Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 133: General Conference McNuggets Part 2

RFM continues his review of highlights from October General Conference of 2019.  We even find some more hidden predictions of the Corona Virus.  What a blessing it is to have prophets who lead the church!

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24 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 133: General Conference McNuggets Part 2

  1. RFM,

    I can not tell you how thankful I am for your podcasts. I call you the church of RFM. And when your podcasts post I tell my wife honey I’m going to church. I will soon be increasing my tithing to thank you for your words of wisdom. Even if I look forward to church more with you than I ever did gospel doctrine, please take care of yourself so you can broadcast behind enemy lines for the next 100 years.

    Your fan.

    • The Church of RFM?

      I like it!

      How about The FIRST Church of RFM?

      I like that even more!

      Seriously, though, thank you so much for your kind and supportive words.

      And for your tithing check.

      Did I mention the First Church of RFM is raising tithing to 20%?

      Just wanted to make sure you weren’t surprised come tithing settlement.

      Thanks for listening!

      RFM

  2. This continual stream of podcasts during this unprecedented time of seclusion from society and everyday life has been a sanity saver!

    Thank you RFM for filling the void!

    I recently returned from a trip abroad with my TBM spouse and we listened to your podcasts (at her request) on our road trip through the Australian Outback. She appreciates your lawyerly approach to the subject matter and is a huge fan. Nobody breaks it down like RFM! Let’s just say she’s a more nuanced believer than she was before the trip. Thank you! thank you! thank you!

    The check’s in the mail! ( so to speak).
    *you need Venmo!

    • Thanks so much for the words of support and appreciation, Eric!

      I worked very hard last week getting podcasts out on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. By the time the weekend came, I was totally bushed!

      But I rested up and now have a new podcast up yesterday and just released another today!

      I can’t believe there is so much to talk about in last General Conference.

      I am up to five parts to this particular podcast now and will need at least two more to finish.

      This isn’t so much General Conference McNuggets as it is a double Quarter-Pounder with cheese!

      Thanks again for your support. And please give my best to your wife!

      RFM

  3. Hi, RFM.

    I have a comment regarding the boredom of conferences and church meetings.

    The literature on mind control methods used by cults and manipulative organizations lists boredom as one of the tools of mind control. When people are bored, they are in a state of mind, similar to being hypnotized. They are suggestible, less critical, easier manipulated into believing falsehoods, and unquestioning following the leaders.

    What are your thoughts?

    George.

    • Here is an excerpt from a book by Stephen Hassan:

      “Hypnotism relates to the unethical mind control practices of destructive cults in a variety of ways. In many cults which claim to be religious, what is often called “meditation” is no more than a process by which the cult members enter a trance, during which time they may receive suggestions which make them more receptive to following the cult’s doctrine. Non-religious cults use other forms of group or individual induction. In addition, being in a trance is usually a pleasant, relaxing experience, so that people wish to re-enter the trance as often as possible. Most importantly, it has been clinically established by psychological researchers that people’s critical faculties are diminished in the trance state. One is less able to evaluate information received in a trance than when in a normal state of consciousness. The power of hypnosis to affect people can be considerable. People who are “high hypnotizables”—can be put into a trance very quickly and perform remarkable feats. During stage hypnosis shows subjects have been directed to dance like Elvis Presley (to the audience’s laughter); lie down between two chairs and assume a wooden boardlike rigidity; believe they are naked (when they are fully clothed) or behave as though their hands were “glued” to their sides. If people can be made to perform these acts in just a few minutes of influence, getting hypnotic subjects to believe that they are part of a “chosen few” with many hours, days or weeks of programming is very achievable. Destructive cults commonly induce trances in their members through lengthy indoctrination sessions. Repetition, boredom and forced attention are very conducive to the induction of a trance. Looking at a group in such a setting, it is easy to see when the trance has set in. The audience will exhibit slowed blink and swallow reflexes, and their facial expressions will relax into a blank, neutral state. With people in such a state, it is possible for unscrupulous leaders to implant irrational beliefs. I have seen many strong-willed people hypnotized and made to do things they would never normally do.”

      Hassan, Steven. Combating Cult Mind Control: The Guide to Protection, Rescue and Recovery from Destructive Cults (pp. 111-112). Freedom of Mind Press. Kindle Edition.

    • There may be something to what you say, but I will confess I know just enough about hypnosis to be dangerous.

      By which I mean not much at all.

      I can say that I have never felt particularly suggestible during General Conference, although I have felt my eyelids getting heavy.

      Thanks for listening!

      RFM

  4. RFM,
    I loved the essay written by your reader. I could have written it also. I agreed with every single word she said.
    I went through my faith crisis last fall. I listened and learned from so many of your podcasts. I learned so much!
    I was the TBM who wouldn’t dare go to anti-Mormon literature. Until I did. Now I’m out.
    Unfortunately, my husband of 37 years refused to follow me on that journey. He is divorcing me because I have left the church.
    There’s no way I can unknow what I found out. It’s all based on a fraud.
    Thank you for all your work and research. Most importantly, thank you for your podcasts.
    Marcy

    • So sorry for your family trouble, Marcy.

      Did you try “Marriage on a Tight Rope” podcast which deals with mixed-faith marriages? It could be of help to you and your husband. 37 years together is not something to be thrown away easily.

      George.

    • As someone who’s in a mixed faith marriage, I can apprecitate the predicament that you’re in. It it’s not too late, it’s worthy giving marriage on a tightrope a try.

    • Hi, Marcy!

      I am grateful I have been of some help to you during your journey, but am sorry to hear about the situation with your husband.

      37-years is a long time to be married, only to find out that your husband’s top priority apparently wasn’t you but the church.

      No, you can’t unknow what you have found out. You can’t unring the bell.

      And you know what? You wouldn’t want to even if you could! At least I wouldn’t, and I expect we are not that different, you and I.

      Take care of yourself. And please remember that there are always new and beautiful horizons that will open to your view as your travel your path on your journey of discovery.

      RFM

  5. RFM – Regarding what constitutes doctrine. I was a gospel doctrine teacher for years during my faith transition. My final lesson was shut down early by a member of the bishopric. : ) It was about the LAW of COMMON CONSENT and touched on the Nov. 15th policy. Here: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/section-26-the-law-of-common-consent?lang=eng Bruce R. McKonkie taught: “Not only are Church officers sustained by common consent, but this same principle operates for POLICIES, major decisions, acceptance of new scripture, and other things that affect the lives of the Saints (see D&C 26:2). Shouldn’t the same law apply to doctrinal changes?

    • Exactly, Christopher!

      Common consent should apply to doctrinal changes; it should apply to policy changes; and it should apply to program changes.

      Anything that affects the lives of the Saints. This is one place where I stand squarely behind Elder McConkie.

      Church leadership, however, has found a number of new and inventive ways of changing policies, programs and doctrine without ever having to put it up for a sustaining vote of the membership.

      They have even used proclamations to circumvent common consent in adding new scripture to the canon.

      For what is the Proclamation to the World on the Family if not scripture? We know Elder Oaks has already already declared it “doctrine.”

      And even if the “s” word isn’t used to describe it (yet) it has nevertheless achieved the status of “super-scripture.”

      I mean, what other chapter of scripture from the standard works is framed and hung on the walls of virtually every Mormon household?

      • That’s so true! I can’t think of ANY chapter or verse from the standard works that is displayed on the walls of member homes like the Proclamation. ““And others will he pacify, and lull them away into … security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil … leadeth them away carefully down to hell.”

        • I’m not sure Zion is feeling too well after the downturn in the market took a sizable chunk out of its $100 billion investment fund. ;^)

    • Significant and sometimes doctrinal changes in the endowment ordinance have been going on since 1926, none of which were ever approved by Common Consent. As such, one could argue that the Church is in a state of apostasy

  6. Thanks for putting this together, I enjoyed this podcast.

    On the whole, I think it is a healthy thing that the church is backing away from claims of miraculous healing and focusing instead on praising individual endurance in difficult situations. That’s much more realistic and much more likely to be helpful to the average person.

    That being said, once you get rid of the magic, revelation and the miracles, what is left that is special about the church? I guess just the “authority?”

    Also, is there a reason that you read the quotes and didn’t use audio clips? Is there a copyright reason (I would think use of snippets is “fair use” and wouldn’t repeating the words generate a similar issue)? Or did you not have the time? It’s nice to hear the nuggets from the horse’s mouth if that is possible.

    Thanks again.

    Rick

    • Yes, Rick, authority is all the LDS Church has left. Authority is the wall against which church leaders have backed themselves after ceding all the distinctive doctrines and beliefs that once made Mormonism unique.

      And even the foundations of the authority-claim are shaky once one begins looking at the evolution of the story of Peter, James and John conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood on the heads of Joseph and Oliver.

      Also, the reason I have not included audio clips of different conference speakers is, as you guessed, because of a shortness of time. If I were putting these out once a week, I would have time to do the extra work of including the audio clips.

      But what with putting them out each day, I simply don’t have the time for all the extra work that would entail.

      Believe me, it is easier to say “include audio clips” than it is to actually do it!

      Thanks for listening, though!

      RFM

      • RFM — It makes sense that including audio clips is more work.

        Here in RFM nation, we do appreciate the work you put in and your unique and insightful analysis into the evolving LDS landscape.

        The reason I mentioned the audio clips was because I was listening to some of your past conference broadcasts and, it was the first time that I had heard conference talks in years.

        Is it just me or has the “conference talk” voice (i.e., cadence, tone, intonations) gotten more fake and annoying?

        Thanks again

        Rick

        • Just for you, I included three audio clips in today’s (4/1/2020) podcast. One from last General Conference, one from 1975 General Conference, and one from a 2016 Missionary Training session I really don’t think we were supposed to pay attention to.

          I hope you enjoy it!

          • Thanks for including the audio clips. Did you notice that Spencer W. Kimball said “slant eyes” in his talk? Times have changed.

  7. No doubt that when Roots came out and people started getting interested in their genealogy, Church leaders claimed that it was the spirit of Elijah, but that’s no odder than when Mormon Star Wars enthusiasts were claiming that the Jedi Religion was like gospel when Return of the Jedi came out. It’s just what Mormons do.

    Mormon proclamations are akin to Catholic encyclicals. Although the Church attempts to use them to replace revelation, it’s important to note that they are labeled guides and are not canonized. Imagine the horrible quandary the Church would have been in if they would have canonized the 1858 proclamation to the world when they proclaimed that the Native Americans in North and South America are Lamanites. They would have closed the escape hatch to evade the archaeological, DNA and linguistic evidence demonstrating that claim’s impossibility. How many TBMs are even awhile of what the first proclamation even says. There is no book of proclamations added to the standard works. They are throwaways like Official Church Statements.

    And while revelation is dead within Mormonism, so is seership. Ever since the papyrus was discovered in 1967 the Church has had the book of Joseph, but unlike the Book of Abraham the seers of the Church have done nothing to provide a translation of it. In fact, there is no evidence that any of the Church’s seers learning how to fulfill their calling and scry. Do any of the Q15 even attempt to fulfill their calling as described in the Book of Mormon?

    • I am aware of no evidence that any of the 15 seers attempt to fulfill that role as described both in the BOM and in the PGP; that of being a person who not only possesses a seer stone, but is commanded by God to look in it, and actually does look in it and can see things in it. I remember, by the way, how Mormons wanted to liken The Force in Star Wars to the Holy Ghost. It was all the rage. Of course, this was back when Steve Martin was a Mormon . . . And yes! I happen to be not only aware of the 1858 church proclamation you mentioned, but have held in my hands an original of the same. The reason is that back when I lived in Austin in the early 1980s, the guy across the street (not a Mormon) was a collector of old historical documents and he had one, and he thought I might be interested so he showed it to me. I remember looking at it and thinking, even at the time, that this ragtag group of American outcasts seemed to be a bit full of themselves to be making such a proclamation to all the kings and presidents and leaders of the world that they needed to convert to Mormonism or else! At least that is my recollection of what was contained in the proclamation. Thanks for your comments!

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