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Radio Free Mormon: 22: General Conference Post Mortem October 2017 Part 1

RFM tackles the 2017 October General Conference.  Complimenting Holland, Dissecting Eyring, being a wingman for Uchtdorf, and even a Freudian Slip.  Broadcasting behind enemy lines RFM covers the womens session through Saturday night’s priesthood session in this part 1 of a 3 part series!!!!


25 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 22: General Conference Post Mortem October 2017 Part 1”

  1. Great podcast as usual. It seems like we are collectively wrestling with the issue of what to do with the idea that leaders make mistakes without shifting our paradigm, which is impossible.

    1. I agree about this, Felix.

      President Uchtdorf may have led the way on this issue.

      Or President Uchtdorf may have opened a can of worms other apostles are trying to shut.

  2. Dear RFM,

    Love your acerbic comments on the gen. conference talks. I know of no one who can get to the kernel of truth like you can.

    This time I am the one who gave the diabolical chuckle, when you made the ‘Elder Hoax’ slip of the tongue.

    I was so glad to hear you trying to coax the brethren to use the word ‘grace’ in your estimate of the pronouncement that we must be perfect. There is only one way to be perfect in mortality and that is to hook our belief on Christ’s righteousness and through His grace be acceptable to God in the here and now. Good job!

    I await with glee the second half of your gen conf post mortem.

    God bless you for your humorous and your well placed words. What a joy it is to listen to your podcasts.


    1. Thanks so much for your kind words of support, Gale!

      I am gearing up to record part 2 tonight.

      With any luck it will be up Sunday morning!

  3. Jack. Good podcast on conference. However, I will miss your “sarcastic tone” if you choose to be more docile in your podcasts. I disagree with the listener a week or so ago that you are “an angry man”. I don’t think so. I just think you are a good broadcaster who adds some additional spice and flavor to your work! Keep up the good work.

      1. 4 for 4, although I may give you 5/4 for this series. Part 2 was 6/4. The David (A.) Bednar part absolutely brought me to my knees laughing. Elder B. was in our ward many years ago (he was YM pres). I knew what the A. stood for back then with no doubt whatsoever.

        So, Insightful. I laughed. 6/4. Can’t wait for the third sequel.

        1. I should clarify. Elder Bednar (A for Allan) is a strong personality. He made himself known here as he has everywhere else he has lived.

  4. Great podcast RFM. I appreciate the time you take going through the talks and identifying these items. I have thought in a similar way for years, but you are able to articulate these issues very well.

  5. Elder Eyering’s talk was eye opening for me, because it was one of the most blatant examples of a common problem in conference talks; the stories told do not support the conclusions that the GAs make. I was initially excited about Eyering’s story. Here was a story that featured an acknowledgement of the imperfect nature of our leader’s, a clear case of positive meaningful personal revelation, a member who showed critical thinking and initiative in challenging a church leader, and the leader and member benefiting from an honest dialogue in that context. In short, exactly the type of interaction that would happen in a church i would want to be in. Not only that, but this lesson is clearly faith affirming, since it was actively shared on the largest platform Eyering has, General Conference.

    But that’s not what the lesson is. In direct contradiction to the clear implications of the story, Eyering tells us that we are to continue blindly trusting our church leaders, that when we know they are wrong we still have to completely obey them, and never to tell anyone else. I thought this last part was especially interesting. If telling people that Elder Eyering got a revelation wrong is really so terrible for people’s faith, then why did he tell the story in the first place? If someone is in the same situation as that member in the story, they aren’t supposed to tell anyone else about the growth in faith (that the story clearly says happens) so that others can follow in the same path?

    I also think there’s a connection to one of your previous episodes, Faith to not be healed, where Eyering tells all the stories of people with faith in his healing power not being healed, and the lesson is that healing miracles exist in the church. I would be interested to see how many other places there are such non-sequiters told.

    Thank you for your podcast, it has really encouraged me to think about mormonism in a new way.

    1. You are super welcome, Tim!

      I like your insight about the internal contradiction in President Eyring’s talk–that on the one hand he says you should never speak about your leaders getting things wrong so as not to diminish the faith of others; but yet here is President Eyring blabbing publicly about the same story in Priesthood Session!

      How crazy is that!

      It appears he violates his fundamental rule because he has a bigger picture in mind.

      And I agree that the bigger goal is to try to apply the “lessons” he learned from this little experience when he was a bishop receiving bad revelation for a freshman with a “little” concern, and wanting it applied to church leaders past present.

      He is sacrificing a pawn to protect the queen.

    2. Also wanted to mention that there are TONS of other places in GC where stories about Mormons NOT being healed are told.

      The Sunday sessions from this past GC are RIFE with such stories.

      They are hard to miss when you know what to look for.

      I am busy editing my review of the Sunday morning session for publication this . . . Sunday!

  6. I’m loving your podcasts RFM.

    I’m in my mid 50’s and spent decades trying to stay awake during conferences due to boredom. Meanwhile my wife badgered me to and make positive or spiritual comments to our young family so that they would enjoy conference and learn from the “so called” Prophets, Seers, and Revelators.

    I have now taken the red pill (Matrix) and am thoroughly enjoying learning about how deep the rabbit hole goes. I have a renewed interest in watching and listing to conference talks, now that my ears and eyes have been opened. Hearing your commentary and listening to other podcasts lets me know I’m not alone in this journey now that my blinders are off.

    Thanks for your great work and I look forward to more and more….


    1. Mormonism becomes MUCH more interesting when you start finding out about all the stuff the church has tried so long to keep you from finding out!

  7. RFM,

    Thank you for producing another thought-provoking podcast. I had very similar reactions to both Elder Holland’s and Elder Eyring’s talks. It’s very frustrating to listen to doublespeak in real time.

    With regard to President Uchtdorf’s talk from the Women’s session of conference, I thought he was speaking about the recent events in Charleston, SC. The church took a bit of criticism for a somewhat weak initial statement on that event. I thought he was trying to drive home the idea that the church is not racist or white supremacist (which, if that was his message, is probably a debate for another time).

    Did you consider that before concluding that he was speaking indirectly about the church’s stance on LGBT issues? If so, what made you come down on the side you did?

    Again, thank you for your thoughtful work.

    1. Good point, Jake!

      You may be right about how Elder Uchtdorf’s remarks were intended.

      I think they can be interpreted either way.

      This is one of the problems I have with GA’s virtually never talking about what they are talking about. They just talk around things, or direct a few remarks toward an idea or subject without really identifying what it is.

      This can leave their remarks open to multiple interpretations. In this case, I think either interpretation is positive, and I am not as a rule opposed to multiple interpretations of things.

      The problem is that when things are said so vaguely, they are so easy for the intended audience to never even get the message.

      And often, the message is so generalized that not only can the intended target not get the message, the intended target can actually understand the message as supporting the target’s world view, even though the message was originally intended to contradict the target’s world view.

  8. This podcast felt unfairly assessed in my opinion. I don’t believe the Apostles are that sophisticated or calculated in their delivery of General Conference.

    They address a wide audience casting a broad net, trying to deliver a safe gospel message to everyone.

    If this isn’t the case it’s truly alarming, but I have a hard time believing it’s anything but. I think their talks are delivered from a heart felt position and wish the believer the best in their Mormon journey back to Christ.

    This podcast didn’t resonate with me as much as others, as picking apart someone else’s words seems unfair without having an opportunity to rebuttal.

    Jefferey R. Holland for instance, is in the same position as Paul when he mentions shall we sin so that grace may abound? God forbid. That is not the purpose of Grace.

    I think as a church a lot of us have moved to position of grace ever since Brad Wilcox delivered it. We have been moving away from perfectionism for several years now.

    Elder Hoax even as ill-intended as we might want to portray him is coming from a position he honestly believes as does the rest of the group.

    While the majority of us online have progressed to a more enlightened perspective, I think we ought to grant them some charity. Otherwise we come across as schmucks.

    At the same time, I can’t help but think you have a point in everything you say, but it’s not what you say it’s how you say it.

    President Eyring for instance wants to let the members know that they aren’t perfect without bursting anyone’s faith or bubble. I guess one would have to think what would happen if the top leadership came clean with whatever their perspectives really are and not perpetuate unnecessary myths.

    Would the church fall apart if they did?

  9. Dear RFM,

    I’ve been on a steady (and healthy) podcast diet since my faith passed away 10 short months ago. I just want to say that your recently discovered podcast has become my all-time favorite! Please keep up the good work and let us hear your infectious, robust laughter more often!

    Thank you SO MUCH!!

    1. I really appreciate the kind words, Chris!

      I am slowly starting to allow more of my personality into my podcasts.

      The next installment of the General Conference Post Mortem, which goes up this Sunday, has me laughing two or three times.

      These are things I used to edit out, but more and more I am leaving them in.

      I have not gotten to the point where I feel okay about leaving in the swear words I sometimes shout when I keep mispronouncing words, though.


  10. Thanks for your comments, David. I agree with much of what you say.

    The one thing I want to push back on is your comment: “This podcast didn’t resonate with me as much as others, as picking apart someone else’s words seems unfair without having an opportunity to rebuttal.”

    Here is where you lost me.

    Each and everyone of the leaders whose words I “picked apart” has every opportunity in the world for rebuttal.

    I am just a little fish in a little pond broadcasting on a little podcast.

    The church has general conference, its own magazines and periodicals, its own webpage.

    Heck, the church actually owns radio and TV stations.

    In other words, the church has an overwhelming opportunity to rebut anything and everything I say.

    But you know as I know that they won’t.

    They speak from their pulpit then go back to sit in their high-backed red plush chairs. None of the regular members get to speak with them and no questions or follow up is allowed to their comments.

    They are as remote as the gods of the Greeks on the top of Mount Olympus.

    The information’s not available to the mortal man.

    This is what I think is unfair. Not the idea that they don’t have the opportunity to rebut my podcast.

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