Mormon Stories - LDS

11891403_528200313115_7214367412887132989_oJ Seth Anderson and Michael Adam Ferguson were catapulted into the public spotlight when they became the first same-sex couple to be legally married by the state of Utah. Seth and Michael both grew up in LDS homes, completed full-time missions for the Church, and throughout their twenties, undertook tortuous journeys to renegotiate their relationships with both the institution and with the faith of their childhoods.

Seth and Michael recently completed their graduate work at the University of Utah--Seth finishing his master's degree in social history focusing on the history of sexuality in the Western United States, and Michael defending his PhD dissertation in bioengineering in which he developed new analytical methods for monitoring brain activity using fMRI.

Since November 2012, Seth and Michael have been embroiled in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against a gay conversion therapy organization in New Jersey named JONAH: Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (formerly Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality), filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. On June 25, 2015, a New Jersey jury unanimously found JONAH liable for multiple counts of consumer fraud and unconscionable business practices.

Seth and Michael are actively involved in education and advocacy on behalf of LGBT and queer individuals, including the project Team Truth--a grassroots campaign they are creating with advocates and allies to end the lies and harm of gay conversion therapy.

Direct download: MormonStories-560-SethAndMikePt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40am MST

11891403_528200313115_7214367412887132989_oJ Seth Anderson and Michael Adam Ferguson were catapulted into the public spotlight when they became the first same-sex couple to be legally married by the state of Utah. Seth and Michael both grew up in LDS homes, completed full-time missions for the Church, and throughout their twenties, undertook tortuous journeys to renegotiate their relationships with both the institution and with the faith of their childhoods.

Seth and Michael recently completed their graduate work at the University of Utah--Seth finishing his master's degree in social history focusing on the history of sexuality in the Western United States, and Michael defending his PhD dissertation in bioengineering in which he developed new analytical methods for monitoring brain activity using fMRI.

Since November 2012, Seth and Michael have been embroiled in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against a gay conversion therapy organization in New Jersey named JONAH: Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (formerly Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality), filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. On June 25, 2015, a New Jersey jury unanimously found JONAH liable for multiple counts of consumer fraud and unconscionable business practices.

Seth and Michael are actively involved in education and advocacy on behalf of LGBT and queer individuals, including the project Team Truth--a grassroots campaign they are creating with advocates and allies to end the lies and harm of gay conversion therapy.

Direct download: MormonStories-559-SethAndMikePt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:36am MST

Building Progressive and Post-Mormon Communities based on Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind with Dr. Dave Christian.

Direct download: MormonStories-558-DaveChristianCommunity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41am MST

Dr. Dave Christian has served as a psychologist to believing and post-Mormons for decades.

In this episode, Dave begins by discussing his LDS pioneer ancestry, and his early years in the LDS church as a faithful, science-loving boy from St. George.  He then discusses early doubts he began to have regarding his LDS faith as he explored the field of epistemology (the study of how we know things).  In spite of these doubts, Dave chose to serve an LDS mission in the Australia Sydney Mission (1979 to 1981 timeframe), and during this time struggled with the pressure tactics employed by his mission president (Orson Wright).  Ultimately, to Dave's surprise, Orson Wright was removed from the mission for propositioning the sister missionaries of the mission to be his polygamous wives -- and the reasons for President Wright's removal from the mission were covered up by LDS Church leadership including Thomas S. Monson and Joseph B. Wirthlin.

This episode provides a fascinating look into the issues of: 1) how we come to feel as though we "know" things, and 2) how LDS church members (and members of other religious faiths) can be manipulated into claiming religious knowledge through emotional means.

 

Dr. Christian is available to provide psychotherapy in Utah, and Skype-based coaching outside of Utah. To contact Dr. Christian for an appointment, check out his contact information here.

Direct download: MormonStories-557-DaveChristianMission.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18am MST

Julienna Viegas-Haws has a fascinating story. Her mother is from the Belgian Congo. She was raised in Belgium. Her mother converted to the LDS Church when Julienna was a child, and credits the LDS church with saving her life. Julienna was raised a highly devout Mormon girl in Belgium, and served a mission on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.

After a life of full devotion to the LDS Church, Julinenna began to experience cracks in her orthodoxy testimony when her husband began questioning/doubting the LDS Church's truth claims.

While Julienna remains committed to LDS Church activity, she recently penned an article with the Salt Lake Tribune entitled "What do progressive Mormons want? A dialogue about change."

In this two-part episode for Mormon Stories Podcast Julienna tells her story, and discusses possible changes that the LDS Church can make to become a healthier organization for its members.

 

 

 

Direct download: MormonStories-556-JuliennaPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:19am MST

Julienna Viegas-Haws has a fascinating story. Her mother is from the Belgian Congo. She was raised in Belgium. Her mother converted to the LDS Church when Julienna was a child, and credits the LDS church with saving her life. Julienna was raised a highly devout Mormon girl in Belgium, and served a mission on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.

After a life of full devotion to the LDS Church, Julinenna began to experience cracks in her orthodoxy testimony when her husband began questioning/doubting the LDS Church's truth claims.

While Julienna remains committed to LDS Church activity, she recently penned an article with the Salt Lake Tribune entitled "What do progressive Mormons want? A dialogue about change."

In this two-part episode for Mormon Stories Podcast Julienna tells her story, and discusses possible changes that the LDS Church can make to become a healthier organization for its members.

 

 

 

Direct download: MormonStories-555-JuliennaPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:11am MST

On August 2, 2015 I was asked to deliver the sermon for the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, Utah.  The topic was my experiences as a Mormon that led up to my excommunication.

Direct download: MormonStories-554-SLCFirstUnitarianChurchSermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:57am MST

My appearance on the Friendly Atheist podcast with Hemant Mehta and Jessica Bluemke.

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. He is a former National Board Certified high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago, where he taught for seven years.

Jessica Bluemke is a contributor to Friendly Atheist and a graduate of Ball State University. She lives on the north side of Chicago and performs stand-up comedy in her free time.

Direct download: Ep._67_-_John_Dehlin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:01am MST

seer-stone-joseph-smith-ensign-liahona-october-2015_1512979_inl

For decades, and heavily over the past ten years, Mormon historians, podcasters, and critics have been urging the LDS Church to be more open and honest about Joseph Smith's use of folk magic and a peep stone/hat in his production of the Book of Mormon text.

On August 4th, 2015 the LDS Church released the third volume of the Joseph Smith Papers, which includes the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon. It also released photos of the seer stone that Joseph Smith used as a scryer to search for buried treasure, and that he also placed in a hat to produce the text for the Book of Mormon.  (for detailed discussions of Joseph's use of a seer stone in the Book of Mormon's creation, see CES LetterMormon Think, or D. Michael Quinn's "Early Mormonism and the Magic World View."

An October 2015 Ensign article is set to appear called "Joseph the Seer" which attempts to explain Joseph's practice of using a seer stone.

In this episode John Hamer, J. Seawright, Micah Nickolaisen, Jamie Hanis Handy, and Jonathan Streeter join us to analyze these events.

Direct download: MormonStories-552-SeerStones.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:54am MST

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