Mormonism LIVE ! : 018: Lazy Learners & Shrinkage

Mormonism LIVE ! – April 2021 General Conference Edition RFM and Bill Reel will sit down and review some of big happenings and talks in April 2021 General Conference. And if absolutely zilch happens, then we will address the recent handbook changes and discuss what they say about where they came from and where the Church moves forward because of those changes.

Recent Handbook Changes allowing single members more opportunities to serve –

2020 Membership Report –

President Nelson’s Lazy Learner Talk –




Assumption: It is an unstated premise which cannot be logically derived from any existing information.
Assumptions are generally given to present some new information. These can also be part of some beliefs.
Inference: It is that piece of information which can be logically deducted from the one or more statements.

The Facts and the Inferences based on data and context of the historical record.

Fact 1.) The Church has a demonstrable tendency to be deceptive and hide damaging historical documents and historical context when such is damaging to the dominant narrative. We can argue their motives and we can debate which specific people within the Church have committed the acts but the fact remains. Multiple examples of historical artifacts with damaging information on them stored away indefinitely or only released once public awareness of them began and public uproar became significant.Examples: 1832 first vision accountRonald Poelman Conference talkLeadership incomethe brown egg shaped Seer StoneCouncil of Fifty MinutesBrigham Young blaming the Native Americans even after knowing it was his people who committed the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Denied Access to researchers, Termination of Leonard Arrington as Church Historian due to his motive to be open and transparent, suppression of B.H. Roberts faith crisis and the Secret Mormon Meetings of 1922, Suppression of John Taylor’s 1886 VisionDenial of Polygamy by Joseph SmithDenial of Adam God while also admitting privately the teaching existed by Bruce R. McConkie. There are literally a hundreds more of such instances. These speak deeply to the credibility of the institution’s integrity in handling documents or events with honesty and forthrightness and transparency when those documents or events are damaging to the narrative they wish to promote and to the faith of the members of their Church.

Fact 2.) Joseph Knight Sr.’s recollection document is missing at least a page and perhaps multiple pages at its beginning. The document as we have it starts mid thought and historians and scholars on both sides agree that a page or pages are missing.

Fact 3.) Joseph Knight Sr.’s recollection is demonstrably a history of Joseph Smith and not a self history. The writing is intentionally telling Joseph Smith’s story and wants the reader to be informed of the events and occurrences in the Life of Joseph Smith Jr.

Fact 4.) The Joseph Knight Sr.’s recollection is written clearly in chronological order. He shares events and occurrences in chronological order starting with the earliest and working forward in time.

Fact 5.) He begins sharing events that had happened before he had ever met Joseph Smith Jr. We know this because the document as we have it begins mid thought in 1823 where Moroni is informing Joseph Smith of where the plates are located in the hill and it continues to lay out events in chronological order going forward from there. Combine that with our knowing that Joseph Knight Sr doesn’t meet Joseph Smith until at least 1825 and likely 1826.

Fact 6.) Joseph Knight Sr. ends his historical narrative in 1833. Any major historical events in Mormonism between 1833 and his death in 1847 are absent from his writing indicating a high likelihood that his history was written and at least completed just after the final 1833 event he concludes with.

Inference 1.) The most similar event if in fact another first vision account is the 1832 First Vision account being cut out of Joseph Smith Jr’s personal journal by someone inside the Church and stored away from the public awareness for decades until rumor got out and public outcry had someone inside the Church taping it back into the personal journal and allowing it to enter public awareness and public discourse within the Church. Those are all facts. The educated Inference is that the person on both ends of removing and reattaching the document was Joseph Fielding Smith who became Church historian in 1921. The data deeply implicates him as the person.

Inference 2.) Historians inside and outside the Church seem to agree that The missing pages were removed by the LDS Church because something in them was damaging to faith and the dominant narrative.D Michael Quinn, once a historian under Leonard Arrington and former staff inside the Church history department, has stated,

Rather than being destroyed, it is more likely that Knight’s first page(s) ended up in the private safe of Joseph Fielding Smith. During his service as official LDS Church Historian from 1920 to 1970, Apostle Smith put in this safe any historical documents he regarded as extremely sensitive. When he became LDS president in January 1970, Joseph Fielding Smith had this safe removed to the vault of the First Presidency, where its contents remain today.”

Quinn, who was deeply familiar with the the archives of the Church recognizes the most likely explanation is that like the 1832 First Vision, Joseph Fielding Smith was deeply uncomfortable with what was within those early page(s) of Knight’s recollection and likely removed them to his private vault.

Where Quinn differs from our view laid out here is that he wondered if the damaging info was connected to Joseph Smith’s money digging and use of peep stones for scrying.

Quinn pointing to this thought process said,

“Joseph Knight’s personal history tells of his acquaintance with Smith. Housed in LDS church archives, this manuscript is “missing at least one beginning page. This missing portion would cover the period when treasure-digging was allegedly the primary association of Knight with teenage Joseph, as previously stated by Collington and also by other sources. LDS historian Richard L. Bushman observes: “Although a believer from the start, Knight’s ‘Recollection’ has bothered some Mormon readers because of its rough-cut style and its unembarrassed reports of familiar relations with neighborhood money diggers.” That discomfort explains the missing pages in Knight’s history of his first association with young Joseph Smith.”

While D. Michael Quinn and others have guessed that the damaging info leading to its removal had to do with money digging, The document seems to articulate Joseph Smith’s relationship with Josiah Stowel in ways that seem to initiate the reader with said relationship and seems to want to steer clear of treasure digging. On pg 4 it reads

“But before September Came his oldest Brother Died. Then he was Disapinted and did not [k]now what to do. But when the 22nt Day of September Came he went to the place and the personage appeard and told him he Could not have it now. But the 22nt Day of September nex he mite have the Book if he Brot with him the right person. Joseph says, “who is the right Person?” The answer was you will know. Then he looked in his glass and found it was Emma Hale, Daughter of old Mr Hail of Pensylvany, a girl that he had seen Before, for he had Bin Down there Before with me.Joseph then went to Mr Stowels [Stowell] whare he had lived sometime Before. But Mr Stowel Could not pay him money for his work very well and he came to me perhaps in November and worked for me until about the time that he was Married, which I think was in February”

This language both is written in a way that you feel you are being introduced to Josiah Stowel for the first time and it feels as though Joseph Knight wants to avoid or isn’t aware of any treasure digging information to pass along to the reader. Josiah Stowel’s relationship with Joseph seems to be glossed over with Knight not wanting or not knowing to add more context and information regarding how Smith and Stowel knew each other or the activities they had been involved in. When the document as we have it begins in 1823, Smith and Stowel had assuredly not met yet and likely would not for another 2 years. This leads to us highly doubting the assumptions by others that the problematic material was related to treasure digging.

Inference 3.) Joseph Smith writes his earliest known First Vision account in 1832 in his personal journal. We also know that Joseph Smith and Joseph Knight Sr’s were extremely good friends. Combine that with Knight’s account being assuredly written in 1833 and we can make the inference that Knight at the time of his writing was aware of and had heard directly from Joseph Smith’s own mouth, his First Vision experience narrative.

Inference 4.) This Knight recollection missing pages can be safely assumed to have contained a First Vision account.

Inference 5.) It can be safely assumed based on How Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon articulated Mormonism’s early theology that Knight’s recollection of Joseph Smith’s first Vision in his 1833 writing likely was much more similar to Joseph Smith’s 1832 account than the official 1838 account and such would be problematic for Mormonism’s dominant narrative.

In lieu of the facts and the educated Inferences made based on data and context, and in light of how the Church of Jesus Christ has treated problematic history and documents in the past, it is highly probable and seems to us that the most reasonable, logical, probable explanation is that there is still a missing First Vision account contradictory to Mormonism’s dominant narrative that was intentionally removed and hidden away from public awareness and likely done by Joseph Fielding Smith while he served as Church Historian from 1921 to 1970.

We believe the LDS Church had and may very well still have a completely unknown First Vision account in the handwriting of Joseph Knight Sr in their possession. And that said account likely is contradictory in significant places juxtaposed against the official 1838 account and the narrative the LDS Church wishes to impose as its founding story.

The argument back from critics of this view is that we have to make several Inferences, that even if educated and probable due to data and context, they cumulatively add up to hurt the likelihood of our conclusion. Our response is as follows.

The LDS Church has in so many instances withheld information and documents and have caused hurt to others who have raised a voice advocating honesty and transparency that the burden falls on the LDS Church to come forward and to explain the documents provenance, what it knows about the removal of the missing page(s), and what was on those page(s) and if the document still exists, to release it so that it and its context can be examined. It is no longer responsible of us to give the benefit of the doubt to the LDS Church and that we are on solid ground not doing so.
Radio Free Mormon

Bill Reel

Mormonism LIVE ! : 017: Mormon Minecraft

As RFM prepared for last weeks episode on Miner’s Hill he came across some things in regards to Joseph Smith’s treasure Digging that you won’t want to miss.

Mormonism LIVE ! Tonight has multiple bombshells with one of them being YUGE! Like blew my mind HUUUUGE. These are all things almost everyone doesn’t know with the major bombshell absolutely being unknown to everyone and a game changer.1.) Who with and where did Joseph Smith dig specifically for the Gold plates before Cumorah? and before 1823? 2.) Proof the Church is still not being transparent with damaging documents even on its Joseph Smith Papers Project Website. They are still trying to avoid believers confronting the facts and keeping data from a believer accessing such..3.) We take the Apologist’s strongest evidence of the Book of Mormon and show a much more reasonable contemporary example in Joseph Smith’s milieu.4.) AND THE BIGGEST BOMBSHELL OF THEM ALL WHICH WE WILL UNVEIL ON THE SHOW TONIGHT………. YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THIS.

Faculty of Abrac –

W W Phelps letter to Eber D Howe –

Transcript of Joseph Knight Sr’s Recollection –

Brian Hales website showing the section of Oliver Cowdery’s letter to his brother Warren displaying the SCRAPE/AFFAIR –

Joseph Smith Papers Project not being transparent about the letter –

The full letter book including the Oliver/Warren Cowdery Letter about the Alger Scrape/Affair –

Nahum VS Nahom VS NHM –

Nahum’s dissapearance –

LDS Church’s Changing Narrative around the Translation Process –


Mormonism LIVE !: 016: Peek Stones, Sheep’s Bones, and Gold Thrones all on Miner’s Hill

How prevalent was Joseph Smith’s treasure digging? Where all did Joseph Smith dig for treasures. What do we know about these treasure seeking sites? What do the historical sources tell us about these treasure digs? Black Sheep, Gold Furniture, Sacred scripture translated inside these man dug caves.


KC Kern & Greg Pavone Miner’s Hill Project Website 1 –

KC Kern & Greg Pavone Miner’s Hill Project Website 2 –

Dan Vogel’s The Locations of Joseph Smith’s Early Treasure Quests

Historical Sources Related to Miner’s Hill Cave

Cumorah’s Cave PDF


Mormonism LIVE !: 015: Tales of Hofmann

On tonight’s episode RFM and Bill Reel dive further into the Mark Hofmann story exposing Elder Oaks and at the time Elder Gordon B. Hinckley as potentially deceiving and lying about what transpired in their meeting with Hofmann and their efforts to obtain what they believed were authentic and also damaging documents to the Church’s narrative and the faith of its members.  Bill concludes with revealing multiple never before seen documents including the Hofmann’s outline for the forged 116 pages of the book of Lehi, Hofmann’s Psychological evaluation, his education report cards, and a master list of all the signatures/authored documents he forged of famous people.


Elder Oaks 1985 talk that includes much around the Hofmann affair including suggesting a Salamander could be interpreted as the angel Moroni –

Elder Oaks suggesting if we keep the commandments we won’t be deceived while the listener recognizes Elder Oaks, then Elder Gordon B Hinckley, and other leaders were in fact deceived by Hofmann –

Elder Oaks saying way too much about the Hofmann ordeal that in the end compromises the events as he tells them


Mormonism LIVE !: 014: How Can It Not Be True?

Using a recent video published by the LDS Church titled “How Can It Not Be True”, RFM and Bill Reel take this short 1 minute and 15 second video that attempts to impose faulty evidence and faulty reasoning as proving the Church is true and decimate it. When they are finished, answering the question How can it not be true becomes quite easy.


How Can It Not Be True – LDS VIdeo –

Chris Johnson – Stylistic Drift –

Christopher Smith – Stylistic Drift –

Terrence Chambers – New Testament Phrases in the Book of Mormon –

Book of Mormon Anachronisms –

Criticism of the Book of Mormon –

19th century material in the Book of Mormon –

Book of Mormon Archeology –

Faithful LDS Scholar Richard Bushman on 19th century material in the Book of Mormon –

Richard Bushman on Joseph Smith producing pseudepigrapha –

synopsis of Grant Palmer’s Insider’s view of Mormon Origins –

Grant Palmer’s Mormon Stories Interview –

The Dreams of the Smith Family – Contains Joseph Smith Sr.’s dream that resembles the Vision of the Tree of Life –

Introduction to the Grammatical and Substantive changes to the Book of Mormon –


Mormonism LIVE !: 013: What Bad Faith Looks Like

Using a recent article in the Church Magazine “Liahona” (Formerly the Ensign) published by the LDS Church, RFM and Bill Reel dissect whether the Church acts in good faith with how it imposes its narrative and who it blames when that narrative is pointed out as not accurate.  When the Church is informed that it is being inaccurate how does the Church respond, both in its rhetoric in terms of who it blames for the problem and what it says it will do about the problem, as well as what it actually does to correct the problem.  The Video version of this episode and all other episodes can be found on youtube at this url
Please consider donating to Mormonism LIVE ! to help us keep this live show going by CLICKING HERE

Swedish Rescue –

Blaming the artists for inaccurate depictions

Del Parson’s experience with getting Church art approved

images more current still obscuring the stone and the hat

Even after saying they will correct the problem of inaccurate art depictions they again in 2021 display a deeply inaccurate artistic depiction.


MORMONISM LIVE !: 011: The Rules of the Game

There are five rules to the game of Mormonism; all of them from the perspective of church leaders:

Rule No. 1–We are going to hide stuff from you.

Rule No. 2–We are going to try to keep you from finding the stuff we are hiding from you.

Rule No. 3–We are going to lie about hiding stuff from you.

Rule No. 4–You can’t blame us for hiding stuff from you.

Rule No. 5–If you talk about the stuff we are hiding from you, we will hide you. (See Rule No. 2)Once you understand the five “rules of the game,” everything else falls into place.



MORMONISM LIVE !: 010: Demonic Possession, Exorcism, and Mormonism

In todays Episode Jonathan Streeter fills in for Bill Reel and takes RFM on a journey discussing the first miracle in Mormonism. They discuss the role that Demonic possessions and exorcisms play in religion generally and how such things have influenced Mormonism specifically

Episode outline

Resources for background:


MORMONISM LIVE !: 009: Elder David Bednar & Wendy Nelson, Has The Day Of Miracles Ceased?

Moroni 7:27 asks Has the day of Miracles Ceased? The answer in the scriptures is nay. Yet What happens when we take a look at what LDS Leaders suggest as the miracles that are happening. We use two Sound clips at the backdrop of todays discussion. One is David Bednar’s recent BYU devotional where Elder Bednar imposes that miracles are happening today just as in days of old and gives us 8 quotes that are supposed to be evidence of the miracles except there aren’t any…. unless you are counting smiles, hours served, phones answered, and a person was were they were supposed to be.  The second clip revolves around Wendy Nelson informing us that President Nelson was prompted prior to Covid in 2020 to cancel all of their bookings for the year.  But when this “miracle” is examined it seems to contain deep factual problems and negative theological ramifications.



MORMONISM LIVE !: 008: Keith Erekson Hoax Expert

We once again develop this weeks episode around Director of the Church History Library, Keith Erekson. Except this time we address his expertise as a hoax expert. No Seriously, this guy is one of the worlds experts on discerning hoaxes. He has written articles, given presentations, and taught in academia about such helping people for years to to discern and deconstruct hoaxes. But catch this….. he has been unable to apply those same tools to his religious beliefs and that is the topic for tonight’s episode



MORMONISM LIVE !: 007: Keith Erekson – Analysis of the Director of the Church History Library

Tonight RFM and Bill Reel take a look at how Director of the Church History Library, Keith A. Erekson, frames apologetics, inoculation, and publicly frames the criticisms of the Church. What tone does he use? What approach does he take with the critic and their criticisms? What approach does he take with the issues? How does he interact with the members of the Church in terms of transparency? Vulnerability? Honesty? and Forthrightness? Is this an improvement or is it a deeper layer of deception? We do this by examining his recent Fireside w/ multiple stakes published on the Fredrickson Stake Youtube Channel

Keith Erekson is the head of the vaults where historical items are saved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his two assistants are the only folks with unfettered access to these archives and storage.


Mormonism LIVE !: 006: LDS Handbook Changes December 2020 Part 2

RFM and Bill Reel take a look at the December 2020 Changes to the General Handbook of Instruction within the LDS Church. This Second part starts with a special Guest, Wendi Wilcock Jensen, as we dive into the handbook section on Energy Work. From there we discuss the changes involving Transgender people, Changes on the approach to abuse, a new section on Prejudice, and then we conclude with The new section on seeking reliable information and use a soundbite from a Mormonland Podcast interview to show that it is actually the LDS Church that is unreliable, non-credible, and deceptive.

Soundbite parody in the voice of Gordon Bitner Hinckley at the beginning is from the TikTok artist Mitch Shira also under the name “genie_man”. Please Check out his work !!!


Mormonism LIVE !: 005: LDS Handbook Changes December 2020

RFM and Bill Reel take a look at the December 2020 Changes to the General Handbook of Instruction within the LDS Church. There is a major bombshell in this episode dealing with the hierarchy of doctrine when comparing the handbook with the teachings of the living prophets and the holy scriptures.