From the Mailbag (1/30/2008)

My neighbors are very kind, loving generous people. They seem like the most happy people in the world to me and my husband. They are not wealthy, and we are, yet something is missing. We asked them why they are so happy and they told us about their church. It seemed so amazing and wonderful, we asked them what things they had to do to stay in the church. They told us about the commandments and the strict but humble rules they follow. I saw a protestor with this address so it is why I am asking, why do people like you protest against these kind and loving people. I have seen what they do and when people like you protest and say they are being “mislead” it ruins something, almost like a peace. What if these Mormons are wrong? What if they are being led astray to the depths of Hell. They are good and happy people, and no matter what you think about them, you should give them their peace. Or do you people think that freedom of choice should be dropped. These people choose to be happy and when I see people like you I am disgusted, maybe I am being led astray.


Thank you for your email. I will try to answer your questions.

I’d like to clarify that we at Mormonism Research Ministry wholly believe in freedom of religion. The material we produce and distribute is primarily for the purpose of educating people about the differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity as we understand it. The goal is to help people become better informed so they may make good, sound decisions about their possible involvement with the LDS Church. We support their right to make whatever decision they choose.

You have suggested that a person’s earthly “peace” is more important than their eternal future. You ask, “What if these Mormons are wrong? What if they are being led astray to the depths of Hell. They are good and happy people, and no matter what you think about them, you should give them their peace.” I appreciate your perspective/opinion on this, but I cannot agree with you. If someone was being “led astray to the depths of Hell” the loving thing to do would be to try to rescue them.

My brother is a firefighter. When he is called to fight a house fire several things happen. Even if it’s the middle of the night and people everywhere are sleeping comfortably, he jumps on a truck that screams through the streets with flashing lights and a blaring siren. He arrives at the burning home and begins pounding on the door with all his might in an effort to disturb the peace of the family inside. “Wake up! Fire! Get out!!!” Once the family is safely outside he climbs up on the roof with his ax and begins destroying the home. He chops, others flood the place with water, destroying furniture, family photos, and parts of the structure itself. Once the fire is out, the home is a complete mess — but hopefully not a complete loss. The family is saved and the home can be repaired.

My brother could follow your suggestion and refrain from disturbing the family’s peace. After all, while they are sleeping they are happily unaware that their life is in danger and their home is turning to ash. He could let them have their peace and die in their sleep. I think you and I would agree that that would be terribly wrong.

If preserving earthly life is important enough to risk shattering a person’s peace, surely a person’s eternal life is even more important. There was a Christian preacher in the 19th century who said something about this. His name was Charles Haddon Spurgeon and he said, “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”

We at Mormonism Research Ministry pray for the LDS people. We care deeply about their eternal future. We cannot (and would not) force them to change religions. But we sincerely believe that Mormonism is a false religion which leads people away from their only hope for reconciliation with holy God, and so we implore them (and others) to take a closer look at what the Bible says with the hope that they will find true peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding, the peace that lasts forever (Philippians 4:7).

Thank you again for sharing your concern. Please let me know if there are any other questions I can try and answer for you.

In Christ,


About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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18 Responses to From the Mailbag (1/30/2008)

  1. falcon says:

    I’ve never been involved in or even seen one of these “protests” so I’m not really sure what goes on there. I don’t know the methods or approach used by the people there. My only question would be is “Is it effective?” In order to know that, I suppose that “effective” would need to be defined. I often hear of protests that are done to “raise awareness”. So how does someone know if they’ve raised awareness? I heard about a motion picture actor who kicked a homeless guy off his heating grate so that the actor could spend the night there protesting homelessness. So maybe someone can enlighten me as to the goals and techniques/methods used in one of these gatherings. I do agree, however, that as Christians we are called to bring the truth of the Gospel to a lost and perishing world. Perhaps being made uncomfortable is necessary in some cases.

  2. I sometimes go to downtown Salt Lake City with a sign that says, “ – Ask me for a free DVD”. It’s a advertisement for the site and a great conversation-starter both for group conversations on the street and the ensuing e-mail dialog. With larger crowds it’s also a great way to draw people to preach to. At the Rexburg temple we had signs that said, “” and “”, and we gave out pamphlets and got into great conversations with those brave enough to endure the cold weather.

    When I hit the streets in Utah I usually have to take a cell phone because my wife knows I won’t be back sometimes until 1:30am… people stick around to talk for a long time!

    But really, this post wasn’t intended to be a big conversation about the merits of certain methods of evangelism to strangers. As long as someone has a good attitude and is spreading the word of God to strangers I find it hard to be critical of them. As D.L. Moody once said, “The I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”

    Grace and peace,


  3. dj1989 says:

    I disagree with the comparison made by the author of their efforts being like a fireman saving people in a burning building. It sounds nice though. To me, the MRM is more like a group of citizens who has taken it upon themselves to be a fire brigade running around town chopping down perfectly good homes, and destroying perfecting sound furnishings, for the sake of saving imagined fires

    Here are my reasons for making this comparison. First, there is no sign of danger (a fire in the example). Paul, speaks of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), which is clearly manifest in the Mormon church (being love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control). While not talking about fruit, per se, there are other scriptures that talk of qualities that will be manifest including the following:

    1 Cor 13 (suffers long, is kind, does not envy, does not parade itself, does not get ‘puffed up’, does not behave rudely, is not provoked, does not think evilly, nor rejoice in sin, rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things),

    Phil 4:8 (true, noble, or worthy of high esteem, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of any virtue, worthy of praise

    Col 3:12-16, the church members are told to put on (wear) these things: tender mercies, kindness, humility or self-smallness, a heart of compassion, gentleness, and patience.

    So the signs of following Christ are clearly there.

    But, they are also like a citizen brigade, with assumed authority. One of the boldest claims that the existence of the LDS church makes is that the modern Christian world is acting on assumed authority and has no more authority to act in the name of the Saviour than the Jews in ancient times were able to act in the name of Yahweh. The Christian world is yet to be able to refute that claim in a satisfactory way.

  4. Ironically, DJ quotes from Galatians, which also says in chapter 1:

    6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

    In Paul’s worldview, you can’t justify a false gospel with nice manners. By rejecting the one true God in favor of any sort of Lorenzo Snow couplet theology, Mormons break the greatest commandment and thereby become idolaters in the sight of God. And idolatry certainly isn’t “true, noble, or worthy of high esteem, just, pure, lovely, of good report”, etc. It certainly hasn’t been my experience that committed Mormons demonstrate that they “rejoice in the truth” of Isaiah 43:10. As Jesus said, they must be born again. They are “enslaved to those that by nature are not gods” (Galatians 4:8).

    On the issue of authority, check out the newly posted booklet. The author shows that Mormons have absolutely no authority to preach their false gospel.

    Grace and peace,


  5. falcon says:

    The Christian world has no authority to act in the name of Jesus? Who says? Please prove that to me. And by saying that, I am assuming that Mormons are claiming that authority? Mormons aren’t even preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are preaching the gospel of Joseph Smith. You certainly have the authority to preach that gospel if you want it.

    I can see that there’s a lot of work to be done out there. I believe in the power of the Spirit to bring light to darkness. Keep making yourself available. I’m guessing there are a lot of discouraged Mormons that are eager to hear the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing like getting free.

  6. dj1989 says:


    Paul says what the fruits of the Spirit are. The fruits are manifest in the Mormon church. It would be incredibly easy to go through each fruit one by one, and find numerous examples of this being the case in the Mormon church.

    I find it interesting that you dilute those qualities into what’s called “nice manners”. What’s more, you’ve diluted it only for the purpose of putting it at odds with another of Paul’s statements (preaching a different gospel. BTW, the idea that the LDS church is teaching a different gospel than what Paul taught is a statement that you, nor any EV is even qualified to make. The original statement is somewhat vague in the first place… I mean, after 2,000 years, who’s to say that the EV version of the gospel isn’t the one that’s being preached contrary to what Paul taught, and that they are to be accursed? Think about it… there’s alot of “gospels” based on the Bible these days. The Constitution is just over 200 years old, and for some reason people can’t come to a solid conclusion about how it applies to us without endless debate. But, I guess that that kind of confusion doesn’t apply to the Bible, right? As we’ve had the conversation before, I’d appreciate if you didn’t accuse me of not “believing God’s word”. I believe the Bible to be God’s word. I just do not believe that your interpretation of it is in line with the original intent. My argument is against the incorrect interpretation of the Bible… not against the Bible itself.

    But I digress. As I said before, it’s interesting that you’ve diluted what are plain fruits of the Spirit into “nice manners”. It’s fine if your claim is that these fruits are not useful for the sake of proving anything to others. If they were wholly meant for the edifying of the individual, then that would be wholly acceptable to me, and they would still serve a wonderful purpose.

  7. Mike Cucuk says:


    dj1989, maybe a house fire IS too obvious. How about this?

    I am a microbiologist. I have just learned of a failing storage facility that contained a deadly virus that could take the lives of millions. It’s close to midnight, and everybody in the neighboring towns and villages are sound asleep. Wouldn’t the right thing to do would be to wake them up (thanks to civil forces, of course) and evacuate them to safety? They might never return to their towns and villages again without wearing an NBC suit (nuclear, biological, chemical), but at least they’re lives have been spared.

    Or should I just smile and ignore the impending danger? The virus will infect the sleeping civilians, killing them in their slumber. They won’t know the difference, but it’ll be a peaceful departure for all of them. What would be my justification for the deaths of countless, innocent civilians? “Well, they looked so peaceful. I didn’t want to disturb them. At least now, they’re in a better place.”

    Now, how loving is that?

  8. DJ,

    When Paul talks about love, he’s talking about love as Biblically defined and shaped by the Christian worldview. I’m sure that many people have loved Baal, but that doesn’t mean their “love” was pleasing to Yahweh. I’m sure some people have felt a kind of peace when murdering an innocent person, but that “peace” isn’t pleasing to God. I’m sure people have practiced a kind of “self-control” when using medical instruments to steal a person’s organs to sell them on the black market, but that “self-control” isn’t pleasing to God. The kind of “love” and “peace” and “self-control” God is pleased with happen in the context of a relationship with Christ built by faith in his person and his specific promises. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, and Mormonism fosters an unbelief in the real being and specific promises of God. “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24) Outside of belief in specific promises like these, what people mistakenly perceive as fruits of the Spirit are really just “nice manners” and civility—the kind of things even evil people can do. As Jesus said, even an evil man won’t normally give a snake when his son asks for a fish. But that kind of natural, fatherly love isn’t necessarily evidence of a supernatural relationship with the Creator. Instead of naively approaching Paul’s list of fruits in a shallow and superficial manner, they are meant to be approached holistically with the whole Christian worldview in mind.

    I mean, after 2,000 years, who’s to say that the EV version of the gospel isn’t the one that’s being preached contrary to what Paul taught, and that they are to be accursed?

    When one reads Galatians, one can know the answer to that question. But as you have demonstrated, Dave, you have a lot of unbiblical, postmodern assumptions about human language—even human language that God himself inspires. You have repeatedly shown yourself to be unedifying when speaking about the Bible. Stick to making constructive arguments from the Biblical text, or spend your time at where you’ll be more welcome questioning the “mental state” of Christians. When a controversy comes up about the Biblical text, make specific, exegetical arguments from the text instead of, as you have done elsewhere, wasting everyone’s time with “the Bible is hopelessly ambiguous” kind of argument.

    Grace and peace,


  9. Ralph says:

    DJ, I agree to an extent with what you say about the house fire not being appropriate, because I believe in the LDS church so I believe that they are doing the wrong thing.
    However, we as LDS teach the same thing to motivate our members to do their missionary work. We teach that those who have been warned have the responsibility to warn others, and then as an example we go on to say that if you were in a building that is on fire and you were the one who found the fire it is your responsibility to tell the others in the building to get them out. So perspective is the thing here.
    We are taught to keep in our prayers the adversaries of our church to try and soften their hearts so they learn the truth and are converted. We are taught to show love and kindness to them. We are taught the story in the BoM about Ammon and his brothers who went to the Lamanites to teach the gospel becasue they could not cope with the thought of anyone going to hell. In other words we are taught to do exactly what most of the people on this blog are doing towards us. Why? Because we believe that we are correct and we don’t want to see them miss out on their eternal rewards – just like they think about us.
    As for the person who sent the email in – are they a believer? If they do not think that going to hell in the next life just because we are happy in this life, then it seems to me that are athiest or non-Christian of sorts. So an answer as given above will not change their mind/perspective.

  10. dj1989 says:


    Just in terms of the two comparisons, I like it. 🙂

    Actually, both comparisons are really good. But in the case of the fire, but TO ME, neither is descriptive of what I see actually going on.

    Those of us in the house see that there’s no fire. But, the firefighters are obviously very passionate about breaking through the window and ruining the furnishings with water, so still we get out of bed to check inspect the home. When there’s nothing there, we then realize that the firemen, are just a self-proclaimed fire brigade with no credentials. At this point, I kick them out of my home.

    Your example solves my issues with the first example… so I give you an “A” for effort. So, again, when I am warned, I will give heed. When I find that the person doing the warning doesn’t come with the right credentials (they are not in reality a microbiologist, but a realtor), and the claim that this realtor makes is inconsistent with anything another microbiologist has made, then I will not pay attention.

    By the way, I have actually gone through some heavy questioning as a result of sites like this. But, I have found that the supposed authorities have not been able to show themselves to be true authorities, nor have I found their claims of danger to be real.

    I have already given heed… but now is the time for me to reject impostors that cannot prove themselves, and that tend to leave confusion and destruction in their wake.

    I do not believe that religion can be proved. I emphatically believe that the Bible (and the various interpretations that are attached to it) is sufficiently clear to show me the path to follow. Because of this, I will allow every person to pursue the course which they deem to be the right one for them (even though I don’t believe it to be right).

    I also reject the methods of the MRM as being similar to Christ’s or Paul’s methods of teaching, or of elevating men toward God.

  11. mikeb says:

    Here is what Paul says in his letter to the Romans

    The Word of Faith Brings Salvation

    1Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

  12. jer1414 says:

    dj said “The fruits are manifest in the Mormon church”
    It certainly depends on which fruits of the Mormon church you allow yourself to consider.

  13. soulvader says:

    Where does it say that Joseph has replaced Jesus, or that he is god?

  14. pallathu says:

    In my opinion, the Mormons should not be offended if someone stands on the temple square with a sign like ‘’ or something similar. In what extend a Mormon thinks that is offending, every other non-LDS in this state feels the same about the persecution non-LDS has to go through in this state. Whenever a Mormon opens his mouth, and say theirs is the restored gospel, and theirs is the true Church, it is more ugly than standing on a corner with a sign exposing Mormonism.

    Take this election season. In every nook and corner of this state, you can only listen about Mitt Romney. Being a non-LDS you can’t even talk any bad policies of Romney. They will raise their eyebrows and say “Did you say that in this state?”. You are an outcast in this state if you don’t even vote for Romney.

    A new Evangelical Church in the Utah County had to worship in cold winter on a Friday few weeks back after they were asked to vacate the building because they did not have a fire department permission. The Church has been begging for a permission for many months. The Fire Department would have given the permission to a Church if the Church was not threatening to the Mormons.

    In all ways, I stand firmly to my belief that the Mormons should stop the persecution against other minorities in this state especially in neighborhoods.

  15. jer1414 says:

    Soulvader asked “Where does it say that Joseph has replaced Jesus, or that he is god?”

    I found a few interesting items from the Journal of Discourse – from 7:289 “no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. … every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are-I with you and you with me.”

    And from 5:88, Heber C. Kimball, “but the day will be, gentlemen and ladies, whether you belong to this Church or not, when you will prize brother Joseph Smith as the Prophet of the Living God, and look upon him as a God, and also upon Brigham Young, our Governor in the Territory of Deseret…”

    I’ve also been told by a Mormon that Joseph Smith “spilled his blood for” her, likening him to Jesus.

  16. Rick B says:

    JER1414 said

    I’ve also been told by a Mormon that Joseph Smith “spilled his blood for” her, likening him to Jesus.

    Joseph did not lay down his life because he wanted to, He was Shot by a mob, but Joseph Fought back, he was the First martyr to ever fire a pistol. rick b

  17. jer1414 says:

    Rick, you are right in that “Joseph did not lay down his life because he wanted to, He was Shot by a mob, but Joseph Fought back, he was the First martyr to ever fire a pistol.”

    I found it sickening that my friend said that Smith ‘spilled his blood’ for her, likening him to Jesus.

  18. Rick B says:

    If you read the Account in History Vol 7, He was rather surprised his brother was killed and the way the account reads, not only did he Fight back, but he tried to run away by jumping out of the window. JS was a coward Jesus laid his life down, did not even say a vile word, JS cannot compare to Jesus. Rick b

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