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Radio Free Mormon: 027: Elder Ballard Blows Up The Church

Radio Free Mormon’s Thanksgiving Day Episode
RFM tackles Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard in their Face to Face broadcast, from behind enemy lines.  Elder Ballard says Church leaders have never, ever, never, ever, ever, hidden difficult pieces of our faith’s history.  RFM then proceeds to not only show that the Church has lied on a few occasions but rather has demonstrated a pattern of continuous lying and deception since its inception.

Transcript of this episode


49 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 027: Elder Ballard Blows Up The Church”

  1. It would be nice to have links to the references that you make in your richly informative podcasts? I know it’s extra work and a lot of time is spent as it is, but if not all references just some.

    I wonder if it’s possible to have a kinder tone besides the constant critical one, although I agree that it is rather upsetting. What are honest, truth loving members of the church supposed to do once we process this information?

    1. David I think the tone of RFM is great. Afterall, he is ‘Broadcasting from behind enemy lines’, I think Bill and Jack’s episodes give great balance to the criticism. Both sides are needed.

      1. Thanks, Hauser! My tone may have been snarkier in this episode than others. If it was, it is probably because what Elder Ballard said outraged me so much! In fact I was doing all I could to keep from yelling into the microphone. Thanks for listening!

        1. RFM tone, as well as those other fact finding/fact reevealimg/rational discussion web sites and pod casts, become inherently connected to the frustration experienced by those who study church history in depth and understand clearly the level of lies, deception and fraud that church leaders have, and do, engage in. Real people are being really hurt by these leaders, and have been for generations. Thus, if someone is witness to a mugging, yes, it would be “nice” to speak gently about the mugger. But, it would be more appropriate for the tone to be something different than that. Context and facts affect proper tone. As church leaders choose to be more and more enboldenened by getting away with lying, truthful guardians must speak more and more firmly. I am a sixth generation member. The church never would have survived wothout my ancestor. So, I truly wish the Brethren displayed more honesty and integrity. But, they do not. It’s their choice.

    2. David
      I understand your desire that things be « kinder ». However, the scriptures remind us that « The Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls” (Jacob 4:13; see also D&C 93:24). Thé truth of things is not always kind or pleasant. In fact, it can be quite jarring. A jarring presentation is not necessarily wrong but it may make you uncomfortable in order to wake you to a truth.

      1. Good points, Jan!

        On the whole, I think I am probably kinder and gentler than John the Baptist. And also most of the prophets we find in the Book of Mormon. I just cannot imagine most of the sermons in the Book of Mormon being given in a general conference tone of voice. No, it strikes me that those sermons must have been given in a fiery Soutkern Baptist type of delivery.

        Somewhere along the way the LDS church got into the habit of giving sermons in the same manner business meetings are conducted. Sermons became talks. The Spirit became reverence. I think that was the moment the apostasy in the LDS church finally took hold.

  2. Dear RFM,

    Another stellar podcast which ads evidence to the growing stack of evidence that our church leaders feel no hesitancy in telling only the faith-promoting slant on every statement that they make.

    “The Amazing Contradicting Joseph Smith” was the one podcast that stuck me like a bolt of lightening. How can members of the LDS church have faith, or hope, or trust in any of the millions of words from our leaders when those words change like the shifting sands of the Arabian desert?

    Not only foundational statements are called into question as to their accuracy or validity, but the obfuscation continues to the latest moment.

    I feel sorry for David who seems to need the leaders’ words (and actions I might ad) to be honest and fully disclosing, when they are no such thing. I, too, am surrounded by those who need their leaders to be forthright and infallible. I harbor no such need, and don’t expect that mere mortals can make such claims in the first place. We are frequently counseled in scripture to distrust ANY man’s words, yet members seem to discount those scriptures and accept conflicting pronouncements from the authorized leadership as if they are an unchangeable God’s very words.

    As in the words of Charlie Brown, “Good grief!”

    Great job RFM, as I have come to expect nothing less from you.

    Your podcasts are at the top of my must listen to list.

    Thank you for your diligence in ferreting out the inconsistencies from our leaders, which we LDS face on a continuing basis.

    Love how your mind works.


    1. Great comments Gale!

      Maybe the worst thing about Elder Ballard’s statement was when he said that being honest is the Lord’s way. He can correctly identify the Lord’s way, but it appears he has no intention of following it. At least in this instance.

  3. Good grief! indeed.

    Five a.m. is not a good time for me to be proof-reading my own comments. Please forgive me as I have just noticed that not once — but twice — I wrote the word “ad” when I really meant “add”. My bad. Perhaps some of the cobwebs have been cleared out by now, but take caution as you read my comments.

    Dear RFM, please keep digging the truth out of the proverbial rabbit hole or memory hole; we need to know the truth so we can be set free.


    1. Roger that, Gail!

      When I was young, The church taught me to study the Scriptures, to study the doctrine, to study the history. And I took it seriously. I spent countless hours studying Mormonism, only to find out that the church didn’t really want me to do that in the first place.

      I became the Mormon who knew too much!

      I know where the bodies are buried. The truth is out there. And I am taking as much of the truth as I can and cramming it into each episode of radio free Mormon.

      Thanks for listening!

  4. As soon as I heard M.R.Ballard state that the church leaders have never hidden anything, I knew you would be presenting something good later on.
    I will grant the leaders that it is human nature that people will hide things and make them look less than great… its natural and I get it. Still, it doesn’t make it right… and definitely not honest, true, chaste, benevolent, etc.
    Thanks, RFM. You did not disappoint.

    1. Good points, Ben!

      I think one of the main problems the church has is that they have painted a picture of a prophet as someone who is doctrinally and morally infallible.

      And then they decided to erase all the parts that did not fit that picture. And have done their best to hide that information from the members and the world.

  5. As usual you’re wrong. You’re exaggerating what Elder Ballard said, which sadly fits into your ego. For some reason you seem to want attention or as the scriptures say “the praise of the world” look it up and see what God thinks about that. it’s okay, you can drop all this historical stupidity that you engage in and repent.

    1. i don’t know how giving the exact quote counts as exaggeration. Maybe some of the examples RFM gives are a bit of a stretch.

      M.R. Ballard said what he said, and then its up to us to decide whether or not it is true; “There has been no attempt on the part, in any way, of the church leaders trying to hide anything from anybody”

      1. They are trying to be as transparent as they know how to be. The Church is different today than it used to be. 90% of people don’t care about history and in the Church it’s no different but the church is putting out the information. What he said is true. The fact that we even know about different documents of LDS history show what Elder Ballard said is true.

        1. Have you actually listened to this podcast, whizzbang?

          The only reason we know about some of these documents is not because the church releasd them voluntarily, but because the church’s efforts to continue hiding them was the thwarted when the fact the church had these documents was leaked to the press.

          How do you account for that? Does that not sound like the church was hiding information and documents?

        2. “as transparent as they know how to be”? Millions of members, multiple church schools, an entire Church Educational System, and the Church Historian is a lawyer.

          Also, have you read your last sentence out loud? Or even silently in your own mind?

  6. Dear RFM….

    I watched the replay of this silly “Answers to Questions” event on Monday night and knew that you would be hard at work creating another great podcast based on Elder Ballard’s truth claim. I squirmed in my chair and wanted to scream when I heard him declare the transparency of the church.

    You hit all the great talking points and your background fact checking is right in line to share with the world behind enemy lines.

    I was also amazed at the vanilla type of answers Oaks and Ballard provided to some of the questions. In fact, in some situations they didn’t even answer the question. They offered some good advice to the single adults like getting off smart phones and talking to each other in a dating process. But none of this sounds Prophetic or spiritually offered. It’s just good advice like I tell my own children of dating age.

    Keep up the great work. I hope through the underground word of mouth people start finding your podcast more and more!


    1. I am glad you noticed this too, Elder Van Halen!

      So interesting that on a number of occasions, even with weeks of preparation, some of the answers managed to completely avoid the question itself.

      Unfortunately there was nobody there who had the ability or the motivation to ask any follow-up questions.

      As I say it was all completely scripted and the outcome was determined in advance. The only wildcard was Elder Ballard and his little black notebook of tricks.

    1. It is funny, Tom, that two men who so obviously do not have the answers to all the questions nevertheless act like they have the answers to all the questions!

  7. I have been crazy active (interpret “crazy” however you wish) in the LDS church for 61 yrs. I’ve lived through Mark Peterson, BKP, EzTB, The Miracle of Forgiveness, JFS, JFS Jr (Bruce R. Mc). Long before I knew that cognitive dissonance and independent thinking can eventually be good for the mind and soul, I asked the “wrong” questions in my church classes, and carried the requisite guilt (shame was taught to me later). Is it any wonder my best response was to climb out the basement window (chapel built in 1899) of the Sunday School and Primary classroom? And now, after decades of only slightly controlled comments, I find that I’M NOT ALONE AND I’M LIKELY NOT THE CRAZY ONE! Viva la RFM! Viva la internet! I agree with you RFM, Church transparency really can’t be viva-ed yet.

    1. Seven years ago with the help of church sources and the internet, I realized that I wasn’t the crazy one. Some four years ago I learned that I wasn’t alone. I like some things about the church organization, but for crying out loud, let’s be honest with each other. The term “gas lighting” is one that church leaders should become familiar with, because they are still hurting people by trying to isolate them from their families and friends by silly talks saying “only read church approved sources.” Hence, friends and family, in the effort to “follow the leaders” are discouraged from, and even frightened away from getting “both sides” of the story. It’s creepy and dishonest by their own (church leaders) standards.

      1. Church leaders: We encourage members to ask questions. Here is a list of approved questions church members may ask.

        Church leaders: We encourage members to study about the church and its history. Here is a list of approved sources the members should study.

        Church leaders: We encourage members to pray to receive their own revelation as to whether what church leaders are saying is true. But the only approved revelation is one that confirms the teachings of church leaders.

        Church leaders: We encourage members to ask questions, to study church history, and to pray to find out for themselves if what church leaders say is true. We are being as transparent as we know how to be!

  8. This might be my favorite episodes! My mother, after learning about me leaving the church, has sent an enormous amount of church literature. I would love to send this episode to her but I’m worried with the lack of references, she’d quickly dispute it as unfounded claims.

    I know it’s extra work to post or show those, I’ve been searching on my end as well. Even to have the 13 instances of deceit would be helpful for my searching.

    Regardless, thank you for your hard work. I know how tricky it can be to report behind enemy lines 😀

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Mr. Caine.

      What might be effective with your mother is to send her the podcast as is; then if she disputes any of the facts; you can show the documentation.

      That way she kind of walks into it. If you know what I mean.

      Still trying to get a bead on whether there is anything in particular you want a reference for.

      Kind of swamped with work right now to go back and put up everything.

      But one or two I think I could handle at present.

      Thanks for listening!


  9. I LOVE your podcasts.

    Mormonthink did a good job on the essays, but I would love your detailed mind and eye to details to also go over them with a fine tooth comb.

    1. Thanks so much, Happy Hubby!

      The essays are something I have considered reviewing. Maybe I will get the time some day.

      To be honest, the church keeps coming up with new stuff that needs to be reviewed with such frequency that it has kind of put me behind on older subjects I have on my to-do list!

      These are strange times for the LDS Church.

      It would seem they are starting to get desperate.

      Otherwise it is hard to account for so many unforced errors.


    I would love to see a Podcast where you and Elder Ballard sit down and discuss these matters open and honest to everyone.

  11. Dear Radio Free Mormon,
    I love your podcast. I am having trouble finding the episode in which you discuss Elder Oaks’ recent talk. “The Plan and the Proclamation.” Also, I can’t find episodes 015-018. Can you please post urls for these episodes? Thanks!

  12. Can anyone post a link to the promo video in which Ballard states that he tries to avoid the questions to which he doesn’t know the answers? I’ve heard that quoted around the bloggernacle, but I haven’t seen the original source.

    Thank you!

    1. The entirety of the audio is available in my prior podcast on it.

      But it is becoming more difficult to find on the Internet.

      I believe the church took at least one version down from YouTube after it started drawing well-deserved fire.

      Good luck!

  13. I was surprised RFM didn’t use the quotes from Gordon Hinckley about church money, and how those records are only made available to church members. That was one of the biggest lies I’ve ever heard.

    I’m still waiting to see some real financial disclosure that doesn’t come through mormonleaks.

    RFM,…you had so many lies to choose from, I suppose you could have gone on a lot longer as well.

  14. RFM, you are my hero. Best Mormon issues podcast of all time. And I have listened to most of them. I thought I was pretty well versed in the issues but you are getting to a whole new level. I want to support you financially. Do I just donate to Mormon Discussion? One note from an earlier podcast, Paul Cheesman is pronounced chess man. He was a South America is where BofM happened believer.

  15. RFM – fantastic episode. Really love your attention to detail and the topics you take on.

    I wonder if you would consider doing some research into the priesthood restoration, particularly the purported timeline of restoration events as told by the church contrasted with the findings by Quinn in “The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power.” Personally, this is one of the most unsettling instances of nuanced church history to me, if Quinn’s examination and inferences are accurate. I’m curious if you – given your extensive personal research – have run into any other insights on this topic, and why many of the early members were somewhat shocked by the after-the-fact news of it having occurred. Did Joseph and Oliver really experience these things? Or was it made up after the fact for administration/authority purposes?

    I have found no resource that puts my mind at ease/peace with this issue…

    Again, thanks for all you do! And thank you for your consideration.

    1. Andrew,
      I am not RFM but here is a little bit that I put together:

      No mention of “Conferring Priesthood” before 1831 when it is conferred at the conference in June of 1831 by the laying on of hands which was NOT mentioned as the “Melchizedek Priesthood” specifically but the “High Priesthood”.

      Even Joseph Smith was ordained to the High Priesthood by Lyman Wight 1831

      Why would Joseph Smith be given the High Priesthood in 1831 if he already had it in 1829?

      There are many apologists that say it was written wrong and that it meant to say he was ordained as a “High Priest” not given the “High Priesthood”. However, there are many other journal entries a book published by those who were there that said “High Priesthood”.

      John The Baptist (Aaronic Priesthood): D&C 13 says: May 15 1829
      “1 Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.”

      However, that was not what was originally recorded in 1834 which is the original written account of this event.

      “Priesthood of Aaron” and what the keys held were not included until 1841-1842 when it made it’s way into the Joseph Smith History.

      It didn’t become D&C 13 until 1876.

      So what was originally written? In 1834 the original draft says in part:

      “On a sudden, as from the midst of eternity, the voice of the redeemer spake peace to us, while the vail was parted and the angel of God came down clothed with glory, and delivered the anxiously looked for message, and the keys of the gospel of repentance!—What Joy! what wonder! what amazement! while the world were wracked and distracted—while millions were grouping [groping] as the blind for the world wall, and while all men were resting upon uncertainty, as a general mass, our eyes beheld—our ears heard. As in the “blaze of day;” yes more—above the glitter of the may sun beam, which then shed its brilliancy over the face of nature! Then his voice, though mild, pierced the to the center, and his words, [“]I am thy fellow servant,” dispelled every fear. We listened—we gazed—we admired! Twas the voice of the angel from glory—twas a message from the Most High! and as we heard we rejoiced, while his love enkindled upon our souls, and we were wrapt in the vision of the Almighty! Where was room for doubt? No where: uncertainty had fled, doubt had sunk, no more to rise, while fiction and deception had fled forever!
      But, dear brother think further think for a moment, what Joy filled our hearts, and with what surprise we must have bowed, (for who would not have bowed the knee for such a blessing?) when we received under his hand the holy priesthood, as he said, [“]upon my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer this priesthood, and this authority, which shall remain upon earth, that the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering into the Lord in righteousness!”

      See it here:

      Only part of it would later become D&C 13 which doesn’t at all match. Furthermore, if you take the original writings in 1834, they don’t match the other stuff found in the JSH where D&C 13 comes from. It doesn’t include them laying hands on each other or even baptizing each other or any mention of the name John.

      The name John would first make an appearance when D&C 27 gets published in 1835 and changes the whole revelation given in Book of Commandments from 1833 that is also the first time we hear of Peter, James and John.

      Joseph Smith himself was not the person who first brought up John the Baptist. The first time it was brought up was by Cowdery in 1835.

      Melchizedec / Melchizedek Priesthood (Peter, James and John)

      Peter, James and John: No mention until 1835 When it gets published in Doctrine and Covenants as Section 27

      The Original Section 27 (Chapter 28) that was in the Book of Commandments can be found here which only contains 7 verses:

      It says in the opening part that it was received in August 1830 “Revelation, circa August 1830” then in the first verse it says “A Commandment to the church of Christ, given in Harmony, Pennsylvania, September 4, 1830.”

      In D&C 27, it says “Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, August 1830. In preparation for a religious service at which the sacrament of bread and wine was to be administered, Joseph set out to procure wine. He was met by a heavenly messenger and received this revelation, a portion of which was written at the time and the remainder in the September following. Water is now used instead of wine in the sacramental services of the Church.”

      Which matches the August and September 1830 part. However, now D&C 27 contains 18 verses and mentions of Elias, Elijah, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John etc.

      Priesthood of the Bible: The Leviticus Priesthood of Aaron and the “Order of Melchizedek” are interesting and the history is too. There isn’t a lot mentioned in regards to having priesthood in the New Testament as it is a very Old Testament system. Because the Aaronic priesthood is from the tribe of Levi being that Aaron is a son of Levi it is referred to the “Levitical Priesthood”. Interesting enough, Aaron was still considered to be the “High Priest”. The reason Melchizedek was considered as a “Higher Priesthood” was because of the fact that Abraham paid his tithes to Melchizedek which would have made Melchizedek a “Higher Priest”. Also, the Priesthood of Aaron required an infinite sacrifice where as the Melchizedek only required a single sacrifice (Jesus). Also, according to the Law, Jesus wasn’t able to hold the Priesthood of Aaron being that he wasn’t a decedent of Aaron.

      There are also references to Melchizedek being a type of Christ (forerunner) or that Melchizedek was in fact Jesus.

      Book of Mormon: Only Alma 4 and Alma 13 talk about Priesthood which Alma 13 is the only place the name Melchizedek is mentioned as the person and not the priesthood. Aaronic Priesthood is not mentioned and neither is Levitical Priesthood.

      Early on after the Church was established, there wasn’t a good knowledge or power vs authority, keys and offices. Ordinances were done without stating that it was done by any particular priesthood. David Whitmer said that he never heard about Peter, James and John until at least 4 years after the church was established. He felt that Sidney Rigdon was influencing Joseph Smith too much.

      David also felt there were issues with people being called as “High Priests” because Jesus was supposed to be the last High Priest and after him, there weren’t any called in the Church He established.


  16. I’m tired of elder Ballard non stop demanding we trust him and don’t pray about it or try to get revelation.
    Stop lying elder Ballard. He doesn’t want people to pray or seek their own answers. He only wants people to listen to and trust him. There’s power and authority that comes with that and he doesn’t want to lose it. There were Judas’s in all other times and there are Judas’s now. Opposition in “all” things.

    Ballard: “listen to the prophets. Listen to the apostles. We won’t lead you astray. We CANNOT lead you astray”. This is putting our trust in the arm of flesh and diminishing personal revelation. “Don’t listen to your thoughts or feelings. You won’t get revelation or hear things or see visions. Just listen to us. And stay in the boat. (It’s interesting that Peter got OUT of the boat to come into Christ and that Christ asked him to get out of the boat where it was safe but trust him fully.

    The Lord stated, “Come, follow me” (Matt. 4:19; ; John 10:27, 12:26; 2 Ne. 31:12; Luke 9:23, 59 D&C 38:22, 100:2). Men now teach us to “follow the prophet.” They say “look to the Brethren” and “we cannot and will not lead you astray.” These well-meaning statements are not found in scripture. They contribute to the idolatry among us. Such sentiments may have begun on Oct. 6, 1890, when Pres. Wilford Woodruff stated, “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.”

    2 Ne 4:34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

    Additionally this is a great read on idolatry:

  17. When Ballard says “Gone are the days….” repeatedly, he is directly quoting a letter I sent to him, and 9 other Apostles, years ago, about how the Church needed to change its attitudes on how to deal with “DGQs” (different gospel questions i.e. anti-Mormon questions). Direct quote from my letter. I sent the letter to the homes of the Apostles. I did not trust their Assistants at the COB to deliver them. I also suggested, years ago, for the 2-hour block on Sunday, giving the reasons that 1) new converts can’t handle it, and 2) poor Members in Latin America must take buses on Sunday, 1 to 2 hours to get to church, 3 hours at church, and 1 to 2 hours back by bus is too long: to hard on the women especially. I made many more “suggestions” to them. No question that “Gone are the days…” is directly from my letter to Ballard (and 8 other apostles).

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