Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 164: Little Trouble in Big China

Why did the Chinese government shanghai President Nelson’s announcement of a new temple on the mainland?  RFM does some sleuthing to find out!

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17 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 164: Little Trouble in Big China

  1. Members of my family have been with the Church since 1830. We know about announcing temples. I was there when the first presidency announced a large temple in New York State. The neighbors immediately began picketing and complaining and filing suit to stop the temple. It went all the way through the courts, and THE CHURCH WON, but the Church put its tail between its legs anyway, built a temple in New York City and one in Boston, and never spoke about the revealed temple to be built in New York State again.

    My family was there in Missouri when the temple was announced in Far West, Missouri. Members of the 12 were commanded to lay the four corner stones and then leave on their missions from that place. It took some fancy footwork to accomplish the last part without being arrested by the Missouri authorities. Last time I was in Far West, they haven’t started construction yet.

    My family was there when Joseph Smith announced the imminent 2nd coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the temple to be built in the New Jerusalem in Jackson County, Missouri. Missionaries were to be sent around the world to gather the “elect of God” and to “come quickly” because a war to end all wars was soon to start in South Carolina and fill the whole earth. There would be lightning, and earthquakes, and all types of destruction to usher in Christ’s 1000 year reign where he would sit on his throne in the temple in Jackson County, Missouri which would be built by the Lamanites and assisted by the white members of the Church in the generation of Joseph Smith Jr. My ggg polyandry grandfather Isaac Morley, was promised in his patriarchal blessing given to him by the prophet, seer, revelator and patriarch to the Church Joseph Smith Sr., that he would live to see Christ come in the flesh. Last time I was in Jackson County, Missouri, that massive temple hasn’t even had a ground breaking, and I haven’t seen Christ shuffling around the streets looking for his throne to sit on in the temple that was never built.

    • Wait a minute……I was told by a TBM that joseph smith never had any children from his plural/polyandry wives. You had a ggg polyandry grandfather? Really? I would love to have told that to the TBM. He was on a youtube I follow and wouldn’t leave me alone with all of his crap disregarding any of the polygamy/polyandry stuff.

  2. LMAO!!!!!!

    Jack Burton’s hilarious, over the top bravado is the perfect metaphor for Dr.Nelson’s embarrassing, geriatric flexing for the members on the announcement of a Chinese Temple that will never be. He’s writing checks he can’t cash, literally on this one.

    And he’s obtuse and presumptuous enough to think he can just announce it to the world with immunity, by sucking up big time and grovelling publicly to the Chinese government in the guise of this announcement. He wants this one bad as evidenced by his level of public brown nosing…yikes!

    i dont think his ego would allow him to keep his MASSIVE trap shut. Who is advising him on Chinese diplomatic dealings??? What an idiot!

    I laughed so hard at the comment of him having ‘egg-foo-young’ all over his face!

    I think his advanced age and his ‘temple envy’ and his MASSIVE God complex are the reason for these silly premature announcements. And his ‘doctoring'( he loves that ) of that temple dedication quote have his hubris written all over it.

    It seemed to me that he was also implying that he is now the instrumentation of the fulfilment of that cut and paste prophesy.

    Your pop musical knowledge is a scream! Loved the closing…love you RFM

    • P.S. I guess he underestimated how much pull his 2 loads of donated face masks would buy him. Hey what about kicking something over to his own subjects in their time of need!!!!!!

    • Agreed! Another “hit it out of the park” episode: much more important than it might appear. This is a modern parallel to the hat episode. The hat episode exposed the glorious, miraculous origins of the church to be a simple trick that anybody could do. The China episode is the same.

      All my life I have heard how the church is big, and strong, and filling the world. China was always the proof: we were quietly making friends in high places, with more and more members in China, and it was a miracle! But now we see the truth: the church’s presence in China is just people meeting in an ordinary unmarked room, having to grovel to the authorities and getting nothing in return. In other words, you or I could do exactly the same in our own apartment in Shanghai!

      The church is the same now as it was in 1830. Just a simple magic trick that anybody could do with minimal resources and minimal skill. And we fell for it.

      • Hahahahahahaha!!!! It is a true parallel. There’s a truism that goes, “How you do anything , is how you do everything!”

        I think your comment applies. Once you see their white trash MO in one thing, you see it everywhere. ( referring to the top brass )…..boy did we ever fall for it…ugh!

  3. In 1853, my ggguncle Hosea Stout was called and set apart to go to China by the inspiration (revelation) of the prophet seer and revelator Brigham Young. They were to open the missionary work in China. I guess it was supposed to be like the stone cut out of the mountain without hands until it filled the whole country of China. I suppose that this new temple is supposed to fill the need of the many stakes, wards, and branches that have formed in China since my ggguncle Hosea opened the missionary work there over 170 years ago.

    My gggaunt and her new born baby died while he was in China and due to the poor communication in that ancient time, Hosea didn’t even find out about it for 10 months.

  4. Modest multipurpose meetinghouse 😉 in other words a stealth “temple”. Kind of like the stealth “missionaries” in Mongolia.

    The locals think they are dealing with buildings and English teachers, the Mormons think of them as temples and missionaries.

    Magic indeed.

    Temples in general are like a lame magic trick, look at all our global buildings, obviously we are so favored by the gods.

  5. If I exercise a measure of compassion, I am at least a little sympathetic to President Nelson’s situation on this one.

    His choices were to 1) perform temple rituals on the down low in Shanghai without a public announcement or 2) announce the temple to the world with all the right caveats kissing up to China.

    If he went with the first option, all would be great until church members start blabbing about it — and then all hell would break loose, especially when random church members with no idea about how China functions start speculating about missionary work there.

    If went with the second option (and he did), he might preempt some church members saying dumb stuff and he would also have an official statement to cover his ass when other church members (in fact) said dumb stuff.

    I don’t think there was any way the church could win on this. Maybe they will be able to move forward on the down low, now that members realize how precarious the situation is.

    • I think you’re naive if you think they haven’t already tried working around all the rules in the name of serving the Lord’s will…remember polygamy??? (obeying the laws of the land is just rhetoric)

      i don’t see how a temple would ever work there anyway if they had to have a government official sit in on the ‘sacred secrets’. Don’t be squandering that perfectly good sympathy, Ryan

      • I still have compassion for President Nelson because it was difficult, if not impossible, to successfully get the temple up and running regardless of whether he announced the temple or not. While I could not care less about whether any temples are built anywhere, I can understand that active believing church members, including President Nelson, do care.

        And so, while someone might criticize him as “spiking the ball” by announcing the temple (and perhaps trying to put a feather in his prophetic cap), keeping the whole thing on the down low was seriously problematic also.

        Personally, I think the more prudent approach would be to announce and just hope they can resolve the situation after the Chinese government blowback.

        • I get it that you’re speaking from the perspective of what their agenda is and strictly speaking, I see your points as far as that goes, but I cannot give Nelson the credit for being a believing member…are you kidding??…or maybe I’m misunderstanding you.

    • If I were Grima Wormtongue to President Nelson’s Theoden, I would advise him to go with option number one.

      The potential problem with members blabbing could be taken care of by having a similar announcement read at the beginning of every temple endowment session to what the branch president in Beijing reads at the beginning of every sacrament meeting.

      Which I am advised on good authority to be as follows:

      Statement Regarding Conduct of Expatriate Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in China
      Religious activities in China must comply with relevant laws and regulations. According to our church’s twelfth article of faith: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” With that in mind, please note that: 1) our church’s group religious activities for expatriates in China are limited to foreign passport holders and their immediate family members; 2) our expatriate members do not participate in religious activities, including attending Sunday meetings, with any Chinese nationals who are members of our church; and 3) our expatriate members do not proselyte in any way among Chinese nationals in China, including not disseminating religious materials. Strict observance of these policies is essential for us to build a long term foundation of trust with government authorities in China.

  6. I was born in Okinawa, Japan and I live in Orem. Hopefully neither temple will be built.

  7. Yet again RFM! Another angle I had never thought of, charitable contributions being used as bribes to get your foot in the door, I will never again see a church news highlighting charitable contributions in the same light again. Now I will wonder, who The church is trying to buy with those sacred $100 B widows mites… Ball = out of park

  8. Was not expecting much from this one but once again knocked it out of the park. I’m glad SOMEBODY is keeping track of the seemingly ever-greater divergence between past doctrine and current practice.

  9. I would venture to bet that part of why they are removing “mormonism” from the vocabulary is to get China to accept them as a Christian church and therefore a legitimate religion. They could get in with far fewer problems that way.

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