Mormon Stories - LDS

In these episodes of Mormon Stories, John and Margi interview 3 of the hard-working moderators of the “A Thoughtful Faith” Facebook group.  The group comprises LDS members who are working to stay engaged in constructive ways within Mormonism and offers a safe space to ask faith-challenging questions.

Mark Crego, Jeralee Renshaw, and Dan Wotherspoon answer questions about the purpose of the group, but also embark on a very interesting conversation about how they each are able to remain happily involved in the Church despite being aware of the faith-challenging aspects of the Mormon faith.

Direct download: MormonStories-766-AThoughtfulFaithPanelPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:02am MDT

In these episodes of Mormon Stories, John and Margi interview 3 of the hard-working moderators of the “A Thoughtful Faith” Facebook group.  The group comprises LDS members who are working to stay engaged in constructive ways within Mormonism and offers a safe space to ask faith-challenging questions.

Mark Crego, Jeralee Renshaw, and Dan Wotherspoon answer questions about the purpose of the group, but also embark on a very interesting conversation about how they each are able to remain happily involved in the Church despite being aware of the faith-challenging aspects of the Mormon faith.

Direct download: MormonStories-765-AThoughtfulFaithPanelPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58am MDT

In this series on Mormon Stories, we interview the fabulous Natasha Helfer Parker, MFT, CST — moderator of the Mormon Mental Health podcast — to finally hear her “Mormon story.”

This interview covers:

*Being raised in the Church with convert parents in Spain and her eventual move to the US
*Natasha and her family’s concerns about the practice of polygamy and frustration that their questions never seemed to be answered, yet remaining true-believers
*The impact of being a victim of sexual abuse as a child and teenager and how it influenced her experiences exploring her sexuality as a teenager and young adult
*Her removal from BYU because of her sexual experiences and her thoughts now about the unintended consequences of honor code enforcement
*How she met her husband and disclosed her sexual past in an act of transparency, and how it affected the first years of their marriage
*Her thoughts now about the difference between behavior and self-worth within the Church, especially as it relates to sexual behavior
*Her decision to become a sex therapist and how her move to the Midwest became an impetus to develop a wider online presence
*How being a believer in the faith, but having a nuanced view of sexuality led her to being widely known as the “Mormon Sex Therapist”
*How cracks developed in her Orthodox faith foundation
*Her feeling of being in a continuing faith transition for much of the 20+ years of her practice

http://www.mormonmentalhealth.org

https://www.symmetrysols.com

Direct download: MormonStories-764-NatashaHelferParkerPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11am MDT

In this series on Mormon Stories, we interview the fabulous Natasha Helfer Parker, MFT, CST — moderator of the Mormon Mental Health podcast — to finally hear her “Mormon story.”

This interview covers:

*Being raised in the Church with convert parents in Spain and her eventual move to the US
*Natasha and her family’s concerns about the practice of polygamy and frustration that their questions never seemed to be answered, yet remaining true-believers
*The impact of being a victim of sexual abuse as a child and teenager and how it influenced her experiences exploring her sexuality as a teenager and young adult
*Her removal from BYU because of her sexual experiences and her thoughts now about the unintended consequences of honor code enforcement
*How she met her husband and disclosed her sexual past in an act of transparency, and how it affected the first years of their marriage
*Her thoughts now about the difference between behavior and self-worth within the Church, especially as it relates to sexual behavior
*Her decision to become a sex therapist and how her move to the Midwest became an impetus to develop a wider online presence
*How being a believer in the faith, but having a nuanced view of sexuality led her to being widely known as the “Mormon Sex Therapist”
*How cracks developed in her Orthodox faith foundation
*Her feeling of being in a continuing faith transition for much of the 20+ years of her practice

http://www.mormonmentalhealth.org

https://www.symmetrysols.com

Direct download: MormonStories-763-NatashaHelferParkerPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:08am MDT

In this series on Mormon Stories, we interview the fabulous Natasha Helfer Parker, MFT, CST — moderator of the Mormon Mental Health podcast — to finally hear her “Mormon story.”

This interview covers:

*Being raised in the Church with convert parents in Spain and her eventual move to the US
*Natasha and her family’s concerns about the practice of polygamy and frustration that their questions never seemed to be answered, yet remaining true-believers
*The impact of being a victim of sexual abuse as a child and teenager and how it influenced her experiences exploring her sexuality as a teenager and young adult
*Her removal from BYU because of her sexual experiences and her thoughts now about the unintended consequences of honor code enforcement
*How she met her husband and disclosed her sexual past in an act of transparency, and how it affected the first years of their marriage
*Her thoughts now about the difference between behavior and self-worth within the Church, especially as it relates to sexual behavior
*Her decision to become a sex therapist and how her move to the Midwest became an impetus to develop a wider online presence
*How being a believer in the faith, but having a nuanced view of sexuality led her to being widely known as the “Mormon Sex Therapist”
*How cracks developed in her Orthodox faith foundation
*Her feeling of being in a continuing faith transition for much of the 20+ years of her practice

http://www.mormonmentalhealth.org

https://www.symmetrysols.com

Direct download: MormonStories-762-NatashaHelferParkerPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:06am MDT

In this episode, we interview Brynne Thomas Gant -- the author of "They Can Leave the Church, But They Can't Leave the Church Alone"

Direct download: MormonStories-761-BrynneThomasGant.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am MDT

In this episode, we interview Brynne Thomas Gant -- the author of "They Can Leave the Church, But They Can't Leave the Church Alone"

Direct download: MormonStories-760-BrynneThomasGant.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories, we interview Savannah and her mother, Heather.

In this episode of Mormon Stories we interview Savannah and her mother, Heather.  Savannah recently generated international media attention when she came out as gay to her Mormon ward (congregation) in Eagle Mountain, Utah during fast and testimony meeting (May 7, 2017).  Towards the end of her testimony, a presiding priesthood authority cut off her microphone and told her to sit down.  A friend recorded the video of her live testimony.

In this episode John interviews both Savannah and Heather in order to provide the context for Savannah's testimony that day.  Questions answered in this episode include:

*What was Savannah's relationship with the Mormon church prior to her testimony?
*Why did Savannah want to come out as gay to her ward?  
*Why did she write out her testimony beforehand?
*Why did Savannah's parents "allow" her to bear her testimony in this way?
*Who recorded Savannah's testimony, and why?
*How did Savannah and her mother feel when the microphone was cut off, and Savannah was asked to sit down by her Mormon priesthood leader?
*Was this event a conspiracy orchestrated by Savannah's parents?
*What has been the reaction to these events?
*What do Savannah and Heather hope to accomplish by talking about this publicly?
*What would Savannah and Heather like to say to LGBT Mormons and their family/friends?

Special thanks to Heather and Savannah for visiting with the Mormon Stories crew and sharing her beautiful story!

Direct download: MormonStories-759-Savannah.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:19am MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories and Mormon Transitions, John and Margi reflect back on their 13 years of experience as semi- and non-believers and provide their advice on how to successfully navigate activity in the LDS Church.  Some of the topics discussed are:

*Advice on how to determine whether church attendance is a healthy option for you and your family

*Living the “Law of Tithing” in a way that is meaningful to you

*Focusing on teaching lessons about truths that resonate with you, and less on the topics that trouble you as they most likely will be covered many other times

*How to respond to inquiries about your activity status from fellow ward members

*Setting boundaries and expectations when given a calling

*Protecting your children by having an open discussion after church that allows them to safely process and talk through the information 

*Building social credit in your ward to spend thoughtfully when the time arrives

*Advice on how to ethically navigate the temple recommend interview

*Answering the question “can you be honest and ethical in staying?”

Direct download: MormonStories-758-StayingActiveInTheChurch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53am MDT

Continuing our series on “Losing the Lamanites,” we interview Sarah Newcomb who descends from the Tsimshian of the NW Coastal Tribes. In this interview we cover:

*How Sarah struggled as a youth knowing that she came from the ‘Lamanites,’ who had turned their backs on God.
*How she worked her way through college in Rexburg, ID, acquired a degree in Communications/Journalism, and how her new knowledge around sourcing served as an impetus to her questioning her faith.
*How her husband ignored the Mormon admonition against interracial marriage, out of love for Sarah.
*Her avoidance of dancing (and other native customs), as they were practiced by the ’Lamanites’ in the Book of Mormon.
*Her avoidance of the sun, as a way to ensure that her skin would stay as light as possible.
*How she used her knowledge of sourcing (seeking original documentation) to discover many of the problems with LDS church history and doctrine, all before discovering the CES Letter.
*How Mormon Stories Podcast validated her feelings, and provided strength and a sense of community during her faith transition.
*How she now embraces her life in the sun, and is on a journey to connect to the heritage and identity she felt forced to distance herself from while a member of the LDS Church.

We thank Sarah for sharing her powerful, beautiful story and know that it will touch lives!

Direct download: MormonStories-757-SarahNewcomb.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am MDT