Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 124: Apostasy Now!

RFM packs into one podcast a number of ideas revolving around the common theme of apostasy.  1. Is one an apostate for believing some church teachings while rejecting other contradictory church teachings?  2. What is the true definition of “apostasy” in the church?  3. Is the LDS Church itself in apostasy?  “I love the smell of napalm in the morning!”

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16 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 124: Apostasy Now!

  1. I always thought it was odd that that we believe in continuing revelation, yet almost all the official revelations in Doctrine and Covenants are extremely old and mostly from the 1st modern-day prophet, Joseph Smith. As RFM pointed out, the most recent revelation is from 1918 which is over 100 years ago. Why are the Church leaders not willing to have their revelations added to the official standard works? My best guess is tradition. They obviously have tons of content they could easily publish (there’s 8-10 hours of Conference talks every 6 months). But, there was a precedent set by earlier prophets that their words would be added to the other Church publications, and not added to the Standard Works, and so the tradition continues today. Anybody know of any articles that analyze this tradition/decision?

    I was looking at the bottom of the Wikipedia article on the Doctrine and Covenants ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_and_Covenants ) and found it interesting that the Community of Christ (aka the RLDS Church) continues to add to their Doctrine and Covenants every few years. This seems like a legit way to go about it. They can emphasize the most important messages or ideas from a several year time frame.

    • Dear Ryedog3,

      I don’t know of any articles addressing the reticence of church presidents subsequent to Joseph Smith to have revelations published in the official canon.

      And yet the pattern is obviously present, with the sole exception of Joseph F. Smith’s Vision of the Dead in section 138. I suppose we shouldn’t forget Brigham Young’s rather uninspiring contribution in section 136.

      I think the LDS Church came to view Joseph Smith as “The Prophet” of the restoration, and that the revelations he received were sufficient to guide the church in subsequent generations. We certainly heard comments to that effect from leaders, including Gordon B. Hinckley.

      I also note that when the church moved what is now section 137 from the Pearl of Great Price to the Doctrine and Covenants, care was taken to quote only a portion of the entire vision Joseph Smith described.

      For some reason, they left out the list of people Joseph saw in the celestial kingdom, along with his brother Alvin.

      Among that list were Adam and Michael, mentioned separately and looking for all the world like they were different individuals.

  2. You should check out Oaks’ talk “Trust in the Lord” from last October 2019 GC. It confirms your analysis about “doctrine” as presented at the end of your podcast 124 “apostasy now!”

    • Good point, James! I still need to podcast more about that talk by Elder Oaks.

      It is so interesting to hear an apostle of Jesus Christ, one whom members typically believe to have a direct pipeline to God for revelation, giving a talk based on the idea that he knows nothing more about the spirit world than what is already contained in the scriptures.

      He sounds like a person who doesn’t even believe he has the ability to find out more on the subject by revelation.

      In a revealing moment, he quotes a BYU professor approvingly on the subject:

      “I believe a BYU religion professor’s article on this subject had it right: ‘When we ask ourselves what we know about the spirit world from the standard works, the answer is ‘not as much as we often think.’”

      He then proceeds with a dry and uninspiring talk about what the scriptures say about the spirit world.

  3. In my personal opinion, I think what President Eyring describes in his example of a Church leadership discussion can align ok with what the church teaches about revelation. One of the oft cited scriptures about the revelatory process is found in Doctrine and Covenants 9:7-9. You’ll see in the following passage that the process requires some effort. I would argue that this effort could entail discussing / debating the topic with other leaders in the Church. Here is the scripture below for reference:

    7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
    8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
    9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.

    I don’t know if Elder Eyring and Company follow this complete pattern or not. He didn’t mention a burning in the bosom or a feeling or a stupor of thought. But then again, it was only a board of education meeting so maybe this wasn’t necessary, or maybe he simply omitted this information in his story.

    I’m an open minded person seeking truth wherever it leads. I think it’s important for people to ponder and think about it from both points of view. I only attend the Church on occasion due to several issues I have with Church history and Church policy, but I wanted to share that there’s two ways to look at this issue. 1) Pres. Eyring may be describing the process of receiving revelation where they ponder, discuss, and wrestle with the ideas until the Spirit rest upon them to confirm the answer to their question. 2) On the other hand, it’s possible that they’re intellectually coming up with their answers solely via debate. There’s definitely two sides to this discussion.

  4. Love it
    It’d be interesting to do a podcast similar to Hugh B Brown’s profile of a prophet, but run the current president through it.
    And/or a profile of Christ’s ‘church’ from the new testament. And a profile of the apostate church.

    And run the current church up against the profiles.

  5. What Elder Cryring thinks are miracles never cease to amaze me. His comments about the decision making process strike me as simply bizzare.

    I am in a senior leader position at my company, and what he describes sounds just like hundreds of meetings I have been in. Not sure how was running his meetings if people just cave in to the boss and never openly dispute the highest levels of power. I think it makes more of a statement about him, and his power top-down dynamic must work when he was pres. of BYU-I, or when he was a mealy-mouthed employee at Stanford.

    You can bet that our meetings are sometimes very vigorous, with opinions and discussion going around the room. And we always see a point of view rise to the top and gain some consensus. However, we don’t go to total unanimity, as 1) it probably won’t ever happen and 2) a final decision would take years or never happen.

    The church, apparantly, works just like the “world”, and for him to go off crying about the miracle of a committee working to solve a problem the way its done millions of times a day in a rational way makes me simply laugh out loud!

  6. In my honest opinion the LDS church has been in apostasy since Brigham Young, and they have no fruits of the titles they claim.

    In Matt 7:15-20 Jesus teaches us that we shall know prophets by their fruits. Matt 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Jesus did not say you shall know their fruits of being a prophet after you believe you believe they are a prophet. On the contrary, Jesus is showing us one important principle of not being deceived. Before you can know that some is the title that they claim to have from God, you must know of their fruits. We must have knowledge of the fruits of the title before we can study it out in our minds before we take it to the Lord for confirmation that the title comes from Him, see D&C 9:8.
    https://seekingyhwh.com/2015/10/04/in-honor-of-today-and-yesterday/

  7. Great show! Thank you. Do you have the articles you wrote published on a blog or somewhere?

    • The articles are published elsewhere, but because my IRL name is attached to them, and because I am still trying to maintain a nominally low profile, I have not linked to them.

      Thanks for listening!

  8. In the ’70’s, my Dad was the Director of Central Purchasing for the church and, at different times, worked directly under both Thomas Monson and Russell Nelson.
    There were a few things my father said growing up that gave me pause about my notions of the general authorities, things you would never expect from a church led by revelation and inspiration. First, he said there were two kinds of GA’s: the ladder climbers and those who were sincerely there to help others. He refused to say whether he thought any of the ladder climbers became apostles, although he did say that it was quickly apparent who these people were and that they rarely made it higher. The second thing he said was probably the first little weight anyone put on my shelf. I made an offhand comment once as a child that the apostles are the most spiritual and inspired humans on the planet. “Right, Dad?” I said.
    In response, my Dad kind of winced and hesitated. Then he said something I will never forget. “The apostles are chosen because of their administrative capabilities, and it is hoped that they will grow spiritually as part of that role.”
    To be clear, my Dad was a firm believer until the day he died. But, from then on I was unable to separate these “spiritual giants” from the nagging feeling that their success might possibly derive more from a certain executive acumen than their connection to the divine.

    • I worked for the church for a year and a half. It is a business. It is run like a business. It has the goals of a business. Therefore, anyone “called” to a leadership position is someone who can bring in the most benefits to the business: be it money or customers.

      And yes there was no “spirit of discernment” to warn them about the utter fiasco that was implementing the new financial system at the time.

      I also saw firsthand a report meant only for the Top 15 that there were less than 2 million full tithe payers in 2010.

  9. Since the corporate church’s prime directive is “Protect the image of the church at any cost,” its own handbook definition of apostasy is basically any act that makes the church look bad.

    Meanwhile, the church itself has been in scriptural apostasy and condemnation since just barely after it got started when God told Joseph Smith the entire church was under condemnation for not adhering to the teachings of the Book of Mormon.

  10. Just want all my subscribers to know that the reason the premium content does not work for you is because all my episodes go public as soon as I release them.

    In other words, there is no premium content.

    Thanks for listening!

    RFM

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