Ep 275 – General Conference Smack…up?

Panel Discussion

Posted April 25th, 2016

Join in as Jake and Randy find a rare pocket of effusive praise for Elder Patrick Kearon’s recent conference address (Refuge from the Storm). Warning–may cause¬†cognitive dissonance.



  • BLM

    Props for the intellectual honesty in covering this talk. There’s no shortage of ammunition when it comes to criticizing the church, but giving credit where credit is due is very important. If we don’t look for and celebrate the good, we are more likely to view TBMs as caricatures of everything we kick against.

  • hetaira

    Nice smack-up, guys, and great approach to the non-parody parody, Jake. And hey, what’s this about Tom performing marriages? How about a podcast about this, or have I missed a discussion of it along the way somewhere?

    • Randy_Snyder

      Tom became an ordained minister and legally married a gay couple in Utah. He is my hero. We haven’t mentioned it publicly, I don’t think, but it happened.

      • hetaira

        Yay,Tom!! See if you can cajole him into an episode.

      • Aladdin Sane

        Hey Randy, I have a request/suggestion for an episode themed “What else were we wrong about?”. I think it would be interesting for the infants to reflect on what subjects, core beliefs, and attitudes in your life that you connect to your insular, white bread American Mormon cultural upbringing that you did a complete 180 (or at least a 90) degree turn on *after* your disaffection from the church, but were not catalysts or contributors to your initial disaffection from the church. It would be limited to things that never would have even entered into your mind to reconsider until the shock of realising that you were so wrong about your core belief led you start wondering what assumptions you should interrogate. For example, John Hamer couldn’t talk about feminist concerns because those were a major catalyst. The same would hold true if say, after you were exposed to historical issues, you started to wonder about feminist issues, and they were a significant contributor during your faith transition. But if it was no big deal in your faith transition, but afterwards became something you flipped your assumptions over, you could talk about it and how giving yourself the freedom to accept that you could be wrong led to it.

        So it could be, for examples, economics, charity, volunteering, newfound hobbies passions you never would have even considered before, the value of the arts and the humanities as sources and explorations of moral values, social justice, politics (did any of you change political parties afterwards?, Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio, major news networks, information on the Internet, scholars and historians, science and scientists (how far into your lives did each of you take before you accepted evolution, and then accepted it for human beings?), global warming and environmental issues, particular LGBT issues if it wasn’t a major part of your disaffection (did you change your mind about transsexual people, for example), euthanasia, the spiritual insights and wisdoms of other cultures, ethnocentrism, racism, beliefs about parenting and discipline, medicine (did any of you have unscientific medical beliefs like essential oils, vitamin overdosing, homeopathy, extremist naturopathy/anti-establishment medicine, anti-vaxx etc.), substances and recreational drug use both personally and politically, your views on the trustworthiness of certain sources of information or media, changes in attitudes towards fashion (modesty?), how you view non-Mormon related American and world history, what paradigms have drastically changed, who your new non-Mormon heroes and villains in history are and whether they’ve changed sides of been seriously reappraised.

        What things not directly related to Mormonism but to your cultural upbringing did you used to genuinely feel in your heart feel were great, but now can stand, and vice versa?

        I think it would be a great opportunity for a episode where you discuss things you value, care about, or or just find interesting that are not specifically Mormon.

  • Thomas Moore

    …as was mentioned in “Hard to Find Mormon Videos” episode. The corporation at one time was trying to be a church, to help their fellow man. They made some mistakes, yet we do have to applaud and understand their trying to help the Polynesians, the Native American children, The Primary Children’s Hospital, The canneries, etc… Yet, when a talk like this comes along, the lips are close to the heart of Jesus’ message and so we do a little research on the “good” things that LDS inc. is doing now. We find LDS Philanthropies and Mormon Transhumanist Association; and we learn that LDS Philanthropies is nothing more than donating away your final finances to BYU and The church by naming them benefactors in your final will and testament…and Transhumanists are just a few “New Age” Mormons who are close to being exed themselves. http://www.ldsphilanthropies.org/

    and http://transfigurism.org/

    I hate to say I’m cynical, but really look what LDS inc has done with the good and delightsome things that they put their hands into. BSA?!?! The new temple in New Zealand? http://templeviewproject.org/

    We all hear about the cattle ranch in FL, or the Billion $’s mall but really the Haiti temple??? While the rest of the world was doing concerts and donations for Haiti https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Glny4jSciVI

    The church was having the Red Cross build homes/suburbs and infrastructure in Haiti for their temple property. http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/04/americas/american-red-cross-haiti-controversy-propublica-npr/index.html

    So for those who think LDS inc. has brought Jesus Christ back into their organization… Look again and study and you might discover things like PR opportunities. A million dollars in aid/charity given over a period of 25 years. Back when Romney was running for office, they noted that a lot of Romney’s tax write-off donations was to LDS inc. and Bloomberg wrote a great 7pg article on how Mormons make their money. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-07-18/how-the-mormons-make-money

    Since then, there has been no backlash or outcry for them to change, so they’re doing business as usual and even more so by putting money into politics like Prop 8, AZ’s anti-gay bill, paying hush money to victims of sexual abuse, etc…. It’s not just anger, but so, so sad that so many are still giving and will keep giving their lives, money and time to doing work for the dead or listening to fluff and windbags without noticing the uncharitable and unempathetic and hateful organization they’re supporting .
    Sorry Elder Kearon, by their fruits ye shall know them.

  • Ryan Gregson

    Great episode! You know I liked your guys’ star wars episode, maybe there could be a game of thrones special? Especially since melisandre is going through a faith crisis. There’s some relevance, right?

    • DontSpamMeBro

      I went through a crisis of sorts at the end of the first episode LOL

  • This was a great idea! People should be lauded for behaving like decent human beings—especially when they could have done otherwise.

    You have to promise us, though, that come October, you’ll climb right back on that long dead conference horse and continue to beat the shit out of it.

    Besides Jake’s great idea of including Kearon’s talk without ridiculing Kearon or the subject of his talk, you guys did a masterful job this April of smacking down a conference where, as far as I can tell, practically nothing happened.

    • Thomas Moore

      Yeah, I may ridicule and despise the LDS inc.; but Kearon is definitely one of those people who lives and believes in mankind, love, charity, I especially loved one of his BYU devotionals. https://youtu.be/jF-z2kAgW8c

  • Tim

    The Sunday following General Conference we had a fantastic talk based on Kearon’s talk. The woman who gave the talk has done humanitarian work abroad, and has spearheaded relief efforts for refugees locally for years. It was an amazing talk because it was purely about compassion and charity.

    However, the comments in the talk before and the bishop’s comments showed how the church spoils their own charity: they tied it in with proselytizing. When you help people just so you can get them to join your church, or when you intentionally or unintentionally coerce people to listen to your evangelical ramblings, you lose the personal value of charitable service.

    • Thomas Moore

      Ditto, agree and seconded. If the corporation would stay out of it, The Christians/Mormons/humanitarians could do what they’re best at and what they know is “real” and true.

    • Tim

      Here in Minneapolis there are lots of refugees — Somali, Hmong, Laotian, Vietnamese, Burmese, and many others. The woman who gave the talk, Peggy Fairbourne, organized an Interfaith Outreach group of women including Muslims, Jews, and Christians. She organized a refugee fundraiser for her interfaith group and put a link on justserve.org. She represents the church at its best — but as Randy pointed out, efforts like this are humanistic at their core. The religious doctrines would pit the women against each other. It’s the common values of secular humanism that bind this group of women together.

  • Orrin Dayne

    LOL at Randy struggling through the “Jesus fleeing to Egypt” portion of the talk.

  • David

    I came here to comment that after the talk, Ucthdorf, who was a refugee, went up to do his condcitung business, and had been noticibly moved to tears. It was refreshingly raw and emotional you might have missed it if you didn’t watch it live.

  • Anne Perkins

    FYI, Utah takes 1200 refugees Per year, that go through an extensive vetting process that can take up to two years from what I understand. The Utah refugee center is in West Salt Lake and is in desperate need for money donations and donations in-kind, like diapers. There is a lot of work to be done here on the Wasatch front. A place to start is to look up on Facebook for Utah refugee center, go to the app store and type in “serve refugees”. There is an excellent app to get people organized and start collecting things for the refugees and attending service events. Hopefully you can help get the word out. Because I too, had the reaction that “this is the church I can belong to” after I heard his talk. Thanks!

    • Susan

      Came here to make the same comment! Lots of refugees from all over the world come to the US, and a lot of them are in Utah! The International Rescue Commitee, Catholic Community Services, and Asian Association of Utah are three organizations doing work locally.

  • AxelDC

    It is frustrating to think of all the good LDS, Inc. could effect in the world given their resources of money and human talent. Instead, they focus on frivolous or divisive issues like porn, or pursue evil through racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-intellectualism.

  • ChrisJ

    Like Jesus you nailed it!

  • prickley.pete

    A smack up and a smack down that I recently witnessed among my LDS neighbors following a bad windstorm in Northern Utah.

    Smack Up: During priesthood opening exercises they cancelled Elder’s quorum and told everyone to go home and change and meet at a one of the homes that lost a lot of trees. After we were done there we spread out and went door to door in the ward helping anyone else that had issues from the storm.

    Smack Down: During they same opening exercises they asked if young mens would also be cancelled so they could help in the cleanup effort. “No the young men need to do fast offerings after church, so we want them to still be dressed up”