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Radio Free Mormon: 069: The Corbridge Manuever – Part 1

Today on Radio Free Mormon RFM and Bill Reel dissect the talk Stand Forever, given on the 22nd of January 2019 by Elder Lawrence Corbridge, a member of the Seventy of the LDS Church.  Several Major Points come out

– Elder Corbridge seems to have had a level of faith crisis himself while on assignment from the Leadership to dig into “antagonistic material” regarding the Church.

-His gloom while claimed not to be Cognitive Dissonance (Belief Bias) and instead to be the absence of the Holy Ghost is irrational and illogical.

– The LDS Flow Chart regardless of your experience leads to the Church being true.  If you get an answer that the Church is true, then the Church is true.  If you get an answer that the Church isn’t true, you’ve been deceived and the Church is true.  If you get no answer, you are to rely on the words of others who know the Church is true because the Church is true.  If you decide the problematic issues (Secondary Questions) impose the Church isn’t true, then shift your focus to the the Primary Questions which you already decided point to the Church is true, because the Church is true.  All Roads lead to the Church is true. The Church has given you no viable formula to arrive at the Church is false.

– Elder Corbridge argues that the Divine method (Spiritual Feelings) trumps the Scientific Method, the Analytical Method, and the Academic Method (actual science) in spite of the Divine Method being historically demonstrably less effective at arriving at truth.  Even Prophets when allowing the Divine Method to trump the Other three have been led to great error decades on end.

– The reason the Divine Method is held up as superior and trumps the other three because the other three if allowed to be given their weight all lead the honest seeker of truth out of the Church.  Meanwhile the Divine method is the only method the Church can use to manipulate the person who wants the Church to be true to believe it is true.

– And they finish speaking to how much of his own faith crisis Elder Corbridge has exposed within his talk.



17 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 069: The Corbridge Manuever – Part 1”

  1. Constructive criticism: This podcast is much better when RFM flys solo. Bill tends to impute too much of his opinion/conclusions he has reached trying to lead us along to his way of thinking. And if we don’t agree, of course we are not being logical. I much prefer RFMs more benign method of laying out the facts and letting us decide for ourselves. I don’t need someone telling me how I should think about them. Bill’s method is just not my style. We are not cattle who need a nose ring.

    This doesn’t mean I don’t like Bill. It just means I like the podcast of RFM without Bill. I like RFMs style in and of itself.

    1. Bill here. No hurt feelings and thanks for sharing your two cents. We have gotten a ton of people who say they love the two of us together. While your the first to say otherwise, thank you for being honest.

    2. I second this criticism. With no hard feelings toward Bill, whom I appreciate greatly. I just really like the facts-based approach of RFM.

    3. I also second this. Bill knows the LDS version of things inside out, and yes the LDS version of things has many many problems. But the LDS version is not the only version of things. And just because I don’t agree with Bill doesn’t mean I’m being illogical. There is much logic in things that Bill claimns is illogical.

      I prefer to get the well researched data that RFM does and let me come up with my own conclusions. After all truth speaks for itself.

  2. Unfortunately, Elder Corbridge seems to be out of sync with this statement and these references as endorsed by the Quorum and Presidency and found at “The Church places great emphasis on knowledge and on the importance of being well informed about Church history, doctrine, and practices. Ongoing historical research, revisions of the Church’s curriculum, and the use of new technologies allowing a more systematic and thorough study of scriptures have all been pursued by the Church to that end. We again encourage members to study the Gospel Topics essays cited in the links below as they “seek learning, even by study and also by faith.”

    Essay Topics:

    Are Mormons Christian?
    Becoming Like God,
    Book of Mormon and DNA Studies,
    Book of Mormon Translation,
    First Vision Accounts,
    Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women,
    Mother in Heaven,
    Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints,
    Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
    Race and the Priesthood,

    Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham.”
    To repeat “We again encourage members to study the Gospel Topics essays cited in the links below as they “seek learning, even by study and also by faith.”” (“again”, “again”, “again”) The secondary supports the primary. Read lectures on faith – what does Joseph say faith is built on? Answer – a real experience that provides evidence, in this lecture (Lecture Second – The Object of Faith) he brings faith in God back to the experience of Adam and Cain. (Notably not his own experience.)
    “Adam thus being made acquainted with God, communicated the knowledge which he had unto his posterity; and it was through this means that the thought was first suggested to their minds that there was a God. Which laid the foundation for the exercise of their faith, through which they could obtain a knowledge of his character and also of his glory. Not only was there a manifestation made unto Adam of the existence of a God, but Moses informs us, as before quoted, that God condescended to talk with Cain after his great transgression, in slaying his brother, and that Cain knew that it was the Lord that was talking with him: so that when he was driven out from the presence of his brethren, he carried with him the knowledge of the existence of a God: and through this means, doubtless his posterity became acquainted with the fact that such a being existed. From this we can see that the whole human family, in the early age of their existence, in all their different branches, had this knowledge disseminated among them; so that the existence of God became an object of faith, in the early age of the world. And the evidences which these men had of the existence of a God, was the testimony of their fathers in the first instance. “ So we learn here from Joseph teaching at the School of The Prophets that faith is founded on the true experience of others. And, how did Joseph come to an understanding of the experiences of Adam? Study! And we know that Joseph studied and gleaned much of what was a catalyst for revelation from intense study. We know for example that his translation/revelation of the bible was based on intense scholastic study (BYU Journal of Undergraduate Research – Haley Wilson and Dr. Thomas Wayment – published after approval by the Quorum and First Presidency). “…the number of direct parallels between Smith’s translation and Adam Clarke’s biblical commentary are too numerous and explicit to posit happenstance or coincidental overlap. The parallels between the two texts number in the hundreds…open reliance on Clark…lean on Clarke’s commentary for matters of history, textual questions, clarification of wording, and theological nuance…”

    Elder Corbridge says that the primary questions must be answered first, as they are the most important. They include:
    • Is there a God who is our Father?
    • Is Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Savior of the world?
    • Was Joseph Smith a prophet?
    • Is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the kingdom of God on the earth?
    The problem here is that the using Elder Corbridge’s own words as a benchmark the last two bullet points are secondary questions.
    Whether Joseph was a prophet or not is irrelevant to the existence or our faith in God and Jesus Christ. As for the Kingdom of God on earth question the answer to this becomes problematic if we accept Joseph as a prophet, because (and you can do your own research-Joseph Smith papers) it is very clear that Joseph considered the Church as a PART of the Kingdom of God on earth – NOT the Kingdom of God in its own right. Read the Nauvoo Charter, Minutes of the 50, as just two of many resources to support this statement.
    If we take Joseph’s faith lecture as a guide, then sticking to the terms used by Elder Corbridge, I believe we build the primary based on the secondary.
    Yes, we must look under the hood. “What makes this car run? What is under the hood?” “Nothing, nothing it runs by magic!”
    Finally, if you want to read another talk, from a different GA taking a totally different approach go to:

  3. As I was listening to the last 15 minutes or so of this episode, a pair of thoughts from the early D&C crossed my mind regarding the discussion about the divine ask and receive method of getting questions answered and such.

    I think it’s interesting that in both cases the Lord is rebuking the prophet Joseph Smith for misuse of this ‘divine’ method, and in both cases it’s mentioned that spiritual gifts are withheld from the prophet because of his trespasses in applying the ‘divine’ method.

    1.) In D&C 9, the Lord specifically tells Joseph and Oliver that the ‘divine’ method only exists to confirm or deny theories that have withstood scrutiny under the other methods (scientific, analytical and academic) and that the divine method simply will not function until we’ve invested in personal experimentation. My reading of this is that often things will manifest their truthfulness simply through the process of ‘studying it out in [our] mind’ to the point that they don’t require divine certification, and this is 100% in line with Moroni’s promise which makes a similar demand that the Book of Mormon be read and that the reader then ponder the text against the history of the world from Adam to the present day. But all of that effort must be done prior to asking for divine confirmation.

    2.) Jumping back to D&C 3, we have a revelation given rebuking Joseph and Martin Harris about the fall out of the 116 lost manuscript pages. I think this story is particularly interesting because it demonstrates that at a certain point the Lord will actually cede to our demands and allow us to follow our own confirmation bias to frustration, not of His works, but our own. Joseph and Martin asked twice about the pages, and the Lord said no. On the third attempt, the Lord put the responsibility on the two men, let them reap the consequences, and then withdrew His spiritual gifts – A point which he underlines in verse 11 where he explicitly states that he’s absolutely willing to strip Joseph Smith, His chosen restoration prophet (who, it must be noted, is in this moment in the process of translating the fundamental texts of His restored church) of all spiritual gifts and make him ‘as other men’.

    The point being, this ‘divine’ method requires a lot more work on our part than this talk implies, and that we can personally override the responses that this ‘divine’ test yields by pestering God for the answers that we want. Which is pretty much what I think this series of talks has been asking us to do.

  4. A quick follow up, I think there are easy answers, albeit uncomfortable ones:

    Will God let the Church pursue white supremacist policies limiting participation of persons of color for 100+ years? If the leaders are convinced of their thinking of other races as lesser than whites, sure. Will God allow the leadership to commit grave sexual sin and practice polygamy if they’ve already made up their minds to do so? Sure. Will God allow the Church to dissemble and obfuscate the details of their own history? Actively punish LGBTQ members? Claim that they have infallible power? Excommunicate any and all dissidents? Build a multi-billion dollar shopping complex in downtown Salt Lake City if they’re convinced of the marketing data? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

    But there’s a clear consequence to that: Their works will eventually be publicly frustrated, and long before that they’ll simply be stripped of authority and reduced to being ‘as other men’.

  5. This guy gave the same talk in my Stake Conference last year. Almost word for word. Crazy. Wish I would have recorded it. His whole mission is to give this talk everywhere.

  6. Isn’t experiencing warm fuzzy feelings about the LDS scripture something that’s used to support its truth claims?

    Perhaps Corbridge is using the feelings of “gloom” in association with reading about criticisms of the LDS church to imply that the criticisms are untrue? Is this a connection a typical LDS member would make?

  7. The great lie is the corporation claims, “If you receive confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true, then everything else falls into place and so the church must be true.”

    Nope! The church pays its supposed-keystone, the Book of Mormon, complete and utter lip service while basically adopting everything it warns against.

      1. Bill! I feel a strong need to thank you for the level of honesty you purvey!! When we have live long lives in orthodoxy & never question!! I know I’ll never be completely well! I lost more than I can fathom! Thank the Lord that you share the total honesty. Of how we grieve…ruination. I love everything you put out there!! It’s so much pain. We need to heal & anger is a must!! Thank you!

  8. Daheshism teaches that it does not matter if Joseph Smith was a fraud or true Prophet. We are judged by how we treat others, not by our beliefs or lack of belief.

  9. Thank you for this beautiful talk! It is so well put together and an excellent message! This talk is inspiring and over the many years I’ve studied and watched as life has rolled by – it is very accurate. I’ve seen many changes in the world since I was very young. I am so grateful to have found a solid path to walk on and follow after searching for truth. I am so grateful for the beautiful gift of the Holy Ghost!

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