Issues with Tissues: What exactly is an Anti-Mormon Kleenex?

Last Saturday (September 29th, 2012) the Mormon Church held its annual General Relief Society Conference.  Two years ago my wife Becky had the idea of reaching out to the women who attend this conference with a message that there are those who want to help. Utah leads the nation in the use of antidepressants and suicide. There are plenty of Christians who minister to Mormons during General Conference, which is next weekend, but nothing has ever been done specifically to reach Mormon women during their conference.
We decided to buy 10,000 packages of tissue, insert this card into the package and wrap it up with a nice bow. The packages would be distributed from nicely decorated wicker baskets. Although there were only 12 women and six men on the street during the outreach, we are grateful for the literally scores of people who helped with all of the behind the scenes work. We had help with everything from buying the tissues, cutting the ribbons, inserting the cards to shipping and distribution. This was not an easy project and I honestly did not think we were going to distribute them all. God allowed us to pass out all of them in a little over two hours. That is nothing short of miraculous. It cost us a lot of time, energy and money, but none of it was wasted. These Mormon women are too precious to ignore. Jesus loves them and so do we.

One of the men who helped during the distribution (Russ Bales) created a short video of the outreach itself. Yes, we had a bet and my wife won. Oh, me of little faith.

This next video was made by Aaron Shafovaloff of Mormonism Research Ministry. This was filmed after we returned from downtown and has a message from two of the ladies who passed out the tissues.

The first of these ladies wrote a short testimonial about a Mormon lady who confronted her with the card. Here is her account of the conversation.

“Thank you so much to everyone who helped with our outreach to the mainstream Mormon women! God showed up and blessed mightily! One example of this was the conversation I had with one Mormon woman who opened our tissues and found the card. She came to me seeming to be angry and asking , “What is this?” I explained that it was a message of hope and love for those struggling with depression. I further explained that the websites on the back of the card offered resources for these women to find hope and receive help. We wanted them to know that we love them. She paused for a few seconds and said, “So, you want these women to turn to the Lord and not to pills.” I said, “Yes, ma’am, that is exactly what we want.” She nodded her head and said, “What you are doing is a good thing,” and pointing to the building said, “Lots of women in there need to hear this message.” As she walked off I was so encouraged that at least one Mormon woman understood our motivation and appreciated our efforts. I pray that many more will as well.”

The second lady in Aaron’s video is my wife Becky. She wrote an article to the Mormon women who received the card. It can be read here.

Once we returned to San Antonio, Texas, we began to read the different blog posts Mormon women wrote about their thoughts of our outreach. I will include some of their statements italicized, a link to their blog and then my comments about what they said in bold. Some of their statements are outlandish.

“I just found it so funny to see all those tissues being confiscated (see the pic).”

Is robbing women of their free agency funny? In the Mormon world view, was it Lucifer or Satan who didn’t agree with the idea of free agency?

http://bethanyjaneolsen.blogspot.com/2012/09/general-relief-society-meeting.html

“My friends and I had a pretty interesting experience yesterday. While we were lining up to enter to the conference center, there are some women gave us a packet of FREE tissue papers with a cute ribbon on them. Therefore, we just picked one up in our way. Then, we were talking how this is the culture of Relief Society. Surprising, it turned out that those tissue paper contains Anti-Mormon message. WOW!!! Satan is working hard!! The whole thing looked like normal for us, and the scripture from the Book of Alma about how Satan can look like an angel to appear to us, so he can lie to us. At the same time, during the conference, most of us were crying while the Spirit came to us. Therefore, I noticed Satan is so smart that he sometimes know what we need physically. Luckily, he doesn’t know what we need spiritually and in a long run.”

Since when are the words of Jesus Christ “anti-Mormon?” If my Church taught that a verse from the New Testament spoken by the Savior is anti-Mormon, I would really be concerned.

http://potimking.blogspot.com/2012/09/everyonekeep-faith.html

“She was going through the security, the agent said “don’t open those, it has Anti-Mormon literature inside”. He took the tissue from Terri, showed her where it had been opened and pulled out their message they had discreetly put inside the tissues. He gave her the tissue back to use if she so wanted. When Terri told me this, I opened my tissues up and sure enough, there inside was their literature. I have no idea what it said, I just took out the card, folded it up and through it away. It is so disturbing though that there are so many people that are against our faith. Always at Conference time there are people all around the facility with signs, megaphones and heckling the church members as they go into the meetings. It is very disturbing to be down there when this is happening. The interesting thing though with the tissues was the lady on the corner was dressed like the rest of us and looked like she could have been one of us. The man on the corner was dressed in slacks and a white shirt; he could have been one of our members.

I think we as sisters didn’t see what was coming because in Relief Society they are always making something and handing it to the sisters.

It just goes to show how we never know who we are dealing with in real life, even on a daily basis.

Here we thought this was someone we could trust but in reality they were trying to ruin our lives. They spent a lot of money on the tissue, time to open them, insert their message and then tie the ribbon on the package. It appears they will go to any length to turn us against our faith and our church. Like Terri said, it is “the devil in sheep’s clothing”…they looked like us and we had no clue what they were up to.
How sad!!!”

This blogger is correct. You never know who you are dealing with. This is exactly why we reach out to Mormons, they don’t know who they are dealing with. Satan has convinced them that they belong to Jesus Christ’s Church and that quotations from Jesus are anti-Mormon. That is what is sad.

http://choclatluver.blogspot.com/2012/09/life-is-good.html

“Oh yeah, another funny story.  There were these ladies standing on the corners of the crosswalk right across from the conference center handing out tissues.  They looked super nice and had name tags on, so we each grabbed a package of tissues.  I thought it was so nice and super sweet, and wondered if they did this for every conference.  I was so impressed, I took a picture of it:

Once we were in the doors, about to have our bags checked, we learn that they were not full of tissues as one would have supposed.  They were full of Anti-LDS literature.  These ladies had taken time to unwrap thousands of tissue packages and alternate the tissues with hateful and inappropriate words, re-wrap the packages, and then seal them with a ribbon and hand them to the thousands of women journeying to hear the words of our beloved presidency and prophet.  

 I was so amazed that someone, anyone, would take so much time and effort to attempt to destroy a woman’s faith in her religion!  I am still shocked that people go through such great efforts to try and tear down what you know to be true.  While members of the LDS faith do proselyte and send missionaries out, we do not attack any one’s religion or beliefs.  If you believe something different than I do, then I respect your views; I don’t try to prove them wrong.  I might try to teach you what my religion is all about, but I will not disrespect your religion nor will I tell you that you are wrong and I’m right.  You have the freedom to believe whatever you want; I think all men should be allowed that same privilege.  America was founded on the concept of freedom, particularly that of religion.  Why should LDS members be denied that privilege?”

This blogger has some facts mixed up… Well, no, she just flat-out lied.

First, no one wore name tags.

Second, the packets were full of tissues.

Third, the packet was not full of anti-LDS literature. There was only one business sized card inserted into the package.

Fourth, since when are the statements of Jesus Christ Anti-Mormon? Is this really what Mormon women think of Him? A verse from Matthew is anti-Mormon? Really? Shouldn’t that concern you?

Fifth, scroll back up and look at the picture of the card which was inserted into the package. Where are the hateful and inappropriate words?

Sixth, the LDS Church does indeed attack the religion of others. Read this article for quotes of what Mormon leaders have said about other religions.

Seventh, LDS ladies were not denied the right to practice their religion unless you consider the actions of LDS security which robbed them of their free agency when they confiscated the tissues.

I hear this last lie quite frequently and it is always humorous to me to think about. Let’s put it this way, if I am keeping Mormons from practicing their religion by “persecuting” them, and Jesus tells them to expect persecution (Matthew 5:10), then am I not really helping Mormons practice their religion?

http://leighanunnally.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-gathering-of-societal-members-who.html

“Some lady was handing out tissues. which is pretty brilliant for a women’s conference.
turns out they had anti-Mormon literature. so we had to throw them away.  oh well. 

I love this gospel. I cannot imagine my life without the Church. The Relief Society meeting was absolutely beautiful [take the time to watch it if you haven’t already seen it]. I know beyond a doubt that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to be a member of the Church, and I desperately want to share the message of the gospel with others. I love the missionaries; they are such amazing examples to me of diligence in living the gospel. I love the temple and peaceful spirit I feel there.”

I am just dumbfounded. Again, how in the world can Mormons continue to claim that a message of hope from Jesus Himself is anti-Mormon? Hmm. Let’s see. This blogger loves the Mormon gospel, her church, Relief Society, Mormon missionaries and the temple. Where’s Jesus? I guess He doesn’t merit a mention.

http://lauren2hearts.blogspot.com/2012/09/when-september-ends.html

“So, I attended last nights Relief Society Conference/Broadcast at the Conference Center. As I am not “out” I went at the request of my mother since she and a few other relatives were going and had tickets. On the street corners adjacent to the building were people dressed in similar “church” clothing with huge baskets of small packages of tissue. They handed them out as women passed smiling and not at all confrontational. I had suspicions that this many not just be “a gift” but was not in the path for one to be handed to me as there were literally mobs of women. When entering the conference center, the people who look through your purse to make sure you don’t have guns( or who knows what) asked if we had any of the tissues that were passed out. One of my relatives did and they told her that it had anti-mormon literature attached to it. The door person took the tissues from her and then asked me if I had any. I said no but then noticed the baskets of tissue they had “confiscated” from other women. Now, I wished I had got some and am curious what the literature was. I also was very verbal to my relatives saying that they should not confiscate the tissues. It is up to the individual what they should decide to do with it.”

At least one person is thinking. We can only imagine how many more women were bothered by the heavy-handed tactics of the Mormon Church in confiscating their personal property. Once again, the words of Jesus are anti-Mormon. This should bother more people.

http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=28330

“If you went to the Conference Center for the Women’s Meeting, you probably received some nicely bow-tied tissues. It was so thoughtful for someone to go to all that work for the sisters gathering for their meeting, wasn’t it? I even asked who had gone to all the trouble and the answer was, ‘a Texas ward.’”

This card is Anti-Mormon propaganda, well disguised. How easily fooled we can be…. it makes me sad to see how easy it is to get deceived. This wasn’t too bad of a situation, but next time are we going to be so lucky?

Sis. Reeves:  Cast your burdens upon Him. Jesus is perfectly compassionate. We can go to Him and not be alone in our trials.

There is a bit of misinformation here. We are not from a Texas ward. We live in the San Antonio, Texas area, but all of us are Christians from various churches.

http://www.ldswomenofgod.com/?p=6287

“Before we went in, little ladies were handing out little packs of tissues. I of course I grabbed one, but those sneaky moms put anti-Mormon stuff in them. I took that out and kept the tissues.”

Anti-Mormon? No. Again, not unless you consider Jesus anti-Mormon. I do consider Jesus as anti-Mormonism, but I find it interesting to hear this claim again and again. Jesus is an anti-Mormon. What an admission.

http://angeleyes428.blogspot.com/2012/09/dates-football-love-and-fun.html

“The card had a wonderful scripture on it: ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.’  I’m very familiar with this scripture for it has offered me much hope throughout my recovery.  I thought this was really nice!  Then I noticed the websites listed on the card which seemed odd and as I flipped the card over and saw the image on the other side it all began to sink in.  

This card was an advertisement for anti-Mormon propaganda.  I immediately felt a rush of anger.  I mean, how inconsiderate of these people to encroach on something so sacred to me and try to steer me away from something I know to be true?  I don’t agree with their teachings yet you don’t see me showing up at their functions to dissuade them from their beliefs.  I thought it to be manipulative and conniving.  I was completely offended and I wanted to throw away the tissues and the card.

 And then I recognized them; the chains of the adversary as they began to wrap around my heart in the form of hate.  I knew what was happening and I knew I didn’t want it.  I immediately began to look for the gratitude in this situation to help steer my heart:

  • I am grateful that I am secure enough in my Savior to not feel the need to point fingers and hate others.
  • I am grateful for my Savior and that He teaches me to not only be tolerant of others, but to love others.
  • I am also grateful for my Savior’s example and that He teaches me how to love others, because I know I wouldn’t do it very well on my own.
  • I feel genuine sorrow for the sisters who gave me the tissues and I’m praying for them.  I love them and I hope one day they will find the peace and happiness I have found.

In the end I didn’t let it bother me.  I kept the card long enough to take the picture of it to share on this blog post but then ripped it up.  I didn’t visit the sites even though I was curious for I knew that would be like opening the door to my heart and allowing Satan to walk right in, muddy shoes and all.  I kept the tissues – they are innocent and I can use them.

 I’m grateful for the opportunity that was presented to me to learn to shut off my hate and turn it over to my Savior, and in turn He replaced that hate with gratitude and love.  This experience will make the next time much easier, for there will always be a next time.”

Of all of the blog posts I have read, this one is the most mature response yet. I am glad that she was able to move beyond hate, in fact, that is an interesting admission that no one else has made. Mormons do hate. I am impressed with how she overcame it, but wished she would have kept the card long enough to visit our site. My wife wrote a beautiful, heartfelt message to Mormon women who are in need of forgiveness. I’ll be praying for Sidreis.

http://www.bythelightofgrace.com/2012/10/finding-gratitude-in-difficult.html

“As we were crossing the street to head to the conference center ladies who seemed very nice were handing out tissues wrapped in a ribbon greeted us as we headed to the conference center. When we got to our seats the usher asked us if we had gotten tissues from the ladies outside. We said yes and they told us to open them and look between the tissues and give them the card inside. The usher also told us that those ladies were anti-Mormon. The card inside was a picture of the temple and a girl on it taking drugs with an anti- Mormon quote. I honestly couldn’t believe it. Those ladies actually wasted their time and money to make hundreds of these tissue handouts then sit at the corner and hand them out for hours. I can’t believe how deceitful others can be towards our church.”

No free agency there. I guess it is settled. Jesus is an anti-Mormon.

http://lomufamily.blogspot.com/2012/10/general-relief-society-conference.html

“I was mad. I wanted to go out and drag them into the meeting and make them understand. But then, they couldn’t change my mind with a card or some website talking about our doctrine from a misrepresented point of view. They have their agency, just as I have mine. Why would I be able to convince them? Plus my sister-in-law told me to calm down. If I left that close to the meeting, I risked losing my seat and I wanted to be there. So I forgot about them. I didn’t forget about the message they were trying to send us, though. I asked myself why they would think we were so oppressed.”

How can this blogger claim that our website misrepresents their doctrine if she refuses to visit it? The article my wife wrote about Jesus being the answer to Mormon depression is a good, uplifting article. It also includes links to online articles about depression and high rates of suicide in Utah. Some Mormon’s don’t know this fact. They think they are alone in their depression when they are not. Jesus saves in more ways than one.

http://jeannetteandjnate.blogspot.com/2012/10/i-am-member-of-church-of-jesus-christ.html

That is the last of the blog posts, but one of the more interesting things about Saturday’s activities was something which happened before our outreach. We visited BYU in the morning and one of our team members picked up a campus newspaper which had a picture of a stressed out young woman on the cover. We took this as confirmation that Mormon women are indeed subject to depression!

BYU can create pictures of stressed out Mormon women, but we cannot.

The article is about how students are easily stressed and gives some tips on how to handle their situation. The article states, “A combination of therapy and medication make it easily treatable. Talking problems out with a loved one, deep breathing, writing in a journal, listening to music, yoga, meditation and playing sports are all ways to relieve stress.”

It is interesting to note that medication is included as a means of dealing with stress, but Jesus Christ is not. In fact, He isn’t even mentioned in the whole article. Why is it that the Mormon Church owned University can say that Mormons are stressed and can medicate their problems and this is acceptable, but when Christians say that stressed out Mormon women should turn to Jesus instead of pills, a church or any other idol, that message is somehow considered anti-Mormon?

I welcome your thoughts.

20 Thoughts on “Issues with Tissues: What exactly is an Anti-Mormon Kleenex?

  1. you put that all together so well. I tried to bring up some of these same points by commenting on the blogs themselves, but no surprise; all my comments were removed from the blogs. so sad

  2. Thanks, Jenny. Don’t worry about your comments not making it past the moderator. At least they read it for themselves. 😉

  3. The Issue with Tissues of Two Thousand Twelve

    By Connie Raddon, Mormon to Christian Ministries
    In honor of Evidence ministries and those who participated in the “Tissue Issue of 2012”.

    Twas the week before Conference and all through the state
    Mormon women were ready, their journey to make.

    They drove and they bussed and they met at Town Square
    To hear all the wisdom that would surely be there.

    They’d hear what they “should” and they’d hear what they “must”,
    And they’d hear about ancestors laid in the dust.

    Some would just listen and not bat an eye
    While others were so touched they go home and cry.

    On the outside they smile and sparkle with cheer
    While the inside is filled with frustration and fear.

    But God knows their sorrows
    And God knows their plight
    And God has sent warriors to take on the fight.

    The warriors are loving and care very deeply
    But the Mormons cry, “Anti’s!” and think they are creepy.

    The warriors bought tissues and tied them with bows
    Including a message that every Christian knows.

    “Your do’s and your dont’s will not win your case.
    Please come to know Jesus and enjoy His sweet grace.”

    The Mormons were mortified, “How dare they come near?”
    And they set up a trash bin that said, “Tissues here.”

    But the warriors aren’t broken – it’s God who will win
    And they pray for each woman that took tissues in.

  4. Hilda A. Vera on October 4, 2012 at 12:37 am said:

    Love this new blog,”The Edge”! I would not have known how to view all those comments. How deceived to add and take away from facts, plain as they are in front of them. Must be all those scales in their eyes and the droning reverberation of indoctrination of which I was also a victim not so long ago

  5. I would say that three of the four websights you added to the Kleenex is what turned them into Anti-Mormon Kleenex.

    • I could understand that view, but that is not the criticism we have been receiving. Mormons have said it was an anti-Mormon message, not anti-Mormon web sites.

      • “Mormons have said it was an anti-Mormon message, not anti-Mormon web sites.”
        anitMormons web sites that have an antiMormon message. youi are just nitpicking words.

        • What you call nitpicking, I call being accurate. People don’t have to look at the web sites. yet they still call the message “anti-Mormon.”

          • It does not matter if you call me an idiot straight out or you say to look someplace else to see why I am an idiot, The message is still the same.

            The message was in the tissue package.

      • No one is calling you an idiot Fred.

        • “No one is calling you an idiot Fred.”
          I didn’t say you did, it was just another example of whast you were doing. You say you did not TALK about antiMormon issues, instead you just said to READ about antiMormon issues. The woman were nice because they were quiet in ther preachhing of antiMormon ideas, instead of being the normal lowd mouth clowns that stands outside our worship services.

  6. Andrea F on October 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm said:

    As a Mormon, I do not consider the verse from the book of Matthew to be anti-Mormon. We believe that the Bible is the word of God. What is anti-Mormon are the websites your organization has advertised on the card. For example, Mormoninfo.org is clearly not pro-Mormon and the writers urge Mormons to abandon the Church o Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those sites are against the beliefs of Mormons and therefore, I consider them to be anti-Mormon.

    The Christian teachings and values I have learned as a Mormon bring me happiness, light and hope. This is reflected in my countenance, in my smile. God’s love for me is evident in every aspect of my life, including in my worship of His son, and reverent recognition and gratitude to Him as my Savior. I am a Mormon. I live it. I love it.

    • I am a Christian. I live it. I love it. You mentioned that you are grateful to Jesus for Him being savior. Have you ever thanked Him for what He has done for you?

  7. Since I got emails confirming that my previous comment was put into your system and since it was about how I disagreed with what you said and did, I must conclude that your “open” comment page is censored so anything you dislike is not published.

    fred

    • Fred,
      Thanks for your comments. Unlike numerous Mormon blogs and the LDS Church itself, I don’t censor comments. I will not approve profanity, abusive comments and stuff like that, but I am not afraid of disagreement. I welcome it.

      I have been out of town at an ex-Jehovah’s Witness convention and have more than 500 emails to wade through. I probably should have made mention of that and ask people to be patient with me until I can get caught up. Sorry about that.

  8. Pingback: Addressing “Anti-Mormons” 101 | The Edge

  9. Have you ever been to a mormon church meeting?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation