Mormon Stories - LDS

As the first interview for the new Mormon Transitions project, I am incredibly pleased to interview my dear wife of 23 years, Margaret (Margi) Weber Dehlin.  In this three-part interview, I ask Margi a series of 46 questions focusing on thee parts:

  • Part 1: Margi's life as a believing Mormon.  This includes questions about how her family joined the LDS church in Washington D.C. during the 1970s, reflections on her own "conversion" to the church, Margi's favorite parts about being a believing, active Mormon, and the most challenging parts as well.
  • Part 2: Margi's faith crisis and transition away from Mormon orthodoxy, including our time trying to remain LDS as semi-believers, and her experiences and reflections on my excommunication.  Topics include the impetus for Margi's faith transition, how she/we "came out" to our children parents, extended family, etc. as unorthodox Mormons, and what the most difficult and rewarding parts of the transition were.
  • Part 3: Margi's life and perspective now, as a post-Mormon, including reflections on her current beliefs and non-beliefs, her approach to nurturing a healthy/happy family without religion, how she approaches raising children without the church, and why she feels as though she and our family are happier and healthier than ever before after leaving the church.

The plan for Mormon Transitions podcast is as follows:

  • We plan to conduct somewhere between 20 and 30 of these interviews, and to share them at http://mormontransitions.org.  We also plan to "chop" these interviews up by question, so that people can peruse the interview by topic (e.g., raising children after a faith crisis, how to "come out" to family and friends, secular spirituality, dealing with death).
  • We plan to host a weekly call-in show where people can call with their questions/concerns and receive feedback from a mental health professional and/or expert.
  • We plan to compile all the advice and perspective over 2017 into a book entitled something to the effect of, "Navigating a Mormon Transition."
  • We plan to continue hosting Mormon Transition Events across the U.S.  See our Mormon Transitions event calendar for events as they are scheduled.

If you support Mormon Stories, Mormon TransitionsMormon MattersA Thoughtful Faith, or any of the Open Stories Foundation projects, please consider a donation today.  You can donate via any of the "donate" buttons on any of the pages.

Direct download: MormonStories-686-MargiDehlinPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:27pm MST

As the first interview for the new Mormon Transitions project, I am incredibly pleased to interview my dear wife of 23 years, Margaret (Margi) Weber Dehlin.  In this three-part interview, I ask Margi a series of 46 questions focusing on thee parts:

  • Part 1: Margi's life as a believing Mormon.  This includes questions about how her family joined the LDS church in Washington D.C. during the 1970s, reflections on her own "conversion" to the church, Margi's favorite parts about being a believing, active Mormon, and the most challenging parts as well.
  • Part 2: Margi's faith crisis and transition away from Mormon orthodoxy, including our time trying to remain LDS as semi-believers, and her experiences and reflections on my excommunication.  Topics include the impetus for Margi's faith transition, how she/we "came out" to our children parents, extended family, etc. as unorthodox Mormons, and what the most difficult and rewarding parts of the transition were.
  • Part 3: Margi's life and perspective now, as a post-Mormon, including reflections on her current beliefs and non-beliefs, her approach to nurturing a healthy/happy family without religion, how she approaches raising children without the church, and why she feels as though she and our family are happier and healthier than ever before after leaving the church.

The plan for Mormon Transitions podcast is as follows:

  • We plan to conduct somewhere between 20 and 30 of these interviews, and to share them at http://mormontransitions.org.  We also plan to "chop" these interviews up by question, so that people can peruse the interview by topic (e.g., raising children after a faith crisis, how to "come out" to family and friends, secular spirituality, dealing with death).
  • We plan to host a weekly call-in show where people can call with their questions/concerns and receive feedback from a mental health professional and/or expert.
  • We plan to compile all the advice and perspective over 2017 into a book entitled something to the effect of, "Navigating a Mormon Transition."
  • We plan to continue hosting Mormon Transition Events across the U.S.  See our Mormon Transitions event calendar for events as they are scheduled.

If you support Mormon Stories, Mormon TransitionsMormon MattersA Thoughtful Faith, or any of the Open Stories Foundation projects, please consider a donation today.  You can donate via any of the "donate" buttons on any of the pages.

Direct download: MormonStories-685-MargiDehlinPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:25pm MST

As the first interview for the new Mormon Transitions project, I am incredibly pleased to interview my dear wife of 23 years, Margaret (Margi) Weber Dehlin.  In this three-part interview, I ask Margi a series of 46 questions focusing on thee parts:

  • Part 1: Margi's life as a believing Mormon.  This includes questions about how her family joined the LDS church in Washington D.C. during the 1970s, reflections on her own "conversion" to the church, Margi's favorite parts about being a believing, active Mormon, and the most challenging parts as well.
  • Part 2: Margi's faith crisis and transition away from Mormon orthodoxy, including our time trying to remain LDS as semi-believers, and her experiences and reflections on my excommunication.  Topics include the impetus for Margi's faith transition, how she/we "came out" to our children parents, extended family, etc. as unorthodox Mormons, and what the most difficult and rewarding parts of the transition were.
  • Part 3: Margi's life and perspective now, as a post-Mormon, including reflections on her current beliefs and non-beliefs, her approach to nurturing a healthy/happy family without religion, how she approaches raising children without the church, and why she feels as though she and our family are happier and healthier than ever before after leaving the church.

The plan for Mormon Transitions podcast is as follows:

  • We plan to conduct somewhere between 20 and 30 of these interviews, and to share them at http://mormontransitions.org.  We also plan to "chop" these interviews up by question, so that people can peruse the interview by topic (e.g., raising children after a faith crisis, how to "come out" to family and friends, secular spirituality, dealing with death).
  • We plan to host a weekly call-in show where people can call with their questions/concerns and receive feedback from a mental health professional and/or expert.
  • We plan to compile all the advice and perspective over 2017 into a book entitled something to the effect of, "Navigating a Mormon Transition."
  • We plan to continue hosting Mormon Transition Events across the U.S.  See our Mormon Transitions event calendar for events as they are scheduled.

If you support Mormon Stories, Mormon TransitionsMormon MattersA Thoughtful Faith, or any of the Open Stories Foundation projects, please consider a donation today.  You can donate via any of the "donate" buttons on any of the pages.

Direct download: MormonStories-684-MargiDehlinPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:16pm MST

Sara Stanley Urquhart was the founding director of Altitude Summit, the premiere conference for creative entrepreneurs, stylish social media influencers, and bloggers. Past speakers at the conference include Martha Stewart, Ben Silbermann (Pinterest founder), Jessica Alba, Jordan Ferney (Oh Happy Day!), Liz Stanley (Say Yes), and Heather Armstrong (Dooce).

Sara created this successful business as a means to generate income when her husband, Stephen H. Urquhart, decided to run for the Utah State Legislature.

In this two-part interview, Sara discusses:

  • Part 1: How she created Altitude Summit as a stay-at-home Mom with four children.  She also discusses the design blogging industry as a whole.
  • Part 2: Her Mormon faith transition.

Additional Bio: Sara runs an eponymous consulting business. She sits on the Salt Lake City Planning Commission and board of directors for the Women’s Resource Center at the University of Utah.  She is the founding board president of the St. George Family Support Center (2007-09). She was a member and board chair of the St. George Art Around the Corner Foundation (1998-2009). Sara has her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and her Masters of Emergency Planning from Jacksonville State University. Sara and Stephen have four children.

Direct download: MormonStories-683-SaraUrquhartPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:43pm MST

Sara Stanley Urquhart was the founding director of Altitude Summit, the premiere conference for creative entrepreneurs, stylish social media influencers, and bloggers. Past speakers at the conference include Martha Stewart, Ben Silbermann (Pinterest founder), Jessica Alba, Jordan Ferney (Oh Happy Day!), Liz Stanley (Say Yes), and Heather Armstrong (Dooce).

Sara created this successful business as a means to generate income when her husband, Stephen H. Urquhart, decided to run for the Utah State Legislature.

In this two-part interview, Sara discusses:

  • Part 1: How she created Altitude Summit as a stay-at-home Mom with four children.  She also discusses the design blogging industry as a whole.
  • Part 2: Her Mormon faith transition.

Additional Bio: Sara runs an eponymous consulting business. She sits on the Salt Lake City Planning Commission and board of directors for the Women’s Resource Center at the University of Utah.  She is the founding board president of the St. George Family Support Center (2007-09). She was a member and board chair of the St. George Art Around the Corner Foundation (1998-2009). Sara has her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and her Masters of Emergency Planning from Jacksonville State University. Sara and Stephen have four children.

Direct download: MormonStories-682-SaraUrquhartPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm MST

Stephen Urquhart was raised in Houston, Texas, where he and his family converted to the LDS church after the suicide of his older brother.  After serving an LDS mission in Brazil, Steve married Sara Stanley and graduated from BYU Law School -- ultimately settling in St. George, Utah.

After developing a successful law career in St. George, Stephen served for 16 years in the Utah State Legislature, representing Washington County. In total, Stephen served 8 years in the Utah House of Representatives, and 8 years in the Utah Senate. 

During this vast legislative career, Stephen championed legislation on several issues crucial to Utahns, including: public land use, water rights, death penalty, increasing citizen access to legal services, numerous initiatives to improve K-12 and higher education in Utah, and most recently -- anti-discrimination and hate crimes legislation (LGBT), as well as the legalization of medical marijuana.

In this two-part episode, Stephen discusses:

  • Part 1: His early years in the LDS Church, and his legal and legislative careers in Utah.
  • Part 2: His experiences and reflections on the powerful influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on the Utah legislative process, and his loss of LDS faith after witnessing the negative impact of LDS LGBT policies on several people close to him.
Direct download: MormonStories-681-SteveUrquhartPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41am MST

Stephen Urquhart was raised in Houston, Texas, where he and his family converted to the LDS church after the suicide of his older brother.  After serving an LDS mission in Brazil, Steve married Sara Stanley and graduated from BYU Law School -- ultimately settling in St. George, Utah.

After developing a successful law career in St. George, Stephen served for 16 years in the Utah State Legislature, representing Washington County. In total, Stephen served 8 years in the Utah House of Representatives, and 8 years in the Utah Senate. 

During this vast legislative career, Stephen championed legislation on several issues crucial to Utahns, including: public land use, water rights, death penalty, increasing citizen access to legal services, numerous initiatives to improve K-12 and higher education in Utah, and most recently -- anti-discrimination and hate crimes legislation (LGBT), as well as the legalization of medical marijuana.

In this two-part episode, Stephen discusses:

  • Part 1: His early years in the LDS Church, and his legal and legislative careers in Utah.
  • Part 2: His experiences and reflections on the powerful influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on the Utah legislative process, and his loss of LDS faith after witnessing the negative impact of LDS LGBT policies on several people close to him.
Direct download: MormonStories-680-SteveUrquhartPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:39am MST

Lance Allred's Mormon story is fascinating for so many reasons.

  • He is the grandson of assassinated Mormon fundamentalist prophet Rulon Allred.
  • He was born deaf, and stands 6'11" tall.
  • He was a star basketball player for East High school (SLC, Utah), and played college basketball both at the University of Utah and Weber State University.
  • Lance developed scrupulosity (religious OCD), at least partially as a result of both perfectionism, and guilt/shame relating to matters of sexuality.
  • NCAA legend Rick Marjerus was fired as University of Utah basketball coach because of his verbal abuse of Lance.
  • After college, Lance went on to play 10 years of professional basketball (mostly overseas), including playing a year for the Cleveland Cavaliers with Lebron James (pre-Miami), amongst other teams (he even met Larry Bird!).
  • Lance become a popular public speaker, perhaps most recently known for his "What is Your Polygamy" TEDx talk.
  • Lance has fascinating insights on faith, doubt, and disbelief.

Lance's web site can be found here: http://www.lanceallred41.com

Direct download: MormonStories-679-LanceAllredPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:29pm MST

Lance Allred's Mormon story is fascinating for so many reasons.

  • He is the grandson of assassinated Mormon fundamentalist prophet Rulon Allred.
  • He was born deaf, and stands 6'11" tall.
  • He was a star basketball player for East High school (SLC, Utah), and played college basketball both at the University of Utah and Weber State University.
  • Lance developed scrupulosity (religious OCD), at least partially as a result of both perfectionism, and guilt/shame relating to matters of sexuality.
  • NCAA legend Rick Marjerus was fired as University of Utah basketball coach because of his verbal abuse of Lance.
  • After college, Lance went on to play 10 years of professional basketball (mostly overseas), including playing a year for the Cleveland Cavaliers with Lebron James (pre-Miami), amongst other teams (he even met Larry Bird!).
  • Lance become a popular public speaker, perhaps most recently known for his "What is Your Polygamy" TEDx talk.
  • Lance has fascinating insights on faith, doubt, and disbelief.

Lance's web site can be found here: http://www.lanceallred41.com

Direct download: MormonStories-678-LanceAllredPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:27pm MST

Rulon Clark Allred (March 29, 1906 – May 10, 1977) was a homeopath and chiropractor in Salt Lake City and the founder/leader of what is now the Apostolic United Brethren, a breakaway sect of polygamous Mormon fundamentalists in Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Arizona, United States. He was murdered on the orders of Ervil LeBaron, the head of a rival polygamous sect (Wikipedia).

Vance Allred is Rulon's Allred's son, and at one point was a chief apologist for Mormon fundamentalist polygamy, and was being groomed to succeed his father as prophet of the AUB. In this three part series, Vance Allred discusses:

  • Part 1: His father's rise to power, via the founding of the Apostolic United Brethren, and Vance's early years as the son of a polygamist prophet.
  • Part 2: The events leading up to Rulon Allred's assassination, and Vance's candid critique of his father's work, and 
  • Part 3: The sexual abuse in the AUB that led Vance to leave the AUB, and the events that led Vance to join the LDS church (requiring an interview with two LDS apostles).  Finally, Vance discusses the factors that led to him becoming inactive LDS.
Direct download: MormonStories-677-VanceAllredPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:59pm MST

Rulon Clark Allred (March 29, 1906 – May 10, 1977) was a homeopath and chiropractor in Salt Lake City and the founder/leader of what is now the Apostolic United Brethren, a breakaway sect of polygamous Mormon fundamentalists in Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Arizona, United States. He was murdered on the orders of Ervil LeBaron, the head of a rival polygamous sect (Wikipedia).

Vance Allred is Rulon's Allred's son, and at one point was a chief apologist for Mormon fundamentalist polygamy, and was being groomed to succeed his father as prophet of the AUB. In this three part series, Vance Allred discusses:

  • Part 1: His father's rise to power, via the founding of the Apostolic United Brethren, and Vance's early years as the son of a polygamist prophet.
  • Part 2: The events leading up to Rulon Allred's assassination, and Vance's candid critique of his father's work, and 
  • Part 3: The sexual abuse in the AUB that led Vance to leave the AUB, and the events that led Vance to join the LDS church (requiring an interview with two LDS apostles).  Finally, Vance discusses the factors that led to him becoming inactive LDS.
Direct download: MormonStories-676-VanceAllredPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53pm MST

Rulon Clark Allred (March 29, 1906 – May 10, 1977) was a homeopath and chiropractor in Salt Lake City and the founder/leader of what is now the Apostolic United Brethren, a breakaway sect of polygamous Mormon fundamentalists in Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Arizona, United States. He was murdered on the orders of Ervil LeBaron, the head of a rival polygamous sect (Wikipedia).

Vance Allred is Rulon's Allred's son, and at one point was a chief apologist for Mormon fundamentalist polygamy, and was being groomed to succeed his father as prophet of the AUB. In this three part series, Vance Allred discusses:

  • Part 1: His father's rise to power, via the founding of the Apostolic United Brethren, and Vance's early years as the son of a polygamist prophet.
  • Part 2: The events leading up to Rulon Allred's assassination, and Vance's candid critique of his father's work, and 
  • Part 3: The sexual abuse in the AUB that led Vance to leave the AUB, and the events that led Vance to join the LDS church (requiring an interview with two LDS apostles).  Finally, Vance discusses the factors that led to him becoming inactive LDS.
Direct download: MormonStories-675-VanceAllredPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:50pm MST

Jesse Stay worked for three years as leader of the LDS Church's social media initiatives. He was the first LDS Church employee with the name "social media" in his title.  His work primarily involved formulating the early Facebook and Twitter strategies for the church (including for LDS general authorities).  Jesse also provided social media support to various LDS Church departments including the missionary department, public relations, genealogy, the Joseph Smith Papers project, and the "I'm a Mormon" PR campaign.

In this two-part episode, Jesse discusses:

  • Part 1: The evolution of Jesse's LDS testimony, as he became aware of factual LDS history, saw the inner-workings of LDS Church headquarters, and as he struggled with the LDS church's November LGBT policy and its direct impact on family and friends.
  • Part 2: Jesse discusses in-depth his experiences working two years for the LDS church as Senior Advisor of Social Media, and for one year as Director of Social Media at Deseret Digital Media.

Currently, Jesse is the founder and principal of Stay N Alive, a social media advertising and marketing agency. 

Direct download: MormonStories-674-JesseStayPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:21pm MST

Jesse Stay worked for three years as leader of the LDS Church's social media initiatives. He was the first LDS Church employee with the name "social media" in his title.  His work primarily involved formulating the early Facebook and Twitter strategies for the church (including for LDS general authorities).  Jesse also provided social media support to various LDS Church departments including the missionary department, public relations, genealogy, the Joseph Smith Papers project, and the "I'm a Mormon" PR campaign.

In this two-part episode, Jesse discusses:

  • Part 1: The evolution of Jesse's LDS testimony, as he became aware of factual LDS history, saw the inner-workings of LDS Church headquarters, and as he struggled with the LDS church's November LGBT policy and its direct impact on family and friends.
  • Part 2: Jesse discusses in-depth his experiences working two years for the LDS church as Senior Advisor of Social Media, and for one year as Director of Social Media at Deseret Digital Media.

Currently, Jesse is the founder and principal of Stay N Alive, a social media advertising and marketing agency. 

Direct download: MormonStories-673-JesseStayPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm MST

Amy McPhie Allebest is a lifelong member of the Church, a returned missionary, a temple-married wife and mother of four, and a graduate student at Stanford University. Last month, her article "Dear Mormon Man..." went viral and caught Mormon Stories' attention as a unique voice in Mormon Feminism. 

 
In this episode, we discuss Amy's trajectory from her unquestioningly trusting childhood through her tumultuous, prolonged faith transition, brought on by the problematic language of the temple and a deep dive into Church History, to her current commitment to remain active in the Church despite her rejection of Patriarchy.
 
Check out more of Amy's writing in this month's Exponent II, and on http://mormondom.com, a publication on Medium.com.
Direct download: MormonStories-672-AmyMcphiePt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am MST

Amy McPhie Allebest is a lifelong member of the Church, a returned missionary, a temple-married wife and mother of four, and a graduate student at Stanford University. Last month, her article "Dear Mormon Man..." went viral and caught Mormon Stories' attention as a unique voice in Mormon Feminism. 

In this episode, we discuss Amy's trajectory from her unquestioningly trusting childhood through her tumultuous, prolonged faith transition, brought on by the problematic language of the temple and a deep dive into Church History, to her current commitment to remain active in the Church despite her rejection of Patriarchy.
 
Check out more of Amy's writing in this month's Exponent II, and on http://mormondom.com, a publication on Medium.com.
Direct download: MormonStories-671-AmyMcphiePt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:57am MST

As part 3 in our series on Mormons in the U.K. we interview BBC TV Star Alex Winters - who worked for seven years as a presenter on the BBC Children's channel CBeebies (the U.K. equivalent to Nick Jr or Disney).

Alex was raised as a devout Mormon in Wales, U.K., served an honorable mission, and was married in the London temple.  Throughout his adult life Alex has served in several significant ward and stake callings including ward bishopric and stake high council. As his acting career developed, Alex was so popular as a media celebrity within the U.K. that the LDS Church offered him a major role in their "I'm a Mormon" PR campaign (which he declined for professional reasons).

Over the past year or two Alex developed questions and concerns about LDS church doctrine (e.g., November 2015 LGBT policy) and history (e.g., Joseph Smith's treasure digging, seer stone use, polygamy and polyandry) which led to his loss of faith in Mormonism.

This is Alex's story.

Direct download: MormonStories-670-AlexWintersPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40am MST

As part 3 in our series on Mormons in the U.K. we interview BBC TV Star Alex Winters - who worked for seven years as a presenter on the BBC Children's channel CBeebies (the U.K. equivalent to Nick Jr or Disney).

Alex was raised as a devout Mormon in Wales, U.K., served an honorable mission, and was married in the London temple.  Throughout his adult life Alex has served in several significant ward and stake callings including ward bishopric and stake high council. As his acting career developed, Alex was so popular as a media celebrity within the U.K. that the LDS Church offered him a major role in their "I'm a Mormon" PR campaign (which he declined for professional reasons).

Over the past year or two Alex developed questions and concerns about LDS church doctrine (e.g., November 2015 LGBT policy) and history (e.g., Joseph Smith's treasure digging, seer stone use, polygamy and polyandry) which led to his loss of faith in Mormonism.

This is Alex's story.

Direct download: MormonStories-669-AlexWintersPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:37am MST

In this two-part episode we interview Stephen Bloor. Stephen discusses his experiences growing up as a Mormon in the U.K. including serving an LDS mission and being married in the Frankfurt, Germany temple. Eventually Stephen served as an LDS Bishop in the U.K. for 7 years. 

While serving as bishop Stephen learned of troubling issues with LDS Church history including Joseph Smith's polygamy, his marriage to other men's wives (polyandry), and his sexual relationships with underaged girls. Unable to reconcile these problems, Stephen eventually resigned from his position as LDS bishop.

After resigning as bishop, Stephen was told by his LDS leaders that he was not allowed to return to church, and would not be allowed to discuss any of his issues or concerns with other LDS church members (by threat of excommunication). Through these actions, Stephen was effectively cut off from the community he served for decades.  

Over time, Stephen became involved in former U.K. Stake President Top Phillips's law suit against the LDS church for fraud. Within the past year Stephen was excommunicated from the LDS church without his knowledge/participation - in violation of the LDS church's own requirement to hold a disciplinary council prior to a member's excommunication.

Stephen's continued interest in the LDS Church is to raise awareness about issues in the LDS narrative and to promote openness, honesty, transparency and acceptance of those who question.

This is Stephen's story.

Direct download: MormonStories-668-StephenBloorPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56am MST

In this two-part episode we interview Stephen Bloor. Stephen discusses his experiences growing up as a Mormon in the U.K. including serving an LDS mission and being married in the Frankfurt, Germany temple. Eventually Stephen served as an LDS Bishop in the U.K. for 7 years. 

While serving as bishop Stephen learned of troubling issues with LDS Church history including Joseph Smith's polygamy, his marriage to other men's wives (polyandry), and his sexual relationships with underaged girls. Unable to reconcile these problems, Stephen eventually resigned from his position as LDS bishop.

After resigning as bishop, Stephen was told by his LDS leaders that he was not allowed to return to church, and would not be allowed to discuss any of his issues or concerns with other LDS church members (by threat of excommunication). Through these actions, Stephen was effectively cut off from the community he served for decades.  

Over time, Stephen became involved in former U.K. Stake President Top Phillips's law suit against the LDS church for fraud. Within the past year Stephen was excommunicated from the LDS church without his knowledge/participation - in violation of the LDS church's own requirement to hold a disciplinary council prior to a member's excommunication.

Stephen's continued interest in the LDS Church is to raise awareness about issues in the LDS narrative and to promote openness, honesty, transparency and acceptance of those who question.

This is Stephen's story.

Direct download: MormonStories-667-StephenBloorPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:55am MST

For my first interview in our "Mormons in the U.K." series, I interview my dear friend Nathan Lisgo.  In this two part series Nathan discusses:

1) Growing up in Lancaster, England, serving a mission, getting married in the temple, etc.

2) His faith transition, largely caused by questions/concerns regarding the LDS Church's history regarding African Americans and the priesthood.  And

3) How Nathan has navigated a nuanced testimony and a mixed-faith marriage with his wife and three children.

Direct download: MormonStories-666-NathanLisgoPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:53pm MST

For my first interview in our "Mormons in the U.K." series, I interview my dear friend Nathan Lisgo.  In this two part series Nathan discusses:

1) Growing up in Lancaster, England, serving a mission, getting married in the temple, etc.

2) His faith transition, largely caused by questions/concerns regarding the LDS Church's history regarding African Americans and the priesthood.  And

3) How Nathan has navigated a nuanced testimony and a mixed-faith marriage with his wife and three children.

Direct download: MormonStories-665-NathanLisgoPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:50pm MST

In part two of my interview with Amy and Jake Malouf, we discuss the verdict from their October 11, 2016 Mormon Disciplinary Council on charges of Apostasy, along with their reactions to the verdict.

Direct download: MormonStories-664-MaloufsPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:08pm MST

On a recent trip from New Jersey to Vermont with Mormon Therapist Natasha Helfer Parker and Dr. Gina Colvin we decided to have a rough, unplanned, unrehearsed, and VERY informal first discussion about post-Mormon polyamory and non-monogamy.  

For those who care deeply about this issue, there are a few very important things we would like to emphasize:

  1. This is a rough, free-form, first discussion about orthodox, transitioning, and post-Mormon non-monogamy and polyamory.  This is not meant to be a pre-planned, comprehensive, uber-professional treatment of the topic.  If you are looking for such a treatment, please do not listen.
  2. For those of you who are very knowledgable about and/or experienced with polyamory and non-monogamy, we openly acknowledge that we likely (or most definitely) employed several incorrect or improper terms, stereotypes, and biases in this discussion. We do this partially on purpose - because it gives us/you a chance to explore and correct common mistakes or misperceptions used regarding these sensitive and important topics.  
  3. For those of you who are interested in this topic, or who were frustrated in any way by this first treatment/discussion - we hope that you will give us your thoughts, perspective, and respectful criticisms in the blog comments.  Then, please know what we 100% plan to have at least a few future guests on Mormon Stories Podcast to explore this topic more in-depth, and in more serious ways.  If you have participated in polyamory and/or non-monogamy as an active, transitioning, or post-Mormon, we invite you to contact us about appearing in a future episode.  mormonstories@gmail.com

Thanks for your patience, understanding, support, participation, and good will as we begin to explore this important topic that affects many people in orthodox, transitioning, and post-Mormonism.

Direct download: MormonStories-663-Polyamory.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:05am MST

Elna Baker is the author of the highly acclaimed The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir.  She is also a contributor to the podcast This American Life.

As part of the 2016 New York City Mormon Transitions Retreat Elna shares experiences regarding her faith transition away from Mormonism.

Direct download: MormonStories-662-ElnaBaker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11am MST

As part of the 2016 Mormon Transitions New York Retreat we interview journalists Abby Huntsman and Carrie Sheffield.  In this interview they discuss their transitions out of Mormonism.

Direct download: MormonStories-661-AbbyCarry.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09am MST

Announcements: Hiring OSF DIrector of Operations, NYC Retreat October 14-16.

Direct download: MS2016-NYCAndDOOJob.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:13am MST

Dr. Greg Prince is best known within Mormonism as the author of three books:

- Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood
- David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism
- Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History

In this three-part series we discuss the following:

- Part 1: Greg's early years as a Mormon in the Los Angeles area, his graduate work as a dentist and as a pathologist, and his role in developing a cure for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection), which has saved tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of infant lives.

- Part 2: Greg discusses the challenges of raising a son (Madison) with autism, then discusses how he developed a gospel framework that allowed him to avoid a faith crisis, which led to his entree into Mormon history authorship. We focus on his Priesthood book.

- Part 3: Greg goes deep into how he maintains faith/belief and activity in God/Christ/the LDS Church as a scientist, and after knowing so much troubling LDS history. He also lays out in detail his nuanced LDS testimony.

Direct download: MormonStories-660-GregPrincePt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33am MST

Dr. Greg Prince is best known within Mormonism as the author of three books:

- Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood
- David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism
- Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History

In this three-part series we discuss the following:

- Part 1: Greg's early years as a Mormon in the Los Angeles area, his graduate work as a dentist and as a pathologist, and his role in developing a cure for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection), which has saved tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of infant lives.

- Part 2: Greg discusses the challenges of raising a son (Madison) with autism, then discusses how he developed a gospel framework that allowed him to avoid a faith crisis, which led to his entree into Mormon history authorship. We focus on his Priesthood book.

- Part 3: Greg goes deep into how he maintains faith/belief and activity in God/Christ/the LDS Church as a scientist, and after knowing so much troubling LDS history. He also lays out in detail his nuanced LDS testimony.

Direct download: MormonStories-659-GregPrincePt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:31am MST

Dr. Greg Prince is best known within Mormonism as the author of three books:

- Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood
- David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism
- Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History

In this three-part series we discuss the following:

- Part 1: Greg's early years as a Mormon in the Los Angeles area, his graduate work as a dentist and as a pathologist, and his role in developing a cure for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection), which has saved tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of infant lives.

- Part 2: Greg discusses the challenges of raising a son (Madison) with autism, then discusses how he developed a gospel framework that allowed him to avoid a faith crisis, which led to his entree into Mormon history authorship. We focus on his Priesthood book.

- Part 3: Greg goes deep into how he maintains faith/belief and activity in God/Christ/the LDS Church as a scientist, and after knowing so much troubling LDS history. He also lays out in detail his nuanced LDS testimony.

Direct download: MormonStories-658-GregPrincePt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am MST

Amy and Jake Malouf have been devout LDS church members for their entire lives – living the past 14+ years in Anchorage, Alaska. They have served in high-level callings in their Anchorage ward, and are very well-respected and well-liked in their Alaska LDS community.

Two years ago Amy and Jake began to have doubts about the truthfulness of the LDS Church. As they began to share their questions/doubts/concerns about LDS doctrine and policy on Facebook (e.g., the November 2015 policy against LGBT Mormons and their children), their posts were monitored by ward and stake members and reported to the stake leadership. When they were directly asked by their stake president to remain silent about their questions/concerns/doubts/disbelief – they declined as a matter of conscience. Recently when they spoke out publicly on Facebook against the November, 2015 LGBT policy (out of concern for LDS LGBT youth suicides) they were informed by their LDS stake president that they will soon be excommunicated. The date/time of their disciplinary council is October 11, 2016 at 9pm Utah time.

This is their story.

P.S.  Amy is a fabulous artist.  Her artwork can be found here!  www.amymalouf.com

Direct download: MormonStories-657-MaloufsPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:07am MST

Dr. Omar Kader was born in Provo, Utah to Palestinian immigrants. HIs father was a devout Muslim and a disabled World War I vet who owned a successful Provo fruit farm. During Omar's childhood he and his family were called the n-word by fellow Provoans, but fought to earn the respect of his community. Omar and his father were close friends of Dr. Hugh Nibley, who liked to practice his Arabic skills with Omar's dad.

In this epic multi-part series, we hear several inspiring stories, including:

  • How Omar escaped Palestine after being sent back there by his father to prevent him from marrying a Utah woman.
  • How Dr. Hugh Nibley fought to help Omar enroll in Brigham Young University.
  • How Omar met, courted, and married his amazing wife Nancy - a brilliant Mormon girl from Ogden, UT (this courtship included his conversion to the LDS faith). We also touch on what it was like to enter into a multi-cultural marriage in Utah during the 1960s.
  • Omar's draft into the Vietnam War (serving in Germany)
  • How Omar and Nancy risked expulsion from BYU for fighting against the Vietnam war and for supporting the BYU Student Democratic Party during the Earnest L. Wilkinson administration -- and how Hugh Nibley came to their rescue.
  • Omar's experiences obtaining a Ph.D. in International Relations at USC, along with his 10 year career at BYU wherein he faced both considerable racism and heroic support from certain BYU faculty and administrators.
  • Nancy's work with the Democratic party in Utah, which included interactions with actor Robert Redford.
  • Omar's decision to leave BYU and move to Washington D.C.
  • Omar's work as a lobbyist for Arab-Americans, which included meetings with Yasser Arafat and King Hussein of Jordan.
  • The part Omar played in helping BYU obtain the land to build the BYU Jerusalem center, which he later grew to regret.
  • Omar's scorching critiques of LDS apostles Ezra Taft Benson and Jeffrey R. Holland.
  • Omar's work as a successful businessman in Washington D.C. against all odds as an Arab-American.
  • Nancy's trial of faith after befriending Kate Kelly in her Virginia ward, and then watching her friend get excommunicated.
  • Where Omar and Nancy now stand with the LDS church, and with matters of faith.
Direct download: MormonStories-656-OmarKaderPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:03am MST

Dr. Omar Kader was born in Provo, Utah to Palestinian immigrants. HIs father was a devout Muslim and a disabled World War I vet who owned a successful Provo fruit farm. During Omar's childhood he and his family were called the n-word by fellow Provoans, but fought to earn the respect of his community. Omar and his father were close friends of Dr. Hugh Nibley, who liked to practice his Arabic skills with Omar's dad.

In this epic multi-part series, we hear several inspiring stories, including:

  • How Omar escaped Palestine after being sent back there by his father to prevent him from marrying a Utah woman.
  • How Dr. Hugh Nibley fought to help Omar enroll in Brigham Young University.
  • How Omar met, courted, and married his amazing wife Nancy - a brilliant Mormon girl from Ogden, UT (this courtship included his conversion to the LDS faith). We also touch on what it was like to enter into a multi-cultural marriage in Utah during the 1960s.
  • Omar's draft into the Vietnam War (serving in Germany)
  • How Omar and Nancy risked expulsion from BYU for fighting against the Vietnam war and for supporting the BYU Student Democratic Party during the Earnest L. Wilkinson administration -- and how Hugh Nibley came to their rescue.
  • Omar's experiences obtaining a Ph.D. in International Relations at USC, along with his 10 year career at BYU wherein he faced both considerable racism and heroic support from certain BYU faculty and administrators.
  • Nancy's work with the Democratic party in Utah, which included interactions with actor Robert Redford.
  • Omar's decision to leave BYU and move to Washington D.C.
  • Omar's work as a lobbyist for Arab-Americans, which included meetings with Yasser Arafat and King Hussein of Jordan.
  • The part Omar played in helping BYU obtain the land to build the BYU Jerusalem center, which he later grew to regret.
  • Omar's scorching critiques of LDS apostles Ezra Taft Benson and Jeffrey R. Holland.
  • Omar's work as a successful businessman in Washington D.C. against all odds as an Arab-American.
  • Nancy's trial of faith after befriending Kate Kelly in her Virginia ward, and then watching her friend get excommunicated.
  • Where Omar and Nancy now stand with the LDS church, and with matters of faith.
Direct download: MormonStories-655-OmarKaderPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01am MST

Dr. Omar Kader was born in Provo, Utah to Palestinian immigrants. HIs father was a devout Muslim and a disabled World War I vet who owned a successful Provo fruit farm. During Omar's childhood he and his family were called the n-word by fellow Provoans, but fought to earn the respect of his community. Omar and his father were close friends of Dr. Hugh Nibley, who liked to practice his Arabic skills with Omar's dad.

In this epic multi-part series, we hear several inspiring stories, including:

  • How Omar escaped Palestine after being sent back there by his father to prevent him from marrying a Utah woman.
  • How Dr. Hugh Nibley fought to help Omar enroll in Brigham Young University.
  • How Omar met, courted, and married his amazing wife Nancy - a brilliant Mormon girl from Ogden, UT (this courtship included his conversion to the LDS faith). We also touch on what it was like to enter into a multi-cultural marriage in Utah during the 1960s.
  • Omar's draft into the Vietnam War (serving in Germany)
  • How Omar and Nancy risked expulsion from BYU for fighting against the Vietnam war and for supporting the BYU Student Democratic Party during the Earnest L. Wilkinson administration -- and how Hugh Nibley came to their rescue.
  • Omar's experiences obtaining a Ph.D. in International Relations at USC, along with his 10 year career at BYU wherein he faced both considerable racism and heroic support from certain BYU faculty and administrators.
  • Nancy's work with the Democratic party in Utah, which included interactions with actor Robert Redford.
  • Omar's decision to leave BYU and move to Washington D.C.
  • Omar's work as a lobbyist for Arab-Americans, which included meetings with Yasser Arafat and King Hussein of Jordan.
  • The part Omar played in helping BYU obtain the land to build the BYU Jerusalem center, which he later grew to regret.
  • Omar's scorching critiques of LDS apostles Ezra Taft Benson and Jeffrey R. Holland.
  • Omar's work as a successful businessman in Washington D.C. against all odds as an Arab-American.
  • Nancy's trial of faith after befriending Kate Kelly in her Virginia ward, and then watching her friend get excommunicated.
  • Where Omar and Nancy now stand with the LDS church, and with matters of faith.
Direct download: MormonStories-654-OmarKaderPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am MST

Dr. Omar Kader was born in Provo, Utah to Palestinian immigrants. HIs father was a devout Muslim and a disabled World War I vet who owned a successful Provo fruit farm. During Omar's childhood he and his family were called the n-word by fellow Provoans, but fought to earn the respect of his community. Omar and his father were close friends of Dr. Hugh Nibley, who liked to practice his Arabic skills with Omar's dad.

In this epic multi-part series, we hear several inspiring stories, including:

  • How Omar escaped Palestine after being sent back there by his father to prevent him from marrying a Utah woman.
  • How Dr. Hugh Nibley fought to help Omar enroll in Brigham Young University.
  • How Omar met, courted, and married his amazing wife Nancy - a brilliant Mormon girl from Ogden, UT (this courtship included his conversion to the LDS faith). We also touch on what it was like to enter into a multi-cultural marriage in Utah during the 1960s.
  • Omar's draft into the Vietnam War (serving in Germany)
  • How Omar and Nancy risked expulsion from BYU for fighting against the Vietnam war and for supporting the BYU Student Democratic Party during the Earnest L. Wilkinson administration -- and how Hugh Nibley came to their rescue.
  • Omar's experiences obtaining a Ph.D. in International Relations at USC, along with his 10 year career at BYU wherein he faced both considerable racism and heroic support from certain BYU faculty and administrators.
  • Nancy's work with the Democratic party in Utah, which included interactions with actor Robert Redford.
  • Omar's decision to leave BYU and move to Washington D.C.
  • Omar's work as a lobbyist for Arab-Americans, which included meetings with Yasser Arafat and King Hussein of Jordan.
  • The part Omar played in helping BYU obtain the land to build the BYU Jerusalem center, which he later grew to regret.
  • Omar's scorching critiques of LDS apostles Ezra Taft Benson and Jeffrey R. Holland.
  • Omar's work as a successful businessman in Washington D.C. against all odds as an Arab-American.
  • Nancy's trial of faith after befriending Kate Kelly in her Virginia ward, and then watching her friend get excommunicated.
  • Where Omar and Nancy now stand with the LDS church, and with matters of faith.
Direct download: MormonStories-653-OmarKaderPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:58am MST

In this epic, three-part interview with Paul, Lisa, and Kyle, we learn about one ordinary Mormon family’s extraordinary Mormon transition. Topics covered in this episode include:

  • Living as an orthodox Mormon family in rural Utah.
  • Dealing with a crisis of faith in a large, orthodox Mormon family.
  • Living in a mixed-faith marriage.
  • How to ineffectively and effectively communicate with believing family members (siblings, extended family).
  • Dealing with a missionary in the field while the family is having a crisis of faith.
  • Supporting a gay child.
  • Leaving the church after decades of service, and in mid-life.
  • As a parent, sitting outside your own child’s wedding.
  • Finding communities of support (and joy) after leaving the church.
Direct download: MormonStories-652-ExtraordinaryFamPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:31am MST

In this epic, three-part interview with Paul, Lisa, and Kyle, we learn about one ordinary Mormon family’s extraordinary Mormon transition. Topics covered in this episode include:

  • Living as an orthodox Mormon family in rural Utah.
  • Dealing with a crisis of faith in a large, orthodox Mormon family.
  • Living in a mixed-faith marriage.
  • How to ineffectively and effectively communicate with believing family members (siblings, extended family).
  • Dealing with a missionary in the field while the family is having a crisis of faith.
  • Supporting a gay child.
  • Leaving the church after decades of service, and in mid-life.
  • As a parent, sitting outside your own child’s wedding.
  • Finding communities of support (and joy) after leaving the church.
Direct download: MormonStories-651-ExtraordinaryFamPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:28am MST

In this epic, three-part interview with Paul, Lisa, and Kyle, we learn about one ordinary Mormon family’s extraordinary Mormon transition. Topics covered in this episode include:

  • Living as an orthodox Mormon family in rural Utah.
  • Dealing with a crisis of faith in a large, orthodox Mormon family.
  • Living in a mixed-faith marriage.
  • How to ineffectively and effectively communicate with believing family members (siblings, extended family).
  • Dealing with a missionary in the field while the family is having a crisis of faith.
  • Supporting a gay child.
  • Leaving the church after decades of service, and in mid-life.
  • As a parent, sitting outside your own child’s wedding.
  • Finding communities of support (and joy) after leaving the church.
Direct download: MormonStories-650-ExtraordinaryFamPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:28am MST

M. Russell Ballard Regional Broadcast - 9-11-2016

Direct download: Ballard-9-11-16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:02pm MST

Sam Young lived as an orthodox Mormon for several decades, including a full term as an LDS bishop and many years as a stake high counselor. After stumbling on the LDS Gospel Topics Essays and learning about Joseph Smith's polyandry, the Book of Abraham translation problems, etc. -- and specifically after the LDS Church November 2015 policy change regarding LGBT members and their children -- Sam experienced an LDS faith crisis.

Over time, Sam developed his own method for expressing concern about LDS policy and administrative problems -- he decided to begin living the Law of Common Consent as found in Doctrine and Covenants 26, which to him means that during every ward, stake and general conference Sam will be voting opposed when asked to sustain the LDS first presidency and the quorum of the 12 apostles. Sam is also inviting other LDS church members to consider a similar approach if they object to recent policy and administrative changes.

This interview includes Jamie Hanis Handy and Sam's 85 year old mother, Bertie, who recently resigned her church membership over similar concerns to Sam.

Direct download: MormonStories-649-SamYoung.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:10am MST

me now400Jacob realized he was gay only a few months before he left for me missionary400his LDS mission. He served in the San Jose, Costa Rica mission from August 2012 to September 2013.

While serving in Costa Rica, a zone leader became attracted to Jacob, and as they began to do "splits," During these splits, Jacob and his ZL would occasionally "cuddle" in bed - but did not engage in any overt sexual behaviors.

This is Jacob's mission story.

Direct download: MormonStories-648-JacobHampton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:31pm MST

Rose Sorenson was raised in a devout LDS household (Idaho Falls, ID), but began having doubts as a 12 year old. Although she continued to struggle with perfectionism and doubts as a teenager, Rose decided that the LDS church's decision in 2013 to lower the missionary age for women was a "sign" that she should serve a mission to strengthen her testimony.

She served in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission from March 2013 to August 2014.

After a year of struggling with her testimony, including bouts of depression and anxiety -- and after reading the Book of Mormon four times without receiving a spiritual witness that the book was true -- Rose decided that she was an atheist, but remained determined to complete her mission.

This is Rose's story.

Direct download: MormonStories-647-RoseSorenson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:50pm MST

Tre Shortland was raised in Oakland, CA as a bi-racial Mormon (Filipino mother and New Zealander/Maori father).  While he was very committed doctrinally to Mormonism, he was not crazy about Mormon culture, and was taught the fundamentals of critical thinking from a young age.  Prior to and during his mission, Tre was tormented by doubts, along with teachings and rules regarding "self abuse." For over a year on his mission Tre was taught that lack of success on his mission was due to these practices/weaknesses.  After becoming zone leader, Tre became aware of a sex scandal that reached the highest levels of missionary leadership. This is Tre’s story. 

The music for today's episode is from Tre's band: http://www.Seaviewmusic.com.  The song is called "Relativity."

Direct download: MormonStories-646-TreShortland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:23pm MST

Mike Woodruff knew that he was attracted to men by age 14. After consulting with his LDS bishop, he was told that his “same-sex attraction” would “resolve itself” once he served an LDS mission. His LDS patriarchal blessing also assured him that he would serve a complete LDS mission.

After being called to the Leeds, England mission, Mike was physically and emotionally abused by his first companion. Suffering with severe PTSD symptoms, he tried for two months to remain in the mission, but did not receive appropriate mental health care. Instead, his mission-assigned therapist focused primarily on encouraging Mike to read his scriptures and pray more, which only reinforced his feelings of shame/blame as an abuse victim. In addition, Mike’s abusive companion was never punished for the abuse (to his knowledge), and was simply reassigned to other missionaries.

Mike ended up returning home early from his mission (after 3 months of service), and spent several years trying to reconcile the shame/guilt that he felt, heal from his PTSD, and reconcile his same-sex sexuality. Mike consulted North Star LDS to help him manage his sexuality and remain faithful LDS, but this approach ultimately led him to a suicide attempt.

Mike ultimately found peace and mental health by leaving the LDS church, and coming out as a gay man.

Direct download: MormonStories-645-MikeWoodruff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:56am MST

Sage Dalton was a graduate of Dartmouth University and a regular listener to Mormon Stories podcast when she decided to serve an LDS mission in 2012. Towards the latter half of her mission Sage began to experience depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation, due in part to a culture of perfectionism within Mormonism, along with doubts she began to experience as a missionary (primarily around LGBT and historical issues). When Sage informed her mission president of her depressive symptoms, he allowed her only three visits to a talk therapist.

Over time on her mission, Sage began to experience significant suicidal ideation, and on the final month of her mission was self-admitted to a psychiatric behavioral health unit/hospital.  After her stay in the hospital, Sage decided that she no longer believed the church to be true, and terminated her mission service early (a few weeks shy of completion). While 13932313_10153909708643247_1386823770_othe LDS church attempted to make her parents pay her hospital bills while a missionary, her parents declined and threatened to sue the church if they continued with such
insistences.

Eventually Sage decided to leave the LDS church, and has experienced significant improvement in her mental health, and elimination of her suicidality, as a result of this decision.  At present, Sage is engaged to be married and works as a nurse at Planned Parenthood in California.

Direct download: MormonStories-644-SageDalton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:07pm MST

Joshua Tesch served in the California Roseville Mission from 2013 to 2015.  When the LDS church introduced the use of Facebook and iPads to missionaries, Elder Tesch was asked by his mission president to become one of the "Tech Missionaries" to help the mission adopt the new technology.  Through this new program Elder Tesch was exposed to credible information critical of the LDS church, including the http://cesletter.org.  Over time Elder Tesch developed a faith crisis and turned to the Mormon Stories Podcast Community on Facebook for support.  Ultimately his involvement in the MSPC was reported to his mission president and his iPad was taken away.  He continued as a missionary until his final month, when his mission president sent him home dishonorably for openly sharing his doubts.

Direct download: MormonStories-643-Missions01-Tesch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:18pm MST

John Dehlin answers questions from a live audience via Facebook Live!  This episode was recorded on July 20, 2016.

Direct download: MormonStories-642-MSFBLive01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:38pm MST

Elder Steven E. Snow candidly explains why the LDS Gospel Topics Essays are not publicized by the LDS Church.

Direct download: Snow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:38am MST

In this episode we invite Mica McGriggs, Dr. Darron Smith, and Dr. Fatimah Salleh to discuss the recent (and continual) loss of black lives in America due to to police action.

Direct download: MormonStories-641-GrievingBlackLives.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:19pm MST

In this episode Gina Colvin, Ph.D., Dan Wotherspoon, Ph.D., and Thomas McConkie  explore the path of staying active in the LDS Church as an unorthodox member.  This episode was recorded live at Studio at 50 West in Salt Lake City on June 15, 2016.

Direct download: MormonStories-640-GinaDanThomas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am MST

Summer 2016 Mormon Transitions Events: Phoenix, Salt Lake City/Park City, Dallas, Los Angeles/Las Vegas

Direct download: Summer2016MTEvents.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:59pm MST

In 2002 anthropologist Thomas Murphy, Ph.D. published the first peer reviewed academic journal article on DNA and the Book of Mormon, demonstrating that DNA evidence (at the time) did not support the Book of Mormon's historical claims.  Dr. Murphy was subsequently summoned to an LDS disciplinary council for apostasy, but the disciplinary council was "called off" at the last minute, and he has not been pursued since. 

In this podcast series, Dr. Murphy discusses:

  • His early years in the LDS church.
  • His loss of LDS belief as a young adult as a result of military service, demonstrated lack of inspiration on the part of his church leaders, and information he learned as an anthropologist working primarily amongst native Americans.
  • His research and publication regarding DNA and the Book of Mormon.
  • His work as an anthropologist in Latin America, including work in Mexico and Guatemala.

 

Direct download: MormonStories-639-ThomasMurphyPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:21pm MST

In 2002 anthropologist Thomas Murphy, Ph.D. published the first peer reviewed academic journal article on DNA and the Book of Mormon, demonstrating that DNA evidence (at the time) did not support the Book of Mormon's historical claims.  Dr. Murphy was subsequently summoned to an LDS disciplinary council for apostasy, but the disciplinary council was "called off" at the last minute, and he has not been pursued since. 

In this podcast series, Dr. Murphy discusses:

  • His early years in the LDS church.
  • His loss of LDS belief as a young adult as a result of military service, demonstrated lack of inspiration on the part of his church leaders, and information he learned as an anthropologist working primarily amongst native Americans.
  • His research and publication regarding DNA and the Book of Mormon.
  • His work as an anthropologist in Latin America, including work in Mexico and Guatemala.

 

Direct download: MormonStories-638-ThomasMurphyPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm MST

#55 The Line

February 18, 2016

“I was so thirsty and hungry after the truth, my whole body aching for answers.” Hans Mattsson, LDS Church leader 2000-05

This week we have a story about a big group of people with the same questions. Difficult, complicated, heartbreaking ones. These people all have one thing in common — they’re Mormons. Reporter Karen Duffin tells their story.

 

Further Reading

Mormon Stories Podcast

New York Times story, “Some Mormons Search the Web and Find Doubt”

New Essays on LDS Church Website

 

The Facts

Our theme song is by The Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder.

Our ad music is by Build Buildings.

Direct download: 55_The_Line.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:03pm MST

The Mama Dragons group consists of almost 1,000 Mormon, post-Mormon, and now never-Mormon women who are dedicated to:

1) Loving their LGBT children.
2) Preventing LGBT youth suicide.
3) Supporting parents of LGBT children to better love and support their children.
4) Rescuing rejected LGBT children from homelessness and abuse.
5) Attending funerals of deceased LGBT youth in support of the surviving families.

The Mama Dragons Story Project attempts to collect portraits and autobiographical essays from mothers with LGBT children for their children.

Direct download: MormonStories-637-MamaDragons.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:18pm MST

In this episode Dr. John Dehlin and Lindsay Hansen Park (Feminist Mormon Housewives, Sunstone, Year of Polygamy, Color of Heaven) host a panel discussion about rape within Mormon culture.  The panel features Aubri Parameter, an assault survivor, Kathryn Jones-Porter, a victim's advocate in Salt Lake County, and Donna Kelly, who has worked as a prosecutor for the last twenty-four years, devoting much of her time to working with victims of sex crimes.


Direct download: MormonStories-636-Rape.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm MST

In this episode 5 Mormons (Dr. Jana Riess, Dr. Kristy Money, Samy Galvez, Derrick Clements, and Samantha Louise Shelley) discuss, explore, and interpret Tyler Glenn's new and controversial music video entitled "Trash."

Trash Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNqnLdX4TM8

Trash Lyrics:
http://genius.com/Tyler-glenn-trash-lyrics

Direct download: MormonStories-635-Trash.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:47am MST

In December, 2015 Mormon Stories interviewed Clay Christensen and his brother-in-law Matt Elggren about Matt's loss of LDS faith in 2003, and Clay's subsequent loss of LDS faith in October of 2015 after 50 years active LDS membership, and after 7 years as a high-level LDS Church employee.

In April, 2016 Clay was contacted by his stake president and invited to a disciplinary council to be excommunicated for apostasy.  This is Clay's update since his December, 2015 interview.

Direct download: MormonStories-634-ClayChristensen2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:04pm MST

Tyler Glenn is best known as the lead singer of the multi-platinum alternative pop band Neon Trees.  

Tyler was raised LDS/Mormon in Temecula, California.  After discovering a love for music in high school and serving an LDS mission, Tyler moved to Provo, UT with his buddy Chris to form Neon Trees (named after the trees on the In and Out signs).  Neon Trees signed with Mercury Records in 2009 and went on to release three successful alternative pop albums: Habits (2010), Picture Show (2012), and Pop Psychology (2014).

Tyler knew he was gay as a child, but struggled as a teen and adult to reconcile his sexuality with his LDS faith.  These struggles took Tyler to some sad/dark places, which were only exacerbated by his fame as a pop star.  At age 27 (around the release of Picture Show), Tyler seriously contemplated ending his life.

In spite of these struggles, Tyler remained a full and literal believer in the LDS Church.  In 2014 Tyler decided that being a closeted gay man was contributing to his suicidality.  Consequently he came out as gay to his family, band, friends -- and to the world in Rolling Stone magazine -- prior to the release of Pop Psychology.  From this point forward it was Tyler's full intent to find and marry a gay man, and to raise children in the LDS church as a gay married Mormon.  

Then, in November of 2015, the LDS church released its new policy branding same-sex married Mormons as immediate apostates, and prohibiting children of same-sex married couples from being baptized.  This policy change sent Tyler into a tailspin, ultimately shattering his plans as a believing, gay Mormon. 

In this three part interview, we explore:

  • Part 1: Tyler's early years as a young Mormon struggling with his sexuality.
  • Part 2: Tyler's ascent (along with Neon Trees) into stardom...and the sadness/despair that followed.
  • Part 3: Tyler's faith crisis instigated by the LDS policy change, along with his current beliefs/views regarding the LDS Church.
Direct download: MormonStories-633-TylerGlennPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:15pm MST

Tyler Glenn is best known as the lead singer of the multi-platinum alternative pop band Neon Trees.  

Tyler was raised LDS/Mormon in Temecula, California.  After discovering a love for music in high school and serving an LDS mission, Tyler moved to Provo, UT with his buddy Chris to form Neon Trees (named after the trees on the In and Out signs).  Neon Trees signed with Mercury Records in 2009 and went on to release three successful alternative pop albums: Habits (2010), Picture Show (2012), and Pop Psychology (2014).

Tyler knew he was gay as a child, but struggled as a teen and adult to reconcile his sexuality with his LDS faith.  These struggles took Tyler to some sad/dark places, which were only exacerbated by his fame as a pop star.  At age 27 (around the release of Picture Show), Tyler seriously contemplated ending his life.

In spite of these struggles, Tyler remained a full and literal believer in the LDS Church.  In 2014 Tyler decided that being a closeted gay man was contributing to his suicidality.  Consequently he came out as gay to his family, band, friends -- and to the world in Rolling Stone magazine -- prior to the release of Pop Psychology.  From this point forward it was Tyler's full intent to find and marry a gay man, and to raise children in the LDS church as a gay married Mormon.  

Then, in November of 2015, the LDS church released its new policy branding same-sex married Mormons as immediate apostates, and prohibiting children of same-sex married couples from being baptized.  This policy change sent Tyler into a tailspin, ultimately shattering his plans as a believing, gay Mormon. 

In this three part interview, we explore:

  • Part 1: Tyler's early years as a young Mormon struggling with his sexuality.
  • Part 2: Tyler's ascent (along with Neon Trees) into stardom...and the sadness/despair that followed.
  • Part 3: Tyler's faith crisis instigated by the LDS policy change, along with his current beliefs/views regarding the LDS Church.
Direct download: MormonStories-632-TylerGlennPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:55pm MST

Tyler Glenn is best known as the lead singer of the multi-platinum alternative pop band Neon Trees.  

Tyler was raised LDS/Mormon in Temecula, California.  After discovering a love for music in high school and serving an LDS mission, Tyler moved to Provo, UT with his buddy Chris to form Neon Trees (named after the trees on the In and Out signs).  Neon Trees signed with Mercury Records in 2009 and went on to release three successful alternative pop albums: Habits (2010), Picture Show (2012), and Pop Psychology (2014).

Tyler knew he was gay as a child, but struggled as a teen and adult to reconcile his sexuality with his LDS faith.  These struggles took Tyler to some sad/dark places, which were only exacerbated by his fame as a pop star.  At age 27 (around the release of Picture Show), Tyler seriously contemplated ending his life.

In spite of these struggles, Tyler remained a full and literal believer in the LDS Church.  In 2014 Tyler decided that being a closeted gay man was contributing to his suicidality.  Consequently he came out as gay to his family, band, friends -- and to the world in Rolling Stone magazine -- prior to the release of Pop Psychology.  From this point forward it was Tyler's full intent to find and marry a gay man, and to raise children in the LDS church as a gay married Mormon.  

Then, in November of 2015, the LDS church released its new policy branding same-sex married Mormons as immediate apostates, and prohibiting children of same-sex married couples from being baptized.  This policy change sent Tyler into a tailspin, ultimately shattering his plans as a believing, gay Mormon. 

In this three part interview, we explore:

  • Part 1: Tyler's early years as a young Mormon struggling with his sexuality.
  • Part 2: Tyler's ascent (along with Neon Trees) into stardom...and the sadness/despair that followed.
  • Part 3: Tyler's faith crisis instigated by the LDS policy change, along with his current beliefs/views regarding the LDS Church.
Direct download: MormonStories-631-TylerGlennPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:45am MST

John Dehlin and Lindsay Hansen Park interview Mica McGriggs, Samy Galvez, and Tinesha Zandamela about race relations in the Mormon church, and their experiences growing up as people of color in a predominately white church.

Direct download: MormonStories-630-BlackMormonLivesMatter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:37pm MST

EdykaChilomeIn this special episode of Mormon Stories podcast Lindsay Hansen Park (Sunstone, Year of Polygamy, Color of Heaven) interviews Edyka Chilome about Mormons and Colonization.  

Edyka's bio:

Edyka Chilomé, born Erica Granados - De La Rosa, is a queer woman of color writer, artist, social justice educator, and spiritual activist. She is the daughter of Salvadorian and Mexican spiritual, intellectual, and community leaders. Her many years of experience passionately walking and building with women, young people, and communities of color in the U.S. and Latin America have deeply informed her fusion of art, scholarship, and what she defines as her spiritual {art}ivism. Edyka has published numerous articles, essays, and poems including a collection of poetry that explores queer mestizaje in the diaspora entitled She Speaks | Poetry, praised by the founder of Democracy Now en Español as "...a must read for those yearning to discover new ways to open up to deep personal and global transformation." She has been invited to share her spoken word poetry and speak on social justice issues around the country including The Texas Democratic Convention, TEDx, National Public Radio, and the Huffington Post. Edyka currently serves on the steering committee for Human Rights Dallas and is an instructor for Free Minds Dallas at El Centro College, host of the presidential award winning initiative The National Clemente Course for the Humanities.  

 

 

 

Direct download: MormonStories-629-EdykaChilome.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:44am MST

When Race, Religion, and Sport Collide tells the story of Brandon Davies’ dismissal from Brigham Young University’s NCAA playoff basketball team to illustrate the thorny intersection of religion, race, and sport at BYU and beyond. Author Darron T. Smith analyzes the athletes dismissed through BYU’s honor code violations and suggests that they are disproportionately African American, which has troubling implications. He ties these dismissals to the complicated history of negative views towards African Americans in the LDS faith. These honor code dismissals elucidate the challenges facing black athletes at predominantly white institutions. Weaving together the history of the black athlete in America and the experience of blackness in Mormon theology, When Race, Religion, and Sport Collide offers a timely and powerful analysis of the challenges facing African American athletes in the NCAA today.

Dr. Darron T. Smith is a frequent political and cultural commentator on various issues of U.S. based issues of race, racism, and discrimination in forums ranging from Religion Dispatches, The New York Times and Chicago Tribune op-ed to ESPN's Outside the Lines. His research spans a wide myriad of topics on race including healthcare disparities, Religious studies, Race & Sports, and Race, Adoption and the Black Family. His current research focuses on health care workforce discrimination involving African American physicians and physician assistants. He is the co-author of White Parents, Black Children: Experiencing Transracial Adoption and co-editor of Black and Mormon. His current book, When Race & Religion Collide: Black Athletics at BYU and Beyond was released in 2015.

Direct download: MormonStories-628-BlackAthletesBYUPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:09pm MST

When Race, Religion, and Sport Collide tells the story of Brandon Davies’ dismissal from Brigham Young University’s NCAA playoff basketball team to illustrate the thorny intersection of religion, race, and sport at BYU and beyond. Author Darron T. Smith analyzes the athletes dismissed through BYU’s honor code violations and suggests that they are disproportionately African American, which has troubling implications. He ties these dismissals to the complicated history of negative views towards African Americans in the LDS faith. These honor code dismissals elucidate the challenges facing black athletes at predominantly white institutions. Weaving together the history of the black athlete in America and the experience of blackness in Mormon theology, When Race, Religion, and Sport Collide offers a timely and powerful analysis of the challenges facing African American athletes in the NCAA today.

Dr. Darron T. Smith is a frequent political and cultural commentator on various issues of U.S. based issues of race, racism, and discrimination in forums ranging from Religion Dispatches, The New York Times and Chicago Tribune op-ed to ESPN's Outside the Lines. His research spans a wide myriad of topics on race including healthcare disparities, Religious studies, Race & Sports, and Race, Adoption and the Black Family. His current research focuses on health care workforce discrimination involving African American physicians and physician assistants. He is the co-author of White Parents, Black Children: Experiencing Transracial Adoption and co-editor of Black and Mormon. His current book, When Race & Religion Collide: Black Athletics at BYU and Beyond was released in 2015.

Direct download: MormonStories-627-BlackAthletesBYUPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:07pm MST

crop-alexThis is a recording of my interview with Alex Cooper recorded on March 16, 2016 at Velour in Provo, Utah.  Alex Cooper, along with Dr. Joanna Brooks, are the co-authors of the new book Saving Alex.  Alex was accompanied in this interview by her attorney, Paul Burke.  We were also honored to have Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees) perform three musical numbers for us on this special night.  Audio/video from this interview can be found below.

A description of the book follows:

When Alex Cooper was fifteen years old, life was pretty ordinary in her sleepy suburban town and nice Mormon family. At church and at home, Alex was taught that God had a plan for everyone. But something was gnawing at her that made her feel different. These feelings exploded when she met Yvette, a girl who made Alex feel alive in a new way, and with whom Alex would quickly fall in love.

Alex knew she was holding a secret that could shatter her family, her church community, and her life. Yet when this secret couldn’t be hidden any longer, she told her parents that she was gay, and the nightmare began. She was driven from her home in Southern California to Utah, where, against her will, her parents handed her over to fellow Mormons who promised to save Alex from her homosexuality.

For eight harrowing months, Alex was held captive in an unlicensed “residential treatment program” modeled on the many “therapeutic” boot camps scattered across Utah. Alex was physically and verbally abused, and many days she was forced to stand facing a wall wearing a heavy backpack full of rocks. Her captors used faith to punish and terrorize her. With the help of a dedicated legal team in Salt Lake City, Alex eventually escaped and made legal history in Utah by winning the right to live under the law’s protection as an openly gay teenager.

Alex is not alone; the headlines continue to splash stories about gay conversion therapy and rehabilitation centers that promise to “save” teenagers from their sexuality. Saving Alex is a courageous memoir that tells Alex’s story in the hopes that it will bring awareness and justice to this important issue. A bold, inspiring story of one girl’s fight for freedom, acceptance, and truth.

Direct download: MormonStories-626-AlexCooperPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am MST

crop-alexThis is a recording of my interview with Alex Cooper recorded on March 16, 2016 at Velour in Provo, Utah.  Alex Cooper, along with Dr. Joanna Brooks, are the co-authors of the new book Saving Alex.  Alex was accompanied in this interview by her attorney, Paul Burke.  We were also honored to have Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees) perform three musical numbers for us on this special night.  Audio/video from this interview can be found below.

A description of the book follows:

When Alex Cooper was fifteen years old, life was pretty ordinary in her sleepy suburban town and nice Mormon family. At church and at home, Alex was taught that God had a plan for everyone. But something was gnawing at her that made her feel different. These feelings exploded when she met Yvette, a girl who made Alex feel alive in a new way, and with whom Alex would quickly fall in love.

Alex knew she was holding a secret that could shatter her family, her church community, and her life. Yet when this secret couldn’t be hidden any longer, she told her parents that she was gay, and the nightmare began. She was driven from her home in Southern California to Utah, where, against her will, her parents handed her over to fellow Mormons who promised to save Alex from her homosexuality.

For eight harrowing months, Alex was held captive in an unlicensed “residential treatment program” modeled on the many “therapeutic” boot camps scattered across Utah. Alex was physically and verbally abused, and many days she was forced to stand facing a wall wearing a heavy backpack full of rocks. Her captors used faith to punish and terrorize her. With the help of a dedicated legal team in Salt Lake City, Alex eventually escaped and made legal history in Utah by winning the right to live under the law’s protection as an openly gay teenager.

Alex is not alone; the headlines continue to splash stories about gay conversion therapy and rehabilitation centers that promise to “save” teenagers from their sexuality. Saving Alex is a courageous memoir that tells Alex’s story in the hopes that it will bring awareness and justice to this important issue. A bold, inspiring story of one girl’s fight for freedom, acceptance, and truth.

Direct download: MormonStories-625-AlexCooperPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am MST

IMG_1268In this Mormon Stories Live! episode recorded at Club/Cafe at 50 West on March 9, 2016, I interviewed Kate Kelly about the following:

  • Life since her excommunication, including her divorce from Neil Ransom and her new relationship with Jack Waters.
  • Thoughts on the Ordain Women movement -- past, present and future.
  • Kate's new position with Planned Parenthood, which includes advocating for:
    • The basic role/function of Planned Parenthood
    • Women's Reproductive Rights (e.g., abortion)
    • Contraception and safe sex

 

 

 

 

Direct download: MormonStories-624-KateKellySex.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:03am MST

GrimshawElizabeth Grimshaw was raised Mormon. She knew she was lesbian as a teenager, but spent her earl years (teens and 20s) attempting to date men and to marry a man. In her early 30s, after many attempts to be "straight," she came out as a lesbian, stopped attending the LDS church, and began dating women. Elizabeth found a committed partner 10 years ago, and married her partner 8 years ago. They are currently raising a daughter.

Even though Elizabeth has not attended an LDS congregation since her early 30s, she was recently approached by her bishop (whom she'd never met) in her driveway, and told that: 1) she needed to pray to God about whether or not to leave her wife and child, and that 2) if she wouldn't divorce her wife and child, that she would face excommunication from the LDS church. 

This is Elizabeth's story.

Direct download: MormonStories-623-ElizabethGrimshaw.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:20pm MST

In this episode recorded February 17, 2016 we discuss the recent Utah Medical Marijuana legislation from the patient perspective.  This is a sobering, heartfelt, and extremely compelling panel.  

We also briefly discuss the medical/scientific justifications for medical marijuana, and LDS Church participation in attempting to defeat this legislation. 

Panel participants include: Enedina Stanger, Dallas Sainsbury, Aaron Campbell, Brian Stoll, Dr. Legrande Belnap, and activist David Kirkham

Huge thanks to DJ Schanz and Christine Stenquist for organizing this panel, and to Club/Cafe and 50 West for providing the venue and audio/visual services.

Direct download: MormonStores-622-UtahMedicalMarijuana.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:35pm MST

On February 8, 2016, Jeremy Runnells received notice from his stake president, Mark Ivins, that he would face excommunication (a disciplinary council) on February 14, 2016 for publishing his "Letter to a CES Director."  This press conference was held in support of Jeremy.  The next morning after the press conference, Jeremy's disciplinary council was postponed until late March, 2016. 

This press conference was held at the Club/Cafe at 50 West in downtown Salt Lake City.

Direct download: MormonStories-621-JeremyRunnellsPressConference.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21pm MST

This episode is re-broadcast of the Mormons Building Bridges Community Conversation featuring Dr. Bill Bradshaw and Dr. John Parkinson Dehlin as they summarized the major findings from their 2011 survey of LGBTQ Latter-day Saints.   The discussion was recorded on February 3, 2016.

Background: An on-line survey was conducted in the fall of 2011, under the auspices of Utah State University, which yielded 1612 participants - LGBTQ Latter-day Saints (current and former members of the Church). Responses to the large number questions produced a wealth of data regarding such topics as sexual identity development, religious identity development, interventions engaged in for the purpose of coping with or changing one’s sexual orientation, mental health outcomes, and religiosity and religious trajectories. Seven published papers reporting this work have now appeared in prominent academic journals, with others in preparation.

Direct download: MormonStories-620-LGBTQMormonStudy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27am MST

February 2016 Announcements!

Direct download: Feb-2016-Announcements.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm MST

Speaker: Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Title: The Free Exercise of Religion in Our Time

Date: February 9 2016

Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Description: Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. Yet in many seen and unseen ways its validity is challenged at the margins every day. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will speak about the importance of maintaining and protecting religious liberty in the international sphere. After his remarks he will field questions in an audience Q&A.

Source: This presentation was recorded by Andrew Evans in accordance with District of Columbia law.

Note: As the final question of the evening, Andrew Evans asked Elder Oaks the following question:

Andrew's Question: "Less than a year ago, right here in Washington, DC, my friend killed himself. He was Mormon and gay. You've gone on record that, 'the Church does not give apologies'. Does religious freedom absolve you from responsibility in the gay Mormon suicide crisis?"
 
Elder Oaks' Response: "I think that's a question that will be answered on judgment day. I can't answer that beyond what has already been said. I know that those tragic events happen. And it's not unique simply to the question of sexual preference. There are other cases where people have taken their own lives and blamed a church--my church--or a government, or somebody else for their taking their own lives, and I think those things have to be judged by a higher authority than exists on this earth, and I am ready to be accountable to that authority, but I think part of what my responsibility extends to, is trying to teach people to be loving, and civil and sensitive to one another so that people will not feel driven, whatever the policy disagreements, whatever the rules of the church, or the practices of a church, or any other organization, if they are administered with kindness, at the highest level or at the level of the congregation or the ward, they won't drive people to take those extreme measures; that's part of my responsibility to teach that. And beyond that, I will be accountable to higher authority for that. That's the way I look on that. Nobody is sadder about a case like that than I am. Maybe that's a good note to end on."
Direct download: 2016-02-09-OaksJohnsHopkinsShort.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm MST

Speaker: Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Title: The Free Exercise of Religion in Our Time

Date: February 9 2016

Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Description: Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. Yet in many seen and unseen ways its validity is challenged at the margins every day. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will speak about the importance of maintaining and protecting religious liberty in the international sphere. After his remarks he will field questions in an audience Q&A.

Source: This presentation was recorded by Andrew Evans in accordance with District of Columbia law.

Note: As the final question of the evening, Andrew Evans asked Elder Oaks the following question:

Andrew's Question: "Less than a year ago, right here in Washington, DC, my friend killed himself. He was Mormon and gay. You've gone on record that, 'the Church does not give apologies'. Does religious freedom absolve you from responsibility in the gay Mormon suicide crisis?"
 
Elder Oaks' Response: "I think that's a question that will be answered on judgment day. I can't answer that beyond what has already been said. I know that those tragic events happen. And it's not unique simply to the question of sexual preference. There are other cases where people have taken their own lives and blamed a church--my church--or a government, or somebody else for their taking their own lives, and I think those things have to be judged by a higher authority than exists on this earth, and I am ready to be accountable to that authority, but I think part of what my responsibility extends to, is trying to teach people to be loving, and civil and sensitive to one another so that people will not feel driven, whatever the policy disagreements, whatever the rules of the church, or the practices of a church, or any other organization, if they are administered with kindness, at the highest level or at the level of the congregation or the ward, they won't drive people to take those extreme measures; that's part of my responsibility to teach that. And beyond that, I will be accountable to higher authority for that. That's the way I look on that. Nobody is sadder about a case like that than I am. Maybe that's a good note to end on."
Direct download: 2016-02-09-OaksJohnsHopkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:29pm MST

12596121_10201190869410032_595292777_nOn February 1, 2016 the LDS Church re-released a media statement originally released in 2013 entitled “Effectiveness of Church Approach to Preventing Child Abuse.”  In this press release (authored by Kirton & McConkie partner and LDS 1st Quorum of the 70 member Elder Von G. Keetch) the LDS Church claimed that "no religious organization has done more" to prevent child abuse, and touted their child abuse approach as "the gold standard" amongst all churches.

Immediately the Mormon Internet exploded with the stories of past and present victims of LDS-related sexual abuse, expressing sadness, frustration, feelings of invalidation, sickness, and (at times) horror over the church's statement/claims.  For examples, see herehere, and here.

In this episode of Mormon Stories we interview Matt Long -- a criminal defense and victim's rights attorney who has considerable experience prosecuting (and defending) perpetrators of child abuse in Arizona -- many of which were within the LDS church system.

  • In part 1 of this episode we discuss the mindset and techniques of child/sex abusers.
  • In part 2 we discuss the recent LDS Church new release, and Matt's perspective on what the LDS Church could do to improve its approach to child/sex abuse.

More on Matt: Matt uses the skills he developed as a sex crimes prosecutor to protect victims' rights and represent victims in lawsuits against offenders and institutions, such as fraternities, schools, businesses, or churches, that allowed abuse to occur. When he's not arguing in court, Matt argues with the other infants on the infants on thrones podcast at infantsonthrones.com.  You can reach Matt at 480-833-1113 or e-mail his paralegal at kristin@azlegal.com with any questions about victim representation.

Direct download: MormonStories-619-MattLongPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:37am MST

12596121_10201190869410032_595292777_nOn February 1, 2016 the LDS Church re-released a media statement originally released in 2013 entitled “Effectiveness of Church Approach to Preventing Child Abuse.”  In this press release (authored by Kirton & McConkie partner and LDS 1st Quorum of the 70 member Elder Von G. Keetch) the LDS Church claimed that "no religious organization has done more" to prevent child abuse, and touted their child abuse approach as "the gold standard" amongst all churches.

Immediately the Mormon Internet exploded with the stories of past and present victims of LDS-related sexual abuse, expressing sadness, frustration, feelings of invalidation, sickness, and (at times) horror over the church's statement/claims.  For examples, see herehere, and here.

In this episode of Mormon Stories we interview Matt Long -- a criminal defense and victim's rights attorney who has considerable experience prosecuting (and defending) perpetrators of child abuse in Arizona -- many of which were within the LDS church system.

  • In part 1 of this episode we discuss the mindset and techniques of child/sex abusers.
  • In part 2 we discuss the recent LDS Church new release, and Matt's perspective on what the LDS Church could do to improve its approach to child/sex abuse.

More on Matt: Matt uses the skills he developed as a sex crimes prosecutor to protect victims' rights and represent victims in lawsuits against offenders and institutions, such as fraternities, schools, businesses, or churches, that allowed abuse to occur. When he's not arguing in court, Matt argues with the other infants on the infants on thrones podcast at infantsonthrones.com.  You can reach Matt at 480-833-1113 or e-mail his paralegal at kristin@azlegal.com with any questions about victim representation.

Direct download: MormonStories-618-MattLongPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:33am MST

In 2003, Matt Elggren and I met while working at Microsoft.  Together, along with others, we discovered troubling things about LDS Church history.

For most of the past thirteen years, Matt has not attended church and has more or less quietly supported his believing wife and children. For fear of losing his family, Matt chose silence....as did his extended family. It was basically thirteen years of "don't ask don't tell" with no hope of resolution for Matt.

This changed in October of 2015 when Matt's brother-in-law, Clay Christensen, began a 6-week slide into total disbelief after 51 years of devout membership, which included 7 years as a high-level LDS Church employee. After losing his faith, Clay didn't choose silence.

This is Matt and Clay's story of family, faith, doubt, and hope.

Direct download: MormonStories-617-ClayC.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:39am MST

In 2003, Matt Elggren and I met while working at Microsoft.  Together, along with others, we discovered troubling things about LDS Church history.

For most of the past thirteen years, Matt has not attended church and has more or less quietly supported his believing wife and children. For fear of losing his family, Matt chose silence....as did his extended family. It was basically thirteen years of "don't ask don't tell" with no hope of resolution for Matt.

This changed in October of 2015 when Matt's brother-in-law, Clay Christensen, began a 6-week slide into total disbelief after 51 years of devout membership, which included 7 years as a high-level LDS Church employee. After losing his faith, Clay didn't choose silence.

This is Matt and Clay's story.

Direct download: MormonStories-616-MattE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:37am MST

On Home of the Brave podcast, Peabody Award winning producer Scott Carrier interviews Brand Thornton, a believing LDC church member and a member of the Bundy militia, who explains the Mormon/religious/spiritual justifications for the occupation.  Brand says, "Absolutely, God told us to do this," and quotes from the Doctrine and Covenants in his justifications.

Direct download: Malhuer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:45pm MST

As parts 3 and 4 in our series reviewing the events of Mormonism in 2015, we assemble another all-star panel including Lindsay Hansen Park, Dr. Gina Colvin, Dr. Kristy Money, and Sean Carter.  Some of the topics discussed included:

  • The state of the Mormon Internet (blogs, podcast, social media)
  • Social group formations in progressive and post-Mormonism
  • The state of Mormon Feminism
  • The impact of disciplinary councils and excommunication on modern Mormonism (hint: it isn't good)
  • The state of Progressive Mormonism
  • Issues of race and multi-culturalism within modern Mormon culture (LDS and post-Mormon)
  • The state of Mormon Studies
  • Retrenchment/leadership crisis/corporatism in the modern LDS Church

We hope you enjoy it!!!!

Direct download: MormonStories-615-2015YearInReviewPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45am MST

As parts 3 and 4 in our series reviewing the events of Mormonism in 2015, we assemble another all-star panel including Lindsay Hansen Park, Dr. Gina Colvin, Dr. Kristy Money, and Sean Carter.  Some of the topics discussed included:

  • The state of the Mormon Internet (blogs, podcast, social media)
  • Social group formations in progressive and post-Mormonism
  • The state of Mormon Feminism
  • The impact of disciplinary councils and excommunication on modern Mormonism (hint: it isn't good)
  • The state of Progressive Mormonism
  • Issues of race and multi-culturalism within modern Mormon culture (LDS and post-Mormon)
  • The state of Mormon Studies
  • Retrenchment/leadership crisis/corporatism in the modern LDS Church

We hope you enjoy it!!!!

Direct download: MormonStories-614-2015YearInReviewPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42am MST

In this episode we assemble an all-star panel to discuss the events of Mormonism in 2015.  Panelists include Dr. J. Nelson Seawright, John Hamer, Jamie Hanis-Handy, and Marisa Calderwood.

Topics discussed include:

  • The impact of Kate Kelly's excommunication on Mormon feminism and the events of 2015.
  • The increase of excommunications for apostasy, including those of John Dehlin, Rock Waterman, and Marisa and Carson Calderwood.
  • The death of three LDS apostles, including Boyd K. Packer.
  • The November 2015 LDS policy change naming same-sex married individuals as mandatory apostates, and preventing their children from membership in the church.
  • The release of the LDS Gospel Topics essays, and their impact on LDS activity/inactivity/apostasy
  • The status of Mormon apologetics
  • The status of progressive Mormonism
Direct download: MormonStories-613-2015YearInReviewPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:55am MST

In this episode we assemble an all-star panel to discuss the events of Mormonism in 2015.  Panelists include Dr. J. Nelson Seawright, John Hamer, Jamie Hanis-Handy, and Marisa Calderwood.

Topics discussed include:

  • The impact of Kate Kelly's excommunication on Mormon feminism and the events of 2015.
  • The increase of excommunications for apostasy, including those of John Dehlin, Rock Waterman, and Marisa and Carson Calderwood.
  • The death of three LDS apostles, including Boyd K. Packer.
  • The November 2015 LDS policy change naming same-sex married individuals as mandatory apostates, and preventing their children from membership in the church.
  • The release of the LDS Gospel Topics essays, and their impact on LDS activity/inactivity/apostasy
  • The status of Mormon apologetics
  • The status of progressive Mormonism

 

Direct download: MormonStories-612-2015YearInReviewPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53am MST

From Canada to Norway: A multicultural journey through Mormonism, Islam, and the European perspective, with Claudia Fox Reppen 
 
In this first installment of Mormon Stories Europe, Henning Müller of Mormon Stories Germany interviews Canadian-born Claudia Fox Reppen about her multi-ethnic heritage, emigration to Norway, and Mormon faith transition.
 
Claudia and Henning examine the following topics in this three-part series: 
– The interesting story about Claudia’s upbringing and how Claudia’s family became members of the LDS Church 
– Growing up in the Church as a young tomboy, how she was affected by Mormonism’s teachings on gender roles, and how it contributed to her struggles with anxiety and depressionClaudia2
– Opening “Pandora’s Box” of uncorrelated Mormon History, the question of homosexuality, and American Mormon politics 
– Claudia’s positive and negative experiences working with asylum seekers in Norway
– The cultural similarities between Muslims and Mormons and the stark similarities in rhetoric employed by conservative LDS leaders and radical Islamists with regards to the role of women 
– Why the European Mormon perspective is unique and important, our hopes for attracting more European voices and establishing a bridge of discourse between a European and North American audience. 
 
quran, bom
 
Join the discussion and follow Mormon Stories Europe on Facebook here!
https://www.facebook.com/mormonstorieseurope/

 

 
Direct download: MormonStories-611-MSEuropeClaudiaPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:40pm MST

From Canada to Norway: A multicultural journey through Mormonism, Islam, and the European perspective, with Claudia Fox Reppen 
 
In this first installment of Mormon Stories Europe, Henning Müller of Mormon Stories Germany interviews Canadian-born Claudia Fox Reppen about her multi-ethnic heritage, emigration to Norway, and Mormon faith transition.
 
Claudia and Henning examine the following topics in this three-part series: 
– The interesting story about Claudia’s upbringing and how Claudia’s family became members of the LDS Church 
– Growing up in the Church as a young tomboy, how she was affected by Mormonism’s teachings on gender roles, and how it contributed to her struggles with anxiety and depressionClaudia2
– Opening “Pandora’s Box” of uncorrelated Mormon History, the question of homosexuality, and American Mormon politics 
– Claudia’s positive and negative experiences working with asylum seekers in Norway
– The cultural similarities between Muslims and Mormons and the stark similarities in rhetoric employed by conservative LDS leaders and radical Islamists with regards to the role of women 
– Why the European Mormon perspective is unique and important, our hopes for attracting more European voices and establishing a bridge of discourse between a European and North American audience. 
 
quran, bom
 
Join the discussion and follow Mormon Stories Europe on Facebook here!
https://www.facebook.com/mormonstorieseurope/

 

 
Direct download: MormonStories-610-MSEuropeClaudiaPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:39pm MST

From Canada to Norway: A multicultural journey through Mormonism, Islam, and the European perspective, with Claudia Fox Reppen 
 
In this first installment of Mormon Stories Europe, Henning Müller of Mormon Stories Germany interviews Canadian-born Claudia Fox Reppen about her multi-ethnic heritage, emigration to Norway, and Mormon faith transition.
 
Claudia and Henning examine the following topics in this three-part series: 
– The interesting story about Claudia’s upbringing and how Claudia’s family became members of the LDS Church 
– Growing up in the Church as a young tomboy, how she was affected by Mormonism’s teachings on gender roles, and how it contributed to her struggles with anxiety and depressionClaudia2
– Opening “Pandora’s Box” of uncorrelated Mormon History, the question of homosexuality, and American Mormon politics 
– Claudia’s positive and negative experiences working with asylum seekers in Norway
– The cultural similarities between Muslims and Mormons and the stark similarities in rhetoric employed by conservative LDS leaders and radical Islamists with regards to the role of women 
– Why the European Mormon perspective is unique and important, our hopes for attracting more European voices and establishing a bridge of discourse between a European and North American audience. 
 
quran, bom
 
Join the discussion and follow Mormon Stories Europe on Facebook here!
https://www.facebook.com/mormonstorieseurope/

 

 
Direct download: MormonStories-609-MSEuropeClaudiaPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:37pm MST

In December of 2015 Jake Ricks was informed that he would be facing an LDS disciplinary council for apostasy, based on a series of benign Facebook posts he made during the previous year.  On January 3rd, 2016 the disciplinary council was held (with Jake and his wife, Hannah, in attendance), and the decision of “no action” was determined by his stake president.  This is Jake and Hannah’s Story.  (audio version to come)

Part 1: Jake and Hannah’s LDS background, and the events leading up to Jake’s disciplinary council for apostasy held on January 3rd, 2016.

Part 2: Jake and Hannah Discuss the Outcome of Jake’s January 3rd, 2016 LDS Disciplinary Council for apostasy.

Direct download: MormonStories-608-JakeHannahRicksPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:36pm MST

In December of 2015 Jake Ricks was informed that he would be facing an LDS disciplinary council for apostasy, based on a series of benign Facebook posts he made during the previous year.  On January 3rd, 2016 the disciplinary council was held (with Jake and his wife, Hannah, in attendance), and the decision of “no action” was determined by his stake president.  This is Jake and Hannah’s Story.  (audio version to come)

Part 1: Jake and Hannah’s LDS background, and the events leading up to Jake’s disciplinary council for apostasy held on January 3rd, 2016.

Part 2: Jake and Hannah Discuss the Outcome of Jake’s January 3rd, 2016 LDS Disciplinary Council for apostasy.

Direct download: MormonStories-607-JakeHannahRicksPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:32pm MST

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