Skip to content

Radio Free Mormon: 159: Revelation Revolution

Why does President Russell M. Nelson feel compelled to label everything that comes out of his mouth as revelation?  RFM digs into the current “revelation revolution” of President Nelson’s administration, and unearths a piece of evidence from 1986 that may shed important light on the subject!


28 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 159: Revelation Revolution”

  1. If I might weigh in on Hinkley’s main contribution, I’d say that it was his implementing of the explosion of McTemples on the landscape. Before him, the accessibility of traditional mammoth temples remained minimally convenient to the minority of members.

    Ultimately , these budget McTemples were found to be too small, but this was remedied and the numbers of new builds did not decrease and has not since that time. Its hard to pay any mind to new temple announcements anymore, they are so commonplace and almost boring. I think the tithing market is getting oversaturated. LOL I would say that was Hinkley’s number one legacy.

    I 100% agree with your final speculation on why Nelson characterizes walking down the hallway as a revelation. Haha! How about the miracle that he can still walk and chew gum at 95? offence to any 95yr olds out there.

    It reminds me of when my husband and I were raising 5 children on a shoestring and in order to make Christmas seem more abundant, I started wrapping every single item in the christmas stockings, down to a role of lifesavers. It gave the kids lots to open and the impression that there was so much there.

    To my chagrin, the trick worked and I became a slave to continuing this practise long after it was no longer necessary because the kids complained if I didn’t.

    It seems that Nelson is doing a similar thing. I marvel at how little it takes to satisfy the members. Yikes.

    thank you RFM…you’re spoiling us rotten , I’m afraid:)

    1. Do you remember seeing the Church News article a while back gushing over the fact that President Nelson can actually walk unaided?

      I think the headline was “The Prophet Who Walked.”

      Like that was some big accomplishment!

      It also noted how at this moment in time, all fifteen apostles can actually walk through the underground tunnels to the conference center without assistance.

      This is truly a watershed moment in the history of the LDS Church!

      Hmmm. I can’t seem to locate that article now.

      I wonder if it got taken down . . . ?

      Anyway, thanks for your comments! You are right! Maybe President Hinckley’s main influence was building all the smaller temples throughout the world.

      Under his administration, the church certainly accumulated enough money to fund them!


      1. oh really?….you’ve gotta be digging really deep as a journalist to have geriatric mobility be an actual story…Only in Utah. What people really want to know is if they can keep their pants dry thru a whole session…oh right, ‘depends’.

  2. We’re living through a period defined by uncertainty: How bad will COVID-19 get? Are we doing the right thing by shutting everything down and putting people out of work? Are the restrictions enough? If we open back up now, will it get worse? When will we have a vaccine?

    It’s too bad there isn’t someone with a direct line to God, like a prophet… or maybe someone who can see into the future or reveal what God says we should do about Coronavirus… Oh well.

    But, hey! The Mormons consolidated their men’s groups and made a neat new logo, so that’s cool …

  3. Thanks again RFM for reminding us of how lucky we are to have a very active Prophet Seer and Revelator in charge at last the only problem is most of what he and the Q12 come up with usually makes matters worse. I have been released twice by The Prophet Himself once as a Seventy in 1986 and then by Pres Hinckley about 15 years ago when he got rid of all the stake missionaries along with me as Stake Mission President.
    In my opinion the Stake Missions worked well I met monthly with the Full time Mission Pres and the Zone leaders along with the Stake Pres thus the Mission was fully coordinated between members and Missionaries and we were baptising fully converted new members who got home Teachers and callings and fully welcomed into the ward. Members and Missionaries were working together well. We held a monthly training session in the Stake Centre together with all the Stake, Ward and Full Time Missionaries. As a Stake Mission Presidency we met with ward counsels in the stake regularily to train them and inform them of their duties in the missionary effort as well as discussing goals with every Bishop. If their goals were below my expectations I would throw them back and tell them to think again. Once Stake Missions were thrown under the Bus, to use your phrase , all this effort stopped there was no more coordination and quality Baptisms dwindled away. In other words things got worse after this Revelation
    President Nelson mmmmm what a Guy his Revelations have destroyed Home Teaching, The High Priests Group, as well as Primary. Ministering does not work because many members already minister to Family, Extended Family and Friends who need help. Many have young families, older parents and grandparents who need the help. In our case Christine has two older sisters one is almost 90 the other is registered blind and housebound both need care not just once a month but several times weekly. Ministering goes on unseen outside and apart from within the Church membership. Ministering was badly thought out badly executed with no structure. I made my thoughts known in Priesthood and was told by the EQ President that it was my duty to make time to minister within the Church as directed and as usual he tried to use the guilt trip tactics on me. I told him angrily that his comments were way out of order in no uncertain terms, Ministering is a failure its not happening. Home teaching worked once a month and could be planned into any busy schedule.
    In Primary after they split and go to their various classes they have maybe 15 mins to give a lesson. After 10 years in High Council I served in Primary for three years before the changes I had at least 35 mins for the lesson which was time enough to get them settled and get them interested but 15 mins No Chance another disaster.
    It seems to me that everything they, the Q15, do is done in desperation. They are Seers who cannot See. They are the Blind leading the Blind.
    This short poem by Langston Hughes (1901-1967 USA) sums up exactly what they are doing.

    “I went down to the river,
    I set down on the bank.
    I tried to think but couldn’t,
    So I jumped in and sank.”
    ― Langston Hughes

    I have no idea how you are managing to achieve a podcast every weekday but I am grateful that you do.
    I was going to comment on your country roads podcast as two of my best friends left home and both became multi millionaires Dodger became a bank robber got caught did time then invested his ill gotten gains in google shares when they were real cheap he rang me last week from his chateau in France complaining that he had lost 2 million on the value of his shares. Mike made his fortune with an idea he got from me in the 60’s when I started my Pop Group Chuck and the Cherokees I asked him to design and build an amplifier for me as he worked for a company manufacturing electric motors and he was a boy genius. He was the farmers son and my best pal he left home when he was 19 he ended up designing audio equipment using early electronics became a multi millionaire employing 750 people in his factory HH Electronics exporting world wide all the top groups used his audio equipment. He sold his business and retired at 51 bought a yacht and was actually sailing into new York Harbour as the twin towers were hit. Died in Spain of a massive heart attack when he was 63 his brother brought his ashes back to me we scattered them in the fields where we played as kids the cows grazing nearby thought that we were scattering food promptly trotted over and ate the lot. So my best pal the farmer’s son ended his life in the belly of a cow. How ironic but oh so funny sorry MIke I can’t help laughing every time I think about you. HaHaHaHaHa
    Hope you don’t mind me sharing this with you RFM
    Just thought you might get a laugh out of this too to brighten your day.

    1. That’s an amazing post. Thanks!

      One upside of Nelson’s changes is that here in Scotland the Church seldom worked. So less of it is better. It helps to ease members into less commitment. Obviously this is crazy if Nelson’s goal is to make a church that works. But in my last branch a typical home teaching list was 20 people, and Primary was purgatory: some poor harassed young mother needed a break on Sunday, and instead was given even more children to somehow Inspire for two hours after they had already become bored and restless on Sacrament meeting. Every primary teacher I ever knew found it an exhausting burden. In a small branch there just are not enough people to run the Church’s programs. So less church was always a tender mercy. But in a ward where the church works? Yes, dismantling what works is crazy.

      1. Thanks Chris I always find your posts informative, interesting and intelligent our sacrament meeting attendance in the Huddersfield Stake of West Yorkshire was usually 150+ with our two wards Hudds 1 and 2 there was easily 300 members in the building every Sunday so yes we had more than enough adults to run all the programmes and we had the biggest Stake House in Europe until some teenage non-member idiots broke in and burnt the place down. For 5 years or so we spread around the Stake until the Stake House was rebuilt. We were not consulted on the re-build that was patterned exactly as the Stake House at Preston Temple and it was totally useless for our requirements with class rooms not big enough to swing a cat. As it happens with dwindling membership its becoming more usable.
        The only reason we still attend is that an elderly lady TBM totally relies on us to take her each Sunday.

    2. Great post, Dave!

      And I especially like the Langston Hughes poem.

      You are right. No matter how much money we make, the reaper gets us in the end.

      I think that may play into the Henry David Thoreau quote I mentioned in this podcast: “We don’t own things. Things own us.”

      “The paths of glory lead but to the grave,” as I quoted on an earlier podcast.

      I felt the new ministering program was bound to fail because it was like church leadership sat back and said, “Well, the members aren’t doing their home teaching, and nothing we say to them seems to get them to do it. So let’s come up with a new program! Let’s really dumb down the requirements and just ask the members to do the awful job they are already doing! And we’ll give it a new name, to boot!”

      And that’s how the Ministering program was born. ;^)

      Keep up the good fight!

      By the way, there don’t happen to be any demo-tapes of Chuck and the Cherokees lying around . . . ?

  4. The two words “claimed revelation” is an interesting one. John Taylor claimed many revelations. Some of these he submitted to the Q12 for ratification, from what I understand. They were not published.

    Certainly the current church leaders don’t want to claim these revelations. Two of them are part of the “Four Hidden Revelations” cited by Fundamentalists as evidence that the “corporate” church is in apostasy.

    Here are some references:

    So, the phrase “claimed revelation” depends on who is doing the claiming. I would not be surprised that in 100 years, the church will no longer claim RMN’s actions as revelation.

    Thanks for all you are doing.

    1. Good points!

      I forgot about those revelations from John Taylor!

      Especially that sticky-wicket from 1886.

      Mustn’t talk about that one in polite company. ;^)

      Thanks for the correction!


  5. Dave,
    You’ve brightened my day and given me a laugh at least with your post. i enjoyed reading your views and stories and getting a sense of who you are. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Jani for your kind remarks.
      My friend Dodger disappeared one day sometime in the late 1970’s and I didn’t see him again until about 10 years ago. I live in a quiet secluded rural valley with one narrow road in and out it was sunny and warm I was outside by my front door when I heard the low, throaty sound of a very powerful car coming up the valley this I had to see I don’t like strangers in my valley. Before long round the bend about 100yards away appears a Red American Sports car my curiosity aroused I scan every inch of the car including the occupant as it slowly passes and then stops 30 yards away. The occupant has a big bushy beard and a cowboy hat pulled well down over his eyes the car number plate reads 2 BAD over the top and underneath the registration number it reads “All men Die” 2 BAD “Some men never live” The car door opens followed by a cowboy boot and then a tall gangly figure dressed in black with a old canvas bag over his shoulder “Who the Hell is this” I am thinking as he slowly approaches and all I can see are two narrow piercing eyes that look vaguely familiar. He speaks “Hiya Dave hows it going old Buddy. Now I know those eyes it’s the Artful Dodger my old pal. He spends the whole day with us telling all his adventures over the 30 years he’s been gone but strangely even during meal times he never took that old canvas bag off his shoulder. He recounted his adventures including his bank robbing days during the 30 years he had been missing he went first to France then over to the US were he learnt his new trade with a bunch of wise guys he fell in with. He was caught served time and eventually made it back to France where he lives to this day with his third wife a Russian lady he married 10 years ago. I have known some colourful characters in my life time and the Art Full Dodger is certainly close to No1 on the list. All before I joined the Church of LDS (Lying Dirty Scoundrels)

  6. RFM, you mention thèse révélations….what of thé changes that can be made WITHOUT one. Men only wear White shirts now. Women better have one hole for one pair of earrings.
    Angie is right as she marvels how easy members are satisfied. You’ve mentioned before how there us no meat in the doctrine. I discovered this in 2015 when I began to study a lot. Hours each day and what did I find….the manuals and lectures and talks that are official church doctrine, contradicts each other. I would find 4 differents answers to explain something. ( it was how and when Jesus became a god and just about every topic I looked into) No one said the same thing. In Oct. 2017 I decided to look outside LDS ” scholars” to check things out AND I was looking for Holland’s greatest missionary story ever told and found you. The last 2 times I went to church in July 2018, I had to leave my brain at the door as it became silly how lacking the lesson manuals really are in any doctrine.
    P.S. I remember the temple ceremony where they stated Adam and Eve were figurative. I disliked the temple day one. I felt like property. It also sprang into my mind this is a cult. It turns out it is a cult when they have to trash anyone who leaves and the members become afraid of you. That’s happened to me.
    PSS. My sister who was born 1961 cannot remember there were Seventy’s in the priesthood make up. I remember them.
    PSSS..the most wonderful aspect of all of this for me is that it’s always been a lie. Day one is a lie. The doctrine tore me apart as a woman and I had to not believe it or believe god hated women. Frankly speaking, spreading your legs for ETERNITY to give birth is not noble it’s demoralizing and it nearly broke me. That on top of my husband would be shagging many other women, possibly mortal women as in the case of jesus….and I’m told god knows what will make me happy so not to worry about it.
    Thank you RFM for helping me find the lies or I might say the truth.
    The PPPP church hurts many, many members. (Polygamy, priesthood, patriarchy, prophets…PPPP)

    1. So true….PPPP indeed.

      I was one of those keeners who got sitters for my little ones once a week and attended institute classes at the university. I should have been in a spa with a martini with what zero time I had to myself….sadly I considered that my self care.

      And I had all the institute manuals that I personally studied my way thru…..ugh!!! Its amazing how anestasized I was because the contradictions just didn’t disturb me when I noticed them…frankly, I was too sleep deprived to muster the energy to do any more than notice. LOL ( not that funny, really )

      And yes…the seventies. If you grew up in the mission field like I did in Canada, the seventies played a high profile role running all the activities in the branch or ward. What were those fun activities you ask??? Missionary open houses !!!…monthly in our neck of the woods.

      They supplied a continual stream of chronic pressure and guilt to invite your friends to see the first vision film followed by really bad refreshments featuring the use of someone’s 40 year old supply of whole wheat. And of course that was always washed down with that flat orange koolaid drink they got from McDonalds…just so white trash all around. Hahahahaha

    2. Thanks for your great comments, K!

      For many years in the LDS Church, I often heard the expression, “Milk before meat.”

      It was usually said as a way to keep members (especially me!) content with the correlated pablum that passes for doctrinal instruction in the LDS Church.

      It was only later I discovered that there was no meat after the milk. We were supposed to be content with the milk so we wouldn’t find out the church has no meat to feed us.

      It’s like that old Wendy’s commercial, “Where’s the beef?”

      Ditto the expression, “That’s not pertinent to my/your salvation.”

      The LDS Church has a number of ways to keep its members happy with a low nutrition diet, while at the same time trumpeting how much they are spiritually fed.

      It’s quite bizarre, actually.

    3. Hi K, There is meat to the doctrine after all. I know this will sound crude, but there’s no other way to say it, and I’m sure from your PSSS that you’ll understand: women are the meat of the gospel. Lots and lots of them. Or to put it in a vegan context, women are the carrots of the doctrine; the carrots that the donkeys keep aspiring to obtain. So you need no longer wonder where’s the meat. You have met the meat and it is you.

  7. RFM:

    The one revelation that I would like to see as part of this “revolution” would be Nelson receiving a revelation that ends the idiotic insistence on using GAs’ middle initials. Just listening to you repeatedly saying “D. Todd Christopherson” over a couple times drove this home.

    By the way, I was a 70 for about 4 years. (This was in my early 30s.) I thought that when Benson released me from stake missionary hell that would be the end of it. But no, the stake president then felt “inspired” to call me into the newly created stake mission presidency. (By the way, this was in the Federal Way, WA stake.)

    A few years later, I got a closer look at how “inspiration” really works when I was called as stake executive secretary. Nothing inspiring at all about how callings are made. It is no different than in any other organization. There is a vacancy and you look for the best choice to fil it.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Garth!

      Glad I am not the only one who remembers stake seventies back in the day. ;^)

      It really was just a reorganization of the same thing with stake mission presidencies, wasn’t it?

      It’s like they move the pieces around but never add anything new or, dare I say it, revelatory.

      I think it was J. Golden Kimball who said callings in the church are ten percent revelation and ninety percent relation.

      Thanks for listening!


  8. I personally have no problems with an old man in his dotage spending his declining years prophesying to his heart’s content. I do, however, think that it is unseemly that the Brethren are so effusive in their expressions of gratitude and praise for what really amounts to just a string of rather pedestrian prophecies. Wondering if they should perhaps dial it back a bit, and save some of their fan-girl gushings for when the Prophet discovers the City of Zarahemla or parts the Red Sea. Less is more, Brethren!

          1. How about “Mr. Darcy”? Or is that only for when we meet upon the Five Points of Fellowship?

    1. Hilarious Rob!….

      Last time I checked, a prophesy was a prediction of something specific in the future, from God that has serious pertinence to salvation ….give us one of those, Russell.

      Its not a report of the geriatric implementation of the corporation minutes of the last few months. LOL

  9. My brother was serving as EQP in his ward when they combined the high priests and the EQ. He said it was tense initially, the high priests didn’t seem to like the drop in status.

    At the first combined meeting, there was a heated discussion (argument) between two of the attendees as to whether the priesthood authority of the high priests and the elders was the same. It boiled down to whether they held different “keys”. I think it was settled that the “keys” held by each were the same but am not sure . . .

  10. It’s interesting to read all the comments. I just thought from the podcast that there is a marketing plan involved in all the revelations. I think it’s called “branding.” It is like “two scoops of raisins, caffeine free, sugar free, gluten free, meow, meow, meow, meow meow, meow, meow , meow, and especially “NEW And IMPROVED.” It has always struck me as curious that some conference prayers use the word “humbly” in the prayer. It makes me think of the saying, “To tell you the truth.” I know it is just a habit but it begs the question, “So you have been lying to me up until now?” I do have great respect for the folks within the organization who really do try to live kind and loving lives. I have also seen some conscientious ministers in action.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.