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February 2004
(Names and Contact Info Removed)

Feb. 1, 2004

Subject: new convert question

Our whole family was baptized [LDS] a year ago in December. Just recently we began taking the temple prep classes. It was only then that we realized some of the doctrines.

My whole family is devastated as we feel very deceived because some of the questions we asked when we were investigating the church were not answered truthfully. Is this a normal practice and are the missionaries/members of the church who give the discussions trained to avoid answering some of these specific questions?

How can we move forward without being resentful or hesitant towards other churches?


[Sandra's Note: Yes, I believe the missionaries are taught to be very careful how they answer questions, to give "milk" before "meat." They play word games with people to mask the depths of the differences. Sometimes the missionary, him/herself, is not really aware of the deeper LDS teachings but just repeating the answers he/she has been given by the leaders.

I hope you can find a sound local church with good Bible studies and activities for the kids. It will take a little effort to visit around to find one right for your family. You could ask your local Christian bookstore for some guidance.

For emotional support, try posting on http://www.irr.org/mit/mit-talk.html

Also, good to read is:

You are in my prayers.]

Feb. 1, 2004

My wife and I, a Catholic and Presbyterian, converted to the Mormon Church about 15 years ago. I too have had questions about "changes" that appear to have been made for membership reasons.

However, I would like your opinion about a few things.

One question relates to the passage about the "dark & loathsome" people who must have been the Negroes. They were denied the Priesthood for many years but are now accepted. ...

I read Brigham Young's Discourses and found that he promoted education for women, allowing children to attend Christian Churches different than the LSD, etc., and he stated there were other good churches. I am confused because he seemed to recognize other churches yet it is stated that the LSD is the only true church. He also appeared to be brilliantly ahead of his peers in many respects.

I have enjoyed miracles when asked to bless hospitalized women. The physician of one lady was on the phone in her room arranging for an assistant to attend her caesarian operation when she called him from the phone to say she was experiencing a natural birth. Another member and I had just given her a blessing (from God) and left the room. Another lady was scheduled for major surgery and after we gave her a blessing, she was discharged - the surgery wasn't needed.

These experiences tend to give credibility to the Church.

A deputy sheriff saw a Mormon family interviewed on TV and was very much impressed by the superior presentations given by the children. He visited a baptism but didn't attend further.

As far as it being the one and only true church, I agree with you that this appears to be an error.

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. First, I think you have misunderstood passages in the Book of Mormon about 'dark and loathsome' people. They refer to the ancestors of the American Indian, not blacks. (See Topical Index: Racism)

As for healings, I believe God, in his wisdom and grace, answers prayers for all sorts of people. I do not believe the Mormons have a corner on the market and personally know countless Christians from various churches that could give similar accounts of healing. Mormons (including the general authorities) go to doctors just like everyone else.

I recognize that the LDS Church promotes admirable family values. However, these stem from basic Christian principles, not something unique to Mormon doctrine. The Mormons just have a better PR department than other churches.

Mormonism stands or falls on Joseph Smith's truth claims, not on the success of an individual family.]

Feb. 1, 2004

Subject: The Book of Mormon

We have seen on TV an ad which states that the Book of Mormon is coming on Friday and purports to be a movie. ... Could you clue me in ??

[Sandra's Note: This movie is done by a faithful Mormon but not directly endorsed by the LDS Church. Here is the web site for the new movie.


Here are a couple Salt Lake Tribune articles:

Feb. 1, 2004

Hi - . . . My parents were raised as Mormons and switched to Roman Catholic before I was born. . . . Specifically I am looking for info re Temple rituals - the secret kind - can you suggest books or websites that would have that info? . . .

Thank you for the website too - I'm sure that I will be visiting it. It is informative and balanced.

[Sandra's Note: We have a book that details the entire temple ceremony, Evolution of the Mormon Temple Ceremony.

Another good book on the LDS rituals is Mysteries of Godliness: History of Mormon Temple Worship, by David Buerger.

You can see pictures of their temple clothing at—http://www.mormonismi.net/english.html]

Feb. 1, 2004

Mr. and Mrs. Tanner, I am an avid fan of early Mesoamerican history. I am involved in a debate with Mormons concerning LDS and Mormon Church involvement in Mesoamerican archaeology. They are saying that there has not been a focused effort by the LDS to fund and send archaeologist to Mesoamerica to prove the existence of BOM peoples and cities there. The (verifiable) evidence of such involvement has been rather thin. You state in one of your articles that: :From 1948 to 1961 the Department of Archaeology at Brigham Young University sent 'five archaeological expeditions to Middle America,' but no evidence for the Nephites was discovered. After these expeditions had failed, the church leaders gave 'large appropriations' to support Mr. Ferguson's New World Archaeological Foundation. This organization also failed to find evidence to prove the Book of Mormon, and the man who organized it, hoping that it would prove Mormonism, ended up losing his faith in the church." Is there any documentation to back up these statements? Thank you for your time. Respectfully,

[Sandra's Note: Yes, see the book Quest for the Gold Plates. This deals with Ferguson and New World Archaeological Foundation.

There have been various articles in Sunstone and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought about the Ferguson/BOM issues. In a Round Table discussion entitled The Prospects for New World Archaeology LDS scholar Dee Green observed:

"What I have chosen to call the Back-Door Approach is characteristic of the Brigham Young University New World Archaeological Foundation, an organization begun in the middle 1950's by Thomas S. Ferguson. It was eventually taken over by the Church and based at BYU, with a special Church committee under the direction of Elder Howard W. Hunter given jurisdiction over its direction and finances. Considerable embarrassment over the various unscholarly postures assumed by the geographical-historical school resulted in the Church Archaeological Committee's attitude that interpretation should be an individual matter, that is, that any archaeology officially sponsored by the Church (i.e., the monies for which are provided by tithing) should concern itself only with the culture history interpretations normally within the scope of archaeology, and any attempt at correlation or interpretation involving the Book of Mormon should be eschewed. This enlightened policy, much to the gratification of the true professional archaeologist both in and outside the Church, has been scrupulously followed. It was made quite plain to me in 1963 when I was first employed by the BYU-NWAF that my opinions with regard to Book of Mormon archaeology were to be kept to myself, and my field report was to be kept entirely from any such references. I welcomed the instruction as refreshing after my earlier days at BYU when everything the archaeology department did had to be "scripturally" related.

"Some of my colleagues and students, both in and out of the Church, have wondered if perhaps the real reason for the Church's involvement in archaeology (especially since it is centered in Mesoamerica with emphasis on the Preclassic period) is to help prove the Book of Mormon. While this may represent the individual thinking of some members of the Church Archaeological Committee, it has not intruded itself on the work of the foundation except to limit its activities to the preclassic cultures of Mesoamerica. Regardless of individual or group motives, however, the approach of the BYU-NWAF has been outstandingly successful. My numerous non-Church colleagues in Mesoamerican archaeology hold high regard for the work of the foundation and for most of its staff. Gareth Lowe, director of the BYU-NWAF, is as good a Mesoamerican archaeologist as there is in the country, and the foundation's outstanding publication series (which never mentions the Book of Mormon) consistently received good reviews in the professional literature.

"Just how much the foundation is doing to advance the cause of Book of Mormon archaeology depends on one's point of view about Book of Mormon archaeology. There have been no spectacular finds (from the Book of Mormon point of view), no Zarahemlas discovered, no gold plates brought to light, no horses uncovered, and King Benjamin's tomb remains unexcavated. But the rewards to the Church of the foundation's work, while a little elusive to the layman and the "seekers after a sign," will prove to be considerable in the perspective of history." (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1969, Vol.4, No.2, p.76-7)

When Green refers to the NWAF as being 'successful' he is meaning that it did some valid work, accepted in the larger academic community, in Mesoamerica, not that it produced any evidence for the BOM.

Researcher George Smith wrote in Dialogue, Summer 1984, Vol.17, No.2, p.107-108—

"Perhaps in an effort to counter such blanket accusations, the New World Archaeological Foundation, organized in the 1950s by Thomas S. Ferguson and eventually taken over by the Church and based at Brigham Young University, responded with "considerable embarrassment over the various unscholarly postures" related to Book of Mormon-oriented archaeology. The Church Archaeological Committee instructed the NWAF employees that it "should concern itself only with the culture history interpretations normally within the scope of archaeology, and any attempt at correlation or interpretation involving the Book of Mormon should be eschewed." Dee F. Green, an archaeologist employed by the foundation in 1963, remembers that "it was made quite plain to me . . . that my opinions with regard to the Book of Mormon archaeology were to be kept to myself, and my field report was to be kept entirely from any such references." Drawing on the findings of the New World Archaeological Foundation, among other sources, including their own research, FARMS and the Society for Early Historic Archaeology have remained alert to point out areas where the findings of archaeology may correspond with Book of Mormon claims. SEHA Newsletter editor Ross T. Christensen, in discussing the 1953 find of a bas-relief considered by some to be a portrayal of Lehi's vision of the tree of life, expressed what is no doubt the hope of many colleagues: "If and when success in identifying a major Book of Mormon artifact in a Mesoamerican cultural context is confirmed, it is conceivable that Book of Mormon archaeological research could develop as a valid and vigorous branch of Mesoamerican studies . . . along lines similar to Near Eastern-biblical archaeology, for expanding our knowledge of early Mesoamerica and of Book of Mormon peoples and places."

"After reviewing the archeological issues that Roberts raised in 1921, one can see that the ensuing sixty years may have added more information but they have not fully resolved these questions. Whether Roberts was personally concerned or whether he was playing devil's advocate, his written conclusions leave little doubt that he was indeed concerned." (Dialogue, Summer 1984, Vol.17, No.2, p.107-108)

Noted non-Mormon archaeologist Michael D. Coe commented on Ferguson in his article "Mormons & Archaeology: An Outside View," Dialogue 8, no. 2 (1973):

"There can be no question that the New World Archaeological Foundation's program has been an unqualified success. Its twenty years of excavations and exploration in Chiapas have put that state on the archaeological map and have established one of the longest and best archaeological sequences for any part of the New World. Credit for this goes to the foresight of Ferguson and the original directors, but especially to the first-class archaeologists who have carried out the program. First and foremost among them, I would name Gareth W. Lowe, who has been field director for a number of years and who has established himself as the outstanding expert in the field of Formative Mesoamerica. And full praise must be given to the generosity and wisdom of the Church leadership in providing financial backing for the Foundation. "Mormon archaeology" is no longer something that brings chuckles in Gentile circles.

"Green has termed the Church's current approach to Mormon archaeology as a "back door" one, and he is right. There is here a close parallel to the Vatican, which, while encouraging and even financing excavations in its own foundations, has carefully avoided making official statements on the remains, while the faithful have assumed that the archaeologists have actually found St. Peter's church, tomb, and bones. No matter whether Zarahemla has been found or not, or whether Nephite cattle and metals actually turn up in excavations, or fail to do so, the Church, by remaining neutral, is always right. In this, the LDS leadership has shown itself to be far wiser than that of the SEHA.

"The bare facts of the matter are that nothing, absolutely nothing, has ever shown up in any New World excavation which would suggest to a dispassionate observer that the Book of Mormon, as claimed by Joseph Smith, is a historical document relating to the history of early migrants to our hemisphere. The archaeological data would strongly suggest that the Liahonas are right about the Book of Mormon. To me, as a sympathetic and interested outsider, the efforts of Iron Rod archaeologists-to go beyond the moral and ethical content of the Book of Mormon arouse feelings not of superiority but of compassion: the same kind of compassion that one feels for persons who are engaged on quests that have been, are now, and always will be unproductive." (Dialogue v. 8, no. 2, p.46, 1973)

See also Coe's book, The Maya; other authors—American Apocrypha; New Approaches to the Book of Mormon; Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon; Answering Mormon Scholars Vol. 1; Answering Mormon Scholars Vol. 2.]

Feb. 1, 2004

Subject: Looking Back

Dear Jerald and Sandra,

It has been a long time coming, but I thought I would drop you a line. I first saw you in September 1968. At least I was told it was you. Newly arrived at the Mission Home in Salt Lake City, I was walking out the front door when I was told to ignore the disturbance. I hadn't realized that there was one. I was informed that the Tanners were here, protesting again. Trying to get the missionaries to change their minds and go home. As if a few banners and shouted scripture references could alter our righteous purpose! (Elder Packer's words later in the day) I saw you and a few others and admit that I wondered why you cared so much that we were going off to do such an obviously right thing.

It is almost 35 years later and I would like to thank you for your persistence in getting the message out. Your research and outreach have not only had direct influence on my family and many others, but have inspired much imitation. Though I cannot really tell, the internet must be having an effect on LDS retention and missionary efforts. You are probably well-placed to see it.

My family has invested too much time, money, and emotion in the church. In spite of all of our callings (perhaps because) we one day recognized that we could no longer rationalize our membership. We still have many friends and contacts in the church, but we are much better outside.

We wish you continued success and peace of mind knowing that you are having a positive influence on more and more people.

With appreciation,

Feb. 1, 2004

Subject: a few comments about being a Christian in utah

hi- i am a southern baptist who believes that The Book of Mormon is prophecy given from God. are you a Mormon? and if not, why are you in utah? is it so that you can defeat Mormonism, because you think it is a false religion? i assure you that Mormons are Christians, and i would be interested in finding out what you think about this subject.


In Christ,

[Sandra's Note: So why are you Southern Baptist if you believe the Book of Mormon? Do you believe Joseph Smith was a prophet of God? Do you accept the revelations he claimed to receive while translating the plates? It doesn't sound like you actually believe Smith's revelations or you would be a member.

We are former Mormons who believe Joseph Smith was a false prophet and that people need to be warned about his false teachings.]

Feb. 2, 2004

Subject: Muslim and Mormonism similarities

I have been reading about the Muslim religion and have realized some interesting comparisons with Mormonism. Muhammad, considered to be a Prophet, as was Joseph Smith, was given his revelation by an angel and quoted this revelation to others to write down and compile into a book that supercedes the Bible which according to Muhammad has been corrupted by man and must be interpreted by his new doctrine.

This book, the Koran, is said to be perfect and has no errors, which it does have, as is the case of the Book Of Mormon. The Koran is in harmony with the Bible according to Islam teachings but Christians have corrupted it. Muhammad not only had a number of wives, but promises followers they can have a number of wives in the next life as well, just as Joseph Smith taught. This new religion is meant for the whole world to convert them to Islam.

At Muhammads death he failed to name a succesor which brought about a split in the faith. Which happened when Joseph Smith died with the RLDS. For salvation, one must convert to Islam, just as it is taught to convert to Mormonism to be saved. Islam teaches that doing good works you gain salvation and will hopefully gain entrance to heaven. Muslims never know if their works are enough to get them into heaven, just as Mormons never know if they have done enough. Both Mormonism and Islam draw attention from traditional Biblical scripture and present a whole different message. I'm sure you could come up with more similarities but it just reminds me of how Satan uses his same old tricks to deceive. Thanks for you great work.


[Sandra's Note: Yes, there are several similarities. You might enjoy reading Joseph Smith and Muhammad.]

Feb. 2, 2004

Subject: Hello ! A doctrinal Question !

Hello. I enjoyed your paper on the relationship of Lucifer to Jesus [LDS Teaching on Lucifer].

I do believe that these two, academically speaking, were (still are) brother's ~ Jesus being the very "firstborn" of all God's offspring.

You never did answer what you really believed. Do U come to the same conclusion from your wrest of the Bible ?

Thankyou for your input.


[Sandra's Note: I thought it was plain from the last half of my article that I do NOT believe Satan and Jesus are brothers. I reject the whole LDS concept of God being married, having billions of literal spirit children, with Jesus and Lucifer being the oldest sons, as it is contrary to the Bible. Jesus, as God, created ALL things, including the angels, which includes the one who fell and became Satan.]

Feb. 3, 2004

Subject: JS and Book of Revelation

Dear Sandra,

You once told me where Joseph Smith changed the Book of Rev. specifically. I'd like to know where in the text that occurres.

Thanks for your attention.

[Steve's Note: Below is the list of verses that Joseph Smith changed in the book of Revelation:

Rev 1:1-8, 12, 16, 20;
2:1, 8, 12, 17, 18, 21, 22, 26, 27;
3:1, 2, 7, 12, 14;
4:1, 3-6, 9, 10;
5:1, 2, 6;
6:1, 6, 14;
7:2, 4, 9;
9:1, 14, 16;
14:1, 20;
19:2, 5, 10-13, 15, 16, 18, 21;
20:1, 6;

The complete book, which is a parallel of the KJV and Joseph Smith's "New Translation" of the Bible is available from us here—Joseph Smith's "New Translation" of the Bible.

I hope this helps.]

Feb. 3, 2004

Subject: Contention is of the Devil

I can't remember in the Bible where it says to bash on your neighbors..

hmm...... did Christ say that? Or was it Paul? I really can't remember where he said to spend all your time contending with others...... gosh, can you help me out?

...The opposite of contention is peace, and I also remember what Christ said about peacemakers:

Matt 5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Oh, and look what he said about those who persecute others....

Matt 5:10-11
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

... Anyway, I just wanted to remind you what Christ has said about your evil practices. You persecute me and I'm supposed to love and pray for you. I'll do that.

Keep the faith

[Sandra's Note: The crucial point is whether or not what we say is false. You have not provided any example of us lying about Mormonism. Printing historical information is not persecution.

You forgot some important instruction of Jesus and the apostles about false prophets.

2 Pet 2:1-3
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

See also:

Matt. 24:11
Matt. 7:15-23
1 John 4:1 ]

Feb. 3, 2004

Sir or Ma'am:

I do believe that you need to re-read the Book of Mormon for yourselve and pray sincerely about its truthfulness. I am an LDS member and can testify to you that this church is the one and only true church on the earth today, with all of the correct and proper principals of God's church in ancient days. The structure of the church is even still the same as it was then, having a true prophet of the Lord lead us.

... I know that through the power of the priestood, we can also heal the sick, if it be God's will and we excerise a blessing with true faith in him. I also know that the only way to have that priestood is to be found worthy for it and have it given to us by a person with the proper authority - an authority that was given to Joseph Smith, and passed down to all worthy members of the church. ...

I also know that through the temple, I can be(and have been) sealed to my family for all eternity-so that even after we all pass on to the next world, we can still exist as a family, as long as we are worthy of it. ...

I would exhort you to get down on your knees, alone, and pray with a humble heart, having a real intent to know if our church is the true church. .... Also, I hope you really think about what may be driving you to write these negative remarks about our church and also think about the sources that you have used to find some of these remarks. Were they from one of our church's sites or members, or from another anti-mormon. I have seen many things written about our church that are not true - like we still practice Paligamy, and things like that.


[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. I assure you, we have read the Book of Mormon, as well as the other LDS scriptures, several times. We have studied them, researched them, even read the original printings (which are somewhat different from the current editions) and prayed about them and are sure they are not from God. If you look at our official web site, www.utlm.org, you will find that most of our material comes from either LDS material or original documents.]

Feb. 4, 2004

Subject: Problem...Please help me!!!


. . . I am a 19 year old college student . . . I am a very strong Catholic/Christian but I am in need of some guidence. I am currently seeing someone and have been together with him for about two months. He is LDS . . .

The subject of religion has come up more than once and we have always managed to make it though okay. However, it is coming to a point where I feel we must sort it out. . . . I have informed him that I am not converting and am very happy where I am. . . . I have been doing a lot of research to aid future discussions. I have found a lot of good information and have a good place to start in a conversation.

My question is, how am I to address the information that contradicts the book of Mormon in a way that my boyfriend will listen to me without leaving and refusing to listen to me? . . . Thank you so much for your time, and God bless!

[Sandra's Note: If you haven't read this page yet you might find it helpful.

Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints

Also, you might order the set of photos from LDS sources so you can ask your friend questions about LDS beliefs.

Godhead and Virgin Birth Photocopies

You can order three official LDS books from our site that detail some of their doctrines. These would be handy to show a person that the Mormons do indeed teach very different doctrines from standard Christianity.

If a Mormon is open to read something you might try An Insider's View of Mormon Origins. This is written by a retired LDS Institute of Religion Director.

Two good videos to show a Mormon are:

Feb. 4, 2004

Where do I start.... I was brought up in an LDS family. When I hit my teenage years I rebelled and did a lot of things that I never thought I could be forgiven of. Eventually I ended up pregnant when I was 18, but I loved my boyfriend and he loved me so we got married, (and still are with two children J ) but he was not a Mormon. I at the time didn't know how wrong my religion was and I tried to convince him, more for my parents sake than mine that it was The Church.

God had to move us to a different city to get me to see the truth. My neighbor has brought me to the truth and I now go to a women's bible study weekly. I am not the only one who has concerns about my Mormon family, so we got on the subject of talking to your LDS family members. (If God prompts it of course) Any way I've been doing a lot of studying and it seems as thought they have a justification for everything, new revelation, you're not faithful if you question etc. Is there any hope??????

I know there have been a lot of Mormons who have had the blindness lifted from their eyes, I'm one of them, but if I hadn't gone through a rebellion I do not believe I would have found God. I don't see a life of drugs, immoral sex and rebellious behavior in my parent's future. I have been praying for them, but I think I still need to educate myself as much as I can so God has something to work with, if he chooses to use me in bringing them to the truth. Apparently there are a lot of quotes from the Journal of Discourses (which by the way many Mormons have never even heard of ) which bring to light a lot of the outrageous claims made by early LDS prophets, but they've said now that they're not sure of the accuracy of those writings. Is there anything else besides of course the Book of Mormon, and D&C and the Pearl of Great Price that they now believe in that has any of these false prophecy and claims?

I'm sure that unless God has truly prepared their hearts there will be no convincing them. It just makes me so sad to see what they believe. I wish they could know the true love and guidance of our Lord and Jesus Christ....

If you can be of any help thank you, if not thanks for giving me a place to express my situation any way.

[Sandra's Note: You are right, the Holy spirit has to prepare the heart for truth. But there are tools we can use to help open their eyes. The 26 vol. set of Journal of Discourses is out of print. However, the LDS Church puts out a CD-ROM called GospeLink 2001 that contains the entire Journal of Discourses, plus dozens of other LDS titles. GospeLink can be purchased at most LDS book stores. This way you can print off pages and a Mormon can't question its source since you bought it from the LDS bookstore. See http://deseretbook.com/store/product?product_id=100010644

If a Mormon is open to read something you might try An Insider's View of Mormon Origins. It is written by a retired LDS Institute of Religion Director.

By the way, the LDS Church quotes from the Journal of Discourses when it suits their purposes, and they don't qualify the statements as being possibly misquoted. The quotes are given as if one can fully trust the accuracy of the report of the sermon. See their current manual Doctrines of the Gospel, Student Manual, Religion 231 and 232, p. 43, 50, 63, 66, 83, 89, 92, 99. (Can be ordered either from Deseret Book or from us.)

The question of the reliability of the reporting of early LDS leader's sermons in the Journal of Discourses only comes up when the Mormon doesn't like/accept the statement.]

Feb. 6, 2004

Subject: Question about Hugh Nibley


I wrote some time ago and thanked you for the wonderful work you do. I thank you again, and wish to ask you a question. I remember reading a few places in the last few years where church scholars (Ed Ashment and Kent Jackson I think) criticized Nibley's methods and attempts to defend the Book of Abraham. I am trying to recall where I read those things, or is this just more evidence that I really am losing my memory as I get older?

Thank you very much.

[Steve's Note: I think you may be thinking of Ed Ashment's article in Sunstone titled "The Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham: A Reappraisal" (Sunstone 4:5/6, Dec 79, 33-48). We also have information concerning this in #82 Messenger. Hopefully this is the information that you were recalling.]

Feb. 6, 2004

Subject: Hello from Quartzsite

Dear Jerald and Sandra...

... We both thank God that he has used you both in such an important task of informing the churches about Mormonism. We hear testimonies on a regular basis about the influence your materials have had in the conversion of Mormons into Christianity! You are both doing such a magnificent work for the Lord and I am sure he is well pleased. ... Again, we want to express our appreciation to you both for your honesty and courage in "speaking the truth in love." ...

God bless...

Feb. 6, 2004

Subject: letters to the editor


A few comments about some of your "Letters to the Editor".

On Nov. 17, 2003 someone asked you:

"One question though, did not Satan tell Adam and Eve if they had bit the apple, they would become gods too? Is that not what Mormons teach? That we can become like gods? This is the most intresting aspect I have come across.

[Sandra's Note; You are right. Satan was the first to suggest that man could become like God. Genesis 3:1-5 contains the account of Satan's approach to Eve:

'Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.'(Genesis 3:1-5)

If you read it carefully, Satan did not say they would become gods but that they would be "as" gods, in that they would know good from evil. A few verses later we read:

"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:" (verse 22)

God acknowledges the fact that Adam has become "as" one of them. So apparently Satan was not wrong about that. The whole point of that scripture is that Satan was trying to convince them that their eyes would be open to knowledge; not that they would become gods.

You and other critics commit the fallacy of guilt by association by wrongly using this scripture to show how this idea originated with Satan. It did not.

On Nov. 26, 2003 someone else asked you:

"Why do Mormons cross their arms when they pray? As symbolic as the whole system of belief is, I would think it means something. Thank you and may God continue to bless your work,

[Sandra's Note: As far as I can tell, the folding of the arms for prayer is just a cultural thing, not in Mormon scriptures. But it is so ingrained in Mormon actions that they almost think it is mandated by God."

This did not originate in the Mormon culture. The practice actually began several hundred years ago. As early as 610 AD at a monastery somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy, monks used scraps of dough and twisted them to represent a child's arms folded in prayer. The three empty holes of this pretzel represented the Christian Trinity. The monks then baked the twisted dough strips and awarded them to children who learn their prayers well.

The LDS church simply adopted the practice to help children be reverent during a prayer.

Feb. 7, 2004

Subject: Alexander Campbell

Do you sell a reprint of Alexander Campbell's book "Delusions..." that debunks the Book of Mormon? I don't see it on your booklist. That would be a useful reprint to have.

I also have a question about Lucy Mack Smith's 1853 book "Joseph Smith's History By His Mother." I've heard that there is a manuscript version of this book that has a lot of additional information. Does this book include that material, or is it available elsewhere in your publications?

Thank you for the help.

[Sandra's Note: We don't sell a photo copy of Campbell's book but it is online.


Our reprint of Lucy Smith's book does not include her preliminary draft. Both are published side by side in Lucy's Book.]

Feb. 8, 2004


I am requesting to be added to the newsletter list. I was a mormon for 12 years. I converted when I was 18. I married a returned missionary in the temple and had 3 wonderful children. Seeds of doubt were planted in me shortly after joining the church but, it was 12 years later, at a woman's conference that I realized the mistake I had made. I cannot remember the exact point the speaker was trying to make, just the sick feeling I had when I knew what I had lost over the last 12 years. It was a few months after that, that I was leaving Utah and heading back home to my parents with 3 children.

I grew up as a Christian but got pulled into a religion that is as dark as a night without a moon. Although I had already accepted God as my Savior, I never let that relationship grow on the inside. To others, I looked like a great Christian, but to God, I was a baby who was struggling in my relationship with Him. I caused a lot of heartbreak when I joined the mormon faith.

I am now enjoying a close, intimate, relationship with God. The incredible love He gives to me I cannot fully comprehend but finally accept it. I have grown enough to know that He is desiring that I go out and teach others about the real truth of Mormonism. I live in a small town in Georgia where the church is quickly growing. It is awesome to be able to share God's word with the youth who are being influenced like I was.

I want to thank you for the information you have on your website. It is a great help to me as I try to learn even more about he deceptions of the Mormon church. I am divorced with 3 children so my finances are limited. I cannot go out and buy the wonderful books that are out about the mormon cult. It is great to get the same information from your site.

God Bless you in all of your efforts to bring Mormons to Christ.

My prayers are with you.

Feb. 8, 2004

Subject: 'Achieving a Celestial Marriage'

I've been searching for this book for a little while now and noticed it on your site (via yahoo), but out of print. You wouldn't happen to have any ideas as to where I could find even a used copy of this book online would you?

[Sandra's Note: Try contacting one of the used book stores here in Salt Lake:

Benchmark Books

Ken Sanders Rare Books

Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore

It can sometimes be found at one of the LDS Church's thrift stores, Deseret Industries. Hope this helps.]

Feb. 9, 2004

Mrs. Tanner:

Thank-you for sending me information on Mormonism. It has come at a most important time. I have recently started a new job as an airline pilot . . . My flight trainer is a Mormon from Utah. I am beginning to build a relationship with him in hopes that after my training is over I may have the opportunity to speak to him regarding my views of Mormonism.

. . . Keep up the good fight. I will continue to pray for your ministry.

Love in Christ,

Feb. 9, 2004

Subject: First Vision Question

I had missionaries give me a copy of their pamphlet regarding the "Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith" - it contains today's version of the first vision. For me, this is a perfect example of how the Mormons believe what their church gives them for "today" - I know there is a ton of info regarding the inconsistencies of the first vision, but what can I refer the missionaries to that they would not immediately disregard? Is the first vision account in Smith's handwriting in it's entirety available from BYU? Is this accepted by them as "true" history?

Thanks for your help,

[Sandra's Note: We sell a set of photos, taken from LDS books: First Vision Photocopies.

LDS bookstores, like Deseret Book www.deseretbook.com, sell Personal Writings of Joseph Smith by Dean Jessee, published by Deseret Book. It has the 1832 account on pp.10-11—with photo of handwriting on p.17. The two 1835 accounts are on p.105 and p.112-113. His 1838 draft is on p.229-232. The Wentworth account is on p.242.

We also have a photo online of Joseph Smith's Handwritten First Vision.]

Feb. 9, 2004

Dear Jerald and Sandra:

. . . have you read this critique of your work? And if you have have you posted some form of a response to it?


"Jerald and Sandra Tanner's Distorted View of Mormonism: A Response to Mormonism--Shadow or Reality?"

[Sandra's Note: Yes. See our newsletter #39 Messenger: Ambushing the Tanners, and our book, Answering Dr. Clandestine: A Response to the Anonymous LDS Historian.]

Feb. 11, 2004

Dear Tanners,

I am 27 years of age, I am Catholic and just broke up with my Mormon girlfriend that I have been dating since last May. . . . I have read some books on Mormonism: "A Tale of Two Cities, Mormons - Catholics" by Rev. William Taylor, "Mormonism Unmasked," "The Mormon Conspiracy," "The Facts on the Mormon Church." I am trying to reconcile things with her. We promised each other if it did not work out, we would try to be friends. From time to time, I was tough on her when it came to Mormonism. How would you recommend that I approach the problems with Mormonism when we talk in the future?

[Sandra's Note: You might want to order our set of photos called Godhead and Virgin Birth Photocopies. These will help you demonstrate that the LDS leaders are teaching some very false doctrines. You could even just hand her the photos and ask her to read through them and then discuss with you these teachings.

Or maybe you could call Deseret Book at 801-328-8191 and order the book Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith by Newell and Avery. They are two LDS women historians so one can't charge them with being 'anti' Mormon. However, their book tells about Smith's involvement with magic when he meets Emma, how they had to elope since her dad objected to her marrying a guy with no visible means of support, how Smith took extra wives and how Emma struggled with that. In other words, it tells a lot of their embarrassing history but never says Smith was a false prophet. You could give it to her with the challenge that if she is seriously going to follow Joseph Smith and Mormonism she ought to at least read how it got started. We can't go on feelings or what we felt after prayer, unless it squares with what Jesus and the apostles taught (see Gal. 1:8-9).

Another good book to give her would be An Insider's View of Mormon Origins by Palmer, a retired LDS Institute of Religion director.]

Feb. 12, 2004

Subject: Brigham Young on plants having souls

I've heard that Young taught that plants (and animals?) have souls. Would you please direct me to the book or verse where this is stated?

God Bless you and thanks

[Sandra's Note: I think you are referring to something Orson Pratt said—see The Seer, p.33-34, 37-38 and p.102-103. We quote this at the back of our book, Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? p. 561.

Here is a discussion of this from Sunstone Mag., July 1986:

'Question: Is Sexual Gender Eternal?'

. . . Sexual identity after the resurrection is implied by the Mormon concept of 1) a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother, who have begotten our spirit in their image (Messages of the First Presidency 4:203; Wilcox, Sunstone 5:9-15, 1980), and 2) our capacity to become like them after resurrection. Indeed, the epitome of exaltation to Mormons is "eternal lives, meaning that in the resurrection they have eternal [spiritual progeny]" (Mormon Doctrine, 1st ed., p. 220).

According to this theology, sexual gender after the resurrection is essential because "[God] created man, as we create our children; for there is no other process of creation in heaven, in the earth, or under the earth or in all eternities" (Brigham Young, J[ournal of] D[iscourses] 11:122; see also JD 6:101; 16:376). Indeed, Apostle Orson Pratt went so far as to assign post-resurrection sexual reproduction to all living things: "the spirits of both vegetables and animals are the offspring of male and female parents which have been raised from the dead" (The Seer, p. 38). Heber C. Kimball went further, assigning spiritual gender and sexual reproduction in inanimate objects like the earth: "The earth has a spirit as much as any body has a spirit" (JD 5:172). "Where did the earth come from? From its parent earths" (JD 6:36). Kimball indeed understood the interaction in this life between farmer and mother earth to be a type of sexual congress resulting in the "conception" of plants: "Does this earth conceive? It does, and it brings forth. If it did not, why do you go and put your wheat into the ground? Does it not conceive it? But it does not conceive except that you put it there. It conceives and brings forth, and you and I live" (JD 6:36). In modern times John Widtsoe states with more reserve:

"[Sex] is an eternal quality which has its equivalent everywhere. It is indestructible. The relationship between men and women is eternal and must continue eternally" (A Rational Theology, p. 69).

However, "only resurrected and glorified beings can become parents of spirit offspring" (The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve, in Man: His Origin and Destiny, p. 129). When questioned as to how the lower kingdoms would be kept from cohabitation, Joseph Fielding Smith responded that "the privileges of increase or cohabitation between men and women in these kingdoms would be impossible because of peculiar conditions pertaining to these glories" (Answers to Gospel Questions, 4:64:67). Smith based this interpretation on Orson Pratt's teaching in The Seer (p. 274) that "there will be several lasses of resurrected bodies: ... each of these classes will differ from others by prominent and marked distinctions." [Joseph Fielding] Smith interpreted Pratt's "marked distinctions" to be the absence of sex organs and sexual gender in the lower kingdoms:

"I take it that men and women will, in [the Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms], be just what the so-called Christian world expects us to be-neither man nor woman, merely immortal beings having received the resurrection" (Doctrines of Salvation 2:287-288).

(Sunstone 10:11/39, July 1986)]

Feb. 12, 2004

Subject: Letter to the editor

please consider posting this on your website.

To all Mormons:

I am sick and tired of your unfounded claims and attacks on the work of this organization [Utah Lighthouse]. It is amazing, truly amazing to see that Hitler and other Nazi's are baptized (proxy) into the LDS church, yet the Tanners are labeled the 'sons of perdition,' condemned to hell, and someone (November – Letters to the Editor) even regrets that he or she will not be able see the tanners in hell, as it were. Was it not the Apostle Paul who said that it is not God's desire to that any should perish, but that all would come to Christ?

Please take note:

Several churches are persecuted. Really persecuted! Not the schmansy, pansy prosecution referred to by many LDS, but rather beaten, tortured, raped, and killed for their religion. Please refrain from such ignorance as to imply that the LDS church is the only persecuted church. Objections and questions of fundamental inconsistencies hardly qualify as persecution.

The argument that the tanners are somehow getting rich from their ministry is unfounded and appears to be a desperate attempt to discredit their work. If you have to make those allegations, do the honorable thing: present verifiable documentation. While you are at it, also present how much Hinckley and the other General Authorities make.

Who is attacking whom? Is it not written in the LDS scriptures that the LDS church is the only true church--and that all others are an abomination? According to LDS scripture, are not Black people descendants of the cursed who did not fight valiantly in the pre-existence, so called? Are not the Native Americans to strive to become a "white and delightsome people?"

Shame on whom? What is this 'shame on you' taunt? Who is sending thousands of missionaries into the world to proselytize? Tearing down other religions while building yours up. No? Are not all other religions an abomination? Would Christ spend his time tearing down other people's religions? Accusing them of being destitute of authority? Come on now; let's be reasonable. Yes, Christ absolutely tore down religion, tradition, and false doctrines. Go find out what that means and then bring forth your accusations.

Who is deceived? Is it those that do their own research or those who are spoon-fed? Are not LDS asked if they have anti-Mormon material, or if they are sympathetic to any anti-Mormon groups? By the way, what is anti-Mormon? Anything that questions the LDS doctrines appears to be anti-Mormon, regardless whether it is true or not. Just because it is "anti-Mormon" doesn't necessarily mean that is anti truth. Circular referencing is a perfect system for censorship well mastered by the LDS church. Cursed is the man who puts his faith in man.

Disclaimer? I am a member of the LDS church, quite frankly an embarrassed member. Some of you wont believe it so I will disclose that I am a member of the Farmington Ward, in Hillsboro Oregon. Go ahead and call me an apostate, or someone who never really believed, or a deceived son of perdition, or whatever colorful euphemisms you may wish to conjure up. The fact is, that I doubt that most of you have put more time, energy and study into the scriptures as I have. No, I don't mean to boast, just pointing out the fact that I have invested long hours of study into the LDS scriptures for well over 10 years. The result? The Bible and the Book of Mormon are mutually exclusive. The Mormon church is incompatible with the Bible. The BOM is easily discredited, and the Bible is rock solid. Hey, I dare you to put serious study into it. Cry out to Jesus Christ to reveal himself to you, and you will find what I have found; true peace.

If you are LDS, prepare yourself to defend your faith. When you find out that it cannot be defended, cry out the Lord and he will show you the true deep and hidden things, things that you have not known. Things that religion, tradition, legalism and endless genealogies cannot reveal.

Yes, my name is next to be removed from the LDS archives.

Feb. 13, 2004

Subject: joseph smith

My wife and I have an opportunity to discuss the Mormon faith with her daughter and son in law who are active in the Mormon church. My wife has recently recognized the fact that Mormonism is a false faith and has resigned her membership.

We want to have this discussion in a manner that does not destroy their relationship. They were upset when thy learned of her decision, but asked what she had learned that led to her decision. Since this is an opportunity to present the true Christian faith, we want to be well prepared and not allow the discussion to go astray with a lot of comments that are not supported.

. . . We want to start by examining Joseph Smith and the information that discredits his status as a profit. Are there any books, pamphlets, documents, etc. that summarize this issue. Any information must be supported with specific references to Mormon writings and contrasted to specific biblical references, if appropriate.

. . . Please provide recommendations on literature you think may be helpful. We will gladly stand the cost of literature that we select.

Thank you in advance for your kind assistance

In Christ

[Sandra's Note: You might want to get the book An Insider's View of Mormon Origins and Where Does it Say That? Also, the set of photos called Godhead and Virgin Birth Photocopies, First Vision Photocopies.

Many of the LDS books referenced are on the LDS Church CD-ROM called GospeLink 2001. It contains the entire Journal of Discourses, plus dozens of other LDS titles. GospeLink can be purchased at most LDS book stores.

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

Any printouts from GospeLink would be valid to a Mormon as their own church puts out the program.]

Feb. 13, 2004

Subject: RE: FW: On Seeing God

My wife and I [saw the] Interview with Gordon B. Hinckley, President and Prophet of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. During this time my testimony of the truthfulness of the church was reasonably strong. During the interview . . . President Hinckley [was asked] about the "God was once and Man and Man can become a God" doctrine. . . . President Hinckley's answer disturbed me greatly. President Hinckley basically avoided the entire question much in the same manner as a politician. He said something to the effect of "we don't know much about that doctrine and I don't know if that is taught today". He basically lied and then brushed the question off. I remember thinking that "the prophet had just lied". I mentioned something to my wife about it and it did not disturb her in the same way it did me. I remember thinking "how could the prophet lie?".

Today I look back and I am very thankful that Gordon Hinckley answered the question the way he did. It was one of many things that prompted me to reevaluate my belief in the church. It helped start me down a path towards truth and a living and vibrant relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I look back and I now know why Gordon Hinckley answered the question the way he did. He is just a man! He is not leading "Christ's Church upon the earth". He is trying to lead a "man-made" organization on the earth today. He is trying to make the pull of a public relations stunt!! He wants the public to believe that the Mormon Church is just another Christian Church. Therefore, he wants to avoid discussing anything in public that may make the church appear out of the Christian mainstream. What was telling to me is how just a few weeks later, he addressed members of the Church who were concerned that maybe he didn't know about the "God was once a man and man can become a God" doctrine. When addressing them he said something to the effect of "some are concerned by recent statements that I made. They think these statements show that I don't know the doctrines of the church very well. Don't worry, brothers and sisters, I know the doctrines of the church very well". Basically, he is being a typical business/public relations hound and politician. He doesn't want to damage the church publicly and he wants to please the church members privately. If that means lying then he will do it. It's also know as "Lying for the Lord". . . .

God Bless!!

[Sandra's Note: A discussion of Hinckley's statements can be read at http://www.irr.org/MIT/hinckley.html]

Feb. 14, 2004

Subject: Lorenzo Dow Young Descendant

Hi there, I am a direct descendant of Brigham's Brother, Lorenzo Dow Young. My grandmother is Flora May Young. I am also a direct descendant of another prominent mormon polygamist, Benjamin Franklin Johnson. I have recently read his autobiography "My Life's Review."

I don't know much about you or tapestry against polygamy. I have only read a few paragraphs from a few articles on your web site. So far it sounds like the same old "mindless, dogmatic [anti-mormon] diatribes" I have heard all my life.

I am a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, . . . . I seldom respond to "anti-mormon" stuff. I have read most of the arguments against "mormonizm" and as you may imagine I am not oblivious to the practice of polygamy in the early Church or the continued practice of it by the poster children for castration in places like colorado city, hildale etc. . . . Some of what I read on your website sounds like what I've heard from the pligs in colorado city. (I went to school with a girl whose family escaped from that hell hole) I have my beliefs.

I will not practice polygamy unless the law of the land allows it and I am sure it is a moral thing for me to do. At this point in my life I am sure I am NOT supposed to practice polygamy. . . . The members of the Church that I have questioned on this subject understand what was taught by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and others and have basically the same view that I do.

I have not specifically seen anything in the Church manuals that deny the reality of polygamy in the past or the doctrine by which it was practiced. I will admit it is not on the front page of every lesson but I have not found any gross inacuracies upon the subject. I can see why you rail against polygamy. I would very much like to see the wrath of God poured out on those who would force a underage girl to mary some old kermudgeon. While I grew up in Utah and attended Hurricane High School I thought about what it would be like to facilitate the demise of Leroy Johnson (the so called prophet at that time of the church of the first born in Col. City).

It's getting late and I'm probably waisting time. Unless you have something besides the same old "dietribes" that I have heard spouted all my life by others, don't bother to reply. If you want help cleaning up the perverted practice of polygamy by the fringe morons I'm all for it but if all you want to do is shoot birdshot at anything related to the "mormons" you're stuck in the mud and you are just as short-sighted as the pligs that think they have the true church

Feb. 14, 2004

Subject: i am leaving the lds church

dear sir or ms

My name is _____, after being in the lds church for 20 years I too have seen things the outside world is not allow to see :

1- if you don't go to their church - i got calls and visits at all hours to break me but they didn't know me that well - i will not give in.

2- false history or out right lies that they call true.

3- i can backup what you said about the temple - it is true. . . .

pray for me.


Feb. 14, 2004

Thank You for this great site! I have a 13 year old from a previous marriage and I want to include him in our record removal letter. I have full legal custody of him. Will the church still make me get a permission slip from his biological father? Any info you can give will be greatly appreciated! Thanks for this beautiful site!

[Sandra's Note: I would think that since you have full custody that you have the sole right on determining his church membership. You probably would have to explain this to the bishop.]

Feb. 15, 2004

I have the chance to ask a Jew converted Mormon a few questions about Mormonism. What do you think are one or two questions that would be good to ask that would be unique to a Jewish convert?


[Sandra's Note: I guess I would ask him about priesthood and the book of Hebrews. Mormons aren't from Aaron, even if they were, that priesthood came to an end and Christ is the only High Priest.

Also, he had to go from believing in one God who is eternal to believing in multiple gods. Ask if he has read Smith's sermons on god like the King Follet Sermon and Plurality of Gods Sermon. How could he accept the idea that God was once a man who progressed to godhood?]

Feb. 16, 2004

Subject: Tithing

Dear Sir/Madam

I have just left the Church (LDS) after 30+ years and feel like I'm a real fool in believing in a church with a history such as it has.

Being in Western Australia it is not always easy to find out to much about the church history other than on the internet; but have always been told stay away from the anti-Mormon pages, these are wicked people who run them, just follow the your leaders and you will be saved, and all the other cliches that go with the church.

My concern is that I have been ripped off having paid so much Tithing over the years. Is there any way of claiming back this money?

Thank you for your great service that you have done for many people throughout the world.

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for your note. I don't think there is any way you can get the money back. Governments usually view your donations as something you did freely and out of their jurisdiction.]

Feb. 17, 2004

Subject: wedding questions

Dear Sandra,

Thank you for you ministry; I have been receiving your journals for many years and have learned SO much.

I would ask for some advice if you have time. Our ... daughter was baptized last week into the LDS church. She's not joining because of theological reasons, but because she wants to get married and an LDS guy has treated her right. She was raised in a very happy 2 parent home. We are evangelical Christians and she went to church with us all her life, and had professed to be a Christian. (Our church is not the legalistic type.) The irony of this whole thing is that we had Mormon neighbors 20 years ago and I did 2 years of study on Mormonism so I could intelligently talk with the Mom in this family. Our children were the same ages; I liked her very much and we had a lot in common. I think I probably I know more about Mormonism than most Mormons, and our daughter knows that. I have shared some of my concerns with her, but she "feels it is right"; "she knew it from the beginning" when the missionaries came to her. She informed us via e-mail 10 hours before, that she was getting baptized and invited us to come.

Besides massive prayer, do you have any other suggestions? We did not go to the baptism; her brother and his wife did. Do we attend a wedding? Do we pay for it? To me this is a funeral, not a wedding. Thankfully the guy wants to wait a year before getting married.

Thank you so much,

[Steve's Note: In addition to praying for your daughter you could possibly ask her if she believes in the doctrines that make Mormonism so different from Christianity. You might be able to do this by showing her quotes from various LDS authorities that she may be unaware of and then ask if she agrees with it or not. An example of this would be Joseph Smith's famous King Follet Sermon. In this sermon Joseph Smith taught that God has not always been God but had to become God. This obviously leads to the unchristian teaching that there are other greater gods than "our" God. She needs to be exposed to the fact that although the LDS Church is presenting itself as a Christian church, its teachings are very distinct and irreconcilable with the teachings of Christian churches everywhere.

As for her upcoming wedding, in my opinion you can attend her wedding to show her that you love her without agreeing with the LDS church's teachings. If she is getting married in an LDS temple then you will be excluded anyway. This fact alone (that the LDS church excludes non-Mormons from being a part of the marriage of loved ones) will communicate that you are not in agreement with her regarding her church's teachings and that they are the ones who are separating families and betraying their professed claim that the family is centrally important.

Keep on praying and demonstrating God's love to them and you may find yourself with the "earned right" to share your faith with them. Finally, you may be helped by reading the paper Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints.

The Lord's Blessings to you and all you love.]

Feb. 17, 2004

.... Your website is my main source for information ... Do you have any suggestions for me on how I might be able to get my hands on some sacred undergarments? I can't even find a decent picture of one to show my class. There was a pair on Ebay that I thought I might bid on but as I watched them they went from $1.00 to $1000.01! That is no joke! When the auction got up to 53.00 or so, someone put in a bid for $1000.00 and that was that! Do you think that somebody didn't want those sold to the general public? HMMMM ... I just really want my class to be able to see the masonic symbols on the chest and knee of the garments. ...

God Bless,

[Sandra's Note: There are pictures on this page—http://www.mormonismi.net/english.html

However, the small stitching of the symbols doesn't show up very well. You might find this article of interest: http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,590043770,00.html.]

Feb. 17, 2004

Sandra Tanner

In your book, The Changing World of Mormonism, you write of 18 chapters of Isaiah in the BOM. Is it complete chapters or bits and pieces? . . . Any info would be great. Your web page have answered many of my questions. We don't want to lose anymore souls to Mr. Smith. Thanks for your help.

[Sandra's Note: There is a chart at the back of the book Use of the Old Testament in the Book of Mormon, by Wesley Walters, p.211. Here is a brief list.

1 Nephi 20 = Isa ch. 48
1 Nephi 21 = Isa ch. 49
2 Ne 7 = Isa 50
2 Ne 8 = Isa 51 & part 52
2 Ne 12-24 = Isa 2-24
2 Ne 27 = Isa 29:6-24 ]

Feb. 18, 2004

Subject: Outstanding site

Thank you for the outstanding material you have provided. I am married to a Mormon; I guess I would label myself agnostic. My point is that until now, I have been unable to find information that clearly displays the flaws in the Mormon doctrine. Your site provides information that is as close to objective as one can get when dealing with such a decisive issue.


Feb. 18, 2004

Subject: Deseret News & The White Salamander Letter

Dear Tanners:

I remember hearing of bombings and reading about the White Salamander letter in the Church News sitting in a dumpy apartment while serving as a Mormon missionary in ... Japan in 1985-86. I was wondering if the content of the letter... is available somewhere. ... I was struck by the attempt to make the content of the letter fit perfectly in the vernacular of the times. ...

Thank you.

[Sandra's Note: You can read our book Tracking the White Salamander online.

Also see Topical Index: Hofmann, Mark for more information.]

Feb. 18, 2004

Dear Utlm,

I wanted to drop a quick note to say thank you for all that you have done over the years. I left the Church in 1989 along with my late wife... We made a pilgrimage of sorts to your ministry in the early 90's. I am a former temple Mormon, Returned missionary who has a huge family still in the Church. I have grown weary of the "fight". I have fought the battle with love and patience, never fighting and I am still accepted in my family, but I believe they think I will someday return. Perusing your website and material give me hope that one day a seed will be planted or maybe already has that may save them. I feel is growing late.

Thank you again,

Feb. 19, 2004

Jerald & Sandra Tanner

I have been raised Mormon, and all of my life have tried to live up to the standards which I have been taught. I have spent some time reviewing the information on your website, and have learned several interesting things. I just have one question. If the gospel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not true, what is? I do not mean for this to be an arrogant rhetorical question. I am sincerely seeking the truth about many things in my life. The teachings of the Mormon church are deep rooted in my life, if it is not true, I do not know what I will do.

Thank you for your time in reading my concern. I await your reply.


[Steve's Note: Thank you for the courage to express to us the fact that you are sincerely asking questions about your faith. I would encourage you to look into the facts surrounding the life of Jesus Christ. There is compelling evidence to believe that he is who he claimed to be and that you can have a relationship with him and through him you can have eternal life. There are several good books we offer that may help you to examine the evidence for Jesus and the Bible. They are:

May I encourage you to keep asking the tough questions that your faith demands and to find a church which unashamedly teaches salvation through Christ's finished work alone and the authority and reliability of the Bible.]

Feb. 19, 2004

Subject: Curious!!!

I don't have the knowledge that you obviously have on this subject, but isn't it possible that the papyrus that you claim Joseph Smith wrote The Book of Abraham from is a complete different set of manuscripts than the papyrus that Joseph Smith actually had to perform this translation. Or is it fact that the papyrus you have is the exact papyrus that Joseph Smith used to translate The Book of Abraham? I hope that makes sense. Thanks for your info.

[Steve's Note: The evidence that the manuscripts are the same ones that Joseph Smith used to create the Book of Abraham is strong. First, the provenance of the manuscripts found at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC can be traced back to Joseph Smith himself. Furthermore, they have drawings of the temple design and a map of the Kirtland area on the backsides of them. Some of this can be seen in the January 1968 issue of the Improvement Era magazine. Finally, current scholars of Egyptian studies such as Dr. Robert Ritner of the Oriental Institute in Chicago gives ample evidence that the papyri are in fact the ones that Joseph Smith was using and that his "translation" does not hold up under objective scrutiny. See "THE BREATHING PERMIT OF HÔR" AMONG THE JOSEPH SMITH PAPYRI (.pdf) by Robert Ritner.

Also see Changing World, Chapter 11.]

Feb. 19, 2004

... My husband is a Christian pastor. Every time we visit my parents . . . my uncle, a former bishop, asks how come we have so much money (HAHAHAHAHA) to travel out to see them. I have answered in a number of ways, realizing that his assumption of my husband being in the employ of Satan is from the Temple ceremonies [pre-1990 versions]. After 20 years this is getting old. I have not responded to him on the basis of not wanting to offend by talking about a "sacred" aspect of his life. Any ideas of how to respond next time?

Also, my sister makes jokes about how she will not say grace unless someone pays her. This happened only once when all the family was there and I didn't want to make a scene since I didn't know where for sure this was coming from. Again, to me this is in reference to an idea of superiority since they do not pay their bishops. Do I have a normal mormon family or what?

Thanks again for your help. My church doesn't know the culture . . . and there is no one to talk to about some of this stuff.

Thanks for your prayers. They are precious to me.

[Sandra's Note: Sounds like you have an insensitive family. I don't think all Mormons would be that rude. They usually want to appear as the 'loving ones' and try to sound accepting, even if they talk about you behind your back.

If they bring up the salary issue again you might joke that you will be happy to share your W2 form with them if they can show you one from their apostles or prophet, since they receive a 'modest living allowance.' See FAQ General: Do the LDS leaders receive a salary?.]

Feb. 19, 2004

Dear Sandra,

For some time I wanted to send you a personal letter and thank you for all the help your hard work in Mormon history has given me in my personal life. I married a man who lived a few miles from Cardson, Alberta, Canada, we got married in the Cardston temple and had seven children.

Since the area was pioneered by 19th century polygamists quite a few contemporaries still believed the doctrine, [my husband] being one of them. I wrestled with the doctrine for many years, I even asked for a High Council meeting and an opinion about the matter since my husband continuously befriended other women with their children talking all the time about "the true doctrine."

I used your book of polygamy in the High Council meeting and was forbidden to have "apostate material" — it reminded me of the catholics and the Inquisition in Vienna. After 29 years we got a divorce and I left the LDS church.

Since then I acquired quite a collection of your letters and publications as you were recommended to me by Dr. Lowell Bennion. In 1967 he was the student advisor at the U. and taught a class on "sociology and Religion." He gave me your name in a private conversation upon my request for more sources for research in religion. Apparently he valued your integrity and dedication for the facts. . . . For me you are an example of integrity on all areas of life. May the Lord bless you, and Jerald and your family!


Feb. 19, 2004

Subject: Can Satan copy the fruit of the spirit?

I often hear mormons state that Satan CANNOT copy the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians, therefore, they state that when they pray about the book of mormon, they know its true because satan CANNOT copy the feelings that the Holy Ghost provides as described in Galatians, so, how do you respond to this particular statement they make about that?

[Steve's Note: This is an argument which does not address the real issue at hand. Regardless of whether or not Satan could copy the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit is not a set of feelings about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon (or any other book for that matter). The fruit of the Spirit is a set of actions that characterize your life. These traits which ultimately are produced in us as believers are the result of God working through us. This is in contrast to what would characterize our lives if lived according to the desires of our sinful nature. Paul lists those traits in verses 19-21. This is the context of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians.

The Book of Mormon should be decided upon not based on feelings but on whether the evidence presented will stand up to a thorough investigation of the facts. This is what those in the city of Berea did when the apostle Paul came to them proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. They did not pray about it but rather they "searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11) As a result the believers were called "noble." We may pray as we study out things for ourselves that God will give us the ability to understand what we are studying and the discernment to recognize error from truth. However, we should not pray to God so that He will reveal the truthfulness of it to us but should instead use our minds to determine truth. This is a subtle but important difference.]

Feb. 19, 2004


We are Christians. My daughter wants to marry a "very nice mormon" who presently doesn't attend a church. He spent a year at BYU and seems to know everything about the mormon religion and is very intelligent.

She knows it is wrong...But I need an answer as to why mormonism is so wrong to give her and possibly him even though he truly believes its another testament of Jesus Christ.

Maybe a suggestion for an easy reading book you might have that would help.

Thank you for your time,

[Steve's Note: You may want to start to talk to your daughter using some of the information that is on our Online Resources page.

The most popular are Terminology Differences, LDS View of God Contradicts the Bible, and Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints.

You may also be helped by the book A Christian Woman's Guide to Understanding Mormonism: A Practical and Relational Approach. Your daughter may be helped by reading Out of Mormonism.]

Feb. 20, 2004

Subject: Journal of Discourses

Can you please tell me if it is still possible to get a copy of the ‘Journal of discourses' and if so, how much and how to order? ...


[Sandra's Note: The 26 vol. set of Journal of Discourses is out of print. A used set (photo reprint, not originals) would cost over $400-600. And there aren't too many sets that even come up on the used book market. It is in a number of college libraries, like the University of Utah, BYU, etc.

If you want to contact a used book store try one of these:

The LDS Church puts out a CD-ROM called GospeLink 2001 that contains the entire Journal of Discourses, plus dozens of other LDS titles. GospeLink can be purchased at most LDS book stores.

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

Any printouts from GospeLink would be valid to a Mormon as their own church puts out the software.

The Journal of Discourses set is also on the New Mormon Studies CD-ROM. It's not affiliated with the LDS church and is a good source for research because it has many hard to find and out-of-print works on it. Personally, I use both of these CD-ROM's everyday for research.]

Feb. 20, 2004

Where is Joseph Smith buried? Thanks

[Steve's Note: Joseph Smith is buried in Nauvoo, Il. next to Hyrum and Emma Smith. This grave site is maintained by the Community of Christ Church (formerly known as The Reorganized LDS Church). A picture can be found at the following website address: http://www.mrm.org/photo-album/.]

Feb. 20, 2004

I was wondering if you know of, or if you have ever developed, a short list of books written by Mormons that can be effectively used in witnessing. Perhaps ones where pointed questions may be asked. I want to keep my shelf clean of what they may consider "Anti-Mormon" materials. But it appears to me that historical books by well respected Mormons such as Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, etc contain enough enourmous problems for a Mormon to be of extraordinary value for witnessing. Of course, I would rather pay a place like yours for books from a list like that than Deseret...

I currently have:

- Missionary Reference Library
- Gospel Doctrine by Joseph F Smith
- Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith by Joseph Fielding Smith
- Mormon Doctrine - McConckie

What other things would help? Do the old newspapers you sell indicate that they were sold by you?

They seem to have a lot of good witnessing points in them from what I read, but I don't want t give them any excuse for thinking that the content has been tampered with by "Anti-Mormons"...

I just got "In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith" from your ministry as it appears to be okay with the LDS church. At least Deseretbook.com sells it...

I will mark my Bom, D&C, PGP by going through "Christian Companion to the Triple Combination" I just received from you as well before giving it to the Pastor for the church library (I just don't want to keep around books by you or others that would be immediately identified as Anti-Mormon. They would all likely go to the church for others to use.).

Thank you for all you do,

[Sandra's Note: You might find the LDS CD-ROM GospeLink 2001 helpful. It has the whole 26 vol. set of Journal of Discourses, History of the Church, etc. on it. Since the church puts it out any crazy thing you find on it can't be labeled 'anti' Mormon. Here is their link:


You could use any of the books on our list, like our book Mormonism—Shadow or Reality?, to get references to look up on the LDS disc—like Brigham Young's sermons on blood atonement, polygamy, Adam-god, etc.

A helpful book for references is Where Does It Say That?]

Feb. 20, 2004

I recently completed 'The Poet and the Murderer' which detailed Mark Hoffmans deceptions. The early history of the Mormon movement with Joseph Smith and his hat, seer stone, magic goggles, and breastplate was fascinating and hilarious. I would be interested in knowing more about this aspect of the church as well as how a religion sprang from such curious beginnings.

[Sandra's Note: See Topical Index: Joseph Smith: Money-Digging and Magic

Good books:

Feb. 21, 2004

Subject: We're leaving Mormonism and need your help...

Dear Brother and Sister Tanner,

We've removed our names from the Mormon Church, but the emotional attachments are still there, how do I go about getting these feelings out of my head and heart?

I know that the Book of Mormon isn't true but my heart still says it is, why?

How can I explain the fact that my patriarchal blessing has come true thus far? . . .

This is the 2nd time I've taken our names off the roles of that Church, but the emotional ties to my TESTIMONY are still strong...I want to be rid of them once and for all, please help!

[Sandra's Note: A couple books that might help you are Out of the Cults and into the Church and Combating Cult Mind Control.

You might want to post on this ex-Mormon site:


Feelings can be very deceptive, like when a woman still loves a man who is really a jerk, and she knows it deep in her subconscious, but can't let go of the hope.

As for patriarchal blessings, they are usually fairly general, and would be true of most Mormons who followed the church. Look at mine here—LDS Patriarchal Blessings.]

Feb. 22, 2004

Subject: Bible disclaimer?

I was told that the Bible from the LDS church contains some sort of disclaimer at the beginning as to the credibility of it. I sent away for a KJV from the Mormon church and could not find any disclaimer. Can you explain this to me.


[Steve's Note: The disclaimer is not found in the KJV Bible that the LDS Church prints. It is found in their Articles of Faith within the Pearl of Great Price. It is the eighth article and it states "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." Notice that the Book of Mormon is not qualified as the Bible is. I hope this helps.]

Feb. 22, 2004

Subject: apologetics question

A friend referred me to your website. I haven't gone through it entirely but it looks great.

To be brief, I am engaged in a discussion . . . with a pro-polygamy Mormon. He is pretty nasty and maintains my "aversion" to it is culturally induced. Ahem. Anyway, he pulled up a couple of Exodus and Deuteronomy quotes which I did not find addressed on your website: Exodus 21:10 and Deuteronomy 21:15. So far I have responded that those are not instructions to commit polygamy but rather fair treatment of women in a society which viewed them as property.

Do you have any more suggestions?


[Steve's Note: Sounds like you are on the right track with your conversation. You may mention that polygamy came first in the Bible from Cain's wicked line through Lamech. (see Genesis 4:19) Not the best of basis for practicing polygamy since it clearly comes from the wicked and was not part of God's original intent as shown in Genesis 2:23-24. Even though many other people throughout the Bible were polygamous, the Bible shows the troubles that accompany polygamy. In the New Testament, Jesus and the apostles clearly teach a one man for one woman model.]

Feb. 23, 2004

Subject: Why?

I came across your page while looking up more information about the Book of Mormon.

May I respectfully ask why it is so important for you to try to blemish other Christian's faith, namely the Book of Mormon? This is a sacred record for people of the Mormon faith. . . .

. . . The Book of Mormon has to be read with spiritual eyes and that it is only then that they feel wonderful feelings that they have never felt before. I DID read the Book of Mormon with this attitude and found that they were exactly right. I have also furthered my studies by starting the series of The Work and the Glory which is a story about a fictional family in the 1800's. The author interlaces this family with the actual historical leaders of the Mormon church without changing the actual history of the real characters. It lays out the history of how the Mormon church was started and all the persecution they endured. Joseph Smith seemed to be an extremely kind and humble man. He even treated his enemies with respect. He came from a humble family who were very well respected.

Joseph Smith didn't write the Book of Mormon, it was given to him by an angel of God and then he translated it into English. It is documented and historical fact that he had no higher education, yet he translated the Book of Mormon in less than a year through the power of God. . . . I believe in the Bible, I have read it and especially love the four books of the gospel. The Mormons have additional truth to the Bible and they even have the restored priesthood of God just like when Christ walked the earth. They baptize by immersion and have a prophet and 12 disciples, just like Jesus Christ. They have temples and heal the sick and give the gift of the Holy Ghost to baptized individuals by the power of the holy priesthood by the laying on of hands. . . . .

I feel sorry for the Mormons of the 1800's. All kinds of lies were published about them and Joseph Smith. Groups and individuals sought to discredit Joseph and The Book of Mormon. They drove Mormons out of their homes, setting their houses on fires. Men, women and children were killed because of their beliefs. Young Joseph and his dedicated wife were constantly threatened and mistreated for their beliefs. And here you are in these modern days, still hanging on to the old plight of trying to discredit Joseph Smith and the Mormon faith. I ask you "why?" Why is it so important for you to do that? Why was it such an obsession in the 1800's and why is it an obsession with you now. . . . There is a promise in the Book of Mormon in Moroni 10:4. It says that we can know for ourselves whether or not the words therein are of God. . . .


[Sandra's Note: Why? Because we believe truth matters. Also, we are following Apostle Orson Pratt's admonition:

". . . convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of God, and we will be ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the pleasing reflection that you have been instruments in the hands of God of redeeming your fellow beings from the darkness which you may see enveloping their minds. Come, then, let us reason together, and try to discover the true light upon all subjects, connected with our temporal or eternal happiness; and if we disagree, in our judgments, let us impute it to the weakness and imperfections of our fallen natures, and let us pity each other, and endeavor with patience and meekness to reclaim from error, and save the immortal soul from an endless death." (The Seer, January, 1853, pp. 15-16)

Apostle Pratt also preached:

"This book [the Book of Mormon] must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most important messages ever sent from God to man, affecting both the temporal and eternal interests of every people under heaven to the same extent and in the same degree that the message of Noah affected the inhabitants of the old world. If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions who will sincerely receive it as the word of God, and will suppose themselves securely built upon the rock of truth until they are plunged with their families into hopeless despair.

"The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such, that if true, no one can possibly be save and reject it; if false, no one can possibly be saved and receive it. . . .

"If, after a rigid examination, it be found an imposition, it should be extensively published to the world as such the evidences and arguments on which the imposture was detected, should be clearly and logically stated, that those who have been sincerely yet unfortunately deceived, may perceive the nature of the deception, and be reclaimed, and that those who continue to publish the delusion, may be exposed and silenced, not by physical force, neither by persecutions, bare assertions, nor ridicule, but by strong and powerful arguments—by evidences adduced from scripture and reason." (tract "Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon," by Orson Pratt, 1850, p.1, published in Orson Pratt's Works) ]

Feb. 24, 2004

Subject: About LDS stocks

Hello, is it known what stocks or business they own so I can avoid that kind of brands and tell others to stop buying from those companys.

Best Regards _____ Sweden

Ps Keep on your good work

[Sandra's Note: It isn't that simple. The LDS Church owns stock in hundreds, if not thousands of various companies (like utilities—I can hardly turn off my electrical power or cut off the gas company). They don't own a department store anymore. They do own an insurance company, Beneficial Life. They own a number of TV and radio stations in the states. But, living in Sweden, it is very unlikely that you would have any business with a Mormon company.

The best current information on LDS finances is in the book, Mormon America, by Ostling.]

Feb. 24, 2004

What are the specific Mormon beliefs on divorce and adultery? If you could please let me know I would appreciate it.


[Sandra's Note: They are opposed to divorce and adultery. However, they allow for repentance and forgiveness for these. A Mormon who has committed adultery can gain forgiveness and full membership privileges after confession to the Bishop and a possible one year spiritual probation. One's standing after divorce would depend on the reason, but full forgiveness is possible.

The LDS Church website contains their manual Gospel Principles. Below is a link to the chapter on chastity. This might help explain their views.

http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,11-1-13-49,00.html ]

Feb. 24, 2004

Subject: Question on entering heaven


I just wanted to say thank you in advance for your answer. You have a very important ministry that many people overlook or overly criticize. You and I both know that you are touching the lives of many deceived members of the LDS church, and are helping those who have left the church discover what is biblical and fact, and what is not.

My question is: What happens if a man and woman marry in the temple, and the man becomes inactive within the church; isnt the man a necessary part of the woman entering the Celestial Kingdom? What will the womans role be if her husband isnt exalted?


[Sandra's Note: Exaltation requires both partners to remain devout LDS throughout their lives. If the wife stays faithful but the husband does not, she will be given the opportunity to be sealed to a faithful Mormon during the millennium. Since Mormons don't know what the ratio of men to women will be at that time it could possibly mean she would need to be sealed to some man who already had a wife.]

Feb. 24, 2004

Subject: mountain meadow's massacre

On your web site http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/meadows1.htm you list a quote from Brigham Young in which he apparently tells the people, "If any miserable scoundrels come here, cut their throats."

I am wondering why this is the only line taken from this talk, and why the full paragraph is not considered:

"It was asked this morning how we could obtain redress for our wrongs; I will tell you how it could be done, we could take the same law they have taken, viz., mobocracy, and IF ANY MISERABLE SCOUNDRELS COME HERE, CUT THEIR THROATS."

(All the people said, Amen.)

"This would be rooting out that treatment to wicked men, which they had measured to innocent persons. We could meet them on their own ground, when they will not honor the law, but will kill the Prophets and destroy the innocent. They could drive the innocent from their homes, take their houses and farms, cattle and goods, and destroy men, women, and children, walking over the laws of the United States, trampling them under their feet, and not honoring a single law. Suppose I should follow the example they have shown us, and say, "Latter-day Saints, do ye likewise, and bid defiance to the whole clan of such men?"

I would appreciate your response, and thank you for your time.

[Sandra's Note: The page you refer to is part of a book (Mountain Meadows Massacre) written by Josiah Gibbs in 1910. We merely put up the text of his entire book. He made the selection of quotes, not us.

However, in defense of Gibbs, there are plenty of early statements by church leaders referring to cutting people's throats. See our Topical Index: Blood Atonement.]

Feb. 25, 2004

... I was reading the bible a few days ago and came across a troubling passage. It is Luke 14:26-27. This seems in total conflict with the Commandment to honor thy father and thy mother. Is it possible that this passage has been mistranslated in some way. It seems to be in contradiction of a lot of the Saviours teachings. I hope you will have the time to review it and give me your interpretation of it...thank you so very much for all of your selfless help.

[Steve's Note: In this passage Jesus is using a figure of speech to communicate the fact that our ultimate loyalties must be with God above all others—even family. Here "love" and "hate" are used in place of the ideas of "choose" and "reject." This hyperbole is used to teach us that our love for our families should seem like hate when compared to our choice to be Jesus' disciple. It is our willingness to put Jesus ahead of all other considerations that must be acknowledged here.

There are several good books that can help you with passages that are difficult to understand or reconcile. They are: Hard Sayings of the Bible and Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties.]

Feb. 26, 2004

Subject: The Great Preisthood FUBAR

Dear Tanners,

I just thought it might be amusing to point out that the Mormons, by their own definitions of "Priesthood" and "who can receive it" has effectively negated all their rights to said Priesthood pre-September 30, 1978.

Because a) the House of Manassah (or was it Ephram?) holds the Preisthood in the latter days (according to Mormon doctrine). and b) All black/african men and their decendents shall be barred from the Priesthood (according to Mormon doctrine). The Brigham Young fellow missed the part about Joseph [in Genesis] marrying an Egyptian woman, or the fact that the same egyptian woman was the mother of both Ephram and Manassah. ... Whoopsy.

Feb. 26, 2004

Dear Friends,

I have 2 question re the LDS.

1. In their statistical reports, they mention an annual increase of up to 300,000. That includes whom? Their many children? Converts? Baptized members? Proxy baptisms?

2. Since LDS theology is strong on families, what role do singles play? Assume that a 50 year old female become a Mormon. How can she ever hope to end up in the 3. Estate or the Celestial Kingdom?

I thank you in advance for your help.

[Sandra's Note: 1.The 300,000 refers to the number of converts baptized in a year. This would not include the number of children baptized from member families that year or any proxy baptisms.

2. Singles can feel very left out of the LDS community since everything centers on the family and eternal marriage. However, if a single LDS person doesn't find another good Mormon to marry but stays faithful to the church his/her whole life he/she will be given the opportunity to marry a Mormon during the millennial reign of Christ. If there are not enough men to go around this may mean some single women would have to accept being a plural wife.]

Feb. 26, 2004

Do you possibly have a photo reprint of the Book of Commandments with the changes made to it when compared to the Doctrine & Covenants of today?

[Sandra's Note: The most extensive photos of the changes, where you have an actual photo of the Book of Commandments and the changes noted on the side, are in our book Case Against Mormonism, Vol. 1. However, this is not a photo reprint of the ENTIRE Book of Commandments, only certain pages.

The book The Joseph Smith Revelations Text & Commentary lists all the changes, but it does not have a photo reprint of the Book of Commandments—just typed text.

A photo reprint of the Book of Commandments without the changes marked is, Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol. 2.]

Feb. 27, 2004

Subject: Mormom beliefs of blacks

i met a co-worker who says he is a mormom who is black. i was shocked. i have always thought that they thought blacks as been less than them, and blacks could not hold situation postions in they church. and even a difference in heaven. could you help me with infromation about the mormom in regard to the false racial beliefs.

thanks for the help

[Sandra's Note: Blacks could not hold the LDS priesthood until 1978. Since then thousands of blacks have joined. Many, if not most, do not know about the earlier racist statements of Mormon leaders.

See: Topical Index: Racism.]

[Web-editor: Also see our latest newsletter and book:

Feb. 27, 2004

i have a question, is there any dna evidence that supports the book of mormon. i have stumbled on to some lds websites and they say they have dna evidence, i was wondering if it is true.

[Steve's Note: According to the best information that we have seen there is no DNA evidence that would support the Book of Mormon. Experts in the field for diverse backgrounds and points of view all agree that there is no evidence that links Native Americans with Jewish ancestry. Anyone can make claims such as these. However, before they could be accepted they would need to be put before independent scholars who are experts in the field for review and verification. This type of across the board consensus does not exist when it comes to the Book of Mormon and its claim of historicity.

See the chapter "Lamanite Genesis, Genealogy, and Genetics," by Thomas W. Murphy, in American Apocrypha: Essays on the Book of Mormon, and the video DNA vs. The Book of Mormon.]

Feb. 27, 2004


I have a real problem with Mormonism.. especially about their practices whereby covenants are made with dead people through their ordinance ceremonies. I totally disagree with this, and have found that many of my forebears have been entered into their church database.

I disagree with the information being added that only helps for their religion to grow.

Can you tell me the process that I need to go through to get these records removed from their database? I read that Adolph Hitler was married into their church. How crazy was that?


[Sandra's Note: Sorry, I don't think there is anything you can do to stop the Mormons doing temple work for deceased members of your family. You could write a letter to the editor of your newspaper, though, and tell of the problem. Since the LDS Church is so PR conscious maybe bad publicity is the answer.]

Feb. 28, 2004

Subject: the cult's businesses....


I am very anti-lds, and believe its a cult/business. Having lived in this cult state for 8 1/2 years, and having a "meet the public" job, it seems to me, the lower and middle lds "active" members, are true believers in their cult beliefs.

To me, one of the best ways of weakening the power of the so-called church, is to "make public", all the businesses the church owns. As you know, they do like to keep this information quiet. They have some businesses under Zions Corp, Deseret Management, and others. I am always doing research on their businesses, and am keeping a spreadsheet on them. Do you have information on this also? ...

Also, did you know, that money "tithing" sent to the cult, does not have to be spent on non-profit areas. That money can be used for "start up" businesses, and salaries, etc., and unfortunately, its legal.

[Sandra's Note: Sorry, all we have on LDS finances is the information in Mormon America by Ostling.]

Feb. 28, 2004

Thanks for the work you're doing in your site, it has been a great help to my wife and I. As a result of reading the info my wife and I have now resigned as members of the church. I had been involved in the church since my family joined when I was 5. At 16 I became inactive and was excommunicated at age 21. I was re-baptized later and have spent my adult life drifting in and out of the church.

I have a problem however, I'd like to share the truths i've found with my mother, who is still an active member of the church but she's in her 70's now and has a heart condition, since my father died the church has been all she's had. Therefore i'm worried that it could have an adverse effect on her. Any advice on how to go about sharing the truth with her? or would it be better to leave her be? May the Lord bless you and what you do,

[Steve's Note: You could share your own experience with your mother and the things that you have found. We have a helpful info sheet online called Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints.

One of the wonderful things of the Christian message for everyone to hear is that there is no one who is beyond the love of God. God desires to reach all of us with his love and to have us come to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his finished work for us on the cross to give us the gift of eternal life in the very presence of God. Praise God that he allows each of us the privilege of sharing his redeeming love with those around us.]

Feb. 29, 2004

Subject: i'm leaving the lds church


i wanted to let you know i'm leaving the LDS church - not only are they liers but they will make up things and then call it god truth. they think works will save them - are they in for a surprize . well i hear about you when i was in the church - what they said about you is wrong - love your web site and my prayers are with you.

Feb. 29, 2004

Could you tell me if the LDS church believes that Jesus was married? Thank you

[Steve's Note: Yes, in the past the LDS Church taught that Jesus was in fact married and was a polygamist. You can find more information about this in Changing World: Chapter 9 "God and Christ Polygamists?" You can also find additional information on our site under Topical Index: Polygamy.]

Feb. 29, 2004

Subject: Lutheran husband-Mormon wife won't budge need help

I have sent for several things from you and downloaded a ream of things from various places my wife says are ANTI-Mormon. She won't look at them because they are all untrue. I have had 3 sessions with her Bishop to ask questions. Jesus was born in Jerusalem...and you were right the standard answer was given...it is like a suburb of another city...I even had emails from the governments of Israel, Palestine, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem saying that it wasn't. Then the missionary that was with the Bishop, and my Mormon wife, said that it "was a mistake" saying that the Book of Mormon was compiled by man, and transposed by man, that there are going to be mistakes.

The second question about the FIRST story of the First Vision, by J. Smith, the Bishop said that you need to pray and have faith, and there was two parsonages, Jesus and God. The Bishop went on the say, "It is like I am outside of my office here, and I am talking to one person, and that person is talking to me, but there are several other people around me." My wife believes what he said. I then said that if you were 16 and you got a visit by God and Jesus, wouldn't you remember how many there were? The Bishop went in the "have faith and pray" and the wife said I even had to get on my knees. ... They have totally brainwashed my wife. I admit that I should have questioned this before, and I have attended her church many times. ...

Feb. 29, 2004

We are believers who have friends that are Mormon. We believe that we are their project, and desire to convert us. Rest assured, we are grounded in our faith and will not be persuaded. We also have a network of family and friends keeping us accountable through this process.

We were very encouraged by your website. You offer wonderful information on many aspects of Mormonism. My husband and I have learned a great deal through your website. What is the simplest, most direct approach to sharing the gospel with temple Mormons who know their doctrine, etc. very well? (We think that the husband could be the ward president in our hometown.) We want to focus on Christ, and not get caught up in the arguments that could quickly develop. Any advice you could offer would be helpful. Thanks again for your ministry. May the Lord strengthen you as you seek to glorify Him!

[Steve's Note: You may want to refer to the following papers on our website as you try to witness to your LDS friends.

You may also be interested in several books available through us:

I pray these resources and others we have available online at www.utlm.org will aid you in reaching Mormons with the love of Jesus Christ.]

Feb. 29, 2004

I have ... sisters who have been Mormons for some years now. I became born again and after studying the Bible I realized the lies of Mormon beliefs. I believe it is inspired by the Great Deceiver and the Missionarys find people unschooled in the Bible to convert. My question is "What can I send my sisters to read that may spark some questioning". I'm at a loss as what to do for them, and it is hurting to sit and watch their eternal life with Christ lost. If you can recommend some tracks or books you carry I would prefer to buy through your organization as I believe you are doing the Lords work. God Bless you

Any help will be appreciated

[Steve's Note: Without knowing your sisters and what is most important to their faith, there are several good books that I can recommend to you. What they may be willing to accept from you and read may depend upon whether they are willing to read books that are critical of the LDS church, its history and its teachings. The first books listed below are available from us and Deseret Book and are good looks at the lives of Joseph and Emma Smith.

Your sisters may also benefit from reading the book An Insider's View of Mormon Origins written by Grant Palmer. Mr. Palmer is still a member of the LDS Church and is a now retired 3 time Director of LDS Institute. In his book he discusses the problems of the First Vision, the translation of the Book of Mormon and finally the restoration of the priesthood. In each of these he demonstrates that the current understanding and teaching of the LDS church does not fit with the record of history.

If you think that they may be willing to read something that tackles the problems of the Mormon church then I would recommend any of the following:

Many times the most effective material is that which has come from the LDS Church itself. Being confronted with the changes to the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants will often allow someone to become aware of difficulties that had never previously been known. Additionally, many of the teachings of the authorities in the Church in the past will cause them to be able to begin to question their faith. Books that we offer that deal with these things include:

Please also feel free to make use of our many fact sheets on our Online Resources page if you think that you could share them with your sisters.]

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