Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 154: The Restoration Proclamation

RFM does a deep dive into the new proclamation unveiled at the most recent general conference.  A comparison with the similar proclamation in 1980 yields surprising results!

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27 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 154: The Restoration Proclamation

  1. Really, really good analysis. You make my earlier point about the advantage of having been a convert to the church. Your observations about what bad taste it is to be celebrating at this time and Nelson’s desperation would never have occurred to me, for example…even though I’m so far away from it all now.

    It’s like when you had a friend over as a kid and he says, “your dad’s weird”…and you’re embarrassed and think, “he is???..yeah, I guess he is now that you point it out”

    I agree that on a general run through, it doesn’t appear like there’s anything much there (‘where’s the beef???” ), but as you revealed, it goes a long way to finessing all the language around the first vision problems they are dealing with…as if thats going to unring the bells the internet has rung in exposing their slimy deceptions. and while they’re at it, they throw in a bunch of other shit.

    That was a good point about the generalization of the 2 priesthoods. I’m thinking that its more a deliberate de-emphasizing of the distinction, rather than for the sake of brevity. They have done a similar thing with the 2 priesthoods in the endowment by dropping the whole changing of the robes to the other shoulder etc. they’ve dropped high priests too. I’m not sure why this is, but I think something is up there.

    Suffice it to say that I can’t stand their transparent condescension and blatant lies and manipulation all wrapped up in a pretty package with a bow. And Nelson’s sanctimonious, saccharine delivery is nauseating. I can barely stand to listen to it.

    How did we do it for so long???????

    • How did we do it?

      The same way you get to Carnegie Hall.

      Practice.
      Practice.
      Practice.

  2. P.S…on a side note, PLEASE don’t change your Radio Free Mormon picture of the kid on the radio behind enemy lines and the camouflage etc. It’s PERFECT!! I don’t even care what anyone else came up with…it can’t top what you’ve already done…please

    • Seconded! Don’t change the behind enemy lines photo!! Well OK, maybe simplify it in SOME cases (e.g. icons) where a photo might be lost at low resolution, etc. But wherever possible please PLEASE keep that photo. And don’t tidy up the font!!!

      • Roger that to both of you, Angie and Chris.

        The only question I have is whether the resolution on the photo would be sufficient to transfer to a t-shirt.

        I am checking that out currently with an expert who contacted me.

        Thanks for weighing in!

        • Re: resolution. You probably won’t have time to read this, but I am sure that plenty of your listeners would be happy to upscale the graphic for you. That is, re-create a new one that looks the same but built using open source textures etc. at a higher scale. If nobody else can do it I’d be happy to give it a try.

          • That sounds fantastic! Any way you can PM me at my FB page?

            That’s where I’m heading next!

            Thanks so much!

            RFM

          • Reply to RFM: I PMed you a couple of sample images yesterday. Hope you’re having a relaxing weekend 🙂

          • Thanks so much! I did have a relaxing weekend and hope to make it to the FB page here in a few minutes!

  3. re: why did Nelson not talk about the Second Coming? Yes, it may be lack of faith. But it may be FEAR of faith. The COJCOLDS has a number of preppers and anti-government types. And LDS history has plenty of doctrines to encourage them. One wrong move and people could die (from disease), making the church look like a wacky cult.

    You will recall the famous bubble chart where John Dehlin was listed (don’t worry, your time will come! 🙂 ) The big surprise was how much weight the church put on people we had never heard of. Why? because they promote intense Mormonism, and the corporate church has no defense against them. I think Nelson and and the lawyers are deeply worried about people with too much faith.

    • PS a similar thing happened around the year 2000. the New Testament Institute manual strongly hinted that the Second Coming would be around the year 2000. You will remember the “seven thousand years” graphic. McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine also indicated the year 2000: you will recall his argument about “The Rising Generation”: a young boy in 1844 could sire a child around the year 1900, placing an upper limit of around the year 2000 for when that generation died. But when the 1990s came, not a peep. General Conference was again conspicuous for not mentioning the Second Coming.

      • Oh, man, I definitely remember the decades approaching 2000.

        Mormons, along with lots of other faiths, definitely saw the writing on the wall that Jesus was coming back at 12:01 a.m. on 1/1/2000.

        But even so, I still think President Nelson wins the prize for banging the drum on the Second Coming tattoo!

        And Wendy is absolutely shameless!

        RFM

    • Hmmmm….thats a really good point. One thing is for sure…its lawyers of a multi billion dollar corp writing the talks, not Nelson.

      • …also to your point Chris, now that the church is losing so many of their stalwart , stable, long standing members and their children, what will necessarily remain in the demographic is a more extreme, less tempered group of people.

        If I can generalize..on the the one end, maybe less devout ,less discerning, social mormons and on the other end..more zealous fanatics that you can’t even hope to reason with….and then everything in between. But theres no doubt that the church is losing an alarming number of their most stable members.

        • …the church is driving out its most mainstream members the weirder it gets. Its a catch22…they are trying to control the hemmoraging by getting more bizarre in their crazy grip on lies they’ve been caught in red handed

          • Yes, it’s sad. A lot of these talented members would love to help the church. Surely its problems can be solved. But the Q15 only want ideas from the Q15. So all the richness and potential falls away.

    • This is a good point. They may not want to play into the hands of Julie Rowe or other prepper movements that are siphoning away Mormons from the flock.

      Nice catch!

  4. The audio link of the 1980 proclamation works. It is Hinckley reading it.

    • Good to know.

      The problem must have been on my end.

      Thanks for checking!

      • RFM. I noticed, in the video of RMN reading the proclamation in the grove, and that was everything was very very green. I assure you that it is not that green in palmyra or the sacred grove. I have only been there once and that was on April 23. There was hardly any green on the trees. I was disappointed in how little foliage there was at the end of April. So my point is RMN’s video was don’t probably some time last summer. Further proof is that he wouldn’t have flown out once covid19 went bananas in early to mid March. At that point the green would have been non existent

        • Great point! I had rolled the idea around in my head as to just when it was President Nelson would have jetted out to New York to do the filming in the sacred grove.

          Thanks for your on-the-ground reporting! I think that narrows it down quite a bit!

          RFM

  5. Regarding your comment about Nelson saying the church is the original NT church, I saw this comment from someone once listing some of the ways we are NOT like the original church. Fascinating commentary and thought y’all might like:

    “The implication is that if an organization has that same structure it is, in effect, the original. This does not follow. If I build a house using the blueprint for the Callister house, it will not, however true to the blueprint, be the Callister house. Or ask yourself: “What are the characteristics of the ‘true’ government of the United States?” You can list them: three separate branches, two houses in the legislature, checks and balances between the three branches, etc., etc. Does that mean that any government which shows all those characteristics is therefore the “true government of the United States”? Of course not.

    The premise is: “If a church has the same characteristics of the early church (on this list), it is the true church. The Mormon church has them, therefore it is the true church.” That is a fallacious use of the premise. This logical fallacy is usually called “affirming the consequent,” and it makes the argument invalid. The premise can only be used to recognize a FALSE church, not the true church:

    If a church is the true church, it will have these characteristics;
    Church X does not have these characteristics;
    Therefore Church X is not the true church.

    Examples of the fallacy of “affirming the consequent” are available in any Logic 101 course.

    Another problem with such lists as presented here, or in Weston’s “17 Points” (which are quite different from Callister’s) is that they are very carefully constructed to include only those characteristics that favor the organization being argued for as “the true church.” It is another fallacy, called “no true Scotsman,” which consists of setting up a definition which only has one outcome, but which is not a valid definition or the only possible one. If one searches the New Testament for the characteristics of the church of the original apostles (there is considerable debate among scholars as to whether Jesus himself actually set up a church), one could construct a completely different list, different from both Callister’s and Weston’s:

    – There will be no physical, visible coming of the Kingdom of God (John 18:36, Luke 17:21).
    – The celebration of the Lord’s supper includes bread, wine (Matt 26:26-29) and the washing of each others’ feet (John 13:4-15).
    – Marriage and divorce are frowned upon (1 Cor 7, Matt 19:9, Mark 10:2-12).
    – The Jewish Temple ritual will be observed (Acts 2:46).
    – The Church takes priority over family (Luke 14:26, 12:51-53, Matt 10:21).
    – Women must cover the head while praying (1 Cor 11:5-10).
    – Eunuchs will have special respect in the Church (Matt 19:12).
    – Only two commandments: Love God and love thy neighbor (Matt 22:36-40).
    – Members hold all things in common ownership (Acts 2:44-45).
    – They do not sin (1 John 3:6-9).
    – They can drink poison without harm (Mark 16:18).
    – They do not strike back if you strike them (Matt 5:39).
    – If you ask to borrow anything from them, you do not have to return it (Luke 6:30).
    -They never have to hire movers or use UPS; they can literally move anything by the power of God (Matt 17:20, 21:21, Mark 11:23).
    – They have no retirement plans, savings account, or food supplies stored away (Matt 6:25-34).
    – They have no possessions (Matt 19:16-21, Mark 16:21, Luke 18:22).
    – They never pray in public (Matt 6:5-8).
    – They are like sheep or children (Matt 19:14, 18:3-4, Mark 10:15, John 10:2-27, Heb 13:20).
    – They do not go to a doctor when ill, but heal each other with prayer (James 5:13-15, Mark 16:18).
    – Their children are not rebellious; they kill them if they are (Matt 15:3-9).
    – They do not die (John 8:51, 11:25-26).

    The author lists none of these descriptions of Christ’s church or Christ’s people, and yet they are from the same source, the Bible.

    Nor does the author deal with some of the striking differences between the present LDS church and the church described in the New Testament. A few examples:

    1. In the NT the only references to “priests” and “high priests” are to the Levitical priests of the Jewish temple, not officers of the Christian church.
    2. The NT does not mention the church as having an “Aaronic” or a “Melchizedek” priesthood, but the LDS church has both.
    3. There is no NT passage that mentions anything like a “First Presidency” apart from the apostles, but the LDS church has such an office, higher than the apostles.
    4. The LDS church holds that its apostles are prophets and its prophets are apostles. But in the NT church, those were separate (1 Cor 12:28, Acts 13:1).
    5. The NT church had no “temples” and the only temple mentioned was the Jerusalem temple, which was where Jewish priests performed the Jewish sacrifices. The original Christians participated there in those Jewish rituals (Acts 2:46) and there is no mention of Christian rituals being performed there. There is no resemblance between that temple and the modern LDS temples, either in ritual or in purpose.
    6. The NT church required deacons to be married and have their own household (1 Tim 3:8-13) but Mormon deacons are usually young teenage boys living at home.
    7. The NT missionaries of the gospel carried no money or food (“purse or scrip”) (Matt 10::9-10, Luke 10:4), but LDS missionaries provide their own support, carry money, buy their own food. More examples could be given.

    The author makes some excellent points about some Bible teachings which are generally ignored or repudiated by most Christian denominations:

    1. The Bible God clearly is portrayed as having a body, as Mormons believe.
    2. God the Son is clearly intended as apart from the Father in the NT (although that distinction is not so clear in the Book of Mormon itself, especially in the first edition).
    3. Baptism for the dead is a puzzle for Christians, but St. Paul acknowledges the practice, and some non-Mormon (and non-Christian) Bible scholars recognize that something called “baptizing the dead” was practiced by some early Christians.
    4. And the general Christian aversion to modern prophets and modern revelation seems clearly not supported by scripture.

    But even some of the items the author lists as part of the blueprint are troublesome for the claim that the LDS church follows it:
    1. The requirement that the church be named after Christ was abandoned by the early Mormon church, which in May 1834 adopted the official name “The Church of the Latter-day Saints” with no mention of Christ. The present name, which includes “Christ,” was not adopted until 1838. Does this mean that the church did not follow the blueprint (and was thus in apostasy) for those four years?
    2. The requirement that the true church must teach that God has a body was ignored for many years, during which the Lectures on Faith were included in the church’s Doctrine and Covenants (until 1921!), since Lecture Fifth clearly states that God the Father (unlike God the Son, who has a body) is a “personage of spirit.”
    3. The author allows that alterations in the original blueprint can be made by the author of the blueprint. This explains how changes in doctrine and practice have been made by the LDS leaders, through revelation. This seems to be an example of the fallacy of “special pleading,” since changes made by church leaders in the early centuries are indications of apostasy, according to the author. The author does not deal with the fact that the actual revelations by which major changes have been made in the LDS church (the abandonment of plural marriage or the lifting of the ban on blacks holding the priesthood) have never been published. The most recent revelation published in the LDS Doctrine and Covenants was received in 1918, almost a century ago. This does not make for strong evidence for “continuing revelation.” And when was the most recent visitation by an angel to a Mormon leader (the blueprint calls for them, right?)?”

    • That is a great list, Tony!

      One of the difficulties Mormonism (or any church, for that matter) has in trying to replicate the pattern of the “New Testament Church” is that there are a variety of different forms, practices and doctrines reflected in the pages of the New Testament.

      As Bart Ehrman noted some years back, there is not one original form of Christianity, but multiple early forms of Christianity.

      In other words, as far back as we are able to go, we find not one Christianity evolving into multiple forms, but at Christianity’s very origins, there are already multiple forms, believing very different things.

      That is why one of Ehrman’s books was titled, “Lost Christianities,” with the emphasis on the plural.

      We can see this phenomenon even as far back as the New Testament itself.

      It was the first Ehrman book I ever got. Over a decade now.

      Time flies!

  6. How do you know when a big corporation is out of fresh ideas?

    They get the marketing department to revamp the logo and the slogan and call that change.

    Thanks for your work.

    • It does seem to fall under the heading of form over substance, doesn’t it?

    • Thanks for finding that, Ramman!

      I trust I quoted it accurately!

      RFM

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