The Mormon Outreach Ministries originally started as Gospel Outreach to Mormons at
St.Paul’s in 1998. The name was changed to Mormon Outreach Ministries with more
emphasis and direction on equipping saints for the work of the ministry -Ephesians 4:12.
Mormon Outreach Ministries is run by a group of committed Christians on a
voluntarily basis. Andrew Southerton, who is doing theological studies at Moore
Theological College in Sydney, Australia,
runs conferences on Mormonism and helps those who struggle with problems as a
result of being part of the Mormon Church (See Letters of Urgency).
Etsuko Stanhope, while studying at Mary Andrews College, Sydney, met a number of
Mormon missionaries and felt called to reach out with the biblical gospel to
Etsuko Stanhope was born in Japan and was raised in a Shinto and Shingon
Buddhist faith. She became puzzled as to how Shinto (not a personal faith, but a
communal tradition) and Buddhism coexist without conflict in many Japanese
households. While living in Mexico City between 1985 and 1992, her personal
search for the living God started. In 1993 she became Christian through the
ministry of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, in Sydney.
words from the pulpit at the Cathedral, struck her: “Jesus of Nazareth died for
sinners like you and me, so that our sins might be forgiven.” She was haunted by
these words. She began to struggle with the notion of sin, which was a new
concept for her. She thought to herself, “Why does God see both murder and
gossip as equally sinful? Murder is certainly more serious than gossip, isn’t
She came to
realise that God’s standards are very high, and that sin is like cracks in a
crystal glass. No matter how beautiful the crystal glass is, a crack renders the
vase worthless. No matter how upright or righteous one may appear, a small sin
makes the person a sinner. From within our hearts come evil thoughts, sexual
immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, envy, slander,
arrogance and folly (Mark 7:21-23) Our wicked thoughts cannot escape from God’s
notice (Matthew 22: 18). She admitted that she offended God by rebelling against
him, shaking her fists at him and ignoring him as if he did not exist. It seems
too good to be true but eternal life is a gift (Ephesians 2: 8-9). At the moment
she accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour and the Lord, she had peace with
God. Since then she has had the assurance that her sins are forgiven and she
would live with the Heavenly Father even if she died tonight.
Etsuko started her theological studies at Mary Andrews College. In her third
year at the college she started meeting a number of Mormon missionaries. She was
saddened by the fact that while they have a zeal for God, they were not right
with God. Instead of trusting in Jesus’ righteousness, they try to establish
their own righteousness (Romans 10:1-4). In late 1997 Senior Minister Bruce Hall
at St.Paul’s warmly encouraged her to start a ministry.
The work is
hard and slow. Deconversion from one faith to another does not happen in the
blink of an eye. Perhaps Etsuko may not see much fruit of the harvest until she
gets to the place where the Heavenly Father dwells. However, she wants both
dedicated and inactive Mormons to see that Jesus is our substitute, who
has done everything necessary for our salvation, not their creditor, to
whom they owe debts, or merely their example, showing them what they need to do.
She wishes to
develop an accurate, first-hand understanding of the teachings of Mormonism and
their culture, so she did several Institute courses at the (Mormon) Institute,
invited by Mormon missionaries between 2000 and 2005.
She holds a
Bachelor of Law from Gakushuin University in Tokyo and completed an Advanced
Diploma of Theology (Evangelism) from the Australian College of Theology through
Mary Andrews College, School of Christian Studies and Morling College.
married to Bruce Stanhope who loves cricket and rugby. Bruce is an active member
of a local Anglican Church. They both enjoy living near the harbour, listening
to classical music and watching rugby matches.
For her, there is nothing more exciting than rugby. However, she is an anonymous
English rugby supporter. She loves the way the English forward play, which is
not popular with her husband and other Australians. She is a Leicester Tigers
supporter. Her husband calls her, “Traitor!”