emailbutton.jpg (2836 bytes)

Selections and Extracts from Email
(Names and contact info removed)


December 1999

Dec. 4, 1999

Here is a copy of the letter I sent to "my bishop," and which, at your suggestion, I sent to the stake president and to the LDS records division. I finally got the reply I have been after for over a year and a half, and I wanted to thank you for your advice. I have also included a copy of the letter he sent back to me....

Bishop W______: 11-19-99

Since speaking with you on the phone on Wednesday, November 17, 1999 at 8:45 p.m., I have been informed that, in fact, I do not have to meet with you in person in order to have my name taken off of the LDS membership records. I have sent a copy of this letter to both President F_____ F______ and to the LDS "Membership and Statistical Records Division." Here is an excerpt from your own "Church Handbook of Instructions," which I read on the Internet: . . . . .

[quote deleted due to court order]

That is the procedure Mormon bishops are expected to follow. My written request made in August of 1999 was ignored. When I pursued the issue by contacting you on the phone, I was informed by you that the decision of whether or not my name stayed on the LDS records was not under my control; it was not up to me, it was up to you. I am not a minor and this is certainly not protocol. The 30 day waiting period has long since passed, and no action has been taken. Quite to the contrary, you informed me in no uncertain terms that you were in charge, you were my "priesthood authority," my "judge in Israel," and it was your responsibility to make these decisions for me. Per the above noted instructions, you are operating in direct opposition with what you as a bishop are supposed to be doing with my request. While on the phone (Nov. 17th), I asked you why you would not take my name off. You said, "because it's easier to leave it on than to get it back on if you change your mind." I apologize for being an inconvenience, but I assure you, I will not change my mind. As I have said, your lack of action combined with your statements on the phone on Nov. 17th make it clear that you are not functioning in compliance with your own ecclesiastical directives.

The 11th "Article of Faith" states, "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may" (Joseph Smith). Not only am I due the freedom of religion as a citizen of this country, but your own Mormon doctrine also upholds this freedom. Denying my right to remove my name from the records of the LDS church, as you did in our phone conversation on Nov. 17th is in direct opposition to both Mormon doctrine and the ideals this country was founded upon.

I am 22 years old. This country recognized me as an adult several years ago. I can pay taxes, I can vote for president, I can die in a war, but you have told me both through your inaction and in our phone conversation (Nov. 17th) that I cannot have my name removed from the Mormon church's records per my request. According to LDS church policy, my name should have already been removed. This letter should not have been necessary.

It is my right to resign unilaterally from the Mormon church. I do not need your permission. You do not have the right to retain my name on your membership list after I have informed you that I have resigned. Furthermore, I do not have to attend any meeting or court with officials from the Mormon church. I do not accept your "priesthood authority." According to the "Church Handbook of Instructions," a signed letter is the only compulsion I bear in this process. I sent the required letter in August of 1999. I received confirmation that the LDS "Member and Statistical Records" division had received this request in a letter dated August 20, 1999.

I have been a baptized member of another church since July of 1998. I repeat that I do not believe what the Mormon church teaches. This is not a whim. You told me in our phone conversation (Nov. 17th), "It is obvious that you never really understood Mormonism." I understand far better than I can stomach. My doubts and questions regarding Mormonism have been longstanding and ever-deepening. I have studied a great deal, and this course is the only one my conscience can accept. Again in our phone conversation, you asked me why it was so important to me that my name be removed. This is why: I do not believe in the Mormon religion, the Mormon prophet, Mormon priesthood authority, etc., and I no longer want my name associated and in silent agreement with an organization which I believe panders false doctrine. It matters to me on principle. It is not logical or moral to have one's name associated with an organization whose agenda and doctrine diametrically oppose one's own beliefs.

I will not be intimidated or bullied. I am appalled with the way this matter has been handled. The manner in which I have been treated has been unchristian to say the least. I found your behavior in our phone conversation of November 17th to be unprofessional, unreasonable, and discourteous. I want to make it perfectly clear that I am quitting, you are not firing me. I am not requesting a favor from you. I have the right to terminate my membership whenever I choose. The word "EXCOMMUNICATION" is not to be used in any letter to me or on church records. I ask you again to remove my name from the records of the LDS church. In the before mentioned telephone conversation, you did not discuss the consequences of name removal with me as protocol dictates, though I understand them. I now expect this matter to be addressed in a more timely manner. I understand your perception of what this step means. I waive the 30 day waiting period and would like my request processed immediately. Any further contact with me, with the exception of the letter to inform me that my name has been removed from the Mormon church's records will be considered harassment. If you would like me to send you references regarding changes and problems within Mormon doctrine as we discussed on the telephone, make a note to that effect on the letter you send to me confirming that my name has been removed from the LDS church's records. I will gladly mail you references for that information.

Thank you for your assistance.

L_____ M______

Dear L_____; November 23, 1999

Per your request your name will be removed from the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have concluded that you have a full understanding of what this action includes. All blessings, ordinances (including baptism and confirmation) and covenants made will be cancelled on earth and in heaven. Also per your request, neither myself nor other members of our ward will contact you with regard to Church membership. This action can only be rescinded if you send a written request for recision within 30 days to President F_____ F______


S_____ _. W______

Bishop, B_____ L______

Dec. 4, 1999

Why is it that you would put your soul in jeperity in order to make money it is not worth it to anyone who as been given the truth to reject it.

"After a people have been once enlightened by the Spirit of God, and had great knowledge of things pertaining to righteousness, and then have fallen away into sin and transgression, they become more hardened, and thus their state becomes worse than though they had never known these things." Alma 24:30

my question is why would you try to misslead the unknowing astray for the hopes of gain?


Dec. 4, 1999

Just thought I would write and express my opinion, which may or may not be a little unusual.

I might first say I am a very strong supporter of free speech and do not disagree with your right to open opinion, and even welcome it. I am one of those people who have never "swallowed Mormonism whole", although I, by all appearances, am a "member in good standing".

I have come to the conclusion that I am not alone in this. I was brought up by parents who were inactive generally, but most of my social conditioning was steeped in Mormon culture.

I consider myself a free thinking man and have always rejected the idea of believing something just because im told to. Also I have noticed that the intensity of belief in various faiths, creeds and philosophies is uniform all over the world.

This leads me to believe that anyone could choose any belief system and convince themselves of its verity beyond doubt, and so it is with Mormonism, just as Moslems, Buddhists etc. will "got to the wall" for their beliefs.

My personal quandary is that even though I am not a "true believer", I have continued my relationship with Mormonism because of the good in it as a social institution. I married, raised children in the faith, divorced and the re-married another staunch Mormon woman even though I had the choice not to do so.

My greatest personal conflict is that I am decieving this woman and others in my family. I have often contemplated diving in and attempting to accept Mormonism fully, but am afraid I never will be able to square it with my intellectual beliefs.

I am sure there are many people in my position, and we are well-covered by church doctrine, as being the worst sort of sinner, "he who has heard the gospel, yet will not believe."

And so it is. We are caught in a snare, partly of our own making and partly of social conditioning, too afraid to "come out" about our convictions because of the profound losses which would result.

Keep on Keeping on. ....

Dec. 5, 1999

Hi, just thought i would update you. I wrote to the address you gave me and i got a letter back saying those things are taken care of at the local level, i would have to talke to my bishop. Then less then a week later, yesterday in fact (12-3-99) i got a letter from Salt Lake and it said i was no long a member of the church. Then today my bishop called and wanted to discuss my request, and i said it has been taken care of. He seemed a little taken aback that he had not been involved. Oh, do you think the reason they removed my name so fast was because i threatened to get a lawyer and sue them?

Thanks for your help.

Dec. 5, 1999

I have been wondering if there is a list of excommunicated Mormons. I was baptized into the Mormon Church when I was just a kid and had no choice in the matter. I never practiced the faith, but I could see how we were treated by them.

In our town, most of the businesses are operated by Mormons, and I have been overcharged, shunned and abused by them.

This is coming from the top of my head and there was no time to compose a more concise piece.

I want to thank you for your book, "The Changing World of Mormonism."

[Sandra's note: Sorry, no list of excommunicated LDS as far as I know.]

Dec. 6, 1999

My wife, _____, was once an active member of the LDS. Through the work of our Lord, Jesus Christ and many wonderful christians, she has been truly saved! I saw on the MRM website [] that you are currently under attack by the LDS for telling people how to remove their names from the membership roles in some sort of book or pamphlet. We will be praying for you! Given the current circumstances you may not be able to assist me with this, but I would like to learn how my wife could officially have her name removed from the membership rolls so that I can pass this on to her. Can you tell me or send me information?

We appreciate the work you are doing for the Lord and will add you and ULM to our prayer list!

[Web-editor: See our page How to Remove Your Name from the LDS Records]

Dec. 7, 1999

hi, im ...34, im an emt and former journalist (for 13 years) in radio and tv, i lived and worked and slc in radio for a few years (under an air name) im a convert to the mormon church ...--i love free speech! and ive truly been enjoying myself way to much on the web ...these antimormon exmormon sites are facinating! now when i lived in slc, i met alot of anti mormons, x mormons, letter of the law mormons, and what i consider "normal" mormons (i hope you dont mind if i include myself in that last catagory) i love the temple, have studied the book of mormon for over 20 years--seer stones, rods and all its true--now i write this letter not to bash with you, just to say, is your newspaper serious? no im not kidding, its info etc..i cannot believe the false things printed!

im also currently a student of ancient history (and im greek and italian besides) i love history! your paper, if i may say so, represents to me as a former journalist --and forget that im mormon, just journalist to journalist a sort of "star" magazine quality or better yet, the enquirer,, now dont get me wrong i laugh my butt off at most of its contents, and i love to read it,, because it honestly puts me in a good mood ...i just thought id ask you if you consider yourselves serious journalists--if you do--the information you have is falsified, made up jargon that can be exposed without me doing any research whatsoever--just from what i know in my head! now if its suppose to give all of us (xmormons, mormons, catholics, lutherans etc) a kick in the pants with laughter, then please keep it up boys and girls, cause its funny as hell!

Dec. 7, 1999

Lets see, the LDS Church obtained main street for their own use, sues the Tanners. What is next "Blood Atonement," for anyone who gets in their way? It did not surprise me that an Utah Judge ruled against the Tanners concerning the LDS Handbook. The Tanners had to go to the "Tenth District Federal Court," to receive justice over publishing the Clayton Diaries.

Dec. 7, 1999

Just wondering how goes the fight with the church with respect to the handbook of instructions (aka handbook of deception and manipulation). Good luck in all that you two do in bringing to light the shadows of a deceptive and controling religion.

Dec. 7, 1999

sandra, im sorry you are having so much strife in your life....elder maxwell said people who leave the church, wont leave it alone....why dont you prove him wrong? i walked away from the catholic church when i was twelve and joined the mormon church-- why dont you guys use your time helping the sick in hospitals or volunteering at a rest home? fighting against the Lord Jesus Christ's church is like kicking against the pricks, you'll only hurt yourself

Dec. 8, 1999

While I am not a christian or even religious I support your right to free speach. It should be noted that I downloaded my copy or the lds handbook from the address in the trib and it had nothing to do with your web site.

People have a right to know how to get off of the rolls if they want to.

Dec. 8, 1999

Hi, I am not sure if this is the right adress to give a personal thanks but I'll give it a try. I just want to Thank you so much for studying to show yourself approved. The information that I recieved on this site is awesome. I am so interested in defending the faith and lately God has really put Mormanism on my heart. I have three Morman girls in my nursing class that I have been praying for like crazy. i want to be educated in what they believe as well as knowing what the scripture says so i can talk to them. So thanks again for letting God use your life and God Bless you.

Dec. 8, 1999

This web site has got to be one of the most uninteresting sites i have ever had the misfortune to visit. Who cares....What you think of the mormon church. If you don't like them you are sure giving them alot of free publicity. What a waste of time!

Dec. 8, 1999

You sure have a lot of hate for Mormons in you...... wow...

Dec. 8, 1999

I have followed the news accounts of the Mormon LDS legal arm's challenge to your rights to publish portions of the subject "secret" document on your website. ... You ministry is far to uniquely valuable to lose to this lawsuit. ...I just recently discovered your website and find it excellent. Please keep up the good work.

Grace and Power of the real Jesus Chist be yours, ...

Dec. 9, 1999

Thank you! My wife has already begun to compose the letter [to withdraw from the LDS Church]...she's going to explain her reasons in detail!

This is a big step for her...she's not yet real comfortable sharing her "new" faith in Christ. Feels quite unsure as of yet about her convictions because she was so confident when she was a Mormon and then found out Mormonism is she's moving slowly! Thanks for the help and we'll be praying for you!

Keep up the good work.

Dec. 9, 1999

Hello Sandra,

I am still looking for anyone who was a Bishop that is no longer faithful to the LDS Church. I am an excommunicated former Bishop and am assembling a book of other ex-Bishops experiences. So far I have rounded up eight but would like a few more.

[Sandra's note: If you are an ex-LDS Bishop and would like to contact this person, just drop me a note.]

Dec. 9, 1999

I just read an article in the New York Times about the court order banning your use of links to other sites containing copyrighted material from the Mormon church. I'm neither a Christian, nor well versed in the law, but I was outraged at the thought of a court of law preventing someone from educating others regarding factual information. There clearly was no intent to appropriate copyrighted material for material gain or other fraudulant purposes (which I would presume are what copyright laws are meant to enforce against). The links at the end of the on-line version of the New York Times article were a powerful reminder of the extent to which freedom of speech and of the press could be threatened by this sort of precedent. I hope you fight this decision all the way because I feel a lot depends upon it.

Dec. 9, 1999

How sad that your postings and articles are so one-sided. Perhaps you could more effectively express your point if you were to present both sides. From what I have seen here I do not see reason to believe your "opinions", because though you have all the documentation there is nothing to counter it.

Perhaps you could take some debate classes and learn that the best way to present your ideas is to give both sides, then let the readers decide for themselves. But, of course, you would not want that because you believe the reader is not capable of making an informed decision, you want them to take your side.

How sad.

Dec. 9, 1999

What could be a sadder commentary than the Church of LDS calling so much attention to its questionable practices by bullying you into removing links to the pages of an obscure text?

People are smarter than that! If this keeps up the LDS will no doubt find the document posted again and again to various newsgroups and chatrooms. I cannot believe their naivete.

Too bad the LDS is associating itself with the methodology of the quasi-religious groups, such as Scientology. Albeit more cunning, Scientology has also launched a focussed campaign of harassing those who would share the content of their texts, limiting the freedom of discussing and sharing ideas and philosophies. Shameful.

Dec. 10, 1999

I would like to say a big thank you for the materials so freely available on your website.

I recently left the Mormon church because I discovered that the Book of Mormon was liberally sprayed with quotations from the Bible. I have since discovered about all the other sources that he plagiarised from.

What concerns me most of all is that I have been in the church since I was 9 (ie 19 years), I have served a mission and I knew so little about the church. It's only now with hindsight that I can see how the Mormon church brainwashes people. This is especially apparent as I discuss the things I have discovered with friends and family. At the moment my family are in denial. As I reveal the truth about the church I can sometimes only laugh at the different excuses that my family are willing to make for Joseph Smith.

As an example, I told my brother and sister about Joseph's prophecy of men on the moon. They had never heard of it before and yet the next day they had come up with explanations.

My brother said that Joseph was a joker and he was probably kidding everyone on.

My sister said that the moon is probably a spirit world.

Dec. 10, 1999

I am curious as to why you folks spend so much time and energy on providing items to refute the LDS Church. Personally, I am one who seeks after *truth*, wherever it can be found. I enjoy reading about all perspectives regarding important issues--some of which you address. Regarding truth, whatever the issue, I can know when it exists because I can feel it in my heart, my mind, and my body.

If Joseph Smith is/was a false prophet, then it would seem that the LDS church would be false. If the LDS church is false, then I would think that our conscience (spirit) would be bothered. Why would so many people claim a personal testimony about the authenticity of the LDS church if it were false? Why does the LDS church continue to grow as such a rapid pace? Why is it that active members of the LDS church are so industrious, patriotic, self-sufficient, law-abiding, honest, trustworthy, and kind people if their religion comes from a false prophet? I see and work with LDS people on a regular basis, what is so wrong with the LDS religion?

Dec. 10, 1999

Reading about the recent legal troubles you've had with the LDS, ... I fully support your mission to educate the world about religion, churches, and personal faith. .... I'm praying for you :)

Dec. 10, 1999

I'm LDS and I think the church just did one of the stupidest things that could be done! I want to know, what a__hole in the church had this great idea? Do you know? And what is the IRI? (Sounds like the Irish Republican Army.) I'm really pissed at the church for this one. They had no right! I hope you win.

Do you know any way I can contact the church to voice my opinion? (Strangely enough, I can't find a single e-mail address.) Thanks. Keep fighting...

Dec. 10, 1999

Hi I've never visited your site before, and I am not really interested in Mormons at all, but I read about your court case on, and I am simply horrified. I would encourage you to appeal this injunction for, it sets an extremely dangerous precedent. It seems that this is the best example to date of outdated laws clashing with a modern communications medium. ... It could be argued that in the medium of the internet, the right to link is essentially equivalent to the freedom of speech. Linking is the language of the web. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir. Good luck, ...

Dec. 10, 1999

Please allow me first to say that you are to be commended for taking a leadership position in exposing the truth about the fastest growing cult in the world. You are serving our Lord well in your ministry and I shall pray for you both. I encourage you to continue your efforts in what, from time to time, may seem to be an under-appreciated process.

May God continue to bless you both,

Dec. 11, 1999

Man Satan has you right where he wants you doesn't he??? I can't help thinking how disappointed your great-great-grandfather B. Young must be. How very sad.

I can't believe how much hate is consumed inside of you. It's eating you a live and you can't see it. If you channeled all of this energy and hatred you have for the LDS church into something constructive you could move mountains. Instead you are just eating yourselves up. How very sad.

It's one thing to have your own opinion about a relgion or such but how Christian is it of you to go around trying to destory the LDS Church as you do?? Did Christ act this way?? How can you say that you are a spoksman for Him?? Christ loved everyone..........Never mind it's not worth the time it took me to write this email, there's no convinsing you otherwise... you're on a crusade for Satan and he's loving every minute of it. Keep up the good work, I'm sure he appreciates it.

Don't bother to email me back-- it won't be worth your time either.

Dec. 11, 1999

Web-hyperlink uproar:

What's the fuss about? Is the LDS cult so afraid of the truth that they will sue to shut you up or is something else going on?

Dec. 11, 1999

We've been praying about the lawsuit. It may arouse curiosity more than ever to have "forbidden fruit". God knows what he's doing!

Dec. 11, 1999

I sure hope you are taking an appeal from that one. It seems clear that it is all about criticising Mormons in Utah, not unfair competition or copyright infringement.

Dec. 11, 1999

Jerald, Sandra

Read about your court case and wanted you to know that I am praying for both you and your court case... I may not know you personally but my Lord Jesus Christ does so that is sufficient for me...

Dec. 11, 1999

I don't usually send email about stuff like this, but you've got to appeal this.

Dec. 12, 1999

I was jsut reading the NYtimes and found out about this. From what I understand there is now a temporary injunction against you from posting parts of a certain book to your website, or linking to sites that contain copies of the book. ....I hope you guys fight this. This could be a major prescedent setting case and I hope you win.

Dec. 12, 1999

I cant beleive they stoop to using the law to enforce secrecy under the guise of 'Copyright Infridgement'. Actually I can. However, ruling that links must be removed from your site is beyond and completely unjustified. I would like to do all I can to make sure such illegal practices are not justified in the eyes of the law.

Dec. 12, 1999

as an inactive member of the LDS church i read with some interest the article found at while i did not read every word found on every link--i did do some very indepth reading one or two pages.

what i found disturbs me a great deal. it is obvious that someone knows a fair amount of what the church teaches. but mixed with that are some deep untruths. since i don't know you i can't say if it was a deliberate attempt at maniuplating the truth. i can only surmise that it was misunderstandings on your part.

since i have never been to the temple i read with interest your text on the endowment. is it true what you say??? i don't know cause as i've said i've never been.

it alarms me that you put something so sensitive to the church on the internet. this is copyrighted material. the church many years ago sent in the endowment to the patent office--for this reason.

now you complain because the church is taking legal action against you. well i would too--if you did the same to me.

you have links on your site about child abuse cases. let me remind you of something. while the church is true--its the people that make mistakes. does that mean that the church is untrue because someone didn't live up to their end of responsibility?

as an adult survivor of abuse--and let me clearly state for the record that my parents were not members of the church in their lifetimes--this does not change the church's position. crimes were committed and someday penalities will have to be paid. that is for one person only to judge and isn't gonna me.

i can't begin to describe how i felt seeing a temple recommend on the internet. even if it was unsigned and left blank. i just felt it was inappropriate.

please do [not?] send me any literature on your beliefs. what i found really bothered me. and it wasn't from reading. as i've said a couple of lines above--i just feel you're site is totally inappropriate.

and i do agree with the church and the injunction against you. when you violate copyright and twist facts this is what happens. do you remember when you were little and your worst enemy in school always made you look bad by taking things out of context--this is the same kind of thing only more serious because of the traffic that is out there.

Dec. 12, 1999

I was given your site by a former Mormon. I met him online, so I don't really know him. I am a Christian who has a heart for Mormons. I so deeply regret that while these people may be as fine and upstanding as any citizen in our land, they are as lost as can be and are caught up in a cult that confuses and distorts the Word of God.

I just wanted to drop you a note of support for your ministry. The Utah Lighthouse is truly a lighthouse in the midst of a dark storm. I am so amazed at how Satan can take the same lie, package it differently, and people still buy it. I am referring to his telling Eve in The Garden of Eden that she could become like God. That is the exact same lie the Mormon Church tells its members! Thank you for holding your light up high for all to see in the dark land of Utah! God bless you!

Dec. 12, 1999

I think your webpage is a WONDERFUL aid for Christians. I would also hope that it can open up doors for those mormons willing to question their beliefs. I was a LDS for 13 years of my life, before God showed me the light. I believe that Galations Chapter 1 speaks volumes, and is a warning about the LDS church.

Keep up the great work,

Dec. 12, 1999


The Courts of Utah have given you far more publicity than you could ever gain any other way. You are the talk of the Internet community. Praise the Lord! It is amazing how our Lord works in such mysterious ways.

With Heavenly Armor we enter the fight!

Dec. 13, 1999

You can spend the next milleneum doing what you do: the Church will grow and grow and grow and grow and grow. You are already seeing it happen at an unprecedented, exponential rate. "No unhallowed hand" can stop this sacred work. And, strangely, when you folks get people's interest stirred up they become Latter-day Saints if they have any honest, unprejudiced desire to know the Lord and His truth. So, in your own perverse way, you are helping the cause.

Dec. 13, 1999

I'm closely following your trial on the copyright issues. It is amazing how the LDS Church strikes out. It is clear that they seek to limit and control religious freedoms. It is clear that they desire to restrict the legitimate use of free speech via the mechanism of legal maneuvering. I'm quite familiar with these practices and at times I've been threatened by them when I only speak the truth.

There should be no question but that you have the right to publish the procedure on how to have a name removed from LDS records. It is pure evil that the LDS Church would seek to hide this procedure and keep it secret.

How dare they seek to restrict religious freedom! How dare they seek to force the public to remain Mormon against their wishes. This is an outrageous act that should offend every American. It is clear that real issue is whether the LDS Authorities will be permitted to work in secret and darkness away from the eyes of public scrutiny. How dare the LDS Authorities demand the right to perform their works of darkness in secret. This is a great evil that must be avoided. They have a long history from the time of Joseph Smith till now of seeking to work in darkness. It is this mechanism of secret works that permits the LDS Authorities to evade justice in many instances. Further, they are fully aware that using secrecy means they can successfully avoided criminal prosecution.

Historically, they were able to avoid prosecution for the crime of polygamy. Because the marriage was in secret, it was impossible to obtain witnesses to this criminal event. Further, because they were able to stack the juries in Utah, they could avoid criminal prosecution. Had they have done their works in the light of day their "great" historical leaders would be little more than convicted criminals.

Clearly, this is a book that should be available to all members and non-members alike. There shouldn't be anything to hide. If they are permitted to work in secret they will be able to successfully conduct many more of their alleged criminal behaviors. It may even become a mechanism whereby they distribute instructions on how to evade criminal prosecution.

. . . .

There are many current examples of this practice. Examples include LDS Authorities conspiring with child molesters to avoid prosecution. One only needs to read the current Newspapers to learn of such convictions. It is only because of civil suits that we can confirm this practice through court records. ...

In closing, it is my prayer that God will grant you the power to systematically answer the distortions that these agents of Satan have put forth. I pray that you'll be given the funds and stamina to persist in resisting this attack. It is my prayer that the Judges and any Juries which may result will be impartial and not stacked against you. I pray that if you are facing an LDS Judge that the Judge will be rendered powerless and ineffectual should that Judge seek to support this evil practice of secrecy. ...

Dec. 13, 1999

We have read with interest, the article published in the New York Times on December 10th under the title "Copyright Decision Threatens Freedom to Link." This brought us to your web site and all the material you have posted especially the so-called Salt Lake City Newsletters. We read some of the Newsletters i.e. Book of Mormon and others. We were previously aware of your efforts to destroy the "Mormon Church" which in reality does not exist but is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. However, this is the first time we had actually seen the Devil's Advocate in physical form on the earth -- that is Jerald and Sandra Tanner! It will be on your consequence when you are judged, for those who left the Church because of your contagion Satantic influence. These are simply people who cannot think for themselves and fell pry to you! We want to thank you for your web site as far as we are concerned. It has done nothing for us except to strength our belief and testimony in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. The Book of Mormon is immutable and there is no power on earth that can change that -- even you! I guess you should be reminded again that there is no such thing as a Mormon Church.

This message comes to you from real members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints somewhere in Asia.

Dec. 14, 1999

I am praying that the Lord, through this action, will expose the LDS Church for what it is ... a cult.

Dec. 14, 1999

Good luck with any appeals. Our best wishes go with you. Many of us silently appreciate the work you are doing.

Dec. 14, 1999

Just a short note. The church, by going after you folks has truly shot itself in the foot with a machine gun. I've found in the past 3 days, at least 5 sites that now carry the CHI. And for every one the church puts down, three more rise in its place! Kinda like that game at the carnival. I am convinced that in a month, there will be at least 20 sites, mostly overseas, that will carry the CHI.

You folks keep up the good work your doing. I firmly believe alternate points of view should exist and thrive. It is by discussing both sides of an issue we gain a better appreciation for the truth.

Dec. 14, 1999

I read a brief editorial on the court case surrounding your website and I couldn't help but get a chuckle...evil meant to crush your efforts (website) with a court decision but in return the Lord used it to communicate your site and information to many others through the result of the courts decision. I look forward to reading more information from your website and sending it to others that may need this information. Keep up the great work!!!

Dec. 14, 1999

I'm on a mailing list where your situation has been discussed. Someone suggested a paraphrase of the GHI pages in question. They weren't interested in getting personally involved, but I thought I'd forward a copy of their rewrite.

* * *

This work is copyright Glen J. Hettinger 1999. Anyone can reproduce it for any noncommercial purpose as long as it is reproduced in its entirety.

If I understand copyright law correctly, the Church's copyright covers the *words* but not the *ideas* of the Handbook. Why, then, would not the Tanners or anyone else simply publish a summary of how to get one's name off the record?

The summary might look something like this:

The following procedures should be followed by any person wishing to have his or her name removed from the records of the church.

1. Your request must be a written letter. A request that Home Teachers or Visiting Teachers not visit you will not be enough to start the name-removal process.

2. In order to prove that your letter is delivered, the letter should be sent certified mail return receipt requested. This can be done at your local post office.

3. Your letter should be hand written or otherwise convey that it is not a "form letter." You may also do this by saying, in the letter itself, "this is not a form letter." (It might be interesting if you insist that you get no "form letters" in return, since church leaders are provided with a set of "form letters" to send to people involved in these kinds of actions.)

4. To speed the process, your letter should make the points listed below. If it does not, you will probably get a visit from a church leader who is instructed to make sure that you understand these points. The points are:

  • You understand that having your name removed will cancel your baptism and confirmation (the "laying on of hands").
  • You understand (if you are a man who has been given the LDS priesthood) that your priesthood will be cancelled.
  • You understand that having your name removed cancels your temple ordinances, if you have been through the temple.
  • You understand that it will be very difficult to get back into the church should you change your mind later, and that you will have to go through a difficult interview process if you change your mind.
  • You have made up your mind and you will not be persuaded otherwise.

5. A minor must have a parent or guardian sign the letter.

6. You should ask that the bishop proceed as soon as possible to move your letter through the church's administrative process.

7. To preserve the confidentiality of your letter, you can place the following at the end:

This letter is sent to you on a private and confidential basis. It is a copyright work, and you do not have any license to reproduce or publish the work or to allow anyone to view it who is not necessary to the process of  having my name removed from the church records. I am prepared to take legal action if my rights are violated. (Note: lawyers for the church have used words like this to try to keep church correspondence from being circulated.)

8. You will be sent a notice that your name has been removed and informing you that you have 30 days to change your mind.

Dec. 14, 1999

My prayers are with you and Jerald in your recent battle with the LDS Church. I am an ex-Mormon saved by Christ for 10 years now and I am so grateful that you and Jerald try in love to reach LDS people. The LDS church is decieving and not at all what they teach you upfront by the missionaries.

My husband and I were married in the Washington LDS Temple and what an eye opener that was. Thank our Father in Heaven that he had Christians like you witness to us and share information with us. I think you know _____ ______, he has been to your place in Utah to help you there quite a bit, well he has helped me to see what Mormonism was really about. I hope you and Jerald win this court case, I am so sick of this church decieving one person after another, and now not wanting members to be able to have something to show them to get out. It's a cult. I still have some friends still in it, it is so hard.

I'll be praying for you all.

Dec. 14, 1999

I just took the time to read Tena Campbell's ruling on web link's. Specifically she rules that "...when material is transferred to a computer's RAM, copying has occurred;....such an act constitutes copyright infringement." Is she out of her mind!?!? ...

Next I went to the LDS website. Guess what I found. A copyright notice! This means that all of the material on the site is copyrighted. But oh darn! My computer just made a copy to RAM of material that has a copyright! According to Tena Campbell, I just become a violator of copyright law. Heck the LDS Church didn't even give me a chance to exit the site before I was trapped! Why would they do this? Because the LDS Church doesn't want any dissenters browsing their site. If they permit this a dissenter may use the material to justify a dissenting opinion. What better way for them to use their billions to systematically stop visitations by known dissenters? Trap em and prosecute. That's the key!

So what's next? Using Campbell's reasoning, the LDS Church can now selectively elect to prosecute visitors to their own web site. A dissenter can't even link to the site without their permission. Why? because the material has a copyright. I can easily envision this institution obtaining a list of e-mail addresses that specifically targets their enemies. It is a simple matter for them to determine if a dissenter has visited their site.

The technology is a standard feature of the IIS server (the engine that powers the site). Then, if this injunction is upheld, they can selectively prosecute every dissenter that ever visited their site. It is simple to envision the LDS Church secretly tracking every visitor who enters their sight. It can easily be done without the dissenter's knowledge. If this ruling is upheld, they can selectively target anybody who disagrees with them at will. Targeting dissenters is a common practice for this organization. And such is the practice of an organization that utilizes tyranny to maintain power.

Dec. 14, 1999

I'm hooked on the website, and am in danger of becoming obsessed--the dogs think I've abandoned them. (I'm trying to skim my way through all the e-mails posted on [Web-editor: This is a very large list of postings and will take a long time to download depending on your connection. Have fun....])

If you do publish anything about copyright law, and the ins and outs of this case, I will be very interested. Anyway, just wanted to say that the website is quite interesting, and you are doing a great job :)

Dec. 16, 1999

I really appreciate the stand that you folks are taking. Here in Wyoming the Mormon Church is Huge. Some of the small towns have maybe a little store/Post office maybe a bar and than a huge 1 or 2 block Mormon church. It is totally unbelievable. Anyway I thank the Lord that there are people out there that will tell us the truth about the Mormon Church.

Dec. 16, 1999

I was recently baptized into the lds church and I now have second thoughts about my decision.

Dec. 17, 1999

I have been greatly disturbed by the flap over posting portions of the Church Handbook of Instruction on your web site and then over posting links to the CHI on other sites. I have to admit that my first response was to agree that you had violated copyright law. However, as I examine the evidence I am beginning to think otherwise. ...

The CHI does not expressly "otherwise indicate" that it should not be reproduced in any form therefore your use appears legal. Further, your web site is implicitly "for home use" (it is hard to imagine it as a site promoting to corporations) and you are working under non-profit status (further emphasizing the "home use") so it is difficult to see how they can justify their attack upon you. Thus they are not following their own guidelines and rules and their targeting of such sites is a violation of the very precepts in the book they are attempting to protect.

It is clear that they are enforcing their rules as they see fit. That is legal (albeit unethical). However, attempting to do so retrospectively is not.

Dec. 17, 1999

Don't you have anything better to do?

Dec. 17, 1999

I have long been looking for some insight into Mormonism because I have a friend who 'belongs' to the LDS. Your balanced views have been helpful to me in realising that the Mormon religion has little to do with Christianity. I now know why when I ask her questions about the Doctrine, she does not know the answers - not something 'they' are expected to do within the church - ask questions.

I wish you well with your organisation and your court case, I will call back from time to time, or when I need something else explained, believe me there will be more I need explained.

Dec. 17, 1999

We again state that we are fully convinced that the Tanners have acted within the U. S. Copyright Law their use of a portion of the Mormon handbook, and there should never have been even a preliminary injunction by the Judge in this case. In due time, their cause will be justified, even if takes action in a higher court. This attempt by the LDS is just another instance of their opposition to freedom of the press, as was exemplified by the their founder, Joseph Smith, who ordered the Nauvoo Expositor to be destroyed when it was critical of him. ...

We believe that in the Providence of God the Tanners' case serves to expose the character of Mormonism in regard to freedom of speech.

Dec. 18, 1999

I thank God for your ministry and for the incredible resources you have put together. Last year, my roommate, who was raised in mormonism came to faith in Christ after I got the chance to share with him. Had I no prior knowledge of the doctrines of mormonism, I could have never opened a conversation with him.

Thank you for allowing this to be possible for other people.

Dec. 18, 1999

I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you. I spent some years as a non-Mormon married to a Mormon in a small northern Utah town. Having grown up on Long Island, New York it was quite a culture shock. My husband became a Christian in 1983 and in 1985 we moved back to New York. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for bringing us out of Utah. For me, it was a miserable place to leave. Everytime I visited somewhere else, I would feel as though a great weight was lifted off of me when I stepped ott the plain. I know that Utah is your home but I have to say that I am amazed that God gives you the grace to bear up under the load you must bear. I am praying for you in this battle. That God will make you strong in His power and might.

I have spent the last few days bantering back and forth on the forum on this subject. The one person who disagreed with me the most at first appeared to be someone simply interested in discussing the "freedom of speech" issue. When religion was mentioned, he pretended to become annoyed.

But he kept throwing out little bits of misinformation about the LDS church and about the Tanners. Apparently he was LDS.

Dec. 18, 1999


I found your site some time ago after reading about your legal problems. Today's local newspaper (Avalanche Journal, Lubbock, TX) ran an article about the gag order placed on some material on your site. I'm glad you are still on-line and I wish you much success.

I was glad to see you have the book "No Man Knows My History" in your titles. I have the book and it is certainly an eye-opener.

Keep up the good work.

Dec. 18, 1999

Brother and Sister,

I ran into a news headline/header at is the website for Michael Swaine, Editor-at-Large for Dr. Dobb's Journal.

I followed links from his site to the site in Australia, where the guy says he has removed the material from his own site, but gives the links to worldwide sites holding the material. The Australian also links (hint, hint) this flap with the crush-job Scientology tried to do on the Fishman Court Records, which resulted in them being spread (in many cases, quite legally) all ooovvvvveeeerrrrr. He seems to hint that that is what is needed (and, indeed, is happening) in this case.

Michael's posting was this past week, so it is fairly fresh. I think that all the "free speech" fanatics on the net will jump aboard this. In any event, the material cannot be suppressed......The LDS has many resources, but not more than Scientology (not more focused toward suppression and persecution), and has got to try to retain the "nice guy" image, if they can.

So, with all this going for you, how can you be hurt? I'll tell you how!...if your brothers and sisters in Christ don't lift you up before the Throne of Grace......but, our God is gracious and, if I happened to stumble upon this, at just this time, then you know others of us are being caused to stumble upon it likewise (purely by coincidence, of course). So, the first thing I'm going to do is pray HARD that He with Whom we have to do will raise up more brothers and sisters to pray HARD and more, and more......You two peacefully be of good comfort until the God of All Glory brings in the blessing.

Dec. 19, 1999

May God continue to bless you in freeing our brothers and sisters from the mormonism veil that has blinded them. I too was once a Mormon. And through the love and grace of God I was able to open that door to him and let him into my life.

Good luck, and God bless.

Dec. 19, 1999

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tanner:

It seems obvious that the real intent of this lawsuit is to harass ULM- perhaps the most effective critics of the Mormon church. The Mormon Church been harmed by the posting of this material?

Posting a single chapter of the book would seem to fall within the "fair use" of copyrighted material. It certainly wasn't posted for profit or without credit to the authors.

In any case, I predict that this lawsuit will prove to be a public relations disaster for the Mormons. Are they trying to suppress information regarding how to leave the Church? Are they trying to harass and intimidate their critics? Mormons don't even want the public to have access to Internet links which may contain critical information? So much for the Mormon defense of the US Constitution.

I'm not an attorney but it seems to me that the best defense against this lawsuit is arguing that the Mormon Church cannot prove that they've been damaged by the posting of excerpts from the CHI. What harm comes to the Church when members who want to leave are informed how best to do so? It's unlikely they'll admit the intent is to suppress such information.

The greatest threat to the future growth of the Mormon Church is literacy and the widespread distribution of historically accurate information. This lawsuit suggests that the Internet has been a highly effective method of curtailing growth in the LDS Church- at least in the United States.

Keep up the good work,

Dec. 20, 1999

if mormons are right and you are wrong, then where would you (an anti-mormon christian) go when you die?

[Sandra's Note: All depends on who you ask. Some LDS have told me that I am headed for outer darkness with the sons of perdition. Other LDS assure me that since I never held the priesthood and never went through the temple endowment ceremony I could get either the Telestial or Terestrial Kingdom. Since the LDS people have done the temple work for Hitler I guess I would have as good a chance as him to have some Mormon to do my temple work. However, I’m putting my trust in John 3:16.]

Dec. 22, 1999

You folks are my hero's of the faith. God is using you for a great and Holy purpose. I want to encourage you in the fight for religious freedom and free speech. God is on your side and will use this for His glory. May you stay strong and may God continure to shed His grace upon you.

I will send a contribution to your legal defense fund real soon!

Because He Lives....

Dec. 23, 1999

Your attemt to circumvent the law by using the "loophole" of linking to other sites that you KNOW violate the law, is about as honest as someone who attempts to circumvent a murder conviction by HIRING a killer. That ain't honorable.

[Sandra's Note: we never ‘linked’ to other sites containing the LDS handbook. We simply quoted some emails that contained the web addresses of sites purporting to contain the handbook.]

Dec. 26, 1999

I love it. You people can leave the Church, but you can't leave it alone. You don't want hate mail, but your site is a hate site. If they're not for us, they're against us. Know who said that?


Dec. 27, 1999

On December 24, 1999, Jerald and Sandra of the Utah Lighthouse, Inc., filed an Appeal in the United States Court of Appeal for the Tenth District.

A photocopy of the Appeal is on the Utah Lighthouse website: ...

We are happy to see the filing of this Appeal, as the higher this case can go the better the prospects for the Tanners to be justified in accordance with the United States Copyright Law in the manner in which they used copyrighted materials. ...

Several days ago, I sent the following letter to Senator Orrin Hatch, a Mormon who is running for the Republican nomination for President:

Dear Senator Hatch:

Many are concerned that the LDS Church is apparently engaged in attempting to abridge United States citizens' rights under the Copyright Law. They have a lawsuit filed against Jerald and Sandra Tanner of Salt Lake City which in the opinion of many defies the "fair use" section of the Copyright Law [US Code: Title 17, # 107]

As a voting Republican interested in your candidacy, I wish to inquire of your opinion on this lawsuit. ...

It is receiving national attention, even in the New York Times ...and in other media sources (see more links on the Tanners' website).


Senator Hatch's email is:

Thus far, I have received no reply. I suggest that others of you who are concerned about this issue write to Senator Hatch and call this important issue to his attention.

Dec. 28, 1999

Your work has assisted our exodus from a life of valiant service to the religion we no longer are members of and to freedom in our Lord & Savior.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you once again and to wish the work to continue & flourish in the upcoming New Year in bringing more mormons to the true light of Christ.

Our prayers & hearts join you in this work & may God bless this ministry to His glory!

Dec. 28, 1999

A few months ago I emailed you about donating to the Utah Lighthouse Ministry through the LDS fast offering program. For quite some time we have been giving to various causes through fast offerings and we were assured that our contributions went to wherever we designated. I think it was back in Novenber that my wife put a few dollars in the fast offering envelope and designated it to go to the Utah Lighthouse Ministry. A few days later our bishop showed up on our door step. He said they couldn't accept donations to the Utah Light House Ministry and handed me our money back. I thanked him, took the money and he left. I was really hoping you could start a campaign of solicition donations through the LDS fast offering program. Now THAT would have been funny. Oh, well......

I've decided my wife and I believe the Book of Mormon.....but only as far as it's plagiarized correctly.

Dec. 29, 1999

I just happened to come across the Copyright Ruling case on the WEB. After looking over your WEB site, I couldn't help but see another side to this. On the one hand, I'm sure there is plenty of further debate to come on the copyright infringement/WEB link issue. However, I believe I also see a huge, enormously wealthly "religious" organization flexing their muscle against a small, non profit WEB site that has some serious theological differences with the LDS.

I find your WEB site most interesting, and will have to spend some more time there. I also find it interesting that the LDS wouldn't want the words of Joseph Smith available everywhere, for all to see. After all, just from reading the excerpt from his "History of the Church", it would appear that he is held as someone equal to or greater than Jesus. To anyone with even a nominal Christian faith, I would think this should be rather troubling. Personally, I have found that the writings of people like Joseph Smith or Charles Taze Russell speak for themselves when compared to even the most basic tenants of traditional Christianity.

Well, keep up the good work.

Go to January Email

emailbutton.jpg (2836 bytes)

Go to Under the Cover of Light: News


Home | FAQs | What's New | Topical Index | Testimony | Newsletters | Online Resources | Online Books | Booklist | Order/Contact | Email | Other Websites