Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 85: Elder Snow Goes Rogue

Elder Snow is the outgoing head of the Church History Department.

He was recently interviewed by two reporters on the Salt Lake Tribune’s podcast, “Mormon Land.”

In this interview, Elder Snow made some surprising and revealing statements.

Tonight, Radio Free Mormon does an in depth analysis of the Elder Snow interview.

This is gonna be good!

RESOURCES:
Mormon Land Interview

Play

27 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 85: Elder Snow Goes Rogue

  1. The thing that surprised me in this episode is when I heard Elder Snow state that historians not employed by the church initially wrote the essays. I was surprised because that implies that those historians not employed by the church are the real experts on LDS church history. How can that be? Church employed historians presumably have access to a lot of historical documents not available to outside historians. The only two conclusions I can think of are either 1-The church employed historians aren’t very good historians or 2-are restrained in what they are allowed to research and see. Anyway it was a very interesting episode, thanks!

  2. “Celestial marriage meant plural marriage, not eternal marriage, until 1930.” What!!!! Separate podcast please! As a woman in the church, I was taught that eternal marriage was a revelation from Joseph Smith. There is so much shame surrounding not marrying in the temple. So much so that my mom could not sing “Families can be together Forever” without crying since my stepdad and grandfather were not members. Even when my non-member husband converted and we were sealed, my family still made the event shame filled since we were not sealed when we were first married. In my marriage, blood, sweat, tears and money has gone into making sure we had an “eternal” family. This sentence stopped my walk and brought me to my knees. People need to know this!

    • I’d like to say that the temple has a lot more to do with polygamy than I ever realized before. In 1835 the d&c said marriages should always always be performed in public. Well that’s fine and dandy if youre monogamous. That section was replaced and largely supplanted with 132. If you’re polygamists marriages must be performed in secret. That’s why marriages are performed in the temple today. It is not because sealing ceremonies are so sacred but a cover for polygamy. Supposedly, the old section that was removed from d&c specified public marriages to prevent the rumors of polygamists marriages, performed in secret, circulating at the time.

  3. Dear RFM, can you please provide a source where I can find the original of the Statement of the First Presidency of 1949 on blacks you mentioned in this episode.

    Thank you very much.

  4. Hi Radio Free Mormon,

    I love the podcast! You do awesome work! Forgive me if others have already written you about this, Elder Snow said the seer stone was ordinary and you could find any like it in a stream nearby. That is false. The stone is a one of a kind from a geologic and paleontological standpoint. Joseph’s striped brown stone that he used to “translate” the Book of Mormon is not found in New York. It is iron banded jasper or genesis stone. It contains evidence of literally the earliest life on the planet from 2 billion years ago. The closest location for those rocks in the continental US is Wyoming or Minnesota. NY is a long way from there. What makes the stone extra unique is scientists believe it is a gizzard stone. Like a gizzard of a chicken dinosaurs ate stones to help with digestion. A dinosaur likely ate it and traveled with it to what is now New York from out west or somewhere else on another continent before pangea broke the continents apart. In the gut the stone was polished smooth. The dinosaur either passed the stone or it died in New York where it was buried. Top soil accumulated for millions of years until it was 15 feet deep when Joseph found it digging a well. The stone is a secondary fossil and I believe is the only known iron banded jasper gizzard stone. You have to do lots of digging to find something like this. Joseph may never have found buried treasure or gold plates but the stone is probably the greatest real find of his treasure digging career. Here is a link easily found from a google search to start reading for those interested: https://latterdaysaintmag.com/the-surprising-geology-of-joseph-smiths-brown-seer-stone/ It surprises me that a historian like Elder Snow wouldn’t know something like this as the information is out there and easy to find;)

    • Brad, I had no idea that the BoM was revealed through a dinosaur dropping. I learn something new everyday, but let’s not forget that JS asked to borrow the stone from and then refused to return it which leads to an interesting theological question:
      Since God revealed his truth through the stone does that mean that he condoned the theft?
      Wouldn’t it be far more ethical and considerate for JS to use the Intreprters that the Brother of Jared went through the work of mounting on a silver bow for this exact purpose?

        • More like “stole” the stone from Willard Chase. He borrowed it and refused to return it when Willard asked for it back.

    • Brad, if you read the comments in that article, you’ll find there’s some debate about what was stated by the author. I’m not a geologist so I have no idea who is right (the author or the various commentators), but it might be worth reading the comments to get other perspectives about the stone.

  5. Nice disassembly of the Snow interview.

    Looking at Packer’s disdain for historians and transparency, it must have pained greatly him to approve the essays which although aren’t really transparent, go farther than he ever would. I would have loved to be in the room when Packer realizes that his memory hole strategy isn’t working. Imagine working on the committee responsible for preparing essays that Packer has to approve.

    BTW, with respect to the essays, Leonard Arrington proved to be far more prophetic than the top 15 in realizing that the Church had to release as least some of its provacative pieces of history.

  6. You seem to have missed the prior “Gospel Tangents” interview which contained the original bombshell about Elder’s Snow’s feelings about the exclusion policy and its reversal. The Trib interview was really a follow-up on that issue after it broke (which Peggy knew, hence the probing questions). So he was not caught of guard with Peggy — he probably anticipated it. He may have been trying not to say as much as he did in the prior interview (e.g., he says he has gay friends and family in the Gospel Tangents interview). Here is a link: https://youtu.be/RobDPES1HxM?t=640

  7. I can’t listen to any more of this bullshit. Can’t you just play the segments and let us listen to the interview? Every time I begin to get into it, you say, “STOP THE TAPE,” as though we were idiots and can’t possibly draw our own conclusions.

    It’s aggregating. Why do you think you need to interrupt it every ten seconds to put it into one-syllable words for us? On behalf of all the other low grade morons, thank you so much for that! I really appreciate it since I can’t possibly think for myself. And, not being an anti-Mormon, I might miss something you think I ought to know.

    I ought to check in here more often. Hey,maybe you should do a commentary on the Book of Mormon. Stopping every few seconds, we ought to finish it in, say, 128 years give or take 15 YEARS.

    Meanwhile, go STOP THE TAPE.

    • John, you know you can go listen to just the interview through the tribune. The purpose here is a commentary. You get that right? People listen to this to get what RFM thinks about the Elder Snow Interview. How did you find the podcast sinse you seem to want anything but RFM thoughts?

    • I don’t think RFM is playing a tape. I think he’s playing a YouTube video or a podcast in his computer which makes you wonder, if he’s lying about this, what else is he lying about?

      • yeah thats it. Because he uses the cliche “play the tape” everything is lies. If only you used that same logic with Mormonism

  8. I served in a Boy Scout calling with a Painter. I asked how he gets the commission to paint for the Church. If you go to the church Museum, you would recognize many of his paintings, a few of which hang in Mormon Temples. He responded, “The Church issues a request for work” to the general list of church approved painters. The Approved Painters who want to do the work will submit examples of work and a sketch, unless they have an in as he did. When the work is approved, the painter is commissioned to do the painting (i.e. Down Payment).

    Paintings of Joseph Smith are, along the entire path, checked and approved throughout the commission of the Painting. When Snow said the Artists are basically free wheeling their inspiration, it smacked of throwing the Painters under the bus. In fact, the church approves of those paintings before they are ever hung in a chapel or Temple. It is not the painters who decide what the church will hang in their buildings.

    • Exactly. Those paintings were in the visitors centers and approved from the very top.

  9. RFM as always you’ve done a “professional” job of nailing down the spoken and unspoken problems in Elder Snow’s statements. But you were also fair in giving him credit where he deserved it. I give both Elder Snow and his predecessor Elder Jensen credit for at least stepping down from their pedestals to speak with “outside” interviewers.

    Listening to them I have found myself almost squirming in discomfort on their behalf as they’ve tried to put lipstick on a pig. They act like they don’t really believe what they’re forced to say because of their positions.

    Remember when the gas tanks of the old Ford Pinto tended to explode in flames when struck from behind? The Ford spokesmen were forced to face the public and put the best face on it. They looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Snow and Jensen seem the same. Poor guys.

    Everything the Church is doing to catch up with the internet is making it look more inept, bumbling, and guilty. I don’t see how it can be sustained in the long run.

  10. RFM, thank you for your incredible podcast. Wanted to correct one thing, if that’s OK. The sentence “It did not get done.” does not actually use either a transitive or intransitive verb. In this form, the verb is “get” with auxiliary verb “did not” modifying it and in this form “did not get” is a linking verb. “It” is the subject, and the adjective “done” is called a subject complement. It is not an object, but the verb is still neither transitive nor intransitive.
    I think the forms you want to be comparing are active vs. passive voice. Active voice makes the subject the actual actor in the sentence. “Chad threw the ball to Dave.” Passive voice is your clever way of placing an object in place of the subject and then using an auxiliary modifier, in this case “was”, to avoid naming the actor while still forming a valid sentence. “The ball was thrown to Dave.” Both forms are transitive because they have an indirect object (“to Dave”), but passive voice successfully masks the original actor.
    Hope this helps. Again, awesome podcast.

  11. RFM as always you’ve done a “professional” job of nailing down the spoken and unspoken problems in Elder Snow’s statements. But you were also fair in giving him credit where he deserved it. I give both Elder Snow and his predecessor Elder Jensen credit for at least stepping down from their pedestals to speak with “outside” interviewers.

    Listening to them I have found myself almost squirming in discomfort on their behalf as they’ve tried to put lipstick on a pig. They act like they don’t really believe what they’re forced to say because of their positions.

    Remember when the gas tanks of the old Ford Pinto tended to explode in flames when struck from behind? The Ford spokesmen were forced to face the public and put the best face on it. They looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Snow and Jensen seem the same. Poor guys.

    Everything the Church is doing to catch up with the internet is making it look more inept, bumbling, and guilty. I don’t see how it can be sustained in the long run.

  12. **** if you listen to the original interview of Elder Snow…at the 28:00-30:00 minute spot he inadvertently spills the beans that he had NOT been made aware of the exclusion policy before it was announced in the press. This is in direct opposition to what the PSR (profit/seeur/revelatur) has previously said, that the GA’s spent tons of time meeting together to look at every possible issue and permutation. Sounds like we not only have a rogue history Dept. we have a rogue PSR.

  13. i cant seem to find a link to the sl tribune podcast interview that you played with elder snow…anyone have the direct link to the podcast? I love you rfm, but i have this big ass thread about nelsons recent talk and want to share the link to some of my “brothers and sisters”

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