Mormon Stories - LDS (general)


Laura Roper Andreasen is the granddaughter of LDS Apostle M. Russell Ballard.  Recently Laura resigned her membership in the LDS Church after struggling unsuccessfully for decades to find happiness and health as an active, believing Latter-day Saint (e.g., serving an LDS mission, marrying in the temple, having children).  In this vulnerable, thoughtful, respectful, and heartfelt two-part interview, Laura discusses the following:

  • The deep love and respect she has for her parents, grandparents, and Mormon heritage.
  • Her struggles as a child, teenager, and adult with:
    • What she experienced to be a culture of perfectionism and shame in the LDS church.
    • A family and church culture of avoiding emotional vulnerability and the open discussion of difficult topics.
    • The added difficulty/burden/pressure of being a direct descendant of Hyrum Smith and the grandchild of an LDS Apostle (within LDS culture).
  • Her struggle with low self worth, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation for multiple decades.
  • Her complex relationship with Grandpa Ballard, who (from her perspective) struggled to balance his role as an apostle with his role as grandfather.
  • Her perspective on what it is like to be an LDS Apostle, answering many questions for Mormon Stories listeners.
  • Her reasons for leaving the LDS Church after being unable to find joy within it.

To read from Laura's blog, click here.

Part 1 (Laura's Story):




Part 2 (Q&A):





Direct download: MormonStories-588-LauraRoperAndreasenPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm MDT

Today the LDS Church released a clarification to the new policies on same-gender marriage and children.  Michael Otterson (Managing Director of LDS Church Public Relations) also released a memo entitled "Understanding the Handbook."

To analyze the clarification and memo, have have assembled a panel of brilliant humans: John Hamer, Debra Jensen, James Ord, and Daniel Parkinson.

Direct download: MormonStories-587-SGAClarificationPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm MDT

Today the LDS Church released a clarification to the new policies on same-gender marriage and children.  Michael Otterson (Managing Director of LDS Church Public Relations) also released a memo entitled "Understanding the Handbook."

To analyze the clarification and memo, have have assembled a panel of brilliant humans: John Hamer, Debra Jensen, James Ord, and Daniel Parkinson.

Direct download: MormonStories-586-SGAClarificationPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:24pm MDT

Eric Reeves is the son of LDS Relief Society General Presidency 2nd counselor Linda S. Reeves.

In this episode Eric discusses:

1) his early years in the church, his loss of faith in the LDS church, and how he handled this process with his family,

2) his analysis of the recent changes, and why he vehemently opposes the parallels made between same-sex marriage and polygamy,

3) why he is speaking out publicly against the new LGBT policies, and

4) why he is encouraging church members to openly oppose these policies.

Direct download: MormonStories-585-EricReeves.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56am MDT

News broke last week that the LDS Church was adopting new policies aimed at married same-sex couples and their children. Mormons in a same-sex marriage will now be considered apostates and could be subject to disciplinary hearings and excommunication. Their children, meanwhile, will be barred from many of the faith’s sacred rituals, unless they get permission from church’s highest leaders. Monday, a panel of guests joined us to discuss the impacts and ramifications of these new church policies.


  • Jennifer Dobner is a journalist at the Salt Lake Tribune where she covers health care reform, Mormonism, polygamy, justice issues and more.
  • John Dehlin has a Ph.D. in psychology from Utah State University, focusing on religion, mental health, and the LGBT Mormon experience. he co-led the largest study ever conducted on LGBT Mormons that has been published in numerous scientific, peer reviewed journals, including the APA's Journal of Counseling Psychology. He also produces and hosts the Mormon Stories podcast. He was excommunicated from the LDS Church in January of 2015. He was credited in several news reports for leaking information about the Church’s new policy on married same-sex Mormons and their children.
  • Kendall Wilcox is an openly gay and active Mormon. He’s a co-founder of Mormons Building Bridges, a group that works to build understanding between members of the LDS Church and the LGBT community. He’s currently producing a documentary film about the experience of LGBT Mormons. It’s called Far Between.
  • Mitch Mayne is an openly gay, active Mormon who served as executive secretary in the LDS bishopric in San Francisco through 2013.
Direct download: rw110915.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30am MDT

In this episode we discuss the recent changes to LDS Handbook 1 regarding LGBT members who enter into same-gender relationships, and their children.  Panelists include Natasha Helfer Parker, Dr. Kristy Money, Dr. J. Nelson Seawright, and Dr. John Dehlin.

Direct download: MormonStories-583-SGAPolicyChange.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:33pm MDT

In this episode Steve and Chris Holbrook discuss the lessons they have learned in helping to lead/grow the Utah Valley Post-Mormon community to an organization of over 1,400 members, with weekly activities, and very high levels of community support, participation, and satisfaction.

Direct download: MormonTransitions-002-HolbrooksUVPM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27am MDT

In this episode Steve and Chris Holbrook discuss their early years in the LDS Church, their disaffection from the LDS Church, and their discovery of the Utah Valley Post-Mormon community as a positive influence in their post-Mormon life.

Direct download: MormonStories-581-HolbrooksPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22am MDT

In today's episode a wonderful panel of women review the recent LDS Church "Mother in Heaven" essay.  Panelists include: Jamie Hanis Handy, Natasha Helfer Parker, Dr. Kristy Money, and Carol Lynn Pearson.

Direct download: MormonStories-580-MotherInHeavenEssay.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:15pm MDT

In this episode sociologist and scholar Mark Juergensmeyer, Ph.D. explains his reasons for boycotting Brigham Y0ung University over its policy to expell LDS students who lose their testimony of the LDS Church's truthfulness.




The text of Dr. Juergensmeyer's letter is as follows:

Prof Elizabeth Clark
Associate Director
International Center for Law and Religion Studies
Brigham Young University

Dear Elizabeth:

I regret that I will be unable to participate in the Law and Religion Symposium that is being held this week at BYU. It was an honor to be invited to speak at this event, and as you know I made every effort to make room in my schedule to be there on Tuesday. My decision not to participate is an act of conscience based on BYU’s policy of expelling any Mormon student who leaves the faith or converts to another religion.

Alas I was unaware of this policy until this weekend when it was brought to my attention. I have decided that it would be hypocritical of me to participate in a conference in which the issue of religious liberty is paramount when the institution sponsoring it fundamentally violates this principle in its policies towards Mormon students. As I understand it, non-Mormons are allowed to enroll in BYU, and they are welcome to convert to the Mormon faith if they wish, but if  Mormon students change their religious affiliation they lose their scholarship, their campus housing and jobs, and are expelled from school even if they are months away from graduation.

In making this decision I mean no disrespect to you, the Center with which you are affiliated, or the other participants in this week’s conference. I know that many faculty members at BYU are opposed to this policy and are quietly working to change it. I applaud them, and hope that my decision will be taken as a sign of support for those within BYU who are seeking change. I appreciation your dilemma and admire your persistence.

Again, thanks for the honor of the invitation. I hope that I will be invited back to BYU and will be able to accept some time in the future when this policy restricting religious freedom is lifted.


Mark Juergensmeyer
Professor of Sociology and Global Studies
Founding Director and Fellow
Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies

A HUGE thanks to the amazing work of for breaking this important story.

Dr. Juergensmeyer is director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, professor of sociology and global studies, and affiliate professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a pioneer in the field of global studies and writes on global religion, religious violence, conflict resolution and South Asian religion and politics. He has published more than three hundred articles and twenty books, including the recent Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State (University of California Press, 2008). Here you can see picturesof Mark, read his full bio , or his wikipedia entry

Direct download: MormonStories-579-MarkJuergensmeyerBoycottsBYU.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:47pm MDT