Oct. 1, 2004
I have been reading a great deal of material about the Mormon Church. I continue to be amazed at the way unsuspecting people can be deceived by an organization based on such lies and distortions of the Truth!
Even more amazing is how these same people will spew such vitriol at you in the face of such well-documented evidence debunking their church. They accuse you of hate-mongering, but I have seen no such attitude in your material. I guess it boils down to the fact that you so strongly challenge their most cherished beliefs that they are blinded to the truth. Keep up the good work!
Oct. 2, 2004
Have LDS Church ever made an official declaration about the photographs of LDS sources (i.e. Journal of Discourses) you show in "Changing World of Mormonism"? Have they ever said they are fake photographs or something like that?
[Sandra's Note: No, the LDS Church has never said our photos are fake or altered. In fact, they have an online program called GospeLink that contains the 26 vol. Journal of Discourses, plus dozens of other LDS titles. Here is the link for their program.
There is also a new LDS program called LDS Collector's Library 2005 that contains the Journal of Discourses, plus dozens of other LDS books. The majority of our quotes can be found on this CD-ROM program. See:
Also, the books we quote from are in the various college libraries here in Utah, and also in some other universities in the USA.]
Oct. 2, 2004
Subject: Mormons invading our town. What now?
Mormons are going door to door [here in South Africa] trying to deceive people. How should I as a born again Christian respond? They have been to my business to have faxes sent to claim reimbursement of petrol. I charged them for sending the faxes but feel it is a sin to even send faxes for them. Today they started talking about their religion. I told them I’m a born again Christian. Should I tell them I won’t send faxes anymore and that they should not come back? How can I get rid of them in the right way? I feel it in me that they are not of God. Please advise me. Should I have tracts printed to warn people?
[Steve's Note: I think that you should view this more as an opportunity to be a witness to them when they need to come into your business.
I suspect that your business is like businesses everywhere and that you are serving the needs of people of many different faithsperhaps not even realizing it. As Christians, we often find that we must also do business with others that do not share our faith in Jesus Christ.
None of this means, of course, that you can't share your faith with them. In fact, I would encourage you to continue to explain your faith to them. I think your idea of printing tracts to warn others of their teachings is a wonderful idea. I wish God's blessings on you as you continue to seek his pleasure.
[Sandra's Note: Feel free to download copies of our tracts or Online Resources pages to give to them.]
Oct. 4, 2004
Subject: What next?
I want to thank God for your ministry and being able to use you as a resource! I have been researching Mormonism for maybe a year now, and have had a few encounters with some misionaries.
Yesterday, two came over to talk. We discussed our beliefs and what the Bible has to say about certain subjects. He was interested in seeing some false prophecies of LDS.
What is the best way to get a hold of some photocopies of such documents I can show them? Would it be beneficial obtain a copy of Journal of Discourses, or any other LDS book for that matter? I left them with some things I typed up so he can read them. What should I do next? Please help! I await your response. May God bless you and your ministry.
[Sandra's Note: You can see photos of some of the original pages of false prophesies at this site—
Or order the book, Where Does It Say That?
You can also subscribe to the LDS program GospeLink or buy the CD-ROM program LDS Collector's Library. They contain the text of the Journal of Discourses, History of the Church, plus dozens of other important LDS works. These are typed, not photos. But since it was done by the LDS Church no one can say the quotes aren't accurate (See answer to letter on Oct. 2 above).]
Oct. 5, 2004
I have been a fan of your work for 20 years, and have received the Messenger for a long time. Keep up the good work. ...
May God Bless you and your work,
Oct. 5, 2004
Dear Jerald and Sandra,
I am a believer ... and have met a nice young woman whose oldest child is in my son and daughter's kindergarten. After talking with her several times I have found out she is a return missionary and so is her husband (served in Japan and Baltimore). My daughter absolutely loves her daughter and they just love playing together.
My question is how do I share with her about the true Jesus Christ without totally pushing her away. They are both true blue mormons, raised in mormon families, from the Idaho and Provo areas. I know quite a bit about mormonism from my own research and from being around one (my sister in law dated one for a while). Do you have any pointers?
[Sandra's Note: Maybe you could get the book Mormon America: The Power and the Promise, by Ostlings. We sell it but you could get it from your local Borders, Waldens or Amazon.com OR from the LDS bookstore Deseret Book:
In fact, that might be the best place to get it.
You could then tell your friend someone recommended it as a good introduction to Mormonism so you decided to read it. You could explain that while you aren't interested in joining (you have your own faith and are perfectly satisfied with it) but that you wanted to have a better understanding of its growth. And that you wanted something from a non-Mormon but not an "anti" Mormon—since they sell it at Deseret Book you figured it couldn't be an "anti" Mormon book. Then you could ask her questions about what you read. This might open a door for future discussions.
In regards to explaining to children the differences between the LDS Church and their own, a good book is Understanding My Mormon Friends' Faith and Mine, by Judy Robertson.]
Oct. 7, 2004
Subject: Help for a friend
Jerald or Sandra,
I have a friend whose son-in-law is Mormon. They are not, and any time the subject comes up though, she gets up and leaves the meeting. This has really effected their attending the meeting of the church and I do want to help as best I can. Can you suggest something for not too strong of a Christian that I can place in her hands?
[Sandra's Note: You might try something like Out of Mormonism: A Woman's True Story.
Or the book God's Word, Final, Infallible and Forever: Compelling Evidence for the Bible's Inspiration and Preservation.
These are both gentle studies of Mormonism's error. Another easy read is "The Mormon Missionaries: An Inside Look at Their Real Message and Methods."
A good side by side comparison of their doctrine is Witness to Mormons.
One that is a little more thorough is Understanding Mormonism: Mormonism and Christianity Compared.
Hope this helps.]
Oct. 7, 2004
May god bless you for all the hard work you have done. Everything happen for a reason. Be Glad the lord has chosen you for the work you have done!! What a wonderful experience you must have had! Your hard work has changed, this former Mormon, to a Christ loving fanatic!
Oct. 8, 2004
Subject: your excellent web page
Recently a friend and I camped overnight in a KOA campground in Beaver, Utah. He had occasion to go into town in an attempt to locate some parts for a trailer we were towing.
Upon his return, he marveled at how the various people he encounter were so rude towards him. I, in jest, said that maybe there was a 'spirit' over the area due to the Mountain Meadow Massacre. He said: WHAT are you talking about? I gave him a brief account of what I'd read years ago in my 'study' of the westward movement.
Today, after returning home, I typed into 'search', 'mountain meadow massacre' and have been reading for hours the account of the military officer who investigated the incident in the 1800's and then came upon your web page in the process. I've had an interesting day reading!!!!!!!
I just want to express my opinion of why people go to such lengths to defend their position, even when the errors are pointed out to them and literally 'hit them in the face'.... It is PRIDE. I've been in a large cult, and have been exposed to masonry and have been to two initiations of the Grange.... a long story in all cases, and with disheartening results, but educating!
The reason I say that PRIDE holds a person in a particular belief system is that few unredeemed humans can admit that they might have been 'hoodwinked' into believing such and such for such a long time and admit their suseptibility to deception..... We are all prone to that tendancy.... It really takes humility to admit ones error and go on in life and use that 'experience' to caution us when exposed to other error. Also, when we threaten their SECURITY, we really rattle their cage.....and generally man's security is in things they themselves have built to protect themselves. Religion! Superstitions!! etc.
I really appreciate the extensive work you've done and pray that the Lord will bless you with peace and satisfaction of a work well done in warning others of potential falsehood disguised as the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.
As I learn more of the prolific amount of religious deceptions in the world, I have to remind myself of the scripture that says: "The Lord will send a delusion that man might believe a lie." and, "Ye that have ears to hear, let him hear what the spirit is saying to the called out ones." He said in Jeremiah 31:31-34, that He, "would put His law in your heart and innermost being...and that it would no more be necessary for one to say to another, 'know the Lord,' for all shall know Him from the least to the greatest." AND that His kingdom is 'within' us and is 'righteousness, peace and joy'... Those who 'hear' and respond to the 'still small voice' with the 'heart' will seek Him and will 'find' Him......... His message confounded the religious leaders of His day, and continues to confound those who would attempt to build their own kingdom (or church) in the present age.
May the Lord bless you in your attempt to 'snatch some from the fire'.
Oct. 8, 2004
Subject: Marrying brothers and sisters
I just came across something about an unpublished discourse by Brigham Young in which he justifies the marrying of brothers and sisters.
Unpublished Brigham Young Discourse--LDS General Conference -- October 8, 1854
What is your comment or feelings on the authenticity of the discourse?
Thank you for your wonderful contribution to us all!
[Sandra's Note: Such ideas were present in early Mormonism. See this section of our online book, The Changing World of Mormonism, Chapter 9, p. 245.
I have the utmost confidence in the research of Mike Marquardt and the fellow who puts together the Reason web page, who have published this sermon.]
Oct. 8, 2004
Subject: Hello friends
I'm a Mormon and I'm glad that I am. I was baptized when I was nine. By the time I was nineteen I felt I needed to make a research about my church.
With a lot of readings on books authored by both the church leaders and anti mormon authors, i took the challenge of the Book of Mormon...I prayed.
I'm one of the many millions who received the confirmation of the Holy Ghost about the truthfulness of the Mormon Church after reading, pondering and praying about it and its teachings. I'll always treasure this testimony in my heart til I die. I love goin to church every Sunday listening to teachings that centered on my Savior Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father.
The more that the Mormon church is criticized and put down the more that my testimony about its truthfulness grow. There are so much that's so untrue that you accuse our church of. I invite you to attend our church on Sundays so you'll get to have a first hand experience on what we do in church and what we are taught in church. My experiences in our temple sacred ordinances are so priceless. I always feel closer to My God when I'm in the temple, hope one day you'll get to experience it too.
I pray that we will all do that which our Heavenly Father wants us to do so that we all will be found worthy to join Him in His Kingdom in the end.
Oct. 9, 2004
hi, jerald and sandra
THANKS for your website and the good information you sent me. I was born and raised in the Mormon church and thankfully through being completely offended by a former bishop, I decided to find the truth. I accepted Christ as my saviour just a few weeks ago, and what a feeling of peace! I can't even described how I feel....It's just incredible. The more I read about the mormon church the more I can't believe I bought all that crap! It's just crazy!
Looking forward to reading more of your stuff, we are very broke (probably cause we're apostates and don't pay our tithing-LOL) so I usually read your stuff online, so keep putting it there for those of us who can't afford books!
BTW, Sandra, enjoyed your comment on the latter-day lampoon interview [http://www.latterdaylampoon.com/interviews/sandratanner/] about letting the church borrow your stone/ Totally cracked me up.
Oct. 9, 2004
Subject: Are you an imbecile?
Are you that stupid to think that the LDS church get there doctrines and teachings only from the Bible?
Oct. 10, 2004
Subject: 2 Nephi 12:16
I noticed in an article on your site concerning 2 Nephi 12:16 and surrounding verses that it mentions sources that one living in New England (New York) in the early 1800's may have had access to that had information about the Septuigent reading of Isaiah 2:16. It was some time ago that I read the article but I believe it mentioned contemporary bible dictionaries/commentaries that were available to regular every-day citizens to read. My questions are twofold:
1. What are some specific examples, including publication dates and location, of such Septuigent resources...and can you send me or email me a photocopy(s) or facsimile of the text of the most likely source for young Joseph Smith.
2. The phrase "all pleasant pictures" is translated several different ways depending on what translation of the Bible one reads. Pictures seems to relate to vessles, pleasant imagery, etc. Why did the King James translators render the verse as pictures instead of ships, vessels, etc? Was it simply an old english to use of the word pictures? Does it simply fit the pattern of the couplets better? Seems to be a controversial translation when it comes to the word "pictures".
[Sandra's Note: I am not sure which site you were readingI don't think it was on our official site, www.utlm.org. However, the topic is discussed in Wes Walter's book, The Use of the Old Testament in the Book of Mormon, p.58-60.
Here is a link to some information on the misuse of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon:
Oct. 11, 2004
Subject: Thank You
I want to commend you and thank you for the website, your books, and your approach to the Mormon faith. I was born and raised in the Faith (until I was 18). I received the Aaronic priesthood and graduated from seminary. My Questions started in high school and could never be answered.
I had wrestled with bringing my questions to light for quite some time because almost my entire heritage is founded in the faith. My ancestors came over with Brigham Young ... When I questioned the religion it was difficult because my Grandfather was the Bishop, my father the ... Elder's Quorum President. Once my questions could not be answered I left the Faith at the age of 18 ... Needless to say it was not easy.
In between those years I have read many, many books and pamphlets for information on the differences between Christianity and Mormonism. Unfortunately most of them were filled with emotion and hate and that wasn't what I was looking for. However, when I read your books and literature I sensed a true compassion that I believe is needed to have the in depth discussions needed to truly reveal the differences. I appreciate this approach because I love my family very much and can use any tool I can find to open up lines of communication about the shortcomings and feeble foundation that Mormonism is founded on.
My younger brother leaves for a mission next month and although I haven't been able to change his mind I hope that in the future I can be a tool in God's hand to show my family the truth. Being raised in the faith and having a solid understanding of doctrine and scripture I thoroughly enjoy how you use that same scripture to destroy the foundation and the teachings of the church and its prophets. It is the exact way that I have tried to discredit the teachings, except your ways are much more thorough and studied.
At our church we now have a small group that meets once every two weeks that tries to teach our members about Mormonism as well as invite current Mormons to come and have a civil discussion about their faith.
I appreciate your resources and will continue to use your website and books in the years to come educate people on the Mormon Faith. ...
Oct. 11, 2004
Subject: Joseph Smith plagiarizer
I have read... and now can't seem to find... There was a gentleman by the name of "Smith" not related to Joseph who wrote a book about Ancient America's some seem to believe that JS plagiarized some of that book. Who is that author? Do you have materials to support this claim
[Sandra's Note: I believe you are thinking of Ethan Smith, author of View of the Hebrews, published in 1823 and republished in 1825.
But the Book of Mormon does not contain exact plagiarisms from the book, but many of the same concepts are in both.
Today most researchers on Smith and Book of Mormon sources look to View of the Hebrews as the most likely source for ideas for the Book of Mormon. For more on this, see
Studies of the Book of Mormon by B.H. Roberts
Joseph Smith and the Origins of The Book of Mormon by D. Persuitte.
I believe Smith wrote the Book of Mormon using bits and pieces of things he had read or heard (i.e. the Bible, local sermons, current events, View of the Hebrews, etc.).]
Oct. 11, 2004
I was referred to you ... about 6-7 months ago I saw a record of a court trial of Joseph Smith, where he was tried and convicted of crimes from the use of his seer stone, While looking for buried treasure etc.
It was very plain and easy to read. I want to print off a copy, can you help me re locate this.
[Sandra's Note: See our #95 Messenger for information on the 1826 arrest of Smith. Also our #68 Messenger has photos, and also Changing World, Chapter 4: Joseph Smith and Money-Digging.]
Oct. 12, 2004
Subject: Kirtland Revelation Book
I seem to recall some years ago seeing a photomechanical edition of the "Kirtland Revelation Book" being offered for sale. Was this the case and are there any copies still available for purchase. If not do you know where I might obtain a copy.
Thanking you in anticipation.
[Sandra's Note: Our reprint is out of print. There is some information on the internet at:
A copy should be in the various universities in Utah. Try the University of Utah, Marriott Library, Special Collections, Salt Lake City, Utah. http://www.lib.utah.edu/
You could also contact www.benchmarkbooks.com.]
Oct. 14, 2004
Subject: View on temple ordinances and masonry tanner
I came across the web pages about Mormons masonry and the temple ordinances. Apart from the references being made to earlier temple ordinances I find it continually strange that you have problems with understanding why the early brothers in the church was members of the Masonic orders. The answers are partly given by the church leaders comments on this, really it seems to me very logical.
The similarities would prevail throughout centuries of handing down assumed rituals in the masonic order, Joseph Smith put in place to reinstigate the more total and clean cut process leading to a fuller understanding of the ways of God and to prepare for the second coming of Christ. ... Who said what first and borrowed from who is completely irrelevant. ... Of course Joseph Smith and Co would join the masonic order - by own thinking this would seem a great idea. God did not stop them for his own purposes - and it gave great insight into the thinking of masonry brothers which has been very predominant in Christian religions up to this day. A very powerful group - not a bad idea to allow the early members there because of their misunderstandings of a lot of things - this was only one.
The members have had to learn slowly according to own free will and intelligence. Humans learn slow! ... I have met converts who have been in the highest order [of Masonry] and who feel somehow in their case it prepared them for the higher laws in LDS church. ...
The level of misunderstanding of scriptures is enormous -how can you understand if you do not know the facts as well as connections. The person has to make a GREAT effort to find solutions to own problems and misunderstandings. Basically it is all there but it was not intended to be thrown in your face leaving you without the necessary experience of searching and searching again. ... The temple experience is of course not secret, but holy and any member who can talk and discuss with somebody else will understand this. ... I would feel a lot happier about youir efforts if you did not do this for money, I find it very low in reasoning- why would anybody buy it anyway....
[Sandra's Note: The problem for the LDS position is that the Masonic rituals do not date back to antiquity. The rituals and passwords do not go back to Solomon but date from about 1700 in England. The LDS temple ritual borrowed directly from the Masonry of Smith's day. See Changing World, Chapter 22: The Temple Ceremony and Masonry, and also Captain Morgan and the Masonic Influence in Mormonism.
As for your comment about our charging for our books, may I remind you that Deseret Book is full of books written by your leaders. I have had to buy hundreds of LDS books to do my research. I don't have a problem with the LDS leaders selling their books, but why do Mormons have a problem with me selling mine? By the way, you do realize that you have a paid clergy? All of the General Authorities receive a salary. See: Do Mormon Leaders Receive Financial Support?]
[Web-editor additional note: We've provided vast amounts of information freely on our website, including Jerald and Sandra's book, The Changing World of Mormonism, among many others. Putting all this information up and out on the internet is an expensive and time-consuming process. Very few that come to our site ever purchase a book or make a donation to help defer the cost. It's a little hard to accept a charge of being in it for the money when the accusation comes from someone freely reading through the information we pay to provide.]
Oct. 15, 2004
Subject: interested in your research
Hi there I am currently investigating mormonism. I grew up in the church and I am doing research. I am stunned by what I am learning. ... I am currently reading your large blue binder book - Mormonism shadow or Reality. Absolutely incredible. It is very very sad but the truth has to be known.
Oct. 15, 2004
I just read the speech that excommunicated Mormon historian, D. Michael Quinn, gave to a student history association at BYU found in issue number 85 dated Nov. 1993. The premise of his speech is a response to the order by Elder Packer and then apostle Elder Benson to censor his work. Their premise was to only show the best in former leaders. D.M. Quinn states very eloquently that such less research than the whole and accurate truth discredits himself and other historians as inept, biased and of poor scholarship.
Here is a quote by Elder Packer:
Here is Quinn quoting Elder Packer:
Here is Quinn's quote:
The last quote is my point. I never liked Elder Packer. My favorites were always Gordon Hinckley and Thomas Monson. So it is not surprising to me that Elder Packer should be described as a grudge holder (not quoted above, but found in the newsletter.)
What does enlighten me is what I've been feeling for so long. My father and I have talked about this on many occasions. It's that the people of the church are conditioned so much to see only the best parts that the whole church experience becomes highly one-sided. Lessons, talks, and even private conversations with other members become so entrenched in established ideology and viewpoints that there is little to no room for intellectual nor spiritual growth, in my opinion. My dad uses the phrase, "peeing in the soup."
There are so many dimensions to Mormon belief, and the entire persona of Joseph Smith is an interesting study into the visionary/fanatical psyche to see in basically our own time a recorded birth of a new world religion. But we members know virtually nothing of the real story. In fact, I never read the D and C nor really studied any other scriptures. My whole faith was based around church magazines, lesson manuals, conference talks, and plain here-say. The main reason for that is simply because the materials to accurately study out the history of my own church for my own self were not available.
I think about it now after I have left the church and had my name removed from the rosters. I wonder that if I actually had the material in hand if I would remain a true, blue believer for so long as I had. I would be able to make a more accurate decision to stay based on personal testimony of the Mormon way rather than simple tradition. For me, especially in religion, evidences of spiritual truths are required. I have pained myself from believing in people who didn't measure up to their claims. I can only go so far in giving myself completely to believe. There comes a point that I desire to follow God. And if that decision brings me in conflict with any said person or church so that I must choose between them, God, truth, and evidence of truth will ultimately win.
In retrospect back to the earlier quotes, I agree. I am not the church's child. The church boasts a membership exceeding ten million. President Hinckley said something that I find highly naive. Aside from his side-stepping the "men become gods" debate, he said that he is totally optimistic about the future of the church. Some people are disenchanted with it, but for the most part people are faithful. From what I have seen around my own home town (or maybe it's just Salt Lake) I don't know where he is coming from. He must be basing his conclusions on the records of the church, rather than actually taking the obvious and seeing who actually attends. Most people I know who don't agree with the church simply stop going, but don't remove their names from the rosters.
This kind of "hero worship" of historical figures is not peculiar to Mormons. It is found even in high school American history. The only difference that I see is that American historians are not tried for treason, imprisoned, nor deported for revealing such things as, for example, the fact that on subsequent voyages, Colombus was directly responsible for the conquering, enslavement, and eradication of many Carribean natives. And knowing that does not deplete my conviction in the Constitution of my country, nor the legacy of the industrial western world. I am simply better equipped not to approach the outer world naively.
To close, one thing that I had learned in the church is that it was innovative in the cause of religion. Joseph Smith was ahead of his time. That is the myth. But, even as Quinn points out, in the context of his day, no he wasn't. There was a whole movement in the 1830's to discourage the uses of coffee, tea, tobacco, and alcohol. And not only this, but there were many more movements that proclaimed a returned prophet or returned Christ as their head. Makes me think.
Oct. 17, 2004
Subject: Hitler temple work
The article on Hitler (and other Nazi's) temple work being done [The Mormon Church Attempts to Conceal Temple Records for Adolf Hitler] doesn't make room for various scenarios. I am a member of the LDS Church. No good Mormon would deliberately do temple work for mass murderers.
So my belief is, that there was some trickery involved, and due to the sheer volume of names submitted for temple work. A possible scenario is, that someone hoping to heap embarrassment on the LDS Church prepares the names. Then they give the names to a friends to do the work, and if they are questioned, get told that it is coincidental that the names are the same (different people though).
A lot of LDS are kind and don't get into arguments over temple work and genealogy. So it is only proper that the names should be removed once the problem was discovered. And the letter did say, that such ordinances are not valid for such unworthy people as members of the Third Reich. So I believe that the person who wrote this article is making a BIG deal out of something that shouldn't be. Shame on you all for posting this article! Your ministry is trying to make trouble where there should not be any. So my respect is less.
[Sandra's Note: This is another example of LDS fuzzy thinking. The temple work for Nazis has been done deliberately and often by devout LDS members, many times duplicating the ordinances for the same person. Hitler has been done many times, using all of the various spellings of his name.]
Oct. 18, 2004
Subject: Appreciation for you work
After reading Jon Krakaur's UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN, we were drawn to other books of Mormonism such as James Coates IN MORMON CIRCLES, where we read of your work in Utah.
We just attended the U[nited] P[enticostal] C[hurch] convention in Salt Lake City and were so sorry we read of you only after we arrived back in Texas. We would have loved to visit your bookstore.
We questioned throughout our reading about the personal relationship with Christ of a Mormon and noted that not much was said of Christ or the Bible. Your testimony was enlightening and inspirational. Keep up the good work!
Oct. 19, 2004
Subject: Westminster Confession of faith parallels in the BOM
Dear Mrs. Tanner,
Your website says that in the Changing World of Mormonism (Chapter 5, Part 2) there are additional parallels between the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Book of Mormon. Can you provide more information about them? Specifically were in the BOM they are and what parts are parallels?
Your friend in Christ,
[Sandra's Note: Besides those given in Changing World, our The Case Against Mormonism Vol. 2, p. 72, has some additional references. I will list them below, but the book has a little further discussion.
We have not done a thorough comparison, and I assume there are more parallels.]
Oct. 22, 2004
Thank you for all the good research that Jerald and you have done. Many of the folks at my church are fascinated that my wife Julie and I are both ExMormons.
I have been asked to lead a home bible study discussion on Mormonism and I may be asked to teach a short 4 week study in adult Sunday school. I have many ideas about how to proceed. Basically, I do not need to bash the LDS church or disprove it since my audience already disbelieves in LDS. However they have many misconceptions. I could go into way too much detail if not careful. I think that people who would attend need to get the basic understanding of what LDS members believe... Anyway, any ideas or recommendation for books would be appreciated.
[Sandra's Note: When I give a seminar to a church group on Mormonism, I use several of the pages on the Online Resources page, like the Terminology Differences. People need a general overview of what LDS consider scripture, basic differences in doctrines, how they redefine Christian terms. Here is a suggestion for five classes.
You might look at Cowans book on our site, Mormon Claims Answered. His table of contents might give you some ideas.
A good book for the class to read might be The Mormon Missionaries: An Inside Look at Their Real Message and Methods or Mormonism Unmasked.
You will also find some helpful insights at—http://www.apologeticsindex.org/d32.html
Just send me your mailing address, with a note that you want a packet of information sheets, and I will send you printed copies that you could then photocopy to share with a class.]
Oct. 22, 2004
Do you know the page number and actual quote from Brodie's book, where Smith says something like he has to pray for self control every time a beautiful woman walks by?
[Sandra's Note: This is from p. 297 of Fawn Brodie's book, No Man Knows My History:
It first appeared in Mormon Portraits: Joseph Smith The Prophet—His Family and His Friends, p. 55.]
Oct. 22, 2004
I have a 16 year old daughter that is entering the idea of Mormonism. We are not a religious family but I strongly disagree with the Mormon church. Since we live in a heavy LDS area ..., I would like something a teenager can read, understand the other side of her friends arguments, and hopefully not pursue this interest. Recommendation?
[Sandra's Note: I would suggest one of the following:
If she objects to these, using the Mormon line of reasoning that these are lies of ex-Mormons, you can order the following book, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, from the official LDS bookstore, Deseret Book.
It is the biography of Joseph Smith's wife, Emma, written by two LDS women historians. It is not "anti" but does relate unknown historical problems, like Emma's problems with polygamy and how Joseph lied to her about it. By the way, polygamy is STILL relevant, regardless of what the missionaries tell her, as it is still in their scriptures. See Doctrine and Covenants, sec. 132. Also, it was a DOCTRINE, not just a practice. Either it's true or Smith is a false prophet.
You might enjoy reading:
Oct. 24, 2004
Subject: this is lies
you must have no life if all you can do is dedicate your time to prove the mormon religon wrong. what is it that you beleive? your site doesent mention it
just like you said the mormon church baptizes over 300,000 a year, there has to be truth to gain that number. and about prayer james said "if ant of you lack wisdom, let him ask of god, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not;and it shall be given him." james 1:
[Sandra's Note: First, in regards to our beliefs, I suggest you read Marv Cowan's book, available online: Mormon Claims Answered.
Second, if size or growth were the measure for truth there are other religions that would beat out the Mormons.
Oct. 24, 2004
Subject: masonic temple
A teen relative of one of the GA's has asked me if there is a masonic temple in SLC. He wants to see it I think. If so, could you give me the address. I told him I would try to find out for him.
[Sandra's Note: The Salt Lake Masonic Temple is at 650 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. Here is the SLC Masonic web pageincludes photos of their temple.
Oct. 25, 2004
Subject: Difference between Mormon KJV bible and KJV Bible
I have recently been hearing that the King James Version of the Bible and the Bible (KJM) that is part of the 4 in 1 that the Mormons use.
Can you please confirm this for me? I am hoping that you may have the answer to this and if they are different, some type of listing that shows me the differences.
[Steve's Note: The KJV of the Bible that the LDS Church publishes is the same as what Christians use with a few qualifiers. Although the main text is the same, there are LDS cross-references and topical notes to lead one to the conclusion of Mormonism. This would not happen without these "helps."
The KJV of the Bible they produce also includes many selections of Joseph Smith's Inspired Translation of the Bible either at the bottom of the page or at the end of the Bible for longer sections which Joseph Smith claimed to "correct."
This of course raises an unavoidable problem. If Joseph Smith were truly inspired by God to make corrections to the KJV of the Bible, then why retain the old KJV at all? And if the old KJV is still acceptable, what does that say about Joseph Smith's claim to have received these "corrections" from God? This puts them in a no win situation when it comes to the preferred text.
We offer a book showing the parallel text of the differences between the KJV and Joseph Smith's "Inspired Translation". It is called, Joseph Smith's "New Translation" of the Bible.
The Bible is one of the four standard works of scripture for the LDS Church. The other three, of course, are the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price.]
Oct. 26, 2004
I found your website while looking up lighthouses. Thank you for your wonderful testimony of God's grace. To God be the glory, great things he hath done!. ....Thanks again for your faithfulness and love for Him!
Oct. 28, 2004
Subject: Testimony and Experience about the church
I read all positive and negative experiences you all have regarding your experience about The Church Of Jesus Christ Of LDS, I too has been persecuted by my very own mother for joining the church.
But, despite all of it, i remain humble, faithful and true to what i feel and continue to be a good daughter. My faith in Heavenly Father to show me the way brings me to where i am now. ...
My membership in the church in an asian country is a very wonderful experience, people are friendly and warm towards each other. Although i know and encounter some grudges between church members, i still know the church is true deep in my heart. As my fiance sealed me to him in the temple here in America, we attend various wards because we move every 3 years because of my husbands job.
Here....I feel the coldness of how church members go to the church, not much warm smiles and greetings like in Asian countries. Also, one time, we needed help financially, with the goodness of our bishop's heart he help us. Once the Stake President found out about it, he instruct the Bishop to stop helping us, also, he cut off the support for some single sisters who needs help. He said it doesn't look good that we drained the fast offering fund, it doesn't make our stake look good to regional representatives during audit time.
We are very sad that a church leader, or any church leader who suppose to be taking care of the poor, widow and orphans in their flocks never did follow what the Savior had asked them to do. Still .....we never left the Church because we know that there's no other Church here on earth that holds the true priesthood keys to seal the families forever. ...
I searched about many accussations against the doctrines of the church and read many bad opinions and experiences from various people and also here on the internet. But still it doesn't make us leave the Church..WHY???
Its because if you have the Light Of Christ within you, no matter what all manner of attacks of the adversary, doubts, unbeliefs, wants more proof, the easiness of the way... being bombarded to us by the Adversary we can overcome all these experiences by relying solely on the Lord.
Lets say the church is not true...still this is the best church who explain our potential , where we came from and have the ordinances and the guidance of the living prophets here on earth.
There are many things we cannot fully understand, studying the holy scriptures only is the best way, other books although written by some apostles will sometimes made us misunderstood what they wrote. Sometimes, they err...sometimes...they put their own opinions on it and it contradicts what we believed.
I'd rather stay in this Church and my Family through thick and thin...I know its true, no matter what anyone says, no matter how bad our experiences in this church gonna be. ...
Oct. 28, 2004
Subject: Native Americans
I would like all the info you have on mormonism and Native Americans, I heard that Mormons think the dark skin I have is a curse, I'd like to see if that is true.
[Sandra's Note: See our Nov. 2004 newsletter, it will deal with some of this: #103 Messenger, Who Are the Lamanites?
Also see these pages:
Oct. 29, 2004
Hello Utah Lighthouse Ministry,
I accidentally stumbled onto your website this afternoon and was so flustered with some of the negative things being said that I felt inspired to write to you. ... I am appalled that there is an organization out there who basis themselves upon comparing another religion (one of which I am sure they have no real idea about) to other principles and ideologies that they see as correct.
Here is the other problem that I have with this website that really, is just another statement that backs up the first. ...Anyway... 'The purpose of this site is to document problems with the claims of Mormonism and compare LDS doctrines with Christianity.' I copied and pasted this exactly from your homepage and was instantly disturbed by the message that this sends. Upon reading this I thought to myself, 'what kind of organization would be based on trying to disprove something that, from what I can tell, has done nothing to them.' Then I thought to myself, 'where is the organization that picks through the Utah Lighthouse Ministry's doctrine in an attempt to find something wrong with it'
I then wanted to ask you specifically, what has the LDS church done to you that would cause so much aggression. I really don't understand why anyone would spend their life blatantly attacking an organization like the LDS church... As I know that it is your right to say whatever you want about my religion, I think that you go well beyond stating your opinion and begin to force your experiences and opinions on others. I think that it is beyond unnecessary for you to create a site that is to 'document problems with the claims of Mormonism' but that is just me. I think that you should make it your mission to share the good things about your faith as opposed to wasting time attempting to destroy someone else's faith. ...
Oct. 31, 2004
Praise our Lord! I have relatives through marriage that are Mormons. I'll try to foward your site to them & I would like to ask you to pray for their salvation. ... The Lord bless your ministry as you remain faithful. .... My love to both of you...