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Radio Free Mormon: 275: GenCon Digest–Sunday Afternoon Session

This session contains what is sure to be the most controversial talk in this entire General Conference.

The talk was given by Elder Ahmed Corbitt, and has produced the new Mormon Bumper Sticker Slogan, “CHOOSE THE CHURCH OVER YOUR CHILDREN!”

I am so not making this up!

Listen at your peril!


7 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 275: GenCon Digest–Sunday Afternoon Session”

  1. Thank you so much for doing this!
    Hope you got your drink, I’m having one with each conference! All conferenced out now, that was a doozie!

  2. Thank you so much for suffering through General Conference so we don’t have to! I enjoyed your summations, they are excellent and far, far, far more engaging than General Conference was.

    As a sidebar, regarding your assertion that THE biggest problem that Christianity has is the question, “Why did Jesus have to die?” I certainly understand the dilemma from the perspective of modern Mormon Theology which skews toward a Universalist stance that fixates on God’s love over God’s justice to the point of imbalance. Mormonism has a long history of skewing WAY over to God’s judgment side – hence the vengeful Jesus of 3 Nephi 11 that was brought up repeatedly in General Conference that Spencer W. Kimball and Bruce R. McConkie were so fond of – or WAY over to the God’s love side that dominates current Mormon thought and theology and has resulted in strong denunciations of the works of Kimball and McConkie.

    However, historic, mainstream Biblical theology doesn’t suffer from this imbalance because mainstream, historical Christianity has always presented a balanced theology that stresses both God’s love and God’s justice equally. One needs to only consider the work of the late Billy Graham who always stressed both in his presentation of the gospel and whose works you hear no one denouncing in the modern Christian Church. But perhaps, the best, vernacular summation of this traditional view is from Presbyterian Pastor, Timothy Keller who wrote:

    “When someone really wrongs you, a debt is established that has to be paid by someone. It can happen at an economic level. What if a friend of yours accidentally smashes a lamp in your apartment? One of two things can happen as a result. Either you can make him pay—“That will be $100, please”—or you can say, “I forgive you, that’s okay.” But in the latter case what happens to that $100? You have to pay it yourself, or you have to lose $100 worth of light and get used to a darker room. Either your friend pays the cost for what was done or you absorb the cost. This works at levels beyond the economic, too. When someone robs you of an opportunity, robs you of happiness, of reputation, or takes away something else that you’ll never get back, that creates a sense of debt. Justice has been violated—this person owes you. Once you sense that debt, again there are only two things you can do.”

    “One thing you can do is to try to make that person pay: You can try to destroy their opportunities or ruin their reputation; you can hope they suffer, or you can actually see to it. But there’s a big problem with that. As you’re making them pay off the debt, as you’re making them suffer because of what they did to you, you’re becoming like them. You’re becoming harder, colder; you’re becoming like the perpetrator. Evil wins. What else can you do? The alternative is to forgive. But there’s nothing easy about real forgiveness. When you want to harbor vengeful thoughts, when you want so much to carry out vengeful actions but you refuse them in an effort to forgive, it hurts. When you refrain, when you forgive, it’s agony. Why? Instead of making the other person suffer, you’re absorbing the cost yourself. You aren’t trying to get your reputation back by tearing their reputation down. You are forgiving them and it is costing you. That’s what forgiveness is. True forgiveness always entails suffering.”

    “So the debt of wrong doesn’t vanish: Either they pay or you pay. But here’s the irony. Only if you pay that price of forgiveness, only if you absorb the debt, is there any chance of righting the wrong. If you confront somebody with what they’ve done wrong while you’ve got vengeance in your heart, they probably won’t listen to you. They’ll sense that you are not seeking justice but revenge, and they’ll reject anything you say. You’ll just perpetuate the cycle of retaliation, retaliation, retaliation. Only if you have refrained from vengeance and paid the cost of forgiveness will you have any hope of getting them to listen to you, of seeing their own error. And even if they do not listen to you at first, your forgiveness breaks the cycle of further reprisals. If we know that forgiveness always entails suffering for the forgiver and that the only hope of rectifying and righting wrongs comes by paying the cost of suffering, then it should not surprise us when God says, “The only way I can forgive the sins of the human race is to suffer—either you will have to pay the penalty for sin or I will.” Sin always entails a penalty. Guilt can’t be dealt with unless someone pays.”

    “The only way God can pardon us and not judge us is to go to the cross and absorb it into himself. “I must suffer,” Jesus said.”
    ~ Tim Keller (“King’s Cross”, Penguin Group, NY, p. 87-88)

    I hope this helps, and thank you again for all the time and effort that you put into these General Conference summations. They were fantastic.

  3. Fred,

    What you present is the theory of Cosmic Justice and this is the main argument I know of for Christianity. This is the argument made in the Book of Mormon with Alma 34 being most succinct, declaring: “it is expedient that an atonement should be made” and “it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice”.

    Only an eternal God can be an eternal sacrifice.

    But there was another reason for God to be crucified or otherwise suffer an infamous death. It was to provide an enduring sign to mankind of God’s love for us. Jesus offers this reasoning when he states to the Nephites that he was lifted up on the cross so he could draw all people to him, and by so lift all people up.

    With or without the idea of Cosmic Justice you have the problem of how does God convince people that he’s serious about saving them? You do the most serious thing which is to die in the most torturous way, and then you do the most miraculous thing by coming back to life. That ought to get people’s attention.

    I believe there is both Cosmic Justice and that Jesus wanted to show he was serious about saving us. Thus the Son of God came to earth to be crucified by the very people he intends to save. And then to prove there was life after death Jesus was resurrected and he showed his glorified body to many so they could witness to the world of what they saw.

  4. I interpreted what Elder Corbitt said is we should not criticize the church and church leaders in order to rationalize our children choosing to lifestyles inconsistent with church policy. In a larger picture parents should not define themselves by the choices their children make, nor should parents feel obligated to defend the choices their children make.

    I appreciate the Church amplifies the parent / child discord with its emphasis on eternal families. This doctrine is both encouraging and discouraging. The discouragement arises from the observation one makes of their own family dysfunction and the recognition that by the “church standard” their family will be divided in the eternities. This is difficult and heartbreaking.

    Is it true? Are families divided in the next life unless all family members are “Celestial” by the LDS church standard?

    I don’t believe that. I do believe there are many mansions in heaven and fortunately that means we won’t be forced to live with all our family members in the same house! But we also won’t be divided as if there will be some Berlin Wall keeping family members separated.

    1. I am sorry to have to disagree with you about family members not being divided by a Berlin Wall. According to the church leaders, Mormon heaven is sad heaven.

      Here is a quote from the Gospel Fundamentals manual:

      “The people who live [in the Terrestrial kingdom] will not be part of an Eternal family but will live separately, without families.”

      As husbands, wives, and children, we need to learn what the Lord expects us to do to fulfill our purpose as a family. If we all do our part, we will be united eternally (Gospel Principles, 2009, p. 213).

      Tenth President Joseph Fielding Smith explained that families can be together only in the celestial kingdom, the top kingdom of the three kingdoms of glory:

      “Outside of the celestial kingdom there is no family organization. That organization is reserved for those who are willing to abide in every covenant and every obligation which we are called upon to receive while we sojourn here in this mortal life.” (Selections of Doctrines of Salvation, p. 166. Italics in original).

      Sixteenth President Thomas S. Monson firmly agreed:

      “It is the celestial glory which we seek. It is in the presence of God we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership. Such blessings are earned. A high report card of mortality qualifies us to graduate with honors.” (“An Invitation to Exaltation,’ Satellite Broadcast, March 4, 1984. Cited in Teachings of Thomas S. Monson, p. 33).

      Henry B. Eyring, a member of the First Presidency, didn’t mince words when he wrote,

      “Of all the gifts our loving Heavenly Father has provided to His children, the greatest is eternal life (see D&C 14:7). That gift is to live in the presence of God the Father and His Beloved Son forever in families. Only in the highest of the kingdoms of God, the celestial, will the loving bonds of family life continue.” (“The Hope of Eternal Family Love,” Ensign, August 2016, p. 4).

      In his April 7, 2019 talk in the spring general conference titled “Come, Follow Me,” seventeenth President Russell M. Nelson explained:

      “The spirit in each of us naturally yearns for family love to last forever. Love songs perpetuate a false hope that love is all you need if you want to be together forever. And some erroneously believe that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ provides a promise that all people will be with their loved ones after death. In truth, the Savior has made it abundantly clear that while His Resurrection assures that every person who ever lived will indeed be resurrected and live forever, much more is required if we want to have the high privilege of exaltation. Salvation is an individual matter, but exaltation is a family matter.” (Ensign, May 2019, p. 89).

      Each individual is responsible to keep the covenants they make with God at baptism and in the temple if they hope to spend eternity with their families. As Nelson continued saying in his talk,

      “The Savior invites all to follow Him into the waters of baptism and, in time, to make additional covenants with God in the temple and receive and be faithful to those further essential ordinances. All these are required if we want to be exalted with our families and with God forever.” (Ibid., pp. 89-90).


      As stated, Latter-day Saints are free to believe whatever they wish. But for the LDS church to make it appear that their doctrine allows families to be together in any other place than the celestial kingdom is wrong, plain and simple, when we consider the many quotes given by past and present leaders of the church.

      1. Jenny,

        You are 100% accurate in your quotations. But are those quotations doctrine or myth? Do you recall Elder Oaks giving a talk on the question of the afterlife and whether a second wife would have to cohabitate with the first wife and share the husband? Elder Oaks waved his hand and said “we don’t know.”

        It has become clear that so many “truths” the LDS church presents as “Eternal” are mainly ideas that once were popular but now are precarious. As you point out, the LDS doctrine of eternal families now divides more families than unites them.

        Perhaps this incongruity is why we are being taught church doctrines can be reset at the whim of the current church president. Ideas that once made sense for an isolated, rural sect of believers are no longer as appealing. Adjustments will be made, just not democratically.

  5. Thank you so much for doing this. I am amazed at your ability to listen and not want to scream and throw things at the TV. (well, maybe you did once or twice) I can no longer tolerate conference. I live in Utah and God, I am glad it is over.

    It sounds like Oaks’ talk this time around was the best one he ever gave! He should always just quote scripture.

    I am appalled at Ahmed Corbitt’s talk. I had to go to youtube to read comments. I have to post this one –

    11 hours ago
    “I used to know Ahmad. When i joined the church, I was the only member of my family. He was in my stake and spent a lot of time with during my years answering my questions and counseling me. He was the one who I asked to give me priesthood blessing when I needed them. I would drop everything I was doing to hear a talk he gave when he happened to be at my ward. I have been gone from the church a long time. I saw his talk last fall to a bunch of Mormon chaplains. I was disgusted. How could this man that I once revered and held in such high esteem say such horrible things? How could he not remember the fact that he is in the position he’s in is the direct result of “activism towards the church”? How does he not remember that according to Brigham Young he should be dead now because he “mixed his seed with a white woman”? In that last autumnal talk, he spoke about being valiant in the pre existence but how quickly he forgets that he used to be a “fence sitter”. He’s lost the plot. And despite the first half of this current talk, he’s lost Jesus. He’s an out of touch brown noser now. It’s sad to see. And yes, I am going to say it. He’s a race traitor. Listen to other Black Mormons besides him. Hear their black experiences within the Mormon church. He does not speak for every black Mormon. But the church tokenizes him. They are is desperate need of of a Black apostle so they seem more inclusive. And my prediction, not based on personal revelation but rather observing the ebb and flow as to what’s been happening with Ahmad lately, is that he will be the first Black apostle. I see how they are conforming things to make that happen.”

    I believe that BlueNote74 has just given us a true and living prophesy.

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