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Critics Corner



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 and to another equally rabid individual from Glendale, AZ.

Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 09:40:22 -0500
To: "Joseph Smith" <>
From: Darren Roulstone <>
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 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:  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 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 change this.)

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 Acts 5:34-39?)

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:

No response received.