Mormon Stories - LDS (general)

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

As part of our series on meetings with Mormon General Authorities, we interview Meg and Jake Abhau as they relay the story of their September 2013 meeting with Mormon Apostle Elder D. Todd Christofferson.  

 

Meg and Jake appeared on episodes 508-510 of Mormon Stories discussing their experiences in early 2013 when their 13 year old son, Jon, came out to them as gay while they were living as committed, orthodox Mormons.  During this period Meg and Jake met Tom Christofferson, brother of Mormon Apostle D. Todd Christofferson.  At the time Meg and Jake met Tom he was an excommunicated gay Mormon man living in a committed relationship for over 18 years.  After hearing the Abhau’s story, Tom graciously offered to arrange a meeting between them and his brother, Elder D. Todd Christofferson.

 

In this episode Meg and Jake recount in detail their 1+ hour with apostle D. Todd Christofferson, which included:

 

  • Elder D. Todd Christofferson acknowledging that the LDS Church may not be a safe place for our LGBT youth,
  • Elder Christofferson acknowledging to Meg and Jake that personal revelation trumps revelation from Mormon leadership  (but that he would never be able to admit this publicly to church members), and
  • Meg informing Elder Christofferson that he and other LDS leadership had/have “blood on their hands” for the way that they have mishandled LGBT issues, contributing to a modern wave of LGBT youth suicides.


Meg and Jake also express their disappointment with Elder Christofferson’s role in speaking as the representative for the LDS church during the November 2015 policy decision denouncing same-sex couples as apostates, and disallowing their children from being baptised into the Mormon church.  They also discuss their respective decisions to leave the Mormon church after decades of orthodox membership.

Direct download: MormonStories-731-AbhausChristofferson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:55pm MDT

In this 4-part series, we interview Nicki and Lance Miles who share their Mormon upbringing, how they met, and how their individual mission experiences intertwined in Episode 1.

In Episode 2, we have a serious discussion about Lance’s father who comes out as gay and the impact it had on the Miles family.  Nicki and Lance share how their feelings towards their father evolved in a more positive direction as time progressed. 

Episode 3 details the meeting Nicki and Lance had with Marlin K. Jensen, former historian for the LDS Church.  They detail the questions asked of the historian, and the impact his answers had on them.

Rounding out the interview, in Episode 4 we discuss Nicki’s feminist awakening and the impact it had on Lance’s view of their marriage.  Transitioning out of the LDS Church led the couple to take a serious look at the foundation of their marriage and their approach to raising their children.

Direct download: MormonStories-730-MilesTransitionPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11pm MDT

In this 4-part series, we interview Nicki and Lance Miles who share their Mormon upbringing, how they met, and how their individual mission experiences intertwined in Episode 1.

In Episode 2, we have a serious discussion about Lance’s father who comes out as gay and the impact it had on the Miles family.  Nicki and Lance share how their feelings towards their father evolved in a more positive direction as time progressed. 

Episode 3 details the meeting Nicki and Lance had with Marlin K. Jensen, former historian for the LDS Church.  They detail the questions asked of the historian, and the impact his answers had on them.

Rounding out the interview, in Episode 4 we discuss Nicki’s feminist awakening and the impact it had on Lance’s view of their marriage.  Transitioning out of the LDS Church led the couple to take a serious look at the foundation of their marriage and their approach to raising their children.

Direct download: MormonStories-729-MilesTransitionPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:09pm MDT

In this 4-part series, we interview Nicki and Lance Miles who share their Mormon upbringing, how they met, and how their individual mission experiences intertwined in Episode 1.

In Episode 2, we have a serious discussion about Lance’s father who comes out as gay and the impact it had on the Miles family.  Nicki and Lance share how their feelings towards their father evolved in a more positive direction as time progressed. 

Episode 3 details the meeting Nicki and Lance had with Marlin K. Jensen, former historian for the LDS Church.  They detail the questions asked of the historian, and the impact his answers had on them.

Rounding out the interview, in Episode 4 we discuss Nicki’s feminist awakening and the impact it had on Lance’s view of their marriage.  Transitioning out of the LDS Church led the couple to take a serious look at the foundation of their marriage and their approach to raising their children.

Direct download: MormonStories-728-MilesTransitionPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:07pm MDT

In this 4-part series, we interview Nicki and Lance Miles who share their Mormon upbringing, how they met, and how their individual mission experiences intertwined in Episode 1.

In Episode 2, we have a serious discussion about Lance’s father who comes out as gay and the impact it had on the Miles family.  Nicki and Lance share how their feelings towards their father evolved in a more positive direction as time progressed. 

Episode 3 details the meeting Nicki and Lance had with Marlin K. Jensen, former historian for the LDS Church.  They detail the questions asked of the historian, and the impact his answers had on them.

Rounding out the interview, in Episode 4 we discuss Nicki’s feminist awakening and the impact it had on Lance’s view of their marriage.  Transitioning out of the LDS Church led the couple to take a serious look at the foundation of their marriage and their approach to raising their children.

 

Direct download: MormonStories-727-MilesTransitionPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05pm MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories, we interview Noah Rasheta — the Executive Director of the Foundation for Mindful Living and host of the Secular Buddhism podcast.  This meaningful and compelling interview covers:

  • Noah’s early life as an orthodox Mormon believer and his struggle with the thought that with all of the good in the world, is it possible that the path set forth by the LDS Church is the only valid one?
  • How he felt uneasy and shaken as he broadened his study of the Mormon faith
  • His description of his transitioning process, his fears of leaving the LDS Church, and “coming out” as a non-believer to those in his faith community
  • How as his transition progressed, his view towards people became more kind, warm, and compassionate
  • His studies of Buddhist philosophy and the development of a purpose-driven life by integrating Buddhist teachings, modern science, humanism, and humor
Direct download: MormonStories-726-NoahRashetasTransitionPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:43pm MDT