.

I was brought up in that "church" for nineteen years of my life. Fortunately, I have come to know Christ as my Savior and have been given the free gift of salvation. I never would have had this opportunity in the Mormon cult. I just wanted to say thanks and commend you for your efforts. I have used your site to witness to others and to try to explain to them why Mormonism is a false "religion".

Thank you for helping others to discover the truth and for leading others to Jesus Christ. If anyone reads this message and happens to be a Mormon, don't be offended. Instead, QUESTION what you "believe" and QUESTION what all those "church leaders" are telling you and find out for yourself if this "church" is "really true" or just a web of deception and historical inaccuracies.

Very Sincerely,

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