Witnessing the Mormons during General Conference and Arizona’s Easter Pageant

Marshall Witnessing to Mormons in April 2023Some twenty years ago, I made a record of the people that I met on the way to Salt Lake.  It was amazing how many people I talked to and how many people I gave tracts to just on the way to and from Salt Lake.  This year I decided to spend money and fly.  I don’t normally spend that much money and then I can go more often.  Now I am retired and for some reason, I have more money than when I worked full time.  It is still hard to decide to spend some of it, but I decided to do it anyway.  My intention in the airport was to get an emergency exit seat.  I was getting on the plane, and they assigned me seat 10A.  Rather than being disappointed, I asked God if he had a Mormon for me to talk to.  Later a young man sat next to me and started to put in a ear plug or ear bud.  I introduced myself and he took out the ear bud.  His name started with a “B”, and I will call him “Barry.”  He Had 4 kids and a wife.  I asked him if he was from the Tri-Cities, and he said he had come there for a job about a year ago.  I asked him where he worked, and he told me that he worked at Hanford for a contractor that I used to work for.  I told him that I was a radiation monitor for 40 years.  Then I asked him if he went to church anywhere.  He said that he was LDS.  He was a lifetime Mormon.  Ok God, here we go.

I told him that I was the local Anti which means I am against the Mormon Church.  I started with how I got started in this ministry.  He listened intently.  I had an interested Mormon from takeoff to landing – one hour and forty minutes.  I talked to him about the first vision, his Mormon evangelism verse (Moroni 10:4&5), I Nephi 1:3, II Nephi 25:23, Moroni 10:4&5, the civil war prophesy, the seven versions of the Book of Mormon, the three keys to all faiths, the two sticks of Ezekiel 37, Inspiration – Transmission – Translation of the Bible.  I explained how we go back to the oldest manuscripts to get as close as we can to the original manuscripts.  I explained how the Book of Mormon was leaving the original manuscripts going away from the original inspiration.  I showed him my Book of Mormon in my left pocket and gave him two widow‘s mites.   As we were descending to land in Salt Lake City, I talked to him about how to leave the Mormon Church with dignity and offered my help.  He seemed to be happy and interested the whole time.  I had about 4 tracts in my pocket and I gave him one of each, 2 sticks, BOM Coins, Facsimile 2 and facsimile 3 on the Book of Abraham.  I showed him my phone number on the back and asked him to call me anytime.

In the airport, I stopped at a shop and got a small package of dill pickle slices to eat.  Behind the counter was two young guys.  One named Trustyn didn’t believe there was any truth.  I asked him if he was trustin Jesus.  I showed them my left pocket and gave them three widow’s mites.

John and I were riding the tram from Salt Lake City to Provo and a single Mormon Missionary got on and went to the upper deck.  I left John and went to the upper deck.  I introduced myself and we talked for about 20 minutes.  He didn’t want to deal with any problems.  He was content to just concentrate on the words of Jesus alone and to ignore any problems.

We stopped at a Deseret Industries (Mormon – Good Will) on the way to John’s house. John and I found some Mormon books to put in his library, my library and extras for others to help their libraries.

The next day we went to a local printer’s shop.  The owner liked to talk to us and his second wife was very friendly.  Brian did most of the talking to Keven Krout.  His dad published many books and was a leader in his polygamy group.  The Attorney General will not pursue anyone in Utah for polygamy.  Now Polygamists in Utah are less paranoid about getting exposed or arrested than when I first started going there (late 1980s).  They are much more open and will talk more freely with Christians.  There wasn’t much going on Friday. Bob and Brian went to talk to a different polygamist in the evening.  I had talked to him about 5 years ago and decided not to go.

Saturday morning, we got up early and headed to Salt Lake City to witness at the Mormon General Conference.  I met some of my friends I haven’t seen for many years.  Carl Thompson from Portland that I first met in 1989 at the Portland temple opening. There were others.  The Christians were giving out tracts to the Mormons as they passed by to go to the conference.  There are many sessions throughout the day.  I talked to quite a few people including the other Christians.  There were people there from Apologia Church.  John and Lourie’s son Asher went with me to go witness to Mormons.  We left the crowded streets next to the temple and went south to 100 South.  On the corner was a homeless man named Nathanial.  He was 38.  Born and raised Mormon.  I asked him if Mormonism was true and he said, “Absolutely.”  I asked if it was not true would he want to know.  He said, “Yes.”  I told him that I wouldn’t teach him anything he didn’t already know.  I was just going to connect the dots for him and he said, “Great.”  I went through two 1st vision discussions in less than 5 minutes.  Then we talked about the two sticks of Ezekiel 37, and in about 15 minutes he agreed that he had been lied to and the Mormon church was false; Joseph lied.  Then I introduced Moroni 25:23 – grace after all you can do.  I used Ephesians 2:8&9 and John 3:16.  I talked about earning salvation and becoming worthy and how that was impossible.  He agreed.  We also talked about how gifts are free and work results in earned wages.  We talked about trusting Jesus for salvation and how his gift of salvation is free.  Next, he asked me to pray for him.  We prayed a prayer for Jesus to save him and give him eternal life and get to go to heaven.

John talked to a black man for about 15 minutes and after he left, I caught up with him and talked to him for another 10 minutes.  His name was Harry, and he took 4 or 5 of my tracts.  There were so many other people that I talked to that I was pretty busy almost all day.  Dr James White was scheduled for a debate this evening and I expressed interest in going.  All the people that I was with wanted to go home and eat instead of attending the debate.  The last debate that I went to in Salt Lake City was in 1988 with Dr Walter Martin.  We are going to the church that Dr White is preaching at tomorrow.

At home, I discovered that Ed had written up a summary of a couple of my tracts.  He asked me to critique his work.  The corrections that I made taught me a principle that I used witnessing to Nathanial yesterday.  I used his memory; the things that he already knew, to help him to recognize problems that he already knew but wasn’t aware of, proving that the Mormon Church is wrong.  This was an ahah moment for him.

Sunday, we went to the church that Dr James White was to preach at.  This was my first time meeting him and he is impressive in his knowledge and ability to debate and defend the Gospel.  I talked to him, and he took all my tracts.  He stated that he would not travel to a “Blue State.”  He will not go to Washington or California.  I don’t know what he thinks he is afraid of or what he is staying away from.  He seems friendly enough.  I was disappointed.  I expected more from someone as experienced as Dr White.

After the Sunday service, we went to Temple Square and witnessed.  I looked for Nathaniel but didn’t find him.  I passed out a few tracts and some DVDs but most of the discussions were not as pointed or as long as yesterday.  Bob Pilch, Sussie Oliver and I, walked about 6 blocks west to a shopping center called “Gateway” to eat lunch.  It was a long way there and back, but it was good exercise and a welcome break. Bob and I had a long talk with a young former BYU student from Finland named Laurey. He changed the conversation from the first vision to the original Bible manuscripts.  He stated that I didn’t believe the Bible because I didn’t have the original.  He didn’t get very far with that reasoning.  I never found out where he was going because the facts stopped him from his conclusion.  He finally gave up and left. He did take some of my tracts.  We returned to the Kauer’s house for dinner and fellowship.

Monday, we went back to the Polygamy Printer office and had more brochures printed for Arizona. Later we flew to Phenix and drove to the house and moved in.  The next morning we talked theology and cooked food most of the day.

Tuesday evening, we went to the Easter pageant at the Mesa Mormon Temple and witnessed to Mormons as they arrived and as they left.  The first guy I met was Larry.  He had a huge sign and was yelling Bible verses and Mormon theology at all the Mormons as they passed by with his microphone and speaker.  As I listened to him, I heard him accuse the Mormons of things that they were not guilty of such as Baal worship.  I discovered that everyone knew who he was.  I think it is bad advertisement to falsely accuse Mormons of things they don’t do.  There is plenty enough things they do do that is wrong.  We don’t need to make things up.  Next, I listened to part of the pageant.  They were using the Bible in their pageant.  They were not using any Mormon scriptures.  Using Bible to spread Mormonism made me emotional.  At the Manti Pageant, the Mormons talked about Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.  No problem here, they were spreading Mormonism.  However, in Mesa they were using only the Bible verses and only talking about the Biblical Jesus and not talking about the Mormon Jesus that walked on the American continent and picked out 12 more apostles and trained them to fail also.   They were not telling “The Rest of The Story” as Paul Harvey would have said.  The Jesus of Mormonism failed twice.  If it wasn’t for Joseph Smith, Jesus would still be a failure.  I saw a Mormon taking videos of witnessing encounters.  I watched him for a while and eventually walked over to listen.  He was beating up a younger Christian and I just listened to him loose.  I don’t interrupt other Christian’s encounters unless they ask for help.  Eventually, the Mormon turned to me, and we started to talk.  He tried to trap me with information against Calvinism, but he discovered that I was not a Calvinist.  That pretty much shut him down.  Evidently, he was used to talking to members from the Apologia Church and most of them seem to be Calvinists.  Once he discovered that his reasoning didn’t work with me, we became friendly and talked for quite a long time.  His name was Hayden and he really liked talking to me and said that I was his best encounter this whole pageant. We agreed to meet tomorrow.  He took all my tracts.  He loved my X Convention tee shirt with the wolf in sheep’s clothing on the back and his favorite tract was my “Mormons go to Hell” tract.

Wednesday, we went shopping for more food. Then we went to Good Will to get long pants and a cap.  Bob got his phone fixed.  That evening, at the streets, Hayden found me at a food trailer, and we talked briefly.  I had purchased a large full color manuscript Church book for him – Joseph Smith Papers Volume 4 – Full Color pictures of the Book of Abraham (Egyptian Hieroglyphics) printed by the LDS Church.  He loved the book immensely but couldn’t believe that I was just giving it to him.  We exchanged phone numbers and agreed to try to meet for lunch tomorrow.

Thursday, April 5, 2023.  We met Hayden for lunch and he brought the big book I gave him.  His friends couldn’t believe that I just gave it to him.  He brought it back out and asked me to autograph it.  We had dinner at Brenda’s and then went to the Easter Pageant.  That night, A 15 year old girl started witnessing to me in the streets as if I was a Mormon.  I played the Mormon part for about 5 minutes and then she asked me if I was a Christian.  I said, “Yes.”  But it took her a few more questions before she actually believed me. We talked for a while longer and she wanted more training.  We sat down and I explained my ways of witnessing to Mormons to her for about an hour.  Later, I met James White’s grand kids and his son-in-law, Eric.  Eric and I talked for about ten minutes as he gave out fliers at the crosswalk.  Next, I talked to a homeless guy named David.  David took two of my tracts and we talked.  Last, I talked to Elder Dana across the street.  He took my Total Apostasy tract.  This was my last encounter at the last night here at the Easter Pageant.  2023.

Friday I came home.  My plane was 20 minutes late arriving, so I ran to my connection and was 6 minutes late.  The next flight was 6 hours later.  6 hours in the airport terminal.  It must be of God.  I had my “No False Prophets” yellow shirt on –with Joseph on the front and Brigham on the back with a big red circle with a red slash through it.  I decided to parade this shirt around the whole airport.  Most people looked away.  A few smiled and a few talked to me.  My first contact was Porter (21ish).  He was surprised that I would dare to wear a shirt as bold as that in Utah.  We talked for a good five minutes. He was Ex Mormon, and I gave him a bunch of tracts.  Going down the escalator. I got a thumbs up and a smile from a man going up.  The next person was Mason (25ish).  We talked for probably ten minutes, and he took all of my tracts (5).  He was very interested.  We talked until his plane boarded.  Next was Randy and Pat (65ish).  They were ex-Mormon, and he talked a lot and wanted tracts (7).  Then there was Greg the janitor.  He was so encouraged to see a witness in the airport.  He took tracts, Widow’s mites and we talked.  He gave me a big hug.  I saw him three different times as I walked all over the airport.  He was so excited and appreciative each time.  Then there was Ben (35ish) the Solar Guy who was giving a talk in Salt Lake.  He exchanged phone numbers.  A girl (30ish) walked by and said that she loved the shirt (No False Prophets) and took a Total Apostasy tract.  Another man grinned and shook his head, “Yes.” coming up the escalator.  I stopped and just stood at the end of a hallway entrance and exit showing off my shirt.  I decided to go early to my gate and when I got there, I discovered that the plane had boarded early.  I went down a long ramp and walked to an entrance and walked to the concourse bus one minute before it departed.  I almost missed my flight again.  In Pasco, waiting for our luggage, I met Ken (60ish) who was an ex-Mormon.  We talked and I gave him most of my tracts (9?).   Last was a father (45ish) who passed by and said, “I like your shirt.”  His family grinned but ignored the shirt.  My son picked me up and took me home.  What a trip!

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