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Radio Free Mormon: 005: The Reluctant Revelation


Today a Guest host is continuing with Episode #2 from a series called “Radio Free Mormon”.  This Second Episode “The Reluctant Revelation” goes into the November 5th 2015 Policy changes against LDS LGBT members and their children.

Handbook Changes

Elder Christofferson’s Clarification

First Presidency Clarification 

Nelson declaring policy a revelation

Who Leaked the Policy


As with all guest hosts, this Episode does not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Reel or Mormon Discussion Podcast.


Like this episode and others we have had from guest hosts,  Such contributions are highly desired.  My mission with Mormon Discussion Podcast is to bring great perspectives of Mormon History & Culture that helps struggling Latter-day Saints reconcile difficulties while being encouraged to stay in the Church.  If you wish to contribute either a Blog Post or a Audio Podcast Episode please do and send to me at ReelMormon AT gmail DOT com for consideration.


15 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 005: The Reluctant Revelation”

  1. While I find the sarcastic alarmist tone amusing with the sound clip of broadcasting behind enemy lines… I think it would be kind if we can cut the brethren some slack.

    While the policy/revelation needs to be challenged, the church needs a doctrinal narrative going forward to help it rightfully stand. It’s intention is to stand for scriptural traditional values.

    I hope people like you can help move the church forward, but hopefully not by abandoning it, but by helping us reason with the Lord and come to a more perfect understanding where each of us receive our own revelations.

  2. I found this episode incisive. When the policy came out, my co-workers (all attorneys) and I sat down and analyzed the actual language of 16.13 and came to the exact conclusions as your guest podcaster. It is the only way one could reasonably read the plain language of the policy. If the quorum intended it to be interpreted in the limited fashion announced in the “second” clarification by the First Presidency, they fell woefully short of the mark. Poor draftsmanship. If that were dictated by God or given by revelation, something got lost in translation. But the point that it was never identified as being revelation until Elder Nelson’s talk raises significant issues of credibility. This “private” change to the Handbook, once made public (by third parties), exposed this policy and its development as being closer to sausage-making than revelation.

  3. I’m no friend to the policy, but I think the Radio West (though maybe it was Mormon matters) show on the policy did a really good job of showing how the policy update occurred following the typical release pattern with some exceptions. Per usual the policy update went live and emails were sent out informing leaders an update occurred. In other words, it’s a little misleading to call it a “secret” update as it occurred in quasi-typical fashion.

    1. typical or not can you see any issue with releasing a policy change where only a small small minority of membership can access and become aware of said change?

  4. I hate the policy but find it funny that your guest repeatedly says that something released to tens of thousands of bishops and stake leaders via email notice as is the case for all policy changes is “secretly inserted” or “leaked”. Otherwise I liked most of the points made. Thanks.

    1. I think his point stands in that when you release a policy change and only a small small minority of membership can access and become aware of said change, even in its most charitable view you have done something that can be questioned.

      1. Hi Bill. Thanks for your reply. From what I’ve heard on other podcasts it wasn’t done any differently than other policy changes. So if I understand you correctly you question all policy changes and their lack of publication? I certainly do. I’ve never had access to read the policies and I’ve been a member for 50 years! I learn about them by bishops or other leaders saying “well this is church policy”. I say “oh really?” then wonder who made that rule up. That said, I never thought to call them “leaked” before.

        1. They’re leaked because the manual is not meant for lay members to be read unless they specifically ask their bishops to do so. It’s not in the ward’s library, and only bishops have access to it through their account. So, if it’s not meant for the members but they members read it, it’s a leak.

  5. Bill, about a year ago I stumbled onto your podcast, and it has been my favorite of the many great related podcasts out there. Thank you so much for your work, commitment and care.

    These “Radio Free Mormon” episodes are fantastic. They address critically important issues (so far!) and are articulated with clarity and sophistication. It would be easy for these topics, content and approach to become petty, glib and biased. But somehow I don’t sense that at all. In fact, though the premises and conclusions tend to be pretty harsh for the church and probably sobering for many members, it’s done in such a way that seems, again, impartial and fair. Please keep these coming!

  6. “I think it would be kind if we can cut the brethren some slack.”

    Lol. I don’t think you understand this podcast at all.

    This is, by far, my new favorite Mormon-themed podcast. It seems that you read your material, any chance you can share your transcripts? I’d even be willing to pay for it on Patreon or something. It’s so well researched!

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