Episodes

Mormonism LIVE: 037: Why Hasn’t RFM Been Excommunicated Yet?

With so many people asking “Why Hasn’t RFM Been Excommunicated Yet?” We decided to go right to the horse’s mouth and ask a member of RFM’s Stake Presidency. That member of the Stake Presidency will be on with us LIVE to answer that very question and more.

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15 thoughts on “Mormonism LIVE: 037: Why Hasn’t RFM Been Excommunicated Yet?

  1. Bill’s comment about fallibility is important. The SP member couched the problem as “church leaders are not perfect”.

    The problem is NOT that church leaders are fallible.

    The problem is that church leaders are not reliable sources of truth. Period. At a minimum, they are no better sources of truth than someone randomly selected off the street. But it’s actually worse than that because church leaders — though well meaning they may be and likely unintentionally — have a track record of promoting falsehoods and bad information about race, sexual identity, gender identity, Native American history, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, etc. Simply put, church leaders are not trustworthy — not necessarily because they have a moral failing, but because they are not reliable in any meaningful way.

    • To highlight the unreliability/untrustworthy problem, the SP member alleged that those implementing polygamy in early church history were not provided with “an instruction manual” from God.

      That’s the whole problem: there is no “instruction manual” ever … not for anything. Church leaders have zero access to any god. They are not reliable, not trustworthy. They are humans. Not humans with some special access to god. Not humans with special authority from god. They are merely humans from a long history of humans who falsely claim authority from god and falsely claim special access to god that they do not have — no one has that.

      The problem is church members think that all prophets are false, except for their own prophets. They just need to stop seeing their leaders are exception. They are the rule: they all are false.

      • I thought D&C 132 is an instruction manual. It just wasn’t followed by the church leaders.

        I would go so far as to say the instruction manual is frequently tossed aside when the church leaders want to go a different direction.

    • If Ben was my stake president i might be a mormon to this day — Now there’s a scary thought………..

  2. Fantastic podcast – entertaining, thoughtful, relevant and at times laugh out loud hilarious. I enjoy the show. Just finished episode RFM stake presidency member – the little factory clip is a solid impression and it is funny, but maybe taking a little far throwing in at end of show. Felt kinda bad for the guy – he’s a credible dude, sticks his neck out to step into the ring and no doubt his believing friends are checking out the show – and then ends with BKP impression about touching your little factory. Get that funny and irreverent show but rare to have opportunity for real dialogue with a sincere thoughtful believer – how many TBMs in leadership come on post mo podcasts? Would have saved that ending for the episode about church’s vast crypto fortune – when comes to light that they’re the world’s biggest bitcoin whale!

    • I agree! The “factory” clip was a disturbing end to an otherwise positive podcast. This was my first time to listen. I’m not sure now whether to listen to any more.

  3. Man this episode was super uncomfortable. Bill’s face looked super grumpy the whole time and the tension felt palpable. Perhaps fresh trauma from his experiences dealing with his own SP. Only RFM’s humor interjections kept things out of the ditch IMO. The wishy washy nature of nuanced participatory belief was unsustainable for me and after time I just couldn’t handle it like this gentleman in the Stake Presidency does.

  4. This was a pretty uncomfortable episode. Bill’s face looked pretty grumpy the whole time, perhaps an artifact of his recent experiences dealing with his own SP. RFM’s interjected humor helped with the tension at times. In my own experience, maintaining nuanced belief like this gentleman was not sustainable. The cognitive dissonance became too overwhelming.

  5. Could the audio distortion Bill’s connection experienced that made him sound like Tron be interpreted as a “Korihor struck dumb” moment ala Book of Mormon? 🙂

  6. A fascinating case study. I can boil down his answers to the hard questions thusly: he has a shelf. It hasn’t broken (yet). And that’s it. His nuance can be summed up (whether it’s polygamy or race//priesthood or Book of Abraham) as “no just believe there has to be more info that we aren’t privy to, I have to believe there must be an explanation that reconciles the facts, I have to believe…And I don’t fault him for that at all. He sounds like me as I learned more, and then more; he sounds like a hundred other members. Where he impressed me was his willingness to ADMIT that the issues are real and the concern genuine they create is justified. His compassion and empathy are, to me, truly Christlike. It’s for this reason, not the extra ‘a’ in his name, that he will not be called to higher positions of authority. The fact that there are NOT 15 men leading this church LIKE HIM, tell you all you need to know. The church, as an institution, isn’t worthy of him.

  7. Ben, your brand Mormonism is awesome but it still relies upon reconciliation after death. The idea that there is some part of us that lives on after our body is dead and that tithing and sexual “purity” are able to get us a better seat in that place is fundamentally coercive. My faith in the Atonement made me feel very, very broken but grateful that Christ would lift me out of this awful pit. But there is no evidence sexual activities make me or anyone else awful unless within the Lord’s set boundaries. Boundaries that are communicated to me indirectly rather than from a supposed God or Gods themselves. I believed before I could reason and consider. I was exposed to ideas that reinforce the belief in God at least a decade before I was old enough to even rationally see the world.

    You are obviously a great guy Ben but The inconsistencies in God supposed representatives, and the assumption that there is a reckoning if this life is not lived according to a set of rules, is harmful and traumatic. It is more of the rule than the exception that people are severely traumatized in most religions. I hold that it is not the things that question our faith that we put on the shelf. Rather it is they steady drip of traumas that fill large vats that we placed on the shelves until they break. Then, in that emotional condition we face up to the truth claims and other questions.

    The church society can be and often is a very healthy community! Hope in a continuation after this life can be encouraging and comforting! But people use faith to claim absolute knowledge of something that is absolutely unknown. Emotions are interpreted as knowledge and that is what needs to be reformed. Reality can be demonstrated. No faith required. Communities of love and hope and diversity and friendship should be the only religion!

  8. You have to answer for your deception, RFM. You’ve had the Second Anointing.
    Ahhh that little farce you played with Bill – you think that could fool the subreddit?
    No — RFM — you’re off of r/exmormon, that’s your punishment. You’re finished.
    Only don’t tell us you haven’t. Because it insults our intelligence — and makes us very angry.
    Now who approached you? Oaks or Eyring?

  9. Very painful to listen to this guy try to maintain his loyalty to the church while feigning commiseration with the ‘enemy’. It was excruciating, to be frank.

    You think that’s too harsh???? Let me explain……

    While I believe his sincerity, it just goes to show that no amount of ‘humility’ and ‘Christ like love’ can make something into to what it isn’t.

    Put another way..I appreciate his conceding that things look really bad, but his approach was STILL to defend the indefensible with the lame need for more information when any reasonable person would be overwhelmingly convinced by the mountains of credible evidence that exists now.

    His message was just as dogmatic as any common apologist: he just packaged it up in lots of ‘humility’ and Christ like ‘love’. He was just less obnoxious about it.

    I thought Bill created the crucial moment when he asked if this gentleman would send his daughter to work in Joseph’s home, knowing what we all agree to be the facts now. (Mic drop)

    The guest’s stammering and tap dancing around choosing the words for his answer spoke volumes.

    Its in those most lucid moments that the authenticity of a person’s real motives get revealed.

    i dont believe this man is consciously aware of this himself, but he displayed a brand of LDS arrogance that is very hard to get through. Ezra Taft Benson called it pride from the bottom looking up…much harder to recognize…but very common

    Many of the LDS have become masters of this, as a way of protecting themselves from accountability which first involves SEEING THE TRUTH.

    Because once you acknowledge the truth, you have to act on it…and that requires risks and courage and all sorts of things that stretch a person and his character right out of their comfort zone.

    His nice guy, wringing- his- hands- in- anguish for seeing both sides approach, didn’t in the end do anything more than expose his true intent, which was to get the heat off himself and off the church.

    In other words, who is going to attack his pathetic non answers and illogical thinking when he’s in so much pain for ‘us’ ? See what I’m saying???

    I realize that it takes what it takes and this man his hanging on hard. I just hope this exercise will have helped him to gain the courage he needs to just allow himself to see the truth.

    God bless us all!

  10. Assuming 5 million active members worldwide and almost 3,500 stakes a member of the stake presidency represents the top .2% of the pyramid or 1 out of 500. The second counselor in the stake presidency is really just a middle management position. You and Bill are much higher in rank than 1 in 500 exMormons or questioning Mormons. So not only did the second counselor have a two on one problem but he was outmatched. In addition, he clearly has never thought about all the issues to their logical end while having read a lot. He does not know the opposing viewpoint as well as his opponent. Lastly the church viewpoint has the facts against it.

    I felt sorry for him as he struggled as I saw a good man who wants to do the right thing. Many former members have all been in his shoes with those struggles. It wouldn’t surprise me if this experience causes his shelf to break as he processes things he had not yet brought to their logical conclusion. I wish him well and he is lucky to have you as a resource on his journey,

    What donation would I have to make for you to take him out to a good steak dinner to say thank you?

    • You are very kind. You make a very good point about him not having translated all his reading into the logical ends they arrive at. So true!

      It was my sense also that perhaps this encounter will take him closer to seeing and accepting the truth, period. I don’t think he’s that close yet, but I hope I’m wrong.

      The sad thing is that the mormon church is full of these kinds of good people being used up pointlessly to perpetuate a fraud…just heart sickening

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