Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 153: Gen Con Warm Up

RFM warms up in the bull pen for General Conference Review by sharing some great stories and audio from conferences past!

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9 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 153: Gen Con Warm Up

  1. Just uncanny how closely our memories of church through the decades parallel. I too very distinctly remember being at the chapel when Bruce R. tipped his hand in that last apostolic testimony. Everyone talked about it for years. It became the new unreachable standard for testifying of Christ.

    And of course who can forget Legrand Richards, back when the ‘brethren ‘ at least had a little personality. I never had any of them built up in my mind so I didn’t know to be disappointed. I didn’t even know to admit to myself how mind numbingly boring it all was.

    What I really wanted to get to was the process revealed by Legrand for the blacks receiving the priesthood. It was even more involved and political and drawn out than he characterized.

    Have you ever heard of “The Genesis Project”? it was a project headed up by Spencer W. Kimball, where he hand picked and groomed a small number of Black Members that were to be the first in the church to receive the priesthood and the temple covenants.

    it started a good 2 years before the announcement ever came, and these men…one being a very close friend of ours years later, spent that time continually lobbying the prophet to give them the priesthood. It was never known to them whether it would be granted or not and it was very top secret. Spencer Kimball named it the Genesis Project at a certain point.

    I was fortunate enough for this good man to spend an evening with our family where he gave us a first hand account of how that whole historical period went down from his first hand point of view.

    We were all TBMs at the time, he had converted in Salt Lake as a younger man. When you spoke of being disillusioned after the conference letdown, that’s an understatement for how I felt about the peek behind the curtain that this friend’s experience gave me.

    The raw truth of how things really work was not faith promoting in the least. And he didn’t mean for it not to be. That was the beginning of some pretty big cracks for me.

    Anyway, I thought you might find that interesting.

    • Yes! I have definitely heard of the Genesis Project.

      Those are interesting stories you share from behind the scenes.

      I am sure there was a great deal more going on that I don’t know about that brought about this “revelation.”

      Interesting how LeGrand Richards doesn’t really characterize it as a revelation, isn’t it?

      Just a decision that the brethren felt needed to be made at that point in time.

      What were they going to do with that temple in Brazil if people with “black blood” couldn’t attend?

      Which just made me wonder why the LDS Church would even put a temple in Brazil under the circumstances.

      Surely they knew about the problems with membership being able to attend before they built it.

      A little research shows this temple was announced March 1, 1975.

      Wouldn’t it have been clever for President Kimball to announce this temple in 1975, knowing that once it came time to dedicate it on October 30, 1978, it would force the issue of blacks and the priesthood?

      I can’t know this is the case, and I haven’t read it anywhere, but when I stop to think about it, why on earth would the church have spent all that money on land and materials to build a temple in a location where they already knew none of the members could even go inside?

      • I know! But according to my friend, less at the time, but more in hindsight, that the whole thing had been gearing up for a least a couple of years, which would account for them getting all their ducks in a row.

        They gave the Black selectees absolutely no reassurances until the final moments. It appeared they felt little for the anxiety they were needlessly causing. Hadn’t these members suffered enough?????

        And they weren’t going to just announce it ( not mentioning Blacks ) and just let them show up at the temple as if its business as usual for them. It’s a disgrace!

  2. Dear RFM,
    Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your daily podcasts. I look forward to hearing it every day. I hope you don’t get burned out because I’d miss hearing your insights about things that have bothered me and things I never thought of before. Though I was in the church almost as long as you (1982), I never studied it so thoroughly. I was busy putting things on the shelf and I certainly didn’t need more uncomfortabilities to deal with. Why go looking, right?
    I never felt like I fit in, and it’s a relief to be out with good reason. (I couldn’t just leave because I didn’t like it — I had made COVENANTS after all!)
    Still, the faith crisis was painful (as it is for the man you addressed yesterday) and left me feeling lost. But the cognitive dissonance is over. Whew!

    • Glad to hear the daily podcast are of some help, Ginny! Thanks for your kind words!

      Yes, cognitive dissonance is the worst.

      At least, as long as you keep fighting it, which I did for decades.

      In retrospect, cognitive dissonance is like the feeling you get when you put your hand on a hot stove.

      It is God’s way of saying to get the heck out of there!

      Thanks for listening!

      RFM

  3. I just want to also express my deep gratitude for your work. I went through a painful three years after I first started thinking that something is off track with the church but years of loyalty don’t get set aside easily. I kept hanging on to the idea that things are inspired and on track while still trying to consider things I didn’t want to consider. You recently mentioned a man going through a similar struggle. I hadnt really thought about it much before but I should make a consistent effort to pray for people in that struggle. The Apostolic Coup d’état episodes helped greatly. Similar to The Marvelous Work and a Wonder page on how one minister pointed out the strength of the authority claim of the Mormon church compared to the dead authority claims of the Catholics and Protestants the church with “tomfoolery,” (meaning lies) in the rewrite of scripture and history was also dead. I wonder if Radio Free Jim Jones or Radio Free Branch Davidians or Radio Free Fundamental Polygamist Mormons would have saved some lives. I probably have thousands of polygamist relatives in the woodwork. A relative tells me that some are breaking away. Some of these are going through a terrible struggle as they get the feeling that the “inspired” people they held loyalty to for years might not be what they claimed to be. As an “enlightened” person on the outside of the FLDS it’s easy for me to see how wrong things are. Warren Jeffs and all the other “prophets” and the infighting and child brides can’t be right. That should be easy to see ….right? Just read under the Banner of Heaven or Stolen Innocence for some insights. I’m sure those books are not on the approved list. Thanks for all your hard work. I wonder if you are super high IQ or you just don’t get much sleep or both to get all this done.

    • It really is difficult going through a separation from a high demand fundamentalist religion like Mormonism, isn’t it?

      I feel I was spared some of the trauma because, for me, it wasn’t all of a sudden, but happened over decades.

      On the other hand, I do not think I could appreciate the freedom and liberty of finally throwing off the shackles if I had never been chained in the first place.

      I hope the worst times are behind you and you are doing well on your journey!

      RFM

  4. I MUST have a Radio Free Mormon T-Shirt. I won’t be happy until I have one on!

    Please do this!

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