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Interview With Sandra Tanner — Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
December 30, 2019 5:32 am

Interview With Sandra Tanner — Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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Mormonism 101 is research ministries Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson has helped many to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith.

Mormonism 101 is your favorite Christian bookstore .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a perspective view .1 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, but we are very pleased to have with us today good friend of ours Sandra Tanner.

She and her husband founded the Utah lighthouse ministry in Salt Lake City and let me begin Sandra by not only welcoming you to the show but let me just say that out of all the people that are engaged in ministry to the Mormons. I think Mike not only speak for myself, but probably for everyone. All of us owe you and Gerald an incredible debt of gratitude for all the research that you did I just tell you I was looking at my old edition of Mormonism shadow or reality that sides of the pages are all brown from turning them so often in my early years of studying Mormonism. I devoured that book.

I have it highlighted now as you no doubt know it was very difficult to read with the typesetting back that but it had so much information in it that help me get a good understanding of this topic and I think all of us are indebted to you and Gerald for for all that you did an opening many of our eyes to the dangers of Mormonism and sadly the dangers that affect those members who are trusting in Mormonism so give us a little bit of your background and what I mean by that is why should a person see you and your background is having any kind of importance when it comes to the subject of Mormonism. Gerald and I were both born and raised in Mormonism, both from fifth-generation Mormon families and for myself when I was a young person growing up, my heritage from a direct descendent of being from Brigham Young was a factor in helping to cement me into Mormonism as a young person clear up time and eyes about 12 or 13. My great-grandmother Jan was still alive. She was the last living plural wife of Brigham Young Junior the Senate. Brigham Young Brigham Young Junior was an apostle who live polygamy and before the Mormons supposedly gave up polygamy in 1890. Although Brigham Young Junior took pluralize after that time, like many other church leaders anyways.

His wife last living plural wife was still alive when I was a young girl and so my heritage growing up was always pointing to the glory of my ancestors who came across the plains and sacrificed everything to come to Utah to live for God outside of the rule of the United States where they could practice their religion as they saw fit. I took Mormonism seriously as a young person baptized at eight and high school was going to the Mormon seminary which is their off-campus high school, religious education graduated from seminary went to institute a religion there off-campus college training, but in the process of that my mother started to have questions about Mormonism and she rates those questions to me at first I just thought she was to particular just cranky. And as any teenager not paying attention to what their parents have to say I just thought she was as an Mormonism. They say a contentious spirit and now she was reading all of the early Mormon documents to try to figure out how Mormonism changed through the years, so that set me up so that when I got in by the time I got to college I had some questions about Mormonism's truth claims. I hadn't personally tried to look into them yet but then through God's providence. I met Gerald my future husband and he was also transitioning out of Mormonism while I wasn't transitioning out at that point I just had had all these questions my mom and given me and then Gerald started sharing me with his questions that were taking him out of Mormonism so they childhood training and pride of Mormon heritage was very strong and I was proud to be a Mormon. I would've defended my faith. But then Gerald started raising questions to me and made me take another look and as I investigated the early claims of Mormonism. I thought been so changed that it doesn't teach the same today as it did when it very first started in 1830, you were raised in Utah were no I was born here in Salt Lake City but I was raised in Southern California.

Gerald was born in Provo right was he raised in Utah mostly hit his family spent some time in Wyoming but mostly in Utah. Yes.

So how did you meet well when I lived in Southern California with my family. My grandma Young would come down different times to spend seven time visiting around some of her kids that lived in Southern California my grandma had nine kids, eight were living at the time I was a teenager and half lived in California and half in Salt Lake and so she would come to California and spend time with different members of the family saw when she was visiting at our place for couple months she felt it was time to go back home and she asked me if I would come back on the bus with her to help her as she traveled back to Salt Lake and when we got back to her house. She was going through her mail that it accumulated while she was gone and found a little postcard inviting her to a meeting and said she didn't drive and I did and I was using my uncles car. She asked me if I would take her across town to this meeting.

I tried to get her to explain to me what kind of meeting it was that she was being very cagey I can figure out what kind of meeting we're going to but I finally us just figured JUST a bunch of old folkies and she doesn't want to tell me that his discovery old people and now so that's why she's being evasive about what were going to finally decide to take her anyway.

So we drove across town and I walk up to this front door and I knocked and this really nice looking young man answers the door and his name was Gerald Tanner and I immediately got interested in the meeting so to pierce Gerald having this little meeting and his folks basement the dad was at work. His mama taken his sisters out to another Mormons house for the evening so they wouldn't be contaminated with Gerald's apostasy or hear any of it and so here's Gerald trying to persuade us all that we needed to scrap everything in Mormonism except the Bible in book of Mormon and just follow Jesus and forget all the rest of the stuff and he played a tape of some people in Independence Missouri that had left the reorganized LDS church and more than just following the Bible book of Mormon.

While some of the things were brought up in the meeting were things that my mom had said to me, but after all I was a teenager and my mother didn't know anything, so I hadn't paid a whole lot attention to her problems with Mormonism, but of course when a cute young guy start saying the same things.

I started listening to what he was saying. So the fact that he was cute having the whole history of my life could've been different if this is been some old guy saying the same stuff.

I may have to say this was not my great spiritual quest. So I asked him to come to my grandma's and tell me more about what he is talking about and Gerald was so excited to finally have someone listen to him and bless his heart. He comes over with all these books and tried to show me that early Mormonism was different than current Mormonism and everything is been changed and I needed to throw all that out and just go back to the Bible a book of Mormon.

Well, we just talked religion and I thought oh my goodness, I must be slipping. I was expecting, which is spent some time as the guy and girl just get to know each other so I invited them back again and we went through oh whirlwind romance all centered around studying Mormonism and how it differed from Christianity that that would remind me of today's culture baby you been interested in sports and saying all let's watch the baseball game. But for you it was it was religion and that it sounds like Gerald wasn't clued in on what you were trying to do what was interesting about this though is you both because of your heritage have a lot to lose. I mean you basically being a direct descendent of Brigham Young you have Mormon loyalty in your bloodlines, but Gerald also yes is his heritage goes back to the early years of Mormonism as well is what the great-great-grandson of John Tanner who was one of the biggest financiers you might say of the Kirtland Temple.

He became a convert to Mormonism from being a Baptist to a Mormon input 1832 so through that line being related to and Eldon Taylor who was a member of the first presidency a while back so you both have like Mormon loyalty and your background, so there's a lot to lose here little a lot of heritage to set aside yes both our families have the great stories sacrificing everything to come across the plain state Utah to escape the persecution for polygamy and to live for God out here under the banner of Mormonism. When you mention polygamy because, of course, Brigham Young, the champion of polygamy even knows anything about Mormonism you know Brigham Young in the polygamy issue, but it's the same with Gerald John Tanner was a polygamous 2222 children. I think there is polygamous relationships.

One of his show was a little bit of research on this. One of them was Luisa Maria Tanner, who married Amasa live in the Mormon apostle and why is that guy important. Well, he's the same guy that ended up marrying three of the Partridge sisters, Eliza Caroline and Lydia Partridge. Of course you got Eliza, who was a plural wife of Joseph Smith.

So your connection is really quite quite impressive for relevant standpoint effort both of us coming from polygamist Mormon heritage.

It gets it that this funny thing of how many people are we related to and I have people come into the bookstore up more people that have left Mormonism and we compare bloodlines and we find where 23rd cousins or whatever. I don't know what the numbers would be, but there's all kind of connectedness in Utah because the polygamy we all are marrying our second cousins is made because people say will I'm related to Brigham Young. I feel like saying you in about half the state here that you know generational Mormons could possibly be related like I had about 56 kids and many of them practice

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