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Radio Free Mormon: 007: Have LDS Apostles Seen Jesus?

Today “Radio Free Mormon” continues with its newest episode “Have LDS Apsotles Seen Jesus?”  This episode discusses what we can know and not know and what perhaps can be assessed by the statements of LDS Leaders on whether they have seen the actual risen Christ or not.


FairMormon setting the bar

Reed Smoot Hearings

Elder Oaks defining their “Special Witness”

Special Witness 

FairMormon Revelation after Joseph Smith


As with all guest hosts, this Episode does not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Reel or Mormon Discussion Podcast.


Like this episode and others we have had from guest hosts,  Such contributions are highly desired.  My mission with Mormon Discussion Podcast is to bring great perspectives of Mormon History & Culture that helps struggling Latter-day Saints reconcile difficulties while being encouraged to stay in the Church.  If you wish to contribute either a Blog Post or a Audio Podcast Episode please do and send to me at ReelMormon AT gmail DOT com for consideration.


20 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 007: Have LDS Apostles Seen Jesus?”

  1. Thank you for your research. I met Elder Perry on my Mission. He had a strong spiritual presence. I have spiritual experiences at church. I am confused and disappointed with all the lies. Why do they think we can’t handle the truth.
    I would love hard copies of all your broadcasts. With the references. I would be willing to pay for them. Please keep up your good work. The Podcast is really helping me stay in the church.

    1. Ditto to Goneski2020 – I would be willing to pay for transcripts of Radio Free Mormon podcasts- they are packed full of facts and make solid, airtight cases.

      Thanks Radio Free Mormon.

        1. Ha ha – crickets when $ amounts are asked for. 🙂

          I suppose some of us were assuming RFM might already have a pdf or some written form of the podcast to share.

          Bill Reel – do you have any avenue for providing transcripts of your podcasts? Has anyone requested them before?

  2. Radio Free Mormon,

    I’ve heard several times that Lorenzo Snow claimed to see the Lord face to face in the Salt Lake City Temple. This would contradict Heber J. Grant later saying he never heard of anyone who saw the Lord after Joseph Smith, Jr.

    Is that story in dispute? Wondering why it was not included in this podcast. (?)


    1. The grand-daughter’s story is also found in the Primary 3 (lesson 7) manual. It is funny that it would be considered “too sacred” for Lorenzo Snow himself as one of the GA’s to tell about his encounter with Jesus in the temple. However, it is NOT too sacred for his grand-daughter to tell it…..and then to publish her account in a church-wide manual! Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

  3. Great question!

    Although the LDS Church does proclaim this as an actual experience of Lorenzo Snow, the provenance of this story gets messy fast.

    First, Lorenzo Snow never said this publicly. Nor did Lorenzo Snow commit this experience to writing, even in his private journal. Further, Lorenzo Snow appears to have never told any of the apostles, either. At least, none recorded having been told this, and there is no record of their ever mentioning it to anybody else.

    So where does the story come from?

    It comes from Lorenzo Snow’s granddaughter, who appears to have waited several decades before sharing it.

    No, actually it is messier than that. It actually comes from Lorenzo Snow’s son, LeRoi C. Snow, who three decades later said that Lorenzo Snow’s granddaughter told him this story. (Or possibly Lorenzo Snow’s niece.)

    So what we have is very late third-hand hearsay.

    And in the face of all this, we have President Grant saying in the 1940’s he is aware of no church leader to have seen Jesus since Joseph Smith. Obviously Lorenzo Snow never mentioned it to Heber Grant!

    What is going on here? It appears this is an urban myth created by either Lorenzo Snow’s granddaughter or his son, or a combination of both.

    In this way, it is not unlike the stories of the transfiguration of Brigham Young into Joseph Smith when Brigham Young was arguing the Twelve should take control of the LDS Church after Joseph’s death.

    John Hatch wrote an in-depth article on the subject of Lorenzo Snow’s purported vision in the Journal of Mormon History, Volume 42, No. 3, that came out in July of 2016.

    Here is one of his concluding paragraphs:

    “We are left with the conclusion that every account we have for Lorenzo Snow’s experience in the Salt Lake Temple comes from one person, LeRoi C. Snow, over three decades later, perhaps relying on a now-lost narrative by his niece, Allie Young Pond.” (172)

    You may be right that I should have included this story. But it gets so complicated so quickly that I felt it would get in the way of the main point of the podcast.

    Thanks for bringing it up here, though!


    1. Thank you so much!

      That’s way more info than I could find in a quick Google search (I basically read things like, “The Lord had to visit Lorenzo Snow in the hallway, not Holy of Holies, because the Lord no longer supported the church since they gave up polygamy” – crazy tall-tale, weird hybrid, suspect stories like that.)

      Thanks for doing the research and sharing.

    2. Interesting too, is the fact that this story is published in the teachings of Lorenzo Snow that was used just a few years ago for priesthood and Relief Society lessons.

    3. NONE of this true. He did tell others of it, though why he did who knows.Specifically Brigham Young Jr-he recorded it in his Sept. 13, 1898 diary entry. There is better evidence for it. If he kept a journal from that time period it was destroyed and according to Snow history his son Oliver came too late to prevent it’s loss. Heber J. Grant wrote in 1926 (not the 1940’s) of him not knowing of others seeing Christ, which even Hatch concedes he was wrong about there, were at the very least 2 known occasions of Apostles seeing Christ that Grant knew about, he probably forgot about them. There is no myth. This is from the Q12 and 1st Presidency minutes and there is more evidence than this

      “Pres[ident]. Snow then arose and said: There was no use in his making excuses as to inability, etc., to assume the vast responsibilities involved in the position to which he had been elected. He felt that it was for him to do the very best he could and depend upon the Lord. He knew the action taken by the Council was according to the mind and will of the Lord, who had shown and revealed to him several days ago that the First Presidency should be organized before the next conference. He had been feeling a little gloomy, and perhaps a little discouraged at the prospect, and the vast responsibility that would naturally fall upon him as President of the Twelve Apostles, and with this feeling he went before the Lord, offered up the signs of the Holy Priesthood and called upon Him to let light come to his mind. His prayer was answered, the Lord manifesting unto him clearly what he should do; also in regard to the counselors he should select when he became President of the Church, “And[,]” said he, “In accordance with the light given me, I now present to you the name of Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon as my first counselor, and of Joseph F. Smith as my second counselor”.

  4. Make PDFs Premium content or 50 dollars US. Either way I will continue to share broadcasts.
    I met Elder Maxwell in 86. He said all missionaries will be called home from South Pacific and sent to China within 2 years. 30 years later, still waiting?

  5. Again great solid research. Thank you so much!!
    Keep them coming. You do deserve $$$ for the stuff you put out, too bad I’m don’t really have much to give.

    However to do this for money would kind of take away from the validity of the material you are putting out.

  6. D&C 112:
    Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.
    25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;
    26 FIRST AMONG THOSE AMONG YOU, SAITH THE LORD, WHO HAVE PROFESSED TO KNOW MY NAME AND HAVE NOT KNOWN ME, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.

  7. From President Packer from “The Weak and the Simple of the Church” Oct 2007 general conference:

    “President McKay explained that one of the responsibilities of an Assistant to the Twelve was to stand with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as a special witness and to bear testimony that Jesus is the Christ. What he said next overwhelmed me: “Before we proceed to set you apart, I ask you to bear your testimony to us. We want to know if you have that witness.”

    I did the best I could. I bore my testimony the same as I might have in a fast and testimony meeting in my ward. To my surprise, the Brethren of the Presidency seemed pleased and proceeded to confer the office upon me.

    That puzzled me greatly, for I had supposed that someone called to such an office would have an unusual, different, and greatly enlarged testimony and spiritual power.

    It puzzled me for a long time until finally I could see that I already had what was required: an abiding testimony in my heart of the Restoration of the fulness of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith, that we have a Heavenly Father, and that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer.”

    A TBM might hope, right after saying that, that President Packer might include something in his talk to the effect of “but since that day, over 30 years ago, I have experienced much more as an apostle…” but he doesn’t suggest his current testimony as the president of the 12 is any more substantial than what he described above.

  8. I realize this is an older episode, but I am just discovering you now and I started at the beginning. Thank you for your work on this podcast.
    I want to push back a little on your comments about Wendy Watson. I had the unique experience of having her as my therapist when I was a young undergrad at BYU. She was brand new to BYU and still active in her practice as a therapist. She taught graduate-level coursework as well. The type of therapy she practiced was called Solution Focused therapy. A popular technique is to ask the client “what would happen if a miracle were to occur and __ were to occur?” It’s called the miracle question–look it up. It allows the client to think about what they want out of therapy (ie what’s the solution they are working toward), what they would do differently today (ie how to start working toward that solution), and how thinking differently could get them there. It was quite effective for me as a young person. I noticed for years after that Wendy uses it in nearly all her talks. I believe that was what she was trying to do in the talk you referenced about Christ talking to people on earth. She’s asking the audience to think about what would be different in their own lives if they knew had already occurred. Just thought I’d throw that out there. She was quite good at what she did professionally and I’ve been very sad to see her give up her own authority to transform into the doting Mormon wife.

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