Darren Roulstone - Mike Burns Correspondence
Another Study in Concerned Christians Honesty
The following e-mail is another in the
continuing series regarding the deception of Concerned Christians,
Inc. Though in all fairness, as of this writing (18 Oct 2001)
Concerned Christians appear to have given up their hold on shields-research.com
and fair-lds.com to another equally rabid individual from Glendale, AZ.
|Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 09:40:22 -0500
To: "Joseph Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Darren Roulstone <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: New Website For LDS Members ! ! !
I received your email this morning.
I have had contact with your material before; I checked out your shields-research.com website a few months ago
(very clever address--is it a ministry for Mormons who have trouble writing URL's?
[Emphasis SHIELDS] Incidentally, the URL you include in your email is
misspelled-- accidentally this time I
suppose.) I found your criticisms of LDS beliefs to be quite over the
top. For example, you attack Latter-day Saints for trying too hard to be
good! And you imply that the Savior advertised a gospel that is easy and
undemanding. My take on the New Testament is that it never has been and
never will be easy to live the Christian life. This is why it is so vital
that we have faith in our Savior and rely on his grace to help us follow
his commandments. The Savior repeatedly taught that the way to be happy
was to lose one's life in service to God, family and community. Latter-day Saints agree.
You may want to check out the following talk given by Truman Madsen, a BYU
philosophy professor: http://www.kbyu.byu.edu/devos/real/112100.ram
The talk is entitled "The Joy of the Lord is your Strength." He discusses the
paradox that is encapsulated in Matthew 10:39. It really isn't a paradox
to Latter-day Saints, although it appears to be to you and your organization.
I also note that on the website today you ask the question "Who was Joseph
Smith?" Well, I actually began reading yesterday a book that does an
excellent job of answering that question. The book is "Joseph Smith and
the Beginnings of Mormonism." The author is Richard L. Bushman, a chaired
professor of history at Columbia University and an expert on 19th century
America. Perhaps your website could refer people to this book so they can
get a good academic answer to the question.
I also notice that in your latterdaysaints.com website you spread many
untruths about LDS beliefs. For example, you teach that LDS believe they
must "work" their way to Heaven. We explicitly do not. The Book of
Mormon verse you quote makes this clear: after all of our own efforts, it
is still God's grace that saves us. (Please understand, that it is not
your interpretation of this verse that defines LDS beliefs. We believe in
being saved through the grace of our Savior who suffered and died for our
sins. The fact that you misinterpret our beliefs on this point does not
By the way, are you still promoting the lie that LDS materials deny
Brigham Young practiced polygamy? Several individuals emailed your
organization about this and were continually stonewalled. Why do you feel
the need to lie about such things? Are you worried that individuals may
learn what we really believe, investigate further, pray about our beliefs
and receive a witness from God that they are true? (Have you not read
Good luck with your search for truth. I hope you find what you are
looking for. I have found the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ to be
spiritually and intellectually satisfying. More importantly, I have had
the opportunity to study it, pray about it and have received many
witnesses from God that it is true. I encourage you to study the beliefs
of The Church of Jesus Christ with a sincere and open heart. I also
encourage you to spend less time misrepresenting LDS beliefs and more time
spreading a knowledge of Jesus Christ. After all, most evangelical
Christians believe that the millions of people who die each day without a
knowledge of Jesus go straight to hell. Why not show some concern for
these individuals instead of spending your time lying about the beliefs of
a group of individuals who explicitly acknowledge and worship Jesus as
their Lord and Savior?
As I now know where to find your material if I need it, please remove me
from your mailing list.
Darren T. Roulstone, Ph.D.
The University of Chicago
Graduate School of Business
1101 E. 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637-1561
Mike Burn's Response: