Mormon Stories - LDS

On November 3rd U.S. citizens will vote in what many believe will be a defining election for the United States of America.

Today, in a two-part series on Mormon Stories Podcast, we seek to understand why some Mormons and Post-Mormons are choosing to vote for either of the main presidential candidates: Donald Trump or Joe Biden.

This episode features Mormons and Post-Mormons who support Joe Biden. Please join us for comments and questions.

Direct download: MormonStories-1357-Biden2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:22pm MST

On November 3rd U.S. Citizens will vote in what many believe will be a defining election for the United States of America.

Today, in a two-part series on Mormon Stories Podcast, we seek to understand why some Mormons and Post-Mormons are choosing to vote for either of the main presidential candidates: Donald Trump or Joe Biden.

This episode features Mormons and Post-Mormons who support Donald Trump. Please join us for comments and questions.

Direct download: MormonStories-1356-Trump2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:08pm MST

For the past two years a predominantly LDS neighborhood in southeastern Sandy, Utah (known as "Autumn Ridge") has been flying an unusually large number of rainbow flags during PRIDE week to show their support for fellow LGBTQ community members. 

Last week, a faithful, non-LGBTQ-affirming Latter-day Saint neighbor in this community sent a somewhat self-righteous, pretentious, and cowardly letter to his/her fellow LDS neighbors, questioning their faithfulness to the LDS Church due to their flying of these rainbow flags.  In response, a wonderful, faithful LDS Church member and neighbor named Cynthia K. Phillips penned a courageous, thoughtful response to this letter, which can be accessed here.

Today we interview the two founders of the "Project Rainbow" initiative in the Autumn Ridge section of Sandy, Utah: Kristy and Willy Donahoo.  We also interview Cynthia Phillips, who is an active, believing member of her local LDS ward, and who fervently supports this initiative.

Our goals with this episode are:

  1. To spotlight good people doing good things.
  2. To inspire YOU to sponsor a Project Rainbow initiative in your neighborhood.  Our hope is to turn Utah, Idaho, and Arizona RAINBOW-COLORED!

Please join us with your comments and questions!

Bios:

  • Kristy Donahoo is a financial advisor and partner with Ray LeVitre, CFP™. Together, Much of Kristy’s career spanned over 20 years in executive management positions in Northern California/Silicon Valley with high tech and early internet companies. When she relocated to Utah, she was personally recruited by Utah’s Governor Michael O. Leavitt to lead the state’s hosting and business development programs for the 2002 Olympics. She later went on to teach in a highly regarded private Utah school prior to becoming a financial advisor. Kristy and her husband moved to Utah from California about 20 years ago. They enjoy Utah for its people, the four seasons and proximity to their four adult children. She and her family enjoy beach time in California and Hawaii during summers and snow sports during Utah winters. Kristy serves on the Advisory Board of the John Williams Encircle Home in Salt Lake City, a resource center for at-risk LGBTQ+ youth and their families.
  • William Donahoo is an attorney with Donahoo & Associates and also handles case management and firm administration. William joined the firm in 2009 and specializes in prevailing wage cases, representing employee interests. 
  • Cynthia Phillips has been a teacher and administrator in secondary schools for the past 35 years during which she has taught Latin, History, English Language Arts, and Ancient Greek. Cindy is currently a secondary teacher at the Weilenmann School of Discovery, a public charter school located in Park City, UT, where she also served as the Executive Director for many years. During her career, she has never allowed administrative assignments take her fully out of the classroom because teaching and students are her love and passion.  Prior to her administrative and teaching positions at the Weilenmann School, Cindy was an administrator and teacher at the Waterford School, a private school located in Sandy, UT. Cindy is currently a member of the governor-appointed Utah State Charter School Board, a member of the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission, a member of the Lone Peak Hospital Board in Draper, UT, and a former member of the Northeastern Utah Educational Services Board.  Cindy holds a BA in Latin from Brigham Young University, an MA in Classics from Tufts University, an MA in History from the University of Utah, and she is currently a PhD candidate in Comparative Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Utah. Cindy and her husband, Greg, reside in Sandy, UT and Heber, UT. They have five children and fourteen grandchildren.
Direct download: MormonStories-1355-SandyRainbowRevolution.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:39pm MST

Katie Harmon was raised Catholic in Laramie, Wyoming. After falling in love with a Mormon boy at age 15, Katie became socially/emotionally converted to the LDS Church in spite of...

  • High ambitions for herself (Katie was a 4.0 student, got a 33 on her ACT, was in AP classes, got a full ride scholarship to the University of Wyoming, and wanted to become a doctor) and
  • Strongly valuing social justice (e.g., anti-homophobia, anti-sexism, anti-racism).

As Katie became fully committed to the Mormon church, she saw her original aspirations slowly slip away, as she began to follow "the Mormon way for women." Katie ended up:

  • Experiencing severe Scrupulosity as a Mormon woman.
  • Enduring an invasive and inappropriate "sexual repentance" process.
  • Marrying 3 months after graduating high school to a man she had only known 7 months.
  • Getting sealed to her husband while her non-LDS family sat outside the Mormon temple.
  • Having three children within a short period of time before she felt ready to do so, based on LDS teachings.
  • Feeling frustrated when, after her 2nd child was diagnosed with major health issues at 20 weeks, priesthood blessings failed to heal her ailing child. She basically discovered after conversion that the "Priesthood power" was not real, and did not work.
  • Confronting the stifling "ableism" of Mormon doctrine, theology, and culture.

As Katie's hopes and dreams began to fall apart, she began studying Mormonism more closely, and discovered that she was not taught as an investigator important truths about Mormon history and the LDS church that would likely have prevented her from joining.

Katie's motivation for doing this interview is to call on the LDS Church to be fully honest in its missionary efforts, and in its education of children and youth, so that people like her can not be misled into joining and/or committing their lives to the Mormon church without being fully informed about its history, doctrine, and theology.

Direct download: MormonStories-1354-KatieHarmon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55am MST

The TikTok platform has become a major player in global culture, and the ExMormon TikTok community has become very active/vibrant over the past few months.

Today we feature ExMormon TikTok sensation Kayla White (ExMormonMindy). Her channel can be found here.

This is Kayla's story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1353-ExMormonMindyTikTok.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:42pm MST

Brennan Harris’ dad, Kip Brower Harris, took his own life on January 9, 2019, while he was employed as Dean of Students at Brigham Young University - Idaho.  During his 30 year career at BYU Idaho, Kip Harris had served twice as a Mormon bishop, served in a Mormon Stake Presidency, and was personal friends with LDS Church apostle David Bednar. 

In the final years of his second term as bishop, Kip Harris became involved in an extra-marital affair with a neighbor and ward member.  Inexplicably, when Kip Harris was found in a car with this neighbor/ward member by a Sugar City police officer, this police officer informed Kip Harris' LDS church leaders (violating the separation of church and state).  Kip Harris' church leaders, in turn, notified Harris' employer (BYU Idaho), who then put Kim Harris on leave (threatening to fire him).  This horrific sequence of confidentiality violations led Kim Harris to feel like his only option was to take his own life, which he did in January of 2019.  Press coverage of Kip Harris' death can be found here and here.

Brennan Harris, Kip's son, believes that the LDS Church, BYU Idaho, and Sugar City police are all partially responsible for his father’s death.  Brennan has written publicly about his father's story at these links:

This is Brennan’s story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1352-BrennanHarris.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03am MST

Ezra Taft Benson is perhaps the most controversial apostle-president in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For nearly fifty years he delivered impassioned sermons in Utah and elsewhere, mixing religion with ultraconservative right-wing political views and conspiracy theories. His teachings inspired Mormon extremists to stockpile weapons, predict the end of the world, and commit acts of violence against their government. The First Presidency rebuked him, his fellow apostles wanted him disciplined, and grassroots Mormons called for his removal from the Quorum of the Twelve. Yet Benson was beloved by millions of Latter-day Saints, who praised him for his stances against communism, socialism, and the welfare state, and admired his service as secretary of agriculture under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Using previously restricted documents from archives across the United States.

Matthew L. Harris breaks new ground as the first to evaluate why Benson embraced a radical form of conservatism, and how under his leadership Mormons became the most reliable supporters of the Republican Party of any religious group in America.

Matthew L. Harris is professor of history at Colorado State University-Pueblo. He is the author of The Mormon Church and Blacks: A Documentary History and editor of Thunder from the Right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and Politics.

Matthew's new book can be purchased here: https://uofupress.lib.utah.edu/watchman-on-the-tower/

Direct download: MormonStories-1351-ETBMattHarrisPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:07am MST

Ezra Taft Benson is perhaps the most controversial apostle-president in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For nearly fifty years he delivered impassioned sermons in Utah and elsewhere, mixing religion with ultraconservative right-wing political views and conspiracy theories. His teachings inspired Mormon extremists to stockpile weapons, predict the end of the world, and commit acts of violence against their government. The First Presidency rebuked him, his fellow apostles wanted him disciplined, and grassroots Mormons called for his removal from the Quorum of the Twelve. Yet Benson was beloved by millions of Latter-day Saints, who praised him for his stances against communism, socialism, and the welfare state, and admired his service as secretary of agriculture under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Using previously restricted documents from archives across the United States.

Matthew L. Harris breaks new ground as the first to evaluate why Benson embraced a radical form of conservatism, and how under his leadership Mormons became the most reliable supporters of the Republican Party of any religious group in America.

Matthew L. Harris is professor of history at Colorado State University-Pueblo. He is the author of The Mormon Church and Blacks: A Documentary History and editor of Thunder from the Right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and Politics.

Matthew's new book can be purchased here: https://uofupress.lib.utah.edu/watchman-on-the-tower/

Direct download: MormonStories-1350-ETBMattHarrisPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24am MST

Mormon Stories Podcast Friends,

Have you ever been touched, inspired, or educated by a particular 3-10 minute segment of a Mormon Stories Podcast episode? If so, I could really use your help.

I am looking to create 100 short, 5-10 minute YouTube videos that include highlights of the most touching or memorable Mormon Stories podcast moments. Consequently, I am seeking volunteers who are willing to go to YouTube and email to me the episode link and time codes (start and stop) of their favorite highlights from past Mormon Stories Podcast episodes. From there I will chop up the videos and put them on my new "Understanding Mormonism" YouTube channel.
 
If you are willing to help, please email the YouTube link and time code (start/step) to:  understandmormonism@gmail.com

And thank you SO much!

John Dehlin
Direct download: MormonStories-VideoShorts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:45pm MST

Is there more than one way to be a Mormon? What qualifies as "authentic Mormonism"? Has it always been this way? Is it possible to reconcile religious belief with a natural, scientific view of the universe?

Many people see secular and religious views as incompatible. They seem to believe it necessary to suspend disbelief and accept superstition in order to be religious, or that religion is an obstacle to productive engagement with the world. Even many of us who still profess some level of religiosity will admit that religion sometimes makes productive engagement more difficult and is sometimes less effective than it could be. For those who believe in prophecies of the eventual redemption of humanity, is it possible to work toward a vision of the future that is understood only vaguely, if at all? What is the effect of faith that is not active? Might active faith in Mormon (and other religious) visions of the future be essential to realizing them?

Today we'll be talking with Carl Youngblood about his life as a Mormon and a transhumanist, what that word even means, and how his struggle to apply his faith meaningfully in our rapidly changing world has led him to co-found the Mormon Transhumanist Association, where he currently serves as a member of the board of Directors. Carl looks forward to sharing his ideas and answering your questions about his life and faith.

Direct download: MormonStories-1349-CarlYoungblood.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:35pm MST

Was your marriage destroyed, or almost destroyed by the LDS Church's 12-step program for pornography "addiction"? Join us today as we sit down with Nik and Dawna Berry to discuss how the LDS Church's 12-step program for Pornography addiction almost ruined their marriage, and how they survived and healed from it.

Direct download: MormonStories-1348-DawnaNikBerry.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40am MST

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