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January 2004
(Names and Contact Info Removed)

Jan. 1, 2004

My name is _____, and I almost accepted the L.D.S discussions and became a saint. I had heard the discussions three times in the past, once in Rexburg Idaho at the former Rick's College.

I thank my Savior Jesus Christ for giving me clear direction. I had that deep feeling of comfort that is taught by missionaries, but with the opposite effect of what I should've had (or so I was told).

Thank you for your cause, hard work and your message. I hope that there are many brought to the truth from your information. I would like to receive your paper ...

Jan. 2, 2004

Subject: LDS stock holding

Hi and Happy 2004!

I am a member of the LDS in Sweden (working from inside ;) and wonder if you know something about in which companies the LDS church is placing the members thithing-money? (Sorry about my english) Some people I have meet says that the church have stocks in a mining company . . .

Any idea?

Please answer!

God bless

[Sandra's Note: The LDS Church does not give out a financial statement, but a few of its business transactions get mentioned in the press. The best current information on LDS finances is in the book, Mormon America, by Ostling.]

Jan. 3, 2004

How can you ask for no mindless, blind-faith, dogmatic diatribes when this appears to be what you expound on??

Jan. 3, 2004

Subject: Thanks for sending info, but wife (who is Mormon)....

I thank you for sending information.  Received Sat.  Showed the wife who is Mormon the "We left the Mormon Church" article and says it is not the church's teaching that --

1. God the Father was not always God.  He was born to woman on another earth, died, was resurrected and exalted to the position of God just as all other Gods were before him.

2. We have a heavenly mother who is the wife of God the Father.

3. Jesus was not begotten of the Holy Ghost but was conceived through relations between a flesh and bone God and Mary.

4. Eternal life in the Kingdom of God is not a free gift of God's grace but is earned only by those who are married in a Mormon temple and who keep a number of laws and commandments.

I am Lutheran so am all very wanting to understand what the Mormons are doing because I don't want my kids going there. My wife's son . . . is going to their seminary and he says they don't believe this (1-4) thing either. My wife and I have two kids together, . . .  and I don't want to have them go there.

I have had one discussion with the Bishop here . . . , and have set up a time to discuss more in the next 6 weeks or so. This will take some time to sort all of this out.  Can you understand that what you have written in your article won't do me any good if it is not what they believe. Is this a case of my wife not knowing what the church stands for and they really do believe this? This whole church was built around deception, so I must know and understand this reasoning to combat it.

Thanks for any more help you can give me on this.  . . .

[Sandra's Note: A Mormon comes to understand these doctrines as you progress through Mormon classes and temple ordinances. Young people and half-active/inattentive Mormons, or women who have not been active in temple work, probably haven't put it together. Adult males get more of these specific doctrines than females.

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.

Doctrines of the Gospel (see ch. 3-8, ch. 10, p.52, 92)

Page 7 of the above book,
Doctrines of the Gospel,  quotes from Joseph Smith's sermon at the funeral of Elder King Follett:
"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man ... he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did;..."

Page 8 quotes Pres. Spencer Kimball as saying "God made man in his own image and certainly
he made woman in the image of his wife-partner."

Page 14 quotes a First Presidency statement—"All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity."

As for Jesus being physically begotten by God and Mary, p. 9 quotes Apostle James E. Talmage:

"That Child to be born of Mary was begotten of Elohim, the Eternal Father, not in violation of natural law but in accordance with a higher manifestation thereof; and, the offspring from that association of supreme sanctity, celestial Sireship, and pure though mortal maternity, was of right to be called the 'Son of the Highest' ".

The manual then goes on to quote Apostle Heber J. Grant:
"We believe absolutely that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, begotten of God, the first-born in the spirit and the only begotten in the flesh; that
He is the Son of God just as much as you and I are the sons of our fathers."

Gospel Principles (see ch.2-5, ch. 35, ch. 47)

Chapter 2, page 11 (1995 ed.), of Gospel Principles states—
"Because we are the spiritual children of our heavenly parents, we have inherited the potential to develop their divine qualities."

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor (see p.2-5)

In 2001 the LDS Church printed the manual Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor. In it we read:
"We are children of our Heavenly Father and have the potential to become like Him. ... In one point of view, man appears very poor, weak, and imbecile ... In another point of view, we look at him [man] as emanating from the Godsas a God in embryo—as an eternal being who had an existence before he came here, ... He is a God in embryo, and possesses within him a spark of the eternal flame which was struck from the blaze of God's eternal fire in the eternal world, ... And when he shall be perfected, and have progressed to maturity, he will be like his Father—a God, being indeed His offspring.  As the horse, the ox, the sheep, and every living creature, including man propagates its own species and perpetuates its own kind, so does God perpetuate his. ... It is for the exaltation of man to this state of superior intelligence and Godhead that the mediation and atonement of Jesus Christ is instituted; and that noble being, man, ... is rendered capable of becoming a God, possessing the power, the majesty, the exaltation and the position of a God." (
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, pp.2-5)

Also you might find this set of photos from LDS books helpful—Godhead and Virgin Birth Photos.]

Jan. 3, 2004

Subject: just visited your sight...

this letter is directed mostly at the Tanners -

... I just visited the sight for the first time. ...  you are misleading people in your sight.  ...  They stated in their testimony that people join the church for social reasons  and that the church points people to the "church" instead of to Christ?  what?!?!  that was so appalling to me. Jesus Christ is the head of our church ...

I know that Jesus is my elder brother, that he died on the cross and lived again for my sins so that I may return to him.  I also know that he established the church on the american continent and visited the ancient americans.  ... why are there no other writings of reformed egyptian?  there are,  You know it and I know it.  and one day you will feel awful. 

... I know with my whole being  that Jesus is my elder brother - the son of God.  I have read your site I have seen your argument, but you cannot argue with what I know for sure. ...  I may not have researched as many records as the Tanners, but I visited this sight and am even more sure about what I know.  I know that if Moses parted the red sea, then surely God could appear to Joseph Smith and help clarify and restore a gospel that had been corrupted.  were there christians - yes - were they just missing a few peices - yes. 

You said that the LDS church discredits any other religion.  that is not true!  Our Prophet Gorden B. Hinckley teaches that we need to reach with other religions, that we need to respect and appreciate churches that teach about Jesus Christ.  Tell me again, what part of other churches do we dicredit?  you are way off. 

I hope you don't take this as hate mail or a flame, but here is one testimony of someone converted not to the organization, but to Jesus Christ,  This testimony will stand against you at the last days.  I have been through the temple.  I have questioned things, I have studied them out, I have been questioned by friends and others about my faith.  Maybe you need to get to know LDS people outside of Utah.  Maybe Utah Mormons ruined you. ...


a convert to the LDS Faith in Jesus Christ - not the organization. (where did you get that idea?)

beware the pride of the "learned"

[Sandra's Note: Mormonism discredits all Christian Churches by stating that not one has authority to act in God's name, other than the LDS Church. The entire basis of Mormonism rests on the premise that all other churches are in a total state of apostasy.  Look at Joseph Smith's account of his first vision in the Pearl of Great Price:

"My object in going to 'inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. ... I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt;...they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.' ...I went home. ... I then said to my mother, 'I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.'

Here are two examples of the attacks against other churches that were taught to me when I was a Mormon. David O. McKay, president of the LDS Church during the 1950's when I was a teen, taught:

Once this reason for the existing disunion throughout Christendom is recognized, and with it the acceptance of the fact that Jesus Christ, the author of our salvation, is the only one who has the authority and right to establish his Church among men—once the ministers of the sectarian churches of so-called Christianity are absolutely honest with themselves and mankind, and will acknowledge the fact that they have not been divinely authorized to officiate in the name of Jesus Christ nor to administer any ordinances in his Church—once they accept ... that a man must be called of God to officiate in the ordinances of the gospel—then, and not till then, will the great difficulty be overcome of establishing one great united Christian church upon the earth.

...Such a church will have apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, deacons, and other necessary helps in government.... In that church men will not preach for money nor divine for hire; but every worthy man will be a priest, a servant of the people, a preacher and teacher of righteousness; every worthy woman will have an opportunity to render service in a perfectly organized capacity....

That church is already upon the earth, established by God the Eternal Father and his Son Jesus Christ, by whose divine authority men are now commissioned to officiate in all the ordinances of the gospel. The necessity of its having been so established by direct revelation was shown to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the words of the Savior who declared that the contending "creeds were an abomination in his sight."

Until the authority of the Redeemer is acknowledged, in vain will so-called Christian sects seek for unity; and in vain will they strive to regain the power they once held over the minds and hearts of the children of men. In vain, also, will they fight against the Church of Jesus Christ, which is destined to grow until it fills the whole earth, until every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p.115-6)

Joseph Fielding Smith, who was an apostle when I was a teen and later became the president of the LDS Church, wrote:

CHURCH TO TRIUMPH OVER MODERNISTIC APOSTATE VIEWS. ...It may be true, as one divine stated, that the Christian era is at an end, and the Church is in the course of dissolution, if he had reference to the so-called Christian churches of the day, because their doctrine is spurious; it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ, but a man-made system. ...

However, true Christianity, so far as the latter-days are concerned, is very young,   for it has only been since the year 1830 that the Church of Jesus Christ has been organized in the earth, and the gospel restored, containing the gifts and the blessings and the graces that existed in the Church in primitive days, and that Church with its doctrines of the gospel of Christ, shall grow. (Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.3, p.290-291)

Today the LDS public relations department does a good job of trying to disguise the actual church position regarding other churches. But the fact remains that the LDS Church still maintains that it is the "only true church." Just look at statements from LDS General Conference, like this one:

"Joseph Smith was the prophet of the Restoration of the true gospel. . . . President Gordon B. Hinckley is the Lord's prophet for our day.  He and 14 other Apostles are special witnesses of Christ in the only true Church on the earth." (Gary J. Coleman, of the Seventy, speaking at the April 2000 LDS General Conference, Ensign, May 2000, p.29)

If only the LDS Church is "true" and is the only church with the "true gospel" then it is denouncing all the other churches as false, no matter how diplomatically they say it. One cannot make such sweeping charges without those on the other side examining and challenging the basis of such claims.]

Jan. 4, 2004


. . . I also want to thank you for your ministry and the good fight that you wage every day against the Mormon church for it is a worthy endeavor.

My question deals with what the Mormon church is saying today-2004 as to archeology and the BOM. I have seen the web site WWW.JEFFLINDSAY.COM which he testifies that places in the BOM have been found and verified (with pictures) as well he disputes other controversial aspects of Mormonism. Is there any validity to his claims? Also, what is the Mormon church saying now about the obvious fraud concerning the Book of Abraham?

Thanks and God bless UTLM.

[Sandra's Note: The LDS Church just asserts that the Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham are true. It doesn't enter into a historical defense of them. The leaders leave this to people like Lindsay. They can send people to these websites for answers to the critics because it gives the church 'deniability' if anything they say is proven wrong, since Lindsay, or whomever, does not speak officially for the church. But meanwhile members are left with the false impression that there is verified archeological support for the church's claims. Books such as New Approaches to the Book of Mormon, American Apocrypha, Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon, The Creation of the Book of Mormon, By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus, and An Insider's View of Mormon Origins demonstrate the problems.]

Jan. 4, 2004

Subject: Atonement

Is there a temple ceremony, outside of the endowment, called Calling and Election Made Sure? Supposedly a member is anointed and assured the third degree of the Celestial kingdom. ... Thanks.

[Sandra's Note: The 'second anointing' is a ceremony where Mormon godhood is guaranteed, ones 'calling and election' are made sure. See #98 Messenger: Second Anointing.]

Jan. 5, 2004

Subject: A quick question re prophetic validation

I have been looking for the quote from an LDS leader that goes something along the lines of: "The prophet doesn't need to say 'Thus saith the Lord' it is understood that everything he says is from God." Or something like that.

Do you know where I might locate the quote?

Thanks for you're time. God Bless you and your ministry.

[Sandra's Note: I believe you are referring to a speech by Ezra T. Benson, Fourteen Fundamentals. Here is point number six:

Sixth: The prophet does not have to say "Thus saith the Lord" to give us scripture.

Sometimes there are those who haggle over words. They might say the prophet gave us counsel, but that we are not obligated to follow it unless he says it is a commandment. But the Lord says of the Prophet Joseph, "Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you" (D&C 21:4).

And speaking of taking counsel from the prophet, in D&C 108:1, the Lord states: "Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Lyman: Your sins are forgiven you, because you have obeyed my voice in coming up hither this morning to receive counsel of him whom I have appointed".

Said Brigham Young, "I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture" (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot], 13:95).

The whole speech can be read in our online book: Following the Brethren.]

Jan. 5, 2004

Subject: my eyes water

Dear Sandra and Jerald,

I'm a 20 year old student and daughter of an LDS convert. My dad converted 4 years ago, since then I have researched the book of Mormon and went with my College on one of the first mission trips to Utah. . . My heart breaks for the LDS and after reading through some of these Emails I had to stop and let you know that God is doing an awesome work through your ministry. I don't believe I know any one who's written to you, but by knowing there circumstances I can pray for them and I encourage anyone else who reads this to do the same. I love my dad, and I pray that one day he will see the true love of Christ. ...

With love and Prayers,

Jan. 6, 2004

Subject: "missing" Hitler records

why are you so interested in all this? what is your agenda? I agree with the latter statement made by the Family History Center's manager. Unless you are directly related to any person of notoriety I also feel it unnecessary to reveal such information. He also clarifies that the work the "Mormons" do for these people is subject to validation--worthiness and willingness to accept the ordinances performed in their behalf. That said, the "Mormon" church is not running any kind of cover-up that the government couldn't top. Try and see just how truthful the government is with the general public. That should prove far more interesting than investigating a church.

[Web-editor: The Mormon Church Attempts to Conceal Temple Records for Adolf Hitler.]

Jan. 6, 2004

Subject: Question about Satan's temple apron

Dear friends,

I have read many of your publications over the years and am grateful for your great amount of knowledge concerning Mormonism. I am curious of one topic, and am having a difficult time finding any documentation. I first attended the temple in 1998, so this is regarding an area that has drastically changed over the years. I left the church last March.

From what I gather, during the endowment sessions (pre 1960), Satan's apron was very similar to a standard Masonic apron. I have not the background in masonry to even begin to imagine what it looked like, or what it is supposed to represent. Is there a source with a picture or representation of what Satan's apron looks like? Do you think that private members owned them, or were they solely kept in the temple for safe keeping? Do you think that any have survived the White Washing Machine known as the Mormon Church?

Thanks for your help, and keep up the good work.

[Sandra's Note: There are several different types of Masonic aprons and it seems that there have been at least three different LDS temple aprons for the devil.

In the pamphlet 'Hand-book on Mormonism', p.24, published in 1882, there is a drawing of the LDS devil's apron. It shows two pillars, with globes on top, intertwined by three snakes.

I was informed by a temple participant that during the 1970's the devil's apron was dark blue and had Masonic symbols embroidered on it. He described the two pillars but said there was a checkerboard floor pattern between the pillars, the all-seeing-eye and the Masonic compass and square, somewhat similar to Washington's apron. See:

I have been told that the current LDS devil's apron, in the Salt Lake Temple, is either navy or black with no embroidered symbols. When one views the temple film, not a live enactment, one can't see the devil's apron. Mormons usually own their temple clothing, including the green apron they wear. I don't know if the person who plays the devil in the live ceremony owns it or if it is kept at the temple.]

Jan. 6, 2004

Subject: Wild Bill Hickman

Greetings Jerald and Sandra,

I found your article posted on the internet very interesting. My husband ...and I moved to Salt Lake two and a half years ago and we have been quite captivated by the Mormon thing. At that time he purchased a special edition of The Destroying Angel. Aside from an old newspaper article, this is where we got our first glimpse at our son's Great Great Great Grandfather's life. Amazing.

It is our opinion that the book was written by Hickman himself except for the few passages you described. We've spent some time thinking about his probable cocaine addiction in his later years and his possible motivation for writing such confessions. His matter of fact style in his writing makes me wonder if he suffered any remorse. But yet there is much to be said for setting the record straight.

We are not Mormons but my husbands side of the family has strong Mormon ancestry. Actually Hickman is related though [his] mother's side of the family. . . .

Although Great Great Great Grandpa was a despicable rascal we have taken some strange pride in knowing that he put his thumb on Brigham Young and if anything, maybe Bill could have redeemed his soul (not likely) in the act of doing so. In a history so clouded by delusion, lies and false prophets it may lend to the opportunity for some few to see that a whole religion was built on the backs of the dead though the hands of assassinators. And if those few have the ability to see this truth then perhaps they can free themselves from Mormon bondage.


Jan. 7, 2004

Subject: statement by Brigham Young

Somewhere I heard that Brigham Young when arriving to "this is the Place"...that he made a declaration - claiming either a 500 mile radius or 500 Sq miles as Mormon territory.

Is this a true statement? Where can I find evidence if this is a true declaration?

Thank you for any help you can provide me.

[Sandra's Note: I don't believe he made a statement as to the extent of his proposed kingdom immediately upon arriving in the Salt Lake valley. However, the whole point of moving west was to establish the kingdom of God, claiming as large an area as possible. By 1849 Young was envisioning a territory far larger than 500 miles.

Bancroft's History of Utah tells about the size of the Mormon empire. See: Bancroft's History of Utah: Chapter 17

Richard Abanes wrote:

The kingdom of God on earth that Brigham envisioned was vast. So after arriving in the Salt Lake area, he laid claim to all lands stretching west to east from San Diego to the crest of the Rocky Mountains (near present-day Denver), and north to south from the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming to Arizona's Gila River. Zion, as originally staked out by Young, encompassed not only Utah and Nevada, but sections of Idaho, Oregon, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, most of Arizona, and a large portion of California. The expansive region, totaled about 265,000 square miles, or roughly one-sixth of America's current geography. (One Nation Under Gods, p. 219)

I think the "500 mile radius" refers to the width of the great basin, the ancient bed of Lake Bonneville. But it stretches some eight hundred miles north to south, encompassing parts of six western states, including all of Utah. (See Forgotten Kingdom, p.30.) The proposed Mormon kingdom not only envisioned covering all of the great basin, but extending it all the way to the coast so that it would have it's own port.]

Jan. 8, 2004

Subject: Mormon church and shareholding/stockmarket


I am from Sweden. For many ears ago I read about the mormon church . . . I have many friends here in Sweden in that church. They hope all the time to progress, but it is declain here now. They talk all the time about "the second harvest" but nothing happens...

(Sorry about mu english ;(

I read your stuff and test my mormon friends often ;)

Thanks for your job, stay healthy!

Jan. 11, 2004

Subject: re blood atonement

... I looked up the article you recommended on blood atonement [Topical Index: Blood Atonement] and found it interesting and so sad. I have a friend who is a practicing mormon and feel sad that she is so deluded about them. I thank you for your other articles and having read them can now see which side of the fence you sit on, am happy that you are a Christian in the fullest sense and shall pray for your website that it continually helps both mormon and non mormon believers.

yours sincerely

Jan. 11, 2004


I just wanted to tell you that I have enjoyed your website. What an encouragement it is to sift through and I am thankful that the Lord has used you all for his glory! May the Lord continue to use you all in a mighty way. . .

First, a brief history of me and my relation to this family. I have been a Christian for 11 years now. I was raised in the Mormon church. In my earlier years I attended the church though I was not an actual member of the church. My parents divorced when I was young and my father remarried my step-mother, and they are Mormon (Have been for 25+ years). My mother had custody of my brother and I and refused, by the grace of God, to let me be baptized in the church. My brother has since joined the church, (been a member for about 15 years now.) He went on a mission in Australia and met his wife there. (They married in the Sydney Temple and reside there now.)

I attended the Mormon church in Southern California for about 11 years when I visited my father, on the weekends. I left the church when I was 14 years old and became a Christian when I was 19.

The _____, . . . , and I attended the same "ward" in _____ California. In God's providence, several years after I left the LDS church and became a Christian, I ran into [this couple] at my church. They had left the Mormon church. It was so incredible to run into someone that I had known in the Mormon church and rejoice with them in the true gospel of Christ!

. . .

Sincerely in Christ,

Jan. 12, 2004

Subject: not sure


. . . I used to be the most TBM you could hope to find for my entire life, Now I have put so many things together and seen that Ive spent 30 years believing something that cant possible be true . . . I am totaly lost, I want to believe in God but Im not sure where to start, I dont even know what the true context of god is, because I was born in the mormon church and their ideas are the only ones I have, I thought Id just rely on my feelings to tell me if god was even there, but I cant do that because I used to rely on my feelings to tell me the mormon church was true, so basicly Im confused and I dont know what to believe anymore, . . .

thanks for your time

[Sandra's Note: Hi, thanks so much for writing. It is a very confusing time to have to go back and reevaluate everything you have always taken for granted. But Jesus promised that those who seek will find.

Have you been to:


They have an online support group.

Here are several books that might help you.

(These two are a set. Read Know Why first.)

Any of these would help you build a firm Christian faith.]

Jan. 12, 2004

Subject: Family Torn Apart by Mormon In-law

Dear Sandra,

Our family has been in a frustrating turmoil since the time one of my sons was converted over to Mormonism by a Mormon girl and then married her. . . . My son was brought up in a Christian home. . . . This girl my son married has been a Mormon all her life and she is very controlling. . . . Needless to say through the years my husband and I have tried everything even going to their church with them. We have tried to make them feel accepted and loved. . . .

We have been through a living nightmare with this daughter-in-law. I will spare you the horrible details of situations that we have endured and over-looked because we did not want them to feel offended. I have swept it away so many times, but the Lord has convicted me that I cannot continue to tolerate this any longer and I have got to deal with it. The more she comes into our home the more controlling she becomes. I am determined to not let her do this to me inside my home anymore. . . .

Could you please help me from a Christian perspective to understand my place as a mother, mother-in-law, and a grandmother to this son and his family? I want to do Gods will and so far, He just leads me to remain silent and let them alone. . . Also please pray for us. I have found Mormonism to be one of the greatest evils that Satan uses to destroy people and hurt the families of those who love them.

I have enjoyed reading from your web sight and have been helped by the information you have given. I thank God for people like you. It is sad but even other Christians do not understand or can help. Even our pastor could not help when we talked to him about it. I look forward to hearing from you.

God Bless you,

[Sandra's Note: These are heavy issues without easy answers. As a mother I can empathize with you in your struggles with your son and his wife.

Sometimes our family members are the hardest ones to share our faith with. It doesn't sound like there is much you can do at the moment, other than pray God will send some other Christians into their lives, and that your son will sense the lack of true worship of Christ in that church.

Sounds like you are dealing with at least two different issues here, religion and control (boundary issues—what should I allow in my own home, etc.)

On the Mormon issue, you might benefit from reading Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons.

On the control issues, you might want to read the book Boundaries: When to Say Yes; When to Say No, by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend, Zondervan publisher. Should be available from your local Christian book store.

You are in my prayers.]

Jan. 12, 2004

Subject: Temple symbols

My sister said the star of David is on the San Diego Temple. Is this true? The Star of David is a Jewish thing. So how can the Mormon temple have it on there?

[Sandra's Note: I am not aware of symbols on the San Diego Temple. However, I know that the star of David is on the LDS Assembly Hall on Temple Square here in Salt Lake. They would not see any problem with that since the LDS consider themselves 'true' Israel. Here is a photo of the front of the Assembly Hall. If you look close you can see the star of David in the round window above the door.


Jan. 12, 2004

Subject: PLEASE READ!!!!!



HERE IS THE WEBSITE: http://www.the-book-of-mormon.com/photo-proofs.html






[Sandra's Note: Your email is a bit curious. You claim that you are not LDS. Why haven't you joined if you really believe its claims?

The site you list is a collection of various issues that will not stand up to scholarly standards.

The Bat Creek stone proves nothing for the Book of Mormon people. The type of script used, if the stone is authentic, would prove that it had to have been made by people who left the east after the time of Christ. People leaving Jerusalem in 600 BC would not have used this script, so it would not be an evidence for the Book of Mormon.

The Indians did not have swords as were had in Bible lands. The Book of Mormon speaks of swords of steal, which rust, and their hilts. This does not sound like the clubs used by the Mayans. Non-Mormon scholars do not feel there is evidence that there were elephants or horses in the Americas during the time period assigned to the Book of Mormon. The Mayans had no beast of burden. The Los Lunas stones are forgeries, etc. etc.

Here are some books that detail the problems of the Book of Mormon:

Jan. 14, 2004

Subject: Thank You.

Dear Christian Friends,

As a person who was raised in a Christian home, but later fell into the trap of Mormonism, I am very thankful for you and the true information that you provide for others.

I do not wish to 'bash' the Mormons, in fact, I am very prayerful for them. My husband and I have just recently been born again, and for the first time in our lives, we are seeing the whole picture of how the Mormon people are blinded by the twisted, half and complete untruths that they are taught. I am quite surprised at how many intelligent people can be lead so far off into the darkness of lies. I recently asked a member of the LDS church about the DNA vs. the book of Mormon, and I was shocked at her answer.

Why is it that when they are confronted with true facts, they have an excuse or reason that everyone is 'bashing' them. If science is always out to prove religion wrong, why is it that it has never proven the Bible wrong? Wouldn't it look better if the 'current day prophet' of that cult was to come clean and allow the normal intelligence of their members to make their own decision of what they what for their own salvation?

You show me one man that could create such a beautiful world. It was God who created all that we have and all that we will ever have. It is a God that is so loving that he gave his ONLY SON for us. It is only through repentance for ones sins and the acceptance of His Son that anyone will gain salvation. You don't work your way there, and you don't have to tell your sins to any bishop in order to gain salvation. Not one person on this planet is any 'higher' than any other person. You are not to worship any one but God, only God.........no false prophet, no church building, no person who claims the title of Christian and who does not live the way that God has commanded them to.

I pray daily for the current leaders of the cult to release their control on the members of that church. I was one of the luckier ones, because I told my bishop that he had no control over my life and that I would not stop believing in the word of the BIBLE, so they ex-communicated me, Praise the Lord (see He is still with you, no matter how far you wonder off into darkness). Now I am praying for my family members that are still lost in that darkness, and I know that in Gods time that He will reach out and pluck them out of the darkness and place them into the light that only God can give to ones life.

I ask that the world will pray for the Vail of darkness to be removed from these followers, may they be allowed to put their 'zeal for god' on the true God, Heavenly Father, Your Creator, He loves all of us and wants all of us to return home to live eternally with Him in His Kingdom - Heaven. And there is only one Heaven, and you only have one life on this planet to make your decision of where you are going to spend eternity. There are no 2nd chances and there is no place to go hang out while you change your mind. When He decides your time is up, you better be ready....and He clearly tells you all of this, in His living word....THE BIBLE. God can not lie, think about the 'prophets' that your following, how honest have they truly been right from the beginning. God Bless.

Now from my Husband...Hi Since I was 8 years old, the day my uncles called my Mother and told her that I had to be baptized, she took me to the local mormon church and had me baptized. I knew that day that there was something wrong. I had no idea who God was. I always knew that the book of mormon was false and 33 years later in my own kitchen, I met God for the first time and it was incredible. For the next two weeks I was so high on Christ that I literally thought I was going to O.D. I know now with out a shadow of a doubt that the mormons are wrong, and I know that if I denounced God's word like I denounced the book of mormon, He would not be with me like He is.

I challenge any mormon, or any non believer to the test (first in prayer asking for forgiveness with all your heart and completely turn your life over to Him) what is in the Bible. To go out there and test the spirits, pray to God without any kind of book in your hand, and ask Him to lead you to the place He wants you to be. Ask Him to help you clearly identify the true spirits, and have a clear conscience like He tells you to in Corinthians. I guarantee He will not lie to you.

After talking to the 2 missionaries the other day, I don't think the mormon's have ever been taught how to clearly identify the difference between the spirits of the enemy and the spirits of GOD. I guaranty you there is an unmistakable difference. I do not hate the mormons I love them, my family is mormon. They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. And since I have been saved, there is no mistake, they are in a cult.

Please believe me, the light switch is right there all you have to do is turn it on, and to any one out there that is a believer, prayer is the answer. Go to the mormon temples, God has led me right to the front steps of three temples and I prayed for the leadership of that church to realize what they are doing. You can see they know that the problem is not going to go away by the way that they conveniently have divine interventions whenever they get busted (like they have done since the 1st time Joseph Smith got busted, you can lie to each other, but you can not lie to God). They can't slowly convert and then say "see we are Christians". If you think you can hold the book of mormon in one hand, and just in case you are wrong, you have the Bible in the other hand your wrong. I truly believe that the DNA testing is the mormons final warning HE IS COMING SOON.

May God truly bless all of you.

Jan. 14, 2004

I read some of the views that you have on your website. I understand that every person is free to express their personal beliefs.....but there are also quite a few contradictions on your site....false information about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

I'm a former missionary of the church. I served my mission in Quito, Ecuador. Of course I always got the question about how much the church is paying me to serve a mission......and everytime I told them that I paid for every penny of it out of my own pocket.....they didn't believe me. Well, that's funny because that's the truth.

As for the leaders being paid for their time and services......of course they have to receive some kind of pay. They were asked to leave their jobs and careers to be full-time leaders. Trust me.....they're not receiving much more then the essentials. Many of them were much more wealthier before they became leaders.......surgeons, doctors and such. Russell M. Nelson, of the quorum of the 12, was a very successful heart surgeon before becoming a leader. He was the first to perform many different types of heart surguries. I had a chance to go to one of the houses of the apostles.....and it was a normal, one-story house with average furniture in it.

I have a question....... why is it that so many people try to prove the lds church wrong....but there are never people putting up websites trying to prove the others wrong? I don't want to get into a bashing session with you guys.......I just want to hear a response to these things. Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. ... First, you claim that there are 'quite a few contradictions' on our site, 'false information', yet you haven't listed any, unless you mean our material on the church leaders being paid for their services [General FAQ: Do the LDS leaders receive a salary?]. But you didn't give any specific example of a misstatement.

As for the salary of the LDS Church leaders, there is no way for you to know that it is small, or what other benefits they receive for their services, since the church never publishes those figures.

Mormonism has boasted for years that it does not have a paid clergy yet the General Authorities do receive a salary. You excuse this on the grounds that they left regular jobs to serve full-time. I have no problem with the concept; it just seems hypocritical to put down ministers of other faiths who have left the regular work force to serve full time, who receive a salary, when your own church leaders do the same thing. By the way, President Hinckley did not sacrifice a well-paying job to be an apostle or head of the church. He has worked for the church almost his entire life—a career church employee.

As for the support of missionaries, I don't doubt your statement that you paid the required amount for your mission. But did you pay the whole amount necessary to cover all your expenses or did the church cover some of it? Like the airplane ticket? LDS missionaries and their families today are only required to contribute something like $350 a month for that missionary, regardless of how much it actually costs in that area. In this way the church equalizes the burden on families so that someone serving in Japan, who requires more finances than someone serving in South America, is able to afford a mission. But not all missionaries pay even the monthly amount. The church has a general missions fund that people can contribute to in order to help those who cannot afford a mission. How is this any different from a local Christian church collecting funds to send someone on a mission or to support a minister?

I assure you, there are web sites challenging just about everything, including various religions, and ones attacking us. That is the beauty of America—free speech.]

Jan. 16, 2004

Subject: question on Mormon beliefs

Thank you so much for the very informative website. I am puzzled about who Jesus Christ is to present day Mormons. Your information states:

"Mormonism teaches that the God to whom they pray is but one of a whole series of gods who at one time were mortal then progressed to godhood. The LDS Church teaches that their Heavenly Father was once born as a spirit child of a god and wife who ruled a different world. After maturing as a spirit being he was sent to another world where he was born as a human. There he grew to maturity, married, died, was resurrected, went to heaven, progressed and eventually became the God of our world. He and his resurrected wife continue to have spirit children born to them in their heavenly realm."

Does this mean that the term "Heavenly Father" used by Mormons refers to Jesus Christ? Are earth humans then the spirit children born of Jesus Christ aka Heavenly Father and his wife? And who is that wife? Where does Jesus's mother Mary come into the picture?

Sorry for the multiple questions -- hope this is an easy one to answer.

[Sandra's Note: Mormons believe there are many gods. They are quick to say they only pray to one God, but usually acknowledge that there are other gods over other worlds.

Each of these gods originally was a mortal on some other world who lived righteously, died, was resurrected, and over time, progressed to godhood. Each god has a mother and father, grandmother and grandfather, back through eternity, who all went through this same process. Humans, angels, gods, devils, etc. are all the same species.

Once a man achieves godhood he and his wife start having millions of spirit children, born and raised to adulthood in heaven. Spirit children have size and dimension, made of a finer type of matter than bodies on earth. Then these spirit beings are sent to an earth to be born as mortals.

The 1986 LDS manual Doctrines of the Gospel, p.92, explains the Mormon concept of God and man's progressing to godhood:

"Through a continual course of progression, our heavenly Father has received exaltation and glory, and he points us out the same path; and inasmuch as he is clothed with power, authority, and glory, he says, 'Walk ye up and come in possession of the same glory and happiness that I possess.' "

Heavenly Father is not their Jesus. They are saying Jesus and all humans are the literal children, born in a pre-earth life, to our Heavenly Father and his heavenly wife (not Mary). Our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother once were born as spirit children to a different set of gods, then sent to a world to become mortals like us, which was ruled by their father in heaven. They died, went to heaven, worked for millions of years to earn the right to be gods over their own world. Our heavenly parents, according to LDS prophets, literally gave birth to the millions of spirits that would be sent to earth to become mortals. Thus Jesus, Mary, you and me are all literal children, brothers and sisters, born to God in a prior life. Jesus and God are two totally separate people. God had sexual relations with Mary to procreate Jesus. (This would be a form of incest as Mary would be God's daughter from her pre-earth life. It would also mean God is a polygamist, if one assumes he married Mary, since he already had a wife, Heavenly Mother.)

You might find our packet of photos from LDS sources helpful. See: Godhead and Virgin Birth Photos

Hope this helps.]

Jan. 17, 2004

Dear Tanners,

We are the couple who walked all across Salt Lake City to find your bookstore back in October. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and talk to us. We really appreciated it!

We hope this gift can keep your ministry going strong. We are praying for you and the city. God bless!

In Christ,

Jan. 18, 2004

Subject: One Year

Dear Tanners,

On Tuesday, January 20, 2004, it will be one year since my name was removed from the records of the LDS church. I thank God everyday that I was able to find the strength and courage to be a true Christian and to recognize that I am truly one of His children. Thank you so much for your amazing resources! You provided much of the information that allowed me to make my decision.

I also have another piece of news to rejoice in. The rest of my family remain LDS, but my brother, . . . told me that he is having a lot of serious questions and issues with the LDS church. We had a long discussion about the church and why I left, and he said that he wants to learn more of what I know now. There are too many things in the church that don't add up. He also said that he is seriously considering leaving the church!! I am trying not to tell him what to do, as it has to be his decision in the end. But he is going to come stay with me for a while this summer, and he wants me to take him to church, a real church with me. I am sooo thankful that he is seeing the truth. I have given him your website to use as a reference.

Keep up the good work! You are a true blessing in so many of our lives.

All the Best,

Jan. 18, 2004

To whom it may concern:

I am currently working on a research paper for my program at the college, and we visited your web site today. ALthough it is very thorough, I was particularily looking for any information that the mormon religion teaches in the book of mormon about health and fitness, regarding the human body (diet). And how we should treat our bodies, and carry out our lifestyles.

I am currently enrolled in the paramedic program, and we are to relate the mormon religion on how it would reflect our work habits. If in particular, there were any specific things that we could not do, due to beliefs that you may have against a certain aspect. Please email me back if you have any information that we may be useful to me, because I would greatly appreciate it. THank you very much. . . .


[Sandra's Note: The Book of Mormon doesn't have much on this. Their health code comes from their Doctrine and Covenants. See Changing World: Chapter 18

Another issue for a paramedic would be how to deal with their temple undergarment. Should this be exposed to the public? Cut off a person who has been in an accident?

I don't know the answers but you might want to try to interview a Mormon leader on these issues—could make an interesting exchange.]

Jan. 19, 2004

Is there a way for a non LDS to verify/find out if a LDS has been ex-communicated?

[Sandra's Note: Sorry, the LDS Church doesn't give out that information.]

Jan. 20, 2004

Subject: Please help me start my own healing!

Dear Sandra and Jerald,

After growing up a Mormon in Orem, Utah, I am now finding the strength and lucidity to begin my own personal decontamination process! I'm almost 37 years old, and am just now realizing that the church has caused me a tremendous amount of pain and dysfunction for many years. . . . it has taken 23 years to retrain my thinking process, and find the courage to commence my own fact-finding mission.

I've read a few books already, have some on order, and have proclaimed temporary ownership of my father's materials (he was a Mormon convert at one time, but is now an self-thinking, informed intellectual!), many of which he obtained through your organization years ago.

My name remains on the church records, and I have just recently (over the past 3 years or so) become a victim of the church's mission to "bring those who have strayed, back into the fold." I had NO contact or dealings with the church at all . . . until about 3 years ago. This is what makes my blood run cold, though. In that time, I have graduated from . . . State University, exercised a Nursing career in many different hospitals across the United States, married (and took my husband's last name), given birth to 2 children in 2 different states, and changed residences a total of 13 times! (many while my husband climbed the corporate ladder).

When church representatives began showing up at my door again after all these years, calling me "Sister C........." - my MARRIED name - I felt as if Big Brother had been watching me through my windows for 23 years! I still have absolutely NO IDEA how they tracked me down through so many years and changes. I had not considered myself a member of the church anymore, since I did not believe in it, and had no part in it for so long. I do indeed plan to remove my name from the church records, but I want to be well-informed, with the ability to document the untruths that the church teaches, before I do so. I live in a VERY Mormon saturated city - . . .

I intend to continue to keep a low profile until I am ready to write my removal letter. I have to admit, though, I am a little worried that I will receive a letter in the mail soon, informing me of my own disciplinary court hearing - before I get to initiate the process of name removal. So, I hope that the church does not learn of my fact-finding mission and self decontamination. I would very much enjoy being added to your list of recipients for the ministry's newsletter. I'd also be forever grateful if you could send me any and all information that you think might be helpful in my enormous task I have ahead of me. Please include a list and order form for books available through your organization. Thanks so much for the work you are doing - because of your work, I felt like I had a place to start this difficult. If it weren't for the Utah Lighthouse Ministry, I might not have had the courage to start this for still many more years.

Best Regards,

Jan. 22, 2004

Hi !

. . . I have been trying to find a letter to the editor from Missouri sometime during Joseph Smith's years there. It was written by a woman that claimed Joseph Smith asked her/insisted she have a sexual relationship with him. I think she was married. I have tried to contact the Missouri Historical society, etc.

I would like to get a copy of this somehow. Is this familiar to you?

Do you know of such things?

Thanks in advance.

[Sandra's Note: I am assuming you mean Martha Brotherton. Martha's letter is reprinted in Cultures in Conflict: A Documentary History of the Mormon War in Illinois by J. Hallas and R. Launius, Utah State Univ. Press, p. 122-125. Here is a quote from Mormon Polygamy, by Richard Van Wagoner:

In a retrospective newspaper account months later [ in 1842], Martha Brotherton, a young Nauvoo woman, reported that . . . she was privately approached by Brigham Young and asked "were it lawful and right could [you] accept of me for your husband and companion?" Young stated that "Brother Joseph has had a revelation from God that it is lawful and right for a man to have two wives; for as it was in the days of Abraham, so it shall be in these last days if you will accept of me, I will take you straight to the celestial kingdom." Brotherton reported that when she hesitated, Young left the room and returned ten minutes later with Smith. "Well, Martha," she reported the prophet as saying, "just go ahead, and do as Brigham wants you to. I know that this is lawful and right before God. I have the keys of the kingdom, and whatever I bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever I loose on earth is loosed in heaven." Martha begged for time to consider the offer, then left for St. Louis, where she published her story in the 15 July 1842 St. Louis Bulletin.

Even before Martha left Nauvoo, rumors of the incident began to circulate. Hyrum Smith, believing the prophet's public posture that polygamy was not being practiced, publicly addressed the Saints on 7 April 1842 "in contradiction of a report in circulation about Elders Heber C. Kimball, Brigham Young, himself, and others of the Twelve, alleging that a sister had been shut in a room for several days, and that they had endeavored to induce her to believe in having two wives." Joseph, who addressed the group after Hyrum, added, "There is no person that is acquainted with our principles who would believe such lies" (H[istory of the] C[hurch] 4:585-86) . . .

Despite the prophet's anti-polygamous teachings "from the stand," a small group of Smith's inner circle, including Bennett, were aware that polygamy was being practiced. (Mormon Polygamy: A History, by Richard Van Wagoner, pp.20-21)

Martha's certified letter to John C. Bennett was printed in his book, The History of the Saints.

We have a long quote from Bennett's book in our book, Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? p.220.]

Jan. 24, 2004

. . . I grew up in a strict Mormon household, my Dad was a Bishop for 8 years and worked in the church office building for many years and is now on a mission. My five brothers were Eagle scouts and missionaries, you probably know many of the details of my life just from this short description... my grandmother was a Tanner (my son is named Tanner in memory) N. Eldon Tanner was a relative... I left the church officially when I was 21. It was very painful and very scary. I studied and researched (I have many of your materials) and finally found a peace with God, the Bible and myself. My family has calmed down a little - we are on speaking terms and I packed away my research materials, I figured I didn't need them anymore.

. . . My journey and healing away from the church took 12 long years . . . My son _____ is 10 years old and I haven't fully explained his Mormon heritage to him. When we have attended a baptism I just told him that other religions believe different things and I refused to discuss Mormonism with him thinking that I didn't want to hurt my family - what would Tanner say to his Grandpa? Maybe I am hurting my family by not telling them the truth, what do I tell him? . . . God Bless your efforts and I appreciate any reply you may have. Thank you,

[Sandra's Note: There is a booklet for kids that would be helpful for your son—"Understanding My Mormon Friend's Faith and Mine," which can be ordered from http://www.concernedchristians.org/bookstore.html.]

Jan. 24, 2004

Subject: Debunk

My Daughter-in-law is a Mormon. Thank God my son has refused to join so far. What can I use to keep from joining and get her out. I get so weary of hearing about the persecution and martyrdom of Mormons. If they really want to know what real persecution is they should read what our Brothers and Sisters went through in early church.

[Steve's Note: There are many good references available on our web site that should be helpful to you. The most often used would include Terminology Differences, LDS View of God Contradicts the Bible and Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints. We also offer several books that are helpful. They are Mormon Claims Answered, Major Problems of Mormonism, Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons and Point by Point.

You are certainly right about the history of persecution that Christians have endured through all the centuries since Christ. What is even more remarkable though is the fact that more Christians were martyred in the 20th Century than all the previous centuries combined! A great reference for this is a new edition of Foxe's Book of Martyrs.]

Jan. 27, 2004

Subject: Appreciation for your site

Hello Sandra and Jerald,

I would like to express my thanks for the research you have done through the years in proving how the church cannot be the only true church. My story is similar to so many out there.

I was baptized in March, 1974, did 4 years of seminary, held several callings such as Sunday School/Primary teacher, taught many Priesthood classes, taught Institute, been 2nd counselor in the Bishopric, financial clerk, etc. I went on a mission in March, 1984, married in the temple in 1986.

I was an active member "TBM" for a good 28 years. I have not been a TBM for at least 2 years now. My wife is sad that I am not as active as I used to. To see that it saddens her also saddens me. This is why I still support her in her callings and I do not and I will not say things to influence her or anybody else for that matter. I will not let religion be the base of contention in our marriage and in my life. In order to help with her sadness, I decided to still go to church for her. I even accepted a calling in primary. This way, I don't have to go to Sunday School and Priesthood. :)

I have always been very interested in the doctrines and in the history of the church and I would try to learn everything I could concerning these things through "official" and "authorized" church books and lesson manuals, etc.

But, there were always things I could not understand. Things that the church tried to answer, but I was never satisfied with their explanations. I just could not accept their answers as the correct truth.

To name a few:

1. Why did so many earlier members leave the church (apostatized as the L.D.S Church would say) after supposedly seeing and hearing so many wonderful things?

2. They know when the Aaronic priesthood was supposed to have been restored, but how come they are not sure when the "higher" or Melchizedek priesthood was restored.

3. I was shocked to learn how many versions of the first vision exists! Something that glorious, you would think that Joseph Smith would have gotten the account correct the first time!

4. I could never understand nor accept the explanation for polygamy, and I was especially shocked when I learned about how Joseph Smith took other men's wives in marriage!

5. The church claims to receive continued revelations. Why were they deceived by Mark Hofmann's fake documents? The church even purchased these things with the tithing money. You would think that the Lord would not have permitted using the faithful member's donations to acquire false documents? What about the kinderhook plates? Where was Joseph Smith's enlightenment to know they were a hoax?

6. What about the book of Abraham? Wasn't the appearance of the ancient Egyptian papyri from the Metropolitan Museum of Art proof enough that JS produced another hoax.

7. I was never comfortable with the ordinances we do in the temple. I could still remember how I felt when I received my own endowments in March, 1984, just prior entering the MTC. The first shock was when I received my washing and anointing. I did not feel the spirit. What I felt was a violation of my body. Then, the next thing I didn't like were those penalties. How gruesome. How can God, a God of love, come up with things like this? I did not like the chanting of Pay Lay Ale. I immediately thought of the chantings of the Zoramites at Rameumptom found in Alma 31 of the Book of Mormon. Are there not some cults that have pagan chantings? Some mormon apologists say there are no similitudes between the temple and masonry. Yah right!

There are so many other things, large and small, but these are the major ones for me.

I had heard in the past about the "terrible" Tanners, the "apostates" and that we should avoid or shun everything about you and what you do and say. But I decided to see, like the saying, the other side of the coin. Of course, with the internet, it made it easier to find information. Yes, there are a lot of bad sites out there but among all the websites, I came across 2 sites that I enjoy the most. Your website being the first and the second, www.lds-mormon.com. From your site, I would look up and compare all the quotes you listed with the books that I could find in my church publication library I have acquired over the years in order to make sure it would read the same. I had also heard that the Tanners would distort the truth by changing the wording and/or phrases.

I have not found any tampering of documents that you have been accused of. If there are, I missed them and you are the only ones who would know about it. On the other hand, I have found that the church alters the documents in their manuals in order to hide the truth about the past. Isn't it ironic that the church itself does what it accuses you of? How many times have they changed the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, changed the temple endowment, etc., which they say were all revealed and inspired by the Lord.

I then came to my own conclusion that you were not that "terrible". I appreciated that you were presenting the actual documented facts and that is what I was looking for. Not like some other sites that will just draw up their own conclusions without the documented facts and I find could be very evil in nature.

At first, while learning the truth about how the church conceals the actual history by publishing only faith promoting history, I felt sad, betrayed, hurt and I was even angry. Everything that I had studied, learned and had been told was not the actual truth. I am no longer angry now and I am at peace with myself.

To the disappointment of my wife, I started buying books that are considered anti-mormon by the church. As I have mentioned, I am only interested in those books that have actual documented facts so that I can come to my own conclusions. Therefore, I am very careful with the books I purchase. ...


Jan. 27, 2004

Subject: Anachronisms in BOM

I am an X-mormon doing research for a friend who is being "witnessed" to by two missionaries. I know there is an internet site that lists all the anachronism in the BOM and tells the page number where it can be found...but I cannot find the site. Can you help me?


[Sandra's Note: Not sure what site you saw. Here are a few sites.

Jan. 28, 2004

Hi, Tanners.

First, let me say how wonderful your ministry is! I have come a long way in my search for truth, since leaving the church. I grew up a Mormon, and when I finally left home, I began to research for myself all about the church. My mother gave me your book... Mormonism—Shadow or Reality....and I use it all the time. . . .

Godspeed, Tanners.

Jan. 28, 2004

Where can I find information on Mormonism and the Book of Enoch.

Thank you,

[Sandra's Note: The Book of Enoch, part of the Jewish Pseudepigrapha, was available in English in 1821, reprinted in 1828, updated in 1833. (See Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, p. 191, for more on its influence on Smith.) In Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p.1050, we read:

"Pseudepigraphaa collection of Jewish books containing various forms of literature, using names of famous people in Israel's history for the titles of the books. the real authors are unknown. Such names as Ezra, Baruch, Enoch, Solomon, Moses, and Adam are used to add authority to the writing."

The Book of Enoch was probably composed about 100 BC, and fragments of it were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Here are some web sites with information on the Book of Enoch.

Hope this helps.]

Jan. 28, 2004


... I thank the Lord for your ministry. Can you fill me in on something about Mormons wearing special underware? I have only heard something about this but nothing more than they have special undergarments? What is their purpose what are they made of etc. Anything you can tell me would be appreciated.

In Christ Crucified,

[Sandra's Note: The first step in attending the LDS temple is to take out one's "endowment" prior to going on a mission or temple marriage. Upon arrival at the LDS temple the men and women go to separate locker rooms. They then change out of their street clothes and put on a white covering, something like a poncho. Each person then goes to a special booth where attendants of the same sex anoint the person's body with oil and water, repeating various prayers, and then assist the person with putting on the new temple underwear.

This under-garment, produced by the LDS Church, is available in both one and two-piece styles. The man's is usually of cotton (like a tee shirt and briefs that come to the knee) and the woman's of nylon or other synthetic material (like a camisole top with short sleeves and panties that go to the knee). On the breasts of all styles (men's and women's) are small embroidery stitches in the form of a compass and square, and look like the letters L and V. These symbols were taken from Freemasonry. There is also symbolic stitching at the naval and right knee. The garment is to be worn day and night, except for bathing and athletics. The person will also be given a new name for eternity—like Peter, Paul, Mary, Elizabeth, etc.

After the person dresses in this garment he/she puts on a white outfit (long dress or pants and shirt), hat or veil, and white slippers. The person will carry a small bundle containing a green apron (representing Adam and Eve's apron) and white robe to be placed over one shoulder later in the ceremony.

They then proceed to the auditorium where they watch a film on the creation (LDS version) and see Adam and Eve being instructed by Peter, James and John on special handshakes and pass words needed to gain entrance into God's presence. Everyone is taught these same handshakes, passwords, and put under oath to obey the church and support it with all they have.

Each person is then brought to the front of the room to symbolically act out giving the handshakes and passwords to God, played by a man standing behind a curtain. They are then granted permission to enter the Celestial Kingdom, and pass through the veil into a reception room, like a fancy hotel lobby—crystal chandelier, French provincial furniture, etc.

The actual wedding could take place right after this endowment ceremony, or the couple could come back in a few days for the wedding service. They will again dress in the temple clothing, go to a small reception room, with a few friends or family, and kneel at an altar where they will repeat the temple handshakes and the attendant will say a short marriage ceremony, promising them that their marriage will last through eternity if they are faithful to Mormonism.

For more on this, see our book Evolution of the Mormon Temple Ceremony, listed on our book list.

Photos can be found at http://www.mormonismi.net/english.html.]

Jan. 29, 2004

since you obviously do not believe the Book of Mormon to be another testement of Jesus Christ, i will give you something from the bible (which we also believe in). Proverbs 19:5, 19:22, Isaiah 63:8, Jeremiah 28:15. but the most important ones for you are Acts 5:3, and Ezekiel 13:22 [Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life.].

If someone said you were an expert on us, sombody lied.

Jan. 29, 2004

Hello Sandra:

. . . I very much appreciate you sending me the link http://www.mormonismi.net/english.html and I have just spent two hours reading and looking. The Temple Names thing interests me, I very much recall being told my Temple name ... the worker said "Dan" and my first nervous thought was: "But that's a nickname! Shouldn't it be Daniel at least?" Of course, the Sons of Dan ... so I suppose it counted. I've made merry of it a few times, Mormonism makes for wonderful comedy, and said: "Why not Chip or Todd? Those are really neat names!"

I about fell over looking at the photos of the Temple Garment man and woman. For my sanity, I'd kind of pretended to myself that maybe it didn't look so bad on me in 1993 and 1995 when I attended the St. George Temple, maybe not unlike the clothes I bought on Carnaby Street when I was a Mod teenager in the UK in the 1960s. Well, I'd have been chased through London by men and women with butterfly nets had I worn THAT lot. . . .

Kindest regards! (As we Brits seem to say!)

Jan. 29, 2004

Subject: Mormons and gentiles

Dear friends,

Thank you for your ministry! We were ministering in Arizona for 25 years and encountered a lot of Mormons!

This coming Sunday I am preaching from Romans chap. 11; one small part of my sermon is to explain the meaning of "gentile." I want to share that the meaning depends on the cultural context--to the ancient Romans a gentile was someone who was not a Roman; and I want to share that to the Mormons, those of us who are not Mormon are also Gentiles. I discovered that there are, according to the American Jewish Year Book 2002, 4,500 Jews in Utah. A question came to mind--more out of curiosity than anything else--do Mormons consider Jews as Gentiles, since they are not Mormon? ...

Sincerely in Christ,

[Sandra's Note: People joke about Jews being Gentiles around here. But I don't think that would be accurate for the LDS position. I know in my family the Jews were just considered apostate Israel. We considered Mormons to be "true" Israel.]

Jan. 29, 2004

Subject: Dear Sandra

Hello Sandra,

. . . I don't know if you'll remember me but I'm the Lutheran [from out of state] . . . that drives a Dodge Dakota. I recently went through Salt Lake City and wanted to stop by to share this info with you, but there was snow and I wanted to keep going. . . . The Mormon church has closed their missionary apartment in our town. For many years we had the missionaries over quite often. Feeding them, proselyting them, making them feel at home. But a change occured on Christmas 2002.

We realized that our best plan was to keep them busy in our house and off the streets thus keeping them from infecting our community. But on Christmas of 2002 I bought a Christmas gift to our family in the likes of a Nintendo GameCube. The missionaries became as addicted to coming over and playing it as my kids.

In fact, the standing rule in the house was simple, if they were hungry go make a sandwich. If they were thirsty they knew where the faucet or the milk jug was. We made it so it was like they were a member of the family. They were also invited to come into the house at any time, whether we were home or not. Often we would come home to find them already in the house, most of the time playing the games we had for the GameCube. They even went so far as to occasionally start dinner for us if we weren't home, mow the yard, that kind of stuff. But, they kept coming over to play the game. Some days we would do some light witnessing to them, other days alot, and other days nothing was mentioned.

When new missionaries were transfered in, with only a couple of exceptions, they were quickly brought up to speed as to the house rules. They would rent videos at the local video rental and watch them at our house . . . The long and short of it is this . . . They were off the street. The gospel of Joseph Smith was not being spread, and the new Mission President that took office in October saw that no success was occuring in [our town] and just before Thanksgiving 2003 they closed the apartment (which is still for rent and not maintained by the church) and moved the missionaries elsewhere.

That phase of our Mission is complete . . . For now. Now we need to work on finding a tactic that will make them close their "Branch - Meetinghouse" in our town. Thought you'd want to know. . . .

Yours, In Christ,

Jan. 30, 2004

Our whole family was baptized 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.

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.]

Jan. 30, 2004

Subject: 1833 Book of Commandments/1835 Doctrine and Covenants

Hi there!

I just wanted to let you all know first of all that I think you have a wonderful ministry going. I praise the Lord that people like you exist and try to share the true light of Jesus with members of the LDS Church.

However, I have a question for you about something I know I've seen a thousand times in your letters to the Editor alone, but can't remember anywhere to find it now. If I recall correctly, there was a "revelation" given in either the 1833 Book of Commandments or else the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants condemning polygamy, am I right?

I know that there are some verses that speak against it in the Book of Mormon as well, but if I'm not remembering incorrectly, I would like to find the ones in the BoC/D&C if I can. I'm starting to share with an LDS friend of mine in the area, and while I don't know just how far our conversations will go, I would like to be prepared to share anything I can with her if she ever becomes curious.;)

A year ago, I don't think I would have been prepared for this, but I feel that I have grown very much in my own beliefs and in my knowledge of the LDS Church's teachings since then, and feel much more confident in sharing with her in a non-threatening atmosphere. I believe that if I keep praying for her, and keep sharing the gospel message with her, she just might see the error in the LDS Church, and hopefully come to Christ. Thank you for your assistance!

In Christ,

[Sandra's Note: Yes, Section 101 of the 1835 D&C condemned polygamy. This was in every edition of the D&C until 1876 when it was replaced with section 132 commanding polygamy. See our online book, The Changing World of Mormonism, chapter 9, p.206.

You can get a photo reprint of the 1835 D&C, if you ever want to show it to a Mormon. See: Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol. 2.]

Jan. 30, 2004

I recently had some Mormon missionaries tell me that works is not a part of salvation. . . . Can you guide me to this? I love to show missionaries things they are unaware of. I looked on your web site (my first time here by the way) so sorry if it was right in front of my face.

Thank you,

[Sandra's Note: You need to remember that to Mormons 'salvation' is different from 'eternal life'. To them salvation is equated with resurrection and entrance into some level of heaven, regardless of religious beliefs or practice. However, faithful Mormons hope to attain something beyond 'salvation'. They are aiming for eternal life/marriage in the Celestial Kingdom, which is only attained by a life time of living the LDS requirements, including temple ordinances. This is termed 'exaltation' or godhood.

These sections might help.

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.

Two good side by side comparisons of Mormon/Christian doctrine are:

Jan. 31, 2004

Subject: David Patten, Bigfoot, and Film Companies

Mr. and Mrs. Tanner,

I am heartened that you both are doing such good work. I dip in and out of your web site whenever I can.

I have a question: Do you have any information regarding the Mormon Church’s interest in or connection to Bigfoot? I know this might sound like a strange question, but I have come across an item on the Internet regarding David Patten (an early church supporter) and his apparent vision or actual spiritual experience with a dark, hairy man in a wood. This hairy figure claimed he was Cain.

Bigfoot, of course, is a popular, mythic “creature” that is tall, hairy, ape-like, and elusive. I understand that a former Salt Lake City-based film company, American National Enterprises, in the late 1960s and early 1970s promoted in a film a 60-second piece of footage showing an alleged Bigfoot. The film was shot in Northern California on October 20, 1967.

As long-time residents of Salt Lake City, are you aware of this company, the association of Bigfoot with Church ideas, and the Patten experience?

I would appreciate any information you can offer.

[Sandra's Note: Sorry, don't know of any material on the film company. As for Patten, here is a quote from his biography:

It was probably not long after his arrival in Tennessee in the spring of 1836, that David had one of the most remarkable experiences of his life. He was making his home with Levi Taylor, the stepfather of Abraham O. Smoot, at the time and had been to Paris, some sixteen miles away, holding a meeting. Riding home in the evening, just where his road lay through a dense growth of brush, called in those parts a "barren," he suddenly became aware that a person on foot by his side was keeping pace with the mule on which he rode.

But the subjoined letter, dated at Provo, Utah, will explain the matter:

President Joseph F. Smith, Salt Lake City:

Dear Brother: In relation to the subject of the visit of Cain to Brother David W. Patten in the State of Tennessee, about which you wrote to me, I will say that according to the best of my recollection it was in the month of September, 1835.

It was in the evening, just twilight, when Brother Patten rode up to my father's house, alighted from his mule and came into the house. The family immediately observed that his countenance was quite changed. My mother having first noticed his changed appearance said: "Brother Patten, are you sick?" He replied that he was not, but had just met with a very remarkable personage who had represented himself as being Cain, who murdered his brother, Abel. He went on to tell the circumstances as near as I can recall in the following language:

"As I was riding along the road on my mule I suddenly noticed a very strange personage walking beside me. He walked along-beside me for about two miles. His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with hair. His skin was very dark. I asked him where he dwelt and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro. He said he was a very miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death during his sojourn upon the earth, but that he could not die, and his mission was to destroy the souls of men. About the time he expressed himself thus, I rebuked him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, and commanded him to go hence, and he immediately departed out of my sight. When he left me I found myself near your house."

There was much conversation about the circumstances between Brother Patten and my family which I don't recall, but the above is in substance his statement to us at the time. The date is, to the best of my recollection, and I think it is correct, but it may possibly have been in the spring of 1836, but I feel quite positive that the former date is right. . . .

Your friend and Brother, A. O. Smoot.

(Life of David W. Patten: the First Apostolic Martyr, by Lycurgus A. Wilson, p. 57-59, Deseret News, 1900)]

Jan. 31, 2004

. . . . If Jesus was the Father from 1830-35, and the second person of the biune Deity from 1835 onward: when did Jesus become what James Talmage wrote that Christ has a "unique status in the flesh as the offspring of a mortal mother and of an immortal or resurrected and glorified Father" (A. of F., p. 473)??? Is Talmage the first one to make Christ Mormonism's spirit brother to all of us? when did Jesus become the procreated seperate deity and Elder bro. in LDS doctrine?

[Sandra's Note: Smith's theology evolved through the years.

1830—The Book of Mormon teaches one god, who is father, son, and holy ghost. See: LDS Contradictions in Scriptures

1835—Lectures of Faith teach father and son are separate. The son has a body but the father doesn't.

1840's—Smith gives two sermons on nature of God; father once a man, has resurrected body, Jesus totally separate god. The Book of Abraham 3:22-28 introduces the concept of the pre-mortal existence of God's children and the two sons who vie for position to be the savior of our world.

In 1843 Smith dictated section 130 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which taught that God and Jesus both have bodies but not the Holy Ghost.

Smith's funeral sermon for King Follett shows he was referring to God the Father as once being a man and that Jesus is the son of this man/god. Here are two quotes—

These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did; and I will show it from the Bible. (King Follet Sermon: God An Exalted Man)


How consoling to the mourners when they are called to part with a husband, wife, father, mother, child, or dear relative, to know that, although the earthly tabernacle is laid down and dissolved, they shall rise again to dwell in everlasting burnings in immortal glory, not to sorrow, suffer, or die any more, but they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a god, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before. What did Jesus do? Why, I do the things I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence. My Father worked out His kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to My Father, so that He may obtain kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt Him in glory. He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will take His place, and thereby become exalted myself. So that Jesus treads in the tracks of His Father, and inherits what God did before; and God is thus glorified and exalted in the salvation and exaltation of all His children. It is plain beyond disputation, and you thus learn some of the first principles of the gospel, about which so much hath been said. (King Follet Sermon: The Righteous to Dwell in Everlasting Burnings)

See the various articles on our website at Online Resources: LDS Theology.

Also see this article on the First Vision: Evolution of the First Vision and Teaching on God in Early Mormonism.]

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