Overview of the Miracle Stories of Russell M. Nelson
In our previous write-ups on the website we’ve covered how almost all of the miraculous foundational stories from early church history have been later found to be late additions, evolutions, or outright fabrications.
If you look at Joseph Smith, you can track the evolution of both the First Vision and priesthood restoration and see that both stories were retrofitted back into the church’s history years after they were claimed to have happened with many changes and additions taking place in the process.
Beyond Joseph Smith, out last overview covered the Transfiguration of Brigham Young, which is a story that I was told was the reason that members of the church knew that Brigham Young was the rightful successor as prophet to Joseph Smith. As I dug into the transfiguration, however, it was just like Joseph Smith’s miracles in that not a single contemporary source mentioned this miracle until about a decade later and the story was again retrofitted back into the church’s history as a miracle witnessed by many even as the contemporaneous accounts made absolutely no mention of it happening.
Just as early church leaders created miracle stories to establish their authority, the current prophet of the church, Russell M. Nelson, has now been caught fabricating at least four of his miracle stories as well and in this overview I want to highlight those to show the pattern of how leaders who claim to speak for God are so willing to embellish and make up stories as a way to establish credibility among believers and elevate their own status in the name and voice of God.
All of these stories have been used by Russell M. Nelson in multiple settings and have been instrumental in letting members know that Russell M. Nelson is in tune with the mind and will of God. Furthermore, I will give both Nelson’s accounts of these stories against the contemporary records to show the common patterns in all of these miracles.
Russell M. Nelson and the Woman Wearing a Hat
This particular story was told by Russell M. Nelson in multiple settings, but I want to refer to the excerpt that was released through LDS Living from the biography released about Nelson once he became prophet called Insights from a Prophet’s Life: President Russell M. Nelson.
In this except, titled “You Didn’t Read It, Did You?” Nelson tells the story about when he was in Korea on active duty and meets a nurse named Beverly. From the excerpt:
Young Lieutenant Nelson performed many operations in less-than-optimal conditions. One day a nurse named Beverly Ashcraft approached him at the end of an operation in which she had assisted him. "What makes you different from all the other surgeons I work with?" she asked, likely assuming that he would have a straightforward answer.
Dr. Nelson thought for a moment and responded much differently than she expected: "Well, I don't know that I'm different, but if I am, it's because I know the Book of Mormon is true!' Not only was Beverly not expecting that answer, she was not impressed with it. It was only out of a sense of duty that she accepted Dr. Nelson's offer to borrow the one and only copy of the Book of Mormon he had at the time. Her husband, Derwin was a fellow surgeon and a few days later he returned the book, tossed it to Russell, and muttered a feeble "thanks."
"That is a totally inappropriate answer for someone who has read the Book of Mormon," Lieutenant Nelson responded. "You didn't read it, did you? I'm asking you and Beverly to read it, and when you have, then I want my book back." The Ashcrafts did read the book, and, over a period of time, Lieutenant Nelson taught them the gospel. In 1951, he baptized them, and then he lost track of the Ashcrafts. (You Didn't Read It, Did You?, LDS Living)
Before I get to the rest of this story, it is noteworthy to see just how it is being used to paint Nelson as someone who is truly channeling the righteous mind and will of God with Beverly asking “What makes you different from all the other surgeons I work with,” which is in line with the idea that members of the church have a certain “countenance” that just radiates in their daily lives.
While I have no idea if Nelson truly scolded Derwin for giving the Book of Mormon back, I also know that being scolded to read the Book of Mormon is not going to make you likely to have a spiritual confirmation of its truth. That being said, whatever the real story was, we do know that this couple was baptized which leads us to the rest of the excerpt where Nelson, now an Apostle, is giving a talk at a stake conference in Tennessee:
During the Sunday morning session of the conference, Elder Nelson was drawn to a woman wearing a large hat and sitting on the left-hand side of the chapel. He asked the stake president who she was; the president didn't know but managed to learn that her name was Beverly Zitting. When Elder Nelson went to the pulpit, he felt prompted to call this woman to join him. "How long have you been a member of the Church?" he asked her with the congregation looking on.
"Thirty years;' she responded.
"Who baptized you?" he then asked.
After a brief pause, she answered, "You did, in 1951!'
"What is your name again?"
She explained that when Elder Nelson had baptized her, her name had been Beverly Ashcraft and her husband's name Derwin. After he died, she had remarried, and now she had a large family who were active in the Church.
"Beverly, how many people connected with you have come into the Church since I baptized you?" Elder Nelson asked.
"You won't believe this;' she told him and the congregation, "but two nights ago I had a dream that Elder Maxwell would ask me that very question." So she had come prepared, and she pulled out of her purse a paper with the names of all the people who had come into the Church as a result of her baptism. The number was 80.” (You Didn't Read It, Did You?, LDS Living)
When this excerpt was released, the Truth and Transparency Foundation was contacted by the daughter and granddaughter of Beverly and Derwin, and as I mentioned above this story has been told throughout the years. What is interesting is that Nelson also told this story in 1984 and in his biography on lds.org. In these retellings, “there is no mention of Korea, Beverley being a nurse, or a serendipitous encounter at a stake conference in Tennessee.” (False Story Removed From Newest Book)
The problem is that none of the miraculous elements of this story ever happened. According to Beverly’s daughter and granddaughter, Leslie and Katie, “Beverley was never a nurse, she never lived in Korea, and she didn’t know Nelson until her husband introduced her to him.”
More damning to Nelson’s story, however, is that Leslie and Katie were involved in the Stake Conference meeting in Tennessee and have directly refuted every miraculous element of Nelson’s retelling of the story from his biography. From the Truth and Transparency article:
“There was an encounter in the 1980s at a stake conference. Shortly after Nelson was called to be an Apostle, he traveled to Knoxville to speak at the conference. Leslie and Katie were both living with Beverley in Knoxville at the time. When they heard Nelson was coming to town they made sure to attend.
They remember that Nelson was aware of who Beverley was and knew she was in attendance. He did call her up to the podium during his talk and told everyone about her baptism story and about how there are many members of the church today as a result of her conversion.
There was no dream the night before, there was not a prepared note in her purse, and there was no confusion on the part of Nelson as to who she was. Katie adds that her grandmother” has never worn a hat to church and did not have a hat on that day.” (False Story Removed From Newest Book)
To be clear, Leslie and Katie were at the event and knew ahead of time that Nelson would be speaking. They made sure to attend and that Nelson was made aware that they would be there before the event. Those details alone completely kill Nelson’s story, but where you can see Nelson intentionally creating this miracle is in creating the detail of the hat.
The only reason that Nelson would note seeing the hat in the audience is to invent a reason to be drawn to a person in an otherwise large audience. By creating this detail Nelson can then work the other miraculous details in about Beverly, yet Katie and Leslie are clear that not only did Nelson already know Beverly would be there, but that she never wore a hat.
Nelson then uses the idea of a prompting from God to explain why he called Beverly up, which is not only false since he knew that Beverly would be at this conference (and she wasn’t wearing a hat to be spotted with), but is an apostle of God outright lying about a personal revelation from God to do so. Remember that Sheri Dew is writing Nelson’s biography so she would not put words into the prophet’s mouth, and the excerpt stated that Nelson “felt prompted to call this woman to join him.”
In other words, Nelson is purposefully fabricating this miracle and knowingly creating details to make it work and to outright lie about a revelation/prompting from God. This is similar to what we’ve described in the First Vision, priesthood restoration, and transfiguration of Brigham Young miracles as well.
At this point it is quite obvious that the story is completely fabricated, but Leslie and Katie put the final nail in the coffin by making clear that Beverly had no miraculous dream to reveal that she would be asked at the conference about this nor did she make any kind of list that Nelson boasted about in his biography.
This story is so blatantly false that Deseret Book was forced to remove the story entirely from the biography instead of reworking it, because a true version would reveal that the story was about as mundane and uneventful as a chance encounter gets.
Before we move to the second story, I have to wonder how many read this excerpt in LDS Living and felt a spiritual confirmation that Russell M. Nelson was truly God’s chosen prophet, because that was the feeling Nelson was intending by create with this story even though it further proves how easily spiritual witnesses can be manipulated by those that we cede authority to.
Russell M Nelson's Miracle in Mozambique
The second miracle story that I want to cover is about Russell M. Nelson’s claimed assassination attempt in Mozambique. I first heard about this story from a really great podcast by Radio Free Mormon and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in more details on many of these problematic miracle stories from Russell M. Nelson.
In May 2009, Russell and Wendy Nelson were visiting the mission president in Mozambique when they were the victims of an armed robbery while eating dinner. First I want to give the official church statement from the time:
"On Friday evening they were having dinner together in the mission president's home when armed assailants entered the home and robbed them. We don't have complete information yet, but we understand that Sister Packard's arm was broken. In addition, she and others suffered some superficial injuries, mainly cuts and bruises. Elder and Sister Nelson will continue their assignment over the weekend as planned." (LDS Church Apostle, his wife and 2 other couples attacked in Mozambique, KSL)
From this initial statement it is clear that a robbery did occur and that Cindy Packard suffered a broken arm during the attack. Just as with the above story about the woman in a hat, this story begins with an event that absolutely did happen to some degree.
This same KSL article also states that missionaries in the area were warned to be careful in this mission area:
Former missionaries to Mozambique who we talked with Saturday tell us that they were warned to always be cautious and told about the dangers of life in that African nation.
Austin Hill served a Latter-day Saint mission in Mozambique in 2002 and 2003. He says the people are very friendly.
"The mission home before the current one got broken into and the Church-employed guards were there all day. One of the three guards they employed had orchestrated the whole thing," Hill said. "When you hear of something happening in the neighborhood, as you're there, it's usually with a machete." (LDS Church Apostle, his wife and 2 other couples attacked in Mozambique, KSL)
Again, I am not trying to take away from the attack and robbery in any way – it is awful that Cindy Packard was harmed and in my opinion was an absolute hero by recognizing the robbery quickly and running outside to get help. From the statement by Blair and Cindy Packard:
“Four armed gunmen overpowered our one guard … We were threatened verbally and physically. Cindy was roughed up but finally did get away to warn other guards and neighbors who came to our assistance. She suffered a fracture in her left elbow ... other bruises and skinned knees. Elder Nelson was accosted as well but is fine with minimal injury.” (Mission president and wife describe weekend attack and robbery)
In addition, please note this part of the statement given by Blair and Cindy Packard just two days after the robbery where he states that he felt that “Elder and Sister Nelson were not specifically targeted or that this was any act against the Church.” (Mission president and wife describe weekend attack and robbery)
This quote is beyond important, so I want to repeat that the mission president, who was obviously at the incident and would know the situation better than anyone else, was clear that the Nelsons were not targeted. Please remember that because just a few months later Wendy Nelson claims the following at the Time Out for Women event in Utah. From Wendy’s talk at the November 2009 conference:
"The four armed robbers had one intention," Sister Nelson said, "to (harm) my husband and to take me hostage." (Mormon apostle's wife felt comfort during attack, Deseret News)
To be clear, in just a few months Wendy Nelson has turned a robbery into a kidnapping attempt even though the mission president said at the time this was simply not true.
Wendy further used this incident to teach that “the four armed men didn't barge into the home, but casually entered almost unnoticed, exactly like the adversary does,” because every good miracle story needs to be tied back to a lesson for church members to follow out of fear that the adversary is trying to get them.
Furthermore, Wendy elevates herself by stating that "Just before that man walked in, an intense, beautiful peace came upon me," which is a similar tactic to what Russell Nelson used above to proclaim his place as a chosen man of God. The irony here is that Wendy Nelson claims that God warned her with a beautiful peace just before the robbery while not warning the church of other events such as COVID that could’ve actually saved lives.
This gets ramped up even further when Russell Nelson retells the story almost five years later in a broadcast to 153 stakes. Check out how Nelson completely changes the story to make himself look like the chosen prophet of God:
“On one occasion, we were attacked by armed men with malicious intent. They announced their purpose: to kidnap her, and to kill me. After they maliciously molested us in those evil objectives, they became totally foiled. A gun to my head failed to fire. And my wife was suddenly released from their hideous grasp. Then they disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. We were mercifully rescued from potential disaster. We know we were protected by angels round about us.” (“Heavenly Messengers,” Wasatch and Utah County Conference Broadcast to 153 Stakes, September 14, 2014)
This is absolutely false. Let me repeat what the mission president said again: "Elder and Sister Nelson were not specifically targeted.”
Furthermore, Nelson is claiming that these robbers were foiled by a gun that miraculously failed to fire when fired at his head. I don’t mean to sound dismissive, but if these robbers wanted to kill Nelson, they could’ve done it easily if four men were armed. To be clear, at this time Nelson was 84 years old and if they wanted to kill him, it would not have been difficult to do even if all four of their guns failed. This is beyond absurd and self-promoting given that had this happened, there is absolutely no reason the mission president would have said that he was not targeted and you had better believe this miracle story would have been front and center in church coverage.
I don’t know what more to say as a member who no longer believes in the church, but Russell Nelson now has two stories that we can show are absolutely exaggerated or fabricated by looking at contemporary accounts as well as those of the families involved. In doing so both Russell and Wendy Nelson worked to make this incident about them even though it was Cindy Packard that was the hero in escaping to get help and suffered a broken arm in the process. Just as with the miracle stories in the early church, these retellings only seek to bolster the credibility of themselves in the eyes of the members of the church.
Russell M. Nelson's Spiraling Flight of Death
The third story that I want to cover by Russell Nelson is one that has gained a lot of attention in recent months because it was featured in a video released by the church ahead of Easter 2021. It is a story about a flight that Russell M. Nelson took from Salt Lake City that had to make an emergency landing after one of the engines exploded, leaving the passenger next to him hysterical as he remained completely calm knowing that he was plunging to his death.
First, Nelson’s account from the April 1992 General Conference:
“I remember vividly an experience I had as a passenger in a small two-propeller airplane. One of its engines suddenly burst open and caught on fire. The propeller of the flaming engine was starkly stilled. As we plummeted in a steep spiral dive toward the earth, I expected to die. Some of the passengers screamed in hysterical panic. Miraculously, the precipitous dive extinguished the flames. Then, by starting up the other engine, the pilot was able to stabilize the plane and bring us down safely.
Throughout that ordeal, though I “knew” death was coming, my paramount feeling was that I was not afraid to die. I remember a sense of returning home to meet ancestors for whom I had done temple work. I remember my deep sense of gratitude that my sweetheart and I had been sealed eternally to each other and to our children, born and reared in the covenant. I realized that our marriage in the temple was my most important accomplishment. Honors bestowed upon me by men could not approach the inner peace provided by sealings performed in the house of the Lord.” (Doors of Death, April 1992 General Conference)
One of the first things that comes to my mind is that Nelson here is again making himself the hero by contrasting his perfect calmness with the “hysterical panic” of the other passengers. But we can see here that Nelson is clear that the engine burst open and caught on fire, which would create serious damage to the plane.
Now I want to take a look at the version Russell Nelson narrated in the video released by the church in 2011 and has been used as recently as this April in church productions and is shown above:
“I was in a small plane and all of the sudden the engine on the wing caught fire. It exploded and burning oil was poured all over the right side of the airplane and we started to dive toward the earth. We were spinning down to our death. Oh, this woman across the aisle, I just was so sorry for her. She was just absolutely uncontrollably hysterical. And I was calm. I was totally calm, even though I knew I was going down. I was ready to meet my maker. We didn’t crash. We didn’t die. The spiral dive extinguished the flame. The pilot got control and started the other engine up. We made an emergency landing out in a field. But I thought, through that experience, if you’ve got faith, you can handle difficulties knowing that with faith, you can handle difficulties knowing that with an eternal perspective that all will be well.” (Men's Hearts Shall Fail Them)
There are some differences from the earlier story, and every difference makes this story all the more miraculous. In this version there is oil that “poured all over the right side of the airplane” as they began the plunge to his death.
Nelson also makes himself seem even more amazing as he says he felt sorry for the woman next to him as she was “absolutely uncontrollably hysterical” while he remained perfectly calm in those few moments.
Just as with the first two stories, the problems arise when you look at the contemporary records of the incident. The folks over at the discussmormonism.com message board spent months investigating this flight and finally located the records of the event. Here is what the report from this flight states:
“Second incident occurred Nov 11 1976 involving Piper PA 31 N74985. Pilot experienced rough engine on scheduled flight between Salt Lake City and St George. 3 passengers on board. Engine was feathered and precautionary landing made at Delta Utah per instructions company manual. Investigation revealed cylinder base studs sheered. As result of occurrence Sky West changed maintenance procedures by checking torque studs at each 100 hour inspection. No damage to aircraft. No injuries to crew or passengers.” (Civil Aeronautics Board Reports, Volume 73, By United States. Civil Aeronautics Board • 1977. Page 1090, Sky West Airlines, Incident on November 11, 1976.)
We know that this flight matches Nelson’s because it was the day before Nelson’s scheduled talk and there are no other incidents in this timeframe. It also matches because they mention that the plane landed in Delta, UT which Nelson mentions in the very same biography that had the “woman in a hat” story removed:
Miraculously, the free fall extinguished the fire, and, in the nick of time, the pilot was able to start the left engine, regain control of the plane, and guide it to an emergency landing in a farmer’s field not far from Delta Utah.” (Insights from a Prophet’s life, Sheri Dew)
What the records tell us is that the plane did not have any damage to it, which absolutely rejects Nelson’s claim that the engine exploded with oil shooting all over the right side. Furthermore, the report states that they simply made a precautionary landing due to engine feathering, which is a technique used by pilots when one of the two engines is failing to operate properly.
So while Nelson claims that an emergency landing was made in a farmer’s field outside of Delta, UT, the actual records show that the plane simply made a precautionary landing at the Delta airport with no damage to the aircraft. Instead of a spiraling flight to their death, the pilot used the technique of engine feathering during the precautionary landing so that they could have the plane inspected.
I don’t what more to say. Just like the first two stories, when you look at the contemporary records all of the miraculous elements instantly crumble. There was no exploding engine nor was there oil pouring all over the plane as it spiraled down to their death.
While there might have been hysterical passengers on the plane (even if the pilot tells you they have to make an unplanned landing, people are going to freak out), I highly doubt they would be as portrayed by Nelson in the church produced video.
Last, this is now three stories where Russell Nelson is caught embellishing or fabricating a miracle story which is a very clear pattern. This video is produced with the background music to create the elevation emotion effect in church members which will provide a spiritual confirmation to them that Nelson’s story is not just miraculous, but that he was spared by God so that he could lead the church.
Bonus: Russell M. Nelson and the November 2015 LGBT Revelation
This final miracle is a bit different as it pertains to the church’s November 2015 LGBT policy of exclusion. After the church’s handbook leaked out to reveal the harsh changes towards LGBT members and their children, Russell Nelson took it upon himself to declare that the handbook changes were direct revelation from God himself. From Nelson:
“This prophetic process was followed in 2012 with the change in minimum age for missionaries and again with the recent additions to the Church’s handbook, consequent to the legalization of same-sex marriage in some countries. Filled with compassion for all, and especially for the children, we wrestled at length to understand the Lord’s will in this matter. Ever mindful of God’s plan of salvation and of His hope for eternal life for each of His children, we considered countless permutations and combinations of possible scenarios that could arise. We met repeatedly in the temple in fasting and prayer and sought further direction and inspiration. And then, when the Lord inspired His prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, to declare the mind of the Lord and the will of the Lord, each of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation. It was our privilege as Apostles to sustain what had been revealed to President Monson. Revelation from the Lord to His servants is a sacred process, and so is your privilege of receiving personal revelation.” (Becoming True Millennials, Russell M. Nelson, January 10, 2016)
By itself this is a story that cannot be proven wrong by contemporaneous evidence, but where Nelson goes a bit too far is to declare that “all of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation.”
It turns out that this is not what happened, which was revealed by historian Greg Prince in an interview with Peggy Fletcher Stack. Prince had spoken with Tom Christofferson, the brother of Apostle Todd Christofferson. To make this even more important regarding the November 2015 policy, Tom Christofferson is an openly gay member of the church.
Prince states that this was not a revelation that was received in the presence of the apostles, but a statement that was presented to Prophet Thomas Monson which was then put to an up and down vote without debate among the apostles:
“In November of 2015, I was on my way from D. C. To Salt Lake City and had a change of flights in Denver when I got off the plane in Denver, I had a text message from Tom Christoffersen and he said this is what just happened tom was on his way back to Salt Lake from a business trip...
According to everybody I spoke to including some general authorities, was this was the church's response two Obergefell vs. Hodges. The Supreme Court decision in June of the same year that had legalized same sex marriage. I think it caught the church off guard and I think there was some scrambling to figure out, well what do we do now, given that we have an article of faith that says will obey and sustain the laws of the land. So this happened…
Whoever did it amongst the 12 took it into President Monson and as I understand it, presented it as a package saying ‘this is what we need to do’ at that time. It was an open secret that President Monson had sunk fairly deeply into dementia and people I talked to in the medical community who weren't his primary care physicians, but who knew what was going on, said he was not capable at that time of having formulated this decision. So his response, whatever it was, was something of a reflex response and that was the go ahead. But what Tom Christofferson said that evening, so this now is Thursday evening, he said he had spoken to his brother Todd earlier and that Todd had told him that Tuesday morning was the first that he had known about this policy and that it was presented to the 12 as an up or down vote without debate.” (Mormon Land Podcast, April 10 2019)
This particular story is not quite as obvious as the first three with regards to saying that Nelson was making it up, but you can see that Tom Christofferson clearly is rebuking Nelson’s statement that it was a revelation from God given directly to Thomas Monson because it was a bit of an open secret that Monson was incapable of making those kinds of statements at that point.
Furthermore, Todd Christofferson’s description of the proceedings drastically contradict Nelson’s story that the apostles discussed every permutation and discussion as Christofferson is saying that the handbook changes were presented with a straight up and down vote.
On the flip side, Nelson’s portrayal of this event makes perfect sense when you understand that Nelson knew he was the prophet-in-waiting and by building up the idea of revelation it would immediately elevate his own standing once Monson passed on and Nelson took over the church.
Furthermore, no one else involved in this handbook change ever gave a description like Nelson did, which seems odd if this event was as miraculous as Nelson publicly claimed. While apostles in the church would never call Nelson out publicly for misrepresenting what happened, not a single one bothered to back up his claims.
As a last note, this feels very similar to the church’s 1978 lifting of the priesthood ban on members with black skin. The church talks about this event as revelation from God, but as we covered in our overview on revelations, this was not a revelation but a statement that was signed off on by the leaders of the church when they needed to find a way to allow attendance in their new Brazil temple.
Now we have Nelson caught fabricating four different miracle stories, with the first three making Nelson the star of the story to establish his place among the church as God’s chosen prophet. Even the fourth story is almost completely beneficial to Nelson as he knew that Monson was not in good health and that he would soon be taking over as prophet.
More troubling is that Russell M. Nelson has no problem inventing miraculous elements of these stories in order to establish himself as an elect member of the church, which is a pattern that I’ve shown in the previous overview topics on early church history. The fact that Nelson invented the element of the woman in a hat in order to claim he received a prompting from God is abhorrent given that a prophet of God is willing to lie about promptings in order to bolster his image.
Every member who received a spiritual confirmation while hearing or reading these stories was emotionally manipulated and it once again shows just how unreliable spiritual witnesses and how the church can mold these spiritual confirmations to keep us believing in the church.
The bottom line is that if Nelson is willing to make up these stories to create miracles, you can be sure that he has and will just as easily lie about receiving other claimed revelation and impressions from God. As I covered in our overview on revelations, his wife Wendy Nelson really gave the game away when she admitted what being a prophet really boils down to:
"I have seen him changing the last ten months. It's as though he's been unleashed. He's free to follow through with things he's been concerned about but could never do. Now that he's president, he can do those things." (Mormon Newsroom)
As I mentioned at the beginning, we can show the progression of miracle stories from Joseph Smith that tell us that he was both fabricating the miraculous elements and then retrofitting them back into the church. What Russell Nelson has done during his time as a leader in the church is no different, and it should give everyone who has felt a spiritual confirmation hearing these stories pause about whether those feelings are actually from God or from ourselves reacting to a story designed to tug at our hearts.
One of my favorite scenes from the movie Office Space is when they realize that the formula they used to slowly siphon money from their company was screwed up after seeing a balance of $305,326.13 when they expected it to be a very small amount. As they’re panicking about the massive amount of money, Michael Bolton states that “I must have put a decimal point in the wrong place or something. I always do that. I always mess up some mundane detail.”
Of course to this Peter yelled out “Oh! Well this is not a mundane detail, Michael!”
The point is that the elements that Russell Nelson is changing in these stories are not mundane details, but the entirety of the miraculous elements that are being told to members in order to bolster his own status. One fabricated miracle story is too many, but with Nelson we already have four of them that have been debunked by contemporaneous accounts.
As I've tried to point out in these overviews, this is not an isolated incident and fabricated miracle stories have been embedded in the church's truth claims since the beginning. The problem, as my believing father-in-law once said unironically about a politician, is that 'in the days of Google you can't get away with changing your story anymore.'
At some point we have to evaluate the church and its prophets the same way we would any other religious leader, politician, or organization. If any other leader was caught fabricating four different miracle stories would you still believe they spoke for God or that they were trustworthy?
The answer is obvious even if it makes us really uncomfortable as believers and the moment you accept that Russell M. Nelson intentionally lied about getting an impression from God to promote his own status as an elect member of the church, you can be sure that he has been doing so ever since just as church leaders have been doing since Joseph Smith.
Next Overview Topic: The Problems with Apologetics