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April 2004
(Names and Contact Info Removed)

April 1, 2004

Subject: Thank You

Wow what an incredible amount of information you guys have on your website. I would just like to acknowledge you for being brave enough to get out there and help people to realize the truth.

I grew up in the LDS church, and was expected to believe it. After 20 years a bitter marriage came to an end between my parents, my father got the church involved, accusing my mother of adultery. Only being around 13, or 14 at the time I was astonished by the way the church dealt with this, as were my older sister and 2 older brothers.

It turned out (after a huge amount of disciplinary council and the person my mother allegedly had an affair with, being excommunicated), that my father had been lying all along. No one in my immediate family (apart from my father whose now living elsewhere) have been to church in a very long time, and I don't see that ever changing.

A wake up call to me [as I] was reading ... TRIALS, [by] J Gary Sheets. His wife was the victim of one of Mark Hofmann's bombs in Utah in 1985. His book was amazing, the hurt and suffering he went through is in-describable, and a lot of this, from what I read - was due to the church's actions. ...

The actions of the church (during the incidents with my family and then developing an understanding of what happened [in the Hofmann case]) has made me realize something wasn't right. These people were supposed to represent god. And their actions were not what I suspected to be godly at all.

It seems such a shame to me, there are so many good people in the LDS church, its just a shame that they are all so caught up in these lies. I have read some of the feedback on your website and the comments apposing your work really are un-nerving, and hardly the type of behavior and language I would expect from someone supposedly strong in the church.

At the moment I'm drafting up a letter to have my name taken off the church list. I look at myself and the church and I think its a real shame. I'm only 16 years old and even I can see the major flaws and amazing amount of lies in the Mormon church.

I believe there is a god. but that's all I know now. Sometimes I still find myself feeling bad when I take a drink of coke or coffee. I really think the Mormon church has got a lot of good in it, and so many of it's teachings are great and I don't think you can ignore the amount of good it has done to some people's lives. I genuinely wish that it was all true.

I think god is all about free will, and even though they preach it I do not see any free will in the LDS church, they tell us what we can and what we can't do. I think we all deserve the choice and god made it that way for a reason.

Keep up the good work. You guys are amazing. ...

Thanks again.

April 1, 2004

. . . Mormon history has always been a challenge, because most of the books are written by Mormons who supply information provided by other Mormons. A one-sided view of history is in fact a manipulation of history.

The L.D.S. church is a multi- billion dollar corporation that has evolved a very effective sales presentation. A critical part of this presentation is the early history of the church. Their presentation is designed to bring in new members and to present the image that the early church triumphed over religious persecution. A history that might be best described as a "faith promoting" version of it early history. . . .


April 1, 2004

To the best of my knowledge nobody in my family tree is now or ever was a Latter Day Saint. However, in researching the LDS faith on the net I discovered several names of deceased family members including all of the vitals and social security numbers available for anyone to see and use at their discretion. In this age of identity theft is it legal for the LDS website to have this information displayed? How can I remove it from their records?

[Sandra's Note: Sorry, but I am afraid there is nothing you can do. It is my understanding that death records and social security numbers of such persons are public record.]

April 1, 2004

Subject: Looking for the right info

... I learned of you 31 years ago when i gave my life to Jesus. I have prayed for my family's salvation for years and also that God would raise up a Army in Utah to destroy Mormonism.

Several years ago my youngest brother ... came to live with me for a few months and i completely striped the foundation of Mormonism out from under him. I recently received an e-mail of humble repentance for hating me for doing what i did to him so long ago when he had no defense as he says it.

He thank me and said he was gratfull be cause it got him serching and he has been seeking ever since. He is willing to converse with me at this time but on his terms. One subject at a time. His last statement to me was [he] "want Exaltation"!, rather than salvation, i only know to go to the word of God with that.

But I think that because of his delusion of the greatness of Joesph Smith i would like to get something from you of all the "so call miracles and great wisdom" he had and begin to refute that. What do you have that would help answer those specifics?

He has been searching for years for the truth, and he says there is definite holes in the Mormon church but at this time still believes it is the true church. "He also states that to find the truth it starts with God" which means he is praying. his theory is to prove and dis-prove is the only way to find the answer. So my desire at this time is to prove with the word of God that Joseph was a lier. I also appreciate your advice. Than you

[Sandra's Note: A few good books on refuting their scriptural arguments are:

Two shorter works are:

Have you read on our site How Do We Test a Prophet? Also see: A Sample of Joseph Smith's False Prophecies. You might want to get our set of Godhead and Virgin Birth Photocopies.

A good book to give him would be: An Insider's View of Mormon Origins. This is written by a retired LDS Institute of Religion teacher, who is still a member but no longer believes it.

A good photo resource is Where Does It Say That?]

April 1, 2004

Hi. It's funny. I had heard horrible things about you guys my entire life. I was raised LDS and then I went on a mission. I came home only ten months into said mission, mostly because I didn't feel good about what I was doing there, and I then proceeded to heavily research the truthfulness of the Mormon church.

After many years of study and thought, I came to the conclusion that my assumptions were right and I left the Mormon church for good. However, I always sort of wrote you guys off as vindictive liars, presumably because that is what I had always been told, so I didn't use any of your resources in my years of research. Damn. Many items that it took me some time to find were readily available through your ministry.

I only recently visited your website, prompted mainly by the article in the City Weekly [http://www.slweekly.com/editorial/2003/feat_2003-03-27.cfm], and I feel moronic for not seeking out your resources earlier. I commend you for your decades or honest research and courage. I only wish that I would've found you sooner. I would like any materials that you could send me, as my father and I, who is an LDS Institute Director ... on the East Coast, continue to have lively discussion about the validity of the Mormon faith. He's a well-spoken man and I need all the help I can get. I would also like to receive your newsletters. Thank you and good luck in passing the torch of your ministry.

April 2, 2004

... I was raised as a Mormon but I became a Christian in Oct. 2001. but I need some help...I have a Mormon friend who has challenged me to watch the General Conference and point out the biblical references of how Christian beliefs are different from what is said at the Conference.. Is there any way that anyone at your ministry can watch the conference and help me to point out the differences? It would be so helpful and greatly appreciated.

thank you so much and God bless,

[Sandra's Note: The problem with LDS Conference is that they don't go in to much real doctrine. It is usually very general, be kind, help your neighbor stuff that any one would agree with. If you want to get into a scripture sharing situation you need to compare the Bible with their scriptures.

Or use one of their teaching tools, sold at all LDS bookstores, on the LDS web site, and listed on our booklist. The LDS Church does not have an official book stating their doctrine. The closest you would come would be the material that is published by the church for their lessons. Two such books would be current editions of:

These books are copyrighted by the church and approved by the prophet.

In Gospel Principles it states:

"What Scriptures Do We Have Today?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts four books as scripture: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. These books are called the standard works of the Church. The inspired words of our living prophets are also accepted as scripture." (Gospel Principles, 1997 ed., p. 54)

Problems arise when you analyze that statement. How does one know when a prophet's words are 'inspired'. Can a mere member determine this? On what basis is an elder to determine that a given prophet's words were not inspired? Can a woman, for instance, sit in judgment on her leaders and decide many of the things they have said about women not holding the priesthood were NOT inspired?

One wonders why they add the qualifier 'living' when defining prophets words that would be scripture? Are past prophets not to be believed? Then why read the Doctrine and Covenants? Mormons seem to want to cloud the issue of prophetic utterance due to past statements by their prophets, such as Brigham Young, which they don't accept today. But Brigham Young held the same prophetic office as Joseph Smith and today's LDS prophet. His words should be just as valid.

In 2001 the LDS Church printed the manual Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor. This is currently sold at LDS stores and on our booklist. In it we read:

"We are children of our Heavenly Father and have the potential to become like Him. ... In one point of view, man appears very poor, weak, and imbecile ... In another point of view, we look at him [man] as emanating from the Gods--as a God in embryo--as an eternal being who had an existence before he came here, ... He is a God in embryo, and possesses within him a spark of the eternal flame which was struck from the blaze of God's eternal fire in the eternal world, ... And when he shall be perfected, and have progressed to maturity, he will be like his Father--a God, being indeed His offspring. As the horse, the ox, the sheep, and every living creature, including man propagates its own species and perpetuates its own kind, so does God perpetuate his. ... It is for the exaltation of man to this state of superior intelligence and Godhead that the mediation and atonement of Jesus Christ is instituted; and that noble being, man, ... is rendered capable of becoming a God, possessing the power, the majesty, the exaltation and the position of a God." (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, pp.2-5)

See also their manual Gospel Principles, ch. 47 on exaltation.

Some good tools for responding to Mormon claims are:

See our Online Resources: LDS Theology

Another helpful tool is Godhead and Virgin Birth Photocopies.]

April 2, 2004

Subject: help

... I used to be a Mormon and now I am a Christian. here is my story of how I met my husband, ...... and became and Christian:

... in August of 2001 when [someone] was visiting us in Utah, he walked by the computer while I was online and saw a flashing ad for an online dating service, so he laughed and asked me if I'd ever done anything like that. I said no, that's stupid...but then he dared me to anyway just to see what kind of guys would write back to me. I was kind of embarrassed but I got curious and put my picture and profile on... one day in mid August of last year I got a response from a guy ........... from Edmonton, Alberta. Something about his letter to me seemed so genuine and sincere. I can't remember everything he wrote but I remember he mentioned his love for Jesus and his mother. I was really touched by he sensitivity and in his love for God. I had never heard anyone talk about Jesus that way before. I guess he kind of sparked my curiosity even more. Mormons usually talk about their faith in "the church", not their love for Jesus.

I felt a big urge to write him back right away. So we started writing back and forth many times a day telling each other all about ourselves. Believe it or not, we fell in love with each other's personalities just by writing. Then when we talked on the phone it just reconfirmed what we were already feeling. ... I knew he was the one I had been waiting for so when he asked about driving down to meet me and my family and then bring me back to Canada with him I didn't hesitate to say yes. I wasn't scared at all because [he] and I had prayed about it together over the phone and I felt so certain that this was right.

My dad was very scared for me, because I was so in love with a non-mormon and because he had no idea what [he] would be like, but when he got there everyone immediately loved him. There were still no religious conflicts yet because I was too caught up in the excitement of being with [him]. My dad kept telling me that I was heading for trouble and that we would have to decide eventually what we would do about the religion issue. I knew that was true and in some ways it did scare me. If I would have had my way, [he] would have joined the LDS church and we would have been married in the temple, but thank the Lord I didn't have My way but God did have His way with me. He had another plan other than mine which was soon to unfold....

When we got to Canada, I was so excited to be in another country and soon to be meeting _____'s friends and family. _____ did say once that I should be sure not to tell his mother ..... that I was a Mormon. I thought that was kind of strange since I felt that I was a Christian too and couldn't see why being a mormon would make any difference to her. When I met [his mother] and the rest of [his] family I was immediately embraced as a new member of the family. We weren't even engaged yet but I'm sure they must have known our eventual intentions. If I hadn't know for sure that [he] would be my husband I wouldn't have gone up to Canada with him. Little did I know that he did plan on marrying me eventually but he would never marry a mormon so there was still a big change that would need to happen with me and my faith.

Since I was the only mormon in a huge family of born-again Christians it would have been too awkward to go to the mormon church by myself while they all attended the Pentecostal church across the street, so I just started to go to church with them. I little by little started to rationalize that I was still ok with my mormon god because I was at least still going to a Christian church, but also reading my book of mormon and still praying to my mormon god. As [he] and his mom..... got to know me better and better they would initiate discussions (and sometimes arguments) about mormonism, Christianity and the Bible.

We would look at web sites and they would point out different things to me. [She] told me that Joseph Smith was not a true prophet and that God was a spirit, not a man of flesh and blood. I got so confused because my whole life I had been taught otherwise and that if I was a good example to those who were not members of the "church", that they would feel the "spirit"(holy ghost) and have a desire to read the Book of Mormon and get missionary discussions, but that just wasn't happening. In fact everything that I had believed at one time was failing to live up to it's promises. I was getting scared and confused.

One thing I can remember [his mother] telling me was that God is not the author of confusion and if I'm confused it's because my faith is the wrong place. That really bothered me because all I had been for the past while is confused. I knew that I loved [him] but I didn't want to make a mistake and leave the mormon church if it was true. I wasn't sure what to do. [They] invited me to go to something called Alpha Meetings, a class that taught all the basics about Jesus Christ and the bible. I learned a lot of things there that I had never heard before. I started to read only the bible. I realized that there was so much that I didn't know about Jesus and the bible so I just started to read and learn as much as I could. [He] and I started to read from the bible together every morning and night. It strengthened our love for each other immensely. (by the way I was living at his parent's house out in the country, ... and [he] was living ... in Edmonton ...).

As I continued to learn more and more about Jesus and the bible I got more and more comfortable with the idea that this was all I needed. [He] and I still had conversations where I would try to convince him to go to the mormon church with me. I still hadn't been there even once since I got to Canada on September 1st, 2002, and now it was the middle of October. After one particularly difficult conversation with [him] late at night when we were talking about the differences between his Jesus and my Jesus. I got so upset and frustrated that I didn't have the same kind of love or understanding of my Jesus as he did for his. I didn't know what to believe or what to do anymore so I decided to go into my room and pray to [his] Jesus, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I pled with Him and cried and cried and asked Him what I should do because I was so scared of doing the wrong thing...but then I felt an arm come around my shoulders and a voice whisper into my ear that all I needed was Him and that He would protect and show me the way! At the same instant the voice was gone, I knew that everything [he] and his mom,..... had told me about Mormonism and Christianity was true. I knew that I need to give my heart to Jesus and then everything else would fall into place. I immediately ran to tell [him] what had happened. He was so excited and could hardly believe it.

Right away he prayed with me to renounce all of the strongholds of mormonism and then to ask Jesus into my heart! I had been born-again!! I felt so light and free--it was truly amazing. In my journal entry it says, "On Sunday, October 21st, 2001, I made the decision to give up everything but Jesus Christ and the Word of God. I prayed with [him] to renounce mormonism and then to accept Jesus into my heart, to become spiritually born-again and start off fresh with only my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to have my faith in and only the Holy Bible to read as the Word of God.

... this was just the story of how I got saved, there is so much more afterwards. I did have times of doubt after I got saved but [he] and his family and the Pastor of our church were always there to help me figure things out and to pray with me whenever I needed it.

God's Word never changes and never fails us. I know that Mormonism is false. there are too many things about it that associate it with paganism and satanism for me to ever believe it. The bible warns about false prophets teaching another gospel with another Jesus. It only takes one prophecy to be proved false for a prophet to be a false prophet, just like it only takes one lie for a person to be a liar. Joseph Smith had many false prophecies, so he was definitely a false prophet. (watch "DNA vs. The Book of Mormon" and it will really open your eyes) And he was the first prophet for the Mormon church, so if the first person to start mormonism can't be trusted than none of it can.

It's sad to think that I was apart of it, but I am so relieved and thankful to know the truth now. I thank God and [my husband] everyday for their patience with me in leading me to know the true Jesus Christ. Now I know for sure that I am where I need to be, I was baptized in July 2002 at the Bethel Pentecostal church .....

Not long after I got saved, [he] proposed to me on Dec. 9th, 2001. On the 21st he had a huge accident at work in which he was in the back of a truck that exploded. He received 3rd degree burns to his face and hands but God gave him the miracle of saving his life. _____ saw the gates of heaven and heard the voice of Jesus telling him that he would not die but he would live and tell others about Him. which he has done. He has spoken with many people and shared his testimony with them. God has really blessed us and given us the promise that all things will work together for good for those that love Him!

April 3, 2004

Subject: you're unbiased

I appreciate your unusually unbiased approach to LDS theology. I've read a multitude of anti-lds literature and your web page is the first I've seen that actually tells the truth. However, I was troubled by this:

Yes, the doctrine of polygamy is still in their scriptures, Doctrine and Covenants, section 132. Mormons are instructed not to practice polygamy during this life but the practice will be permitted in heaven. Today if a Mormon man outlives his first wife (after having a temple marriage) he can marry again in the temple. This would guarantee him two wives in heaven.

It seems to delineate aspirations among LDS men to achieve plural marriage. Since no faithful lds man I know aspires to have several wives, I feel that this statement (although virtually true) presents an inaccuracy. I, for one, will accept God's will in this life and in the next. If that involves taking multiple wives, so be it. As it is, my allegiance is to our Father God and his appointed servants. I also have no goals of achieving justifyable plural marriage. Again, thanks for your respectfulness and especially providing your patrons with facts instead of hearsay.

_____ ______, a magnanimous latter-day saint

[Sandra's Note: Thank you for your kind words. By way of explanation, I did not say that all Mormon men desire to enter polygamy or that they are trying to figure out a way to get another wife. I merely stated that a man that outlives his first temple sealed wife COULD be sealed to another woman and thus, by LDS teachings, be a polygamist in heaven. My own grandfather outlived my grandmother, married again in the temple and I can assure you that my whole LDS family believes that all three of them are now together in heaven, working out their eternal exaltation together. Also, I have talked to various LDS men that have indicated the desire to gain additional wives, if the opportunity arose. You state you do not have a "goal" of gaining more wives, but you have indicated that the possibility exists.]

April 3, 2004

Greetings, ...

I love your website, it has been a beacon of light in a dark place for many years.

April 4, 2004

Subject: Doctrines of Salvation

Do the Mormon publications receive any 'doctoring' to remove embarassing teachings.eg there is an advert for Doctrines of Salvation on the Deseret Books site. Would this edition be altered from the 1955 edition, which contained the statements that Joseph Smith helped create the world, and Jesus was married to Mary, Martha & Mary Magdalene.

[Sandra's Note: Some books have gone through editing, such as La Grande Richard’s book Marvelous Work and a Wonder and the LDS manual Gospel Principles. I don't believe they have edited Doctrines of Salvation (but I haven't checked lately). However, I don't think that series had statements like you mention, at least not on Jesus being married. These sound more like items from the Journal of Discourses. See these entries for more on the virgin birth. Topical Index: Virgin Birth.]

April 4, 2004

Thank you for information on your ministry. Left the Mormon Church 3 years ago. Loved reading the Salt Lake City Messenger. May our Loving Lord bless you and your family,

April 5, 2004

Subject: new babies

My husband and I and our grown children are all born-again believers. Whenever a new baby is born to our children's families, my Mormon, very elderly, parents drive a long distance to see the new baby. I'm curious whether this is just for the obvious enjoyment of seeing the newborn, or is there also some Mormon "ritual" that they do, such as saying some words or a prayer silently in hopes that someday the baby could become a Mormon. I realize that such words or prayers would have no real effect, so I'm not worried about it, but I just wonder. I've gotten the impression that there may be more to their visit than just the normal new baby visit. Have you heard of anything like I'm suggesting?


[Sandra's Note: Mormons are big on giving blessings, especially to infants. When it is done officially, usually in a Ward, the father (if he is active LDS) or a priesthood holder joins with several other men in a circle, holding the infant, and say a prayer by the power of the Melchizedec Priesthood, giving the child it's official name and pronounce such blessings as a long, full life, etc. The name is then entered on the LDS records, but not as a member but a potential member. I assume your parents are giving the babies some form of their blessing ritual but not sure if they would be entering the baby’s name in the LDS record.]

April 5, 2004

Subject: Brigham Young's sermon

Hi Sandra,

It was certainly a delight to meet you the other day when we popped in for a short visit. Would you please give me the reference to the sermon that you read to us where Brigham Young purported his view about how individuals atone for their own blood, etc. Thank you. Hope to see you again in June with a team of high schoolers.


[Sandra's Note: I believe it was this one by Brigham Young:

Let me suppose a case. Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; and under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands...

There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it;... (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 247)

See our Topical Index: Blood Atonement for more information.]

April 6, 2004

Subject: I dont have a comment

i have a question. isn't there a mormon document that states that the BOM was brought forth out of the ground by a familiar spirit? if there is such a quote, i can't find it. and in Bruce R. McKonkie's book, he stands true against familiar spirits. can you help me?

[Sandra's Note: Mormonism claims that Isaiah 29:1-4 is a prophecy of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Past LDS president Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

ISAIAH PROPHESIES OF BOOK OF MORMON. One of the most important predictions regarding the Book of Mormon is that found in the 29th chapter of Isaiah. The prophet here speaks of a people who should be like Ariel, the city where David dwelt. They should have heaviness and sorrow and should be brought down to speak out of the ground, and their speech was to be low out of the dust, and their voice was to be as of one that had a familiar spirit. (Doctrines of Salvation, Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Vol.3, p.213)

However, Isaiah 29:1-4 is a prediction of God's punishment on Jerusalem. The Bible always condemns familiar spirits. If the Book of Mormon is supposed to be the word of God why would God associate it with demonic forces? The following verses demonstrate Gods condemnation of familiar spirits.

  • Lev. 19:31 Regard not...familiar spirits neither seek after wizards.
  • Lev. 19:26 Neither use enchantment nor observe times.
  • Lev. 20:6 Familiar spirits, wizards...I will set my face against.
  • Lev. 20:27 Hath familiar spirit or wizard - put to death.
  • Deut. 18:10-12 Divination, enchanter, witch, charmer, consulter with familiar spirits, wizard, necromancer - abomination to Lord.
  • Isa. 8:19 When they say - seek familiar spirits or wizards that peep - should not a people seek their God?
  • Isa. 19:3 I will destroy counsel thereof and they shall seek idols, charmers, familiar spirits and wizards.
  • Isa. 29:1-4 Woe to Ariel...one that hath a familiar spirit.
  • Isa. 44:24-26 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; that confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers.

Here is a quote from LDS Apostle LeGrand Richards:

A Voice from the Dust

Isaiah saw the coming forth of this record as the voice of one that has a familiar spirit whispering out of the dust:

Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel. And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. (Isaiah 29:1-4.)

Isaiah saw the downfall of Ariel, or Jerusalem, at a time far in the future, "add ye year to year." Then he seems to have been carried away in vision to witness a similar destruction of the cities of Joseph, "and it shall be unto me as Ariel." He describes how they would be besieged and forts would be raised against them. They would be brought down and would speak out of the ground. Their speech would be "low out of the dust"; their voice would be as one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground; and their speech would whisper out of the dust. Now, obviously, the only way a dead people could speak "out of the ground" or "low out of the dust" would be by the written word, and this the people did through the Book of Mormon. Truly it has a familiar spirit, for it contains the words of the prophets of the God of Israel. (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, by LeGrand Richards, Deseret Book Co., 1950,p. 69.)

I see nothing in the Isaiah passage that points to a written record by people in the New World. It is a warning to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.]

April 6, 2004


If I have a question about the LDS faith, wouldn't I be better served to ask a member of that church, or a representative, rather than an avowed enemy of the religion?

[Sandra's Note: First, I have a problem with the assumption that every member or missionary is knowledgeable enough to give an informed answer. Second, since Mormonism has publicly misrepresented its teachings in the past (Joseph Smith denied polygamy in both the press and in public meetings at the very time he had at least 33 wives) we can't be sure the Mormon is speaking candidly. Third, if a Mormon has not been through the temple he/she has not received all of Mormon doctrine.

Let me give you an example of how I view the problem. Let's compare the situation of the investigator with that of a person who wants to buy a used car.

When a person goes to buy a car there is the hope/expectation that the used car salesman will disclose any problems with the car. Obviously this is not always the case. The salesman may be more interested in making a sale that giving accurate information. One also expects that all of the details/costs of the financing will be fully explained before one signs the contract. However, experience has shown that some companies hide some of the costs. This has led to laws covering 'truth in lending' to protect the public from dishonest dealers.

It is important for the buyer to do his/her homework first, to know what the average price is of the type of car one wants, what are reasonable financing charges, etc. One might even want to get a second opinion from a mechanic on the condition of the car.

We are generally skeptical of used car salesmen, knowing that their primary goal is to sell a car, not to tell us its weak points. The LDS missionary also has a primary goal, to get you baptized, not to tell you the problem areas.

People often spend more time and energy investigating a car purchase than they spend on choosing their religion. Yet the religious decision has an eternal impact on one's life. And there have certainly been more false religious leaders than used car salespeople.

The missionaries, who are generally very sincere, are trained to give a canned, selected view of LDS beliefs, prepared by the missionary department. These do not give enough information for a person to make a knowledgeable choice. The missionaries do not show a potential convert their other books of scripture or give them a clear explanation of their core beliefs. In fact, many of the missionaries have never read ALL of their own scriptures. Most of them have probably never read Joseph Smith's revelation on marriage, including polygamy—sec. 132 in the Doctrine and Covenants—or his sermons on the nature of God. We post them on our website here:

Many LDS people tell outsiders that they believe in the same God, Jesus and salvation as the non-member. However this is plainly not the case. See our section on LDS theology. Basic Christianity is very different from the LDS beliefs. The choice should include a lot of study besides prayer.

What are the evidences to support or challenge Joseph Smith? Why should a person believe him? Truth will stand up to investigation.]

April 6, 2004

what do think is the motive for joseph smith starting the mormon church? He wanted people to believe in god, but in a different way. Where are the gold plates?

[Sandra's Note: I believe Joseph Smith knew there were no plates, that he created the whole story. This leads to the question as to motive. He may have believed that he had a better understanding of Christianity but needed a vehicle to spread his doctrines, thus he invented an ancient record, sometimes referred to as a "pious fraud." Or he could have been a complete charlatan. I don't know that we can ever fully resolve this. However, several good theories have been put forward.  See Vogel's Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet, and Petersen's book, The Creation of the Book of Mormon,or Brodie's book, No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith.

See our #95 Messenger for more on Smith's efforts.]

April 6, 2004

Subject: dna studies

my husband said that Lehi and Nephi and family were not jew's and that is how he accounts for the dna. what scriptures in the BOM tell the genelogy of Lehi.


[Sandra's Note: Lehi was supposedly descended from Manasseh, so he would have been an Israelite. Here is a quote from the Book of Mormon giving Lehi's ancestry.

Alma 10:2-3—I am Amulek; I am the son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of Aminadi; and it was the same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God. And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren.

Technically, 'Jews' would be people who descended from Judah, not Joseph. However, the term is used in a more general way today. I don't suppose all the 'Jews' in Jerusalem today are technically descended from Judah. Here is a quote from the Book of Mormon where Lehi's descendents are referred to as 'Jews'—using it as one would use 'Israelites.'

2 Nephi 30:2-5—For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel.

And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed.

And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews.

And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.

Trust this helps.]

April 7, 2004


My sister is Mormon and at one point, I had read the Book of Mormon, just to be more aware of what she was involved in. I recall reading in the book of Alma that if a man didn't have more than one wife, he was going to hell.

Can you tell me just where that is? I can't find it now and she is adamant that if I can't find it, it must not be there and she doesn't believe a word I told her.



[Sandra's Note: That isn't in the Book of Mormon—try sec. 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Verse 6 says "And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God."

You might want to read this section of our book, Changing World: Chapter 9, p.255.]

April 7, 2004

Subject: The three wandering dudes

Dear Sandra:

On the heels of the marathon General Conference wherein the main topic (once again) seemed to be praising Joseph Smith and the prophets and not much mention of Palm Sunday, my heretic friends and I were discussing the 3 apostles of the Book of Mormon whom were promised they would live to see the second coming and are supposed to be surviving today on this hemisphere.

I remember being taught that when I was a kid, as does my father, but my brother disputes this. Am I off my nut, or was my seminary teacher going overboard? Obviously, this has not been mentioned lately, although I haven't been to priesthood meeting for about 20 years or so. Could you confirm if this is still believed by mainstream Mormons?

Thanks. Again, you guys deserve all the respect and credit in the world for shining light on this crazy cult. Have a peaceful Holy Week. He is Risen.


[Sandra's Note: At least as late as 1988 stories of the three Nephites were still circulating. Here is a quote from 'Freeways, Parking Lots, and Ice Cream Stands: The Three Nephites in Contemporary Society,' by William A. Wilson, Dialogue, Vol. 21, No. 3, Fall 1988, pp. 14 and 25:

In 1940 and 1942 Austin Fife published "The Three Nephites in Popular Tradition," a ground-breaking collection of fifty-two texts, and "Popular Legends of the Mormons," which contained a summary of the main features of the stories. In describing the Nephites, Fife gave a capsule summary of the legend that has served to the present day:

In localities of Utah, Idaho, and other states where the Mormon faith is prevalent, one frequently hears accounts of the miraculous appearance and disappearance of kindly, white-bearded old men who bring messages of the greatest spiritual importance, give blessings in exchange for hospitality, lead lost people to safety, and perform various other miraculous deeds. These old men are said by the people to be the "Three Nephites" (1940, 1).

Stories of the Three Nephites...are still very much a part of contemporary Mormon society. In our unguarded moments, in a testimony meeting, in a Sunday school class, in intimate conversations with small groups of friends, in the family circle—when critical perceptions are tuned low and the spiritual vibrations are strong—in these moments the Nephite stories circulate among us.]

April 7, 2004

I truly believe your ministry is bringing light to a dark place. .... I'm married to a jack Mormon, though he was baptized in that religion, he doesn't attend church, and I've been trying to reach him with the TRUTH for 7 years.



April 8, 2004

Subject: Endowment

My husband just became a Mormon. I am Catholic so we are in great conflict. Would you please define/explain what an "Endowment" is?

Thank You.

[Sandra's Note: See our General FAQ: #23 What types of ceremonies are performed in a Mormon temple?, and #24 What is the Mormon Temple Endowment ceremony?

Also see our article—How the LDS Husband Hopes to Resurrect His Wife According to the LDS Temple Ceremony

As well as Changing World: Chapter 22, Temple Marriage.]

April 9, 2004

Subject: Mormons Still Baptize Holocaust Dead

How can anyone take you [the LDS Church] seriously when you cannot even keep the promise made in 1995 to cease and desist this horrific practice?

April 11, 2004

Subject: kolob

Where is it taught that God came from a planet called Kolob? I can not find it in the B.o.M

[Sandra's Note: It isn't in the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith wrote about it in his Book of Abraham, Pearl of Great Price, Facsimile #2 Explanation:

"Fig. 1. Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. The measurement according to celestial time, which celestial time signifies one day to a cubit. One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh.

"Fig. 2. Stands next to Kolob, called by the Egyptians Oliblish, which is the next grand governing creation near to the celestial or the place where God resides; holding the key of power also, pertaining to other planets; as revealed from God to Abraham..."

It is supposedly the closest star to the planet on which God resides.]

April 11, 2004


I was wondering if you could help me out. I have a relative ............. who was a Congrational minister for 52 years until his death in 1823. It appears someone has baptised him into the LDS church 4 Jun 1976, Endowment 7 Aug 1976, Sealing Child 8 Oct 1976. This man was not a Mormon. How can they do this and does it have to be a relative that does it or can any Mormon just pick a name to use. This man was also a Civil War hero, member of Congress and a Physician. He died before the Mormon church was around. Also is there a way to get this removed from his name. Thank you for your time in this matter.

[Sandra's Note: I don't think there is anything you can do about the Mormons doing their temple work for your dead relatives. The LDS Church even signed an agreement with the Jewish people that they would not do temple work for Jewish people, unless a direct relative submitted the name.

See: The Mormon Church Attempts to Conceal Temple Records for Adolf Hitler


However, Mormons are still turning in names of Holocaust Jews as well as others. A Mormon can do this work for anyone, it does not have to be a relative. But they are supposed to do their relatives first.]

April 11, 2004

Subject: Nauvoo "apology" ??? SAVE ME!

I live in Las Vegas, and make it by your store several times a year. You all are my cornerstone to good academic input on the LDS church. And, of course, I donate towards the Salt Lake City Messenger. I know how "cotton pick'n" busy you all are.

And normally I would wait for some inevitable feature article input. But this big AP article we got in our local paper (complete with color photo) on "Illinois Extends Mormons Apology" has my curiosity screaming!!! This gesture didn't happen over night. There's a heck of a lot more here than what meets the AP! Usually there's a money trail. Or a power trail. I just KNOW you all are on top of this. As a 35 year amateur academic student of LDS culture, history, etc. this has me by the ears. Please have sympathy on me!!! Again, I know how busy you are to ask for a personal response. I wish I knew someone in the Nauvoo area. Or I could read the local Nauvoo editorials. Could you just direct me to a web site that is on top of this. I'm going NUTS! SAVE ME! (Ha!)

Thanks so much.

[Sandra's Note: I don't have any insider information. Here is the LDS Church site with links to articles from other papers.


You might contact Colleen Ralson, in Nauvoo, Il. http://homepage.nauvoo.net/~ncvc/.]

April 12, 2004

Subject: Just a note of appreciation

Recently I received an email from a near relative of mine who hasn't defected from the LDS church for fear that his wife would divorce him and his children disown him. He was able to contact me through mention in the Messenger (from information I provided) of a former mission president in South America who had been excommunicated and--with considerable difficulty--he was able to determine that I am indeed that heretic. Though his father... was among the first to be notified by me of my excommunication, his son was totally unaware of it. Leprosy is not a polite topic of conversation. ... Thanks to you, I was able to extend comfort and encouragement to an excellent young man.

... You are doing such a great, thorough job ... My own experience and that of my nephew do dramatically illustrate how difficult it is to defect, inasmuch as we love our families with all our heart. Mine are such "good" Mormons they still love me. Certain subjects are absolutely taboo, however. ... Despite everything, I am happy and FREE! "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."

With sincere appreciation,

April 12, 2004

Subject: Archeological evidence


... I am interested in any archeological evidence that backs up the book of Mormon. I am still gaining and researching information on Mormonism to better understand their position.

Also, I am wanting to get a hold of the pearl of great price, doctrine and covenants, and book of Mormon. I don't want to order it from them as I don't want to be contacted or have someone knocking on my door. Do you have any suggestions on this. I have been doing a lot of study and want to prepare myself to show through the book of Mormon, etc.. the conflicts that arise. .... Thank you for your time and for all you do in your ministry.


[Sandra's Note: Mormons talk about 'possible' connections of artifacts or locations, but they can not put forward any 'actual' artifact or map. See New Approaches to the Book of Mormon, and the appendix of The Creation of the Book of Mormon.

You can purchase the Triple Combination: Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price from us as well.]

April 13, 2004

Subject: website

I just wanted to thank you for all the great information you have on you website. You have truly strengthened my faith in Heavenly Father and in his only true church.

I converted to the LDS church 5 years ago after a lengthy battle to find something spiritual in my life. I grew up in a very strong Southern Baptist family, and was always perplexed by void of knowledge, real faith and understanding among protestant faiths. I found a lot of what I was looking for when I served a full-time mission in South America.

Thanks for all the help you give us trying to spread the word, all the contrived controversies that you people publish helps bring many thousands into the church. Keep up the good work

April 13, 2004

Subject: JS's Gunfight


Thank you for your fine work. I have 1 question. I heard that Joseph Smith rather than be the Martyr he is claimed to be actually shot someone as the jail was being raided. Is this true and is there municipal records from that county to prove this?

Thank you,

[Sandra's Note: It is recorded in Joseph Smith's own History of the Church, put out by the LDS Church. See Joseph Smith's Death.]

April 13, 2004

Subject: black skin and prophecy

Hello, I am wondering why the mormon church would say that we are not born in original sin because of the fall of Adam and Eve and yet those with black skin are "cursed" because of Cain.

Thank you for all the work you have done to help those of us who fell into the pit of mormonism and are finding our way out.

Your sister in Christ,

[Sandra's Note: They solve that by saying that certain spirits were not valiant in the pre-existence and thus forfeited the right to priesthood (prior to 1978) and those spirits were sent through the black line so we could know which ones were inferior in the war in heaven. There is more on this in our new book, Curse of Cain?]

April 15, 2004

can a non-mormon get a hold of copies the books and documents that you reference to show their validity to mormons who say that you are lying?


[Sandra's Note: Yes. Most of the books we quote from are in various college libraries here in Utah. BYU probably has them all. The Utah State Historical Society library, 300 S. Rio Grande, Salt Lake City, UT, has most of the books we use. Some college libraries in other states have LDS books.

The Mormon Church puts out a CD-ROM called GospeLink 2001, that has a lot of the books, like Journal of Discourses, History of the Church, on the program.

See http://deseretbook.com/store/product?product_id=100010644.]

April 15, 2004

Subject: letters to the editor

One of my favorite parts of your website is the "letters" section (which hasn't been updated since December 2003). I know you must be understaffed but I sure miss it! Keep up the good fight. God bless.

[Sandra's Note: Sorry for the delay. Family matters have taken much of my time. My mother died of cancer in Dec. Then Jerald got critically ill and is just recovering.]

April 15, 2004

Subject: Thank you!


... I'm a college freshmen from California. My good friend ...... has been spending a lot of time at the LDS Institute of Religion lately, and has thus decided to get baptized as a Mormon .... When I found this out, I immediately opened your website and began searching for information I could use to convince him that he's wrong.

I just want to give you a big THANK YOU for all that you do. Through the help of your website I've been able to learn new things and prepare a speech of sorts to give to [him]. Your articles have been such a blessing, and I thank God for your ministry each time I pray. You've been an incredible source of information and inspiration to me throughout this whole ordeal. Thank you so much for providing the world with such an amazing wealth of knowledge.


April 15, 2004

I would just like to point out that the Masonic Temple is not secret as you have said below. You can go there, walk up to the door...and no matter who you are you can walk right in and ask for a tour, or just wonder through by yourself.

"Both Mormonism and Masonry have secret ceremonies that are performed in secret temples."

you also say in your note below that you don't want to disparage those of the lds faith...well what about the masons? ...

[Sandra's Note: Yes, a person can take a tour of the Masonic temple. I have been through the one in Salt Lake City. However, as far as I have ever heard, no outsider is allowed to witness the ceremony of someone being initiated into one of the degrees of Masonry. The wording of both the Masonic and LDS rites have been published, by former members, but it is my understanding that both Masonry and Mormonism forbid onlookers. In our book The Changing World of Mormonism, p.536, we state:

"The fact that both Mormons and Masons have a temple in which they administer secret ceremonies is striking, but when we compare the ritual and learn that Joseph Smith was a Mason, we are forced to the conclusion that he borrowed from Masonry in establishing his temple ceremony."

I believe that is still an accurate statement.]

April 16, 2004

Subject: Subscribe us please

Please subscribe us to your newsletter. .... I stumbled upon your website after searching (Google) for any of the authors in the bibliography of the book I am currently reading, "The Twenty-Seventh Wife" by Irving Wallace.

I was afraid that there would be nothing out there, knowing that LDS members like to buy up "inaccurate", "out-dated" church history books. What a pleasant surprise to find that you were online and offering such a wealth of information. My husband has at least one of your books and we have been very impressed with your ministry to revealing the truths and falsehoods of the LDS church. Your site is one we will be spending a lot more time at for sure! ...Thank you! Keep up the good work and God's blessings upon both of you for your dedication.

April 17, 2004

Subject: Keep up the good work

Praying for your family and ministry. I live in Arizona, where Mormonism is choking out the true followers of Christ. Thank God there are courageous folks like you and the Robertsons here in AZ who are getting the word out.

April 18, 2004

 HI there

... I am sorry to hear about all that has been happening, but Im glad that you were able to have strength in your beliefs,

my problem was that I am a 40 something woman who has been a mormon all my life and then found out it wasn't true, it was devastating, I didn't want to believe in god either because I felt if one thing that id relyed on my whole life was wrong, then so could the other be, and I knew that my feelings had let me down before so i couldnt rely on that either, I had been to your site looking for answers and you seemd to have a sure knowledge of god, but I couldnt understand how as you were once in the mormon faith and found out how wrong it was yet you came out seeing the truth in god,

anyway I set about reading everything i could about Christ and it seems to me that the bible has been taken to bits many times and historically proved to be correct, and theologians and christian scholars seem happy and even excited to do that, where as the book of mormon is not examined in that same historical way, not openly by the members, because it comes out found wanting and then since the people already have a belief that its true they have to bend everything to fit, this dosent occur with the bible, so I at least can know that it can be verified and believed from that angle,

what is stumping me is the way to accept christ in my heart, how do I get that feeling that so many chirtsians descibe, and know its for real, I am a little afraid to be open in that respect as I dont want to be deceived again.

anyway thanks for your time

[Steve's Note: The simple answer to what you are now going through is that we must rely on the facts at hand and not our feelings to be certain when we accept Christ at his word. We may never get any kind of experience that will confirm the truth of it. We must stand on the promises that God himself has given to us in his word that when we believe we are then able to know that we are saved. Examples of this would include: John 1:12-14; 20:30,31, Acts 16:30,31and 1 John 5:13. We will be praying for you too in the days ahead. Let me encourage you to continue to study and ask the tough questions that a healthy faith needs.(2 Tim 2:15).]

April 19, 2004

Dear Jerald and Sandra Tanner,

Is it fact, that the engravings for the Facsimiles are of wood (cut by Headlock)?
Is there proof other than hear say and communications asserted through time?
Is their an explanation as to why these engraving are not accounted for, and they're where abouts unknown?

I've heard conflicting information from research persons and curious opinions.

I know what if's are just that, and I ask the questions with sincerity.

Very Truly Yours,

[Sandra's Note: In Smith's day illustrations for printing were usually created by making a wood cut of the illustration. This was then placed on the printing slab with the rest of the lead letter type. Mr. Hedlock was employed to make the wood cuts for the Times and Seasons. Here is a quote from an LDS author, William E. Berrett:

Publication of the Book of Abraham began in the Times and Seasons, March, 1842, at Nauvoo with facsimiles of certain portions of the papyrus. The wood engravings for the cuts were done by Reuben Hedlock, an engraver from Canada. John Taylor, a worker in wood, was also present and working on the Times and Seasons at that time. For years after the publication of the facsimiles, the original documents remained in existence. They were considered as the property of the Smith family and, after the Prophet's martyrdom, were retained by his wife, Emma. They were later sold by her to a museum at St. Louis, from whence they found their way into the Museum of Chicago. In the great Chicago fire the museum was totally destroyed and with it the precious ancient manuscripts.

The translation made by Joseph Smith, and facsimiles of some of the engravings, remain as one of the greatest contributions to the field of religion. (The Restored Church, by William E. Berrett,, 7th ed. , Deseret Book Co., 1953, pp.143 - 144.)

Mr. Berrett is mistaken about the papyri being destroyed in the Chicago fire. The original papyrus of Fac. 1 turned up when the papyri were rediscovered in the NY Metropolitan Museum in the 1960's. The originals for Fac. 2 and 3 have never been found. I assume the original wood cuts were lost as well. Here are links to articles on the Book of Abraham.



April 19, 2004

Subject: I have a question I need some help with

On your website I read something about a book Joseph Smiths mother had written. In that book you had the quote:

"During our evening conversations, Joseph... would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life among them" (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother,1954 edition.

However someone who has a 1979 edition of that same book supplied this from it:

"From this time forth, Joseph continued to get instructions from the Lord, and we continued to get the children together every evening for the purpose of listening while he gave us a relation of the same" (p. 82). "During our evening conversations, Joseph... would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life among them" (p. 83)

When you take into account those two quotes it makes it seem as if there is absolutely nothing wrong with Joseph recounting these stories, that he had been receiving info from Moroni about the inhabitants. If one is just to look at your quote then you would be lead to believe that Joseph made up the Book of Mormon. My question to you is in the book you are quoting from, prior to your quote does it say that Joseph had been already receiving instruction from Moroni or the Lord?


[Sandra's Note: Yes, that is earlier in the book. However, can a Mormon seriously expect us to believe that an Angel, who came once a year to prepare Joseph for his role as a translator of scripture, spent the time recounting trivia about 'the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship"? Obviously Smith is practicing his story. By Smith's own account he hasn't read the record yet—any information he has about the Book of Mormon people or customs can only come from two sources—the angel (with only two or three visits) or Smith's imagination.]

April 20, 2004

Subject: hi---just leaving a response

Hi ... i happened to stumble on this response on your site [Letters to the Editor, March 7, 2001]

Mar. 7, 2001

Subject: Another LDS Splinter Already Named "The Church of Jesus Christ"

The Wrong Mormons?

Perhaps the LDS Church is rethinking their PR emphasis on the shortened name "The Church of Jesus Christ" because there is already another Mormon church that already owns that name.

There already is an existing church named The Church of Jesus Christ. They too believe in the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith. But they don't believe in Gordon B. Hinckley. It is a Mormon splinter group headquartered in Monongahela, PA. It was influenced by Sidney Rigdon and William Bickerton. They claim to have been organized in 1862 and incorporated in 1941.

They also own the web site by the same name. See: www.thechurchofjesuschrist.com. It would be interesting to see if they have registered The Church of Jesus Christ as a service mark (SM) or trademark. ...

I am an active member of this church and just wanted to confirm what this person said. We do believe in the book of mormon, and do believe that Joseph Smith was chosen to bring forth the book of mormon.....But he also fell deep into error instituting his own doctrine and creating unscriptural offices to the church......We do not use the D+C or pogp.....we do not support any of the teachings of the mormon church, and do not label ourselves as mormons....we only believe in the pure things that Christ taught that coincide with the Bible.......If there is anything that adds or takes away from the origional church that Christ set up on this earth, it is not of him.........We do not consider ourselves a splinter group, we claim authority through Sydney Rigdon that still was an active member of the presidency, before Brigham overthrew him........At that note we no longer have a presidency since 1909 realizing it was product of Joseph Smith and not a true office of the church, and we do not have a prophet at the head of the church.......The 12 stand at the head of the church.....solely due to the fact that there is no first presidency in the new testament church.......its not wise to put all your faith in one man at the head of a church, and that was proven by the actions of the saints at the time of josephs death........we defianatly do not follow the extreme teachings and codemning spirit that the mormons do, we believe that all people and all churches have the god given right to worship god as they see fit......We have about 12000 members worldwide and many very active and successful missionary endeavors in various nations....

God Bless,

April 22, 2004

Subject: Thank you for helping me make an informed decision. (guilt free now)

Dear Tanners,

I grew up in Southern Alberta, born into the "church". I was baptized and all the rest of it. When I was about 12 years old I quit going because I didn't like it.

I am now 28 years old and have a wonderful wife, children and job. The problem that I had (until recently) was that I always wondered if the LDS church was "true" (feelings of guilt almost). I live my life religion free and don't see any need for it. There isn't any body that knows for sure what happens in the afterlife (except those already there). People have beliefs, they do not know.

I just want to thank you for some of the information you provided for me and that my dad backed up for you (not all of the info.). My dad being a devout mormon, i was surprised that he acknowledged some of the things i had read in "One Nation Under Gods" as well as your website. I am in the process of having my membership terminated and now know what is the truth inside my heart and mind (finally PEACE).

I don't know how anybody that has any common sense can believe the "church", but i guess that's what years of brainwashing and living your life according to a feeling you have instead of checking facts and using common sense. I now want to try and help others in my family that our still in the church to realize they have had the wool pulled over their eyes. Once again thank you very much.

- Living life without guilt now

April 22, 2004

.... I am curious as to what you think will happen when the DNA evidence about the origins of the American Indians become commonly known. Will Mormons reject what Joseph Smith said about this and his other ideas too? It is a mystery to me how highly intelligent people can believe such lies.

Thanks again,

[Steve's Note: Unfortunately, many Mormons will not leave the Church when confronted with the DNA evidence as it relates to Native American origins. Many LDS apologists are already trying their best to reinterpret the information or to disregard the obvious implications that result from it. Incidentally, this information is not new but has been studied over the last 30 years. It is now simply getting to the point where so many studies have been done over such a diverse scope that the facts are now irrefutable to objective analysis.

I must tell you, in fairness to Latter-day Saints, that many believe what they do not from the standpoint of knowingly rejecting the evidence, but rather they have never been made aware that there are major problems with the teachings of their church.

Hopefully, that is where Christians can gently and lovingly step in and earn the right to bring them to the light that is in the Lord Jesus Christ. We can do this in a number of ways. First, we can be informed about our own faith and how it differs from what the LDS Church teaches. We can also learn about what the LDS Church and its leaders have taught and how their claims conflict with the best evidence of history, theology, science and so forth.]

April 27, 2004

 Thank you for your website. It has been a great help to me in understanding some of the nuances of Mormon belief and practice.

... Our small Alaskan town is suddenly being inundated with Mormon missionaries and some folks are even being converted to Mormonism from a local ...church here. It seems they are everywhere, and very aggressive in evangelizing. We even have a new Mormon couple here in town, apparently wealthy, who are buying bicycles for the local kids and letting some of the teenagers here drive their fancy car. The wife works at times in the school kitchen as a volunteer, and the husband, I guess, has made contacts in the school that allows him to mingle with some of the teenagers and hence, the bikes and the car rides. We have a new Mormon city manager and new missionaries housed at the local LDS church building.

Our own church group is rather alarmed, and our pastor asked me, since I have had some years involvement with counter-cult ministry here, to prepare a one-page, front and back factsheet on Mormon beliefs. I did so very willingly, hoping it would be an incentive for folks here, and for our congregation in particular, to familiarize themselves with some basic Mormon doctrines, that they would be better able to defend themselves and the Christian faith when the missionaries show up at their door.

Having a basic understanding of Mormon belief, because I have interacted closely with LDS missionaries in the past, I researched intensively for several days. I worked on my time off and my day off to complete the factsheet, and my hopes were high. But the reception among most of the folks at our congregation was less than enthusiastic. One of the reasons given was that we really only need to know our own doctrine, the Bible, and that will refute any LDS claims. Our own pastor won't explain Mormon doctrine from the pulpit, saying that would be "Mormon bashing". The factsheets I prepared, our pastor offered to "those who want them", as if it were merely an option to become acquainted with Mormon beliefs.

I was, and am, heartbroken. The threat to Christians here is very real--we need to be informed. No, we don't need to study the doctrines of every cult in the world, but a foundational knowledge of the cult beliefs in your own area would certainly seem to be a part of spiritual preparation for the inevitable encounter with the cultists. My pastor, godly man that he is, even stopped short Sunday night of saying the Mormons present another Jesus. He said they present another "doctrine of Jesus". I don't know if it was his desire to not want to seem too confrontational or what, but the end result is that his wording made the situation seem less dangerous to believers than it really is. All in all, we spent about three minutes at the end of the service discussing the LDS issue in our town, and then we moved on to other things.

I don't understand it. Certainly we shouldn't engage in Mormon bashing. That's unChristlike. We should love them. I welcome the LDS missionaries into my home every chance I get, and after allowing them time to explain their gospel, I offer them the true Gospel, asking them pointed questions to help them think on their own. I love cultists. Having come out of a very cultlike hyper-Pentecostal church group where I was elder for five years, I well know the indoctrination and the power of a false belief system that holds people captive. But...to remain relatively silent--because you don't want to be perceived as being offensive--instead of proactively informing your congregation of the true beliefs of Mormonism...I just don't understand this. Will it take us losing more people to the Mormons to convince us of the danger? Because surely that is coming. There will be more joining the LDS church here, you can count on it.

In ... a small fishing community of about 3000 people (about 700 miles from here), the Mormons have also come in and tried to become involved in the local ministerial association. When they were refused, they created tremendous upset in the town, and I've heard they even took their case to the newspapers. It seems no coincidence to me that our situation comes concurrent with the one in [that city].

... I find that Christ, Paul, Stephen, John, and a host of other Biblical characters did not hesitate to confront those promoting false doctrine and threatening the Church. I know this is a long email, and if you are not able to respond I understand. I just don't know what to do. At this point I'm very tired, frustrated, and heartbroken. Again, thanks for your website and the stand you take in defense of the Gospel. God bless and keep you all.

April 27, 2004

Subject: Looking to place an order

Greetings to all of you at Utah Lighthouse,

Thank you for all you have done. I have been blessed with all the information you have on your website. I'm so thankful for the strength God has given to you over the years to be able to research and reprint the truth about Mormonism.

I'm getting ready to witness to my Mormon family members and have been looking at the different books you sell. I would like to have a good book or books that highlight some key topics with references back to Mormon books, articles, ect. so my family can check out the claims. I was looking at two books and wondering which would be the better to get. Keystone of Mormonism or Early Mormonism and the magic world view. I would like to have a good book that shows J.S. cultic tendencies but was wondering if there was a book that has this recorded and other Mormon issues. Thank you for your time and again, bless you all for the work you do.

[Sandra's Note: A good book to give a Mormon would be An Insider's View of Mormon Origins, as it is written by a Mormon who is a retired LDS Institute of Religion director. It covers a number of problem areas. A real believing Mormon will usually refuse to read something by an ex-member, but Grant is still a member and comes with such credentials that a Mormon may be curious to see what he has to say.

You might look at For Any Latter-day Saint: One Investigator's Unanswered Questions. She was never LDS, does a good job of documenting her points, lots of photos.

Another helpful book is Where Does It Say That?

Quinn's book, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, is good. But if your family knows he was excommunicated they may refuse to read it.

The book The Keystone of Mormonism is good as a general overview of Book of Mormon problems.

Hope this helps.]

April 27, 2004

Subject: Questions for the Tanners on Book of Mormon

Hi Jerald & Sandra!

When I was stationed at Hill AFB back in 1977 to 1979 I found your bookstore, "Modern Microfilm," and it was such a blessing for this little old Baptist boy stuck in the land of mormonism! I bought your main work, Shadow of Reality, and I still use it today. I even have Sandra's autograph!

To the question. I am working on some material (witnessing to LDS using the Book of Mormon) for some folks in our church who have been dealing with the LDS and I was wondering if the Book of Mormon has any reference to the current LDS belief in man becoming a god and progressing up and up? All references that I have found were outside of the Book of Mormon. I want to have a product that is easy to read and understand and uses their own book because, in their teaching, it is the "most correct book ever." I want to get them thinking about it so that they can come to the conclusion on their own that what they have been taught is false.

Thanks and God bless you all!

In His service,

[Sandra's Note: The Book of Mormon does not contain their doctrine of a progressive god. This is from things like Joseph Smith's sermons. See:

Also see LDS Theology under Online Resources.

For a list of contradictions between LDS scriptures—Contradictions within Mormon Scriptures.

Isn't it strange that they always want to either give you a Book of Mormon or to know if you have read it, as though it would present LDS doctrine? Why don't they give out the Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price? You might find Colleen Ralson's book helpful—The Christian Companion to the Triple Combination.]

April 28, 2004

Subject: Not bad

... I'm an active member of the LDS church. I stumbled on to your site by entering "bookofmormon.com". I just wanted you to know that I find your site to be quite interesting. In my casual examination it appears you go to great effort to give us the benefit of the doubt. You speak much of our virtues as well as our controversies and you do NOT seem to distort as many anti-mormon sources do. Many in your persuasion that I have had experience with are very consumed and would do almost anything to further their ministry. I appreciate your honesty and respect.

I can't say I wish you luck, but I will say that if all our enemies were as kind as you, life would be more than wonderful.

God bless you,

April 28, 2004

Subject: conditional prophesies

i have been talking with the lds missionaries about false prophesies that Joseph Smith gave. their response to alot of them is they were only to pass IF certain things happend. ex section 84, 129, 130, 87,how is it that you get around them? they use the bible in the same manner to show the same conditions. thank you

[Sandra's Note: How convenient! Smith can say and prophecy anything and if it fails there is always a way out. Blame it on the saints—they weren't faithful, etc.

Sec. 84. Are we to believe that there have not been enough faithful saints in the last one hundred and seventy two years for God to be able to fulfill the gathering to Zion and the building of the temple? And what is the answer to the failure of verses 112-115? Bishop Whitney didn't convert the people of New York or Boston and they were not "abolished." In the Bible when God promised destruction due to wickedness, such as in Jonah, it was averted by repentance. But the people of New York and Boston did not repent and join Mormonism. So why weren't they destroyed?

Sec. 87. Only part of the civil war prophecy was fulfilled—the part that was obviously about to happen. See Changing World, p.424

Sec. 129. What is the excuse on this revelation? It is given as a simple test to determine if a messenger is from God. All I want to know is which leader ever tried it and had it work?

Sec. 130. Am I to assume that God did not know if Smith would live until 1890? Was the return of Christ postponed due to unforeseen circumstances—Smith's death? There are other statements regarding the expectation of Christ's return at that time. See Changing World, p.418.

It all just shows that if you want to believe something bad enough there is always a way to rationalize the problem.]

April 29, 2004

Subject: Thank you for your work (re:Paul Dunn)

... I thank you [for the book What Hast Thou Dunn?]. Paul H. Dunn was my Mission President. I had him on the highest pedestal of my mind. And I once thought of you two in opposite terms. Come to think of it, I suppose I still do. It stuns me that I was of so poor judgement. Now I just toss it to the Youthfull-mindedness garbage bin. I once thought the two of You were evil. Years ago I came by and talked with Sandra. Those are good memories. Live long. But I loved Paul H. Dunn, Ouch. He taught me to hate lies. Ouch. Ouch.

BTW: With your help and the writings of Eric Hoffer (The True Believer), I left the Church long ago now.

Again, Thank you.

April 29, 2004

Subject: Revelation

Can you point me to a good Internet link that outlines what Mormons believe about the book of Revelation? I know a lot of them around here in Mesa have basements full of food.

[Sandra's Note: Sorry, don't know of an Internet link.

Mormons believe we are in the last dispensation of the fullness of times and expect Christ's return in the near future. They believe Christ will then set up the Kingdom of God on earth, starting at Independence, Mo., with the LDS leaders serving under him. This will be the beginning of the millennium. The thousand year reign of Christ will be a time when the Mormons will get caught up on all the proxy temple work that still needs to be done. The LDS Student Manual The Life and Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles has three chapters devoted to their explanation of the book of Revelation. It can be ordered from any LDS bookstore or from the official LDS site, www.lds.org.

Read these links to articles on LDS end time beliefs.

Then read our articles:

LDS believe the garden of Eden was in Missouri and that is where Christ will return. Note especially the quote by LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie:

At that great gathering Adam offered sacrifices on an altar built for the purpose. A remnant of that very altar remained on the spot down through the ages. On May 19, 1838, Joseph Smith and a number of his associates stood on the remainder of the pile of stones at a place called Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri. There the Prophet taught them that Adam again would visit in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, holding a great council as a prelude to the great and dreadful day of the Lord. (Mediation and Atonement pp. 69-70.) At this council, all who have held keys of authority will give an accounting of their stewardship to Adam. Christ will then come, receive back the keys, and thus take one of the final steps preparatory to reigning personally upon the earth. (Dan. 7:9-14; Teachings, p. 157.) (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 21)

A Mormon historian has written on early LDS millennial teachings. See The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism.

In the book Mormon America: The Power and the Promise there is a discussion of the Mormon food storage program. Here is an extract:

The most obvious at-home expression of this prudent attitude toward providence is the church admonition that every family is to store a year's worth of food supplies. The idea is not to store everything a family might actually eat in a normal year but to store enough dried or preserved commodities to survive a year of privation. Hence the stress on canning, dried milk, and grain storage.

Some Mormons today are embarrassed about the food storage practice, aware that it strikes outsiders as, well, a bit peculiar. But Ensign frequently prints advisories on the topic There are standard church publications to guide storage principles worldwide...

Due to Mormon's traditional apocalyptic edginess, Utah has a goodly number of businesses based on survival merchandise. ...

Mormon children are accustomed to growing up with closet and basement shelves dedicated to survival materials and stored food items, regularly rotated. (Mormon America, by R. & J. Ostling, p. 174-175)]

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