Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 205: #GiveThanks

During this Thanksgiving season, global faith leader Russell M. Nelson has given the world the revelation direct from God that we should . . . wait for it . . . give thanks!  Bill Reel, together with Allan and Kattie Mount join me for a fun dissection of President Nelson’s Message of Hope and Healing! #givethanks

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21 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 205: #GiveThanks

  1. This is exactly the message I would expect from a thought leader or faith leader as part of the Thanksgiving holiday. This is not the message one would expect from a doctor that did make a prescription ie gratitude or from a prophet of God. The bar has been lowered again. This is no different than his revelation that God is offended and its a victory for satan using mormon. Such a coincidence that gods other prophets had no problem with mormon all the way back to Smith. Basically now is the day of his power as the boss of a 200 billion corporation. Not a prophet but president of some mega church, no different than any other. And by that bar a very nice Thanksgiving message that I would expect from a faith leader.
    To get more specific it bothered me that the church pushed the title global faith leader and a message with no real mormonism visible. It looked like any other religion. Then you have a very articulated media campaign that turned the members into a MLM to use a new website and hash tag to bring traffic to the church. Plus its Thanksgiving wow gratitude what a concept.
    Then after the message the church sent an email out detailing it as revelation now not as the global faith leader but as the prophet of God. Pleas pick one.
    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/inspiration/the-story-behind-my-global-prayer-of-gratitude?lang=eng&cid=email-IN_RMN3_110220_PresNelsonExperience1b
    I am also bothered it may be seen as virtue signaling. If he did not do the hastag I would have liked it. A good message without an alternative motive.
    All of this being said I liked the message. I have enjoyed seeing pictures of family that I have never seen before.
    So like most things in mormonism its a double edged sword of good and bad where one wishes it was more black and white vs shades of grey.

    On another topic thank you for all your work. You have been a life saver during my faith transition. I also want to put a plug for pt 2 of gen conference. I am still looking forward to your Thoughts and insights.

    • I agree with you this seems to have been promoted to a non-Mormon audience as being given by a Global Faith Leader, with the idea in mind that saying he is a “Prophet of God” might turn people off.

      Why on earth would they do it otherwise? I am aware of no other time when the President of the LDS Church has been referred to by the church as a GFL.

      But all the members are kind of “in on” the double-talk; they know he is a prophet and the reason he is not being called a prophet in the promo is in order to get more people to listen.

      All is fair in love and religion, I suppose.

  2. I was expecting the announcement of the Lord’s second coming on Thanksgiving. If not that, I was expecting that he was going to announce that the Lord was going to take away the Covid Virus due to the faith shown by the two world-wide days of fasting and prayer.

      • Man, imagine the reaction if Nelson actually did call for a Thanksgiving Day fast. There would be a huge outcry haha.

    • With all the hullaballoo heralding this 11-minute video, it would be natural to have one’s expectations set very high indeed.

      Better to undersell and over-deliver, I think.

      But it is quite possible they thought this message was as wonderful as it was promoted to be.

      There’s the rub . . .

  3. I watched Nelson’s address. At the end I felt like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” getting the much anticipated secret, decoded message: Be sure to drink more Ovaltine.

  4. What also was interesting was the advertisement for the message: https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/message-coming-nov-20-hope-healing-president-nelson. Transcript: “Sickness. Sadness. Disease. Disappointment. Infection. Instability. Heart failure. Failing hearts. He’s treated them all. On November 20, global faith leader Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shares a fast-acting and long-lasting spiritual remedy.”

    To be honest, watching the advertisement I thought Jesus was going to be at the end. I thought all of those healings would be credited to the Savior and the ad was an early launch to the next Light the World campaign. Instead the end of the ad was President Nelson, now a “global faith leader.” Odds are the ad video was made by some ad person in the Church, but the advertisement really came across as nothing about Christ and more about a cult of personality around a leader. After all, wouldn’t it have been the power of God or the priesthood that “treated” many of those ailments (specifically the spiritual ones) and not technically President Nelson?

    And to echo Matt, it was interesting how the actual message was cleaned of all Restoration doctrine/scripture. The video was the same kind of generic Christianity I used to try to present the LDS church as to my friends so they thought I was more normal…

    Overall, though, I do agree with the sentiment of the podcast that the general message of gratitude is a good message. And definitely one of my “give thanks” goes out to RFM!

    • Nothing about prophets. Check.

      Nothing about healing by the power of Christ. Check.

      Nothing about the priesthood. Check.

      All you need is gratitude!

      But can’t you get that pretty much anywhere?

  5. By day three I was scrolling through the social media posts of gratitude from my LDS people at 24 frames per second; brought back too many “ick” moments from Testimony Meetings while I was growing up. “I/we are so thankful for humble brag, humble brag, humble brag, and here are the pictures.”

    • In some ways, this was a loyalty litmus test.

      Loyal Mormons did all seven days.

      But I am not seeing many that mention why it is they are doing this; i.e., that the President of the Church told them to; much less that it came as a revelation from God.

      I have even seen some Mormons posting as if it were their own idea that they just sort of came up with out of the blue.

      Mormons tend to innately sense what should and should not be mentioned in order to make their message of gratitude sound more sincere.

  6. RFM…so glad you took this on……

    Even when I was a TBM, I would have found this slick marketing ploy pretty obvious and nauseating ….as you said ….a HUGE nothing burger!!!

    With all the trillions they exploit from their ever dwindling, struggling members, couldn’t they come up with something a little more compelling and prophetic than a geriatric , condescending old man of yesteryear pretending like he’s hip and tech savvy getting his followers to start what is really nothing more than a cheesy and forced, tacky chain letter???

    I could have come up with that over a morning coffee without even being awakened in the middle of the night. LOL…

    Oh, it included the usual heart tugging moments of feigned vulnerability and emotional manipulation to pull off the job at hand, but Im afraid that just doesn’t cut it. Even your ‘nuanced member’ on the panel was struggling hard to tow the line.

    Why all the build up hype, just to deliver a really boring conference talk between conferences, that more than hinted at something possibly substantial coming forward????

    Uncle Rusty’s little three part ‘assignment’ for his listeners was so juvenile and condescending that I thought he was talking to a group of primary children!

    The further I get away from the deliberate spiritual stunting of the Mormon agenda, the harder it is to stomach these phony performances.

    I would have betrayed my own mother before I would have hash tagged ANYTHING!

    I am happy to say what you and the others had to be more tactful about. Please have a good laugh at my bluntness while at the same time, forgiving my cynicism. I’ve earned it.

    • Great comments, Angie!

      It is almost like church leadership has gotten to the point where they can’t even tell a substantive message from dreck; likely because dreck has become the coin of the Mormon realm, and they are surrounded by “yes-men” telling them how wonderful and inspired their dreck is.

      And your cynicism is forgiven by the way.

      I expect it was well-earned during your time as a member of the LDS Church!

      RFM

    • Maybe that’s where President Nelson got the idea in the first place?

  7. You mean instead of being awakened with the thought in the middle of the night by God?
    Hmmmm….. 😉

  8. I have 10+ TBM siblings and 50+ TBM nieces and nephews and I use instagram to keep up on the family. I started seeing a flood of #givethanks posts, including from relatives that normally don’t post.

    I started getting super annoyed and then I remember the words of the savior:

    And if thy social media feeds offend thee, stay off of them for seven days or so; for it is profitable for thee that thou not be aware of how thy siblings are cooking their turkeys, and not that thou become unnecessarily annoyed with thy extended family.

    Thanks again RFM.

  9. My theory is the reason the Mormon church is so compliant with covid is They got a whopping amount of aid from the government for covid care relief. The Mormon church is at an advantage they have no mega churches they have a fine tuned system to extract tithes. while many churches will not survive 2020 the Mormon church with there side buisness all doing well will come out swinging.

  10. Your observation about President Nelson giving the disclaimer about meeting Wendy after his first wife had passed away reminded me that at least some of his family members were disturbed by how quickly he remarried. My best friend growing up was one of President Nelson’s grandsons, and when Sister Nelson died the family was, of course, very sad. Their sadness soon turned to anger that President Nelson so quickly moved on from their mother/grandmother.

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