Mormon Stories - LDS

In these episodes of Mormon Stories, we interview former LDS Stake President and LDS Chief Architect Laurie Lee Hall. Laurie Lee’s story is fascinating on many levels:

  • Laurie Lee worked for 20 years as Chief Architect for the LDS Church and as Director of Design and/or Construction for around 40 LDS temples.
  • She served as Stake President of the Tooele Utah Valley View Stake in Tooele, Utah for 8 years.
  • While she remembers identifying internally as a woman from a very young age, she began to experience intense pressure to transition to female while serving as an LDS Stake President. This ultimately led to her being released as stake president after 8 years of service.
  • About two months ago Laurie Lee was excommunicated stemming from her decision to transition gender presentation while living in her home ward/stake.
  • Laurie Lee and her spouse have been married 32 years this month and are the parents of five children and 11 grandchildren.
  • Laurie Lee remains a believer in many of the core tenets of Mormonism (e.g., Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, the atonement), and reads the Book of Mormon daily.
Direct download: MormonStories-770-LaurieLeeHallPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:33pm MDT

In this episode recorded for use on Bart Campolo's "Humanize Me" podcast, John and Bart interview each other on their experience at building communities post religion

Direct download: MormonStories-769-BartCampolo2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:37am MDT

In these episodes of Mormon Stories, John and Margi interview Carol Lynn Pearson, Jana Riess, and Jana Johnson Spangler to explore their experiences as they navigate progressive Mormonism.

We cover important topics such as:

*Each panelist’s experience when their faith became more complex and whether they would self-describe as a Mormon
*What made them choose to remain engaged in the Church
*What the most valuable aspects of the faith are to each of them, and how they inform and impact their life
*Their social experience in their wards and whether they feel alone or among many others who are navigating a middle-way
*How they approach Sundays and whether they have supplemented their Sunday experience with anything that would be helpful to share with our audience
*Whether they observe a decline in the health and vitality of the Church

Direct download: MormonStories-768-NavigatingProgressiveMormonismPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:37am MDT

In these episodes of Mormon Stories, John and Margi interview Carol Lynn Pearson, Jana Riess, and Jana Johnson Spangler to explore their experiences as they navigate progressive Mormonism.

We cover important topics such as:

*Each panelist’s experience when their faith became more complex and whether they would self-describe as a Mormon
*What made them choose to remain engaged in the Church
*What the most valuable aspects of the faith are to each of them, and how they inform and impact their life
*Their social experience in their wards and whether they feel alone or among many others who are navigating a middle-way
*How they approach Sundays and whether they have supplemented their Sunday experience with anything that would be helpful to share with our audience
*Whether they observe a decline in the health and vitality of the Church

Direct download: MormonStories-767-NavigatingProgressiveMormonismPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:33am MDT

In these episodes of Mormon Stories, John and Margi interview 3 of the hard-working moderators of the “A Thoughtful Faith” Facebook group.  The group comprises LDS members who are working to stay engaged in constructive ways within Mormonism and offers a safe space to ask faith-challenging questions.

Mark Crego, Jeralee Renshaw, and Dan Wotherspoon answer questions about the purpose of the group, but also embark on a very interesting conversation about how they each are able to remain happily involved in the Church despite being aware of the faith-challenging aspects of the Mormon faith.

Direct download: MormonStories-766-AThoughtfulFaithPanelPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:02am MDT

In these episodes of Mormon Stories, John and Margi interview 3 of the hard-working moderators of the “A Thoughtful Faith” Facebook group.  The group comprises LDS members who are working to stay engaged in constructive ways within Mormonism and offers a safe space to ask faith-challenging questions.

Mark Crego, Jeralee Renshaw, and Dan Wotherspoon answer questions about the purpose of the group, but also embark on a very interesting conversation about how they each are able to remain happily involved in the Church despite being aware of the faith-challenging aspects of the Mormon faith.

Direct download: MormonStories-765-AThoughtfulFaithPanelPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58am MDT

In this series on Mormon Stories, we interview the fabulous Natasha Helfer Parker, MFT, CST — moderator of the Mormon Mental Health podcast — to finally hear her “Mormon story.”

This interview covers:

*Being raised in the Church with convert parents in Spain and her eventual move to the US
*Natasha and her family’s concerns about the practice of polygamy and frustration that their questions never seemed to be answered, yet remaining true-believers
*The impact of being a victim of sexual abuse as a child and teenager and how it influenced her experiences exploring her sexuality as a teenager and young adult
*Her removal from BYU because of her sexual experiences and her thoughts now about the unintended consequences of honor code enforcement
*How she met her husband and disclosed her sexual past in an act of transparency, and how it affected the first years of their marriage
*Her thoughts now about the difference between behavior and self-worth within the Church, especially as it relates to sexual behavior
*Her decision to become a sex therapist and how her move to the Midwest became an impetus to develop a wider online presence
*How being a believer in the faith, but having a nuanced view of sexuality led her to being widely known as the “Mormon Sex Therapist”
*How cracks developed in her Orthodox faith foundation
*Her feeling of being in a continuing faith transition for much of the 20+ years of her practice

http://www.mormonmentalhealth.org

https://www.symmetrysols.com

Direct download: MormonStories-764-NatashaHelferParkerPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11am MDT

In this series on Mormon Stories, we interview the fabulous Natasha Helfer Parker, MFT, CST — moderator of the Mormon Mental Health podcast — to finally hear her “Mormon story.”

This interview covers:

*Being raised in the Church with convert parents in Spain and her eventual move to the US
*Natasha and her family’s concerns about the practice of polygamy and frustration that their questions never seemed to be answered, yet remaining true-believers
*The impact of being a victim of sexual abuse as a child and teenager and how it influenced her experiences exploring her sexuality as a teenager and young adult
*Her removal from BYU because of her sexual experiences and her thoughts now about the unintended consequences of honor code enforcement
*How she met her husband and disclosed her sexual past in an act of transparency, and how it affected the first years of their marriage
*Her thoughts now about the difference between behavior and self-worth within the Church, especially as it relates to sexual behavior
*Her decision to become a sex therapist and how her move to the Midwest became an impetus to develop a wider online presence
*How being a believer in the faith, but having a nuanced view of sexuality led her to being widely known as the “Mormon Sex Therapist”
*How cracks developed in her Orthodox faith foundation
*Her feeling of being in a continuing faith transition for much of the 20+ years of her practice

http://www.mormonmentalhealth.org

https://www.symmetrysols.com

Direct download: MormonStories-763-NatashaHelferParkerPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:08am MDT

In this series on Mormon Stories, we interview the fabulous Natasha Helfer Parker, MFT, CST — moderator of the Mormon Mental Health podcast — to finally hear her “Mormon story.”

This interview covers:

*Being raised in the Church with convert parents in Spain and her eventual move to the US
*Natasha and her family’s concerns about the practice of polygamy and frustration that their questions never seemed to be answered, yet remaining true-believers
*The impact of being a victim of sexual abuse as a child and teenager and how it influenced her experiences exploring her sexuality as a teenager and young adult
*Her removal from BYU because of her sexual experiences and her thoughts now about the unintended consequences of honor code enforcement
*How she met her husband and disclosed her sexual past in an act of transparency, and how it affected the first years of their marriage
*Her thoughts now about the difference between behavior and self-worth within the Church, especially as it relates to sexual behavior
*Her decision to become a sex therapist and how her move to the Midwest became an impetus to develop a wider online presence
*How being a believer in the faith, but having a nuanced view of sexuality led her to being widely known as the “Mormon Sex Therapist”
*How cracks developed in her Orthodox faith foundation
*Her feeling of being in a continuing faith transition for much of the 20+ years of her practice

http://www.mormonmentalhealth.org

https://www.symmetrysols.com

Direct download: MormonStories-762-NatashaHelferParkerPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:06am MDT

In this episode, we interview Brynne Thomas Gant -- the author of "They Can Leave the Church, But They Can't Leave the Church Alone"

Direct download: MormonStories-761-BrynneThomasGant.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am MDT

In this episode, we interview Brynne Thomas Gant -- the author of "They Can Leave the Church, But They Can't Leave the Church Alone"

Direct download: MormonStories-760-BrynneThomasGant.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories, we interview Savannah and her mother, Heather.

In this episode of Mormon Stories we interview Savannah and her mother, Heather.  Savannah recently generated international media attention when she came out as gay to her Mormon ward (congregation) in Eagle Mountain, Utah during fast and testimony meeting (May 7, 2017).  Towards the end of her testimony, a presiding priesthood authority cut off her microphone and told her to sit down.  A friend recorded the video of her live testimony.

In this episode John interviews both Savannah and Heather in order to provide the context for Savannah's testimony that day.  Questions answered in this episode include:

*What was Savannah's relationship with the Mormon church prior to her testimony?
*Why did Savannah want to come out as gay to her ward?  
*Why did she write out her testimony beforehand?
*Why did Savannah's parents "allow" her to bear her testimony in this way?
*Who recorded Savannah's testimony, and why?
*How did Savannah and her mother feel when the microphone was cut off, and Savannah was asked to sit down by her Mormon priesthood leader?
*Was this event a conspiracy orchestrated by Savannah's parents?
*What has been the reaction to these events?
*What do Savannah and Heather hope to accomplish by talking about this publicly?
*What would Savannah and Heather like to say to LGBT Mormons and their family/friends?

Special thanks to Heather and Savannah for visiting with the Mormon Stories crew and sharing her beautiful story!

Direct download: MormonStories-759-Savannah.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:19am MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories and Mormon Transitions, John and Margi reflect back on their 13 years of experience as semi- and non-believers and provide their advice on how to successfully navigate activity in the LDS Church.  Some of the topics discussed are:

*Advice on how to determine whether church attendance is a healthy option for you and your family

*Living the “Law of Tithing” in a way that is meaningful to you

*Focusing on teaching lessons about truths that resonate with you, and less on the topics that trouble you as they most likely will be covered many other times

*How to respond to inquiries about your activity status from fellow ward members

*Setting boundaries and expectations when given a calling

*Protecting your children by having an open discussion after church that allows them to safely process and talk through the information 

*Building social credit in your ward to spend thoughtfully when the time arrives

*Advice on how to ethically navigate the temple recommend interview

*Answering the question “can you be honest and ethical in staying?”

Direct download: MormonStories-758-StayingActiveInTheChurch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53am MDT

Continuing our series on “Losing the Lamanites,” we interview Sarah Newcomb who descends from the Tsimshian of the NW Coastal Tribes. In this interview we cover:

*How Sarah struggled as a youth knowing that she came from the ‘Lamanites,’ who had turned their backs on God.
*How she worked her way through college in Rexburg, ID, acquired a degree in Communications/Journalism, and how her new knowledge around sourcing served as an impetus to her questioning her faith.
*How her husband ignored the Mormon admonition against interracial marriage, out of love for Sarah.
*Her avoidance of dancing (and other native customs), as they were practiced by the ’Lamanites’ in the Book of Mormon.
*Her avoidance of the sun, as a way to ensure that her skin would stay as light as possible.
*How she used her knowledge of sourcing (seeking original documentation) to discover many of the problems with LDS church history and doctrine, all before discovering the CES Letter.
*How Mormon Stories Podcast validated her feelings, and provided strength and a sense of community during her faith transition.
*How she now embraces her life in the sun, and is on a journey to connect to the heritage and identity she felt forced to distance herself from while a member of the LDS Church.

We thank Sarah for sharing her powerful, beautiful story and know that it will touch lives!

Direct download: MormonStories-757-SarahNewcomb.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am MDT

We are excited to release an interview with Jen Parkinson that has many fascinating components, including:

*Her devout LDS upbringing and bout with perfectionism while a youth and as a missionary

*Her first marriage to a gay man, unbeknownst to her

*Experiences with LDS Family Services in addressing her husband’s sexual orientation

*Her resulting divorce and intense feelings of guilt and shame

*The experience of seeking a sealing cancellation and how it made her relive the nightmare of her divorce

*Dating and marrying her current husband

*Working for BYU-Idaho and the gender disparity she observed

*Her husband’s faith transition and her reaction to it by “quintupling down” on her beliefs

*How leaving her job at BYU gave her the freedom to learn and question

*Her own faith transition and hope for the future

Direct download: MormonStories-756-JenParkinsonPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13am MDT

We are excited to release an interview with Jen Parkinson that has many fascinating components, including:

*Her devout LDS upbringing and bout with perfectionism while a youth and as a missionary

*Her first marriage to a gay man, unbeknownst to her

*Experiences with LDS Family Services in addressing her husband’s sexual orientation

*Her resulting divorce and intense feelings of guilt and shame

*The experience of seeking a sealing cancellation and how it made her relive the nightmare of her divorce

*Dating and marrying her current husband

*Working for BYU-Idaho and the gender disparity she observed

*Her husband’s faith transition and her reaction to it by “quintupling down” on her beliefs

*How leaving her job at BYU gave her the freedom to learn and question

*Her own faith transition and hope for the future

Direct download: MormonStories-755-JenParkinsonPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11am MDT

We are excited to release an interview with Jen Parkinson that has many fascinating components, including:

*Her devout LDS upbringing and bout with perfectionism while a youth and as a missionary

*Her first marriage to a gay man, unbeknownst to her

*Experiences with LDS Family Services in addressing her husband’s sexual orientation

*Her resulting divorce and intense feelings of guilt and shame

*The experience of seeking a sealing cancellation and how it made her relive the nightmare of her divorce

*Dating and marrying her current husband

*Working for BYU-Idaho and the gender disparity she observed

*Her husband’s faith transition and her reaction to it by “quintupling down” on her beliefs

*How leaving her job at BYU gave her the freedom to learn and question

*Her own faith transition and hope for the future

Direct download: MormonStories-754-JenParkinsonPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08am MDT

In these episodes of Mormon Stories, we interview Derrick Clements—a new contributor to “The Cheeky Mormon Movie Review” podcast series with Gina Colvin, avid podcaster, and reporter for Provo’s Daily Herald.

In part 2, Derrick shares his beliefs and reasons for remaining active in the LDS Church and the important role personal honesty and integrity play in that decision. As a general rule, Derrick avoids dogma and does not rely heavily on truth claims as the root of his faith.

Derrick and John answer the difficult questions such as:

  • “Is it disingenuous to stay active in the LDS Church with knowledge of ‘problems’ of historicity and knowing the harm the church inflicts on groups of people, like LGBTQ individuals?”
  • “Are the people who remain complicit in that harm?”
  • “Should the teachings of the church be taken literally or metaphorically?”
Direct download: MormonStories-753-DerrickClementsMiddleWayPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:36pm MDT

In these episodes of Mormon Stories, we interview Derrick Clements—a new contributor to “The Cheeky Mormon Movie Review” podcast series with Gina Colvin, avid podcaster, and reporter for Provo’s Daily Herald.

Derrick and John begin part 1 by discussing categories of people who remain active in the LDS Church, including those who are:

Unaware of church “problems”

Unable to leave without massive disruption in their lives

Unempathetic to those the church harms

Staying to improve the church

Genuinely spiritually converted

Motivated to stay for tribal / identity sentiments

Direct download: MormonStories-752-DerrickClementsMiddleWayPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:25pm MDT

This episode is a recording of Dr. John Dehlin's goodbye presentation to Cache Valley Oasis - a secular support community formed in Fall of 2015 in Logan, Utah.

In his presentation (recorded May 21, 2017), John shared reflections of "lessons" he has learned over the course of 13 years as a Mormon/Post-Mormon activist.

Direct download: MormonStories-751-JohnDehlinLessonsLearned.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories, Margi and John share and discuss their ideas in creating a family culture.  Margi uses the metaphor of a “tower” with 5 building blocks to show their cumulative effect.

 

These building blocks are:

 

Values — the foundational layer

Embodiment — the living of those values

Ritual — the framework that integrates those values into your schedule

Tradition — opportunities to celebrate that cement values

Home Environment — the space and “vibe” that reflects values

Direct download: MormonStories-750-CreatingAFamilyCulture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:25am MDT

Continuing our series entitled “Losing the Lamanites,” we interview Mormons from Central and South America, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders — with the intent of exploring their faith transitions, and focusing (where relevant) particularly on their thoughts and feelings around having been handed the now questionable “Lamanite” identity.

In this episode we interview Hyrum Joe, and cover the following:

*His 3rd-generation upbringing in the LDS Church
*The culture shock he experienced when he moved off the Reservation while in grade school
*His feelings of being an outsider both in and out of the Church while growing up in his new community
*His inactivity in his younger years and how he subsequently went back into activity after meeting his ex-wife and becoming sealed in the temple
*How he realized he never truly had a "testimony" of the truth claims of the LDS Church, even while being active and being heavily involved in ward missionary activities
*His impending faith transition
*His thoughts and feelings of the "Lamanite" identity

https://www.facebook.com/artofhyrumjoe/

Direct download: MormonStories-749-HyrumJoePt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:58am MDT

Continuing our series entitled “Losing the Lamanites,” we interview Mormons from Central and South America, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders — with the intent of exploring their faith transitions, and focusing (where relevant) particularly on their thoughts and feelings around having been handed the now questionable “Lamanite” identity.

In this episode we interview Hyrum Joe, and cover the following:

*His 3rd-generation upbringing in the LDS Church
*The culture shock he experienced when he moved off the Reservation while in grade school
*His feelings of being an outsider both in and out of the Church while growing up in his new community
*His inactivity in his younger years and how he subsequently went back into activity after meeting his ex-wife and becoming sealed in the temple
*How he realized he never truly had a "testimony" of the truth claims of the LDS Church, even while being active and being heavily involved in ward missionary activities
*His impending faith transition
*His thoughts and feelings of the "Lamanite" identity

https://www.facebook.com/artofhyrumjoe/

Direct download: MormonStories-748-HyrumJoePt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56am MDT

This episode begins our series on “Losing the Lamanites” where we interview people from Central and South America, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders with the intent of exploring their faith transitions—especially their thoughts and feelings on the identity of “Lamanite” being given to them.

 

Vania Moore was raised in the LDS Church and has recently experienced a faith transition.  In this episode, we explore:

 

*Vania’s upbringing in the LDS Church and her desire to serve an LDS mission

*Her thoughts about the label of “Lamanite” and how she never felt it applied to her, and why

*The cultural differences of the LDS Church she noticed having been raised in Brazil and then immigrating to Utah

*Her marriage and subsequent divorce

*Immigrating to America in search of a new life for herself and her children

*How her struggle with anxiety and depression immediately subsided after she decided to leave the LDS Church

*Her remarriage to a true-believing member of the LDS Church and how they make their mixed-faith marriage work

*Vania’s YouTube channel where she explores different truth claims of the church

Direct download: MormonStories-747-VaniaMoorePt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:44pm MDT

This episode begins our series on “Losing the Lamanites” where we interview people from Central and South America, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders with the intent of exploring their faith transitions—especially their thoughts and feelings on the identity of “Lamanite” being given to them.

 

Vania Moore was raised in the LDS Church and has recently experienced a faith transition.  In this episode, we explore:

 

*Vania’s upbringing in the LDS Church and her desire to serve an LDS mission

*Her thoughts about the label of “Lamanite” and how she never felt it applied to her, and why

*The cultural differences of the LDS Church she noticed having been raised in Brazil and then immigrating to Utah

*Her marriage and subsequent divorce

*Immigrating to America in search of a new life for herself and her children

*How her struggle with anxiety and depression immediately subsided after she decided to leave the LDS Church

*Her remarriage to a true-believing member of the LDS Church and how they make their mixed-faith marriage work

*Vania’s YouTube channel where she explores different truth claims of the church

Direct download: MormonStories-746-VaniaMoorePt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:41pm MDT

In this episode John Dehlin (OSF Chief Executive Officer, Board Member) and Craig Woodfield (OSF Board Member, Finance Committee Chair) review the successes of the Open Stories Foundation for 2016.  Items discussed include:

  • The OSF's longstanding commitment to financial transparency.
  • The incredible growth of OSF podcasts in 2016.
  • The emergence and success of a new retreats/workshops initiative to support Mormons experiencing a religious transition.
  • A review of the newly released financial statements.
  • Compensation of OSF staff and OSF podcasters.
  • A discussion of the Mormon Transitions project.

SUPER grateful for all the questions submitted by OSF donors and listeners.

Please email any additional questions to: openstoriesboard@gmail.com.

 

Direct download: MormonStories-745-OSF2016Review.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:46pm MDT

In this episode Margi Dehlin shares an essay she recently wrote named "Broken Open."

Direct download: MormonStories-744-MargiBrokenOpen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:31pm MDT

Concluding our series on Transgender/Intersex issues within Mormonism, we interview London Flynn.  London discusses her transition from male to female as a post-Mormon teen, including:

*Her desires and behaviors she wanted to take part in as a child, but was not free to express

*Achieving the Eagle Scout award as a teen, but feeling disconnected from the other boys

*Her fears of “coming out” when she began to study the methods others were subjected to as a way to “correct” gender confusion

*The different milestones in her transition and how her family, friends, and institutional leaders have responded

*Her hope and vision of the future

Thank you London for sharing your beautiful story and for helping all of us understand more the transgender experience within Mormonism!

Direct download: MormonStories-743-LondonFlynn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:03pm MDT

In this episode, John, Margi, and Natasha Helfer Parker discuss guiding principles to maintaining successful relationships

Direct download: MormonStories-742-HealthyMarriagePt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:39am MDT

In this episode, John, Margi, and Natasha Helfer Parker discuss forming a foundation for marriage that withstands change

Direct download: MormonStories-741-HealthyMarriagePt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:37am MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories, we continue our series on Transgender/Intersex education within Mormonism by interviewing Alex Autry.  Alex discusses his transition from female to male as a post-Mormon teen, including:

  • His early feelings and experiences with gender as a child
  • His upbringing in the LDS Church and feelings of disconnection while involved in Young Women’s activities
  • The constant desire to receive the Priesthood along with all the other boys
  • How his strong and orthodox testimony served as a barrier to confronting his gender identity
  • The feelings of relief when his family and schoolmates accepted his identity
  • Leaving the LDS Church along with his family
  • His beliefs now and his vision for the future

We are grateful to Alex for sharing his unique story and for shining a light on the transgender experience within the Mormon context!

Direct download: MormonStories-740-AlexAutry.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:11pm MDT

In this episode John and Margi interview four individuals who are transgender and either active LDS or former LDS. Our panelists for this interview are Kimberly, Ann, Emmett, and Augustus. We discuss:

*What it was like growing up in the LDS Church
*What effect bullying and life in the “closet” had on them
*How the panelists see transgender people fitting (or not) into LDS Church doctrine
*“Trans-erasure” in the Church where lesbian, gay, and bisexual identities receive more focus and attention; therefore, transgender issues are less understood
*How they were treated when they attended church as their authentic selves
*Things they would like the Church to address with their transgender members

We thank our panelists for sharing each of their unique stories and for bringing light to the Mormon transgender experience!

Direct download: MormonStories-739-TransgenderPanel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am MDT

Part 4: Kimberly shares the impact her transition had on her Mormon life, and shares her vision of the future

Kimberly Anderson is a self-actualized woman who has made the change from living for 45 years as a Mormon man to living openly as a woman. Before her transition, she lived, worked, and thrived for decades as a spouse, parent of two children, faithful Mormon, professional photographer, and university professor (BYU, UVU, Snow College).

Kimberly has a BA and an MFA from Utah State University, has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally as a professional photographer, and has work in various collections throughout the Intermountain West. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University, Snow College and Utah Valley University. She is the founder/photographer for the Mama Dragons Story Project which was recently featured on Mormon Stories Podcast.

This interview kicks off a 4-part series on Transgender/Intersex education within Mormonism.

Direct download: MormonStories-738-KimberlyAndersonPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:03am MDT

Part 3: Kimberly details the sacrifices required when she made the decision to transition

Kimberly Anderson is a self-actualized woman who has made the change from living for 45 years as a Mormon man to living openly as a woman. Before her transition, she lived, worked, and thrived for decades as a spouse, parent of two children, faithful Mormon, professional photographer, and university professor (BYU, UVU, Snow College).

Kimberly has a BA and an MFA from Utah State University, has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally as a professional photographer, and has work in various collections throughout the Intermountain West. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University, Snow College and Utah Valley University. She is the founder/photographer for the Mama Dragons Story Project which was recently featured on Mormon Stories Podcast.

This interview kicks off a 4-part series on Transgender/Intersex education within Mormonism.

Direct download: MormonStories-737-KimberlyAndersonPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am MDT

Part 2: Kimberly tells about her LDS mission experience, her marriage, and having children

Kimberly Anderson is a self-actualized woman who has made the change from living for 45 years as a Mormon man to living openly as a woman. Before her transition, she lived, worked, and thrived for decades as a spouse, parent of two children, faithful Mormon, professional photographer, and university professor (BYU, UVU, Snow College).

Kimberly has a BA and an MFA from Utah State University, has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally as a professional photographer, and has work in various collections throughout the Intermountain West. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University, Snow College and Utah Valley University. She is the founder/photographer for the Mama Dragons Story Project which was recently featured on Mormon Stories Podcast.

This interview kicks off a 4-part series on Transgender/Intersex education within Mormonism.

Direct download: MormonStories-736-KimberlyAndersonPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:59am MDT

Part 1: Kimberly describes her early life as a child and teen raised in the LDS Church

Kimberly Anderson is a self-actualized woman who has made the change from living for 45 years as a Mormon man to living openly as a woman. Before her transition, she lived, worked, and thrived for decades as a spouse, parent of two children, faithful Mormon, professional photographer, and university professor (BYU, UVU, Snow College).

Kimberly has a BA and an MFA from Utah State University, has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally as a professional photographer, and has work in various collections throughout the Intermountain West. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University, Snow College and Utah Valley University. She is the founder/photographer for the Mama Dragons Story Project which was recently featured on Mormon Stories Podcast.

This interview kicks off a 4-part series on Transgender/Intersex education within Mormonism.

Direct download: MormonStories-735-KimberlyAndersonPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57am MDT

In this episode we discuss what happens when religions or religious people praise abusers in front of their victims.

 

In April 2017, Keith Robert Vallejo, a Mormon bishop, was convicted of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape, involving two women – who were both staying at his home at the time of the rape/abuse.

 

During his sentencing hearing in Provo, Utah, Fourth District judge Thomas Low (who is currently serving as Mormon bishop of the Valley Hills First Ward of the Heber City Utah North Stake), praised Vallejo as a "an extraordinarily good man" in front of his two victims.

You can hear his full statement here: https://soundcloud.com/user-592916436/judge-thomas-low-statement

 

In today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode we are interviewing Ashlie.  Ashlie currently attends a Mormon ward where a former bishop who has abused two separate victims who were both ward members.  He was convicted of rape for the first offense has been fully reintegrated into the ward at the expense of his victims (who also remain in the ward).  According to Ashlie:

  • After the former bishop served time in prison, wealthy ward members pooled a large amount of money to have his name removed from the sex offender’s registry in Florida.
  • He has been reinstated with full membership status back into the ward, and is currently serving as seminary teacher and as a high priest teacher.
  • Many ward and stake members have not been informed of his former abuses.
  • The victims and their families have been marginalized by the ward and stake for not being more “forgiving,” and for not “understanding the atonement.”

 

Today we will be discussing Ashlie’s perspective on the impact of protecting abusers at the expense of the abused, along with how this has impacted her own faith journey.  Ashlie’s stories includes:

  • Her conversion to the church.
  • Her temple marriage that ended in divorce
  • Her inappropriate excommunication for drinking alcohol
  • Her rebaptism into the church by Bishop Mark McConkie (Colorado Spring)
  • Her re-marriage (elopement, then temple sealing)
  • Her experience in a ward where three successive bishops were excommunicated
  • Her “shelf breakers” and faith transition (which happened only a month ago).


This episode includes a beautiful shout-out to Kristin Marie (Bennion), so check it out!

Direct download: MormonStories-734-WhenReligionsPraiseAbusersPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:44pm MDT

In this episode we discuss what happens when religions or religious people praise abusers in front of their victims.

 

In April 2017, Keith Robert Vallejo, a Mormon bishop, was convicted of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape, involving two women – who were both staying at his home at the time of the rape/abuse.

 

During his sentencing hearing in Provo, Utah, Fourth District judge Thomas Low (who is currently serving as Mormon bishop of the Valley Hills First Ward of the Heber City Utah North Stake), praised Vallejo as a "an extraordinarily good man" in front of his two victims.

You can hear his full statement here: https://soundcloud.com/user-592916436/judge-thomas-low-statement

 

In today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode we are interviewing Ashlie.  Ashlie currently attends a Mormon ward where a former bishop who has abused two separate victims who were both ward members.  He was convicted of rape for the first offense has been fully reintegrated into the ward at the expense of his victims (who also remain in the ward).  According to Ashlie:

  • After the former bishop served time in prison, wealthy ward members pooled a large amount of money to have his name removed from the sex offender’s registry in Florida.
  • He has been reinstated with full membership status back into the ward, and is currently serving as seminary teacher and as a high priest teacher.
  • Many ward and stake members have not been informed of his former abuses.
  • The victims and their families have been marginalized by the ward and stake for not being more “forgiving,” and for not “understanding the atonement.”

 

Today we will be discussing Ashlie’s perspective on the impact of protecting abusers at the expense of the abused, along with how this has impacted her own faith journey.  Ashlie’s stories includes:

  • Her conversion to the church.
  • Her temple marriage that ended in divorce
  • Her inappropriate excommunication for drinking alcohol
  • Her rebaptism into the church by Bishop Mark McConkie (Colorado Spring)
  • Her re-marriage (elopement, then temple sealing)
  • Her experience in a ward where three successive bishops were excommunicated
  • Her “shelf breakers” and faith transition (which happened only a month ago).


This episode includes a beautiful shout-out to Kristin Marie (Bennion), so check it out!

Direct download: MormonStories-733-WhenReligionsPraiseAbusersPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:41pm MDT

As part of our series on meetings with Mormon General Authorities, we interview Scott Duke. Scott met with Elder Christoffel Golden of the Seventy November 15, 2012.

In this episode, Scott recounts:

-His LDS mission experience and the troubling historical issues he put on his “shelf”
-His confusion about the role of personal revelation within the framework of the Mormon Church
-How he “came out” about his faith crisis to his wife and family
-How he landed an opportunity to meet with a General Authority of the Church as a last effort to restore faith
-The events and impressions of the meeting with Elder Golden
-The letter he wrote to Dieter F. Uchtdorf and the subsequent response
-The emotional fallout and impact on his family that resulted from his non-belief

Direct download: MormonStories-732-ScottDukeGolden.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05pm MDT

As part of our series on meetings with Mormon General Authorities, we interview Meg and Jake Abhau as they relay the story of their September 2013 meeting with Mormon Apostle Elder D. Todd Christofferson.  

 

Meg and Jake appeared on episodes 508-510 of Mormon Stories discussing their experiences in early 2013 when their 13 year old son, Jon, came out to them as gay while they were living as committed, orthodox Mormons.  During this period Meg and Jake met Tom Christofferson, brother of Mormon Apostle D. Todd Christofferson.  At the time Meg and Jake met Tom he was an excommunicated gay Mormon man living in a committed relationship for over 18 years.  After hearing the Abhau’s story, Tom graciously offered to arrange a meeting between them and his brother, Elder D. Todd Christofferson.

 

In this episode Meg and Jake recount in detail their 1+ hour with apostle D. Todd Christofferson, which included:

 

  • Elder D. Todd Christofferson acknowledging that the LDS Church may not be a safe place for our LGBT youth,
  • Elder Christofferson acknowledging to Meg and Jake that personal revelation trumps revelation from Mormon leadership  (but that he would never be able to admit this publicly to church members), and
  • Meg informing Elder Christofferson that he and other LDS leadership had/have “blood on their hands” for the way that they have mishandled LGBT issues, contributing to a modern wave of LGBT youth suicides.


Meg and Jake also express their disappointment with Elder Christofferson’s role in speaking as the representative for the LDS church during the November 2015 policy decision denouncing same-sex couples as apostates, and disallowing their children from being baptised into the Mormon church.  They also discuss their respective decisions to leave the Mormon church after decades of orthodox membership.

Direct download: MormonStories-731-AbhausChristofferson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:55pm MDT

In this 4-part series, we interview Nicki and Lance Miles who share their Mormon upbringing, how they met, and how their individual mission experiences intertwined in Episode 1.

In Episode 2, we have a serious discussion about Lance’s father who comes out as gay and the impact it had on the Miles family.  Nicki and Lance share how their feelings towards their father evolved in a more positive direction as time progressed. 

Episode 3 details the meeting Nicki and Lance had with Marlin K. Jensen, former historian for the LDS Church.  They detail the questions asked of the historian, and the impact his answers had on them.

Rounding out the interview, in Episode 4 we discuss Nicki’s feminist awakening and the impact it had on Lance’s view of their marriage.  Transitioning out of the LDS Church led the couple to take a serious look at the foundation of their marriage and their approach to raising their children.

Direct download: MormonStories-730-MilesTransitionPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11pm MDT

In this 4-part series, we interview Nicki and Lance Miles who share their Mormon upbringing, how they met, and how their individual mission experiences intertwined in Episode 1.

In Episode 2, we have a serious discussion about Lance’s father who comes out as gay and the impact it had on the Miles family.  Nicki and Lance share how their feelings towards their father evolved in a more positive direction as time progressed. 

Episode 3 details the meeting Nicki and Lance had with Marlin K. Jensen, former historian for the LDS Church.  They detail the questions asked of the historian, and the impact his answers had on them.

Rounding out the interview, in Episode 4 we discuss Nicki’s feminist awakening and the impact it had on Lance’s view of their marriage.  Transitioning out of the LDS Church led the couple to take a serious look at the foundation of their marriage and their approach to raising their children.

Direct download: MormonStories-729-MilesTransitionPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:09pm MDT

In this 4-part series, we interview Nicki and Lance Miles who share their Mormon upbringing, how they met, and how their individual mission experiences intertwined in Episode 1.

In Episode 2, we have a serious discussion about Lance’s father who comes out as gay and the impact it had on the Miles family.  Nicki and Lance share how their feelings towards their father evolved in a more positive direction as time progressed. 

Episode 3 details the meeting Nicki and Lance had with Marlin K. Jensen, former historian for the LDS Church.  They detail the questions asked of the historian, and the impact his answers had on them.

Rounding out the interview, in Episode 4 we discuss Nicki’s feminist awakening and the impact it had on Lance’s view of their marriage.  Transitioning out of the LDS Church led the couple to take a serious look at the foundation of their marriage and their approach to raising their children.

Direct download: MormonStories-728-MilesTransitionPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:07pm MDT

In this 4-part series, we interview Nicki and Lance Miles who share their Mormon upbringing, how they met, and how their individual mission experiences intertwined in Episode 1.

In Episode 2, we have a serious discussion about Lance’s father who comes out as gay and the impact it had on the Miles family.  Nicki and Lance share how their feelings towards their father evolved in a more positive direction as time progressed. 

Episode 3 details the meeting Nicki and Lance had with Marlin K. Jensen, former historian for the LDS Church.  They detail the questions asked of the historian, and the impact his answers had on them.

Rounding out the interview, in Episode 4 we discuss Nicki’s feminist awakening and the impact it had on Lance’s view of their marriage.  Transitioning out of the LDS Church led the couple to take a serious look at the foundation of their marriage and their approach to raising their children.

 

Direct download: MormonStories-727-MilesTransitionPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05pm MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories, we interview Noah Rasheta — the Executive Director of the Foundation for Mindful Living and host of the Secular Buddhism podcast.  This meaningful and compelling interview covers:

  • Noah’s early life as an orthodox Mormon believer and his struggle with the thought that with all of the good in the world, is it possible that the path set forth by the LDS Church is the only valid one?
  • How he felt uneasy and shaken as he broadened his study of the Mormon faith
  • His description of his transitioning process, his fears of leaving the LDS Church, and “coming out” as a non-believer to those in his faith community
  • How as his transition progressed, his view towards people became more kind, warm, and compassionate
  • His studies of Buddhist philosophy and the development of a purpose-driven life by integrating Buddhist teachings, modern science, humanism, and humor
Direct download: MormonStories-726-NoahRashetasTransitionPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:43pm MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories, we interview Noah Rasheta — the Executive Director of the Foundation for Mindful Living and host of the Secular Buddhism podcast.  This meaningful and compelling interview covers:

  • Noah’s early life as an orthodox Mormon believer and his struggle with the thought that with all of the good in the world, is it possible that the path set forth by the LDS Church is the only valid one?
  • How he felt uneasy and shaken as he broadened his study of the Mormon faith
  • His description of his transitioning process, his fears of leaving the LDS Church, and “coming out” as a non-believer to those in his faith community
  • How as his transition progressed, his view towards people became more kind, warm, and compassionate
  • His studies of Buddhist philosophy and the development of a purpose-driven life by integrating Buddhist teachings, modern science, humanism, and humor
Direct download: MormonStories-725-NoahRashetasTransitionPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:40pm MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories, we interview Noah Rasheta — the Executive Director of the Foundation for Mindful Living and host of the Secular Buddhism podcast.  This meaningful and compelling interview covers:

  • Noah’s early life as an orthodox Mormon believer and his struggle with the thought that with all of the good in the world, is it possible that the path set forth by the LDS Church is the only valid one?
  • How he felt uneasy and shaken as he broadened his study of the Mormon faith
  • His description of his transitioning process, his fears of leaving the LDS Church, and “coming out” as a non-believer to those in his faith community
  • How as his transition progressed, his view towards people became more kind, warm, and compassionate
  • His studies of Buddhist philosophy and the development of a purpose-driven life by integrating Buddhist teachings, modern science, humanism, and humor
Direct download: MormonStories-724-NoahRashetasTransitionPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:37pm MDT

In this episode of Mormon Stories, we interview Noah Rasheta — the Executive Director of the Foundation for Mindful Living and host of the Secular Buddhism podcast.  This meaningful and compelling interview covers:

  • Noah’s early life as an orthodox Mormon believer and his struggle with the thought that with all of the good in the world, is it possible that the path set forth by the LDS Church is the only valid one?
  • How he felt uneasy and shaken as he broadened his study of the Mormon faith
  • His description of his transitioning process, his fears of leaving the LDS Church, and “coming out” as a non-believer to those in his faith community
  • How as his transition progressed, his view towards people became more kind, warm, and compassionate
  • His studies of Buddhist philosophy and the development of a purpose-driven life by integrating Buddhist teachings, modern science, humanism, and humor
Direct download: MormonStories-723-NoahRashetasTransitionPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:35pm MDT

Panelists Wendy & Thomas Montgomery and Daniel Parkinson delve into topics related to Utah’s escalating suicide crisis and the feeling of despair that many LDS LGBT individuals experience.

Part 1: In this episode, the panel discusses appropriate guidelines when discussing suicide and work to identify possible correlates unique to Utah and the broader LDS LGBT community.

Part 2: In this episode, the panel discusses the perceived “whiplash” of mixed messaging from LDS Church leadership about LGBT people.  They also discuss how to communicate and address the possible causes of the escalating suicide crisis, without violating the guidelines shared in episode 1.

Direct download: MormonStories-722-UtahSuicideCrisisLGBTDespairPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11am MDT

Panelists Wendy & Thomas Montgomery and Daniel Parkinson delve into topics related to Utah’s escalating suicide crisis and the feeling of despair that many LDS LGBT individuals experience.

Part 1: In this episode, the panel discusses appropriate guidelines when discussing suicide and work to identify possible correlates unique to Utah and the broader LDS LGBT community.

Part 2: In this episode, the panel discusses the perceived “whiplash” of mixed messaging from LDS Church leadership about LGBT people.  They also discuss how to communicate and address the possible causes of the escalating suicide crisis, without violating the guidelines shared in episode 1.

Direct download: MormonStories-721-UtahSuicideCrisisLGBTDespairPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10am MDT

SUPER honored/proud to release my latest interview with Heidi Nielson Packard and Dr. Josh Packard. This powerful, informative, and in-depth interview covers:

  • Heidi and Josh’s very orthodox Mormon upbringing and early years as Mormons. For those interested, Heidi’s brother is Christian Nielson, who is married to Stephanie Nielson of the NieNie Dialogues blog (sister to Courtney Clark Kendrick or CJane)
  • Their faith crisis involving science and LDS history (reading Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling), which resulted in Josh asking to be released from the bishopric,
  • How Heidi and Josh found value in secular humanism as a way to raise their children after Mormonism,
  • How the military community has helped to meet there social needs after leaving Mormonism, and
  • How they overcame early “mistakes” in communicating with believing family, resulting in more loving, respectful relationships with believing family members today.
Direct download: MormonStories-720-ThePackardsPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:14am MDT

SUPER honored/proud to release my latest interview with Heidi Nielson Packard and Dr. Josh Packard. This powerful, informative, and in-depth interview covers:

  • Heidi and Josh’s very orthodox Mormon upbringing and early years as Mormons. For those interested, Heidi’s brother is Christian Nielson, who is married to Stephanie Nielson of the NieNie Dialogues blog (sister to Courtney Clark Kendrick or CJane)
  • Their faith crisis involving science and LDS history (reading Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling), which resulted in Josh asking to be released from the bishopric,
  • How Heidi and Josh found value in secular humanism as a way to raise their children after Mormonism,
  • How the military community has helped to meet there social needs after leaving Mormonism, and
  • How they overcame early “mistakes” in communicating with believing family, resulting in more loving, respectful relationships with believing family members today.
Direct download: MormonStories-719-ThePackardsPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:13am MDT

SUPER honored/proud to release my latest interview with Heidi Nielson Packard and Dr. Josh Packard. This powerful, informative, and in-depth interview covers:

  • Heidi and Josh’s very orthodox Mormon upbringing and early years as Mormons. For those interested, Heidi’s brother is Christian Nielson, who is married to Stephanie Nielson of the NieNie Dialogues blog (sister to Courtney Clark Kendrick or CJane)
  • Their faith crisis involving science and LDS history (reading Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling), which resulted in Josh asking to be released from the bishopric,
  • How Heidi and Josh found value in secular humanism as a way to raise their children after Mormonism,
  • How the military community has helped to meet there social needs after leaving Mormonism, and
  • How they overcame early “mistakes” in communicating with believing family, resulting in more loving, respectful relationships with believing family members today.
Direct download: MormonStories-718-ThePackardsPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11am MDT

SUPER honored/proud to release my latest interview with Heidi Nielson Packard and Dr. Josh Packard. This powerful, informative, and in-depth interview covers:

  • Heidi and Josh’s very orthodox Mormon upbringing and early years as Mormons. For those interested, Heidi’s brother is Christian Nielson, who is married to Stephanie Nielson of the NieNie Dialogues blog (sister to Courtney Clark Kendrick or CJane)
  • Their faith crisis involving science and LDS history (reading Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling), which resulted in Josh asking to be released from the bishopric,
  • How Heidi and Josh found value in secular humanism as a way to raise their children after Mormonism,
  • How the military community has helped to meet there social needs after leaving Mormonism, and
  • How they overcame early “mistakes” in communicating with believing family, resulting in more loving, respectful relationships with believing family members today.
Direct download: MormonStories-717-ThePackardsPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10am MDT

In this two-part episode, Dr. John Dehlin and his wife Margi hold a panel discussion with Kristin Marie, Michelle Ross, Paul Smith, and Ryan Stott.  The panel navigates topics that include sexuality/purity messaging for the youth of the church, its impacts, and suggestions for approaching sexuality in healthy ways.

Part 1: The panel discusses the purity messaging they received as youth in the church and its impact on their sexual education and emotional well-being.

Part 2: The panel discusses healthy sexuality topics including developing your own definition of intimacy, negotiating your sexual experiences, and consent.

Direct download: MormonStories-716-SinglesAndSexualityPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm MDT

In this two-part episode, Dr. John Dehlin and his wife Margi hold a panel discussion with Kristin Marie, Michelle Ross, Paul Smith, and Ryan Stott.  The panel navigates topics that include sexuality/purity messaging for the youth of the church, its impacts, and suggestions for approaching sexuality in healthy ways.

Part 1: The panel discusses the purity messaging they received as youth in the church and its impact on their sexual education and emotional well-being.

Part 2: The panel discusses healthy sexuality topics including developing your own definition of intimacy, negotiating your sexual experiences, and consent.

Direct download: MormonStories-715-SinglesAndSexualityPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:46pm MDT

In this four-part episode, Trevor Haugen shares and analyzes his experience meeting with LDS General Authority Don R. Clarkeand LDS church historian Dr. Matthew J. Grow as they attempt to address his mounting concerns with deeply troubling Mormon history and doctrine.

Part 1: Trevor discusses his life as an orthodox Mormon believer, including his mission service and temple marriages.

Parts 2, 3 & 4: Trevor and Dr. John Dehlin discusses the meeting, and particularly analyze the apologetics offered by Elder Clarke and Dr. Matthew Grow.

Direct download: MormonStories-714-TrevorHaugenPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:50pm MDT

In this four-part episode, Trevor Haugen shares and analyzes his experience meeting with LDS General Authority Don R. Clarkeand LDS church historian Dr. Matthew J. Grow as they attempt to address his mounting concerns with deeply troubling Mormon history and doctrine.

Part 1: Trevor discusses his life as an orthodox Mormon believer, including his mission service and temple marriages.

Parts 2, 3 & 4: Trevor and Dr. John Dehlin discusses the meeting, and particularly analyze the apologetics offered by Elder Clarke and Dr. Matthew Grow.

Direct download: MormonStories-713-TrevorHaugenPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:47pm MDT

In this four-part episode, Trevor Haugen shares and analyzes his experience meeting with LDS General Authority Don R. Clarkeand LDS church historian Dr. Matthew J. Grow as they attempt to address his mounting concerns with deeply troubling Mormon history and doctrine.

Part 1: Trevor discusses his life as an orthodox Mormon believer, including his mission service and temple marriages.

Parts 2, 3 & 4: Trevor and Dr. John Dehlin discusses the meeting, and particularly analyze the apologetics offered by Elder Clarke and Dr. Matthew Grow.

Direct download: MormonStories-712-TrevorHaugenPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:44pm MDT

In this four-part episode, Trevor Haugen shares with us his experience meeting with LDS General Authority Don R. Clarke and LDS church historian Dr. Matthew J. Grow as they attempt to address his mounting concerns with deeply troubling Mormon history and doctrine.

Part 1: Trevor discusses his life as an orthodox Mormon believer, including his mission service and temple marriages.

Parts 2, 3, & 4: Trevor and John Dehlin discuss the apologetics offered by Elder Clarke and Dr. Matthew Grow.

Direct download: MormonStories-711-ClarkeGrowHaugenPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53am MDT

A two-part interview with the founders of MormonLeaks: Ryan McKnight and Scott K. Fausett.

Direct download: MormonStories-710-MormonLeaksPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:07am MDT

A two-part interview with the founders of MormonLeaks: Ryan McKnight and Scott K. Fausett.

Direct download: MormonStories-709-MormonLeaksPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:04am MDT

In part 2 of this two-part series, we discuss death, loss, and grief. Co-hosts are John and Margi Dehlin.  Today’s Panelists: Emily Celis and Aimee Heffernan.

Direct download: MormonStories-708-DeathLossGriefPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33pm MDT

In part 1 of this two-part series, we discuss death, loss, and grief. Co-hosts are John and Margi Dehlin.  Today’s Panelists: Emily Celis and Aimee Heffernan.

Direct download: MormonStories-707-DeathLossGriefPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:29pm MDT

We are a group of women 40+ with longer life experiences. We are grandmothers, mothers, aunts, single, divorced, widowed or married. We are LGBT friendly and feminists! Many of us are just learning feminism. Having felt the pain of patriarchy, but not having a “language” to describe our experiences, we are giving ourselves permission to flourish and grow with no limitations or constructs.

Many of us are at the beginning of a life we never imagined. We have had to make tough decisions, been tried by our choices, and some of us have lost important connections along the way. Being of a “certain age” makes it harder to make friends and to find a community of like-minded souls with whom to move forward with love, joy and friendship. We realize that our decisions can affect many generations, so our time is spent fostering relationships with our loved ones and excelling in our careers, businesses, and at home, all of which leaves little time and opportunity to make new friends.

This group is for “women of a certain age” or lovingly called WOCA (Wah-kah). We also have a group for “women of a certain age” and under. This age group, affectionally known as the UNDERS is from 30-40. The final group under the umbrella of WOCA are the COCAs. These are “Couples of a Certain Age” for those wishing to participate as couples. And housed inside of COCA is the “men only” group which meet regularly in men-only events.

WOCA activities are NOT within the paradigm of our former religious background, although themes from our lived experiences may come up. We have transitioned from our former organized religious choices and wish to create wonderful spaces where ALL people with commonalities can come together, share and find community.

If you would like to join us, please contact, from the list below, the appropriate person from your geographical area by way of Facebook messenger.

Wasatch (The Mother Ship): Christine Elkington & Kim Turner
COCA: Brett Nord
UNDERS: Ruth Tyson
Phoenix: Amy Grubbs
Boston: Amy Grubbs
Las Vegas: Christine Elkington
Bay Area: Kim Turner
Texas: Lisa Keyes
So-Cal: Lisa Durtschi
Idaho: Lisa Keyes
Sacramento: Lisa Keyes
Seattle: Nicole Bruderer
Cedar City/St. George: Nicole Bruderer
Denver: Ruth Tyson
Florida: Kim Turner
Oregon: Kim Turner

And if where you live isn’t on the list, please join our ONLINE group and be with women around the world just like you!

ONLINE: Kim Turner & Christine Elkington

Direct download: MormonStories-706-WOCA.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:33am MDT

Marco Meiling, active and believing LDS church member in the Netherlands, reports on the beginning of a major contraction of the LDS Church in Europe.

From Marco's original message to me:

Have you heard yet about a big push to consolidate the units in Europe.
We are having closing after closing being announced. Yesterday a closing was announced, and the Stake President stated there are 800 units in Europe which are considered too weak and would need to merge.  We have 1163 units in Western Europe acc to Cumorah.com.

Holland with 34 wards will close 5 at least this year.  In Holland the Church is phasing out all wards which don´t have a purpose-built Chapel.

Temple-attendance here is down 60% compared to 2000.  However the amount of recommendholders went up 200%. So what do we make of this: A Temple is a way for the Church to increase revenue. So even with less people, the Church can make a higher turnover. 

The main reason given is that these units are too weak to run programmes aimed at the youth. and small units demand too much from the few members.  Research has shown that people and families benefit form larger wards, and families are less burdened. That why the policy direction. Of course the longer travel will cause problems for some menbers. Assistance will be needed.

Direct download: MormonStories-705-EuropeContraction.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:07am MDT

Kim Sandberg Turner is the founder of Women of a Certain Age (WOCA) - a network of support groups for 40+ post-Mormon women.  In this four part episode, Kim discusses:

  • Part 1: Her years growing up as a faithful Mormon in Salt Lake City, meeting and marrying Terry (her childhood sweetheart and husband of 42 years), and the many years her family lived in Bolivia as devout Mormons (Terry serving as a Mormon bishop twice, and Kim in multiple Relief Society Presidencies).
  • Part 2: How Kim and Terry's Mormon faith began to unravel as their son Josh came out to them as gay, and as they began studying LDS church history in depth.
  • Part 3: Kim discusses how she and Terry navigated their faith transition as parents and grandparents, exploring topics such as how they dealt with their Draper ward once they decided to leave the church, how they have handled parenting and grandparenting through a faith transition, what they do and don't believe today, and the importance of community in their transition.
  • Part 4: Kim shares the story of how she founded WOCA, how WOCA operates, and what WOCA means to her and to the other WOCA women.
Direct download: MormonStories-704-KimTurnerPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:22pm MDT

Kim Sandberg Turner is the founder of Women of a Certain Age (WOCA) - a network of support groups for 40+ post-Mormon women.  In this four part episode, Kim discusses:

  • Part 1: Her years growing up as a faithful Mormon in Salt Lake City, meeting and marrying Terry (her childhood sweetheart and husband of 42 years), and the many years her family lived in Bolivia as devout Mormons (Terry serving as a Mormon bishop twice, and Kim in multiple Relief Society Presidencies).
  • Part 2: How Kim and Terry's Mormon faith began to unravel as their son Josh came out to them as gay, and as they began studying LDS church history in depth.
  • Part 3: Kim discusses how she and Terry navigated their faith transition as parents and grandparents, exploring topics such as how they dealt with their Draper ward once they decided to leave the church, how they have handled parenting and grandparenting through a faith transition, what they do and don't believe today, and the importance of community in their transition.
  • Part 4: Kim shares the story of how she founded WOCA, how WOCA operates, and what WOCA means to her and to the other WOCA women.
Direct download: MormonStories-703-KimTurnerPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:16pm MDT

Kim Sandberg Turner is the founder of Women of a Certain Age (WOCA) - a network of support groups for 40+ post-Mormon women.  In this four part episode, Kim discusses:

  • Part 1: Her years growing up as a faithful Mormon in Salt Lake City, meeting and marrying Terry (her childhood sweetheart and husband of 42 years), and the many years her family lived in Bolivia as devout Mormons (Terry serving as a Mormon bishop twice, and Kim in multiple Relief Society Presidencies).
  • Part 2: How Kim and Terry's Mormon faith began to unravel as their son Josh came out to them as gay, and as they began studying LDS church history in depth.
  • Part 3: Kim discusses how she and Terry navigated their faith transition as parents and grandparents, exploring topics such as how they dealt with their Draper ward once they decided to leave the church, how they have handled parenting and grandparenting through a faith transition, what they do and don't believe today, and the importance of community in their transition.
  • Part 4: Kim shares the story of how she founded WOCA, how WOCA operates, and what WOCA means to her and to the other WOCA women.
Direct download: MormonStories-702-KimTurnerPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:14pm MDT

Kim Sandberg Turner is the founder of Women of a Certain Age (WOCA) - a network of support groups for 40+ post-Mormon women.  In this four part episode, Kim discusses:

  • Part 1: Her years growing up as a faithful Mormon in Salt Lake City, meeting and marrying Terry (her childhood sweetheart and husband of 42 years), and the many years her family lived in Bolivia as devout Mormons (Terry serving as a Mormon bishop twice, and Kim in multiple Relief Society Presidencies).
  • Part 2: How Kim and Terry's Mormon faith began to unravel as their son Josh came out to them as gay, and as they began studying LDS church history in depth.
  • Part 3: Kim discusses how she and Terry navigated their faith transition as parents and grandparents, exploring topics such as how they dealt with their Draper, Utah ward once they decided to leave the church, how they have handled parenting and grandparenting through a faith transition, what they do and don't believe today, and the importance of community in their transition.
  • Part 4: Kim shares the story of how she founded WOCA, how WOCA operates, and what WOCA means to her and to the other WOCA women.
Direct download: MormonStories-701-KimTurnerPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11pm MDT

In this episode, an all-star panel reviews a recently leaked presentation created by the quorum of the twelve apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The presentation is entitled "Area Business Weekends," is dated December 8, 2015, and lays out the process for local LDS stakes and areas to request special training meetings from the LDS quorum of the 12 (e.g., Boise Rescue, Elder Ballard's Young Single Adult stake in Utah County).

Within the presentation the LDS Q12 reveals its view on the external causes for people leaving the LDS church, which explicitly name individuals such as John Dehlin, Denver Snuffer, and Robert Norman, along with other broader trends, movements, and ideas such as secularism, Ordain Women, support for same-sex marriage (entitled "Disagree with current policies"), chastity, pornography, lack of commitment, failure to observe the sabbath, those fascinated with the "last days/end of world" (i.e., Preppers/Julie Rowe), "false prophets," and anyone who feels they need "something more" from the church.

In no instance does the Quorum of the 12 demonstrate introspection as to what they or the church might be doing to contribute to disaffection from the Mormon church.

Today's panel includes Dr. Gina Colvin (A Thoughtful Faith Podcast and KiwiMormon), Lindsay Hansen Park (Sunstone), Pastor John Hamer (Toronto Community of Christ), Jesse Stay, and Ryan McKnight (Mormon Leaks).

Direct download: MormonStories-700-TheSlide.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am MDT

In this three-part interview, we honor Grant Palmer, former LDS seminary/institute instructor, and author of "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins" - which provides a plausible explanation for how the Book of Mormon was authored by Joseph Smith.

This interview has three parts:

Part 1: Grant reflects on his experience authoring An Insider's View of Mormon origins, discusses his disfellowshipment and ultimate decision to resign from the LDS (after threats of excommunication).  Grant also reflects upon the impact of An Insider's View on the LDS church.

Part 2: Grant discusses his new, yet-to-be-published book, "Restoring Christ."  Within the book he discusses why he continues to believe, how he justifies belief in Christ and the Bible after losing faith in the LDS church and in the Book of Mormon, what the atonement does and doesn't mean to him, how he deals with the God of the Old Testament, etc.  He also discusses in-depth his conversation with an LDS general authority who claims that modern LDS apostles receive $1 million once they become apostles, and that many of them do not believe the LDS church to be true (a claim that I challenge).

Part 3: Participants in the evening share with Grant what his work has meant to them.  In addition, Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees) sings two songs in honor of Grant from his new album, Excommunication.

Direct download: MormonStories-699-HonoringGrantPalmerPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:02pm MDT

In this three-part interview, we honor Grant Palmer, former LDS seminary/institute instructor, and author of "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins" - which provides a plausible explanation for how the Book of Mormon was authored by Joseph Smith.

This interview has three parts:

Part 1: Grant reflects on his experience authoring An Insider's View of Mormon origins, discusses his disfellowshipment and ultimate decision to resign from the LDS (after threats of excommunication).  Grant also reflects upon the impact of An Insider's View on the LDS church.

Part 2: Grant discusses his new, yet-to-be-published book, "Restoring Christ."  Within the book he discusses why he continues to believe, how he justifies belief in Christ and the Bible after losing faith in the LDS church and in the Book of Mormon, what the atonement does and doesn't mean to him, how he deals with the God of the Old Testament, etc.  He also discusses in-depth his conversation with an LDS general authority who claims that modern LDS apostles receive $1 million once they become apostles, and that many of them do not believe the LDS church to be true (a claim that I challenge).

Part 3: Participants in the evening share with Grant what his work has meant to them.  In addition, Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees) sings two songs in honor of Grant from his new album, Excommunication.

Direct download: MormonStories-698-HonoringGrantPalmerPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm MDT

In this three-part interview, we honor Grant Palmer, former LDS seminary/institute instructor, and author of "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins" - which provides a plausible explanation for how the Book of Mormon was authored by Joseph Smith.

This interview has three parts:

Part 1: Grant reflects on his experience authoring An Insider's View of Mormon origins, discusses his disfellowshipment and ultimate decision to resign from the LDS (after threats of excommunication).  Grant also reflects upon the impact of An Insider's View on the LDS church.

Part 2: Grant discusses his new, yet-to-be-published book, "Restoring Christ."  Within the book he discusses why he continues to believe, how he justifies belief in Christ and the Bible after losing faith in the LDS church and in the Book of Mormon, what the atonement does and doesn't mean to him, how he deals with the God of the Old Testament, etc.  He also discusses in-depth his conversation with an LDS general authority who claims that modern LDS apostles receive $1 million once they become apostles, and that many of them do not believe the LDS church to be true (a claim that I challenge).

Part 3: Participants in the evening share with Grant what his work has meant to them.  In addition, Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees) sings two songs in honor of Grant from his new album, Excommunication.

Direct download: MormonStories-697-HonoringGrantPalmerPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49am MDT

Nadine McCombs Hansen has been championing progressive causes within Mormonism for over three decades.  Some of her efforts include:

  • Supporting the Equal Rights Amendment as a Mormon mother, including interactions with Sonia Johnson.
  • Speaking out in favor of female priesthood ordination within Mormonism.
  • Opposing Proposition 22 and Proposition 8 in California, in support of same-sex marriage.
  • Working as an attorney in support of children of FLDS families.

In this 4-part series, Nadine discusses her evolution and reflects on her life as a progressive Mormon pioneer.

Direct download: MormonStories-696-NadineHansenPt4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:04pm MDT

Nadine McCombs Hansen has been championing progressive causes within Mormonism for over three decades.  Some of her efforts include:

  • Supporting the Equal Rights Amendment as a Mormon mother, including interactions with Sonia Johnson.
  • Speaking out in favor of female priesthood ordination within Mormonism.
  • Opposing Proposition 22 and Proposition 8 in California, in support of same-sex marriage.
  • Working as an attorney in support of children of FLDS families.

In this 4-part series, Nadine discusses her evolution and reflects on her life as a progressive Mormon pioneer.

 

Direct download: MormonStories-695-NadineHansenPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:03pm MDT

Nadine McCombs Hansen has been championing progressive causes within Mormonism for over three decades.  Some of her efforts include:

  • Supporting the Equal Rights Amendment as a Mormon mother, including interactions with Sonia Johnson.
  • Speaking out in favor of female priesthood ordination within Mormonism.
  • Opposing Proposition 22 and Proposition 8 in California, in support of same-sex marriage.
  • Working as an attorney in support of children of FLDS families.

In this 4-part series, Nadine discusses her evolution and reflects on her life as a progressive Mormon pioneer.

 

Direct download: MormonStories-694-NadineHansenPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02pm MDT

Nadine McCombs Hansen has been championing progressive causes within Mormonism for over three decades.  Some of her efforts include:

  • Supporting the Equal Rights Amendment as a Mormon mother, including interactions with Sonia Johnson.
  • Speaking out in favor of female priesthood ordination within Mormonism.
  • Opposing Proposition 22 and Proposition 8 in California, in support of same-sex marriage.
  • Working as an attorney in support of children of FLDS families.

In this 4-part series, Nadine discusses her evolution and reflects on her life as a progressive Mormon pioneer.

 

Direct download: MormonStories-693-NadineHansenPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm MDT

A bit of sad news, and a bit of happy news.  First the sad.

Grant Palmer, author of An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins – certainly one of the most important books in 20th/21st century Mormonism, is dying of cancer.  I confirmed this with Grant yesterday – when he related to me that he likely only has weeks/months to live.  This information moves many of us deeply, since Grant’s courageous scholarship over the years (which has come at a great personal cost to him) has been instrumental in helping tens of thousands of Mormons understand their church history more accurately.  I dare say that projects like Mormon Stories Podcast, Mormon ThinkLetter to a CES Director, and even the recent LDS Church Gospel Topics Essays would not exist without the courage and scholarship of Grant Palmer.

Now for the happy news.  Mormon Stories Podcast and the Open Stories Foundation, along with a few supporters, will be holding a private event in Grant Palmer’s honor on the evening of February 15, 2017* in Utah – with the plan of live-streaming the event to all who are interested in showing support for Grant.  The event will include:

  • An interview with Grant, wherein he will discuss his most recent book, along with reflections on his life.
  • A chance for some of those who are grateful for Grant’s work to express appreciation for him.

If you are interested in participating in this tribute/celebration, there are a few things you can do to participate:

  1. Record a brief Facebook or Youtube video expressing your gratitude to Grant (and his positive impact on your life), and post the link as a comment here.
  2. Write a text-based tribute to Grant in the comments section here.
  3. Send an email to mormonstories@gmail.com with “Grant Pamer” in the subject line, wherein you express to Grant your gratitude for the positive impact that his work has had on your life.

Feel free to use the hash tag #grantpalmer for any of the tributes you share on social media.  Finally, these emails, blog comments, and videos will be gathered and shared with Grant at the live-steamed, worldwide event in honor of him.

Thanks for taking the time to honor Grant with us, and we very much look forward to the evening of February 15th* wherein we hope to show Grant how much we love and appreciate him!  *Date subject to how Grant is doing/feeling.

Direct download: GrantPalmerEvent.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:41pm MDT

Noah Rasheta is the CEO of iStabilizer, and the founder of Secular Buddhism podcast.  

Noah was raised in the LDS church with a U.S.-born father and a Mexican-born mother - living many years of his life both in Mexico and in the United States. Noah served an LDS mission and was married in an LDS temple to his wife, Giselle.  Several years ago Noah experienced a major betrayal of trust by a loved one, which led to a deep exploration of Joseph Smith, LDS Church doctrine, and LDS Church history.  By the end of his exploration, Noah lost his belief in fundamental LDS Church doctrine and truth claims, but found great solace and strength in the teachings of secular Buddhism.  

Today Noah remains semi-active in the LDS church as part of a mixed-faith marriage, and teaches the principles of Secular Buddhism via his podcast, his new book, and occasional workshops.  For those seeking to either supplement or replace LDS-based spirituality, or who are looking for a fabulous framework for positive mental health and well-being (before, during, or after a religious faith crisis) the teachings of Secular Buddhism can be extremely valuable for you.

Direct download: MormonStories-692-NoahRashetaPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11pm MDT

Noah Rasheta is the CEO of iStabilizer, and the founder of Secular Buddhism podcast.  

Noah was raised in the LDS church with a U.S.-born father and a Mexican-born mother - living many years of his life both in Mexico and in the United States. Noah served an LDS mission and was married in an LDS temple to his wife, Giselle.  Several years ago Noah experienced a major betrayal of trust by a loved one, which led to a deep exploration of Joseph Smith, LDS Church doctrine, and LDS Church history.  By the end of his exploration, Noah lost his belief in fundamental LDS Church doctrine and truth claims, but found great solace and strength in the teachings of secular Buddhism.  

Today Noah remains semi-active in the LDS church as part of a mixed-faith marriage, and teaches the principles of Secular Buddhism via his podcast, his new book, and occasional workshops.  For those seeking to either supplement or replace LDS-based spirituality, or who are looking for a fabulous framework for positive mental health and well-being (before, during, or after a religious faith crisis) the teachings of Secular Buddhism can be extremely valuable for you.

Direct download: MormonStories-691-NoahRashetaPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:10pm MDT

Is the LDS Church in decline, or one of the fastest growing churches in the world? Please join us today at Noon (Mountain) as sociologists Ryan Cragun and Rick Phillips review LDS Church growth statistics for 2016.

We will be reviewing Matt Martinich’s recent article entitled “Top 10 Encouraging and Discouraging LDS Growth and Missionary Developments in 2016.”

Direct download: MormonStories-690-LDSGrowth2016Pt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01am MDT

Is the LDS Church in decline, or one of the fastest growing churches in the world? Please join us today at Noon (Mountain) as sociologists Ryan Cragun and Rick Phillips review LDS Church growth statistics for 2016.

We will be reviewing Matt Martinich’s recent article entitled “Top 10 Encouraging and Discouraging LDS Growth and Missionary Developments in 2016.” (link below). 

Direct download: MormonStories-689-LDSGrowth2016Pt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:59am MDT

In this episode, recorded January 11, 2017, we discuss tips on communicating with orthodox/believing Mormons.  Co-hosts are John and Margi Dehlin.  Panelists include Amy Grubbs, Shandi Hill, Brynne and Jared Grant, and Tanner Gilliland.

Direct download: MormonTransitions-002-CommWithBelievers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:44pm MDT

An introduction to Mormon Transitions Live! podcast, hosted by John and Margi Dehlin.  Panelists on today’s episode include Amy Grubbs, Shandi Hill, Marco Perez and Dan Wotherspoon.

Direct download: MormonTransitions-001-Introduction.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42pm MDT

As the first interview for the new Mormon Transitions project, I am incredibly pleased to interview my dear wife of 23 years, Margaret (Margi) Weber Dehlin.  In this three-part interview, I ask Margi a series of 46 questions focusing on thee parts:

  • Part 1: Margi's life as a believing Mormon.  This includes questions about how her family joined the LDS church in Washington D.C. during the 1970s, reflections on her own "conversion" to the church, Margi's favorite parts about being a believing, active Mormon, and the most challenging parts as well.
  • Part 2: Margi's faith crisis and transition away from Mormon orthodoxy, including our time trying to remain LDS as semi-believers, and her experiences and reflections on my excommunication.  Topics include the impetus for Margi's faith transition, how she/we "came out" to our children parents, extended family, etc. as unorthodox Mormons, and what the most difficult and rewarding parts of the transition were.
  • Part 3: Margi's life and perspective now, as a post-Mormon, including reflections on her current beliefs and non-beliefs, her approach to nurturing a healthy/happy family without religion, how she approaches raising children without the church, and why she feels as though she and our family are happier and healthier than ever before after leaving the church.

The plan for Mormon Transitions podcast is as follows:

  • We plan to conduct somewhere between 20 and 30 of these interviews, and to share them at http://mormontransitions.org.  We also plan to "chop" these interviews up by question, so that people can peruse the interview by topic (e.g., raising children after a faith crisis, how to "come out" to family and friends, secular spirituality, dealing with death).
  • We plan to host a weekly call-in show where people can call with their questions/concerns and receive feedback from a mental health professional and/or expert.
  • We plan to compile all the advice and perspective over 2017 into a book entitled something to the effect of, "Navigating a Mormon Transition."
  • We plan to continue hosting Mormon Transition Events across the U.S.  See our Mormon Transitions event calendar for events as they are scheduled.

If you support Mormon Stories, Mormon TransitionsMormon MattersA Thoughtful Faith, or any of the Open Stories Foundation projects, please consider a donation today.  You can donate via any of the "donate" buttons on any of the pages.

Direct download: MormonStories-686-MargiDehlinPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:27pm MDT

As the first interview for the new Mormon Transitions project, I am incredibly pleased to interview my dear wife of 23 years, Margaret (Margi) Weber Dehlin.  In this three-part interview, I ask Margi a series of 46 questions focusing on thee parts:

  • Part 1: Margi's life as a believing Mormon.  This includes questions about how her family joined the LDS church in Washington D.C. during the 1970s, reflections on her own "conversion" to the church, Margi's favorite parts about being a believing, active Mormon, and the most challenging parts as well.
  • Part 2: Margi's faith crisis and transition away from Mormon orthodoxy, including our time trying to remain LDS as semi-believers, and her experiences and reflections on my excommunication.  Topics include the impetus for Margi's faith transition, how she/we "came out" to our children parents, extended family, etc. as unorthodox Mormons, and what the most difficult and rewarding parts of the transition were.
  • Part 3: Margi's life and perspective now, as a post-Mormon, including reflections on her current beliefs and non-beliefs, her approach to nurturing a healthy/happy family without religion, how she approaches raising children without the church, and why she feels as though she and our family are happier and healthier than ever before after leaving the church.

The plan for Mormon Transitions podcast is as follows:

  • We plan to conduct somewhere between 20 and 30 of these interviews, and to share them at http://mormontransitions.org.  We also plan to "chop" these interviews up by question, so that people can peruse the interview by topic (e.g., raising children after a faith crisis, how to "come out" to family and friends, secular spirituality, dealing with death).
  • We plan to host a weekly call-in show where people can call with their questions/concerns and receive feedback from a mental health professional and/or expert.
  • We plan to compile all the advice and perspective over 2017 into a book entitled something to the effect of, "Navigating a Mormon Transition."
  • We plan to continue hosting Mormon Transition Events across the U.S.  See our Mormon Transitions event calendar for events as they are scheduled.

If you support Mormon Stories, Mormon TransitionsMormon MattersA Thoughtful Faith, or any of the Open Stories Foundation projects, please consider a donation today.  You can donate via any of the "donate" buttons on any of the pages.

Direct download: MormonStories-685-MargiDehlinPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:25pm MDT

As the first interview for the new Mormon Transitions project, I am incredibly pleased to interview my dear wife of 23 years, Margaret (Margi) Weber Dehlin.  In this three-part interview, I ask Margi a series of 46 questions focusing on thee parts:

  • Part 1: Margi's life as a believing Mormon.  This includes questions about how her family joined the LDS church in Washington D.C. during the 1970s, reflections on her own "conversion" to the church, Margi's favorite parts about being a believing, active Mormon, and the most challenging parts as well.
  • Part 2: Margi's faith crisis and transition away from Mormon orthodoxy, including our time trying to remain LDS as semi-believers, and her experiences and reflections on my excommunication.  Topics include the impetus for Margi's faith transition, how she/we "came out" to our children parents, extended family, etc. as unorthodox Mormons, and what the most difficult and rewarding parts of the transition were.
  • Part 3: Margi's life and perspective now, as a post-Mormon, including reflections on her current beliefs and non-beliefs, her approach to nurturing a healthy/happy family without religion, how she approaches raising children without the church, and why she feels as though she and our family are happier and healthier than ever before after leaving the church.

The plan for Mormon Transitions podcast is as follows:

  • We plan to conduct somewhere between 20 and 30 of these interviews, and to share them at http://mormontransitions.org.  We also plan to "chop" these interviews up by question, so that people can peruse the interview by topic (e.g., raising children after a faith crisis, how to "come out" to family and friends, secular spirituality, dealing with death).
  • We plan to host a weekly call-in show where people can call with their questions/concerns and receive feedback from a mental health professional and/or expert.
  • We plan to compile all the advice and perspective over 2017 into a book entitled something to the effect of, "Navigating a Mormon Transition."
  • We plan to continue hosting Mormon Transition Events across the U.S.  See our Mormon Transitions event calendar for events as they are scheduled.

If you support Mormon Stories, Mormon TransitionsMormon MattersA Thoughtful Faith, or any of the Open Stories Foundation projects, please consider a donation today.  You can donate via any of the "donate" buttons on any of the pages.

Direct download: MormonStories-684-MargiDehlinPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:16pm MDT

Sara Stanley Urquhart was the founding director of Altitude Summit, the premiere conference for creative entrepreneurs, stylish social media influencers, and bloggers. Past speakers at the conference include Martha Stewart, Ben Silbermann (Pinterest founder), Jessica Alba, Jordan Ferney (Oh Happy Day!), Liz Stanley (Say Yes), and Heather Armstrong (Dooce).

Sara created this successful business as a means to generate income when her husband, Stephen H. Urquhart, decided to run for the Utah State Legislature.

In this two-part interview, Sara discusses:

  • Part 1: How she created Altitude Summit as a stay-at-home Mom with four children.  She also discusses the design blogging industry as a whole.
  • Part 2: Her Mormon faith transition.

Additional Bio: Sara runs an eponymous consulting business. She sits on the Salt Lake City Planning Commission and board of directors for the Women’s Resource Center at the University of Utah.  She is the founding board president of the St. George Family Support Center (2007-09). She was a member and board chair of the St. George Art Around the Corner Foundation (1998-2009). Sara has her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and her Masters of Emergency Planning from Jacksonville State University. Sara and Stephen have four children.

Direct download: MormonStories-683-SaraUrquhartPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:43pm MDT

Sara Stanley Urquhart was the founding director of Altitude Summit, the premiere conference for creative entrepreneurs, stylish social media influencers, and bloggers. Past speakers at the conference include Martha Stewart, Ben Silbermann (Pinterest founder), Jessica Alba, Jordan Ferney (Oh Happy Day!), Liz Stanley (Say Yes), and Heather Armstrong (Dooce).

Sara created this successful business as a means to generate income when her husband, Stephen H. Urquhart, decided to run for the Utah State Legislature.

In this two-part interview, Sara discusses:

  • Part 1: How she created Altitude Summit as a stay-at-home Mom with four children.  She also discusses the design blogging industry as a whole.
  • Part 2: Her Mormon faith transition.

Additional Bio: Sara runs an eponymous consulting business. She sits on the Salt Lake City Planning Commission and board of directors for the Women’s Resource Center at the University of Utah.  She is the founding board president of the St. George Family Support Center (2007-09). She was a member and board chair of the St. George Art Around the Corner Foundation (1998-2009). Sara has her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and her Masters of Emergency Planning from Jacksonville State University. Sara and Stephen have four children.

Direct download: MormonStories-682-SaraUrquhartPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm MDT

Stephen Urquhart was raised in Houston, Texas, where he and his family converted to the LDS church after the suicide of his older brother.  After serving an LDS mission in Brazil, Steve married Sara Stanley and graduated from BYU Law School -- ultimately settling in St. George, Utah.

After developing a successful law career in St. George, Stephen served for 16 years in the Utah State Legislature, representing Washington County. In total, Stephen served 8 years in the Utah House of Representatives, and 8 years in the Utah Senate. 

During this vast legislative career, Stephen championed legislation on several issues crucial to Utahns, including: public land use, water rights, death penalty, increasing citizen access to legal services, numerous initiatives to improve K-12 and higher education in Utah, and most recently -- anti-discrimination and hate crimes legislation (LGBT), as well as the legalization of medical marijuana.

In this two-part episode, Stephen discusses:

  • Part 1: His early years in the LDS Church, and his legal and legislative careers in Utah.
  • Part 2: His experiences and reflections on the powerful influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on the Utah legislative process, and his loss of LDS faith after witnessing the negative impact of LDS LGBT policies on several people close to him.
Direct download: MormonStories-681-SteveUrquhartPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41am MDT

Stephen Urquhart was raised in Houston, Texas, where he and his family converted to the LDS church after the suicide of his older brother.  After serving an LDS mission in Brazil, Steve married Sara Stanley and graduated from BYU Law School -- ultimately settling in St. George, Utah.

After developing a successful law career in St. George, Stephen served for 16 years in the Utah State Legislature, representing Washington County. In total, Stephen served 8 years in the Utah House of Representatives, and 8 years in the Utah Senate. 

During this vast legislative career, Stephen championed legislation on several issues crucial to Utahns, including: public land use, water rights, death penalty, increasing citizen access to legal services, numerous initiatives to improve K-12 and higher education in Utah, and most recently -- anti-discrimination and hate crimes legislation (LGBT), as well as the legalization of medical marijuana.

In this two-part episode, Stephen discusses:

  • Part 1: His early years in the LDS Church, and his legal and legislative careers in Utah.
  • Part 2: His experiences and reflections on the powerful influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on the Utah legislative process, and his loss of LDS faith after witnessing the negative impact of LDS LGBT policies on several people close to him.
Direct download: MormonStories-680-SteveUrquhartPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:39am MDT

Lance Allred's Mormon story is fascinating for so many reasons.

  • He is the grandson of assassinated Mormon fundamentalist prophet Rulon Allred.
  • He was born deaf, and stands 6'11" tall.
  • He was a star basketball player for East High school (SLC, Utah), and played college basketball both at the University of Utah and Weber State University.
  • Lance developed scrupulosity (religious OCD), at least partially as a result of both perfectionism, and guilt/shame relating to matters of sexuality.
  • NCAA legend Rick Marjerus was fired as University of Utah basketball coach because of his verbal abuse of Lance.
  • After college, Lance went on to play 10 years of professional basketball (mostly overseas), including playing a year for the Cleveland Cavaliers with Lebron James (pre-Miami), amongst other teams (he even met Larry Bird!).
  • Lance become a popular public speaker, perhaps most recently known for his "What is Your Polygamy" TEDx talk.
  • Lance has fascinating insights on faith, doubt, and disbelief.

Lance's web site can be found here: http://www.lanceallred41.com

Direct download: MormonStories-679-LanceAllredPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:29pm MDT

Lance Allred's Mormon story is fascinating for so many reasons.

  • He is the grandson of assassinated Mormon fundamentalist prophet Rulon Allred.
  • He was born deaf, and stands 6'11" tall.
  • He was a star basketball player for East High school (SLC, Utah), and played college basketball both at the University of Utah and Weber State University.
  • Lance developed scrupulosity (religious OCD), at least partially as a result of both perfectionism, and guilt/shame relating to matters of sexuality.
  • NCAA legend Rick Marjerus was fired as University of Utah basketball coach because of his verbal abuse of Lance.
  • After college, Lance went on to play 10 years of professional basketball (mostly overseas), including playing a year for the Cleveland Cavaliers with Lebron James (pre-Miami), amongst other teams (he even met Larry Bird!).
  • Lance become a popular public speaker, perhaps most recently known for his "What is Your Polygamy" TEDx talk.
  • Lance has fascinating insights on faith, doubt, and disbelief.

Lance's web site can be found here: http://www.lanceallred41.com

Direct download: MormonStories-678-LanceAllredPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:27pm MDT

Rulon Clark Allred (March 29, 1906 – May 10, 1977) was a homeopath and chiropractor in Salt Lake City and the founder/leader of what is now the Apostolic United Brethren, a breakaway sect of polygamous Mormon fundamentalists in Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Arizona, United States. He was murdered on the orders of Ervil LeBaron, the head of a rival polygamous sect (Wikipedia).

Vance Allred is Rulon's Allred's son, and at one point was a chief apologist for Mormon fundamentalist polygamy, and was being groomed to succeed his father as prophet of the AUB. In this three part series, Vance Allred discusses:

  • Part 1: His father's rise to power, via the founding of the Apostolic United Brethren, and Vance's early years as the son of a polygamist prophet.
  • Part 2: The events leading up to Rulon Allred's assassination, and Vance's candid critique of his father's work, and 
  • Part 3: The sexual abuse in the AUB that led Vance to leave the AUB, and the events that led Vance to join the LDS church (requiring an interview with two LDS apostles).  Finally, Vance discusses the factors that led to him becoming inactive LDS.
Direct download: MormonStories-677-VanceAllredPt3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:59pm MDT

Rulon Clark Allred (March 29, 1906 – May 10, 1977) was a homeopath and chiropractor in Salt Lake City and the founder/leader of what is now the Apostolic United Brethren, a breakaway sect of polygamous Mormon fundamentalists in Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Arizona, United States. He was murdered on the orders of Ervil LeBaron, the head of a rival polygamous sect (Wikipedia).

Vance Allred is Rulon's Allred's son, and at one point was a chief apologist for Mormon fundamentalist polygamy, and was being groomed to succeed his father as prophet of the AUB. In this three part series, Vance Allred discusses:

  • Part 1: His father's rise to power, via the founding of the Apostolic United Brethren, and Vance's early years as the son of a polygamist prophet.
  • Part 2: The events leading up to Rulon Allred's assassination, and Vance's candid critique of his father's work, and 
  • Part 3: The sexual abuse in the AUB that led Vance to leave the AUB, and the events that led Vance to join the LDS church (requiring an interview with two LDS apostles).  Finally, Vance discusses the factors that led to him becoming inactive LDS.
Direct download: MormonStories-676-VanceAllredPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53pm MDT

Rulon Clark Allred (March 29, 1906 – May 10, 1977) was a homeopath and chiropractor in Salt Lake City and the founder/leader of what is now the Apostolic United Brethren, a breakaway sect of polygamous Mormon fundamentalists in Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Arizona, United States. He was murdered on the orders of Ervil LeBaron, the head of a rival polygamous sect (Wikipedia).

Vance Allred is Rulon's Allred's son, and at one point was a chief apologist for Mormon fundamentalist polygamy, and was being groomed to succeed his father as prophet of the AUB. In this three part series, Vance Allred discusses:

  • Part 1: His father's rise to power, via the founding of the Apostolic United Brethren, and Vance's early years as the son of a polygamist prophet.
  • Part 2: The events leading up to Rulon Allred's assassination, and Vance's candid critique of his father's work, and 
  • Part 3: The sexual abuse in the AUB that led Vance to leave the AUB, and the events that led Vance to join the LDS church (requiring an interview with two LDS apostles).  Finally, Vance discusses the factors that led to him becoming inactive LDS.
Direct download: MormonStories-675-VanceAllredPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:50pm MDT

Jesse Stay worked for three years as leader of the LDS Church's social media initiatives. He was the first LDS Church employee with the name "social media" in his title.  His work primarily involved formulating the early Facebook and Twitter strategies for the church (including for LDS general authorities).  Jesse also provided social media support to various LDS Church departments including the missionary department, public relations, genealogy, the Joseph Smith Papers project, and the "I'm a Mormon" PR campaign.

In this two-part episode, Jesse discusses:

  • Part 1: The evolution of Jesse's LDS testimony, as he became aware of factual LDS history, saw the inner-workings of LDS Church headquarters, and as he struggled with the LDS church's November LGBT policy and its direct impact on family and friends.
  • Part 2: Jesse discusses in-depth his experiences working two years for the LDS church as Senior Advisor of Social Media, and for one year as Director of Social Media at Deseret Digital Media.

Currently, Jesse is the founder and principal of Stay N Alive, a social media advertising and marketing agency. 

Direct download: MormonStories-674-JesseStayPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:21pm MDT

Jesse Stay worked for three years as leader of the LDS Church's social media initiatives. He was the first LDS Church employee with the name "social media" in his title.  His work primarily involved formulating the early Facebook and Twitter strategies for the church (including for LDS general authorities).  Jesse also provided social media support to various LDS Church departments including the missionary department, public relations, genealogy, the Joseph Smith Papers project, and the "I'm a Mormon" PR campaign.

In this two-part episode, Jesse discusses:

  • Part 1: The evolution of Jesse's LDS testimony, as he became aware of factual LDS history, saw the inner-workings of LDS Church headquarters, and as he struggled with the LDS church's November LGBT policy and its direct impact on family and friends.
  • Part 2: Jesse discusses in-depth his experiences working two years for the LDS church as Senior Advisor of Social Media, and for one year as Director of Social Media at Deseret Digital Media.

Currently, Jesse is the founder and principal of Stay N Alive, a social media advertising and marketing agency. 

Direct download: MormonStories-673-JesseStayPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm MDT

Amy McPhie Allebest is a lifelong member of the Church, a returned missionary, a temple-married wife and mother of four, and a graduate student at Stanford University. Last month, her article "Dear Mormon Man..." went viral and caught Mormon Stories' attention as a unique voice in Mormon Feminism. 

 
In this episode, we discuss Amy's trajectory from her unquestioningly trusting childhood through her tumultuous, prolonged faith transition, brought on by the problematic language of the temple and a deep dive into Church History, to her current commitment to remain active in the Church despite her rejection of Patriarchy.
 
Check out more of Amy's writing in this month's Exponent II, and on http://mormondom.com, a publication on Medium.com.
Direct download: MormonStories-672-AmyMcphiePt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am MDT