Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Coach's Corner

by Shane Jones 

I don't know if everyone know's it or not but, God is SUPER COOL! I mean it. He takes care of us, loves us, makes sure we have all of our "needs"met, right?! He also blesses us with some "wants" and allows us to serve him in ways that we might not expect to be a great "ministry opportunity".

I wrestled in junior high, high school, and college, and that's practically all I did. I loved it so much that I did it almost year around. Wrestling is one of those things you get in your blood and you can't get rid of. It's infectious. Some like golf, sitting in a tree-stand deer hunting, working on cars, researching archaeology, studying God's Word, preparing a Bible study or a sermon each week, scrapbooking... each of us have different activities that make us tick. Wrestling is one of those activities for me, and I thank God for allowing me the opportunity to coach. 

When we moved to Utah two years ago, our son Keegan wrestled. This gave me the opportunity to coach him individually, but also to show other wrestlers new techniques. Last year I was asked to be an assistant coach, and I accepted because I saw it providing two opportunities: 1) a chance to earn a small paycheck which helps us bridge the gap with our support, and 2) a chance to develop relationships and shine the Light in our community. The time I have been able to spend with these kids has paved huge in-roads into the lives of them individually, but also their parents and siblings. Because Ephraim is such a small community, I see my wrestlers everywhere. There are a few whom I text with, and we get together and hang-out.  All but maybe 5% of the kids are LDS, of course. It is quite interesting when these guys see me on the Manti Pageant streets talking to people about Mormonism or fraternizing with other "anti-Mormon" Christians. Since they know me as Coach Jones they respect me enough to listen. It opens SO many doors to share the Truth in love with them.

Just yesterday, one of the moms came into the Cafe with friends to get coffee. Yep, coffee! This is one of the areas that has given me a voice with the more staunch parents and coaches. They all know I work at the Christian coffee house and drink coffee. I get the looks and little remarks from those Word of Wisdom followers like "that STUFF is going to kill you," testifying to their disapproval. I always make them aware of what Jesus taught, "it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth". I usually don't get much of a response back. 

I just finished up my second season, and we had 3 wrestlers in the 2A State Finals with 2 State Champions! I have been able to shine the Light of Christ with each of these guys. As a matter of fact, we had an awesome time to pray together before their matches. I really look forward to how God is going to use these relationships. One of the 3 will be a student at Snow next fall! One wants to go on to wrestle in college, so I see us staying in touch for years. The last one is only a sophomore; I have got him on the high school team for 2 more years! These are only 3 of the 30+ wrestlers I have. Some are more open to the Truth than others, but I think the fields are ripe for harvest.

I covet your prayers. Pray for my impact on the kids. Pray for my witness to the parents. Pray that Kim and I will be able to have some these families into our home and share Jesus. Pray for interaction with the other coaches. Pray for my wrestlers going on LDS missions. I have one in Alabama right now, and my suspicion is that he is doing his mission for the benefit of finding a girl when he gets back. (All good LDS girls want a Return Missionary.) Pray that the right Christian will cross paths with him in Alabama, he will be challenged to his core, and he will find the Jesus of the Bible. Before he left, I told him, "'B', just learn what Jesus taught in the Bible. Don't follow all the stuff they tell you to do, go find a relationship with Jesus. Make that your mission". Pray for the Holy Spirit to keep "B" up at night!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


OUR MINISTRY DILEMMA For two years, Jamie and I have been trying to find a way to connect our Solid Rock College Ministry with Moody Bible Institute in Chicago but to no avail. Every avenue we tried failed and we had all but given up when...

A POSSIBLE CONNECTION Tanner and Taylor, two of our former college ministry leaders, were accepted at Moody's western campus in the fall of 2011. During Christmas break, we talked at length about the possibility of visiting them in Spokane with the hope of finally finding a way to connect with MBI...

Then in mid-January my Uncle Hank sent us a Southwest Airlines Voucher for $454.00 that had to be used by February 16, 2012. We had less than a month to use or lose the voucher....

WHIRLWIND PLANNING I called Tanner and said, "Okay, we have a free trip to Spokane, but here's the glitch, our flights have to be on or before 16th of February. Tanner said he would call Moody and try to work something out. (Now, you have to understand that it is almost impossible to get permission to promote a ministry on any college campus on a moment's notice).

WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE It took a few days, but Tanner was able to get permission for us to set up our Tri-Grace Ministries table on campus - this was all that we could possibly hope for on such short notice - PRAISE GOD. So we scheduled our flights and were set to make our first connection with MBI.

GOD IS ABLE TO DO EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL THAT WE COULD EVER ASK OR THINK A few days later, Brian Jawarski, from Moody called and asked if I would be interested in doing a chapel service - ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! It is unheard of to even think that on such short notice we could be placed into the chapel schedule. BUT GOD WAS NOT DONE YET! During our week at Moody, we spoke in two chapel services, in two mission classes and met with a group of about 40 MBI students to answer questions about Mormonism. GOD IS GOOD; ALL THE TIME.

WHAT WE DID NOT KNOW - BUT GOD DID The MBI students were starving for information about how to witness to Mormons. We had no idea, but the LDS Church is very active in the Spokane area and dozens of students are actively in conversations with Mormons. During our week at Moody, the students mobbed us at our ministry table and snatched up our literature. And, get this, one MBI student was very concerned about a Christian friend who is apparently buying into the Mormon lie (a plan is in place to speak the truth with him in a private setting).

PRAY FOR TANNER AND TAYLOR What happened last week was Tanner and Taylor's dream come true. They have been working through all the red tape to start an official club on the Moody campus to evangelize Mormons in the Spokane area. Our visit threw the doors wide open for them to proceed.

I just talked with Tanner on the phone and he had this exciting report , he said, "Just this week I received permission to start a weekly witnessing training class with any interested MBI students on campus. And, I was also able to talk with a local church youth pastor who is 100% behind our efforts to begin some training classes in the local Spokane churches."

Then Tanner said, "And, you will never believe who just called me! My phone rang and, when I answered, the person on the other end was a Mormon Missionary! He wanted to schedule a meeting with us." God is Good: All the Time!

As Mordecai said to Esther, "Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Surely God is in control and is orchestrating these events in the lives of Tanner and Taylor to combat Mormonism in the Spokane area.


(If you don't know Tanner and Taylor: Tanner Huss was an intern in our ministry during the 2010-11 school year; and Taylor Rosquist, grew up in our church and was our Solid Rock Christian Club president the last two school years. Tanner and Taylor are planning to be married in June and hope to return to Utah as full-time missionaries.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Checks and Imbalance

Author, Matt Patterson shares his testimony about how his family left the LDS Church...


Growing up in Maryland as a very busy and active 12-year old, I really didn't see it coming.

I came home one summer afternoon and there they were. Two young men wearing white shirts and ties in our living room talking to my mom and sister. I paid no attention to it. I'd come home everyday and there they were again. A couple weeks later, I found myself sitting down and "listening" to them. Hey, I was 12 - I was lucky to absorb one-third of what they were saying or teaching. Before I knew it though - I was Mormon.

I was raised Baptist and basically went every Sunday - only because my mom said I had to. My father wouldn't come with us. Religion or things of a spiritual nature were not a priority for him. So, when I was told we were going to be baptized and changing churches, it really didn't make too much sense to me. I always went to church with them, so I figured I would continue to just follow along.

We were baptized and the years passed, I would later come to recognize the classic battle of Faith vs. Works. As a member of the LDS church, I would "check things off," so to say. I attended every Sunday. Check. I progressed in the priesthood. Check. I went to an LDS college - Brigham Young University. Check. I went on to serve a two-year mission to Madrid Spain. Check. I paid my tithing. Check. I got married in the temple. Check. I held positions of responsibility. Check. I was what they call a very "active" member. In my three-plus decades in the Mormon church, I came to realize that there is so much pressure to do so much that when you miss just one "check" - you feel like a complete and absolute failure.

More than 13 years ago, we had an opportunity to move from a very rural area of Michigan to Arizona - an absolute hotbed for LDS membership. We were excited. We would get to live and worship among our own. We were coming from a congregation of 30 or 40 to one of 800-plus. 

This was going to make things great, right?

When we arrived in what I jokingly call, "Mormotopia" our children were ages 10 and 8. We thought that this would be such a wonderful opportunity for them. Our kids could go to school with children they went to church with. Thing is, as they grew older - they weren't in the clique. Girls can be girls, but the treatment reached points where our daughters would come home in tears because of things said and done to them. I do realize that this can happen at any church -  yours, mine and anyone’s. It got to a point in the last couple years where neither of our daughters wanted anything to do with the LDS church or with Christ for that matter. Our youngest actually began to participate in destructive behavior. It broke our hearts. Why would they want to attend a church where they weren't wanted? I have to say, I agreed.

For some five or six years, my wife and I questioned where we needed to be. Should we move to another area of the valley so we could attend another congregation? For information purposes, LDS congregations are based on your geographical locations.  Members cannot attend other Wards that are outside your ward's boundaries.

We "did it all" so to say, but after 23 years of marriage and "doing it all," why were we so unhappy? Weren't our "works" going to bless us? It seemed like we had all the "check marks." So, for what I would say, three years, we would put on that wonderful Sunday game face and we, as a couple, still went to our meetings. Although feeling like the worst possible parents this earth could possess. And we were asked each and every Sunday, "So, where are the girls?" Our hearts ached. It only increased our feelings of inadequacy as parents.

My wife and I have prayed so very hard for both our daughters. Neither was happy. Both were angry. It would be a short time later that a friend invited our youngest daughter to his church - a Bible Church. As far as I was concerned, if she wanted to attend a church – any church – I was all for it! She began to attend the high school student program on Wednesday nights. We saw a change. She was happy. She was around good kids. She was making new friends. She told us she wanted to go to church with this friend on Easter. We had actually driven past this particular church many times saying, "You know, we should stop in there sometime." We had no problem whatsoever with her attending this particular Sunday and actually asked if we could tag along. She gave her approval and we promised not to embarrass her. It’s a teenager thing.

This Easter Sunday changed our lives - maybe our resurrection of sorts. The meeting was full of song and a message that was positive. It was different. We left the church feeling good - maybe even optimistic. The following Sunday, the message that day brought about a very simple question - Do you practice a religion or do you have a relationship with Christ? My wife and I both turned to each other almost simultaneously - knowing the answer. We knew where we have been - a place where your spirituality is based on all that you do or have done or practicing a religion. It was just like practicing medicine or practicing law.

After that Sunday, we have never looked back. Each message ever since, we believe, has been meant for us in our conversion to Christ. We feel so very, very free of an emotional and spiritual bondage and so full of Christ's love. I liken it to having the weight of the world lifted off our shoulders.

Please keep in mind that when you live in an area that has a great deal of LDS members - it is truly a "community," even a culture. It's beyond a congregation. You miss two Sundays - murmuring begins. It's a network. Don't get me wrong - it's nice to know you're missed or asked if you need anything. But it seemed like you couldn't breathe at times.

Since we have left, people we consider friends are now, for the lack of a better word, acquaintances. In defense of a handful, they were and still are genuinely concerned. Some family members who know of our change are happy for us - and yes, they're LDS. Some family members are less than thrilled. They think it’s a phase for us.

I've learned that we truly must love one another, as Christ taught. Our words and actions can truly pierce the heart and soul of another. It's my prayer we be mindful and prayerful before we speak and act. I realize what happened to us can happen at any church.

This awakening of ours also shed light on many practices and doctrine that we today look at each other and say, "What were we thinking?" Mind you, I earned and spent my own money to go and preach this "gospel" or doctrine for two years in Spain. Our eyes were open, but we couldn't see. We were taught principles and taught to accept them. Not to question authority - part of the "culture" I previously mentioned. You do not go outside the circle of influence to investigate materials that taught otherwise. 

Here and Now

The best way we, as Christians, can share the gospel with our LDS friends and neighbors is to be good Christians.  I have since been fortunate enough to meet others who have left the church and have confirmed some of my doubts in the doctrine. Their testimonies and courage strengthen me greatly.

Our oldest daughter - now 22 - has yet to attend with us. Her hurt and anger is still very deep at the LDS church and God. We pray each and every day for her heart to soften and to attend with us so she can ask for help and forgiveness - to clean her house, so to speak. The sad thing is, she is one of the most caring, sensitive, generous and giving young women you would ever meet. And just because of immature ridicule and exclusion from those who actually shared her beliefs, her heart and spirit were scarred.

As I close this - I ask, "Who would've known?" The person who was so hurt and angry at God and who was living a destructive life, would be the one who would lead us to a spiritual freedom that has truly changed our lives. It is through faith in Jesus Christ and not by "check marks" or works that we are saved and welcomed into his kingdom. We are eternally grateful for her inspired change and allowing us to follow in her footsteps. I only wish we had found this love, happiness and freedom long before.


A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Matt Patterson is an award-winning writer, editor and communications professional. His two-plus decades of experience include public and media relations, as well as print and broadcast journalism. He volunteers his time to helping organizations and charities dedicated to assisting families with children who have special needs or those battling pediatric cancers. Matt resides in Arizona with his wife, Bonnie, and two daughters, Lauren and Kimberly.

"This book tells the story of a hurting family, an amazing little girl and a mysteriously faithful God. Emily wasn't born perfect - so one might think. She was born with Down Syndrome and many would jump to the conclusion that she would have very little hope for a life with any significance. Two years later came the diagnosis of leukemia. What little hope remaining turned to no hope whatsoever - or so one might think. The life of this little girl, with all its perceived imperfections, had great meaning. Her loving nature and courage touched the hearts of everyone she met. She also taught them how to value their own lives - even with their many "imperfections.""

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wavorly Live in Concert with David Elijah and CDZ on Leap Year Day!!!!

Come join us this leap year for a Christian concert! The cost is less than the price of a movie ticket!


What: Wavorly & David Elijah with CDZ in concert

Where: Grace Bible Church, Springville, Utah

When: February 29th 6:30 to 8:30pm

Cost: $7 through February 26th  and $8 at the door

Invite your friends to the show! Enjoy some great music!

Advance purchase is strongly encouraged and available M-F 10-4pm at Grace Bible Church (801) 491-8440

See you there!

Mitzi Nelson's Testimony

A powerful testimony from former Mormon, Mitzi Nelson:

Thursday, February 16, 2012


The Official Teachings of Mormon Prophets Do Not Allow for the Virgin Birth

Although Mormonism gives lip service to the "virgin" birth, it does
not, in reality, teach that Jesus was born of a virgin.

The following LDS doctrinal beliefs make the virgin birth an impossibility:

1. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit/ Ghost are three separate
beings and three separate Gods.

2. God the Father is an exalted man of flesh and bones. Who procreates
with his wife / wives in the celestial kingdom.

3. Jesus is the literal Son of God the Father, so he could not have
been conceived / begotten by the Holy Spirit.

As a result of these heretical doctrines, the following LDS quotes
reveal Mormonism's confusion about the "virgin" birth.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus
Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which
He performed his mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy
Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. Jesus was not the son of
Joseph, nor was he begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the Son of the
Eternal Father." (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg. 7)

"We are told in scriptures that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son
of God in the flesh. Well, now for the benefit of the older ones, how
are children begotten? I answer just as Jesus was begotten of his

Daddy + Mommy = You;
Our Heavenly Father + Mary = Jesus."
(Family Home Evening, LDS Church, 1972, pg. 125-126).

"I believe that He [Jesus] was born of Mary of the lineage of David as
the promised Messiah, that He was in very deed begotten of the
Father..." (Liahona, July 2006, In These Three I Believe, President
Gordon B. Hinkley)

"Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal
men are begotten by mortal fathers." (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R.
McConkie, Only Begotten Son, pg. 546-547.)

This contradicts the Bible which states:

Isaiah 9:6:
   6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Luke 1:31-35:

31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
   32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
   33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
   34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
   35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Think about it....


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

CHRISTIAN / MORMON- Now That is Hard to Believe!

The "Total Apostasy" of the Christian Church according to Mormonism

The LDS Church website makes the following claims about Jesus
Christ's Church...

"Latter-day Saint theology asserts that the church of the Savior and
his Apostles in the Old World came to an end within a century after
its formation...

The New Testament writers prophesied that apostasy would take place in
the Church and that the Church in fact would be overcome by it...

The New Testament not only foretold the death of the Church, but it
also recorded it as it happened. In fact, the end of the New Testament
essentially heralds the end of the Church...

The apostasy did not happen because the Apostles were gone; the
Apostles were taken because the apostasy had occurred...
With the last Apostle gone from the church, the night of apostasy was
upon it."

(Ensign, Dec. 1984, pg 8, "Early Signs of the Apostasy" by Kent P. Jackson)

But Jesus said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell shall
not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18

And Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall
not pass away." Matthew 24:25

And Jesus promised His followers, "I am with you always, even to the
end of the world, Amen." Matthew 28:20

And Jesus said, "I will pray the Father and he shall give you another
Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever." John 14:16

And Jesus prayed, Father, "I do not pray that You should take them out
of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one... I do
not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me
through their word." John 17:16-20

Was Jesus lying?

Did Jesus not have the power to keep these promises?

Could not God the Father answer these requests that Jesus prayed for
His Church?

Think about it!