Criticism of Mormonism/Video/Search for the Truth DVD/Credits

Table of Contents

Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith or Search for the Truth DVD


Credits
It may be helpful to those viewing the video to know a little more about some of the people who participated in the making of this video. The credits list people associated with the production of the video. There is one section of the credits, entitled "Special Thanks" that lists people who provided commentary on the video. Individuals are highlighted, below, in alphabetical order.

Marvin Cowan

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Marvin Cowan

Marvin is the director or owner of Utah Christian Publications. This organization sells exclusivly anti-Mormon books and materials. Many of the books sold by Utah Christian Publications are written by the other people listed in the credits of this DVD.

Scott Gallatin

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Scott Gallatin

Scott Gallatin is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Finger Lakes in Farmington, New York.

Dennis and Rauni Higley

Dennis and Rauni Higley live in Sandy, Utah. Rauni is originally a Finnish citizen and served as a Mormon missionary in Finland. Dennis is an American who also served as a Mormon missionary in Finland. They eventually met and were married in Utah. Together, they left the Church in the 1980s and became evangelical Christians. They later established HIS (He is Savior) Ministries.

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Dennis and Rauni Higley

The Higleys have been highly influenced by the evangelical countercult arguments of the 1980s. During Rauni's stay in Finland in 1984 she was instrumental in the inception of a highly sensationalistic article on the Mormons in a religious magazine. The material relied on the book and movie The God Makers, with in-temple screenshots provided as illustrations. A typical statement related by a reviewer is: "The truth is kept secret on purpose. It is not meant but for the few and chosen, for Mormonism is a pagan religion tied to secret doctrines, mysteries, and occultism. On its most secret levels, a Luciferian doctrine is unveiled as the background.... Mormonism is based on a secret for the simple reason of the truth being too gruesome for a normal, ordinary person"
—Kim Östman, "An International Perspective: Opposition to Mormonism in Finland, 1845-2006" (presentation at the 2006 FAIR Conference).

In 2004 the Higleys wrote a thirty-page booklet, The Truth about Mormonism, published by The Berean Call, a ministry outlet closely associated with Dave Hunt.

Tim and Karen Howard

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Tim and Karen Howard

Tim and Karen Howard are former members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dave Hunt

Dave Hunt has been actively involved in the countercult movement for over two decades. He is the coauthor, with Ed Decker, of both the original and the "updated and expanded" version of The God Makers. He is described as "an internationally recognized cult expert." The 1984 edition says he's the author of 10 books in 20 languages, and the 1994 edition gives him "20-plus books [with] combined sales of more than 3 million copies."

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Dave Hunt

In commenting on the "problem of authority and credibility" within the Christian countercult movement (of which Search for the Truth is a product), one non-LDS scholar comments on Dave Hunt's place within the movement:

Robert Wise begins his critique of The Seduction of Christianity in what seems an obvious, if often overlooked, place: who are Dave Hunt and Thomas Aloysius McMahon? Noting that "Hunt and McMahon define truth in a way peculiar to themselves," Wise continues: "We are never told who Hunt and McMahon are nor what credentials they have. Apparently, Hunt is a self-certified authority on cults" (1986: 40). DeMar and Leithart complain similarly: "That Dave Hunt, a man with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, is now the most prominent theologian of the dispensationalist movement...indicates the extent of the crisis" (1988: xvii).
—Douglas E. Cowan, Bearing False Witness: An Introduction to the Christian Countercult (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 2003), 199.

The God Makers was characterized by the US National Council of Christians and Jews as follows:

"The Godmakers"...does not, in our opinion, fairly portray the Mormon Church, Mormon belief, or Mormon history. It makes extensive use of 'half-truth', faulty generalizations, erroneous interpretations, and sensationalism…not reflective of the genuine spirit of the Mormon faith.... It appears to us to be a basically unfair and untruthful presentation of what Mormons really believe and practice.
— National Council of Christians and Jews, "Programs in Pluralism," April 1994. off-site

Mr. Hunt believes that all religions outside of his own have their roots in Satanism, including Catholicism. According to one non-Mormon observer,

[Hunt] presents the darkest possible version of Roman Catholic history, laying responsibility squarely at Rome's door for, among other things, the rise of Nazism in Germany (elsewhere he claims Hinduism is responsible; cf. Hunt 1983); the implementation of the Final Solution (Hunt 1994:265-93); and the Ustaschi (Croat) massacres of Yugoslavian Serbs in the early 1940s (Hunt 1994: 297-307). For Hunt...the syllogism is simple: Because there were at least nominal Catholics involved in these atrocities, therefore the Roman Catholic Church as an institution supported and encouraged their actions—a convenient, monocausal explanation for these various attrocities.
—Douglas E. Cowan, Bearing False Witness: An Introduction to the Christian Countercult (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 2003), 187.

To read more:

  • Gilbert W. Scharffs, "The Truth About 'The Godmakers'" (a line-by-line refutation) FairMormon link
  • Craig L. Foster, "Old Themes and Stereotypes Never Die: The Unchanging Ways of Anti-Mormons," FairMormon link
  • Robert Brown and Rosemary Brown, They Lie In Wait to Deceive: Vol. 4 FairMormon link

Joel Kramer

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Joel Kramer

Joel Kramer is the Director of Living Hope Ministries from Brigham City, Utah. Their mission statement is: "Living Hope Ministries exists to share biblical truths with Mormons, and to educate and equip Christian individuals, ministries and churches to reach Mormons for the biblical Jesus Christ. " Living Hope Ministries has produced several anti-Mormon DVDs.

To read more:

  • Brant Gardner, "Behind the Mask, Behind the Curtain: Uncovering the Illusion (Review of The Bible vs. the Book of Mormon FairMormon link
  • David E. Bokovoy, "The Bible vs. the Book of Mormon: Still Losing the Battle: Review of The Bible vs. the Book of Mormon by Joel P. Kramer and Scott R. Johnson," FARMS Review 18/1 (2006): 3–19. off-site wiki
  • Louis Midgley, "Orders of Submission: Review of "Essays on Mormonism," Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 9/2 (Summer 2005): 1–81.," FARMS Review 18/2 (2006): 189–228. off-site wiki

Charles Larson

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Charles Larson

Charles Larson is the author of By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri. An LDS scholar who holds a Ph.D. in Egyptology from Yale summed up Larson's work:

Larson's historical method is as follows: Invent evidence, read minds, attribute motives, misquote sources, argue from circumstantial evidence—or better yet—argue from no evidence....
If Larson stumbles as a historian, he falls flat on his face as an Egyptologist. He betrays no knowledge of any foreign language, yet offers to guide us through Egyptian, "a unique area of study that is extremely difficult to master."
—John Gee, "A Tragedy of Errors," p. 99.

The publisher's web site for Larson's book lists his credentials as "former Mormon and Brigham Young University graduate."

To read more:

  • John Gee, "A Tragedy of Errors (Review of By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri by Charles M. Larson," FARMS Review of Books 4/1 (1992): 93–119. off-site
  • Michael D. Rhodes, "The Book of Abraham: Divinely Inspired Scripture (Review of By His Own Hand upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri by Charles M. Larson)," FARMS Review of Books 4/1 (1992): 120–126. off-site
  • Reviews of Charles Larson

Living Hope Ministries

Living Hope Ministries is a Utah-based anti-Mormon ministry. To accomplish their goal of discrediting Mormonism they have produced and distributed several videos and plan on doing even more.

  • To read more:
  • Brant Gardner, "Behind the Mask, Behind the Curtain: Uncovering the Illusion (Review of The Bible vs. the Book of Mormon FairMormon link
  • David E. Bokovoy, "The Bible vs. the Book of Mormon: Still Losing the Battle: Review of The Bible vs. the Book of Mormon by Joel P. Kramer and Scott R. Johnson," FARMS Review 18/1 (2006): 3–19. off-site wiki
  • Louis Midgley, "Orders of Submission: Review of "Essays on Mormonism," Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 9/2 (Summer 2005): 1–81.," FARMS Review 18/2 (2006): 189–228. off-site wiki

Brian Mackert

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Brian Mackert

Brian J. Mackert was born a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints church (FLDS), which believes that the LDS Church is in apostasy. According to his online biography, his great grandfather was excommunicated from the LDS Church in 1934 after publishing a book in support of polygamy, and his grandparents were excommunicated because they "would not comply with the current LDS Churches [sic] position on polygamy."

Mackert abandoned the FLDS and joined the LDS Church in his late teens. Shortly thereafter he stopped attending the LDS Church and became converted to born-again evangelical Christianity and started attending local Baptist churches.

According to Brian's Web site:

Brian is now a licensed minister working in Prison Ministry preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sharing the forgiveness that only comes through the shed blood of Jesus Christ with prisoners and especially sex offenders.
Brian is available upon request to give presentations concerning the beliefs, practices of Mormons and to give witnessing tips for those wanting to reach the Mormon People with the true gospel of Jesus Christ.


Jon McCartney

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Jon McCartney

Jon (incorrectly spelled "John" in the video) McCartney is pastor of the First Baptist Church in Tooele, Utah.

Floyd McElveen

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Floyd McElveen

Floyd McElveen wrote a book that was distributed in Utah about 20 years ago titled God's Word, Final, Infallible and Forever and published by Gospel Truths Ministries in Grand Rapids, MI. The book includes two other titles, The Mormon Illusion, and From Mormon Illusion to God's Love. McElveen was described as " the national evangelist for the Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society."

McElveen also contributed a chapter to Charles Larson's By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus,.

Roger Oakland

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Roger Oakland

Roger Oakland is with Understanding the Times International, a countercult ministry. He has a number of articles at the organization's Web site, including many that attack Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, science, and New Age religious movements.

Phil Roberts

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Phil Roberts

Phil Roberts is president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Kansas City. He has written or contributed to at least two anti-Mormon books— Mormonism Unmasked and The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism.

Roberts served as director of the Interfaith Witness Department of the North American Mission Board for the Southern Baptist Convention where, in 1998, he was responsible for producing the video The Mormon Puzzle. Roberts has also authored several other articles that are anti-Mormon in tone and focus.

To read more:

  • Daniel C. Peterson, "What Certain Baptists Think They Know about the Restored Gospel (Review of The Mormon Puzzle: Understanding and Witnessing to Latter-day Saints by North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention)," FARMS Review of Books 10/1 (1998): 12–96. off-site
  • Louis Midgley, "Orders of Submision (Review of essays on Mormonism, Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 9/2 (Summer 2005): 1–81)," FARMS Review 18/2 (2006): 189–228. off-site

Sandra Tanner

Sandra Tanner and her late husband, Jerald Tanner, are among the most prolific anti-Mormon authors. Sandra maintains The Utah Lighthouse Ministry which exists "to document problems with the claims of Mormonism and compare LDS doctrines with Christianity." A non-LDS scholar gave the following assessment of the Tanners' work:

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Sandra Tanner

[The Tanners] always assume the worst possible motives in assessing the actions of Mormon leaders, even when those leaders faced extremely complex problems with no simple solutions.... Every bit of evidence, even if it could be most plausibly presented in a positive way, is represented as yet another nail in the coffin being prepared for the Mormon Church. There is no spectrum of colors, only blacks and whites, good guys and villains in the Tanners' published writings.... The Tanners have repeatedly assumed a holier-than-thou stance, refusing to be fair in applying the same debate standards of absolute rectitude which they demand of Mormonism to their own actions, writings, and beliefs.
—Lawrence Foster, "Career Apostates:Reflections on the Works of Jerald and Sandra Tanner," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 17 no. 2 (Summer 1984), 45–46. off-site

To read more:

Chip Thompson

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Chip Thompson

Chip Thompson is director of Tri-Grace Ministries in Ephraim, UT. Tri-Grace Ministries runs a college house facility, which is "intended to be safe haven for all Christian students who attend Snow College." His advisory board consists soley of professional anti-Mormon ministry leaders:

  • Bill Mckeever, (Mormon Research Ministries, Sandy, UT)
  • Luke Wilson, (Institute for Religious Research, Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Keith Walker, (Evidence Ministries, San Antonio, TX)
  • Bob Betts, (Board Member, Concerned Christians, Mesa, AZ)
  • Timothy Oliver, (Utah Director, Watchman Fellowship, Santaquin, UT)

In August 2006 Chip was arrested for criminal trespass because he refused to comply with a police officer who ordered him to leave an area where he was passing out anti-Mormon literature at an LDS pageant in Clarkston, Utah. Charges were subsequently dropped.

John Whitcomb

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John Whitcomb

Dr. John Whitcomb, Th.D., is president of Whitcomb Ministries and former professor of Theology and Old Testament studies at Graceland Theological Seminary. Whitcomb is also co-author of The Genesis Flood which helped play a founding role in the modern "Creation Science" movement (although Whitcomb is a theologian rather than a scientist). Whitcomb believes in a young earth, a global flood, the preservation of dinosaurs on the ark, and an inerrant Bible that should be interpreted literally. He is critical of not only evolution, but also of progressive creationism and intelligent design.

It should be noted that Graceland Theological Seminary is not associated with Graceland College (Lamoni, Iowa), which is sponsored by the Communities of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

To read more:


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