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Radio Free Mormon: 075: President Nelson Jumps The Shark

From Deep down in the bunker “Behind Enemy Lines” RFM tackles the recent dismantling of its November 2015 LGBT Policy.  RFM in his unique fashion does a dismantling of his own showing That LDS President, Russel M Nelson has once and for all shown he has not only no access to god, but that he can’t tell a revelation from a hole in the ground.



28 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 075: President Nelson Jumps The Shark”

  1. You did not consider the “higher law” explanation. I have heard it suggested that God’s higher law is bigotry. But when we show we are not ready for that higher law then he reveals a lower law.

  2. One Who Is Thirsting

    I wonder what this will do to Sheri Dew and her “Will You Engage in the Wrestle?” message.

    She struggled with the policy change until one day in the temple God spoke to her and it was ok. Did he reveal that in 3 short years he was going to reverse his decision?

    Not sure what new wrestle she’s going to have with this one.

  3. One thing Nelson didn’t take into account during his statement at that devotional is- oh, the fact that such “revelation” needs to be presented to the membership for a sustaining vote under the law of common consent!

    The very fact that “revelation” constantly “just happens” to align with the personal opinions and desires of the church leaders is something that David Whitmer wrote about before he died: Stating that Joseph Smith would never accept the Lord’s way that HAD ALREADY BEEN TOLD TO HIM and kept listening to the people around him and their ideas- with the debacle of selling the copyright of the Book of Mormon in Canada vs. the original directive for Martin Harris to mortgage his house. It only continued from there where Joseph’s inquiries and revelations “just happened” to coincide with him being set up as a king vs. originally being told “Joseph was gifted to translate the Book of Mormon and he should pretend to have no other gift, for I will give him none.” A problem that compounds itself even today as history only repeats as the leaders have to claim “revelation” as a means of cementing their position, only to have to claim another “revelation” to backpedal when members start asking too many questions. The reversal of polygamy is definitely another good example.

    1. Good point!

      It is made only more ironic by the fact Elder Oaks recently said one sign that inspiration to him is not of God is that it conforms with what he already believes.

      Easier said than done?

  4. This speaks volumes about the very foundation of a church that is said founded on revelation. It takes away Joseph Smith..and the foundation of believable visions..and scriptures that made it okay obtain a kingdom that gives women away. I am hoping..though you didn’t have time..that we can somehow redeem a people who have lost famiies, lives, and a blinded bigotry because of policies. OMG…please God don’t forgive them..for they DID know what they do…

  5. Here is an observation. Why would God make things so difficult in revealing his plans? The Q15 tells a story of this difficult process of wrestling with the topic, repeatedly fasting, praying and meeting until they get the desired revelation. Why would God even do that? If he truly was in charge and was in direct communication with the brethren, wouldn’t his revelations just flow naturally from heaven whenever needed? Why does it take so much spiritual work to get God to cough up the goods? Seriously, if He is running His church you would think he would Simply reveal his truths to the brethren without all the fuss and difficulty. But as we know, none of these men is a prophet, seer or revelator. They are church board members doing their best to protect the church and keep people in the pews.

  6. Another Home Run podcast RFM! I love how thorough your content and supporting “clips” help to paint the entire picture. It is mind boggling to me to witness the past few years of current church leadership activity. It would be awesome if we could independently know the opinions of the top 15 to see how different they vary related to important issues like the Nov 5th policy. I don’t believe for a minute that the Nov 5 policy was “revelation” the way Russell Nelson says it was. This is a corporation all they way down the line, with high walls in the corporate boardroom to dictate any policy that will keep their assets and investments growing. Amen!

  7. Well done as usual RFM. I appreciate your research and presentation. This is troubling for the Mormon prophet. I left you a donation as gratitude.

  8. Nelson and Co. are horrible. They can’t even LIE very well. The church is horrible. It was this kind of gaslighting that drove me away to begin with, as well as their talking out of both sides of their collective, corrupt mouths.

  9. I wish this episode could be shouted from the mountain tops. This is a seriously effective analysis of the issues. I am in awe of your prowess for laying out an argument and line of reasoning.

  10. My biggest concern is that the Church has become everything the BOM told us not to be. Haughty, proud leaders–given over to appearances only, elevating themselves at the expense of someone else. Lying to protect themselves, the Q15 looks like a secret combination to me. I wish I could remember the source, but I heard that when they pushed the Nov policy through, Pres. Uchtdorg was out on some assignment and he didn’t know about it until he returned and it was too late for his protest.

    And as far claiming to be specials witnesses for Christ, though they claim to know him, they don’t act like him. And consequently we have been practicing Packerism instead of Christianity for forty years. How can the leaders get revelation when they know more than God and are so full of themselves and their holy office just as Boyd and Bruce R were?

    The only revelation the Church gets is from the legal and PR departments and let’s not forget the accounting dept. AS Hugh Nibley aptly said the heavens will be close to revelation when the Church puts their faith in the dollar rather than in God. (Something like that)

    The whole church needs to hear this podcast. The Church leaders only respond and change in a timely way when they get a public humiliation…thanks for the work.

  11. RFM you’d think that at least one of the top 15 would have thrown in the towel and finally called BS. Are they actually aware of their lies and deceit or are their heads so far buried in the sand that they can’t tell the difference between day and night?

  12. It as obvious to me ( and my group of law partners) the morning the Nov ’15 policy was leaked, that the Q15 had issued a policy that was ambiguous at best, and ill-conceived and hateful at worst. The language was so broad as to allow for a ban against all children of any gay parents, whether or not involved in gay relationships. That confusion was never addressed by Christopherson’s press conference, and was only clarified with the subsequent letter from the FP. Clearly, God had not dictated that mess. As you pointed out, Rusty really stepped into it when he declared it a revelation. And apparently, they failed to think through every permutation. Else, why reverse it so quickly. Could it be because they finally realized they were losing the next generation of members who saw through this charade. “Protecting the Chinldren.” Please.

  13. In the era of the internet, I think Pres. Nelson is the best Mormon leader his church can ever deserve. I hope he and Oaks live another ten to twenty years, still strong and fully alert, serving the institution the way they’re doing now. I hope these guys don’t change their ways at all. Because if there are still lingering doubts that the church is just another man-made invention, both are doing a heckuva job of confirming them.

  14. So whatever happened to “we will never lead you astray” mantra? If that is true we can then expect a serious culling of the “leadership”…calling a revelation that isn’t a revelation is misleading and the Lord considers things done in His name that aren’t an abomination!!!

  15. If I take the Q15 at their word, their overarching principle was to avoid “conflicts” arising from a same-sex couple and their minor child’s membership in the LDS church.

    One way to avoid these conflicts is prevent the child from becoming a member until they are no longer a minor. (The previous policy.)

    Another way to avoid these conflicts is prevent the child from becoming a member until the same-sex couple give their informed consent. (The current policy.)

    If I take the Q15 at their word, the controversy here is that the LDS church once again infantilized adults. That is, the LDS church infantilized the adult same-sex couples by not allowing them, under the initial policy, to give their informed consent to their child’s church membership. Instead, the LDS church did not trust the adult same-sex couples to decide what is best for their child.

    I personally do take the LDS church at their word here. Why? Because I believe both policies were designed to reduce any speculative legal liability arising from the LDS church interfering with the relationship between parents and children.

    I don’t absolve the LDS church from any wrong doing, however, because there is yet another way to avoid “conflicts” arising from a same-sex couple and their minor child’s membership in the LDS church. That is, fully embrace the LGBTQ community and treat them the same as cis gender heterosexuals. That’s the best way to avoid these conflicts.

    All that said, I am not sure whether to call this a reversal or something else. The Q15 added an exception (informed parental consent) to an all-out ban. To me, a reversal would be every child can be baptized with parental consent, regardless of whether it was informed consent or not.

    1. Unlike RFM, I do not believe that the only conclusion that one can make is that the Q15 know that one or both policies were not revealed.

      As noted above, I see both policies as consistent with the Q15’s stated desire to avoid “conflicts” arising from a same-sex couple and their minor child’s membership in the LDS church.

      I can easily picture the Q15 considering their process to be like the Brother of Jared, who was not spoon-fed the solution to their submarine lighting problem. Rather, Jesus kicked it back to the Brother of Jared, who came up with his own idea.

      The Q15 considered a bunch of options (per RMN’s talk) to the church legal liability issue I noted above. They prayed about an absolute ban and felt like Jesus said, “Go ahead” similar to when Jesus was willing to touch the rocks.

      Later, the Q15 could have observed the additional complications of an absolute rule, considered options, added the exception of informed parental consent, and felt like Jesus said, “Go ahead.”

      I bet they see this as a modification of the policy and not a complete reversal, at least with respect to the kids. Thus, there isn’t a false dichotomy in their minds of one being the Lord’s will and the other not. It’s more of a line upon line refinement.

      While it may be more difficult to sort through shifting same sex relationships back and forth as apostasy, I don’t doubt they found a way to rationalize that.

      I don’t see any evidence that the Q15 objectively look at their actions rationally, such that they would conclude that at least one of their policies was not revealed.

  16. God changed his mind in 3 and a half mortal years… Which according to the teachings of the church, it translates in how many minutes in God’s time? Seconds? I forget, I’m horrible at math. A very quick change of mind indeed.

  17. When I served in Church leadership positions, High Council, Bishop, Elders Quorum Presidency, etc., There we’re dozens of policy Changes made in the handbook that were never pre-announced through press releases. In fact, a major rewrite of the handbook used by Bishops and Stake Presidents was done during my tenure as Bishop, with no fanfare of the dozens individual changes being made through press releases. I as Bishop received on a regular basis, letters which were addendums to or other changes in handbook policy. The standard or norm was to send letters to Church officers announcing a policy change. I would keep these letters in a binder to be used as a repository of changes that fell between releases of the handbook of instruction. In most cases there wasn’t any press release about the policy changes I received via letter.

    There was nothing different in the Church’s method of releasing the policy about Children of gay couples, as compared to how they released many changes prior to that point. What was different was the degree to which this change would be viewed by a public that was in the midst of a cultural war on how to deal with individuals who experienced same sex attraction. The cultural environment made this change in policy a sensational story. I do think the Church underestimated the degree to which a broad swath of the population would negatively react to this change.

    To say that the Church is hiding what it is doing under a cloak of darkness as you did at approximately podcast time stamp -0.38:55 that the Church made the policy change under cloak of darkness, when they simply used their standard methodology in rolling it out shows at best how naive you were about the processes. At worst, your implication of cloak of darkness undertakings is a purposefully dishonest assessment of their intentions. I think you rather than being naive, you purposely meant to malign good people trying to do what’s right in a world that was rapidly changing. That is because you then say, how they made a big deal in the press when they rescinded the policy, as if making it a big deal in the press now but not then, proved that they knew the original policy was wrong and they were hoping to pull a “fast one”, but got caught. No, they made a big deal in the press at the rescinding because they by that time, because of the strong negative reaction to the initial policy, they better understood it was something everyone outside of Mormondom was paying attention to.

    I have read your apologetics stuff located in the BYU Scholarship Archives. It was all very well written. Given your erstwhile understanding of how revelation works as demonstrated by your article on the symbolism of Lehi’s dream, how you could now, so widely miss the mark on how revelation is received now is baffling. Revelation is time and place specific and is used to teach and be taught as opposed to only directing people. When the teaching and being taught lifts and provides grace to more people than simply giving an edict to a single prophet, it seems to me the Lord will teach and give grace to a multitude rather than having a single prophet be the primary knowledge bearer. It falls in line with the concept of how certain generations are either prepared or unprepared to receive revelation. As they become more wicked and adulterous, the darkness of the glass through which revelation is received increases. That’s hardly a call for the vessel to make and is best left to the one who creates the vessel. But I’m sure this is all gobble-de-gook to you now.

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