Oct. 1, 2002
I'm sorry, but when I came across your website, I was amazed that so many people who claim to be such good Christians are judging Mormons for their beliefs. I am a Mormon and proud of it. You don't have to agree with our religion or even like it, but whatever happened to Christ's teaching to love everyone regardless? I am in astonishment that so many refer to us as non-Christian; our entire theology centers on Christ.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I would
like you all to know once and for all that everything in our religion is
100% VOLUNTARY!!! No one is forced to pay tithing, read their scriptures,
hold callings or anything else. Malachi talked about tithing, it's not a new
thing and I don't understand why it is supposed to be some kind of financial
May the Lord Bless You and Keep You
Oct. 1, 2002
Hello Jerald and Sandra,
I have written you before... Since my last correspondence, our entire family of 10 has left the Mormon Church officially and all have been saved through our Lord, Christ Jesus. Now that we have been saved and found a church family, we have been approached by numerous people requesting that we instruct a class on facts about Mormonism---and the culture of the church.
We are going to pray about this and feel strongly that there is a need for this to be done locally here in Missouri. ...
Oct. 2, 2002
hello, and good evening from northern germany, through the internet some time ago i got acquainted with a mormon...which turned out to be one of my most interesting theological encounters i had for a long time... [this led to] a very good friendship and me trying to understand mormon church and culture. but there were two issues which deeply touched me:
1- a male friend..., in the early 40s and unmarried, seemed to be suffering seriously his unmarried status within this mormon Utah society -- and i was wondering about the theological / ethical background (as also those "single wards")
2- i witnessed a couple of testimonies ...with their heavily emotional expressions, which - as a German protestant - rather surprised me; but, and that's what i am really interested in understanding, in one of our sharing [my friend] explained to me rather emotionally, that she wouldn't like to live this life if she couldn't count on meeting her relatives and ancestors in the hereafter, the celestial kingdom --- and started crying. what is the meaning, and impact, of this idea...
...it seems, as if [my friend] is on the edge of challenging mormon religion, even though she is deeply rooted in it, even with a very thorough theological and biblical background (and non-missionary approach)....to be honest, i've spent an entire afternoon and evening, and now night, reading quite a number of your online documents :-)) thanks for your effort to providing them to people like me.
[Sandra's Note: 1. Since Mormonism teaches that a person MUST be married and active in the temple in order to inherit eternal life, many single members feel left out, a failure, guilty, etc. due to their single state. With the great emphasis on marriage there was a need for a place for singles to meet other singles.
2. Most Mormons seem to think that since Christians do not believe in the marriage state in heaven they think the Christians do not plan on seeing their loved ones or being with them in heaven, which is false. All the Christians I know are looking forward to being with friends and loved ones in heaven, just not marriage. Christians look forward to sharing in God's equal love for all people. To me this means I will not love Jerald less, I will love everyone else more. We will all be in one big family, brothers and sisters in Christ (Luke 20:35-36; Gal. 3:26-29).
The Mormon idea of heaven doesn't even make sense in their own framework. If their kids grow up and get married in the temple and achieve godhood they would then go off to some other planet to start procreating their children for that world. They wouldn't be with their parents. So how does a Mormon plan on having his family with him forever?]
Oct. 2, 2002
Your first page on your website states several questions of WHY? Regarding Joseph Smith, Jr. and Oliver Cowdery not being baptized before they received the priesthood from John the Baptist, and why didn't John the Baptist baptize them, and other questions...Let us consider some things.
First, John the Baptist came under orders, from Jesus Christ, who told him to give Joseph Smith, Jr. and Oliver Cowdery the Aaronic Priesthood, and then tell them to baptize each other, etc. John the Baptist didn't baptize them himself, because he was not commanded to do so. Joseph Smith, Jr. and Oliver Cowdery received the priesthood before being baptized, because that is the way that Jesus Christ wanted it.
...the lesson to be learned here is that we DO exactly what God tells us. Even if it appears to contradict known doctrines and commandments already given or later given by God.
God made the ten commandments. He can also tell us to kill or to have more than one wife, or to steal, or to lie, or to do whatever He wishes. It is His world, His law, and we are His children. And He can do whatever He pleases and He can tell us to do whatever He wants us to do. It isn't for us to tell Him what He can or can't do, just because He has once told us to not do, what He may now be telling us TO DO. Your problem is that you want to run God the way you want God to be. That is proof that you and your fellow "Christians" have created your own religions and your own gods.
You don't even know who the real God is. Otherwise, you would shut your mouths and do what He has commanded in the scriptures, like help fulfil the covenant He made with Abraham. Are you doing this? No! You are too busy slamming other peoples' religions. See you in Hell!
Oct. 3, 2002
Since being saved, God has given me a desire to witness to the cults. I am teaching a class on cultic "doctrine", and am opening with the Orthodoxy of Christianity and its antithesis, Mormon Doctrine. I am using several books (Richard Abanes, James R. White et al.) to pull from. Your Web site is invaluable. ...
Oct. 3, 2002
...I've been studying your web page, and respect your divergent views. I understand there are lots of 'locked closets' within this religion, but the one underlying principal, on which my testimony is based, is simple faith. It sustains me, it propels me forward in the Gospel, and it provides me with a solid foundation for life itself.
Why dwell in the past? Are any of God's children perfect? Certainly Joseph Smith was not, nor were any of those who made the choice to follow his lead. As a mortal, he was fraught with mortal and moral issues. As a servant of God, he inspired and uplifted the hearts and hopes of thousands. As you know, today the Church worldwide is growing by over 300 new members daily. This religion will not be departing, soon. It blessed lives in the early days; it blesses lives today, and will continue to bless lives tomorrow. Faith is a blessing.
I think it's wonderful you and your husband have such a rich heritage. Many would aspire to possessing your pedigree. You have the potential to uplift many, as the faith of your forebearers still bears testimony of the faith than so many, including myself, find life worth living for today.
Oct. 4, 2002
Subject: What's your point?
Your website is the biggest waste on the internet. You accuse people of withholding information and making false claims. HAVEN'T You read the Bible??????
If you're "Christians" and believe in JESUS, WHY DON'T YOU take heed to his words????? Matthew 7:4 says, "Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine own eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?" This definately applies to all of you.
The savior must have foreseen people like you when he said Matthew 5:11. Your claims against Gordon B. Hinckley's character are so obviously false. Nobody could actually believe them. Your credibility is definately in question here. It's about time for you to get a new job and life. John 8:32, "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." I love you guys but you should take some of the critical statements that haven't been verified off of your website if you ever want me to visit it again. Peace be unto y'all.
Oct. 5, 2002
I became interested in Mormon history because some of my ancestors were Mormons. Since I'm not religious the question of whether LDS doctrine is fundamentally Christian doesn't concern me, so I skipped that chapter in Abanes's "One Nation Under Gods". I was intrigued, however, by two interesting matters Abanes mentions concerning Smith.
One is, that even while he was playing on the gullibility and superstition of his followers, Smith himself remained superstitious.
The other matter also illustrates an interesting attitude on Smith's part toward cause and effect in reality. Abanes quotes a woman to whom Smith made sexual advances. She says that Smith told her that "God does not care if we have a good time, if only other people do not know it." When she refused his advances Smith told the woman to "be silent, or he would ruin her character..." That is, he would defend himself against her truths by making people believe lies about her.
Ayn Rand suggests that when people think they hear God's voice, they are really hearing the thoughts and beliefs of everyone around them, and these minds around them become their reality. And this leads them to believe that they can control reality by controlling others' minds. Hence Joseph Smith's superstitions (i.e., reality for him was a mystical realm affected by ritual), and hence his drive to master reality by mastering the minds of the populace in a totalitarian society.
Smith's story is interesting, as are the stories of Hitler and Stalin, because they were totalitarians who became prominent enough to leave behind documentation on their psychologies. Most people like them don't get far enough to become unmasked.
Oct. 5, 2002
Why do you two hate me so much? You are trying so hard to destroy a good thing here. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is wonderful, and true. But Besides that, you two would be doing a greater good by trying to help others. Imagine what you could accomplish if you put forth as much effort to stop child abuse as you are to destroying a church that loves our savior. I know nothing I say can change your mind.....but I want you to know that even though you are set on hurting myself and others...Including children......I still love you because Jesus does.
Oct. 5, 2002
Can you answer a question or two about Martin Harris? ...One of Abanes's footnotes has Harris addressing a group of Saints in Utah in 1870. Did he rejoin the LDS Church? If not, wasn't it dangerous for him to go to Utah? Was he unaware of the danger (he doesn't strike one as having been too bright)?
[Sandra's Note: After Martin Harris left Mormonism in 1837 he joined several other groups, including the James Strang movement. He went to England as a missionary for Strang in 1846. He rejoined Mormonism a few years later and moved to Utah, where he died. There is additional information on Harris and the other witnesses in our book, The Case Against Mormonism, Vol. 2.]
Oct. 5, 2002
Subject: The Lost Book of Abraham
Is the video "The Lost Book of Abraham" a good buy? Is it accurate?
[Sandra's Note: This is a great video, very professionally done, with many interviews, including current Egyptologists.]
Oct. 6, 2002
Subject: Thank You
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tanner,
Your site, like the many others created to "enlighten" people of the deceptions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, puzzles me. Why would anyone spend so much effort in this endeavor unless they deemed the church to be an organization holding truly dangerous and evil repercussions for its members?...
I am a journalist and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I must disagree with your assessment of the church's teachings. In all my days as a member I can honestly say all of the teachings that have been directed toward me have been centered on Jesus Christ. Everything! ...I happen to believe there is more to God and His Son than what the Bible tells us and the Mormons are the only ones who seem to feel the same way.
I am skeptical by nature and have always asked questions of everything. ...When I question something I search for the answers. I even search in places like your website, and I can honestly say, while I disagree with its premise, it has been beneficial....
Faith has no limits. Prayer is the only way I know to discover the validity of the spiritual truths that are available to us. To say otherwise is to show a lack of faith in that being you also profess to follow and believe in. Extensive study of the subject is necessary certainly, but to know of its divine truth, prayer alone is sufficient if one has sufficient faith.
Thank you for adding upon mine.
Oct. 6, 2002
Subject: She almost had me...
Hi! I'd like to thank you for the massive amounts of research you have done in the name of discovering the Truth.
A year ago I fell in love with a wonderful, beautiful Mormon girl. By the
time she left on her mission, I had the number of the missionaries and was
about to abandon my church. Her family wanted me to marry her and pushed me
towards joining the church.
May the Lord help her and her family.
Oct. 7, 2002
Subject: couple of thoughts....
Hi folks, just wanted to thank you and add a couple of thoughts. Seems there are 2 groups write to you ...
(1) those who are willing to come to the light and be set free from this mind control cult.
(2) those who have rejected the truth , ignore the issues and try to shut out the obvious.
The latter of these 2 groups seem content to rant about how you are 'attacking' them or how Christ is so loving he would never point out error.... little realising that the Jesus of the Bible NEVER courted popularity or tried to be nice at the expense on TRUTH .... He called the religous people of his day exactly as he saw them... 'vipers' 'hypocrites' and 'blind guides'
The simple truth is that mormon religion is just another false prophet religion, like moonies, islam, jehovah witness and so on... and being unbiblical it's leading people to hell. Therefore isnt it right to expose it ? WWJD? ... He would do EXACTLY what the tanners are doing!
The fact that precious souls persist with this religion in spite of the overwhelming and damning evidence against it proves that deception is at work causing spiritual blindness
One more thing ....Mormons seem also to be confused in their understanding of 'church' .... they somehow seem to want to discuss which is the 'true' church, without realising that the biblical definition of 'church' is not a building or an organistaion with doctrine, but rather is one body of believers, because as far as God is concerned, there is only one church made up of those all over the world who love the true Jesus and know Him as Lord. No church has ever saved anyone. No doctrine has ever saved anyone. God is pleased to save EVERYONE who comes to Jesus Christ ....
Now surely that is good news for mormons and other unsaved all over the world ! bless you all !
Oct. 7, 2002
I am currently corresponding with an lds fellow who brought up the fact that their leaders (him included) are not paid and it's wrong to be paid money.
Well, I'm pretty certain that their prophet and the other suits in slc are being paid and paid well. Are they paid a salary and if so, do we know how much? I've been told that Hinkley is paid $400,000/yr and lives in a 1.2 million dollar condo. I can't quote this however if I don't know it's true.
[Web-editor: See Do Mormon Leaders Receive Financial Support?.]
Oct. 8, 2002
Subject: Quiting LDS
I have been trying to resign from the LDS church since April. I followed your guideline on how to do this. The 1st letter I sent was forwarded to Bishop _____ ______ of the Oceanside 3rd Ward who contacted me. I told him I didn't want visiting teachers to come to my home. I told him I was a born-again Christian and my husband a Baptist Minister.
He said he'd send the forwarded letter back to Salt Lake. In the meantime I was called by the relief society, sent a birthday card welcoming me to come to meetings. At this point, (July 13) my husband, called Mr. ______ and insisted my name be removed from their membership roles and from the Church roles altogether, as I had requested. Mr. ______ told my husband that they were going to 'discuss' my case the very next day. (July 14).
I received another letter, (dated July 15) from Mr. ______, that my name was being removed from the records of the LDS church. He said, in effect, that I had 30 days to rescind. It is now October.
Since I have heard nothing more about it, I assume that I and my husband are being ignored again. My husband tried to call Mr. ______ yesterday and left a message on his recorder. No answer, yet.
Since I am out of state, what recourse do I have? I feel I'm being held captive by the LDS church. We are on a fixed income and attorneys are out of the question. Nobody can stand up against the LDS church and it's resources and win.
Please help me get shed of the invisible tentacles of this hellish cult.
[Sandra's Note: Write to the bishop and ask for a letter confirming that your membership has, in fact, been terminated. Send a copy of your letter to the LDS Church membership dept. at 50 E. North Temple, SLC UT 84111.
Tell the bishop that you will be expecting the letter next week, otherwise you will be forced to start a write-in campaign to your local newspaper about how uncooperative the LDS Church is, how it stifles a person's right to freedom of choice, and that these oppressive control measures are some of the marks of a cult. No other church has such outlandish requirements to terminate membership. Also tell him that a copy of your letter has also been sent to the LDS membership dept.
When you get your letter you still might consider writing a letter to the editor of your paper about how controlling the LDS Church is.]
Oct. 8, 2002
Regarding your answer to the 18th question under general questions in the FAQ section, men cannot currently marry and be sealed to a second wife in the temple. YOU ARE WRONG. About everything.
[Sandra's Note: Sorry, I believe its the other way around. It is true that the LDS Church does not allow its members to live in plural marriage today. However, if a man marries in the temple and later gets a divorce, but not a temple divorce (cancellation of temple sealing), he can remarry in the temple and thus have two temple sealings on the books. Thus, according to Mormonism, he can look forward to living with both wives in the hereafter.
Another way the LDS system allows for multiple sealings is in the case of the death of a wife.
Look at Pres. Harold B. Lee. In the Deseret News 1974 Church Almanac is an article about Pres. Lee which tells of his first wife's death and his subsequent marriage to another woman. The article concludes with a poem by Lee which states:
Pres. Lee was certainly looking forward to polygamy in heaven! My own devout LDS grandfather outlived my grandmother and was married in the temple to a second wife. I assure you, my LDS family all believe grandpa is now with both wives, preparing for their eternal exaltation together.]
Oct. 8, 2002
Letter to the editor --
I was a 20 year member of the LDS religion before quitting in 1983. While I was a member everything about the church seemed so important to me. Now I find it hard to believe that I allowed myself to be duped. I was duped because I really did not know much about religion. Any church which uses "Jesus" is a false church. "Hallowed be thy name." His name is Yahweh or Yahshua when he walked on the face of the earth. Yahshua was never called Jesus in his entire lifetime. The name "Jesus" is a Roman Catholic invention.
I gave a copy of the endowment ceremony publication to one of my friends who happens to be a temple worker. I have known him for over 30 years. He admitted that it was 100% correct and that he uses it at times to refresh his memory....
Oct. 8, 2002
If you don't trust your feelings and intentions enough to pray about the BoM, then why do you pray at all? What do you think the people were asking for in James 4:3? Certainly not for truth that would help them, especially from a loving father, their GOD, who would willingly give his children truth (James 1:5, Luke 18:1). YOU REJECT GOD AND THE METHOD BY WHICH HE WOULD SPEAK TO YOU!!!!
Oct. 8, 2002
Subject man's creation
When Alma and other BoM prophets taught about man being created, of course they meant the physical body of man. No one in the church has ever claimed that man's spirit isn't eternal. That is what is meant by the pre-existence- it refers to what we were before we received the bodies GOD created for us. YOU ARE DECEPTIVE.
[Sandra's Note: I assume you are referring to the page on Contradictions in LDS Scriptures. You are missing the entire point. The Book of Mormon does not teach the concept of man's prior existence as a spirit in heaven before being born on earth, whereas the other LDS scriptures do.
And in case you think Christ's appearance to the brother of Jared in the Book of Mormon helps your argument, look again at Ether 3:8-16. There is nothing in that chapter that would indicate that man preexisted as a spirit, only God. Notice that verse 16 says, "...this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I CREATED after the body of my spirit..."
I still maintain the Book of Mormon contradicts Smith's later teachings.]
Oct. 8, 2002
Subject: wasting your time
I think that it is funny that [you] spend so much time on what is wrong with the mormon religion when you could be doing something different with your time. Why would you try to sway someone from what they believe in. We all have a right to believe in what we want. Who are you to say what is right and what is wrong. Try helping starving kids or homeless people. What about all the other religions?
[Sandra's Note: I agree, we all have the the right to believe what we want. However, if TRUTH matters we should be trying to present it to all we can. We do this for the same reason I assume the LDS Church sends out missionaries--to bring people out of error into God's truth. We may disagree with each other on what is TRUTH, but surely not on the importance of finding it.]
Oct. 8, 2002
Subject: Latter-day saints are not perfect...
And never have we claimed to be. We are mere mortals trying to become more like our savior Jesus Christ. It is such a sad waste to see you misrepresent our faith and not try harder to understand your own. It hurts the heart of any believer to feel attacks from others who don't understand. However, in the end the one who is truly hurt is the one who allows himself to attack others. Hopefully, you will realize how much you error one day and change your website to proclaim the gospel rather than tear it down.
Oct. 8, 2002
Subject: The God of the Bible is not the God of Christendom
What a challenging title, defining the inconceivable; but is God beyond description? The most common objection to my own faith system, wherein I practice my Christian beliefs as a Mormon, is the teaching that we can become as God is. The argument being that God is ONE, having infinite knowledge, power and being; therefore, no one can become like God - God is ineffable.
...The New Testament, the scripture of the Catholic Christianity, witnesses to the anthropomorphism of God in the person of Jesus, who is described as "the Son of God". The Catholic Church underwent a difficult time during the third and fourth centuries after the divine manifestation of Jesus in justifying its doctrine on the incarnation or in simple terms the representation of God in Jesus Christ. The church was in danger of fragmentation particularly through the doctrine of Arius who believed that Jesus could not actually have been God but was actually created by God. ...For those in the know, and there are not many of the faithful who are clear about these teachings, the Catholic church laid down certain dogmas that were the final definitions for God....We need to remember that these definitions were formulated by councils constituted by men having religio/secular power rather than by revelation to men who were powerless in the affairs of the church or the secular world.
...The greatest threat to the global power of the medieval Catholic Church came with the advent of the printing press which became the engine of the Reformation and a new age of enlightenment. Through information technology the sectarian church brought to religious faith an opposition theology on the authority of the church and its doctrine; but has maintained with it a modified definition of God based upon the apostasy of the trinity formulated by the Nicene Creed rejecting the Maryan doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and her perpetual virginity. Whilst the Protestant church carries a unity over the definition of God within the Nicene Creed it lack cohesion being a dissipation of sects lacking genuine ecclesiastical authority.
It is my argument that the deity of Post-Nicene church is based upon the intellectual reasoning of men rather than upon the revelation of God and is therefore a metaphysical nonsense. It is this Post-Nicene definition that is rejected by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on the basis of a revelation of God the Father and of Jesus Christ as separate entities whilst the receiver of that revelation, Joseph Smith, was infused by the Holy Ghost. It was a revelation that showed a whole new aspect of the Celestial realm that is inhabited by divine beings or elohim, one of which is Jesus Christ who is the firstborn of these gods, revealed as JHWH Elohim to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to the prophets and apostles. Jesus Christ the great Jehovah who has inherited all authority over the people of God, Israel, it is by his authority alone that we can inherit a place as elohim, as gods but not as God who rules the Celestial Kingdom. ...
[Sandra's Note: The first Christians were from Jewish roots and already had a concept of only one God. This was not invented later by the Catholics. Christianity has ALWAYS taught just one God. The New Testament documents were already in existence prior to any one group's control and they have always contained the same teaching of one eternal God. For more on this read The New Mormon Challenge.]
Oct. 8, 2002
Dear Jerald & Sandra,
I continue to appreciate your Messenger, which I've read for many years. ... Thanks for your help.
In Christian love,
Oct. 8, 2002
Subject: plural GODS
Sure there are more than one GOD, we only have one GOD that we need to be concerned with right now, that's why BoM prophets preached of the one GOD.
YOU ARE IGNORANT OF THE TRUTH.
Oct. 9, 2002
Before I pose any question let me just say that I am a mormon.
Basically everything I accept as truth comes from within. I have purpose to my life knowing that I am a child of God (Psalms 82:6). I love knowing that God still speaks to Prophets (Amos 3:7). I would think that Christians would welcome other witnesses and accounts that Jesus is the Christ. I'm sure you are familiar with LDS theology.
Why the rush to denounce that which promotes people to make themselves better? Is it a requirement of a lot of people looking for a church to find one that focuses on denouncing another's faith? Why not focus on building up your own rather than tearing down another? I assure you that most mormons are aware of the content on your website. We are smart and are not being tricked <gasp>
The main thing I could never understand about most Christian churches that attack the mormons is the notion that God no longer speaks to prophets. There are plenty of references warning us to beware of false prophets but nothing saying there will be no more true ones.
This is an honest inquiry and I truly hope to find out how you personally know that God no longer speaks to prophets. (Thanks for reading and I hope you don't take this as flaming hate mail)
[Sandra's Note: Regarding your first point, since the Bible warns in Jer 17:9 that the 'heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked' one needs to be careful about trusting inner feelings. Paul commended those that searched the scriptures to see if what he was preaching was truly in agreement with the past prophets (see Acts 17:11). He didn't tell them that the way to test his message was to trust their inner feelings or to simply rely on spiritual experiences.
As for your point about prophets, we have already dealt with this under How Do We Test a Prophet? Where is current prophecy in Mormonism? Pres. Hinckley just prays and relies on inner feelings, not the voice of God. See our Nov. 2002, Salt Lake City Messenger. All pastors pray, study the scriptures and make decisions in light of these things. How is this different from what Hinckley is doing? Where is his 'thus saith the Lord'?
You stated "I would think that Christians would welcome other witnesses and accounts that Jesus is the Christ." If you are referring to the Book of Mormon, it is not 'another' witness if it is not truly historical. There are thousands of novels by Christians, but they are not scripture and would prove nothing as to Christ's existence. How is the Book of Mormon supposed to be a support for Jesus if it is not truly a historical document?
As for your point about denouncing something that promotes good, the Mormons don't seem to be content to leave people in other churches that would also be promoting good. They send out thousands of missionaries to convince people from other churches that their church is wrong, their pastor is not authorized by God and they should convert to Mormonism. This LDS claim deserves a response.
Regarding the need for prophets, the term 'prophet' can be used as either one who proclaims God's word or one who predicts the future.
In Acts 15:32 we read "Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them."
We also read of Agabus the prophet in Acts 21:10. There is nothing in Acts to indicate that he was one of the twelve, only a Christian leader giving exhortation to Paul. This type of prophet still exists but discernment must be exercised by those hearing the message to avoid being led astray or deceived by false prophets.
This is clear from 1 Cor 14:29-33"Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."
Thus we see that the role of prophets in the early church was one of preaching, giving counsel and instruction, not a priesthood office.
In 1 Cor 12:28-31 we read that "God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
Paul's list above relates to spiritual gifts, not priesthood offices.
Chapter 13 goes on to speak of the gift of prophecy—"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."
No where do we see in the New Testament the distinction made in Mormonism that the church must have a prophet at its head, with apostles serving under him.
The second definition of 'prophet' means "to foretell the future." There is no need for this any longer since God has revealed what will happen to the end of time in the book of Revelation. (By the way, Pres. Hinkley doesn't seem to be doing any of this.)
Furthermore, in the book of Hebrews (1:1-2), it is clear that while God used to speak through the prophets he has now spoken to us through the final authority of the Son. The obvious implication here is that since God has spoken to us directly through Christ there will not be a return to prophets as exercised in the Old Testament sense.]
Oct. 10, 2002
Christians have priests as paid ministry and LDS ... have 16 year olds. High Priest is just a name just as John is. Jesus is THE High Priest, lds... are high priests. what you are doing here is blasphamous to all faiths. When you say christianity thats horse crap... Cathliocs believe diffrent the Baptists and Baptists diffrent the Non-denominational .... You are not the prophet so how can you translate the meaning of scriptures without the athority to do so. If you were the prophet and were interpreting the scripture like this then i might just might believe some of it but you are not so you have wasted your time making the terrible site. ...
Oct. 10, 2002
Subject: Indian Origins
Please add (I didn't see it) Under Origins of Indians, that Native Americans have a DNA verified history with Asia (Mongoloid) and are not descendants of Israel or Hebrew heritage. This is a significant in the claims that have been made in the Book of Mormon. A simple web search can provide more info if you need it. Thank you for handing this matter delicately, my family is still mormon.
[Sandra's Note: There is an article on DNA in the new book, American Apocrypha.]
Oct. 11, 2002
Subject: so happy to have met you
Stopped in to see you on Wednesday just before you closed. ...We are so happy to have met you and hope that we will be able to reach our friends that are locked into the LDS faith. You were certainly and inspiration to us. Please keep up the great work.
Oct. 11, 2002
Subject: christian house divided
go fight Islam and stop fighting fellow Christians even if they are a bit flawed........you look silly
Oct. 11, 2002
[Response to ULM claims] 9. Where are the Egyptian papyri that Joseph Smith used when he translated the Book of Abraham? Joseph Smith bought a collection of Egyptian mummies and papyrus scrolls in 1835. One of these scrolls became the basis for Smith’s Book of Abraham. After his death his wife retained ownership of the artifacts. Since she did not come to Utah with the LDS pioneers the papyri stayed in the Midwest. They eventually were acquired by a museum. The LDS Church acquired the Joseph Smith collection of papyri from the Metropolitan Museum in New York City in 1967. They are now housed at the LDS archives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Do you have facts to support with claim you can send me?
[Sandra's Note: The Deseret News, Nov. 27, 1967 had an article on the papyri. The Feb. 1968 issue of The Improvement Era (original name of 'Ensign') had an article and pictures of the papyri when the LDS Church acquired them from the Metropolitan Museum in New York. BYU Studies, Winter, 1968, had articles on the papyri. More on the controversy appeared in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer, 1968, also in the Autumn, 1968 issue. These are just a few of the many articles that have been written on the papyri. These can be read in most libraries in Utah. Not sure if the papyri are now at the BYU or at LDS Church headquarters, but the LDS Church does have them.
A good book on this is By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus, and the video, Lost Book of Abraham: Investigating a Remarkable Mormon Claim.]
Oct. 11, 2002
Over the past 35 years, I have benefited tremendously from your works. ....
Thanks, and God bless!!!
Oct. 11, 2002
...This fellow I'm corresponding with would like to show his very mormon wife information about Joseph Smith and his adventures in polygamy. However, she won't even look at anything which might be considered "anti" material. Is there any good information about Joseph Smith and polygamy from an LDS source that you are aware of?
[Sandra's Note: The LDS bookstore Deseret Book, 801-328-8191, sells a book called Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith by 2 LDS women historians, Newell and Avery. This book tells the story of Emma's struggle with polygamy and Joseph's continued practice. Another good book by an LDS author is In Sacred Loneliness by T. Compton. These are listed on our book list but are available from most LDS book stores.]
Oct. 11, 2002
Subject: Just a comment.
The Book of Mormon does not state which hill Moroni buried the portion of records that Mormon gave him. These were buried many years after the battle according to Book of Mormon chronology. And with Moroni running from the Lamanites during this time it is not likely that he buried them in the same location where the Nephites were destroyed. It was assumed that because Mormon had buried records at Cumorah that Moroni had also buried the records in the same place. But what does it matter if the records are true? Or what does it matter if they are not true? The important thing is to determine their veracity.
Oct. 12, 2002
I am thankful for your ministry and I will pray the Lord continues to use you immensely.
The knowledge I have regarding Mormonism is little but growing. I have had a burden for the Mormons for 20 yrs. (I am only 43.) I am not sure why I have such a heavy heart for the LDS but the more I read about the lie they live the heavier the burden.
Your material is wonderful. I encourage your hard work.
Oct. 13, 2002
Greetings. ...I am still fairly new in the LDS Church and already have serious doubts and questions about it being the True Church.
Whenever I have raised questions in Gospel Principles class or to my Bishop, it is like I am have committed a crime by even having doubts or concerns about Church Doctrine or Practice.
A Christian friend of mine turned me on to the video; "The Mormon Puzzle", and that is how I found out about your ministry. I am desperately seeking the truth ...
Sincerely a confused LDS,
Oct. 13, 2002
If you are not of the Latter-Day-Saint faith, you most likely do not know everything about the religion. The Book of Mormon is a sacred book of the Mormon faith, or so I am told, and I came to this site looking for information from the book and possibly some information about the religion.
I was disappointed when I found that this material is not first-hand and therefore may not be correct. I do know some LDS and they affirm not all the information that you provide is accurate, having to do with several different issues, although a portion of it is true.
This is not "hate e-mail", but I would like to express my dislike of this website. I am a factual person, and you provide opinions as facts, which I do not approve of. Most of the things that you said about the Book of Mormon are not concrete proof.
Also, your lack of respect for the religion is unattractive in itself. I can't quite understand this: if you are most certainly not LDS, and obviously don't have respect nor accurate information, then why do you answer questions about the Mormon faith as if you know everything about it?
It is not all dislike that I feel for your website. It has intrigued me and has pushed me to the point of curiosity where I will go to the official site of the Latter-Day-Saint Church to learn more about the religion and possibly to compare to your site.
I will not visit your site again and will in fact discourage others from going there as well, as I recognize it as an "Anti-Mormon" site. I dislike "anti-literature" of any religion and see it as discrimination, at any degree.
I do not wish for my e-mail address to be put on a mailing list of any sort, and I would prefer if this e-mail were not to be responded to.
Oct. 14, 2002
Subject: Temple Divorces
FYI-In one of your responses to a letter on your "Letters to the Editor" page you made reference to a "Temple Divorce." There is actually no such thing as a temple divorce in the LDS Church. You probably meant to refer to when the 1st Presidency approves a cancellation of a temple sealing.
Oct. 14, 2002
Subject: Why? Blood Atonement?
Can you furnish hard proff evidence that these issues really happened? I doubt you can.
[Sandra's Note: Yes, read the following:
Oct. 15, 2002
...The Arizona Daily Star has written articles lately concerning polygamy. The writers are not aware that polygamy is still a principle of the Mormon Church. One editorial stated the Mormon Church "repudiated" polygamy more than a century ago., which is really not the case, is it?
Another article said "President Wilford Woodruff received a revelation and declared the practice should be discontinued in 1890, in a document called the Manifesto.
As I understand it, the Manifesto is basically a promise to the United States the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ would submit to the laws of the land and desist from solemnizing plural marriages.
According to McConkie "Gloriously, the holy practice will commence again after the Second coming of the Son of Adam, and the ushering in of the millennium." I think the paper's saying the Manifesto declared the practice should be discontinued is also incorrect, don't you? I believe your explanation that the church has merely rescinded the current practice of polygamy, not the doctrine proves that polygamy, indeed, is still a principle of the Mormon Church.
Oct. 16, 2002
The information on your site is fascinating, how were you able to get this information about temple ordinance, when normally it is not given so freely. I to have been asking questions with no answers, but "It is sacred!" Very interested.
[Sandra's Note: There have been many accounts of the temple ritual written up over the past 150 years by ex-LDS. The 1990 ceremony that we print was secretly recorded by an active Mormon, then he gave the tape to a mutual friend of his and ours and we printed a typescript of the ceremony. (By the way, we did not ask this person to do this, it was his own idea).]
Oct. 17, 2002
Dear Bro & Sister Tanner
May God richly bless your good ministry....we pray you will be able to continue for a long time.
You folks always give out so much good information and I know you must keep the Mormon headquarters a hopping to combat the truths you put out. ...
In His name,
Oct. 19, 2002
Subject: Spanish materials
Do you have anything in Spanish? The mormons work very hard specially with the lower socio-economic group. I am a missionary with Christ for the City in Costa Rica.
Thanks for your information. God bless you and help you in such a work, something very needed.
[Sandra's Note: Yes, we have the following in Spanish:
Also www.irr.org/mit has tracts in spanish.]
Oct. 20, 2002
Subject: my thoughts
To make a long life of 48 years in a quick sentence or two, I was born and raised in a very stanch Mormon family. I have five brothers, many of which were bishops, one of which was a stake president and more.
This one brother in particular seeks my attention to become active and marry my present husband in the temple. I have been inactive since...1986 ...I was forced...into a temple marriage to a man I did not love. (Another story of it's own).
I am presently married to my second husband of 14 years and happy. I believe in spiritualism but I have no desire in Mormonism or any other religion....I have been looking at your website and started reading your article about temple ritual altered. I could identify. I can hardly remember what went on in the temple for 20 years ago, but your article refreshed my memory. One of the things I thought most revolting was disrobing with only a shell of a sheet (as I remember) for the anointing. I was always bothered by the signs and rituals of the temple.
Thank you for your article. I want to read more of them and I would like to subscribe to your newsletters too. But for now, I want to tell you I appreciate the openness about these articles. I am bothered all the time by my brothers. One of which was a temple president, he tells me he wants to go with me when my husband and I marry in the temple, he has many things he wants to tell me that can only be said behind the temple walls. (I have told him before and again we are not getting married in the temple. period) But he continues to live in this world of denial.
Anyway, I want to thank you and I want to read more, because much of what I remember and what you write confirms many of my feelings..
Oct. 21, 2002
Subject Wards in Utah
Can you tell me how many wards there are in UT or where I can find that info? I have searched the net and haven't found it.
Love in Christ,
[Sandra's Note: The Deseret News 2001-2002 Church Almanac reports, on p.245, that as of year-end 1999 there were 3,599 Wards (local congregations) and 148 Branches (smaller units, prior to being made into a Ward) in Utah, with 75.3 percent of people in Utah being Mormon.]
Oct. 21, 2002
Subject: Enron comment
In your most recent collection of Letters to the Editor you make a comparison between the LDS Church and Enron. I would like to comment on this comparison and its wider implications.
First, I should admit that I am still somewhat undecided about my feelings in regards to the LDS Church. I am a member and I have paid tithes and offerings because I was taught, and believed that the church was true. My offerings were based upon my desire to contribute to the support of spreading this truth.
Much like Enron, the church has made a concerted effort to hide damaging evidence from its members and investigators. This hidden information, locked deep in the archives of the Church, would have altered my opinion of the church and hence effected my willingness to contribute.
Admittedly, any belief in God, cannot be proven to any level that would be legally acceptable, but what about Joseph Smith? The church raises or falls on his claims. If he is a fraud the church associated with his name is a fraud. I think that there is evidence, that would meet a legal level of certainty, that he is a fraud. If that is the case and the church is hiding this information wouldn't it be like what Enron did in deceiving its stock holders? Like Enron, doesn't the Church have legal liability? Doesn't the Church solicit its funds based upon its claims of truthfulness? What's your opinion?
[Sandra's Note: Legally churches do not have to answer to the same level of financial examination as businesses. A church is free to claim any wild idea and ask for financial support. The courts will not step in unless there is clear evidence of deliberate fraud relating to events in this life. As I understand it, a church would be free to say something like, you will get to heaven if you give them $1000. The courts will not get involved in a church's truth claims. But a church couldn't say something like you will be healed of cancer if you give them $1000. They could be sued for claiming to heal you for money.]
Oct. 22, 2002
I have also looked at a lot of the testimony's of those you've coerced from the truth, and one thing stands out to me above all else - all you people just lack understanding, and that 'misunderstanding' makes you think that the church is no God's Kingdom on the earth today.
So, in short, you all really are just at different places in the journey along the road toward discovering God's wonderful truth of the Restoration, and in time, it's quite possible you will all come back home. I pray so. Even for you two Gerald and Sandra.
Here's a little quote from a friend of mine for you to think about:
"...Christ has indeed paid the big price, but by covenant (baptism) we are to keep our end of the bargain."
Clearly the true Church is not only a body of "true believers" or "born agains", but a regulated organization ...It is His pattern, it is His plan, it is His organization, it is His Church. I see it plainly manifest in the Bible, and see it totally ignored by modern Christianity ? we have not changed the Church, we have received it back in it's fullness and as it was intended by the means God has set forward from the beginning of man ? by prophets with authority to do so."
"The Book of Mormon and teachings of the Church have brought millions of people and their posterity to Jesus Christ who might have never found Him otherwise."
May it be so with you two and your followers again.
Oct. 22, 2002
Dear Bro. & Sis Tanner, 22 Oct. 2002
Although you have made it clearly noted that you have apostatized from the LDS church, evidently many years ago and have made it a personal effort by your innocent persuasions and deceptions to lead away many that would harken unto your words. I sincerely fear for yours and their own eternal salvation and exaltation.
As a convert to Christianity to Latter Day Saint from Aethianism, I have in the past been warmly embraced by the worst enemy of God, He being Lucifer, himself. And I must tell you that you must now flee with all your might! For you have been deceived by your own conclusions and deductions. Even Satan himself can proclaim the Lord. He knows who he is! But because his intent is evil, even from the beginning, many are decieved by his lieings and subtle craftiness to the extent that they can not see, even as the Pharisee's of old were deceived that they even crucified the very Son of God, Jesus Christ. Who they knew was foretold of centuries before, he who would come to be known as the "Jesus of Nazareth" and yet they could not see nor did they want to hear of him. We all know the parable of the seed.
As a convert I have read and studied countless materials within and without the church scribed by those who had nor ever have had any affiliation with the church or any vested interests on whether the church prospered or not and they still to this very day testify that their research and findings are conclusive proof that the Church is what it says it is. Including the enormous validation of the Book of Mormon by the men other great men and women of science, well respected scientists of the world who have never profited or had anything to gain from the proclaiming their convictions of their claims about the Book of Mormon being true.
I know that as humans we like to seek out those who can validate us in our decisions and feelings and that is normal. But I tell you these things because of my intense love and effection for you as my own brother and sister. Please return to the fold and denounce, as Korihor did also, declared his lies and deception that you may recieve complete forgiveness and that God may exercise his mercy, grace and love toward you and those who heed your words, that you as well as they who blindly follow you may not be condemned at that last great day of judgement. Please! Bro. and Sis. Tanner please, prayerfully consider and ponder my words, for you for you are truely my brother and my sister....
[Sandra's Note: Your letter makes some very extreme claims. You state you have read material by non-LDS scholars that verify Mormon claims, yet you have not given me the name of even one book or article by such a person. What non-Mormon scholar affirms the historicity of the Book of Mormon? My experience has been just the opposite.]
Oct. 23, 2002
Subject: Your Work
I am a convert to the Mormon church and I found your website and decided to read it. It was very sad I thought. You spend your whole life in an effort to prove something wrong. Instead of living your faith and believing the way you believe you intend to destroy something that brings me so much hope and joy.
I lived in South Carolina in the heart of the Bible belt. I sought out the truth going from church to church. I found Baptists and Lutherans and non-denominational churches. I went to them all. I even attended a Jehovah's Witness church. All were so caught up in what they were wearing and who they were sitting by. No one served they all just put in a hour of listening and saying Amen at the top of there lungs and went out to eat at the local diner and restaurant. Sad, I knew the true church would be where you serve your fellow man and work together. Then I read the Book of Mormon for the first time and was filled with the spirit. How do you explain that? I was filled with joy. I think you were so bent on disproving the Book of Mormon you never read and prayed about it with true purpose.
I think both of you were wanting to rebel, if you lived in South Carolina you would have fled the popular churches for something different, maybe even the Mormon Church. I am a true follower of Jesus Christ. I have accepted him as my savior and according to your religion I am saved. We live good lives trying our best to be good citizens and good neighbors. How do you knock that lifestyle. We devote our life to Jesus, not to proving something wrong. I had a friend in SC that approached me one Monday knowing I had joined the Mormon church and he said, "we talked about your church on Sunday." I replied, "That is nice we talked about Jesus at church on Sunday." Think, if your church is true I am saved, if my church is true I am saved and you are not. You have worked against Jesus and have prophesied false doctrine in his name. You are truly sad. I hope your desires turn to the truth instead of seeking to destroy it. My prayers are with you and yours. The Church will succeed and grow for the truth will never be hidden again. ...
Oct. 24, 2002
Thank you so much for your website. My daughter, Becky, is studying to become Mormon and we are very concerned. She has always been very easily led and said she has been praying and trying to have a closer relationship with God. She really believes that it was God who led her to the Mormons. Please pray for her....Thank you and may God bless you always.
Oct. 26, 2002
Subject: your website
i am just curious about the religion claimed to be Christ's real church (Mormon). I often have many mormons trying to convert and share the book of mormon with me.
Don't get me wrong, I really do respect your [LDS] religion, but a lot of controversy battles with the fact that the religion is wrong. There is no evidence supporting the claims of Joseph Smith and the other witnesses of the plates.
And whenever I ask a mormon where all this stuff is I get the same response, "The angel Moroni took them." So, as I usually do, I think, no, I know that it cannot be real.
Also, there's just so much in the history of mormonism that isn't practiced now. For example polygamy. I ask mormons about this subject and they just say that it was never even practiced in the early church. Yes, as a matter of fact it was. Even Joseph Smith practiced what he thought God told him to do. And if the church is so called the real church, why has United States law stopped you guys from practicing polygamy. If it's really the "True Church of Christ" law is not something that should stop you from believing in what you think is right. There is just so much that is left unanswered and changed daily in the church.
The True Follower in Christ,
Oct. 26, 2002
Residing on the western cusp of the "burned over district" all my life, I have taken a particular interest in the "religious excitements" that originated in this area. I have just completed the Abanes book "One Nation Under Gods" and was fascinated with the entire story. It was also my introduction to J.& S.Tanner. ...
Oct. 26, 2002
Subject: I just want to clarify something for Helen...
I read Helen Radkey's article on temple work being done for Adolf Hitler and others associated with the Nazi Regime in Germany. I think what Helen is not understanding, however, is that one or more of Hitler's descendents performed the ordinaces for him, not officers of the church. One of his grandchildren or greatgrandchildren, undoubtedly appalled by their grandfather's crimes against humanity, still recognized the importance of performing the temple ordinances for him (with the hope, I'm sure, that God's mercy truly is endless). I just think the distinction between the "Mormon church claiming Hitler," and his ancestors claiming him, and then doing his temple work for him is an important one to note.
LDS members believe that temple ordinances must be performed for all individuals who lived on the earth, regardless of the extent to which they sinned while here.
[Sandra's Note: Do you know for a fact that these ordinances were done by Hitler's "grandchildren"? I think this is just an assumption. Helen's research shows that LDS people continually do temple ordinances for people they are not related to.
The Mormon Church Attempts to Conceal Temple Records for Adolf Hitler]
Oct. 27, 2002
What a great website! Thanks for all the info!
I just started taking the 6 lessons from a couple missionaries at the request of my LDS girlfriend, but I've already made up my mind about the LDS church. I feel after seeing this website that I'm ready to finally start up a debate with the missionaries....
Oct. 27, 2002
Today I read for the first time your words of testimony on your web site which I accidentally came across while seeking the lds church site...
My opinion is that you don't understand everything you have read. Obviously the church teaches about Jesus Christ. Perhaps you should have listened better.
If your quote of Joseph Smith's words are entirely correct then perhaps he failed in his comments to convey the message he had in a way that would be more receptive, but then, do not all people fail to do their best at some time in their life?
Also, does an occasional statement that others think are not said properly defeat all the good that person has done? I think not. As for me, I have no doubt concerning the LDS church and think you could spend your time better than in what you do.
Oct. 27, 2002
Here's one for the books. You mentioned in one of your replies to a letter writer that in order to choose one needs to 'know both sides of a story', well here's one for you - I DO KNOW BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY and still end up knowing that the LDS church is God's truly established kingdom on the earth today and am greatful for my membership therein.
You, I have noticed, in your lack of understanding of the church, have ended up spending your life focussing entirely on all the negative, and distorting it somewhat, and blinding all those in the boat as yourself.....
I know for a fact Joseph Smith could never, and never did make all this up - he would have been a genius if he did - therefore it had to be and was inspired by the gift and power of God our (and your) Heavenly Father and contains what was promised to come to the earth in these latter days - the fullness of the everlasting gospel. The book of Revelations said it would come by an angel - to whom else did it come then if not Joseph Smith?
Oct. 29, 2002
I am devouring your web sight! I'm a Christian, relatively unlearned in LDS doctrine, and I care deeply about a couple I know who is devoutly Mormon. If you could recommend one book to me that would help me in my quest to love them home, what book would you suggest?
[Sandra's Note: Try Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons by Mark Cares.]
Oct. 29, 2002
Subject: Why? PLease read through, I am truly wondering?
To start off, I just want to let you know that I am member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love it with all my heart! ...My one question to you Mr. editor is why? Why do you spend so much time trashing on others beliefs, when you could spend that time learning more about Christ, or doing good in the world. ...we both know that slamming others beliefs no matter what they may be, or believe, is wrong. ... Why would anyone claiming to have a righteous excuse try, but fail, to spread false ideas.
Were you offended by someone in the church? Sometimes that happens, but remember, it is the Gospel that is perfect, not it's members. ...Do you enjoy to try and crush the beliefs of many good righteous people? Or do you just like to hurt others? ...I know you do not agree with many of the churches doctrines, but don't let that turn you into a bitter, unhappy person.....
PS. Those with testimonies of this great work will never be fooled by the cunningness of man.
[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. We believe the pursuit of truth includes free exchange of ideas and information. We are not 'trashing' the LDS Church. We are trying to present well researched information challenging its origin and claims.
Even your own church sees the value of comparing different churches and their truth claims. Just look at the book Marvelous Work and a Wonder by LDS Apostle LeGrand Richards. On page 11 of the 1979 edition there is a caption that reads "The Worship of False Gods". On the next page there is a caption reading 'The Strange Gods of Christendom'. Mr. Richards then proceeds to 'trash' standard Christian understandings of the nature of God, specifically mentioning the Catholic Church, Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church. I am not challenging Mr. Richards right to declare his point of view, I just don't understand why Mormons get upset when we do the same sort of thing in challenging their beliefs. (This book is still distributed by the LDS Church.) Surely the Mormons don't think the rest of us agree or approve of Mr. Richards line of reasoning? Both sides should be free to state their point of view.
The Mormons send out 60,000 missionaries to try and get people from other churches to join their church. They obviously do this because they believe they have the truth and that the rest of us are in error. Both sides agree that truth matters and that it is important for people to have the correct belief system. Otherwise, why do Mormon missionaries disrupt these people's lives? We believe Mormons need to reject the false teachings of Joseph Smith and go back to basic Christianity as outlined in the Bible.]
Oct. 29, 2002
Subject: Are Mormons good?
Your web page is very disparaging against Mormons. My question is this: are Mormons good or not? Can you point to a specific evil they are involved in? Is their whole religion an elaborate hoax-designed to what end?
All the mormons I know are good Christians. 3 John 1:11 "whosoever doeth good is from God..." I really am interested in your answer, however I must say that if your answer is not satisfactory I will be forced to assume that your organization is attempting to tear down something that is good.
[Sandra's Note: Our site challenges the specific claims and doctrines of Joseph Smith and subsequent presidents. The issue is not whether or not individual Mormons are 'good' but rather is Joseph Smith what he claimed to be. I assume you do not feel that the LDS Church is condemning individual Protestants and Catholics when it says those churches are wrong and not accepted by God. Just so, we do not view criticism of the LDS faith the same as criticism of its members.]
Oct. 29, 2002
I left the church in 1995 when I was 16 because of a feeling I had. I have been researching the churches history lately and of course I happened upon Utah Lighthouse Ministry. What a great site! I wish I knew about ULM when I was younger! ...
Oct. 29, 2002
I have had the privilege of following your ministry for a short time and thank you for your work.
I have a few brief questions I desperately need answered. How do you respond to your critics who accuse you of historical misrepresentations? And how did you receive access to church archives if they are not available for public record. The reason I ask is because a LDS friend of mine brought these to mind. Please respond, as I need clarification. May God bless your ministry? ...
[Sandra's Note: Most of the LDS books and copies of many early diaries and documents are in libraries throughout Utah and in many universities around the USA. Over the years we have spend many hours researching these records. Thus our research can be verified by anyone willing to take the time to visit the library. Through the years some sensitive LDS documents have been copied and shared with members dealing with its history. Some of these copies have made their way to us (various scholars trade photocopies and research notes). When we quote an item we give the reference, whether it is a book, a diary or some sort of document.
The best way to ensure the accurate use of these various documents is to make them readily available to all researchers. Then it will be obvious who is misusing them.]
Oct. 29, 2002
...I have just read your article about the mormon church being false. I couldn't disagree more. ...I've heard from other "anti mormon" sites and people that their only concern is to try and help us mormons see our errors. I have a very hard time respecting your oppinion, but I do.
I will be honest I don't understand all of our doctrine. I'm not ashamed of not knowing all of it, however I trust the prophet Gordon B. Hinckley 100% you may see it as blind faith or stupidity. I have recieved my own witness and no one can say that I have not because they or you have not recieved the witness yourself.
I believe that the prophet is a prophet when he is being a prophet. That is to say these men are human. They can make mistakes, they have their own oppinions, but when the spirit speaks to them in whichever form that penetrates them they listen. They are humble men. ...I want you to know that it doesn't matter what you write or how hard you try to confuse people your purpose is wrong. I hope you wil respect my views even though you don't agree. thank you for hopefully reading and respecting
Oct. 29, 2002
I am thrilled to see your web site. Please keep up the good fight. ...
Father Mormon, Mother Catholic, High School Baptist, Adult Child of Christ
Oct. 31, 2002
It sounds like the Ancient American people are of Israel decent.... Hmmm... Isn't that what Joseph Smith is saying? So why would you think he's wrong?
[Sandra's Note: I am puzzled by your statement. I have no idea what makes you think any recent studies have shown the American people 'are of Israel decent.' My information would suggest just the opposite. See the book American Apocrypha for a chapter on DNA and the American Indians. In this chapter LDS Anthropologist Thomas Murphy states:
Oct. 31, 2002
I have a question? If you wanted someone to find out about your personal ideas, who would be the best person to ask? You or just someone else? Why would someone ask you about the mormons instead of asking the mormons?
[Sandra's Note: I have several problems with your statement.
First, I am not challenging an individual on his/her personal ideas, but a church on its specific claims.
Second, the average Mormon is not informed enough or able to speak authoritatively on the church's doctrines or history.
Third, since the LDS Church has repeatedly misrepresented its past and changed its scriptures, why should anyone take their current statements at face value?
If you want to know if smoking is bad for you would you trust the cigarette manufacturer's propaganda? When Bill Clinton said he 'did not have a sexual relationship with that woman' should the press have believed him? Just so, if history differs from the LDS Church PR the public has the right to know.]
Oct. 31, 2002
Brother and Sister Tanner:
...This note is written for all the verbal abuse you guys suffer daily at the hands of those who hate you for taking your stand for the truth, (5 people against the millions). I'm proud of your stand in Christ and for having faith in the words of God and not in the words of man.
I admire and love you two and your efforts to reach those who are seeking the truth of God and in helping to bring those who are seeking Him out of spiritual darkness and into the love and light of Christ.
You brother in Christ,
Oct. 31, 2002
I just wanted to share with all of you that today I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior and accepted his grace in a verbal prayer with my husband. I had been waiting until I felt sure; and also until I felt prompted by God that it was the right time. It first became clear to me on Sunday that it was time and so after some deep reflection and prayer I gave myself up to Christ today. My heart is full and overflowing and I feel on the verge of tears for how grateful I am, mostly for Christ coming in to my life, but also to all of you for being there and for supporting me. Thank you so much for welcoming me into your circle. Today I am going to start the process of having my name removed from the LDS records and then I am going to get baptized. Once again, thank you.
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