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Mormonism LIVE !: 023: The Shame Game

Tonight Radio Free Mormon and Bill Reel take another look at the recent regional conference focusing on how Elder Holland and Bonnie Cordon handle questions from the Young adult members of the Church.


4 thoughts on “Mormonism LIVE !: 023: The Shame Game”

  1. RFM….Couldn’t help mentally referencing your ‘Wrong Roads’ episode with respect to his advice here about discerning revelation.

    How absurd for him to shame anyone for wondering how that works when he gets a seminary video produced exposing the mental gymnastics he puts himself through to confirm that his own thoughts are actually God’s tutorial for him…an apostle!

    I thought that most of all, this answer reveals that he DOES NOT, even as an apostle, have ANY special witness or short circuit to God than any of us do……

    ….that he and his elite 15 are just winging it like the rest of us…not only do they NOT walk the temple corridors with Jesus Christ..they aren’t even sure what voices are what in their heads….

    So they are just appointing themselves as authorities over the members as the mouthpiece of God…and shaming us if we question and punishing us if we dare to disobey


  2. I pretty much agree with RFM that the LDS church isn’t a fan of personal revelation.

    For all practical purposes in the LDS church, the Holy Ghost and personal revelation is to be used once and then put away to gather dust.

    Basically, a person is supposed to have one experience — which they are to interpret as being the Holy Ghost telling them “the church is true, Joseph Smith is a prophet, the Book of Mormon is true”.

    And afterwards, the person is supposed to use that one experience and that interpretation of that experience to do whatever the Brethren say for the rest of their lives. There is no need for the Holy Ghost or personal revelation ever again.

    The problem with this approach is that these young people are seeking answers that are NOT readily discernable from church sources: whether to go to college, what to study at college, what job offer to accept, whom to marry, etc. Having personal revelation (including being able to discern what is one’s wishes and what is the Holy Ghost) would be kind of important.

    Of course, I don’t believe there is a difference between one’s wishes or the Holy Ghost, but I digress …

  3. Regarding “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”:

    The modern LDS interpretation of this is damnable and deserving of shame itself. But rather than relying on the reasoning and precepts of men to interpret what it means, the better method is to use the definitions found within the Book of Mormon itself.

    Alma 24:11 it has been all that we could do…to repent of all our sins…

    Alma 24:15 it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us…

    All we can do is repent. It is by grace that we are saved, after we repent. That’s it. Once we repent, we are saved. That’s what mainstream Christianity believes, and it is what was taught in the early years of the Mormon church. It’s the same concept RFM noted years ago in his paper “Cry Redemption”.

    Now it has been replaced with a gospel of works by the modern church. Rather than casting shame upon Joseph or the Book of Mormon for such a teaching, we could cast shame of the leaders of the church who are so scripturally illiterate that they don’t even know when they are contradicting the keystone of their religion.

  4. Holland’s explanation of how to distinguish between one’s own thoughts and the Holy Ghost (spoiler alert – you can’t distinguish them!!) may be one of the most revealing comments an apostle has ever made. Think about it. At least this one apostle believes that as long as you are trying to keep the commandments, then your thoughts will be God’s will. So as long as the leaders are living by the rules of Mormonism, they can tell themselves that they are being led by revelation because their thoughts are revelation. That is a HUGE peek behind the curtain! Bill Reel is absolutely correct in stating that you could have a three hour conversation with Holland just on that subject because the obvious and glaring problem with Holland’s answer is that I was keeping all of the commandments when I started have thoughts of doubt.

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