August 2005
(Names and Contact Info Removed)
Aug. 1, 2005
Thank you for all your help. You have been instrumental in increasing our awareness of the deception in our spiritual past. Your store has also helped me find resources to study about true Mormon history. Even though I have not often purchased books from your store, often I find the best ones in the store and borrow them from the University library! Sorry about that!

. . .I hoped you could give me more insight. Do you know the dimensions of the gold plates? If so, I could calculate their weight. Do you know the weight?

[Sandra's Note: Joseph Smith said the plates were 6" by 8" by 6". We have a set of lead plates made to these dimensions at the store and they weigh about 118 pounds. If any gold were added to the plate composition the weight would increase proportionally. We will deal with these issues in our November newsletter. See #105 Messenger, Book of Mormon Plates: Artifact, Vision or Hoax?]

Aug. 1, 2005

Dear Jerald and Sandra, . . .

Here's our french site about mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, William Branham and Romanism. (Some catholic sites in Quebec and South Africa make some attacks against the evangelicals!).

Since 30 years, we follow your ministry et we are blessed it.

United in the Lord Jesus.

Aug. 2, 2005
Subject: Book of Mormon problems

I've been trying to discover my own Book of Mormon contradictions and I believe that you are some of the most well-respected people to make such information known. I have read your lists and would like to add a few of my own. I don't need or want any credit.

The Book of Mormon teaches ex-nihilo creation although it is denied by current LDS.

2 Nephi 2:13 . . . And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

The Book of Mormon teaches that the Nephites followed the Law of Moses, but they did not stone Korihor for blasphemy.

And another question about polygamy for Mormons. If it was part of a restitution of all things, why didn't they require animal sacrifices, circumcision, and prohibit the eating of pork?

You've reached many people and I hope you can continue to help others.

Aug. 3, 2005
. . . I live in UK. I am a born-again christian . . . I have met and fallen in love with a wonderful man, who was a non-practising mormon. . . . He comes from a large family and they are all enviably strong in their faith. . . . They even very recently presented me with a book of mormon and each put their own personal message in the cover which I thought was lovely and agreed to read it. I have been reading it along with my daily bible readings and the roots of my faith are still within me and I cannot see myself falling into the lies of the enemy however I cannot allow myself to become complacent in this. . . .

I have found your resources really helpful in particular the e-books and tracts. . . . I have previously been on the witnessing the truth to Mormons in love website . . . It was through that website that I stumbled on your own. I want to . . . win this family for righteousnss and in particular my boyfriend ....... who I sincerely hope and would dearly love to marry and make my union with him pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. . . .I will continue to read the online resources on your site and I want to thank you for your work you are doing. Be encouraged and know you are truly ministering into peoples lives. What do you suggest? Please help.

[Steve's Note: I would encourage you to begin by reading the article we have online titled, Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints. You may also want to use the Book of Mormon to show that its message does not agree with the current teachings of the LDS Church. You can see several examples of this in our paper, Contradictions in LDS Scriptures. Personally, I would focus on the Book of Mormon's teachings relating to the godhead. The Book of Mormon teaches there is only one God, he is spirit and that he has always been God whereas later LDS teaching contradicts this.]

Aug. 3, 2005
Subject: Question about why 18 women are not listed as Joseph Smith's wives on LDS family history website.

Hi UTLM folks

I reviewed the church's online genealogy record for Joseph Smith (ref. ) and the list of Smith's wives on (which includes marriage dates and references). The following 18 women are not listed in the church's record as Smith's wives:

Agnes Coolbrith
Almera Johnson
Delcena Johnson
Eliza Maria Partridge
Elizabeth Davis Durfee
Elvira Cowles Holmes
Emily Dow Partridge
Fanny Alger
Flora Ann Woodworth
Hanna Ells
Louisa Beaman
Lucinda Morgan Harris
Maria Lawrence
Marinda Johnson Hyde
Olive Frost
Patty Bartlett Sessions
Ruth Vose Sayers
Sarah Kingsley Cleveland

Any idea why not?

[Sandra's Note: I am not sure who compiled the list that appears on the LDS genealogy page, or why some names were left out. Fanny Alger was a teenager and her 'marriage' to Smith happened years before the date of the revelation. Some of the others may have been married—but who knows what reason or method was used?!? Of course, the church has never wanted to make the list as complete as possible. In fact, most Mormons I talk to usually aren't aware of ANY plural wives of Smith's. And certainly not that any of them were young teenagers or married women, or that they married Smith behind Emma's back. Or that Smith lied to the church about the whole issue.]

His response:

Subject: RE: Question about why 18 women are not listed as Joseph Smith's wives on LDS family history website.


It's curious that the church lists three already-married women as wives for Joseph Smith on his online genealogy record (curious because it's not faith-promoting). According to the record:

Mary Elizabeth Rollins married Adam Lightner on 11 Aug 1835.

George Algernon Lightner (son) was born on 22 Mar 1842.

Adam Lightner died on 30 Aug 1885.

Joseph Smith married Mary Elizabeth Rollins on 17 Jan 1842, when she was about seven months pregnant (was Adam Lightner the father, or Joseph Smith?).

Zina Diantha Huntington married Henry Bailey Jacobs on 7 Mar 1841.

Henry Bailey Jacobs died on 1 Aug 1886.

Joseph Smith married Zina Diantha Huntington on 27 Oct 1841, about seven and a half months after she married Henry.

Prescendia Lathrop Huntington married Norman Buell on 6 Jan 1828.

There is no online record of Norman Buell's death.

Joseph Smith married Prescendia Lathrop Huntington on 11 Dec 1841.

In the late 1970's in Seminary and Sunday School, I was taught about the "restored doctrine" of plural marriage, including the idea that if I was a righteous priesthood holder during my life, I have multiple wives in the afterlife. I don't know when the church stopped teaching about post-mortality polygamy.

Not surprisingly, no LDS women I knew expressed enthusiasm for the doctrine, which has never been rescinded by the church (the Manifesto of 1890 only states that the practice of plural marriage would be discontinued). Doctrinally, polygamy remains a part of Mormonism. As you know, the verses in D&C 132 pertaining to plural marriage remain as part of official church scripture.

Aug. 4, 2005
Subject: Just a response from an ex-mormon and true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ

I wanted to respond to the following:

Today converts are swarming into the Mormon church, but very few of them really know much about Mormonism. We feel safe in saying that many of them are converted to the social program of the church rather than to its doctrines. Those who were born in the church in many cases "know" it is true but don't know why it is true. Many Mormons will stand up in testimony meeting and dogmatically assert that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that they belong to "the only true church," but very few of them check to make sure that their faith is based on reality.

Many members of the Mormon church prefer to let their leaders do their thinking ("when our leaders speak, the thinking has been done"); it is so easy to let someone else do our thinking. The Bible warns: "Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord" (Jer. 17:5). We sincerely hope and pray that the Mormon people will begin to awaken to the true message of Christ, realizing that in Him, and Him alone, can we have salvation—salvation that brings genuine deliverance from sin and real fellowship with the God who loved us enough to die for us. (Changing World Testimony)

Thank you so much for this article. I am an ex mormon (my name still needs to be removed from the records however). I even served a two year mission. I too all my life wanted to be closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. I also had questions on my mission, but was too afraid to say anything. I am now married to a wonderful woman, who is a strong Catholic. I have decided to become Catholic and give my life to the Lord. I am at greater peace and feel the Saviors Love. I just think there is one thing with the last of that paragraph that I do disagree with however. I do agree that Mormonism is an organization that comes from a man or men. It does not come from God.

I do agree that most Mormons don't really know what there church is really about. But I feel that one of the reasons it has lasted as long as it has and that there are so many members is in part to the many people who are true Christians in the Mormon church. That most members honestly want to be closer to God and to understand Him better. To make a blanket statement that you hope the Mormon people will begin to awaken to the true message of Christ shouldnt be made. Not all Mormons are oblivious to the power of Jesus Christ. Not all Mormons are lost without any true direction from God.

Some Mormons believe it or not are true Christians and they believe in the true Jesus Christ. But I do agree that they still have some of those other false beliefs mixed in. And I do believe that it is possible that even though the LDS church came from a man Joseph Smith, that it is still possible that true believers can still be found within that church. Some go as far to make that leap of faith and leave the Mormon church which I believe is what they should do. But some quietly go about their Mormon lives too afraid to take that chance. I was affraid up until I met my wife.

She has been a blessing from the Lord to help me find the true Jesus Christ and that I am greatful for. I always knew that in my heart (yes my heart) that there was more than what the doctrine of the LDS church taught. One example is that only through Jesus Christ we are saved and not of works.

In conclusion, I feel that I too hope that all men can find Jesus Christ. Even if they still choose to be part of a church like the Mormon church for what ever reason that is there church. Like it has been said it doesn't matter about which church, but it matters if you have found the Lord Jesus Christ.


Aug. 5, 2005
What you publish here is blasphemy my dear friend and God will be the judge of you in the end. Joseph Smith was the Lords prophet to open this dispensation and to goad him is to mock God.

I bear solemn witness of the divinity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days Saints and of the Vision that Joseph Smith saw in the Grove. I bear this witness because I have a responsibility and a duty to bear it for the Lord has made these things known unto me by the power of his holy spirit, yea even the Holy Ghost and all earth could not make me deny it for anything!

Aug. 5, 2005
Subject: Staying saved

My question is this: Can a person who truly accepts Christ as his Savior, truly believes in Him, and becomes saved, later lose his salvation if he loses or sets aside that faith, or willfully sins despite his faith? I would appreciate any thoughts, or resources, you may be able to provide on this subject.


[Sandra's Note: Greetings. I assume that your question springs from a Mormon perspective. Here are a few thoughts.

Just as there are different points of view on the age of the earth among Christians, there is equal diversity on the issue of "eternal security." For a discussion of the different points of view, see Four Views on Eternal Security at—

I like the attitude displayed on this site—

Below is a quote from the site:

What about the debate?
If you have strong convictions on either side of the eternal security debate, keep in mind that there are many verses in the Bible that give strong indications both for and against eternal security. Both sides honestly can't deny this fact. Because of this, I don't believe it's right to vilify another brother or sister because they aren't on your side of this issue. I'm not saying that both sides are right, what I am saying is that most of the time, both sides are basing their belief in Scripture alone, not because of a 'false prophet', misguided teacher, or irresponsible interpretation (as so many web sites on both sides allege). This isn't like Mormonism or Jehovah's witnesses, where someone came along and started teaching a strange doctrine. If you take a look at Christian history, you'll find this debate has been ongoing nearly all the way back to the beginning of the church. Even legendary preachers John Wesley and George Whitfield were at odds about this issue nearly 300 years ago.

I've reached my own conclusions about eternal security and I believe in it with all my heart. But I don't blame others for disagreeing with me. After all, the Bible has some strong passages that indicate you must be careful about your salvation. However, what I hope that the other side of the debate would realize is that the same is true for eternal security — the Bible has plenty of strong passages to indicate this, too. Since it's possible to draw either conclusion about eternal security just from reading Scripture, it seems to me that calling someone who disagrees with you about eternal security a 'heretic', 'damned', 'deceived', 'of the devil', 'unsaved', 'false teacher' or worse, regardless of what side you are on, isn't fair and maybe even sinful.

So am I saying that it doesn't matter what you believe? Of course not — I believe that your position on this issue dramatically affects your Christian walk. It definitely has in mine. What I am saying is that we need to be understanding of why others believe what they do and not crucify them for taking a different point of view if it is drawn from so many places in the Bible. Of course we all know that there are obvious Christian principles that are black and white and 'non-negotiable' (the deity of Christ, the resurrection, sin, salvation by faith alone, etc.). Is eternal security a non-negotiable? I'll be honest with you, I don't know. Again, I believe in it with all my heart, but I'm not sure taking a 'crusader's stand' on it is worth the division it has caused the church to suffer.

Extending the Olive Branch
I'm not going to call a conditional security-believing brother in Christ 'unsaved', 'heretic' or 'false teacher', especially one I have not met and do not know personally. I just think that is unbiblical and simply uncalled for. In fact, I think it is a rather serious, grave thing to accuse anyone of being unsaved or a heretic, especially if they are a sincere, professing Christian who passes all of the Biblical tests of genuine faith but does not agree with you on the issue of security. I think it's a scary thing to find oneself doing. Yes, there is heresy and false doctrine out there that must be denounced, and those instances are clearly outlined in the Bible. But I think the weapon of denouncement has been used carelessly, unfairly and even sinfully in this debate of security against many true brothers and sisters in Christ.

That said, I hope that those on the conditional security side of the debate would treat me with the same mutual respect that I have learned that they and I both deserve as a genuine follower of Christ. I am not 'deceived' or 'of the devil' and don't appreciate anyone vilifying me as such just because I believe my salvation is secure forever. I believe what I believe because the Bible says so, I say without hesitation that Jesus is Lord (1 Corinthians 12:1-6), I put my trust in Him, and He is working in my life and producing fruit through me. I realize the same is true of many Christians on the conditional security side of things. I will not stoop to the level of trashing or accusing a brother or sister in Christ because he or she does not agree with me about eternal security. I would only ask that others would give me the same courtesy.

Christians holding either position (eternal security or conditional security) agree that eternal life is a free gift from God, bestowed on all those who accept Jesus Christ's atonement as the full payment for their sin.

We believe that those who have truly given their lives to God will seek to please Him in their actions, not to add to their salvation, but it is the natural outworking of the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer. Certainly Christians still sin, but they are continually being called back to God through the work of the Holy Spirit (see I John 1:5-10).

But this is very different from the LDS point of view that says 'eternal life' (exaltation) is something granted beyond 'salvation by grace'—something given only to those who have participated in the LDS temple rituals and been faithful to Mormonism their entire lives.

After years of reading LDS general authorities, I conclude that they believe that a fully committed, God-fearing, Christ-honoring person (such as Billy Graham) would not merit/receive 'Eternal Life' (exaltation) unless he/she, at some point in this life or during the millennium, embraces the LDS belief system and participates in (or accepts the vicarious work done on his/her behalf) the LDS temple endowment and marriage for eternity. Thus, in a discussion of the necessity of 'good works' a Mormon is really talking about participating in temple rituals, something far beyond living a God-honoring life.

Interestingly, Joseph Smith introduced his own version of eternal security with the second anointing ritual that guarantees godhood.

For more on second anointings, see:

#98 Messenger, Second Anointing

Also see these links—

There is also information on this in Mysteries of Godliness.]

His reply:

I appreciate your willingness to personally respond, and to provide helpful materials and comments. I'll review them carefully.

As you have surmised, I do indeed come from a Mormon background. At present, I have significant doubts concerning certain doctrines taught by the LDS Church, including those relating to the nature of, and means of obtaining and retaining, salvation. I have begun a serious study of the Bible to compare its teachings with those of the LDS Church. In the mean time, I have determined that I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior, and I am trying to learn (or relearn) the Gospel from the ground up to make sure I have a sure foundation for my faith. My question arose in the context of that quest for truth.

I know what the Mormon Church has to say on the topic of salvation, having been an active member for many years, but I needed a good starting place from a mainstream Christian perspective. I sought you out specifically because you seem likely to appreciate the issue from both perspectives.

Thanks again.

Aug. 7, 2005
Subject: Is LDS Defamation OK? Why are bigots allowed to defame LDS?

All of these discussions are moot regarding doctrine to attain justification for a religious lifestyle. What is disturbing is the large number of anti-Mormon propagandists in print, at pulpits, in cyberspace, even on Temple Square who vehemently and routinely defame the LDS population and culture.

Millions of Latter-Day Saints around the world live the LDS lifestyle daily, even hourly and testify to the force that it has for good in their lives. This lifestyle is patterned after the teachings of LDS doctrine and it is the particular method of worship that these individuals have selected to inspire them to overcome the difficulties of life and find spiritual rejuvenation. Latter-Day Saints have the specific right to believe what and how they wish to their own betterment. They are not advocating harm to anyone. They do not have slaves tied up in their backyards, nor do they murder individuals based on extremist religious doctrine. In a nation where such inalienable rights are secured by law there should be no tolerance for the rampant defamation of LDS culture and lifestyle that currently prevails, the vast majority of which emanates from the Evangelical Christian community.

This kind of anti-Mormon rhetoric and behavior is absolutely unacceptable.

If someone were to go into a heavily populated Jewish neighborhood in New York City and spew the same kind of hate speech toward the Jewish people, desecrating Torahs, they would immediately be branded a bigot and would have the Anti-Defamation League descend upon them with severe censure. You could not do this to Blacks in a heavily populated Black community in Alabama, you would be featured on Fox News and have the NAACP on your doorstep. Why is it open season on Latter-Day Saints?

Latter-Day Saints are not required to prove their religious rights to anyone. You must respect their rights. Stop these pathetic attempts at unique scriptural interpretation to declare what "Christianity" really is. This circular debate is not convincing to anyone. I am not interested in how you have arrived at your singular doctrine when your only method of convincing me is to use a source, such as the Bible, which is so widely interpreted in various ways. It is a "He said, She said" Biblical stalemate. Both sides can successfully support differing views from the SAME text and neither side is going to suddenly declare that they were mistaken all along.

There is only one issue that should be focused on: Stopping the defamation, ridicule and intolerance that plague the LDS people. An LDS Anti Defamation League should be created to watchdog those who propagate hate speech and bigotry toward the LDS people.

This mission statement from the website should apply to anti-Mormons:

"The immediate object of the League is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the [LDS] people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens."

Stop arguing over whether Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. That point, whichever way you tend to believe, is not the conditional factor that should grant Latter-Day Saints the privilege to worship God how, when and where they want. I urge Latter-Day Saints and all US Citizens to join together and send a clear message to those individuals and groups who seek to foment hatred in our communities: "We unanimously reject your hate-filled ideology. Your message is not welcome here."

[Sandra's Note: I find it interesting that you argue for the "inalienable rights" of the LDS people to worship however they choose, but don't seem to understand that those same "inalienable rights" include the ability to disagree. Or have you forgotten that freedom of speech is also guaranteed in the USA? I believe the LDS people have every right to send out missionaries, to preach, teach, etc. anything they want. I am all for "fair treatment." I only ask for the same privilege. Telling the other side of the story is not "hate" speech or "discrimination."

As long as the LDS Church continues to send out thousands of missionaries to convince members of other churches that the LDS Church is "the only true church" there will be those who take exception to the message and present the other side of the story.]

Aug. 8, 2005
Subject: church records

I and my spouse both have our names on the church records. I have never attempted to have them removed, because I always felt that God knew our hearts, and simply having your name somewhere didnt really mean much. (We have been fellowshipping at a local Baptist church, because it seems to be the only one in the area that coincides most with our beleifs. It surprised me how many ex-mormons go to that church- praise God!) However, recently, it has created problems, because certain LDS church members have begun to hassle us again. Ive heard the process for removing names is long and complicated, and I dont want to cause hate feelings with the people in the LDS church, because most of them are nice, but I really think it would be best to have them removed. What is your opinion? And could you provide some ideas for getting started on this?

Thank you for all you are doing to provide the truth for others.

[Sandra's Note: I always encourage ex-Mormons to formally resign from the LDS Church. If everyone who left did so, the LDS membership numbers would drop significantly.

These two pages on our web site will give you the information you need to submit your resignation letter to the local bishop. This can be done in both the spirit of firmness and congeniality. Such a letter is also a great opportunity to share your faith with them.

Here are two other web sites with additional advice.

Hope this helps.]

Aug. 8, 2005
I just received your newsletter. Thanks for all the updates and info on the "church." I will continue to pray for you and husband Jerald, family and staff.

It has now been 15 years! since my leaving. Please pray for my family and friends to be saved soon. I am forbidden to ever discuss why I left with anyone in the family because they might be led astray!

At family gatherings everyone is nice but it feels so awkward and I feel judged and "outnumbered" and uncomfortable.

I'm glad [LDS] numbers are declining of member status. I don't understand how the church has lasted this long. Please answer this question?

  1. How can intelligent people believe in it?
  2. Is it really a brain-washing of minds?
  3. What can I do to get my family out?


[Sandra's Note: First, it isn't a matter of intelligence but more one of comfort level. For the unquestioning Mormon who has been raised in the church there is a sense of comfort and familiarity with what one has always experienced. If the person's family is LDS and the world seems to be working for him/her, and he is relatively happy, there isn't much incentive to question.

Also, the church constantly tells its members that the outside world is apostate; the Bible and other churches are not to be trusted, just rely on your testimony (an emotional experience reaffirming what one wants to believe).

One type of voluntary brainwashing is when members participate in the monthly LDS fast and testimony meeting, repeating practically the same words/testimony as the person before. It usually goes something like this:

I know that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was a modern prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Gordon B. Hinckley [or whoever is the current president] is also a modern prophet and holds the keys for this dispensation and that this is the only true church. I say this humbly, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

They specifically emphasis "I know" as opposed to "I believe." LDS children are usually encouraged to start giving such testimonies as soon as they can talk before a group.

Many deliberately confine their reading and friendship to only LDS sources. You might want to read my article on cult thinking, What is a Cult? and listen to Sandra Tanner Tape #4.

Since your family has demanded that you not speak to them about Christian/Mormon issues, there is not much you can do, other than pray that God will bring some situation or person into their lives that will cause them to reevaluate their beliefs.]

Aug. 9, 2005

Hi, I need clarification. Do all Mormons wear the undergarments or only the temple goers. Thank you for all the wonderful work you do. Your ministry really is a port in the storm for many.

[Sandra's Note: All Mormons do NOT wear the special undergarments, only those who have gone through the LDS temple endowment ceremony. In any given ward you may find active members who have not gone through the temple and don't wear the garment and those who have been through the endowment ceremony and wear the garment.

However, an inactive member, who went to the temple at an earlier time, may still choose to wear the garment. Thus, wearing the garment is not necessarily a sign of ones current activity level in the LDS faith. But it would signify the person's belief in the LDS Church.]

Aug. 10, 2005
Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!! I have just read your testimonies and how you came to know that the Mormon church was not the "one true church". I was in awe.

I have just recently met a man who is Morman and he had been strongly suggesting to me that I check out the LDS church. "There are so many kind and wonderful people there" he says. I believe there are but I now see that they are kind, wonderful and totally screwed up!!

There is only one church and that is God's church. It has nothing to do with a building and the people in the building. It has everything to do with our relationship with the one true God. You definately opened my eyes to the falsehood of the LDS church and I of course will not be visiting any time soon.

It saddens me to think that there are so many people entering into this religion (intelligent people). Our prayers should be that God opens there minds and hearts to the falseness and they should be seeking the truth. To think they can be so blinded. What will their destiny be?? Today was my first time visiting your site and I definately will continue to visit. Thank you so much for opening my eyes and for you devotion to Jesus Christ the son of God. What a mighty God we serve.

Aug. 10, 2005
. . . Thanks for the site! It is great!
Aug. 11, 2005
Proxy Problems at the Celestial Gate

1) "If you're Jewish, then your name must definitely be down here somewhere."

2) "No, seven endowments and twelve sealings can't be used to count as one baptism."

3) "You're not entitled to extra celestial privileges just because you've been baptized fifteen times!"

4) "I'm sorry, but someone else with that identity is already here."

5) "Elvis, are you sure the information you have given me is correct? We show ten different ordinance records for you and none of them seem to exactly match your personal history. Are you sure your name is not Elves Presley?" (Actual entry in online IGI.)

6) "What do you mean you don't know any of the people you've been sealed to?"

7) "You say you don't want to be sealed to either of your first two wives, only to your third. We can't find any record of a third wife. You'll just have to take your pick of the first two — or maybe you can find someone who will trade."

8) "You took vows of celibacy as a Jesuit and you don't want to be sealed to a spouse? It shows here that you're sealed to Dozie Duff — and Dozie wants the sealing to stay intact!"

9) "Now, Henry, we know you authorized the executions of two of your wives, Anne Boleyn and Kate Howard — but our records show that you've been sealed to them multiple times. While we do understand that you do not want these wives, who now have their heads back and are still very upset with you, for your eternal reward, you're sealed to both of them...."

10) "I don't care if you were a Catholic Pope and the Vicar of Christ, you can't bring your mistress in here unless you're properly sealed to her."

Aug. 11, 2005
. . . I am very impressed with your research and I have heard of your good reputation. We are currently having visits with some LDS missionaries and are eagerly sharing the gospel with them by attempting to show them the Law and the falsehood of the LDS plan of salvation. We have been educating ourselves about LDS doctrine and culture in order to effectively witness to them as we have a large population of Mormons here in Boise. . . . Thank you very much.

In Christ's name,

Aug. 11, 2005
Subject: The holy ghost before pentecost?

The Holy Ghost was bestowed on the Christians at the time of Pentecost.

Luke 24:49 "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father unto you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."

Acts 2:1-4 "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. ... And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,..."

Yet the Book of Mormon claims that people received the gift of the Holy Ghost as early as 545 B.C.

2 Nephi 31:12-13 "...the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me... Wherefore, my beloved brethren,... by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost;..."

How is this possible, if Peter received the testimony of Christ through the Holy Spirit before Pentecost? Peter was a Christian and he received the Holy Spirit?

[Steve's Note: Peter received his testimony not through the Holy Spirit but by God the Father according to Matthew 16:16-17. Theologians make the distinction between the filling of the Holy Spirit (where God would come on a person to enable them to complete a particular task) and the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit (for all believers since the Day of Pentecost). See Acts 10:48 and Romans 8:9 to see that all Christians have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them.

The way in which the Book of Mormon describes this is with a fully developed New Testament understanding, which is out of place in the time period that 2 Nephi 31 claims to be recording (approximately 550 BC). Even the wording of this passage in the Book of Mormon shows dependence on and borrowing from the text of the King James Version of the Bible.]

Aug. 11, 2005
If there is only "one gospel" then what was Abraham preaching before the mosaic law?

[Steve's Note: Abraham was believing in God to be his salvation both for himself and for his promised posterity. Abraham looked ahead to the provision of a savior while today we look back. This is the whole point of the author of the book of Hebrews. If those who believed and yet did not receive what they were waiting for how much more responsible are we who have seen these "last days" when God no longer speaks to us through prophets but through His own Son? (1:1-2 and chapter 11:8-19). In Ephesians 3:5 Paul makes it clear that what God has now made known was a mystery in other ages and not made known unto the sons of men. They didn't have the details we are blessed with today. They only knew that they had to have faith that God would truly be 'jehovah jireh' in that he would be the God who provides.]

Aug. 11, 2005
Subject: I have visited your website for the first time today

I have a question from the link:

Bible and Book of Mormon Contradictions

The first contradiction seems very clear but I find it good to cross examine my sources. I find in the book of Isaiah it also prophecies that the gentiles will receive "thy light" (Isaiah 60:3.) Isn't this "light" Christ? (John 8:12.) This is your chance to contradict this, because this now seems very clear to me just as yours did in the first.

[Steve's Note: The word "light" is used in a variety of ways in the New Testament. In Matthew 5:16 Jesus called believers the light of the world. In John 8:12 Jesus calls himself the light of the world.

In Isaiah 60:3 the light is best understood in the same way it is being used in Isaiah 2:2-5, 42:6 and 49:6. God would use the nation of Israel to be a light to the nations. Ultimately, this would find fulfillment in Jesus Christ as the light of the world. The full context will determine the intended use of the word "light" in each of these passages.

While Israel knew God's salvation would extend to Gentiles they did not have all the details of how God would accomplish this. Simply because Isaiah predicted the "light" who would bring salvation and was fulfilled in Jesus Christ does not mean that they had a full understanding including the kind of details the Book of Mormon claims the people had before the time of Christ.

Paul's argument in Ephesians 3:6 when he states, "This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus." the mystery which is now revealed includes in it the word "together" which is repeated three times. Paul is declaring that the equality and the unity with Jewish believers by Gentiles was unexpected— not that the Gentiles would be saved through Israel since this was prophesied in the Old Testament and illustrated by Paul in Romans 15:9-12.]

Aug. 12, 2005
Subject: Joseph Smith

The Mormons and the Government of the United States of America

Two Failed Prophecies of the Prophet Joseph Smith



Obedient Mormons strongly desire to make it to the Celestial Heaven, that they may be sons of their Father in heaven (Matthew 5:45), but the problematic factor here is that there are two failed prophecies of Joseph Smith that placed him in direct defiance to the Government of the United States of America. However, the Mormon concept of being a son of their Father in heaven means that they will be gods themselves and will have spirit children that will worship and pray to them.



I prophecy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the State of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers, that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left for their wickedness in permitting the murder of men, women, and children, and the wholesale plunder and extermination of thousands of her citizens to go unpunished—History of the Church, Vol. 5, Page 394.


Where in Joseph Smith's failed prophecy did he love his enemies? Where did he bless them? Instead, he followed the Law of Moses—


Smith made this prophecy in 1843, but the United States government did not redress any of the wrongs committed against the Mormons in Missouri.



While discussing the petition to Congress, I prophesied, by virtue of the holy priesthood vested in me, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that if Congress will not hear our petition and grant us protection, they shall be broken up as a government, and God shall damn them, and the shall be nothing left of them—not even a grease spot—Millennial Star, Vol. 22, pp. 445.

Yet, in History of the Church, Vol 6, pp. 116, Mormon church leaders decided to leave out the "grease spot" part, even if that was supposed prophecy by the Lord.


The Mormon petition was never heard nor was protection granted (Deseret News, Vol. 1, pp. 59). Again, the Mormon leadership added to the original prophecy of their prophet that referred to the party in power, but that was not part of the original prophecy.

When Smith prophesied falsely, the Word of God says that he would bring judgment down on himself and that could be why he died a premature death in Missouri. He resisted the ordinance of God, by stating that Jesus Christ told him too


There were many more failed prophecies of Joseph Smith, but we wanted to focus his failed ones regarding the government and how he acted in direct defiance to both God and Jesus Christ, all the while supposing to act in their name.

These two examples, by themselves, proved Smith to be a false prophet to anyone with an ounce of discernment.

In Christ,

Aug. 12, 2005
I was reading the SLC Messenger #102 and noticed the reference to Orson Hyde's speech before the High Priest's Quorum in Nauvoo (April 27, 1845).

Do you know where I could get a copy of that speech? The Messenger says "printed by John Taylor, p. 30," but I don't know which work by John Taylor is intended.

Also, I have come across two works by the Tanners entitled The Negro in Mormon Theology (1963) and Joseph Smith's Curse Upon the Negro (1965), both by Modern Microfilm Company. Are those available. This topic is very interesting to me.

Thank you.

[Sandra's Note: You can see photos of the original speech, and read it all on the BYU site—

As for our earlier books, they are out of print but in some of the university libraries in Utah. We have a new book on the topic, Curse of Cain? Racism in the Mormon Church.]

Aug. 12, 2005
. . .I've long been a student of Mormonism, ever since I worked in Utah for the U.S. Forest Service. Recently, a friend of mine, a professor at BYU, converted to Mormonism. I still cannot get over the shock. He is one of the world's experts on evolution and the use of genes to reconstruct the history of populations and species. There's no way that he does not know that the basis of Mormonism is complete balderdash — yet there it is, he converted.

I recall that when I lived in Provo in the late 70s my apartment lease stated that I would neither drink alcohol nor have extra-marital sex. I really didn't want to sign such a document, but what was I to do? The folks who lived near me were amazingly friendly and hospitable, even inviting me to join a softball team. As my interest in the religion grew, I decided I'd ask the missionaries to stop by. I must admit that I really wanted to grill them (I already felt that I knew more history and theology than did these youthful "elders"). Apparently, after some number of visits, the missionaries concluded that I was a danger to the church. You've no doubt already guessed the outcome: no more friends, no more home cooked meals, no more softball, etc. I became a non-person.

Ah well, the religion is a never-ending source of fascination for me. Thank you for all of your years of study!

Sincerely yours,

Aug. 12, 2005
Hello. I have a quotation that I think I found on your website, it begins with:

"During a discourse given on Sunday night, February 19, 1854, Brigham Young again addressed the question of who begot Jesus Christ in the flesh. Speaking of Christ, he asked: Who did beget him. His Father, and his father is our God, and the Father of our spirits..." (24)

At the end of the quotation it has "(24)" in place of the source. I need this quote for a discussion and I can' t find the original source. I can't find the sermon on your website. Could you please help me?


[Note from Sandra—I think that is from another site. My assistant found the quote. It is taken from a pamphlet we print called Adam Is God??? by Chris A.Vlachos. This is the pamphlet that uses the footnote #24. It has to do with Brigham Young's Adam-God teaching.

You can read the pamphlet at (You will need to scroll down a couple of pages to the start of Vlachos' article.). So it is not technically on our site, but is in a pamphlet we print. You can also do a search on Adam God references on our site.

Here is a link to an old newsletter of ours (that isn't up on our site yet) that has the quote from 1854.

For quotes on Jesus being God's literal son, see our page, LDS Leaders Define Their Concept of Jesus Christ. Also see, Mormons Hope to Become Gods of Their Own Worlds.

If you will go to our site and use our search engine, type in the words—father begat jesus. This will pull up a number of different references to the topic. You might also look at the quotes on this site

His response—

Thank you so much! I had no idea that you would reply so quickly. I thank the Lord that he has made the truth about the LDS church available. When I was a member, struggling with my doubts, I felt like I was under water and didn't know which way was up. I know now! Thank you. Now I just hope others will listen.

Aug. 13, 2005
hi. there are a few things i'm curious about and i honestly hope that you take a moment to respond.

clearly you believe that the mormon church is false. in your view is it a fraud Knowingly perpetrated by the leadership? if so, why? to what end? what do they get out of it?

or is it your belief that the leadership really does believe in the church? and that they as well as the membership are all simply wrong?

thanks for you time.

[Sandra's Note: I will give the current leadership the benefit of the doubt and assume they truly believe Mormonism. However, I also believe they are aware of many of the historical problems and deliberately avoid discussing them and cover up the past.

I assume their reasoning goes something like "I know the church is true, but if all this information is given to the rank and file, they may not be able to maintain their testimony. Therefore, I am doing a good service by limiting the flow of possible troubling information."

When Hinckley was interviewed by Time and the San Francisco Chronicle a few years ago he deliberately (in my opinion) fudged on the LDS doctrine of God. But I assume he reasoned that the gentiles were not ready for the 'meat' of the gospel, so had to tone it down. I see him as knowingly hiding their true beliefs but assume he excuses it on the grounds that the ends justify the means.

For more on these interviews see—]

Aug. 14, 2005
Subject: Heavenly Mother


Was the concept of a Heavenly Mother-and that God, the Father is married to a goddess wife introduced before or after Joseph Smith joined a masonic lodge? . . . Thank you for your input in advance.

[Sandra's Note: Smith's doctrine of plural gods (with wives, see D&C 132) was developed in the early 1840's. You can read his sermons on plural gods on our web site, Topical Index: Joseph Smith, Jr. Sermons.

His teaching that God was once a man and that men are the same species and direct children of God would necessitate a mother-god. However, he did not preach Mother-god openly. One of his plural wives, Eliza Snow, claimed Smith taught her about the mother-god and that is why she wrote the poem "Oh my Father" in 1845 (Set to the Christian music of "My Redeemer"). Notice the line "Truth is reason, truth eternal, tells me I've a mother there."

You can read the lyrics at—

See also—

A good book on the development of the LDS doctrine of God is Mormonism and the Nature of God.]

Aug. 15, 2005
Greetings,Do you know where there is a reference regarding the native americans having the mongolian blue spot and how that pertains (or does not) to mormans?

[Sandra's Note: You can read about Mongolian spots at this site:

Israelites do not generally have the Mongolian spot, but Asians and American Indians do. Thus the question arises that if the Americas were settled by Israelites, why do the native Americans have the spot? Of course, LDS scholars want to argue that the Book of Mormon peoples were limited to a very small area, and that Indians (with ancestry from Asia) were already present in the Americas. However, the Introduction to the 1981 ed. of the Book of Mormon states that the Lamanites "are the principal ancestors of the American Indians."

See our #103 Messenger, Who Are the Lamanites?

You might also enjoy reading this article and also their link to the Smithsonian letter.


Aug. 16, 2005
Subject: The Changing World of Mormonism

I recently came across this book which I read with interest. Clearly, there is not the same LDS presence here in the UK as you have in the US. Indeed, I recently saw some LDS figures which mentioned the US, Latin America, Asia, South Pacific and Africa but Europe/UK did not feature at all.

I just wanted to commend you for all your work and especially the thoroughness and integrity of your attention to details and to assure you of our prayers here in the UK for you and others who are called to this type of work.

Aug. 18, 2005
Subject: "Missionaries" video

Dear Sandra Tanner,

Several years ago when I lived in Utah I saw a PBS type program on KUED. It was a documentary about Mormon missionaries, and the pressure that is put upon them to be missionaries, and the way that those Mormons who fail to go on their missions are ostracized by their fellow Mormons in the community. I think the program was called "The Missionaries" or something like that.

I would love to if possible purchase a copy of this program for use in my church. Can you tell me if it still exists, and if so where I can get it, and for how much money?

Keep up the good work!


[Sandra's Note: The film was called "The Mormons: Missionaries to the World." It caused some controversy at the time. There was an article about it in Sunstone back in May of 1987,—INTERVIEW 'A MIRROR TO GET PEOPLE THINKING AND TALKING' A Conversation with Bobbie Birleffi (issue #59). You can access it on the internet. Just scroll down through the issue to the article.

Don't know if the film can still be purchased. I found it listed on the NY Times, but not much info.

Here is some info on the producer.

I found another mention on the internet.


Aug. 19, 2005
Subject: Book of Mormon Authorship

I will be brief. Because of your extensive information available — I narrowly missed becoming a Mormon. Thank you for helping me make up my own mind through truth.

After having read and studied the Book of Mormon, I came to the conclusion that J. Smith did NOT author this book on his own. I don't believe a human could write such a composition that could fool millions of people. Also, I see no reason for him to fabricate seeing the "angels" that he claims lead him to transcribing the golden plates. I believe Smith told the truth when he related the events that happened to him.

The Bible warns us that Satan will appear as an angel of light — and will deceive many nations into believing that he is from God. I present to you the theory that Satan's angels appeared to Smith and helped him translate the plates. I present to you that Satan was the author of all Smith's translations and visions.

Christ said many times in different ways — that His Kingdom was not of this world. However, Satan has wanted this world from creation — and has now set up many temples to himself through the Mormon experience.

I could expound on my theory at some length — but I said I would be brief. I would appreciate a response if time will permit.


[Steve's Note: You are not alone in your thinking. Many others have suggested the same sort of thing before. It is equally possible that Joseph Smith simply combined his own abilities as a story teller with a mixture of the KJV of the Bible and contemporary ideas already in publication in his day. Still others have suggested that Joseph Smith engaged in some sort of either channeling or automatic writing techniques used by those who utilize occult methods to write. Even the noted LDS historian B. H. Roberts concluded in his Studies of the Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith was fully capable of producing the Book of Mormon and possessed all needed to do so.

While we may never know exactly what may be behind all of the claims of Joseph Smith, we can certainly test the finished product. When we do, the Book of Mormon has very serious problems which make belief in it to be an act not of faith but of foolishness.]

Aug. 20, 2005
Subject: Judgement Day

I've read several different articles that state "Mormons teach that everyone must stand at the final judgment before Joseph Smith, the Mormon Jesus, and Elohim." What Mormon doctrine states this belief?

Thank you,

Living in the heart of Mormon Idaho.

[Steve's Note: Brigham Young stated this in 1869. It is recorded in Volume 7, page 289 of the Journal of Discourses. See: Brigham Young Sermon: Joseph Smith's Consent Needed to Enter Heaven.

Brigham Young also taught that

The time was when the test of a Christian was his confession of Christ. ...This is no test to this generation, for all men of the Christian world confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. This generation, however, is not left without a test. I have taught for thirty years, and still teach, that he that believeth in his heart and confesseth with his mouth that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph Smith is his Prophet to this generation, is of God; and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fulness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is antichrist. All who confess that Joseph Smith is sent of God in the latter days, to lay the foundation of his everlasting kingdom no more to be thrown down, and will continue to keep his commandments, are born of God. All those who believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet, at the same time trying with their might to live the holy principles Joseph the Prophet has revealed, are in possession of the Holy Spirit of God and are entitled to a fullness. (Journal of Discourses, Volume 9, p. 312).

Joseph Smith also said that "He [God] will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don't like it, you must lump it." (History of the Church vol. 6, pp.319-320).

We offer a great book called Where Does It Say That? which gives photos from the original sources for many statements made by LDS leaders on a variety of issues.]

Aug. 20, 2005
I am 15 years old and have been a member of the Latter Day Saint or Mormon Church all my life. I was searching for something on the web for a talk I am preparing for sunday and I noticed your website...I checked it out...and I just wanted to say I think your website is are basing your beliefs on things you know nothing about.

Chances are not a single person on you staff or whatever it may be has even read the Book Of Mormon, nor have you even taken the discussions. You post "facts" about my church including things from the RLDS church wich has nothing to do with the LDS church. The LDS church and RLDS church are seperate faiths. One concern is that no where on your page do you state that. Wich means you are providing false information to those who are searching for answers. I also want to make it clear that the LDS churc is not practicing polygamy at all or in any way shape or form. Nor are we practicing child abuse. I know in my mind and my heart, that I belong to the only true church, the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am proud to be a mormon, and I will never deny my faith, nor will I ever believe anything different. It is through my personal prayers and through the holy ghost that I know these things to be true. I have read the book of mormon and I have prayed about it and asked if it was true, and I know that I am doing the right thing. I just hope that you can actually offer an alternative view to my church. One that is not one sided.

Thank you for taking the time read my thoughts.

[Steve's Note: Thank you for taking your time to write to us. Your comments are very important to us and they deserve a response. I would encourage you to look again at our website. The founders of this ministry grew up LDS and come from pioneer Mormon families. Jerald Tanner is a descendant of John Tanner. Sandra is a great great granddaughter of Brigham Young. You can read more about the here—About Us.

We have read the Book of Mormon already many times. It is, in fact, our reading of it that raises many of our problems with its claims. I would ask you to look at our articles online titled, Book of Mormon Overview, Bible and Book of Mormon Contradictions and Contradictions in LDS Scriptures.

We make it very clear that we are primarily focused on the Utah LDS Church and not the Reorganized LDS Church (now called the Community of Christ) located in Missouri. We have an article called The Reorganized LDS Church which explains the major differences between the two churches.

We do not state that the LDS Church practices polygamy today. In fact under FAQ #18, we state,

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

Finally, I am happy to be able to tell you that we already do provide a link to the official website of the LDS Church under our Other Websites links. We try very hard to be accurate and even-handed. The truth is too important for anything less. The Tanners have defended the truth on several occasions—even when it meant taking the side which would favor the LDS Church.]

Aug. 20, 2005
Subject: Thank you for making these resources available

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tanner:

Thank you for your lifelong, dedicated work in organizing these important records from LDS history. It is always valuable to look at one's beliefs from another perspective. It is also interesting to see the differences in the Early Church with that of today, and your site is one of the few good sources for these materials.

I have two comments:

1) I do not believe that you can judge a religion (not just the LDS religion - but any religion) as correct or incorrect based on its history. A religion consists of humanity trying to put God into understandable terms and therefore is necessarily bound by the frailities of mankind and by the social beliefs and institutions of the time. To judge Joseph Smith and his followers by our standards is nearly as ignorant as to say that Abraham was not a prophet because he had many wives and slaves.

I could take any religion and "discredit" it based on the historical actions or statements of its leaders that seem out of place to us now. I could destroy the Bible in the same way you pick apart the Book of Mormon. One that has troubled me recently is: Why does Jesus tell his followers at the end of Matthew and Mark to take the gospel to every creature/nation and then we later find in Acts that Peter has to be told in a dream to preach to the Gentiles? Was this not made clear by Christ's earlier statements? And another thing: Was God a racist for having His own timetable on when, how, and to whom the Gospel should be preached? Less bothering but equally ignorant: Why does the Bible suggest that the Earth is flat and that the Sun circles the Earth? Surely God would have bothered to clear this up with His prophets before letting them write.

My point is this: You cannot find happiness in a religion if you focus on historical incongruincies or "mistakes" because they will be there in any religion. That is not to say that I disagree with your desire to dig into the past. I only think it wise to be aware that these are people like you and me trying to put God into understandable terms in the times in which they lived. I think they all (the Jews, the early Christians, and the Mormons) have done a great job and I am a better and happier person for their efforts.

2) You are missing the whole point of religion as I see it. We have religion to give us hope and inspire us to be better people and to live happier lives. As this is the goal of religion, the LDS church succeeds probably better than any other. LDS people are good on the whole! I'm sure you are friends with many of them as you live in Salt Lake. Sure some make mistakes; a few are bad; but those who are truly trying to follow the Church's teachings are good people. The LDS church causes great changes in lives and families today as it has for 170 years.

I thank you again for making these resources available and remind you not to judge religion by its history, but by its fruit (as Christ teaches) which is the goodness of the people.


[Steve's Note: We are not trying to judge the LDS Church based on the humanity of its leaders. The issue is not the personal sins of the individual but the acts of anyone who claims to be speaking for God. The faith claims of the LDS Church are based on the historicity of those events and as such should be open to honest examination to determine how those claims hold up. An examination of that is not only fair but necessary. Otherwise, anyone who would ever presume to say or do anything in the name of God would have to be accepted without question. This is a dangerous place to end up.

As for your question regarding the problem you raise between the gospels and the book of Acts. Jesus' did command the disciples to take the gospel to every creature and then Peter had a vision where he is instructed to preach to the Gentiles in Acts. Evidently, for Peter it was not clear enough to overcome his own prejudices as a Jewish man. This would not be the last time Peter would struggle with his behavior as one who grew up Jewish and how he would relate to others. In Galatians 2:11-21 we learn that Paul had to confront Peter directly about Peter's wrong behavior.

Thankfully, God is merciful and gracious to us and does not treat us as we deserve to be treated when we don't do things as we should immediately. It is humbling for all of us to know that God would give us the privilege of being used by him in spite of our sinfulness.

God's timetable has never been a racist one. God has always made Israel to be a means through which God offers salvation to all peoples. It is not that Israel is somehow preferred by God but God had to start the process somewhere. If God did not take the initiative no one would ever have sought God.

The Bible does not teach suggest the Earth is flat. The Bible actually gives an accurate understanding of the earth in some of its earliest books. For example, in the book of Job it is stated that "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing." That is a remarkable statement when viewed against surrounding views like that of the Egyptians who said the earth was on the back of a crocodile. Isaiah 40:22 says, "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth . . ." The Hebrew word for "circle" here means "round" or "sphere." Even today news sources and books speak of the rising or setting of the sun. Obviously, this is not intended as a scientific description of what is occurring but rather is phenomenological, describing how it appears to be from our perspective.

The whole point of religion, according to Jesus, is not just to "inspire us to be better people and live happier lives." On the Contrary, in Mark 8:36 Jesus said, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" The point of religion is not us but rather is God. God wants us to worship him and serve others to glorify him. Our lives should be about loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and others as ourselves (see Mark 12:28-31).

While the LDS Church has done much good and continues to, it is a mixed record. If you look into some of the "fruit" of the teachings of the LDS Church, you will find terrible heartbreak, tragedy and destruction in the lives of those who gave of themselves for the ideas of the leaders of the LDS Church. The hardships faced by Mormons came as a direct result of many of the teachings of the leaders of the church. polygamy is an example of the terrible fruit and consequences of the religion of Joseph Smith. I would encourage you to read Emma Smith's story in Mormon Enigma or the story of the plural wives of Joseph Smith in the work, In Sacred Loneliness and then try to see the teaching of polygamy as evidence of pleasing fruit in people's lives. It can not be seen as such.]

Aug. 20, 2005
Subject: Mormons and how to escape them!!

How refreshing to find like minded people who, like me, have had the Mormon faith up to here! I was a member for seven long years, and after a trip to visit a family in deepest Idaho, where I was so frustrated and angry with their totally racist view on everyone from Native Americans, Mexicans, Blacks and numerous other 'lesser' mortals. That all appear brainwashed, moronic, feeble-minded robots, who believe all that total garbage spun by the Prophet and the other Nazis at Salt Lake City, God help us all. . .

A year after joining, and the powers that be deeming me a fit person to attend my Endowment in the Temple, I duly went with a touch of excitement in my very soul, but it was far from exciting!!, what springs to mind is witnessing a satanic meeting of fellow devil worshippers, with me as Chief Witch. If someone had tried to explain this scenario before I had seen it with my panic stricken eyes, I wouldn't have believed it, never. To be truthful, I deserve an Oscar for my performance, I managed to fool them all into thinking I was doing this for the benefit of The Holy Spirit.

My Roman Catholic upbringing was never as dictorial and hypocritical as this was, I will be a very happy person NEVER to encounter this total weird halfwits, hey question nothing, contribute lots and have Temple Square busy calculating the titheing given by this misguided bunch of sheep! . . .

Kind Regards,

Aug. 21, 2005
Subject: Eternal Marriage question


I was speaking to a friend of mine who is a mormon. She said that an investigator asked in the Sunday School lesson, about Luke 20:34 - which speaks about no marriages after this life. She argued that they agree with that verse, and it is not contradicting what they teach. They believe she said, that they will be no marriage after this life, and in the millenium- and that's why it is important to be sealed now.

Is this what the LDS really teach? That there will be no marriage after death? And if they do teach as she says- what is the non-mormon response to such an arguments?

Your assistance and input will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

[Sandra's Note: Mormons feel they must marry in the temple in order to continue as a couple in Heaven. Mormons do not believe that a temple marriage can be performed after death, only on earth by mortals. They understand Jesus to be talking about when the ceremony can be performed, not whether there will be couples living in heaven as husband and wife.

LDS believe that if a couple were not married in the Mormon temple marriage ceremony they would be single in heaven. However, they believe if Mormons do proxy temple marriage for a dead couple, they could then live in heaven as a couple.

Jesus' statement hardly endorses the LDS doctrine. Here are the verses—

Luke 20:34-36

And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

Note that Jesus is talking about his followers, the "children of God," not the ungodly. Those who are counted "worthy" will not be married, but will live as "the angels." If Jesus understood marriage as the LDS teach, why does he never mention the need for temple marriage sealing? There is nothing in the Bible that teaches temple marriage as a necessity for eternal life.

You might want to read these articles—

These off-site articles might be of interest as well—


Aug. 21, 2005
Subject: why you left the church?




[Web-editor: See this article—Baptism for the Dead and the Twelve Oxen Under the Baptismal Font.]

Aug. 21, 2005
Subject: Test for a Prophet

Hello...and thank you for a wonderfully informative web site!

I'm wondering what answer you give to the LDS who compare Joseph Smith to Jonah who prophecied that Ninevah would be destroyed yet was not? I've seen an LDS web page up showing several old testament prophets who have made false prophecies (in LDS Biblical interpretation). . . .

[Steve's Note: Jonah understood upfront that his preaching could result in Nineveh escaping destruction (through repentance). History had already demonstrated this with the Lord's willingness to spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah each time Abraham lowered the bar in his bargaining with God as recorded in Genesis 18.

Jonah's prediction of coming destruction was predicated on the fact they would not repent. However, God does not delight in bringing destruction but rather salvation to any who would seek Him. This was exactly the complaint of Jonah to God after those in Nineveh repented and were spared God's judgment (see Jonah 4:1-3).

This LDS argument is a self defeating and counter productive line of reasoning. If God can be shown to be untrustworthy in the Bible, why then should we give God our loyalty through other books such as the Book of Mormon? For more information concerning charges made by those who would challenge the Bible you may be interested in the following books:


Aug. 23, 2005
I have heard it rumored that Joseph Smith is said to have said to a close associate or friend that he made a mistake with polygamy and was "deceived". Is there any historical basis for this?


[Sandra's Note: There is such a tradition in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, due in part to statements in the first Saints Herald, January 1860. Here is a statement written by Isaac Sheen, an early leader in the RLDS Church:

The Salt Lake apostles also excuse themselves by saying that Joseph Smith taught the spiritual-wife doctrine, but this excuse is as weak as their excuse concerning the ancient Kings and Patriarchs. Joseph Smith repented of his connection with this doctrine, and said that it was of the devil. He caused the revelation on that subject to be burned, and when he voluntarily came to Nauvoo and resigned himself into the arms of his enemies, he said that he was going to Carthage to die. At that time he also said that, if it had not been for that accursed spiritual wife doctrine, he would not have come to that. By his conduct at that time he proved the sincerity of his repentance, and of his profession as a prophet. If Abraham and Jacob by repentance can obtain salvation and exaltation, so can Joseph Smith. (The True Latter Day Saints Herald, January, 1860, Volume 1, Number 1, p. 27)

Here is an extract from Mormon Polygamy: A History, by Richard Van Wagoner, p. 77:

Former Nauvoo stake president William Marks, a close friend of Emma, wrote in a July 1853 letter to the Zion's Harbinger and Baneemy's Organ that he met with the prophet a short time before his death. "We are a ruined people," Marks quoted Smith; "this doctrine of polygamy, or Spiritual-wife System, that has been taught and practiced among us, will prove our destruction and overthrow. I have been deceived . . . it is wrong; it is a curse to mankind, and we shall have to leave the United States soon, unless it can be put down, and its practice stopped in the Church." Marks said that Smith ordered him "to go into the high council, and I will have charges preferred against all who practice this doctrine; and I want you to try them by the laws of the Church, and cut them off, if they will not repent, and cease the practice of this doctrine . . . I will go into the stand and preach against it with all my might, and in this way, we may rid the Church of this damnable heresy." But Smith was killed shortly after this conversation, and when Marks related what Smith had said, his testimony "was pronounced false by the Twelve and disbelieved."


Aug. 23, 2005
Subject: "How to remove your name from the LDS records"

Dear Editor or Whomever can help me:

I left the church and am trying to get my name removed. However, my Bishop says that to have my name removed is to be Excommunicated and denied any possibility of removal in any other fashion besides disciplanary action. This is a shock to me and I am furious.

To be excommunicated is like saying "You're fired" instead of what really happened, "I quit!". What can I do? My bishop wants to meet with me at his office at the stake. He seemed to hint that he'd have me excommunicated otherwise so I agreed to meet with him.

Any chance of me every coming back is gone now because of his obvious retaliation against me. . . . I do not want to be excommunicated or an LDS member for life. I feel as though I am held hostage or something. Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated.


[Steve's Note: I would encourage you to read the information we have online on How to Remove of Your Name From the LDS Records. You will see that what your bishop has told you is not correct. According to the Church Handbook of Instruction (the official guide for Bishops and other LDS Church leaders), you may have your name removed and your membership terminated at your request.

You have every right to insist that the term "excommunication" not be used in reference to your withdrawal from the LDS Church. The Church Handbook also states that a 30 day waiting period occur before your request is processed. Again, you have the right to waive the 30 day waiting period and have your membership terminated as of the date of your request. You also have the right to not be contacted from anyone from the LDS Church if you wish. You may state that you simply want written verification that your membership has been terminated at your request.]

Aug. 24, 2005
Dear Sir/Madam....

You state that the names Cummurah and Moroni are probably taken from the names of those places, but no map with those places on existed in 1830 when you say Smith wrote the Book of Mormon. You have a copy of a 1895 map of those Islands.

On the issue of 'Nahom' vs 'Nahhm' is there much of a difference? Also take into consideration that it was found in the exact location direction etc.. as the Book of Mormon said it would be.

So some names like Nephi appear in the Apocrapher? How does that prove it wrong

I'm not Lds, but all this is circumstantial!

With Kind Regards,

[Sandra's Note: For someone who claims to not be LDS you certainly have a strong attachment to the subject. I see I had correspondence with you a year ago, in June and July.

I assume you are responding to our page Possible Sources for Book of Mormon Names.

1. Cumorah—I own a copy of a common school book from Joseph Smith's day titled Geography Made Easy, by Jedediah Morse, 1813 ed. On p. 356 he mentions the "Comora Islands" off the coast of Africa. For a photo of the title page, see—

While the capital of Comoro is Moroni, it isn't mentioned in Morse' book. The Comoro Islands (the spelling has changed over time) were common stops for pirates and are mentioned in books prior to the publishing of the Book of Mormon. Here are some examples.

1794 book mentioning Comoro—

Captain Kidd visits Comoro Islands—

Dirk Chivers, another pirate, wrecked in the Comoro Islands—

So, yes, Smith could have easily heard the Comoro Islands and it would not require him to see a map. For more on Smith's exposure to stories of pirates and Captain Kidd, see Ronald Huggins article, "From Captain Kidd's Treasure Ghost to the Angel Moroni: Changing Dramatis Personae in Early Mormonism," in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Winter, 2003.

2. Nahom—The Mormons are pointing to an altar erected in Yemen by a local tribe, which would not have been Hebrew. Where is the non-Mormon scholar who would connect this altar with a group of Israelites traveling through Yemen? How does it add validity to the Book of Mormon? Also see my comments in the Letters to the Editor for June 14, 2001, copied below.


In the February, 2001, issue of the LDS magazine Ensign, there was a small notice, on p.79, that stated:

Book of Mormon Linked to Site in Yemen

A group of Latter-day Saint researchers recently found evidence linking a site in Yemen, on the southwest corner of the Arabian peninsula, to a name associated with Lehi's journey as recorded in the Book of Mormon.

"Warren Aston, Lynn Hilton, and Gregory Witt located a stone altar that professional archaeologists dated to at least 700 B.C. This altar contains an inscription confirming 'Nahom' as an actual place that existed in the peninsula before the time of Lehi....

"This is the first archaeological find that supports a Book of Mormon place-name other than Jerusalem or the Red Sea, says Brother Witt."

So what have we learned?

First, this is not the name of a place, it is an inscription on a monument. Who or what is it referring to?

Mormon scholar S. Kent Brown related "A certain 'Biathar, son of Sawad, son of Nawan, the Nihmite' donated the altar to the temple. The altar has been part of a traveling exhibit of artifacts from ancient Yemen...." (The Place That Was Called Nahom New Light from Ancient Yemen, by S. Kent Brown, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Vol. 8, no. 1, 1999, p.66-68) Mormon apologist Jeff Lindsay states "Thus, there is ancient evidence referring to the tribe of Nihm, a member of which was wealthy enough to donate an altar to a temple. The reference cited above shows a picture of the finely carved, beautiful altar. The reference to the tribe of Nihm doesn't prove the existence of a place by the same name." ( He goes on to suggest possible connections, but these are only speculation.

What ties this altar to the Book of Mormon? Nothing, other than wishful thinking. They are only writing about possibilities, not proven identifications tied to the Book of Mormon people.

Second, the altar just had the name 'Nhm' (Arabic wouldn't have had vowels, so the spelling depends on which vowels are added).

There was an article in the Ensign for Aug. 1978, p.73, about such possible name associations. The article pointed out that in 1763 there was a map of Yemen showing a place called "Nehhm". This is an Arabic name. Is that the same as Hebrew "Nahom"? They don't know. The article says "Perhaps the next step would be to invite semiticists to give their opinions as to whether Nahom and Nehhm are probable phonetic equivalents." I have yet to see such a study. I understand that there were a number of sites in Arabia with similar consonants in the name.

Third, the article refers to a group of LDS people, not outside scholars.

Fourth, the LDS Church did not officially comment on this altar. They just put a small notice at the back of the Ensign. Sort of like saying, 'Here is a small sliver of hope, but we aren't committing ourselves to this interpretation.'

Fifth, notice that they admit that this is the "FIRST ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIND THAT SUPPORTS A BOOK OF MORMON PLACE-NAME." If this is the best they have, they are in DEEP trouble.

By the way, the Nihm tribe was recently in the Yemen news. See article about "Police Arrest Four" at—

3. Nephi—Joseph Smith had a King James Bible which included the Apocrypha (containing the word 'Nephi'). Where else do we find that word?

If the Book of Mormon isn't historical then the question arises, where did Smith get his ideas? These issues point to Smith borrowing from common knowledge, the Bible, names and words of the day to create his book. Yes, it is circumstantial but certainly on firmer ground than the suggestions presented by LDS scholars for the historicity of the Book of Mormon. They can not point to one artifact, inscription or site that can be independently identified as something from the Book of Mormon peoples. They can't even agree on a map for the Book of Mormon area (see Where Is Cumorah?).]

Aug. 25, 2005

What do you think about the S. J. Keen statement to Aruthur Deming in Naked Truths About Mormonism that Oliver Cowdery renounced the Book of Mormon when joining the Methodist Church? Secondly, what about the Council Bluff, Iowa Testimony that Oliver requested to be baptized back into the Mormon Church? I guess I am asking, "Do you consider that a forgery or an authenic document?" Finally, is it your opinion based on your research that Cowdery retained his belief in the Book of Mormon, even though he was disguested with Joseph' afair with Fanny Alger.

[Sandra's Note: I believe Oliver Cowdery denied the Book of Mormon when he joined the Methodists. He then later rejoined the Mormons in Council Bluffs. But with failing health he soon left there, traveled back to Richmond, Missouri, to live with his brother-in-law, David Whitmer, where he died. I assume he probably didn't get the welcome at Council Bluffs he was expecting, most of the people that would have known him when he was an important Mormon had probably already gone west. He was evidently broke, in failing health and looking for someone to take care of him.

We have some material on Oliver Cowdery on our web site.

Here is a statement by David Whitmer about Cowdery.

Marv Cowan has some on the witnesses in his book.

Mormon Claims Answered, Chapter 4: The Witnesses of the Book of Mormon

We also have more material on the witnesses in our book, Case Against Mormonism, Vol. 2. You might find our pamphlet A Critical Look of interest.

There is an article about Cowdery on Wikipedia, see—


Aug. 25, 2005
For the past ten months I've been studying mainline LDS very intensely. I spent a little time with FLDS (polygamist splinter group) because of my job. When I was finally beginning to put together the written part of the project which would end the long, long hours spent with this evil group I became very ill.

After five days, my friend packed me up and drove me down to see the new LDS temple before dedication. Otherwise, I couldn't even read much less read about Mormons for two weeks. . . .

You must speak with so many people. You spoke with me several times. I thank you for making yourself so available when your husband is ill. And thank you for all your freely given help and ideas.

You are such a strong and brave woman. The work you and your husband have done is a blessing to mankind. You saw evil, looked it in the eye and fearlessly stood up against it. . . . You and Mr. Tanner both have my utmost respect. May God always bless you both.


Aug. 25, 2005
Subject: arguments from standard works

hello utah lighthouse ministry!

praise God for the fantastic resourse He has provided in you! i am currently in weekly dialogue with two mormon missionaries. this next visit will be our eighth, so we have a nice comfortable relationship built by now, though i have been making little theological progress in converation with them.

i am preparing to up the ante and ask that we thoroughly discuss some major issues like the plurality of gods, the adam-god doctrine, polygamy, false prophecies, etc., one at a time, exploring all the related scripture before moving on.

i love all the historical resources on your site, but i am hesitant to use anything besides the standard works because of the difficulty of supporting arguments based on anything else as a source. would you please provide some insight as to a good method of doing this or point to a good book or section of your sight to help me build my case against mormonism based solely on their own standard works (or offer help in using non-scriptural sources in conversation)?

again, thank you for your ministry and God bless you!

ps i love your newsletter too! =)

[Sandra's Note: You can look up references to the Journal of Discourses, History of the Church, plus dozens of titles by LDS leaders, on the LDS site—

For $4 a month you can sign up for access to their library of LDS books and be able to copy off their own site the quotes you need. Then LDS members can't accuse you of getting it from 'anti' Mormons.

The BYU Library has also put a number of early LDS publications on line. For instance, they photo reproduce the Journal of Discourses, but you can't do a search. So if you know the reference you want, you can find the actual photo of the page. They also have a type script, but it has a number of errors. See—

If you discuss sec. 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants, on polygamy, you can go to the LDS genealogy site to prove Smith had multiple wives, and if you follow through on the families of the women you will see that some of them were already married. Go to—

Type in Joseph Smith, wife is Emma, father is Joseph, mother is Lucy. Joseph was born Dec. 23, 1805 in Vermont. This will take you to his file where about 27 of his wives are listed.

Most of the books we reference can be seen in university libraries in Utah.]

Aug. 26, 2005
Subject: Faith or truth

I have been a member of the LDS CHURCH for 45 yrs, currently a High Priest, and served in the Bishopic, and as a Stake High Council. I have studied the mormon doctrine extensively. One thing that I have learned about us Mormons is "we don't know the true history of the church". Why? Because it is not faith promoting.

Joseph Smith saw God and the Son together in the first Vision in the Grove.

God said, 'Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live' (Exodus 33:20).

Jesus said, And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. John 5:37

Moses had the priesthood and still could not stand to see God's backside.

But yet Joseph saw God and Jesus.

This is why we Mormons have to understand the reasons our beliefs are questioned by Christians. I don't consider the Holy Bible anti-Mormon, and I have yet to find that it has been corrupted to the point that I can not accept it as the word of God. Unfortnately, I have not read anything on your website that is untrue.

Shame on those who have attacked this website. Look in your own back yard for the truth, its there only its buried.

Aug. 27, 2005
There was a book or a volume of books that was once used by Mormons.

Then sometime later the church wanted all copies of the books recalled out of all Mormon homes. I do not remember the title or the content, only it must have been damaging in some way.

Any info would be helpful.


[Sandra's Note: You are asking a very broad question, one that could have a number of answers. Many past books printed by the LDS Church have been revised or taken out of publication over the years.

Brigham Young did a recall on Lucy Smith's Biographical Sketches, later printings were edited. It is reproduced on a BYU library site.

The 26 volumes of Journal of Discourses were out of print for years until reprinted in the 1950's. It has since been reprinted by various LDS publishers.

The LDS Church now has it on their web site—

and on the BYU site—

Apostle Bruce McConkie's Mormon Doctrine had a recall and was edited.

See this chapter of our online book—

Changing World, Chapter 2: Change, Censorship and Suppression

We additional information on changes and suppression of LDS books in the first part of our book Mormonism—Shadow or Reality?]

Aug. 28, 2005
Hi I have read what you have to say, I'v only one thought the holy ghost revealed the truth to me very plainly 3 decades ago. the impression and experience stays with me, the continuation of the spirit and how it works with me strenghtens my testimony.

we are now taught and are now teaching children to rely on the holy ghost and the spirit it testify to us of the truth of all things not to rely on the words of man. The spirit speaks through the book of mormon the bible and doctrine and covernants. I have had comfirmation through the spirit that my ancestors are greatful for being members of the church and they are working for our heavenly father in the kingdom of god.

I do not fully understand everything I am not a scriptorian I just feel my saviours love, concern. and know of his blessings. I know satan is real and tries and test us to the brink of our very existance boy do I know but my belovered father in heaven loves and cares for me and sends his angels weather they be seen or unseen to sustain me.

I have seen many lose their faith . . . But these are the last days. and we have warned that in the last days few will remain faithful and many lead away I guess we all have to wait till our belovered savour comes back to find out if we are right or not, and hope that is all we have is hope that he will accept our devotion and service as our gift to him.

There is a lot I cannot say to you because I don't think you would understand and simple soul like myself Who is unlearned and probably uncouth in your eyes.

Godbless you and your

Aug. 29, 2005
There are no such people as "mindless". Only those with such a narrow view of the dealings of God and man would use such a term to describe those that disagree with themselves.

Altho' I am hard put to swallow all of your "facts", do you suppose that because Joseph Smith's ancestors had visions and dreams on the same subjects that appear in the Book of Mormon that it disproves the validitiy of the Book of Mormon?

Just seems to me the opposite is the truth. I sorrow for those who will not sincerely seek for truth.

Aug. 29, 2005
I find it very interesting, but not at all surprising, that many Mormons are so vituperative in their criticism of what you do. Considering that the LDSers are so active (and even aggressive) in their own missionary and conversion work, it is a shame that they have not the wisdom to respect the rights of other faiths to also fairly promote their own values and perspectives.

This is carried to an even further extreme in groups like the FLDS [polygamist] communes, where they expect to be allowed to use the American Constitution or the Canadian Charter of Rights to protect their right to "Freedom of Religion" as being superior to the basic human rights of the women and children they stunt and abuse.

All true "Rights" go both ways—they are not another weapon for the strong or unscrupulous to use against the weak. If you have a truth, it should be strong enough to withstand debate. If you have a right worth protecting, then it must be able to exist without denying another his/her rights. Denying a voice to critical debate and placing one Right as being subservient to another, these are the tools of oppression.

Aug. 29, 2005
My father is married to a Mormon, he became quite ill and she convinced him to be baptized. My question is how long before he can go thru the temple? What are the steps they will take him thru? We are praying he will see the light before he becomes too indoctrinated.

[Sandra's Note: According to the Church Handbook of Instruction, converts to the LDS Church must be members for one year before they can receive a temple recommend. Exceptions to this can only be made by the First Presidency. Your father would have to be ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood, then go through interviews with his local bishop and Stake President and be found worthy to receive a temple recommend.]

Aug. 29, 2005
Subject: Breaking the heart of a believer


Here is a quote from your February 2005 letters to the editor:

"Especially my Mom who is still trying to get me to come back. I've decided it's about time to share some stuff with her, since she keeps giving me LDS stuff to read."

My Mother is nearly 70 and she was born and raised in the church. As with the previous writer, she too is trying to bring me back into the "fold." I sense down deep inside she knows something is wrong with the Church, but she's in denial. I truly believe there's an element of physiological danger when the shadow of reality crumbles and the truth reveals itself to the mind. I believe it would emotionally devastate my Mom if she were to realize the true nature of Mormonism. Because of her emotional dependency on Mormonism, I would do absolutely nothing to deprive her of those beliefs, no matter how misguided.

I don't know how many people experience anxiety and absolute fear during the withdrawal process from Mormonism, but I can tell you first hand, it's truly freighting. Everything I was brainwashed to believe during the first 40 years of my life collapsed within a matter of days.

I talked to my Mom about the process I went through and that I feel more comfortable about my spirituality than I ever before. In a caring way, she said Satan has lulled me away into disbelief, but I know that Mormonism strives to take away intellectual free agency by saying we are deceived by "Scratch."

I've got a clean plate now, not really believing in any god, but maybe that will change. It's hard to discard the personality of god which Smith created and then try to believe in a new god.

Best Wishes

Aug. 29, 2005
. . . I used your helpful information from your website in sending in my final exit letter to the Mormon church.

The letter came today that it is final. My name has been removed from the Mormon records.

Sandra I read one of your tracts, could it have been 25 or more years ago? I read it and ask my Husband if it was true. He said it was not true and I should ignore it. I believed him.

I now belong to the Lord. Every day is a great joy. I never knew I could live with this much joy. Keep up your good work. I will send a letter I sent to all my family if you wish. I will gladly sign my name.


Aug. 29, 2005
I just finished visiting your site ( and found it very interesting, finding it also inconceivable that people can be so misled by men supposedly blessed by God.

I had read in other papers where the Mormons had the Danites and the Avenging Angels (a death squad who meted out punishment for those who would offend their leader) of which John Doyle Lee was a member, and was wondering if this is correct, also I could not find any mention of the Meadow Mountains Massacre that was supposed to be a collabration between the Mormons and Paiute Indians to kill all on the Baker-Fancher wagon train from Arkansas (save the small children under 6 years old which were returned to their relatives in Arkansas. Could you elaborate on that. I had relatives on that wagon train. Thank you for a very very interesting website.

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. The web site you were looking at is one done by a friend. If you will go to our official web site you will find material on the Danites and Mountain Meadows Massacre, plus hundreds of other topics. Go to our Topical Index and look at the listings under Blood Atonement and Mountain Meadows Massacre. You can also type these words in the 'google' search window on our site.

We sell a very well-done film on the massacre. See—Burying the Past: The Legacy of the Mountain Meadows Massacre

Here are some other sites that list the names of the people in the wagon train.

Here is a link to an article about a new movie based on the massacre—,1249,600158734,00.html


Aug. 29, 2005
Dear Kind Patient UTLM worker:

Okay, I'm a total wimp. I know in my heart that the LDS Church is not true, and that Jesus is the "fullness of the gospel." It feels so wonderful to be free from bondage! And drink coffee again. But how do I respond to my home/visiting teachers when they call me? I know they are sincere, basically good people who mean well. I don't want to burst their bubble, nor do I think I could (they would think I am the one who is Deceived). I am also admittedly not yet ready to take that final step of having my name removed from the records.

Do you have any advice about what I can say to my oh-so-persistent HT/VT's? I don't want to attempt an intellectual debate or in any way demean what is so precious to them.

Thank you so much for your help,

[Steve's Note: You are not a wimp and it is all too natural to want to avoid continuous encounters with others. This is a healthy indication that you care about the person and do not want to simply run over them as a person in some over zealous attempt to "win" an argument.

First of all I would hope that you would continue to extend sincere friendliness and hospitality to them. Just because we might not agree on matters of faith does not give us license to be rude or mean spirited to others.

At the same time, there is no reason why you should feel as though you must hide what you know about the LDS Church and its teachings. In fact, the one of the most loving things you can do is to speak the truth firmly, confidently and compassionately. Our responsibility it to be committed to the truth and to declare it without shame: how others deal with the truth being presented to them is for them to answer. Even when Jesus spoke his message was received differently by various persons who heard what he said. This, however, did not deter Jesus from saying what had to be said. It is never demeaning to someone to speak the truth to them, even when it may be painful or difficult to hear. This is why Proverbs 27:5-6 says, "Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Only a true friend cares about you enough to tell you the truth while those who would simply want to flatter you will tell you not what you need to hear but what you would like to hear. Our motivation should always be that we want the best for the other person; not that we might make ourselves look good.

I feel it is also a form of dishonesty to go along and nod your head in false agreement when you, in fact, do not share the point of view of another person. In order to be an authentic person you must be willing to express what you know to be the truth. In so doing you may in fact be the one who plants seeds in the life of another person that compels them to begin to ask the tough questions and search for where the truth really would take them. You may also be opening a door for them to step into a new phase of life where they too can experience the same liberating joy that you have felt since separating from the LDS Church.

Only you can determine when the time is right for you to have your name officially removed from the records of the LDS Church. To act too quickly because others may tell you you should is allowing others to make your decision for you. To put off having your name removed even after you know you no longer believe in the teachings of the LDS Church is dishonest and misleads others about the real person you are.]

Aug. 30, 2005
My husband's father, a devout Mormon, is now [in bad health]. Because of this, his "witnessing" activities to us have increased. The other day he told me husband he is now a "high priest" in his church. It is my understanding that all adult males who have received the Melchizedek priesthood are considered "high priests." He has been in the Mormon church for 40 years. Why would he just now be receiving the Melchizedek priesthood. Is there another office that is called "high priest?"What offices do women in the Mormon church hold? What offices are considered the "high offices?"

Thank you.

[Sandra's Note: Women do not hold any priesthood offices in the LDS Church. For instance, women cannot bless the sacrament. They may teach Sunday School or teach the children and teenage girls, or be 'President' of the local Sunday School board, etc. but these are not considered 'priesthood' functions.

In the LDS priesthood concept, a 'High Priest' is an office within the Melchizedek Priesthood—but the terms are not interchangeable. When a Mormon male is first ordained in the Melchizedek Priesthood he is an 'Elder.' Years later he is advanced to 'High Priest.'

So their priesthood offices at the local level would go like this—

Aaronic Priesthood—

Bishop (He oversees both the local congregation and the Aaronic Priesthood. He is usually a 'High Priest' and functions somewhat like a pastor)

Melchizedek Priesthood—

At the top of the organization there are Seventies, Apostles and the Prophet. These are also a part of the Melchizedek Priesthood. You can read an LDS article on priesthood at this site—

Hope this helps.]

Aug. 30, 2005
Greetings in the Name of our Lord! I have a question.

Short version: How can we convincingly prove that Joseph Smith, when he offered us his "book of Abraham," was claiming to translate an Egyptian papyrus THAT SCHOLARS NOW POSSESS?

Long version: How do we refute BYU's Michael D. Rhodes' statement in the July 1988 Ensign, in which he wrote,

"....[W]e don't have all the papyri Joseph Smith had­and what we do have is obviously not the text of the book of Abraham. The Prophet described the papyrus he used in translation in these words: 'The record … found with the mummies, is beautifully written on papyrus, with black, and a small part red, ink or paint, in perfect preservation.' (History of the Church, 2:348.) The Book of Breathings papyrus has no writing in red ink and is in an extremely poor state of preservation"

WHAT SAY YE? I . . . greatly admire the careful scholarship of the Tanners--even though I do not agree with all of their conclusions in religious matters.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

[Sandra's Note: Mormons have often tried to dismiss the fact that the piece of papyri which Smith claimed to use in producing his Book of Abraham has been found. The quote about the red marks on the papyri in the History of the Church originated with Oliver Cowdery, and was printed in the Messenger and Advocate, vol. 2, p. 233:

Upon the subject of the Egyptian records, or rather the writings of Abraham and Joseph, I may say a few words. This record is beautifully written on papyrus with black, and a small part, red ink or paint, in perfect preservation.

Mormons say that the papyrus we claim was used by Smith does not contain red marks, thus can not be the one he used. However, the statement applies to both scrolls of papyrus, not just the 'Book of Breathings' piece. The other piece does have red rubrics and is much better preserved than the 'Book of Breathings' papyrus.

When comparing Joseph Smith's Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar and the manuscripts of the Book of Abraham with the papyri, it is obvious he was claiming to translate the small 'sensen' Book of Breathings piece.

We have responded to many of the LDS scholars and Nibley's various arguments in favor of the Book of Abraham in our book, Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? There is a smaller treatment in our online book, The Changing World of Mormonism. See—

Also see this site—

Smith's papyri were not much longer than what we have. LDS are exaggerating that issue. Prof. Ritner, of the Univ. of Chicago, discussed the size of the 'sensen' papyri text—which is the scroll with the characters that match the Book of Abraham manuscript. He commented:

The original width of the papyrus was correctly estimated by Baer as being about 15055 cm, allowing for textual restorations and the now lost Facsimile 3.33 The number of vignettes varies in Books of Breathings, but introductory and concluding vignettes are common.34 At most, the papyrus might have been expanded by the inclusion of a further, middle vignette, as found in Papyrus Tbingen 2016,35 but there is no reasonable expectation of any further text, and certainly nothing even vaguely resembling the alien narrative of The Book of Abraham.

His footnote #33 states:

33 Baer, p. 127, n. 113. There is no justification for Gees unsubstantiated attempt to more than double this figure to 320 cm (about 10 feet) in Gee, A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri, pp. 10 and 1213. Gee presumably wishes to allow space for a supposedly lost hieratic text of The Book of Abraham; his figure derives from the average length of a manufactured (blank) Ptolemaic papyrus rollnot comparable, individual documents cut from such a roll.


Aug. 30, 2005
. . . I am writing to you because I am interested in your ministry. I myself am a Southern Baptist Christian but I have a very good friend who is Mormon, and I know many others. I started looking at what he believes and how it compares to being a born-again Christian. As I study more I find the contradictions very interesting, and also extremely saddening, which I am sure you know.

Lately, as I try to figure out what God wants me to do with my life, I have felt called to be a witness to the Mormons by maybe joining a ministry like yours. My question for you is what sort of degree programs are appropriate to take in order to be prepared for this kind of service? Any information you can give me about what you do and how to be part of it in the future would be helpful. Thank you for your time.

[Steve's Note: There are, of course, many different disciplines that could prepare you for a role with a Christian ministry. If you are most interested in studying the beliefs of that faith then a degree in theology or comparative world religions would help you prepare. An evangelism major or missions major would be best if you want to be the one to actively reach out to others. If you see yourself behind the scenes doing the work of running a ministry then a background in something like finance or business administration would be best.

You might also consider getting involved with a short term mission trip with your church or another organization to see how the real ministry experience is and whether it is what you are interested in doing for the long term. There are also other ministries that offer internships to do ministry work toward Mormons here in Utah like Utah Partnerships for Christ.]

Aug. 30, 2005

I have been investigating the Mormon Church after attending their big conference in Utah whilst visiting some friends on my travels to the U.S. from Australia. I came across your website and was reading some of the information and could only say I was surprised with what I read and felt. I cannot understand how and why people such as your group even try to be so negative towards people that are genuinely striving to be the best, positive, friendly Christian like people. I am sure that even they would agree that they always fall short but they are at least trying to make the community and world a better place.

I haven't yet seen the mormon church make any web-sites pulling down any other religion, like the muslims, hindus, and even other Christian denominations but you seem to think it is ok to try to turn people against the mormons, or at least try to tell their story in a negative light.

I know after spending some time with my friends and some of their friends who are mormon, that they are not shallow disillusioned people but genuine quality people who I could count on. Maybe what is being taught at their church and in their book of mormon is good and does strengthen families and friendships.

After reading your web site it confirms in my mind that there will always be negative people trying to pull down the positive community whether they are mormon or what ever their religion. The bitter against the sweet. The happy against the sad. The honest against the dishonest. Its the old story of the forces of good against the forces of evil.

I loved my time in Utah and with my friends there and having my eyes opened to the mormons and the great good they are doing around the whole earth. What a positive example to the rest of the world, how exciting to see action, volunteers trying to do their part for the greater good.

Hope you also can be positive towards them.

[Steve's Note: I would like to say that simply disagreeing with another's faith does not automatically mean we are being negative towards the people of that faith. We believe there are serious differences between Mormonism and Christianity that can not be ignored. We have no doubt that many of the finest people are Mormons. We have family and many friends who are Mormon and whom we care about deeply.

As an analogy, if you saw someone you cared for involved in something you felt would ultimately hurt that person, would it be more loving to confront them with their error or to let them continue in it to their own destruction? It is our love for them that makes us want to reach out to them with the truth that God loved them so much that he died for them and that all their own efforts to try to get back into right standing with God can never be enough to satisfy the righteous standard of God. Salvation is not a matter of what we can do for God but rather what God has already done for us. It is because we have already been saved and shown the mercy of God that we do works that are pleasing to Him.

It was Joseph Smith himself who threw down the first gauntlet when he claimed that God appeared to him and told him he was not to join any of the churches of his day because

"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; that: 'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.'" (see Joseph Smith History esp. 1:18ff in the Pearl of Great Price).

Furthermore, several Mormon authorities have invited the world to examine their faith to see how it holds up. This is exactly what we are doing—examining the content of their faith not attacking them as people. Listen to what a few of their leaders have said in the past.

"If a faith will not bear to be investigated; if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak." (George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses, Volume 14, p. 216, August 13, 1871)

"If the people of this country have generally formed different conclusions from us upon this subject; and if they have embraced religions which are mere congenial to their minds than the religion of the Saints, we say to them that they are welcome to their own religious views; the laws should not interfere with the exercise of their religious rights. If we cannot convince you by reason nor by the word of God, that your religion is wrong, we will not persecute you, but will sustain you in the privileges, guaranteed in the great Charter of American Liberty: we ask from you the same generosity—protect us in the exercise of our religious rights—convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of God, and we will be ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the pleasing reflection that you have been instruments in the hands of God of redeeming your fellow beings from the darkness which you may see enveloping their minds. Come, then, let us reason together, and try to discover the true light upon all subjects, connected with our temporal or eternal happiness; and if we disagree, in our judgments, let us impute it to the weakness and imperfections of our fallen natures, and let us pity each other, and endeavor with patience and meekness to reclaim from error, and save the immortal soul from an endless death." (Orson Pratt, The Seer, Volume 1, Number 1, pp.15-16)

"In a matter of such infinite importance no person should rest satisfied with the conjectures or opinions of others: he should use every exertion himself to become acquainted with the nature of the message: he should carefully examine the evidences of which it is offered to the world: he should, with all patience and perseverance, seek to acquire a certain knowledge whether it be of God or not. Without such an investigation in the most careful, candid, and impartial manner, he cannot safely judge without greatly harming his future and eternal welfare. If, after a rigid examination, it be found an imposition, should be extensively published to the world as such; the evidences and arguments upon which the imposture was detected, should be clearly and logically stated, that those who have been sincerely yet unfortunately deceived, may perceive the nature of the deception, and be reclaimed, and that those who continue to publish the delusion, may be exposed and silenced, not by physical force, neither by persecutions, bare assertions, nor ridicule, but by strong and powerful arguments—by evidences adduced from scripture and reason. Such, and such only, should be the weapons employed to detect and overthrow false doctrines—to reclaim mankind from their errors, to expose religious enthusiasm, and put to silence base and wicked impostors. (Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p.1)

"I say to the whole world, receive the truth, no matter who presents it to you. Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test." (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 16, p.46, May 18, 1873)