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Interview With Sandra Tanner — Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
January 1, 2020 1:35 pm

Interview With Sandra Tanner — Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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Answering questions by Bill McKeever Gary Johnson deals with 36 commonly asked questions by your LDS friends and neighbors. It's a great resource for Christians want to share their faith with friends and loved ones. Be sure to pick up your copy today at your favorite Christian bookstore viewpoint on Mormonism program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint on Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson.

My colleague at MRM and we also have with us today good friend of ours Sandra Tanner Sandra and her husband Gerald were the founders of Utah lighthouse ministry and today Sandra glad we have this time to get into this background, I'm sure this is a lot of information that many people don't know and it's it's just great to hear these things and have you say it yourself, but we been talking about your eventual transition out of Mormonism into Christianity and today we want to talk more about your transition into Christian ministry, and as I've been saying and I sincerely mean this, all of us were involved in ministry to those who are members of the LDS church OU and Gerald an incredible debt of gratitude for all the research the leg work that you both did in those early years.

I know I've gleaned from it. I know Eric has.

I know many people who will say that you played a huge role in their interest in Mormonism their desire to share their faith with their Mormon acquaintances and I would say. Also, you have had a big role in expressing your compassion for the Mormon people but a lot of people may not know that Utah lighthouse ministry was not always Utah lighthouse ministry you and Gerald in the very beginning had a organization called modern micro felt that out for all the millennial that you might have to explain what microfilm is but wanted to tell us a little bit about how Gerald got involved in photographing the old documents well. Gerald and I got married in 1959, at which point you didn't lock into the local library and make a photocopy you had things on microfilm's of which were like realtor real movies where you had reel of film that would have still shots out of different books and so you could go to the library and look at a microfilm on a special reader, and it would enlarge the image of frame by frame of something onto a screen that you would like at but that was the way you did research you had to go to the library and actually either come through the original books or look at a film that was a photo of the book there wasn't any Internet there were no computers. There is no easy way to cheat to fight information.

Now we all just depend on Google but back in 1959. It took like work to do research you had to go to the various libraries to see the original box.

Last Gerald and I got married, leaving Mormonism, but still hanging onto the book of Mormon doing research trying to figure out what we believed and our families are coming at us with the how could you bring such dishonor to the family. How could you go against your pioneer heritage. After all, your family, to head coming across the plains that you could turn your back on this and so they tried put on all these guilt trips of how you're hurting the family while we kept trying to tell them, but these are the facts. This is the way it really happened. That doesn't matter whether you have warm wonderful thoughts of your ancestors that there is a way in which Mormonism developed and it's different than the way the church is telling it and they would all say well you're just making it up your reading anti-Mormon literature and would tell them know what reading actual Mormon historical documents were looking at the original books were going to library and getting these microfilm said photos printed off from the microfilms to show you this is the way the story really happened and Joseph really did make all these changes.

While we were getting too far with this and I said to Gerald one day while while Gerald made some comment about we need to type all this stuff up as a way to share with him as a ballpoint a lot of time and to do it every time for different people and I supplied how to run a mimeograph machine that I had learned in high school working in the office so we went down to Sears and bought a little mimeograph machine and most people don't even know what those are, anymore that was these little old spirit duplicator things where you would type on a master most people you know about typewriters, but is a typewriter in your type on this special wax sheet of paper and it would make the letters punch through the surface of this had a waxed paper and you put it on this machine that special ink and stuff inside of the drama and you could crank out multiple copies of something and you could maybe make 50 copies off of one of these stencil things that you had made. So we started doing these typewritten handcranked little mimeograph copies of our research and when we choke to family and friends. So we would do up a sheet like on crazy things that early profit said about polygamy or things. Brigham Young said about Adam, God or blood atonement or changes in the revelations problems in the first vision. These types of things and which is tantamount to everybody, but that started getting expensive soap that fellow here in town that had a little bookstore said if you just put little quarter charge or something on your little pamphlets like at Solomon the bookstore and you'd reach a bigger audience so out of our home. We just started cranking off all these little things and then Gerald starts thinking long.

Maybe we need to up the game and call little more high-tech than this will at this point we had finally given up the book of Mormon Gerald had really got into serious study on problem areas of the book of Mormon, it's plagiarism from the Bible. The lack of historical support. The anachronisms historical problems and so we finally gave up the book of Mormon went back to just the Bible. So in trying to share with people we needed a more effective way of putting up our research. So Gerald started thinking about getting a printing press a little offset press and he says to me one day if our tax return comes tomorrow.

Can I use it to buy a down payment on a printing press and I'm thinking well, the odds are pretty good in my favor that it won't come tomorrow so sure. And of course it came the next day and half and paid a down payment on a printing press and Gerald was a machinist at the time. It's a way he's doing this in the off hours from working and so then we started cranking out better and longer pieces of research and that got to be kinda burdensome with him try to do a job as well.

Then we set up a little business called modern microfilm company and we actually bought a microfilm photographic machine to photograph. Early Mormon documents and I thought was through modern microfilm. We could sell these photo reprints then people wouldn't have to go to the library to sit and study they can get an original copy of Charles revelations are the original Mormon newspapers and they get study in their front room all by themselves without anyone knowing what they're doing they could study Mormon history and see how much and been changed, and hopefully then see that Mormonism wasn't what it claimed to be and hopefully would come to faith in Christ.

But this was just a little business we had and that student got to be taking a lot of time and Gerald says what we need to decide if were going to do this it effort to do it full time that I'm having a hard time working full time as a machinist and doing all this printing and research. So in 1964 we took the step of faith. Gerald quit his job and we went full time trying to support ourselves selling photo reprints of the early Mormon documents and selling copies of our own research submit compiled into various books. So for several years. We just operated as this little store selling photographic research on things that Mormon historians already knew about but the average public didn't you have children you have a family you how are you guys really surviving very carefully.

We were always going broke because you can't sell 1/5 of Mormon literature things to get you to study Mormonism in Utah to make a very good living.

So we were on the lower end of the financial scale and struggling my kids qualified for free lunch and those kind of things we had to rotate our bills. The stay ahead of delinquencies. It was a very tough time in it. It used to just be so funny if you want to say funny when Mormons would accuse me of doing this all to get rich. Nothing in my word if I were to McDonald's.

Let make more money than this. So it was strictly a labor of love for our technology got better and better through the years where I will put out better looking stuff, but at the beginning it was just very crude typewritten mimeograph stuff. Then I went offset press and and yet Latter Day Saints probably when they hear the word Tanner Gerald and Sandra Tanner probably think anti-Mormon, but you actually care so much that you are willing to sacrifice in order to be able to get this information out so that people could understand that Mormonism is not the same as Christianity right. We want people to be able to make an informed decision.

If you can study this material and decide you still believe Mormonism that's between you and God. But we felt we had an obligation to share with our Mormon families and friends that hate Mormonism is and what it claims to be.

If it is not true, then spiritually, we have some serious investigation that we need to do to figure out how do we serve God. Mormonism says they're serving God. They talk about God and Jesus.

But it is not the Christianity of the Bible, we felt a spiritual obligation to our own people to tell them there's a hole in the dike, and you guys are about to get flooded again or try to give them a warning and that you're not in the safe do you think you are in the Mormons I've often accused us of just doing it out of hate, but I say well if you knew that your families house was on fire and there sitting in the front but they're not aware that the back half burning, wouldn't you go in and disrupt their warm dinner to warn them that the house is on fire. We did not ever view it as an argument or waging war on them so much as warning them. The house is on fire and you need to get out. I think that's missed a lot of Latter Day Saints to see what we are doing in ministry and I think you're great testimony to the fact that it is as you have said a labor of love. We have a genuine concern for people and our view as Christians compel us to say something because we don't want any harm coming to the OPS people. And yeah, the stuff that you have brought to light is probably a very hard pill to swallow for many Latter Day Saints as is hearing anything that conflicts with our presuppositions.

No humanlike so that we don't like to discover someday that G we been wrong on this. All this time, especially when it comes to religious issues that have so much importance to the Latter Day Saints and how much they will be sacrificing once they realize that believing in Mormonism is not something that honors God. Tomorrow were going to continue our conversation with Sandra Tanner and there's a particular time in history that I was alive at the time that I'm very much aware of it. That is the 1980s and talking about the Mark Hoffman case so we hope that you listen to tomorrow show as we continue our conversation with Sandra Tanner. Thank you for listening you would like more information is research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is


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