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Radio Free Mormon: 077: Defender Of The Faith Part 1

Today RFM tells you his early history as an apologist for the faith.  How even as a Young man he was intimately aware of the “Anti-Mormon” material and even taught a 12 week course on Mormon Apologetics……..  Really cool surprise in this episode.  He recorded those 12 weeks of conversation on cassette tape…….   Now Where are those cassettes and what happened to them.   Your about to find out!!!!


17 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 077: Defender Of The Faith Part 1”

  1. I see the problem. It’s a common problem. In all of your studies you fell into the trap that member after member falls into. None of your studies, or very few at best, have been compliant with D&C 50:19 but rather were after the manner of the scholarly approach. The scholarly approach is “another way” and is not of God (ibid. verse 20). It ends up fulfilling an unfavorable prophecy about members that is found in Isaiah 28:7-10.

    The key to getting out of the trap is to go back to the beginning of loving God with all of the heart, mind, and soul (Matthew 22:36-40). Love God and love having his Spirit with you. Love it so much that you’re willing to change ANYTHING that offends the Spirit. It’s easy to spot when the Spirit is offended because the presence will withdraw and the feelings of Galatians 5:22-23 are no longer felt. Making those changes is what gets a person on the path so that they can learn line upon line and precept on precept (Isaiah 28:10). What is most important to first learn and master are the commandments (2 Nephi 31:13). The commandments for the baptismal covenant are found in Matthew 5:3-16 – THOSE are what needs to be mastered first. Once the Baptism of Fire is received THEN the learning of deeper things, such as the answers to the ant-church questions, can be learned from the Spirit (see Isaiah 28:9).

    1. In otherwords you prefer circular reasoning and elevation emotion over data that makes you uncomfortable and challenges your beliefs. Got it.

  2. I say this in love, because I consider you to be my very favorite Mormon podcaster. Every weekend (usually Sunday a. m.) I look foward to listening to you on my Sabbath walk. However, this episode set me back a bit. Probably because it made me feel very uncomfortable. It reminded me how smug and sure about everything religious and LDS I used to be in my post-mission life. I assume this makes you squirm a bit (or at least smile, if you are more forgiving of yourself).
    One other point: Do you modify your voice on RFM? If not, sounds like you’ve been doing some secret smoking over the years since law school.

  3. I have to agree with Mark, Absolutely my favorite podcaster however, I couldn’t finish this one. Your podcasts are usually so full of interesting info, especially when done by yourself (without the emotions of your part-time partner). I also check every Monday morning to see if a new one has come out. I conference call my friends to talk about it on Tuesday. We’re all waiting for new updates on Mckenna.

    Thanks for all you do!!!

  4. I agree with Mark – both about RFM being my favorite Podcaster on the subject of Mormonism and the confusion about this latest episode. The only consolation I feel is that you must be up to something. I can’t imagine you are actually “defending the faith” again. 😉

  5. After posting all of the lessons, I would love to hear RFM reply to audio clips of his 12 lessons like he does with current LDS speakers.

  6. I would love to see you sit down with Bill or even John Dehlin (anonymous of course) and talk about your own faith journey. I feel like more than just your voice has changed and I am interested in how you got from an apologist to where you are now.

  7. I can still see you sitting in my class on San Antonio St. in the library with a certain lady friend listening to gospel essentials material and I never knew your were so into so much church study.
    As I listened I can only see the image of you 35 years ago, despite the fact I’ve seen your occupational website.
    I love listening to your podcasts. Were practically neighbors

  8. RFM,

    My question hopefully inspires you to do a podcast on the phenomenon it exposes.

    At the 1:02:30, you stated (in your first lecture 30 years ago) a logical fallacy which I too frequently used to establish the truth of the Church. That chain of “logic” is:

    “If the BoM is true, then Joseph was a true prophet, which means the Church is true, meaning you can believe what the Church teaches is true.”

    My question: you are a lawyer, you were ostensibly trained in logic. And there have been thousands of logical people, even converts like you and me, who are very logical, so….

    How did so many of us NOT see the logical fallacy that you said was “flawless” in logic?

    It’s quite obvious to me NOW that just because the BoM is true, and that Joseph was truly sent with its message to declare, that doesn’t mean that subsequent presidents of the Church were true prophets, and doesn’t mean that “the Church is true”.

    How do you explain how so many intelligent people fell for the fallacy? You even said back in 1989 that you’d never met a single person that had argued with that proposition. Again, the proposition, the logical fallacy, you said 100% confidently labeled as “flawless”. And I absolutely agreed with you, and I too can testify that I’d never met one single individual who had argued with that proposition.

    On a personal note, I followed almost the same faith journey you did as a new convert. I explored ALL the anti Mormon arguments, read the books, met with the preachers, watched the Godmakers, etc., all of which strengthened my testimony and made me one of the most skilled apologists in the Church, and naturally led to me being a very strong Scriptorian, to this very day.

    Back then, back in the early 1990’s in my case (when I was a new adult convert), I wasn’t at odds with the Church, in that the Church and I seemed to stand on the same page, a page which said, “Bring the criticism on. Mormonism can handle any criticism, because Mormonism (i.e., the Church) is true.”

    Now, I distinguish between Mormonism (which Joseph taught encompasses all truth) and the Church, but I’ve seen the Church incessantly reinforce a unity between Truth (the Lord) and the Church. I’ve seen the Church rapidly move away from the humble boldness of “bring it on” and towards a fear-based attitude where the Church officially teaches members to avoid criticism and “unapproved sources”. The Church totally endorses its own echo chamber, so that any voices conflicting with the official narrative are branded as apostate and faithless or doubtful, not realizing that “perfect love (Christ) casts out all fear.”

  9. I’d like to hear or read the transcript of your debate with the Church of Christ Preacher in Austin you mentioned.
    Most of your LDS “Christian” theology is very similar to “Campbellite” theology as Sidney Rigdon started out as a Campbellite preacher. The Kobol lore & the Temple Rites JS appears to have “cribbed” extensively from the Masons. When LRH was starting his Scientology cult he studied LDS organization & philosophy extensively- as he said: “If you want to make some real money- start a religion!”
    It’s an amusing belief system- I’m constantly bemused by the social similarities I observe shared by LDS, Baptist, Campbellite & Salafi Sunni Islamic communities- all love their large essentially maternal led with a paternal figurehead families, love to go to meeting then have worship day mid-day meals at their mothers’ houses or buffets -then go visit their ill & infirm friends & relatives. All share a dogmatic “you’re either in the Ark or not” attitude towards those “non-believers” outside their respective faith communities. All are prone to various financial scams and hustles perpetrated by their “good brothers in the faith.” The social similarities are most uncanny!

  10. This podcast, I hope you will amend or re-edit, starting at the point where you “roll the tape” of your former self giving the Defend the Faith lectures – and instead, “stop the tape” frequently to comment & deconstruct & analyze your former arguments in the same style that you do for GA’s TBM talks & defenses of the faith. THAT would be much more interesting. I normally enjoy your podcasts, but the lectures are nauseating by themselves. I will be skipping all these episodes unless you change the format. Thanks for all the other good analysis you do!

  11. The early 80s – those were the days! I was a young mother in the church then, and I also attended a showing of The Godmakers in a group of about 4-5 Mormons. It was a large gymnasium full of – I don’t know – 500 or so angry Baptists. They all had something to say, as you may well imagine.

  12. I completely disagree that ”this episode set me back a bit” or “I hope you will re-edit”. If one is uncomfortable listening to this, then how do you negatively judge a TBM? I find this absolutely awesome that RFM is completely open with posting over 12 hours of audio from “the other side”, but the complete awe comes from the fact that he ‘completely’ opened his past in a uncomfortably transparent way. He just did what he’s asking the church to do… AND nobody can justly accuse him of casting stones at the church while hiding behind his own wall of filters and censorship. I think this is the best podcast yet. Well done!

    1. Historical interest

      Agree here, I think there’s definitely value in having these available. Id be interested in all 12 hours, maybe they’re here, I feel like that’s not likely in only 2 episodes though and I haven’t gotten that far…

      It’s interesting because, I noticed a quote in this one – “I think people like that deserve an answer.” RFM is still busy giving answers to people who sincerely ask, that’s what this podcast is – just without the end goal being apologetics

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