Elder David A. Bednar – and the wrong birthday

The following was taken from a post by hoserb2k from reddit:

In case you were not watching confrence closely, near the end of Bednar’s “load” speech, he proclaimed that April 6th was known to be Jesus’s birthday by “revelation” (link, go to 15:28[1] )

The problem with this statement is that the April 6 date was not revelation, but rather mormon fokelore. While some point to D&C section 20 1) The revelation was given on April 10, not on the 6th like the scriptures claim and 2) The bit about April 6th was the addition of a scribe later on as an embellishment. What is the source of all this? Some terrible anti source like mormonthink.com? Try the church’s newspaper, Desert News


Well you say, there must have been some later revelation by a Prophet and Seer that confirms that the 6th really was the date. You would be incorrect, in fact Prophets and Seers are on the record as not agreeing. Here are some mormon luminaries weighing in on the issue:

James Talmage: April 6, meridian of time

J. Reuben Clark: Early December, 4 or 5 B.C.

Bruce R. McConkie: December 5 B.C.

In modern LDS history, both the clergy and the academics of the the church have pushed away from the 6th date as impossible (BYU Studies[3] ).

I know that the general membership does not really care about this, but among the LDS historians and thinkers, this was a huge punch to the gut. The problematic april 6th date had been neatly solved for decades, and in a few seconds bednar again tears open the problem. You can head to the faithful sub and see how the debate will go (some upset, most rebuking them saying “how is this relevant to your salvation?”). A good friend of mine gasped when he heard bednar say this, and was convinced that it would be edited out of the conference report as an error. He was devastated when the report came out today and it remained in.

My point in bringing this up is that some LDS members really do care about facts, and do notice when events are misrepresented. As someone else posted, LDS editors notice when conference speakers steal quotes, and historians notice when you mess with history.


There you have it, B.S. from the pulpit in conference.  Accountability?  None.

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Last edited by Mithryn on April 9, 2014 at 7:50 pm

5 Responses to Elder David A. Bednar – and the wrong birthday

  1. jason anderson says:

    Sorry, but you have made an error too. D&C 20:1 does not suggest the revelation was received on April 6th. In fact, if you read the section heading, it specifically suggests that this is not the case. Throwing stones in a glass house perhaps?

    • Mithryn says:

      The original D&C 20 in the book of commandments did have a note added by a scribe. If you read the BYU studies link, you would have seen that.

      But also I want to comment about “glass houses”. I make mistakes, I do. But I’m not in front of millions of people, I don’t claim my words are doctrine, or that people should listen to me as though my voice was the same as god’s.

      I appreciate people like you who try to keep me honest. Now, go take that desire and apply to the people making the extraordinary claims. Help keep them honest too.

  2. Jason Anderson says:

    Fair comment, although I am aware of the note but I think it is incorrect to suggest the scriptures claim the revelation was given on April 6 given what we currently know. I admit I was very surprised when Bednar say we know ‘by revelation”. I had thought he was one of the sharpest apostles, given his academic background, so it’s interesting to say the least. I don’t consider every word at general conference (as it becomes written in the ensign) as binding doctrine either. I think this is a major problem with LDS understanding of the role of the leaders in this capacity. Anyway, I am still hopeful it will be excluded in the Ensign Copy and a clarification made. If not, well…..
    Good post though. Certainly worth the discussion.

  3. Jay Mackley says:

    Elder Bednar knows his stuff. He did not make a mistake and knows exactly what he is saying. DC 20 was was given the day the church was organized but recorded after April 6 . The chapter heading says

    “We obtained of Him [Jesus Christ] the following, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation; which not only gave us much information, but also pointed out to us the precise day upon which, according to His will and commandment, we should proceed to organize His Church once more here upon the earth.”

    There is a good article on the history of this subject at:


    which points out that Elder Talmadge’s date of 6 April 1 BC was meant to resolve the issue and that he had the approval of the First Presidency (Joseph F. Smith).

    Three church presidents have stated April 6 in General Conference.

    Beyond DC 20, the calendar science is lucidly explained by John P Pratt in a series of articles that were published in the Ensign magazine. Really, the issue has been resolved for a long time now. It is 6 April 1 BC.





    • Mithryn says:

      Please note that my source is a BYU professor and that all of this has been debunked by active LDS Mormons.

      Bednar was wrong. You can literally take courses at BYU that explain all of this in detail.

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