Skip to content

Radio Free Mormon: 070: The Corbridge Manuever – Part 2

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.



5 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 070: The Corbridge Manuever – Part 2”

  1. Corbridge’s appeal to the miraculous character of the ordinary is very strange. It amounts to an appeal to an extreme form of relativism. In essence he says, “after all, even our very existence is batshit crazy when you think about it, so why not all the apparently crazy stuff at the foundations of Mormonism?” This argument–or appeal, rather–could apply to any/every belief of any/every person. The only thing that makes it an argument for belief in Mormon claims is personal preference. And this is meant to persuade the bright young minds of the church? Some prophet, seer, or revelator is going to have to do better. While they’re at it, maybe they can tell us who the Lamanites are. And, by the way, this would be a good topic for an episode, i.e., the history of the disappearing Lamanites, who, nevermind that the BOM is addressed primarily to them, have not been mentioned, for example, in a conference talk, in quite some time.

  2. I enjoyed your breakdown of this talk. Well done. Of the three recent “Stop Doubting” talks, I agree that this one was presented with the most skill. And yet, hugely disappointing. He constructed an invalid argument.

    There is one point you touched on, but I wish was made more clear in the podcast. What Corbridge calls “primary questions” are actually the CONCLUSIONS to his argument. When someone asks their audience to first assume the conclusion that their argument intends to make, they have a meaningless argument.

    If “A” (so-called primary questions), then “A” (so-called answer to so-called primary questions). His entire talk effectively says, IF the church is true and JS is a prophet, THEN the church is true and JS is a prophet.

    Ok. Thanks E. Corbridge.

    As you said in the podcast, a smart way to approach this type of problem would be to ask, IF these “primary” assumptions (which he calls questions) were false, HOW WOULD I KNOW? No one should be expected to accept a world view that provides no mechanism for him/her to detect falsehood. In other words, all of God’s children deserve the right to ask the question, “am I being deceived?”


  3. wading through jello

    I am so glad that Radio Free is unpacking and digging into these talks. For years, many a talk has gone under the radar without any eye toward really looking at what was being said. I have listened to talks where I have thought that some of the things that are said should really be examined or explained. Some things were just kind of crazy and I questioned myself when I would look around and everyone would be looking intently at the speaker, tending their baby, or searching stuff on their phone. No one seemed phased by some of these things. There were times I wanted to jump up and say “but that doesn’t make sense,” or “what are you really saying…..?!” But of course, I did not.

    Then, the group leaves a talk and says “that was such a good talk. We learned so much.” And, I think, did we though? What did we learn? I would really like to take a look at this and be able to discuss – really discuss- what was said.

    But I’ve found that when discussing talks from GAs or other leaders critically – and by critically I don’t mean “to criticize,” I mean really look at, analyze, explore…., I just get either a blank stare or a comment is made about building faith. So many talks have flown so under the radar for so many years.

    I wish RFM would unpack John Gee’s recent talk which was posted on the Fair Mormon website, “Selling our Birthright for a mess of pottage:The Historical Authenticity of the Book of Abraham.” I am not a scholar, so do not claim to have Dr. Gee’s level of understanding. However, this talk was way beyond the beyonds in terms of trying to make sense of some of the things he was saying.

    Thank you for the work you are doing.

  4. Love all your breakdowns of the talks. This kind of logic in these talks continues to drive me batty!

    One thing you guys missed that was an easy slam-dunk, was when you were talking about the Salamander letter, and not showing that the divine method entirely and utterly failed in the biggest way possible. If the divine method is the best way to learn truth, how is it that none of the top dudes ever came close to learning by that method that the salamander letter and the other crap that Mark Hoffman produced were entirely bogus? And even up to the point where now Mr. Second-in-command Oaks gave a talk trying to tamp down all the whoop-la? What was it that eventually brought the truth to light? Well…OK….a bit of a confession, and some very serious analysis (scientific method) showed the truth to the bozos at the top.

    I remember this so well, as I was working a couple of blocks away when Mark’s bomb went off by the old Deseret gym. I am also amused by the picture that was in the papers showing Gordon B and others with a magnifying glass examining one of the documents.

    As you guys point out, there are hundreds of big fails due to the “divine” method. It’s almost, but not as good as putting youtrust in the rhythm method!!

  5. We love your podcasts. When you analyze GA’s talks, we think it is also important that you point out that these people are defending their employer = the LDS Church. They get paid well to believe and for most, they simply will not entertain the truth because then they would have to leave the LDS Church’s employ.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.