March 2005
(Names and Contact Info Removed)
March 1, 2005
Dear Sandra and staff, I am continuing to pray for your ministry to the LDS. My husband _____ has not yet gone for his temple recommend interview though he remains very active and has a calling as church organist. He spoke of the interview first last June and maybe has mentioned it once more. It is hard for me to understand why he has not proceeded as he maintains such a strong testimony. I would think this would be a top priority. I am thankful though he has not yet taken place.

My question is do you feel the symbols I have read about on the SL temple and others are truly significant to the LDS or are they even aware of these for the most part. _____ has never mentioned these—do you know if the LDS that are aware just consider them decorative and do you know of any who have voiced concern about the symbols in that they are symbols of non-Christian gods, etc. I appreciate your dedication to the truth of God's word and appreciate your attention to my question and prayer request.

In Christ,

[Sandra's Note: Regarding a temple recommend interview, he may have a problem answering all the questions right, or is afraid he can't answer them fully. They ask about your church activity, paying of tithe, keeping the LDS standards, no coffee, tea or liquor, etc. Most Mormons have no idea there are symbols on the Salt Lake temple, and if they were pointed out, the Mormon would probably just claim they are some sort of old-fashioned art work. See our article on our site.

Masonic Symbols and the LDS Temple ]

March 1, 2005
Hi Mr. and Mrs. Tanner, I was wondering if you had any of the prophets' Journal of Discourses, or know of anywhere I could find them. I looked on your booklist but couldn't find them - I wasn't sure if I just missed them or if maybe they were under a different name. Or, if you could direct me to anything that will hold the same information in them.

I've been reading a lot about mormonism, and I find a lot of quotes taken from the Journal of Discourses, and would like to study them for myself, but can't seem to find them anywhere, so your help is much appreciated. Thanks a lot for your time.

[Sandra's Note: We have a brief description of the 26 volume set of Journal of Discourses in our General FAQ: What is the Journal of Discourses? You can find the text of the Journal of Discourses at this site:

You can't do a search, but if you know the sermon you are looking for you can find it.

The BYU is working on a digital copy. See:

The text is also on New Mormon Studies CD-ROM.

Or you can get a subscription to access it through an LDS site:

The Journal of Discourses is available at the different colleges throughout Utah, and a few other universities in the USA.]

March 1, 2005
[You stated on your web site] 'You need to be informed on the issues in order to reach out to those who are being deceived.'

i can't believe you would use such harsh words i am only 13 and i have a strong testimony obviously if that many are being converted they feel the spirit and yearn to be a part of the church. if i was not a member than i don't know where id be in my life and it has steered me in the right direction and i learn about the teachings of jesus every sunday and repentence and the atonement i dont know where you went to church but i only learn about tithing when i was lik 5, 6 and the same with going on a mission.

March 1, 2005
Subject: 1830 Book of Mormon

Does the LDS church consider the 1830 BOM that we have to be the actual one made by Joseph Smith or do they think it was fabricated with the changes by malicious anti-Mormons?

[Sandra's Note: The LDS Church does not dispute the photo reprints of the 1830 Book of Mormon. Sometimes a Mormon will do so, but simply because his is uninformed.

Here is the link to one of the reprints we sell:

Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol. 1. In the opening pages of this reprint is an affidavite from Deseret Press (the official LDS press) stating that it is an authentic reprint.

Deseret Book even sells the same volume:

For our book, 3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon, we used photos obtained from the University of Utah's original 1830 copy, in their Special Collections department of their library.]

March 1, 2005
Subject: Mormon Claims Answered: Mormonism's Inspired Version Bible

I am confused. As I was looking through Ch 3 of Mormon Claims Answered in the Mormonism's Inspired Version Bible, I noticed something that seems innacurate. The author made a claim about this version not correcting supposed Biblical innacuracies, but he cites Is 65:1 and Romans 10:20. In this it seems like he is saying that the way he has Is 65 written out in his book is the accurate one (or probably in this case the one used in the Inspired Version but with no changes from the King James), but Joseph Smith's Translation of Romans says something else.

First, the way he has Is 65 written is not the King James version and it is opposite of any translation I can find.

Second, the way he has Romans 10 written is the King James.

So it seems like he just got this backward in the book, except that there isn't a Joseph Smith Translation for either of them. Is this just because the LDS church doesn't publish that portion of the Inspired Version in the Joseph Smith Translation? I know this was confusing, but I am confused.

[Steve's Note: The passages you are confused about in Mormon Claims Answered should be understood as follows.

Isaiah 65:1 from the King James Version (KJV) reads:

"I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name."

This was changed by Joseph Smith in his Inspired Translation (JST) to read:

"I am found of them who seek after me, I give unto all them that ask of me; I am not found of them that sought me not; or that inquireth not after me."

In the Inspired Translation, Joseph Smith did not alter Romans 10:20 at all and retained the original wording of the KJV which reads:

"But Esaias is very bold and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me."

All this reveals an obvious contradiction in Joseph Smith's "Inspired Translation" of the Bible. The LDS Church does not publish Joseph Smith's Inspired Translation. (They do include some extracts from Smith's Bible revisions in the footnotes and endnotes of their printing of the KJV.)

It is the RLDS Church (now called the Community of Christ) who has published the Joseph Smith Translation for years. The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible can be purchased from the LDS Church owned bookstore, Deseret Book. We also sell a volume that has Smith's Bible changes in parallel columns with the KJV. See Joseph Smith's "New Translation" of the Bible.

All of this puts the LDS Church on the horns of a dilemma. If Joseph Smith were inspired by God to make "corrections" then shouldn't the LDS Church replace the erroneous verses in the KJV with the restored readings? Surely flawed readings should be removed since those same renditions of the text would only serve to author confusion and error. Finally, the LDS Church is opening the door to less than full faith in Joseph Smith's role as a prophet, seer and revelator by rejecting his readings and keeping the readings of the KJV.]

March 2, 2005
Out of curiosity, what is your connection to the mormon church? I see that you are both former members of the church. If you have found a different path then why keep this connection to the church you broke away from? If your answer is to enlighten or inform others in order to keep them from being deceived I would say that is very noble and probably with good intent, but unecessary.

It seems to me that the Bible tells men that they may know the truth of all things by the spirit (or something like that). If this is true, then men (and women) will find out on their own. Unless of course that isn't correct which would mean the Bible was deceiving people with false information and then would also lead one to question the truthfullness of other parts of the Bible.

How does one then truly know what is true or false in Christianity without prayer. It would seem that by discounting the value of prayer you have not only cut out a signifcant chunck of the mormon faith but also of the entire Christian faith.

I am a practicing Christian and have family members in several different Christian faiths. I am always seeking to learn about new faiths and advance my spiritual growth. I was hoping that your site would do just this but it seems only designed to bring down and poke at another religion. Shame on you if that is your intention.

It is no wonder that Christianity has a bad reputation in the world when we cannot all work together to discover and advance Christ's true gospel. And by the way, I have looked into the Mormon church and felt nothing but good feelings from them. Maybe you should devote more time to worshiping God and informing others of the love he offers and spend less time focused on another church and it's doctrine. Please feel free to respond if you so desire. I hope that I have not been to cruel in my critisism. It was not my intent to hurt or offend.

[Steve's Note: Jerald and Sandra Tanner are former Mormons. They grew up in Mormon families. For more of their story please read the About Us. I have not ever been a member of the LDS Church but I have a desire as a Christian to reach out to my Mormon family and friends with the love and forgiveness God offers through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

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!"

The promise of the Holy Spirit to know the truth of all things is found in John 14:25-26. In this passage Jesus is assuring his disciples that they will not be on their own but that God will send the Holy Spirit to them. One of the things the Holy Spirit will do is to specifically remind them of everything Jesus said to them and its spiritual importance (truth).

Truth is determined not by prayer or feelings but through an examination of the information. God invites us as he did Isaiah, " 'Come now, and let us reason together', saith the LORD" (1:18). In the same way, the Bereans were called "more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (17:11 emphasis added). We should not just take a message brought to us at face value but we should search the word of God to determine if what is being said agrees with what is already revealed and known about God. Our prayer should be used to communicate to God our desire to know what is true and to be able to discern the truth not as the basis for determining what is true alone. This is too subjective and far too many faiths around the world can all claim that they have received an answer to their prayers that their faith is true.

Our intention is certainly not to "bring down and poke at another religion." Our desire is 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 from some of the full length books we offer which compare Mormonism and Christianity. For a list of the better titles to begin with see—Suggested Resources: Christianity and Mormonism Compared.]

March 4, 2005
I just wanted to thank you for all the wonderful work that you do. I have called your ministry a couple of times in the last couple of months and have asked questions concerning Mormonism. Both times, Marlene was very helpful and kind. . . . After studying Mormonism for the past few years, . . . I have developed a deeper appreciation for the opposition that you must face on a daily basis. . . .
March 4, 2005
I am interested in obtaining complete actual copies of Joseph Smith's 4 versions of his "First Vision" and the references to the conditions that prompted the 2nd through 4th versions. Has someone done a definitive book on that phase of Mormon History?

Thanks for your help.

[Sandra's Note: Here are links to information on Smith's first vision on our web site.

We also sell a set of First Vision Photocopies of the different accounts of the first vision.

The best book on the early period of Joseph Smith's life is:

Also see:

We also have a large chapter on the first vision in our book, Mormonism—Shadow or Reality?

Hope this helps.]

March 4, 2005
I found this web site while looking for something else. A few of your books are listed in the Bibliography. Don't know if you ever saw his web site before, but thought you may be interested.

March 5, 2005
Dear Tanner's,

I just read your web site,and find it enlightening. I have been a Christian since 1975.

I wondered how the Mormon church can say there is a heavenly Mother? I have a hard time believing this concept. I don't believe that our Heavenly Father needs a mother to produce spirit children. I asked the elders where is the proof, scripture and verse? They didn't have an answer for me. I was thinking of going back to the LDS church, but I do believe that the Holy Spirit is telling me other wise.

Thank you,

[Steve's Note: The Mormon Church simply makes its claim of a heavenly Mother without any scriptural support for the idea. This does not mean, however, that Mormons can claim that this idea is not official. There is a statement issued by the First Presidency of the Mormon Church titled The Origin of Man which states that "All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity" (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 4, p. 1667).

The Bible makes it clear in Jeremiah 7:18 and 44:17-25 that God is filled with righteous anger at attempts to worship the idolatrous concept of a heavenly mother (queen of heaven).

We have more information on this topic online at the following links:


March 5, 2005
All of the reading I have done about Joseph Smith Jr. and all of his writings including the book of Mormon sound phony to me. I cannot see any reason to believe anything he says. It all sounds like plagiarism and lies to me. ...
March 7, 2005
There was a letter that really got to me. The letter stated that Mormons who read this site were hypocrites....and if we believed so much in our beliefs, why were we reading it? Well, I would just like to say that I was looking up inspirational stories of missionaries to send to my boyfriend who is serving a mission right now, when I clicked on this web site not knowing that it was a "Mormon Hater" site.

I only read a few passeges before I realized what it was and I decided to answer that little letter on why I was visiting this site. I am only sixteen, but I believe full-heartedly in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I look at my friends and other peers and see how they live their lives. They don't have the teachings that Mormons do. And I feel sorry for them when they make terrible mistakes.

I'm known as the "Miss Goody Two-Shoes" at school and I'm the only Mormon. Everyone respects me for the standards that I have, which I have gained from the Church. I wasn't active when I was younger. I've gone to many different churches. And they all taught classes on Mormons going to hell. Maybe they should teach more about Christ and Salvation rather that how they don't believe in Mormanism.

And another do know the truth by what you feel in your heart. How else are you to know? Do you expect God to come and visit you personally and tell you "You don't have to feel it in your heart...I'm telling you it's true." Not that He couldn't, but I believe one of the tests in life is your faith. Do you not remember about "burning bosoms" talked about in the Bible? This true Church is not a CULT, it is simply the true Church, led by a true Prophet, with wonderful missionaries spreading the truth around the world. We are good people. We are charitable. We are only people who want to follow Christ. If because I want to follow Christ, and if to you that means that I am apart of a cult, then so be it.

Anyone can say what they want. I have been confronted by those with harsh feelings toward Mormonism, and I have been confronted by those interested in the Church, but I know what I know. No one can change my mind about the truth. My younger brother has Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and that has made my family's faith in the Church that much stronger. He has almost died and the doctors gave up on him, when our Bishop gave him a blessing. To the doctors' amazement, he miraculously healed soon after and was able to return home. My father had a leakage in his brain, the doctors were going to have to go in for surgery. A couple of members gave him a blessing, the leak stopped within the next few minutes and later he was able to go home.

Heavenly Father has proven to me time and time again that this is the true church and that it's teaching and practices are true. I can only say, "Sandra, I'm glad that I'm not in your position. I'm glad that I don't have it in my heart to down other people and their beliefs. I'm glad that I don't have a web site on how I know that Baptists or Jew are teaching false doctrines (although I don't). I feel sorry for you that you have to down other people for knowing what is true."

March 7, 2005
Hello Sandra, how are you? I went to and found a different site, obviously not yours, talk about deceptive, let me tell you.

I have been to several functions and spoke with you (you probably won't remember) but I have since put up a website with a partner of mine at where we inform Christians about the Mormons, to educate them. We are in the process of putting this site together. I also work on with 49 other pastors answering Biblical questions for people. I was once part of the LDS church for 10 years and Dennis and Rauni Higley [] helped to lead me to the truth (about 7 years ago). ...

[Web-editor: See #104 Messenger: Ministry Files Lawsuit]

March 7, 2005
Why are you trying to publicly defame the Mormons? What did they ever do to you? It seems the Mormons are the only church not interested in ridiculing the beliefs of other churches. That truly is sad. Please think about what you are doing. There is absolutle no reason for this. Why does everybody hate the Mormons when they are such nice, humble, tolerant people? I hope you are ashamed of yourselves.
March 7, 2005
Please help us ...

My husband and I are flying . . . to Utah to visit his parents . . . They are GREAT in-laws! However, they have fallen prey to Mormonism for about 15 years. We have "gently" presented them with copies of testimonies along with our concerns. Of course they had the typical response Mormon's have that "we don't know the truth". We asked them to research it ... but I doubt they have since they live in this world of LDS daily. They are both VERY involved in their ward.

So we are looking for a DVD that would be impactful to watch with them ... to open their eyes to this cult. We feel that if their eyes are opened ... they can open many of their friends eyes too.

What DVD do you recommend that we could approach this topic ... without alienating them?

Thanks for your help.

[Sandra's Note: I would suggest either The Lost Book of Abraham DVD or DNA vs. The Book of Mormon DVD.]

March 7, 2005

My husband is a youth minister and lately we have been running into some very sensitive areas with some of our young adults. One young woman is concerned for her friend, who she is very interested in. She knows he has differing beliefs than she does as he is a Mormon and she is a Christian. She came to me and I know a little about Mormonism, but what she told me her friend believes confounds me. She said he doesn't believe necessarily that he can become a god, that "it's just a theory", but then he does believe in eternal marriage. Isn't that part of the reason for being eternally married? I want to help her in all I can, and try to help her understand what her friend believes so she will better equipped to talk to him.

Thank you for all you do.

[Sandra's Note: Doctrinal understanding only comes gradually to a young Mormon and he/she will probably not be fully grounded in Mormonism until the person has participated in the temple ceremony. Be sure to read the various sections on theology at Online Resources: LDS Theology.

You can also order, either from us or from, the following current LDS manuals. Some of their heretical doctrines are in these official books.

You might want to purchase our set of photocopies from LDS books, Godhead and Virgin Birth Photocopies.

Another good web site is and ]

March 8, 2005
Hi Mr & Mrs Tanner (and/or Editor),

I just wanted to say thank you for your incredible website, full of so much good information and book recommendations. I'm currently reading 'No Man Knows My History', and I am just blown away by the facts.

I had 2 American Mormons at my door yesterday and I couldn't get over how spiritually blind they were no matter what I said. I said that I had read the BOM and I said that it was inappropriate for me to pray over it as it was fiction - explaining why it couldn't be true, in particular because of archeology/anthropology.

They kept on saying that it can't be subject to tests of man as its a spiritual book. (I was very careful not to say that I had read anything ANTI-Mormon.) I got soooooo frustrated and kept repeating myself to help them understand that I HAD knowledge of the BOM's contents (as they were doubting me). In the end one cursed me, while the other looked pained and wanted to continue. They excused themselves saying that they had another appointment to go to and really legged it at a very fast walking pace down the street.

Last night I slept only 2 hours as I felt there was a spiritual battle raging. God wouldn't let me sleep so I spent the night in prayer and reading my Bible.

Thank you so much! I think about you all the time.

Praise be to God for your wonderful work!

March 8, 2005
I have just spent time listening and watching the BYU tv program....I have learned that they teach after death repentance....didn't know that. And their discussion on accepting blacks to leadership and ending(?) poligamy was revealing.... I'm one of your supporters and do pray for you...saw your picture in the TV Tape done by the SBC....
March 8, 2005
Subject: Connection between the Dumar Will and Revelation about blacks

I lived in Salt Lake City between 1973 and 1983. I had much exposure to the Mormon Church growing up in Vale, Oregon (eastern Oregon). When I went to Salt Lake, I tried to go with an open mind.

I remember (and my memory may not have it quite right) hearing about the Howard Hughes Will and that Melvin Dumar was trying to get his hands on Hughes' money for the Mormon Church. There was a huge case in Las Vegas and on the day that the Dumar Will was announced to be a fake, the so-called prophet announced blacks would be allowed into the priesthood. I remember that it was all to coincidental and even remarked to a Mormon friend that it was a little too timely for me.

Is there any connection to the timing of these announcements. I can't seem to find anything that gives me specific dates.

I appreciate all that you do to get the truth out. I admire your courage and if I ever return for a visit to Salt Lake City, I plan to stop by your Bookstore. I can even picture your location. I was amazed that you had survived all this time in Salt Lake. I found it a very difficult place to live, being a non-Mormon, however, here I am in Idaho, and I think it is just as heavily populated with the LDS. Last September, my niece was married in the Boise Temple. I was so sad. My daughter was an attendant and unable to see her get married. My poor brother and his ex-wife were heart broken. What kind of a church would do that to a family. Certainly not a good church, in my opinion. For a church to promote family and then at the same time divide them. That's not a church. Well enough of my thoughts -- I could go on for days.

[Sandra's Note: We did some research on the will at the time and concluded the whole thing was a fake. We also did a pamphlet on this in 1976 called Howard Hughes and the "Mormon Will". It is now out of print but we could make a photocopy of it for $1.50 plus shipping.

Here are some links on Hughes with mention of Dumar:

The original news story on Dumar wouldn't coincide with the 1978 change on blacks. There could have been something in the news about Dumar in 1978, but I don't have that information.]

March 8, 2005
I live in a small community ........ in the state of Montana. For the last 15 to 20 years we've had an influx of Mormons move into the area, due to our mining economy and most recently the construction of a temple in Billings. The Mormons have become a large part of the community's fabric and in many cases we've (Christians) welcomed it, since they have a very strong stand on morals, decency, etc.

But the lines are beginning to be drawn, we are seeing it in our school, particularly with our high school students. These are kids who have been friends, good friends for years, in some cases since they were in kindergarten and they are making very strong stands for or against Mormonism. This is also a group of very bright and strong competitors. So far the friendships have held, but the door is open. I try to convey to my daughters that their stand needs to out of love and not out of who's right or wrong, because in the end Love always wins, but it is hard for them.

I would like to thank you for your website. The information that we have received has been invaluable, secondly I would like to ask for your prayers. I know that your own prayer list must be huge, but would you please remember our community. There are some wonderful, intelligent, beautifully-hearted kids in our town, as well as adults, who are so deceived by the LDS. Many of these teenagers are in my home on a regular basis, they have become ingrained in our family and we've grown to love them like our own children. I pray for them on a daily basis, but sometimes it just doesn't seem like enough. They are so bound up in the deceit of their religion and the tradition of their families. My own prayer is that Jesus will open their hearts and their minds.


March 11, 2005
I like many others I have found the errors in the Mormon faith. As far as the other hebrew/Christian religions it appears they too can not stand under serious investigation.

I have studied the early beliefs of many of the world religions and it appears that many of the doctrines have evolved much like the Mormon ones over time . From the early Christians to the Hebrews and back to the Egyptians to the ancient writings of Zarathustra. It appears the ancient Persian was responsible for much of what many believe today . the concept of a messiah, the good verses evil , heaven and hell, the devil , angels and the end times all came from the Persians. King Cyrus 500bc was the first to introduce this to the Hebrews during his reign and over the next several hundred years it entered into Hebrew writings.

The bible as I have come to understand is written by unknown authors and much of it is so contradictory that it could not possibly be from the one who is said to be the creator of everything and perfect in all he or she does . The same things I have found lacking with the book of Mormon can also be said of the bible as well. As John Lennon once said in the song "imagine" and no religion too the world would be at peace. I have seen what religion has done ,hatred wars , burning at the stake, beheadings , intolerance , all from those who do these things in the name of an unseen being who apparently know nothing about. how sad.

Once a Mormon now I see , the answers to this live are not found here and never will be the creator or creators of this world are far above us and beyond are understanding to think other wise is foolish at best and most dangerous at worst.

Live and let live

[Steve's Note: I think if you will look further into this you will find the Bible has withstood serious criticism for centuries. As for your claim that the Persians are the prime influence to many Judeo-Christian views, there is clear evidence that the Israelites had concepts of heaven and hell, messiah, good versus evil and the devil long before the time you suggest. One of the best examples of this would be from the Biblical book of Job. Most scholars today agree that this is probably the earliest book of the Old Testament and dates to sometime in the second millennium B.C. (2000-1000 B.C.). I have listed below several good books you may wish to read relating to the Bible, its authorship and evidence.

As for your contention that the world would be at peace without religion, one only has to read the pages of history to see that many of the most brutal acts against humanity were committed by those without faith, even those who would crush faith. Examples of this are Hitler, atheist Russia, Mao Zedong in China, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and on and on. Man without God did not bring about paradise but rather hell on earth for many countless millions.]

March 11, 2005
I was glad to again get your letter . . . that told of your activities over the past years. I have followed somewhat by going to your website occasionally and by your newsletter and it's good to know that you are continuing on with your work. I must confess that I've had a desire for a long time to work with the Mormons and try to get them to take an objective look at their beliefs but I haven't been successful. Therefore to help and encourage you all in a small way is about all I can do at this point. . . .
March 13, 2005
Subject: what an awesome website!

Dear Editor:

I just wanted to let you know that I am so glad you folks have such a wonderful website! I'm out here in North Carolina, and I miss being able to go into the bookstore personally. I know over the last 5+ years that I've spent well over $200, and I now have to replace everything!

I grew up in the Bountiful/Woods Cross area, and lived there for 33 years, so I was extremely lucky to get to visit the bookstore. Me and my daughter both moved here to help my mother with some surgery (my folks are retired and moved out here), and I guess we're going to be here awhile. I met Sandra once, but haven't had the pleasure of meeting Jerald yet. You folks have a very important calling in this life-EDUCATE the snot out of all the Mormons that you can! I thank GOD everyday that I am Born Again and no longer a slave to all that bologna. As soon as I get paid next week, I'm going to start ordering some books so I can rebuild my collection again. By the way, you have some absolutely wonderful choices! Jesus has certainly blessed all of you there, and I am so thankful that you are around.

We love you and thank you for all your hard work!

March 13, 2005
My wife will only consider official church approved material. Can you point me to anything that I can use that will be helpful to me in my efforts to get her to see the light.

[Steve's Note: I think you could start on your own with a few of our Online Resources pages such as:

You could use these for your own preparation to have discussions with your wife. You can write down the most important things you see and then the issue will not be where did it come from but rather what it is you have found. I would encourage you to use this as a chance to study together cooperatively instead of creating a "me vs. you" dynamic. You will learn a great deal and so will she. She will also see that you are willing to admit you don't "know it all" about Mormonism and that you are truly interested in finding out what the facts really are.

As far as books for her to read, we have a listing on our website of some of the better books which Mormons can read called Suggested Resources: Books for Mormons to Read. The book Where Does It Say That? provides excellent information on many topics and some of the more important statements made by various LDS authorities. You can use some of these quotes to show your wife that even the LDS Church's own leaders have encouraged critical examination of their faith.

For example, in the Journal of Discourses 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" (Vol. 14, p. 216)

Brigham Young also said,

"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. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16, p. 46)


[Additional note from Sandra: With the popularity of the new LDS movie, The Work and the Glory, (and the books by the same name) about Joseph Smith and the beginnings of Mormonism, and the fact that this year is the 200th anniversary of Smith's birth, it is a natural time for you to bring up issues about Smith.

A good book to have your wife read is Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith. It is written by two LDS women historians and is not 'anti' Mormon, just good straight forward research. They deal with Smith's involvement with magic and Emma's struggles with Joseph's polygamy. It could raise some questions in your wife's mind that could eventual lead to more doctrinal discussions.

This book can be purchased from the official LDS bookstore. ]

March 18, 2005
Can you direct me to a book/etc. that would give an easy read of the teachings of LDS. I need something simple, please.

[Steve's Note: You may want to look at the Getting Started with Mormonism section of our booklist.

Among those the easiest to read would be:

You may also want to look at the General Information FAQ and Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints pages.]

March 19, 2005
Do you have a simple question that is effective with getting Mormons to think about Mormonism versus Christianity?

I have opportunity to interact with many 19-24 year old Mormons.

Thank you,

[Steve's Note: As you probably know there is no one "magic" question which will cause a Latter-day Saints to think about Mormonism versus Christianity. What may work with one person may not reach another at all. However, there are some things you can do to increase the likelihood of having fruitful conversations. First, take the time to listen to them and allow them to express what it is that they believe and understand about their faith. Many times Mormons simply are unaware of much of the unique teachings and history of their own church. You are then in a ideal position to explain Christianity to them and how it contrasts with what the LDS Church teaches.

You should read Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints on our website. You may also be interested in ordering some of the materials from our Witnessing to Mormons category of our booklist. These items should be very helpful to you as you try to reach out to the Mormons you come into contact with.]

March 20, 2005
Dear Good People,

I respect your web site and agree with your reasons for leaving the church, however, why did you not question further in your learning? Why did you stop questioning?

I have found the following very helpful and it also includes references to Mormonism as well as other religions: The Final Superstition: A Critical Evaluation of the Judeo-Christian Legacy By Joseph L. Daleiden

Please respond,


[Steve's Note: I did question seriously the claims of Christianity as well as many other faiths. I came to faith in Christ after having been an atheist. There are several books we offer that you may wish to read to see some of the evidence in favor of historic Christian belief.

I hope this helps.]

March 21, 2005
Dear Tanners Do you have or know of the book entitlied, "The Truth about the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammad" by Mrs Melaine Layton?

Yours in Jesus

[Sandra's Note: Yes, it was a 58 pg, 81/2 by 11, booklet printed in 1979. It is out of print as far as I know. I have a copy in my library. You can read an abbreviated version at ]

March 21, 2005
. . . I am looking for cases, citations and attorneys who have personal experience in case law regarding resolution of the rights for the polygamist wives who became legally married to a husband, the first wife, who were able to prove in court or case law, or otherwise, that their husband did abandon them and should or can no longer claim any right or voice in matters of "Next of Kin" representation. . . .


[Sandra's Note: Sorry, don't know about such matters. You might try contacting:

Hope these help.]

March 21, 2005
Greetings in the name of Christ,

I want you to know that I P.T.L. for the great work you are doing to expose the errors in Mormonism. You are doing a great work and helping point many to the true way to Salvation -- thru Jesus and Jesus alone. It is all about Jesus, right! Him and nothing else. No Joseph Smith, B. Young, Mormon church, etc.

I was wondering, how many people do you estimate you have helped turn away from the Mor. church and towards Jesus over the years of your ministry? Many I am sure? I was curious.

Also, what does the Mormon church say to you or about you and your ministry? I am sure they are hateful to you... keep the faith and keep trusting in God's strength! Being persecuted means you are on the right track, right?!?! What are the best things to tell a Mormon to help them see that Mormonism is really a fake and foolish religion?

I promise to pray for you and your outstanding ministry.

I pastor a Baptist Church in Texas. If you have any resources you recommend for pastors about to teach the errors of cult groups, I would appreciate any info or advice or suggestions you might have.

[Steve's Note: The exact number of persons helped by this ministry has never been kept. Eternity alone will reveal just how many have been reached. Many have contacted us and expressed how this ministry has affected them and was there for them at a critical point in their lives. The letters to the editor on our website contains a small fraction of those who have let us know how God has used this ministry.

The LDS Church does not choose to respond to our ministry. They prefer to behave as though all is well and that no outside influence is having an effect on them. This refusal to respond officially to many of the problems of Mormonism as researched by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, and others, reveals that the top leadership in the LDS Church is either not ready or not willing to engage in authentic dialogue and reaction to research and critiques of their history and teachings.

To help Mormons see the errors of their church's teachings start with Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints. You may also want to consider getting some of the materials found on our Witnessing to Mormons page. Many of these books and videos will go a long way to help you in presenting Christianity and responding to the claims of Mormonism.]

March 22, 2005
To those whom I wish to call a brother or a sister ....

This is the 2nd piece of work which I have run into on the internet and felt the need to express my frustration with you all. I have only sorrow for those who spend their whole lives trying to tear down others because they don't agree with them. You have the right to be expressive of your opinions and feelings—only God knows what sets you all off on these tangents—this need to seek and destroy those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It is sad to me when a brother or sister who has had a fellowship with the Saints turns their back on those who have held them dear as family. I have served in many callings in the church and I have never NEVER seen anyone who truly wished to be disassociated with the Church kept from receiving his wish by writng the appropriate letter stating he desired to do so and submitting it to his bishop.

This gentleman's story I read tonight is so bogus and presumptious as to turn my stomach. I would say to all of you who want no part of the Lord's Kingdom here on earth or in Heaven to simply submit your letters and leave. The Church will go on and Christ shall come again. And then we all shall know what is right and what is wrong. I will take my chances in the service of the Lord and in His Church.

... What you people do is no different to me than what the wolves (some in sheeps clothing) did to Brother Joseph Smith in his day. It didn't stop the Lord's work then and it won't stop it now—because it is HIS work and glory. .... I leave you with my testimony that I know that God lives, that Jesus is the true and living Christ, that Joseph Smith was the Prophet of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church to the earth in all it's fullness power and authority to bind here on earth and in Heaven or to lose on earth and in Heaven. I know there is a living Prophet on earth today, even Gordon B. Hinckley. And as assuredly as you live I know Christ is coming to rule and reign upon this earth. I believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. I also believe the other standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be the word of God to us all... I leave this testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.

I wish you all peace,

March 22, 2005
A bit confused.

Love your anti-mormon (i.e anti-lies) sentiment, but I am a little confused as it appears that you still support x-tianity? Am I correct in this assumption?

If so, (and please this is not a judgement) don't you smell the same smell and see the same thing once again? Men being men, being powerful and using 'fear' and 'guilt' to hold the power and reduce people to less than their true (own) potential??? Really, really, weird concept! Especially as you know better!

I am more confused by people who continue to lead this 'Jesus will save us' line than the simpletons joining the moron church... I'm confused. Not about MY spirituality, but I am confused how people can believe in this myth of 'Jesus' at all.

Thanks... would appreciate your feedback.

[Steve's Note: You are correct that one of the purposes of this ministry is to promote Christianity. I think that you will find that it is an overly simplistic view that Christianity is just the powerful using "fear and guilt" to hold people to less than their true potential. This of course assumes that all of Christian thought was effectively controlled from one central head from the inception of the church. This, however, is not the record of history.

The records of Jesus, the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament are far too numerous from far too early a time, scattered over a wide area geographically, and in several different languages to be a simple "myth" fabricated by an overly zealous band of local followers of Jesus. You may be interested in reading from some of the books we offer that deal with the issues you raise. I have listed them below for you to see:


March 22, 2005
Nice to find you on the internet!

I'm sure you're the Tanners I heard of at John MacArthur's church. I attended a bible institute there in '82 and '83...and worked at their bookstore. If I'm not mistaken I remember a big fat book with plastic sheet covers that was the Book of Mormon showing all the changes? I haven't seen it anywhere since.

I might have a few questions for you about how the LDS here is trying to look more "orthodox". Not sure how to word it though, plus this is the wrong email address to ask questions.

Anyway, great to see you here!

[Sandra's Note: Yes, we are the same Tanners. The Book of Mormon you are thinking of is our book, 3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon.]

March 23, 2005
I recall some time ago reading your account of a significant disparity between what a reporter said a GA had actually said in an interview and what the GAs take on it was. It actually caught Mr. Oaks in a lie. I believe it was in regards to the excoms in Arizona and the meddling of GAs. I just can't remember where I saw it. Can you give a web address to go to and find it?

Thanks for all you do.

[Sandra's Note: I think you may be referring to Steve Benson's experience. See: ]

March 23, 2005
Hello, Have you found a proper response to people's argument that they are happy and content in a fellowship/system of worship in spite of its incorrect doctrines and teachings.

I grew up in a very legalistic and works based church and when I talk to church members their defense for staying in the church is often due to their contentment and happiness in their life no matter if their beliefs are biblically sound...

What would be your reaction to this line of reasoning?

Thank you,

[Steve's Note: There are several things that can be said about this kind of thinking. First, and above all, Christ and the whole tenor of the New Testament warns against belief which fails to agree with the truth. The truthfulness of any religious life is centrally important. Otherwise, religious devotion is a waste of effort. The apostle Paul reminded the church in Corinth that "if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (I Corinthians 15:14ff).

The person making this argument would also have to be able to live with their own conscience in trying to attract others to join in a life of faith which is known to be untrue. Many faiths (and no faith at all) can produce a contented life. This does not mean that we should therefore run off to join with any faith (or abandon faith altogether) just because it may yield a life of contentment. In Mark 8:36 Jesus said, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

To be an authentic a person should not have to divorce one area of your life from another. For example, you should not have to behave as though the intellectual realities around you do not matter at all in what you believe.

Why should credence be given to a faith which fails examination in the things which can be tested? In other words, if central points of a faith can be proven to be wrong, it would be unreasonable to place our trust in the rest of what that faith claims. There is a difference here where an act of faith (which believes beyond the evidence) becomes an act of foolishness (when belief is maintained in spite of the evidence).

Finally, I would want them to realize the impact their life will have on others around them and on those who will come after them. There is a two-fold impact here. We can send the wrong message (even unintentionally) to others as to who we really are as a person and what really matters to us. We can also miss the opportunity to be the one who will create a legacy of faith in the positive sense which will bring forth fruit long in the lives of others after our own time is over.]

March 23, 2005
Jerald and Sandra,

With all the recent press concerning Hugh Nibley (both the [Martha Nibley] Beck revelations and his laudatory obits), I slowly came to a realization. I don't recall a single incident in which he really "defended the faith" as many are claiming. I well remember him weaving around and constantly changing positions regarding the Book of Abraham. I still have to laugh about his "keep the faith" Improvement Era articles which were essentially worthless. Nibley was finally forced to "eat crow" after Edward Ashment, his equal and then some, openly challenged Hugh in 1979 about his repeated misleading and incorrect statements and conclusions regarding the BoA facsimiles.

However, I am truly unable to recall a time when Nibley actually proved the church correct and "defended the faith" regarding the many problems and inconsistencies you and others have brought forward in the last half century. The only "defense of the faith" I can remember was Hugh forever putting forward his parallels which, to him, constituted "proofs". Of course, as you are well aware, he strongly criticized Fawn Brodie for using parallels to make her point, since in that instance, he asserted (correctly I might add) that parallels prove nothing!

I learned firsthand how Nibley had a tendency to quote out of context since I had a couple of obscure books not usually found in a Mormon's library and was able to see his game for what is was. When he quoted unfamiliar foreign languages and then translated them I'm sure he was really playing fast and loose since he had the double advantage of both possible "out of context" and "free translation" going for him.

As to the Beck charges [in her book, Leaving the Saints], I, like many others, don't know what to make of them. Whether true or not, something was definitely wrong in that relationship for a daughter to openly publish a book containing such inflammatory information regarding her own father. I certainly hope that the loving relationship I share with my 31 year old daughter never deteriorates to such an awful state. I was most surprised to see that the "Deserted Nuisance" also mentioned it in Hugh's obituary announcement. It would appear that even Hugh's beloved church is now throwing him to the dogs. Some thanks for "defending the faith"! Perhaps others may learn something from all this, but I doubt it.

As a personal note, after not having been inside a Mormon church for over thirty years (following the Book of Abraham revelations), I formally resigned my membership last year and was dropped from the rolls following my request for same. While I haven't considered myself a Mormon in all this time, I just became increasingly annoyed over the idea that their claimed worldwide membership includes individuals such as myself.

Anyway, thanks for all your informative articles & books and friendship over the years.

Best Wishes Always,

March 23, 2005


Jerald and Sandra,

Shortly after having sent the following email, UPS arrived with my Amazon obtained copy of "Leaving the Saints" [by Hugh Nibley's daughter, Martha Nibley Beck]. While thumbing through it I was most surprised to read in pages 164-169 that "Tweedy" and the other fact-checkers informed Dr. Beck that many (or possibly most) of Nibley's footnotes are fictitious in a much greater extent than I had imagined when I wrote the attached email. Is this yet another "lie to any extent necessary to protect the faith" issue? If this accusation of Dr. Beck can be shown to be factual - her molestation charges may well be true. Perhaps "No Man Knows Nibley's History!"

If this is true, it certainly constitutes downright lying and shows what a farce it may be for the so-called "scholars" at F.A.R.M. to re-publish and honor all Nibley's writings as they are doing. One wonders if F.A.R.M. rechecked the footnotes or they just assumed that the footnotes had been properly verified when the books and articles were originally published. Or even worse - they may know they are bogus and are choosing to look the other way!

I well remember that the very thing that impressed me most about your writings (i.e., Changes in Joseph Smith's History — my first "Tanner" book) was that all the references and footnotes checked out and were not misquoted or used out of context as Mormon apologists so often do.

This certainly looks like an area begging for more investigation. I can almost see the title of a new book: "Hugh Nibley — the Man and the Myth".

March 23, 2005
I was wondering,

My sister-in-law is mormon and she says that we need to be in her church so that when we die we would be a family in heaven. What is the deal about having your marrage sealed in the mormon church?

I am glad you have this web site. I am not a mormon and my wife is a ex-mormon, she got out of it. . . .

Thank you and keep up the great work.

[Sandra's Note: The Mormons believe that only those who have been sealed (married) in the LDS temple will continue to live in a married state in heaven (in the Celestial Kingdom). They hope to then procreate, through literal intercourse, all of the billions of spirit childrend (who are composed of actual matter) that will eventually be born on their world.

The LDS believe all those who never had their marriage sealed in a Mormon temple will live in a single state, separate from their loved ones. The Mormons in the top level of heaven (Celestial Kingdom) will be able to visit their relatives in the lower kingdoms (Terrestrial and Telestial), but they won't be together as a family. See these articles on our web site:

Also see Mormon Claims Answered, Chapter 9: Temple Endowments.]

March 23, 2005
I must say that while I know little about the mormon church I do understand the meanings of all the symbols. I was suprised to see such a strong masonic link, it is obvious to me that the mormon founding fathers knew all to well that to a mason those symbols represent an acknowledgement to GOD as the creator of man, the heavens,the earth and the universe, and that it is before GOD that we must ultimately give an account of our lives for he has left us free to choose or to refuse his divine commands with the certainty of punishment or reward. It's a pity that so many others see it as something sinister and will not only invent a hidden meaning but will even bear false witness to their claims.

By the way the bee-hive is also a State Emblem of New South Wales as is a tall ship, the meaning being that we came by ship to colonise.


[Sandra's Note: I assume this is in response to our page Masonic Symbols and the LDS Temple.

For those who would like to read about the LDS Temple Ceremony from an LDS perspective, see: ]

March 25, 2005
A lot of Mormonism seems to revolve around a belief in a God given succession of authority. For example, Mr. Hinkley is believed to have authority transferred to him from Joseph Smith give new revelations to the Saints. I have heard a lot about this from Mormon missionaries but the subject seems to be ignored entirely in counter-cult materials.

So, my question is, how would you give a biblically based answer to the keys-of-authority issue to a Mormon you were witnessing to? Also, if I as an evangelical am percieved to have no authority than I think my Mormon friends might not take my apologetic seriously. Would you also speak to this concern please? Keep up the good work!

[Steve's Note: Actually, many of the books which give an overview of Mormonism cover the topic of Mormon claims to sole authority to be Christ's one true church and the basis of that claim. The Bible makes it clear that the real authority for all Christians comes from Jesus Christ as the head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23). Each believer is given the authority by Jesus Christ to go into the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). For more information on this please refer to the following resources I have selected for you below.

Mormons may be tempted not to take you seriously because you are not LDS but you could remind them of the words of their own authorities. Brigham Young, for example, said,

"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." (Journal of Discourses, Volume 16, page 46)

Orson Pratt, an apostle in the the LDS Church, wrote,

"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 the 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." (The Seer, pages 15-16).


March 25, 2005
Why do you fear the LDS church so much? I assume this is a Jehovah Witness site, though you don't mention the fact. Why is that? At least the LDS poeple pledge their allegiance to our country. If it was up to your sect this country wouldn't even be here and you wouldn't be able to practice your religion.

The LDS Church does not spend time and money trying to tear down other religions. We only explain to people what we believe and let them decide. Your anti-mormon material is all OLD material I've heard many times before. It's bunk. The e-mails you print are full of hate and ridicule not worthy of a christian church. Basically you are not being very successful in changing minds since the LDS Church is growing in leaps and bounds all over the world. By the way, If a human being was dying and needed blood I would give him mine. A true Jehovah Witness would just let him die. Some compassion! This is just a note to let you know your not fooling many people. I know I won't see it printed on your anti-mormon site. Your not fair and balanced.

A life long mormon who knows Joesph Smith was a true prophet of god. God bless America!

[Sandra's Note: I am puzzled as to how you have drawn the erroneous conclusion that we are part of the Jehovah's Witnesses? We are former LDS, now Evangelical Christians, NOT Jehovah's Witnesses. We disagree with that system of belief as well. For good information on the problems with that organization see: (By the way, we salute the flag, give blood, and sing the National Anthem.)

As for attacking someone else's belief system, many LDS books attack standard Christian beliefs. Just look at these:

A Marvelous Work and a Wonder
by LeGrand Richards

The Great Apostasy
by James E. Talmage

Prior to 1990 the LDS temple ceremony had a part in the play where the devil hired a minister, wearing a black suit and clerical collar, to teach Satan's false doctrines. This was certainly an attack on other churches. Joseph Smith's own story, at the back of the Pearl of Great Price, is an attack on other churches as well.

And when we post the March 2005 letters to the editor you can be assured that your letter will be among them.]

His response:

Sorry, I assumed you were a Jehovah Witness site because the term "Watchtower" was used so often. You didn't give your views; only tried to degrade the Mormon Church with your tired old "Anti-Mormon" retoric.

The Mormon literature you cited only gives the LDS view of God's plan; not the absolute hatred and ridicule of Non-LDS believers. I don't see hundreds of organized LDS people out picketing Evangelical Christian churches and events, with their hate signs, as your groups do.

I didn't realize this was the site of the famous Anti-Mormon Tanners. I bet you wish you were back in the 1830's-1840's when you could follow a governor's extermination order and persecute the Mormon's in any way you saw fit, without punishment. When they (probably many Evangelical Christian types among them) murdered Joseph and Hyrun and drove the LDS people west, they thought that would be the end of the LDS people. Sorry, we still seem to be flourishing year by year. The Angel Moroni told Joseph his name would be used for both good and evil among all nations. You sure prove the evil part.

P.S. Let's see how many of your evangelicals will be out picketing and handing out hate literature at events this year celebrating the 200th birthday of Joseph Smith

March 26, 2005
Dear Tanners,

I would like to know how LDS members can justify being on your site? Is there not a question when going for a temple recommend that states "Do you support, affiliate, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints?" Maybe none of these apply to the person on your site but if they are honest and true to the church they would avoid this and other sites like the plague!

I am an inactive Mormon, and maybe it's because of my upbringing and being a convert I have learned to be tolerant of others faiths. I think both sides of the story are necessary for one to be able to make a sound judgment. Once you have all the facts then you make your choice, and don't come down on someone because they don't believe the same as you.

One last note, you are very fair and forthcoming to all who write you and i commend you for your tolerence.

Thank you for your time

March 27, 2005
I am currently witnessing to a mormon woman I work with. I have given her some of the information from your website. She simply says 'that's not true', or 'they never said that'; even with the sources you've researched your material from being printed in black and white from books, documents, etc, which mormons would consider at the least reputable, and at most doctrine!

Can you give me some lds websites besides or a specific place (probably downtown in SLC — we are in southern Idaho) where she can look up much of this material on her own, just in case the Holy Spirit should decide to move her to 'prove it'.

At this point, I think she is content to keep saying 'that's a lie', or 'this was obviously misquoted' about things her church chooses to keep her quietly in the dark about. Things like bom, d&c, are easy to look up. What about Doctrines of Salvation, journal of discourses — are they on line too? Thanks so much for your valuable ministry & God bless.

[Sandra's Note: For a small fee, the official LDS bookstore, Deseret Book, has an online program that allows access to various LDS reference books:

Through the Gospelink service you can look up references in such titles as—Journal of Discourses, History of the Church, Doctrines of Salvation, and many others.

Most of these books would also be in the various university libraries throughout Utah and some parts of Idaho.]

March 28, 2005
. . . J. Smith stated that the B of M was the most correct book on the face of the earth and you could get closer to God from reading the B of M then any other book, correct? So, why have I never read a talk, speech, or conversation from Smith that quotes the Book of Mormon? Smith is the greatest testimony against the Book of Mormon. . . .

After seeing an article in the Ensign magazine about how Hyrum Smith hid the plates in a desk-top box, I wrote the Church about getting the exact dimensions of the box, type of wood, color, hinges, etc., so I could replicate the box. This was forwarded to Eldred Smith, the descendant of Hyrum Smith; the box was in his possession. He wrote me a letter with his signature, stating that "That information is not available". They screwed up because the plates from their description could not fit in the desktop box. Once again; they are lying. . . .

Thanks for your help.


[Sandra's Note: You are right. Joseph Smith described the plates as being 6"x8"x6" (History of the Church, vol. 4 p. 537), but this would make the plates too large to fit in the box the LDS Church claims was used to store the record. Remember, the rings would have to extend to some degree above and below the plates to allow for turning the leaves. The dimensions for the box are given as 14"x16" with a depth of 6 1/4" sloping to 4". However, given the fact that the lid slants down to only 4" at the front, the lid could not have been shut with the plates inside. There is a picture of the box at this web site:

The same picture is in the book Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 1, p. 141.

Below is a photo of a model of the plates, made to the dimensions given by Smith, that we have in our book store. They are made out of lead and weigh 117 pounds. If they had been made out of gold they would have weighed over 200 pounds.

(Model of Book of Mormon Plates)


March 28, 2005
Hi Jerald & Sandra,

What a fabulous website with such an extensive book listing! . . . While attending Western Illinois University — an area near Nauvoo, rich in Mormon history — I began to immerse myself in the bizarre claims of Mormonism. I was amazed to discover that not only is the Book of Mormon an incredible work of fiction, but it's rooted in racism. . . .


March 28, 2005
I have a question.

Does the Book of Mormon claim to originate from the Tower of Babel? I just wanted to confirm that as another "tool" in helping my Mormon family see the truth about the religion they so heavily believe in.


[Steve's Note: The book of Ether within the Book of Mormon makes the claim that the Jaredites traveled to the New World at the time of the Tower of Babel. See: Book of Mormon Overview.

Like the rest of the Book of Mormon there has never been any evidence found whatsoever which would support the Book of Mormon. There has never been a single person, place name, or event found that is a direct link to the Book of Mormon or its purported history.]

March 29, 2005
You refer to a couple of documents which I can't seem to identify.

T. of P.J.S., p. 302
D.H.C., Vol. I, pp. 315-316

What documents are these in long hand?

Thank you for your faithfulness in providing information exposing the falsehoods of the LDS/RLDS. I have used much of this information when sharing with those "missionaries" I meet. I find that much of their conflict is internal, coming to face that they have been mislead all their life, both by their church and their parents. I actually have some who have cried when faced with the "Truth" and have found that they are immediately relocated a great distance away. We continue to pray for them and you.

May God watch over you.

[Sandra's Note: T. of P.J.S. stands for Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

D.H.C. stands for Documentary History of the Church, by Joseph Smith, edited by B.H. Roberts. (7 vol set, first 6 vol. attributed to Smith, vol. 7 covers Brigham Young)

They are in most libraries in Utah.]

March 30, 2005
I just saw a brief line on temple rituals being changed to eliminate the touching of naked bodies.

"Mormon Church Eliminates Naked Touching from Secret Temple Rituals"

News Released: March 06, 2005



SALT LAKE CITY, UT - The LDS-Mormon Church ended the practice of non-consenting naked touching during a secret temple ordinance called "washing and anointing." The unannounced, secret change came on January 18, 2005. The LDS-Mormon Church, a religious organization headquartered in Salt Lake City UT with approximately 11 million members and 119 temples worldwide, refuses to apologize or even discuss the exposure of church members to a sexually intimidating ritual for over 170 years.

Mike Norton, a former Mormon who can verify the change, said, "Removing naked touching from the Mormon temple ordinance represents one of the biggest changes ever to Mormon temple doctrine and practice."

For over 170 years, faithful LDS members have started the temple ordinance by completely undressing and then donning an open poncho called a "shield." During this temple ordinance, certain parts of the patron's naked body were touched with water and oil under the shield, including the forehead, chest and thigh. This "washing and anointing" ordinance is necessary to prepare members to receive their new temple garments, which faithful members must then wear as their only form of underwear for the rest of their lives.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the washing and anointing ritual is that first-time temple patrons do not consent in advance to the naked touching. First time temple patrons typically attend "temple preparation classes", but those informal sessions do not reveal the rituals performed in the temple. Furthermore, Mormons are not allowed to discuss temple rituals outside of the temple. A first-time temple patron only finds out about the naked touching as it occurs.

The last time the Mormon Church made changes to its secret temple ritual in 1990, it eliminated some "penalties" for revealing temple secrets that had temple patrons acting our their own disembowelment and the slitting of their throats. The most recent changes are more significant because it represents a major alteration of gospel ordinances that church leaders have historically declared were unchangeable and required for salvation.

There's evidence that the move to change this sacred ceremony was done rather quickly. The new "shields" worn by temple patrons are just the old open ones, which have been sewn shut. Temple workers started this week sewing the shields shut, so it does not appear that this was planned in advance. There's speculation that this was done due to lawsuit against the church - either in connection with recent cases of child molestation in the church, or one directly tied to the naked touching in the washing and anointing temple ordinance. In either case, the Mormon Church refuses to discuss the changes to the secret temple rituals. And individual Mormons are instructed in temple rituals to protect the temple's secrets with their life if need be.

Transcripts of the old and the new washing and anointing ordinances have been published on the Internet. The old ordinance is available at and the new ordinance is available at

Summary of changes in the Mormon temple initiatory ordinance:

Transcript of one LDS woman's temple experience, including her description of the washing and anointing ordinance:

"... naked touching during a secret temple ordinance called ... The LDS-Mormon Church, a religious organization headquartered ... to a sexually intimidating ritual for over ..."

Have you any more information on this?

[Sandra's Note: We will have some information on this in our next newsletter.]

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

March 30, 2005
As a longstanding active member of the LDS faith I take offense to many of your statements concerning the church since many are either not true or are stated in a way that is very misleading.

With that said, there are obviously problems in the LDS faith, past and present. As a full-time missionary, stake missionary, ward missionary, early morning seminary teacher, institute teacher, and gospel doctrine teacher, I have come across LDS doctrines and histories that must don't jibe. As an open-thinker, many of these things trouble me. (However, what religion does not have an equal or greater amount of conflicting doctrine and historical baggage?)

Aside from Polygamy (which I agree is unacceptable and will be a curse to the faith forever), what is the one area or the one thing you would tell a questioning member like myself to convince me to leave the LDS faith?


[Sandra's Note: I would suggest you investigate the Book of Abraham. If Joseph Smith made it up, and was not 'translating' as the introduction to the Book of Abraham claims, then he is a willful deceiver. I would suggest you read 'By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus' (available online at, the chapter on the Book of Abraham in our book Mormonism—Shadow or Reality?, and the article by Robert Ritner, of the University of Chicago, "THE BREATHING PERMIT OF HÔR" AMONG THE JOSEPH SMITH PAPYRI (.pdf)

Another good book to read is Grant Palmer's An Insider's View of Mormon Origins.

For more info on Palmer's book, see:'s.htm

On Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, and the beginning of Mormonism, see:

Hope this gives you some idea of how devastating a case can be made against Joseph Smith.]

March 31, 2005
Dear Sandra, Jerald and the gang,

Very pleased to send another little donation out to the U.L.M. You good people are doing a wonderful job putting the truth out there in your own way with your books and the web site. Since I left the church I have not really had any temptations to go back and be a member again and I really did not leave the church on especially bad terms. . . .

I joined the church in . . . WI in 1987 and I was in college. I was in a little branch in the middle of a huge district that covered all of northern WI and parts of the upper Peninsula of Michigan. . . . I was alcoholic then and that continued until 2000 when I finally sobered up and have stayed that way continually since then. . . .

I looked to the church to help me with the alcoholism and they would try all sorts of strange stuff with me and tell me I was weak or did not pray enough and that AA was bad because it is not a church program. . . . That Branch President was a florist; not any kind of person that would know what to do with an alki of my stripe. . . . In Milwaukee I was in the Milwaukee City Branch and it was almost all black there . . . The whites were the zealots and the blacks always tried to take you at face value . . . In 2000 for the first six months of my sobriety I went to church with my black friends and trying to be good to every one and the people were happy to see me there . . . Then the boundaries made a change and students from the fancy Catholic University's Dental School started to come to our branch . . .They were the usual crowd of white bread eating milk drinking straight from the intermountain west sorts with that stepford-Mormon look about them. . . . then the little struggling branch of blacks that were asked not to say amen after a hymn or say hallelujah in the midst of a talk as they had been brought up to do were some how not as good at being latter day saints as the 25 year old kids were. . . . Well when the Branch President put all of his dental student friends in there leading the formerly minority centered branch many of the black families left and so it continues and that is when I stopped going as well.

. . . I am happy today and go to Mass as I did earlier in my life and find that as a catholic you can do a lot of what you like especially as an American catholic I do tons of social justice work. I am in my last semester at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and will get my bachelors degree. I will go to graduate school in the coming fall . . . Not bad for a 40 year old former Alki who used to live out doors. The Mormons thought that I was a wastrel and gave up on me quick. God however did not! I did not! And my friends at AA are the finest bunch of coffee drinkers I know. They God and the Catholics were there for me when I wasn't there for myself and that's one heck of a blessing. . . .

God bless you good people and your important work,

March 31, 2005
Subject: Blood Atonement?

To whom it may concern:

(Sermon by Brigham Young, delivered in the Mormon Tabernacle, Feb. 8, 1857, printed in the Deseret News, Feb. 18, 1857; also reprinted in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pp. 219-20)

I really would like to research this but I don't know how to get ahold of the Journal of Discourses. I just want to see it in the actual book with my own eyes. If this is true, I need to be released of my Young Women calling and go inactive or leave the church altogether. I don't want to ask anyone at church. I'm sure you understand.

Please help.

[Sandra's Note: This site has photos of the blood atonement sermons:

The 26 volume set of Journal of Discourses are in most libraries in Utah and surrounding states.]

Her response:

Thank you Sandra,

I had a talk with my bishop. He had never heard of the blood atonement and when I told him what it was and where it is found, he was sure that I wasn't right. He said that he actually had the Journal of Discourses and I asked him if I could show him where it is. He allowed me to open Vol. 4 to page 219-20 and some other references in that volume and as I read it to him, I could tell he was confused himself as to why that was in there.

He spoke almost 4 hours to me about this and that but what it came down to is that I just feel I am a plain old Christian without the LDS fluff. I just have never had a testimony of it and have been active in the church for 10 years. It was liberating to be asked to be released from my leadership in Young Women's. I feel so happy today. The truth really shall set us free. I love my bishop and know that his intention's are the best for me. He said that I am breaking his heart but that he loves me unconditionally. I will still be helping with the Dance Festival to which I asked him if I could do but I will be searching for a church for my family that matches my innate values and principles.

Thank you for your book and your courage and your quick response to my email.