letterstotheeditorsmall.jpg (14279 bytes)


September 2002
(Names and Contact Info Removed)

Sept. 1, 2002

To those who discredit your work, I suggest they review it and see how cautious you are with "facts" given to you, even in apparent support of your cause.

I left the Mormon church after 45 years ONLY because I began to read and to THINK. I suggested that our seven children do some research and THINK for themselves and all of them have left the Church.

My Brother-In-Law whose family, like my family, is from dedicated Pioneer stock, ..., was a totally dedicated Mormon, sharp as a tack, and during his spare time he went to obscure old libraries in Ohio only to READ FOR HIMSELF THE OLD MORMON WRITINGS. He said that "I came across so many smoking guns, and many still firing, that I wondered how the Mormon Church could ignore all of these original teachings, most of which were required to go to the Celestial Kindom, and all of them so easily found in public places, albeit on dusty shelves." After seeing much more than he could ignore, he left the Mormon Church.

My Mormon Bishop friend speculated that "only 5% of the Church members really believe it" and I am CERTAIN that 99%+ members of the Mormon Church have no idea what the doctrines of the church are, except for the few old pamphlets in the foyer. Even as a member you would not be allowed to teach true Mormon doctrine in a "talk". Somebody would stop you. If you told an average Mormon a "few" of the oddities in the Church THEY WOULD NOT BELIEVE THEM, nor would they investigate them.

That leaves the Mormon Church today with ALMOST ALL of it's members having no idea what the doctrine of the church is, and warned NOT to find out. Isn't this the oddest thing? And, as a last comment, the membership numbers quoted for the Mormon church include people who are out, but are still on the list. I found that getting "out" was like a contest of endurance, to see how far I'd go before I gave up in my efforts, with letters, meetings and interviews ad nauseum. They fight for the numbers.

I have many Mormon friends who pray for me as I've lost my way. I've never been so happy. Keep up your good work and have people in place to continue your efforts. God bless you.


P.S. A good guideline: Never join a church which DEMANDS that you buy your underwear from them, at their price, or you can't go to Heaven.

Sept. 2, 2002

Subject: Plural marriage and the Second Coming

Hi Jerald and Sandra,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In Bruce R. McConkie's book, Mormon Doctrine he declares the following on page 578 regarding plural marriage, "Obviously the holy practice will commence again after the Second Coming of the Son of Man and the ushering in of the millennium.( Isa. 4.)

After reading McConkie's comments I wonder how many members of the Mormon Church are aware of this? It would be extremely interesting to know how female members of the church feel about this. Also I wonder if female investigators are ever informed about this teaching prior to becoming members? I tend to think not! I can just picture 2 Mormon missionaries having discussions with a female investigator and informing her that the "holy practice" of plural marriage will commence again after Jesus returns. It's hardly surprising that this information is not disclosed to female investigators!

May God bless you both

Sept. 4, 2002

Per our telephone conversation, herewith are the words to that ballad of Orrin Porter Rockwell:

Old Port Rockwell has work to do,
So he saddles his sorrel and rides away;
And those who are watching wonder who
Will be a widow at break of day.
The waiting wife in the candle light, Starts up as she hears a wild hoof-beat.
Then shrinks in terror as down the night
Comes the wailing of Port's dread war car, 'Wheat!'

She Looks at her babes and tries to pray,
For she knows she's a widow and orphans are they.

Old Port Rockwell looks like a man,
With a beard on his face and his hair in a braid,
But there's none in the West but Brigham who can
Look in his eyes and not be afraid.
For Port is a devil in human shape,
Though he calls himself 'Angel,' says vengeance is sweet;
But he's black, bitter death, and there's no escape
When he wails through the night his dread war cry 'Wheat!'

Somewhere a wife with her babes kneels to pray,
For she knows she's a widow and orphans are they.

These words appear on page 115 in the book American Murder Ballads and Their Stories by Olive Wooley Burt, Oxford University Press, 1958. The author was a descendant of Utah pioneers and penned a daily column in the Deseret News.

Because she was a L.D.S., much of chapter 4, entitled 'For the Love of God', has songs/hymns/ballads relating to the early Mormon Church.

Included is a fairly long version of a song about the 'Mountain Meadows Massacre' which Ms. Burt attempts to reproduce in its entirety. (The ballad was quoted in part by Juanita Brooks in her book on the Mountain Meadows Massacre.)

Another interesting ballad included in the book concerns the massacre of Joseph Morris and some of his followers [dissident LDS group during Brigham Young's era] by Col. Robert T. Burton, sheriff of Salt Lake County. An interesting stanza goes:

On the banks of Weber river
Joseph Morris died a martyr,
Slain by Burton, cruel Mormon,
Legal servant of the dragon.

When I discussed the Orrin Porter Rockwell ballad, you manifested surprise that someone should actually write such a song. Well, consider a time when newspapers were scarce and few people were actually literate. A song was one way to relate a story or historical event. ...

That someone would write about Orrin Porter Rockwell is not surprising. In the eyes of some, he was a hero; the avenging Danite who meted out retribution to those who were harmed merely for being a Mormon. On the other hand, few seem to remember that Rockwell was also responsible for the murders of several Mormons. ...

Sept. 6, 2002

Thank you for caring for so many who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ. I have a son who in a state of mental confusion joined that Mormon Church. ... He feels to leave he will be lost in Mormon darkness and terrible things will happen. Just talking to him about Jesus doesn't seem to change his fear. ...

Sept. 7, 2002

Subject: Stephen E. Robinson

I got the '92 book Believing Christ by Dr. Robinson at a used book sale. ...I thought this learned and bright man can't escape the doctrine of grace either in the Bible (or BOM) so he was trying to reconcile it to the Mormonism he doesn't want to let go of. Just when I'd think he had it right he'd say something like "Each of us operates at a different level of performance within the covenant boundaries.

The percentages vary both from person to person and, even for the same person, over a period of time. In my case, my efforts might take me twenty percent of the way to perfection. The Savior covers the other eighty percent. In your case, your effort might take you fifty percent--or two percent--of the way. The savior still covers the difference. But in every case the sum of the joint effort is the same--anyone's best efforts, however great or small, plus the atonement of Christ will equal 100 percent of what is needed to enter God's kingdom." p.97


[Sandra's Note: See the book, The New Mormon Challenge. It addresses these issues. Some Mormons, like Robinson, are trying very hard to 'Christianize' Mormon doctrine. However, they always give away their true colors at some point and add works such as temple ritual to grace or the gospel.]

Sept. 7, 2002

Subject: needed information

A while back, a friend showed me a paper copy of the means by which the book of Mormon was translated. I believe they were the words of J.Smith explaining how he "put his face into a hat" and then received the information. After repeating it to his scribe he continued the process. Do you know what I'm referring to??? I could really use a copy of that document if you have it. Please let me know. Thank you very much!!!

In His Service,

[Sandra's Note: Smith never gave a personal account of the translation process. However, there are statements by his wife and close friends. They tell of his placing a stone in his hat to do his 'translation' of the Book of Mormon. See the statements in our book, The Changing World of Mormonism, pp.80-81, and in SLC Messenger #95, pp.8-9. David Whitmer's statement is in his book, An Address To All Believers in Christ. He wrote:

"I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear." (An Address To All Believers in Christ, by David Whitmer, 1887, p.12)

One of Martin Harris' statements is in the paper Tiffany's Monthly.]

Sept. 8, 2002

Dear Sandra and Jerald Tanner,

Thanks for sending the package of reading material--I appreciate it very much. I think I may have mentioned to you that I have taught Sunday School in a moderate Baptist church for many years (my folks were Baptist missionaries in Japan where I was born and grew up). I am 45, currently assistant professor of music...

Lately I've had more conversations with some Mormon friends, including some who grew up as Mormons but have left the church (and some of them have no belief in God at all). In any case, I have discussed various facets of Mormonism with them and I will share with them more of your printed material.

When I mentioned once that Mormonism teaches that God has a body of flesh and bones and basically had intercourse with Mary to have Jesus (I may have put it more bluntly than that), a couple Mormons said, "No, I've never heard of that." One friend has left the Mormon church, but claims to be a C[hristia]n now (though she hasn't really attended a C[hristia]n church). In any case, I will continue to share your printed material with those who have been raised in a Mormon environment.

I had read parts of the BoM and the D&C years ago, but I may read a little more so I can make references to them easier when I discuss matters with Mormons and those with Mormon background.

I have given J.B. Phillips book YOUR GOD IS TOO SMALL to one person who grew up in a Mormon family, but she has rejected all aspects of ANY religion (and she doesn't see any difference btw Mormonism and Christianity--they both appear to be corrupt "organized" religions to her that have done more harm than good in history). She also doesn't believe in God (she says she prayed to God, but God did not answer her--I told her that God may not answer in the way that she expected). Anyway, I will first try to get her to see that Mormonism and Christianity are very much different from each other.

The emphasis should always be that Christianity is not about organized religion or an outward church, but rather a personal relationship with Christ where believers meet in a church to worship God together....I'm in complete agreement with the Great Commission and preaching the Christian gospel to the ends of the earth and the truth of Biblical Christianity and that our lives can be transformed through God's love and grace. And I think it's necessary to expose those misleading and false teachings that are found in Mormonism. Keep up the good work!...Thanks!

Sept. 8, 2002

I wrote to you a few weeks ago and in your reply indicated that I pick up Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith. Thanks for the tip... I just finished the book myself and enjoyed it.

I have a deeper appreciation for Emma now and for the trial she endured during her husbands polygamous endeavors. I am about to approach my wife with the hope that she might read it herself. She, like many "very" active Mormons, has been unwilling to peruse anything yet I have approached her with. Would you please include her in your prayers? ...Also, have you any other recommendations for "church approved" books that might be helpful in my journey?

Thanks so much,

[Sandra's Note: Other books by LDS authors that give a more honest history are:

These can be ordered from the official LDS bookstore, Deseret Book, (801)-328-8191.]

Sept. 8, 2002

...Tonight my wife challenged me with the age-old argument of, "O.K. Wise guy, let's see you do what Joseph did. Let's see you recreate something similar to what he created, in the same amount of time, etc... " You know the argument. Has anything been done that you know of to refute that argument? Thanks,

[Sandra's Note: Other people have claimed miraculous communications with heavenly beings. Look at Mohammed and the Koran. He was uneducated, had visions from angels and wrote a book of scripture and has a billion followers.

Ellen G. White followers make similar claims for her prophetic roll. She was uneducated, had visions, wrote a huge book, believed to be inspired by her followers, started the Seventh Day Adventist Church a few years later than Smith. Yet that church is just as big as the Mormons, with hospitals and schools all over the world.]

Sept. 8, 2002

Subject: free info

Thank you for sharing your book and research. I am a convert and have suffered thru countless negative experiences. Things just aren't adding up. I haven't attended church in a year. Because I keep running into former Ward members (Murphy's Law), I have been researching the LDS church on my own. I want to put this issue in my life to rest one way or another. Either I attend or I don't and find a different church....

I especially started having questions when an elderly friend of mine, from Egypt, made me aware of the issues concerning The Book of Abraham. I took my concerns to the Bishop. What a coincidence...the Bishopric felt I needed a rest from my calling in Primary as well as an "extra" visiting teacher. I admitted that I don't believe Joseph Smith was a prophet so it was "in my best interest" that I attend Gospel Principles.

Although I was still allowed to attend social activities, I wouldn't be allowed to participate in the Sacrament Meeting. It goes on and on. Maybe the Mormon Church really is a cult and I truly got sucked in. Otherwise, I wouldn't be wondering if I should go back, considering the horrible situations I endured.

Sept. 8, 2002

Subject: anti-black doctrine


I'm a black member of the LDS church. I have read a number of disparaging things which Brigham Young, Joseph Fielding Smith and others have said. While sources were listed, I cannot find hard copies of those sources. Do you have copies of the original publications? My visiting and home teachers say that the things quoted were taken out of context and that people have the habit of snatching quotes from separate places and piecing them together.

However, if I could find the actual documents I can make a good decision about my and my children's religious future and show my home and visiting teachers that these things were said. Some of the sources are:

Mormon Doctrine, p. 527 1966 edition
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 143, 1854
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p.272, 1866
Apostle Mark E. Petersen, "Race Problems - As They Affect The Church" address at Brigham Young Univ. Aug. 27, 1954.

Thank-you for your time and assistance,

[Sandra's Note: We have a packet of photos of various references on the Blacks, including the Journal of Discourses and references from the first edition of Mormon Doctrine, for $7. (Call to order: 801-485-0312)

Mark E. Petersen's talk is printed at the back of our book, Mormons and Negroes.]

Sept. 10, 2002

Subject: Mormon Bishops


I happened to notice a response you gave to someone who was having some problems dealing with a Mormon Bishop (who was a lawyer). You said:

"The LDS teaching on the need for priesthood and striving for eventual godhood tends to make the Mormon male a little prideful and arrogant. He feels he has superior knowledge, power and authority compared to any non-LDS person." 6/18/2002

You are making a very unfair and general blanket statement about Mormon men and Bishops. I have known a few LDS men who are like this, but I believe this is simply their own personality, and they would be that way whether they were Mormon Bishops or not. Most LDS men and especially Bishops I have known have been very humble, caring, and willing to listen and learn from anyone. Blanket statements such as this tend to lend less credibility to the rest of the things you say about the Mormon church.


[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. Granted, not all LDS male priesthood holders are prideful or arrogant. I had several Bishops and a stake president that I considered to be kind and respectful. One of my uncles was a stake president for many years and I always had great respect for him. I also know/knew many regular members that are/were very humble.

However, I still maintain that the Mormon concept of authority leads many of its priesthood members to be prideful/arrogant. Maybe this happens more in areas where the Mormons are in the majority, or with pioneer-descended members (as opposed to converts). I also suspect that it shows up more when ones authority is challenged or when a member persists in asking questions. I think this was evident in the handling of the various scholars that have been excommunicated over the last ten years. My experience, back in 1960, with Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith and Apostle LeGrand Richards were certainly classic examples of arrogance.]

Sept. 10, 2002

If you are very quick to point out claims against the Mormons, what solution do you offer people in conjunction to your findings? Even if there are some things that could be seen as sckeptical, none ever said they werent had by faith. But I see very little wrong with a religion that does so much good for others.

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. The Bible and Christianity were here before Joseph Smith. So the question is, why believe him over the Bible? If you will take the time to read the two online books Mormon Claims Answered and The Changing World of Mormonism, you will see there is no reason to trust Smith. Jesus provided everything we need for eternal life when he died in our place on the cross. A good basic book on both Christianity and Mormonism is God's Word, Final, Infallible and Forever.

It was mentioned in an earlier email that you were thinking of joining Mormonism. Mormonism is adding to the gospel when it says you must also participate in a secret temple ritual. Why won't the missionaries tell you what went on in the temple? Did they tell you that when they first went to the temple they went to a locker room (men with men, women with women), took off all their clothes, put on a big white sheet, then went through some special washing and anointing ceremony? Did they tell you about their special underwear (to be worn at all times, except when swimming or engaged in sports), the secret robes and apron they wear in the ceremony, the oaths and covenants one must make, the special handshakes you must learn, the new name you will be given, the secret words you must whisper in God's ear to enter the celestial kingdom? If this ceremony is a revelation, why has it been rewritten over the years? Why isn't it ever mentioned in the Bible? It isn't even in the Book of Mormon. Besides that, what the missionaries experienced in the temple is a watered-down version of what their parents or Mission president would have gone through. Prior to 1990 the ceremony had in it three times when one had to take an oath on his life to always live and obey Mormonism.

You really need to look into the problems of Mormonism...It is not a matter of whether or not Mormons, as individuals, are nice people. Yes, many are. So are many Christians, Jews, and Muslims. The question is whether or not Joseph Smith was called of God or is he a false prophet, as warned about in 1 John 4:1? I hope you will keep investigating. Truth will stand up to investigation.]

Sept. 10, 2002

Subject: Are you sure????

Hello, before you delete this email or become close minded you should read this letter. I feel that it will possibly help you or change your impression on the Church of Jesus Christof Latter Day Saints. If you truly are a Christian you will be open minded.

I am a convert to the true church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know what life has been like before I joined it. I was about three different religions. Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, and "Christian" non denominational before I joined the church. I feel that you know deep within your hearts that this is the true church.

Whether you disagree with some things is fine. Everyone doesn't always agree with strict rules. But I feel that you changed your mind because maybe it was too hard, or someone was rude to you, or even you might of not received an answer to your prayer. From my personal experience not to mention thousands of other peoples, life happens. Bad things happen to good people. It took me six years to receive an answer to my prayer. ...

I truly know without a doubt that somewhere deep within your heart you know what I am saying is true. You know, it's ironic how someone can turn there back on something that is the greatest gift. I will pray for you. I know you most likely disagree with what I am typing, and you have probably received a thousand of the same responses just like mine. All I can say is that when something is the truth and when something brings someone so close to the truth and God, Satan will try whatever he can to get you to turn away. Look at yourselves he has already succeeded there. Hopefully your not so far and lost that you harden your hearts.

I respect your opinions but don't agree with them, everyone has a right to an opinion, whether its right or wrong is a different subject. I also apologize for maybe assuming something. You might of posted on your site why you left the church but it hurt me so bad to read half of a page of one of FAQ's that I couldn't bare to read anymore.

Once again as a Christian please take what I said into account. You might be able to lie to yourself and try to take the easy way out of life, but you cant lie to me or God or anyone who can see how lost you both are. Please again pray about your decision you have made, as a former LDS person that you both are you know that if you go against the church or preach to others bad about it you may have the possibility of going to outer darkness. That would hurt me, Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, and Jesus Christ our brother who died and suffered for us. Once again thank you for your time of reading this, I am only sixteen years old and my opinion might not matter to you but it was the thought and effort on my behalf that counts.


A concerned sister of yours

[Sandra's Note: I commend you for taking the time to write. I would just encourage you to do more reading on the subject. You stated you only read half a page of our material. Do you really think that equips you to make a knowledgeable judgment? If I said I only read three pages of the Book of Mormon would you think I was prepared to discuss the issue?

Yes, we are sure we have made the right decision in leaving the LDS Church. We have read all of the LDS scriptures several times, and prayed about them. We have also read and studied LDS literature for over 40 years. We did not leave Mormonism because of any personal problems with anyone at the Ward. Our research showed us there were too many problems for Mormonism to be what it claimed. We have found great peace in our relationship with God and comfort as we read the Bible. I hope you, too, will continue your reading of the Bible and see that it does not teach plural gods, secret temple marriage or any of the other doctrines of Mormonism that contradict standard Christianity. Christ is the answer, not secret temple rituals.]

Sept. 12, 2002

Subject: time better spent



Sept. 13, 2002

Subject: Congratulations

Keep up the good work.

Sept. 13, 2002

Subject: info

Where did Joe Smith get the wording for the BOM? Thanks,

[Sandra's Note: Smith mimicked the sound of the King James Bible, such as putting things in the old style of 'thee' and 'thou', adapted Bible stories with new names for his book, and plagiarized numerous phrases from the Bible. See our book Joseph Smith's Plagiarism of the Bible and The Use of the Bible in the Book of Mormon.]

Sept. 13, 2002

Subject: journal of discourses

Could you please tell me if it is possible to purchase actual copies of "journal of discourses"? I have a friend who is LDS and has told me that he and his bishop have never heard of the "blood atonement". thank you for your help in my search. Yes, I know that you have it on your website but I'm afraid that they would doubt the print-off. thank you.

[Sandra's Note: The 26 vol. set of Journal of Discourses is out of print and would cost between $300 and $500 for a used set. However, the LDS Church puts out a CD-ROM called GospeLink 2001 that contains the whole 26 volumes, plus dozens of other LDS titles. A print-out from that should work just as well as a photo. It can be purchased from the official LDS bookstore, Deseret Book. See their site here: http://deseretbook.com]

Sept. 13, 2002

Subject: Noteworthy

I just wanted to say that I appreciate what you do to challenge the discrepancies and deliberately hidden foibles and falsities found in the LDS Church. But I also want to say ONE THING with all solemnity....I have LEARNED, and I emphatically mean "LEARNED", (and not through anything the weakened and wayward Church has taught me), to be able to hear the Voice of the Lord, speaking to me clearly, giving me revelation and guidance -- often daily. I have sought the Testimony of the Holy Spirit TWICE -- (once-upon-a-time thinking that I only needed to know ONCE -- for all eternity) -- whether the Church was HIS "True Church" (of Jesus Christ), or whether it was truly FALSE - and a grand deception inspired by Satan. (As it would have to be .. if it's not "the truth").

I have received that affirmative testimony -- TWICE -- even though I thought I only needed to be told so ONCE. However, ALL IS NOT WELL IN ZION !!! There is DEEP TROUBLE coming to the Church SOON. ...It is my hope that you will guide all searchers in this way -- to seek revelation from the Holy Spirit. We DESERVE to have the blinders ripped from off our eyes about the Church, and you surely provide the means. But we also DESERVE to be guided to strive after Infinite Wisdom -- rather than allowing ourselves, as deeply fallible humanity, to be a substitute guidance...One of us is more correct about the Church, and one isn't. It's about LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF GOD !!! Are you LISTENING and talking WITH Him??? Can you hear, HIM???? TRULY????

A Friend Who Is Indeed, Grateful To You

Sept. 13, 2002

Subject: Gospelink 2001

I recently joined the Deseret Book club so I could take advantage of their "Gospelink 2001" for $5 offer and have alot of books at my disposal. There's something on there that I thought you should be aware of.

Included on the program is "Women of Mormondom" by Edward W Tullidge. I noticed the book was marked as "Women of Mormondom (Excepts)" Browsing through the table of contents, I noticed that the ENTIRE book is there except one section and I'm sure you can guess which one. Pages 175-200 are the only pages missing. I'm sure this is because of the infamous Adam-God reference on pg. 179. I thought I'd make you aware of this developement if you weren't already.

Ex-Mormon and brother in Christ

Sept. 13, 2002

Subject ...Spaulding?

I've read or at least looked over ... material on the alleged Solomon Spaulding source for the BoM, ....While completely convinced of the lack of divine inspiration in Smith's writings (BoM and all others), I don't have any particular axe to grind on where or how the BoM actually originated; I'm simply curious. ...

[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. There is a theory that the Book of Mormon is taken from an 1812 novel written by a minister, Solomon Spalding, who died in 1816. However, the minister lived in a different state than Joseph Smith and never published his novel.

One of the problems with this theory is explaining how the manuscript fell into Smith's hands. Some have theorized that several years after Spalding's death (in 1816) Sidney Rigdon, a minister, had stolen Spalding's manuscript (around 1820-22). Since Smith would have been only 15 at the time Rigdon supposedly stole the manuscript, I assume Rigdon could not have had Smith in mind as a collaborator on his scheme. Which leads to the question, what was his original plan? The theory continues that Rigdon would have done some rewriting of the story and then gave it to Smith to publish.

Some maintain that there were two manuscripts by Spalding and that the one used by Smith is no longer in existence. This is put forward as the reason the Book of Mormon doesn't contain the same names or directly parallel the existing manuscript. However, there is no evidence, other than the memory of relatives, that there were two manuscripts. Spalding's available manuscript is a very different style from the Book of Mormon.

But why would Rigdon, a popular minister, trust his pet project to an unknown teenager like Smith? When did they meet? How long had Rigdon known him? How old was Smith when they decided to work together? How could Rigdon have been sure Smith could pull it off, get Harris to finance the printing, etc.? (Rigdon later joined Mormonism in 1830.)

Long after Spalding's death his family gave statements that they believed the Book of Mormon was produced by plagiarizing Spalding's novel. The Spalding family may have truly believed this to be the origin for the Book of Mormon but the evidence is shaky. When they saw the Book of Mormon it would have been about 20 years since they would have seen Spalding's writings. I think the family just saw some surface similarities, due to both Spalding and Smith being exposed to the same common ideas about the Indians, and jumped to conclusions.

The Spalding connection is a THEORY--there is no evidence that Rigdon ever met Smith prior to the start of Mormonism. Today most researchers on Smith and Book of Mormon sources look to the popular book View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith, published in 1823 and republished in 1825, as a more likely source for ideas for the Book of Mormon. For more on this, see Studies of the Book of Mormon by B.H. Roberts or Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon by D. Persuitte.

I believe Smith wrote the Book of Mormon using bits and pieces of things he had read or heard (i.e. the Bible, local sermons, current events, etc.). But there is no hard evidence that Smith ever saw the Spalding material or met Sidney Rigdon prior to 1830.]

Sept. 14, 2002

Subject: Terrific Ministry

Your information is the best I have seen online. Here in Arizona we are surrounded by Mormons who are quick to set their missionaries on us, drop information by, and act proud and conceited in public because they think they are going to be gods, when in reality they are horribly misinformed about true Scripture and their salvation.

It is amazing to me that so many emotional, mostly younger people, write to you to criticize you for trying to get the truth out, when their church spends millions of dollars to send 60,000 missionaries around the world. Couldn't their money and time be better spent? They claim that you should develop a better use of your time than this website, but never address the hypocrisy of their own church!

However, by far, the most insulting thing to me personally is that they are claiming to be Christian because they have the name of Jesus Christ in their church. This is a serious offense to real Christians who have studied God's Word, understand Scripture (unlike most Mormon's I have met who do not even crack open a Bible) and take their relationship with Jesus Christ seriously. For their church to self-label themselves as Christians is a joke.

Your website is a terrific tool for our small group as we have learned about Mormonism. Please keep up the great work and know that so many people are praying for your continuing ministry. God Bless You!

Sept. 14, 2002

Subject: Polygamy

What was the name of the angel that gave Smith the "revelation" on polygamy? And did he carry a flaming sword?

[Sandra's Note: I am not aware of a reference that names the angel. Wilford Woodruff's journal in 1884 referred to the event of the angel with a sword. Most of these sword stories are late so it is hard to decide if this related to the original vision on polygamy or was in relation to entering it with a particular person. Woodruff wrote:

Joseph F Smith thought Different from Br Richards. He thought in that way a Man would not be Carrying out the Patriarchal Law of marriage. If that would have answerd he did not see the necesity of the Lord Commanding Joseph the Prophet to take several wifes at the same time. An Angel of God Stood by him with a drawn Sword and told him he should be slain & Cut off from the Earth and the kingdom of God if he did not obey that Law. (Wilford Woodruff's Journal, Vol. 8, p.235)

Eliza R. Snow, one of Smith's plural wives, indicated that the angel with a sword came after the original revelation. Mormon writer Brent Corcoran commented:

In Nauvoo, Smith initiated some of his close and trusted associates into the new and everlasting covenant. Brigham Young later claimed that "it was the first time in my life that I desired the grave, and I could hardly get over it for a long time." Smith himself claimed that he took the fateful step only after God had repeatedly commanded him to do so. According to Eliza R. Snow, one of the most renowned of his plural wives, the prophet hesitated to carry out the fateful commandment "until an angel of God stood by him with a drawn sword, and told him that, unless he moved forward and established plural marriage, his priesthood would be taken from him and he should be destroyed." Realizing the explosive potential of polygamy, Smith publicly denied and condemned the practice until his death. As a matter of fact, the Book of Mormon contained a passage denouncing polygamy, though with the significant escape clause that "if I will . . . raise seed unto me, I will command my people" (Jacob 2:30). (Multiply and Replenish, Ch.2, p.27)]

Sept. 15, 2002

...I have a friend from high school who just came back from his mormon mission for 2 years and over the past couple years we have both grown strongly in our faith, his in mormonism mine in Christianity so we have much to talk about. before we went to college we were best friends. I have been praying for a long time that [he] would come to know the Lord. Some questions that arose in our last conversation was about the last verse in Malachi 4:6

..."His preaching will turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents. Otherwise i will come and strike the land with a curse".

[He] was saying that that verse was the basis for Elijah appearing to Joseph Smith. (at least i think that is what he was saying) Althogth I was having a hard time understanding what he was meaning by this....Do you know what this verse is used for in the mormon church? Sorry if this question is unclear.

thanks so much for having this website!

[Sandra's Note: The Mormons claim this verse was fulfilled by Joseph Smith introducing vicarious work for dead relatives (thus turning the hearts of the children to their fathers, etc.) LDS President Joseph F. Smith wrote:

The prophet Elijah was to plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to their fathers, foreshadowing the great work to be done in the temples of the Lord in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, for the redemption of the dead and the sealing of the children to their parents, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse and utterly wasted at his coming. (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p.475)

However, the New Testament relates this passage to John the Baptist. The Wycliffe Bible Commentary states:

Malachi 4:5--Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD

[Elijah the prophet.] The thought is parallel to that of <Mal 3:1>. Prior to the Day of the Lord a heaven-sent messenger would prepare the way. The parallelism alone warrants the identification of Elijah as John the Baptist. However, the Gospels also make it clear that the coming "prophet" was not to be Elijah the Tishbite but one of like spirit and power (Mt 11:14; 17:13; Mk 9:11-13; Lk 1:17). (from Wycliffe Commentary)]

Sept. 16, 2002

Subject: that is bull!!

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I tell you that you internet site is full of false teachings and the Church dose not teach these things, Just because you were excomunicated for who nows what dose not mean the church is at falt Please stop publishing these lies

Sept. 16, 2002

I have your site book marked and have been following the "goings on" for about five or six years now. My opinion is that the Tanners site is the most intelligent, comprehensive, approach to what's going on with the mormons.

I am more and more amazed with Sandra's knowledge of the history of these things. I have studied the mormon history for many years now and I must say that Sandra's articulation of these things hits the nail right on the head. She is very honest and straight foreword and has definitely done her home work. There has not been one time in six years of reading her comments to questions in letters to the editor, that I have not agreed with her one hundred percent.

Sandra Tanner, I salute you and think you are an out standing person. Who ever is in charge of this planet needs free thinking individuals like Sandra and not a bunch of clones. Keep up the good work, as you know it does not go unnoticed.

Sept. 16, 2002

Subject: My two cents

I was forced into joining the Mormon cult when I was 12 in 1981 by my Mother. My brother had met a Mormon at his high school and convinced him it was the true church. He then explained it all to my mother and she decided that we should all join....Though I cant explain why, I never felt drawn into their ways and rebelled against my mother.... I went through many foster homes until my oldest sister (who was the only one of us not forced to join because she had moved out before that) took me in.

I was a very angry and troubled young man with no direction in my life. When I turned 18 I decided to join the Navy because I knew I needed discipline in my life. During the time I was in the service I found God, on my own....But, I had no one to ask my questions to and was a floundering fish in the great ocean of Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ....

Last February our house burned to the ground. Two weeks later I was laid off and three months after that my wife told me she wanted a divorce. I cannot explain to you the depth of sorrow and guilt and anger I went through, but it nearly destroyed me....

I got me a new job and met a man who is a devote Christian...He invited me to his church which is a Church of God. I have renewed my faith and strive to become the best servant I can....

My mother hardly knows anything about the true Mormon faith...And worse, my sister has been to the Temple twice now to be sealed to her husband and to do their Baptism for the dead.

My problem is that no one in my family takes me seriously so if I were to go to them and start explaining the truth to them I would just be told I was being deceived. Truly, I already broached the subject with my mother and she vehemently told me she would hear nothing bad about them because they have done so much for her.

...I for one am very thankful for your ministry and I know that the Lord works through people like you to help those that are lost. You have my full support.

A friend in Christ Jesus,

Sept. 17, 2002

If "God was not concerned with peoples' church affiliations" then why should I be Protestant?

Why should I not be Mormon? If you are so worried about people getting the truth why don't you look into other religions other than those mormons? Why are you only writing negative about them? I think I will look into that mormon church.

Sept. 17, 2002

Subject: website information

Dear Sir,

I happened upon your site and enjoyed reading some of the transcript of Hofmann in regard to the Salamander letter, et.al. I enjoyed being able to read so much of his confession. Thank you.

I was, however, a bit taken aback by the unchrisitian-like attitude you have towards another religion. I appreciate your faith in Jesus Christ, and isn't that what it's all about? Having a belief in Jesus Christ, knowing that he is our savior, and that he loves each of us is a great blessing for any christian belief.

I would suggest in the future that you add more articles, like the "Prison" article, that will uplift others with the knowledge of Jesus Christ that will lead them to Him and bring happiness and joy in their lives. You can do a great service to those who are looking for the peace that He can bring in their lives.


Sept. 18, 2002

Subject: Just a note to say thank you!

I just wanted to say thank you for all of the work you all put into sharing the truth. I visit Manti for Pageant every summer and I was fortunate enough to stop and meet the Tanners with my high school youth group - I was encouraged and witnessed a strong example of what standing for the truth really means - Thank you for all that you do.

Sept. 19, 2002

Subject: Loss of Faith (if I ever had it)

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Tanner,

I'm a native Utahn now relocated to [another state]. I'm married to a Jewish girl which means I'm not sealed in the temple to her. In fact, I wouldn't even consider myself "Mormon" anymore. I honorably completed a mission to Korea (Korea Seoul West Mission). Although I was born in Utah (Ogden), my parents didn't go to church, and really never encouraged me or my siblings to go to church.

My initial involvement in the church came through friends at school (of course). I ran across your web site the other week while I was searching for some stuff on Mark Hofmann. The Mark Hofmann "situation" really got me thinking about the validity of the church. At the time of the bombings I was attending BYU and was working for a company that built electronic M.B. boards for Bonneville Communications. In fact, the day Mr. Hofmann's car exploded I was delivering boards to the church office building. I actually saw Mr. Hofmann that day before the police or fire dept. showed up.

Here's my dilemma: Although I have no desire to get "back" in the church, I really don't have any ill will towards it. I don't want my name removed from their records because I couldn't care less. My true dilemma is I'm still struggling with the whole "inactive" thing and wanted to know if there was an ex-mormon group with the same thoughts that you could recommend I get in touch with. I'm looking for people who are not bitter with the church, but have legitimate issues with it.

[Sandra's Note: I am not aware of any group meeting in your area. You might try the following web sites:

They have discussion boards.]

Sept. 19, 2002

Hi. I just sent an email to subscribe to the Messenger. ...I've been studying apologetics for about five years and have taught a couple of sunday school classes dealing with apologetics. I've been interested in studying the mormon religion for several years now and have just recently over the past couple of years really been trying to learn more and more. This is an area that has really been on my heart in the area of apologetics. I have a strong desire and I believe God has placed I guess a call for me to do something in the area of the Mormon religion....Are there any suggestions from you on what I can do....

[Sandra's Note: Here are some ministries that do outreach at LDS events. Maybe you could work with them at some point in one of their outreach efforts. This might help give you insight as to the direction God wants you to go in sharing your faith with Mormons.

Utah Partnerships for Christ
www.upfc.org -- phone toll free 1-866-504-UPFC

Berean Christian Ministries -- phone 716-872-4033

Nauvoo Christian Visitors Center -- phone 217-453-2372

Watchman Fellowship -- phone 817-277-0023
Utah branch email -- toliver@watchman.org

Hope this helps.]

Sept. 19, 2002

Thank you for a most wonderful site, opened my eyes. I left the lds many years ago after found many faults on my own, did not know there was all this info available. I am trying to get a mormon colleague to read this site as well--www.exmormon.org. thank you for your studies.

Sept. 21, 2002

Subject: A very belated thank you!

It has been a little over ten years since I sheepishly wandered in to your store/home near 13th South. I was a devout 5th generation Utah Mormon, returned "sister" missionary and recently married in the Salt Lake Temple to a returned missionary. I purchased your comprehensive book, "Shadow or Reality", and spent the next weeks glued to the book, astonished at the extensive compilation of factual discrepancies in LDS doctrine. From that point forward, my husband and I began our slow journey to the outside of "the box" where the view is much clearer. Although we didn't follow your path to orthodox Christianity, we are now a very happy, healthy and somewhat agnostic family.

Today I was gathering items in my basement to donate to the local Thrift Town and came across a box with your book inside. I had hidden it there many years ago so family members wouldn't find it while visiting. I felt strangely nostalgic looking at its pages, remembering the painful period of learning the truth about our life-long religion and the feelings of guilt and shame heaped upon us for leaving it. However, it also reminded me of the courage it gave us to use our God-given common sense and logic and follow our hearts.

I thank you for your many years of hard work and doing what few of us would ever have the courage or determination to do. I can only hope that with my donated book, another person searching for clarity as I was ten years ago, will pick it off the shelf and begin their journey.


Sept. 21, 2002

Jerald & Sandra,

In February of 2002 I began to date a young girl whom I worked with at the time. As I got to know her the topic of church and religion came up and I was shocked to find that she was an active mormon. Being fortunate enough to have a church that is very dedicated to preaching the truth, and providing classes on false teaching I knew mormonism wasn't centered around Christ.

I continued to date this young lady for several months, and I attended her church a few times and even took 2 or 3 discussions from the local missionaries. While attending the sacrement portion of the service the testimonies concerning Joseph Smith and his vilidity as compared to the book of Mormon began to be discussed. The spirit wasted no time in defending my heart, and discerning truth from fiction. I began to get so uncomfortable I could hardly sit still. ( Same way with the discussions.)

As time went on I began to get very serious toward this beautiful young lady that had so gracefully entered my life. Soon many of our talks were about religion and how the basic christianity fairs against mormon doctrine and belief. So I turned for help to my church, and they gave me a few names of books to order from you. I read MORMONISM- SHADOW OR REALITY, cover to cover as well as CASE AGAINST MORMONISM, and 3913 CHANGES IN BM. My strength was restored as well as my knowledge of the subject at hand. I did my best to prevent preaching to her, and instead went with a logical approach to disproving the LDS church. I showed her passages from the bible which refute her beliefs, and I showed her a little of the material from your books. She refused to take things seriously and unfortunately turned away from me. She told me she has spoken to the father and the son individually, as well as her mother whom passed away 3 or 4 years ago. (Her mother was a devought mormon). My only option now at this point is to let go and let God work his will. She refuses to read antimormon material. I pray constantly for her, and I worry that I went about things the wrong way, even though I approached her with love- not a right and wrong approach. I know that Gods word nver returns void, and that nothing is impossible through him but still I struggle. God has blessed me beond belief with this trial, and I have grown stronger.

I now have just moved into an apartment with a mormon- ( conincidentally) and the missionaries live 6 doors down from my apartment complex.

I think God has great things in store and I continually need advise and prayer for dealing with these friends of mine that are lost. You have helped me more than you will ever know. Your work blesses those that you will never meet in this lifetime. I keep you guys in my prayers, and I am so grateful for your determination to preach the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you again.

Sept. 21, 2002

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tanner,

Thank you so much for the paper work you have sent me in the mail. It has helped me alot. I want you to know that I know what you say on your web site is true and that you both are wonderful people.

I am not a mormon nor will I ever become one. I am a Christian, but ...my husbands parents are mormon and he is starting to get back involved in the church. He hasn't been active since he was 14 but he is starting to be more involved.

I am scared for him, he is so confused and torn between the truth and lies he has been told by his family and the members of the church. I just pray that he will not be persuaded into the church once again. Thank you once again I hope from the info you have sent me and the research I am doing will help him know the TRUTH. Thanks again and God bless you both, Keep on writing the truth.

Sept. 21, 2002

When a Mormon asks me "where do you get your authority?", what do I tell them? I am a Christian, Bible-believing and born-again. I know you've written about this. Can you point me to the correct answer? Thank you and God Bless your ministry.

[Sandra's Note: See Mormon Claims Answered, chap. 6.]

Sept. 22, 2002

Subject: Thank You

Dear Tanners,

I wanted to say thanks for the work you are doing in exposing the Mormon church's claims as false. I sure wish I would have heard about you 17 years ago. I joined the Mormon church then, after dating a very nice mormon man. I thought the people were very nice and also liked the message of family . You mentioned this in your question and answer section. You are absolutely correct on your answer to why people join the mormon church. I ... was never taught about some of the questionable things in Mormon history.

I am in a quandary. I now see the mormon church for what it is and no longer believe the Book of Mormon to be the "word of God". I believe that Joseph Smith took parts of the Bible and added some of his own ideas, making up fictitious characters and then pawned it off on the world as writings from ancient prophets. When I was investigating the Mormon church I was happy to find a lot of words from the Bible in it. It didn't dawn on me until lately that something is wrong with that.

Now I am stuck! I married a Mormon man almost 16 years ago and have six children with him. My husband comes from a very strong LDS background. His family are very devout mormons. His father is a stake president. I have had to keep quiet about my realizations. I spoke a little to my husband about some of my doubts. He became very agitated. I do not want to lose my children or turn their world upside down, so I am not saying anything anymore. Someday I will let my feelings be known, probably after our last child is out of the home or married. I don't want to be bared from seeing my children married, which is exactly what would happen if they were to marry in the temple.

So, I am reading my Catholic Bible again and relearning about the faith I was raised in. I am just sorry I never went to a Catholic priest when I was checking out the mormon church. I didn't even tell my parents that I was looking into the mormon church. That says a lot in itself doesn't it. If it was such a great thing why was I hiding it.

Keep up the good work. Maybe my husband will question things someday....I don't hold out much hope for this, but you never know what can happen with a little prayer.

Take care!

Sept. 23, 2002

Hello, I am interested in re-prints of the original book of mormon, doctrine and covenants, and any other mormon documents that have lds prophecies in them. If you would please write me and tell me where I might find these things. Thank you very much.


[Sandra's Note: On our book list you will find the following:

You can purchase from a Mormon bookstore [like www.deseretbook.com ] a CD-ROM called 'GospeLink 2001' which contains the 26 vol. set of Journal of Discourses, plus dozens of other LDS titles.]

Sept. 23, 2002

Subject: thank you

Dear Mrs. Tanner,

I want to say thank you so much for your ministry. You spoke at Calvary Chapel in Clearfield this Sunday. We have just started attending that church and my husband and I really enjoyed listening to what you had to say. Your words Sunday helped me to be able to open a dialog tonight with an LDS friend of mine.

I will be praying for you and your ministry. It's a very important one. God is so faithful though! I saw it today with my friend. I get down about it pretty easily as I am the only Christian in a family (back to the pioneer days) of LDS people.

I pray for God's blessing on you and your family.

Sept. 23, 2002

Is the LDS Church actually growing as fast as they claim? Do the converts stick with it?

[Sandra's Note: Here is a Mormon's web site that examines the LDS Church growth claims: http://www.cumorah.com/report.html]

Sept. 23, 2002

To Sandra and Jerald

I write out of the loss of a lovely woman that was taken in by Mormonism. She is married now...She is heart broken because I did not join the church. And I am heart broken too. I don't think there will ever be anyone else for me in my life. I ask that your group will pray for R...... that Jesus will show her the truth, and she will have the courage to contact you for guidance. Thank you. I am continually praying for your ministry and for both of you. God bless.

Sept. 23, 2002

Subject: question about the Tanner family

Forgive me for being so inquisitive, but are you (Mr. Tanner) distantly related to the Tanner family and the Tanner company that makes the CTR rings? And if so, are you also related to Carolyn Tanner Irish, the Episcopal bishop of Utah? I know the Tanners are an "old line" LDS family, and maybe due to polygamy there are zillions of them, but I recently read an article about Carolyn Tanner in the Stanford Alumni news (she went to Stanford after SLC public high schools). When they mentioned her Mormon pioneer heritage, I immediately wondered if it was the same Tanner family as you (Mr. Tanner). She left LDS in college and later converted to the Episcopal Church.

I think your site does an excellent service to those seeking "further light and knowledge" in their journey out of Mormonism.

[Sandra's Note: Jerald is a distant cousin of Carolyn Tanner Irish. I believe they would both be great-great grandchildren of John Tanner, who joined Mormonism in the 1830's. We are mentioned in the book "John Tanner and His Family" by George S. Tanner, pub. by the John Tanner Family Assoc. LDS Apostles Hugh B. Brown and N. Eldon Tanner are also from the John Tanner line.]

Sept. 23, 2002

Subject: Mormonism, etc.

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Tanner,

Thank you so much for sending me some of your materials. They are giving me much food for thought and prayerful study and confirm many of my own conclusions about the Mormon church. It will be just a matter of a bit more time, before I will request the removal of my name from the membership rolls.

...All of my neighbors and acquaintances are LDS and I don't know anybody else in this area. I am a 79 year old widow, born and educated in the Netherlands, who rejects the Mormon teachings and also in other respects doesn't fit the Mormon mold. Members of the LDS church always and loudly proclaim their great love for me, but otherwise strictly stay away from me, since afterall I am considered to be a heretic.

It was disappointment with the organized denominational churches, which brought me into the Mormon church in the first place, so there is no sense for me to go back to that. ... It bothers me that the Mormon church is not Christ centered at all, but strongly teaches following the arm of flesh. On any Sunday you usually hear the name of Christ mentioned once, during the sacrament prayer and for the rest it is "follow the (false) prophet". ...

Thank you for bringing to attention many things, which are otherwise not easy to access. For a long time I have been aware that the "prophet" and other general authorities are accomplished liars, but it is only now that I am learning that lying is a tradition, which goes back to the very early days of Mormon church history.

How humbling it is to learn how we have been ensnared by these lies, for even though we always had our personal doubts and quarrels with the teachings, we never imagined that the whole thing was based on fraud.

My heart is filled with gratitude to the Lord, who has given me a very wonderful and rich life. He has always listened to my prayers and answered them and He even has turned adversity into positive learning experiences. To think that He did all that for somebody like me, who still is so imperfect!

There is much more, which for now will remain unwritten. With thanks and wishing you the Lord's blessings always,

Sept. 24, 2002

...I am Mormon well I guess you could say I am sort of mormon since I no longer believe in mormon doctrine for obvious reasoning. I am slowly trying to pull myself away from the church but have fear of losing family relationships if I take that path. or rather when I take that path. I refuse to pretend and ignore the obvious any longer.

...When it all comes down to it you will tell me that the reason you believe in christianity is because you get this special feeling that Jesus is the saviour and it made you cry. I read the comments of jerald when he figured out Jesus was the saviour and he cried for an hour or whatever. let me tell you something I had that same type of experience in mormonism when I asked if the book of mormon is true. I guess mine was from the devil and yours was from god right? I've figured out that my experience was just wishful thinking my question to you is when are you going to figure it out? or are you going to have faith (be brainwashed) to the end? you have logically proven that mormonism is not true but yet you choose to disregard all logic when you judge your own religions worthiness.

logically speaking it is beyond comprehension for me to believe in the book of mormon or the bible frankly I can't understand how anyone can believe any of it. people believe what their emotions and tradition tell them to believe. you have escaped the traditional part of it by leaving mormonism. but frankly in my opinion you have gone from one cult to another and thus haven't really gained much.

Thank you for your time ...Although I believe religion was created by man I also think that it can help some people if they actually do believe it. It's like the trumann show it was all so good and nice in trumanns world so why did he leave? because once he knew it wasn't reality there was no reason to stay.


Sept. 25, 2002

Subject: Where is the Evidence ?

Many historical references by other non-religious writers of the day and many archaelogical finds have proven the Bible to be the Word of God.

From what I have read on any of the mormon sites, there is not a shred of evidence that the book of mormon has any proof, historical or material.

Sept. 25, 2002

I understand that Joseph Smith predicted that the end of the world would come before 1891. Someone told me that in HISTORY OF THE CHURCH 2:182, this prediction is found. Do you have this material? ...


[Sandra's Note: Yes, see A Sample of Joseph Smith's False Prophecies (#10)]

Sept. 25, 2002








Sept. 25, 2002


I just finished reading Will Bagley's BLOOD OF THE PROPHETS. Wow! What a great piece of work! He indicated in the book that he has a LDS background, obviously he is not in good standing with the Church

Sept. 26, 2002

Subject: Bethlehem


This question is in regards to Alma 7:10 in the Book of Mormon where it says, 'He (Christ) shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers.'

In a couple of places in your web site you use this as an example of error within the Book of Mormon. Also, in your efforts to dispel the theory that Bethlehem can be included in the area of Jerusalem, you used something that a friend of yours wrote where he said,

"The argument is that Bethlehem is closer and smaller and thus included in the environs of Jerusalem. Never is this done in the Bible. Bethlehem has never been included in Jerusalem even to this day." (Letter to the Editor, July 6, 2002)

This is not necessarily true. Alma 7:10 says, "He shall be born of Mary at Jerusalem". In the Bible it says that Amaziah "was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David" (2 Kings 14:20).

And of course the city of David is Bethlehem (see Luke 2:4, 1 Samuel 20:6).

Another example is in 2 Kings 9:28: "And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David."

These two scriptures seem to make it clear that the city of Bethlehem could be considered to be located within the environs or land of  Jerusalem, in the same way that the Alma scripture describes it.

[Sandra's Note: Sorry, you are mixing up two different cities. The Bible uses the term 'city of David' for both Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Your example proves this—

II Kings 14:20—And they brought him on horses and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David.

This verse is not saying he was buried in Bethlehem.

In Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary we read in 2 Samuel 5:1-5—

About that age the Son of David entered upon his public ministry, ...He reigned, in all, forty years and six months, of which seven years and a half in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem, v. 5. Hebron had been famous, <Josh. 14:15>. It was a priest's city. But Jerusalem was to be more so, and to be the holy city. Great kings affected to raise cities of their own, <Gen. 10:11,36,32-35>. David did so, and Jerusalem was the city of David. It is a name famous to the end of the Bible (Rev. 21), where we read of a new Jerusalem. (from Matthew Henry's Commentary)

Look at 2 Sam. 6:16-17—obviously they were using 'city of David' as Jerusalem proper—that is where the tabernacle was located, not Bethelem. See also Neh. 12:27-43—especially vrs. 37. Obviously, after David became king, Jerusalem was also called the 'city of David.']

Sept. 26, 2002


Thank you for recommending the book Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith. My Mormon girlfriend and I are still together. Sometimes it amazes me that we continue.

We had another run-in about Mormon Theology. This time, coincidentally, about Joseph Smith's polygamy...She's of the belief, as I think many Mormons, are that Smith never consummated any of his polygamous marriages and I stated that the evidence is squarely against that conclusion. ...

Without you guys and the critical work that you do, it would be difficult to wade through the maze of denials and contradictions that Mormon Theology teaches or to challenge it in any intelligent, concise, and ordered way.

Thanks again for y'alls ministry and all that you do, in love, for those who are lost.

May God pour you out a blessing that can not be contained.

Your brother in Christ,

Sept. 27, 2002

Subject: Thank You!

Dear Tanners,

I was sadly raised Mormon, but for much of my life I felt that something was not right. Both my parents are faithful members, they met at BYU and were married shortly after my father returned from his mission.

To the church I was a member of a perfect mormon family, and yet I never felt fulfilled. I heard about people's experiences with peace and the love of Christ, but never experienced it. I was convinced, after talking to my bishop and leaders about my questions that it was because I was not faithful enough and until i learned to follow without question i would never be "worthy." I was sure that i was the one at fault, after all, my parents taught my that the sky was blue, the grass was green and that the mormon church was the only true church on earth. I was lost.

It was during this time of confusion that I began high school. I was lost, and was the closest I have ever been to becoming an atheist. As my feeling that the Mormon church was not true grew, i found myself doubting Christianity in general. if what i had been raised with was not true, than how could anything else be either?

During this undisputable low in my life, I found the peace that comes from Our Savior Jesus Christ. I was involved in a production of the musical Godspell at my high school choir directors church. As the opening date grew closer, i found myself really paying attention to the words of Christ. I would go home after rehearsal feeling peace, and would read the bible and pray. it was the first time in my life that i ever earnestly read the Bible. Opening night which was performed on Palm Sunday, i prayed before the show that my mind be open to the words and will of the lord. It was the first time in my life that i truely had the faith that my prayer would be heard and answered. I felt as if the whole production were for me and me alone. I sobbed with joy as i felt for the first time the Love of God without the walls i had put up around myself. I knew that night, that i could never again set foot in the church of my childhood; the church that had led me so far from Christ, and i havent since.

Be sure, telling my still faithful parents was not easy, and there is a chasm between us that may never be resolved. I had planned to continue to appease my parents until i left for college, but after feeling what i felt, i could not stand to be in the company of such people ever again.

I, luckily, had a wonderful friend an mentor, an ex-mormon herself, that helped me through that difficult time. ...she and her husband were at my side every step of my journey to Christ. Amazingly, even after what i experienced, it was not easy to leave the church. again and again i would have doubts; what if i was wrong? what if the church was right after all? And every time i turned to the Bible, adn found my answers. That just goes to show how completely the mormon church brainwashes their members. they scare you so badly about what "will happen" if you leave the church, that it scars you forever.

One of the many things [my friend] did to help me leave the church was to suggest your website. I spent an entire evening on it one night and read, i think, every piece of information. Up until that point i had justified Joseph Smith's actions in the belief that perhaps he was just mentally unstable, and truely believed that his visions were real. It was so incomprehensible to me that a man could knowingly deceive so many people. After reading the information on your website, i knew that that was exactly was Smith had done. He knew what he was doing, and soaked up every bit of attention he received.

I was absolutely horrified at the undisputable truth i was reading. The more i learn, the angrier i grow at the LDS authorities. they keep documents from their members and deceive them all. there were many teachings of the LDS church that even i did not know about, and i was a member for 17 years! I have found so much information on your website, thank you so much!!!! I dont understand how people could read it and not see it's truth. But then again, i was once brainwashed just like them.

I thank the Lord that I found TRUE Christianity when i did, and not after i had wasted more of my life on the filth of the LDS church. After reading the information you provide, i have no more doubts about my actions, and i often tell others about your website so that they too may be warned.

I am currently in the process of having my name removed from the church records. I only pray that my family will accept my decision. I have found a wonderful TRUELY CHRISTIAN church at college and I am learning how to lead a Christian life. I, luckily, have people to guide me, as i must now separate what i learned as a child from what is true. it is a long process, but I am happy to do it, because i want to know the true Gospel of Christ. I know that i am not a saint as i once believed, but a sinner, and that the only way to salvation in Faith in the Lord.

Thank you so much for your website, and the information you provide. Without it, i might never have found the strength to leave the church. I will keep you in my prayers. Thank you again!


Sept. 28, 2002


Thank you so much for writing me back, I am sure you have tons of people writing you. ...I have only been seeking the truth for a little over a month now, but am hard pressed to continue believing in the LDS church.

I have read Mormon America, and have checked your as well as other websites, but the thing that really turned me was the Bible. Now I am contending with separating myself from my entire family and the community I have been in my whole life. I am scared to death at the prospect of having this division with my family and feel a need to seek "family" outside of them who I can go to for support and strength. I am married and do have an incredibly supportive husband, but he was not raised in the Church or was ever a part of it, so he doesn't quite understand what I am going through. ...


Sept. 30, 2002

Subject: letter from an German LDS


I'm now about 23 Years in the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints and it is intresting to read that some "former" Menbers say they had problems to get excomunicated. I'm a Secetary in my Brunch, I have been all over Europe in the Church, I was working in Military Church stakes, and I had organized Meetings for People who wished to get excomunicated (If they wished to be present). In all those years I have never expierinenced such stuff that people stated in those letters and I really wouldn't call those people competent (or even realistic).

True is that this church was build by Christ and that he is the only Savior we have and I´m grateful that he died for me. The Bible *and* the Book of Mormon are the Word of God.

I have many friends and relatives in other Churches ( My Mum is Lutheran) and they experienced the same.

If there are Members which would do such stupid stuff, so my experience, they get Excommunicated.

I would ask you to be more Realistic with you Articles and espcially *honest*. Because somtimes you seem to be living in an Illousion made up by some Protestants which have a Problem with loosing 400,000 Members (in the U.S.each Decade) because the Holy Ghost ist converting People to Christ. I ask you to help People become converted to Christ. - He lives, I know that with all my heart.

_____ ______


[Sandra's Note: Thanks for writing. We try to be accurate and will change anything that can be clearly shown to be in error, not just something someone disagrees with. If you have a specific item in mind that we have misquoted please send me the information.

I assure you that all the letters we print are from real people. I don't question your experience, however, I personally know many, many people that had a terrible time getting the Bishop to remove their names from the LDS membership rolls. I know that some Bishops handle this very well, but there are many Bishops that are not easy to work with and insist on numerous phone calls and meetings before taking care of the matter.]

Sept. 30, 2002

Subject: A few more references

Greetings, Tanners:

...Your papers seem to be written toward the non-critically thinking person and generally not very scholarly in their approach. My question is, what type of market are you aiming for? If you ever need help writing something addressed to a deeper thinking group of people, I would love to read and critique your work. But then again, I suppose there is much better money to be made in selling to simpler minds and groups who need 'something to hate'.

Sept. 30, 2002

Subject: Website

I've got to be honest. I think this site is full of lies. I haven't ever seen anything like this with the mormon church. You should be careful about what you say to others concerning beliefs you know nothing about, or in the case of the Tanners, things you felt strong enough about to joing the mormon church, and now are trying to destroy it. I don't see the validity of the material here, and I think you should rethink calling yourselves followers of Christ. You are not.


Sept. 30, 2002

Subject: Does Mormonism Teach Jesus Was Married

Beloved of God,

Blessings being prayed your way today in the precious name of Jesus. I've used your search engine today and could not find a specific reference to the teaching or speculation by LDS that Jesus was married and that the wedding at Cana was His own. I remember dimly from my own LDS days that this was speculated. Is it written somewhere in LDS church history?

Thanks for any help you can give me. Praising God for Jesus Christ and Salvation,

[Web-editor: See LDS Leaders Claim to be Descended from Christ and His Apostles]

Go to Letters to the Editor: Main

Go to Online Resources


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