Mormon Stories - LDS

Paul H. Dunn is one of the most beloved General Authorities in the history of the Mormon church. His vast popularity was based on his uncanny ability to tell gripping stories in General Conference, in firesides, in over a dozen books, and on cassette tapes about his time as a professional baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals, and about his career as a combat veteran in World War II.

The only problems were:

1) Paul Dunn made up these stories. They were literally untrue.

2) Paul Dunn made a great deal of money, and drew his fame from these false stories.

3) Paul Dunn used his fame/reputation to advance fraudulent business schemes.

Even more disturbing, however, were the lengths and breadths that the Mormon church went to, to suppress, cover-up, and kill this story - using its vast financial and legal resources.

This story only came to light because of one courageous Mormon journalist - Lynn Kenneth Packer - who coincidentally was the nephew of super powerful/influential Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer.

In the end, Lynn Packer was fired from his job as a BYU professor for his involvement in investigating and breaking the Paul H. Dunn story. And while this story was minimally covered in an Arizona newspaper and in Sunstone magazine at the time, TO THIS DAY Lynn Packer has never been granted an extensive media interview to tell this story.

Until today that is.

Direct download: MormonStories-1363-PaulHDunn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:07pm MST

Join us now for Part 4 of our interview with legendary Mormon journalist Lynn Packer (nephew of Boyd K. Packer), wherein he will be sharing with us what it was like to cover the darker side of Mormonism or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a journalist. Some of the stories we will cover in this episode include those of: Mark Hofmann, Ervil LeBaron, the Lafferty brothers, and Ted Bundy.

Direct download: MormonStories-1362-LynnPackerPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm MST

As part 3 in my interview with groundbreaking Mormon journalist Lynn Packer (nephew of Boyd K. Packer), I want to share with you a fascinating 30 minute video produced by Lynn, which provides essential background information to understand the following:

  1. The evolution of the LDS Church away from valuing thought, science, and scholarship (based on the influence of GA B.H. Roberts and others), and towards the prioritization of emotion-based orthodoxy and fundamentalism (based on the influence of J. Rueben Clark, Harold B. Lee, Joseph Fielding Smith, etc.)
  2. The careers of both LDS apostle Boyd K. Packer and GA Paul H. Dunn,  And,
  3. The eventual backlash against science and scholarship led by Boyd K. Packer from the 1980s through today, which led to the intentional hiding of factual LDS Church history, and the punishment of scholars and thinkers (from the September 6 to modern excommunicants like myself).

This 30 minute video will provide important background for the subsequent 3 episodes with Lynn.

Direct download: MormonStories-1361-LynnPackerPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:17pm MST

Twelve years ago Adam Hughes was serving as a Mormon bishop in Northern Arizona and Marlana was a stay-at-home Mormon mother of four. Last year, Adam and Marlana were still active, believing, orthodox Mormons living in Tucson, Arizona. Only a few months ago, Adam and Marlana lost their faith in Mormonism, while their son was preparing to leave on his mission.

This is their story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1360-Hughes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:07pm MST

Join me today in my series with Lynn Packer - journalist, investigative reporter, and nephew to the late LDS/Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer.

Lynn Packer was involved in many significant Utah news stories including that of forger/bomber Mark Hofmann and serial killer Ted Bundy. Lynn is perhaps most well known for his investigation of Mormon General Authority Paul H. Dunn. Lynn's investigation directly led to Elder Paul H. Dunn being put on Emeritus Status by the LDS Church First Presidency for repeatedly telling fabricated stories to the worldwide church membership.

  • In Part 1 we discuss the early life of Mormon Apostle Boyd K. Packer, and his rise to power within the LDS Church.
  • In Part 2 we discuss Lynn Packer's life, and his perspectives on and interactions with Boyd K. Packer while he was working as a Utah investigative reporter (and while working at BYU).
  • In Part 3 we will discuss Lynn's investigation of LDS General Authority Paul H. Dunn, discovering that he was telling false stories to LDS Church members about his involvement in professional baseball, and in his activities as a World War II soldier.
  • In Part 4 we will discuss Lynn's recent investigation into Operation Underground Railroad and Tim Ballard.
Direct download: MormonStories-1359-LynnPackerPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:57pm MST

Join me today in my series with Lynn Packer - journalist, investigative reporter, and nephew to the late LDS/Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer.

Lynn Packer was involved in many significant Utah news stories including that of forger/bomber Mark Hofmann and serial killer Ted Bundy. Lynn is perhaps most well known for his investigation of Mormon General Authority Paul H. Dunn. Lynn's investigation directly led to Elder Paul H. Dunn being put on Emeritus Status by the LDS Church First Presidency for repeatedly telling fabricated stories to the worldwide church membership.

  • In Part 1 we discuss the early life of Mormon Apostle Boyd K. Packer, and his rise to power within the LDS Church.
  • In Part 2 we discuss Lynn Packer's life, and his perspectives on and interactions with Boyd K. Packer while he was working as a Utah investigative reporter (and while working at BYU).
  • In Part 3 we will discuss Lynn's investigation of LDS General Authority Paul H. Dunn, discovering that he was telling false stories to LDS Church members about his involvement in professional baseball, and in his activities as a World War II soldier.
  • In Part 4 we will discuss Lynn's recent investigation into Operation Underground Railroad and Tim Ballard.
Direct download: MormonStories-1358-LynnPackerPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:02pm MST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our goals with this episode are:

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

Please join us with your comments and questions!

Bios:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is Kayla's story.

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

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

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

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

This is Brennan’s story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mormon Stories Podcast Friends,

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

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

And thank you SO much!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mitch Shira is an actor and impressionst whose TikTok videos have been taking the progressive and post-Mormon world by storm.  Under the TikTok handle "genie_man," Mitch impersonates past and present LDS Church General Authorities with incredible accuracy and sharp-edged humor.  Today, meet the man behind the voices. 

Warning: Adult humor.  Discussion of electro-schock therapy of LGBTQ Mormons.

A sampling of MItch's videos:

Direct download: MormonStories-1347-MitchShiraGenieMan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:17pm MST

Join us today as we bring back the wonderful, groundbreaking historian Shannon Caldwell Montez.

Previously on Mormon Stories, Shannon shared with us:

  1. Her research regarding how LDS Church general authority, historian, and chief apologist B.H. Roberts lost his testimony in Book of Mormon historicity, and
  2. Her own heartbreaking and inspiring story as a Mormon woman, wife, and mother.

Today Shannon returns to share with us her research regarding "The Secret Mormon Meetings of 1922" - which were organized by LDS Church General Authority B.H. Roberts after he failed to obtain any meaningful or useful answers from the LDS Church First Presidency, Quorum of the 12, or other General Authorities regarding the deep and significant scientific problems that completely undermine the credibility of the Book of Mormon as ancient history.

Shannon's thesis is outstanding, and it can be found here.

Direct download: MormonStories-1346-SecretMormonMeetings1922.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:37pm MST

As part of our ongoing series on 21st century Mormonism outside of the United States, today we interview Douglas Stilgoe. Douglas is a 23 year old, 3rd generation Mormon raised in Warwickshire, England (Coventry England Stake).
 
Douglas' story is interesting for many reasons:
  • He discusses life as a Mormon in the UK in the 2000's.
  • He was raised in the same area as Tom Phillips, the high-ranking Mormon church leader in the U.K. who lost his faith and left the church AFTER receiving his 2nd anointing.
  • His story explores how painful and damaging Mormonism can be on families when a parent loses their faith.
  • He discusses his own very recent loss of faith as a young adult in the U.K., after being a very devout believing youth (just over the past year).
 
For more information on Tom Phillips and the 2nd Anointing, see here.
Direct download: MormonStories-1345-DouglasStilgoe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am MST

Today I will be reviewing my recent research into the topic of how the pirate Captain William Kidd and the practice of New England treasure digging that followed Kidd directly inspired Joseph Smith to create the Book of Mormon.
 
I've been doing this research in preparation for a new Youtube channel I'm launching called "Understanding Mormonism with Dr. John Dehlin."
 
I need your help in the following ways:
 
1) I'd love to know if there are any important errors or omissions in my research.
2) I'd love to know if you find the research interesting/worthwhile overall.
3) I am making a call for listeners to submit their own essays/PowerPoint presentations for future videos in this project.
 
Any feedback, questions, or any submissions can be sent to:
 
understandmormonism@gmail.com
 
 
Direct download: MormonStories-1344-CaptainKidd.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am MST

Karen Adam was raised in a same-sex household in Scotland (her mother identified as Lesbian). She joined the Mormon church at age 17 in 1992 after a teenage pregnancy. Karen lived as a member of the LDS Church in Scotland for almost 20 years - maturing from a young teenage mother to serving as LDS Sunday School teacher, Young Women’s President, Compassionate Service Leader, Relief Society Teacher, Primary Presidency, etc.
 
Karen was married and sealed for eternity in an LDS temple, and for years helped raise six children, living a very traditional LDS family life.
 
When Karen’s marriage fell apart she found solace in serving the wider community in Scotland outside the confines of her Scottish Mormon ward. This led on to a political awakening, and ultimately to her leaving the LDS church, and running for political office in Scotland.
 
Topics covered in this episode include:
  • Converting to the LDS Church in Scotland,
  • Teenage pregnancy.
  • Being a devout Mormon in Scotland.
  • Navigating an abusive marriage that included drug addiction.
  • Navigating divorce and remarriage within the Mormon church in Scotland.
  • Dealing with harmful messages and policies regarding female sexuality as a Mormon Scott, including damaging bishop interviews.
  • Responding to the Mormon church's harmful LGBTQ policies as a Mormon Scott having been raised in a same-sex household.
  • Experiencing a Mormon faith crisis in Scotland.
  • Rebuilding life as a post-Mormon divorced Scottish mother.
  • Throwing her hat into the political ring in mid-life as a Scottish ex-Mormon woman.
This is Karen's story.
Direct download: MormonStories-1343-KarenAdam.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm MST

As many of you will recall, Shannon Caldwell Montez joined us on Mormon Stories Podcast in July, 2020 to tell us her own story, as well as to tell us the story of B.H. Roberts - the LDS Church historian and General Authority who was tasked to answer problems about Book of Mormon historicity, only to lose his testimony of the Book of Mormon as a historical document.

During the B.H. Roberts episode we learned about a series of all-day meetings B.H. Roberts had in January, 1922 with the LDS Church First Presidency, Quorum of 12 Apostles, and the Quorum of 70 to discuss these Book of Mormon problems in-depth. Ultimately, Shannon shows in her thesis that the LDS church leadership was both unprepared and unwilling to address the problems Roberts presented - resulting in much disappointment and frustration for Roberts.

In this follow-up interview with Shannon, we review evidence addressing the question as to whether or not Mormon General Authority and church historian B.H. Roberts lost his testimony of the Book of Mormon as a historical document.

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast Include:

Direct download: MormonStories-1342-BHRobertsBOMShannonCaldwellMontez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:12pm MST

URGENT: Dr. Ritner is facing kidney failure and is in need of a living donor to secure his life and continued research. If you can help, please contact Dana McClain, Northwestern Medicine Transplant Coordinator, 312-695-0828. Living donors save lives!

Also, if you are grateful for Dr. Ritner's time and expertise with this podcast, please email him and express your gratitude!!!

============

Part 1: Dr. Ritner's story, the historical context for the Book of Abraham, and Facsimile 1

https://youtu.be/ORNYUyHg3pY

Part 2: Facsimiles 2 & 3

https://youtu.be/df4flxToFvM

Part 3: The Abraham Egyptian Papers, return of the "lost" papyrus, and an in-depth discussion of LDS Book of Abraham Apologetics

 

Series Description: 

For more than a century Joseph Smith's Book of Abraham "translation" has been revered as holy scripture by devout Mormons, and denounced by all credible non-LDS Egyptologists as a 100% erroneous translation -- a combination of Joseph Smith's imagination and some plagiarism (much like the Book of Mormon, the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, and the Mormon temple ceremony.

The first major scholarly analysis and critique of the Book of Abraham by world-class Egyptologists came in 1912 and was published in the New York Times.  Of course this article was neither appropriately considered nor adequately addressed by LDS church leadership, and ultimately the issue faded from LDS church membership consciousness for several more decades.

Beginning in 1966 with the rediscovery of the core Book of Abraham papyri fragments found in the archives of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (that were thought to have been lost in the 1871 Great Chicago Fire), Mormon apologists such as Hugh Nibley, John Gee, Daniel C. Peterson, Kerry Muhlestein, Michael D. Rhodes, etc. have attempted to employ apologetic tactics to rescue the Book of Abraham from a total loss of credibility - once credible translations of the papyrus demonstrated undeniably that Joseph Smith's "translation" was 100% inaccurate, and in fact, had nothing to do with Abraham at all.  In fact, the papyri were dated to be written over 1500 years after the time Abraham would have lived.

For decades questioning, doubting, and non-believing Mormons have engaged with Mormon apologists like Nibley, Gee, Muhlestein, and Rhodes to determine the historicity and legitimacy of the Book of Abraham - with the credibility of Joseph Smith and the LDS church restoration hanging in the balance.  In spite of the LDS church's century-long efforts to either hide or convolute the issues surrounding the Book of Abraham, many Mormons have lost their faith and left the church over the Book of Abraham, as it is often listed as one of the primary reasons that Mormons lose their faith.

While many orthodox, doubting, and post-Mormons have heard the opinions of pseudo-Egyptologists/Book of Abraham apologists like John Gee, Kerry Muhlestein, and Michael D. Rhodes, few Mormons or post-Mormons have actually heard the opinions of a legitimate, world-class Egyptologist about the historicity and credibility of the Book of Abraham - until today.

Today, as a joint production of Mormon Stories Podcast and Radio Free Mormon podcast, we interview Dr. Robert Ritner.  Dr. Ritner is Professor of Egyptology at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and was from 1991-1996 the first Marilyn M. Simpson Assistant Professor of Egyptology at Yale University.  Dr. Ritner is the author of over 100 publications on Egyptian religion, magic, medicine, language and literature, as well as social and political history. He has lectured extensively on each of these topics throughout the United States, Europe and Egypt.  Ritner has led Oriental Institute tours of Egypt for 30 years.  He is also the author of The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: A Complete Edition, and an essay entitled “Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham” — A Response - written as a response to the LDS church's gospel topics essay on the Book of Abraham, which is deeply problematic according to Dr. Ritner.

In this three-part sit-down with Dr. Ritner, we will discuss his upbringing in Houston, Texas and his scholarly background and the events that led to him becoming interested in the Book of Abraham.  We will provide a contextualizing history to the Book of Abraham story, and discuss in-depth Joseph Smith's completely erroneous translation of Facsimiles 1-3 from the papyrus.  We explore the emergence of the Abraham Egyptian Papers in the mid 1960s, along with the discovery of the "lost" Book of Abraham papyrus.  We end this series by exploring some of the seemingly unscholarly and disingenuous tactics used by Book of Abraham apologists John Gee, Kerry Muhlestein, and Michael D. Rhodes to try to bolster belief in the Book of Abraham.

Finally, a HUGE thanks to Bruce MacArthur for making this interview possible. Also, a MASSIVE thanks to RFM for co-hosting, Bill Reel for all of his great work over the years, along with all of the amazing scholars who helped me/us prepare for this interview, including: Mike Brown of the Mormon Stories Truth Claims essays, MormonThink, Jeremy Runnells and the CES Letter, Dan Vogel, Brent Metcalfe, Letter for my Wife, MormonInfoGraphics.com, this super cool video, and much much more content than I could ever fully list here.

URGENT: Dr. Ritner is facing kidney failure and is in need of a living donor to secure his life and continued research. If you can help, please contact Dana McClain, Northwestern Medicine Transplant Coordinator, 312-695-0828. Living donors save lives!

Direct download: MormonStories-1341-RobertRitnerPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:53pm MST

URGENT: Dr. Ritner is facing kidney failure and is in need of a living donor to secure his life and continued research. If you can help, please contact Dana McClain, Northwestern Medicine Transplant Coordinator, 312-695-0828. Living donors save lives!

Also, if you are grateful for Dr. Ritner's time and expertise with this podcast, please email him and express your gratitude!!!

============

For more than a century Joseph Smith's Book of Abraham "translation" has been revered as holy scripture by devout Mormons, and denounced by all credible non-LDS Egyptologists as a 100% erroneous translation -- a combination of Joseph Smith's imagination and some plagiarism (much like the Book of Mormon, the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, and the Mormon temple ceremony.

The first major scholarly analysis and critique of the Book of Abraham by world-class Egyptologists came in 1912 and was published in the New York Times.  Of course this article was neither appropriately considered nor adequately addressed by LDS church leadership, and ultimately the issue faded from LDS church membership consciousness for several more decades.

Beginning in 1966 with the rediscovery of the core Book of Abraham papyri fragments found in the archives of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (that were thought to have been lost in the 1871 Great Chicago Fire), Mormon apologists such as Hugh Nibley, John Gee, Daniel C. Peterson, Kerry Muhlestein, Michael D. Rhodes, etc. have attempted to employ apologetic tactics to rescue the Book of Abraham from a total loss of credibility - once credible translations of the papyrus demonstrated undeniably that Joseph Smith's "translation" was 100% inaccurate, and in fact, had nothing to do with Abraham at all.  In fact, the papyri were dated to be written over 1500 years after the time Abraham would have lived.

For decades questioning, doubting, and non-believing Mormons have engaged with Mormon apologists like Nibley, Gee, Muhlestein, and Rhodes to determine the historicity and legitimacy of the Book of Abraham - with the credibility of Joseph Smith and the LDS church restoration hanging in the balance.  In spite of the LDS church's century-long efforts to either hide or convolute the issues surrounding the Book of Abraham, many Mormons have lost their faith and left the church over the Book of Abraham, as it is often listed as one of the primary reasons that Mormons lose their faith.

While many orthodox, doubting, and post-Mormons have heard the opinions of pseudo-Egyptologists/Book of Abraham apologists like John Gee, Kerry Muhlestein, and Michael D. Rhodes, few Mormons or post-Mormons have actually heard the opinions of a legitimate, world-class Egyptologist about the historicity and credibility of the Book of Abraham - until today.

Today, as a joint production of Mormon Stories Podcast and Radio Free Mormon podcast, we interview Dr. Robert Ritner.  Dr. Ritner is Professor of Egyptology at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and was from 1991-1996 the first Marilyn M. Simpson Assistant Professor of Egyptology at Yale University.  Dr. Ritner is the author of over 100 publications on Egyptian religion, magic, medicine, language and literature, as well as social and political history. He has lectured extensively on each of these topics throughout the United States, Europe and Egypt.  Ritner has led Oriental Institute tours of Egypt for 30 years.  He is also the author of The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: A Complete Edition, and an essay entitled “Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham” — A Response - written as a response to the LDS church's gospel topics essay on the Book of Abraham, which is deeply problematic according to Dr. Ritner.

In this three-part sit-down with Dr. Ritner, we will discuss his upbringing in Houston, Texas and his scholarly background and the events that led to him becoming interested in the Book of Abraham.  We will provide a contextualizing history to the Book of Abraham story, and discuss in-depth Joseph Smith's completely erroneous translation of Facsimiles 1-3 from the papyrus.  We explore the emergence of the Abraham Egyptian Papers in the mid 1960s, along with the discovery of the "lost" Book of Abraham papyrus.  We end this series by exploring some of the seemingly unscholarly and disingenuous tactics used by Book of Abraham apologists John Gee, Kerry Muhlestein, and Michael D. Rhodes to try to bolster belief in the Book of Abraham.

Finally, a HUGE thanks to Bruce MacArthur for making this interview possible. Also, a MASSIVE thanks to RFM for co-hosting, Bill Reel for all of his great work over the years, along with all of the amazing scholars who helped me/us prepare for this interview, including: Mike Brown of the Mormon Stories Truth Claims essays, MormonThink, Jeremy Runnells and the CES Letter, Dan Vogel, Brent Metcalfe, Letter for my Wife, MormonInfoGraphics.com, this super cool video, and much much more content than I could ever fully list here.

URGENT: Dr. Ritner is facing kidney failure and is in need of a living donor to secure his life and continued research. If you can help, please contact Dana McClain, Northwestern Medicine Transplant Coordinator, 312-695-0828. Living donors save lives!

Direct download: MormonStories-1340-RobertRitnerPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:32pm MST

URGENT: Dr. Ritner is facing kidney failure and is in need of a living donor to secure his life and continued research. If you can help, please contact Dana McClain, Northwestern Medicine Transplant Coordinator, 312-695-0828. Living donors save lives!

Also, if you are grateful for Dr. Ritner's time and expertise with this podcast, please email him and express your gratitude!!!

============

For more than a century Joseph Smith's Book of Abraham "translation" has been revered as holy scripture by devout Mormons, and denounced by all credible non-LDS Egyptologists as a 100% erroneous translation -- a combination of Joseph Smith's imagination and some plagiarism (much like the Book of Mormon, the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, and the Mormon temple ceremony.

The first major scholarly analysis and critique of the Book of Abraham by world-class Egyptologists came in 1912 and was published in the New York Times.  Of course this article was neither appropriately considered nor adequately addressed by LDS church leadership, and ultimately the issue faded from LDS church membership consciousness for several more decades.

Beginning in 1966 with the rediscovery of the core Book of Abraham papyri fragments found in the archives of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (that were thought to have been lost in the 1871 Great Chicago Fire), Mormon apologists such as Hugh Nibley, John Gee, Daniel C. Peterson, Kerry Muhlestein, Michael D. Rhodes, etc. have attempted to employ apologetic tactics to rescue the Book of Abraham from a total loss of credibility - once credible translations of the papyrus demonstrated undeniably that Joseph Smith's "translation" was 100% inaccurate, and in fact, had nothing to do with Abraham at all.  In fact, the papyri were dated to be written over 1500 years after the time Abraham would have lived.

For decades questioning, doubting, and non-believing Mormons have engaged with Mormon apologists like Nibley, Gee, Muhlestein, and Rhodes to determine the historicity and legitimacy of the Book of Abraham - with the credibility of Joseph Smith and the LDS church restoration hanging in the balance.  In spite of the LDS church's century-long efforts to either hide or convolute the issues surrounding the Book of Abraham, many Mormons have lost their faith and left the church over the Book of Abraham, as it is often listed as one of the primary reasons that Mormons lose their faith.

While many orthodox, doubting, and post-Mormons have heard the opinions of pseudo-Egyptologists/Book of Abraham apologists like John Gee, Kerry Muhlestein, and Michael D. Rhodes, few Mormons or post-Mormons have actually heard the opinions of a legitimate, world-class Egyptologist about the historicity and credibility of the Book of Abraham - until today.

Today, as a joint production of Mormon Stories Podcast and Radio Free Mormon podcast, we interview Dr. Robert Ritner.  Dr. Ritner is Professor of Egyptology at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and was from 1991-1996 the first Marilyn M. Simpson Assistant Professor of Egyptology at Yale University.  Dr. Ritner is the author of over 100 publications on Egyptian religion, magic, medicine, language and literature, as well as social and political history. He has lectured extensively on each of these topics throughout the United States, Europe and Egypt.  Ritner has led Oriental Institute tours of Egypt for 30 years.  He is also the author of The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: A Complete Edition, and an essay entitled “Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham” — A Response - written as a response to the LDS church's gospel topics essay on the Book of Abraham, which is deeply problematic according to Dr. Ritner.

In this three-part sit-down with Dr. Ritner, we will discuss his upbringing in Houston, Texas and his scholarly background and the events that led to him becoming interested in the Book of Abraham.  We will provide a contextualizing history to the Book of Abraham story, and discuss in-depth Joseph Smith's completely erroneous translation of Facsimiles 1-3 from the papyrus.  We explore the emergence of the Abraham Egyptian Papers in the mid 1960s, along with the discovery of the "lost" Book of Abraham papyrus.  We end this series by exploring some of the seemingly unscholarly and disingenuous tactics used by Book of Abraham apologists John Gee, Kerry Muhlestein, and Michael D. Rhodes to try to bolster belief in the Book of Abraham.

Finally, a HUGE thanks to Bruce MacArthur for making this interview possible. Also, a MASSIVE thanks to RFM for co-hosting, Bill Reel for all of his great work over the years, along with all of the amazing scholars who helped me/us prepare for this interview, including: Mike Brown of the Mormon Stories Truth Claims essays, MormonThink, Jeremy Runnells and the CES Letter, Dan Vogel, Brent Metcalfe, Letter for my Wife, MormonInfoGraphics.com, this super cool video, and much much more content than I could ever fully list here.

URGENT: Dr. Ritner is facing kidney failure and is in need of a living donor to secure his life and continued research. If you can help, please contact Dana McClain, Northwestern Medicine Transplant Coordinator, 312-695-0828. Living donors save lives!

Direct download: MormonStories-1339-RobertRitnerPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:58pm MST

Over the past several decades. credible Mormon-themed scholarship has determined beyond any reasonable doubt that Joseph Smith's claim have special powers to "translate" ancient languages was not true, and that Joseph often relied on plagiarism to produce his "revelations."  Up until recently, at least three clear instances of false translation by Joseph Smith were widely known: the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, and the Kinderhook Plates.

In the summer of 2015, something truly remarkable happened.  A BYU undergraduate, along with her professor, discovered a fourth example of false translation, and yet another example of plagiarism on the part of Joseph Smith - this time in the canonized "Joseph Smith Translation" of the Holy Bible (found in modern LDS scripture)

Join me and scholar Haley Wilson Lemmón today as we discuss this groundbreaking research she conducted at BYU, along side professor Thomas A. Wayment -- as together they discovered literally hundreds of instances where Joseph Smith plagiarized portions of the Joseph Smith "Translation" of the Bible directly from Adam Clarke's Bible Commentary.

Today's story includes:

  • Haley's early years growing up as a highly devout Mormon girl and young woman who struggled significantly with undiagnosed religious anxiety (possibly scrupulosity).
  • Haley's LDS mission to Panama.
  • Haley's discovery of Joseph Smith's plagiarism, as she was working as a BYU undergraduate research assistant under Dr. Thomas A. Wayment.
  • Haley's deep struggle with her Mormon faith once she began studying the authenticity of Mormon scripture and other truth claims.
  • Haley's troubling brush with the BYU Honor Code Office, which almost resulted in her being expelled from BYU.
  • How Haley's name was almost removed from the publishing of her research with Dr. Wayment.
  • A review of Haley's current views on LDS Church truth claims.

As a part of this interview, we will be discussing in-depth the article/chapter "A Recently Recovered Source: The Use of Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary in Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation" that she co-authored with Thomas A. Wayment, which recently appeared in the newly released book "Producing Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith's Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity," edited by Michael MacKay, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Brian M. Hauglid.

Direct download: MormonStories-1338-HaleyWilsonLemmon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:34pm MST

How does a Mormon wife and mother become a groundbreaking historian?

Join us today on Mormon Stories Podcast as Shannon Caldwell Montez shares with us her journey to become a historian after living an orthodox Mormon life for decades.

Shannon recently obtained a Master's degree in history from the University of Nevada, Reno. Her Master's thesis is entitled "The Secret Mormon Meetings of 1922" - which chronicles how Mormon General Authority B.H. Roberts lost his faith in the historicity of the Book of Mormon, called a multi-day meeting with all of the top LDS Church leadership to inform them of the many, credible scientific problems with the Book of Mormon.

Shannon's Master's thesis can be downloaded here: https://scholarworks.unr.edu/handle/11714/6712

Shannon's previous Mormon Stories Podcast interview about the life of B. H. Roberts can be found here.

Direct download: MormonStories-1337-ShannonCaldwellMontez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:17pm MST

Have you ever wondered how much the top-level Mormon church leaders know about the problems with LDS Church truth claims, and for how long they have known about these problems?

Long before Mormon General Authority F. Enzio Busche lost his testimony in the Mormon church…

Long before Mormon Area Authority Hans Mattsson lost his testimony in the Mormon church....

Long before the CES Letter…
Long before Mormon Stories Podcast...
Long before Grant Palmer....
Long before the Leonard Arrington church history years…
Long before Fawn Brodie wrote “No Man Knows My History”....

….did you know that a high-level Mormon General Authority lost his faith in the historicity of the Book of Mormon -- in the early 1900s - after an in-depth study of the scientific problems with the Book of Mormon (e.g., archaeological, anthropological, linguistic, geographic)?

More significantly, did you know that this same General Authority notified the LDS First Presidency of the scientific problems with the Book of Mormon via three separate manuscripts, and in 1922 led a two-day emergency meeting in Salt Lake City with all the top Mormon church leadership -- the LDS First Presidency, the Quorum of 12 Apostles, and the Quorum of the Seventy -- to candidly discuss what to do about these problems with the Book of Mormon?

Did you know that soon after this General Authority led this meeting with all the top Mormon church leadership, he was sent on a mission -- far, far away from LDS Church headquarters?

Did you know that these three, in-depth manuscripts -- outlining in great detail the credible scientific problems with Book of Mormon historicity - were intentionally hid from LDS Church membership for over 60 years?  Did you also know that after this General Authority died, top LDS Church leaders intentionally did all they could to erase from church membership the memory of this thoughtful, honest, and courageous General Authority?

Did you know that the only reason we know any of this is because progressive Mormon church members quietly delivered copies of these manuscripts to Mormon scholars, and that these manuscripts were eventually published - against the Mormon church’s will - by the University of Illinois Press in the 1980s (and eventually by Signature Books)?

Today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode covers the rise and fall of Mormon General Authority Brigham Henry (B.H.) Roberts.  You will not want to miss this story.

Our interviewee is Mormon historian Shannon Caldwell Montez - who recently completed a Master’s Thesis at the University of Nevada - Reno entitled: “The Secret Mormon Meetings of 1922.”

The song for today’s podcast bumper is called “All is Well” by The Sabre Rattlers.

Direct download: MormonStories-1336-BHRoberts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm MST

Today we interview Ed Decker -- ex-Mormon, Evangelical Christian, career "Anti-Mormon," and creator of the controversial 80's "anti-Mormon" movie called “The God Makers.”  Today’s interview focuses on four main areas:

Part 1: Ed’s conversion to Mormonism, his life as a Mormon, his loss of faith, and his excommunication.

Part 2: Ed’s “calling” to minister to Mormons, and the making of “The Godmakers.”

Part 3: A discussion about the impact of and controversies surrounding “The God Makers.”

Part 4: Ed’s unfortunate involvement in “The God Makers 2,” the negative fallout, and Ed’s life from then until now.

Direct download: MormonStories-EdDecker-Full.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37pm MST

Today we interview Ed Decker -- ex-Mormon, Evangelical Christian, career "Anti-Mormon," and creator of the controversial 80's "anti-Mormon" movie called “The God Makers.”  Today’s interview focuses on four main areas:

Part 1: Ed’s conversion to Mormonism, his life as a Mormon, his loss of faith, and his excommunication.

Part 2: Ed’s “calling” to minister to Mormons, and the making of “The Godmakers.”

Part 3: A discussion about the impact of and controversies surrounding “The God Makers.”

Part 4: Ed’s unfortunate involvement in “The God Makers 2,” the negative fallout, and Ed’s life from then until now.

Direct download: MormonStories-1335-EdDeckerPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:32pm MST

Today we interview Ed Decker -- ex-Mormon, Evangelical Christian, career "Anti-Mormon," and creator of the controversial 80's "anti-Mormon" movie called “The God Makers.”  Today’s interview focuses on four main areas:

Part 1: Ed’s conversion to Mormonism, his life as a Mormon, his loss of faith, and his excommunication.

Part 2: Ed’s “calling” to minister to Mormons, and the making of “The Godmakers.”

Part 3: A discussion about the impact of and controversies surrounding “The God Makers.”

Part 4: Ed’s unfortunate involvement in “The God Makers 2,” the negative fallout, and Ed’s life from then until now.

Direct download: MormonStories-1334-EdDeckerPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:31pm MST

Today we interview Ed Decker -- ex-Mormon, Evangelical Christian, career "Anti-Mormon," and creator of the controversial 80's "anti-Mormon" movie called “The God Makers.”  Today’s interview focuses on four main areas:

Part 1: Ed’s conversion to Mormonism, his life as a Mormon, his loss of faith, and his excommunication.

Part 2: Ed’s “calling” to minister to Mormons, and the making of “The Godmakers.”

Part 3: A discussion about the impact of and controversies surrounding “The God Makers.”

Part 4: Ed’s unfortunate involvement in “The God Makers 2,” the negative fallout, and Ed’s life from then until now.

Direct download: MormonStories-1333-EdDeckerPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30pm MST

Today we interview Ed Decker -- ex-Mormon, Evangelical Christian, career "Anti-Mormon," and creator of the controversial 80's "anti-Mormon" movie called “The God Makers.”  Today’s interview focuses on four main areas:

Part 1: Ed’s conversion to Mormonism, his life as a Mormon, his loss of faith, and his excommunication.

Part 2: Ed’s “calling” to minister to Mormons, and the making of “The Godmakers.”

Part 3: A discussion about the impact of and controversies surrounding “The God Makers.”

Part 4: Ed’s unfortunate involvement in “The God Makers 2,” the negative fallout, and Ed’s life from then until now.

Direct download: MormonStories-1332-EdDeckerPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:28pm MST

When someone loses their faith in Mormonism, there are several paths  often followed.  One is to become agnostic or atheist, and never to rejoin a religion again.  One is to re-join a Christian church.  One is to follow a more fundamentalist Mormon path (e.g. Denver Snuffer, Preppers, Julie Rowe).  And one is to become susceptible to new age beliefs and other gurus or cult leaders.  Today we will be talking about the last option.

Teal Swan (born Mary Teal Bosworth) is described on her web site as an American spiritual teacher, author, and social media personality.  She was raised in Logan, UT, and as a teenager was connected to controversial Mormon therapist Barbara Snow, who was at the center of the Satanic Ritual Abuse panic in the 1990s and 2000s.  After a very turbulent childhood, which involved self harm and suicidality, Teal pursued modeling for a time, and eventually began pursuing the path of becoming a spiritual guide.

Teal's teachings on how to manage mental health issues have often been described as unconventional and she has received criticism for how she attracts fans, with some critics nicknaming her "The Suicide Catalyst".  At present she has 700,000 followers and has been covered by the BBC, and in several documentaries, including a recent documentary on Netflix.

Her history of work is highly controversial because it incorporates various super controversial and problematic ideologies and practices such as:

  • The cultivation of repressed/recovered (false) memories.
  • Claims of Satanic ritual abuse.
  • Energy healing.
  • Clairvoyance.
  • Numerology.
  • The Law of Attraction.
  • A belief in a "Third Eye."
  • The usage of crystals to "raise your vibration or frequency."
  • A belief in multiple lives.
  • A belief that she is an alien from another planet.
  • A belief in spiritual projections/possessions.
  • When dealing with suicidal clients, referring to suicide as "pushing the reset button" for a future life.
  • Communal living.

Jared Dobson was raised LDS, served an LDS mission, got married and divorced, became suicidal, and started searching for answers in New Age Spirituality.  He came across Teal Swan, and became a follower in her movement (a "Tealer") for 2 years.  He ended up moving in with Teal and became a part of her communal family in Park City, Utah.  They were romantically involved for 5-6 months, were set to have a child together, and as the relationship began to fray, Jared was kicked out of the commune and checked himself into a psychiatric ward (UNI at the University of Utah).

He has been recovering ever since.

This is Jared's story of his experiences with Teal Swan.  This story also has important connections to other cult-like phenomena occurring in recent times, including the Lori Vallow/Chad Daybell/Julie Rowe/Prepper phenomena.  It also is an insider's view into the emergence of a modern cult.

Direct download: MormonStories-1331TealSwanJaredDobson-Pt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:24pm MST

When someone loses their faith in Mormonism, there are several paths  often followed.  One is to become agnostic or atheist, and never to rejoin a religion again.  One is to re-join a Christian church.  One is to follow a more fundamentalist Mormon path (e.g. Denver Snuffer, Preppers, Julie Rowe).  And one is to become susceptible to new age beliefs and other gurus or cult leaders.  Today we will be talking about the last option.

Teal Swan (born Mary Teal Bosworth) is described on her web site as an American spiritual teacher, author, and social media personality.  She was raised in Logan, UT, and as a teenager was connected to controversial Mormon therapist Barbara Snow, who was at the center of the Satanic Ritual Abuse panic in the 1990s and 2000s.  After a very turbulent childhood, which involved self harm and suicidality, Teal pursued modeling for a time, and eventually began pursuing the path of becoming a spiritual guide.

Teal's teachings on how to manage mental health issues have often been described as unconventional and she has received criticism for how she attracts fans, with some critics nicknaming her "The Suicide Catalyst".  At present she has 700,000 followers and has been covered by the BBC, and in several documentaries, including a recent documentary on Netflix.

Her history of work is highly controversial because it incorporates various super controversial and problematic ideologies and practices such as:

  • The cultivation of repressed/recovered (false) memories.
  • Claims of Satanic ritual abuse.
  • Energy healing.
  • Clairvoyance.
  • Numerology.
  • The Law of Attraction.
  • A belief in a "Third Eye."
  • The usage of crystals to "raise your vibration or frequency."
  • A belief in multiple lives.
  • A belief that she is an alien from another planet.
  • A belief in spiritual projections/possessions.
  • When dealing with suicidal clients, referring to suicide as "pushing the reset button" for a future life.
  • Communal living.

Jared Dobson was raised LDS, served an LDS mission, got married and divorced, became suicidal, and started searching for answers in New Age Spirituality.  He came across Teal Swan, and became a follower in her movement (a "Tealer") for 2 years.  He ended up moving in with Teal and became a part of her communal family in Park City, Utah.  They were romantically involved for 5-6 months, were set to have a child together, and as the relationship began to fray, Jared was kicked out of the commune and checked himself into a psychiatric ward (UNI at the University of Utah).

He has been recovering ever since.

This is Jared's story of his experiences with Teal Swan.  This story also has important connections to other cult-like phenomena occurring in recent times, including the Lori Vallow/Chad Daybell/Julie Rowe/Prepper phenomena.  It also is an insider's view into the emergence of a modern cult.

Direct download: MormonStories-1330TealSwanJaredDobson-Pt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:23pm MST

When someone loses their faith in Mormonism, there are several paths  often followed.  One is to become agnostic or atheist, and never to rejoin a religion again.  One is to re-join a Christian church.  One is to follow a more fundamentalist Mormon path (e.g. Denver Snuffer, Preppers, Julie Rowe).  And one is to become susceptible to new age beliefs and other gurus or cult leaders.  Today we will be talking about the last option.

Teal Swan (born Mary Teal Bosworth) is described on her web site as an American spiritual teacher, author, and social media personality.  She was raised in Logan, UT, and as a teenager was connected to controversial Mormon therapist Barbara Snow, who was at the center of the Satanic Ritual Abuse panic in the 1990s and 2000s.  After a very turbulent childhood, which involved self harm and suicidality, Teal pursued modeling for a time, and eventually began pursuing the path of becoming a spiritual guide.

Teal's teachings on how to manage mental health issues have often been described as unconventional and she has received criticism for how she attracts fans, with some critics nicknaming her "The Suicide Catalyst".  At present she has 700,000 followers and has been covered by the BBC, and in several documentaries, including a recent documentary on Netflix.

Her history of work is highly controversial because it incorporates various super controversial and problematic ideologies and practices such as:

  • The cultivation of repressed/recovered (false) memories.
  • Claims of Satanic ritual abuse.
  • Energy healing.
  • Clairvoyance.
  • Numerology.
  • The Law of Attraction.
  • A belief in a "Third Eye."
  • The usage of crystals to "raise your vibration or frequency."
  • A belief in multiple lives.
  • A belief that she is an alien from another planet.
  • A belief in spiritual projections/possessions.
  • When dealing with suicidal clients, referring to suicide as "pushing the reset button" for a future life.
  • Communal living.

Jared Dobson was raised LDS, served an LDS mission, got married and divorced, became suicidal, and started searching for answers in New Age Spirituality.  He came across Teal Swan, and became a follower in her movement (a "Tealer") for 2 years.  He ended up moving in with Teal and became a part of her communal family in Park City, Utah.  They were romantically involved for 5-6 months, were set to have a child together, and as the relationship began to fray, Jared was kicked out of the commune and checked himself into a psychiatric ward (UNI at the University of Utah).

He has been recovering ever since.

This is Jared's story of his experiences with Teal Swan.  This story also has important connections to other cult-like phenomena occurring in recent times, including the Lori Vallow/Chad Daybell/Julie Rowe/Prepper phenomena.  It also is an insider's view into the emergence of a modern cult.

Direct download: MormonStories-1329TealSwanJaredDobson-Pt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:21pm MST

When someone loses their faith in Mormonism, there are several paths  often followed.  One is to become agnostic or atheist, and never to rejoin a religion again.  One is to re-join a Christian church.  One is to follow a more fundamentalist Mormon path (e.g. Denver Snuffer, Preppers, Julie Rowe).  And one is to become susceptible to new age beliefs and other gurus or cult leaders.  Today we will be talking about the last option.

Teal Swan (born Mary Teal Bosworth) is described on her web site as an American spiritual teacher, author, and social media personality.  She was raised in Logan, UT, and as a teenager was connected to controversial Mormon therapist Barbara Snow, who was at the center of the Satanic Ritual Abuse panic in the 1990s and 2000s.  After a very turbulent childhood, which involved self harm and suicidality, Teal pursued modeling for a time, and eventually began pursuing the path of becoming a spiritual guide.

Teal's teachings on how to manage mental health issues have often been described as unconventional and she has received criticism for how she attracts fans, with some critics nicknaming her "The Suicide Catalyst".  At present she has 700,000 followers and has been covered by the BBC, and in several documentaries, including a recent documentary on Netflix.

Her history of work is highly controversial because it incorporates various super controversial and problematic ideologies and practices such as:

  • The cultivation of repressed/recovered (false) memories.
  • Claims of Satanic ritual abuse.
  • Energy healing.
  • Clairvoyance.
  • Numerology.
  • The Law of Attraction.
  • A belief in a "Third Eye."
  • The usage of crystals to "raise your vibration or frequency."
  • A belief in multiple lives.
  • A belief that she is an alien from another planet.
  • A belief in spiritual projections/possessions.
  • When dealing with suicidal clients, referring to suicide as "pushing the reset button" for a future life.
  • Communal living.

Jared Dobson was raised LDS, served an LDS mission, got married and divorced, became suicidal, and started searching for answers in New Age Spirituality.  He came across Teal Swan, and became a follower in her movement (a "Tealer") for 2 years.  He ended up moving in with Teal and became a part of her communal family in Park City, Utah.  They were romantically involved for 5-6 months, were set to have a child together, and as the relationship began to fray, Jared was kicked out of the commune and checked himself into a psychiatric ward (UNI at the University of Utah).

He has been recovering ever since.

This is Jared's story of his experiences with Teal Swan.  This story also has important connections to other cult-like phenomena occurring in recent times, including the Lori Vallow/Chad Daybell/Julie Rowe/Prepper phenomena.  It also is an insider's view into the emergence of a modern cult.

Direct download: MormonStories-1328TealSwanJaredDobson-Pt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:19pm MST

For the past year a generous donor has been supporting a Mormon Stories billboard in Idaho Falls, Idaho (picture below).  Unfortunately, because of a change in financial situation, the donor is no longer able to continue supporting the billboard.

If we can raise recurring pledges of $650/month from community members, or $7800 in total donations, we can continue this billboard for the next year.  If we can raise $3300 (only $700 more at this point) we can secure it with a 6 month contract.

Please know that 100% of billboard donations go to billboards, and are fully tax deductible in the U.S.

Here is the link to donate to this billboard campaign:
https://donorbox.org/idaho-falls-mormon-stories-billboard-campaign-2020

Please support this billboard if you would like to see it continue in Idaho Falls.  Also, please spread the word if you know others who might be able/willing to support.

Direct download: IdahoFallsBillboard.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:41pm MST

Every once in a while we have an epic, multi-part Mormon Stories Podcast episode about a family who experiences a faith crisis together -- wherein multiple family members (including some of the children) participate in the re-telling of the story.

This is one of those episodes.

Sam and Sara Pinson were living the Mormon dream: raised in the LDS Church, married in the LDS temple, etc.  Sam obtained his “dream job” working 5 years for Microsoft, and later left Microsoft to start his own business.  The Pinson dream culminated in Sam and Sara moving to Ammon (Idaho Falls), Idaho, wherein Sam was called as a Mormon bishop.  Everything seemed perfect - except it wasn’t.

  • Their teenage daughter, Olivia, was questioning both the church, and her sexuality.
  • Their son, Sam Jr., was suffering with Scrupulosity (religious OCD)
  • And both Sam and Sara were beginning to question their Mormon faith while Sam was serving as bishop.

Today’s episode tells the story of how a devout Mormon family in Ammon, Idaho, led by a Mormon Bishop, can end up losing their faith in Mormonism in 2020.  It also includes a full recounting of how Sam began to speak openly about his struggles with the church after losing his faith - leading to threats and ultimately a disciplinary council/excommunication.  And yes, Sam recorded and is now sharing here the full audio of his excommunication (Part 6).

Sam’s wife Sara, along with two of their brilliant children - Olivia and Sam Jr. - also participate in this super-thoughtful story/discussion.

You will not be disappointed in this episode.  HUGE thanks to Sam Sr., Sara, Olivia, and Sam Jr. for their willingness to join us on Mormon Stories Podcast and tell their epic story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1327-PinsonExcommunicationPt7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:15pm MST

Every once in a while we have an epic, multi-part Mormon Stories Podcast episode about a family who experiences a faith crisis together -- wherein multiple family members (including some of the children) participate in the re-telling of the story.

This is one of those episodes.

Sam and Sara Pinson were living the Mormon dream: raised in the LDS Church, married in the LDS temple, etc.  Sam obtained his “dream job” working 5 years for Microsoft, and later left Microsoft to start his own business.  The Pinson dream culminated in Sam and Sara moving to Ammon (Idaho Falls), Idaho, wherein Sam was called as a Mormon bishop.  Everything seemed perfect - except it wasn’t.

  • Their teenage daughter, Olivia, was questioning both the church, and her sexuality.
  • Their son, Sam Jr., was suffering with Scrupulosity (religious OCD)
  • And both Sam and Sara were beginning to question their Mormon faith while Sam was serving as bishop.

Today’s episode tells the story of how a devout Mormon family in Ammon, Idaho, led by a Mormon Bishop, can end up losing their faith in Mormonism in 2020.  It also includes a full recounting of how Sam began to speak openly about his struggles with the church after losing his faith - leading to threats and ultimately a disciplinary council/excommunication.  And yes, Sam recorded and is now sharing here the full audio of his excommunication (Part 6).

Sam’s wife Sara, along with two of their brilliant children - Olivia and Sam Jr. - also participate in this super-thoughtful story/discussion.

You will not be disappointed in this episode.  HUGE thanks to Sam Sr., Sara, Olivia, and Sam Jr. for their willingness to join us on Mormon Stories Podcast and tell their epic story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1326-PinsonExcommunicationPt6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:14pm MST

Every once in a while we have an epic, multi-part Mormon Stories Podcast episode about a family who experiences a faith crisis together -- wherein multiple family members (including some of the children) participate in the re-telling of the story.

This is one of those episodes.

Sam and Sara Pinson were living the Mormon dream: raised in the LDS Church, married in the LDS temple, etc.  Sam obtained his “dream job” working 5 years for Microsoft, and later left Microsoft to start his own business.  The Pinson dream culminated in Sam and Sara moving to Ammon (Idaho Falls), Idaho, wherein Sam was called as a Mormon bishop.  Everything seemed perfect - except it wasn’t.

  • Their teenage daughter, Olivia, was questioning both the church, and her sexuality.
  • Their son, Sam Jr., was suffering with Scrupulosity (religious OCD)
  • And both Sam and Sara were beginning to question their Mormon faith while Sam was serving as bishop.

Today’s episode tells the story of how a devout Mormon family in Ammon, Idaho, led by a Mormon Bishop, can end up losing their faith in Mormonism in 2020.  It also includes a full recounting of how Sam began to speak openly about his struggles with the church after losing his faith - leading to threats and ultimately a disciplinary council/excommunication.  And yes, Sam recorded and is now sharing here the full audio of his excommunication (Part 6).

Sam’s wife Sara, along with two of their brilliant children - Olivia and Sam Jr. - also participate in this super-thoughtful story/discussion.

You will not be disappointed in this episode.  HUGE thanks to Sam Sr., Sara, Olivia, and Sam Jr. for their willingness to join us on Mormon Stories Podcast and tell their epic story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1325-PinsonExcommunicationPt5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:11pm MST

Every once in a while we have an epic, multi-part Mormon Stories Podcast episode about a family who experiences a faith crisis together -- wherein multiple family members (including some of the children) participate in the re-telling of the story.

This is one of those episodes.

Sam and Sara Pinson were living the Mormon dream: raised in the LDS Church, married in the LDS temple, etc.  Sam obtained his “dream job” working 5 years for Microsoft, and later left Microsoft to start his own business.  The Pinson dream culminated in Sam and Sara moving to Ammon (Idaho Falls), Idaho, wherein Sam was called as a Mormon bishop.  Everything seemed perfect - except it wasn’t.

  • Their teenage daughter, Olivia, was questioning both the church, and her sexuality.
  • Their son, Sam Jr., was suffering with Scrupulosity (religious OCD)
  • And both Sam and Sara were beginning to question their Mormon faith while Sam was serving as bishop.

Today’s episode tells the story of how a devout Mormon family in Ammon, Idaho, led by a Mormon Bishop, can end up losing their faith in Mormonism in 2020.  It also includes a full recounting of how Sam began to speak openly about his struggles with the church after losing his faith - leading to threats and ultimately a disciplinary council/excommunication.  And yes, Sam recorded and is now sharing here the full audio of his excommunication (Part 6).

Sam’s wife Sara, along with two of their brilliant children - Olivia and Sam Jr. - also participate in this super-thoughtful story/discussion.

You will not be disappointed in this episode.  HUGE thanks to Sam Sr., Sara, Olivia, and Sam Jr. for their willingness to join us on Mormon Stories Podcast and tell their epic story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1324-PinsonExcommunicationPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:09pm MST

Every once in a while we have an epic, multi-part Mormon Stories Podcast episode about a family who experiences a faith crisis together -- wherein multiple family members (including some of the children) participate in the re-telling of the story.

This is one of those episodes.

Sam and Sara Pinson were living the Mormon dream: raised in the LDS Church, married in the LDS temple, etc.  Sam obtained his “dream job” working 5 years for Microsoft, and later left Microsoft to start his own business.  The Pinson dream culminated in Sam and Sara moving to Ammon (Idaho Falls), Idaho, wherein Sam was called as a Mormon bishop.  Everything seemed perfect - except it wasn’t.

  • Their teenage daughter, Olivia, was questioning both the church, and her sexuality.
  • Their son, Sam Jr., was suffering with Scrupulosity (religious OCD)
  • And both Sam and Sara were beginning to question their Mormon faith while Sam was serving as bishop.

Today’s episode tells the story of how a devout Mormon family in Ammon, Idaho, led by a Mormon Bishop, can end up losing their faith in Mormonism in 2020.  It also includes a full recounting of how Sam began to speak openly about his struggles with the church after losing his faith - leading to threats and ultimately a disciplinary council/excommunication.  And yes, Sam recorded and is now sharing here the full audio of his excommunication (Part 6).

Sam’s wife Sara, along with two of their brilliant children - Olivia and Sam Jr. - also participate in this super-thoughtful story/discussion.

You will not be disappointed in this episode.  HUGE thanks to Sam Sr., Sara, Olivia, and Sam Jr. for their willingness to join us on Mormon Stories Podcast and tell their epic story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1323-PinsonExcommunicationPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm MST

Every once in a while we have an epic, multi-part Mormon Stories Podcast episode about a family who experiences a faith crisis together -- wherein multiple family members (including some of the children) participate in the re-telling of the story.

This is one of those episodes.

Sam and Sara Pinson were living the Mormon dream: raised in the LDS Church, married in the LDS temple, etc.  Sam obtained his “dream job” working 5 years for Microsoft, and later left Microsoft to start his own business.  The Pinson dream culminated in Sam and Sara moving to Ammon (Idaho Falls), Idaho, wherein Sam was called as a Mormon bishop.  Everything seemed perfect - except it wasn’t.

  • Their teenage daughter, Olivia, was questioning both the church, and her sexuality.
  • Their son, Sam Jr., was suffering with Scrupulosity (religious OCD)
  • And both Sam and Sara were beginning to question their Mormon faith while Sam was serving as bishop.

Today’s episode tells the story of how a devout Mormon family in Ammon, Idaho, led by a Mormon Bishop, can end up losing their faith in Mormonism in 2020.  It also includes a full recounting of how Sam began to speak openly about his struggles with the church after losing his faith - leading to threats and ultimately a disciplinary council/excommunication.  And yes, Sam recorded and is now sharing here the full audio of his excommunication (Part 6).

Sam’s wife Sara, along with two of their brilliant children - Olivia and Sam Jr. - also participate in this super-thoughtful story/discussion.

You will not be disappointed in this episode.  HUGE thanks to Sam Sr., Sara, Olivia, and Sam Jr. for their willingness to join us on Mormon Stories Podcast and tell their epic story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1322-PinsonExcommunicationPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:02pm MST

Every once in a while we have an epic, multi-part Mormon Stories Podcast episode about a family who experiences a faith crisis together -- wherein multiple family members (including some of the children) participate in the re-telling of the story.

This is one of those episodes.

Sam and Sara Pinson were living the Mormon dream: raised in the LDS Church, married in the LDS temple, etc.  Sam obtained his “dream job” working 5 years for Microsoft, and later left Microsoft to start his own business.  The Pinson dream culminated in Sam and Sara moving to Ammon (Idaho Falls), Idaho, wherein Sam was called as a Mormon bishop.  Everything seemed perfect - except it wasn’t.

  • Their teenage daughter, Olivia, was questioning both the church, and her sexuality.
  • Their son, Sam Jr., was suffering with Scrupulosity (religious OCD)
  • And both Sam and Sara were beginning to question their Mormon faith while Sam was serving as bishop.

Today’s episode tells the story of how a devout Mormon family in Ammon, Idaho, led by a Mormon Bishop, can end up losing their faith in Mormonism in 2020.  It also includes a full recounting of how Sam began to speak openly about his struggles with the church after losing his faith - leading to threats and ultimately a disciplinary council/excommunication.  And yes, Sam recorded and is now sharing here the full audio of his excommunication (Part 6).

Sam’s wife Sara, along with two of their brilliant children - Olivia and Sam Jr. - also participate in this super-thoughtful story/discussion.

You will not be disappointed in this episode.  HUGE thanks to Sam Sr., Sara, Olivia, and Sam Jr. for their willingness to join us on Mormon Stories Podcast and tell their epic story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1321-PinsonExcommunicationPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Yesterday afternoon I sat down with eight super-thoughtful Post-Mormons of color to discuss the unlawful killing of people of color by law enforcement officers and white citizens in the United States of America.

While these killings happen on a monthly basis in the United States, and have been occurring for centuries -- three of the 2020 killings that seem to be invoking particularly strong reactions are those of:

- George Floyd (46) - Killed in May in Minneapolis by police officer Derek Chauvin, while fellow officers watched.

- Ahmaud Arbery (25) - Killed in South Georgia by Travis McMichael, while his father watched.

- Breonna Taylor - Killed in March in Louisville by narcotics detectives after they knocked down her apartment door

We are aware the killings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery only because they were recorded by smart phones. As summarized by actor Will Smith, “Racism isn’t getting worse. It’s getting filmed.”

These killings have led to numerous public protests throughout the United States, including this past weekend in Salt Lake City. In some instances, it has been reported that white supremacists have infiltrated some of the protests to stoke violence and disorder.

We also discussed LDS Church president Russell M. Nelson’s recent statement in reaction to the killing of George Floyd, and the corresponding protests surrounding public awareness of Floyd’s death.

Our panelists included the following:

Cecile Shellman

Spencer Nugent

Darron Smith

Jason Ball

Kimilyn Poulson

Mark Nugent

Solange Renfroe

Victoria Denise

Direct download: MormonStories-1320-GeorgeFloydPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:23pm MST

Yesterday afternoon I sat down with eight super-thoughtful Post-Mormons of color to discuss the unlawful killing of people of color by law enforcement officers and white citizens in the United States of America.

While these killings happen on a monthly basis in the United States, and have been occurring for centuries -- three of the 2020 killings that seem to be invoking particularly strong reactions are those of:

- George Floyd (46) - Killed in May in Minneapolis by police officer Derek Chauvin, while fellow officers watched.

- Ahmaud Arbery (25) - Killed in South Georgia by Travis McMichael, while his father watched.

- Breonna Taylor - Killed in March in Louisville by narcotics detectives after they knocked down her apartment door

We are aware the killings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery only because they were recorded by smart phones. As summarized by actor Will Smith, “Racism isn’t getting worse. It’s getting filmed.”

These killings have led to numerous public protests throughout the United States, including this past weekend in Salt Lake City. In some instances, it has been reported that white supremacists have infiltrated some of the protests to stoke violence and disorder.

We also discussed LDS Church president Russell M. Nelson’s recent statement in reaction to the killing of George Floyd, and the corresponding protests surrounding public awareness of Floyd’s death.

Our panelists included the following:

Cecile Shellman

Spencer Nugent

Darron Smith

Jason Ball

Kimilyn Poulson

Mark Nugent

Solange Renfroe

Victoria Denise

Direct download: MormonStories-1319-GeorgeFloydPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:21pm MST

As part of our ongoing series on claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse within the Mormon Church, today we interview Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist and the author of some 70 books on religious pluralism and new religious movements.

Massimo is author of the article: A Rumor of Devils: Allegations of Satanic Child Abuse and Mormonism, 1985-1994, a paper read at the Mormon History Association in Park City, Utah on May 21, 1994. In today's episode we review the highlights of this article.

Dr, Introvigne was until 2016 professor of Sociology of Religions at Pontifical Salesian University in Torino, Italy. He has written articles inter alia for Dialogue and BYU Studies. In 2011, he served as the Representative for combating racism, xenophobia and religious intolerance of the OSCE, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, in which the USA and Canada are also participating states.

Direct download: MormonStories-1318-RumorOfDevils.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:40pm MST

Today on Mormon Stories Podcast we continue our series on the history of Repressed Memory Therapy and claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse within Utah Mormonism.  

 

Today’s interview is with “Kim,” who tells her experiences of being subjected to techniques of hypnosis and repressed/recovered memory in Provo/Orem Utah between 1988 and 1992.  In the interview Kim discusses her traumatic childhood - which led to her conversion to Mormonism, and left her vulnerable to Repressed/Recovered Memory techniques in adulthood while she was attempting to recover from childhood PTSD.

 

While living in Provo/Orem, UT and struggling in her early marriage, Kim was referred to Mormon therapists Rex Kocherhans and Ruth Kilpack - both of whom were practitioners of Repressed/Recovered Memory therapy.  Interestingly, Ruth Killpack was referred to Kim by her LDS bishop, and was also a therapist to Martha Beck, who controversially claimed that her late father, Mormon scholar and apologist Hugh Nibley, sexually abused her.  Martha Beck has acknowledged that her memories of abuse were recovered through these same Repressed/Recovered Memory techniques. 

 

As Ruth engaged in therapy with Mormon therapists Rex Kocherhans and Ruth Kilpack, Ruth was pressured in therapy using hypnosis to “remember” being sexually abused during her childhood, which resulted in her accusing several family members of sexual abuse - even though she was never convinced that the “memories” produced under hypnosis were real.  As these accusations left Kim increasingly paranoid, ostracized from her family, and ultimately re-traumatized - and as Kim grew increasingly uncomfortable with her therapists’ lack of appropriate boundaries and unethical therapeutic ethics -- Kim determined that her “memories” of family abuse were in fact implanted or manipulated by her therapists. 

“Kim” was later directly interviewed by Mormon General Authority Glenn Pace as a part of his investigation into Satanic Ritual within Mormonism, and eventually Kim spoke out as an advocate against “”Repressed or Recovered Memory” Techniques in newspapers, and on TV.

 

This is Kim’s story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1317-RepressedMemoryPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:43pm MST

Today on Mormon Stories Podcast we continue our series on the history of Repressed Memory Therapy and claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse within Utah Mormonism.  

 

Today’s interview is with “Kim,” who tells her experiences of being subjected to techniques of hypnosis and repressed/recovered memory in Provo/Orem Utah between 1988 and 1992.  In the interview Kim discusses her traumatic childhood - which led to her conversion to Mormonism, and left her vulnerable to Repressed/Recovered Memory techniques in adulthood while she was attempting to recover from childhood PTSD.

 

While living in Provo/Orem, UT and struggling in her early marriage, Kim was referred to Mormon therapists Rex Kocherhans and Ruth Kilpack - both of whom were practitioners of Repressed/Recovered Memory therapy.  Interestingly, Ruth Killpack was referred to Kim by her LDS bishop, and was also a therapist to Martha Beck, who controversially claimed that her late father, Mormon scholar and apologist Hugh Nibley, sexually abused her.  Martha Beck has acknowledged that her memories of abuse were recovered through these same Repressed/Recovered Memory techniques. 

 

As Ruth engaged in therapy with Mormon therapists Rex Kocherhans and Ruth Kilpack, Ruth was pressured in therapy using hypnosis to “remember” being sexually abused during her childhood, which resulted in her accusing several family members of sexual abuse - even though she was never convinced that the “memories” produced under hypnosis were real.  As these accusations left Kim increasingly paranoid, ostracized from her family, and ultimately re-traumatized - and as Kim grew increasingly uncomfortable with her therapists’ lack of appropriate boundaries and unethical therapeutic ethics -- Kim determined that her “memories” of family abuse were in fact implanted or manipulated by her therapists. 

“Kim” was later directly interviewed by Mormon General Authority Glenn Pace as a part of his investigation into Satanic Ritual within Mormonism, and eventually Kim spoke out as an advocate against “”Repressed or Recovered Memory” Techniques in newspapers, and on TV.

 

This is Kim’s story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1316-RepressedMemoryPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:42pm MST

Today on Mormon Stories Podcast we continue our series on the history of Repressed Memory Therapy and claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse within Utah Mormonism.  

 

Today’s interview is with “Kim,” who tells her experiences of being subjected to techniques of hypnosis and repressed/recovered memory in Provo/Orem Utah between 1988 and 1992.  In the interview Kim discusses her traumatic childhood - which led to her conversion to Mormonism, and left her vulnerable to Repressed/Recovered Memory techniques in adulthood while she was attempting to recover from childhood PTSD.

 

While living in Provo/Orem, UT and struggling in her early marriage, Kim was referred to Mormon therapists Rex Kocherhans and Ruth Kilpack - both of whom were practitioners of Repressed/Recovered Memory therapy.  Interestingly, Ruth Killpack was referred to Kim by her LDS bishop, and was also a therapist to Martha Beck, who controversially claimed that her late father, Mormon scholar and apologist Hugh Nibley, sexually abused her.  Martha Beck has acknowledged that her memories of abuse were recovered through these same Repressed/Recovered Memory techniques. 

 

As Ruth engaged in therapy with Mormon therapists Rex Kocherhans and Ruth Kilpack, Ruth was pressured in therapy using hypnosis to “remember” being sexually abused during her childhood, which resulted in her accusing several family members of sexual abuse - even though she was never convinced that the “memories” produced under hypnosis were real.  As these accusations left Kim increasingly paranoid, ostracized from her family, and ultimately re-traumatized - and as Kim grew increasingly uncomfortable with her therapists’ lack of appropriate boundaries and unethical therapeutic ethics -- Kim determined that her “memories” of family abuse were in fact implanted or manipulated by her therapists. 

“Kim” was later directly interviewed by Mormon General Authority Glenn Pace as a part of his investigation into Satanic Ritual within Mormonism, and eventually Kim spoke out as an advocate against “”Repressed or Recovered Memory” Techniques in newspapers, and on TV.

 

This is Kim’s story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1315-RepressedMemoryPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:39pm MST

Today on Mormon Stories Podcast we continue our series on the history of Repressed Memory Therapy and claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse within Utah Mormonism.  

 

Today’s interview is with “Kim,” who tells her experiences of being subjected to techniques of hypnosis and repressed/recovered memory in Provo/Orem Utah between 1988 and 1992.  In the interview Kim discusses her traumatic childhood - which led to her conversion to Mormonism, and left her vulnerable to Repressed/Recovered Memory techniques in adulthood while she was attempting to recover from childhood PTSD.

 

While living in Provo/Orem, UT and struggling in her early marriage, Kim was referred to Mormon therapists Rex Kocherhans and Ruth Kilpack - both of whom were practitioners of Repressed/Recovered Memory therapy.  Interestingly, Ruth Killpack was referred to Kim by her LDS bishop, and was also a therapist to Martha Beck, who controversially claimed that her late father, Mormon scholar and apologist Hugh Nibley, sexually abused her.  Martha Beck has acknowledged that her memories of abuse were recovered through these same Repressed/Recovered Memory techniques. 

 

As Ruth engaged in therapy with Mormon therapists Rex Kocherhans and Ruth Kilpack, Ruth was pressured in therapy using hypnosis to “remember” being sexually abused during her childhood, which resulted in her accusing several family members of sexual abuse - even though she was never convinced that the “memories” produced under hypnosis were real.  As these accusations left Kim increasingly paranoid, ostracized from her family, and ultimately re-traumatized - and as Kim grew increasingly uncomfortable with her therapists’ lack of appropriate boundaries and unethical therapeutic ethics -- Kim determined that her “memories” of family abuse were in fact implanted or manipulated by her therapists. 

“Kim” was later directly interviewed by Mormon General Authority Glenn Pace as a part of his investigation into Satanic Ritual within Mormonism, and eventually Kim spoke out as an advocate against “”Repressed or Recovered Memory” Techniques in newspapers, and on TV.

 

This is Kim’s story.

Direct download: MormonStories-1314-RepressedMemoryPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:37pm MST

As part of a multi-part series on claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse within Mormonism, today we are interviewing Dr. David Frankfurter - author of "Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Satanic Abuse in History."

David Frankfurter holds the William Goodwin Aurelio Chair of the Appreciation of Scripture at Boston University. He joined the faculty of B.U. in the fall of 2010. A scholar of ancient Mediterranean religions with specialties in Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature, magical texts, popular religion, and Egypt in the Roman and late antique periods, Frankfurter’s particular interests revolve around theoretical issues like the place of magic in religion, the relationship of religion and violence, the nature of Christianization, and the representation of evil in culture.

After earning his B.A. in Religion from Wesleyan University, M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and M.A./Ph.D. from Princeton University, Frankfurter taught at the College of Charleston and the University of New Hampshire, and he held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study (1993-95) and the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study (2007-8), as well as research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1992) and the Guggenheim Foundation (2007-8).

A HUGE thank you to Rick Phillips for making this episode possible.

Direct download: MormonStories-1313-DavidFrankfurterPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:15pm MST

As part of a multi-part series on claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse within Mormonism, today we are interviewing Dr. David Frankfurter - author of "Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Satanic Abuse in History."

David Frankfurter holds the William Goodwin Aurelio Chair of the Appreciation of Scripture at Boston University. He joined the faculty of B.U. in the fall of 2010. A scholar of ancient Mediterranean religions with specialties in Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature, magical texts, popular religion, and Egypt in the Roman and late antique periods, Frankfurter’s particular interests revolve around theoretical issues like the place of magic in religion, the relationship of religion and violence, the nature of Christianization, and the representation of evil in culture.

After earning his B.A. in Religion from Wesleyan University, M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and M.A./Ph.D. from Princeton University, Frankfurter taught at the College of Charleston and the University of New Hampshire, and he held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study (1993-95) and the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study (2007-8), as well as research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1992) and the Guggenheim Foundation (2007-8).

A HUGE thank you to Rick Phillips for making this episode possible.

Direct download: MormonStories-1312-DavidFrankfurterPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:12pm MST

In today's episode I will provide a brief introduction to the history of Satanic Ritual Abuse Claims Within Mormonism. My intention is to follow up a few more episodes from experts and others who are able/willing to give first-hand accounts relating to this topic.

Direct download: MormonStories-1311-SatanicRitualAbuse-Overview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:22pm MST

In today's episode we sit down with Hannah Comeau, who shares her story about struggling with Scrupulosity (Religious OCD) and feminist inclinations as a Mormon teenage girl in Rexburg, Idaho.

Direct download: MormonStories-1310-HannahComeauPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:28pm MST

In today's episode we sit down with Hannah Comeau, who shares her story about struggling with Scrupulosity (Religious OCD) and feminist inclinations as a Mormon teenage girl in Rexburg, Idaho.

Direct download: MormonStories-1309-HannahComeauPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm MST

In today's episode we sit down with Hannah Comeau, who shares her story about struggling with Scrupulosity (Religious OCD) and feminist inclinations as a Mormon teenage girl in Rexburg, Idaho.

Direct download: MormonStories-1308-HannahComeauPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm MST

Five years years ago, upon completing my Psychology Ph.D., I began holding retreats and workshops to support Mormons in faith crisis, and specifically to help reduce anxiety, depression, suicidality, family strife, and unnecessary divorce for those experiencing a Mormon Faith Crisis.  For many of these workshops and retreats, I was fortunate to co-present with Natasha Helfer Parker and Margi Dehlin.

In August of 2019 we decided to hold a weekend retreat and record the entire experience ,including the attendee participation.  This is that retreat, which was held from 8/30 to 9/1/2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 40 audience members participated.  The following topics were addressed:

  • Understanding and Navigating a Religious Transition
  • Fundamentals of Mental Health in a Religious Transition
  • The Key to Healthy Relationships: Emotional Intimacy
  • Healthy Sexuality After a Faith Transition
  • Conscious Parenting
  • Communicating with Believing Family and Friends

We hope you enjoy this content.  It is the best insight we can share to help you navigate your religious transition.

Finally, a HUGE thanks goes to Clint and Jeni Martin for underwriting this event.

Direct download: MormonStories-1307-MormonFaithCrisisRetreatPt10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:26pm MST

Five years years ago, upon completing my Psychology Ph.D., I began holding retreats and workshops to support Mormons in faith crisis, and specifically to help reduce anxiety, depression, suicidality, family strife, and unnecessary divorce for those experiencing a Mormon Faith Crisis.  For many of these workshops and retreats, I was fortunate to co-present with Natasha Helfer Parker and Margi Dehlin.

In August of 2019 we decided to hold a weekend retreat and record the entire experience ,including the attendee participation.  This is that retreat, which was held from 8/30 to 9/1/2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 40 audience members participated.  The following topics were addressed:

  • Understanding and Navigating a Religious Transition
  • Fundamentals of Mental Health in a Religious Transition
  • The Key to Healthy Relationships: Emotional Intimacy
  • Healthy Sexuality After a Faith Transition
  • Conscious Parenting
  • Communicating with Believing Family and Friends

We hope you enjoy this content.  It is the best insight we can share to help you navigate your religious transition.

Finally, a HUGE thanks goes to Clint and Jeni Martin for underwriting this event.

Direct download: MormonStories-1306-MormonFaithCrisisRetreatPt9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:25pm MST

Five years years ago, upon completing my Psychology Ph.D., I began holding retreats and workshops to support Mormons in faith crisis, and specifically to help reduce anxiety, depression, suicidality, family strife, and unnecessary divorce for those experiencing a Mormon Faith Crisis.  For many of these workshops and retreats, I was fortunate to co-present with Natasha Helfer Parker and Margi Dehlin.

In August of 2019 we decided to hold a weekend retreat and record the entire experience ,including the attendee participation.  This is that retreat, which was held from 8/30 to 9/1/2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 40 audience members participated.  The following topics were addressed:

  • Understanding and Navigating a Religious Transition
  • Fundamentals of Mental Health in a Religious Transition
  • The Key to Healthy Relationships: Emotional Intimacy
  • Healthy Sexuality After a Faith Transition
  • Conscious Parenting
  • Communicating with Believing Family and Friends

We hope you enjoy this content.  It is the best insight we can share to help you navigate your religious transition.

Finally, a HUGE thanks goes to Clint and Jeni Martin for underwriting this event.

Direct download: MormonStories-1305-MormonFaithCrisisRetreatPt8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm MST

Five years years ago, upon completing my Psychology Ph.D., I began holding retreats and workshops to support Mormons in faith crisis, and specifically to help reduce anxiety, depression, suicidality, family strife, and unnecessary divorce for those experiencing a Mormon Faith Crisis.  For many of these workshops and retreats, I was fortunate to co-present with Natasha Helfer Parker and Margi Dehlin.

In August of 2019 we decided to hold a weekend retreat and record the entire experience ,including the attendee participation.  This is that retreat, which was held from 8/30 to 9/1/2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 40 audience members participated.  The following topics were addressed:

  • Understanding and Navigating a Religious Transition
  • Fundamentals of Mental Health in a Religious Transition
  • The Key to Healthy Relationships: Emotional Intimacy
  • Healthy Sexuality After a Faith Transition
  • Conscious Parenting
  • Communicating with Believing Family and Friends

We hope you enjoy this content.  It is the best insight we can share to help you navigate your religious transition.

Finally, a HUGE thanks goes to Clint and Jeni Martin for underwriting this event.

Direct download: MormonStories-1304-MormonFaithCrisisRetreatPt7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:22pm MST

Five years years ago, upon completing my Psychology Ph.D., I began holding retreats and workshops to support Mormons in faith crisis, and specifically to help reduce anxiety, depression, suicidality, family strife, and unnecessary divorce for those experiencing a Mormon Faith Crisis.  For many of these workshops and retreats, I was fortunate to co-present with Natasha Helfer Parker and Margi Dehlin.

In August of 2019 we decided to hold a weekend retreat and record the entire experience ,including the attendee participation.  This is that retreat, which was held from 8/30 to 9/1/2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 40 audience members participated.  The following topics were addressed:

  • Understanding and Navigating a Religious Transition
  • Fundamentals of Mental Health in a Religious Transition
  • The Key to Healthy Relationships: Emotional Intimacy
  • Healthy Sexuality After a Faith Transition
  • Conscious Parenting
  • Communicating with Believing Family and Friends

We hope you enjoy this content.  It is the best insight we can share to help you navigate your religious transition.

Finally, a HUGE thanks goes to Clint and Jeni Martin for underwriting this event.

Direct download: MormonStories-1303-MormonFaithCrisisRetreatPt6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:21pm MST

Five years years ago, upon completing my Psychology Ph.D., I began holding retreats and workshops to support Mormons in faith crisis, and specifically to help reduce anxiety, depression, suicidality, family strife, and unnecessary divorce for those experiencing a Mormon Faith Crisis.  For many of these workshops and retreats, I was fortunate to co-present with Natasha Helfer Parker and Margi Dehlin.

In August of 2019 we decided to hold a weekend retreat and record the entire experience ,including the attendee participation.  This is that retreat, which was held from 8/30 to 9/1/2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 40 audience members participated.  The following topics were addressed:

  • Understanding and Navigating a Religious Transition
  • Fundamentals of Mental Health in a Religious Transition
  • The Key to Healthy Relationships: Emotional Intimacy
  • Healthy Sexuality After a Faith Transition
  • Conscious Parenting
  • Communicating with Believing Family and Friends

We hope you enjoy this content.  It is the best insight we can share to help you navigate your religious transition.

Finally, a HUGE thanks goes to Clint and Jeni Martin for underwriting this event.

Direct download: MormonStories-1302-MormonFaithCrisisRetreatPt5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:20pm MST

Five years years ago, upon completing my Psychology Ph.D., I began holding retreats and workshops to support Mormons in faith crisis, and specifically to help reduce anxiety, depression, suicidality, family strife, and unnecessary divorce for those experiencing a Mormon Faith Crisis.  For many of these workshops and retreats, I was fortunate to co-present with Natasha Helfer Parker and Margi Dehlin.

In August of 2019 we decided to hold a weekend retreat and record the entire experience ,including the attendee participation.  This is that retreat, which was held from 8/30 to 9/1/2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 40 audience members participated.  The following topics were addressed:

  • Understanding and Navigating a Religious Transition
  • Fundamentals of Mental Health in a Religious Transition
  • The Key to Healthy Relationships: Emotional Intimacy
  • Healthy Sexuality After a Faith Transition
  • Conscious Parenting
  • Communicating with Believing Family and Friends

We hope you enjoy this content.  It is the best insight we can share to help you navigate your religious transition.

Finally, a HUGE thanks goes to Clint and Jeni Martin for underwriting this event.

Direct download: MormonStories-1301-MormonFaithCrisisRetreatPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:17pm MST

Five years years ago, upon completing my Psychology Ph.D., I began holding retreats and workshops to support Mormons in faith crisis, and specifically to help reduce anxiety, depression, suicidality, family strife, and unnecessary divorce for those experiencing a Mormon Faith Crisis.  For many of these workshops and retreats, I was fortunate to co-present with Natasha Helfer Parker and Margi Dehlin.

In August of 2019 we decided to hold a weekend retreat and record the entire experience ,including the attendee participation.  This is that retreat, which was held from 8/30 to 9/1/2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 40 audience members participated.  The following topics were addressed:

  • Understanding and Navigating a Religious Transition
  • Fundamentals of Mental Health in a Religious Transition
  • The Key to Healthy Relationships: Emotional Intimacy
  • Healthy Sexuality After a Faith Transition
  • Conscious Parenting
  • Communicating with Believing Family and Friends

We hope you enjoy this content.  It is the best insight we can share to help you navigate your religious transition.

Finally, a HUGE thanks goes to Clint and Jeni Martin for underwriting this event.

Direct download: MormonStories-1300-MormonFaithCrisisRetreatPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:15pm MST

Five years years ago, upon completing my Psychology Ph.D., I began holding retreats and workshops to support Mormons in faith crisis, and specifically to help reduce anxiety, depression, suicidality, family strife, and unnecessary divorce for those experiencing a Mormon Faith Crisis.  For many of these workshops and retreats, I was fortunate to co-present with Natasha Helfer Parker and Margi Dehlin.

In August of 2019 we decided to hold a weekend retreat and record the entire experience ,including the attendee participation.  This is that retreat, which was held from 8/30 to 9/1/2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 40 audience members participated.  The following topics were addressed:

  • Understanding and Navigating a Religious Transition
  • Fundamentals of Mental Health in a Religious Transition
  • The Key to Healthy Relationships: Emotional Intimacy
  • Healthy Sexuality After a Faith Transition
  • Conscious Parenting
  • Communicating with Believing Family and Friends

We hope you enjoy this content.  It is the best insight we can share to help you navigate your religious transition.

Finally, a HUGE thanks goes to Clint and Jeni Martin for underwriting this event.

Direct download: MormonStories-1299-MormonFaithCrisisRetreatPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:11pm MST

Five years years ago, upon completing my Psychology Ph.D., I began holding retreats and workshops to support Mormons in faith crisis, and specifically to help reduce anxiety, depression, suicidality, family strife, and unnecessary divorce for those experiencing a Mormon Faith Crisis.  For many of these workshops and retreats, I was fortunate to co-present with Natasha Helfer Parker and Margi Dehlin.

In August of 2019 we decided to hold a weekend retreat and record the entire experience ,including the attendee participation.  This is that retreat, which was held from 8/30 to 9/1/2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 40 audience members participated.  The following topics were addressed:

  • Understanding and Navigating a Religious Transition
  • Fundamentals of Mental Health in a Religious Transition
  • The Key to Healthy Relationships: Emotional Intimacy
  • Healthy Sexuality After a Faith Transition
  • Conscious Parenting
  • Communicating with Believing Family and Friends

We hope you enjoy this content.  It is the best insight we can share to help you navigate your religious transition.

Finally, a HUGE thanks goes to Clint and Jeni Martin for underwriting this event.

Direct download: MormonStories-1298-MormonFaithCrisisRetreatPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:08pm MST

Clarissa Winter is a direct descendant of Brigham Young (on her father’s side) and a Guatemalan Mormon convert (on her mother’s side). Clarissa was raised in Orderville, Utah as a devout Mormon, but during her teenage years began to “fall away” from orthodox Mormonism as she explored her own sexuality and struggled with anxiety, depression, and suicidality. After being labeled by her Mormon peers with terms like “bad,” “slut,” “crazy,” “whore,” “unworthy” - and after being threatened with excommunication by two Mormon bishops for sexual exploration - Clarissa left Mormonism and spent many years as a young adult trying to heal from her Mormon upbringing, and develop her own sense of self-worth and self-empowerment. Today’s episode is about rising strong as an ex-Mormon adult after being deemed “unworthy” and experiencing rejection from one’s conservative Mormon community. Clarissa is also a model, a big fan of scary movies, and does scary movie-themed boudoir shoots. You can find her Instagram account at callmemrskrueger.

Direct download: MormonStories-1297-ClarissaWinterPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:55am MST

Clarissa Winter is a direct descendant of Brigham Young (on her father’s side) and a Guatemalan Mormon convert (on her mother’s side). Clarissa was raised in Orderville, Utah as a devout Mormon, but during her teenage years began to “fall away” from orthodox Mormonism as she explored her own sexuality and struggled with anxiety, depression, and suicidality. After being labeled by her Mormon peers with terms like “bad,” “slut,” “crazy,” “whore,” “unworthy” - and after being threatened with excommunication by two Mormon bishops for sexual exploration - Clarissa left Mormonism and spent many years as a young adult trying to heal from her Mormon upbringing, and develop her own sense of self-worth and self-empowerment. Today’s episode is about rising strong as an ex-Mormon adult after being deemed “unworthy” and experiencing rejection from one’s conservative Mormon community. Clarissa is also a model, a big fan of scary movies, and does scary movie-themed boudoir shoots. You can find her Instagram account at callmemrskrueger.

Direct download: MormonStories-1296-ClarissaWinterPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53am MST

Clarissa Winter is a direct descendant of Brigham Young (on her father’s side) and a Guatemalan Mormon convert (on her mother’s side). Clarissa was raised in Orderville, Utah as a devout Mormon, but during her teenage years began to “fall away” from orthodox Mormonism as she explored her own sexuality and struggled with anxiety, depression, and suicidality. After being labeled by her Mormon peers with terms like “bad,” “slut,” “crazy,” “whore,” “unworthy” - and after being threatened with excommunication by two Mormon bishops for sexual exploration - Clarissa left Mormonism and spent many years as a young adult trying to heal from her Mormon upbringing, and develop her own sense of self-worth and self-empowerment. Today’s episode is about rising strong as an ex-Mormon adult after being deemed “unworthy” and experiencing rejection from one’s conservative Mormon community. Clarissa is also a model, a big fan of scary movies, and does scary movie-themed boudoir shoots. You can find her Instagram account at callmemrskrueger.

Direct download: MormonStories-1295-ClarissaWinterPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:50am MST

Clarissa Winter is a direct descendant of Brigham Young (on her father’s side) and a Guatemalan Mormon convert (on her mother’s side). Clarissa was raised in Orderville, Utah as a devout Mormon, but during her teenage years began to “fall away” from orthodox Mormonism as she explored her own sexuality and struggled with anxiety, depression, and suicidality. After being labeled by her Mormon peers with terms like “bad,” “slut,” “crazy,” “whore,” “unworthy” - and after being threatened with excommunication by two Mormon bishops for sexual exploration - Clarissa left Mormonism and spent many years as a young adult trying to heal from her Mormon upbringing, and develop her own sense of self-worth and self-empowerment. Today’s episode is about rising strong as an ex-Mormon adult after being deemed “unworthy” and experiencing rejection from one’s conservative Mormon community. Clarissa is also a model, a big fan of scary movies, and does scary movie-themed boudoir shoots. You can find her Instagram account at callmemrskrueger.

Direct download: MormonStories-1294-ClarissaWinterPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:48am MST

Given the high demand for coaching support right now and the cash crunch being felt by everyone, I am putting together two weekly online Mormon faith transition support groups: one for individuals, and one for couples.

I am limiting the individual group to 8 people, and the couples group to 4 couples.

There are three main benefits to support groups:
1) They are more effective, mostly because you get input/support/ideas/motivation from an entire group.
2) They last longer (1.5 hours/week instead of 1 hour/week).
3) They are cheaper.

Topics for these groups will include:

- Navigating a faith crisis.
- Navigating relationships with believing family and friends.
- Improving mental health.
- Improving marriage/relationships.
- Parenting.
- Building a new, healthy life after a faith crisis.
- Whatever else folks want/need.

I have a Ph.D. in clinical and counseling psychology with 6 years of training in group therapy - and will be moderating these support groups. Margi may join us from time to time, depending on topic.

You will sign up for an automatic, weekly payment. The cost is $40/week/individual, and $80/week/couple. We will establish a regular meeting day/time once the group is filled. We will meet online, viz Zoom.

This is the registration page for the individual group.

https://donorbox.org/mormonfaithtransitiongroup

If you know anyone who might benefit from this group, please spread the word.

Email for any questions at: drjohndehlin@gmail.com

Direct download: OnlineSupportGroups2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:21pm MST

For today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode we interview Ryan Nielsen and Holly Parson Nielsen, who were both raised as devout Mormons in Rexburg, Idaho. After marriage, Ryan worked as full-time BYU-Idaho faculty for twelve years in the Department of Music, while Holly taught middle school art.

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Direct download: MormonStories-1293-RyanHollyHielsenPt7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42am MST

For today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode we interview Ryan Nielsen and Holly Parson Nielsen, who were both raised as devout Mormons in Rexburg, Idaho. After marriage, Ryan worked as full-time BYU-Idaho faculty for twelve years in the Department of Music, while Holly taught middle school art.

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Direct download: MormonStories-1292-RyanHollyHielsenPt6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:41am MST

For today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode we interview Ryan Nielsen and Holly Parson Nielsen, who were both raised as devout Mormons in Rexburg, Idaho. After marriage, Ryan worked as full-time BYU-Idaho faculty for twelve years in the Department of Music, while Holly taught middle school art.

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Direct download: MormonStories-1291-RyanHollyHielsenPt5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39am MST

For today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode we interview Ryan Nielsen and Holly Parson Nielsen, who were both raised as devout Mormons in Rexburg, Idaho. After marriage, Ryan worked as full-time BYU-Idaho faculty for twelve years in the Department of Music, while Holly taught middle school art.

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Direct download: MormonStories-1290-RyanHollyHielsenPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:37am MST

For today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode we interview Ryan Nielsen and Holly Parson Nielsen, who were both raised as devout Mormons in Rexburg, Idaho. After marriage, Ryan worked as full-time BYU-Idaho faculty for twelve years in the Department of Music, while Holly taught middle school art.

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Direct download: MormonStories-1289-RyanHollyHielsenPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35am MST

For today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode we interview Ryan Nielsen and Holly Parson Nielsen, who were both raised as devout Mormons in Rexburg, Idaho. After marriage, Ryan worked as full-time BYU-Idaho faculty for twelve years in the Department of Music, while Holly taught middle school art.

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Direct download: MormonStories-1288-RyanHollyHielsenPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am MST

For today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode we interview Ryan Nielsen and Holly Parson Nielsen, who were both raised as devout Mormons in Rexburg, Idaho. After marriage, Ryan worked as full-time BYU-Idaho faculty for twelve years in the Department of Music, while Holly taught middle school art.

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Direct download: MormonStories-1287-RyanHollyHielsenPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:32am MST

The “THRIVING after Mormonism” project is an effort to profile thriving post-Mormons and progressive Mormons with the intent of providing tips, tricks, inspiration, and hope to those who are questioning and/or leaving Mormonism.

If you are a newly questioning/doubting Mormon, we want you to know know that:

- You are not crazy.
- You are not alone.
- You should not be afraid to doubt/question Mormonism.
- You CAN find healing, joy, and growth beyond orthodox Mormonism.

It is also a way for you to “bear testimony” of your truths and life choices as they stand today.

WHO: I am looking for a set of 100 post-Mormons and progressive Mormons to interview on Mormon Stories Podcast who would consider themselves to be thriving after leaving Mormonism (or Mormon orthodoxy). Not flawless….not perfect…..just thriving. When I say thriving, I mean overall healthier and happier than when you were active in the church.

HOW: I have put together 20 questions for THRIVING post-Mormons and progressive Mormons to reflect upon, and to answer. I have had numerous people tell me that the simple process of reflecting upon and answering these questions has been deeply therapeutic for them. Some have even wept joyful or grief-filled tears as they’ve gone through the process of answering the questions.

I hope to release at least a few profiles a week over the next 6-12 months.

Candidates for future Mormon Stories Podcast episodes will be culled from these profiles.

I hope to include these profiles in an upcoming book that I hope to write entitled: THRIVING: The Gift of the Mormon Faith Crisis.

Please submit your questions/answers if you are able/willing to do so!!!! I know that this project is going to help many people.

Direct download: MormonStories-THRIVEProfiles.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:27pm MST

Periodically on Mormon Stories Podcast I try to interview “normal” or everyday Mormons about their faith journey – and in every case these “normal” Mormons turn out to be extraordinarily thoughtful and courageous. Today’s interview is no exception to this rule.

Today on Mormon Stories podcast I am interviewing Kalin Orgill Organ. Aside from Kalin being a super thoughtful and courageous human, Kalin’s story includes several important themes in modern Mormonism:

  • Kalin was raised in an orthodox Mormon home in California and in Highland, Utah – with seven siblings.
  • She was sexually abused as a child, which possibly awakened her to her own sexuality early than other children.
  • She began masturbating as a girl, before she even knew what the term meant.  This instigated a multi-year effort between herself, her parents, and her Mormon bishop to try to stop the behavior, and to become “worthy” in God’s eyes.
  • Kalin “lost her virginity” as a Mormon teen, which, along with her inability to stop masturbating, only made her feel less worthy.
  • Kalin had doubts/questions as a Mormon teen, and even listened briefly to Mormon Stories podcast PRIOR to serving her mission.  She fought hard to gain a testimony while on her mission.
  • Over time, three of Kalin’s siblings came out to her as LGBTQ, which multiplied her confusion and doubt.
  • After returning from a successful Mormon mission, Kalin married her husband Aaron in a Mormon temple, wherein they became to onlookers the “perfect Mormon couple.”
  • Over time, after a lifetime of struggling to feel worthy, Kalin’s doubts began to consume her, and she began to contemplate suicide as a Mormon wife and mother of two children.
  • Kalin is currently navigating a mixed-faith marriage, and remains an active non-literal believer in her Salt Lake City ward.

This is Kalin’s story – how she lost her orthodox Mormon faith, but found herself (and her own voice) in the process.

You will not be disappointed with this interview. I hope you will join us. And please spread the word if you can!

Direct download: MormonStories-1286-KalinOrgillOrganPt5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:48pm MST

Periodically on Mormon Stories Podcast I try to interview “normal” or everyday Mormons about their faith journey – and in every case these “normal” Mormons turn out to be extraordinarily thoughtful and courageous. Today’s interview is no exception to this rule.

Today on Mormon Stories podcast I am interviewing Kalin Orgill Organ. Aside from Kalin being a super thoughtful and courageous human, Kalin’s story includes several important themes in modern Mormonism:

  • Kalin was raised in an orthodox Mormon home in California and in Highland, Utah – with seven siblings.
  • She was sexually abused as a child, which possibly awakened her to her own sexuality early than other children.
  • She began masturbating as a girl, before she even knew what the term meant.  This instigated a multi-year effort between herself, her parents, and her Mormon bishop to try to stop the behavior, and to become “worthy” in God’s eyes.
  • Kalin “lost her virginity” as a Mormon teen, which, along with her inability to stop masturbating, only made her feel less worthy.
  • Kalin had doubts/questions as a Mormon teen, and even listened briefly to Mormon Stories podcast PRIOR to serving her mission.  She fought hard to gain a testimony while on her mission.
  • Over time, three of Kalin’s siblings came out to her as LGBTQ, which multiplied her confusion and doubt.
  • After returning from a successful Mormon mission, Kalin married her husband Aaron in a Mormon temple, wherein they became to onlookers the “perfect Mormon couple.”
  • Over time, after a lifetime of struggling to feel worthy, Kalin’s doubts began to consume her, and she began to contemplate suicide as a Mormon wife and mother of two children.
  • Kalin is currently navigating a mixed-faith marriage, and remains an active non-literal believer in her Salt Lake City ward.

This is Kalin’s story – how she lost her orthodox Mormon faith, but found herself (and her own voice) in the process.

You will not be disappointed with this interview. I hope you will join us. And please spread the word if you can!

Direct download: MormonStories-1285-KalinOrgillOrganPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:47pm MST

Periodically on Mormon Stories Podcast I try to interview “normal” or everyday Mormons about their faith journey – and in every case these “normal” Mormons turn out to be extraordinarily thoughtful and courageous. Today’s interview is no exception to this rule.

Today on Mormon Stories podcast I am interviewing Kalin Orgill Organ. Aside from Kalin being a super thoughtful and courageous human, Kalin’s story includes several important themes in modern Mormonism:

  • Kalin was raised in an orthodox Mormon home in California and in Highland, Utah – with seven siblings.
  • She was sexually abused as a child, which possibly awakened her to her own sexuality early than other children.
  • She began masturbating as a girl, before she even knew what the term meant.  This instigated a multi-year effort between herself, her parents, and her Mormon bishop to try to stop the behavior, and to become “worthy” in God’s eyes.
  • Kalin “lost her virginity” as a Mormon teen, which, along with her inability to stop masturbating, only made her feel less worthy.
  • Kalin had doubts/questions as a Mormon teen, and even listened briefly to Mormon Stories podcast PRIOR to serving her mission.  She fought hard to gain a testimony while on her mission.
  • Over time, three of Kalin’s siblings came out to her as LGBTQ, which multiplied her confusion and doubt.
  • After returning from a successful Mormon mission, Kalin married her husband Aaron in a Mormon temple, wherein they became to onlookers the “perfect Mormon couple.”
  • Over time, after a lifetime of struggling to feel worthy, Kalin’s doubts began to consume her, and she began to contemplate suicide as a Mormon wife and mother of two children.
  • Kalin is currently navigating a mixed-faith marriage, and remains an active non-literal believer in her Salt Lake City ward.

This is Kalin’s story – how she lost her orthodox Mormon faith, but found herself (and her own voice) in the process.

You will not be disappointed with this interview. I hope you will join us. And please spread the word if you can!

Direct download: MormonStories-1284-KalinOrgillOrganPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:43pm MST

Periodically on Mormon Stories Podcast I try to interview “normal” or everyday Mormons about their faith journey – and in every case these “normal” Mormons turn out to be extraordinarily thoughtful and courageous. Today’s interview is no exception to this rule.

Today on Mormon Stories podcast I am interviewing Kalin Orgill Organ. Aside from Kalin being a super thoughtful and courageous human, Kalin’s story includes several important themes in modern Mormonism:

  • Kalin was raised in an orthodox Mormon home in California and in Highland, Utah – with seven siblings.
  • She was sexually abused as a child, which possibly awakened her to her own sexuality early than other children.
  • She began masturbating as a girl, before she even knew what the term meant.  This instigated a multi-year effort between herself, her parents, and her Mormon bishop to try to stop the behavior, and to become “worthy” in God’s eyes.
  • Kalin “lost her virginity” as a Mormon teen, which, along with her inability to stop masturbating, only made her feel less worthy.
  • Kalin had doubts/questions as a Mormon teen, and even listened briefly to Mormon Stories podcast PRIOR to serving her mission.  She fought hard to gain a testimony while on her mission.
  • Over time, three of Kalin’s siblings came out to her as LGBTQ, which multiplied her confusion and doubt.
  • After returning from a successful Mormon mission, Kalin married her husband Aaron in a Mormon temple, wherein they became to onlookers the “perfect Mormon couple.”
  • Over time, after a lifetime of struggling to feel worthy, Kalin’s doubts began to consume her, and she began to contemplate suicide as a Mormon wife and mother of two children.
  • Kalin is currently navigating a mixed-faith marriage, and remains an active non-literal believer in her Salt Lake City ward.

This is Kalin’s story – how she lost her orthodox Mormon faith, but found herself (and her own voice) in the process.

You will not be disappointed with this interview. I hope you will join us. And please spread the word if you can!

Direct download: MormonStories-1283-KalinOrgillOrganPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm MST

Periodically on Mormon Stories Podcast I try to interview “normal” or everyday Mormons about their faith journey – and in every case these “normal” Mormons turn out to be extraordinarily thoughtful and courageous. Today’s interview is no exception to this rule.

Today on Mormon Stories podcast I am interviewing Kalin Orgill Organ. Aside from Kalin being a super thoughtful and courageous human, Kalin’s story includes several important themes in modern Mormonism:

  • Kalin was raised in an orthodox Mormon home in California and in Highland, Utah – with seven siblings.
  • She was sexually abused as a child, which possibly awakened her to her own sexuality early than other children.
  • She began masturbating as a girl, before she even knew what the term meant.  This instigated a multi-year effort between herself, her parents, and her Mormon bishop to try to stop the behavior, and to become “worthy” in God’s eyes.
  • Kalin “lost her virginity” as a Mormon teen, which, along with her inability to stop masturbating, only made her feel less worthy.
  • Kalin had doubts/questions as a Mormon teen, and even listened briefly to Mormon Stories podcast PRIOR to serving her mission.  She fought hard to gain a testimony while on her mission.
  • Over time, three of Kalin’s siblings came out to her as LGBTQ, which multiplied her confusion and doubt.
  • After returning from a successful Mormon mission, Kalin married her husband Aaron in a Mormon temple, wherein they became to onlookers the “perfect Mormon couple.”
  • Over time, after a lifetime of struggling to feel worthy, Kalin’s doubts began to consume her, and she began to contemplate suicide as a Mormon wife and mother of two children.
  • Kalin is currently navigating a mixed-faith marriage, and remains an active non-literal believer in her Salt Lake City ward.

This is Kalin’s story – how she lost her orthodox Mormon faith, but found herself (and her own voice) in the process.

You will not be disappointed with this interview. I hope you will join us. And please spread the word if you can!

Direct download: MormonStories-1282-KalinOrgillOrganPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:39pm MST

URGENT! I am currently being flooded by parents and family members of Mormon missionaries, elderly senior missionaries, patriarchs, temple workers, workers at Deseret Industries, etc. about the Mormon church's tragically inadequate response to the COVID-19 / Coronavirus outbreak. It appears as though many church leaders, mission presidents, and missionaries are seeing the Corona virus pandemic as an opportunity to corner people in their homes, with hopes of spreading the gospel. It has also come to my attention that Mormon church patriarchs, temple workers (most of whom also fit into the high risk category), and workers at Deseret Industries are still being asked to travel from home to home to give patriarchal blessings, and/or to show up at the temples or at Deseret Industries to work.

Please spread the word so we can help the Mormon church keep its members safe.

Direct download: MormonStories-1281-Coronavirus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:33am MST

Did you ever struggle with your identity as a Mormon? Did you ever feel like who you were inside didn't fit the Mormon mold? 

Have you ever been estranged from family over religious differences? Are you suffering with the idea that reconciliation will never happen?

Join us now for this epic and inspiring Mormon Stories Podcast episode which covers so many essential topics including:

- Faith, family, commitment.

- Divorce. Estrangement.

- Excommunication and re-baptism.

- Faith crisis issues.

- Family reconciliation after 17 years of estrangement.

These are thoughtful, wise, and inspiring humans - and you will not regret time spent on this episode. It will restore your faith that relationships can be reconciled after estrangement from a faith crisis.

Direct download: MormonStories-1280-TransgenderSpousePt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MST

Did you ever struggle with your identity as a Mormon? Did you ever feel like who you were inside didn't fit the Mormon mold? 

Have you ever been estranged from family over religious differences? Are you suffering with the idea that reconciliation will never happen?

Join us now for this epic and inspiring Mormon Stories Podcast episode which covers so many essential topics including:

- Faith, family, commitment.

- Divorce. Estrangement.

- Excommunication and re-baptism.

- Faith crisis issues.

- Family reconciliation after 17 years of estrangement.

These are thoughtful, wise, and inspiring humans - and you will not regret time spent on this episode. It will restore your faith that relationships can be reconciled after estrangement from a faith crisis.

Direct download: MormonStories-1279-TransgenderSpousePt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am MST

Did you ever struggle with your identity as a Mormon? Did you ever feel like who you were inside didn't fit the Mormon mold? 

Have you ever been estranged from family over religious differences? Are you suffering with the idea that reconciliation will never happen?

Join us now for this epic and inspiring Mormon Stories Podcast episode which covers so many essential topics including:

- Faith, family, commitment.

- Divorce. Estrangement.

- Excommunication and re-baptism.

- Faith crisis issues.

- Family reconciliation after 17 years of estrangement.

These are thoughtful, wise, and inspiring humans - and you will not regret time spent on this episode. It will restore your faith that relationships can be reconciled after estrangement from a faith crisis.

Direct download: MormonStories-1278-TransgenderSpousePt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am MST

Did you ever struggle with your identity as a Mormon? Did you ever feel like who you were inside didn't fit the Mormon mold? Have you ever been estranged from family over religious differences? Are you suffering with the idea that reconciliation will never happen? Join us now for this epic and inspiring Mormon Stories Podcast episode which covers so many essential topics including: - Faith, family, commitment. - Divorce. Estrangement. - Excommunication and re-baptism. - Faith crisis issues. - Family reconciliation after 17 years of estrangement. These are thoughtful, wise, and inspiring humans - and you will not regret time spent on this episode. It will restore your faith that relationships can be reconciled after estrangement from a faith crisis.

Direct download: MormonStories-1277-HealingSeparationPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MST

Did you ever struggle with your identity as a Mormon? Did you ever feel like who you were inside didn't fit the Mormon mold? Have you ever been estranged from family over religious differences? Are you suffering with the idea that reconciliation will never happen? Join us now for this epic and inspiring Mormon Stories Podcast episode which covers so many essential topics including: - Faith, family, commitment. - Divorce. Estrangement. - Excommunication and re-baptism. - Faith crisis issues. - Family reconciliation after 17 years of estrangement. These are thoughtful, wise, and inspiring humans - and you will not regret time spent on this episode. It will restore your faith that relationships can be reconciled after estrangement from a faith crisis.

Direct download: MormonStories-1276-HealingSeparationPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MST

Did you ever struggle with your identity as a Mormon? Did you ever feel like who you were inside didn't fit the Mormon mold? Have you ever been estranged from family over religious differences? Are you suffering with the idea that reconciliation will never happen? Join us now for this epic and inspiring Mormon Stories Podcast episode which covers so many essential topics including: - Faith, family, commitment. - Divorce. Estrangement. - Excommunication and re-baptism. - Faith crisis issues. - Family reconciliation after 17 years of estrangement. These are thoughtful, wise, and inspiring humans - and you will not regret time spent on this episode. It will restore your faith that relationships can be reconciled after estrangement from a faith crisis.

Direct download: MormonStories-1275-HealingSeparationPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am MST

Did you ever struggle with your identity as a Mormon? Did you ever feel like who you were inside didn't fit the Mormon mold? Have you ever been estranged from family over religious differences? Are you suffering with the idea that reconciliation will never happen? Join us now for this epic and inspiring Mormon Stories Podcast episode which covers so many essential topics including: - Faith, family, commitment. - Divorce. Estrangement. - Excommunication and re-baptism. - Faith crisis issues. - Family reconciliation after 17 years of estrangement. These are thoughtful, wise, and inspiring humans - and you will not regret time spent on this episode. It will restore your faith that relationships can be reconciled after estrangement from a faith crisis.

Direct download: MormonStories-1274-HealingSeparationPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am MST

Today on Mormon Stories Podcast we are interviewing Anastasia Bigun.  Anastasia was born in Ukraine.  She and her mother met the Mormon missionaries when she was 10, and she began attending the Mormon church then, though she was not allowed by her father to be baptized until age 18.  After joining the Mormon church, Anastasia moved to the United States at age 21 to attend BYU.  The themes for today’s interview will include: 1) Learning more about living in Ukraine, and Ukraine’s relationship to Russia, 2) what it is like to be Mormon in Ukraine, 3) Anastasia’s own faith journey, and 4) Anastasia’s perspective on the U.S./Ukraine/Russia news stories this year.

Direct download: MormonStories-1273-AnastasiaPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MST

Today on Mormon Stories Podcast we are interviewing Anastasia Bigun.  Anastasia was born in Ukraine.  She and her mother met the Mormon missionaries when she was 10, and she began attending the Mormon church then, though she was not allowed by her father to be baptized until age 18.  After joining the Mormon church, Anastasia moved to the United States at age 21 to attend BYU.  The themes for today’s interview will include: 1) Learning more about living in Ukraine, and Ukraine’s relationship to Russia, 2) what it is like to be Mormon in Ukraine, 3) Anastasia’s own faith journey, and 4) Anastasia’s perspective on the U.S./Ukraine/Russia news stories this year.

Direct download: MormonStories-1272-AnastasiaPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MST

Today on Mormon Stories Podcast we are interviewing Anastasia Bigun.  Anastasia was born in Ukraine.  She and her mother met the Mormon missionaries when she was 10, and she began attending the Mormon church then, though she was not allowed by her father to be baptized until age 18.  After joining the Mormon church, Anastasia moved to the United States at age 21 to attend BYU.  The themes for today’s interview will include: 1) Learning more about living in Ukraine, and Ukraine’s relationship to Russia, 2) what it is like to be Mormon in Ukraine, 3) Anastasia’s own faith journey, and 4) Anastasia’s perspective on the U.S./Ukraine/Russia news stories this year.

Direct download: MormonStories-1271-AnastasiaPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am MST

Today on Mormon Stories Podcast we are interviewing Anastasia Bigun.  Anastasia was born in Ukraine.  She and her mother met the Mormon missionaries when she was 10, and she began attending the Mormon church then, though she was not allowed by her father to be baptized until age 18.  After joining the Mormon church, Anastasia moved to the United States at age 21 to attend BYU.  The themes for today’s interview will include: 1) Learning more about living in Ukraine, and Ukraine’s relationship to Russia, 2) what it is like to be Mormon in Ukraine, 3) Anastasia’s own faith journey, and 4) Anastasia’s perspective on the U.S./Ukraine/Russia news stories this year.

Direct download: MormonStories-1270-AnastasiaPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am MST

February 2020 marks the 5 year anniversary of my excommunication from the Mormon church.

In a desire to protect myself against the possibility of slander or misinformation from the church or its apologists (as was experienced by former church members such as Fawn Brodie, Simon Southerton, and Kate Kelly during their disciplinary councils), I recorded all of the interviews I had with my bishops (James Stephenson and Brian Hunt) and stake presidents (Mark Jensen and Bryan King) leading up to my disciplinary council/excommunication.

As I have been opposed to Mormon Disciplinary Councils from my childhood on, it was always my intention to publish these interviews as a matter of public record - but I decided to hold off on publishing them for several years.

In light of the recent changes made to the Mormon church's disciplinary council process, and on the 5th anniversary of my excommunication, I am publishing them now.

Direct download: MormonStories-1269-ExcommunicationPt6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:54am MST