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Radio Free Mormon: 99: The Prophet Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

In a recent BYU speech, President Nelson explained the background behind the 2015 Policy of Exclusion and its reversal 3 1/2 years later.

How well did President Nelson do?

Radio Free Mormon and Bill Reel give you their take.

This is the one you’ve been waiting for!


21 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 99: The Prophet Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”

  1. When RMN says “Requirements to enter the temple have not changed.” I think RMN may be talking about the present day … in the context of the preceding sentences in which he acknowledges the church is abiding by the law of the land, but did not change the the temple requirements consequent to the church’s willingness to abide by the law of the land. In other words, I don’t think he is saying temple requirements have “never” changed. Merely that they did not PRESENTLY change with the church folding its anti-same-sex-marriage tent.

    When they announced the alleged reversal of the policy last year, they made a similar statement like “don’t get the wrong idea that homosexuality is OK”, which is akin to RMN implying here “don’t get the wrong idea that we’re now going to let same-sex-married folks into the temple”.

    1. My favorite part of the RMN talk is when he elevated all policy changes to revelation (“Thus, we can adjust policy when the Lord directs us to do so.”) and anything a prophet teaches as truth. (“Prophets are rarely popular. But we will always teach the truth!”)

      Those aren’t high bars at all! Good luck…

  2. In a couple of comments for Episode 063 (“President Nelson Jumps The Shark”) [ ], I explained how I could still see the Q15 being true believers and the Q15 seeing both the initial policy and its modification as revelation. I stand by that.

    However, I think some aspects of this talk were intentionally deceptive or negligently so. We all remember the first modification of the policy, which they called a “clarification” within a week or two after the policy was leaked. But even after the “clarification”, there was an outright ban against children being raised by LGBT parents to be baptized at age eight. Apparently, Apparently in practice, the policy was “children being raised by LGBT parents would not automatically be eligible for baptism at age eight” as RMN says in this talk — because exceptions were granted. BUT that, again, goes against the plain wording of the clarification.

    It’s so nutty that they first have a “clarification” that goes against the plain wording of the policy. And then the Q15 goes against the plain wording of the “clarification”. They just can’t get their stuff together.

  3. Regarding the discussion if the q15 knows it isn’t true I used to think they were full believers but I too am starting to wonder. Pres Nelson does not call himself the lords prophet. He speaks of the group of the q15 as such but when he speaks for himself he calls himself the president of the church. I think he knows he’s not the prophet but it is a fact he is the president. Also, when he bore his testimony at his birthday bash he shook his head no when he talked about his relationship with the savior. I think his body knows and shows he is lying.

  4. I think a plausible explanation for the policy was that the leaders of the LDS/Mormon church didn’t want the children of gay parents to influence the children of TBM’s. I think they were worried that said children would lead TBM kids away; think about how naturally loving and accepting children are. If children of gay parents were baptized and active members where they see the TBM kids every week at church and other church activities, and they’re inviting their TBM friends over to their home for birthdays and hang-outs where the TBM kids would then see that gay parents are actually not scary or evil, imagine how that could affect the church. TBM children would grow up socializing with these children and would surely come to feel that the church was wrong for calling gays and lesbians “apostates and sinners”. It would result in more disaffection, more dissension in the ranks. I think the LDS church’s decision was purely self-serving, trying to prevent TBM children from being socialized with the children of LGB+ parents. And it backfired on the church tremendously.

  5. RFM/Bill Reel,
    Whether or not you know it, when you point out the blatant dishonesty from the leaders, you are supporting the assertion that Mormonism is a cult. Not “like” a cult, not “similar to a cult,” not “having the characteristics of a cult,” but an actual cult.

  6. Thanks RFM and Bill for a nice analysis of Pres. Nelson’s BYU devotional.

    I especially liked the last two minutes of the podcast where RFM says what Pres Nelson should’ve said. I think this version would have resonated so much better, at least with me. Personally, I’m tired of hearing excuses and justifications. We’re taught in the Church that God is all knowing and knows the end from the beginning. So, logically speaking, we can say that if there were a policy that did not work well in practice, it was obviously not God’s fault. It was the Church leaders’ fault in not receiving the correct revelation. Why can’t the leaders of the Church be open and honest and say “Hey, we’re human, and we got it wrong. We’re sorry.” Is that too much to ask? We’re know you’re human and make mistakes. Please be honest about this. It seems like the Church leaders are acting like they’re in a corporation and not God’s Church when they provide explanatory excuses and not open and honest explanations.

  7. Thanks for analyzing the quote “Sometimes we as leaders of the Church are criticized for holding firm to the laws of God, defending the Savior’s doctrine, and resisting the social pressures of our day.” It is clearly evident from recent examples that the Church leaders do not always resist social pressures. Thanks Bill for providing a nice summary of examples.

    It seems like the Church leaders seem to wait until things are at a breaking point, and then they change policy, the blacks and priesthood being the most notable example. There is one example I can think of where the Church preceded the world, and then the world followed, which is the Word of Wisdom. This revelation, of course, taught LDS members to avoid tobacco and alcohol before the ill effects were well known. Are there any other examples?

    I think it’s important to note, in all fairness, that there many examples where the church has been immovable; a few examples are their policy on fornication, adultery, stealing, dishonesty, murder, drug abuse, keeping the Sabbath holy, etc. Despite these examples of being immovable, I don’t think the Church leaders should say they successfully resist social pressures based on the numerous examples outlined where they didn’t.

  8. A few more thoughts:

    I thought it was very interesting to hear Bill and RFM analyze & compare polygamy with same-sex marriage. I had never really thought about how they are both non-traditional versions of marriage, yet the Church leaders (of the past) embraced the one and shunned the other. This perhaps is due to maybe Biblical tradition. I don’t thing are any examples of homesexual relations being okay in the Bible but there are examples of polygamy being okay.

    Thanks for clarifying that the original policy was NOT announced, but it was leaked. It’s definitely misleading to say it was announced, when it was actually leaked and then spread by others all over the media.

  9. Last thought:

    I think the analysis about unchanging temple requirements should be viewed in the context of the preceding sentence and preceding paragraph. Roll the tape –

    “For example, let’s consider the definition of marriage. In recent years, many countries, including the United States, have legalized same-sex marriage. As members of the Church, we respect the laws of the land and abide by them, including civil marriage. The truth is, however, that in the beginning—in the beginning—marriage was ordained by God! And to this day it is defined by Him as being between a man and a woman.

    God has also not changed His law of chastity. Requirements to enter the temple have not changed. And our desire for there to be love at home and harmony between parent and child has not changed.”

    I would argue that Pres. Nelson says the requirements have not changed, he is speaking with regards to the sentence and paragraph before it. He is saying the requirements with respect to the law of chastity have not changed. I believe this is generally true. I’m pretty confident that fornicators and adulterers and practicing lesbians and gays have not been allowed in the temple.

    So, I would suggest in the future to make sure to analyze statements in their context in order to provide a more accurate picture.

    Thanks RFM and Bill for your time and effort in putting together these podcasts.

  10. Out of context?

    When I listened to the talk, I never once thought he was referring to all of the temple requirements, but only those dealing with chastity.

    “God has also not changed His law of chastity. Requirements to enter the temple have not changed. And our desire for there to be love at home and harmony between parent and child has not changed.”

    I think it may be more probable that you have taken his statement out of context than for him to have made such a ludicrous statement that none of the temple requirements have changed.

    As an aside, your podcast is the most thought provoking I have found on Mormonism.

  11. As for whether the President and top leaders “know”, I think back to President Hinckley’s talk. I was in college and he did a fireside broadcast. In the broadcast, he stated how fast the church was growing. Then he talked about the first vision and exactly how it happened. Then he said it either happened or it didn’t. If it did, it was the greatest most important event in modern times. If it didn’t, then this was the biggest fraud in modern times (I may be slightly off on exact words). It seemed impossible at the time with church growth that it would be fraud. This was a testimony building talk for me. Looking back on it, my heart sinks to realize he knew the different accounts of the first vision and the whole talk was treating us like sheep.

    1. Knowing what I now now about church history, members have been treated like sheep since 1820. Every decade since there is more and more evidence of misrepresentation,lying by omission, redacting, fabrication, and out right fraud.

      It would take a fool to think the Q15+Q70 don’t know what I know, and if they don’t know it’s because they choose not to know, which is worse than lying about not knowing.

      We were never lead by a loving shepherd, rather a fraudulent mob of organized con-men.

      It’s just a matter of time before all the sheep look into the past and realize they’ve been played the fool.

  12. I would push back on the idea that the policy is still in place because I think Nelson framing this as a change to bishop baptism approval is actually part of the gaslighting. If I remember correctly, bishops have to approve any child that’s baptized, so reverting to that feels natural for members. Saying that means the policy is still in place shows how effective they were at getting you to (at least temporarily) ignore that it actually constituted mandatory discipline for LGBTQ married couples and a blanket ban on baptisms.

  13. Hi RFM long time listener from Sydney Australia. I also remember Hinckleys talk about the first vision and looking back I see him as this was his way to be honest by making both statements and leaving it up to the listener to make the choice. Only I didn’t know there was a choice until my eyes were opened and now I see the words of all the prophets as doublespeak. Keep up the good work.

  14. I was struck by a similarity that stuck out like a sore thumb. When Andrew Jackson instituted the horrible Indian Removal Act he claimed that it was based on concern for the welfare of the Indian people Paul Revere and the Raiders did the song Indian Reservation which speaks to this. A song that seems to apply to this revelation and reversal of revelation might be Absolutely Right by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. ” I’ve been thinking about what you told me rolling it over in my mind and much to my surprise I find that you were absolutely right you’ve been right all along you were absolutely right and I was wrong.” Of course, the Lord had it right all along and not the other way around.

  15. If I was in the live audience during the “It was motivated by love,” claim, I would have BURST OUT LAUGHING in the middle of all of it.

    The policy was a direct violation of what Christ teaches in the Book of Mormon. The scripture the church claims is its keystone. Then again, it loves to twist Jacob’s words in an attempt to justify polygamy, so that’s not surprising.

  16. I just listened to an interesting podcast by Malcolm Gladwell it’s on a show called revisionist history and the title was the queen of Cuba. In the course of this we learn from psychological research that people “default to truth”. We want to believe people are honest. He covers this in his book Talking to Strangers. I know Bill has discussed cognitive dissonance. This is another aspect of why we often accept what people say. I just thought someone else might find it interesting as well.

  17. RFM, you are a national treasure, or at least regional:)

    You gave some good legal advice to RMN in this podcast, which will no doubt, go unheeded.

    My question to you is:
    What legal advice would you give to a newly ordained apostle who has since discovered the truth about the church? He would like to do what is right by the members and those considering joining. He has strong family ties to the church and has no doubt signed NDAs and maybe received financial compensation that would have to be repaid if he were to leave. He wants to come clean. Pretending is tearing him up inside. What legal and other difficulties would he be likely to face? What options would he have?

    Thanks for all you do!

  18. Does BYU get federal funding and students get federal aid so how can the school require students to meet honor code admission and housing. How can the school require students to buy church insurance and rent church approved housing How can byu security harass students how can BYU have their own semester system with credits that don’t transfer and require religious credits every term . How does a school get away with all this and get federal funding.

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