Mormon Stories - LDS

Content warning: mentions of abuse, incest, drugging.

In this interview, Chelsea Goodrich details years of sexual abuse by her father, former Mormon bishop John Goodrich, beginning when she was a young child. When confronted in 2015, John admitted the abuse to both Chelsea's mother and their Mormon leaders. However, the church failed to act to protect Chelsea, support victims, or warn others. John faced excommunication but no criminal charges due to statute of limitations. In 2017, another victim came forward alleging John drugged and raped her. Despite evidence, prosecutors eventually only tried John for illegal drugging. Meanwhile, John remarried and had access to grandchildren, prompting safety concerns for Chelsea. Desperate, Chelsea and her mother sought help from church representative Paul Rytting only to be offered settlement money and asked to sign nondisclosure agreements.

Ultimately, Chelsea decides to go public to protect other potential victims from a predator still left free. Her story exposes the patterns of coverups, victim blaming, inaction, and secrecy in the Mormon church around abuse.

Resilient Wellness: http://resilientwellnessllc.com

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Direct download: MormonStories-1825-ChelseaGoodrich.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

In the upcoming episode of Mormon Stories Podcast, we delve into the intriguing and controversial saga of Trevor Milton, founder of Nikola Corporation. This episode unpacks how Milton, once a celebrated entrepreneur, was unmasked as a fraud, leading to his recent sentencing of four years in prison. We explore the intricacies of his fraudulent activities at Nikola, a company that promised revolutionary electric trucks. Our special guest, Utah fraud expert Mark Pugsley, brings his insightful perspectives on the case, particularly focusing on the extent to which Milton's Mormon background and the environment he was a part of may have played a role in this story. This episode promises to shed light on the complex interplay between personal beliefs, corporate ethics, and legal accountability in the high-stakes world of business and technology.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1845-TrevorMilton.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

We discuss Ruby Franke's recent guilty plea for abusing her children and read excerpts from the plea deal, which contains disturbing details of kicking, choking, and even holding them underwater. Franke admits her actions were "morally and legally wrong."

The hosts analyze how Franke justified the @buse by claiming God wanted her to discipline her son. They discuss how some Mormon teachings can distort views on "morality" and discipline.

The hosts argue the Mormon church needs to take some responsibility by re-examining certain teachings that may enable abuse by followers. They believe the church can help prevent similar tragedies through reforms and speaking out against domestic violence.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1844-RubyFrankePleadsGuilty.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Join us this week as we delve into some of the latest surprises in a few high profile crime cases involving Mormonism, including the recent Ruby Franke guilty plea deal and the latest around Tim Ballard and OUR and the mysterious White Board Meeting. As Christmas approaches we take a look at the LDS Giving Machines. What do we know about how they are being utilized in terms of who is getting the goods and who gets to count the donations? As we approach the conclusion of our program, we tackle the recent land acquisitions by the LDS Church in Nebraska, exploring the motivations behind the land grab and its broader implications. Our panel discussion promises to provide diverse perspectives on the LDS Church's Mormon Monopoly of land and property over the past decade.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1843-LDSGivingMachines.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 6:00pm MST

Good evening, and welcome as we bring you the latest news and stories that matter to the Latter-day Saint community. We have an exciting lineup for you tonight. Tonight we will cover the announcement of new apostle Patrick Kearon. We then turn our attention to the political landscape with breaking news and commentary about Attorney General Sean Reyes. And our last top story revolves around nationwide showing of Mormon cinematic flick "The Oath"

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Direct download: MormonStories-1842-MormonTimes.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 6:00pm MST

Today two important AP News stories broke: - Recordings show how the Mormon church protects itself from child sex abuse claims: https://apnews.com/article/mormon-chu...

- Takeaways from The AP’s investigation into the Mormon church’s handling of sex abuse cases: https://apnews.com/article/mormon-chu...

And the Deseret News issued a response: https://www.deseret.com/2023/12/3/239...

Please join us at 6pm mountain today as Rebecca Bibliotheca (Mormonish Podcast), Bill Reel and Radio Free Mormon (Mormonism Live!), and John Dehlin (Mormon Stories Podcast) share recent news from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1841-MormonTimes.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 9:48am MST

Mormon Stories Podcast is truly at a crossroads. We have had our highest impact year of all time (by far) in 2023, but we have also lost several recurring donors that have not been replaced by new donors. We have also been the subject of fierce attacks that have been extremely expensive financially, and in terms of time and emotional energy.

We are currently at the point of possibly needing to reduce our efforts, unless at least a few hundred monthly donors step up to replace the donors we lost over the past two years.

If you find value in Mormon Stories podcast - either for yourself or for the broader community - please consider becoming a monthly donor today.

Thank you. The Mormon Stories Podcast Team

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Direct download: MormonStories-1841-MSCrossroads.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 2:19pm MST

In this interview, we delve into Brittney Hartley's journey as an Atheist spiritual director, exploring her Mormon upbringing, faith crisis, and profound shifts in beliefs. From being kicked out of home at 16 to grappling with Mormon doctrine and culture at BYU-Idaho, Brittney's story navigates her loss of faith, teaching seminary, raising kids outside the Church, and finding herself in nihilism's depths. 

The conversation touches on existential fears, embracing the absurdity of life, and the power of personal growth through dark times. Brittney's insights challenge conventional beliefs, highlighting the value of authenticity, inner peace, and ethical living beyond religious confines.

This is a must-watch for anyone struggling to find meaning in life after leaving religion.

No Nonsense Spirituality

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Direct download: MormonStories-1840-BrittneyHartley.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

John Larsen is back for a new series! Join us as we discuss Joseph Smith's teachings of the devil in the Pearl of Great Price.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1839-SatanInMormonism.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 6:00pm MST

Book Club is back with Rebecca Bibliotheca and John Dehlin! Joining with them as they discuss the Mountain Meadows Massacre is author and historian Barbara Brown Jones. Barbara cowrote "Vengeance is Mine" with Richard Turley. Barbara puts down rumors about the Mountain Meadows Massacre and why it started and discusses who was to blame for it and who was not. 

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Direct download: MormonStories-1838-BarbraJonesBrown.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 1:27pm MST

Content Warning: Discussions of @‌buse of children, including ince$t.

Those who want to support Amanda can do so here:
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https://paypal.com/paypalme/AmandaRaeGrant

The Kingston Group, founded by Elden Kingston, has a complex hierarchy where Ortell emerged as a leader, introducing incestuous practices. From bloodline beliefs linking them to Jesus to intricate rules dictating marriages, the Order's control over its members is striking.

In this gripping interview with Amanda Rae, we dive deep into the secretive world of The Order, exploring its history, shocking practices, and the personal experiences of those raised within it. Amanda unveils the manipulation and trauma faced by women, the indoctrination of children in their schools, and the stark realities of life under polygamous marriages.

Revealing her own journey, Amanda shares her struggle for freedom and the challenges faced after leaving. Her recounting of institutionalized financial fraud, emotional manipulation, and attempts to break free from The Order's grip are both heart-wrenching and eye-opening. Tune in for an insider's perspective, confronting the darker aspects of cults, survival after leaving, and the ongoing healing process.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1837-AmandaRae.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Does accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet require rejecting vast fields of science and scholarship?

Join us as we consider long-held assumptions about Joseph Smith and the truth claims of Mormonism. We highlight problematic beliefs like dark skin being a curse from God, Native Americans as a cursed and loathsome people, evolution and DNA studies being incompatible with LDS teachings, and linguistic, archaeological, and historical evidence contradicting the Book of Mormon's divine origins.

LDS Discussion Essay

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Direct download: MormonStories-1836-LDSDIfJSGotItRight.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Today we will contrast the Mormon church's claim the apostle M. Russell Ballard did not do anything to support OUR founder Tim Ballard, vs. Mormon millionaire Russell Brunson's public video acknowledging that Elder Ballard introduced Brunson to Ballard.

It appears as though both Elder Ballard and the LDS Church are deceiving both LDS church members and the general public.

Russell Brunson's Video

ABC's deleted report (archived)

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Direct download: MormonStories-BrunsonAndBallard.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 3:40pm MST

We explore the tumultuous history of Mormonism after Joseph Smith's death, including Brigham Young's succession and controversial doctrines like polygamy and blood atonement. Lindsay Hansen Park and Bryan Buchanan guide us through the schisms, scandals and sexual dynamics of this era, from the chaotic leadership struggles in Nauvoo to the restrictive culture of polygamy in Utah.

We examine how polygamy hindered missionary work and statehood, the harsh realities for women, the escalating conflicts with the US government, and the 1870s crackdown on plural marriage. Despite sympathizing with early Mormons, the hosts candidly critique problematic teachings and figures like Brigham Young. They argue that Mormonism still struggles from a reluctance to denounce past errors, which allows those harmful ideas to persist and hurt people today. This no-holds-barred journey illuminates a complex chapter of Mormon history.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1834-LindsayAndBryanPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Shocking new filing in the Tim Ballard case alleges that Mormon apostle M. Russell Ballard gives wealthy tithing donor info to Tim Ballard and OUR to help them fundraise, that Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes intimidated possible witnesses, and that Glenn Beck was collaborating with apostle Neil L. Andersen, Tim Ballard, and Sean Reyes to do damage control with the Tim Ballard harassment allegations debacle.

Amended Complaint

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Direct download: MormonStories-1833-TimBallardNewAllegations.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

In this captivating episode with John Dehlin, Nemo the Mormon, and Mike on LDS Discussions, we delve into the controversial miracle stories of Mormon Prophet Russell M. Nelson. What are the implications for a spokesperson of God to fabricate and exaggerate, including (or especially) in regards to revelation like the November 2015 LGBT exclusionary policy. Join us in unraveling the motivations behind these distortions and why they hold significant consequences. How do these accounts shape our understanding of religious leadership?

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Direct download: MormonStories-1824-RMNMiracleStories.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Blaze Thibaudeau is a 16-year-old boy from Gilbert, Arizona who went missing recently. He was found in Alaska with his mother and uncle. According to the news, his mother and uncle are under a doomsday "delusion" and believe in the imminent Second Coming of Christ. They see Blaze as a "Davidic servant" who plays a significant role in the Savior's return. Is this yet another example of Mormon fundamentalist extremism tied to Visions of Glory and Thom Harrison?

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Direct download: MormonStories-1831-BlazeThibaudeau.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 7:00pm MST

Kim and Josh Coffin's candid discussion with John Dehlin delves into their journey of faith transition within the Mormon Church, exploring the challenges and triumphs of rebuilding their identities and relationships post-departure. Kim's exploration of her LGBTQIA identity, Josh's shift in parenting roles, and their mutual reframing of mental health and gender dynamics are emphasized. The interview highlights their shared experiences of loss, disassociation, and the transformation of their personal and communal beliefs. The Coffins' unwavering commitment to rediscovering authenticity and embracing personal growth serves as an inspiring narrative for those navigating the complexities of faith and identity within and beyond religious communities.

Sweet Red Poppy - Cricut, Sewing, Crafting & DIY Tutorials

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Direct download: MormonStories-1830-JoshAndKimCoffinPt3.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Kim and Josh Coffin recount their experiences with the world of visions and apocalyptic beliefs in Mormonism, discussing the influence of figures like Chad Daybell and the controversial AVOW community. They shed light on their personal encounters with end-time preparations, the impact on family dynamics, and the implications of their father's involvement with Chad Daybell. The interview touches on the church's handling of such groups and the lack of clear condemnation, raising questions about accountability and the need for more decisive action. The Coffins' candid exploration of their family dynamics within the context of these extreme beliefs serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked apocalyptic communities within the Mormon faith.

Sweet Red Poppy - Cricut, Sewing, Crafting & DIY Tutorials

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Direct download: MormonStories-1829-JoshAndKimCoffinPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:15am MST

Kim's upbringing was fraught with fear, driven by intense preparations for the Second Coming. Themes of spiritual scrupulosity and the ominous echoes of evil spirits were deeply ingrained. Her father's prepper mindset, financial exploitation, and extreme beliefs added to the tumult. Josh's narrative exposes the suffocating expectations of righteousness and conditional love, culminating in his distressing mission experience and subsequent social rejection.

This candid conversation delves into the challenges and repercussions of rigid Mormon ideology, underscoring the profound impacts on individuals and families. The gripping insights shared here provide a raw and thought-provoking glimpse into the complex realities faced by many within the Mormon community.

Sweet Red Poppy - Cricut, Sewing, Crafting & DIY Tutorials

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Direct download: MormonStories-1828-JoshAndKimCoffinnPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Join us as we interview journalist, author and former fitness director of Men's Health magazine Michael Easter. Michael has written two books: The Comfort Crisis and Scarcity Brain. Today, Michael discusses hard topics like Why do people become addicted? How does scarcity put our brains in a loop? How does religion play into all of this?

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Direct download: MormonStories-1825-MichaelEaster.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

In this riveting discussion with John Dehlin and panelists Lauren Mathias, Megan Connor, and Mindy Caldwell, we explore the disturbing connections between Thom Harrison's book "Visions of Glory" and the recent fundamentalist Mormon crime cases, including the Vallow-Daybell tragedy and the Tim Ballard controversy. The panel dissects the influence of Harrison's teachings on individuals like Lori Vallow and others involved in extreme religious practices, shedding light on the dangerous impact of unverified spiritual claims. They also delve into the concerning associations with psychic mediums, shadow governments, and the spread of radical ideologies within certain Mormon communities, raising critical questions about the role of these beliefs in recent criminal incidents.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1826-VisionOfGloryPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 6:00pm MST

Today we will discuss someone described as the "spiritual leader" of alleged murders Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow, alleged abuser Tim Ballard, and recently-imprisoned Jodi Hildebrandt.

Thom Harrison is a prominent Utah therapist who published a book called "Visions of Glory" in 2012, focusing on three of his alleged near death experiences (including personal visitations from Jesus Christ). As has been uncovered over the past few years, Thom Harrison' and his book "Visions of Glory" have been highly influential across the Mormon "prepper" neo-fundamentalist community, and particularly in the lives and stories of Chad Daybell, Lori Vallow, Tim Ballard, Jodi Hildebrant, as well as other "preppers" such as Julie Rowe, Rod Meldrum, and alleged abuser-therapist Maurice Harker.

Part of what has made Visions of Glory so successful is that Thom (through the pseudonym Spencer) claims in his book that his visions were approved of by an un-named Mormon apostle (who now is known to be the late Neal A. Maxwell).

Finally, we will discuss how the Mormon church was made aware of Thom Harrison and his book in the 2012-2013 time period, and chose to promote Thom to bishop instead of to punish him and/or stop the publishing of his book.

Lauren Matthias (Hidden True Crime Podcast), Megan Connor (Lori Vallow's cousin), and Mindy Caldwell (Mormon super-sluether) will be joining us for this panel discussion.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1825-VisionsOfGloryPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Book Club is back with Rebecca Bibliotheca! Joining her and John Dehlin is Dr. Sarah Patterson as she introduces us to her book on the “September Six”, a group of scholars and feminists excommunicated from the LDS Church in September 1993.

The interview examines the impact of excommunications, the power of the Church's stance on purity, and the consequences for members. Sarah also highlights the importance of remembering those who paved the way for open conversations and change within the Church.

The September Six and the Struggle for the Soul of Mormonism by Sara Patterson

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Direct download: MormonStories-1823-SaraPatterson.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

From 1904-1907 Congress held a series of hearings on whether Reed Smoot, an LDS apostle who was elected to the Senate, should be seated. The hearing provide a deep look at Mormon practice, history and theology in the congressional record. These hearings and the controversies surrounding them remain a pivotal moment in Mormon History.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1823-ReedSmootHearings.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Mormon apologetics have been around ever since Mormonism has existed. Join with Mike, Nemo and John as they discuss the types of apologetics that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints engage in and why they are all flawed. 

LDS Discussions Essay on Apologetics: Overview of Apologetic Responses Within Mormonism

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Direct download: MormonStories-LDSDMormonApologetics.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Amy Lloyd condenses the CES Letter for teens, emphasizing the importance of informed consent in matters of faith. She delves into the Book of Mormon's origins, translation, and its value despite historical concerns and addresses foundational topics such as the First Vision, Book of Abraham, polygamy, and polyandry, shedding light on critical issues within the Church's history. This thoughtful discussion serves as a valuable resource for those navigating complex issues within the Mormon faith.

https://lettertomychild.net/


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Direct download: MormonStories-1820-AmyLloydPt3.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Yesterday I reached out to one of my LDS bishop contacts to see if Tim Ballard still showed up as an active member in the "Tools for Leaders" web application. Today we will be sharing what they captured (child info redacted). Tim is no longer listed as head of household for his family. We will also provide a few more details about the Tim Ballard story and his excommunication.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1820-TimBallardExcommunication.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 1:15pm MST

I have some sad and some possibly happy news to announce.

First the sad news.

Mormon Stories Podcast has just received today a temporary restraining order requiring us to take down our interview of Adam Paul Steed - the courageous whistleblower to Mormon church Boy Scout sexual abuse in Idaho, and one of the many victims of 8 Passengers Therapist Jodi Hildebrandt. We are not at liberty to discuss publicly the details of the restraining order at this time.

For those who were not yet able to see Adam Steed's interview, in it he focused on the following:

1) His story of courageously speaking up as a victim of Mormon-church backed child abuse in its Idaho Boy Scout program,
2) How he and his father fought to successful change the statue of limitation laws for child sexual abuse victims in Idaho,
3) How he and his young family (while at BYU) were referred to therapist Jodi Hildebrandt by his Mormon bishop,
4) How (by Adam's report) Jodi Hildebrandt destroyed both his reputation and his family, through various unethical therapy practices, including violating his confidentiality by reporting false and/or confidential information to the BYU Honor Code Office, leading to his suspension from BYU.
5) How he fought back against Jodi Hildebrandt by successfully getting Jodi Hildebrandt's license suspended. And finally,
6) Adam's firm belief that the Mormon church intentionally weaponized Jodi Hildebrandt and her tactics to destroy both his life and his family, in part as retaliation for his work as a Boy Scout abuse whistleblower within the Mormon church.

Because of the importance of Adam's story, we are heartbroken to have to take it down (for now). Especially after hearing from thousands of Mormons, post-Mormons, and never-Mormons who found Adam's story to be validating and/or healing.

Here's the good news: this week we are actively working with a few major media outlets to: 1) Give voice to the victims of Jodi Hildebrandt, of other Mormon church-recommended "sex addiction" therapists like "Sons of Helaman," "Fight the New Drug," and Lifestar, as well as and from the Mormon church's "Addiction and Recovery Program" targeting its members for "sex addiction." And: 2) Hold both the Mormon church and these unethical therapists including Jodi Hildebrandt accountable for their unethical malpractice.

Here's what we need from you: If you or someone you love has been harmed by either:

  1. Jodi Hildebrandt,
  2. a Mormon church-recommended "sex addiction" therapist (like Sons of Helaman or Lifestar), or
  3.  from the Mormon church's "Addiction and Recovery Program" (wherein healthy, normative behaviors were pathologized as "sex addiction"), please email your story as soon as possible to mormonstories@gmail.com.

In your email, please include the following sections:

  1. The date range that you worked with these people. We are particularly interested in patients recommended to Jodi Hildebrandt and others like her AFTER 2012.
  2. The names of the therapist(s) or you worked with.
  3. Any detail you can provide about who recommended you (especially if a Mormon church bishop or leader).
  4. A description of the unethical therapy practices and how they harmed you. And
  5. A confirmation of whether or not you are willing to speak with a journalist, either on the record or off the record.

Again, please email this information to mormonstories@gmail.com as soon as you are able. Finally, we promise you that at Mormon Stories Podcast, we will do everything we can to:

  1. Restore Adam Paul Steed's Mormon story,
  2. Help you and other victims tell your stories about Jodi Hildebrandt and/or other unethical Mormon therapists, and practices, and
  3.  Help both the Mormon church and its unethical therapists and programs be held accountable for the harm that they have caused so many individuals and families. Sincerely, John Dehlin and the Mormon Stories Podcast Team

 


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Direct download: MormonStories-AdamSteedCourtOrder.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 3:36pm MST

Women alleging abuse during their time as employees and contractors of Operation Underground Railroad have retained Attorney Suzette Rasmussen as counsel. She will address the media with a statement on behalf of the alleged victims who have chosen to remain anonymous on Thursday.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1819-TimBallardVictimsSpeakOut.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:56am MST

Amy Lloyd is back for part two as we explore the challenges of navigating life after leaving the Mormon Church and going through a divorce. Amy highlights the importance of informed consent and the pressure children can face within the church as she navigates co-parenting with a believing spouse and how to handle things such as baptism for their children. Amy's parenting approach focuses on open conversations, allowing her children to make informed decisions about their beliefs. She shares her journey of helping her kids understand complex topics like polygamy and internal versus external truth.

Amy encourages parents to find common ground with their ex-spouses, avoid overcorrecting, and apologize when necessary. She emphasizes the importance of processing grief and highlights that there is a happy, healthy life after leaving the Mormon Church and going through divorce.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1813-AmyLloydPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Several members of 8 Passengers Mom Ruby Franke's family have spoken out about their concerns with ConneXions therapist Jodi Hildebrandt, including Ruby's sisters Bonnie and Julie, and Ruby's husband Kevin Franke (through his attorney). Join us today as we review the Mormon church teachings that created and empowered Jodi Hildebrandt, and how Jodi used them to destroy the Franke family.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1817-8PassengersFamilySpeaksOut.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

In this revealing interview with Amy Lloyd, we journey through her Mormon upbringing, challenging moments, and her eventual break from the faith. Amy delves into the guilt working women carry within the Church and highlights the lingering impact of the Benson talk. She questions the infallibility of church leaders and shares her liberal ward experience. As she navigates her college years at BYU, she candidly discusses the conflicting expectations placed upon women.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1812-AmyLloydPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

In this engaging interview with historian Bryan Buchanan and Lindsay Hansen Park (Year of Polygamy Podcast) we delve into the complex history of Joseph Smith's controversial practice of polygamy. What evidence supports his multiple marriages, the experiences of his wives, and the implications of this aspect of Mormon history?

Throughout the interview, we emphasize the importance of nuanced historical analysis over apologetics, encouraging open and honest discussions about Mormon history, polygamy, and the broader impact of these topics on the faith's evolution and how it affects members today. This interview provides a thought-provoking exploration of the complexities within Mormon history and invites them to engage in constructive conversations about these issues.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1815-LindsayAndBrianPolygampPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

In this interview with hosts John Dehlin and Gerardo Sumano, Tim Marchman and Anna Merlan discuss the controversies surrounding Tim Ballard and Operation Underground Railroad (OUR). They explore the origins of Vice News stories, scrutinize responses from Tim Ballard and the Mormon Church, and delve into troubling allegations against Tim Ballard. These include inappropriate behavior toward women and his association with M. Russell Ballard's name in connection with OUR.

The discussion reveals the challenges of responsible journalism when tackling sensitive topics like human trafficking. Marchman and Merlan highlight the complexities of undercover trafficking investigations and question the legitimacy of Tim Ballard's mission.

This interview emphasizes the need for transparency and thorough investigation when handling allegations that could impact organizations dedicated to combating human trafficking. It underscores the importance of rigorous journalistic practices in evaluating complex and sensitive subjects.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1814-TimBallardVice.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:15am MST

Join us as we delve into the recent condemnation by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of Tim Ballard, founder of Operation Underground Railroad. The Church has distanced itself from Tim Ballard, citing unauthorized use of its name and activities deemed morally unacceptable. This condemnation adds a new layer to the controversy surrounding him, with implications for his potential 2024 U.S. Senate run.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1812-TimBallardvsMormonChurch.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:15am MST

In this interview, we delve into how Russell M. Nelson, the leader of the LDS Church, addresses doubt.

Nelson's 2021 talk on doubts and "lazy learners" encourages members to "choose to believe" and not dwell on doubts. He suggests applying this approach to real-world situations, reframing faith to transcend evidence, and using the bandwagon effect to suppress doubts.

The conversation also explores how Nelson portrays both fulfillment and failure as aspects of faith. The church historian in 2023 acknowledges compelling reasons for doubt, yet Kyle McKay uses Nelson's talk to instill fear of doubt in members.

LDS Discussions Essay on doubt: Overview of How the Church Handles Doubts with the Book of Mormon (ldsdiscussions.com)

Overview of How the Church Handles Doubts

 


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Direct download: MormonStories-1808-RussellMNelsonDoubts.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Lupe (Mayorga) Bartholomew es la madre de David Archuleta, finalista de American Idol. Lupe, su madre y sus tres hermanas se unieron a la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días en Honduras el 22 de septiembre de 1978. Con el tiempo, Lupe y su familia vinieron a los Estados Unidos para vivir el sueño mormón. Lupe vivió como una madre mormona muy feliz y plenamente creyente hasta 2022, cuando su hijo David le reveló que es gay. Las dificultades de David con las normas y doctrinas anti-LGTBQ de la Iglesia de los Santos de los Últimos Días llevaron a Lupe a comenzar a cuestionar la fe mormona que tanto amaba.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1811-LupeBartholomewSpanish.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 1:30pm MST

Lupe (Mayorga) Bartholomew is American Idol finalist David Archuleta's mother. Lupe, her mother, and her three sisters joined the LDS church in Honduras on September 22, 1978. Ultimately, Lupe and her family came to the United States to live the Mormon dream. Lupe lived as a very happy, fully believing, orthodox Mormon mother until 2022, when her son, David, came out as gay. David's difficulties with the LDS Church's LGTBQ policies and doctrines caused Lupe to begin questioning the Mormon faith that she loved. This is Lupe's Mormon story.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1810-LupeBartholomewEnglish.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 9:00am MST

Mormon therapist Jodi Hildebrandt is in jail along with "8 Passengers" mother Ruby Franke under allegations of child abuse. Jodi Hildebrandt is the founder of ConneXions Classroom - a program created to help Mormon couples, parents, and families "transform your mental health and relationships."

Jessi Hildebrandt (they/them) is Jodi Hildebrandt's niece and outlines a deeply disturbing history with their aunt Jodi Hildebrandt.

Please join us for Jessi's story.

Jessi's Venmo

Jessi's Insta

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Direct download: MormonStories-1808-JessiHildebrandt.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 8:15am MST

Licensed Marriage, Family, and Sex Therapist Natasha Helfer and Psychology Ph.D. John Dehlin react to shocking videos from the ConneXions program founded by "therapist" Jodi Hildebrandt, who ran a partnership with Mormon mommy vlogger Ruby Franke. Both Jodi and Ruby have recently been arrested on suspicion of child abuse.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1807-TherapistOnConneXions.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 3:15pm MST

Join us on a fascinating journey with hosts John & Margi Dehlin as we delve into the captivating life of our guest, James Camacho. From his upbringing in a devout Mormon family to becoming an atheist, James shares his struggles with belief, questioning authority, and seeking personal happiness. We explore how his perspective was shaped by his academic achievements and love for mathematics. Discover the eye-opening discussions about the Mormon bubble, doubts about serving a mission, and the profound impact of rationality camps. This interview is a thought-provoking exploration of informed consent, the quest for truth, and the pursuit of authenticity, sure to resonate with those who have grappled with doubt, sought rationality in belief systems, or navigated challenging conversations about faith with loved ones.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1806-JamesCamacho.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Join John Dehlin and YouTubers Jordan and McKay (@jordanmckay) to discuss the recent arrest of Mormon YouTube Mom Ruby Franke of "8 Passengers" fame and Mormon therapist Jodi Hildebrandt on child abuse charges. We will be discussing the history of the Franke family and the 8 Passengers YouTube channel, as well as the super-controversial work of Jodi Hildebrandt as a Mormon therapist focusing on "sexual addiction" (i.e. masturbation), marriage counseling, and parenting. We welcome your stories as well!

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Direct download: MormonStories-1805-8Passengers.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 3:13pm MST

Join LatterGayStories for a black-tie art gayla!

In 2014, the Mormon church stopped printing The Miracle of Forgiveness. By 2015 they began removing copies from their bookstore shelves at Deseret Book. Even though the printed version was culled, Deseret Book continued to sell digital-download copies of the book online.

In 2021, LatterGayStories started the #TrashTheStash movement, encouraging its audience to remove copies of The Miracle of Forgiveness from bookshelves, home libraries, church buildings, and thrift stores. In the first year, our audience removed nearly 6,000 copies of the book, an undertaking that was documented every Thursday on the LatterGayStories Facebook and Instagram pages.

https://www.eventcreate.com/e/miracle-of-forgiveness-art

Now in its second year, we have collected over 8,000 copies of The Miracle of Forgiveness. On December 31, 2021, Deseret Book quietly deleted the online version of The Miracle of Forgiveness from their platform, thus ending the availability to purchase the book through official LDS sources. Reining since 1969 and selling more than 2,2 million printed and digital copies, the book is now fully discontinued.

What do we do with 8,000 copies of The Miracle of Forgiveness? We turn them into art!

For the second year in a row, we are inviting artists to create art pieces using reclaimed copies of The Miracle of Forgiveness. The art created from these books tell a story of the its harmful rhetoric and through the art comes healing, progress, and the ability to thrive.

JOIN US! September 16, 2023 | 7:00 PM at Trolley Square in Salt Lake City, for the black tie art gala!

We will have an open art exhibit displaying the art, a cocktail hour with drinks, hor d'oeuvres, a short program, and a private concert featuring EJ Michels to end the evening. Dust off the formal wear and join us for an awesome night.

Tickets are $35 | includes access to the exhibits, drinks, hor d'oeuvres, and the concert!

Direct download: MormonStories-ArtGalaAnnouncement.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 3:45pm MST

Since the beginning of the Church, there have been former members who turn whistle-blower and have written exposés. In this episode we will do a review of the most impactful of these through history.

JOIN THE NUANCE HUG FOUNDATION LAUNCH PARTY ON SEPTEMBER 9TH

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Direct download: MormonStories-JohnLarsenWhistleblowers.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Dan is back to discuss how informed, intelligent Mormons can still believe and participate in Mormonism.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1803-DanMcClellenPt3.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 9:00am MST

Dan McClellan is back to offer insights into common views of the Bible, including Evangelical and Latter-day Saint perspectives. He suggests that Latter-day Saints should be open to the Bible's potential inaccuracies and dives into the intricate topic of authorship, revealing that many individuals contributed to the texts over a thousand years.

McClellan challenges literal interpretations of biblical figures like Moses and Adam based on available data, but doesn’t stop there! He also explores gender roles, slavery, and polygamy in biblical contexts, revealing how ancient societies influenced these aspects. End-time prophecies, the concept of Hell, and their development are also examined.

McClellan advocates for a nuanced approach to the Bible, emphasizing the importance of understanding its genre and historical context. The interview encourages critical engagement with this ancient and complex text.

Dan McClellan

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Direct download: MormonSories-1781-DanMcClellanPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Join me as we delve into the fascinating journey of Dan McClellan, who revolutionized biblical scholarship on TikTok. With over 600k followers, he democratized access to biblical knowledge, showcasing his deep background in Jewish and Bible studies. From his unique mission experiences in Uruguay to his thought-provoking discussions on homosexuality and creation accounts in the Bible, Dan's insights captivate.

Born agnostic, his conversion to Mormonism took a more social and emotional route than intellectual. He's an active church member, even as he navigates complex topics. Armed with degrees from BYU and Oxford, his scholarship journey encompassed questioning traditional beliefs about historical accuracy, leading him to prioritize data over dogma.

His TikTok journey balances his roles as a church employee and a respected scholar, bridging the gap between academia and the public. He explores intriguing topics like God having a wife and homosexuality in the Bible, backed by meticulous research. Don't miss Dan's upcoming book that promises to dive deeper into these compelling issues. This interview is a stimulating exploration of faith, data-driven analysis, and respectful dialogue.

Dan McClellan

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Direct download: MormonStories-DanMcClellanPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

In this eye-opening episode of LDS Discussions, Mike, John Dehlin, and Nemo the Mormon explore the Mormon church's approach to handling doubt. They take a brief historical journey into the realm of Mormon doubt and apologetics. We critically examine the church's framing of doubters as “unruly children” and labeling doubts that lead away from the church as “evil.” They discuss the reliance on the church as the sole source of authority on truth and the discouragement of critical thinking. With insights from various church authorities, this episode provides valuable perspectives on navigating doubt within the Mormon church. Listeners who have experienced doubts or questioned their faith may find this episode particularly enlightening and relatable.

Overview of How the Church Handles Doubts (ldsdiscussions.com)

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Direct download: MormonStories-1792-LDSDMormonDoubtPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Kattie & Allan from Marriage on a Tightrope Podcast are back with more great tips for navigating a mixed-faith relationship. This time they are sharing their mistakes to save others from making the same!

Support Marriage on a Tightrope

Enroll in Marriage on a Tightrope Workshop

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Direct download: MormonStories-1799-AllanAndKattieMount.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 6:00pm MST

Join hosts John & Margi Dehlin in an insightful interview with guest Ganesh Cherian. Explore Ganesh's journey within Mormonism, from his parents' conversion to his mission experiences. Uncover his challenges as a young Bishop, battles with mental health, and exploration of Church history. Learn how Ganesh's progressive stance and writing ignited reactions from his circle leading to the Church sending a Cease and Desist. Discover why he chooses to remain a member as you tune in for a candid exploration of faith, change, and identity.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1798-GaneshjiCherian.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

In this intriguing interview with John Dehlin and Radio Free Mormon, we delve into the contentious topic of Joseph Smith's polygamy. We start by questioning the need to discuss Smith's polygamy and encounter neo-fundamentalist Mormons asserting it was a scheme. The 1980s saw the Community of Christ church retracting their stance on Smith's polygamy. A caller on Mormonism LIVE claims Smith wasn't a polygamist, raising the pivotal question: Was he truly one? Historians unanimously agree he was.

Examining contemporary evidence, including the Nauvoo Expositor, we see a mosaic of affidavits and records debunking theories of D&C 132 being a forgery. The interview tackles apologetic tactics in the face of such evidence, uncovering the truth behind Joseph Smith's complex history. Tune in to unravel the mysteries surrounding Joseph Smith's polygamy and witness the uncovering of undeniable truths.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1797-RFMJSPolygamy.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

In this gripping interview, hosts John Dehlin, Radio Free Mormon, Kolby Reddish, and Rebecca Bibliotheca delve into a landmark court opinion that has sent shockwaves through the religious community. From the very first moment, the hosts dissect the heart of the matter: a $1.6 billion lawsuit revolving around tithing and alleged deceit. They unpack each paragraph of the ruling, illuminating how religious institutions can be held accountable for fraud outside of the protections of free speech. With a compelling mix of analysis, declarations, and analogies, this interview resonates as a thought-provoking exposé of faith, deception, and accountability. As the interview concludes, listeners are left pondering the implications of the court's decision and the perception of a religious entity under scrutiny.

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41 page court opinion on James Huntsman case

 


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Direct download: MormonStories-1796-HuntsmanFraudLawsuit.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 7:00pm MST

Stacey Harkey, formerly part of the original cast of BYU TV’s Studio C, is known as an actor, writer, personal trainer, and for his involvement with Diversity Equity and Inclusion training and consulting in Equality Utah. Stacey shares his journey as a black and gay convert to the LDS Church. He navigated code-switching between Mormonism and Baptist culture, eventually questioning the Church's teachings about race. Returning to BYU after serving a mission to Brazil, he finally felt more comfortable and accepting of his identity. Stacey advocates for understanding and nuance, emphasizing that anger is not an effective way to create change. His story of self-discovery and resilience offers hope and inspiration to those facing similar struggles.

Contact Stacey:

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Direct download: MormonStories-1795-StaceyHarkey.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Over the past several years faithful Mormon Tim Ballard has brought much attention to the topic of human trafficking via his work with Operation Underground Railroad and the new movie "Sound of Freedom." During Ballard's fundraisers he often invokes his LDS faith as the foundation for his anti-trafficking. One possible problem with Ballard's Mormon-based anti-trafficking advocacy is that the founder of his religion - Joseph Smith - would very possibly qualify by today's standards as a human trafficker. In today's episode we use The Nauvoo Expositor - published by LDS Church 1st Presidency Member William Law - as the jumping off point to explore the question: was Joseph Smith involved in human trafficking? Joining us will be Julia Sanders, Nemo, and Samantha Shelley.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1794-JSHumanTrafficking.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 10:00am MST

Join us for part two with our insightful guest, Celeste Davis. Picking up from where we left off she takes us on her transformative path of leaving the Mormon Church and reevaluating her beliefs with courage and vulnerability. From deconstructing patriarchy, capitalism, and monogamy to embracing uncertainty and finding self-compassion, Celeste shares practical tools and profound insights for spiritual growth. Her journey of self-discovery offers a fresh perspective on beliefs about God, Jesus, and the afterlife, inspiring listeners to explore their own unique paths and live authentically. If you're seeking enlightenment, emotional regulation, and a deeper understanding of self, this conversation is a must-listen.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1792-CelesteDavisPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Join John and Margi as they interview spiritual director, Celeste Davis. Celeste was born and raised in the church, went to BYU, served a mission in Slovenia, and married in the temple. For many years Celeste wrote for the Church’s official blog and, as of today, those articles can still be found there. During the church’s involvement with Prop 8 and the 2015 Exclusion Policy, Celeste’s husband began to lose hope in the church. Celeste grappled with the burden of holding her family in Mormonism but began to question even God himself. Who is God and how can we have a relationship with him? 
 
 
 

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Direct download: MormonStories-1792-CelesteDavisPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Step into the thought-provoking world of hosts John Larsen, Carah Burrell, and John Dehlin as they delve into the life and beliefs of Ezra Taft Benson, an influential figure in Mormonism. Uncovering historical insights, they explore Benson's views on communism, civil rights, and his perplexing association with conspiracy theories. From dissecting Benson's rigid authoritarian stance to questioning his understanding of communism, they candidly evaluate the impact of his leadership within the Church.

With engaging discussions on American exceptionalism, the divinity of the Constitution, and the role of women in Benson's teachings, this episode invites listeners to reflect on how religious leaders can shape doctrines and beliefs. Whether you're curious about the intersections of religion and politics, the complexity of prophetic claims, or the enduring legacy of influential figures, this enthralling conversation will leave you pondering the relevance of Ezra Taft Benson's teachings in today's ever-changing world. Explore the fascinating journey of a man whose beliefs have sparked both admiration and controversy, and join the hosts in exploring the possibility of reconciling past prophecies with present realities.

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Dabbler Farm Wishlist

 


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Direct download: MormonStories-1791-JohnLarsenETB.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Tina's upbringing in the Mormon Church seemed uneventful until she had a troubling temple experience that made her question whether it was a cult. Zane, initially attracted to Tina's spirituality, went through his own faith crisis after reading anti-Mormon literature but eventually had a "spiritual experience" reaffirming his belief in the church.

Their story takes a dramatic turn when Tina starts losing her testimony, leading to emotional turmoil within their marriage, especially since Zane is called to be a bishop. The couple navigates the complexities of a non-believing bishop leading a congregation and the challenges of facing their doubts and fears while remaining true to themselves and their family.

Note: The airing of this episode was delayed at the request of the Beards until they felt more comfortable in their circumstances for it to become public.

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Direct download: MormonStories-ZaneAndTinaBeard.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

John Dehlin is joined by guests Spencer Anderson, Radio Free Mormon, and Rebecca Bibliotheca to go over the latest Widow’s Mite Report shedding light on the financial practices and transparency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We discuss the church's significant wealth and delve into its historical and current approach to charitable giving. We expose discrepancies in reported figures, revealing how the church combines various donations to inflate its humanitarian efforts. We explore whether the church could do more with its immense resources and discuss its environmental stewardship initiatives. Additionally, the conversation touches on tax issues in Australia and Canada. If you're curious about the financial side of religious institutions and their charitable efforts, this eye-opening discussion provides valuable insights.

The Widow's Mite Report Overview

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Direct download: MormonStories-1789-WidowsMitePt3.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 8:00am MST

Join hosts Mike, Nemo, and John Dehlin as they delve into the intricacies of spiritual witnesses within Mormonism. How do sincere seekers often end up with different answers when appealing to "the Spirit"? Can individuals be exploited by circumstances deliberately designed to create feelings of spiritual confirmation? What are the consequences when "spiritual witnesses" go wrong?

Join us as we dive into the psychological phenomena of spiritual witnesses. We examine topics such as indoctrination, repetition, and the Illusory Truth effect, as well as other psychological mechanisms like confirmation bias, the backfire effect, and motivated reasoning. This episode can provide insight to your own spiritual experiences and provide tools to recognize attempts to manufacture the experience in you.

Overview of Testimonies and Spiritual Witnesses in Mormonism (ldsdiscussions.com)

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Direct download: MormonStories-1788-LDSDSpiritualWitnesses.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 7:00am MST

Today we will be covering the new hit movie Sound of Freedom - based loosely on the work of Tim Ballard, founder of Operation Underground Railroad.

If you have first-hand stories of experiences with Tim Ballard and/or OUR, or other information that could be helpful to this episode, please email them to me at mormonstories@gmail.com.

Joining us for the interview will be journalists Anna Merlan and Tim Marchman, who have both been heavily involved in coverage of this story.

Human Trafficking Advocacy | Freedom Network USA

Articles from Vice on Tim Ballard and OUR can be found below:

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Direct download: MormonStories-1783-SoundOfFreedom.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 4:00pm MST

Join us for part three of our interview with Bill and Amanda Reel as we navigate the intricate topics of identity, spirituality, and the profound impact of shedding religious frameworks. We delve into discussions on morality, sexuality, and the complexities of relationships in a post-religious context, explore the meaning and purpose of life beyond religious constructs and the challenges of finding community and support outside of traditional religious structures. Prepare to be inspired and challenged as we venture into the realms of existentialism, the resolution of death, and the embrace of the present moment. Join us on this captivating exploration of life, spirituality, and the endless possibilities that lie beyond the confines of religious dogma.

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Direct download: MormonStories-BillAndAmandaReelPt3.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 7:00am MST

Dive deeper into the captivating story of Bill and Amanda Reel as they embark on the second part of their remarkable journey. We explore their gripping encounters with church authorities, their disillusionment with Mormonism's truth claims, and their courageous decision to become whistleblowers within the faith. Discover the challenges they faced, including the lack of safety to be honest and the harm caused by the Mormon Church. Bill gives insight into the world of Mormon apologists and their ethics, as well as the transformative power of real authenticity when you can leave behind the burden of inauthenticity. Explore the shifting landscape of progressive Mormonism and the ultimate question of whether the Church's good outweighs its flaws. Prepare to be captivated by this thought-provoking exploration of faith, honesty, and the personal sacrifices made in pursuit of truth and freedom.

Donate to Mormon Discussions

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Direct download: MormonStories-BillAndAmandaReelPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 7:00am MST

Discover the captivating story of Bill and Amanda Reel as they share their extraordinary journey through Mormonism, exploring Bill's transformation from a troubled youth seeking fatherly guidance to a dedicated bishop caught in a web of doubt and awakening. Unveil the challenges faced by this couple within the Mormon patriarchy, their relentless pursuit for truth, and how their experiences ultimately led them on a path of self-discovery and personal growth. Join us as we delve into the untold chapters of their lives, exposing the complexities and contradictions of faith, family, and the power of questioning within a religious institution.

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Direct download: MormonStories-BillAndAmandaReelPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:52am MST

Unearth the captivating rise of Brigham Young from the mesmerizing “Transfiguration” that altered Mormonism's course. Mike, Nemo, and John explore this event through meticulous analysis of historical records, contemporary journals, and a carefully constructed narrative. Unveil the astonishing accounts of miracles, including a highly cited backdated miracle and the use of carefully worded descriptions in "Saints." Discover why the Transfiguration holds immense significance for Mormonism and how it serves as a guide to the birth of miracle stories.

Overview of the Transfiguration of Brigham Young and Miraculous Stories (ldsdiscussions.com)

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Direct download: MormonStories-BrighamYoungTransfigurationLDSD42.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

In today's episode, we delve into the remarkable story of Rachel Weaver—another member of BYU's Black Menaces. Prepare for an inspiring exploration of Rachel's life as a black convert to a conservative religion in a liberal environment to her life as a student at BYU. What eventually led her to forge her own path by stepping away from the faith that once defined her?

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Black Menaces


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Direct download: MormonStories-1782-RachaelWeaver.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:00am MST

Today we discuss a recent Supreme Court ruling permitting businesses to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. It has been alleged that the case was based on a fake document. The Alliance Defending Freedom, a prominent Christian organization, was heavily involved in the case and the Mormon Church submitted an amicus brief supporting the discrimination. Join us as we briefly examine some of this contentious case's facts.

LDS Church's Amicus Brief

Brenton Erickson – Public Defender

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Direct download: MormonStories-1780-SupremeCourtDiscriminationCase.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 7:48am MST

In this episode we will review two books the Church "quietly" edited, making significant changes on the DL. The first is the Double Day version of the Book of Mormon published in 2004. The second is Rex Lee's "What do Mormons Believe? published in 1992.

Direct download: MormonStories-1780-JLTaleOfTwoBooks.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Join with John Dehlin and Gerardo as we interview social media influencer Hayley Rawle. She is the host of the “Girlscamp” Podcast, she was raised in the church, served a mission, married in the temple, and got her degree at BYU. In her story we will cover the struggles she had within her family, modesty culture, the hardships of serving a mission, gender roles in marriage, infertility, and more. As she puts it, “It’s like a normal Mormon story with a twist.”

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Direct download: MormonStories-1779HayleyRawle.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Join with us as we have a panel discussion of the new documentary series “Shiny Happy People” and its comparison to Mormonism. There are a striking number of similarities between Joseph Smith and IBLP leader Bill Gothard. We discuss the umbrella structure of IBLP and how abuse occurs so often in these High Demand groups and religions. Tia Levings, Brooke Arnold, and Lindsey Williams were personally interviewed and featured in Shiny Happy People because of their involvement with this group.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1778-ShinyHappyPeople.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Today we break new ground on Mormon Stories Podcast - we are interviewing a currently serving Mormon bishop who no longer believes in the core truth claims of the Mormon church (e.g. that it is the "one true church," that the Book of Mormon is historical, that Joseph Smith as a prophet in the way we are taught, in paying tithing, etc). Join us now as we learn about how he became a Mormon bishop, how he lost his literal Mormon faith as bishop, why he chose to "come out" on Mormon Stories Podcast while serving as bishop, and what he thinks the consequences will be for his actions.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1777-MoroniOrtiz.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 5:00pm MST

Join us as the two daughters of a Mormon Church’s Ensign Peak executive unravel the controversies, corruption, and conscience surrounding the LDS Church’s investment firm and its impact on the Mormon Church. Rylee and JoCee Porter share their initial doubts and concerns, discussing the morality of non-profits acting as for-profit entities and their reactions to David Nielsen's whistleblowing. We discuss the opulent Mormon temples in impoverished areas, the staggering $100 billion figure, and the ethical use of funds. Rylee and Jocee talk about their conversations with family members about Ensign Peak’s breaking of laws and the troubling implications of church leaders' involvement. Join us for an enlightening conversation that encourages critical thinking about the complexities surrounding Ensign Peak, raising questions about ethics, responsibility, and societal impact.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1776-RyleeAndJoCeePorterPt3.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

We continue delving into the challenges faced by sisters JoCee and Rylee Porter, daughters of an Advisor to Ensign Peak, the controversial Mormon investment company. JoCee’s story takes center-stage in this episode as she recalls feeling the need to be her family’s “Nephi”, (golden child) as both a reaction to the turmoil caused by Rylee’s perceived rebelliousness and an intense desire to feel her father’s love and attention. However, the more she achieves, the more she feels the constriction of Mormon gender roles. JoCee describes her journey into feminism, self-determination, self-discovery, and reconciliation with her sister Rylee just as the whistleblower leaks about Ensign Peak were coming to light…

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Direct download: MormonStories-1775-RyleeAndJoCeePorterPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Discover Rylee and JoCee Porter's challenges in a life intertwined with the LDS church, where their father served as an Ensign Peak Advisor, part of the Mormon Church's controversial investment company. In this episode, Rylee and Jocee recall their experiences as cultural minorities while their father worked on Wall Street and the cultural disparities they encountered upon moving to Utah, where they struggled with bullying and the insidious nature of Utah Mormonism. Uncover the pivotal moments that led Rylee to question the validity of the church’s truth claims and moral credibility, and eventually make the courageous decision to break free from the church at the cost of her family relationships. Get ready for an eye-opening conversation that delves into the complexities of faith, personal integrity, and the power of one's own principles.

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Direct download: MormonStories-RyleeAndJoCeePorterPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Come listen and get involved as John and Nemo discuss the groundbreaking developments happening in the UK. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United Kingdom, due to the activism work of 21st Century Saints and the Britvengers Collective, is making DBS checks mandatory for those who work with children and youth.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1773-UKBackgroundChecks.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:30am MST

In the highly anticipated Part Two of Saane's story, we pick up as she navigates her first year at BYU. Prepare for a candid exploration of her experiences as a person of color, including the challenges of dating and the fetishization she encounters from those who served Polynesian missions. As the conversation unfolds, Saane reveals the pervasive racism and hostile environment she faced from white peers, exacerbated by the election of Donald Trump. Saane shares her journey of self-discovery as she grapples with deep conflicts between her beliefs, values and identity and her determination to make a difference wherever she serves be it family, BYU and her mission to Tahiti. Don't miss this eye-opening episode as Saane discusses her evolving views and offers recommendations for a more inclusive BYU, all while reflecting on her heritage and the profound impact of her experiences.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1772-SaaneSialePt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Today John Dehlin is joined by Tongan Mormon, Saane Siale, with special guests Nate Byrd from BYU’s Black Menaces, and Beau Oyler, her former Bishop, as they delve into the unique experiences and challenges faced by racial minorities within Mormonism. They discuss the integration of Mormonism into Tongan culture, the complexities of being part of an ethnic ward, and the impact of white beauty standards on individuals of color. They also explore the internalized racism and the pursuit of academic excellence within marginalized communities, shedding light on the need for advocacy and social justice. Don't miss out on this insightful conversation as Saane shares her journey, from her upbringing to her awakening as an activist, while grappling with her faith and preparing for her future at BYU.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1771-SaaneSialePt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Join John, Nemo, and Mike in a captivating episode as they unravel the intricate tapestry of influences that shaped the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. From the unique doctrines of Mormonism to the enigmatic Book of Mormon, they embark on a thought-provoking journey through history and religious texts. Discover the surprising connections between revival sermons and the sermons in the Book of Mormon, and explore the profound influence of figures like Alexander Campbell on Joseph Smith's religious framework.

Delve into the visionary experiences that shaped Smith's spiritual journey, from the lesser-known first visions of Norris Stearns and Asa Wild to the fascinating early versions of "memes" in American history. Uncover the intriguing connections between the priesthood restoration and the teachings of the Campbellites, as well as the incorporation of the Book of Enoch in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. Journey through the Word of Wisdom and its links to the Temperance Movement and explore the historical contexts that influenced Smith's perspectives on the Curse of Cain and the Curse of Ham. Finally, peel back the layers of the Endowment Ceremony and its similarities to the Masonic Ceremony, shedding light on Joseph Smith's quest to restore ancient rituals.

Prepare for an eye-opening exploration of the diverse influences that shaped Joseph Smith and the emergence of Mormonism. In this episode, you'll uncover the intricate connections between historical events, religious movements, and Joseph Smith's visionary experiences, shedding new light on the foundations of one of America's most influential religious movements.

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Direct download: 1770MormonStories-JSSourcesMixtapeLDSD.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

In this enlightening interview, John Larsen explores with John Dehlin and Carah Burrell the concept of superiority within Mormonism and its far-reaching implications. He delves into the various ways in which superiority is ingrained in Mormon theology, scriptures, and practices, shedding light on the inherent biases and discriminatory narratives that persist within the community. From the belief in white skin as inherently superior to the patriarchal nature of the priesthood and the reinforcement of rigid gender roles, John uncovers the damaging effects of these doctrines. He also discusses the patronizing language used to describe those outside the faith, the exploitation of immigrant labor, and the prevalence of fraud among Mormons. Join John Larsen as he unpacks the complex dynamics of superiority within Mormonism and raises critical questions about its impact on individuals and society.

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Dabbler Farm Wishlist 

John Larsen – From the banks of chaos in my mind

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Direct download: MormonStories-1769-MormonSuperiorityJohnLarsen.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 7:00pm MST

In Part 2 of this eye-opening interview, Jared and Ashley Jones courageously share their experiences with child abuse within the Mormon community and the disturbing lengths to which leaders will go to protect abusers, even at the expense of victims. They recount the heart-wrenching journey that ensued after discovering sexual abuse allegations involving the teen son of a Bishopric member. Despite their efforts to seek justice and protect others, they faced resistance from church leaders who prioritized the reputation of the church and the experiences of the abuser's family over the safety and well-being of the families of his many victims time and time again. As Jared and Ashley shed light on the systemic failures and manipulations they encountered to silence and discredit them, they offer insights into the urgent need for change within the Mormon church. Don't miss this thought-provoking conversation that delves into the complexities of abuse, power dynamics, and the call for accountability.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1768-JaredAndAshleyJonesPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Discover the heart-wrenching story of Jared and Ashley Jones as they bravely shed light on the sensitive issue of child abuse within the Mormon community. In this eye-opening interview, they delve into Jared's Mormon upbringing and the damaging effects of constant messages about pornography and sexual sin. Uncover the cycle of shame and guilt that Jared experienced, including the inappropriate questioning by Bishops and the downplaying of their own childhood sexual abuse. Gain insight into the failures of the church and family system in addressing and protecting victims. Explore the profound impact of Mormon sexual shame on their marriage and the punitive measures they faced when seeking help. Don't miss this powerful discussion on the far-reaching consequences of spiritual abuse within Mormonism.

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Direct download: MormonStories-JaredAndAshleyJonesPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Join John, Rebecca and Michael Shermer to discuss his book, Conspiracy: Why People Believe the Irrational.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1766-MichaelShermerConspiracy.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 10:00am MST

Mark Pugsley is back in the house with John Dehlin and Gerardo Sumano to discuss the recent 60 minutes coverage of the current investigation into the Mormon Church's financial dealings. Do members deserve to know where their dollars go? Or do those details deserve to be kept secret?

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Direct download: MormonStories-1765-60Minutes.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 2:00pm MST

Please join John Dehlin as he hosts an evening to honor Podcast Host Bill Reel (and possibly his wife Amanda).  As you know, Bill is the host of Mormon Discussions podcast, and the co-host of Mormonism Live podcast.
 
At the main event (7pm in Alpine), Bill will provide a short speech, and a fun/live Q&A will be held as well.  A VIP event will be held at 6pm (with food) as well, for those wanting a little more personal time with Bill and John.  This is your chance to meet and thank Bill (and Amanda) for their roles in your Mormon journey!!!
 
All proceeds from this event will be donated to Bill and Amanda Reel.  Base ticket price is $10/person, but the system allows you to donate extra to Bill and Amanda if you so choose.  The VIP dinner is $30/person.
 
Please spread the word!  I would love nothing more to have a full room give Bill and Amanda a standing ovation for the important role they've played in Mormonism.
 
Click here to register for the event.  And please spread the word!
Direct download: BillReelAnnouncement.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 7:57pm MST

Join Lori Vallow's cousin (Megan Conner), John Dehlin, Gerardo Sumano, and Hidden True Crime's Lauren Mathias as they react live to Lori Vallow's verdict.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1764-LoriVallowVerdict.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 1:30pm MST

Discover the truth behind Mormon Patriarchal Blessings in this eye-opening interview with hosts Mike, Nemo, and John. From reflections on their own blessings to the harmful effects of this mechanism of control over members, the hosts delve into the nuanced nature of these individualized messages from God. With insights on how even past prophets have framed patriarchal blessings, and the agelessness of their messages, you won't want to miss this deep dive into revelation in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

LDS Discussions essay on personal revelation 

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Direct download: MormonStories-1883-LDSDPatriarchalBlessings.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Join Nan and Rod Osborne on a journey through their lives as devoted Mormons, parents, and spouses, and discover how their faith shaped their family culture. From Nan's early years in the LDS community to Rod's conversion and mission, to the challenges of raising a large family, no topic is off-limits in this captivating interview. Along the way, they share their experiences with temple worship, gender roles, and the pressure to keep their children on the "Mormon train." However, when their children start to question their faith, Nan and Rod's world is turned upside down. Will their family survive these faith crises, or will it tear them apart?

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Direct download: MormonStories-RodAndNanOsbornePt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Join Nan and Rod Osborne on a journey through their lives as devoted Mormons, parents, and spouses, and discover how their faith shaped their family culture. From Nan's early years in the LDS community to Rod's conversion and mission, to the challenges of raising a large family, no topic is off-limits in this captivating interview. Along the way, they share their experiences with temple worship, gender roles, and the pressure to keep their children on the "Mormon train." However, when their children start to question their faith, Nan and Rod's world is turned upside down. Will their family survive these faith crises, or will it tear them apart?

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Direct download: MormonStories-RodAndNanOsbornePt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Today accused murderer Lori Vallow’s cousin, Megan Conner, shares what it was like to grow up as a cousin to the Cox family. She also discusses the Mormon ties to the Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell murders and discusses her own Mormon faith transition.

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Direct download: MormonStories-1760-MeganConner.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Join Gerardo, Lauren, Mindy, and John for an all-new episode as they discuss the second and third weeks of Lori Daybell's trial. This is your chance to catch up on one of the most bizarre trials of the year, as the panel guides you through the latest jaw-dropping testimonies, and intriguing Mormon themes unfolding in Ada County's courthouse.

Episode Show Notes

YouTube Link


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Direct download: MormonStories-1759-LoriVallowTrialPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

In this thought-provoking interview, Mike, Nemo, and John Dehlin delve into the controversial topic of personal revelation in Mormonism. The discussion covers a range of doctrinal problems and contradictions that challenge the idea of personal revelation, from the dangers of blind obedience to leaders, confirmation bias, silencing dissenters and emotional manipulation. The conversation ultimately questions who has the authority to decide what constitutes valid personal revelation.

LDS Discussions essay on personal revelation 

Episode Show Notes


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Direct download: Personal_Revelation_-_Revelations_Part_5__.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Sometimes we find ourselves involved in organizations, governments and communities that might be psychologically unhealthy to us or our communities. John Larsen has collected a few points you can use to check to see if an organization might be considered dangerous or unhealthy.

  • There are elections with only one candidate up for each office.
  • All members are expected to vote in unison.
  • The term “beloved” is applied to a living leader by other leaders of the organization.
  • Loyal members calling for reform or change are purged or otherwise silenced.
  • There are no means for membership to appeal a decision.
  • The group is willing to break up families or other social structures to further or preserve its own organizations.
  • Members are encouraged to look and dress the same. Uniformity is encouraged or required in clothing, haircuts, jewelry, etc.
  • Life events are controlled by the organization. For example, you cannot marry without leadership approval.
  • There is an organizationally controlled media including television, radio and newspapers. All outside media is cast as suspect.
  • The organization is overly focused on winning over vulnerable populations such as the youth, those who are grieving, or those in financial distress.
  • The group is involved in many business or monetary transactions wholly unrelated to the central mission of the organization.
  • Members are encouraged or required to never say anything negative about the leadership.
  • The organization uses litigation as a means to silence dissident membership or outside organizations speaking against the group.
  • Community leaders are chosen by the central organization. Local communities have no say in who their representatives will be.
  • The governance structure of the central organization is ambiguous, hidden or unknown.
  • Obedience to the central organization is encouraged over all other values.
  • All finances are kept secret.
  • The leadership of the organization is preoccupied with the most intimate details of member’s lives including finances, sex and personal relationships.
  • Leadership tends to speak of the victim-hood of the organization even in endeavors where the organization has a majority or controlling influence.
  • Organizational history is overly sentimentalized and unflattering information is edited out of official documents.
  • The organization insists that it has primacy or is more important than all other organizations.
  • The group has an almost obsessive focus on the outward appearances of organizational buildings and properties, grass is meticulously cut, no litter is ever found, grounds are always perfect. A great deal of time and effort is spent on this resource.

Episode Show Notes

YouTube Link


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Direct download: MormonStories-1757-JohnLarsenUnhealthyOrgs.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:25am MST

In Part 2 of her interview, Janae Thompson shares her journey as a young widow navigating the Mormon doctrine of eternal families and the challenges of dating and remarriage. She discusses the disparities in church policies and teachings that caused her to question her faith and ultimately led her down the rabbit hole of learning about the history of Mormonism. Janae talks candidly about exploring her sexuality and finding new rituals and practices to connect and uplift her after leaving the church. Her story is a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the possibilities for happiness and health after leaving a religious institution.

Episode Show Notes

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Direct download: MormonStories-JanaeThompsonPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

In this emotional and gripping interview, Janae Thompson shares her journey as a Mormon woman and the struggles she faced in a religion that demanded perfection and conformity. From her early years in the Mormon church, to her time at BYU and beyond, Janae recounts the challenges of fitting into a narrow mold while dealing with her own personal struggles, including an eating disorder and the pressure to find an eternal companion. But it was the sudden death of her husband Grant that truly tested Janae’s strength and resilience. Through her raw and honest reflections, Janae offers a powerful insight into loss, grief, and the search for meaning and purpose in the face of tragedy.

Episode Show Notes

YouTube Link


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Direct download: MormonStories-JanaeThompsonPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Get ready to dive into one of the most bizarre trials of the year. Join Gerardo, Lauren (Hidden True Crime Podcast), Mindy, and Brenton (LinkedIn, Tiktok) as they guide you through the first week of Lori Daybell's trial. Buckle up as they highlight the most jaw-dropping testimonies, riveting opening statements, and intriguing Mormon themes unfolding in Ada County's courthouse. The panel will explore some of the most compelling moments of the trial, breaking down the evidence and analyzing how Lori's beliefs align with early Mormonism, from Joseph Smith's treasure digging to some of the more obscure religious doctrines that have shaped the LDS faith.

Episode Show Notes

YouTube Links: Week 1a, Week 1b


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Direct download: MormonStories-1754-LoriVallowTrialPcombo.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 4:00pm MST

Today we discuss:
– LDS Church membership growth/statistics for 2022.
– Arizona court upholds clergy privilege in child abuse case.
– LDS leader in Trenton charged with allegedly enticing teen girl from congregation.
– LDS apostle Jeffrey Holland ‘excused’ from church duties due to ill health. He won’t speak at SUU.

Direct download: Mormon_News_Weekly_-_002a.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:28am MST

Carah Burrell and John review the recent, deeply troubling devotional delivered earlier this week by David Glen Hatch at BYU-Hawaii.

Episode Show Notes

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Direct download: MormonStories-1753-BYUHDisaster.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Join us as we discuss surprises, let downs, best talks, worst talks etc in this year’s April General Conference, where members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) listen to messages from top leaders in the Church. What were the real intentions and messages behind this year’s talks? Did they address the recent scandals & controversy regarding the SEC fine for fraudulently creating shell companies to hide its wealth from members and the public? Was anything missing that we would normally expect to hear?

Episode Show Notes

View on YouTube


Mormon Stories Thanks Our Generous Donors!

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Direct download: MormonStories-1752-2023GenConReview.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 5:30pm MST

As our first test run (pre-pilot), we review the April 2023 LDS Church General. Specific topics include:
– Our intentions for Mormon News Weekly Podcast.
– We introduce ourselves.
– Peacemakers Needed | Russell M. Nelson | April 2023 General Conference.
– The Greatest Easter Story Ever Told | Gary E. Stevenson | April 2023 General Conference
– Do You Know Why I as a Christian Believe in Christ? | Ahmad S. Corbitt | April 2023
– Mormon Church to pay fine to settle charges it hid an approximately $32 billion investment fund
– SEC Cease and Desist Order Against the LDS Church for Securities Deception.
– SEC Charges The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Its Investment Management Company for Disclosure Failures and Misstated Filings
– Church Auditing Department Report, 2022 | April 2023 General Conference

Please email us with your feedback: mormonnews@gmail.com.

Direct download: Mormon_News_Weekly_Pilot.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 11:12am MST