President Richard S. Wilson
Dear President Wilson,
This letter is being sent to inform you that we are officially requesting that our names, and the names of our children, be removed from the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This request is being made after much soul-searching, and studying on our part. We did not easily come to this decision, and in fact have found it to be one of the most difficult decisions of our lives. We have a deep love and gratitude for many friends that are still members of the church, and wish to make it very clear that we are not leaving because of hurt feelings, or being offended by anyone in the church. We have had to base our decision on our faith in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our intellect. This decision is being made freely on our part, and with a full knowledge of what the LDS church teaches the consequences of making a decision like this are.
We must insist that the record and the letter notifying us of the action, show that the only reason that our names are removed is that we request it to be so. We further request that the word "excommunication" not be used. We have done nothing that would warrant an excommunication. We simply do not believe or accept the doctrines of the LDS church to be true.
It is our hope that you understand that we make this request because of our realization and question of Mormonism. We feel deeply that it is in great error, and teaches false doctrines.
We have found the Official Church History to be inconsistent with the facts. The leadership of the church have engaged in a revisionist web of deceit. There are many changes in the history of the doctrines and history of the LDS church (i.e. the role of the blacks, polygamy, the Doctrine of Blood Atonement, and the Adam/God Doctrine) However, for the sake of brevity, we will only address Adam God Doctrine that was expounded and taught by Brigham Young. The official stance of the Church is that this teaching was only a theory, and that we should discard this teaching. However, the Journal of Discourses, Volume 1, pages 50-51, Brigham Young stated:
"Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken--HE is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later....
When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family; and when he took a tabernacle, it was begotten by his Father in heaven, after the same manner as the tabernacles of Cain, Abel, and the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve; from the fruits of the earth, the first earthly tabernacles were originated by the Father, and so on in succession . Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven. Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation. (italicized words used for emphasis)"
We also believe Brigham to be inconsistent with his own teachings. In the same talk mentioned above he stated:
"It is true that the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely, Elohim, Yahovah, and Michael, these three forming a quorum, as in all heavenly bodies, and in organizing element, perfectly represented in the Deity, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (page 51)"
We have been told that we should not be bothered by such statements
and their inconsistencies. However, it is hard for us to accept
that Brigham Young could possibly be a prophet of God with such
blasphemous teachings as those previously mentioned. We testify
that the Adam/God Doctrine in which the LDS church used to adhere
is a damnable heresy. We believe that Brigham Young will suffer
damnation for believing such nonsense. We find it ironic that
we are told to focus on the present and not the past. However,
it is the teachings of Brigham Young that the church has now
chosen to focus its attention for the next two years. We find
it to be dishonest to pick and choose the teachings to our suiting.
This is what is exactly being done in the church today.
In Genesis 3:1-5 it reads:
"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
That lie when believed got us kicked out of the Garden of Eden. God has also said in Isaiah 43:10 that we are not going to make godhood:
"Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am He: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."
No one person is going to make it. There is no eternal progression. Isaiah 44:6, 8 45:5-6,22 46:9 Deuteronomy 6:4 and I Corinthians 8:4-6 say the same things:
"Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God...Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God, I know not any."
"I am the Lord, and there is none else. There is no God beside me. I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me, I am the Lord, and there is none else."
"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."
"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me."
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord."
"As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him."
Another doctrine that is wrong is that God is an exalted man. Jesus said in John 4:24:
"God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."
We have to go to Luke 24:39 to get Christ's definition of what a spirit is:
"Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I Myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have."
An act for the Spirit of God to do is in Jeremiah 23:24.
"Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord."
One of flesh and bones cannot do that. It is a shame to put a limit on God's abilities. More than that, it's blasphemy.
The doctrine on the Holy Trinity is also in error. We found out that there is only one God. Period. The Mormon godhead is comprised of three gods. In light of scripture we can never agree with this. In John 1:1,14 it reads:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
God became man. In Exodus 3:14 God uses the name "I AM" in regards to Himself:
"And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said: Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
In John 8:58 and 10:30, Jesus uses that same reference on Himself: "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM." and "I and My Father are one."
In John 14:8-9, it reads: "Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?"
In Acts 5:3-4, Peter confronts Ananias.
"But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God."
The Bible puts God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit together as a triune God. The Book of Mormon says it better in Ether 3:14, Alma 11:26-29, and III Nephi 11:27,36.
"Behold, I am He who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In Me shall all mankind have light, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on My name; and they shall become My sons and My daughters."
"And Zeezrom said unto him; Thou sayest there is a true and living God? And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God. Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? And he answered, No."
"And after this manner shall ye baptize in My name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am the Father, and the Father in Me, and the Father and I are one."
"And thus will the Father bear record of Me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto Him of the Father and Me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one."
We found also that there were changes in the Book of Mormon. Being translated "by the gift and power of God" this puzzled us. In II Nephi 30:6, there was a change.
"And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people."
That was from the 1973 Book of Mormon. "White" has been changed to "pure." There are over 3900 changes in this book. If this was a perfect book in 1830, even with one change in it now, it is not a perfect book now. It erroneously stated where Jesus was born. Alma 7:10, states:
"And behold, He shall be born of Mary at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a Son, yea, even the Son of God."
He was not born in Jerusalem, He was born in Bethlehem. It is stated in Micah 5:2 and Matthew 2:1.
"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose going forth have been from of old, from everlasting"
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem."
Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were false prophets. Their prophecies did not come true. The coming of the Lord was supposed to be in the 1890s. According to the History of the Church, Volume 2, page 182.
In II Corinthians 11:3-4, it talks about another Jesus.
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."
We feel that this church has accepted the idea of another Jesus. In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul warns us of another gospel:
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel. Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
We will be eternally damned if we follow Joseph Smith or Brigham
"Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which ministers questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do."
"But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain."
In "Marriage for time and all eternity" Jesus says there is no such thing. Matthew 22:30 and Mark 12:25 state:
"For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven."
"For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven."
Joseph Smith and others used to say that we had to work to get to heaven. The temple ceremonies and rituals are pagan works for salvation. Works are still works. In John 18:20 it says:
"Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing."
You do not need the temple for salvation. We believe the Temple endowment to be inspired by man. It is heavily influenced by the ceremonies of Freemasonry. This becomes clearer when one reads through the different endowments ceremonies through the years. The changes in the ceremonies are further proof of the revisionism that has been endorsed by the LDS leadership through the years. One can easily find the many similarities of freemasonry and the temple endowments by doing research at the local library or on the Internet. We do not believe the temple endowment brings anyone closer to God or godhood. . And as we have discovered before, there is no exaltation to godhood.
"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
John 3:1-21, tells us about being born again. I Peter 1:23-25, also elaborates on the gift.
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the Word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the Gospel is preached unto you."
We feel happy and rejoice that we have received the real Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, and that we have the assurance and joy of our salvation according to God's Word, The Holy Bible.
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (I John 5:11-13)
Please observe that our decision is final and we have prayed in light of Scripture and have discovered the truth of God's Word. We are not attacking the people in the church. We are responding to what Joseph Smith said in the Joseph Smith History 2:19 in the Pearl of Great Price:
"I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: 'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.'"
In light of Jude 3, we will defend Joseph's attack on our faith in Jesus Christ.
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
Many Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox members share our views.
We assert our love for you. Ephesians 4:15 states:
"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ."
We speak in love, not hate. Mormonism is a deception. Jesus
alone will save you. He promised.
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (I Timothy 2:5)
We also testify to you that He has saved us alone and not by works. He did it by His grace, alone. Jesus declared, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one cometh to the Father but by Me." (John 14:6) We have chosen that way. And today we follow Him, and only Him.
Lowell M. Johnson, Jr.
Jennifer Burgeson Johnson
Savannah Jean Corry Johnson (Child of record)
Sariah Rachel Anna Johnson (Child of record)
John Elijah Scott Johnson (Child of record)
Cc: Bishop James N. Elledge