Episode 117: Mathew Gill, Prophet of The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ

John Larsen interviews Mathew Gill, the president and prophet of The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ and translator of the Book of Jeraneck.

The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ

Episode 117

44 comments on “Episode 117: Mathew Gill, Prophet of The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ”

  1. truthandlight Reply

    I wish the angel Moroni would have stopped talking. Every time Mathew tried to say something that darn angel would mumble some incoherent words that reverberated as static. This just proves that people will believe anything. Wow, now I know what it feels like to be say, Isaac Hale or some other non-believer during Joseph’s time. This is complete hogwash.

    • G Reiersen Reply

      I agree completely. That this new church actually has congregations in various parts of the world who believe in it (if they actually do take it seriously) very powerfully confirms that there is nothing that is so foolish or far out that no one can be found who would swallow it, hook, line and sinker. At least Gill is charitable towards others who don’t buy his claims. His message about the importance of treating each other as we would like to be treated is certainly very sound advice, but what reputable religion on earth does NOT promote that idea? This is the essential baby of morality and ethics. Everything else in religion not directly pertaining to encouraging and implementing that all important principle is mere chaff or bathwater that deserves to be thrown out!

  2. George Miller Reply

    Kudos to John for getting Matthew Gill to come on the show. John was an incredibly respectful interviewer, and I personally enjoyed hearing Matthew’s story. Thanks to the ME team for allowing us to hear this alternative voice of Mormonism.

  3. Hermes Reply

    Really, really interesting. I really appreciate this and would like to thank everyone involved. It is amazing how people’s reactions to claims of miracles are heavily dependent on context (specifically time and place: the longer ago and farther away, the more believable). How many of us would believe a man who told us his mother was a virgin, his father a demon who would destroy the whole world unless this man died a gruesome death? (I am not merely joking when I say this: several years ago, I might have taken this kind of thing very seriously.) This podcast provided a lot of food for thought.

      • FWAnson Reply

        LOL. Nice!

        Perhaps we should change the template for The Mormon Testimony to simply:

        “I would like to bear my testimony.

        I fart in your general direction!”

  4. Brian K. Reply

    How legit is this guy? It sounds like a joke. It seems like he is just copying Joseph’s story.

    • Kris Fielding Reply

      I wondered the same thing. I thought it was like the Book of Zelph meets performance art in an attempt to show the believers how silly the story is.

      • FWAnson Reply

        Don’t you be disrespecting The Book of Zelph!

        Everyone knows that The Book of Zelph is JUST as true as The Book of Mormon!
        (of which it is another Testament of BTW)

        • Kris Fielding Reply

          I’m not dissing the BoZ. I have a firm testimony of its truthfulness, for I did roll the dice.

          • FWAnson

            And so it is! After all as the THE FOURTEEN THINGS WE BELIEVE #5 from the Book of Zelph says so well:

            5. We believe that scientific evidence is sometimes good, but the only way to know for sure if the Book of Zelph is true is by rolling the dice.

            And I’m sure that you are now enlightened to the fact that per #11:

            “11. We believe that even if no evidence supports The Book of Zelph, it doesn’t
            mean it isn’t true.”

            So there you go!

  5. Tim Reply

    I think Matthew and this guy show that the LDS church doesn’t have a good apologetic to counter anyone who takes up the Joseph Smith story for themselves. The minute the LDS church tries to refute them they shoot holes in their own origin story.

    What I like about this link: http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-13162-sealed-fate.html Is that you have two big name Mormons, Daniel Peterson and Jeffery Holland taking a whack at a false prophet and both of them are using the same exact arguments that were used against Joseph Smith by his contemporaries.

    The only thing Mormons can really say is “Study it out, pray about it and wait for a burning in the bosom”. If you happen to receive a confirmation, the conversation has to stop.

  6. sinclaire Reply

    wow…. the crazy started the minute Stonehenge was mentioned. John you showed great restraint and respect.
    i have to say…for a new prophet-he really lacked ,magnetism and appeal….

  7. Finding Nirvana Reply

    As a skeptic, I admire John’s diplomacy and kindness during the interview. I had a great time listening to Mathew’s story, and made the same connections at Tim. I laughed out loud at the absurdity of Mathew’s bishop telling him that people just don’t see angels any more. I think Tim’s right, believing Mormons CAN’T argue against experiences like this without undermining the foundations of their own religion.

    • ronniebray Reply

      I do not believe Matthew’s bishop, or any LDS bishop, would say no one sees angels any more.

  8. Heather Reply

    Interesting interview. Individuals like this always leave me with the central nagging question that will never be answered. Are men like this (Joseph Smith, included) really believe what they profess or are they simply con-men? Wouldn’t it be interesting to know for sure…

    • Heather Reply

      Uhhh. That should have been: “DO men like this”…. not “ARE men like this”. haha.

      • Nate Reply

        It really would be interesting. I’ve always wondered the same thing.

        Either way there must be an incredible amount of self-justification going on, right? That’s probably why so many of these guys — and it’s always GUYS, I notice — are class A narcissists. (Though, to be fair, I didn’t get this impression from Gill at all during the interview.)

        I’d love to stick a stethoscope up to their brains and hear that inner monologue.

  9. Nate Reply

    I really dug the imagery of Gill’s (equivalent) Hill Cumorah story at Stonehenge: the crows that scattered upwards as the young prophet passed into reverie, that alighted again as he came to. The heavy traffic on the way to the ancient monument, and, after the revelation, the unimpeded journey home. Also, the purple-robed messenger who ding-dong ditched them with the plates was a nice touch.
    Other than that Gill’s restoration narrative stuck pretty close to the Joseph Smith narrative. That’s where it fell flat for me and felt most contrived. I wondered who’d be engaged by this recycled story. The Book of Mormon seems to be, in part, about giving identity and credence to American christianity (America as a promised land and whatnot). Perhaps European Mormons are saying hey what about us?
    Anyway, it got me thinking about the importance of good storytelling and the roll of imagination in building faith. What excites the imagination fills our head with thoughts and creates our vision of the world. A lot of Joseph Smith’s success, I think, had to do with his charisma and his ability to synthesize a new story that resonated with the enthusiasms of his place and time.

  10. Nate Reply

    I really dug the imagery of Gill’s (equivalent) Hill Cumorah story at Stonehenge: the crows that scattered upwards as the young prophet passed into reverie, that alighted again as he came to. The heavy traffic on the way to the ancient monument, and, after the revelation, the unimpeded journey home. Also, the purple-robed messenger who ding-dong ditched them with the plates was a nice touch.
    Other than that Gill’s restoration narrative stuck pretty close to the Joseph Smith narrative. That’s where it fell flat for me and felt most contrived. I wondered who’d be engaged by this recycled story. The Book of Mormon seems to be, in part, about giving identity and credence to American christianity (America as a promised land and whatnot). Perhaps European Mormons are saying hey what about us?
    Anyway, it got me thinking about the importance of good storytelling and the roll of imagination in building faith. What excites the imagination fills our head with thoughts and creates our vision of the world. A lot of Joseph Smith’s success, I think, had to do with his charisma and his ability to synthesize a new story that resonated with the enthusiasms of his place and time.

  11. Michael Gonda Reply

    I will be honest. I didn’t finish this one. Partly because the audio was so garbled. But what I did learn is I think it is safe to say if I lived at the time of Joseph Smith, I would have thought he was a wacko. So I did learn something. I hope Joseph was a bit more charismatic than Matthew, that’s my impression anyway…. but the claims are still wild and crazy with either prophet.

  12. Eric Reply

    I’ve always wondered what it would be like to pretend to be a modern-day Joseph Smith; do everything he did; have the same conviction he did. The only purpose would be to see how easy it would be to persuade people and how many people I could get to follow me. Part of me thinks Matthew Gill is just another nut job. But another part of me wonders if he is really actually pulling off the above scenario. Maybe he really is a huge fraud on purpose, like it’s all a big experiment. Maybe it’s his British accent, making him sound like Brian Cox, that makes me think he has more intelligent motives. But he’s probably just a nut job.

  13. Eric Reply

    I’ve always wondered what it would be like to pretend to be a modern-day Joseph Smith; do everything he did; have the same conviction he did. The only purpose would be to see how easy it would be to persuade people and how many people I could get to follow me. Part of me thinks Matthew Gill is just another nut job. But another part of me wonders if he is really actually pulling off the above scenario. Maybe he really is a huge fraud on purpose, like it’s all a big experiment. Maybe it’s his British accent, making him sound like Brian Cox, that makes me think he has more intelligent motives. But he’s probably just a nut job.

    • FWAnson Reply

      YOU WROTE:
      “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to pretend to be a modern-day Joseph Smith; do everything he did; have the same conviction he did.”

      MY RESPONSE:
      It’s already been done – and with a twist – by L. Ron Hubbard, the “Joseph Smith of the 20th Century”.

      The “twist” was that Hubbard, unlike Smith, had the good sense to place his “new scripture” in outer space so as to deal with messy little details like physical evidence as little as possible. And he also had the good sense to divorce it from extent Christian Theology so as to have to deal with messy little details like radical departures from established orthodoxy as little as possible.

      Clever eh?

    • Anonymous Reply

      Or the Dream Mine guys. It was *interesting* but I am glad I have a “double-speed” button on my iPod…

  14. FWAnson Reply

    This guy gives me the creeps!
    I can’t help but wonder if that’s how Joseph Smith affected some in his day.

    It’s interesting being confronted with a modern equivalent isn’t it?

  15. Ron_Paul_2012 Reply

    The LDS Church teaches that you can only receive revelation for your direct stewardship within the priesthood line of authority. Joseph Smith himself worked out this doctrine as a result of the chaos caused in the early organization at a time when everyone thought they could receive revelation for The Church. It seems to make a lot of sense that the organization can’t remain an organization for long if they recognized everyones claim to revelation for The Church as a whole.

  16. Ozpoof Reply

    It’s great that these days someone like this gets barely enough followers to make up 12 apostles. If only people were more savvy in the 1830s.

  17. Anonymous Reply

    Absolutely excellent interview and episode!
    These are the types of episodes that keep drawing me back to these podcasts after some hiatus.

    Now get an interview with Christopher Nemelka! That would be killer too.

  18. Douglas_hunter Reply

    I have to say I really did feel like I was listening to an interview with a good performance artist. His story duplicates the structure and content of important elements of the JS story in a way that calls attention to their uniqueness in the JS narrative. Its difficult to not take Mathew’s story as a commentary on the JS story and a commentary on belief. He stretches the limits of belief by so closely mirroring another story and invites us to believe anyway. Its quite remarkable really.

  19. Anonymous Reply

    He used a lot of “I think”s which to me is just his opinion. For example at the end John asked what god wants from everyone and he said, “I think….” Matt did that several times so he has a good opinion what people should be like. I don’t know maybe it is better than the mormons who use, “I know….”

  20. Jacob Brown Reply

    This podcast kept me on edge. I kept anticipating that Matthew Gill was joking. I seriously suspected this whole thing was a parody of Joseph Smith or a mockery of the Utah Mormon church. I kept waiting for Matthew to throw up his hands and say, “Just kidding!”

    Seriously, now that I have heard the whole thing I love the powerful parallels between Joseph Smith’s experience and Matthew Gill’s story. The story is fascinatingly beautiful in how it incorporates features of his culture in a way that is deep down harmonious with Mormonism, but on the surface would be rejected by just about any faithful Mormon. This genius is marvelous and scarry at the same time.

    I do have to say that after reading a little bit of the Book of Jeraneck, I was not as nearly impressed with the parallels. Chris Nemelka’s “The Sealed Portion” is much more imitative of the Book of Mormon. I had not heard of either of these two people until today. I learn so much!

  21. John Reply

    I can’t help to ponder what decisions I would have made differently too.  For one, I still have a minimum commitment of attending 3 hours a week just to keep my marriage alive.  It sounds like you were lucky in that regard, or had to start over.  Fortunately, that is the only compromise I have made.  No more temple, tithing, missions, demeaning interviews, cleaning churches, or burdensome callings.  The biggest struggle will now be how to give the kids critical faculties to make their own choices without belittling my spouse in the process.  I can  see why people who have been a bishop for 5 years or have remained active until retirement are usually doomed to “endure to the end”.  It is hard to sell a stock at such a large loss that you have invested your whole life into.  

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