September 2005
(Names and Contact Info Removed)
Sept. 1, 2005
Hi Sandra,

. . . I have just finished listening to an audio where you discuss the temple worship. Whew, I was not aware that the ceremony practiced is similar to that done by the Free Masons, I know a little about that, and well, it explains a lot of things. Not pleasant, but certainly very dark.

. . . I am really, really interested in reading '[Mormonism] Shadows and Reality' , I am so happy that I listened to some other material about the fact that so many Mormons struggle with admitting that they are sinners, and also that the topic of perfection is certianly one that leads them to conclusions, and mostly to be patient. . . .

Bless God,

[Sandra's Note: For more on Masonry and Mormonism, see our chapter in Changing World, Chapter 22 p. 535 and Captain Morgan and the Masonic Influence in Mormonism. Also see Masonic Symbols and the LDS Temple.]

Sept. 3, 2005
Subject: thank you

I am a pastor at a Vineyard church in . . . Iowa and have been teaching on "What to Say when a Mormon Knocks on Your Door". Your website has been very, very helpful. Thank you so much for putting it out there for others to use.

Sept. 4, 2005
Dear Tanners,

I have recently found your web site after having attended a conference . . . I consider my copy of Shadow or Reality the ENCYCLOPEDIA. Not having found my copy of Where Doest It Say That? and its companion book, I have noted several titles in your list which would more than cover the subject matter. . . . you can be assured I will certainly do what I can to direct other Christians you way. I live in . . . ., California. . . . The LDS church just recently built a new building, replaced a fifties building . . . and have established the SEVENTH ward in our area. My heart goes out to my neighbors who are deluded into wasting their energies for this false religion. . . .

Sept. 4, 2005
Dear Sandra Tanner

In the 60's, I first became aware of the extensive research you and your husband were conducting on the theology, history, and peculiar practices that characterize Mormonism. And you have, to your great credit, survived the nastiness of those who have found their treasured beliefs challenged.

I hope there have been at least an equal number of people who have written to you both in appreciation for exposing the inconsistencies and blatant untruths in official LDS teachings. For myself, I have always found it pleasurable to be classified as a heretic. If there is an afterlife, the company I keep will be infinitely more interesting that those who sit at the feet of such Mormon luminaries as Boyd K. Packer, certainly one of the most sanctimonious, self-righteous General Authorities the Mormon Church has ever given a pulpit.

Recently, you mentioned in an issue of the Messenger the Mormon practice of Second Anointing. [#98 Messenger, Second Anointing] This was a completely new topic in Mormon practices to come to my attention. And a very curious one indeed, especially given that among my Mormon friends not one of them had ever heard of it. I was able to find some information about it on the web. . .

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for the kind words. You will find quit a bit of information on second anointings in Buerger's book Mysteries of Godliness.

Also see these web sites—


Sept. 5, 2005
you should probably be grateful that the lds church does not waste their earthly time debunking the beliefs of others. if they didn't have a tolerant, charitable attitude- as christ taught - they have the resources to squash you. how about spending your life on something positive?
Sept. 5, 2005
To Whom It May Concern:

Hello. I really don't know where to begin except I am really really unhappy after being a member of the LDS church for nearly 8 years. I became a member when I married my dear husband, who is a devout LDS member and has held many important postions in the church. My difficulties are definitely having a negative effect on our marriage. However, I have many angry feeling for this church, yet I must attend every Sunday and put on a 'happy' face. This is the cause of major stress/depression in my life now.

After experiencing the LDS church for nearly 8 years, I believe it is one of control, superstition, fear, and guilt-inducing. (I was a Catholic for 40 years, and I thought I knew about guilt!) I have so many bad feeling now, actually I would like to quit all formal organized religions, and just 'do my own thing'. Sometimes my feelings just lead me to want to even 'bolt' from my marriage. And actually I am afraid that if I take a strong stand against the church, my marriage will be over. . . .Blessings to you for all of your hard work.

Sept. 7, 2005
Hello guys. . . .thank you, thank you and thank you for the awesome work that you guys have done over the years. You guys helped me greatly in the process of dispersing the dark cloud of Mormonism from my life. . . .
Sept. 8, 2005
Subject: Sorry for you!

I have no doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ was reorganized by the Prophet Joseph Smith and that the Book of Mormon is true. I just finished reading it again a week ago. Too bad you are trying to damage the church--you know, I'm sure, that there will be serious consequences someday and that what you are doing is wrong. Thanks for listening to my opinion.

Sept. 9, 2005
Hello to the both of you. . . . You helped me years ago with reference to Augustine Spencer. I had heard the name, but didn't know who he was. It turns out he is listed as one of the seven or so "traitors" that put out the expositor in Nauvoo. You sent me a source from the official church history. I then found him mentioned in the William Clayton journals. Needless to say, that was an eye-opener. They have never talked about Augustine in family home evenings. Surprise?

. . . I love your site and thank you for all your help. Peace and Power to both of you, Jerald and Sandra. By the way, Sandra, your speech to the ex-mormon recovery group was a delight to read!


[Sandra's Note: Yes, I can see why faithful Spencer family members would not want to perpetuate his memory. He was certainly a thorn in Joseph Smith's side and the one who signed the complaint against him for treason. I especially found the letter from Apostle Parley P. Pratt of interest. That Smith kept "six or seven young females as wives" is well established. Here is a quote from Joseph Smith's History of the Church:

Elder Parley P. Pratt wrote from Richmond, Mass., as follows:

Letter: Parley P. Pratt to Joseph Smith et al., Denouncing Augustine Spencer.

Dear Brother Joseph and Brother Orson Spencer, or whom it may concern:

This is to forewarn you that you have a snake in the grass—a base traitor and hypocrite in your midst, of whom perhaps you may not be fully aware. You may think these harsh terms, but I speak from good evidence and speak the truth.

Mr. Augustine Spencer, brother to Elder Orson Spencer, has written a letter from Nauvoo, which is now going the rounds in this neighborhood, and is fraught with the most infamous slander and lies concerning Joseph Smith and others, and which is calculated to embitter the minds of the people who read or hear it. It affirms that Joseph Smith is in the habit of drinking, swearing, carousing, dancing all night, &c., and that he keeps six or seven young females as wives, &c., and many other such like insinuations. . . .

I remain, as ever, your friend and brother, in the love of truth,


RICHMOND, MASS., May 3rd, 1844.
(History of the Church, Joseph Smith, Vol. 6, p. 354-5)


Sept. 10, 2005
Subject: Mormon King James Bibe

I have been looking through your web page along with others. I am trying to find if there are additions to the King James Mormon Bible and The King James Bible. I have heard in the past that there where changes made by the Mormons. Time is of the essence.

My 19 yr old son, who accepted the Lord at the age of 5, has come to me with wanting to be Baptized into the Mormon faith. He has fallen in love with a Mormon girl. For 3.5 yrs they have been debating scripture. He has lost the battle. He is talking with the missionaries, the girls parents. He believes they have the truth. He is so changed. He cannot obey his parents, the web with all the lies about Mormons, exmormon testimonies etc. He arguably listens to me. He is holding off the baptism. I told him I can find proof text. Please pray for his Eternal Soul. I have lots of information. . . .

Thank You

Fully Trusting In Christ,

[Sandra's Note: The main difference between the KJV used by non-Mormons and the one used by the LDS Church is the chapter headings and footnotes. They also include parts of Joseph Smith's revision of the Bible at the back of their KJV Bible. Here is a link to an article about Smith's revision.

We sell a book that has parallel columns of the verses of the King James Bible on one page and then the Joseph Smith changes to those verses on the opposite page. So it does not have every verse of the Bible, but only those Smith changed (KJV compared to Smith version) See: Joseph Smith's New Translation of the Bible.

You might also find our set of photos from LDS books dealing with their heretical view of God a help in showing your son that they are not telling him everything they believe. See: Godhead and Virgin Birth Photocopies.

You might challenge him to read Joseph Smith's two sermons on the Godhead. We have them on our web site, but they are also in the LDS book Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and in their History of the Church.

Challenge him that if he is seriously considering Joseph Smith as a prophet of God he should at least read two of his sermons.]

His follow-up question—

When did the LDS go from the Joseph Smith Version to the KJV they use today?

[Sandra's Note: They have always used the KJV. The LDS Church has never used the entire Joseph Smith revision, they just print selected portions at the back of their KJV.]

Sept. 11, 2005
I have been in contact with UTLM for more than 20 years. The first time I heard of you I went to the bookstore and sat outside in my car for about 30 minutes and never worked up the nerve to go in. I no longer live in Utah and have never actually visited the store but have enjoyed doing business with you. It was with your help I resigned from the Mormon church in 1989. It was one of the best things I ever did.


Sept. 12, 2005
Your material on the Lamanites and their origin was devastating. Sniff. Keep up the good work!
Sept. 12, 2005
Subject: washing and annointing

My therapist, also an ex-mormon—has told me that only male officiators used to do all washing and anointing—INCLUDING the washing and anointing of women. Is this true? And if so, when did it change?

[Sandra's Note: I looked in some pf the old accounts of the ritual and it looks like they have always had women anoint other women in the washing and anointings ceremony. In William Clayton's 1845 diary we read:

"At 3 o clock Sister Mary Ann Young and Vilate Kimball, Elizabeth Ann Whitney, commenced washing and anointing each other being the first [women] in this holy Temple of the Lord." (As quoted in The Mysteries of Godliness, by D. Buerger, p. 77)


Sept. 12, 2005
Subject: Joseph Smith and "Mormon Beef"


Do you know much about this story that prisoners in Liberty Jail were fed human flesh by the guards? It sounds extremely far-fetched. I don't doubt that the guards may have made that claim just to taunt them but it seems that such a story would have resulted in public outrage even by enemies of the Mormons.

Joseph Fielding Smith, The Restoration of All Things, p.44

While they were in prison at Liberty, they testified that at times poison was fed to them, the effect being they were purged nearly to death, and only the power of the Lord saved them. They declared that on one occasion they were offered human flesh, but on advice of the Prophet, refused to eat. One of the guard said they had given the prisoners "Mormon beef." Hyrum Smith declared, "We learned afterwards, by one of the guard, that it was supposed that this act of savage cannibalism in feeding us with human flesh would be considered a popular deed of notoriety, but later they tried to keep it secret."

[George A. Smith] Journal of Discourses, 1868, vol.13, p.108 - 109

Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Alexander McRae, Lyman Wight and others were for several months thrust into prison, and in one instance, while there, were fed on human flesh and tantalized with the inquiry, "How they liked Mormon beef"-it being the flesh of some of their murdered brethren.

Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr., Doctrine and Covenants Encyclopedia , p.323

Hyrum Smith was to later testify that they "were also subjected to the necessity of eating human flesh for the space of five days or go without food.... The latter I chose in preference to the former." (HC 3:420.) The guard boasted he had fed them on "Mormon beef."

Roy W. Doxey, comp., Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants, 4:, p.194

Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Alexander McRae and Caleb Baldwin were now removed to Clay County, and immured in Liberty jail. The remainder of the prisoners were still held at Richmond. The Clay County captives were treated with great barbarity. Several times their food was poisoned, nearly causing their death, and they even declared that cooked human flesh, called by their guards "Mormon beef," was repeatedly served up to them.

Municipal Court of the City of Nauvoo, Illinois., Times and Seasons, vol. 4 (November 1842-November 1843), Vol. 4 No. 16 July I, 1843, p.255 - 256

We were also subjected to the necessity of eating human flesh, for the space of five days, or go without food, except a little coffee, or a little corn bread, the latter I chose in preference to the former. We none of us partook of the flesh except Lyman Wight; we also heard the guard which was placed over us making sport of us, saying that they had fed us upon 'Mormon beef.' I have described the appearance of this flesh to several experienced physicians, and they have decided that it was human flesh. We learned afterwards, by one of the guard, that it was supposed that that act of savage cannibalism, in feeding us with human flesh, would be considered a popular deed of notoriety; but the people on learning that it would not take, tried to keep it secret; but the fact was noised abroad before they took that precaution.

Orson Whitney, Collected Discourses Vol. 5, p.429

I bear in mind another incident in his history, when he and some of his brethren were lying in a dungeon, Liberty jail, Missouri, during the winter of 1838-9, after the Saints, fifteen thousand men, women and children, had been driven from the state of Missouri. These brethren were treated with great cruelty in prison. It is said that the depravity of their jailers descended so low that they even cooked human flesh, taken from the body of a negro who had been killed, and offered it to these prisoners to eat; and the Prophet, warned by the Lord, told his brethren not to partake of it.

Are we to assume that this was a black Mormon they were allegedly given to eat? Black or not you would think someone would have claimed the body. If this was actually "noised abroad" you'd think there would be some inquiry into the story.

[Sandra's Note: If this had truly happened I would have expected some sort of outcry at the time in the press. Sounds like the guards were just pulling their chain, taunting them and having a good laugh. Since the Mormons supposedly didn't eat it, they would not be in a position to state that it was human flesh. It could have been pork.]

Sept. 13, 2005
Who actually wrote the quote about Joseph's boasting? I can see that it is in the History of the Church [vol. 6, pp.408-412] and that they were quoting Joseph. . .but who wrote it down. Personally I don't care but someone asked me who it was and it got me curious.


[Sandra's Note: The History of the Church, p.408, attributes the reporting to Smith's clerk, Thomas Bullock.]

Sept. 15, 2005

Dear UTLM,

My husb. is [a] converted LDS member. I asked him about the American Indians being of Jewish heritage, and he said some may not be because of the differences at the tower of Babel.

I wondered if his thought about this would be something he would use to negate the issue discussed in the DNA vs. BOM video which I would like to have him view. He says he will look or read something if I would like him to which is a wonder to me since he is so staunch in his LDS beliefs.

It just seems he has a refutation or answer to things that it seems many LDS are willing to consider? Please pray for him and my witness to him. I have read much of your website and newsletters. He says he would not believe what any apostate said. I truly am discouraged though I know the Lord 's timing is perfect. God bless your ministry to lost and hurting people.

In Christ,

[Sandra's Note: The Book of Mormon portrays the new world as having been reserved for the righteous. Supposedly there were no others in the land when the Jaredites arrived, after the tower of Babel. They proceeded to divide into waring factions and killed each other off by the time Lehi and family arrived around 600 BC. Lehi's group divided into the Lamanites and Nephites. The wicked Lamanites eventually destroyed the Nephites sometime after 400 AD. Since the Introduction to the 1981 Book of Mormon says that the Lamanites "are the principal ancestors of the American Indians" their DNA should be evident. Your husband needs to read Losing a Lost Tribe. See our #103 Messenger, Who Are the Lamanites?]

Sept. 15, 2005

Subject: Curiosity Question

Hi. I really appreciate your thorough research and documentation — it was instrumental in my leaving the Mormon church 4 years ago. However, I didn't stop there. The exact same process of examining evidence and making comparisons and logical conclusions also led me to discard Christianity as well. I found that the Bible was as shaky a foundation to base a faith on as the Book of Mormon is.

I am curious why you have not applied your passion for research to Christianity itself and come to similar conclusions? (I am genuinely interested in your answer).


[Note from Sandra: You seem to be making a few faulty assumptions.

  1. We never investigated the Bible and Christianity.
  2. If we had we would have lost faith.
  3. There is no more evidence for the Bible than for the Book of Mormon.

I do not consider my faith to be that blind. Your points seem to imply that all the New Testament and Old Testament scholars of the world that still embrace Christianity (or at least view the records as being genuine artifacts) are lying about their research or blinded by faith. By your standard, they certainly couldn't have looked at the issues and retained faith.

The Bible is not on the same baseless foundation of the Book of Mormon. There are Hebrews, but no Lamanites, there are actual cities mentioned in the Bible, non for the Book of Mormon, anyone can learn Hebrew and Greek, no one can study 'reformed Egytian', there are thousands of ancient manuscripts preserving the various books of the Bible [like the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bodmer, Chester Beatty and Rylands papyri. (see and )

I am not saying there are NO problems to resolve with the Bible, only pointing out that your statement is VERY extreme to assert that the Bible is as devoid of historical evidences as the Book of Mormon.

His response—

Thank you for replying. Sorry, I did not mean to assert that the Bible is as devoid of historical evidences as the Book of Mormon. I agree with you that there is absolutely no historical evidence to support The Book of Mormon, and that there is a lot of evidence to support the Bible.

However, as you correctly gathered, I do believe that most of the New Testament and Old Testament scholars of the world that still embrace Christianity are blinded by faith. I do not believe that they could have retained their faith after objectively looking at the available evidence — particularly the more recent findings.

I do agree that there is good evidence that many of the people and places in the bible actually existed. However, serious problems with the evidence for key events including the Genesis account of creation, Noah's Flood, and The Exodus, have convinced me that The Bible isn't accurate or inspired. The theory that looks most plausible to me at this point is that the bulk of the Old Testament was assembled from myths, legends, and oral histories for political reasons during the reign of King Josiah. . . .

Sept. 15, 2005
I could use your advice on how to deal with [a friend] of mine. He's . . . Mormon his whole life. I've had some conversations with him trying to witness to him. The conversations haven't gone real deep or in-depth yet, but I just got the following e-mail from him. He recently saw me reading some of your material . . . which spurred on this e-mail below. How should I proceed? . . .


God Bless

Here's his e-mail:

. . .You are faced with the same issue, and that is taking a deep look at a faith that may affect your personal life and bring about a significant change to you and your family life. I have always looked at a simple allegory, and that is "If a tree is good, then the fruit of that tree is good also, and if a tree is not good, then the fruit of that tree is not good." The fruit of the Church of Jesus Christ is wonderfully good and produces much happiness.

The knowledge of "the Purpose of Life" and the Plan of Salvation, is deeply ingrained into my soul. The unity of family and the eternal "sealing blessings" of a Temple on the Earth, is something I enjoy and hope to attain (families are forever). . . .

Yes, I have read much literature from apostate members who seek to destroy something good. The infamous Utah Lighthouse Ministry was founded by Jerald and Sandra Tanner (related to the late apostle Nathan E. Tanner). There are many instances of family members (usually grand-children) of major leaders in the LDS church, have left the church and taken upon themselves the task of trying to destroy something good. The Tanners are one of these, and if my memory served me better I could name a few others. What is their motive? Why are they so vindictive in trying to take down the walls of a building they once lived in? . . .

Given some time and study, I likely could refute anything... even the very foundation of Christianity. Why do I not waste my time doing this? I have no motive and I have no desire to take away anything that loves, serves, and believes in Christ... the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind.

 . . . Why is there so many trying so hard to take down a Church that does so much good? The LDS church is the fastest growing religion on the earth... The Tanners, and the Smiths, and the Bensens, and many others try to undermine the faith with much ill founded and deceitful propaganda... they will never succeed, for they fight against the very God that created this earth and all upon it.

[Sandra's Note: Your friend appeals to the fruit of Mormonism. Yet part of the fruit of Joseph Smith are all the splinter groups practicing polygamy—they are REAL followers of Smith. Sec. 132 is still in the D&C advocating plural marriage. And a widower can be sealed to a second wife in the temple and thus insure that he will be living in polygamy throughout eternity. So one cannot just sweep Smith's teaching on this under the rug.

He loves the LDS "Purpose of Life" but does not state the full implications. Ultimately they hope to achieve godhood so they can rule over their own world. That is what they mean when they talk of "families are forever"—eternally procreating children to gain a greater exaltation.

They like to say they will always be 'under' Heavenly Father, that they do not believe they will be equal to him. But this is a word game. 'Heavenly Father' is also 'under' his father, etc. Each god is under the oversight of the one before him, who also is over his own sons who go on to godhood. Its like getting on an eternal escalator—you never pass the god ahead of you—the first god started a world, his sons became gods under him, their sons became gods under them, etc. So each god progresses/moves up the escalator, with his progeny below him, each subject to the one above.

As to our motives, we are concerned about the eternal consequences of following a false prophet and participating in rituals that demean the wonderful grace of God. I assume they are equally concerned about non-Mormons and their relationship with God or they wouldn't send out all those missionaries to convert people who are already good, active Christians in other churches. Why don't the Mormons leave the rest of us alone?

As for the Mormons being the fastest growing church, that is just PR talk. They aren't. See—

His comments show he views his church as the only true church, the true kingdom of god. If Mormonism is not that, then it is a dangerous heresy, no matter how many people they help through the Deseret Industries. Most religions do good, or they wouldn't last. That is not enough to prove they are God's kingdom. I don't know what to advise you, he seems truly closed minded on this. Just keep emphasizing that Christ paid it all, we have assurance of eternal life through Christ's atonement, not some secret temple ritual. Be sure to read our section on LDS Theology under Online Resources.]

Sept. 16, 2006
Dear UTLM,

In your opinion, is the book "No Man Knows My History" by Fawn Brodie, a good book for someone who is currently stuggling with Mormonism to read? I have not read it myself, but my husband, who was raised LDS and still stuggling with it, saw it at Costco and thought it might be interesting. I didn't want to buy it for him if it paints Joseph Smith as anything other than what he really was. Would you recommend he read it?

Thank you for your time and God Bless you all!!

[Sandra's Note: Yes, buy it. If he would be willing to read it he would get a whole new perspective.]

Sept. 16, 2005
Subject: Bountiful Found?

I am excited to have found your website. My husband is a converted Mormon of 20+ (he was not practicing when we married) and I am of the Christian faith. Needless to say, we have some serious spiritual warfare going on in our household. He recently bought LDS books and videos claiming to have found Lehi's trail and the actual Mt. Arat. What do you know about this?


[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. Here are a few thoughts.

The LDS Church has not officially endorsed this view of Lehi's route. For some background info on claims relating to Arabia, here's a previous response in our June 2001 letters.


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

Book of Mormon Linked to Site in Yemen

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

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

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

So what have we learned?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fifth, notice that they admit that this is the "FIRST ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIND THAT SUPPORTS A BOOK OF MORMON PLACE-NAME." If this is the best they have, they are in DEEP trouble. (Letters to the Editor: June 2001)

They can only suggest a possible route. It is a theory, not fact. Smith's story has Lehi traveling through Arabia—a place on maps of his day and mentioned in the Bible and discussed in Bible commentaries. However, as soon as Lehi lands in the new world all locations are lost. Why?

The LDS Church does not issue an official map for the Book of Mormon. Why not? (see Where is Cumorah?) Since the Doctrine and Covenants contains maps of the various LDS sites, why not one for the Book of Mormon? Here is a link to a BYU page where they admit they aren't sure where the Book of Mormon story took place.

Besides the information you can find in our Topical Index: Book of Mormon, you will also find some good material at these other sites—

There will be a new film out next month discussing the vast amount of archeology for the Bible and the absolute zero amount for the Book of Mormon. {Web-editor: DVD and VHS is available now. See: Bible vs. The Book of Mormon.}

Hope this helps.]

Sept. 17, 2005
Dear Sandra and Gerald,

I was saved out of Mormonism seven years ago, Praise God. My husband, born into the LDS church, has not been saved and is active in the LDS church. . . . In the past we have lived overseas where the LDS church is really not that strong (contrary to what they will tell you) so the kids were not really subject to the standard programs. My oldest boys (16 and 14), who I have homeschooled in the past, know their Bible. I made it a point to really teach them the OT. Up until recently they have been reticent to take religious sides. Not a fun place for a child - this divided religion between parents.

Recently they have been very open with me (Praise God for this answer to my prayers) regarding the errors in Mormon doctrine that they are being taught on the alternate Sundays that they attend with their dad and the most recent seminary class on the Book of Mormon. When we first moved back to North America I was experiencing quite a bit of anxiety as I watched the Mo's in full swing luring my kids into their many programs and providing false teaching and tons of sugar. Now I can see God's will in this...they are not blinded -- Praise Him.

Here is my question: My oldest said that he is looking for unbiased information on Mormon doctrine. Of course, he does not consider me to be "unbiased." My answer to him was to go right to the source...their own scripture and sermons, especially of J Smith and Young. I gave him a copy of Smith's, King Follett Discourse which says much as you well know. What else can you recommend? Should I purchase the Journal of D? Can you recommend other books that this young person will not be told by the Mo's is know how that thinking goes. I just finished Under The Banner of Heaven and thought this might be good (although pretty strong) because the author is clearly not a Christian. Thank you in advance for your help and God bless your ministry.

In His service,

[Sandra's Note: You might want to order our Godhead and Virgin Birth Photocopies. Then your kids can read directly from LDS sources about the multiple gods of Mormonism.

Here are a couple of LDS titles that might help you demonstrate their heretical doctrines. You can order either from us or from, the following current LDS manuals.

Doctrines of the Gospel
(See chapters 3,4,6,7,33)

Gospel Principles
(Read the last chapter on Exaltation, p.302-305)


John Taylor—Teachings of Presidents of the Church
(See p.2 on man's destiny to become a God.)

You can read a BYU professor's article on the evolution of LDS theology, printed in Sunstone Magazine in 1985, at Go to the article by Thomas Alexander.

Two good books written by LDS scholars are Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Newell and Avery and Sidney Rigdon by Van Wagoner. They both give a better picture of early Mormonism than the LDS Church manuals. They can be ordered either from us or from Deseret Book.

Sept. 19, 2005
. I found your site by doing a search on a temple and for the life of me I cannot understand why you have such an extensive website. I don't understand why you have wasted your entire life worrying about another religion that you don't believe in. There are many things I don't believe, however, I have not spent my entire life trying to convince others to slander them.

It sounds to me like you need to decide what you believe and work on that, and work on making you life full of love and happiness, not negativity and hate Enjoy you life, stop wasting it on hatred. If you truly believe in Christ, then live by His example, love others and work on being the best you can be. I truly hope you can be happy and stop feeling so angry against a church that obviously you don't fully understand. Use your resources for something positive. Like some of this Hurricane Katrina relief. If you notice your church hasn't done on thing, however, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has contributed many hours of help and relief. That to me seems more productive.

Sept. 19, 2005
Subject: Millenial Star

I am writing a book on 19th century psychology and ran across a reference that linked Mormonism with phrenology. Reputedly, the Millenial Star (I don't know which volume this would be) of 1846 ran several favorable articles on the subject. I might be interested in purchasing the indicated volume or volumes if I were sure of getting the articles I can use. Do you know anything about this. . .. Thanks. Gnc

[Sandra's Note: You would need vol. 19 of the Millennial Star. Unfortunately, we do not have a copy of that volume. It would be in various libraries throughout Utah.

A phrenologist had examined the heads of several prominent Mormons in Nauvoo, and his findings were originally a part of the history. Phrenology is defined as "the theory that one's mental powers are indicated by the shape of the skull" (The American College Dictionary).

Joseph Smith's Phrenological Chart is given in volume 5 of the History of the Church, pages. 52-55. One of the curious entrees for Joseph Smith stated "passionately fond of the company of the other sex." While Smith's history contains the charts of Joseph Smith and Willard Richards, the Phrenological Charts of Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball have been deleted. They originally appeared in the Millennial Star, volume 19, pages 598-600. For more on this, see Quinn's Early Mormonism and the Magic World View.]

Sept. 19, 2005

Hello Lighthouse Ministry!!!

You all are the best. To Jerald and Sandra, what a blessing you are to many people. I was wondering if you all could help me out on a couple of issues.

1) Didn't Joseph Smith say something to the effect, "I can keep a secret until doomsday!" Where can I find this quote. He was rambling on about keeping secrets and the importance of keeping secrets. But, I can't remember where I read this. I thought that it was the King Follet discourse, but I'm not sure.

2) I'm sure that somewhere I heard that Brigham Young was corresponding with Albert Pike. Do you have any information that would or could verify this, or tell me who might have info regarding this possible exchange between Pike and Young.

Thanks for all of the help of you all and allof the very competant staff at your ministry.


[Sandra's Note: The answer to no. 1 is found in the History of the Church, Vol. 4, p.478-9:

Dec. 1841
President Joseph arose and said . . . "Some people say I am a fallen Prophet, because I do not bring forth more of the word of the Lord. Why do I not do it? Are we able to receive it? No! not one in this room. He then chastened the congregation for their wickedness and unbelief, . . . The reason we do not have the secrets of the Lord revealed unto us, is because we do not keep them but reveal them; we do not keep our own secrets, but reveal our difficulties to the world, even to our enemies, then how would we keep the secrets of the Lord? I can keep a secret till Doomsday. What greater love hath any man than that he lay down his life for his friend; then why not fight for our friend until we die?

D. Michael Quinn makes some interesting comments on Smith's secrets and lying about polygamy in his article "LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890-1904," Dialogue, Vol.18, No.1, p.20 - p.21.

As for question no. 2, I don't know about any correspondence between Pike and Young.]

Sept. 19, 2005
I'm a Christian minister and one of our church members said that supposedly Joseph smith wrote a letter at some point admitting that he made up the all of his religious claims. This person claims that he saw this on the history channel.

I'm skeptical of this as I have studied Mormonism to some extent and have never heard of this before. also considering the character of Joseph smith I doubt that he would have done this considering his record as a liar and con artist. And also considering what he had gained from his church, multiple wives, money and personal power. have you heard any claims about smith's alleged letter?

[Sandra's Note: I am not aware of such a letter. I suspect someone has heard about the supposed Martin Harris 'salamander' letter, that turned out to be a Mark Hofmann forgery, and has it confused with a letter by Smith.

I suspect that whatever your friend saw on the History Channel was a video on the Hofmann affair called—City Confidential: Faith and Foul Play in Salt Lake City.

See our online book, Tracking the White Salamander, and our Topical Index: Hofmann, Mark.]

Sept. 21, 2005
Subject: Why?

I just have 1 question for you. Why is it that your church provides so much information about mormonism and pinpointing all of its supposed untrue doctrines instead of speaking about your church and what it provides? As you can clearly see, the mormons do not possess information on other churches. There is no reason to. Your church should be concerned about what it has to offer instead of using supposed untrue doctrine about other churches.

You might say it is to educate those that are seeking, but yet I find that hard to believe. The reason I find that hard to believe is because god will tell us what is right if we honestly seek it. In all that we do we must have his spirit to guide us. Besides the fact of how can somebody from another church truly know what another organization is all about. That is like going to an american gourmet cook to ask him/her about his/her opinion and direction from a chinese gourmet cook about cooking american food. There would be misunderstandings, confusion and discrimination, therefore resulting in useless, pointless information. This would hardly be educating someone.

I hope I have made my question clear. Thank you for your time and response. Have a great day.

[Sandra's Note: You make an interesting point—"how can somebody from another church truly know what another organization is all about." Without ever being a member of any church, Joseph Smith claimed in his account of his first vision that the Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians were "wrong" (see Joseph Smith—History 1:9-10,18-19, Pearl of Great Price). God supposedly told him "all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt." So what makes Joseph Smith's claims reliable?

As for your point that Mormon leaders do not attack other churches, you evidently are not aware of the many LDS statements of the past condemning other churches. These sites deal with this issue.

Also, up until 1990 the LDS temple ceremony portrayed the devil hiring a minister, wearing a clerical collar, to teach false doctrine for pay. This outrageous portion was obviously intended to warn the LDS faithful to stay away from all ministers as they were the hirelings of Satan. After a number of exposes quoted the dialogue between the devil and the minister the LDS Church deleted that portion. This seems to have been done mainly for PR purposes, but it didn't change the basic assumption of most Mormons. The text of both the 1984 and 1990 LDS temple ceremonies are included in our book Evolution of the Mormon Temple Ceremony.

Using your analogy, Joseph Smith is like the Chinese gourmet cook critiquing and instructing on the proper way to make American dishes. He denounced all the other churches as teaching false doctrine, etc. and he wasn't a member of any of them. So how much could he have known about them? Simply because he claimed that when he was 14 God told him all churches were wrong doesn't prove it's true. How much credibility would you give to a 14 year old non-Mormon boy who announced that God told him the LDS Church is false? Many others have claimed to speak for God with very different messages. Remember, the Bible was here first. If Joseph Smith is a prophet of God his message must line up with the Bible.]

Sept. 22, 2005
. . . I am truly indebted for your research. I'm so looking forward to your upcoming news letter. I read them online and I have a few of them that I was able to pick up from your store one day when I was in there. . . .

I hope that you all put something in there on the recent development with the state of New York giving that historical piece of evidence into Smith's "glass looking" debacle to the church. . . . Thank you all for your great work!!!


[Sandra's Note: The documents in NY have already been photographed and written about years ago. Evidently the local historian took the documents home for a number of years and they have just been returned to the Norwich historical library. There will be a small article on the rediscovered documents in our #106 Messenger.

For more on Smith's 1826 arrest see our #68 Messenger. Also see Changing World, Chapter 4: Joseph Smith and Money-Digging. For further information see our Topical Index: Joseph Smith: Money-digging and Magic.]

Sept. 24, 2005
I am doing some research on Mormonism. I am infuriated because I have found out that what I believed for so long is a lie. It all started with the doubt of polygamy. What would be a good source of info for me to start on. I am now reading Leaving the Saints. I'm on a role.


[Sandra's Note: The best biography of Joseph Smith is No Man Knows My History. A good one volume overview of Mormonism is One Nation Under Gods.

Regarding polygamy, I would suggest Mormon Enigma, In Sacred Loneliness and Mormon Polygamy: A History.

Our book Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? contains an encyclopedia of information, even if the printing leaves much to be desired. Other good books are Inventing Mormonism, The Rise of Mormonism 1816-1844, The Creation of the Book of Mormon and Mormon America.]

Her response—

. . . . I am reading your book Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? I'm shocked at what I'm reading, but happy that I'm finally seeing the truth. It took me ten years to finally wake up and REALLY investigate and come out of my spiritual blindness. What I'm really surprised is that some will see all this proof and still not wake up. It's very frustrating, and then they think Satan has blinded me, but it's the other way around. I think their church should be called The Church of Joseph Smith because that is who they are worshipping. As for me, I'd rather worship God. . . .

P.S. I really admire you for not being afraid of coming out with the truth and not caring what others think esp. being in Utah. God is all about truth. ;o)

Sept. 27, 2005
. . . Jerald and Sandra, I want both of you to know that I appreciate all that you are doing in this Ministry that you have been called into. I was also raised to believe that the Mormon Church was the only true Church in all the World. 23 years ago I received Jesus Christ into my heart and He became my personal Saviour. Since I became a Christian I have learned things about Mormonism that have been downright "Shocking!, to say the least. And have been trying to gather all the information that I can about the truths of this Cult.

I have been sharing these truths about Mormonism with other Believers, and those that think that Mormons are just wonderful Christian people. I am surprised at how many Christians believe that Mormonism is just another Christian Faith. My plan is to expose the Cults in an effort to discourage others from allowing themselves to be pulled into their Web of Darkness. I have two daughters that have both married into dedicated Mormon Families, and many other Family members that are dedicated Mormons too. . . .


Sept. 27, 2005
I only read the page about Jesus Christ, but I think that you proved the Mormon's point very well. I am more interested than ever in learning more about them.


Sept. 27, 2005
I truly appreciate the website you have setup and am glad that people are willing to use reason instead of blindly clinging to the comfortable.
Sept. 28, 2005
. . . I used to be a Mormon thirty years ago and when I left the church I never thought about it anymore. Last year a former missionary-sister (with whom I worked) contacted me (my mother still lives at my old address) and we started writing and mailing.

She talks about the church and it's difficult for me to give her a proper answer, so I decided to have a look at the internet (Mormon web-sites and non-Mormon websites; I think she deserves a fair change) and came across your website. There's so much information about the church that it'll take me a couple of years to read all of it (and I hate reading information which isn't printed, I just don't have the patience for it).

With regards,

Sept. 30, 2005
you guys obviously dont know too much about the LDS church.. I took a look at your site and read part of your book, you guys should do some research or go try something before you talk bad about it.

Have a good life