Mormon Stories - LDS

In April of 2019 Brigham Young University valedictorian Matt Easton came out as a faithful gay Mormon during his valedictorian address, which was pre-approved by the LDS Church. Matt's speech received very positive national media attention, including an appearance on the Ellen Show. Matt is currently attending U.C. Berkeley as a Political Science Ph.D. student.

Last week, Mormon apostle Jeffrey R. Holland publicly "called out" Matt Easton, accusing him of "commandeering" the 2019 graduation ceremony. His exact words were:

"If a student commandeers a graduation podium intended to represent everyone getting diplomas in order to announce his personal sexual orientation, what might another speaker feel free to announce the next year until eventually anything goes? What might commencement come to mean — or not mean — if we push individual license over institutional dignity for very long? Do we simply end up with more divisiveness in our culture than we already have? And we already have too much everywhere."

Please join us on August 29, 2021 at 1:30pm Utah time as Matt Easton shares with us his Mormon story, and responds to Elder Holland's irresponsible attacks.

Show Notes:

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Direct download: MormonStories-1470-MattEaston.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 10:40am MDT

As most Mormons are just now beginning to learn, Joseph Smith left multiple and varied First Vision accounts that changed dramatically over time. Joseph Smith's 1st handwritten First Vision account was produced in 1832, and was intentionally hidden from LDS Church members for over a century and a half - primarily because of the many problems it presented to orthodox belief. The "official" First Vision account that the LDS Church ended up adopting is the 1838 version, which varies in several significant ways from the previous versions - primarily reflecting Joseph Smith's evolving theological beliefs.

Join us today as John Larsen analyzes Joseph Smith's FIRST (1832) handwritten First Vision account, and explores the many difficulties this version presents to modern Mormon faith.

Show notes:

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Direct download: MormonStories-1469-JohnLarsen1stVisionAccounts.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 10:26am MDT

Wrapping up our epic three part interview with the Laing family, Heather and Kelly detail the path of love and acceptance they took while deconstructing their faith in the Mormon god’s plan for families. We hope you’ll resonate with their description of uncovering troubling Mormon history, growing closer as a family, and realizing none of them are broken, least of which their two gay sons.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1468-LiangPt3.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 9:38am MDT

What happens when two sons in a Mormon military family come out as gay? In part two of our interview with the Laing family, we talk with Britton and Mason Laing about the unique struggles they faced, what it was like coming out, and their advice for other gay teens.

Direct download: MormonStories-1467-LiangPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 8:45am MDT

Batten down the hatches and prepare for an epic Mormon Stories interview like you’ve never heard before! Part of what is often called “the Silent Service”, former nuclear submarine commander, Kelly Laing and his family, finally speak out. We dive deep in this three part interview and hear from Heather and Kelly Laing, followed by two of their four children, Britton and Mason, in part 2.

In this episode, we discuss Heather and Kelly’s courtship as teens, the road Kelly took into the military, and the ways they kept their family and love life afloat. 

Show notes: 

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Direct download: MormonStories-1466-LaingPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 10:56am MDT

On August 23, 2021 Mormon apostle Jeffrey R. Holland spoke to staff at Brigham Young University during the first day of the institution's 2021 university conference.  During his speech Elder Holland condemned: 1) a recent BYU valedictorian for "coming out" as gay during his graduation commencement address, 2) a recent uptick in LGBTQ-affirming demonstrations at BYU, and 3) a recent surge in LGBTQ support by BYU students and faculty.  His comments appear to be in response to a corresponding surge in concerns expressed by orthodox ultra conservative/Deznat-affirming LDS church adults who are concerned that BYU is becoming to LGBTQ affirming (descending into "Babylon").  During his speech Elder Holland invoked war metaphors, including the statement, "I am grateful we have scholars today who can handle, as it were, both trowels and muskets.”

Today we will talk with Kyle Ashworth (host of Latter-Gay Stories Podcast) and Gerardo Sumano about the recent events.  The main topic will be: is the LDS Church losing control over LGBTQ support at BYU and church-wide?

Show notes: 

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Direct download: MormonStories-1465-ElderHollandLGBTQSupportatBYU.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 7:00am MDT

Today Mormon Stories is lucky enough to be joined by the wonderful Jessie Funk! For anyone familiar with the music of the youth seminars held by the LDS church known as “EFY”, singer Jessie Funk’s name should ring a bell. After Jessie’s career touring with the broadway musical “Footloose”, releasing several studio albums and books, starting her organization “The Ivy Foundation”, and raising her two children, she recently changed tunes, choosing to leave the Mormon church.

We are excited to speak with Jessie about her Mormon upbringing, career (in and outside of the church), her faith crisis, and her new venture “Especially for Truth”, a week-long summer seminar for post-Mormon teens. Wrapping up her first “EFT” event last week where John and Carah were invited as guest speakers, we hope powerhouse Jessie Funk joining the post-Mormon activist space will be music to your ears!

And a bonus? There are still tickets left to her Especially for Truth event for post-Mormon women in Park City this coming weekend Aug 27-29th! Visit especiallyfortruth.com

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Direct download: MormonStories-1464-JessieFunk.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 10:58am MDT

In Friday's Mormon Stories Podcast episode, beloved podcaster Radio Free Mormon shares with us his reflections on how he transitioned from a Mormon apologist to a non-believer and critic of the LDS Church.

Please join us with your questions and comments!

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Direct download: MormonStories-1463-FromTBMtoRFM.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 10:41am MDT

Geneticist Simon Southerton was serving as an Australian Mormon bishop when he discovered through DNA research that Native Americans were not descendants of Israelites (as the Book of Mormon teaches), but instead were descendants of Asians via the Bering Strait. This researched caused Simon to lose his faith in Mormonism. He is the author of a book on the subject called “Losing a Lost Tribe.”

Recently Simon has been studying the declining growth in the worldwide LDS or Mormon church. Simon will join us on Mormon Stories Podcast to discuss his research into Mormon church decline.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1462-NewTemplesVeilMormonismsDeclineSimonSoutherton.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 2:19pm MDT

Join us today for a conversation with Dr. Robert P. Mildenhall, MD (an ICU pulmonary physician from Nashville, Tennessee) as he answers questions about his experience with Covid-19 and the vaccine.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1461-CovidVaccineICUDoc.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 9:55am MDT

Over the past few days the Intensive Care Units in Utah hospitals and around the U.S. began to overflow with COVID patients. Reports began to emerge that as high as 99% of the ICU patients and deceased were not vaccinated from COVID. In addition, the LDS Church First Presidency released a new announcement a few days ago urging members to be vaccinated. This announcement has caused many vaccine-hesitant LDS church members to question their faith in the LDS church, and/or in LDS Church president Russell M. Nelson. The announcement also has spurned several interesting conspiracy theories. There has also been a variety of responses from local LDS bishops, stake presidents, and members - from supportive to unsupportive.

On August 17th between 9am and 10am mountain time please join us as we assemble a panel of physicians and experts to discuss the status of the COVID vaccine in the U.S., in Utah, and in the LDS Church. The conversation will avoid politics, will be science-based, and we will take questions from the viewing audience.

Please join us, and please spread the word.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1460-MormonChurchAndTheCovidVaccine.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 3:22pm MDT

Is there a double standard at BYU when divvying out punishments to athletes vs students who break the honor code? Mormon Stories producer and co-host Carah Burrell takes the reins on this intense episode as lead interviewer of our guest Kelly Trust as we take a deep dive into answering that question! Finally feeling freed from the constraints that kept her quiet for too long, Kelly describes the confusing, unhealthy sexual messages around her body that plagued her youth, the relationship with a star BYU athlete that led to her expulsion from the school while the player stayed, and the faith crisis that ensued after reading the CES Letter. 

Content warning on this episode for strong sexual themes and profanity. 

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Links and show notes: 

Honor Code Stories Instagram: 

CES Letter: 

“Leaving the Saints” by Marth Beck: 

“Braving the Wilderness”  by Brene Brown: 

Instagram:

Direct download: MormonStories-1459-KellyTrust.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 10:00am MDT

One of our most popular Mormon Stories guests is back with wonderfully salient advice for post-Mormon growth! Leah, along with her husband Cody and daughter Brinley, told their story to John during an epic multi-part Mormon Stories series on their faith transition and excommunication in 2019. In this episode, Leah shares seven lessons she’s learned while rebuilding a meaningful life for herself and her family. So many good takeaways in this episode! We hope you’ll find it valuable, share it, come back to it more than once during different life stages, and comment on what lessons you’ve learned along your journey as well. 

We are 100% donor funded! Please click HERE to donate!

Links and show notes:

Mormon Stories #1044: Leah, Cody, and Brinley Young - From Fear Into Joy (Part 1) Pt. 1:

Mormon Stories #1098: The Excommunication of Leah and Cody Young Pt. 1:

Mormon Stories #1048: Leah, Cody, and Brinley Young - A Teen's Perspective on Faith Transition Pt. 1:

Balanced Living with Leah website:

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma:

“She Let It Go” poem:

Email Leah: balancedlivingwithleah@gmail.com

Active Listening the Kids Perspectives:

Leah’s courses:

Leah’s instagram:

Direct download: MormonStories-1458-LeahYoungLessons-leveled.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 4:12pm MDT

Our guest today is Brinley Young, daughter of Leah and Cody young, a family famous for telling their story to John during an epic multi-part Mormon Stories series on their faith transition and excommunication back in 2019 when Brinley was just 15 years old. Now 18, post-faith crisis, and with wisdom beyond her years, Brinley joins John and Margi in studio for 7 lessons she’s learned after leaving the church on topics ranging from communication, owning her sexuality, and following her intuition. This is a special one you won’t want to miss!

We are 100% donor funded! Please click HERE to donate!

Links and show notes:

Mormon Stories 1044: Leah, Cody, and Brinley Young - From Fear Into Joy (Part 1) Pt. 1

Mormon Stories 1098: The Excommunication of Leah and Cody Young Pt. 1

Mormon Stories 1048: Leah, Cody, and Brinley Young - A Teen's Perspective on Faith Transition Pt. 1

"Untamed" by Glennon Doyle

Direct download: MormonStories-1457-BrinleyYoung.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 5:49pm MDT

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