Mormon Stories - LDS

YouTube link: https://youtu.be/cGm7kpKh9KI

We continue Liz’s journey as she goes to BYU and gets baptized. Liz explains her interactions with church and BYU culture, and the effect of “worthiness” interviews w/LDS leadership once she is an official member. 

At BYU Liz struggles to fit in with white culture and begins struggling with symptoms of mental illness along with outbursts of creativity. Things get heavy with a friend’s suicide as she battles her own depressive thoughts. 

Episode Show Notes

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Liz Lambson is a Korean/African American artist, musician, and writer, and - along with her spouse Sam - is a parent to five boys residing in Salt Lake City. Liz performs as a string bassist with the Ballet West Orchestra as well as the children’s singer-songwriter Lizzy Luna, the creator of the music-and-movement program Yoga Storytime & Songs. Liz performed for and toured with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for several years.  She released her first album of original children’s yoga music, Reach to the Sky, in 2018. Her writing has been featured in publications including the New Era and the New York Times. 

As an active member of Utah’s arts and culture community, Liz formerly served as the Executive Director of the Utah Black History Museum. Her artwork is featured on Salt Lake City’s Black Lives Matter mural at City Hall. Liz is also an aspiring film actress.

In her spare time she enjoys needlework, gardening, road trips, and Scrabble. 

Liz's Instagram: @lizzylambson

Liz's Music & Social Media

“Never Too Soon”

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Direct download: MormonStories-1724-LizLambsonPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Liz Lambson is a Korean/African American artist, musician, and writer, and - along with her spouse Sam - is a parent to five boys residing in Salt Lake City. Liz performs as a string bassist with the Ballet West Orchestra as well as the children’s singer-songwriter Lizzy Luna, the creator of the music-and-movement program Yoga Storytime & Songs. Liz performed for and toured with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for several years.  She released her first album of original children’s yoga music, Reach to the Sky, in 2018. Her writing has been featured in publications including the New Era and the New York Times. 

As an active member of Utah’s arts and culture community, Liz formerly served as the Executive Director of the Utah Black History Museum. Her artwork is featured on Salt Lake City’s Black Lives Matter mural at City Hall. Liz is also an aspiring film actress.

In her spare time she enjoys needlework, gardening, road trips, and Scrabble. 

Liz's Instagram: @lizzylambson

Liz's Music & Social Media

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We begin Liz’s story with her family and growing up years as a biracial Korean/African American struggling to assimilate into white culture. Her mother converted to Christianity and became a religious fanatic, leading to her eventual abandonment of her husband & children. Liz is introduced to Mormonism shortly after and finds Joseph Smith’s early religious confusion relatable. With continued exposure to LDS peers, including a boy who particularly holds her interest, Liz gains a testimony of the Book of Mormon and falls in love with Mormon culture.

Liz also shares her struggles with academic, artistic and spiritual perfectionism in high school. We learn ways Liz gives up pieces of herself as she tries harder to assimilate into Mormon culture and eventually makes the decision to attend BYU.

Episode Show Notes


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Direct download: MormonStories-1724-LizLambsonPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Noah Rasheta joins John and Rebecca Bibliotheca to discuss basic concepts of Buddhism which has helped many deconstructing and healing from toxic teachings.

Book: No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners by Noah Rasheta of Secular Buddhism

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Direct download: MormonStories-1722-BuddhismForBeginnersNoahRasheta.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 10:00am MST

Please join us for a panel discussion regarding a recent two-day LDS multi-Stake training in Canada focused on understanding LGBTQ members, led by faithful gay Mormon podcasters Charlie Bird and Ben Schilaty (hosts of "Questions From the Closet" podcast).

Some questions that will be addressed by the panel include:

  • What aspects of this training are groundbreaking and should be celebrated?
  • How do efforts like this one help LGBTQ youth in the LDS pews?
  • Is this a local/grass-roots effort or is it sanctioned by top LDS Church leadership?
  • Does this training represent a "Gay Mormon Rescue" of sorts, reminiscent of the Swedish Rescue and Boise Rescue from previous years (see here and here)?
  • What possible risks do trainings like this introduce for LGTBQ youth and young adults?
  • To what extent do less-official, "grass roots" efforts like this prevent top Mormon church leaders from taking responsibility for the LGBTQ crisis (past and present) within Mormonism?

Panel Members:

Episode Show Notes


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Direct download: MormonStories-1721-GayMormonRescue.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 4:15pm MST

Why don’t more people leave the Church in the face of overwhelming evidence that it isn’t what it claims to be? In this episode we will discuss how the Normalcy Bias can help explain this behavior.

Episode Show Notes


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Direct download: MormonStories-1720-WhyMormonsDontLeaveJohnLarsen.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 7:30pm MST

In this episode we recap all the different areas where Joseph Smith claims to have translated an ancient source and we analyze his work and compare it against modern scholars and experts in the field to see how he did.

Co-host: Nemo the Mormon

LDS Discussion Essay: Overview of Joseph Smith's Translations

Episode Show Notes


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Direct download: MormonStories-1719-LDSDJosephSmithsTranslations.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

John is in the hot seat again as Shelise Sola of @CultstoConsciousness does the interviewing around the topic of what and how John Dehlin would change the Mormon (LDS) Church if he were prophet. John expertly synthesizes and explains in easy-to-understand chunks the largest problems facing the Mormon Church today and ways it harms its most ardent believers and their families from past racism, current treatment of women and homophobia, covering up real history etc.

While Shelise only recently started her podcast, “Cults to Consciousness,” she is quickly gaining viewership and a following due to her vibrant personality and quality content and interviews. In her own words: “From psychedelics to sexual distortions, I interview cult experts, cult survivors, cult advocates, therapists, way-showers, authors, healers, guides, shamans and more, to uncover how they find independence and healing through awareness and true individual sovereignty.”


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Direct download: MormonStories-1718-SheliseInterviewsJohn.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 2:30pm MST

Mormon Stories has experienced an amazing amount of growth for which we are thankful to our viewers, guests, staff, donors, and collaborators! John shares about the growth of the channel and answers viewer questions.

How was 2022? What helped the channel’s growth? What were the stand-out episodes? 

And what have we got planned for 2023? Join us to find out!

Episodes and Source Show Notes


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Direct download: MormonStories-1717-2022YearInReviewQA.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 8:49pm MST

Did Joseph Smith have another shot at translating ancient scripture, or is it just rumor? Mike, Nemo and John take a look at the Kinderhook Plates. What were they? Did Joseph Smith try to translate them, and what was the result? As usual, we dive into the apologetics around multiple scenarios and why they are each attractive to differing views.

Co-host: Nemo the Mormon

LDS Discussion Essay on the Kinderhook Plates

Episode Show Notes

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Direct download: MormonStories-1716-LDSDKinderhookPlates.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 2:00pm MST

Co-host: Nemo the Mormon

Stephen Bullivant holds professorial positions at St Mary's University, London, and the University of Notre Dame, Sydney. He has doctorates in theology (Oxford, 2009) and sociology (Warwick, 2019). His studies of contemporary nonreligiosity have received wide international coverage, including from the BBC, New York Times, Economist, Financial Times, and Der Spiegel.

The United States is in the midst of a religious revolution. Or, perhaps it is better to say a non-religious revolution. Around a quarter of US adults now say they have no religion. The great majority of these religious "nones" also say that they used to belong to a religion but no longer do. These are the nonverts: think "converts," but from having religion to having none. There are currently has about 59 million of them in the United States.

Nonverts explores who they are, and why they joined the rising tide of the ex-religious. One of world's leading experts on contemporary atheism and nonreligiosity, sociologist and theologian Stephen Bullivant draws on dozens of interviews, original analysis of high-quality survey data, and a wealth of cutting-edge studies, to present an entertaining and insightful exploration of America's ex-religious landscape. Bullivant criss-crosses the country, talking to everyone from ex-Mormons in Utah to ex-Catholics in Pennsylvania, from ex-Evangelicals in Georgia to ex-Muslims in California, showing not only what they have in common but also how the traditions they left behind continue to shape them.

While American religion is not going to die out any time soon, ex-Christian America is a growing presence in national life. America's religious revolution is not just a religious revolution--it is catalyzing a profound social, cultural, moral, and political impact. Nonverts will serve as an indispensable guide to this shifting landscape, as well as the future of American life.

Join John and Nemo as they dive deeper into just why it is that people leave the LDS church.

Nonverts: The Making of Ex-Christian America

Episode Show Notes


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Direct download: MormonStories-1715-StephenBullivantNonverts.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 10:00am MST

Fans of Mormon stories will be familiar with Channel Achenbach, who has been a guest on LDS Discussions' Race & Mormon Scripture Part 1 and Part 2 , Gender Discrimination in the Mormon Church with John Larsen and Mormon Leader Ahmad Corbitt Condemns Activism Towards the LDS Church or they may know her from her tiktok channel, @Bettenoir4. This is a 3-part series of Channel’s story.

We’re back for a wrap-up of Channel’s story. Starting from where Part 2 left off, Channel, Margi and John discuss racism in general in the United States, and racism experienced in Utah by Channel and her children in Utah based on their skin color, with even her lighter-skinned children getting treated better than those with darker skin.

Channel finally starts finding her own voice and speaking out about her experiences and observations in the church but with continued pushback from leaders, Channel decides to resign and starts her platform on Tiktok. 

We learn where and how Channel is doing now that she's left the Church and found her voice and is finding herself again after all this time. 

Episode Show Notes


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Direct download: MormonStories-1714-ChannelAchenbachPt3.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Fans of Mormon stories will be familiar with Channel Achenbach, who has been a guest on LDS Discussions' Race & Mormon Scripture Part 1, Gender Discrimination in the Mormon Church with John Larsen and Mormon Leader Ahmad Corbitt Condemns Activism Towards the LDS Church or they may know her from her tiktok channel, @Bettenoir4. This will be a 3-part series of Channel’s story.

Channel is continuing her story from her marriage, an embarrassing disciplinary council where she is judged for her “sins” by a group entirely of white men, and dealing with the fall-out of a marriage that was ill-suited from the beginning and facing the stigma of divorce within the LDS church as a woman of color. Channel marries again, this time to a non-member of the church and has two children. Despite her husband’s encouragement to leave, Channel continues to seek acceptance and approval from her religion despite her skin color. As she becomes disillusioned over time, Channel manages to stay in because of the influence of a few good friends, especially when her second marriage dissolves, and she finds herself needing more help.

We learn more about issues around race issues in general such as the difference between racism and white supremacy and how both show up in the Church’s doctrines, practices, and members, including being constantly talked down to and told what to do with her life and what to think even by friends over a decade younger than she.

Episode Show Notes


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Direct download: MormonStories-1713-ChannelAchenbachPt2.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Fans of Mormon stories will be familiar with Channel Achenbach, who has been a guest on LDS Discussions' Race & Mormon Scripture Part 1, Gender Discrimination in the Mormon Church with John Larsen and Mormon Leader Ahmad Corbitt Condemns Activism Towards the LDS Church or they may know her from her tiktok channel, @Bettenoir4. This will be a 3-part series of Channel’s story.

In Part 1 We get some background on Channel’s family growing up, how black families and black culture differ substantially from Mormon white culture, what led Channel to seek God and how that led to her joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Channel tells us the good, bad & ugly of how she was treated as a black teenage convert, when she learned of the Church’s racism, and ways that she accepted, excused, and eventually internalized it to see herself as “less” than her white counterparts.

This became most apparent in dating and marriage. While white men in the church may find her exotic and are willing to date her, Channel finds that they are unwilling to marry her as “mixing seed” would pass her “curse” [black skin] to children that could otherwise have two white parents. As Channel loses herself and what makes her unique to the cultural expectations of the Church she marries another black member of the church at the counsel of her Bishop against her better judgment.

Episode Show Notes


Mormon Stories Thanks Our Generous Donors!

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Direct download: MormonStories-1712-ChannelAchenbachPt1.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

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