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Radio Free Mormon: 201: General Conference Post Mortem, Part 1

Today RFM is joined by Jonathan Streeter of Thoughts on Things and Stuff to dissect the Saturday morning session of October 2020 General Conference!  General Conference has never been so much fun!!!


33 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 201: General Conference Post Mortem, Part 1”

  1. The evil apostate sounds a lot like Dieter Uchtdorf!
    First time commenting; guess I really am going to hell now! 😉

  2. I’m not hearing much difference between general conference of the late 70’s compared to what’s presented today. Still the same inane blather, half-truths, gas lighting and dreary droning self righteous dross from inhabitants of the morm-bubble.

    The speeches are formulaic as always and dumbed down to the Mr. Rogers level.

    Perhaps there is more quoting of other GAs ad infinitum?

    Maybe the purpose of general conference is to regularly assure the saints that there is indeed “trouble in river city”, but Professor Harold Hill has the solution at a very reasonable price.

    1. It has been observed that you could take any general conference since 1970, replay it over again in any subsequent year, and nobody would really be able to tell the difference.

      This most recent GenCon was different in that they actually made reference to COVID-19; a worldwide pandemic, and social and racial unrest. That pinpoints the time and place to some degree.

      And don’t forget they also mentioned “food storage” five times!

      “Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys!”

  3. Of course, as more about the pandemic unravels: millions are not dying, the recovery rate is over 99%, social distancing and masks are social engineering, citizens/businesses/churches suing their governments over the lockdowns, and even the WHO and thousands of doctors saying the lockdowns have been an utter disaster that will lead to millions of deaths from starvation, the obvious question is, “Where were the church leaders calling for seeing through and cutting down the deception from the beginning while calling out the world leaders for their lies?”

    Well, the church simply went along with everything their statist gods told them to, once again proving the “prophets, seers, and revelators” are anything but and have nothing when it comes to the spirit of discernment.

    1. There’s a high recovery rate of covid. but not without cost. 20% of people who get covid need to go to the hospital, which means other people have to wait for medical care and our health care workers, who are invaluable, are put at risk. Clearly nurses and doctors are risking their lives because people can’t be inconvenienced. It’s only going to get worse this winter. Wearing a mask and social distancing should have been the main conference discourse in April. Lockdowns might have been avoided had people done these simple things right from the start. A relative of mine in the Moridor got married and there were twenty bridesmaids and groomsmen involved. This would never have happened if the prophet, a doctor, had said: Do These Simple Things.

      1. Since wearing a mask greatly reduces the spread from an infected individual, I agree it would have been a Christ-like conference message. None of us know who is vulnerable and who is not. Wearing a mask is an act of unselfishness. I’m not protecting myself from others as much as I’m protecting others from myself. What a meaningful way to show respect to our fellow man.

        The Q15’s fail on this topic was a missed opportunity and quite disappointing.

    2. I think the LDS church learned its lesson in messing with the federal government back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  4. RFM….I was just about to beg you to do a conference review…you read my mind.

    Honestly, in my opinion, I believe that among all the various things you cover, the general conference reviews give you the biggest dividends in terms of your purpose ‘behind enemy lines’.

    Here’s why….. while all the crazy history and shady roots of the religion must be addressed, it is the current hypocracy, duality and contradiction of the present leaders and prophet that are the most unsettling and disturbing to TBMs.

    It was easier for me to cut a lot of slack to the church for what founding leaders did in the messy past than it ever was for me to tolerate the least degree of deception from current leaders.

    Also, exposing the church’s terminal weaknesses thru general conference is more accessible to more people and doesn’t involve anything more than common sense…with no ‘anti-mormon’ materials so to speak.

    While the tactics of manipulating information are standard to the agenda of preserving the lie, the talks are fairly easy to dismantle, and everyone relates to being duped or manipulated. You don’t have to be a scholar or an intellectual.

    At the risk of going on too long here, I will add this one thing in response to your good analysis…….I just dont think you can overestimate the unspoken monetary motivation factor in the rhetoric we have to stomache from the 15.

    Bednar’s self righteous shaming of the members failing to have food storage is more than push back from the possible criticism of it no longer being emphasized. It may more likely be that there is a run on the church welfare system right now due to the covid fall out….which is affecting their bottom line projections!

    And…. the leaders refusing to apologize for the gross affront to their exclusion of black members, is nothing more than a protection against future law suits, period! Else why would they be willing to make such bold statements that so clearly fly in the face of the gospel of Jesus Christ??? It’s nothing more than a calculated loss risk exposing MAMMON as their real God.

    I will leave it there…loved the episode…can’t get enough of this kind of exposure!

    1. Thanks so much, Angie!

      There is so much to cover in the modern world of Mormonism that it can be hard for me to make time for GenCon.

      And it is not easy laboring through the mind-numbing and soul-deadening talks.

      Really, it is like getting a visit from the Dementors.

      So I am very glad that you enjoy it and think it a good investment of time and energy.

      I am hoping to do subsequent installments for the other sessions with Jonathan Streeter.

      I will tell you that I actually recorded for an hour by myself on Tuesday morning about GenCon. It was awful!

      Then I recorded for another hour and a half on Wednesday morning. It was even worse! Talk about dreck!

      Then I had the inspiration to call Jonathan Streeter and do it as a conversation with him, and that was perfect!

      That is why I sounded like I was loaded to the gills in the podcast. I had already reviewed this and even recorded it previously by myself!

      1. Oh, I hate to think of you trashing the work you did. Im sure youre being far too critical.

        I do so appreciate what a monumental task it must be to tackle that behemoth compilation of dreary, droning on double talk! But no one does it better than you.

        Even if you just tackle a few of the worst ones, we’d all be thrilled with whatever you can give. Im glad to see you found a way to make it easier on yourself with Jonathon, but Im afraid you were still doing the heavy lifting there…it was very enjoyable. Thank you!

  5. E Woo,

    Thank you. I just scanned a covid patient. I am at work. I put on my N 95 and gown and shield and gloves. After I scan, the room has to be terminally cleaned and left for 30 min. I have to change my gloves 3 different times as I can’t touch my controls with dirty gloves. I feel rather safe even as some co workers have contracted covid at work. Others have gotten it from family.

    Being in the hospital in Utah County I have noticed there are no “priesthood” holders using their power to heal everyone who is sick. Nope. Many sick stay sick unless modern medicine can help. I have seen what would seem a miracle but priesthood had nothing to do with it.

    There is such a wide range of Mormons here and now being a non Mormon after being Mormon is so weird. At least some of my neighbors have started waving at me again.

    Conference 2020. These leaders are horrible. They’ve always been horrible. I can’t be happier to be free from them.

    RFM and Jonathan are super cute together. This was fun and informative.

    1. I can only wish you well, and abide by commonsense rules in the hopes that people such as yourself won’t have to be endangered any more than absolutely necessary. Thank you for braving this storm.

    2. You would think that the two Church-wide fasts that failed to have any affect on the pandemic would have been an indicator, but I guess not

    3. Thanks for the great comments, K!

      You are right! It is one thing to believe in Priesthood power that can heal the sick (and even raise the dead!).

      It is another thing to lay that template over what is going on during the pandemic.

      Not only is God not listening to the prayers of his prophet and his people (accompanied by fasting no less; and twice no less), it appears God’s Priesthood power is on indefinite Sabbatical with no prospect of returning in the near future.

      It is difficult to maintain belief in the miraculous claims of Mormonism when faced with the quotidian facts.

      1. Ooh ooh, don’t forget the prayer circles in the temples (the temples that are still functioning in that respect) where they’re most likely asking for relief from the pandemic. *crickets

  6. When the leaders of the church want to discontinue a teaching, they simply stop talking about it. They don’t publicly disavow it or clearly state that they are not teaching it anymore; they simply stop teaching it. That’s what makes Bednar’s talk interesting. Regarding food storage, Bednar suggests that prior teachings remain in force indefinitely, whether or not church leaders continue stressing them. What if we apply that to past teachings about contraception, evolution, masturbation, a global flood, etc. ? By Bednar’s logic, past teachings about race are still in force.

    1. This is an excellent point, Shane.

      But I think we all understand that past teachings are only still in force if and when current church leaders want to call upon them and upbraid membership for not following them.

      I also considered how this teaching by Elder Bednar compares with the LDS teaching that the living prophet is more important than the dead prophets.

      If that is so, and the living prophet hasn’t mentioned food storage, what then, Elder Bednar?

      Is it only in some cases that the living prophets trump the dead prophets?

      I wish I had thought of that point, as well as your point, for the podcast!

      That is one reason it is great to hear what listeners think.

      I end up learning a lot!

    1. LOL!

      Somebody in the Saturday afternoon session actually uses the term “myopia” before President Nelson gets to his “myopic” face palm story.

      I wonder if that is just coincidence . . .

      Or am I just being myopic?

  7. To understand the doctrine of food storage, one should take a look at world geopolitics if the 1970s to 80s.

    There was a Cold War between the US and the USSR with the threat of nuclear warfare. MAD or Mutually Assured Destruction was an existing military doctrine. The Cuban Missile Crisis was still fresh in public memory. That America could suffer a devastating war in its homeland is not a theory anymore.

    That such war could collapse American society is also not a crackpot idea anymore. Hence the need for some basic preparation like food storage.

    However, before the 1980s ended, the Berlin Wall fell. East Germany could no longer be controlled by the Soviets. Shortly after, to everyone’s utter surprise, the evil Soviet Empire itself would implode and collapse.

    With the threat of nuclear war against the Soviets gone, everyone thence could breathe more freely. And Mormons could relax on their food storage activities.

    Until Nov 2016, that is, when a US president won the elections because the Russians allegedly subverted the US electoral process. Once more, the evil Russians are it again, being the bad enemies they used to be. And so once more, food storage has to be reactivated.

    In other words, to understand Elder Bednar and the Mormon food storage revival, you can’t think in terms of Covud-19 alone. Instead, you must follow Clint Eastwood’s instructor in one of his movies: “You must think in Russian!”

    1. I think this is a good observation, Rico, and does help to explain a lot about when the food storage teaching first began and why it has waxed and waned since then.

      Now if only there had actually been a demonstrated need for food storage while it was being encouraged; or a demonstrated encouragement to keep food storage when it was actually needed.

      That would have been nice!

  8. This is how I see it, last April when they were so gung ho for the whole founding of the church , Joseph Smith thing. They were gitty happy to rock our world with that information.
    We were just starting into the crisis, the pandemic, the 12 were social distancing in April’s conference and they couldn’t be bothered to be Seers and Revelators and say to us in April what they said in October’s conference. I am embarrassed for them as I watch them try to play catch up.

    1. A similar thought had occurred to me.

      It seemed that precious little was said about the pandemic in April 2020 GenCon except for President Nelson’s calling on the church for a second world-wide day of prayer and fasting to turn it back since the first one didn’t do the trick.

      I had thought there would be more, but it does appear that they already had their talks cemented in place; largely centered around the bicentennial of the First vision as you note; and come hell or global pandemic, they were going to showcase the First Vision and stick to their prearranged messages.

  9. During the podcast, RFM mentioned that apologists will claim that the priesthood ban was about lineage rather than race, but he doesn’t see a dime’s worth of difference. I agree, but it’s worth remembering why this claim matters. The LDS church used race as an indicator of lineage. That only works if there was a global flood. If there wasn’t a global flood, then race is not an indicator of lineage. Sub-Saharan Africa would not have been submerged, and so the ancestors of modern black people would not have been descended from Noah or Ham. That means that African features don’t imply descent from Canaan or Cain. Indeed, one can argue that Sub-Saharan African descent would make one less likely than a white person to be descended from Ham.

    Brigham Young, who probably started the priesthood ban or at least continued it, was very clear that the justification was that black people are descended from Cain via Ham. Joseph Smith also identified Blacks as descendants of Cain. Modern apologists can claim all they want that we don’t know why the priesthood ban occurred, but when the instituters of the ban gave their reasons for it, those claims are blatantly dishonest.

    In other words, one of the church’s biggest moral mistakes (the priesthood ban) hinges on one of the church’s most falsifiable teachings (a global flood). This was one of the most important considerations in my loss of faith in LDS church leaders.

  10. Congratulations! You guys have accomplished something that no Prophet, no Apostle nor any other of the Brethren ever did during my entire Mormon experience within and outside of the church beginning in 1951 running right up until today. For the first time ever you made a session of General Conference interesting, informative and entertaining. Talk about cognitive dissonance; I would have sworn that was impossible. Thanks guys, I’m actually looking forward to the next session of General Conference for the first time ever!

  11. You said that Rasband’s talk was boring and about nothing. Yet…

    He’s encouraging people to keep temple recommends current even though temples are closed during Covid. And what does that look like?

    PAYING TITHING. Meeting with bishop. Keeping all the rules of the church. AKA, retaining members. It’s just a ploy to get people to pay tithing during Covid and keep them around.

    So many other comments I wish I could make but wasn’t taking notes throughout. Thank you! Especially the beginning was an excellent assessment of how the church leadership is Reactive and not Prophetic.

  12. This has to happen again! I was laughing so hard! I really enjoyed the discussion and thoughts. I have heard hardly anyone talking about October conference which is weird. It makes me wonder how the church will fare after the covid has leveled off or whatever it decides to do.

    MORE of these! Thanks RM and Johnathon!

  13. Reverend rfm. Praise thee. I am looking forward to part two. I desire all thy episodes. My wife cracks up because I scream church is here when you share your wisdom. May you prosper forever. We plan on raising our tithes and offerings to thee at the coming year. May though prosper eternally. And may thy prophecy be more than mere gratitude to us all.

    I’m in a weird mood today after listening to pres Nelson on gratitude. You, bill, and John are God’s among men. Thank you for all you do.

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