Category : Mormonism

Watch Me, an Ex-Mormon, Interview this Mormon Missionary

This is NOT a coincidence! You will love watching my interview with Jaron Fowles, a returned Mormon missionary, on main street in Manti, Utah. I met Jaron exactly three years earlier at that same intersection. Watch what happened next.

When I first met Jaron in 2014, he told me he was about to leave on his Mormon mission and he had been assigned to the Texas, Fort Worth Mission. In God’s providence, he was placed in an apartment within walking distance of my home.

Although I am an ex-Mormon, Jaron had the courage to call my cell when he arrived in Texas. That call was the beginning of a great friendship that lasted throughout his two-year mission and beyond. He is still a believing Mormon but he says he now has questions about Mormonism that have “rocked me to my knees.” Jaron and his brother just drove 4-hours round-trip to meet me in Manti, Utah for this interview. Please watch and let me know what you think.

THANKS to each of you who prayed for our 2017 Utah Mission trip and for those of you who gave financial support to our ministry. You literally make ministry like our 2017 Utah Mission Trip possible. Please take a few minutes to watch the 10-min. video interview and to pray for Jaron. I also want say a special “thank you” to all 30 of our 2017 Utah missionaries who gave of their time and finances this summer to reach Mormons with the true gospel of Christ.

QUESTION: What advice or encouragement would you give Jaron today? Let me know and I’ll pass it on to Jaron. I’m sure that he will be thrilled to know you are praying for him. (Privacy Note: I will not share your name or email address!)

Free Book: A Mormon’s Unexpected Journey

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You will love this free book! As a former Mormon myself, I rarely discover a book that more clearly lays out the differences between Mormonism and biblical faith. At the same time, here is a book that goes beyond the facts to tell a story of personal transformation. As I read it I was vividly reminded of every feeling and emotion that I experienced during my own transition from Mormonism to Christianity.

Carma Naylor strikes that perfect balance as she invites her readers along for an incredibly personal journey through the crisis of losing her religion and the unexpected joy of finding the grace of Christ. I know you will want this book and I would like to give you a free copy.

Why Am I Giving You This Book?

I am very thankful for each of you who support the ministry of Watchman Fellowship either financially or through your prayers. To express my appreciation, I would like to give you and a free copy of A Mormon’s Unexpected Journey. All I ask is that you make a donation of at least $3.81 to help me cover the postage.

If you can afford to donate more than the postage, please know that our staff and their families are exceptionally grateful. Your generous support is much-needed and greatly appreciate at this time. But if all you can do right now is cover is the postage, please don’t hesitate to claim your copy. I don’t want the cost to prevent you from enjoying your own copy of this valuable resource.

What is the catch? We do ask for a donation of at least enough to help cover the postage. We do have a limit of one per family while our supply lasts. This offer is valid in the USA only* and the offer ends Monday, Oct. 31, 2016 at midnight.

A Great Witnessing Resource

Not only will you enjoy reading Carma’s story, her book also makes a great gift to share with a Latter-day Saint to help introduce them to the biblical gospel of grace.

  • Do you know any Mormons — a coworker, neighbor, or family member?
  • Have you ever had the Mormon Missionaries knock at your door?

If you answered yes, you will want to be prepared to be a witness when the Lord give you an opportunity. This book is a great way to be “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) to a Mormon friend.

Once again, thank you for your prayers and support. Our staff and their families depend on the generous gifts from friends like you to stay on the forefront of apologetics, evangelism, and missions. Thank you for helping to make this ministry possible!

The LDS Church Acknowledges Facts About Joseph Smith and Polygamy

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As we’ve noted in our Facebook and Twitter feeds, on October 22, 2014 the LDS Church added an essay to its website that—when combined with an earlier essay—gives a more complete picture of polygamy in early Mormonism (particularly as practiced by Joseph Smith) than the Church would previously publicly acknowledge.

Mormon blogger Jana Riess lists five things the LDS Church has acknowledged in its essays:

  1. Joseph Smith was sealed to women who were already married.
  2. While some of these relationships were for “eternity only,” others may have been sexual.
  3. Joseph Smith’s first plural marriage took place as early as the mid-1830s.
  4. Many of Joseph Smith’s plural marriages occurred without the consent—or even the knowledge—of his first wife, Emma.
  5. Most of Joseph Smith’s plural marriages were to women between the ages of 20-40, but others were to teenagers—including a fourteen year-old.

These acknowledgements are significant because, as Riess says in the summary for her article, “Some used to consider it ‘apostate’ to say that Joseph Smith married women who were already married to other men. Now the LDS Church has acknowledged it openly.”

Over the years Watchman Fellowship has published many articles about Mormon polygamy, one of the most notable of which is on our website. In “The Pain of Polygamy,” Jill Martin Rische looks at the practice of polygamy in the early LDS Church, the continuing practice among Mormon splinter groups, and a biblical response to the practice.

We also have two books in our resource center on the subject (each is available for a donation of $20 dollars):

You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

Quick Witnessing Tip: A Four-Minute Video on Reaching Mormons

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Here is a fast, 4-minute video witnessing tip for sharing the gospel with Mormons.

This is great illustration we were using earlier this year on our mission trip to Manti, Utah. One of hardest concepts for Mormons to grasp is the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone — apart from our good works.

I think this little illustration does a great job of helping Mormons understand what we mean, even if they don’t agree with us. Click here to watch:

http://www.watchman.org/MormonWitnessTip.htm

Please help us continue to reach out to people of other faiths with the true Gospel of Grace. Your donation helps make it possible: http://www.watchman.org/donate

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) — Ephesians 2:4-5

I welcome your feedback. Thank you for your prayer and financial support of our ministry!

Racism in Mormonism

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A recently published book looks at the forgotten stories of fifty African-American Mormons who were members of the early LDS Church. A review of the book concludes that, while hopeful, these stories are also “wrenching” and “tragic.” What is wrenching and tragic about these stories, and why have they been forgotten—deliberately so, says the authors of the book?

Over the years in The Watchman Expositor we published a number of articles on racism in the LDS Church. You can find three of these on our website:

You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

News Articles on Joel Osteen and the LDS Law of Eternal Progression

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On our Twitter and Facebook streams we recently added posts about two notable articles in the news: one about a recent theft of over $600,000 from Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, and the other about a new statement by the LDS Church about the Law of Eternal Progression.

To learn more about Joel Osteen, including why he is such a controversial figure among Christians, you can read our free Profile on Osteen.

To learn more about the Mormon Law of Eternal Progression, you can read our free Profile of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you’d like to dig deeper into the subject, as well as learn how to use LDS teachings on eternal progression to witness to Mormons, you can purchase our audio CD and manual set, The Law of Eternal Progression: A Christian Critique of the Mormon Gospel.

You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

Is the Mormon Temple Ceremony Secret or Sacred?

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Latter-day Saints have a long standing criticism of our ministry because when teaching on Mormonism, we often reveal portions of the secret Mormon Temple ceremony. While they don’t like anything we say, this sometimes seems to upset them the most. At one seminar, about fifteen Mormon missionaries stood in unison and walked briskly out of the auditorium when the subject of the ritual was discussed.

The temple ceremony is one of the most important events in the life of a Mormon. To participate, the Mormon must go before his Bishop and Stake President for interviews to determine his personal “worthiness.” To pass, he must be a full tithe payer; must not smoke, drink coffee or tea; must not possess any “anti-Mormon” literature (like the Watchman Expositor) and if he has already “received his endowments,” must wear the authorized Mormon Temple undergarments constantly. Those who successfully comply with these and a host of other questions, receive the coveted “temple recommend,” a card which certifies their worthiness and allows them entrance into a Mormon Temple.

The vast majority of Mormons never reach this level of commitment and can never receive their endowments and be married and sealed to their spouse for “time and all eternity,” in this life — an important part of the ritual.

Read the rest of this article by James K. Walker on our website. You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

Should a College Course Be Based on Stephen R. Covey?

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In our Facebook and Twitter streams we recently linked to a news article about a proposal by Alamo Colleges in San Antonio to replace a required humanities course with one based on the work of Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. While the faculty of Alamo Colleges object to this change based on academic grounds, there is an additional religious problem, as is discussed in this article on our website:

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, a book written by Stephen R. Covey, former Brigham Young University professor and founder of the Covey Leadership Center, has been a runaway best-seller for the last decade. A major premise of The Seven Habits has to do with one’s paradigm on life-one’s worldview, the basic set of assumptions about life that filter all one’s perceptions of life, and color one’s understanding of all of life.1 These assumptions are so basic to one’s thinking that one seldom notices their existence, much less questions their accuracy. However, they may or may not correspond to reality. To the degree that one’s paradigm on life errs, all one’s perceptions of life and of others in one’s life will be skewed, creating unnecessary misunderstandings, hurt, and possibly even danger to oneself and others. And the damage potential of the wrong paradigm on life extends all the way to eternity.

Read the rest of this article by Timothy Oliver on our website. You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

False Prophecy in the Doctrine and Covenants

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Many Mormons pray to receive a “testimony” of the truthfulness of the Church and believe that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. While prayer itself is good, the Bible never recommends prayer as a way of discerning true and false prophets…Before testing any of Joseph Smith’s prophecies found in the Doctrine and Covenants, it is important to classify types of prophetic statements dealing with future events.

Read the rest of this article by James K. Walker on our website. You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

Instructions for Writing an LDS Resignation Letter

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Leaving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a simple process. Instead of simply being removed from the membership rolls due to inactivity, Mormons must formally request that they be removed from membership. How should a Mormon who is leaving the LDS Church go about this process?

In a new article on our website you will learn about all the necessary elements in a letter of resignation, including the persons to whom the letter should be sent. You can also see a sample letter of resignation to help you in writing your own letter.

Read the rest of this article by Timothy Oliver on our website. You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.