Mormon Stories - LDS

In this episode I address the past, present, and future of Mormon Stories.  I also discuss my past interactions with Stake President Bryan King, my current beliefs, my current relationship with the LDS church, and my thoughts about what appears to be a pending disciplinary council.  

Direct download: MormonStories-516-2014EndOfYearUpdate.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:34pm MDT

John Dehlin interviews the Infants on Thrones podcast panelists.

Direct download: MormonStories-515-InfantsOnThronesPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:13pm MDT

John Dehlin interviews the Infants on Thrones podcast panelists.

Direct download: MormonStories-514-InfantsOnThronesPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am MDT

In this episode J. Nelson-Seawright interviews David Michael about his experience creating his new podcast "My Book of Mormon" where David shares his thoughts and witty comments on each chapter of Mormonism's central book of scripture.

With no background in Mormonism, David is reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover for the first time in an attempt to discover why millions of people have come to believe in its writings.

As a result, David offers an insightful and entertaining "outsider's perspective" on the characters, stories, and lessons he encounters. The two discuss David's christian upbringing, his thoughts on spirituality and religion, his observations on Mormonism, and review his experience reading key stories in the Book of Mormon up to Alma 57.

 

Direct download: MormonStories-513-DavidMichael.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:40am MDT

Recently, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released its long-awaited series of essays on polygamy in Kirtland/Nauvoo, Utah and post-manifesto polygamy, igniting a firestorm of discussion online.

In this second installment, we bring together an all-star cast of Mormon Stories favorites to discuss the Early Utah Polygamy essay:

  • Lindsay Hansen Park, who in the middle of an amazing and incredibly exhaustive project for Feminist Mormon Housewives in the Year of Polygamy podcast series.
  • Joe Geisner, a long-time Mormon historian who has been assisting Lindsay in her research for the Year of Polygamy project.
  • J. Nelson-Seawright, a political science professor at Northwestern University, frequent blogger and commenter on Mormonism and a favorite guest of Mormon Stories.
Direct download: MormonStories-512-PolygamyEssaysPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm MDT

In the inagural episode of the Mormon Studies Podcast, host Brent Metcalfe interviews Jan Shipps. Jan is professor emeritus of history at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis and a former president of the John Whitmer Historical Association (2004–05) and the Mormon History Association (1979–80)—a scholar’s scholar who has influenced a generation of students of Mormonism, often reaching across and even narrowing the chasm between believer and nonbeliever.

Over the past several years Jan has laid the foundation for a forthcoming book on the history of Community of Christ (a.k.a. “prairie saints”; formerly RLDS) and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a. “mountain saints”) from the end of World War II to the present. Explicating 1950s strategic missiology and convert retention to 2010s ecclesiastical polity and women’s priesthood, she has new and trenchant insights that she shares with podcast listeners.

Direct download: MormonStudies-001-JanShipps.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:54am MDT

In this episode, Daniel Parkinson MD, host of our sister podcast, Gay Mormon Stories, interviews Meg, Jake and Jon Abhau. Meg and Jake were conservative Mormons when their 13 year old son came out to them 18 months ago.

In Part 3, the Abhaus discuss how they have emerged from this journey as passionate activists for the LGBT Mormon cause.

Direct download: MormonStories-510-MegJakeAbhauPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:58pm MDT

In this episode, Daniel Parkinson MD, host of our sister podcast, Gay Mormon Stories, interviews Meg, Jake and Jon Abhau. Meg and Jake were conservative Mormons when their 13 year old son came out to them 18 months ago.

In Part 2, the Abhaus discuss confronting their relationships with the church after learning about Jon's orientation.

Direct download: MormonStories-509-MegJakeAbhauPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:58pm MDT

In this episode, Daniel Parkinson MD, host of our sister podcast, Gay Mormon Stories, interviews Meg, Jake Abhau. Meg and Jake were conservative Mormons when their 13 year old son came out to them 18 months ago.

In Part 1, the Abhaus discuss their family, their relationship with their son and coming to terms with their son’s orientation. They also talk about making sure they were protecting him and preparing him for a healthy future.

Direct download: MormonStories-508-MegJakeAbhauPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41pm MDT

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long affirmed the importance of religious freedom, even issuing a press release in 2013 declaring that "it is the right to think, express and act upon what you deeply believe, according to the dictates of conscience."

But a group of current and former students is concerned about implications for students who find themselves transitioning away from belief in the church while still enrolled at a church-owned school. It creates, they argue, an impossible situation where students are seemingly forced to choose between their integrity and the education they have worked and payed for.

In this episode, we're joined by several members of Free BYU, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of what they consider a lack of religious freedom within the Church Educational System.

We discuss with Free BYU leaders the Honor Code as it relates to religious freedom, ecclesiastical endorsements and how to handle a faith transition while at a church school. We'll also talk with two current students as they talk about how they are trying to navigate their faith transitions while attending BYU.

Direct download: MormonStories-507-FreeBYU.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:16am MDT

In the world of politics and media, Carrie Sheffield is a veritable dynamo. She has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, BBC Radio and more, as an expert on politics and the economy. Graduating with a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Harvard, she went on to do stints at Goldman Sachs and the Washington Times before settling in as a public policy analyst all over TV and radio.

But Carrie also has a Mormon story. Growing up in the church, then later leaving and exploring other faiths before finding peace with Stoicism, she is also a sort of rare breed as a post-Mormon who still clings tight to deeply conservative values.

In this episode, we talk about her conservative outlook, how and why she still identifies with conservatism after leaving the church as well as her thoughts on Mitt Romney, the recent mid-term elections and more.

Direct download: MormonStories-506-CarrieSheffieldPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:32am MDT

n the world of politics and media, Carrie Sheffield is a veritable dynamo. She has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, BBC Radio and more, as an expert on politics and the economy. Graduating with a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Harvard, she went on to do stints at Goldman Sachs and the Washington Times before settling in as a public policy analyst all over TV and radio.

But Carrie also has a Mormon story. Growing up in the church, then later leaving and exploring other faiths before finding peace with Stoicism, she is also a sort of rare breed as a post-Mormon who still clings tight to deeply conservative values.

In this episode, we talk to Carrie about her background in the church, the circumstances that led to her leaving, her journey for truth after Mormonism and her thoughts about finding peace through Stoicism.

Direct download: MormonStories-505-CarrieSheffieldPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:23am MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories, J. Nelson-Seawright interviews David Campbell, Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and the founding director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy, about his celebrated research on religion and politics in America. Professor Campbell argues that the current partisan environment, in which religious people mostly support the Republican Party and less religious people the Democratic Party, is a recent development --- and he explains how this pattern can help explain America's recent rise in irreligiosity.

Campbell also discusses his work on Mormonism and politics. He explains his research about how Mormon identity is different in American context: stronger, more collective, more integrated, and with stricter boundaries. He discusses implications for how Mormonism interacts with politics, and also for the identity and religious options of liberal and disaffected Mormons.

Direct download: MormonStories-504-DavidCampbell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:15am MDT

This week The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released its long-awaited series of essays on polygamy in Kirtland/Nauvoo, Utah and post-manifesto polygamy, igniting a firestorm of discussion on online.

In this episode, we bring together an all-star cast of Mormon Stories favorites to discuss the Kirtland/Nauvoo essay:

  • Lindsay Hansen Park, who in the middle of an amazing and incredibly exhaustive project for Feminist Mormon Housewives in the Year of Polygamy podcast series.
  • John Hamer, a well-known expert on Kirtland- and Nauvoo-period Mormonism, and a member of the Community of Christ
  • J. Nelson-Seawright, a political science professor at Northwestern, frequent blogger and commenter on Mormonism and a favorite guest of Mormon Stories.
Direct download: MormonStories-503-PolygamyEssaysPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:37pm MDT

Kirk Caudle made headlines over the summer when he resigned from the church after working as an online religion instructor for BYU-Idaho. However he still attends church regularly and has strong ties to Mormonism.

 

In Part 2 of this cross-over episode with A Thoughtful Faith podcast, Kirk talks in detail about his resignation from the church, as well as his Mormon Book Review podcast and its affiliation with BYU's Maxwell Institute. He also dives into his thoughts on a variety of Mormon topics.

Direct download: MormonStories-502-KirkCaudlePt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am MDT

Kirk Caudle made headlines over the summer when he resigned from the church after working as an online religion instructor for BYU-Idaho. However he still attends church regularly and has strong ties to Mormonism.  

In Part 1 of this cross-over episode with A Thoughtful Faith podcast, Kirk talks about growing up in the church and the influence that had on his pursuit of Mormon Studies. He also talks about his background in religion and history and the lead-up to his work with BYU-Idaho.

Direct download: MormonStories-501-KirkCaudlePt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:52am MDT

In this episode, we talk to Brent about his interactions and run-ins with prominent Mormon apologists like Daniel Peterson, Lou Midgley and others. We also talk about the recent history of BYU's Maxwell Institute and what he sees in its future and in the future of Mormon apologetics overall.

We'll also explore with Brent his ability to construct a healthy and happy life outside of Mormonism.

Be sure not to miss the exciting announcement from Brent toward the end of the episode!

Direct download: MormonStories-499b-BrentMetcalfePt6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:27am MDT

In Part 5 of our interview with Brent Metcalfe, one of the foremost Mormon scholars, we explore the history surrounding Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham (one of the primary scriptural texts for the LDS Church). We also talk about the concept of translation, Joseph Smith's views on his "translations," the traditional apologetic responses concerning the Book of Abraham (Hugh NibleyJohn Gee, and Kerry Muhlestein), as well as the LDS Church's recent essay on the Book of Abraham.

Direct download: MormonStories-499-BrentMetcalfePt5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:45am MDT

In the highly anticipated follow up to our first interview, Brent Metcalfe continues his story.

In Part 4, Brent examines some of the issues surrounding traditional approaches to the Book of Mormon.

Direct download: MormonStories-498-BrentMetcalfePt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:35am MDT

In the highly anticipated follow up to our first interview, Brent Metcalfe continues his story.

  • In Part 3, Brent discusses the aftermath of the Hofmann murders, including the trial and Hoffman's eventual plea deal. He also discusses the events leading up to, and including, his excommunication.
Direct download: MormonStories-497-BrentMetcalfePt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:31am MDT

In their latest book, The Crucible of Doubt, published by Deseret Book, Fiona and Terryl Givens tackle perhaps their most daunting -- and important -- subject to date: doubt in the context of Mormon faith.

  • In Part 2, Terryl and Fiona take us through the book as we discuss the elements of Mormonism that cause some of the biggest doubts and how to approach them with new paradigms.
Direct download: 496__Fiona_and_Terryl_Givens_The_Crucible_of_Doubt_Part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:49am MDT

In their latest book, The Crucible of Doubt, published by Deseret Book, Fiona and Terryl Givens tackle perhaps their most daunting -- and important -- subject to date: doubt in the context of Mormon faith.

  • In Part 1, we interview a Mormon Stories listener and contributer, James Patterson, about his struggles with doubt and how the book helped him.
Direct download: 495__Fiona_and_Terryl_Givens_The_Crucible_of_Doubt_Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:37am MDT

Few people had more of a front-row seat to the goings-on surrounding Mark Hofmann, the "Salamander Letter," and the tragic events of October 1985, what would be dubbed as the "Mormon Murders."

As a personal friend and research assistant for both Steve Christensen and Mark Hofmann, Brent Metcalfe watched the whole episode unfold before his eyes.

In Part 2, Brent describes working for and with Steve Christensen and Mark Hofmann, the Salamander Letter episode, and the bombings that took the lives of Steve and Kathy Sheets.

Direct download: 494__Brent_Metcalfe_Part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:28am MDT

Few people had more of a front-row seat to the goings-on surrounding Mark Hofmann and the tragic events of October 1985, what would be dubbed as the "Mormon Murders."

As a personal friend and research assistant for both Steve Christensen and Mark Hofmann, Brent Metcalfe watched the whole episode unfold before his eyes.

In Part 1, Brent talks about his early days in the Church and his time working for Church security. He also talks about his early forays into Mormon studies.

Direct download: 493__Brent_Metcalfe_Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:26am MDT

Since 2011, Mara and Danny Koefed have been blogging about their positive approach to life, even in the face of the sometimes heartbreaking circumstances life seems to have thrown their way. A Blog About Love stands as a the Koefed’s testimony of the human spirit’s ability to transcend despair and difficulty and view life for the positive, uplifting, even loving experience it can be.

In this two-part series, they talk about their lives in Mormonism, meeting each other, starting the blog and their experiences dealing with issues such as infertility, infidelity, divorce and more, and how they keep a loving attitude through it all.

Direct download: 492__Mara_Danny_Kofoed_Pt._2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm MDT

Since 2011, Mara and Danny Koefed have been blogging about their positive approach to life, even in the face of the sometimes heartbreaking circumstances life seems to have thrown their way. A Blog About Love stands as a the Koefed’s testimony of the human spirit’s ability to transcend despair and difficulty and view life for the positive, uplifting, even loving experience it can be.

In this two-part series, they talk about their lives in Mormonism, meeting each other, starting the blog and their experiences dealing with issues such as infertility, infidelity, divorce and more, and how they keep a loving attitude through it all.

Direct download: 491__Mara_Danny_Kofoed_Pt._1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:16pm MDT

In this three-part series we interview Neil Ransom (Kate Kelly's husband, and Ph.D. candidate in anthropology) and we speak with Kate about her excommunication and the aftermath. Some of the fascinating tidbits we explore:

  • Neil's early years growing up in Africa
  • How Neil's mission, along with his attending BYU-Idaho, actually turned him into a progressive Mormon
  • How Kate and Neil met (their love story), and what Neil loves most about Kate
  • What Neil is researching for his Ph.D. (hint....it's super cool)
  • Has Neil experienced a faith crisis?
  • Who "wears the pants" in Kate/Neil's marriage...also what are the traits of a "real man" according to Neil and Kate  :)
  • Are Kate/Neil planning to have kiddos?
  • Kate's detailed account of her interactions with church leaders prior to her excommunication (in response to allegations of dishonesty on her part)
  • A deep dive into Kate's beliefs re: Mormonism, Book of Mormon historicity, etc.
  • Kate's plans for Ordain Women post-excommunication

  • And most importantly....Why does Neil wear that funky hat?  :)
Direct download: MormonStories-490-NeilRansomKateKellyPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:08pm MDT

In this three-part series we interview Neil Ransom (Kate Kelly's husband, and Ph.D. candidate in anthropology) and we speak with Kate about her excommunication and the aftermath. Some of the fascinating tidbits we explore:

  • Neil's early years growing up in Africa
  • How Neil's mission, along with his attending BYU-Idaho, actually turned him into a progressive Mormon
  • How Kate and Neil met (their love story), and what Neil loves most about Kate
  • What Neil is researching for his Ph.D. (hint....it's super cool)
  • Has Neil experienced a faith crisis?
  • Who "wears the pants" in Kate/Neil's marriage...also what are the traits of a "real man" according to Neil and Kate  :)
  • Are Kate/Neil planning to have kiddos?
  • Kate's detailed account of her interactions with church leaders prior to her excommunication (in response to allegations of dishonesty on her part)
  • A deep dive into Kate's beliefs re: Mormonism, Book of Mormon historicity, etc.
  • Kate's plans for Ordain Women post-excommunication

  • And most importantly....Why does Neil wear that funky hat?  :)
Direct download: MormonStories-489-NeilRansomKateKellyPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:06pm MDT

In this three-part series we interview Neil Ransom (Kate Kelly's husband, and Ph.D. candidate in anthropology) and we speak with Kate about her excommunication and the aftermath. Some of the fascinating tidbits we explore:

  • Neil's early years growing up in Africa
  • How Neil's mission, along with his attending BYU-Idaho, actually turned him into a progressive Mormon
  • How Kate and Neil met (their love story), and what Neil loves most about Kate
  • What Neil is researching for his Ph.D. (hint....it's super cool)
  • Has Neil experienced a faith crisis?
  • Who "wears the pants" in Kate/Neil's marriage...also what are the traits of a "real man" according to Neil and Kate  :)
  • Are Kate/Neil planning to have kiddos?
  • Kate's detailed account of her interactions with church leaders prior to her excommunication (in response to allegations of dishonesty on her part)
  • A deep dive into Kate's beliefs re: Mormonism, Book of Mormon historicity, etc.
  • Kate's plans for Ordain Women post-excommunication

  • And most importantly....Why does Neil wear that funky hat?  :)
Direct download: MormonStories-488-NeilRansomKateKellyPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:05pm MDT

Natasha Helfer Parker, John Dehlin, and Margi Dehlin will be hosting a 6 hour workshop for current, mixed-faith, and former Mormon couples who are navigating faith issues, parenting, and sexuality in either a mixed-faith, post-orthodox, or a post-Mormon context.  Couples and individuals are welcome to attend, but the content will be oriented towards helping married couples deal with faith transition issues.

Direct download: 2014MarriageWorkshop.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:57pm MDT

In this episode we interview Alex Beam: author of "American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church."  Alex provides an extremely insightful and compelling "outsider's view" of Joseph Smith's final years in Nauvoo, along with his murder and legacy.

Direct download: MormonStories-487-AlexBeam.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:57am MDT

Christine Jeppsen Clark is a mother of six, a former Mormon Tabernacle Choir member, a Ph.D. graduate student focusing on dementia, and a dear personal friend. She is also the daughter of the late Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen: former LDS General Authority, personal physician and best friend to Elder Boyd K. Packer, and a GA who was directly involved in the excommunication of Avraham Gileadi (one of the September Six). In this multi-part episode with Christine we discuss: What it was like to grow up in the 1950s and 1960s in Salt Lake City as a very orthodox, devout member of a somewhat elite LDS family? What it was like to grow up the daughter of an LDS General Authority, who was both a physician to, and best friends with Elder Boyd K. Packer? Elder Jeppsen’s personal and direct involvement in the excommunication of Avraham Giliadi -- one of the September Six. How such an orthodox, committed LDS family including Christine (the daughter of a General Authority), her husband David Clark (former bishop of eight years, recent Stake Presidency member) and four of her six children could ultimately decide to leave the LDS Church, and What it’s like to leave the LDS Church as a grandparent in your 50s and 60s.
Direct download: MormonStories-486-ChristineClarkPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

Christine Jeppsen Clark is a mother of six, a former Mormon Tabernacle Choir member, a Ph.D. graduate student focusing on dementia, and a dear personal friend. She is also the daughter of the late Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen: former LDS General Authority, personal physician and best friend to Elder Boyd K. Packer, and a GA who was directly involved in the excommunication of Avraham Gileadi (one of the September Six). In this multi-part episode with Christine we discuss: What it was like to grow up in the 1950s and 1960s in Salt Lake City as a very orthodox, devout member of a somewhat elite LDS family? What it was like to grow up the daughter of an LDS General Authority, who was both a physician to, and best friends with Elder Boyd K. Packer? Elder Jeppsen’s personal and direct involvement in the excommunication of Avraham Giliadi -- one of the September Six. How such an orthodox, committed LDS family including Christine (the daughter of a General Authority), her husband David Clark (former bishop of eight years, recent Stake Presidency member) and four of her six children could ultimately decide to leave the LDS Church, and What it’s like to leave the LDS Church as a grandparent in your 50s and 60s.
Direct download: MormonStories-485-ChristineClarkPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

Christine Jeppsen Clark is a mother of six, a former Mormon Tabernacle Choir member, a Ph.D. graduate student focusing on dementia, and a dear personal friend. She is also the daughter of the late Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen: former LDS General Authority, personal physician and best friend to Elder Boyd K. Packer, and a GA who was directly involved in the excommunication of Avraham Gileadi (one of the September Six). In this multi-part episode with Christine we discuss: What it was like to grow up in the 1950s and 1960s in Salt Lake City as a very orthodox, devout member of a somewhat elite LDS family? What it was like to grow up the daughter of an LDS General Authority, who was both a physician to, and best friends with Elder Boyd K. Packer? Elder Jeppsen’s personal and direct involvement in the excommunication of Avraham Giliadi -- one of the September Six. How such an orthodox, committed LDS family including Christine (the daughter of a General Authority), her husband David Clark (former bishop of eight years, recent Stake Presidency member) and four of her six children could ultimately decide to leave the LDS Church, and What it’s like to leave the LDS Church as a grandparent in your 50s and 60s.
Direct download: MormonStories-484-ChristineClarkPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

Christine Jeppsen Clark is a mother of six, a former Mormon Tabernacle Choir member, a Ph.D. graduate student focusing on dementia, and a dear personal friend. She is also the daughter of the late Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen: former LDS General Authority, personal physician and best friend to Elder Boyd K. Packer, and a GA who was directly involved in the excommunication of Avraham Gileadi (one of the September Six). In this multi-part episode with Christine we discuss: What it was like to grow up in the 1950s and 1960s in Salt Lake City as a very orthodox, devout member of a somewhat elite LDS family? What it was like to grow up the daughter of an LDS General Authority, who was both a physician to, and best friends with Elder Boyd K. Packer? Elder Jeppsen’s personal and direct involvement in the excommunication of Avraham Giliadi -- one of the September Six. How such an orthodox, committed LDS family including Christine (the daughter of a General Authority), her husband David Clark (former bishop of eight years, recent Stake Presidency member) and four of her six children could ultimately decide to leave the LDS Church, and What it’s like to leave the LDS Church as a grandparent in your 50s and 60s.
Direct download: MormonStories-483-ChristineClarkPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

In February 2012, Jeremy Runnels experienced a crisis of faith, which subsequently led to a faith transition in the summer of 2012. In the spring of 2013, Jeremy was approached and asked by a Church Education System (CES) Director to share his concerns and questions about the LDS Church’s origins, history, and current practices. In response, Jeremy wrote what later became publicly known as Letter to a CES Director. Letter to a CES Director very quickly went viral on the internet. The CES Director responded that he read the "very well written" letter and that he would provide Jeremy with a response. No response ever came.
Direct download: MormonStories-482-JeremyRunnellsPt3.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

In February 2012, Jeremy Runnels experienced a crisis of faith, which subsequently led to a faith transition in the summer of 2012. In the spring of 2013, Jeremy was approached and asked by a Church Education System (CES) Director to share his concerns and questions about the LDS Church’s origins, history, and current practices. In response, Jeremy wrote what later became publicly known as Letter to a CES Director. Letter to a CES Director very quickly went viral on the internet. The CES Director responded that he read the "very well written" letter and that he would provide Jeremy with a response. No response ever came.
Direct download: MormonStories-481-JeremyRunnellsPt2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

In February 2012, Jeremy Runnels experienced a crisis of faith, which subsequently led to a faith transition in the summer of 2012. In the spring of 2013, Jeremy was approached and asked by a Church Education System (CES) Director to share his concerns and questions about the LDS Church’s origins, history, and current practices. In response, Jeremy wrote what later became publicly known as Letter to a CES Director. Letter to a CES Director very quickly went viral on the internet. The CES Director responded that he read the "very well written" letter and that he would provide Jeremy with a response. No response ever came.
Direct download: MormonStories-480-JeremyRunnellsPt1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

Salt Lake Tribune TribTalk with John Dehlin and Kate Kelly, held on June 12, 2014.
Direct download: MormonStories-479-TribTalkDehlinKelly.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

LDS Church Spokeswoman Ally Isom responds to Kate Kelly and John Dehlin's interview on RadioWest
Direct download: rw061714.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

Kate and I interview with RadioWest about pending disciplinary action.
Direct download: rw061614.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

My June 13th, 2014 interview with Utah Public Radio about pending disciplinary action.
Direct download: dehlin_0.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

In part 4 of a 4 part series, Sandra Tanner discusses her views on being called an "anti-Mormon," her Christian beliefs, her views on the recent candor/openness and future of the LDS church, the passing of her husband (Jerald -- Alzheimer's), and shares her final testimony.
Direct download: MormonStories-475-SandraTannerPt4.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

In part 3 of a 4 part series, Sandra discusses several issues including Joseph Smith’s treasure digging, connections between the Masonic Lodge temple ceremony and the LDS Church temple ceremony, polygamy, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, blacks and the LDS priesthood, the Thomas Ferguson story, the Eugene England/Bruce R. McConkie letter exchange, the LDS church’s law suit against UTLM, and the Godmakers film.
Direct download: MormonStories-474-SandraTannerPt3.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am MDT


In part 2 of our interview with Sandra Tanner, Sandra discusses challenges that she and her late husband had with Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, along with her interactions with Joseph Fielding Smith, Legrand Richard, and famous Mormon forger and murderer Mark Hofmann.
Direct download: MormonStories-473-SandraTannerPt2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

Jerald and Sandra Tanner were raised in the LDS faith, both with a strong Mormon family history. Jerald is the great-great-grandson of John Tanner, well known for his sizable financial contributions to Joseph Smith and the LDS church in 1835 when the church was deeply in debt. Sandra Tanner is a great-great-granddaughter of Brigham Young, the second president of the Mormon Church. As teenagers, before they met, Jerald and Sandra were challenged by different people and events to examine the origins of Mormonism. Soon after their introduction, they jointly began researching Mormonism and became engaged. Both accepted Christ during these early years of study and have left the Mormon church. They are both active members of a local Christian church in Salt Lake City. This episode explores Sandra and Jerald’s early years before forming Utah Lighthouse Ministries.
Direct download: MormonStories-472-SandraTannerPt1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

Adam Miller has been described as one of the most interesting thoughtful/faithful writers in Mormonism today. In this episode we speak with Adam about his new book, "Letters to a Young Mormon," published by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. According to Adam, this book attempts to address the real beauty and costs of trying to live a Mormon life. Adam Miller is a professor of philosophy at Collin College in McKinney Texas. He was born and raised in a small Pennsylvania branch, served an LDS mission in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has been married for 15 years to Gwen Miller, has three children, and is currently serving as an adviser in the Teachers Quorum in his ward. Adam is the director of the Mormon Theology Seminar, and is the author of five books including Letters to a Young Mormon.
Direct download: MormonStories-471-AdamMillerPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

Adam Miller has been described as one of the most interesting thoughtful/faithful writers in Mormonism today. In this episode we speak with Adam about his new book, "Letters to a Young Mormon," published by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. According to Adam, this book attempts to address the real beauty and costs of trying to live a Mormon life. Adam Miller is a professor of philosophy at Collin College in McKinney Texas. He was born and raised in a small Pennsylvania branch, served an LDS mission in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has been married for 15 years to Gwen Miller, has three children, and is currently serving as an adviser in the Teachers Quorum in his ward. Adam is the director of the Mormon Theology Seminar, and is the author of five books including Letters to a Young Mormon.
Direct download: MormonStories-470-AdamMillerPt1.mp3
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Over the last decade, there’s been a small group of Latter-day Saints carving out space for themselves in the Mormon community. They are often called "New Order Mormons." They don’t believe everything the Church teaches, but they stay because they love the culture and are spiritually nourished by their involvement. Wednesday, Doug Fabrizio of RadioWest sits down with John Dehlin, co-founder of StayLDS.com. They’ll talk about this progressive strain of Mormonism and what it means for a church so defined by orthodoxy.
Direct download: RW050714.mp3
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In November, 2005 Mormon Stories interviewed Jason Nelson-Seawright (known online as "Roasted Tomatoes") and Taryn Nelson-Seawright ("Serenity Valley"). In this touching, 2-part series Taryn discussed how she resigned from the church as a teenager, but ultimately felt called by God to become re-baptized into the LDS church -- ultimately becoming sealed in the temple. In this episode, nine years later, Jason and Taryn discuss their decision to leave the church completely. They also discuss how their experiences with Autism Spectrum Disorder affected this decision.
Direct download: MormonStories-468-NelsonSeawrightsPt2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

In November, 2005 Mormon Stories interviewed Jason Nelson-Seawright (known online as "Roasted Tomatoes") and Taryn Nelson-Seawright ("Serenity Valley"). In this touching, 2-part series Taryn discussed how she resigned from the church as a teenager, but ultimately felt called by God to become re-baptized into the LDS church -- ultimately becoming sealed in the temple. In this episode, nine years later, Jason and Taryn discuss their decision to leave the church completely. They also discuss how their experiences with Autism Spectrum Disorder affected this decision.
Direct download: MormonStories-467-NelsonSeawrightsPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

Brad Kramer represents a rising generation of young, thoughtful, faithful Latter-day Saint scholars. In this two part episode, Brad briefly discusses his own faith/intellectual journey within the LDS church, and then offers a parent/child, developmental framework for approaching a more mature LDS faith. Brad also briefly discusses a new approach to LDS apologetics, often dubbed "pastoral apologetics." Brad is married to Tracey von Bose-Kramer, and is the father of five children. Brad holds a B.A. in Russian from Brigham Young University, a B.A. in History from the University of Utah, an M.A. in American History from the University of Utah, and is a hair away from obtaining his Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan, with an emphasis on religion, religious language, and secrecy.
Direct download: MormonStories-466-BradKramerPt2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am MDT

Brad Kramer represents a rising generation of young, thoughtful, faithful Latter-day Saint scholars. In this two part episode, Brad briefly discusses his own faith/intellectual journey within the LDS church, and then offers a parent/child, developmental framework for approaching a more mature LDS faith. Brad also briefly discusses a new approach to LDS apologetics, often dubbed "pastoral apologetics." Brad is married to Tracey von Bose-Kramer, and is the father of five children. Brad holds a B.A. in Russian from Brigham Young University, a B.A. in History from the University of Utah, an M.A. in American History from the University of Utah, and is a hair away from obtaining his Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan, with an emphasis on religion, religious language, and secrecy.
Direct download: MormonStories-465-BradKramerPt1.mp3
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Today we interview Rock Waterman, the founder of the blog Pure Mormonism. Rock’s basic position is that he believes in the LDS restoration (e.g., Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, Book of Mormon is scripture), but he also believes that the current LDS church has gone astray.
Direct download: MormonStories-464-RockWatermanPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

Today we interview Rock Waterman, the founder of the blog Pure Mormonism. Rock’s basic position is that he believes in the LDS restoration (e.g., Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, Book of Mormon is scripture), but he also believes that the current LDS church has gone astray.
Direct download: MormonStories-463-RockWatermanPt1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

Today we interview Lindsay Hansen Park, wherein she discusses her battles with Bulimia, body image, and faith.
Direct download: MormonStories-462-LindsayHansenParkPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

Today we interview Lindsay Hansen Park, wherein she discusses her battles with Bulimia, body image, and faith.
Direct download: MormonStories-461-LindsayHansenParkPt2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

Today we interview Lindsay Hansen Park, wherein she discusses her battles with Bulimia, body image, and faith.
Direct download: MormonStories-460-LindsayHansenParkPt1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

In this podcast, Heather Olson Beal interviews Nicole Hardy, author of the stunningly beautiful memoir, Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin, with readers and fans Claire, Mel, and Maren.
Direct download: MormonStories-459-LatterDayVirgin.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

On April 5th, 2014 Ordain Women will again be seeking entrance into the LDS General Conference Priesthood session. Details can be found here. In this episode we interview Nadine Hansen, Kimberly Brinkerhoff, Katie Hyde, and Debra Jenson about their participation in Ordain Women.
Direct download: MormonStories-458-Spring2014.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

The Indian Placement Program was a program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1947 to 2000, in which LDS Native American students were placed in LDS foster homes during the school year, where they would attend public schools and become assimilated into American culture. The program was initially developed to respond to the needs of Navajo teenagers and even younger children who were coming to parts of Utah to work. It was felt it would be better for them to get an education. Beginning in the 1970s, however, the Indian Placement Program came under criticism. Supporters believed that exposure to white culture was beneficial to Native American children, and that it improved educational and economic opportunities, while critics believed the program undermined the children’s Native American identity. In 2000 the last student graduated from the program, though the program never was officially discontinued. Matthew Garrett is currently an associate professor of history at Bakersfield College in California, teaching United States, California, and Native American Indian history courses. His dissertation and forthcoming book manuscript explore the LDS Indian Placement Program. He is also a devoted husband and the father of three adorable little girls.
Direct download: MormonStories-457-IndianPlacementProgramPt2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

The Indian Placement Program was a program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1947 to 2000, in which LDS Native American students were placed in LDS foster homes during the school year, where they would attend public schools and become assimilated into American culture. The program was initially developed to respond to the needs of Navajo teenagers and even younger children who were coming to parts of Utah to work. It was felt it would be better for them to get an education. Beginning in the 1970s, however, the Indian Placement Program came under criticism. Supporters believed that exposure to white culture was beneficial to Native American children, and that it improved educational and economic opportunities, while critics believed the program undermined the children’s Native American identity. In 2000 the last student graduated from the program, though the program never was officially discontinued. Matthew Garrett is currently an associate professor of history at Bakersfield College in California, teaching United States, California, and Native American Indian history courses. His dissertation and forthcoming book manuscript explore the LDS Indian Placement Program. He is also a devoted husband and the father of three adorable little girls.
Direct download: MormonStories-456-IndianPlacementProgramPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

In this podcast, Heather Olson Beal interviews three essayists who contributed to the book Mormon Women Have Their Say: Essays from the Claremont Oral History Collection: Caroline Kline (who also co-edited the book with Dr. Claudia Bushman), Anna Rolapp, and Elizabeth Mott. In this podcast, we discuss the Claremont Women’s Oral History Project in general and then discuss four essays in greater depth: Caroline’s essay on Mormon women’s conceptions of the self, Anna’s essay on Mormon women and California’s Proposition 8, Elizabeth’s essay on Mormon single women, and Caroline’s essay on Mormon women’s attitudes towards and feelings about patriarchy. The Claremont Women’s Oral History Project has collected hundreds of interviews with Mormon women of various ages, experiences, and levels of activity. These interviews record the experiences of these women in their homes and family life, their church life, and their work life, in their roles as homemakers, students, missionaries, career women, single women, converts, and disaffected members. Their stories feed into and illuminate the broader narrative of LDS history and belief, filling in a large gap in Mormon history that has often neglected the lived experiences of women. This project preserves and perpetuates their voices and memories, allowing them to say share what has too often been left unspoken. The silent majority speaks in these records. This volume is the first to explore the riches of the collection in print. A group of young scholars and others have used the interviews to better understand what Mormonism means to these women and what women mean for Mormonism. They explore those interviews through the lenses of history, doctrine, mythology, feminist theory, personal experience, and current events to help us understand what these women have to say about their own faith and lives. Other essays address important topics, such as fertility, motherhood, adversity, womanliness, callings, revelation, missions, agency, the Relief Society, and Heavenly Mother.
Direct download: MormonStories-455-MormonWomen.mp3
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Josh Hanagarne is a father, husband, avid reader, librarian, weight lifter extraordinaire, and the author of the amazing book The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family. In this podcast, Heather Olson Beal and John Dehlin interview Josh about his childhood and adolescence, his Tourette’s diagnosis and treatment, his LDS mission experience, his marriage and family, his educational and work experiences, his body building experiences, and his faith/spirituality. Josh is open, honest, and frank about all of the above. The book is delightful and thought-provoking and full of humanity and beauty. We can’t rave about it enough.
Direct download: MormonStories-454-JoshHanagarne.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

In this two-part episode we interview bloggers Sarah Brenner Jones and Annie Bentley Waddoups. Together they run a wonderfully delightful blog on mid-stage parenting entitled "Nest & Launch." In this interview Sarah and Annie share their approaches to thoughtful parenting during this unique stage of life -- from the teen to the early adult years.
Direct download: MormonStories-453-NestAndLaunchPart2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

In this two-part episode we interview bloggers Sarah Brenner Jones and Annie Bentley Waddoups. Together they run a wonderfully delightful blog on mid-stage parenting entitled "Nest & Launch." In this interview Sarah and Annie share their approaches to thoughtful parenting during this unique stage of life -- from the teen to the early adult years.
Direct download: MormonStories-452-NestAndLaunchPart1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

In this episode, Doug Fabrizio of RadioWest interviews Margaret Young, Marvin Perkins, Russell Stevenson, and John Dehlin about the LDS church's new web page entitled "Race and the Priesthood."
Direct download: rw12112013.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

In this podcast, Heather Olson Beal interviews Chrisy Ross about her book, To Mormons, with Love, and about her life as a non-Mormon in Utah.
Direct download: MormonStories-250-ToMormonsWithLove.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

Today we conclude our four-part interview series with the Three Interfaith Amigos: Rabbi Ted Falcon, Imam Jamal Rahman, and Pastor Don Mackenzie. During this episode, we discuss the past, present, and future of religion and spirituality.
Direct download: MormonStories-449-InterfaithAmigos.mp3
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In part 3 of a 4-part series, Imam Jamal Rahman of the Three Interfaith Amigos shares his views on progressive Islam.
Direct download: MormonStories-448-JamalRahman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

In part 2 of a 4-part series, Rabbi Ted Falcon of the Three Interfaith Amigos shares his views on progressive Judaism.
Direct download: MormonStories-447-TedFalcon.mp3
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In part 1 of a 4-part series, Pastor Don Mackenzie of the Three Interfaith Amigos shares his views on progressive Christianity.
Direct download: MormonStories-446-DonMackenzie.mp3
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To conclude our series on the Ordain Women project, we bring together Kate Kelly, Heather Olson Beal, Neylan McBaine and Sara Vranes for a concluding dialogue.
Direct download: MormonStories-445b-OrdainWomenConclusionPt2.mp3
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To conclude our series on the Ordain Women project, we bring together Kate Kelly, Heather Olson Beal, Neylan McBaine and Sara Vranes for a concluding dialogue.
Direct download: MormonStories-445a-OrdainWomenConclusionPt1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

Part 2 of a 2-part series wherein Fiona Givens, Maxine Hanks, Margaret Young, and Neylan McBain discuss alternative Feminist approaches to the Ordain Women movement.
Direct download: MNR-005-2013-10-10-Pt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

Part 1 of a 2-part series wherein Fiona Givens, Maxine Hanks, Margaret Young, and Neylan McBain discuss alternative Feminist approaches to the Ordain Women movement.
Direct download: MNR-004-2013-10-10-Pt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

In part 1 of a three-part series, we discuss the Ordain Women-planned event on 10/5/2013 to attend the LDS general conference priesthood session. Participants include Heather Olson Beal, Ann Marie Whittaker, Tinesha Zandamela, and Lorie Winder Stromberg - all of whom participated in Saturday’s event.
Direct download: MNR-003-10-07-2013.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

On today’s episode of the "Mormon News Review," we discuss: Pope Francis’ recent interview in "America: The National Catholic Review" and possible implications for the LDS church.
Two articles written by Peggy Fletcher Stack on the 20th anniversary of the September Six. Elder D. Todd Christofferson‘s devotional delivered on September 24th at BYU Idaho entitled "The Prophet Joseph Smith." Joining us are three panelists: Right: Ralph Hancock is the President of the John Adams Center for the Study of Faith, Philosophy and Public Affairs. He is also a professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University, and a former intramural basketball teammate. Center: Mark Phillips is an active member of the LDS church in Los Angeles, and a former bishop. He is a husband, a father, an attorney, a musician, and he promises not to agree with everyone. Left: Lindsay Hansen Park is a Mormon Feminist and a work-from-home mother of two in Stansbury Park. She works as Social Media director for Sunstone, hosts and founded the feministmormonhousewives podcast, and is engaged in women’s issues and global activism.
Direct download: MNR-002-10-01-2013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

On this inaugural episode of Mormon News Review we have: Kate Kelly (founder of Ordain Women) discussing the LDS church's recent response to their attempts to attend the upcoming priesthood session of LDS general conference. Panel: Ralph Hancock (Right), Tom Grover (Middle), and Heather Olson Beal (Left) discussing: Ordain Women, including the LDS church's decision today to publicly broadcast the priesthood session of general conference. Steve and Barb Young's recent presentations at the LDS/Affirmation conference. The LDS church's response to upcoming same-sex marriage legislation in Hawaii. The LDS church's new "Religious Freedom" initiative.
Direct download: MNR-001-2013-09-24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

Dr. Gregory A. Prince was selected to present the 19th annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture. The lecture is an annual event hosted by University Libraries and its Special Collections and Archives Division at Utah State University. The lecture is sponsored by University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives, the Leonard J. Arrington Lecture and Archives Foundation and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Utah State University. Dr. Prince spoke on Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Logan LDS Tabernacle. The title of Prince’s lecture was "Faith and Doubt as Partners in Mormon History."
Direct download: 2013ArringtonPrince.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

Ryan McIlvain was born in Utah and raised in Massachusetts. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in many journals, including The Paris Review. A graduate of the Rutgers MFA Program and a recipient of the Stegner Fellowship at Stanford, he currently lives with his wife in Los Angeles. As part of Mormon Stories Book Club, today Heather Olson Beal and I discuss Ryan’s book "Elders," which is the story of two young Mormon missionaries in Brazil and their tense, peculiar friendship. Elder McLeod - outspoken, surly, a brash American - is nearing the end of his mission. For nearly two years he has spent his days studying the Bible and the Book of Mormon, knocking on doors, teaching missionary lessons "experimenting on the word." His new partner is Elder Passos, a devout, ambitious Brazilian who found salvation and solace in the church after his mother’s early death. The two men are at first suspicious of each other, and their work together is frustrating, fruitless. That changes when a beautiful woman and her husband offer the missionaries a chance to be heard, to put all of their practice to good use, to test the mettle of their faith. But before they can bring the couple to baptism, they must confront their own long-held beliefs and doubts, and the simmering tensions at the heart of their friendship. A novel of unsparing honesty and beauty, Elders announces Ryan McIlvain as a writer of enormous talent.
Direct download: MormonStories-438-Elders.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am MDT

As an independent historian, Russell Stevenson has been studying Mormon history for nearly two decades. His first book, Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables, tells the vexing story of race in nineteenth-century Mormonism through experiences of Elijah Ables, a biracial man ordained to the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s lifetime. Drawing on documents unused in other treatments, Black Mormon is the first effort to understand Elijah Ables in all of his identities: black, male, Mormon, and priesthood holder.
Direct download: MormonStories-437-ElijahAbelPt2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:08am MDT

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