Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 132: General Conference McNuggets

RFM reviews a few listener comments and starts covering some of the high points from October 2019 General Conference.

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13 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 132: General Conference McNuggets

  1. Well done taking the time to respond to my earlier comments. While I disagree with your learned analysis, and find it very hard to chalk it up to coincidence, it’s great to listen to you, and I noticed that you still have an open mind about it.

    • Thanks, T. If having been a believing Mormon has taught me anything, it is that it is generally a good thing to keep an open mind about things.

      Thanks for listening!

      RFM

  2. RFM,
    I thoroughly enjoy your insight and wisdom.

    I wanted to throw out a thought to you for when you get to the talks that focus on “the Covenant Path”, or some variation of this concept.
    I have a hard time seeing this “making and keeping sacred covenants” as a part of Jesus’ life and teachings.

    Also, I don’t like the way Elder Rasband has his talk “mingled with scripture” by throwing Jesus onto the covenant bandwagon.
    Here’s the discord. Jesus was an honest person, but he didn’t seem to emphasize covenant keeping.
    The classic example I have heard of Jesus setting the example of covenant keeping (pg.53 Ensign) is that he went through with the atonement and suffering, as was planned, to show covenant keeping.

    Here’e what is wrong with that idea.
    A covenant requires a two-way promise with God according to LDS teachings.
    In order for christ to atone for us, he had to give it willingly, with no expectation of reward.This is a one-way promise, motivated by love, not a covenant.
    A better example of a covenant would be Satan’s plan. This was a two way promise with God. Satan would force us all to return, and he would then receive the glory. This would qualify as a covenant if God would have gone with it.

    This is just another example of taking current Church teachings, and mingling them with scripture to make them appear consistant with the teachings of Jesus.

    • No matter what Mormons teach we need to do to be saved, you can rest assured they will squeeze Jesus into the paradigm.

      Do we think leadership is a good thing? We will hear talks about how Jesus was the “perfect leader.”

      Do we think teaching is a good thing? We will hear talks about how Jesus was the “master teacher.”

      Did we once believe plural marriage was essential to exaltation? We heard talks about how Jesus was a polygamist.

      Do we still think being married to one woman is essential to exaltaton? We will hear whispered stories and veiled insinuations (though not so much recently) that Jesus was married.

      And if we believe keeping all sorts of covenants is essential to exaltation, rest assured we will hear talks about how Jesus kept covenants.

      In all things, Jesus is the exemplar.

      Even when he really wasn’t.

      ;^)

  3. I have not thought HM is used these days to exclude gays. Maybe. She fulfills many needs. 1…it makes women feel special and noble (until you think about it and realize HM is just a spirit baby making machine..not so noble) 2..sex has always been a large part of mormonism whether the men needed lots of wives to subdue adultery or whether you get young people married off quickly to avoid dangerous predatory young men. You know how we women were taught we are responsible for men’s thoughts and acts by how we dress and act since young men for sure cannot control themselves.
    Mormon women are used every which way to advance men’s power needs and now RFM introduces another way, to exclude same sex women and men. Just great. I’m happy to be out and away from their iron grip. I was in a cult!
    Great podcast so I will excuse you for being so impressed with Joseph Smith. I found a gnostic reading from 230 CE and it is almost verbatim for the temple ceremony where Adam arises and calls Eve the mother of all living. Smith borrowed ALL of it. So don’t be impressed unless by his abimity to steal others ideas.

    • Thanks for your comments, K! I appreciate your perspective on these issues!

      RFM

  4. I’ll be interested to see how many of the 15 have enough health in their navels and marrow in their bones to be able to stand up and speak words of wisdom and prophecies.
    Surely the armor of the lord has protected them as well as the 1200 missionaries and their extended families who crowded into the SL airport the other day. 🙄

    • Imagine having a multi-BILLION dollar corporation where the entire top-tier of leadership is in the age bracket most vulnerable to the Corona Virus.

      You bet your sweet bippy they are not going to have members showing up for General Conference!

  5. This might be a comment for a second podcast on Biblical prophecy. I do not interpret the following chapters the way many Mormons do, but they contain details which seem out of place if one suggests they were backdated to apply to the first dispersal and gathering (Babylonian captivity to circa 630 BC – maybe my date is off?) rather than the second dispersal and gathering (Roman siege in 70 AD to 1800s, 1917-1948 and onwards to the present. The chapters are Isaiah 5 and 11. You commented that most Christians merely state the prophecy has a secondary meaning, and unconsciously twist it to apply the prophecy to a surprisingly coincidental return in modern times. However, Isaiah specifically references a “second time” when God would gather the jews in the latter days. He also says they will be gathered from the N, E, W and S, the 4 corners of the earth. The first return was from Babylon. But the long Jewish diaspora following the destruction by Rome was global. Isaiah refers to the Jews returning from Cush (Ethiopia) much of which happened as late as the 1990s. He also describes the modern means of transportation which the Jews would use to return, such as trains and planes. There are other OT prophecies regarding how Israel’s ancient language would be restored, modern irrigation resulting in Israel becoming a fruit exporter, Israel’s lead in information technology, and even the controversial settlements in the west bank. I think the prophecies are in there, not to prepare people for them, but as some kind of witness that these things were not coincidences and that there is a god.

    • Hi, Tony.

      Thanks for your comments. The only reference you give to Isaiah is chapters 5-11 so I can’t respond specifically to your claims.

      I am happy for you to have your understanding of these passages as you interpret them. And I mean that sincerely.

      I do not claim there is only one valid interpretation, or that I am the only one who is privy to the “correct” answers.

      What I try to do is represent as accurately as possible the consensus of Bible scholars on different issues to the extent I am familiar with that consensus.

      For my part, I would have to say that interpreting anything written before Christ as predicting “trains and planes,” and Israel being a leader in “information technology” would probably involve more literary license than I personally would feel comfortable employing.

      But to each his own!

      Thanks for listening!

      RFM

  6. This might be a comment for a second podcast on Biblical prophecy. I do not interpret the following chapters the way many Mormons do, but they contain details which seem out of place if one suggests they were backdated to apply to the first dispersal and gathering (Babylonian captivity to circa 630 BC – maybe my date is off?) rather than the second dispersal and gathering (Roman siege in 70 AD to 1800s, 1917-1948 and onwards to the present. The chapters are Isaiah 5 and 11. You commented that most Christians merely state the prophecy has a secondary meaning, and unconsciously twist it to apply the prophecy to a surprisingly coincidental return in modern times. However, Isaiah specifically references a “second time” when God would gather the jews in the latter days. He also says they will be gathered from the N, E, W and S, the 4 corners of the earth. The first return was from Babylon. But the long Jewish diaspora following the destruction by Rome was global. Isaiah refers to the Jews returning from Cush (Ethiopia) much of which happened as late as the 1990s. He also describes the modern means of transportation which the Jews would use to return, such as trains and planes. There are other OT prophecies regarding how Israel’s ancient language would be restored, modern irrigation resulting in Israel becoming a fruit exporter, Israel’s lead in information technology, and even the controversial settlements in the west bank. I think the prophecies are in there, not to prepare people for them, but as some kind of witness that these things were not coincidences and that there is a god.

  7. Hi RFM, I absolutely love your work thank you for doing it. I wanted to share an experience related to your comments regarding General Conference and how speakers must be privy to what the other speakers’ remarks will be ahead of time. I suspect that actually General Conference speakers don’t know the contents of each others’ messages prior to conference and I’ll tell you why I think that.

    I served as an interpreter for General Conference for several years. The primary interpreters are typically in the country/ies where the target language is spoken. Talk transcripts are sent to native translators months before conference. Changes can be made to these talks as conference approaches, but then they have to add the line in for translation again. So the talks are pretty well established and translated at least one month prior to Conference. I was a backup interpreter in Salt Lake, meant to listen in and jump in if and when the connection was lost with the primary interpreter (which only happened once).

    The way interpretation worked is I would sit in the booth with the Church’s $500 pair of headphones and listen to conference while following along on the printed copy of the translated talk in front of me in the target language.

    I remember multiple times that speakers did just what you rightly point out that Elder Vincent did, and reference a speaker that came before them. However, each time this happened, the remark was ad-libbed. And the way I know that it was ad-libbed is that it was not in the copy of the talk that I had. Occasionally, last minute edits would come through to the interpreters that we would have to translate ourselves because the changes were literally minutes before Conference began. Such ad-libbing was extremely rare.

    The reason I point this out is that I think there is another explanation for why speakers reference each other’s material. I think it happens because of the deference speakers feel to the speakers that came before them. Especially, like in your example, when the current speaker is referencing a speaker that outranks them. They want to acknowledge that they are referencing the same subject so that it doesn’t sound like they’re trying to one-up.

    It’s possible that your conclusion is correct and that speakers know the subjects of each others’ talks prior to conference. But my anecdotal evidence as a conference interpreter actually tells me the opposite.

    • Thanks for adding the insight from your personal experience, Bryan!

      I appreciate all the information I get from my listeners!

      RFM

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