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Interview With Sandra Tanner — Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
December 31, 2019 5:33 am

Interview With Sandra Tanner — Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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101 for teams is a valuable resource for anyone wanting a simplified view of the Mormon religion from a Christian perspective is one-to-one for teams is readable at the Utah lighthouse bookstore in Salt Lake City or .1 is examined the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when 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 are thanks Adams rodeo for that musical introduction 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, but we are also very happy to have with us today.

Sandra Tanner is the founder of Utah lighthouse ministry in Salt Lake City.

She and her husband Gerald Tanner have been very influential in I guess educating most of us that have studied this topic.

I don't think there's anybody who could say they haven't been affected at all by what you and Gerald have done as far as your research you have published a number of these booklets. Some of them are much thicker. Of course I was mentioning yesterday Mormonism shadow or reality which had a huge effect on my life as I was studying Mormonism back in the 70s. How many books between you and Gerald have been published through Utah lighthouse. Well, I'm not really sure that weight had about 40 titles are more. I haven't spent a lot of time trying to count them out but yes we have been very prolific in our little self-publishing ministry over here speaking of the bookstore. A lot of people who come into the bookstore not necessarily wanting to read books or by books they want to talk to you or talk to somebody here. We often use the word.

It's safe because that information is going to not get back to the bishop and there's a lot of Mormons having a lot of doubts as you had a lot of doubts now.

Yesterday you were talking about how Gerald was teaching a class here in Salt Lake City and that's how you met with Steve this class and both of you had a lot of information about Mormonism that I would probably say the average Mormon maybe didn't have or probably was trying to ignore. But you and Gerald are starting to go through this transition.

You're looking more deeply into Mormonism was in the book and addressed to all believers in Christ.

That was a big turning point in their lives. Yes, the book of Mormon witness David Witmer that Mormons will often cite as saying that even though he left Mormonism. He always believed the book of Mormon, but they never talk about the rest of his testimony at the end of his life. He not only stimulate the book of Mormon that he believed Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet, and he put out this little booklet and addressed all believers in Christ. And when Gerald was coming over to my grandma's house to share with me his problems with early Mormonism and its truth claims. One of the things he wanted me to read was David Witmer's pamphlet this it been very important to Gerald when he first started studying person in the reorganized Church had given him a copy of that book and challenged him to read at that it would show him areas of Mormonism that he probably hadn't thought about before, and in Witmer's pamphlet. He tells that Joseph Smith be getting up Mormonism in 1830 did not have the concept of priesthood that they have today that this was something Joseph Smith seemed to have invented later and brought into Mormonism. Witmer talks about how he changed his doctrinal standings. How he how Joseph Smith changed his revelations and they read differently in the first printing and then the second printing all these things became problematic in evaluating Joseph Smith as a prophet of God so so these claims of Witmer were so astonishing to Gerald that it made him take a trip to Independence, Missouri to check out an original printing of Joseph Smith Revelation in this trip to Missouri. Gerald went to the little break off group called the Church of Christ Temple lot group and there they showed him the original 1833 pocket commandments and then Gerald was able to verify what Witmer said that in fact the revelations in the first printing didn't read like the second printing in 1835 and seeing that Joseph Smith himself was rewriting his history changing his doctrines changing his revelations started Gerald on this class to see what was the real history of Mormonism, is it really what we thought it was and so this is what Gerald was showing me and challenging me to read David Witmer's pamphlet to see how everything Mormonism had gone through revision. How could this be the work of God and have all these changes.

If God spoke these revelations. Why would they be edited in coming years, so this threw me into great quandary on the truth claims of Mormonism. Then Gerald started telling me problems with Brigham Young because I told him I was a descendent and asked me if I'd ever read any of Brigham Young sermons which I hadn't and he said well let me bring you over some so then he shows me sermons where Brigham Young taught that Adam is our God, which is a whole different concept than they teach. Today Brigham Young said they only men that would become gods or those practice polygamy, while the church doesn't teach that today. Brigham Young taught that the Civil War would not free the slaves will that didn't work out for a good and then he showed me sermons of Brigham Young's on what they termed blood atonement, and these sermons are not about Christ's atonement.

This is about personal atonement that there are certain sins as a Mormon that you could commit that would keep you from going to the highest level of the Mormon heaven and in order to be forgiven. You would have to have your own bloodshed as an atonement for your sins. When I read these sermons I thought this is not the Jesus I read about in the New Testament. This isn't the God of the Bible. I don't see these kind of teachings there in the New Testament, Jesus is the complete sacrifice and I was horrified by these sermons on personal blood atonement.

So at that point I told Gerald okay I'm open to looking at whatever you have and we started studying regularly together on all the problem areas of Mormonism, but through this. We still believe the book of Mormon and did for about three years after we even got married the work for.

We finally set that aside as well. Your reading a lot of things about about Mormonism, the Mormon history. What about the book of Mormon. When you came to the point we finally realized that to be a real follower of Christ that that's probably not something that you want to believe. Well first off, the book of Mormon helped us give up Mormon doctrine, and so at the beginning of our journey. It really helped us break free from Mormon theology book of Mormon doesn't teach Mormon theology, which, much to the surprise of most Mormons when I challenged him on this that the book Mormon teaches just one God, heaven and hell no work for the dead. There's no temple marriage, and in all three levels of heaven, so we were giving up Mormon doctrine, as we studied the Bible a book of Mormon. But as we studied them. The more I saw that the Bible had a spiritual power in it that I wasn't seeing in the book of Mormon. Gerald was becoming more and more troubled by the King James plagiarism's in the book of Mormon and so the book Mormon. More and more started looking like an echo from the Bible where someone would've had to have known the King James Bible to have written the book of Mormon and how could this be so if this is written by neophyte separated hundreds of years from the Jerusalem Christians. How could they be echoing King James phrasing you could bring this through a translation or a civilization that had been separated for hundreds of years and so in the what would be equivalent to the Old Testament portion of the book of Mormon.

You have phrases from Paul's writings will how does this happen when Paul hasn't even been born yet the fact Jesus had been born yet and yet it sounds like your reading the New Testament and this more and more started traveling Gerald so as we studied, we were studying Bible history and we started to realize there was no historical background for the book Mormon story. There aren't many fights there are new maps.

There's no artifacts.

There's no sample of the writing, other than what Joseph Smith supplied it was nothing to show the book Mormon story ever actually happened and we were seeing more and more that while yeah we got to Jerusalem we got Hebrew. We have Creek people can trace the journeys of Paul. There are all sorts of tie-ins to the historical claims in the Bible doesn't mean we can find every city in the Bible that we can find enough to establish that it's a historical document but with the book Mormon. There's absolutely zero. I asked Mormons frequently when they wanted to give you their testimony of the book Mormon. I said what do you map I have a map in my Bible and that you're like a map for the book Mormon that help me a lot. To understand the story if I can have a map and they all sat well all sometimes ultimately will there is one and I say okay fine I would like to see it because I've never seen an official math or they may know, there's no official map and then they wanted switch it all to a matter of faith will you just have faith in you don't need a map as well. God gave us cities read the Bible didn't think it would detract from our faith, why would it be a problem to identify the book Mormon lands point and that's the interesting thing because Latter Day Saints can even tell you if it's North America, Central America, where exactly we just don't know. But 2013 Bill and I had the opportunity to go to Israel with you and we were actually seeing real places and real people that were identified with those places. And yes, you have to have faith in the events that took place but it's so much easier.

I think to be a believer in the events of the Bible than anything having to do with the book of Mormon. You made a good point earlier, Sandra know they haven't found all the places mentioned Bible nor do we expect them to me this is this is a long time ago. Many of these places were probably very small to begin with, and we may never find any traces of these, but as you said, we found enough to show us that the Bible can be looked at is a historical book, it does talk about real places real people when there is enough evidence that should give us at least the kind of reasonable faith to trust in those things that as of this point we have yet to find we can never prove the spiritual message of the Bible. That's always individual, but I feel so bad for Mormons because they have nothing when it comes to the book of Mormon except the silly little parallels steel between some things they may have found in the New World might just parallel with the old rule, but that doesn't really prove the book of Mormon, but I think you raise a good point about that tomorrow. I want to talk more about you and Gerald. Your journey into ministry.

Now we've seen how you've been asking yourselves a lot of questions. You're starting to see some glaring inconsistencies between the biblical message and even the book of Mormon and Mormonism of course but you're going to eventually get into ministry and I want to talk a little bit about the beginnings of that because we all are indebted to what you and Gerald did in those early years we could've never done the leg work that you and Gerald did in those early years and were all benefiting because of this a tomorrow working to talk a little bit more about your entrance into Christian ministry. We been talking to Sandra Tanner, the founder of Utah lighthouse ministry and I hope you'll join us tomorrow as we get into that part of their life. Thank you for listening you would like more information is research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request our free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint. Are you looking for a book that clearly shows the differences between Mormonism and Christianity. When you're in the downtown Salt Lake City area you want to visit the Utah lighthouse bookstore. Now this is where you'll find a large selection of Christian books and Mormonism, including titles like organism shadow for reality open Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM and Saturdays from 1 to 5, Utah lighthouse bookstore is located at 1358 W. Temple, directly across the street from Smith's ballpark

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