February 2005
(Names and Contact Info Removed)
February 1, 2005
Dear Tanners,

Thank you so much for the newsletter. Wouldn't you think with so much controversy going on in Mormonism that it would deter people from being one? Where is God in all of this? Church is for Him. I am thankful that you keep on keeping on with your wonderful work. Can't people see that you are trying to save them?

I pray every day to God that my daughter and family are removed from all of this terrible nonsense....One thing I'll never get over, is that I couldn't be at my daughter's wedding — AND my granddaughter's & my grandson's weddings. What kind of a crazy, ridiculous man-made rule is this? How dare they—I had to wait in a waiting room while my granddaughter was being married—It was an insult. There are two more grandchildren & I can't attend theirs either.

I believe Mormonism is nothing but a business scam. ...

Februray 1, 2005

I know this is going to sound stupid, but it feels like my son is being kidnapped. His best friend . . . is a great kid, they hang out all the time, but lately _____ folks have been inviting my son over to their house more and more.. and they have started to give him gifts, small at first, but each time they gifted him they also just happened to be having scripture reading time at their house...

I have raised my kids as Christians and we go to a non-denominational church. My son went to their church with them this weekend and when he came home he said they were going to be taking him shopping this weekend for black slacks and a white button down shirt. Last night _____ had invited my son over to play games at his house, when my son got home he said he was thinking about "becoming a Mormon" and then he mentioned that _____ parents were going to add him onto their raquetteball club membership.

I am a single mom and have been 13 of my sons 14 years. We have little money and I feel these people are buying my son into their religion. I want my son to be able to stay friends with _____, but am getting worried and not sure what to do about how I feel.

Any ideas?

Worried Mom

[Steve's Note: I would suggest that you sit down with your son and try to relate your feelings to him. He is more than old enough to think over how others may wish to befriend him with other motives in mind. Try to make your look into the claims of Mormonism a cooperative effort with your son and not one where you are on opposite sides. Help him to see how others may try to influence him in life by buying his loyalties. This is a lesson that will serve him well all his life. He needs to be able to see that while he can certainly be friends with others, that friendships can not be based on one side using power, influence, money etc. to create the bond that will make him feel obligated to others. He needs to see if they are being generous with him just because this is who they are or if their generosity ends if his interest in Mormonism ends. Work with your son to read through and talk over the many core differences that separate Mormonism and Christianity using the following fact sheets from our website.

We will continue to pray for you and your son. If I can do anything more to help please contact me again.]

February 1, 2005
. . . I was going to a regular morman church, but some of us had a secret polygamy group on the side in Miami, FL. It was an indep. group. Rules always changing. I had a mate and was considered his 2 wife. I lived in his back yard pool house with my mentally challenged daughter. . . I was severely abused . . .

My daughter was about to turn 16 and knew they would start abusing her. She wouldn't be able to obey and take the pain. It gave me the courage to escape at night time. 6 months later they located our new address. They have been visiting and calling us. They want me to come back. I know too many secrets and they are scared as to what I will do.

Half of my group from Miami has left and joined up with Jeff polygamy group from El Dorado, Texas. . . . It has been very difficult for me trying to adjust. . . . Things are very mixed up and confusing for me right now. . . . My real parents had died when I was 5 and my adopted parents didn't believe in god. I got involved with the mormons when hurricane Andrew destroyed our homestead trailer park area. They had a huge empty 75 unit apt. building and they let allot of displaced people live there free. They were the first ones anyone had ever witness to me. No one told me there was bad churches out there. I thought they were all good. That's how I got hooked by them.

February 1, 2005

Hello, I was browsing your book list and came across Clayton's Secret Writings. I was wondering if there was a difference between that, and the book An Intimate Chronicle: Journals of William Clayton by Signature Books. Are the extracts in Clayton's Secret Writings included in An Intimate Chronicle? Just curious. Thanx.

[Sandra's Note: If you have An Intimate Chronicle, you don't need our book. Ours came out first, then Signature Books was able to get more extracts from his journal to publish in their edition. So theirs is more complete.]

February 1, 2005

Years ago I read a quotation attributed to Phineas Young regarding probable cause of Mormon persecution in the Mid-west, forcing their migration to the Great Basin. The quote, as I remember, was, "The Saints robbed and stole too much" i.e. from "gentiles", non-LDS.

I've tried numerous online sources and can't find the origin of this quote. Is it found within one of your own publications, perhaps?

In Christ,

[Sandra's Note: Sorry, not aware of that quote. We have some material on stealing from the non-Mormons in chapter 28 of Mormonism—Shadow or Reality?, but didn't see a quote from Phineas.]

February 2, 2005
Subject: Patriarchal Blessing

How do I go about getting a copy of mine? I lost the one I had during moves over the last 15 years.

[Sandra's Note: To receive a copy of your patriarchal blessing you will need to send a written request with $3.00 to—

LDS Church Archives
50 E. North Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3821

They will need to know your full name as it appeared on the blessing, date of birth, stake, city and state in which the patriarchal blessing was given, date given and, if possible, the name of the patriarch. It usually takes a month.]

February 2, 2005

Yesterday I received the ordered book: Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? I got it in a large US-postage bag and of course I was very happy to receive both the book and the bag! The book is a marvelous one and it handles all the facts in Mormon doctrines.

I'm still playin' the organ in the LDS Ward in . . . [the Netherlands]. I must say the members there are very friendly though they know my point of view.

February 3, 2005
I would like to let you know that the statement from "Church History" on your homepage is incorrect and incorrectly portrays Joseph Smith. Please check your references and if you need a copy of the correct version of Church History, I would be more than happy to provide it for you. Thank you and have a good day!


[Sandra's Note: I assume you are objecting to the use of the official LDS History of the Church, instead of the one produced by the RLDS Church (aka—Community of Christ)? Are you contending he gave no such speech? I suggest you read the article in Sunstone describing how different church leaders kept notes of the sermon, which were later compiled into one account. Van Hale wrote:

Thomas Bullock and William Clayton, who had been assigned as clerks for the conference, each contain a version of the discourse. Another account was recorded by Willard Richards, who, in keeping the Prophet's diary for two years, had recorded a number of sermons. In addition to these three official reporters, Wilford Woodruff took notes at the time of the discourse and later entered his version into the comprehensive diary which he kept throughout his life. Although none of the four were trained in taking stenographic, or word for word, accounts, all had had significant prior experience at recording discourses, and were capable of recording Joseph Smith's teachings accurately on that occasion.

Thomas Bullock was delegated the responsibility of preparing the conference minutes for publication. On 10 April 1844, the day after the close of the conference, he met "with the Twelve to arrange the minutes." He was provided with William Clayton's minutes, and from 23-28 April he combined, or amalgamated, the two reports into one, which was fuller and more complete than either separately.

Publication of the conference minutes in the Times and Seasons began on 1 May, with the Bullock-Clayton report of the discourse appearing on 15 August. This version served as text for three reprints of that sermon over the next two years. ('The King Follett Discourse: Textual History And Criticism,' by Van Hale, Sunstone 8:5/5, Sept. 1983)


February 3, 2005
I have been thinking about putting together a presentation for our church (Southern Baptist), about Mormon beliefs etc. Do you have any suggested curriculum or a plan of films/ talks/reading etc. that I might use to put this together.

My thought is something about 6 to 8 lessons over as many weeks. Maybe a film segment with questions and answers following. Many of our people are already familiar with the "God Makers" series. I believe some have also seen the SBC film. . . . By the way our church is in . . . Colorado and this entire valley is heavily populated with LDS people.

[Sandra's Note: When I give a seminar to a church group on Mormonism I use several of the pages on the Online Resource page of our site, like the Terminology Differences. People need a general overview of what LDS consider scripture, basic differences in doctrines, how they redefine Christian terms. Here is a suggestion for five classes.

1st day—Brief outline of LDS books of scripture, and how they limit the Bible's usefulness.

2nd day—Overview of Joseph Smith and beginnings of Mormonism.

3dr day—Terminology differences between LDS and Evangelical Christians.

4th day—Eternal progression—god became man, man can become god. Compare to Biblical view of one eternal God.

5th day—LDS Priesthood and Temple ritual necessary for eternal life. Compare to Biblical view of Grace.

Good films are listed here—Booklist: Videos

The Mormon Puzzle is a good one to start with.]

February 3, 2005
How does the state of Utah (or the Mormon community, whichever statistics might be available) compare with the rest of the nation in areas such as divorce, depression, suicide, etc.? Do you have that nformation available, or do you know where I can find it?

[Sandra's Note: In March of 2005 the Deseret News reported on Utah's divorce rate:

The Marriage Movement is a consortium of more than 100 experts in the field of marriage. They are professors and priests and ministers and lawyers and heads of public policy institutes in places as diverse as Berkeley, Calif., and Dallas, Texas, and Provo, Utah. . . . Recently, they published a 20-page paper titled "What's Next for the Marriage Movement?"

In this new paper, they listed divorce rates from the National Center for Health Statistics. The divorce rate per 1,000 people in 2002 was 4, but in 2003, that dropped to 3.8 people out of every 1,000. In 2004, it was also 3.8 per 1,000. (In Utah, preliminary numbers show the rate going from 4 per thousand in 2002 to 3.76 per thousand in 2003.) . . .

Tim Heaton, professor of sociology at Brigham Young University, was one of those who signed and supports the "What's Next" document. . . .

Heaton is not surprised that the divorce rate is going down, he says, because it has been going down, slowly, for about 20 years. It is still nowhere near as low as it was in the 1960s, he points out. If he had to state one reason for the decline in divorce, it would be this: Men and women are waiting longer to get married, and people who marry in their mid-20s are much less likely to divorce than are those who marry in their teens.

Also, Heaton notes, we might be able to expect fewer divorces per thousand because there are fewer marriages per thousand than there were 40 years ago. A lot of Americans are living together. (Deseret News, March 7, 2005)

In April of 2005 the Deseret News reported that Utah's rape rate places it 14th in the nation:

Since 1991, Utah's rape rate has consistently inched higher than the national rate. By 2002, Utah ranked 14th in the nation for rapes. . . . Statistics show that 1 in 5 women in Utah will be raped in their lifetime," [Mike] Haddon [director of research for the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice] said. . . . Ned Searle, director of the Office on Violence Against Women and Families . . . called rape and sexual assault one of Utah's greatest secrets. (Deseret News, April 12, 2005)

Here is a link to a June 3, 2002 news story on CBS relating to Utah:


Also see my answers in the Nov. 5, 2003 and June 15, 2004 Letters to the Editor.

On Feb. 15, 2005 the Salt Lake Tribune ran an article entitled 'Utah Posts Lowest Drug Abuse Rate.' The article stated:

WASHINGTON—Utah has the nation's lowest rate of illegal drug use and binge drinking among American youth but one of the country's highest rates of serious mental illness, according to a federal report released Monday.

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found a total of 10.97 percent of Utahns age 18 and older have a diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder that substantially interfered with one or more major life activities. Only Rhode Island had a higher rate of serious mental illness, 10.98 percent, according to the report. (Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 15, 2005)


February 4, 2005
Scriptures that the Mormons use to "Prove" the book of mormon....the sticks and he sheep not of this fold. can you help me explain it to them that it does not mean what they think it means?

Thank you,

[Steve's Note: The passages you are asking about are two classic examples of Mormon mishandling of the Bible for their own purposes. For more information concerning the scriptures Mormons use to "prove" the Book of Mormon and how those passages are being mishandled please refer to the below links.

For the "Two Sticks" (Ezekiel 37) see: Book of Mormon Overview.

For the "Sheep of another fold" (John 10) see: Mormon Claims Answered, Chapter Four.]

February 4, 2005
Subject: I have a question about Joseph Smith

Today I read on some website where Joseph supposedly was giving a speech and said something about having faith to walk on water then proceeded to walk on water, then sank. The reason given was that during the night he and several church leaders had put forked sticks in the water then laid green cut planks on them (green cut planks would not float) and Joseph was to walk on the planks, however someone during the night had seen the set up and removed one of the planks and when Joseph got to that one he sank and the crowd howled in laughter at him. Have you ever heard this story and know if it is true or made up?


[Sandra's Note: Here is a link to a site that discusses the charge that Joseph Smith tried to walk on water.


LDS apostle George Q. Cannon, preaching in 1881, told of such an event but he maintained that it was a story invented to discredit Joseph Smith:

Joseph Smith was brought before officers of the law upon every conceivable complaint. The papers heralded his disgrace throughout all the neighborhood, as far as they had circulation, determined to lie him flown. There are certain fabulous attributes incorrectly ascribed to the creature called the octopus—or devil-fish. It is said that when it wants to devour its victims, it ejects an inky substance that fills the whole water around so that it can the more easily capture its prey. It was something in this manner that the press and pulpit endeavored to stifle the truth and to destroy those who testified that they had received it.

The whole country was filled with every kind of slander. Human imagination was racked to invent stories. They said that Joseph Smith had tried to establish his divine calling by attempting to walk upon the water, with cunningly arranged planks placed a short distance beneath the surface of the water, but that, fortunately, he had been detected in his imposition. They said he had tried to raise the dead, and that the man whom he tried to raise nearly died, because the apparatus which he had arranged for him to get air became accidently deranged. There was no end of stories told by ignorant people, vile people, deluded people, wicked people, and even by men who called themselves ministers of the Gospel. You cannot think of anything that was not told, that was not sworn to—any number of witnesses could be obtained to testify to the truth of these falsehoods. (Sermon by George Q. Cannon, April 3, 1881, Journal of Discourses, vol. 23, p.117)


February 5, 2005
Your web page is completely wrong- Mormons do not believe in polygamy and the ordinances in the temple are not as you said.

Instead of teaching people about Mormons why don't you teach about your own? Prayer is a powerful guide and it can tell people if the Book of Mormon is true. The only reason why you discourage it is because you know it will work. Learn and teach about your own religion and leave the Mormons alone!!!

[Sandra's Note: The last time I looked, section 132 (teaching plural marriage) was still in the Doctrine and Covenants.

As for the temple ordinances being other than we said, that might depend on just when you attended the ceremony. It has changed repeatedly over the last 100 years.]

[Web-editor: See: #104 Messenger, Temple Ritual Changed...Again.]

February 5, 2005
Subject: Some Mormon-Catholic comments

The theological underpinnings of Mormonism are hostile to Catholicism, despite any current social and financial outreach from Mormons to Catholics in Utah. The LDS Church teaches the Catholic Church is man-made and evil and has no spiritual power. The posthumous temple work Mormons perform for deceased Catholics is an active expression of LDS contempt for Catholic teachings, including Catholic baptism. The existence of the Catholic Church, in particular, provides the LDS Church with many of the reasons needed to justify the creation of the LDS Church. Mormons insist the Catholic Church was never Christ's church and the LDS Church is a restoration of the church that Jesus instituted. Mormon missionaries today, as they have always done, aggressively gather converts from Catholicism into the LDS fold. The standard and current LDS version of the First Vision, Joseph Smith's supposed initial encounter with God, states that Jesus told Smith that the creeds of all churches (including the Catholic Church) were an abomination and the professors of these churches were corrupt.

As a convert to the LDS Church from Catholicism in Australia in the 1970s, Mormon missionaries did not hesitate to attempt to dispossess me of all Catholic beliefs in order to bring me into the LDS fold. When I left Mormonism, also in the 70s in Australia, it was because I witnessed serious LDS injustices, as I saw innocent Mormons deprived of their LDS Church membership by LDS officials. As I defended the rights of these abused Mormons, I, myself, was divested of my LDS Church membership by LDS officials. During the time I spent as a member of the LDS Church in Australia, I cannot recall one single instance when Mormons gave any credit to the Catholic faith. I watched LDS missionaries vigorously try to convert a Catholic priest they and I had befriended. I also recall one meeting in an LDS chapel in Sydney, Australia, in the mid-70s, when the late LDS Apostle, Mark E. Petersen, devoted an entire talk to "blitzing" the Catholic Church.

I am not impressed with today's "alliance" between Catholics and Mormons in Utah. This is nothing more than shallow politicizing on both sides. Each group thinks it has something to gain by using the other. The LDS Church wants to maintain its political and financial hold over this state, as it continues its attempt to steamroll its way over the rest of the world. The Catholic voice in Utah, which could have resisted Mormon domination, has been effectively silenced. Mormon donations to Catholic causes have taken care of any potential Catholic opposition. The Utah Catholic hierarchy has fallen for the oldest trick in the book. Bribery.

February 6, 2005
Hello, i was wondering if there is an organization in Utah where true believers are missionaries to mormons? Is it through a mission board like the SBC? I have studied mormonism for a while now and have found that i have a heart for mormons...i don't really know if that makes any sense but it breaks my heart to know that they are so misled. If possible i would like to know areas i could pray for...besides the Mormon church in general. Thank you so much for your web site it has truly helped in my studies.

God Bless

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing and sharing your desire to minister to the LDS people. Here are ministries that do outreach to LDS.

Russ East at—


Email Timothy Oliver, with Watchman Fellowship—

http://www.watchman.org/ldstools.htm ]

February 6, 2005
My husband and I sent in our letter of resignation last month. The bishop came over and everything. And last week we recieved a letter from Member Records in SLC saying our names had been officially removed and it was signed by Gregory Dodge. It only took one month!!

My question is... do you know if they are speeding up the process now? Or was ours just a fluke thing? It only took one month for us. I have never heard of one going through that fast before.


[Sandra's Note: Sounds like they are either getting more efficient or are trying to be more fair. They have received a lot of complaints about dragging these things out. Either way, congratulations!]

Her response:

Maybe they are getting more efficient. It seems that they are changing a lot of things lately. We left the LDS Church in 1996 and were saved in 1997. And one of the reasons why we left was your book, "Mormonism Shadow Or Reality". Thank you for writing that book!! It was because of all the info and checking out the sources you wrote in there to see if they were true.]

I couldn't believe all of the stuff that actually happened in the early history of the church and how deceived I and my husband had been!! Our kids were very young at the time, so they didn't really have any doctrine instilled into their minds. And our youngest son was born after we left. So he wasn't a child of record.

It's been a long hard road with our family who are LDS (it took us this long to have the courage to have our names removed). Especially my Mom who is still trying to get me to come back. I've decided its about time to share some stuff with her, since she keeps giving me LDS stuff to read. What would you recommend I show her?? I was thinking maybe the info on Joseph's Smith's wives since she hates polygamy. That is one problem she has with the LDS Church even though she is totally true blue mormon. I know I can find some info on familysearch.com . Do you have any books on his wives? And where I can find some LDS sources on them? ...We are in the process of starting a ministry of our own with some ex-LDS friends. We already have a support group started. ...Thanks again for your help!

God Bless!

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for sharing some of your story.

There are three books by LDS scholars that deal with Smith's polygamy—

Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Linda Newell and Valeen Avery. This can be ordered from the official LDS bookstore, Deseret Book. It is the biography of Joseph Smith's wife, Emma, written by two LDS women historians. It is not "anti" but does relate unknown historical problems, like Emma's problems with polygamy and how Joseph lied to her about it.


In Sacred Loneliness: the Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, by Todd Compton. Mr. Compton writes a chapter on each of Smith's thirty three plural wives. He documents the numerous wives that were already married when they married Smith, as well as those who were minors.


Mormon Polygamy: A History, by Richard VanWagoner. This is a good overview of the practice from the days of Joseph Smith to the present.


These can be ordered from us as well, but a Mormon would probably trust them more if you bought them from the LDS bookstore.]

February 7, 2005
a few years ago i, and my wife, left the mormon faith. i have since been visited by the missionaries and other church leaders. we would like to relinquish our membership in the church, in the hope that they might not persist in trying to "bring us back". i understand that there is an official form that the church recognises, but i cannot find it on the internet. can you please forward the web address of the form, or the form itself (if you know of it)?


[Steve's Note: While there is no official form to be filled out to terminate your membership in the LDS Church there are several things you will want to be aware of. We have placed on our website information related to the process of removing your name. See:


February 7, 2005

I have been searching for public records regarding abuse complaints within the LDS church. I cannot find anything. Do you have any information that may help me locate old records?

Thank you,

[Sandra's Note: You will find various LDS cases discussed on these web sites:

Also see #97 Messenger, ABUSE — SPECIAL REPORT.]

February 7, 2005
Subject: Has the temple ceremony changed again

I read on another website that there has been a significant change in the temple ceremony. The initiatory part has been totally 100% re-done and bears little resemblance to those in the past. Is this true, have they again changed the temple rites that were "supposedly" handed down from God to Joseph Smith. How can they keep getting away with changes in a supposedly divinely inspired or divinely given ordinance and keep having people believe in it. Doesn't anyone ever ask questions about these things?


[Sandra's Note: Yes, it has been changed—again. It seems that few LDS let themselves think through the implications of all the changes.

See the section on Masonry and Mormonism at:

http://www.josephlied.com/masonry.html ]

[Web-editor: Also now see #104 Messenger, Temple Ritual Changed...Again.]

February 7, 2005
First, thank you so much for sharing all you have learned about the LDS church. I am so fortunate to have been raised in a Christian home where the Bible was real and the infallible Word of God. It is so difficult for me to understand how anyone could believe the things they do inside of the LDS church, especially since so many of their new members are converts from other religions that are truthfully Biblically based religions.

I have spoken with a couple in my husbands church (LDS) who are adult and who came from a Baptist background, which is what I am. In speaking with her, she assured me that the God they worship at [the] Baptist [Church] is the same God they worship at the LDS. I told her no that it wasn't, that God was never a man who became God, but a God who became man, while still God. That is the last conversation she and I had.

I am frustrated, to say the least. It seems every time I feel like some steps are being made, the LDS people show up here for whatever reason. Last night . . . there was a new female missionary who came to visit with the other one who was here a couple of times in November. Just to meet me. I know it is not just to meet me...I feel they are spies to see if my husband has fallen by the way side somewhere. He has not been to his church since May of last year, and he did not tithe any last year. He has not gone to the Priesthood meetings, or tithing settlements, or anything, but he also has not gone to church with me more than three or four times.

We are taking these ladies out to eat Friday night. Before they left last night I told them there was something I wanted a copy of and I gave them the reference "History of the Church, Vol. 2, page 182" [where Smith prophesied that "fifty-six years should wind up the scene."] . They took it and said ok, and suggested that I look it up for myself on the web. I told them I had, but that I wanted this information to come to me in their own hands, so we could discuss some things. I really feel the only way I have now of witnessing to my husband is to allow these people to come into my home and let me ask questions, so he hears different things. Does this make any sense?

[My husband] still has not watched the Mormon Puzzle with me. I am praying he will though, and somehow the Holy Spirit will be able to use your information and testimony to plant seeds of doubt in his heart.

Thank you for answering.

[Sandra's Note: Sounds like you are on the right track. For samples see: A Sample of Joseph Smith's False Prophecies.

Also, you might find our packet of Godhead and Virgin Birth Photocopies from LDS books on their teachings a help.]

February 8, 2005
Are you LDS? If not, how could you possibly know the answers to questions people may have concerning this religion?! Because I AM LDS and to be frank, there are many things in our religion that we hold SACRED and are not shared or talked about- except for in the holy temple.

So if there are things unknown to others not of the faith, how can you claim to answer peoples questions honestly and fully? I am so sick to death of people putting down a religion they know so little about. Please for all LDS peoples sake, knock it off.

[Sandra's Note: I can understand your concern. But on the other hand, I assume you feel the LDS scriptures are sacred yet the church sells them to the public. So why would it be wrong to publish the temple ceremony? The Jewish temple ceremony is printed in the OT. God didn't seem to be concerned about it being in print.

If the LDS temple ceremony, with its oaths and obligations, is truly necessary for eternal life, then people should be able to read it in advance to know if they agree with the terms before going through with it. Otherwise it is like signing a contract on a house or car without first reading the contract.

Communion (sacrament) service is SACRED to me, but anyone can attend a Christian church and observe the service. 'Sacred' should not be equal to 'secret' but it seems to be with Mormons.

Thanks for writing.]

February 8, 2005

Thank you so much for helping those of us who can't seem to get Mormonism out of our heads. Your store allows me to temporarily escape the need to pretend about who I am.

I've got one quick question for you. Was there ever any Mormon prophecy that the world would end in 1900?


[Sandra's Note: I think you are referring to Joseph Smith's 1890 prophecy. See No. 10 on A Sample of Joseph Smith's False Prophecies.]

February 8, 2005

. . . I am a former Utah Mormon now living in . . . TX. . . . Since leaving Mormonism, I have developed a passion for spreading the truth about Mormonism to Mormons and prospective Mormons alike. . . .

February 9, 2005
. . . The last Messenger was the best presentation of the DNA findings I have seen. I put a link to the article on my Mormonism page at http://bible-truth.org/Ldspage.htm . . .

[Web-editor: See: #103 Messenger, Who Are the Lamanites?]

February 9, 2005
I am a pastor . . . in Meridian, Idaho. . . . Right now , I am conducting a door-to door community survey and am coming across many Mormons. Do you by chance have some good literature or tracks I can leave with them? One of my questions that I ask on my survey is: "In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to heaven?" As you know, I get a lot of works-based answers. I do take some time and share the gospel with them but it would be nice to leave something as well.

Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for the great job you guys are doing!! . . .


[Steve's Note: As a point of interest, you may want to be remember as you go door to door that within Mormonism the terms "heaven" and "eternal life" are not the same. Virtually all of humanity will end up in one of the three kingdoms of heaven regardless of how good they may have been or whether they accepted Mormonism or not. Eternal Life however is reserved in Mormonism only for those who have been temple worthy Mormons and have kept all of the requirements Mormonism lays out to gain eternal life. You may wish to review our Terminology Differences and Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints pages on our website.

My recommendation to you would be for you to order the Tract Pack we offer.

Then you could select ones that you think will work best for your area and that you would feel comfortable in responding to in future conversations which may come about through your tracting efforts.]

February 10, 2005
As one who was previously in the LDS church, I find myself in an interesting ministering position. Recently, my roomates father mentioned something to me, and I have decided to follow through with it.

I am praying for Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, as well as other top leaders, Monson and Faust. I do not know why they are in their positions, but I am praying that God will move in them to allow them to consider the false doctrines before them and to seek Jesus instead. They are influential in the lives of millions, and on top of that, they need Jesus just as much as anyone else. Thank you for serving God. I am writing to ask for any who desire to pray with me.

[Sandra's Note: We invite our readers to join with you in praying that these men's eyes will be open to the truth. Miracles still happen, just look at the great turn around in Hebert Armstrong's group, the World Wide Church of God. There is a wonderful new video, Called to be Free, interviewing various leaders in that group. They tell how they were led to re-examine Armstrong's doctrines. See: http://www.lhvm.org/wcg.htm ]

February 10, 2005
I am an ex-mormon thanks to the bible and reading the book by Richard Abanes "One Nation Under Gods". . . I am now trying to show my entire family (which is huge) that they belong to a cult that was brought about by one of the world's best con-artists. . . .


February 10, 2005
Here is a letter I would like to share about my finding out the real truth on Mormonism and Joseph Smith. It is a letter I am planning to send to my family (who are still believers that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true and the Mormon church is the only true church). Right now they just think I am crazy and am filled with an evil spirit. . .or that I don't know any better. They think all I am doing is reading anti-mormon literature. . . .

Dear Family:

I think it's about time that I set everything straight about the Mormon issue. I know that Mom has filled you in on our discussions and how I feel. I know that some of you might think that my husband had a hand in "brainwashing" me, or that he simply does not like Mormons, which is the furthest thing from the truth. He had absolutely NOTHING to do with where I am today. Or you might think that I must be off my rocker and lost, or whatever thoughts you might be having, if any. But I wanted to share with you anyways.

When my husband and I were having problems about 3 years ago (which you all know about), I had no other choice, but to turn to the Lord for strength. I wanted to know him and establish a relationship with him. At the time, I had never read the Bible or the Book of Mormon, so I decided that I was going to start with the religion I was raised in, Mormonism. Of course I didn't know too much (as we were are all in the "same boat").

Remember during our "family home evenings", Mom would ask us questions and we wouldn't know anything? I have always based my testimony of the Mormon Church on Mom's testimony. I just believed that she is my Mom and she wouldn't steer me wrong. Plus, we know that she is always studying Mormon Doctrine. All my life, I never really had the honest, real, true desire to be religious, so I just went though the motions of going to church to "please Mom" and of course I wanted to do what I thought was right. But when it came to the point when I felt I hit "rock bottom", I really wanted to know God and learn the truth about the church for myself, so that maybe one day I could stand up in testimony meeting and say the cliché "I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet and the Mormon Church is true".

I started by reading the entire Book of Mormon and couldn't wait to get to the end where it says "to pray and the Holy Spirit would testify to you that the Book of Mormon is true". Well I did that, and I never got that feeling. But that was okay, I was willing to hang in there and just let it take its course, and maybe one day it would be revealed to me.

I then vowed that I would read the Bible too. Once I started reading the Bible, and really beginning to know God, and who he is and how he operates, and the truth of the scripture, in my heart, I couldn't imagine him being the kind of God that the Mormon Church portrays (i.e., allowing polygamy, blacks being banned from holding the priesthood up until 1978, weird temple rituals like cutting the throat if you reveal the secrets, becoming your own God and having your own planet, etc. etc.)

I have always had questions about the Mormon doctrine that just never "sat right with me" because a lot of it didn't make sense and was very contradictory and seemed a bit chauvinistic and I needed to find out why? Mom herself has had questions about the Mormon Church that didn't make sense to her and she would ask Grandma and whenever something didn't make sense the famous reply would be "we just need to have faith and when we get to heaven, all will be revealed.

I was still attending the Mormon Church and wanted my husband to come with me. He agreed to come with me as long as I would come to a "non-denominational" Christian Church with him. So I agreed to do that because I wanted him to come to church with me with the hopes of one day being able to convert him to Mormonism.

Of course the first time I went to the non-denominational Christian Church, I automatically had a "bad attitude" because I have always been taught that any other church other than the Mormon Church is in "darkness" and isn't true. But after attending the meeting, I felt so great, I learned more than I have ever learned in one hour of preaching straight from the Bible. Everything the Pastor taught about Jesus and salvation finally made sense. There was nothing that caused me to question it. But of course, at the time, I didn't equate it to mean too much except that he was a good speaker trained in teaching the Bible, okay fine.

I then began to ponder to myself, why am I a Mormon?

1.) Because I was born into it of course.
2.) My family was born in Utah...so what other religion would I be but Mormon?

Mormonism in Utah is the religion by default, just by virtue of living in Utah (at least a very high percentage of them are, as we all know). Then I thought about the people born in Italy or Mexico, their religion by default would most likely be Catholic, just because of their culture, and their ancestors bringing them up in that religion for generations and generations, it's their family tradition, just like it is in Utah.

I had a realization when I saw the devotion of Catholics and how they felt toward their religion, it reminded me of the way Mom feels about Mormonism. I saw the Jehovah Witnesses in our Apartment complex and how "Devout" they are about their religion and doctrine, and how they would "lay their life down" for their beliefs. It is because in their hearts "their religion is the true religion". I asked myself, "What makes us Mormons any different from them?" They are just as "zealous" for their beliefs as we are? If I were to go up to them and tell them their religion was false and untrue and "an abomination" in God's sight, they would be highly offended and tell me that I am in "outer darkness", or being controlled by some demon for even saying such a thing, and of course they would defend their religion to the death. I used to get highly offended when anyone would put down the Mormon religion, but then again, at that time, I was ignorant.

I decided to investigate the true history of the Mormon Church to find out all I could about it before I put my life into it. I wanted to learn the religion from other resources not just the "Mormon approved" resources, which was another thing that didn't seem honest to me. It seemed controlling to me how the Mormon Church persuades you not to read what they call "Anti-Mormon". It felt as though they had something to hide. So this time around, I didn't want anything I studied to be biased. I needed to believe that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the Mormon Church is the true church before I devoted my life to it. Not because our Mom believes in it so, but because I believe in it so. I found a book that gives the history of the church by a "non-biased author" who was NEVER a Mormon so he has no "axe to grind". He just found it fascinating and wanted write a book about it. I also read many other books, biographies, articles, testimonies of people and historical accounts of events and from the people who knew Joseph Smith.

After reading about who Joseph Smith really was (and he is not the one the Mormon Church portrays) and how doctrine has been changed over and over again, over 3,000 changes from the original 1830 version published by Joseph Smith to the current Book of Mormon we have today. These changes are not just words like "this and the" or punctuation and grammar changes, like Mom said, but they are meaning changes too. Even after Joseph Smith said that this 1830 version of the Book of Mormon was the Most CORRECT book on the face of the earth.

There are MAJOR changes in the Doctrine and Covenants which are Joseph Smith's doctrines and revelations of the church. I know from reading the Bible that God would not have anointed a prophet like Joseph Smith. God never changes according to bible scripture. If you could just read statements and journals by neighbors, members, magazines published by Joseph's Smiths own privately owned magazine, you would be shocked at what you read. When I brought up these issues to Mom, she answered by saying "Oh, that it is all Anti-Mormon". Well if you want to call the journals and doctrines written by the Prophets, Apostles and Mormon members themselves "Anti-Mormon" then I guess that is what it is. Whenever something challenges the Mormon religion, doctrine or belief, the only excuse or comeback Mormons can give is "it's all Anti-Mormon. That is just simply not true.

These statements, journals, magazine articles, Book Of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Journal and Discourses (a Mormon magazine), Times & Season (a Mormon magazine) are all documented and you can check their validity at the University of Utah, BYU, Salt Lake Public Library or the Utah State Historical Society Library or any other college in Utah. Once something is published, everyone has access to them. I am not even going to go into detail with you about what I found out (I could write pages upon pages), but all I can say, is the roots of the Mormon Church is corrupt. And what I mean by that is the early history about Joseph Smiths, his documented sermons, to Brigham Young's life and sermons, to all other prophets after him, all lied and contradicted each other. Joseph Smith lied about being a polygamist, to his practices with the Occult which is described as "Folk Magic" using crystal seer stones and divination rods. Did you know that Joseph Smith was a treasure seeker and money digger (claiming to be able to look through seer stones to find buried treasures (the same seer stones he used to translate the Book of Mormon), he squandered money from people and made them believe he could find hidden treasure on their property. Joseph Smith was finally tried and convicted of "Fraud" in a court of law in New York and there are court documents to prove it.

It just goes to show you what kind of mind this man had and his character. He was a liar and deceiver. He was a power-monger described as being narcissistic and a megalomaniac. What also proved his character is how he ran for President, doesn't that say something about a man who wanted power? Wasn't it enough to be a "prophet" if that is what you want to call him? He, Brigham Young and Apostles were involved in murders called "blood atonement" because Joseph Smith said there are just some sins that Jesus' blood cannot atone for. There are just so many absolutely UNBELIEVABLE things that this man did that just really sent me in to tremendous SHOCK!!

Believe me; I did not want to believe it. Remember, I grew up in the church just like the rest of you did. I wanted more than anything to find the Mormon Church to be true. But I could never feel that way after finding out the truth. There were accounts of them sacrificing animals, coming up with counterfeit money, which was part of the reason why Joseph Smith was thrown in the Cartheridge Jail. The other reason Joseph Smith was thrown in jail before his murder, was because he found out that the local newspaper "Nauvoo Expositor" in the town they were living was about to expose Joseph Smith for who he truly was. Joseph found out about it and he and his people "destroyed" the printing press so that the truth of their cult would not be exposed. It was not because of martyrdom like the church tells you. Joseph Smith did not go to his death like "a lamb to the slaughter", or "meek and humble" defending his precious religion. No he died with his "6-shooter" in his hand shooting and wounding anyone he could. He smuggled a gun into the jail and fought for his life. So he did not die a Martyr...he wanted out.

No wonder the Mormon Church discourages you from reading anything they consider "Anti-Mormon". The Book of Mormon history of the Native Americans being literal descendants of Israel is completely inaccurate. I have a very informative DVD of biologists and DNA specialists who have been studying Native Americans for years, and have done studies on Native Americans all over Northern and Southern America in the most remote areas, and have not come up with one person that has the DNA of the Hebrew descent. And they can trace DNA all the way back 1000's of years.

The other claim the Mormons try to use to support the Book of Mormon is the Mayan and Inca in Chichen Itza, Mexico who worshipped a God with a white beard named Quetzalcoatl. This is not the same Jesus of the bible. If you do your research of the history of Mesoamerica (South America/Mexico), you will find that Quetzalcoatl was a feathered serpent whose mother died during childbirth due to Quetzecoatl bursting from her chest. Quetzalcoatl's origins can be dated back to the Olmec, that would place him from around 1200BC. This is considerable older than other accounts, placing him squarely with the emergence of the Maya, 800BC. The "white bearded god" the Mayan & Inca worshipped in their Aztec Mythology was in a different time period which contradicts the appearance of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was resurrected around 33A.D. So there again, the Mormon claim to "the white bearded god Quetzacoatl is completely out of time and obviously not being used to promote the church because its not true and makes no sense. These Inca and Mayan in South America were pagans and worshipped "Many Gods". They had a God for every area of their life.

As far as all reputable archeologists and scholars and even BYU Ancient Research Professors admit that there is no evidence whatsoever to prove the Book of Mormon. This means not one person, place or thing mentioned in the Book of Mormon can be traced or found. Actually, things mentioned in the Book of Mormon are out of sequence and out of time. Things mentioned in this book were not even introduced to the Americas until the 1400 or 1600's when the Europeans came here. I believe the Bible to be the ONLY word of God. It is proven every day. All the events, people and places have been traced and there is proof of the remains. All the manuscripts found from 45AD to the recent findings of the Dead Sea Scrolls match. There was no error in translation like the Mormon Church tries to tell you. Do your research and you will see what I am talking about.

Archaeologists find evidence all the time that the people and events of the bible were real, but the Mormon Church wants you only to believe in it as far as it is translated? What exactly does that mean I asked Mom? And she said that it lost some of its meaning, but that is not true. Then why does the Mormon Church use scripture from the bible to support their doctrine? How do they know that the scripture they use is accurate? That is another thing that Mom could not answer. It made me wonder why anyone would believe in a book that if it were to be put on trial today, it wouldn't stand a chance because there is absolutely no evidence to support it. Even the Smithsonian Institute denounced it as any means of history. The Book of Mormon is nothing but a "fairy-tale" written by the hand of Joseph Smith during his "treasure seeking" days in hopes of being able to sell if for money.

And did you know, that the Book of Mormon wasn't even published until 1830 which would have made Joseph Smith around 25yrs old? So he did not translate the plates at the age of 14 like I used to think. After the book was published, he told Oliver Cowdry to go to Canada and sell the copyright of the book because it would make them a lot of money. He prophesied that to Oliver, however, after Oliver traveled to Canada, nobody bought the copyright. And the 1830 version that was published said "Author Joseph Smith" now the current version says "Translated by the hand of Joseph Smith."

There is a book called the "View of the Hebrews" which was published in 1823 and again in 1825 (years before the publishing of the Book of Mormon) by Pastor Ethan Smith. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry (note: Oliver is Joseph Smiths 3rd cousin) knew and attended Pastor Ethan's church. It was really scary to see how similar the two storylines are. . The ideas of the Indians being Jewish and having a lost record in "The View of the Hebrews" is exactly the same as the Book of Mormon. Remember, all of this information I am giving you is something that you can check for yourselves in documented history. These writings are available, because as you know, our states keep records of everything published, whether it is books, newspapers, magazines, etc. You can go to the hall of records and ask for a newspaper dating back to the early 1800's, and it will be there.

I don't want to keep going on and on, but after finding the truth, there is no way that I can ever believe in the Mormon Church. There are just too many contradictions and cover-ups. I know you feel that Mom has done more studying than I have and that she knows more than I do, and that is fine. I love Mom more than anything and I never wanted to do anything to hurt her. I did not do this on purpose. Do you think this is fun for me? Do you think I like doing this and telling Mom that I don't believe in the Mormon Church? Believe me, it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Do you think I like knowing that my family thinks I am crazy and probably wants nothing else to do with me because of this? No, I don't enjoy this at all. But I can't deny the truth that has been set out right in front of me. But after studying and praying and really having a relationship with God, I can't deny what I know and have learned.

And I am sorry if this makes any of you uncomfortable. I understand, because remember, I was also a Mormon and felt the same way about it that you do right now, but that was because I didn't know any better. I only knew their version and they of course are not going to want me to know the very things that they are trying so desperately to cover up. That is why they have FARMS. It is a research company fully staffed with Mormon Scholars who find ways to defend their doctrine.

I hope that one day one of you will maybe take the time to read what I have read and see what I have seen, and after doing so, if you still feel that I am crazy, or just being led astray, well then I will accept your feelings. But please don't judge me until you have also learned what I have learned. That is all I ask. I know it's hard for you all to understand, and again I am sorry for that. But I love Mom and I don't want her being fooled by this religion. Salvation is not something you want to throw around lightly. Every question that I had from what I have learned I wanted Mom to give me an answer. She, however, was not able to give me an adequate answer of any kind that made any kind of sense to me. All she did was get frustrated and started to cry. And I am not saying this to be disrespectful, because I love and respect Mom with all my heart, and you ALL know that!!! But because I love her, I want her to open her eyes.

I know the church does a lot of good things, and the people in the church are wonderful people, but the bible clearly says, that you are saved by Faith in Jesus Christ, by the Gift of Grace and not by your works, which the Mormon Church teaches. You do not need to know "secret handshakes" and "secret password" as done in the Temple endowment to go to heaven. All of these rituals are the same rituals done by the Freemasons which stemmed from the Pagan Egyptian Beliefs.

I pray every day that you will all see the truth and do your own studying. Don't take it for granted that Mom knows it all. There is so much scripture that warns us of "false prophets" who come in sheep's clothing but are really ravenous wolves. Scripture also warns us that some will be blinded by Satan so that they cannot see the truth. There is a "veil" over their minds. If anyone believes "Any other Gospel" then the one that the Apostle Paul taught, let him be accursed. The Apostle Paul taught that "Salvation is a free gift, not of your own works, lest anyone should boast". Jesus paid our sin debt in FULL. There is NOTHING we can do in our own power to save ourselves. That is why Jesus Christ died on the cross. Otherwise there would have been no need for him to shed his blood. If you don't believe his blood was the perfect sacrifice to cleanse you from your sin and make you "righteous in the eyes of God", then you are denying the Son of God Jesus Christ and will be cast in the "lake of fire" according to scripture. There is no such thing as "3 degrees of glory". It's either Heaven or Hell. So I really hope you all take this seriously. I am writing this letter because I love you all and I don't want you to follow the wrong Gospel. It is serious. I hope your salvation is worth doing the research necessary to know the truth for yourselves.

Love, your sister.

February 11, 2005
Dear Sister Sandra & Brother Jerry:

I appreciate your newsletter informing me of what is happening with your ministry in Christ. I pray that you stay in the battle with His strength and power.

It is amazing how people can see the truth right in front of their faces and refuse to accept it. The Lord Jesus Christ is to many a hard truth pill to swallow. . . .

Your Brother in Christ,

February 11, 2005
The talk by Brigham Young about slavery has several spelling errors. Were these his or do they need to be corrected?

[Sandra's Note: As noted at the first of the article, the spelling errors were in the original. See: Brigham Young's Speech on Slavery, Blacks, and the Priesthood.]

February 12, 2005
It is claimed by Mormons that your quote History of the Church vol. 6, pp.408-9 in your Book The Changing World of Mormonism, regarding J Smith's arrogance and claim of his alleged superiority to Christ is a misquote and is just fabricated in order to defame him when really he was a great and humble man?

Could you please verify for me that the Quote is indeed accurate and please provide some kind of copy of the Original article where J Smith said this. . . .

The Mormons wish to ignore even the facts against them, please assist me to show them the facts that they can not legitimately ignore.


[Sandra's Note: I assure you, our quote is accurate. I have the official LDS History of the Church on my desk. Also, it can be ordered through Deseret Book at:


This history is probably in all of the public and university libraries in Utah and easily verified.

Institute for Religious Research has a scanned image of the page. See:

http://irr.org/mit/WDIST/wdist-st-hcv6p408.html ]

February 13, 2005
To the Editor:

Hi! I am a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was accidentally directed to your web site, and what was written there attracted my attention. I was curious about some of the replies you gave to people. I read some disturbing things, too. I am sorry for the bombardment of members of my church, but I can't blame them.

When I read some of the replies (or should I say Lies?) you gave people, I wanted to shout out in anger. My fourth great grandfather was in Liberty Jail with Joseph Smith and was his personal body guard, our family has more information than you could fathom about the Church. If you would like, I could give you TRUTH, I am sorry you have been misinformed on several accounts. I was wondering why people went to YOU to find out information about the Church. I always found that the best information you can get is directly from the source of it.

There are so many places in the Bible that testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Why do you think that the LDS Church is the only one that does baptisms for the dead? It is said only one place in the Bible, but it is there. It is in 1Corinthians 15:29. So,..."why are they then baptized for the dead?" Can YOU tell me?

I hope that instead of giving your readers information on the LDS Church from non-LDS people you will instead give them a number to their local missionaries. I'm sure they can be much more help in understanding OUR church. I am sure you can prove me "wrong" about things, but that will never change my KNOWLEDGE (that means I KNOW that it is FACT) of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I only wish I could do something to change your mind, but seeing as how you have a website and several other sources of media dedicated to proving my religion wrong, I guess I have no chance of doing so. I want you to know that I will be praying for you. I hope that one day you will come across a passage in the Bible that will say that "another book shall come forth out of the earth," or "other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall here my voice," or anything like that. Look at Ezekiel 37: 15-22. You can go on further and see more evidence. You could try reading the whole book and seeing much more evidence, but I see that you are extremely busy giving the, what did you call it, oh yeah, the TRUTH? Yeah, that was it.

I truly am sorry, but I am in a bad mood today. I guess that happens when I'm told, not exactly directly, but still told nevertheless that my religion is false and evil. I wonder why you are doing this. I wonder why I feel so good about my religion, wait, I know why. I love the truth, so I love the gospel. Please stop this foolishness. People have been telling me it's the farthest thing from the true church, but perhaps you can explain why it's the fastest growing church in the world? Our Savior did say that his gospel would go forth to all nations, kindred's, tongues and people, so I guess that's it. The TRUE church is on the Earth. I'm just sorry you can't see it.

A Faithful Sister of Zion

February 14, 2005
I would think similarity in writing about native americans lives, living conditions, and descriptions fo such things could be taken either direction. For those looking for proof either direction one could try to distort this to their view.

I also don't think that the bible can be used as a basis for comparison to the book of mormon. It's a different book written by differnt prophets. For example: Just as you and I may use different words in writing so do the prophets. Just because it does not use one word to another means very little. preference to words seems a desperate attempt to find fault... or create fault even where none exists. the bible has been translated many many times... and how does one prove the bible's accuracy I wonder? sure we have old cities all over the middle east, but the prophets or any writings in teh bible? Do we discount these writings as well. I mean we can't go allowing one to be choosy about what will or will not be taken on blind faith.

Also wasen't joe just an ol' translator? Even fluent translators have differences in translation. We also have what I estimate to be hundreds of versions of the bible. I suppose you can pick and choose which to beleive there.

I am myself not a mormon, but I try to study when I can. I am only 24. Thanks for your time and views. I got some new information from you I find very useful. . . . Stop being blind with arrogance and hate. Open your eyes! the book of mormon could be false... maybe it's not.... but this site has some desperate attempts to try to prove it wrong. the desperation shows. You do have some decent information though not shown anywhere else. good job.


February 15, 2005
Dear Tanners,

Four days ago I encounterd two elders in my driveway. After an open and healthy dialogue (1.5 hrs), they left. I believe that the encounter was very positive and I believe that I developed a good rapport with them. In the end, I encouraged them to research their own church.

Durning my encounter, I shared with them some inconsistencies in the Book of Mormon, archaeological concerns, doctrinal difficulties, and Joseph Smith as a false prophet. One of the elders seemed uneasy and the other was steady. I believe that the Lord planted a seed in one of the missionaries . . .


February 15, 2005
I was interested what you had to say about mormons or LDS people and their temples. I am a devote Mormon and have been through the temple many time and I love the sweet peacefull feeling I get there.

You have some of the LDS doctrine very mixed up and I would advise you to seek more info before publishing a document about something you are confused about. If you need to have some info I would recommend contacting the LDS missionaries or your local bishop. Also you could read our book of mormon and ask the lord if the teachings that the LDS church are teaching are true.

All you need to do is pray to the lord with a sincere heart if it is true. I promise that if you pray with real intent and having faith that you will receive an answer I promise you that you will receive one. Pray and ask the lord if the Book of Mormon is true. Then if you feel like the LDS people are doing weird secret things in their temples then at least you have gone to every measure to find out for yourself.

Also I think most of your info you are getting are from people who have be excamunnicated or fallen from the church and their info is biased and mistaken. The temple is a wonderful holy place the house of the lord where loving husbands and wife can be sealed together for all time and eternity and enjoy all of the blessing that come from being married in the house of the lord. I am so grateful that me and my sweet husband were married in the Lords house for all time and eternity and each time I return to the temple I feel the sweet spirit and love the lord has given us from us keeping the commandment and following Jesus Christ.

[Sandra's Note: I would appreciate knowing just which LDS doctrines you feel I "mixed up." Were my quotes wrong? Or didn't I give a quote for the part you feel I am confused about? Would be glad to hear which item you were reading that you feel is misrepresented. If you can demonstrate that the LDS doctrine I mentioned is/was never taught by LDS leaders I will change it. But if we are talking about a doctrine that an earlier leader taught but that isn't taught today, that is a different issue.

As far as contacting LDS missionaries, I have yet to meet one that has read as much LDS literature as I have. We are former Mormons from 5th generation families, and we did talk to our bishops, a couple of BYU professors, wrote to Joseph Fielding Smith and even met with Apostle LeGrande Richards. We have read all the standard works and more LDS literature than most LDS members.

As far as the Book of Mormon is concerned, I have read it, cover to cover, more than six times, and prayed about it. I believe God led me to the evidence that the Book of Mormon is a product of the nineteenth century, not an ancient record. Besides, it does not contain the unique doctrines that are presented in the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.

I fail to see how reading the Book of Mormon would solve any issues about temple ceremonies. The Book of Mormon doesn't even teach baptism for the dead. In fact, it would seem to teach that there is no need for it. See Moroni 8:22-23—that verse refers to "all they that are without the law" and says they don't need baptism. So anyone who died without a chance to hear the gospel doesn't need baptism for the dead. Also, the Bible and Book of Mormon NEVER teach temple marriage. You must read section 132 in the Doctrine and Covenants for that.

You state that your experience in the temple was one of great peace. Did you go through the temple prior to April of 1990? If not, you may not realize all the changes that have been made. Giving the signs of the penalties (drawing your thumb across your throat, symbolizing having your throat cut from ear to ear) certainly doesn't seem Christ-like. But that was removed in 1990. And mocking ministers, portraying them as hirelings of Satan (prior to 1990) hardly seems uplifting.

Why have the temple rituals been changed so much and so often? If these rituals are required by God why have they changed? I realize you can't talk about the temple ceremony in detail, but just think of the phrase you say to God at the veil —

"Health in the navel, marrow in the bones, strength in the loins and in the sinews, power in the Priesthood be upon me, and upon my posterity through all generations of time, and throughout all eternity" (See: http://home.teleport.com/~packham/endow90.htm or our book Evolution of the Mormon Temple Ceremony)

Is that really what you think you would say to God? Do you think He cares about handshakes and passwords? He looks at the heart, not outward performances. Where is Christ, his love and his atonement in any of this?

Thanks for writing.]

February 15, 2005
greetings from Sweden...

i will be short.. i am interested in all truth and light so i have investigated your homepage. if the church is false you tell me that you only need to believe in christ and the bible and that you dont need any church for that belief. what do you say about these homepages?


i know Holocaust is false, 6 million jews didnt die in gaschambers.. 200 000 died in hunger and typhus. I know freemasons rules and i know that the church want to be comfortable with the world today.. they sneak and build up the themples and one day "the great and mighty" will reveal all truths. but my question is: where are the scriptures from the other tribes of Israel, where are the 3 witnesses?

1. Bible
2 Book of Mormon
3 The ten tribes..

if the book of mormon is false. where is the right one.. where are the prophets today? where are the revelations? where are the true church? beware of satan, he is cunning.. i agree with you with many things on your homepage but as the christ said to the disciples who wanted to leave him "is this to much for you"? and i ask you.. are the teachings of the old prophets to much for you to understand? have you been or am i deceived by satan? where are your alternative way? that way doesnt fit together.. remember. if there are mistakes , they are from humans, not from God. where is a perfect prophet? God guided Moses often to the right way, he made mistakes and moses is considered to be one of the greatest prophets.. i must warn you.. i am the first one in the whole world who wants to know if the church is false or not but i know its true.. yes. i consider myself as intelligent. there are many things to overcome, understand and to see in different angles. but to be short.. what do you feel about the things i have told you today? who do you consider me to be? i am open for all discussions.

most friendly wishes

[Steve's Note: Thank you for you letter. I think you are asking some very important questions. I will try to briefly respond to some of the things you have mentioned in your letter.

While the church is not necessary for salvation it is a centrally important part of the Christian life and for living as God wants.

My reaction to the websites you listed is that they seem to all be advocating various conspiracy theories. They have many accusations based on either very biased use of the facts or very weak evidence. For example, the holocaust did happen. No one says that all 6 million Jews died in gas chambers. How Jews died and the precise number is irrelevant to the central issue that Nazi Germany had as an official campaign to exterminate many groups of "undesirable persons" which included Jews. This is no more or less horrible than the killing of millions in Russia, China or Cambodia.

The Book of Mormon is able to be demonstrated to have problems very much unlike the Bible. For more information on this please read the article, Book of Mormon Overview and Testing the Book of Mormon.

There is a difference between a prophet being human (which all were) and the prophet saying things as coming from God when presumptuously speaking on his own. Many of Joseph Smith's prophecies failed. This would make him a false prophet and one not to be heeded as one who speaks for God. For more information on this please read the below web pages.

There are many problems in Mormonism's origins, unbiblical teachings and contradictions within Mormonism. Here are some additional web pages to look at.

My prayer is that you will continue to search deeply and widely to find out all the facts you can so you may make a decision based on the evidence and not just an emotional response.]

February 15, 2005
. . . let me say how much I have enjoyed and appreciated reading all the material you and Jerald have posted online. I was raised in the Mormon church but was never really comfortable with the mind-control aspects of the religion. Even though in our particular ward here in Southern California the members were really the salt-of-the-earth kind of people, and my memories of church dances and MIA events were some of the fondest experiences of my youth, I just never felt comfortable with the idea that "when the prophet speaks the thinking is done." No one does my thinking for me, and I think it is particularly sad that people blessed to live in a free country like America should so willingly sacrifice their freedom and independence of thought. By nature and training I am an extremely rational person with an almost reverence for logic and reason, but even for me it is rather amazing how a fundamentalist we-have-truth-with-a-capital-T religion can get under your skin and at least to some degree begin to program your thinking.

Overall, I still have fond memories of my experiences with the Mormon church, but in my heart I left it long ago and I know it is not at all what it professes to be. Certainly, its claim to be the "one and only true church" is ridiculous. Joseph Smith deceived many people, but the first person he deceived was himself. I believe he was a sincere (at least initially), brilliant young man with a spiritual nature and an hysterical personality who got so caught up in the confusions of a troubled adolescence that he projected his resolutions to these inner conundrums into "visions" and "revelations" from God. He had little formal education, and he lived in a superstitious age before the dawn of modern psychology, so in that context, and given his unique personality, perhaps his behavior is not really so startling, after all. Someday, someone should write an in-depth psychological analysis of Joseph Smith and his career. It would be fascinating. Anyway, thanks again for the great work you and Jerald continue to do in making the whole truth about Mormonism available to anyone with a sincere desire to know the facts.

February 16, 2005
I'm looking for an authentic biography of Brigham Young. Can you help?

[Sandra's Note: Sorry, there is not a current, comprehensive biography on Brigham Young. There are some good books on the time period of his life, see:

Leonard Arrington, faithful Mormon historian, wrote the book 'Brigham Young: American Moses,' but it is slanted towards seeing Young in a favorable light and avoids some of the problem areas. Here is a link to Amazon.com, with a couple of reviews.

(Amazon.com link) Brigham Young: American Moses ]

February 16, 2005
To Whom It May Concern

Having read your questions, and some of the articles your links point to, I have come to the conclusion that you speak without knowledge and faith, and, it seems, with an inferior level of intelligence. All that's required, to begin with, is to have the faith of that of a mustered seed to know your Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, but you haven't even that. ...

... To say the bible has not been corrupted through the process of re-writing over the centuries and through translation, and through the deliberate, misinterpretation and falsification of its content by people with ulterior motives is beyond me. Surely you know the nature of most men. Have you read the bible?

And to think that a boy - Joseph Smith - wrote the Book of Mormon without the power of God as he testifies, and as three good men testified, and again, as eight good men testified, and then, not believe the scientific evidence that proves that the Book of Mormon could not have been written by Joseph Smith; To believe that, that it came from His imagination through a devilish plot or what ever, is the belief of a man with a hardened heart and a closed mind who will never have the intelligence to support his faith to see the truth. To doubt the words of Joseph's Heavenly Visitors in the First Vision, that he should not join any church because they're all corrupt and gone astray is another example of how you and your followers are sadly lacking. I mean, the evidence is before you.

The biggest Christian church in the world was organised by a king, and through rebellion and the displeasure in it's principals and laws, many other churches have been set up by men. They all believe different thing; perform different ordinances; most have names other than Jesus Christ; they interpret the scripture differently; have different laws to govern them; have different beliefs about Jesus Christ and different faiths. Can you look yourself in a mirror and honestly say, this isn't so? If you were God what would you say? So is it no wonder the Lord would say to Joseph Smith 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." ( Pearl of Great Price: Joseph Smith History 1:19 )

Dose your intelligence say that these are the words of an uneducated, fourteen year old boy living in the back waters of nowhere. But apparently you can't see that. You can't see the truth of things how they really are. Well, I don't believe you; I believe you know as well as I do. I believe you are one of them the Lord spoke of and it's because of the glory of the world that you deny the truth. Let me make it very clear to you, that you are, in fact, warring against Jesus Christ and His church, and leading the children of Adam away from the truth and salvation. So what does that make you. The Lord knows your thoughts and the secret intensions of your heart.

Paul needed the mighty hand of the Lord to stop his persecution of the church; what about you. Will the Lord think you're worth such an act on His behave, beyond the principal of faith, as He did with Paul? Good luck.


February 16, 2005
. . . I am a student of . . . College, in Washington State. I have been witnessing to several Mormon friends on and off campus, and in my research, I have come across mention of you before. I just wanted to email you and tell you how much I appreciate your efforts. I will most definitely use your resources to their fullest extent. God bless you for your work.


February 16, 2005
I found your site and find it to be very loving towards Mormon's so decided to ask you a question.

I have been a Christian for 30 years and four years ago met and slowly developed a relationship with a Mormon man 15 years my senior. He has not attended the LDS church since 1985 - was married the first time which ended in his wife dying of cancer - he married a few years later to someone who took his money and divorced him . . . Shortly after this his Bishop told him that he needed to marry again and then have his first marriage sealed.

Can a Mormon seal a marriage to a dead partner? And why do they have to be married to do so? ...

I cannot see being married to a man that is pursuing a marriage with a dead spouse and I am wondering if he was told wrong or if this is really permitted. I have searched Mormon sites but can find no answer. Please help me . . .

Love in Christ,

[Sandra's Note: Yes, a living LDS spouse may have his dead wife 'sealed' to him in an LDS temple, assuming he qualifies to go through the temple. He would need to be a full tithe payer, active in church, keep the word of wisdom, etc. I don't think he would need to be remarried to anyone for this. In fact, if he remarried a good Mormon he could have both wives sealed to him in the temple—thus promising him two wives for eternity (celestial polygamy). The polygamy revelation is still in their Doctrine and Covenants, section 132. I think you would find our Online Resources, LDS Theology section, helpful.]

February 17, 2005
I recieved your newsletters for several years. I have been called a liar many times recently by mormons denying the LDS Church owns corporations and that their 'presidents' are ceo's. Do you have any information about this I can share with others, who are interested in the Mormon Church, much to my horror.

Thanking you sincerely

[Sandra's Note: Most, if not all, of the LDS General Authorities were told to resign from the boards of various businesses a few years ago. I suspect the church raised their 'modest living allowance' to compensate for this. (See: Topical Index: LDS Church: Finances.)

Here is a Mormon site talking about the church holdings.


Mike Quinn has some good information on church finances at:


The most recent information on LDS Church finances by non-Mormons is in the book Mormon America: The Power and the Promise.]

February 17, 2005
I was looking for references on talks, when I came upon your site. It is unfortunate that sites such are yours are so adament on proving this or that about any faith. I personally am LDS. Definitley not perfect. I would hope that there will come a time that efforts of intelligent persons, as yourselves, would be put toward the building up of beliefs; finding the good and positive in all that is good. From what I've seen of your site, it is sugar coating some sort of vendeta.

I do not wish to accuse you of anything that isn't or belittle your personal beliefs of what you may have experienced. I only wish to say that when people try to accomplish any designs or build up what they believe by attempting to bring down others beliefs, the wrong route has been taken. No ones beliefs can be truely considered in focusing on the truth or untruth of anothers.

[Sandra's Note: You seem to be overlooking the fact that the LDS faith was established on the very specific and offensive (to the Christian community) claim that all other churches were wrong, an abomination to God, etc. (see Smith's account at the back of the Pearl of Great Price). Also, prior to 1990, the LDS temple ceremony portrayed ministers as being employees of the devil. 60,000 LDS missionaries go out every year to proclaim that only the LDS Church is recognized by God. Don't you realize how offensive this is to Christians?]

February 17, 2005
Dear Tanners,

I'm interested in obtaining a copy of the original Doctrine and Covenants (allowing me to compare for myself specific verses); Can you help me. A comparison on what textual changes that you have noticed (augmenting my own investigation) would also be of interest to me. Thanks for your assistance.

[Sandra's Note: The book Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol. 2 contains a photo reprint of both the 1833 Book of Commandments and the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants. While there have been changes through the years, the major changes to Smith's revelations were done between these two printings.

This may also be purchased from the official LDS bookstore, Deseret Book. See:


Mike Marquardt has done an extensive study of the changes in his book, The Joseph Smith Revelations Text & Commentary.

Here are some links to information on our web site relating to D&C changes:

The longest list of changes between the 1833 Book of Commandments and the 1960's Doctrine and Covenants that we have compiled is in our book, The Case Against Mormonism Vol. 1.

You might also want to read David Whitmer's comments on the changes in his pamphlet on our website here: An Address to all Believers in Christ.

Or you can purchase a reproduction of the pamphlet here.]

February 17, 2005
Has any of what you have discovered ever changed the mind of any Mormons or do they just disregard it all? . . . Thanks again so much.

[Sandra's Note: Yes, we see many people leave Mormonism. Read some of the past letters to the editor on our site.]

February 18, 2005
. . . I know well what Christian's believe - I just had not realized until I began reading your site that the terminology that I had thought the same was very different from what we Christian's believe. I directed my friend to your webpage and have earnestly started praying that God will reveal Himself to [him] - the Truth - not the Mormon lies.

I am currently reading your section on revisions between the first edition of the book of Mormon and the current one. If I was to obtain a 1963 edition - would it have the original words in it that I could mark and show him against the 1987 edition? How it had been changed? I found one on Ebay very cheaply. If not - what year would I have to find to be able to do this with? . . .

[Sandra's Note: The first edition of the Book of Mormon was printed in 1830. Joseph Smith made most of the changes in the next edition, 1837 ed.

We sell two different photo reprints of the 1830 ed. One has the changes marked that have happened between the 1830 ed. and the 1963 ed., with an updated list of changes made between 1963 and 1987. I assume you have been reading the Introduction to this book on our web page.

3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon

The other photo reprint of the 1830 ed. does not have the changes marked.

Joseph Smith Begins His Work Vol. 1

This reprint is also sold at the LDS bookstore, Deseret Book:


If you obtained any Book of Mormon prior to the 1987 ed. you could show some changes. However, the majority of changes were made in the 1837 ed.]

February 18, 2005
Test your Knowledge; see if you can figure out who:
  1. Was visited by an angel
  2. Was given visions
  3. Was told no true religion existed on the earth
  4. Was disturbed about divisions among all sects
  5. Was chosen to restore the long lost faith and true religion
  6. Wrote a book "inspired by God"
  7. Claimed to be uneducated, stated this was further proof the book was inspired
  8. Translated and inspired book and had it transcribed
  9. Claimed the Bible was altered, corrupt and unreliable
  10. Claimed this new holy book was the most correct, perfect book on earth
  11. Claimed this book was based upon a record stored in heaven
  12. Claimed this book we have today is unchangeable
  13. Claimed to be the prophet of God
  14. Said he was persecuted only for his pure faith
  15. Was a polygamist and had many wives
  16. Continued to receive further revelation from God
  17. Immediately after his death there was dissention regarding who would be his successor. Two main groups emerged stating to be the true faithful
  18. Claimed that Bible personages belonged to the restored faith
  19. Has millions of followers today worldwide swearing they know him to be a prophet and their church the only true church on earth

Do you know the answer?

There are two (at least—there may be others) correct answers

  1. Joseph Smith — Mormonism
  2. Mohamed — Islam
February 19, 2005
Hi Sandra,

I just finished reading the online version of "Wife No. 19" by Ann Eliza Young, which made for fascinating reading, but given the bitterness of the author I wonder how accurate some of her portrayals really are. She footnotes virtually nothing, and she seems willing to retell every gossipy slander she ever heard about Brigham Young and his henchmen. I just wonder if she is not at times engaging in speculation and hyperbole.

In particular, is there really any documentation to back up her assertion that the murder of Gentiles (just for being Gentiles) and Saints for daring to criticize the "Brethren" was rampant during and for a few years after the Reformation (of 1856)? I know Brigham Young whipped the Saints into a religious frenzy during this time with his diatribes on Blood Atonement and apostasy, and there is no doubt that at least a few people who irritated the Brethren were "cut off below the ears" (Blood Atoned) by his henchmen, such as Wild Bill Hickman and Port Rockwell, but was this murderous practice really fairly common during that period? It is hard for me to believe that it was. What does your research say about the extent of such abominable practices during that period, Sandra?


[Sandra's Note: I suspect Ann Eliza did get a bit carried away at times. However, there is extensive research on murders during Brigham's rule. See: Topical Index: Blood Atonement.

You will find quite a few references by typing in the word "danites" in the search engine of our site.

When you ask about how common it was for people to be killed, it obviously wasn't happening on every street. But it happened far more than any Mormon wants to concede.

Some good books on this would be:


February 19, 2005

I have a question about Mormonism, and that is can you tell me the derivative of the square root of theta divided by pi, multiplied by the sum of the square root of alpha squared plus beta squared.

Say hello to the NSB for me please.


[Sandra's Note: Sorry, my seer-stone shorted out and lost all of its memory. Our solar power unit takes a while to recharge. Just as in Mormonism, there are too many unknowns and variables to adequately answer your question. ;) ]

February 19, 2005
Praise God for your work. I am married to a Morman lady and your information and books just drive her and her daughter to distraction. ... I am not subtle in my oposition to this cult, once even saying that the term "Morman" refered to followers of Mormo, the demon god of the dead, as described in the Satnic Bible by Anton LeVey. . . .

One good result of my opposition and determination not to back down to their "elders" was that my stepson began to question what he was being taught and started to go to a small baptist church in town with several of his school friends. The change that came over him is fantastic. God called him out of the LDS cult and he accepted Jesus as his savior and got baptised. He did all of this without telling his mother until he had done it. Needless to say she wasn't happy that he not only left her church but had come over to "my side". I have received grieve over this for the past six years.

All I have to say about that is that God will call you out of the LDS quagmire, but only if you listen. . . . Again, thank you for being so faithful to Gods word. I am sure that you will receive a great reward when we all meet Jesus on that bright and glorious morning.

Sincerely yours,

February 20, 2005
Hi. Dr. Hovind recommends a book called "Secret History of the Mormon Church: An Eyewitness Account," on your site. But I cannot find it. I have a friend who i beginning to get involved in the Mormon church. Do you have this book, and would this be the one that you would recommend the most for him? Thanks a lot.

In Christ,

[Sandra's Note: I believe that book is out of print. You can read a review of it at:


I believe there are better books available today. Take a look at the descriptions of these books.

Historical Overviews

Our Books


If your friend is a woman, try:


February 21, 2005
I am LDS and Proud of it, I am not the one to judge anyone, but how can you stray away from it is really the truth about your ancestors and become part of a church that will never show you the truth and the light. . . . I ask you if what you think you are doing is appropriate in the sight of. God The Father And His Son Jesus Christ And the Holy Ghost which is in all of us if we let it

Please do not disappoint you ancestor's By doing what you are doing now go back to the LDS faith and seek the true meaning of the gospel that was sent here before us through Joseph's Smiths Eyes.

May God be With you Till We Meet Again. My humble Prayer to both of you.

In the Name of Jesus Christ Amen.

February 21, 2005
Subject: Blacks & Priesthood

I have adopted three half-black children. As they grow older they begin to realize they are a different color. As they learn of Martin Luther King Jr. in school, they begin to see that their brown skin has been involved in great controversy.

So I decided that since two of them are male (I'm LDS) I would get a jump, educate myself, on the black and the priesthood issue before they begin to ask their own questions.

Searching on Google I came across your site. While you have much material available on the issue of interest, the feeling I was left with after reading it was that you are just another one of the many voices trying to shout out your opinion.

I had hoped for someone who could be objective, but I'm afraid that too many prejudices show through in your thought. I am very uncomfortable trusting you because of an unbalanced presentation.

Thank you for the opportunity to express myself.


[Sandra's Note: Since you feel our material on the LDS teachings regarding race is too opinionated, let me refer you to an article by an LDS scholar, Armand Mauss, 'The Fading of the Pharaohs' Curse: The Decline and Fall of the Priesthood Ban Against Blacks in the Mormon Church,' Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol. 14, No. 3 Autumn 1981. It can be read online at the University of Utah site here:

The Fading of the Pharaohs' Curse: The Decline and Fall of the Priesthood Ban Against Blacks in the Mormon Church ]

February 21, 2005
... I am at present reading your book "The Changing World of Mormonism" and I find it very enjoyable. I have two copies of "[Mormonism-]Shadow or Reality" and even though that book is very good, I am finding "Changing World" to be a more comfortable read. It presents the basics very well and has just enough documentation to be effective. As good as "Shadow or Reality" is, since it is so exhaustive as well, may I say, it is quite difficult to get through quickly. I never have fully finished "Case Against" either. That's OK though, some of us are slow readers. I'm still not done with Tom Sawyer from back in the 5th grade.

Thank you for all the fine work and I trust I will someday find a good way to use it here.


February 21, 2005
Figured you might be a good source to consult on this one.

In your opinion, what is/are the best SCHOLARLY argument(s) against the authenticity of the Book of Mormon as an inspired text. I'm not interested in a lot of the poorly thought out, non scholarly claims I've read so far. Criticisms of things like the misplaced use of the word "adieu" at the end of the book of Jacob are weak and insulting to anyone who wishes to approach the issue of authorship with any serious level of scholarship.

The Mormons have their scholars who are busy publishing research on many fronts - archeology, linguistics, etc. and they have organizations like FARMS to gather and publish such efforts. Is there an analog of scholarly research debunking the text? I am aware of Fawn Brodie's works, but are they outdated? What's the best of the current school of thought?


[Sandra's Note: I would suggest the following:

Hope you find one of them of interest.]

February 22, 2005

I've been reading your fascinating collection of Joseph Smith's Plagiarism of the Bible. While there is an occasional "stretch," the vast majority would be very difficult to explain away.

You may already have caught this, but in case you didn't.... While reading the collection I happened to pick up the Farms Insights #4 and its review of the "original text" work by Royal Skousen. He discovered that the original manuscript text of 1 Nephi 10:10 and 2 Nephi 31:4 both have "sin" singular rather than plural as in the current text, which makes an even closer match with the KJV verse.

Also, here's an addition to the collection: Isaiah 55:1 and 2 Nephi 26:25 (buy wine, milk, honey without money and without price).

[Sandra's Note: Wes Walters dealt with the Book of Mormon use of the King James italicized words in his thesis, The Use of the Old Testament in the Book of Mormon. Thanks for the additional references.]

February 22, 2005

I ran acoss your web site while searching for the answer to what CTR stands for within the Mormon religon.

I am not Mormon myself, but have been working the disappearance of Brooke Wilberger from Oregon last May 24th. Brooke's ring was inscribed with the letters CTR. No one seemed to know who or what CTR was . . . [Someone said] that CTR was a "Mormon thing," that many of them used the letters in connection to their religion. . . . So, I did the only thing I could think to do - go in search of the meaning of CTR and how it fits into the Mormon religon. So far I've found no answer, . . .

Could you please help with this question, and if not, can you direct me to someone who can?


[Sandra's Note: Yes, these rings are very popular with the young LDS people. "CTR" means 'choose the right.' It's just a slogan to remind the kids to do the right things in life. It also serves the function of identifying one Mormon to another. Similar to Christian jewelry that has WWJD on it, meaning 'what would Jesus do.' Here are just three LDS sites, out of many, that sell them.


February 22, 2005
. . . I am a born-again christian. I have some comments a your website information on Polygamy.

I suggest that you read Matthew 25, there you will find that Jesus likens His kingdom unto a man who was supposed to marry 10 wives, but the man ended up with only 5 wifes, because the other 5 were foolish, and not ready when He the bridgroom came.

Also elsewhere in the New Testament, it teaches that only the leaders in the church, from the deacons up, should be men of one wife. This means if a man does not hold a leadeship position in the church, he is free to marry more than one wife. Read it in the scriptures it is all there.

God bless

[Steve's Note: I think you will find that the parable of the wise and foolish virgins of Matthew 25 is not an endorsement of polygamy. This is a reference to the culture of ancient Israel where the virgins (young women) would go out to meet the bridegroom as he came to receive his bride. These women would function very much like the bridesmaids of weddings in our day. This is not a situation of polygamy in Jesus' day. The entire point of the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins is the same as the parable of the Talents recorded immediately after it. The parables are teaching that the wise person is actively trying to prepare himself for the coming of the Lord-- at any time. We must realize that we must be prepared now since when God returns it will then be too late to make up for the lost opportunities we had to be ready to receive our Lord.

As for men being the husband of only one wife to be a deacon or an elder, Paul is setting forward standards which all Christians should strive to attain. Those in positions of leadership and responsibility for others in the body of Christ are required to have already demonstrated in their own lives each of the traits listed by the apostle Paul.

The clear message from the New Testament is that God's ideal for us in marriage is between one man and one woman. It is only after the death of the spouse that other partner is at liberty to marry again. Please read Matthew 19:1-12; 22:23-33 and 1 Corinthians 7:1-2.]

February 22, 2005
Have you ever been in an LDS temple (besides for baptisms, I mean)? I am wondering whether or not you claim to be a source regaurding the ceremony.

Thank you so much for your help.

[Sandra's Note: We did not take out our endowments. I attended the dedication of the L.A., California temple and have gone through temples when they were open to the public. So I do not claim to know about the endowment ceremony from personal experience.

I have, however, listened to tapes of the ceremony and have interviewed many former LDS and members with current recommends, who go through the temple but no longer believe in it, about their experience. The day after the washing and anointing ceremony was changed last month I had someone in the office telling me about the changes. (See: www.josephlied.com) The day after the temple ceremony was revised in 1990 I had someone come in and volunteer the information about the changes.]

February 22, 2005
As a former Mormon, talking with Mormons can be very disheartening. When I hear someone say something like, "no matter what evidence is leveled against the church, I will still believe," I am saddened by this irrational blind faith, and often it makes me cry.

I know that God saved me and took me out of the LDS church, but I never had that kind of a blind outlook, so I see little hope for them. How do you deal with this?

My greatest encouragement is coming on here and seeing that I'm not the only one who was freed, that it is happening, and that God will keep moving. But how do you deal with this sadness?

[Steve's Note: We deal with this fact through realizing several things. First, not all will want to listen to God or respond even when faced with the truth. God did not create anyone to be a puppet but to have the free will to make a real choice as to whether or not they will love him more than anything.

We are also encouraged to see how God does continue to work in the lives of so many people. The same God who has extended his love and forgiveness to us is still granting all this to others. We can not give up. God alone knows the full results of our work.

We may have different tasks to accomplish. Like the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7,

"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."

And God graciously brings about a great harvest without trampling on his creation to do so and without making a mockery of what it will mean to have us in eternity at his throne giving him the praise and honor and glory which is rightfully due him.]

February 23, 2005
Subject: 13 Articles of Faith (An Honest Parody)

13 Articles of Faith Mormons Believe But Are Afraid To Tell You

1. We believe that if we are good Mormons who marry our wives in the Temple, when we are resurrected, we become Gods. We get our own star and have lots of sex, so we have billions of spirit children. If we are lucky, we get more than one wife. Our firstborn spirit child becomes the Jesus to a planet we populate. We get to make an Adam and Eve for each planet. Then they (that planet's Adam and Eve) start making physical bodies for all our spirit children.

2. We believe God was once a human just like us on another planet. He was a good Mormon with his own Jesus and his own God. He was eternally married to a woman from that world who became our Heavenly Mother. God and Heavenly Mother got their own star and their firstborn spirit child was Jesus. Above God the Father is God the Grandfather, and above him, God the Great Grandfather, and it goes back forever.

3. We believe Jesus, the Holy Ghost, Michael the Archangel, Satan, all humans, and all demons are spirit children of our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. We all lived together in the Pre-existence with God near a star called Kolob, God's first created star. One third of God's spirit children took Satan's side, got thrown out of Heaven, and became the demons. The rest took Jesus' and Michael's side. Michael became Adam and the ancestor of us all.

4. We believe the body of Jesus was created from a sperm of God the Father's. The Holy Ghost put that sperm in Mary's womb, and the embryo of Jesus was created.

5. We believe the Bible has been chopped up quite a bit. A lot of good stuff has been taken out, like the books of Jasher, Ahijah, Shemaiah, Iddo, and Jehu, and the Laodicean Epistle by Paul. There is also the story in Genesis about Enoch and his city, which was taken to Heaven.

6. We believe the Book of Mormon to be Scripture superior to the Bible, because the Bible has been changed so much from when it was originally written. The Book of Mormon is a history of two Jewish Indian tribes, known as the Nephites and Lamanites. They came here about 600 BC. The Nephites were mostly good and wrote the Book of Mormon on Gold Plates. Jesus visited them shortly after his resurrection. In time, the Nephites became pretty bad, and were wiped out about 400 AD. Moroni, the last Nephite, buried the Gold Plates in a hill in New York.

7. We believe in three heavens. The highest one is called the Celestial Kingdom. God the Father, Heavenly Mother, Jesus, and all good Mormons and children who died before they were 8 will live there forever. The middle heaven is called the Terrestrial Kingdom. It is for good people who did not want to be Mormons. Jesus and people from the Celestial Kingdom can come down to visit, but God the Father and Heavenly Mother cannot. The lowest heaven is the Telestial Kingdom. It is for people who were pretty bad, and spent the whole Millennium in Hell.

8. We believe people who did not get a chance to become Mormons in this life can become Mormons in the next life. Mormons get baptized for dead people in the Temple. This will go on in the Millennium until every good person who wants to become a Mormon will get a chance.

9. We believe the only people who stay in Hell forever are Satan, the demons, ex-Mormons who criticize the Church, and really, really bad Mormons who would have killed Jesus themselves if they could have gotten away with it.

10. We believe those of African descent are descendants of Cain, through Ham's Cainite wife, Egyptus. We believe they could not have the Priesthood because they were less valiant in the Pre-existence.

11. We believe we no longer have to believe what dead Presidents of the Church believed. We don't have to believe, as Brigham Young did, that Adam is God the Father, or that Jesus was a polygamist, or that gold grows. We don't have to believe, as President Joseph Fielding Smith did, that we would never make it to the Moon, or that those of African descent cannot receive the Priesthood until Abel has children on another planet, who get the Priesthood there first.

12. We believe a text which was proven to be a 4th century BC Egyptian funeral text, which has been translated by many Egyptologists, to really be the Book of Abraham, and that Joseph Smith's totally different translation is the only true one. We also might believe the Kinderhook Plates he translated to be accurate, even though they were proven to be a hoax, or that he knew he was being tricked, even though he translated part of them.

13. We believe whatever the President of the Church says is true, even if it contradicts a dead President of the Church, or even if it contradicts history. Our salvation depends on us sacrificing our intellect to the President of the Church, and its General Authorities.

February 24, 2005
I recently found out about the September Six and was livid, being a thinking Mormon myself. Do you have anything on those who've been excommunicated and plainly shouldn't have been?

I read once that Ezra Taft Benson oversaw the excommunication of Mormons in Nazi Germany who were members of the openly anti-Nazi White Rose Society. After their executions by the Nazis, and after the war, their ordinances were restored. Is this true or verifiable?

[Sandra's Note: Have you seen our newsletter on the September Six?

We also did a book on it, The Mormon Purge.

Here is a link to someone else' article:

Here is a link to material on the Mormons and the Nazis:


February 25, 2005
I met Sandra Tanner in the summer of 1995, having left Mormonism and become a Christian only a few months earlier. My husband, then boyfriend, took me to the lighthouse for some books he thought would help me share Christ with my family.

Sandra graciously shared her testimony and spent time talking to us about her own story. I purchased some books, read them and passed some of them on to others. I know it has been a struggle for others to abandon Mormon teaching. For me, it was no different. I had such a great desire to know all the things of Christ that it seemed I could not learn it all fast enough. Discovering that so many of the things I had believed all my life were wrong hurt my pride. I felt like an infant among Christians and an outcast in my family, and I didn't think I would ever fit anywhere!

However, the Tanners' work made a huge difference. I was set free by the truth. I am now a mom of three. I have attended a Christian church since 1995, and my children are learning from the Bible. I have been involved in all kids of ministry over the years, including youth work and women's ministry. I also work as a part-time writer, with a few articles published by Focus on the Family's college webzine.

I now look back at what I used to believe and find it almost funny. It is incredible that things I struggled with are now utterly ridiculous to me. God did a miracle in my mind, replacing all the lies with truth. We in America today don't see a lot of physical miracles, but I think it is a lot harder to change a person's belief system, ingrained from birth, than to merely change a physical body.

I have shared Christ with many, many Mormons. I love them so much, and God keeps bringing them into my life. I have seen very few conversions. One young man I shared with took his own life a few years later, and two great-grandparetns passed away. I will never stop wishing I could have done more and wondering if I missed a golden opportunity.

Yet, I was able to lead five of my younger siblings to Christ over the next couple of years after my own salvation, but lived too far away to drag them to church with me regularly. I watched them all return to Mormonism or to other religions and wondered if their commitment was real. My greatest fear was that they had given their lives to Christ just to make me happy. When I visited, they accompanied me to church and said they agreed with it. Yet only months later, I would hear of their return to the old religion. It was hard for them to stay away from a Mormon church building for long.

Another believer listened to my worries for my family and told me to trust God with their eternities. I wondered where God would find other Christians in our completely Mormon family living in a predominantly Mormon Idaho community. But I prayed that it would happen somehow.

My heart rejoices today. I found out only yesterday that my sixteen-year-old sister has been attending a Christian church and has joined their youth group. I asked her why, and she said, "All my friends go to church there." I nearly turned a cartwheel! My fourteen-year-old sister has quit attending the LDS church services, and will occasionally attend a Christian church, as well.

In addition, my grandfather is starting to move toward a commitment to Christ. We went to see the movie, Passion of the Christ, together. As we drove home afterward, he said, "I don't know why the LDS church insists on calling itself a Christian church, when it doesn't agree with the Nicean Creed." Somehow, that movie made my grandfather ponder the question, "Who is Jesus?" The question Jesus asked his own disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" is the real issue in the life of a Mormon, as it is only through belief in His Lordship and commitment to that Lordship that we can be saved. I continue to pray for my grandfather as he wrestles with the question.

I just want to thank you for your work. It has made a difference in many lives. You are part of God's greatest miracle in the lives of Mormons.


February 26, 2005

What evidence is there that the Anthon transcript is legitimate, that it is the actual transcript made by Smith? In other words, are we sure we have the right piece of paper or is that in doubt? Thanks

[Sandra's Note: Mormons assume this is the piece, or a copy, of the document taken to Anthon. If you will go to our Anthon Transcript page, you will see that we have posted a picture of the Anthon script and quote from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism to give the LDS side of the event. Notice this statement in particular—

The REORGANIZED CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS possesses a handwritten text known as the Anthon Transcript that contains seven horizontal lines of characters apparently copied from the plates. David WHITMER, who once owned the document, said it was this text that Martin Harris showed to Charles Anthon. However, this claim remains uncertain because the transcript does not correspond with Anthon's assertion that the manuscript he saw was arranged in vertical columns. Even if the document is not the original, it almost certainly represents characters either copied from the plates in Joseph Smith's possession or copied from the document carried by Harris. Twice in late 1844, after the Prophet's martyrdom, portions of these symbols were published as characters that Joseph Smith had copied from the gold plates - once as a broadside and once in the December 21 issue of the Mormon newspaper The Prophet (see MAGAZINES). In 1980 a document surfaced that seemed to match Anthon's description and appeared to be the original Anthon Transcript. But in 1987, Mark W. Hofmann admitted that he had forged it (see FORGERIES). (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pp.43-44)

Since the same characters were presented in various printed sources in the 1840's we have confidence that these characters were well-known as coming from the plates. (Hofmann's forgery has nothing to do with the document pictured on our Anthon Transcript page.)

We have discussed some of issues in our online book, The Changing World of Mormonism, Chapter 5, p. 141.

No one has a first person account of Martin Harris' visit to Prof. Anthon, only Joseph Smith's second hand account. But here is the main part:

. . . I [Joseph Smith] commenced copying the characters off the plates. I copied a considerable number of them, and by means of the Urim and Thummim I translated some of them,. . . Mr. Martin Harris came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off the plates, and started with them to the city of New York. For what took place relative to him and the characters, I refer to his own account of the circumstances, as he related them to me after his return, which was as follows:

I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters that had been translated, with the translation thereof, to Professor Charles Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic; and he said they were true characters. (History of the Church, by Joseph Smith, Vol. 1: pp.19-20)

That the event could not have happened as described is demonstrated by the fact that the results cannot be duplicated. Show the Anthon transcript to any Egyptologist and he will not respond as Smith claims Anthon responded.

First, no one could read Egyptian at the time.

Second, no one can translate the Anthon script even today.

Third, the text of the Anthon page is not Egyptian, but various squiggles that could more readily be taken from English.

Fourth, why would there be four different types of script used in the passage?

For more on this, see the May1980 Sunstone article "The Book of Mormon and the Anthon Transcript: An Interim Report," by Edward Ashment, a former LDS Church employee, who was coordinator for Translation Services during the 1970's. You can read his article online:


Scroll down to the article.]

February 26, 2005
I just wanted to tell you that after reading several of your letters I have come to this very strong conclusion. You are the same type of people you claim the Mormons to be.

First faith is not a historical search. If it was then there would be more tangible proof to it. There is not because Christ wants you to have faith not paperwork.

Second, Sandra said it best "Christ taught a way of love". You do not love anyone unless they believe your religion, and if they don't, watch out for the research duo.

Third, I don't recall in what document Christ made you the all knowing pair. Maybe you can produce that for the newsletter.

Fourth, you have this problem with producing quotes with actual names from people with problems with mormonism. Leads me to believe that they are a farce.

As you have shown only tangible proof can be accepted. I can not prove it so it must not be. A lot of you quotes only go to show that only your opinion is right and all others fall short. I also feel that you have not given enough thought that Christ said that you should not judge, that is for him. I seem to be thinking of a woman named Mary Magdeleine.

And lastly it is not the actual gosple of the church you attack it is the members, who are just mere mortal men and women. Just like you and just as prone to mistakes. But Christ already knew that.

So thanks for renewing my faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder Day Saints. Probably because they don't have a website saying how awful you are or a newsletter critising everyone who is not LDS. Maybe because if you are mentioned they at least say you are Christian unlike being called a "Mormon". Having grown up in the LDS church and being desendants of prominent church leaders you should at least be able to get their name right. It doesn't matter where you come from it only matters who you become.

In closing contention is not the way of Christ and so I will pray for you. Some one has to because with all your hatred and persecution I don't think you could he our Lord if he was standing right by you. By the way my name is Karen Myers and you can tell whoever you want what I have said only in its entirety. I am not embarassed about what I believe but I wouldn't want to be miss quoted. Remember the fruit of the spirit and ask yourself how what you are doing is part of any of those. Temperance might be a quality to work on. I know now that I am going to try harder to show it you.

February 26, 2005
. . . In all the years I have been using your materials I can't recall many times when I've given a copy of SHADOW [Mormonism—Shadow or Reality?] to a preacher and he's put it right to work. Pastor _____ is a wonderful exception. He was THRILLED when I gave him my remaining copy, and has used it for several weeks now in our midweek study on Mormonism. He has even had classmembers order more copies. Once in a while you meet a man of God who is a man of God, Amen?

Bless you all!

February 26, 2005
Subject: Thank you

I recieved your information via mail yesterday, thank you so much for sending it. I thank God for you and your ministry, I have heard of many who have been led to the light through you. Thank you for all your hard work. May the Lord bless us richly. ...

February 27, 2005
I want to thank you very much ... for your whole ministry and website. My dear friend is [here] for a few weeks now and I broached the subject of "I heard that the BOM was translated thru a seer stone and that every word etc is supposed to be directly from God. Well why are there close to 4,000 changes in the BOM since then - that really disturbs me. Would it change any of your beliefs to find it true?"

He stated that it would but that he would have to check it out and was sure there would be some explananstion. I am much encouraged by his answer as it shows to me that he has a mind and is not blindly following - he simply has not heard any dissention or questions about the LDS church. I plan to continue talking about these things.

Again I thank you. My pastor of 30 years - I wrote to him and all he did was rebuke me and offer no help to show my friend the truth so it is up to me to show him the truth and pray that the Holy Spirit will convict his heart. After he reads some more of your site I am going to see if he is interested in obtaining your marked edition of the BOM with the changes shown. I will continue to read my way thru your site.

Thankyou thankyou thankyou!

February 28, 2005
I won't cut down all your hard work and "research". but I do know how to detect an icky feeling when I am immersed in it. I can say I have gotten no good feelings from reading your "history" on this subject of Mormonism and I am curious as to why you work so hard at cutting down a belief that some people really and truly believe in? Let them believe it. Write something that really rocks this nation.

Unless of course this is your obsession. Then I stop to wonder if maybe you have an unseen force helping you along the way. And it is not a good one. Good luck with all your "hard facts" and gosh darn it, all those great quotes. Where did you get them all?!


[Sandra's Note: First, 'feelings' are not a very good barometer for determining truth. For instance, many people have lost their investments because they trusted someone who turned out to be a crook. People do not get 'good feelings' reading about how they were cheated out of their money, but that does not change the facts.

Second, all of our research can be verified at the University of Utah's Marriott Library, and at the Brigham Young University Library in Provo. We give the references for our 'great quotes' at the end of each quote. Have you ever actually looked any of them up?]

February 28, 2005
Could you please give me some advise. I was talking with my father-in-law today about his involvement in the Mormon Church. He informed me that when he was about thirteen that he accepted Christ and was baptized in the Baptist church. When he was in high school he met my wife's mother, who is his ex-wife. My wife's mother who is Mormon got him involved in the Mormon church and he is still a member.

He remarried and his wife joined the Mormon church with him and she was a member of a Baptist church also. Within the last two months his wife has sent a letter asking to be removed from membership in the Mormon church and has gone back to the Baptist church. I asked my father-in-law today if he was going to go back to the Baptist church. He informed me that he has talked with the Pastor of the Baptist church and told him that he would come to the church but, would not join.

He told me that he was afraid of what it would do to his family if he left the Mormon church. My wife, and two of her sisters are very active in the Mormon church. He said that they would be devastated. My wife listens to her father's advise. I told him that I did not believe that him leaving the Mormon church would bother them that it could possibly help my wife and her oldest sister see that there are problems with the church. He told me that he really has a problem believing the Joseph Smith story and he doesn't believe that the Mormon church is the only true church. Could you please give me some advise on how I could help him.


[Steve's Note: You might help him to see that he needs to make his outward life match who he really is within. It is dishonest and deceptive to play the part of a faithful member of a religious group if you really do not agree with its teachings. He needs to ask himself if that is really the message he would wish to pass on to those around him.

He also needs to be be aware that just as he is concerned about the impact he might have on his family by revealing his true beliefs he may also leave false impressions on those who come after him if he can not stand up for what he knows he believes. He should consider how his courage to come out from the LDS Church may impact future family members in positive ways for generations to come. His decision either way can affect the family for years and years ahead. He needs to think through where would he like to see his family's faith generations from now?

He may be the one who will create a legacy of Christian faith in his descendants for generations to come. His decision may bother them in the short run but through his stand for what he believes he will be sending a priceless message of character and integrity to his daughters. Unfortunately, many Mormons seem to focus on the consequences of someone leaving the LDS Church but they rarely admit that by allowing others to join or stay in the LDS Church this can and does bring the same kinds of issues into the lives of families. Finally, help him to have the strength to act on what he knows by being there for him, building him up and helping him see that he is not as alone in his experience of leaving the LDS Church as what he might feel he is.]