Mormon Stories - LDS

This episode begins our series on “Losing the Lamanites” where we interview people from Central and South America, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders with the intent of exploring their faith transitions—especially their thoughts and feelings on the identity of “Lamanite” being given to them.

 

Vania Moore was raised in the LDS Church and has recently experienced a faith transition.  In this episode, we explore:

 

*Vania’s upbringing in the LDS Church and her desire to serve an LDS mission

*Her thoughts about the label of “Lamanite” and how she never felt it applied to her, and why

*The cultural differences of the LDS Church she noticed having been raised in Brazil and then immigrating to Utah

*Her marriage and subsequent divorce

*Immigrating to America in search of a new life for herself and her children

*How her struggle with anxiety and depression immediately subsided after she decided to leave the LDS Church

*Her remarriage to a true-believing member of the LDS Church and how they make their mixed-faith marriage work

*Vania’s YouTube channel where she explores different truth claims of the church

Direct download: MormonStories-747-VaniaMoorePt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:44pm MDT

This episode begins our series on “Losing the Lamanites” where we interview people from Central and South America, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders with the intent of exploring their faith transitions—especially their thoughts and feelings on the identity of “Lamanite” being given to them.

 

Vania Moore was raised in the LDS Church and has recently experienced a faith transition.  In this episode, we explore:

 

*Vania’s upbringing in the LDS Church and her desire to serve an LDS mission

*Her thoughts about the label of “Lamanite” and how she never felt it applied to her, and why

*The cultural differences of the LDS Church she noticed having been raised in Brazil and then immigrating to Utah

*Her marriage and subsequent divorce

*Immigrating to America in search of a new life for herself and her children

*How her struggle with anxiety and depression immediately subsided after she decided to leave the LDS Church

*Her remarriage to a true-believing member of the LDS Church and how they make their mixed-faith marriage work

*Vania’s YouTube channel where she explores different truth claims of the church

Direct download: MormonStories-746-VaniaMoorePt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:41pm MDT

In this episode John Dehlin (OSF Chief Executive Officer, Board Member) and Craig Woodfield (OSF Board Member, Finance Committee Chair) review the successes of the Open Stories Foundation for 2016.  Items discussed include:

  • The OSF's longstanding commitment to financial transparency.
  • The incredible growth of OSF podcasts in 2016.
  • The emergence and success of a new retreats/workshops initiative to support Mormons experiencing a religious transition.
  • A review of the newly released financial statements.
  • Compensation of OSF staff and OSF podcasters.
  • A discussion of the Mormon Transitions project.

SUPER grateful for all the questions submitted by OSF donors and listeners.

Please email any additional questions to: openstoriesboard@gmail.com.

 

Direct download: MormonStories-745-OSF2016Review.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:46pm MDT

In this episode Margi Dehlin shares an essay she recently wrote named "Broken Open."

Direct download: MormonStories-744-MargiBrokenOpen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:31pm MDT

Concluding our series on Transgender/Intersex issues within Mormonism, we interview London Flynn.  London discusses her transition from male to female as a post-Mormon teen, including:

*Her desires and behaviors she wanted to take part in as a child, but was not free to express

*Achieving the Eagle Scout award as a teen, but feeling disconnected from the other boys

*Her fears of “coming out” when she began to study the methods others were subjected to as a way to “correct” gender confusion

*The different milestones in her transition and how her family, friends, and institutional leaders have responded

*Her hope and vision of the future

Thank you London for sharing your beautiful story and for helping all of us understand more the transgender experience within Mormonism!

Direct download: MormonStories-743-LondonFlynn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:03pm MDT

In this episode, John, Margi, and Natasha Helfer Parker discuss guiding principles to maintaining successful relationships

Direct download: MormonStories-742-HealthyMarriagePt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:39am MDT

In this episode, John, Margi, and Natasha Helfer Parker discuss forming a foundation for marriage that withstands change

Direct download: MormonStories-741-HealthyMarriagePt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:37am MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories, we continue our series on Transgender/Intersex education within Mormonism by interviewing Alex Autry.  Alex discusses his transition from female to male as a post-Mormon teen, including:

  • His early feelings and experiences with gender as a child
  • His upbringing in the LDS Church and feelings of disconnection while involved in Young Women’s activities
  • The constant desire to receive the Priesthood along with all the other boys
  • How his strong and orthodox testimony served as a barrier to confronting his gender identity
  • The feelings of relief when his family and schoolmates accepted his identity
  • Leaving the LDS Church along with his family
  • His beliefs now and his vision for the future

We are grateful to Alex for sharing his unique story and for shining a light on the transgender experience within the Mormon context!

Direct download: MormonStories-740-AlexAutry.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:11pm MDT

In this episode John and Margi interview four individuals who are transgender and either active LDS or former LDS. Our panelists for this interview are Kimberly, Ann, Emmett, and Augustus. We discuss:

*What it was like growing up in the LDS Church
*What effect bullying and life in the “closet” had on them
*How the panelists see transgender people fitting (or not) into LDS Church doctrine
*“Trans-erasure” in the Church where lesbian, gay, and bisexual identities receive more focus and attention; therefore, transgender issues are less understood
*How they were treated when they attended church as their authentic selves
*Things they would like the Church to address with their transgender members

We thank our panelists for sharing each of their unique stories and for bringing light to the Mormon transgender experience!

Direct download: MormonStories-739-TransgenderPanel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am MDT

Part 4: Kimberly shares the impact her transition had on her Mormon life, and shares her vision of the future

Kimberly Anderson is a self-actualized woman who has made the change from living for 45 years as a Mormon man to living openly as a woman. Before her transition, she lived, worked, and thrived for decades as a spouse, parent of two children, faithful Mormon, professional photographer, and university professor (BYU, UVU, Snow College).

Kimberly has a BA and an MFA from Utah State University, has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally as a professional photographer, and has work in various collections throughout the Intermountain West. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University, Snow College and Utah Valley University. She is the founder/photographer for the Mama Dragons Story Project which was recently featured on Mormon Stories Podcast.

This interview kicks off a 4-part series on Transgender/Intersex education within Mormonism.

Direct download: MormonStories-738-KimberlyAndersonPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:03am MDT

Part 3: Kimberly details the sacrifices required when she made the decision to transition

Kimberly Anderson is a self-actualized woman who has made the change from living for 45 years as a Mormon man to living openly as a woman. Before her transition, she lived, worked, and thrived for decades as a spouse, parent of two children, faithful Mormon, professional photographer, and university professor (BYU, UVU, Snow College).

Kimberly has a BA and an MFA from Utah State University, has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally as a professional photographer, and has work in various collections throughout the Intermountain West. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University, Snow College and Utah Valley University. She is the founder/photographer for the Mama Dragons Story Project which was recently featured on Mormon Stories Podcast.

This interview kicks off a 4-part series on Transgender/Intersex education within Mormonism.

Direct download: MormonStories-737-KimberlyAndersonPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am MDT

Part 2: Kimberly tells about her LDS mission experience, her marriage, and having children

Kimberly Anderson is a self-actualized woman who has made the change from living for 45 years as a Mormon man to living openly as a woman. Before her transition, she lived, worked, and thrived for decades as a spouse, parent of two children, faithful Mormon, professional photographer, and university professor (BYU, UVU, Snow College).

Kimberly has a BA and an MFA from Utah State University, has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally as a professional photographer, and has work in various collections throughout the Intermountain West. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University, Snow College and Utah Valley University. She is the founder/photographer for the Mama Dragons Story Project which was recently featured on Mormon Stories Podcast.

This interview kicks off a 4-part series on Transgender/Intersex education within Mormonism.

Direct download: MormonStories-736-KimberlyAndersonPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:59am MDT

Part 1: Kimberly describes her early life as a child and teen raised in the LDS Church

Kimberly Anderson is a self-actualized woman who has made the change from living for 45 years as a Mormon man to living openly as a woman. Before her transition, she lived, worked, and thrived for decades as a spouse, parent of two children, faithful Mormon, professional photographer, and university professor (BYU, UVU, Snow College).

Kimberly has a BA and an MFA from Utah State University, has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally as a professional photographer, and has work in various collections throughout the Intermountain West. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University, Snow College and Utah Valley University. She is the founder/photographer for the Mama Dragons Story Project which was recently featured on Mormon Stories Podcast.

This interview kicks off a 4-part series on Transgender/Intersex education within Mormonism.

Direct download: MormonStories-735-KimberlyAndersonPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57am MDT

In this episode we discuss what happens when religions or religious people praise abusers in front of their victims.

 

In April 2017, Keith Robert Vallejo, a Mormon bishop, was convicted of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape, involving two women – who were both staying at his home at the time of the rape/abuse.

 

During his sentencing hearing in Provo, Utah, Fourth District judge Thomas Low (who is currently serving as Mormon bishop of the Valley Hills First Ward of the Heber City Utah North Stake), praised Vallejo as a "an extraordinarily good man" in front of his two victims.

You can hear his full statement here: https://soundcloud.com/user-592916436/judge-thomas-low-statement

 

In today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode we are interviewing Ashlie.  Ashlie currently attends a Mormon ward where a former bishop who has abused two separate victims who were both ward members.  He was convicted of rape for the first offense has been fully reintegrated into the ward at the expense of his victims (who also remain in the ward).  According to Ashlie:

  • After the former bishop served time in prison, wealthy ward members pooled a large amount of money to have his name removed from the sex offender’s registry in Florida.
  • He has been reinstated with full membership status back into the ward, and is currently serving as seminary teacher and as a high priest teacher.
  • Many ward and stake members have not been informed of his former abuses.
  • The victims and their families have been marginalized by the ward and stake for not being more “forgiving,” and for not “understanding the atonement.”

 

Today we will be discussing Ashlie’s perspective on the impact of protecting abusers at the expense of the abused, along with how this has impacted her own faith journey.  Ashlie’s stories includes:

  • Her conversion to the church.
  • Her temple marriage that ended in divorce
  • Her inappropriate excommunication for drinking alcohol
  • Her rebaptism into the church by Bishop Mark McConkie (Colorado Spring)
  • Her re-marriage (elopement, then temple sealing)
  • Her experience in a ward where three successive bishops were excommunicated
  • Her “shelf breakers” and faith transition (which happened only a month ago).


This episode includes a beautiful shout-out to Kristin Marie (Bennion), so check it out!

Direct download: MormonStories-734-WhenReligionsPraiseAbusersPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:44pm MDT

In this episode we discuss what happens when religions or religious people praise abusers in front of their victims.

 

In April 2017, Keith Robert Vallejo, a Mormon bishop, was convicted of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape, involving two women – who were both staying at his home at the time of the rape/abuse.

 

During his sentencing hearing in Provo, Utah, Fourth District judge Thomas Low (who is currently serving as Mormon bishop of the Valley Hills First Ward of the Heber City Utah North Stake), praised Vallejo as a "an extraordinarily good man" in front of his two victims.

You can hear his full statement here: https://soundcloud.com/user-592916436/judge-thomas-low-statement

 

In today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode we are interviewing Ashlie.  Ashlie currently attends a Mormon ward where a former bishop who has abused two separate victims who were both ward members.  He was convicted of rape for the first offense has been fully reintegrated into the ward at the expense of his victims (who also remain in the ward).  According to Ashlie:

  • After the former bishop served time in prison, wealthy ward members pooled a large amount of money to have his name removed from the sex offender’s registry in Florida.
  • He has been reinstated with full membership status back into the ward, and is currently serving as seminary teacher and as a high priest teacher.
  • Many ward and stake members have not been informed of his former abuses.
  • The victims and their families have been marginalized by the ward and stake for not being more “forgiving,” and for not “understanding the atonement.”

 

Today we will be discussing Ashlie’s perspective on the impact of protecting abusers at the expense of the abused, along with how this has impacted her own faith journey.  Ashlie’s stories includes:

  • Her conversion to the church.
  • Her temple marriage that ended in divorce
  • Her inappropriate excommunication for drinking alcohol
  • Her rebaptism into the church by Bishop Mark McConkie (Colorado Spring)
  • Her re-marriage (elopement, then temple sealing)
  • Her experience in a ward where three successive bishops were excommunicated
  • Her “shelf breakers” and faith transition (which happened only a month ago).


This episode includes a beautiful shout-out to Kristin Marie (Bennion), so check it out!

Direct download: MormonStories-733-WhenReligionsPraiseAbusersPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:41pm MDT

As part of our series on meetings with Mormon General Authorities, we interview Scott Duke. Scott met with Elder Christoffel Golden of the Seventy November 15, 2012.

In this episode, Scott recounts:

-His LDS mission experience and the troubling historical issues he put on his “shelf”
-His confusion about the role of personal revelation within the framework of the Mormon Church
-How he “came out” about his faith crisis to his wife and family
-How he landed an opportunity to meet with a General Authority of the Church as a last effort to restore faith
-The events and impressions of the meeting with Elder Golden
-The letter he wrote to Dieter F. Uchtdorf and the subsequent response
-The emotional fallout and impact on his family that resulted from his non-belief

Direct download: MormonStories-732-ScottDukeGolden.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05pm MDT