How dare you sue others for the same thing you are yourself!!! What right do you have to the domain name www.bookofmormon.com? Yet you don't hesitate to sue someone else for creating a website that resembles your own. Tsk tsk.
[Web-editor: #104 Messenger, Ministry Files Lawsuit.]
I would like to ask the Tanners this question as I have been looking around the website for a few hours now. I don't see where is says what religion they are now practicing. Babtist? Lutheran, Methodist?
My family was converted to Mormanism when I was 7 and I was an active member till the age of 18 when I married a nonmember. My family is still active so I still have dealings with the church on occasion. I have never gone regularly to any other church. I feel that I have emotional "problems" from being raised Mormon. Trying to reconcile what I feel I believe with what I was taught growing up is sometimes difficult.
So of the Tanners I would like to ask what organized religion they belong to? What I would like to believe is that as long as you believe in God, live the best life you can, and keep the commandments faithfully you will be just fine, go to heaven, so on and so forth. All religions, in my experience, claim to be the true one, the one you have to belong to. This is why I think as long as you do your best you'll be fine. I'd be very interested to know what you think.
[Sandra's Note: I believe the Christian church includes all believers in Christ, not just a particular denomination. Jesus said "Where two or three are joined together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." [Matt. 18:20]
Nowhere in the New Testament does either Christ or His disciples give an "official name" to the church. "The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch" (Acts 11:26). Note that it says that they were first called Christians about 34 A.D., not in 73 B.C. as Alma 46:15 says in the B. of M. But in Acts 24:5, they are called "Nazarenes." In Rom. 16:16, they are called "the church of Christ." In I Cor. 1:2, they are identified as "the Church of God." In Heb. 12:23, their name is "the church of the Firstborn." But, the New Testament church was never called "The Church of Jesus Christ!" Thus, the name by which the disciples were known was relatively unimportant, but the gospel they preached was very important (Gal. 1:8-9). That is what ought to be important to true believers in Christ today!
The Bible teaches that born-again believers in Christ are the "body of Christ" or the church (Col. 1:18, 24; I Cor. 12:27; Eph. 1:22-23). The church is not some religious denomination. Only the Lord can add to the "true church" (Acts 2:47, I Cor. 12:18) because it is His body (Eph. 1:22-23). The Greek word "ecclesia" has been translated "church" and refers to a called-out people or a congregation, including all Christians that ever lived (Matt. 16:18) as well as local assemblies of believers (Gal. 1:2). It is possible for someone to "join" a local congregation of believers without being a Christian or a true believer. Therefore, such a person is not a member of the "body of Christ" (the church). Local churches, or congregations of believers are organized for missionary activities, fellowship, study, and encouragement for Christians, but no church (or denomination) can save anyone! It is Christ of the church who saves, not the church of Christ! (Mormon Claims Answered, by Marvin Cowan)
[Web-editor: Also see Bishop J. C. Ryle's article, The True Church.]
[Steve's Note: We focus on the Mormon Church for several reasons. First, the founders of this ministry grew up members of the LDS Church and their desire is to reach out to family, friends and neighbors with what they have discovered about the LDS Church and its history and its teachings. While we would want all to come to Christ we realize that we can not possibly reach out to all with this ministry. No one ministry can do it all.
The reality is we are called by God to reach out to those first and foremost in our own community. In other words, God has planted us here in Utah for the purpose of sharing his love with those around us. Even the apostles Peter and Paul were called by God to work with the Jews and the Gentiles respectively (see Galatians 2:8). This does not mean, of course, that neither Paul nor Peter cared about the other group, but that their efforts were focused where God had called them.
Just as Paul confronted the errors of the Judaizers in his own day, we are speaking out against the errors of the LDS Church's teachings and making the positive call for Mormons to believe in the God of the Bible—not the God of Mormon teaching. For more information on this please read, LDS View of God Contradicts the Bible.
We are simply accepting the invitation of LDS authorities who have welcomed critical analysis of the LDS Church. For example, Orson Pratt wrote in his booklet, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon,
"If, after a rigid examination, it be found an imposition, it should be extensively published to the world as such; the evidences and arguments on which the imposture was detected, should be clearly and logically stated, that those who have been sincerely yet unfortunately deceived, may perceive the nature of the deception, and be reclaimed, and that those who continue to publish the delusion, may be exposed and silenced, not by physical force, neither by persecutions, bare assertions, nor ridicule, but by strong and powerful arguments—by evidences adduced from scripture and reason." (page 1). LDS Apostle George A. Smith stated, "If a faith will not bear to be investigated; if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak." (Journal of Discourses, Volume 14, page 216).
Our desire to reach out to Mormons is no different than the disciples of Jesus reaching out to those around them. As the Bible says in Romans 10:14-15, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"
We want to bring Mormons to faith in God and in Jesus Christ as presented in the Bible. Since our feelings may deceive us we must be prepared to examine the claims of the Mormon Church more deeply. This is why we try so hard to present documented facts which show that Mormonism teaches very different things than does Christianity. We must face the reality that the teachings of the LDS Church present a very different view of the Bible, God, sin, Jesus and salvation than the Bible does.
You may like reading several resources we have on our website that compare Christianity and Mormonism.
You may also have an interest in reading some of the full length books we offer which compare Mormonism and Christianity.]
Dear sir do you have any info on how I can witness to a mormon when they come to the door of my house?
[Steve's Note: We have some very good information on our website about witnessing to Mormons. I would encourage you to begin by reading the online article called Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints. You can also consider getting some of the materials we offer to help you reach out to Mormons around you.]
[Sandra's Note: Good question. Ask the Mormon for the evidence.
Here are some web articles that might be of help.
The entry for "Nag Hammadi" in The Columbia Encyclopedia states:
(näg hä´mädi) (KEY) , a town in Egypt near the ancient town of Chenoboskion, where, in 1945, a large cache of gnostic texts in the Coptic language was discovered. The Nag Hammadi manuscripts, dating from the 4th cent. A.D., include 12 codices of tractates, one loose tractate, and a copy of Plato's Republic—making 53 works in all. Originally composed in Greek, they were translated (2d—3d cent. A.D.) into Coptic. Most of the texts have a strong Christian element. The presence of non-Christian elements, however, gave rise to the speculation that gnosticism, which taught salvation by knowledge, was not originally a Christian movement. Until the texts' discovery, knowledge of Christian gnosticism was confined to reports and quotations of their orthodox opponents, such as Irenaeus and Tertullian. Among the codices are apocalypses, gospels, a collection of sayings of the resurrected Jesus to his disciples, homilies, prayers, and theological treatises. (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2004 Columbia University Press. http://www.bartleby.com/65/na/NagHamma.html)
Thus we see that the Nag Hammadi manuscripts were written many years after the gospels in the Bible. LDS writer Boyd Kirkland commented on the Mormons misuse of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi documents in his article "Elohim and Jehovah in Mormonism and the Bible":
. . . Whatever argument is possible for the current LDS definitions of Elohim and Jehovah from Mormon sources, it must be admitted that these definitions do not accord with the biblical usage of those terms. [LDS] Apologists aware of this problem have been forced to conclude that the entire biblical record as we now have it has been so systematically corrupted and edited through the centuries, that all indications of a theology more in conformity with current Mormon definitions have been obliterated. Modern textual criticism and comparisons of the many available ancient manuscripts of the Bible do not lend much support to such a radical thesis, however. Likewise, efforts to show parallels between Mormonism and the polytheism of the patriarchal era also seem misdirected (Seaich 1983, 12-28).
This approach is similar to the 'parallelomania' which intrigued many Church members during the late '60s and '70s with the publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi gnostic texts. Although parallels between Mormonism and these documents seem to exist, their significance greatly diminishes when these passages are returned to their original historical and literary context. The vast majority of the theology and religious practices of the groups which produced them would shock and confound most Mormons. The same may be said of the early Near Eastern polytheistic mythology.(Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol. 19, No. 1, p. 90)
If the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi writings were an obvious support for Mormon claims why does this LDS author minimize their importance? Obviously the scrolls were written by a group very different from Mormonism and the parallels are superficial at best.]
[Sandra's Note: It's a little bit more complicated than that. Joseph Smith had moved most of the Mormons to Nauvoo, Ill, in the early 1840's. Due to their rising numbers, clannish ways, their sizable military force, odd teachings, rumors of polygamy and their desire to establish the kingdom of God on earth, etc. the non-Mormons in Illinois were becoming concerned about the Mormons political power. Even some of Smith's closest followers were becoming disillusioned by his new doctrines and secret polygamy. Several of these dissenters set up an opposing newspaper, The Nauvoo Expositor, to reveal some of Smith's strange teachings. Smith, as the Mayor, ordered the destruction of the press. This led to additional tensions and problems, culminating in Smith's arrest and imprisonment in Carthage jail. A mob stormed the jail and shot Joseph and his brother, Hyrum. The Mormons want to portray this as a martyr's death. However, two guns were smuggled into the jail and Joseph and Hyrum were shooting back at their attackers.
You might find these articles helpful.
Hello, I met you a few years ago at your store. My wife and family exited, using much of your provided research as the basis. Thank you. We have always taken your historical research serious, because you do such an outstanding job. . . .
My chiropractor is a Mormon, and is making overtures as if he wants to try to convert me. This is a sterling opportunity for me to witness. He asked me, "Have you ever wondered why the so many people worship on the first day of the week?" Do you have any idea about where he might be going with such a question?"
I might add that I have followed your ministry on and off for many years, and am familiar with the inception of LDS, Joseph Smith, the seer stone, the Book of Mormon, and the contradictory documetns of Mormonism. I have a copy of Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? But I have never heard this particular lead-in question.
[Sandra's Note: There are several possible angles. One possible point a Mormon might try to make is the belief that the Catholics instituted Sunday worship and forced a change from Saturday. Then he might argue for the need for restoration of the true church since the Catholics supposedly changed everything.
Or he may just use it as a spring board to discuss how so many don't keep Sunday as a special day to worship, and point to their prophets as ones who stand true to the 10 commandments, that they have a better compass than the world.
Or he could be getting at the point that a prophet gave the 10 commandments, thus we need a prophet today. And they have one like Moses, etc.]
I am curious why Jerald and Sandra Tanner were not married in the temple? I am sorry that each of them missed the true teachings of the CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS. I am from a California convert family and have been overwhelmed by the commitment to follow the life and example of Jesus Christ and accept His sacrifice in my behalf and well as the postion he holds as the GOD of this world. How sad that Jerald and Sandra did not listen to and embrace the spirit tryng to speak to them. Of course, as we all know, they wil be "saved" by the magnanimous "Grace of GOD" because of the atonement of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, on our behalf.
"The most important thing that I found, however, was not that the church was in error, but that I myself was in error. I found that I was a sinner in need of a Saviour. The Mormon church had taught me good morals, but they had not taught me much concerning the power of Christ that could change my life."
So who was really at fault for not learning more about the "head" of the Church in which he was raised? Was it the imperfect people doing their best to teach and lead or the person who had been baptized and been blessed with the "Gift of the Holy Ghost" by those who were given the authority by Jesus Christ to bestow the blessing? Who actually failed?
My life and experience since I joined the Church in 1955 says that it is my repsponsibility to look for my relaltionship with Jesus Christ. My knowledge of Jesus Christ tells me that I and all my fellow brother and sister human beings will be saved by the "grace of our Saviour". He will not deny that saving grace from any of His children born to this earthly life unless they have a sure knowledge of Him and then intentionally reject his blessing. Our Father is a Father of mercy and justice and it only makes sense that all his children are to return to Him. I am constantly touched by the text of "I Stand All Amazed" as well as "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." I didn't miss that lesson. I guess I might have left myself open to the spirit and that is why these have been my favorite hymns of the Church.
"When I started college I enrolled in the Mormon Institute of Religion class. I started asking questions in class, trying to find answers to my doubts. But one day my institute teacher took me aside and told me to please stop asking questions in class. There was a girl attending the class who was thinking of joining the church and I was disturbing her with my questions."
How sad that she was more interested in asking her questions than being Christ-like in her concern for the other person seeking answers as well. Why couldn't she wait to have those answered at a more appropriate time so as to let the other young lady get the full benefit of the class. It Sounds extremely un-Christ-like to be that selfish. And under this admitted "selfish" attitude of wanting "her" questions answered to how much of the prompting of the Holy Ghost was she receptive? "I was disturbing her with my questions." Why couldn't Sandra hear that and have compassion for The other girl?
"As I studied God's Word I realized I was a sinful hypocrite. In spite of my sins I had thought I was right with God."
This sounds like a very accurate evaluation of herself. But what did she do about it?
"After Jerald and I were married we started visiting the different Protestant churches."
Was that listening to the Holy Ghost that had been promised after baptism? Is it any wonder she did not gain a testimony of the truthfulness of the "Gospel of Jesus Christ" as it was revealed in the Latter Days by imperfect men doing their best to give Sandra and Jerald a chance to have the fulness of the Gospel. Sandra and Jerald could have chosen to have all its inherent blessings in these last days if they would seek and learn how to live the life that could not just guarantee ETERNAL LIFE, but guarantee ETERNAL INCREASE in the Celestial Kingdom with their beloved family sealed to them for "time and all eternity". I am sad that they have chosen to decline this marvelous blessing that has been revealed to us here in these Latter Days.
God bless the two of them that they will be content with their chosen "Eternal Life". "As for me and my house, we will 'serve' the Lord."
[Sandra's Note: We were not married in the temple because we had already concluded that the LDS Church was not what it claimed to be and that temple marriage was not part of the New Testament church (it isn't in the Book of Mormon either).]
I reject the teachings of Joe smith and modern Utah Mormons etc. The MO Mormons say that Joe NEVER PRACTICED polygamy. I think Emma just was in denial. what church do you all go to?
many of my friends have rejected me because I have told them i believe in the BOM. what a mess I am in.
Papa Maley said in the beginning that you rejected Mormonism, but only late came against the BOM is that true? I go along with David Whirmer. how do you all line up with him?
[Sandra's Note: Jerald and I were raised in the LDS Church but left it at the time we got married. We had begun studying the beginnings of Mormonism, changes in the Doctrine and Covenants, etc. and realized that Joseph Smith did not restore "the only true church." But we held on to the Book of Mormon for a couple more years.
There is not one artifact or writing sample (other than one supplied by Smith) tied to the Book of Mormon peoples. If the Book of Mormon is not an ancient work then it is not the scripture it claims to be. Why would God hide every evidence for Nephites and Lamanites? He didn't erase every evidence for the Old and New Testament. There should be a comparable level of artifacts, writing samples, etc. as there are for the Bible.
I suggest you read the following—
We also have material on Book of Mormon problems at our web site, see the listings in our Topical Index: Book of Mormon.]
I am an ex-Mormon, who left over three years ago. My husband, children and I had our records removed last year. The freedom I have felt is indescribable. After reading your testimonies, I know you both feel that freedom, too.
We just couldn't stay that far away from God anymore. We needed the true Jesus of the Bible in our lives. After I accepted Christ, I knew I couldn't have my name associated with the satanic cult Mormonism is. I am written on the Lamb's Book of Life. I couldn't tolerate being on Satan's record book.
Unfortunately, all my extended family and most of my husband's family are still "Temple Mormons". It brings me greater pain than I have ever known to see them still foundering in darkness. I tried to witness to them at Easter, to tell them of the joy of Christ, to let them know that taking Him into their hearts and following Him is the only Way. I got nasty e-mails back claiming I was "persecuting" God's true church. The hurt is indescribable....so I can't even imagine how you all deal with some of the nasty e-mails you all get from misguided and living in darkness Mormons. You are in my prayers. One thing I know... that Mormons have to look at both sides of everything, to not be afraid to. They need to not be afraid to question the "Prophet", (I use the term loosely, since he has never prophesied!) and build their faith on what they learn. But you and I know the "Bretheren" will never let them do that. If they ever loose their mind and spirit numbing hold on the many brainwashed members of the church, Satan will scream in anger and agony. I wish only to hear that scream because my family comes to Jesus.......
I pray for your ministry. Be bold! Be strong! For the Lord your God is with you!
In His Love and Power...He Reigns!
[Sandra's Note: There are many people who have left other groups who have felt the need to set the record straight about their former churches. When people find that their former spiritual leaders have misrepresented things to them, which affect their lives and families, there is a feeling of betrayal and the need to warn others. Here are a few examples.
Former Jehovah's Witness
Former Seventh Day Adventists
Here is a site that deals with a whole list of cults.
By the way, Mormon missionaries do not leave people alone who are already a part of some other faith. They go door to door to tell people their current beliefs are wrong and that they need to be a Mormon in order to achieve eternal life. Most of the Mormon converts are former members of some religion who have gone against their families.
I uphold the right of the LDS Church to send out missionaries, but the same freedom should be extended to others. I believe that all religions should be open to investigation. Truth will stand up to scrutiny.]
I'm curious how you view yourselves sitting in the Salt Lake Valley trying to draw people away from the restored Gospel. How does that make this life a better life for anyone? Does it provide you with adequate material sustenance in this life that that is the most important motivation for what you do? I'm still missing what it is you do that is more Christ-like than the faithful Latter Day Saints around you. . . . Since you are trying to take me and my fellow "saints" away from what you feel is erroneous living of the Gospel, perhaps you and Jerold could respond (help me understand the "why?") . . .
[Sandra's Note: Just as the LDS missionaries are on a mission to proclaim what they perceive to be true, so we are on a mission to tell people what we believe to be the truth—both as regards the falseness of Mormonism and the truthfulness of the Bible and Christ.
Many LDS people ask me why I don't give this campaign up and just let God sort it all out later. I might ask them the same question. Since Mormons believe almost everyone will go to some level of heaven, why are the LDS missionaries going to people who already go to a Christian church and disrupting their lives?
As long as the LDS Church sends out 60,000 missionaries to people of other faiths, others will want to respond to the LDS claims of a total apostasy. Joseph Smith claimed in his first vision, as told in the Pearl of Great Price, that God, himself, told Smith that ALL churches were wrong—
"My mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult were so great and incessant. The PRESBYTERIANS were most decided against the BAPTISTS and METHODISTS,...On the other had, the BAPTISTS and METHODISTS in their turn were equally zealous in endeavoring to establish their own tenets and disprove all others. ... "
My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join....
"I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were ALL WRONG; and the Personage who addressed me said that ALL their creeds were an ABOMINATION in his sight; that those professors were ALL corrupt; 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.'
"He again forbade me to join with ANY of them... I then said to my mother, 'I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.'..."
Since Joseph Smith proclaimed that all other churches were in total apostasy and that only the LDS Church, and its ordinances, could lead a person back to the presence of God the Father, one can hardly be surprised that people of other churches would question his claims. Why should anyone accept his word or accept him as a prophet? We believe that the facts of his life clearly demonstrate that he was not such a prophet.
We believe everyone needs to come to a true faith in Christ, Mormons included. Mormon teachings lead away from the Bible (by saying it has been changed and is not complete) and depend on belief in Smith, his revelations, and temple marriage. This is adding to the gospel of Jesus. Christ paid it all. What more could a sinful person add? Salvation (ETERNAL LIFE) is by GRACE. If a person truly places his/her full trust in Christ and His atonement for eternal life they would realize that they don't need temple marriage. When LDS say a person can go to heaven and be saved but not have eternal life (exaltation) they are changing the gospel. To be saved is to have eternal life—the Bible never separates them into two different things as the Mormons do. I do not assume Mormons are saved (have eternal life), I obviously worry that they are not. Otherwise I wouldn't spend all this effort trying to reach them.
Do Mormons really believe they are able to achieve perfection? Are any of them SURE they will get exaltation (godhood)? If not, according to Mormonism, they don't get an eternal marriage, an eternal family or eternal life. It is an endless chase with no hope of getting there. Just look at today—did you do EVERYTHING God wants of you? That is why eternal life must be on Christ's merit, not ours. It must be grace or we are all lost, since even with the greatest effort we still are not without sin. Every time a Mormon tells someone they need Mormon baptism, priesthood and temple marriage in order to get eternal life they are insulting Christ and his finished work on the cross.
As for our research, all of it can be verified at libraries throughout Utah. One does not need to just accept what we say; any one can go to various libraries and look up our quotes. The LDS doctrines, scriptures, temple ceremony, etc. have all gone through repeated changes. Why? If God revealed them in the first place they wouldn't need to be changed. Truth will stand up to investigation. We are also firm believers in freedom of speech. We do not want to stop the Mormons from being able to spread their message. We only ask for the same opportunity.]
As always, Thanks,
[Sandra's Note: We can make a photocopy of the printer's manuscript for you (call: 801-485-0312). We have not done a reprint of it due to its size (over 500 pages and 8 ½" x 14").]
[Steve's Note: We care very much for you and that you are in love with this girl.
Unfortunately, we also must tell you of the difficulties which are ahead for both of you if you end up together with different faiths. There may come a point where the faith of children will have to be decided upon.
If there is disagreement here it can cause some very hard problems for each of you and the children. It is also unfair to her if she is entering into this relationship with the hope that you will convert to her faith if you have no intentions of doing so.
It is also unfair for her to expect you would change your faith just to please her. It is also a serious thing to consider that you may end up choosing your relationship with her over your relationship with God. I hope you can sit down with her and talk about just how different your faiths are and why they are not compatible. Without this unity in the household I can tell you that experience says you will in all likelihood end up having major difficulties. I wish I could tell you of the countless people who contact us with the problems that come with having a partner who is Mormon while they are not.]
. . . Why is it so many churches can have respect for each other, and yet you have to tear innocent faithful christians down. Do you live the ten commmandments? Do you honour the Sabbath day? Do you respect your own body? Do you love your neighbour as yourself? Do you uplift and edify others? You should be ashamed of yourselves, if this is what you do to a christian faith. . . .
LDS people are some of the finest people you will meet. They actually go to church, they actually try to love their neighbour as themselves, they actually try to obey the ten commandments, they try to respect and honour all people of all faiths, and try to help them no matter what creed or colour, they try to live Christ-like lives. What faith do you promote that is not corrupt, does not believe in gay marriage, or fornication, sabbath day breaking, or using God's name in vain? Where does your priesthood ordinances stem from? What are your church's roots?
Yes, I am a Latter-day Saint. You do not destroy my faith. I am glad my faith actually has meat in it to think about. It certainly has food for thought and perhaps this is what you object to, that we think about things a little deeper. I am glad to have freedom to say yes, I do believe that Jesus Christ and God and the Holy Ghost are separate. This is pure bliss to me. This concept helps me understand the Bible. Otherwise how could Jesus make the statement about his second coming that he didn't know the hour, nor the angels in heaven, but his Father only? And, who prays to themselves? I believe the LDS faith has got it spot on.
. . . How can you prove to me that you are right? Is it just a feeling that you have? Or have you prayed about it? The Old Testament has many accounts where Jehovah showed himself so you couldn't prove it via scripture.
I do not know what your ultimate aim is, but it appears that you want to destroy a good church. Now why would you want to do that when it helps people to be better people and even look after its members and cares for them better than most churches I know? . . . I am not a convert because of teachings. I am a convert by prayer. . . . My conversion happened when I prayed and asked God in the name of Jesus Christ about Joseph Smith's vision and the Book of Mormon. My experience was so powerful that I can never deny the church is God's church. I received an answer .... my name was spoken and the words ' it is true' and I felt an amazing warmth in my heart like a swelling and as if I had drunk sherry. It was like breathing in fresh air, but the air was pure knowledge and the feeling pure joy and elation and pure peace.
When I read articles such as you have written, I read them with interest and ponder them in my mind and when I turn to God and say 'well God what about this' and when I question him, peace flows over me and again I receive a pure reassurance that Joseph Smith told the truth. There is a reason for everything, and all things will only be understood when Jesus Christ returns.
. . . I have seven children. I prayed and I told God when I wanted them to be born, and which sex I wanted them to be. I prayed for a boy first, I gave birth to a boy, I prayed next for a girl to be born in spring, I gave birth to a girl in the spring, I prayed the next child would be born in the autumn, and she was, I prayed my fourth child would be a boy ... he was a boy, I prayed for a girl I had a girl. I dreamed I would have another boy ... I had another boy .... etc. They were all born within the season I prayed for them (I specifically prayed about the timing because I was ill on the first when pregnant during summer months, and so asked if I be heavily pregnant not in summer months! I have very strong faith. I am glad for the power of prayer. I am glad what my faith has done for me. It has brought me joy. No other faith upon the face of the earth that I have studied can compare to what I have and the strength and power of my conviction.
So, when you mock and tear apart my faith, you damage yourself as a credible caring christian. Use your energy to promote belief in Jesus Christ not destroy it. . . . LDS are your neigbours, if you want to obey the commandments, then love us. We have done nothing to you. When did you pray to God to ask him about each faith you studied? Did you ask him about Joseph Smith and his testimony? No. Get your own witness. A prayer answered is peace, love, beauty. This is what I received each time I pray for help. Have you really found a faith that you are 100 percent happy with? I have! . . .
[Sandra's Note: Second email from the same lady on the same day below.]
hhhhhmmmmmm, I have checked out who you are and discover you to be Jerrard and Sandra Tanner.
Now that you have put so much energy in pulling down a good people, can you clarify which small church in Utah that you attend? Why do you not promote it so that we can all benefit from the 100 percent truth that you have found. Please can you furnish us with how it came about.
I am a latter-day Saint and have been for 20 years, my time as a member of this church has brought me close to God and Jesus Christ. I have peace through prayer. No other faith has given me this peace.
I will share an experience -- out of the mouth of babes--.I visited LDS sites in Missouri out of interest. As I walked around the Far West Temple site my three year old daughter tugged me telling me...'this is promised land'. Now, I had not spoken a word to her about the grounds. I was amazed at her words being only just three years old, and it confirmed to me that this site was sacred and that the church was true.
[Sandra's Note: The opening lines of your email seem to indicate that we have made some sort of attempt to hide who we are. When someone goes to our website they are informed right off that Utah Lighthouse Ministry was founded by the Tanners. Also, there is a link on the opening page entitled—About Us.
We believe all Christians, those committed to faithfully follow the Bible, accept Christ's atonement as the full payment for sin, and the means by which we receive his gift of eternal life, are part of Christ's church.
Specifically, we are members of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
Someone on the Recovery Board suggested that the"plates" might have been a prop made by JS. Thereby when the witnesses claimed to have held the plates they could honestly say that they did. I argued it would be difficult to find ore, smelt it, cut the plates, engrave them, etc. Is there any hint, suggestion, rumor, claim that JS did in fact create a prop to pass as the plates?
[Sandra's Note: Joseph Smith gave the size of the plates as being 6" x 6" x 8" (See History of the Church, vol. 4 , p. 537 , and read my comments in Letters to the Editor, Nov. 28, 2004). Martin Harris, in Tiffany's Monthly, said he thought the plates were either lead or gold, and that the plates were hefted by his daughter. He recorded "My daughter said, they were about as much as she could lift."
Tin, along with lead, was a common roofing material.
Smith could have put together a stack of that. I don't believe any of the witnesses saw the plates uncovered, only hefted them in a box or while covered by a cloth, which I assume was due to the fact that the object wouldn't stand up to close scrutiny. The lead plates we have in the bookstore are from lead roofing material and weigh about 117 pounds.]
Sandra, TY for answering so quickly. 1) Who actually wrote the respective testimonies of the three and eight witnesses? 2) The testimony of the three witnesses state that "we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates."
The testimony of the eight witnesses states that the plates had the appearance of gold and they hefted them and they, too, claimed to have seen the engravings. Did JS paint tin to gold? And how do you think the engraving was done? Obviously the plates were not covered if they saw the engravings. It just seems to be a lot of work for a con game. Now I still think TBMs have more to answer in defense of the faith that critics do in defense of their criticisms. However, so far, I'm still skeptical JS could have pulled off the gold plates as a prop.
[Sandra's Note: I think Smith wrote up the testimonies for the book. There is no 'signed' document, only the printed version. Obviously the men must have agreed with the statements since they didn't rebuke Smith, that we know of, for attaching their names to the statements.
Remember, three were Smith family members. If Cowdery and/or Whitmer were in on the fraud, they may have worked together to convince Harris. Also, Harris saw the vision separately from Cowdery and Whitmer, which isn't explained in their statement. The reader is definitely left with the impression that the vision happened to all three at the same time. So what else is missing? How accurate a picture of the event do we get from just reading that statement?
Harris specifically said he saw them in a vision, not with the naked eye. Note that the statement of the 3 witnesses says "they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man....an angel...came down...and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates,..."
Steven Burnett, a Mormon, became disillusioned when in 1838 he heard Harris say he had not seen the plates—
I have reflected long and deliberately upon the history of this church & weighed the evidence for & against it—loth to give it up—but when I came to hear Martin Harris state in a public congregation that he never saw the plates with his natural eyes only in vision or imagination, neither Oliver [Cowdery] nor David [Whitmer] & also that the eight witnesses never saw them & hesitated to sign that instrument for that reason, but were persuaded to do it, the last pedestal gave way, in my view our foundations was sapped & the entire superstructure fell a heap of ruins, I therefore three week since in the Stone Chapel gave a full history of the church since I became acquainted with it, the false preaching & prophecying etc. of Joseph together with the reasons why I took the course which I was resolved to do, and renounced the Book of Mormon...
I was followed by W. Parish Luke Johnson & John Boynton all of who concurred with me, after we were done speaking M Harris arose & said he was sorry for any man who rejected the Book of Mormon for he knew it was true, he said he had hefted the plates repeatedly in a box with only a tablecloth or a handkerchief over them, but he never saw them only as he saw a city through a mountain. And said that he never should have told that the testimony of the eight [witnesses] was false, if it had not been picked out of [h]im but should have let it passed as it was... (Letter from Stephen Burnett to Lyman E. Johnson, April 15, 1838, Joseph Smith Letter book, April 20, 1837, February 9, 1843, pp. 64-66, typed copy, LDS Church Archives; text reprinted in Early Mormon Documents, Edited by Dan Vogel, vol. 2, pp. 288-293).
From the above we see that Harris knew the 8 had only seen the plates in a visionary state, not with the physical eye.
I believe the statements of the 3 and 8 witnesses only refer to seeing a vision or hefting the plates in the box, or when covered, not physically seeing the plates uncovered with the naked eye.
Emma mentions feeling the plates through cloth. I assume Smith engraved a few things on the top piece of tin (or lead), so the engravings could be felt, but it only needed to be done on one.
See, I work for a company that is mormon owned and my coworkers are mormon. Often times conversations occur concerning mormon history, beliefs, etc. Although I don't verbalize it I am very skeptical over everything I hear them say. Since they are well versed in their religon they also know how to sugarcoat unpleasant details of the church and are real slick at distorting the facts.
See, that's where you guys are so important. You display the facts and I know the mormons can't stand it. When you shine light on the darkness of their church it brings out their deceitfullness. They protray their church as mainstream but they will never come out and tell everybody that if you join them and follow their rules you will be a god someday and rule over your own planet and have celestial sex and procreate. And that their is not just one god but many gods and that our god lives in kolob. because if they did they know everybody would laugh at them, walk away and have nothing to do with them.
Christianity is not like that. We have nothing to hide, we lay it all out on the table. If you believe in Jesus Christ and accept him into your heart you will be saved and you will have eternal life. How glorious the gospel is, and we don't have to pull a bait and switch with people. We don't have to brainwash them and coerce them. We just offer them Jesus, hallelujah. Thanks for your time, and may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be upon you and your family and your ministry.
In His service
Your work and publications are enormously helpful to me and I appreicate them very much. The one thing I know is this: Mormonism does not teach what the Bible does, and when you confront a Mormon with that, they are left stuttering because there is no strong defense to their religion.
Thank you for your work. Please keep it up!
What are your thoughts on the following process of thought concerning LDS theology in comparison with thoughts of predestination: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son [Jesus], that he [Jesus] might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified" (Brackets mine)
Now, I'm going to go along a line of thought using LDS theology as I understand it, I will start out by listing the points I will be using in this process:
Point A - We lived before we became humans. We are literal Children of God...God had intercourse of some type to procreate all those who would come to the earth, and even some who would not receive that priviledge (ie The Sons of Perdition - because they rebelled against The Father). Thus, it is safe to assume God knew all his children in heaven before they came to earth.
Point B - Jesus is A God. Jesus is The first born spirit-child of The Father, he is literally our older brother. [I am not sure when Jesus became a God, i.e. when he was fully progressed to the stage of diety in accordance with the doctrine of eternal progression.]
Alright now, if either of those points is wrong, then this thought process should not work out. So please inform me if either of those is wrong.
The process: using Point A, God knew us before the creation of earth because we are all his literal spirit children (even those sons of perdition). "For him he did foreknow [all his spirit children], he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son [Jesus, who is a God, in accordance with Point B]...Moreover whom he did predestinate...them he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Romans 8:29-30, KJV, Brackets mine)
God foreknew us...all of us, and those whom he foreknew he did also predestine to be in the image of a God (Jesus), and those whom he predestined to be in the image of a God, (Gk Eikon - an image, figure, likeness). Those whom he also did predestine, he also justified and glorified (exalted).
So it would seem, following this process of thought, that all whom God foreknew, would be come in the image of a God, or...be exalted (glorified) to the divine exaltation.
Am I missing something here? I sent this e-mail to a friend of mine who is LDS, and I'm wondering if there is a rebuttal to this arguement from mainline Mormon apologists?
Again, Thank you utlm for being tools of the Most High God, and good historians for a good cause...You have helped me grow in Christ, and given me encouragement to dive into the field of theology (not only LDS theology either). God Bless all of you at Utlm (not that he hasn't already).
[Steve's Note: The weakness with this argument and how it is being laid out here against LDS teaching is that it can be turned back on orthodox Christian teaching in the same way. If the passage were to be taken as all those who God foreknew (that is everyone that God knew would at some point in time exist) would also be conformed to the likeness of his Son, predestined, called justified and glorified, then the Bible would be teaching that salvation will be given by God to every single human who will ever exist without exception. Clearly, this is not the context of the passage. This understanding of the passage would also put it at odds with the rest of the Bible.
The context is verse 28 which reads, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Verse 29 is the explanation of how it is that all will ultimately work together for good. That is why verse 29 begins with the word For. Paul is assuring the believers in Rome that God will surely accomplish His purpose in our lives. Nothing will succeed in either separating us from God's love for us or from His planned purposes for us from being realized. A reading of the 8th chapter of Romans (esp. from verse 28 to the end) will help make this evident.]
For the Truth of Christ,
[Steve's Note: There are several ways you can approach this with your friend. First, you can show him Hebrews 1:1ff which makes it clear that in these last days God has spoken to us through his own Son rather than with prophets as in times before. You can also help him to see the word "prophet" not only means "one who foretells the things of God" but also "one who speaks forth the things of God." This second meaning is quite often the intended meaning in the New Testament. In 1 Corinthians 12:28 Paul lists various offices in the early church and it is important to note that prophets are listed after apostles. Obviously, this can not be chronological but an ordering of importance in the formation of the church. It can also be said that since God has revealed in Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation what he will ultimately accomplish there is no need for others to come along to claim God is giving them information he forgot to give previously.
As far as those who are leaders of the LDS Church are concerned several questions need to be answered. Can anyone meet the requirements of being a true prophet of God as given in Deuteronomy 18:18-22? What are examples of prophecies given by each of the leaders of the LDS Church? It does no good to claim to be a prophet and then never actually demonstrate that God has given you this gift. Of course there is also the problem for Mormons that many of the "prophecies" Joseph Smith gave ended up being false. For more information and examples of Joseph Smith's false prophecies please read, A Sample of Joseph Smith's False Prophecies.
You can also find more information in the following books we offer:
[Steve's Note: While we have dedicated ourselves to a focused attention to the faith of Mormons as far as our ministry is concerned there is at the same time so much more to our private lives of faith. Our faith is bigger than just our ministry efforts. It is very much a vitally important part of who we are independent of our work here at Utah Lighthouse Ministry.
We focus on the faith of Mormons because the founders of this ministry grew up in the LDS Church. Many of us who work here have family, neighbors and friends who are LDS. It is only appropriate that we care enough about these people to gently tell them the truth, even when the truth may be difficult to receive. We concentrate on the LDS Church and its teachings because this is where God has placed us. I suppose if we were in another part of the world we would have ended up reaching out to those of a very different faith altogether. Since no one can effectively handle all of the world's faith in detail on an ongoing basis it makes sense to limit oneself to an a particular area of study. As one who has an interest and background in things theological, I wish I could have more time to spend on additional areas. I need not be associated with a religious movement in order to have interest in spending time studying them anymore than a botanist would need to be a plant in order to have the interest in researching them. Thankful, God has made persons who are interested in very different things. Through their interest and study we all benefit.
The very leaders of the LDS Church have invited an examination and a public appraisal of their faith. We are simply accepting their invitation and responding to the teachings of the LDS Church. For example, Orson Pratt said,
"If the people of this country have generally formed different conclusions from us upon this subject; and if they have embraced religions which are mere congenial to their minds than the religion of the Saints, we say to them that they are welcome to their own religious views; the laws should not interfere with the exercise of their religious rights. If we cannot convince you by reason nor by the word of God, that your religion is wrong, we will not persecute you, but will sustain you in the privileges, guaranteed in the great Charter of American Liberty: we ask from you the same generosity—protect us in the exercise of our religious rights—convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of God, and we will be ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the pleasing reflection that you have been instruments in the hands of God of redeeming your fellow beings from the darkness which you may see enveloping their minds. Come, then, let us reason together, and try to discover the true light upon all subjects, connected with our temporal or eternal happiness; and if we disagree, in our judgments, let us impute it to the weakness and imperfections of our fallen natures, and let us pity each other, and endeavor with patience and meekness to reclaim from error, and save the immortal soul from an endless death." (Orson Pratt, The Seer, Volume 1, Number 1, pp. 15-16)
"In a matter of such infinite importance no person should rest satisfied with the conjectures or opinions of others: he should use every exertion himself to become acquainted with the nature of the message: he should carefully examine the evidences of which it is offered to the world: he should, with all patience and perseverance, seek to acquire a certain knowledge whether it be of God or not. Without such an investigation in the most careful, candid, and impartial manner, he cannot safely judge without greatly harming his future and eternal welfare. If, after a rigid examination, it be found an imposition, should be extensively published to the world as such; the evidences and arguments upon which the imposture was detected, should be clearly and logically stated, that those who have been sincerely yet unfortunately deceived, may perceive the nature of the deception, and be reclaimed, and that those who continue to publish the delusion, may be exposed and silenced, not by physical force, neither by persecutions, bare assertions, nor ridicule, but by strong and powerful arguments—by evidences adduced from scripture and reason. Such, and such only, should be the weapons employed to detect and overthrow false doctrines—to reclaim mankind from their errors, to expose religious enthusiasm, and put to silence base and wicked impostors. (Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p. 1)
"If a faith will not bear to be investigated; if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak." (George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses, Volume 14, p. 216, August 13, 1871)
"I say to the whole world, receive the truth, no matter who presents it to you. Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test." (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 16, p. 46, May 18, 1873)
if you are just dedicated to finding faults with one, my question is why? are you truly worried about the mormon people, or are you upset with them for some reason? i just find it fascinating as i study religion to see the strong sense of anti-mormonism (and i seem to find anti-jehovah witnesses often as well) rather than people just promoting their own religion. i'd be very interested in learning about your motivation in singling out one religion for this type of "persecution" (that's probably too strong a word i understand) rather than denouncing all the religions that believe differently than you. like i said earlier, i know you're busy so if you get a chance please let me know.
[Steve's Note: Thank you for taking the time to write and ask us about these important elements in the work of our ministry. While we do not have websites on other faiths, be assured they are out there. We spend our energy on the teachings of the LDS Church because Jerald and Sandra Tanner, the founders of this ministry, grew up Mormons. The rest of us who work here have family, friends, neighbors, etc. who we know and care about who are Mormons. Since we live in Utah naturally our attention goes to those of the LDS Church. If we lived in New York, we very well might have ended up dealing with another faith such as the Jehovah's Witnesses.
To study the faith of another religious group does not make it persecution. Persecution comes from a motive to harass or inflict suffering on another who is different. If persecution comes from disagreeing with another's faith and explaining the reasons for that difference of viewpoint then the LDS Church would be persecuting others ever since Joseph Smith's first vision and by sending out over 50,000 missionaries to convert others to their faith.]
well as a mormon and priest holder i find your site interesting to say the least will still enjoy my life though as a latter day saint see you all in the celestial kingdom
I have heard that a woman who was married to someone other than Joseph Smith told her daughter she was the daughter of the "prophet Joseph Smith". This happened at the time of the said mothers dying moments. Where can I find documentation of this?
[Sandra's Note: Yes, Sylvia Sessions Lyon told her daughter, Josephine, that Joseph Smith was her father. Here is a link to some information:
Dear Bro and Sister Tanner,
While studying Mormon History, I came across a reference to a group called the "Whittlers." I believe these were church vigilantes that pre-dated the "Danites." Can you direct me to information about them? . . .
While the Mormons remained in Nauvoo, the Mormon leaders were constantly bothered by the law. They claimed they could not allow themselves to be arrested because they might meet the same fate as Joseph Smith. . . . John Taylor, who became the third President of the Mormon Church, made these statements:
"And that State [Illinois] robbed us of the rights of freemen; and the only chance we had then, when they sent their scamps and rogues among us, was to have a WHITTLING SOCIETY AND WHITTLE THEM OUT. We could NOT get them out according to law, and we had to do it according to justice; and there was no law against whittling,—so we WHITTLED THE SCOUNDRELS OUT.
"I remember that one of the legislators who had annulled our charter, named Dr. Charles, went to President Young, and says he, 'Mr. Young, I am very much imposed upon by the people around here; there are a lot of boys following me WITH LONG KNIVES, AND THEY ARE WHITTLING AFTER ME WHEREVER I GO; MY LIFE IS IN DANGER.'
"Brother Young replied, 'I am very sorry you are imposed upon by the people: we used to have laws here, but you have taken them away from us: we have no law to protect you 'YOUR CAUSE IS JUST, BUT WE CAN DO NOTHING FOR YOU.' Boys, don't frighten him, don't.'...
"[Voice: 'We still have WHITTLING SOCIETIES.']
"Yes, we still have whittling societies, as brother Kimball says." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 5, pp. 150-151)
It is obvious that the Mormon leaders used their "WHITTLING SOCIETY" to protect them from the law.
God bless you.
If you know where I can find it, please send me the info. I have once again been accused by a mormon of lying about it. I want to add a special thank you for sending me the pamphlets recently. I have been reading you for over 20 years and know you have no motive to lie. I remember the stories of how difficult it was for you financially and having your bookstore in your garage. That is what I call committment to the Lord.
[Sandra's Note: I couldn't find my file on that so I asked Bill McKeever what he had on it. Here is his response:
An article ran back in 2001 titled, LDS Church calls for unplugging local church units web sites, by Lynn Arave, Deseret News, March 27, 2001.
I found my hardcopy of the piece but when I tried to get the electronic version from the Deseret News archives it kept saying it didn't exist. Anyway, I found a copy of it at: http://www.truthandgrace.com/wardweb.htm. It reads the same as mine.
I did find this link in the SL Tribune archives:
LDS Church to Unify Its Net Voice Date: March 28, 2001
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, citing concerns over proliferation of thousands of unofficial Mormon-related Web sites, has requested that local church leaders discontinue their Internet home pages. The Presiding Bishopric of the LDS Church, on behalf of the faith's ruling First Presidency, sent a letter to local leaders — from mission presidents to bishops — asking them to take down their existing sites. Local leaders also were told not to put up any new...
Publication: Salt Lake Tribune, The (UT)
Article ID: 100E83D314E81529
Trust this answers your question.]
Hi Sandra, I stopped in your store a couple months ago, I believe it was in May. I'm from Washington and I was visiting Park City on vacation with my grandparents. My grandmother and I talked with you for a short while before you had to close and I told you a little about my mom (she is Mormon and my dad is not, never has been). I just wanted to say thank you for everything you and Jerald are doing and I am very glad I got to meet you. It was great to be able to talk with you even for just a little bit..
I came to your site for the first time about four years ago, when I was researching Mormonism. I was never an active member in the church, but attended almost every Sunday until about the age of 14, along with my five other unbaptized siblings (we were never baptized because my dad would not allow it). So we kinda grew up half-way in the LDS church, and then sometimes going to church with my dad (Presbyterian).. and religion has never ever been talked about with us all in the same room.
I believe finding out the truths about Mormonism lead me on the path to Christ. I did not stop attending because I didn't agree with their beliefs (it was more that I didn't understand why i was going and couldn't relate to people baring their testimonies, and I was shy), but once I stopped going and did some research on my own, I was very glad I had gotten out, and discovered the joy of knowing Jesus and being excited about reading the Bible.
Tagging along with my grandparents to Utah ended up being one of the most meaningful trips I've ever been on, if not the most. I was nervous to throw myself into the heart of Mormon culture, the culture that feels like home to my mom, but I have rejected... thinking that once I got there I'd be overwhelmed by a glow upon the city. It was something I felt like I needed to do, though. Visiting my friend at BYU and going to the visitor's center in Temple Square almost left me with an empty feeling, and even though being around many Mormons brought back almost fond memories from when i was little, there was a slight sense of a lack of emotion that i didn't feel when I was a part of the church family years ago. It was like since I was now out of the church, I could see that these people do not know the real Jesus.
The first night of the trip we stayed in a hotel in Idaho, and I had a hard time sleeping and started crying before bed because I was worried about what I was getting myself into and i prayed about having a clear mind and to know that God was with me. And He was :) Despite feeling a little overwhelmed at times, I still had a sense of peace. Sometimes I just wanted to break down while in the family history center (we went there every day we were there) because I felt so bad that all these people around me were being deceived and they had put so much of their life into this church.
I stayed up late many of the nights we were there reading the pamphlets and newsletters I got from your store. these opened my eyes even further.. seeing the importance of people, including Christians, knowing the truth about Mormonism. The disturbing facts about the church became more real after reading these. It brought out some anger in me.. and i am not a very easily angered person, but at the same time i had more compassion for Mormons and I want to help them/see the importance of it even more. I have more to say, I'm sure.. but must get to bed.
I just wanted to let you know i really appreciate what you two are doing to help others. The feeling and knowledge of knowing Christ, not just a church system and it's members, is unbelievable. I did not have confidence in myself until I knew that God loved me.. and that we only love God because He first loved us. I try to thank Him every day for giving me hope and opening my eyes. Best of luck to you,
. . . I'm currently attending BYU. Long story short, I've decided that the mormon church is not true. . . .
I sent a man to visit you and your store. You were not in. He and his family are leaving Mormonism. They are now visiting Christian churches and I'm confident that God will lead them to a good one. He and his wife have four children. He was a missionary, and they were married in the temple some 16 years ago. He is a man of integrity.
How you have blessed me and multitudes of others! May God always bless you and yours. . . .
[Sandra's Note: Try this link—
Do you have any information regarding the Lehi stone? Supposedly there are archeologists that uncoverd some evidence of some kind, that backs up the BOM. Any info would be such a help!
We are BIG fans of your ministry. God uses you in a mighty way!
[Sandra's Note: Here is a picture of the stone, also known as the Izapa Stela 5 stone, found in Mexico in 1941.
Some LDS people have claimed that it is a drawing representing people from the Book of Mormon. It should be noted that there are several carved stones at that site. Since they were placed there by the same people why aren't the other stones of interest to the Mormons? It would seem that none of the other stones fit well in a Mormon interpretation. A brief description of Izapa can be read at these sites—
For more on the subject see these—
I want to witness to them about Christ and what I believe but I don't know how to do it with out scaring them away. I've been praying about it a lot lately, but I'm still not sure exactly how to go about witnessing to them. Since you were once a Mormon, could you tell me how you would go about witnessing to them. I'm sure you have lots of other letter from people, but if you answered this for me it would be very helpful.
[Sandra's Note: Once you get some grounding in basic LDS doctrines and their Christian counterpoint, you will be able to ask various questions when your friends mention something about their church. Be sure to read our article on Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints. Then you might read one of the books listed at the end.
Also, read the other pages listed at Online Resources: LDS Theology.
This site also has some tips—
Thanks guys! I use to listen for the spirit to tell me if different things are true or untrue. After finding out the LDS faith was wrong, I stopped listening to the peaceful soothing feelings--I realize now that they were only from satan himself. It feels great knowing I can do whatever I want and not be humiliated by my peers at church. I've taken up smoking and drinking...and I've even developed a taste of coffee!
Keep doing what you're doing. The world should know that mankind's image of a God is false and that true happiness relies in your own wit. I don't know how Joseph did what he did, but its good to know that you were able to decipher it all after a century and a half later! Your wisdom is outstanding!
[Sandra's Note: Here are two links to information on Catholic Bishop Landa—
Here is an article about early Mayan prophecy—
Early accounts of the American Indian are considered somewhat tainted due to being recorded after Catholic exposure and biases, where the recorder may have read into Indian legend traces of the O.T. and Christianity. One can not simply accept early Spanish interpretations unless verified by other research.
Whatever point of Landa's a Mormon would use would need to be verified as accurate in relationship to todays studies of the Maya.
Mormons often cite the Quetzalcoatl legends as proof for the Book of Mormon appearance of Christ. Here is a link to an LDS author's examination of the Quetzalcoatl myths—
See especially his section on the Spanish influence on the legends—
. . . I got married two years ago to my husband and now I'm not sure our marriage will work anymore. He and I have been trying to talk it out together, but his parents, mainly his father kept e-mailing me. He's controlling and he's my bishop.
I no longer want to be a member of the LDS church, but I'm afraid of how things will happen when they find out. You see, I didn't realize that when I married my husband, I was unfortunately marrying his mom and dad and siblings and there families and as I said before, my father-in-law is controlling and is my bishop. I'm afraid my marriage won't work out at all because I no longer wish to be LDS; even though my husband said he would marry me wether or not I became a member two years ago. How do I handle this situation?
[Steve's Note: I wish I had a simple solution for your situation. We can, of course, pray to God for you and your husband. I want to encourage you to continue to accept them as much as you are able. If at all possible, do not create a situation whereby they could rightfully hold something of substance against you. Allow your life to be such that their own consciences would convict them if they were to try to speak badly about you. I would say that it is important for your marriage to survive that you create and enforce boundaries with those outside of your marriage. No matter how well intentioned, those outside of a marriage can bring destruction to your personal life if they are allowed excessive input and access to your private life. As far as your faith is concerned, I hope and pray your husband and you can continue to talk about your questions and desire to separate from the LDS Church. Unfortunately, difficulties may come about from your desire to leave the LDS Church.
However, if your family is going to be true to the central tenets of Mormonism then they must allow you to choose your own way. According to Mormon thinking, free agency is to be highly valued; naturally, this needs to carry with it the actual possibility of making real choices. Furthermore, the 11th Article of Faith states,
"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."
Under this article they have the obligation to allow you to choose freely how you wish to worship God. Any interference with this is a violation of this article of faith.
Finally, if they mistreat you because of your decision to leave the LDS Church they will also be violating the spirit of the 13th Article of Faith which says,
"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
This Article does not contain any qualifications such as only doing good to faithful Mormons. This goodness is to be expressed to all people at all times. I will pray for you and your husband. If there is anything more I can do or any questions I can help you with, please feel free to contact me again.]
Do you have any documents or anything on how much the General Authorities make ("earn") per year. I need something to show that they are indeed paid.
[Sandra's Note: The LDS Church concedes that their top leaders receive a living allowance (sounds like a salary to me!) but they never disclose the amount. If you will read this article and follow the link you will find some information on their 'modest living allowance.' If it is indeed 'modest' why don't they state the amount?
The LDS Church never reveals its total income, expenses, investments or businesses. You might find the posts on LDS investments at this site informative.
In the view of those who argue that the found scrolls were the same Smith translated from, what is the most concrete evidence that supports the idea that the found scrolls and Smith's original are the same?
Thank you for your attention to this.
[Sandra's Note: We know which piece of the papyri Smith was claiming to translate because his scribes (he always used scribes when dictating his scriptures, etc.) copied the various characters from a specific papyrus and wrote them down the left hand side of the page to correspond to the translated text.
There are photos of several pages of the Book of Abraham manuscipt with the Egyptian characters written on the side in Joseph Smith's Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar. See our online book, The Changing World of Mormonism, Chapter 11: Fall of the Book of Abraham, for a section on this. Our most complete information on the Book of Abraham problem is in our book Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? Also go to our Topical Index: Book of Abraham, for more information.
There is quite a bit of material on the Book of Abraham at—
I am unhappy with your website for a number of reasons. I know that you think you are helping people by trying to "warn" them about "Mormanism", but you are deciveing them for the most part. Alot of what you have written is good and true, like the missionaries, and other things are just lies.
1. I have been in the church my whole life and I have never been taught that
"Heavenly Father was once born as a spirit child of a god and wife who ruled a different world. After maturing as a spirit being he was sent to another world where he was born as a human. There he grew to maturity, married, died, was resurrected, went to heaven, progressed and eventually became the God of our world. He and his resurrected wife continue to have spirit children born to them in their heavenly realm".
I have been taught that Jesus Christ went through this. And we refer to Christ sometimes as God. For this exact reason I think you have taken alot of the text out of context thinking that the word "God" was in reference to Heavenly Father, when infact it is in reference to Jesus Christ. Even in the bible does Jesus himself refer to himself as God.
2. We do not still beleieve in the practice of plural marriage, or you call it Polygamy and if you were educated enough you would know that all those practicing polygamy are exed from the church, most educated Christians know that.
3. We do not believe in many gods. Only Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost. I would love to see so called "doctrine" to suggest otherwise.
While you think I may be decieved, I am not because I have a strong testimony in my religion. Why? Because I have gotton down on my knees and prayed to my Heavenly Father and have recieved a warm feeling in my heart that it is true. Have you? And while you are busiing yourself with trying to discredit the LDS church, I am focused on improving my life and getting closer to my Havenly Father.
I once was a Christian, but as soon as I found out that you believe that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus, I could not beleive anymore. Why? What about my ancestors who vever heard of the name of Jesus? What about all those good people in the world who were as good, if not better people than you and me who never got to hear the name of Jesus- they are lost in your church. I can not and will not accept that. While I understand you are happy doing this hobby and I know Christians are good people, I can not understand why you would discredit and speak bad of another religion. It is not Christlike.
[Steve's Note: Thank you for taking the time to write to us. I would like to respond to what you have written to us as examples of the "other things are just lies." You may not have been exposed to these teachings, but that does not mean they are not teachings of the LDS Church. As for the idea that God was once a man who matured and progressed to become the God of our world, I think President Lorenzo Snow's couplet—"As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become" —sums up very nicely the LDS understanding of God and where he came from. The entire principle of eternal progression also carries with it this idea. The temple ceremony is intended to communicate the law of eternal progression and that we must follow in the footsteps of God himself. The King Follet Discourse given by Joseph Smith also teaches that God was once a man and has not been God from all eternity. You can read this sermon by Joseph Smith at Topical Index: Joseph Smith Sermons. This is consistent with other LDS sources that teach a plurality of Gods.
The Pearl of Great Price clearly teaches multiple Gods (PGP, Book of Abraham 4). Orson Pratt declared, "If we should take a million of worlds like this and number their particles, we should find that there are more Gods than there are particles of matter in those worlds" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p.345). You may also wish to look at our online page, LDS View of God Contradicts the Bible. We do not state that the LDS Church believes in the practice of polygamy. What the church continues to uphold, and has never repudiated, is the principle of polygamy. The principle is still there by virtue of its inclusion in the Doctrine & Covenants in section 132. A Mormon man who marries in the temple and outlives his wife may be married to another woman in the temple for time and eternity thus assuring him two wives in the next life. A woman can not have multiple marriages in the temple like the man can have. Therefore, the principle of polygamy is still present today. You claim you are not deceived because "I have gotton [sic] down on my knees and prayed to my Heavenly Father and have received a warm feeling in my heart that it is true." The problem with this is that there are countless millions of people who could testify to the truthfulness of their faith in the same way. Since our feelings can deceive us God does not ask us to trust our feelings alone to determine the truth. You say you were a Christian until you found out that the only way to heaven is through Jesus. You may be interested to know that the Book of Mormon agrees with the Bible on this point. I would ask you to read Helaman 5:9, Mosiah 3:12, 1 Nephi 10:6; 13:40, 2 Nephi 25:20 and Alma 11:40 as a few of the many examples in the Book of Mormon.
What we do is not a "hobby" but is a ministry to Mormons and Christians. Our work to share our faith is no different than the more than 50,000 missionaries the LDS Church sends out each year to convince others that their church is wrong and that the LDS Church is the one true church. Joseph Smith made the first attack against Christianity when he claimed in his history that "I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof." (1:19). If this is not speaking badly of another religion, then I'm not sure what would qualify as such.
Finally, please let me correct a few of the Bible's teachings I feel you have mischaracterized. God is impartial and just. The Bible tells us in Acts 10:34, "He is no respecter of persons." God will certainly not send anyone to hell unfairly. God does not want to condemn anyone but wants all to come to Him in salvation. Peter wrote that God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9). The Bible also says in Romans 5:8 that God loved us while we were still his enemy and in John 3:16-17 that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." Just because people may not have God's full story does not mean they have no awareness of God and their accountability to Him. Through natural creation (Romans 1:8) and by having a conscience of right and wrong all mankind realizes 1) there is a God and 2) we have not lived morally perfect lives. This leads everyone to the fact we must rely on God for our salvation (He must provide the way) for it is something we can not merit on our own. God will judge us righteously and with no penalty for ignorance. The question for us is how will God judge us since we do know and yet we know there are others who have not yet heard the specifics of how he has through his love already provided the way for them by Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of the world.]
While I find many of the "explanation" of our church, our principles and ordinaces offensive and small-minded, I do understand that you claim to be helping others, by simply providing information, and large amount of opinion.
While this is an admirable desire, what you claim as "gospel truth" not only deters from people finding out the truth for themselves, it also make a mockery out of sacred and special things that millions of people hold close to their hearts. If you honestly believe that the Latter-Day Saint church teaches false doctrines, then you would be happy for them to attend our meeting, meet with the missionaries and put to test Moroni's promise, which I should hope you have put to test in your life, although the results of your website would indicate that you have not. If you have, I would be interested to know. Our church only asks people to put the Book of Mormon to test, and find out the truth of it for themselves. Nothing more. Nothing less. Your arguments against our church are both flawed and pedantic. One of the greatest teachings of our church is to have an eternal perspective, in regards to your patriarchal blessing you obviously have not been blessed to gain that yet. Your mockery of sacred things are only a fufilment of ancient prophecies found in the Book of Mormon.
There is something seriously wrong when people, such as yourself, spend so much time and energy in trying to destroy someone's religion and way of life, something not to different to the likes of Hitler. I hope instead you can decide to spend that time with your family, in real service to them and to others, instead of such a pathetic excuse of trying to "help" people.
God bless you,
I have recently discovered that the company I work for has a substantial Mormon influence in it. I have moved through several states with this company, and since I am not a Mormon I am a little concerned about how I should react to church actions at work. I have just started looking into the subject to better understand, and have seen the Tanner's work quoted in several areas. Any advice on how to deal with working for a group with close ties to the church? The company I work for is rather large, and I do not think many people "know" about the heavy influence. Thanks in advance.
[Steve's Note: Many companies have ties with outside influences which could potentially impact you as an employee. While I do not know the specifics of what may be going on at your work place, I would encourage you to continue to be prepared-- as you should regardless of where you work.
The company you work for should have policies in place to help protect you from religious discrimination. At the least, I would suggest you document everything relevant to your performance at work. Continue to educate yourself about the philosophies that are important to your company and how those may be relate to your circumstance. I have included several links to web pages below that discuss the issues of religious discrimination in the workplace.
I KNOW YOU PICTURE YOURSELVES AS SOME KIND OF SUPER HEROS WHO ARE GOING TO SAVE THE WORLD FROM THOSE SO CALLED -EVIL MORMONS- BUT IN REALITY YOUR JUST A BUNCH OF MISFITS WHO ARE TRYING DESPERATELY TO JUSTIFY YOUR EXISTENCE. HOW ABOUT A TRADE SCHOOL??
I MEAN AT LEAST YOU WOULD LEARN SOMETHING OTHER THAN TRYING TO TEAR DOWN OTHER PEOPLES BELIEFS. THAT MOTO "LIVE AND LET LIVE" MIGHT BE SOMETHING YOU MIGHT TRY INSTEAD OF STICKING YOUR NOSES INTO OTHER PEOPLES BUSINESS.
I got up today early and prayerful. This was the day that I would accompany my daughter to her Mormon church, so I prayed for conviction, courage, patience and love - toward my daughter and the people I would meet at her church. It turned out to be a great day, and ABSOLUTELY KEY to a breakthrough in my discussions with my daughter. I hardly know where to begin....
As soon as we arrived at the church, I immediately began meeting people in the parking lot. They were all very nice, and I was gifted with a spirit of kindness toward them. I didn't hate them, I just hated the false prophet and leaders who were leading them, along with my daughter, down the road following a counterfeit gospel. In the process, [she] saw me being open and friendly with people she thought I was going to throttle. This was definitely of God, because I'm kind of an impulsive hot-head.
I sat through Sacrament Meeting; no surprises there. The youth speaker, as well as a young couple (life-long Mormons) and the bishop, ended their testimony with a rote profession of faith in the truth of the BoM; the Mormon Church as the true church; the Prophet Joseph Smith; and the Prophet President Gordon B. Hinckley. This was so scripted that I found myself thinking — as the young wife was nearing the end of her testimony having not yet mentioned the Mormon President — "don't forget Hinckley". Sure enough, she didn't. The young husband did leave out Smith and Hinckley; probably because his wife left him little time to talk. He gave an abbreviated testimony. I took a lot of mental notes.
I didn't know any of the hymns, and I didn't eat the bread and water (which, by the way, is what you eat when your imprisoned in the "brig" aboard ship).
We sat through a lesson on the Priesthood, taught by a young woman from Utah (ironic, since Mormon women can't be in the Priesthood). I took a lot of mental notes here as well.
Finally, we sat through a combined Priesthood/Relief Society meeting where the local Mission President put on a missionary demonstration with two of his "elders" and a volunteer Mormon couple acting as investigators. I found this part creepy; especially at the end, when the Bishop approached me and assured me that there was "nothing creepy" about the Mormon Church. I thanked him for coming by to let me know that.
On the way home, my daughter asked me what I thought. After ensuring that she really wanted to know, I talked about the following:
One very interesting thing happened to me at the end of Sacrament Meeting. One woman, about my age, who [my daughter] has really come to respect, pulled me off to the side and thanked me for loving my daughter so much. She made a point of separating me from [her], so "your daughter can't hear me"; then assured me that she had "things handled from this end". Assuming that she was just trying convince me that [my daughters] conversion was not so bad, I thanked her for her interest in my daughter's well-being and excused myself. Now, this woman has a very high place in the Ward, and has hosted [my daughters] "discussions" on more than one occasion in her home [My daughter] told me, before we arrived, that this woman had been her confidante regarding my diligent opposition to the Mormon gospel; but was looking forward to meeting me, nonetheless. During the subsequent hour, as I sat through the lesson on the Priesthood, my mind began to wander back to the woman's comment (It was really a boring class). Whom did I meet? Was she just giving me some line about my daughter being loved by the Ward while she was away from home, at school? ...or, was she — as silly as it sounds — offering some kind of "undercover" support? I discreetly asked [my daughter] what kind of advise she had got from this woman, and she said that the woman had been the one who most ardently supported her questioning the faith, and that she had also been the one who put her in touch with the "elders". Well, the former identity is probably the true one, but I'll have one more chance to gauge her. I'm moving [my daughter] into her dorm next weekend, and will accompany her to church one more time.
Now for the good part!
My openness to accompany [my daughter] to church opened up a huge door, and we spent the afternoon watching "The Lost Book of Abraham" and discussing the implications of this truth (exactly along the lines I had drawn up yesterday). She said she needed some time to process the info, but she was visibly shaken by the information contained in the DVD. I also gave her a pamphlet on the subject that I got as a "freebie" in a book order from Utah Lighthouse Ministries (thanks, Sandra!). I spent much of the time afterward praying for a direct strike against the Mormon stronghold in her heart.
. . . [My daughter] and I talked about the almost-total reliance on emotion and "feel" in each of the testimonies I heard today. Even in the Sunday School class and the missionary demonstration, the emphasis is on the "burning in the bosom". [She] and I had already discussed the difference between feeling something is true and being convicted that it's true. It was fertile ground, man!
The missionaries and apologists are howling tonight! [Her] boyfriend called repeatedly on her cell phone while we were making dinner together (her phone was downstairs). . . . [She] had called him after we watched the Book of Abraham DVD and unloaded on him. He was unfamiliar with the controversy surrounding the original papyri, so he mobilized the Mormon spin doctors! After some hours of consultation with them, he called her. He was spewing a lot of stuff at her - most of which I couldn't hear - when I heard her DEFEND HER BELIEF IN THE BIBLE to him!
PRAISE GOD! This break is GOD'S doing, and I am so grateful fo it. . . . I am under no delusion that this temporary sanity will last; but I'm encouraged by it, nonetheless. Please keep praying HARD, and include [her boyfriend] in your prayers. Our God is an AWESOME God!
[Steve's Note: I have tried to answer your questions below in the order you have asked them.
1. The term "Mormon" comes from the Book of Mormon. Originally, this was used as a term by others to describe the followers of Joseph Smith. Alexander Campbell used this term in February of 1831 in his book, Delusions. There is also the early use of "mormonite" in the Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate, April 9, 1831, vol. 2, p. 120:
MORMONITES Messrs. Editors—In the sixth number of your paper I saw a notice of a sect of people called Mormonites; and thinking that a fuller history of their founder, Joseph Smith, jr., might be interesting to community, and particularly to your correspondent in Ohio, where, perhaps, the truth concerning him may be hard to come at, I will take the trouble to make a few remarks on the character of that infamous imposter. (As quoted in Dale Morgan on Early Mormonism: Correspondence and a New History, edited by John Phillip Walker, p.337)
Initially, the LDS Church denounced the use of the term "Mormonite" to refer to members of their church. In 1834 the early LDS paper, Evening and Morning Star, rejected the use of "Mormonite":
It is now more than four years since this church was organized in these last days, and though the conferences have always shown by their minutes, that they took no other name than the name of Christ, the church has, particularly abroad, been called "Mormonite." As the members of this church profess a belief in the truth of the book of Mormon, the world, either out of contempt and ridicule, or to distinguish us from others, have been very lavish in bestowing the title of "Mormonite." Others may call themselves by their own, or by other names, and have the privilege of wearing them without our changing them or attempting so to do; but WE do not accept the above title, nor shall we wear it as OUR name, though it may be lavished out upon US double to what it has heretofore been. And when that bitterness of feeling, now cherished in the bosoms of those who profess to be the followers of Christ, against the church of the Latter Day Saints, shall cease to exist, and when fabrications and desipient reports concerning this society are no longer considered a virtue, it will take its rank, at least with others, and these stigmas will forever sleep with their inventors. (Evening and Morning Star, Vol. 2, No. 20, p. 158, 1834)
However, Joseph Smith made a complete reversal of the term "mormon" to imply something good in 1843 when he said,
SIR:-Through the medium of your paper, I wish to correct an error among men that profess to be learned, liberal and wise; and I do it the more cheerfully, because I hope sober thinking and sound-reasoning people will sooner listen to the voice of truth, than be led astray by the vain pretensions of the self-wise. The error I speak of, is the definition of the word "MORMON." It has been stated that this word was derived from the Greek word mormo. This is not the case. There was no Greek or Latin upon the plates from which I, through the grace of God, translated the Book of Mormon. Let the language of that book speak for itself. On the 523d page, of the fourth edition, it reads: "And now behold we have written this record according to our knowledge in the characters, which are called among us the Reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech; and if our plates had been sufficiently large, we should have written in Hebrew: but the Hebrew hath been altered by us, also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold ye would have had no imperfection in our record, but the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also, that none other people knoweth our language; therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof."
Here then the subject is put to silence, for "none other people knoweth our language," therefore the Lord, and not man, had to interpret, after the people were all dead. And, as Paul said, "the world by wisdom know not God," so the world by speculation are destitute of revelation; and as God in his superior wisdom, has always given his saints, wherever he had any on the earth, the same spirit, and that spirit, as John says, is the true spirit of prophesy, which is the testimony of Jesus, I may safely say that the word Mormon stands independent of the learning and wisdom of this generation.-Before I give a definition, however, to the word, let me say that the Bible in its widest sense, means good; for the Savior says according to the gospel of John, "I am the good shepherd" and it will not be beyond the common use of terms, to say that good is among the most important in use, and though known by various names in different languages, still its meaning is the same, and is ever in opposition to bad. We say from the Saxon, good; the Dane, god; the Latin, bonus; the Greek, kalos; the Hebrew, tob; and the Egyptian, mon. Hence, with the addition of more, or the contraction, mor, we have the word MORMON; which means, literally, more good. (Times and Seasons, Vol. 4, No. 13, p. 194)
2. The word "deseret" comes from the book named Ether in the Book of Mormon. Ether 2:3 reads, "And they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees, and all manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seeds of every kind."
3. The beehive comes from both the idea contained within Ether 2:3 as quoted above and from Joseph Smith's involvement with Masonry, where it was a common symbol. The beehive is a symbol of industry and thus was adopted for use by the LDS Church. (See: Masonic Symbols and the LDS Temple)
4. The use of Moroni blowing the trumpet seems to begin with the initial depiction of an angel atop the temple in Nauvoo, Illinois. Although not identified as Moroni at the time, the angel on LDS temples today is referred to as Moroni. A picture of the first angel on the Nauvoo temple can be seen at—
Many Mormons understand Moroni to be the angel referred to in Revelation 14:6-7.]