Mormon Stories - LDS

By Dr. John Dehlin

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Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 633
Reviews: 5


 Sep 11, 2021

informative, open, history
 Feb 21, 2020
this podcast has been great to learn more about history and current events of the mormon church


 Oct 18, 2019


 Aug 4, 2019

know your religion
 Jan 9, 2019
this pod has helped me in different phases of my life. when I thought I was the only one with these feelings in the church, the pod let me know I was not alone. it helped me stay active longer and helped me during my faith crisis

Description

Mormon Stories is an attempt to build understanding between and about Mormons through the telling of stories in both audio and video formats.

Episode Date
1514: Anthony Magnabosco’s Story - Street Epistemology Part 2
02:50:05

Today Mormon Stories is honored to talk with Anthony Magnabosco about his Catholic background, development of the Street Epistemology interviewing technique, and a discussion about the atheist community at large. We hope you enjoy this first-of-its-kind interview to get to know Anthony better and continue to join us all week long as we dive into the world of Street Epistemology!

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Show Notes:

Dec 07, 2021
1513: Street Epistemology and Mormonism - An Introduction
02:11:14

Mormon Stories is excited to be joined in studio each day this week by Anthony Magnabosco for an exciting introduction into the world of Street Epistemology! 

In part 1, airing live, Carah and John play clips from Anthony's well-known YouTube channel where he practices Street Epistemology to give Mormon Stories listeners a feel for the technique Anthony, and others like him with "Street Epistemology International", use in conversations with various random people on the street to find out if they have good reasons to believe their claims.

Join us Monday at 11am mountain time for this introductory episode and don't miss our week of Anthony Magnabosco interviews!

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Show Notes:

Dec 06, 2021
1512: Thriving After Mormon Electroshock Torture - Nate Winterton
02:39:30

A strong trigger warning for the following episode for discussions around conversion therapy, descriptions of torture, anorexia, and suicide. Mormon Stories is honored to have conversion therapy survivor, suicide survivor, and LGBT+ advocate Nate Winterton on to tell their harrowing story. If you thought the days of Mormon electroshock torture were relics of the past, Nate recounts what they endured at the hands of an LDS “therapist” as recently as 2016. Growing up with enormous health challenges, Nate recognized feelings of same-sex attraction early on in their childhood.

We discuss Nate’s staunch commitment to the Mormon faith, anorexia while serving a mission, and Nate’s decision to confide in a bishop about their feelings for men, leading Nate to a house and a therapist that would change the course of their life.

Please practice self-care as you listen to this episode as we highlight the unfortunate reality that the practice of conversion therapy and torture to change the sexual orientation of gay Mormons continues still today.

**Trigger warning on this episode***

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Dec 05, 2021
1511: Mormon Stories Transparency Q&A for Peggy Fletcher Stack and Tony Semerad - Salt Lake Tribune
02:10:12

As part of our longstanding and undying commitment to organizational transparency, please join me for a spontaneous Q&A about Mormon Stories Podcast, the Open Stories Foundation, the THRIVE Foundation, and any other topic you want us to discuss!  Please post your questions in the comments below!!!

This video was made primarily as a response to what we believe was an unprofessional and unbalanced inquiry into the THRIVE Foundation by Peggy Fletcher Stack and Tony Semerad of the Salt Lake Tribune.

This is my second attempt at a response.  My first response was a little angrier than I wanted it to be (I'm calling that the "caffeinated version"), and so I am rerecording to invoke my wiser self ("decaffeinated version"). The substance will remain the same, although the slides are slightly improved.

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Dec 01, 2021
1510: Christmas After a Mormon Faith Crisis - Margi Dehlin
02:10:55

The holidays are among us! But if you're feeling like relationships with family and friends have fractured since your faith crisis and need help navigating sensitive topics, we invite you to join this important Mormon Stories episode with Margi, John and Carah.

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Show Notes:

Nov 30, 2021
Giving Tuesday Facebook Fundraiser 2021
03:41

Friends! 🎁 Do you value Mormon Stories Podcast? 🎄 Please help us beat last year’s fundraising goal! Or if you’d prefer, Facebook may even match your donation!  https://www.facebook.com/donate/321279426221728/

2021 has been an incredible year for Mormon Stories Podcast. Improvements include:

  • We made significant investments in camera and lighting equipment (thanks Gerardo!).
  • We brought on Carah Burrell as co-host and producer for the podcast.
  • We launched a highly successful TikTok channel, and have increased our Instagram efforts to help reach new audiences.
  • We have significantly grown our YouTube audience, and
  • We’ve made strides in providing time codes and show notes/links on every episode as well as shorter clips available on our Understanding Mormonism YouTube channel to better disseminate our content and information.

We have major plans for 2022 and beyond! Help us beat last year's campaign, and thank you for all of your support!!!!  And again, if you're not on Facebook, you can always donate here.

 

Nov 29, 2021
1509: Survivor of Sexual Abuse and Mormon Church’s Cover-up Speaks Out
03:54:57

A strong trigger warning leads off this special Mormon Stories episode with our guest who prefers to be referred to as “Rachel '' for this interview. We discuss Rachel’s father being called as a mission president, the abuse she endured, and the subsequent cover-up from those in positions of power in the LDS church.

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Nov 29, 2021
1508: Becoming a Mormon Apologist as a Non-literal Believer - Jon Westover
04:50:08

Is there space in the Mormon church for non-literal believers? Mormon Stories is joined today by Jon Westover, professor and former church apologist with FAIR Mormon to help us discover if the non-orthodox  “middle way” is still a tenable path. We hope you enjoy hearing Jon’s story! 

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Nov 26, 2021
1507: Escaping the NXIVM Cult - Sarah Edmondson & Nippy Ames
02:40:56

Sarah Edmondson and Nippy Ames are our guests for this epic Mormon Stories interview where we discuss their escape from the NXIVM cult. We discuss the similarities between NXIVM leader Keith Raniere and Joseph Smith, the secret societies that existed within the cult, and the tipping point that forced Sarah and Nippy to become a united front to take Keith down. We hope you’ll resonate with Sarah and Nippy’s fascinating and gripping story!

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Nov 24, 2021
1506: Cody Alan’s Mormon Story
02:22:20

Mormon Stories is honored to sit down with Cody Alan, host and producer of CMT Radio in Nashville, TN. In this fun and heartfelt interview, we discuss Cody's conversion to the LDS church as well as his suppression and acceptance of his gay identity. Cody shares so much wisdom with us and we hear some fun stories about his life in country radio and the musical artists who have supported him through this long and hard journey to come out. We hope you enjoy our interview with Cody and support him by purchasing a copy of his new book, "Hear's the Thing: Lessons on Listening, Life, and Love".

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Nov 22, 2021
1505: Did Dallin H. Oaks Lie about BYU Electroshock Therapy?
02:00:48

Recently in a speech given at the University of Virginia, Mormon apostle Elder Dallin H. Oaks denied that Electroshock Therapy as a form of gay conversion therapy was used/studied during his tenure as president of Brigham Young University in the 1970s.

Join us on 11/18/2021 at 3pm (mountain) where we will discuss the history of Electroshock Therapy at BYU - and determine whether or not Dallin H. Oaks was being truthful when he denied that gay Electroshock therapy was used/studied at BYU during his time as BYU President. We will be joined by historian Connell O'Donovan and Kyle Ashworth.

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Nov 19, 2021
1504: Dallin H. Oaks Reverses Course on LGBTQ at The University of Virginia
03:56:59

Recently in a speech given at the University of Virginia, Mormon apostle Elder Dallin H. Oaks denied that Electroshock Therapy as a form of gay conversion therapy was used/studied during his tenure as president of Brigham Young University in the 1970s.

Join us on 11/18/2021 at 3pm (mountain) where we will discuss the history of Electroshock Therapy at BYU - and determine whether or not Dallin H. Oaks was being truthful when he denied that gay Electroshock therapy was used/studied at BYU during his time as BYU President. We will be joined by historian Connell O'Donovan and Kyle Ashworth.

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Nov 18, 2021
1503: A Mormon Lesbian Love Story Pt. 2 - Lena Schwen and Sal Osborne
02:39:55

What happens when two closeted lesbian Mormon women marry men, have children, then cross paths and fall in love? In this very special Mormon Stories 2 part episode, we are honored to share one of the most important interviews in the history of the podcast. This is the story of Lena Schwen and Sal Osborne. In part 1, Sal describes dating in high school, feeling as though part of her died as she married a man in the LDS temple, and struggling with her ex-husband and band mate as they toured in the group “Love You Long Time”. Lena, a teenage convert from a divorced Catholtic Italian home, takes us through the heartbreaking events that led to her conversion into the LDS church. Lena has a truly unique story and fascinating perspectives from the eyes of a convert! We end part one with Lena realizing that raising children with the values taught by the LDS church made her feel like her time being a dedicated Mormon wife was running out. We hope you’ll tune in to part 2 to hear how these two amazing women overcame enormous hurdles to become the couple they are today!

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Nov 09, 2021
1502: A Mormon Lesbian Love Story Pt. 1 - Lena Schwen and Sal Osborne
03:42:00

What happens when two closeted lesbian Mormon women marry men, have children, then cross paths and fall in love? In this very special Mormon Stories 2 part episode, we are honored to share one of the most important interviews in the history of the podcast. This is the story of Lena Schwen and Sal Osborne. In part 1, Sal describes dating in high school, feeling as though part of her died as she married a man in the LDS temple, and struggling with her ex-husband and band mate as they toured in the group “Love You Long Time”. Lena, a teenage convert from a divorced Catholtic Italian home, takes us through the heartbreaking events that led to her conversion into the LDS church. Lena has a truly unique story and fascinating perspectives from the eyes of a convert! We end part one with Lena realizing that raising children with the values taught by the LDS church made her feel like her time being a dedicated Mormon wife was running out. We hope you’ll tune in to part 2 to hear how these two amazing women overcame enormous hurdles to become the couple they are today!

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Nov 08, 2021
1501: Mormon Inoculation
02:48:42

Join us this Wednesday at noon as Luna Corbden, Marc Oslund, Gerardo, and John discuss the Mormon Church's efforts to use the psychological theory of inoculation to pre-expose the youth to weakened versions of the troubling history through an updated CES and Sunday School curriculum. 

"... Please, before you send them into the world, inoculate your students by providing faithful, thoughtful, and accurate interpretation of gospel doctrine, the scriptures, our history, and those topics that are sometimes misunderstood.

The effort for gospel transparency and spiritual inoculation through a thoughtful study of doctrine and history, coupled with a burning testimony, is the best antidote we have to help students avoid and/or deal with questions, doubt, or faith crises they may face in this information age."

M. Russell Ballard, February 26, 2016

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/broadcasts/article/evening-with-a-general-authority/2016/02/the-opportunities-and-responsibilities-of-ces-teachers-in-the-21st-century?lang=eng

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Nov 04, 2021
1500: James Strang - The King of Beaver Island with John Larsen
02:05:55

James Jesse Strang (March 21, 1813 – July 9, 1856) was an American religious leader, politician and self-proclaimed monarch. In 1844 he claimed to have been appointed to be the successor of Joseph Smith as leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite),[a] a faction of the Latter Day Saint movement. Strang testified that he had possession of a letter from Smith naming him as his successor, and furthermore reported that he had been ordained to the prophetic office by an angel. His organization is claimed by his followers to be the sole legitimate continuation of the Church of Christ founded by Joseph Smith fourteen years before. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Nov 03, 2021
THRIVEDAY 2021 - 11/13-11/14 - Healing, Growth, and Community for Ex-Mormons. Please join us!!!
04:30

THRIVEDAY is 11 days away!  The speaker lineup and music are epic. 

Also, we have added a reception/open bar/karaoke night on 11/13 at 7pm.  I'd love to party with you all!

Our only goals are to: 1) Inspire and give Ex-Mormons hope and healing, and 2) Help Ex-Mormons find friends and community.  

Please come if you are seeking any of this.  Would love to see you there!

Registration is here! 

https://www.thrivebeyondreligion.com/event/thrive-day-2021

Nov 03, 2021
1499: Mormon British Rescue? - The Britvengers React
03:28:22

John Dehlin has never been so lucky!

He’s joined today by the folks who have been dubbed “The Britvengers”, a collection of progressive and post Mormons who all have one thing in common, they’re British! 

They will be discussing what is being called “The British Rescue”. On Halloween Weekend 3 Senior Apostles are coming and addressing the UK membership. Is this a rescue?

The Britvengers are:

  • Nemo the Mormon https://www.youtube.com/c/NEMOTHEMORMON
  • Peter Bleakley https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNYIeulcLs85NLINDyxzHQQ
  • 21st Century Saints https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLESyNtVAdYF52HVt5Cu-Ew
  • Laura & Julian Heath https://www.facebook.com/groups/143828186747679
  • Priesthood Dispatches https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5yNRufseSR_JxYC8GJ2iA

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Nov 01, 2021
1498: The Life of Historian Fawn McKay Brodie with Newell Bringhurst
04:05:51

Mormon Stories is honored to welcome American historian and author Newell Bringhurt on the podcast to discuss the life of Fawn Brodie, author of “No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith”. We discuss Newell’s biography of Fawn Brodie, her life as niece of LDS prophet David O. McKay, her faith, her influences to write one of the most influential books in Mormon history, and its reception by the church.

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Oct 29, 2021
1497: Rod Meldrum's Book of Mormon Heartland Model
03:14:14

Join us with Australian geneticist Simon Southerton as we break down with Australian geneticist Simon Southerton the Heartland model of Book of Mormon geography which proposes that the events described in the Book of Mormon took place, primarily, in the heartland of North America. The main proponent of this model, Rodney Meldrum, and his followers have been described as a "movement" that could transform the LDS Church. https://www.deseret.com/2010/5/27/20117554/the-fight-over-book-of-mormon-geography

Simon will explain how one of the main pieces of "evidence" that the FIRM enterprise promotes is built on a single questionable claim which Meldrum has been making for over 15 years even after being corrected by several non-Mormon scientists, Simon himself, FairMormon, and LDS scholars at BYU, including Ugo Perego.

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Oct 27, 2021
1496: Responding to Mormon Youtuber Greg Matsen’s “Natasha Helfer Disciplinary Council Explained”
02:35:47

Join us today for an important discussion! In this special Mormon Stories live stream, Carah Burrell is honored to talk with excommunicated Mormon sex therapist Natasha Helfer to discuss the criticism of her found in Cwic Media’s video about her disciplinary council. Natasha and Carah plan to go point by point to address various accusations about her intentions and hopefully foster a better understanding of what constitutes healthy sexuality for people in and out of the LDS church.

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Oct 27, 2021
1495: Conscious Parenting: When All Else Fails - Margi Dehlin
01:43:00

Join Margi, John, and Carah as Margi discusses the Conscious Parenting model, and how it can help with parenting “when all else fails.”

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Show notes and links:

Oct 26, 2021
1494: Responding to David Archuleta’s Interview with Mayim Bialik
02:52:24

Please join us as John and Gerardo respond to a recent interview on the Mayim Bialik's Breakdown podcast where David Archuleta shared his experience being Mormon and gay.

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Oct 25, 2021
1493: How Pornography and False Labels Caused My Mormon Wife To Leave Me - McKay Johnson Pt. 2
02:12:41

McKay ‘Spartacus’ Johnson is our guest today for this fantastic two-part Mormon Stories interview. Carah Burrell takes the reins again as lead interviewer as we talk to McKay about battling a “Nephi complex” growing up, early exposure to pornography, and his mission to Brasil where he describes being groomed by his mission companion and sexually assaulted. It’s an intense and undercover topic and we thank McKay for coming on the podcast to share his experience being a male sexual assault survivor.

In part two, McKay tells us about what it was like to heal from his mission and deconstruct the homophobic ideas he carried with him after his assault. Eventually getting married and divorced, we discuss with McKay what happened the night he confessed to his wife he had been occasionally viewing pornography and what can be done in Mormon culture to shift the unhelpful and counterproductive labeling of men like McKay. McKay is also a talented TikToker and musician, so we are happy he could find time to take a break from playing rock god to join us on Mormon Stories and we hope you’ll support him wherever his talents take him! 

Content warning: This episode contains discussion of sexual assault.

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Show notes: 

Oct 22, 2021
1492: Sexually Assaulted by My Companion as a Mormon Missionary - McKay Johnson Part 1
03:09:49

McKay ‘Spartacus’ Johnson is our guest today for this fantastic two-part Mormon Stories interview. Carah Burrell takes the reins again as lead interviewer as we talk to McKay about battling a “Nephi complex” growing up, early exposure to pornography, and his mission to Brasil where he describes being groomed by his mission companion and sexually assaulted. It’s an intense and undercover topic and we thank McKay for coming on the podcast to share his experience being a male sexual assault survivor.

In part two, McKay tells us about what it was like to heal from his mission and deconstruct the homophobic ideas he carried with him after his assault. Eventually getting married and divorced, we discuss with McKay what happened the night he confessed to his wife he had been occasionally viewing pornography and what can be done in Mormon culture to shift the unhelpful and counterproductive labeling of men like McKay. McKay is also a talented TikToker and musician, so we are happy he could find time to take a break from playing rock god to join us on Mormon Stories and we hope you’ll support him wherever his talents take him! 

Content warning: This episode contains discussion of sexual assault.

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Show notes: 

Oct 21, 2021
1491: Are Mormon Temples a Mockery of Jesus and the Book of Mormon?
02:31:30

Today we discuss Mormon Temples, the prosperity gospel, and the Mormon church's use of social media influencers to promote its temple work. Feel free to post your comments, experiences, and questions below!

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Oct 14, 2021
1490: Marc Oslund’s Excommunication and BYU Soaking?
01:58:52

What questions are on your mind this week? Do you have something you've been wanting to ask? What queries have you, our dear Mormon Stories listeners? Tell us! Join John and Carah for a live stream as we chat, answer your questions, and hit the hot topics of the week in the Mormon/post-Mormon realm.

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Oct 07, 2021
1489: September 12th, 1856 -The Worst Regional Conference Ever - John Larsen
02:23:18

On September 12 Franklin Richards, a member of the 12 and his travel companions caught up with the Willie handcart company. They held a conference in which they insulted and ridiculed the company for their lack of faith. The GAs then said they wanted fresh meat. They made the company slaughter their "fattest calf" which they did and the GAs took the meat with them.

A member of the 12 literally took provisions from the Willie handcart company.

In the podcast we will give the basic background of the handcart trek, how the Lord's anointed were absolutely trash, and then discuss how the worst failure of Mormon History is celebrated widely every year.

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Oct 06, 2021
1488: The Mormon Influences on Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Part 2
03:49:57

As Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow face indictments and/or allegations for multiple murders (e.g., Chad's wife Tammy, Lori's husband Charles, Lori's brother Alex, Lori's children JJ and Tylee) - many believing LDS church members (i.e. "Mormons") have taken issue with the suggestion that Mormon beliefs played any role in these murders.  

Today we conclude our 2-part series exploring the Mormon influences on Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow.  Our guests for today are Lauren and John Matthias - co-hosts of the Hidden True Crime podcast.  I am also super happy to be joined today by my dear, brilliant friend Mindy Caldwell, who has followed the Daybell/Vallow case very closely over the past few years.  

Please join us with your questions and comments.

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The Hidden true crime podcast explores the hidden motives behind unimaginable crimes, while examining our deepest fears along the way. Join us on a journey into the darkest recesses of the human mind and the unconscious motivations that drive human behaviors, both good and bad, in order to understand the world and ourselves. Pull up a chair at our dinner table as the husband and wife team of Dr. John Matthias, a forensic psychologist, and Lauren Matthias, a journalist, delve into the psychological facets of unthinkable crimes. What are you hiding? What are you hiding from? What remains hidden?

Oct 05, 2021
1487: The Mormon Influences on Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow - Part 1
02:55:31

As Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow face indictments and/or allegations for multiple murders (e.g., Chad's wife Tammy, Lori's husband Charles, Lori's brother Alex, Lori's children JJ and Tylee) - many believing LDS church members (i.e. "Mormons") have taken issue with the suggestion that Mormon beliefs played any role in these murders.

Today we begin Part 1 in a series exploring the Mormon influences on Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow.  Our guests for today are Lauren and John Matthias - co-hosts of the Hidden True Crime podcast.  I am also super happy to be joined today by my dear, brilliant friend Mindy Caldwell, who has followed the Daybell/Vallow case very closely over the past few years.

Please join us with your questions and comments.

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We are 100% donor funded! Please click HERE to donate and keep this content coming!

Click here to donate monthly: $10 $25 $50

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The Hidden true crime podcast explores the hidden motives behind unimaginable crimes, while examining our deepest fears along the way. Join us on a journey into the darkest recesses of the human mind and the unconscious motivations that drive human behaviors, both good and bad, in order to understand the world and ourselves. Pull up a chair at our dinner table as the husband and wife team of Dr. John Matthias, a forensic psychologist, and Lauren Matthias, a journalist, delve into the psychological facets of unthinkable crimes. What are you hiding? What are you hiding from? What remains hidden?

Oct 05, 2021
1486: Healing from a Faith Crisis Through Music - Thomas and Sierra Stokes Pt. 2
02:42:42

Join us for this extra special Mormon Stories Podcast interview with Thomas & Cici Stokes (@big.crick.music on TikTok) as we hear the story of their faith journey, and listen to some of Thomas' original music that helped them heal throughout their faith transition.

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Sep 29, 2021
1485: Healing from a Faith Crisis Through Music - Thomas and Sierra Stokes Pt. 1
02:55:06

Join us for this extra special Mormon Stories Podcast interview with Thomas & Cici Stokes (@big.crick.music on TikTok) as we hear the story of their faith journey, and listen to some of Thomas' original music that helped them heal throughout their faith transition.

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Sep 29, 2021
1484: The Gay Mormon Reformation
03:21:30

Parallel to the LDS Church’s shifting position regarding homosexuality, there have been new crops of faithful gay public figures who are held up by the church as role models on how to be a faithful gay member of the church. As the LDS Church has softened its stances and opened the window for “righteous celibacy,” gay public figures in mixed-orientation marriages have lost popularity and a more nuanced breed of celibate role models has emerged E.g. Charlie Bird and Ben Schilatty.

In this episode we discuss how these public figures enable the perpetuation of harmful church rhetoric and spiritual trauma towards the LGBTQ community, and explore some possible solutions that could help ignite positive change in the church.

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Sep 24, 2021
1483: Joseph Smith’s Revelation and Mission to the “Lamanites” - John Larsen
02:48:16

How many of Joseph Smith’s revelations were a success and how many have the church needed to redefine overtime? Today we are honored to have John Larsen in studio for an epic breakdown of Joseph Smith’s revelation for the “Lamanites”, calling Elders to preach to the Native Americans and the subsequent ramifications of Latter-Day Saint teachings for Native American people.

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Sep 22, 2021
1482: Coming Out to My Husband After Leaving the Mormon Church - Laren Rogers Pt. 2
02:05:03

Lauren Rogers is our guest today for this epic two-part Mormon Stories interview. After suffering through a restrictive diet, harassment, and medical neglect on her Mormon mission to Chile, Lauren found herself permanently disabled as she made her way back home to the US.

In part two, Lauren also tells us about the same-sex attraction she repressed throughout her life as a devout Mormon and descendant of Brigham Young, eventually leading to an extremely fascinating exit from the church and a wildly eye-opening description of how she continues a healthy relationship with her husband.

It’s a gripping story from start to finish! Even Lauren’s shelf breaker and realizations about God might be a first-ever for Mormon Stories! We hope you’ll resonate with Lauren’s incredible, epic story!

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Sep 20, 2021
1481: My Mormon Mission Left Me Disabled - Lauren Rogers Pt. 1
02:23:17

Lauren Rogers is our guest today for this epic two-part Mormon Stories interview. After suffering through a restrictive diet, harassment, and medical neglect on her Mormon mission to Chile, Lauren found herself permanently disabled as she made her way back home to the US.

In part two, Lauren also tells us about the same-sex attraction she repressed throughout her life as a devout Mormon and descendant of Brigham Young, eventually leading to an extremely fascinating exit from the church and a wildly eye-opening description of how she continues a healthy relationship with her husband.

It’s a gripping story from start to finish! Even Lauren’s shelf breaker and realizations about God might be a first-ever for Mormon Stories! We hope you’ll resonate with Lauren’s incredible, epic story!

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Show Notes:

  • Lauren’s Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@exmo_mom_?lang=en
  • Ted Lyon MS episode: https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/missionary-sexual-assault/
  • Gospel topics essays: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/essays?lang=eng
  • Matt Harris Mormon Stories episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmjj2kbxFnQ
  • Eldon Kartchner - https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/eldon-kartchner-mixed-orientation-marriage/
  • Josh and Lilly Weed: https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/josh-and-lolly-weed-on-their-love-story-mixed-orientation-marriages-and-ldslgbt-issues/
Sep 20, 2021
1480: The Sources of Mormon Sexual Shame - Natasha Helfer
02:17:52

In this episode, we sit down with therapist Natasha Helfer and discuss a few of the negative messages people raised in religious conservative community may have been conditioned to believe about sex.

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Sep 17, 2021
1479: Mormon Church Admits Massive Boy Scout Sexual in Abuse Settlement - News Update
01:23:23

We are starting a new series on Mormon Stories Podcast dedicated to reporting on current events. Today Carah and John will be discussing the recent announcement that the Mormon church has agreed to pay out $250 million dollars to help settle all current and future BSA-related sexual abuse claims.

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Sep 17, 2021
1478: Executive Secretary to LDS General Authorities Speaks Out - Camille Jones Pt. 2
02:43:20

Join us as we continue with part 2 of our interview with Camille Jones where we discuss her employment with the LDS church, the role of women in the patriarchal church employment system, and what eventually caused her to lose her faith in Mormonism.

A huge ‘thank you’ to Camille for being brave enough to tell us her story! Camille’s journey is a fascinating one to say the least!

Show notes:

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Sep 15, 2021
1477: Serving a Mission at Historic Mormon Sites - What I Wish I Would’ve Known - Camille Jones p.1
02:13:09

Are Mormon missionaries who lead tours at historic church sites like those across upstate New York told to teach false information about the church’s founding? Mormon Stories producer and co-host Carah Burrell takes the reins for her second episode as lead interviewer of our guest Camille Jones as we talk with her about serving in Palmyra, New York at the LDS church’s visitor center.

In part one of our two-part interview with Camille, we discuss the narrative the church wants to be forwarded about the church’s founding versus what Camille wishes she would have known while volunteering as a full-time missionary. We cover topics from the golden plates, to the Hill Cumorah, and more. Camille also discusses the confusing and uncomfortable advances older Mormon men have made on her throughout her teen years.

This eye-opening experience highlighted the power imbalance between Mormon men and women, a theme that carries on into part 2 where Camille discusses being employed by the church.

Show notes:

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Sep 15, 2021
1476c: Telling Loved Ones about Losing Your Faith - Margi & John Dehlin Pt. 3
02:51:31

Today's Mormon Stories episode we are joined by Margi Dehlin as we continue discussing how to communicate with believing family and friends about losing your faith.

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If you would like to see this sort of content continue on Mormon Stories Podcast, please become a monthly donor to the project here: https://donorbox.org/the-gift-of-the-mormon-faith-crisis-podcast

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Show notes:

Sep 15, 2021
1476b: Telling Loved Ones about Losing Your Faith - Margi & John Dehlin Pt. 2
02:26:22

Join Margi and John Dehlin as we continue our discussion of different approaches to telling loved ones about your loss of faith.

This episode is part of the new "Gift of the Mormon Faith Crisis" project on Mormon Stories Podcast - where we will regularly share tips and tricks for navigating a Mormon faith crisis, and healing and growth after a faith crisis, on the podcast.

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If you would like to see this sort of content continue on Mormon Stories Podcast, please become a monthly donor to the project here: https://donorbox.org/the-gift-of-the-mormon-faith-crisis-podcast

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Show notes:

Sep 15, 2021
1476a: Telling Loved Ones about Losing Your Faith - Margi & John Dehlin Pt. 1
02:33:43

Join Margi and John Dehlin as we discuss different approaches to telling loved ones about your loss of faith.

Please share questions, lessons you've learned, and suggestions in the comments below.

This episode is part of the new "Gift of the Mormon Faith Crisis" project on Mormon Stories Podcast - where we will regularly share tips and tricks for navigating a Mormon faith crisis, and healing and growth after a faith crisis, on the podcast.

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If you would like to see this sort of content continue on Mormon Stories Podcast, please become a monthly donor to the project here: https://donorbox.org/the-gift-of-the-mormon-faith-crisis-podcast

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Show notes:

Sep 15, 2021
THRIVE 2021 - Events, Community, and More!
01:18:38

Are you looking for friends and community after leaving Mormonism or organized religion? The THRIVE initiative seeks to do just that - provide events, content, and community for people leaving Mormonism and/or organized religion.

Prior to the COVID outbreak, considerable momentum was made with THRIVE in the organizing of events for post-Mormons, and in the formation of live, face-to-face communities. THRIVE leaders Jeni and Clint Martin are now excited to announce several new exciting THRIVE initiatives which include:

- A revamped website with new functionality.
- A THRIVE events calendar to keep you informed of upcoming events.
- Instructions for how you can organize your own THRIVE events.
- An "in -person community locator" to help you find a local, face-to-face support communities, and
- Instructions for creating your own face-to-face community if one doesn't exist in your area.
We will also discuss future plans for THRIVE.

_________________
THRIVE WEBSITE:
https://www.thrivebeyondreligion.com/

Online groups/resources:
WACA (Women of a Certain Age)
Faith Journey Meetups fb group
Ex Mormon Reddit
Mormon Stories facebook group
Mormon Enlightenment facebook group
Mormon Spectrum

Faith Crisis Resources:
https://www.mormonstories.org/faith-crisis-resources/

Natasha’s events
https://www.symmetrysols.com/events
_________________

Sep 15, 2021
1475: Mormon Seminary Teacher Leaves the Church - Laura Schnell - Pt. 3
01:25:42

In our final segment with Laura Schnell, she describes her faith deconstruction, responds to criticisms, and expresses the immense beauty she’s found rediscovering her own voice as a post-Mormon woman.

Show notes and links:

Sep 10, 2021
1474: Facing Sexism as a Female Mormon Seminary Teacher - Laura Schnell p. 2
02:56:45

When we left off with Laura Shnell at the end of part one, Laura had decided to pursue a career in the LDS Church Education System as a seminary teacher. In this episode, we hear her describe the inappropriate interactions from her mentor, the great lengths Laura went to for her Spanish speaking seminary students, and the sexism she faced as a woman working for CES.

Show notes and links:

Sep 09, 2021
1473: A Colombian Immigrant Mormon Story - Laura Schnell Pt. 1
02:40:58

In part one of this exciting three part interview, Colombian immigrant and former Mormon seminary teacher, Laura Schnell, shares her very unique Mormon story. Laura left South America with her mother and sister in the 90s to Queens, New York, and remembers her time in their small Spanish speaking LDS branch with fondness.

In this episode, she discusses her step-dad joining the family, her time in India with BYU’s International Development Program, and the road she took to choosing a career in the Church Educational System and meeting a friend of the podcast, Marc Oslund. 

Show notes and links: 

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Sep 08, 2021
1472: Listener Update and Ask Me or Suggest (Almost) Anything! - 9/7/2021
02:04:19

Join me as I take question and suggestions from our listeners!

Sep 08, 2021
1471: Staying Grounded During Chaotic Moments - with Margi Dehlin
02:22:24

Have you ever found yourself reacting in unhelpful ways to the distress that accompanies a religious faith crisis (or life in general)?

Margi Dehlin has spent two decades supporting and/or coaching Mormons in faith crisis, post-Mormons, and women experiencing significant life transitions.

As part of a new series on Mormon Stories Podcast providing free coaching support to transitioning and post-Mormons, Margi will share her general approach to managing the emotional distress that often accompanies a religious faith crisis. Her framework will be based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which is a cutting-edge form of mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Show Notes:

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Sep 01, 2021
1470: When an LDS Apostle Calls You Out - Gay BYU Valedictorian Matt Easton
03:37:49

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

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

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

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

Show Notes:

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Aug 30, 2021
1469: John Larsen Analyzes the 1st First Vision Account
02:42:43

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

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

Show notes:

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Aug 27, 2021
1468: Recognizing Your Two Gay Sons Aren’t Broken in a Mormon Military Family - Kelly & Heather Laing Pt. 3
01:37:45

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

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Aug 27, 2021
1467: Growing Up Gay in a Mormon Military Family - Britton and Mason Laing Pt. 2
02:29:25

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

Aug 26, 2021
1466: Mormon Nuclear Submarine Commander & His Family - Kelly and Heather Laing Pt. 1
03:58:49

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

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

Show notes: 

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Aug 25, 2021
1465: Elder Holland - Losing Control Over Mormon LGBTQ Support at BYU
01:15:11

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

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

Show notes: 

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Aug 25, 2021
1464: From EFY Singer to Ex-Mormon EFY Director - Jessie Funk
05:16:40

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

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

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

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Aug 24, 2021
1463: From TBM to RFM - Radio Free Mormon Discusses his Transition from Mormon Apologist to Non-Believer
03:49:09

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

Please join us with your questions and comments!

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Aug 23, 2021
1462: New Temples Veil Mormonism’s Decline - Simon Southerton
03:01:08

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

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

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Aug 20, 2021
1461: ICU/Pulmonary Physician's Experiences with Covid-19: Rob Mildenhall
37:09

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

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Aug 18, 2021
1460: The LDS Church and the COVID Vaccine
03:08:38

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

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

Please join us, and please spread the word.

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Aug 17, 2021
1459: Expelled from BYU for Having Sex - Kelly Trust
04:56:30

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

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

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

Links and show notes: 

Honor Code Stories Instagram: 

CES Letter: 

“Leaving the Saints” by Marth Beck: 

“Braving the Wilderness”  by Brene Brown: 

Instagram:

Aug 10, 2021
1458: 7 Lesson I've Learned as a Post-Mormon Mom - Leah Young
03:11:55

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

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

Links and show notes:

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

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

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

Balanced Living with Leah website:

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

“She Let It Go” poem:

Email Leah: balancedlivingwithleah@gmail.com

Active Listening the Kids Perspectives:

Leah’s courses:

Leah’s instagram:

Aug 03, 2021
1457: Lessons I've Learned Leaving the Mormon Church as a Teen - Brinley Young
02:41:57

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

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

Links and show notes:

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

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

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

"Untamed" by Glennon Doyle

Aug 02, 2021
1456: Native American Mormon Women and the Lamanite Myth
03:39:53

Please join us as three Native American women, Sarah, Ann, and Monika who were raised in the Mormon church, discuss the following:

- What they were taught about the "Lamanite doctrine" as Native American Mormon women.
- How the Mormon Lamanite doctrine impacted their lives, especially while finding a partner.
- How their perspectives have changed regarding the Mormon Lamanite doctrine.

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

Links and show notes:

Jul 20, 2021
1455: Will Mormons Get Their Own Planets? A Panel Discussion
02:19:22

Join our panel as we discuss the question: Will Mormons Get Their Own Planets? Featuring Jaxon Washburn, Nemo the Mormon, John Dehlin, and Carah Burrell. 

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

Links and show notes: 

Nemo the Mormon YouTube channel

Jaxon's TikTok

 

Jul 20, 2021
1454: Understanding & Treating Self-Harm with Kelceymarie Warner
29:31

Trigger warning for our viewers as we bring you a special short episode on this under-covered topic. In a follow-up to our Mormon Stories interview with Kelceymarie, we go further in-depth on the issue of self-harm. How to view it, understand it, and find help. Kelceymarie Warner is a mental health advocate and graduate student getting her second masters in clinical mental health counseling. Kelceymarie has connected with hundreds of thousands through her books, journals, and TikTok by opening up about her struggles with depression, anxiety, self harm, suicidal thoughts, and eating disorders.

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

Links and show notes: 

Kelceymarie’s TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@kelceymariewarner?lang=en

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kelceymariewarnertiktok/

Kelceymarie’s Linktree to resources, book, etsy, etc: https://linktr.ee/kelcemariewarner

"The Sparrow’s Box” Site: https://www.thesparrowsbox.com/shop

Jul 20, 2021
1453: Beyond the Scars of Self-Harm and Mormonism - Kelceymarie Warner
03:40:48

A strong trigger warning leads off this important interview, but we hope you’ll be able to join us as we hear from mental health advocate Kelceymarie Warner. As a graduate student in clinical mental health counseling, Kelceymarie has connected with hundreds of thousands through her books, journals, and TikTok by opening up about her struggles with depression, anxiety, self harm, suicidal thoughts, and eating disorders.

Converting to the church as a teen, Kelceymarie found peace from her dysfunctional home life by attending church. We discuss the pros and cons of Mormonism in her life, the control and abuse that lead to the end of her temple marriage, and advice for those struggling hard to overcome life’s challenges who’ve turned to self-harm as a coping mechanism. This is a special one!

Show notes:

Jul 20, 2021
1452: Leaving Mormonism in the 80s - Warren & Cindy Driggs
04:27:32

Warren Driggs is a part-time attorney and author of several books including “Mormon Boy: A Memoir” and “Swimming in Deep Water, A Novel of Joseph Smith”. In this delightful interview, we sit down with Warren and his wife Cindy as they take us through the different fascinating ways their families raised them in Salt Lake City ranging from orthodox Mormons to casual, but intellectual, members of the church.

Listen along as they share their hilarious stories, impart beautiful insights, and the lessons they learned raising moral children after leaving the religion they loved in the heart of Mormon Mecca.

Show notes:

“Mormon Boy: A Memoir” by Warren Driggs https://www.amazon.com/Mormon-Boy-Memoir-Warren-Driggs/dp/0998779547

“Swimming in Deep Water, A Novel of Joseph Smith” by Warren Driggs https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0779G53GP/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i2

“A Tortoise in the Road” by Warren Driggs https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XPV5MDC/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1

“Old Scratch” by Warren Driggs https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y5YMLF5/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i3

“No Man Knows My History” by Fawn Brodie https://www.amazon.com/No-Man-Knows-My-History/dp/0679730540/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=no+man+knows+my+history&qid=1626237620&sr=8-1

Jul 15, 2021
1451: The Doctrine of Cain - John Larsen
03:22:06

Today we are excited to sit down with legend, John Larsen. After ending his wildly popular Mormon Expression podcast, having John in studio is an honor as we steep in his humor and knowledge. We hit on some of our favorite important topics like the “curse of Cain'' while also bouncing around in the absurdity of Big Foot.

You will laugh, you might cry, but you will absolutely not be disappointed in this episode!

Content warning: PG-13 rating for profanity

Show notes:

Mormon Expression: How to Build a Transoceanic Vessel

-MP3: http://johnlarsen.org/podcast/Archive/MormonExpression276.mp3

-Text: https://gdoc.pub/doc/e/2PACX-1vRh7CxIlETHNYtH5jk0MXsWc5FVChckAUODY2QDGjLCjDGYWFgzOlGq1JORs4EZsbDzh63DvdShYNU1

"An Enemy Hath Done This" by Ezra Taft Benson: https://www.amazon.com/Enemy-Hath-Done-This/dp/0884941841

"The Church & The Negro - A Discussion of Mormons, Negros and the Priesthood" by John Bezos: https://www.amazon.com/CHURCH-NEGRO-Discussion-Mormons-Priesthood/dp/B000W1N72K

Jul 13, 2021
1450: Copywriter for LDS Church Speaks Out - Linda and Savannah Clyde Pt. 2
03:37:34

Join us today as we continue with part two of our interview with an awesome mother and daughter duo, Linda and Savannah Clyde. Growing up in a mixed-faith Mormon home, Linda worked through the resentment she felt towards her father’s lack of belief in the church with beautiful results. Linda’s talents as a writer eventually landed her a job at LDS church headquarters in the marketing department where she was instrumental in assisting the church soften it’s tone and messaging. Hearing her talk about the inner workings of the church is fascinating stuff to say the least! Once an extremely faithful teenager, Linda’s daughter Savannah’s curious spirit led her to dig deeper into the narrative of the church and become a new kind of pioneer for her Mormon family.

Listen along as they describe their journey to understanding one another, their non-Mormon loved ones, and the beauty that can come from embracing non-conformity as a family in Utah county.

Jul 08, 2021
1449: Navigating a Mixed-Faith Mormon Family - Linda and Savannah Clyde Pt. 1
03:00:11

Today we’re premiering part one of our epic interview with an awesome mother and daughter duo, Linda and Savannah Clyde. Growing up in a mixed-faith Mormon home, Linda worked through the resentment she felt towards her father’s lack of belief in the church with beautiful results. Linda’s talents as a writer eventually landed her a job at LDS church headquarters in the marketing department where she was instrumental in assisting the church soften it’s tone and messaging. Hearing her talk about the inner workings of the church is fascinating stuff to say the least! Once an extremely faithful teenager, Linda’s daughter Savannah’s curious spirit led her to dig deeper into the narrative of the church and become a new kind of pioneer for her Mormon family.

Listen along as they describe their journey to understanding one another, their non-Mormon loved ones, and the beauty that can come from embracing non-conformity as a family in Utah county.

Jul 07, 2021
1448: Why Mormon Truth Matters - A Letter to Mormon Apologist Terryl Givens
52:12

In September of 2020, professional Mormon apologists Terryl and Fiona Givens were invited to speak at a Mormon church fireside for the Sunderland England Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  During this fireside Terryl Givens was asked to recount an experience he once had with a Mormon missionary woman who was doubting her testimony because of troubling things she learned about Mormon church founder Joseph Smith,  Terryl's recounting of the story was as follows:

"I was fortunate that there was a mission president in our area who knew us and our work.  And there was a sister missionary who decided that she was going to leave the church.  She was finishing her mission the next week and she'd made the decision to go home and leave.  And her companion of course deeply distraught over this and asked the mission president "Could we go talk to brother Givens?"  And he gave them permission to come and stay as long as they needed so they stayed long into the night.  And I listened to one after another question and then finally it occurred to me to ask this one question.  And I said to her in regard to one question in particular about Joseph Smith, and I said "Sister" I said, "Why does the answer to that question matter?"  And it changed everything.  It just caught her up short.  And she thought for a minute and she said, "I don't know" (Terryl chuckles).  "I don't know."

Many (including myself) were disturbed by Terryl Givens' story/response - particularly since it was directed at currently doubting Mormon church members.  We were primarily puzzled, shocked, and somewhat disturbed that the Mormon church's leading professional apologist - who has spent many years writing books for, and speaking/ministering to doubting Mormons - would provide such a glib and seemingly uninformed response.  That said, we understand that belief issues are complex, and take Terryl at his word that he sincerely does not understand why troubling aspects of Mormon history, including newly-discovered details about Joseph Smith's life, would matter to a questioning or doubting Mormon.

Consequently, I am launching a new social media campaign with which I could use your help.  The goal of the campaign is to help educate Terryl, Fiona, other Mormon Church apologists, and the Mormon church leadership about as to why "Informed Consent" is crucial to both active Mormons and Mormon investigators.

Jul 06, 2021
1447: Recovering Agency Pt. 5 - Examining Mormon Mind Control w/ Luna Lindsey Corbden
03:45:42

Luna Corbden is the author of "Recovering Agency - Lifting the Veil of Mormon Mind Control." In this multi-part Mormon Stories Podcast series, Lindsey employs the tools of social psychology to identify ways in which the Mormon church uses various coercive techniques often associated with high demand religions (also referred to as cults).

Throughout the series we will be asking, "In what ways does the Mormon church behave in ways similar to other high demand religions (or cults), and what can it do to become less cult-like?" The primary goal of this series is to help people raised within the Mormon Church unpack and separate their own identity from church doctrine and policies. In their book. Luna explores 31 different mind control techniques used by high demand religions generally, and by the Mormon church specifically.. In Part 5, we will cover the final set of methods (of the 31 in total): Indirect Directives, Identification & Example, Induced Phobias, Trace Induction & Dissociative States, Euphoria Induction, and Proselytizing.

--------

Luna Corbden (who also writes as Luna Lindsey) was born into the LDS Church and left the faith in 2001, at age 26. They now live in Washington state and write about topics of interest to them, including psychology, mind control, culture, and autism. They also write science fiction and fantasy novels, and write short stories for speculative fiction publications like the Journal of Unlikely Entomology, Crossed Genres, and the Recognize Fascism anthology. When they're not busy traveling to improbable worlds, they're thinking hard about this improbable world.

Luna's book can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Recovering-Agency-Lifting-Mormon-Control/dp/1489595937

Jul 02, 2021
1446: Recovering Agency Pt. 4 - Examining Mormon Mind Control w/ Luna Lindsey Corbden
03:41:20

Luna Corbden is the author of "Recovering Agency - Lifting the Veil of Mormon Mind Control." In this multi-part Mormon Stories Podcast series, Lindsey employs the tools of social psychology to identify ways in which the Mormon church uses various coercive techniques often associated with high demand religions (also referred to as cults).

Throughout the series we will be asking, "In what ways does the Mormon church behave in ways similar to other high demand religions (or cults), and what can it do to become less cult-like?" The primary goal of this series is to help people raised within the Mormon Church unpack and separate their own identity from church doctrine and policies. In their book. Luna explores 31 different mind control techniques used by high demand religions generally, and by the Mormon church specifically.

In Part 4, we will cover the 4rd set of methods (of the 31 in total): Dispensing of Existence, Social Pressure, Elitism, Us-vs-Them Thinking, Double-Bind, and Confession.

--------

Luna Corbden (who also writes as Luna Lindsey) was born into the LDS Church and left the faith in 2001, at age 26. They now live in Washington state and write about topics of interest to them, including psychology, mind control, culture, and autism. They also write science fiction and fantasy novels, and write short stories for speculative fiction publications like the Journal of Unlikely Entomology, Crossed Genres, and the Recognize Fascism anthology. When they're not busy traveling to improbable worlds, they're thinking hard about this improbable world.

Luna's book can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Recovering-Agency.../dp/1489595937

Jul 01, 2021
1445: Recovering Agency - Examining Mormon Mind Control w/ Luna Lindsey Corbden Pt. 3
03:31:53

Luna Corbden is the author of "Recovering Agency - Lifting the Veil of Mormon Mind Control." In this multi-part Mormon Stories Podcast series, Lindsey employs the tools of social psychology to identify ways in which the Mormon church uses various coercive techniques often associated with high demand religions (also referred to as cults). Throughout the series we will be asking, "In what ways does the Mormon church behave in ways similar to other high demand religions (or cults), and what can it do to become less cult-like?"

The primary goal of this series is to help people raised within the Mormon Church unpack and separate their own identity from church doctrine and policies. In their book. Luna explores 31 different mind control techniques used by high demand religions generally, and by the Mormon church specifically.

In Part 3, we will cover the 3rd set of methods (of the 31 in total): Mystical Manipulation, Milieu Control, Loading the Language, Totalist Reframing, Thought-Terminating Cliches, and Time Control.

--------

Luna Corbden (who also writes as Luna Lindsey) was born into the LDS Church and left the faith in 2001, at age 26. They now live in Washington state and write about topics of interest to them, including psychology, mind control, culture, and autism. They also write science fiction and fantasy novels, and write short stories for speculative fiction publications like the Journal of Unlikely Entomology, Crossed Genres, and the Recognize Fascism anthology. When they're not busy traveling to improbable worlds, they're thinking hard about this improbable world.

Luna's book can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Recovering-Agency-Lifting-Mormon-Control/dp/1489595937

Jun 30, 2021
1444: Recovering Agency - Examining Mormon Mind Control Pt. 2 w/ Luna Lindsey Corbden
02:58:28

Luna Lindsey Corbden is the author of "Recovering Agency - Lifting the Veil of Mormon Mind Control." In this multi-part Mormon Stories Podcast series, Lindsey employs the tools of social psychology to identify ways in which the Mormon church uses various coercive techniques often associated with high demand religions (also referred to as cults). Throughout the series we will be asking, "In what ways does the Mormon church behave in ways similar to other high demand religions (or cults), and what can it do to become less cult-like?"

The primary goal of this series is to help people raised within the Mormon Church unpack and separate their own identity from church doctrine and policies. In their book. Luna explores 31 different mind control techniques used by high demand religions generally, and by the Mormon church specifically.

In Part 2, we will cover the 2nd set of methods (of the 31 in total): Love Bombing, Destabilization, Deception, Belief Follows Behavior, Public Commitment, Creating Dependency, and Emotion Over Intellect.

--------

Luna Corbden (who also writes as Luna Lindsey) was born into the LDS Church and left the faith in 2001, at age 26. They now live in Washington state and write about topics of interest to them, including psychology, mind control, culture, and autism. They also write science fiction and fantasy novels, and write short stories for speculative fiction publications like the Journal of Unlikely Entomology, Crossed Genres, and the Recognize Fascism anthology. When they're not busy traveling to improbable worlds, they're thinking hard about this improbable world.

Luna's book can be found here.

Jun 29, 2021
1443: Recovering Agency - Examining Mormon Mind Control Pt. 1 w/ Luna Lindsey Corbden
03:07:43

Recovering Agency - Examining Mormon Mind Control Pt. 1 (with Luna Lindsey Corbden) Luna Lindsey Corbden is the author of "Recovering Agency - Lifting the Veil of Mormon Mind Control." In this multi-part Mormon Stories Podcast series, Lindsey employs the tools of social psychology to identify ways in which the Mormon church uses various coercive techniques often associated with high demand religions (also referred to as cults). Throughout the series we will be asking, "In what ways does the Mormon church behave in ways similar to other high demand religions (or cults), and what can it do to become less cult-like?"

The primary goal of this series is to help people raised within the Mormon Church unpack and separate their own identity from church doctrine and policies. In their book. Luna explores 31 different mind control techniques used by high demand religions generally, and by the Mormon church specifically.

In Part 1, we explore the basics of how cognitive dissonance works, and we will cover the first six methods (of the 31 in total): Sacred Sciene, Demand for Purity, Doctrine Over Self, Black & White Thinking, Blame Reversal, and Guilt & Shame.

And, if you have not already, tune in to my most recent livestream (episode number 1442) for an introduction to this fascinating series!

--------

Luna Corbden (who also writes as Luna Lindsey) was born into the LDS Church and left the faith in 2001, at age 26. They now live in Washington state and write about topics of interest to them, including psychology, mind control, culture, and autism. They also write science fiction and fantasy novels, and write short stories for speculative fiction publications like the Journal of Unlikely Entomology, Crossed Genres, and the Recognize Fascism anthology. When they're not busy traveling to improbable worlds, they're thinking hard about this improbable world.

Luna's book can be found here: https://recoveringagency.com

Jun 28, 2021
1442: Was I Raised in a Cult or High-Demand Religion? A Self-Assessment
39:52
 
In cooperation with author Luna Lindsey Corbden (Recovering Agency) and Youtuber Jonathan Streeter (Thoughts on Things and Stuff), I have developed a short self assessment to help people:
  1. Determine if they were raised in a cult or high-demand religion, and/or
  2. Learn to more quickly identify the techniques used by unhealthy people and organizations to wield undue influence over family, friends, employees, or members.
This self assessment should take no longer than 30 minutes to complete.  A PDF of the assessment can be found here.
 
We also highly encourage you to learn and study these principles to avoid being taken advantage of by unhealthy individuals and organization (including family members, businesses, corporations, governments, etc) .
 
Finally, if you enjoyed this episode, please check out our in-depth, 17+ hour exploration of the book "Recovering Agency: Lifting the Veil of Mormon Mind Control" with author Luna Lindsey Corbden on Mormon Stories Podcast. These episodes will be released starting Monday, June 28th.
Jun 26, 2021
1441: Questions I Would Ask Richard Bushman
01:50:58

This week we celebrate the birthday of faithful Mormon historian and scholar Richard Bushman – author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, and former Mormon church stake president and patriarch.

Some of you will remember that I had the privilege of interviewing Richard back in 2007. Most of you probably don’t know that Richard agreed to discuss 10 topics on the series, but quit the interview after only addressing 3 of the 10 topics, which was very disappointing to me at the time. But of course that was his prerogative.

Since our original interview, Richard has declined to appear on Mormon Stories Podcast again – especially after my excommunication from the Mormon Church in 2015. Still, there are many questions that I would like to ask Richard (or any believing Mormon scholar), if he (they) would allow it. Unfortunately most faithful Mormon scholars avoid any forums where they are asked candid, difficult questions. This is not their fault, of course. It’s the price of doing business with a church that silences and punishes its truth-tellers.

Consequently, I am recording a personal episode where I go ahead and ask the questions I’ve been wanting to ask Richard, along with expressing a few concerns with some of Richard’s public statements over the years.

I hope you enjoy! If you enjoy this episode, I may do something similar a few other faithful scholars/historians/apologists.

Jun 24, 2021
1440: A Mexican Mormon Story - Gerardo Pt. 2
02:42:03

Join us for Part 2 of our interview with Gerardo who is a dear friend of the podcast! Growing up in an orthodox Mormon home, his story gives a unique perspective on the church in Mexico and the “Laminate ancestry” that plays into the testimony of many of the members in Latin America. After realizing his attraction to men in his youth, Gerardo worked to keep up with expectations as the son of a prominent LDS family hoping God would “turn his weakness into strengths.”

Through stories about Evergreen, conversion therapy, Mexican EFY, and serving a faithful mission, we hear how strongly Gerardo tried to pursue the covenant path and deny his gay identity. Gerardo went to BYU-I where he met his husband, a wild story filled with intense highs and lows. Eventually questioning his faith, losing his connection to being a descendant of the Laminates and working through disagreements with LDS family, Gerardo put his whole heart out there in this interview. Listen along for some life-changing insights from Gerardo on this epic episode of a Mexican Mormon Story!

Jun 17, 2021
1439: A Mexican Mormon Story - Gerardo Pt. 1
03:44:05

Join us for Part 1 of our interview with Gerardo who is a dear friend of the podcast! Growing up in an orthodox Mormon home, his story gives a unique perspective on the church in Mexico and the “Lamanite ancestry” that plays into the testimony of many of the members in Latin America. After realizing his attraction to men in his youth, Gerardo worked to keep up with expectations as the son of a prominent LDS family hoping God would “turn his weakness into strengths.”

Through stories about Evergreen, conversion therapy, Mexican EFY, and serving a faithful mission, we hear how strongly Gerardo tried to pursue the covenant path and deny his gay identity. Gerardo went to BYU-I where he met his husband, a wild story filled with intense highs and lows. Eventually questioning his faith, losing his connection to being a descendant of the Lamanites and working through disagreements with LDS family, Gerardo put his whole heart out there in this interview. Listen along for some life-changing insights from Gerardo on this epic episode of a Mexican Mormon Story!

Jun 17, 2021
1438: A Bishop's Family Questions Mormonism - Kelly & Kayla Mikesell
04:27:40

Kelly and Kayla Mikesell are a dynamic step-mother/daughter pair. Only recently did Kelly start to investigate the troubling issues with Mormon history that had been eating away at her children. In an effort to learn, love, and empathize with her children, she investigated the church and grew in ways that surprised her and her family.

As Kelly chose love and understanding over dogma and compliance, she was able to open her heart to the members of her family in the LGBTQ community, including her step-daughter Kayla. Teenage years filled with the unimaginable amounts of shame and guilt, Kayla was able to grow into her own independent, confident adult, even winning Miss Salt Lake City and making her platform one of advocacy for the Utah Pride Center.

We are honored to interview two thoughtful, articulate women putting a lot on the line to speak out while Kelly’s husband still currently serves as her bishop!

Warning: This episode contains discussions of self-harm.

Show Notes:

Jun 09, 2021
1437: When A Mormon Gay Man Marries A Woman - Kyle Ashwoth Pt. 2
02:19:10

Happy Utah Pride Week everyone! To celebrate Utah Pride week, I am sharing one of the most important interviews in the history of Mormon Stories Podcast. It is the story of Kyle Ashworth - a dear, brilliant, talented friend, and the host of Latter Gay Stories podcast.

This interview is important for at least 3 reasons:

  1. Kyle is a truly brilliant, caring human. That should be enough.
  2. It conveys super powerfully the myriad of ways in which the Mormon Church harms its LGBTQ members AND its straight members - including a deep dive into the serious problems of mixed-orientation marriages within Mormonism, along with the deep ineffectiveness and deceptiveness of organizations like North Star International.
  3. Finally, It is ultimately a story of "love winning out" as Kyle, his ex-wife, and her family fulfill their mantra, "One Family, Two homes."

Join us today to hear the conclusion of Kyle's truly inspiring story.

Please watch and enjoy, and please spread the word!!!

Jun 04, 2021
1436: When A Gay Mormon Man Marries a Woman - Kyle Ashworth Pt. 1
04:17:37

Happy Utah Pride Week everyone! To celebrate Utah Pride week, I am sharing one of the most important interviews in the history of Mormon Stories Podcast. It is the story of Kyle Ashworth – a dear, brilliant, talented friend, and the host of Latter Gay Stories podcast.

This interview is important for at least 3 reasons:

  1. Kyle is a truly brilliant, caring human. That should be enough.
  2. It conveys super powerfully the myriad of ways in which the Mormon Church harms its LGBTQ members AND its straight members – including a deep dive into the serious problems of mixed-orientation marriages within Mormonism, along with the deep ineffectiveness and deceptiveness of organizations like North Star International.
  3. Finally, It is ultimately a story of “love winning out” as Kyle, his ex-wife, and her family fulfill their mantra, “One Family, Two homes.”

Today we will show Part 1 of the interview, and tomorrow we will share Part 2.

Please watch and enjoy, and please spread the word!!!

Jun 03, 2021
1435: OSF / Mormon Stories Podcast 2021 State of the Union
01:07:22

Every year I try to provide donors and listeners with a "State of the Union" address for the Open Stories Foundation (the 501c3 non-profit that I lead which houses Mormon Stories Podcast), along with the overall success of Mormon Stories Podcast and the other OSF podcasts (Gift of the Mormon Faith Crisis Podcast, A Thoughtful Faith Podcast, and Mormon Mental Health Podcast).

The topics for today will be:

  • OSF / Mormon Stories Podcast Mission & What we are about
  • Fiduciary stuff, governance
  • Board status
  • Effectiveness/reach of Mormon Stories Podcast
  • OSF Finances
  • OSF Strategy for 2021 and beyond
  • OSF staff changes, including the addition of Carah Burrell to the staff for a trial period
  • Plan for events and community
  • OSF challenges/needs
Jun 01, 2021
1434: Mormon Influencer Discovers the CES Letter - Haleigh Everts
05:25:57

After converting to Mormonism as a teen and attending BYU, Haleigh Evert’s relationship with the Mormon church grew unfulfilling and complicated. After leaving the church for a time, Haleigh came back to the Mormon church, married in the temple, and started making videos and writing about her Mormon journey.

Haleigh eventually published the book “Why I Left the Mormon Church and Came Back,” which is still sold at Deseret Book today. Then, after years of promoting and defending the Mormon church, Haleigh read the CES Letter for the first time (just a month and a half ago).

In this episode we discuss Haleigh's conversion, her reach on social media as a Mormon influencer, and her life now after reading the CES letter.

Show Notes:

May 27, 2021
1433: ExMo Lex - Lexi McDonald
04:10:21

Today I am so excited to share my interview with the incredible Lexi McDonald - YouTube's ExMo Lex! Tune in as we discuss Lexi's personal Mormon story, her faith transition away from the LDS church, and the birth of her highly successful Social Media platform, ExMo Lex.

Find Lexi on Social Media:

May 25, 2021
1432: Fit2Fat2Fit - Drew Manning's Mormon Story Pt. 2
01:59:22

Today I am honored to share the story of Drew Manning - author, TV star, and founder of the viral brand, "Fit2Fat2Fit." Join us as we continue with Part 2 of Drew's Mormon story, which will cover:

  • Healing after a divorce
  • Discovering meditation
  • Finding new wisdom outside of the church
  • Spirituality through psychedelics
  • Fit2Fat2Fit and the identity crisis that followed
  • Drew’s beliefs around God and an afterlife as a post Mormon

Show Notes:

May 20, 2021
1431: Fit2Fat2Fit - Drew Manning's Mormon Story Pt. 1
02:14:53

Today I am honored to share the story of Drew Manning - author, TV star, and founder of the viral brand, "Fit2Fat2Fit." In part 1 of Drew's story, we will discuss, among other things:

  • His upbringing in Mormonism
  • LDS mission in Brazil
  • Marriage & pornography use in a Mormon marriage, followed by the LDS church addiction recovery program
  • Their eventual divorce
  • Learning about problematic church history & the 2015 LGBT+ exclusion policy
  • The Fit2Fat2Fit story & Drew’s mission to bring empathy to fitness

Show notes:

May 20, 2021
1430: Redefining Masculinity - Lance Allred
03:03:39

Join me today for this truly inspiring interview with Lance Allred, the grandson of Rulon C. Allred - the prophet of a fundamentalist polygamous sect called the “Apostolic United Brethren." In addition to this, Lance is the first legally-deaf player in NBA history, an inspirational speaker (including a highly successful TedX presentation, "What is Your Polygamy?"), and celebrated author of six books, including his most recent publication, “The New Alpha Male: How to Win the Game When the Rules are Changing.”

Join along as we discuss the concepts of misogyny, toxic masculinity, how they function within religions, and how we can begin to combat and "unlearn" these unhealthy habits.

More books by Lance Allred:

May 18, 2021
1429: Leaving the Jehovah's Witnesses - JT and Lady Cee Pt. 2
02:53:01

JT & Lady Cee were raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses from the age of five years old. Lady Cee was a regular pioneer and went to serve where the need is great with her pioneer partners. JT served at Brooklyn Bethel and was an elder in the local congregation.

After spending a combined 60 years of Watchtower indoctrination, they discovered that something was seriously wrong with the 1914 teaching. This led them to doing more research and after reading Crisis of Conscience by former Governing Body Member Raymond Franz, they faded from the organization. JT & Lady Cee realize the importance of giving back to help those they left behind. Therefore, in 2013, they began hosting the Critical Thought podcast on the EXJW Critical Thinker YouTube channel. Their decision to join their voice with the community of other Ex-JW activists is resulting in many happy endings as individuals begin waking up and learning the real truth about “The Truth.”

Learn more about them on their website and other social media outlets.

May 17, 2021
1428: Leaving the Jehovah's Witnesses - JT and Lady Cee Pt. 1
03:05:14

JT & Lady Cee were raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses from the age of five years old. Lady Cee was a regular pioneer and went to serve where the need is great with her pioneer partners. JT served at Brooklyn Bethel and was an elder in the local congregation.

After spending a combined 60 years of Watchtower indoctrination, they discovered that something was seriously wrong with the 1914 teaching. This led them to doing more research and after reading Crisis of Conscience by former Governing Body Member Raymond Franz, they faded from the organization. JT & Lady Cee realize the importance of giving back to help those they left behind. Therefore, in 2013, they began hosting the Critical Thought podcast on the EXJW Critical Thinker YouTube channel. Their decision to join their voice with the community of other Ex-JW activists is resulting in many happy endings as individuals begin waking up and learning the real truth about “The Truth.” Learn more about them on their website and other social media outlets.

May 11, 2021
1427: Rod Decker’s Life as a Utah Political Reporter
04:25:15

Join me today as I sit down with a living legend, Rod Decker, who has gained great prominence in Utah over the past 50 years as a journalist, columnist, and reporter for KUTV Channel 2 news. An observer of Utah politics from an early age, Decker has a truly unique perspective on Utah culture, faith, and politics, and I could not be more honored to have him as a guest on Mormon Stories Podcast.

Rod Decker's most recent publication, "Utah Politics: The Elephant in the Room" can be purchased here.

 

May 07, 2021
1426: Natasha Helfer Excommunication Debrief
02:55:52

Marriage, Family, & Sex therapist, Natasha Helfer, hosts this special edition of Mormon Stories Podcast with John & Margi Dehlin, as they discuss the aftermath of Natasha's trial for apostasy and excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

May 04, 2021
1425: A Mormon Seminary Teacher Loses His Faith - Marc Oslund Pt. 3
03:06:29

Join us now for Part 3 of what many are calling a truly groundbreaking Mormon Stories Podcast series - my interview with teen convert, former All-American athlete, and former Mormon seminary teacher and CES employee Marc Oslund.

In today's episode Marc shares with us:

  • An insider's view of how the Mormon church began realizing that it was hemorrhaging its youth and young adults, and how the church has experimented in seminary/institute/CES with both "inoculation" and "avoidance" when confronting its long-denied problematic history.
  • How the Mormon church relied on Terryl Givens and other progressive Mormons to help re-train Mormon CES employees, the backlash that ensued from orthodox instructors and managers, and how the Mormon church worked hard to simultaneously distance itself from Terryl Givens' teachings.
  • An observation that Mormon apostles no longer act as guardians of doctrine and theology, and how they have now "outsourced" that work to progressive theologians like Terryl Givens and others, in part so that they can maintain plausible deniability.
  • Marc's transition from an orthodox Mormon to a progressive/liberal (Terryl Givens)-type Mormon as a Mormon seminary teacher, in response to the training the church provided him, and how that ultimately undermined his own career in CES.
  • How Marc was ultimately and literally pushed out of CES for explicitly following the advice of Mormon apostles like Elder Ballard to openly discuss the problematic issues.
  • How the CES System continues to promote orthodox leaders in spite of its lip service to promoting openness and tolerance for diversity.

You will not regret the length and depth of this interview.

Apr 28, 2021
1424: The Life of a Mormon Seminary Teacher - Marc Oslund Pt. 2
04:18:54

Join us today as we continue with part two of our three-part interview with former baseball player and LDS seminary teacher, Marc Oslund. Fascinating for so many reasons, I believe this is one of the most important Mormon Stories Podcast episodes I've ever released.

  • Marc was a heavily recruited high school baseball and football player in the L.A., California area.
  • He converted to the Mormon church as a teen.
  • He was drafted to the baseball Major Leagues three different times, and turned down those offers to go on an LDS mission and to BYU.
  • He was an all-American baseball player at BYU.
  • He served an LDS mission where he was often racked with guilt and shame - almost sent home for it.
  • When his baseball career ended (due to post-mission injuries), he became a Mormon CES seminary teacher, and served from around 2013 to 2019 - while the Mormon church was trying to become more open/honest about its history, and deal with public activists like Kate Kelly, myself, Sam Young, Jeremy Runnells, etc.
  • Even though he constantly had doubts/questions/concerns, his position as a seminary teacher caused major rifts in his marriage when his wife expressed occasional doubts, specifically about the Mormon temple ceremony.
  • Marc became a liberal/progressive/Givens Mormon while a seminary teacher - but was punished by CES for his progressive stances.
  • Marc ultimately lost his orthodox Mormon faith as a seminary teacher, and was pressured to quit his job.

In part 2 of his story, we will hear about Marc's experience working for the Church Educational System as a seminary teacher, his attempts to be open with students about church doctrines, and why he eventually began to question the leadership of the LDS church - all while working within the CES program.

Apr 27, 2021
1423: Giving up Major League Baseball for Mormonism - Marc Oslund Pt. 1
03:23:10

Join us today as we kick off our three-part interview with former baseball player and LDS seminary teacher, Marc Oslund. Fascinating for so many reasons, I believe this is one of the most important Mormon Stories Podcast episodes I've ever released.

  • Marc was a heavily recruited high school baseball and football player in the L.A., California area.
  • He converted to the Mormon church as a teen.
  • He was drafted to the baseball Major Leagues three different times, and turned down those offers to go on an LDS mission and to BYU.
  • He was an all-American baseball player at BYU.
  • He served an LDS mission where he was often racked with guilt and shame - almost sent home for it.
  • When his baseball career ended (due to post-mission injuries), he became a Mormon CES seminary teacher, and served from around 2013 to 2019 - while the Mormon church was trying to become more open/honest about its history, and deal with public activists like Kate Kelly, myself, Sam Young, Jeremy Runnells, etc.
  • Even though he constantly had doubts/questions/concerns, his position as a seminary teacher caused major rifts in his marriage when his wife expressed occasional doubts, specifically about the Mormon temple ceremony.
  • Marc became a liberal/progressive/Givens Mormon while a seminary teacher - but was punished by CES for his progressive stances.
  • Marc ultimately lost his orthodox Mormon faith as a seminary teacher, and was pressured to quit his job.

In part 1 of this incredible story, Marc talks about his upbringing in LA, his conversion to Mormonism, and why he gave up multiple opportunities to play major-league baseball in order to pursue a career in the Church Education System.

This is a long one...probably deserves its own podcast...but it's really, really important. I hope you enjoy.

Apr 26, 2021
1422: The 2021 Mormon Purge Continues: TikTokkers Neesha and Kyle Brost
05:01:52

As the COVID pandemic begins to slow in Spring of 2021, we are seeing a surge in vocal Mormon church members being summoned to disciplinary councils for excommunication on the charges of apostasy. Last week Natasha Helfer was excommunicated from the Mormon church for nothing less than advocating for ethical mental health and sexuality. Today we interview Neesha and Kyle Brost, who were recently threatened with excommunication by their Mormon leaders for posting videos to their very popular TikTok channel.

This is Neesha and Kyle's Mormon Story

Apr 26, 2021
1421: Remembering Mark Hofmann - Shannon Flynn
01:38:28

Join us as we talk to Shannon Flynn, who was an associate of bomber and forger Mark Hofmann, as well as a major figure in the new Netflix documentary "Murder Among the Mormons."

Apr 19, 2021
1420: Natasha Helfer’s Apostasy Trial for Sexual Health Advocacy
03:16:28

Please join us now as we interview Marriage and Sex therapist Natasha Helfer as she discusses her pending Mormon disciplinary council for apostasy.

Natasha Helfer's membership council is taking place on April 18th at 7:30 pm central time zone.
 
How you can support Natasha:
  • Write letters of support to President Stephen Daley,
  • Attend the council itself as an "approved" participant or in a more general way (details below),
  • Sign a mental health professional letter that is currently being drafted (if this is your profession) - please contact Lisa Butterworth to sign this, and
  • Spread the word on social media.
Contact information:
Event taking place at the Derby, Kansas Stake.
Apr 14, 2021
1419: Remembering Lyn Jacobs - Associate of Mark Hofmann
04:03:12

Today we have Shannon Flynn and Tonya and Scott Reiter in studio to remember the life of their friend, Lyn Jacob’s, associate of Mormon forger and bomber Mark Hofmann.

Apr 14, 2021
1418: The Future of Mormonism - Roger Hendrix
03:14:15

Returning Mormon Stories Podcast guest, Roger Hendrix, is a former LDS Bishop, Mission President, and CES director, and was also called by Gorden B. Hinkley as a Trustee for the Deseret Trust Company for 18 years. And as if that weren't enough, Roger also worked as a business Management Consultant for 35 years, and did a syndicated daily radio commentary on social, political, and economic trends for nine years.

Join Roger and myself today as we provide an analysis of the LDS church as a multi-billion-dollar corporation, and discuss "the future of Mormonism" - as Roger sees it.

Books by Roger Hendrix:

  • Bend, Create, and Plan Your Future, author Roger Hendrix
  • Choosing the Dream, The future of Religion in American Public Life. Co- authored with Fred Gedicks
  • Leverage Point, a novel written with Gerald Lund.
  • The Idea Economy, Why your ideas will have to create personal wealth and hope in an age of uncertainty. Co- authored with Rob Brazell.
Apr 12, 2021
1417: Unlearning Mormon Misogyny
03:03:18

For as long as the Mormon Internet has existed, Ex-Mormon women have been expressing concerns about abusive behavior by Ex-Mormon men.

Today a panel of Ex-Mormon women come together on Mormon Stories Podcast to introduce athe following six concepts: 1) Consent, 2) Deference to Patriarchy, 3) Gender Roles, 4) Modesty, 5) Sex Shaming, and 6) Victim Blaming.

The intent of this episode is to help educate Ex-Mormon men about how to treat Ex-Mormon women, particularly online and in Ex-Mormon communities.

Participants in the panel are: Hannah Dunnigan, Sarah Hess, Margaret Frances Phillips, and Elisha Lee.

Apr 07, 2021
1416: Title IX, BYU, Religious Colleges, and LGBTQ Discrimination
01:31:46

Since Title IX passed in 1972 to prevent sex discrimination under any education program receiving Federal financial assistance, the religious exemption clause has gone virtually unchaellenched. For decades, the Department of Educations has granted Title IX exemptions allowing dozens of religious colleges like BYU and Liberty University to discriminate based on sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, even when they receive millions of taxpayer dollars every single year.

Join us today at 4:00 pm MT as we interview attorney Paul Southwick, Chandler Horning (BYU) and Luke Wilson (Liberty University), about their groundbreaking class action lawsuit filed against the Department of Education. Chandler and Luke are among 33 former and current students from different federally-funded religious colleges who have been harmed by their discriminatory policies. The lawsuit argues that the Title IX religious exemptions “as applied to sexual and gender minority students, is unconstitutional and that the Department must enforce the protections of Title IX at all taxpayer-funded educational institutions, including at those institutions that discriminate and cause harm on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Apr 06, 2021
1415: Carah Burrell - TikTok's "Nuancehoe"
04:01:52

Join me today as I interview Carah Burrell (TikTok's "Nuancehoe") who has quickly became one of the most notable (and hilarious) ex-Mormons on social media right now!

In addition to her great success on TikTok, Carah also has a very interesting Mormon story - from her unique upbringing in the church, to her experiences navigating the LA comedy scene with her husband, as a young mormon couple. Carah also had the opportunity to work for the LDS church's public relations department, which has further added to her interesting perspective on the Mormon church.

You can check out some of Carah's work here:

Apr 05, 2021
1414: Mark Naugle - QuitMormon.com
01:59:36

Join me today as I interview Salt Lake City lawyer, Mark Naugle, who developed the website QuitMormon.com - which aims to give former Mormons a more streamlined way to resign their membership from the LDS church, without the need to meet with a church authority figure. Since 2015, Mark has filed over 80,000 legal resignation letters with the LDS church. However, in response to his website, the church recently changed the terms to now require a notarized letter in order to apply for resignation.

Listen along to hear Mark's personal story, how QuitMormon.com came to be, and what he is doing now to continually challenge the LDS church on this issue.

Apr 01, 2021
1413: What Happens When a Mormon Bishop & Single Mom Fall in Love - Matthew & Elizabeth Shakespear Pt. 2
05:39:30
  • What happens when a Mormon bishop falls in love with a member of his congregation?  How could this happen?
  • What situation would make a divorced single mother returning to Mormon church activity fall in love with her married bishop?
  • In what ways does the calling of Mormon bishop, including both excessive time demands on the Bishop and the practice of one-on-one "worthiness" interviews with single women, put excessive strain on bishops, their marriages, and their families - making infidelity more likely?
  • Should divorced single women (or anyone for that matter) seek life counseling from a Mormon bishop?  Are bishops trained and qualified to do life counseling?
  • How could a bishop and a divorced single mother come to believe that they were both engaged in a God-approved polygamous relationship?  Does a story like this help us better understand the Chad Daybell / Lori Vallow story, or the Joseph Smith story?
  • What happens when a Mormon bishop loses his faith, while he is serving as bishop?  What type of pressure does that put on the bishop, his wife, and their family?
  • What is it like to be viewed as "the mistress" in a public relationship that is viewed as scandalous (i.e., a Mormon bishops falls in love with a ward member, loses his faith, asks to be released, and the entire ward/stake knows)?
  • What happens when a Mormon stake president is forced to release a Mormon bishop early?  What types of pressure does this situation put on the stake president, the ward, the bishop, and the bishop's family?  How does the Mormon church handle such situations?
  • If you happen to fall in love with someone who isn't your spouse mid-life, how do you decide whether to stay in the struggling or failed marriage to improve it vs. leave the marriage to seek greater joy/fulfillment?  Is there ever a time to "cut your losses" in a marriage and move on, or should most/all marriages be preserved at virtually all cost?
  • Can 2nd marriages work, with all the complexities of divorce, ex-spouses, step-children, etc.?  Or are they generally doomed to fail?
  • How in the world do you ever heal from a lifetime of trauma as a Mormon?  Is healing and growth possible?  If so, what are some resources that can be helpful?

Today's epic two-part Mormon stories interview with Matthew and Elizabeth explores all of these questions, and much, much more.  Buckle in for a 7+ hour in-depth interview.

I promise you that you will not be disappointed with these two strong, vulnerable, inspiring humans.

Mar 30, 2021
1412: What Happens When a Mormon Bishop Loses His Faith - Matthew & Elizabeth Shakespear Pt. 1
02:00:57
  • What happens when a Mormon bishop falls in love with a member of his congregation?  How could this happen?
  • What situation would make a divorced single mother returning to Mormon church activity fall in love with her married bishop?
  • In what ways does the calling of Mormon bishop, including both excessive time demands on the Bishop and the practice of one-on-one "worthiness" interviews with single women, put excessive strain on bishops, their marriages, and their families - making infidelity more likely?
  • Should divorced single women (or anyone for that matter) seek life counseling from a Mormon bishop?  Are bishops trained and qualified to do life counseling?
  • How could a bishop and a divorced single mother come to believe that they were both engaged in a God-approved polygamous relationship?  Does a story like this help us better understand the Chad Daybell / Lori Vallow story, or the Joseph Smith story?
  • What happens when a Mormon bishop loses his faith, while he is serving as bishop?  What type of pressure does that put on the bishop, his wife, and their family?
  • What is it like to be viewed as "the mistress" in a public relationship that is viewed as scandalous (i.e., a Mormon bishops falls in love with a ward member, loses his faith, asks to be released, and the entire ward/stake knows)?
  • What happens when a Mormon stake president is forced to release a Mormon bishop early?  What types of pressure does this situation put on the stake president, the ward, the bishop, and the bishop's family?  How does the Mormon church handle such situations?
  • If you happen to fall in love with someone who isn't your spouse mid-life, how do you decide whether to stay in the struggling or failed marriage to improve it vs. leave the marriage to seek greater joy/fulfillment?  Is there ever a time to "cut your losses" in a marriage and move on, or should most/all marriages be preserved at virtually all cost?
  • Can 2nd marriages work, with all the complexities of divorce, ex-spouses, step-children, etc.?  Or are they generally doomed to fail?
  • How in the world do you ever heal from a lifetime of trauma as a Mormon?  Is healing and growth possible?  If so, what are some resources that can be helpful?

Today's epic two-part Mormon stories interview with Matthew and Elizabeth explores all of these questions, and much, much more.  Buckle in for a 7+ hour in-depth interview.

I promise you that you will not be disappointed with these two strong, vulnerable, inspiring humans.

Mar 29, 2021
1411: LDS Church Important Baby Steps to Support Mixed-Faith Relationships: April 2021 Liahona Articles
02:40:01

This week in the April 2021 Liahona (Mormon church monthly magazine) the LDS church released 6 online articles attempting to coach faithful Mormons on how to better treat family members who have lost their faith in the Mormon church. I my opinion, they really are groundbreaking articles (even though they were confusingly withheld from the printed publication).

Join us on 3/26/2021 as we discuss, praise, and critique the 6 articles. I would love your feedback on the articles as well. The 6 articles are:

Mar 26, 2021
1410: FAIRMormon Partially Repents, Jeremy Runnells Unleashes
01:21:48

Join us now as Anthony Miller and Douglas Stilgoe join me to break down the recent rebranding and partial repenting of FAIRMormon, which includes: 1) taking down the controversial "Kwaku" / Cardon Ellis / Bradley Witbeck videos that attacked Jeremy Runnells and John Dehlin, 2) promising to cease ad hominem attacks, and 3) a name change.

Mar 25, 2021
1409: Jared Hess and Tyler Measom - Murder Among the Mormons
02:22:30

Join me today for this amazing Mormon Stories interview as I talk to Jared Hess and Tyler Measom about the making of their new Netflix documentary, "Murder Among the Mormons."

Mar 22, 2021
1408: Mark Hofmann Forgeries and Mormon Church Cover-ups - John Hamer
03:03:07

Join us today as the brilliant John Hamer returns to help us dig deeper into:

  1. The main Mark Hofmann Forgeries, and
  2. The main attempts to "cover-up" unfavorable history by the Mormon church.
Mar 19, 2021
1407: Mormon Faith Crisis Stake Fireside: Patrick Mason in Logan/Cache Valley, Utah (2021)
03:03:52

Today I share (and provide reactions to) a recent fireside given on February 28, 2021 by faithful Mormon scholar and Utah State University professor Patrick Mason given at the Logan Utah Cache West Stake.

This is a re-recording. I decided to re-record because I felt as though my reactions were too angry. Honestly, I felt a bit unhinged. I know that many of you valued the passion. I'm sincerely sorry to disappoint you.  My overall goal has always been for the podcast to feel "safe" for questioning Mormons, and I don't want to lose that for this important episode.

I have included screen shots of the questions that were submitted by questioning stake members during the Q&A, which can be found here. I have also included the stake president statement that they decided NOT share Patrick’s presentation on the stake Facebook page as they had said they would during the presentation.

Finally, a HUGE thanks to Angelina at GroveTrove Getaways for supplying us with this video. If you want to thank Angelina, you can find her on Instagram @agrovetrove.

Mar 17, 2021
Patrick Mason Fireside (2021) - No Commentary
01:12:54

Today I share a recent fireside given on February 28, 2021 by faithful Mormon scholar and Utah State University professor Patrick Mason given at the Logan Utah Cache West Stake.

This is a version that has no commentary.  I have released adjacent to this episode a version with commenatry.

Finally, a HUGE thanks to Angelina at GroveTrove Getaways for supplying us with this video. If you want to thank Angelina, you can find her on Instagram @agrovetrove.

Mar 17, 2021
1406: Sandra Tanner - Reflections on Mark Hofmann & "Murder Among the Mormons" Pt 2
01:58:56

This week Mormonism and the world (basically) have been captivated by the new Netflix Documentary "Murder Among the Mormons" - which covers the Salt Lake City bombings of 1985, and is currently #2 in the USA on Netflix.  (SPOILER ALERT!!!!)

While reactions to the documentary (produced & directed by friends Jared Hess and Tyler Measom) have been universally SUPER positive, many progressive and post-Mormons have expressed a wish that the documentary would have spent more time discussing the role of the Mormon church in: a) creating the environment that gave rise to the bombings, b) attempting to cover up/hide its problematic history, and c) obstruct or hinder the investigation of the bombings.

I this epic, 2-part, 6 hour interview with Mormon/Ex-Mormon legend Sandra Tanner, we cover many of the questions/topics/issues that progressive and post-Mormons have been wanting to know about the Mormon church, Mark Hofmann, the bombings, and the investigations, such as:

  • What do we know about Mark Hofmann's childhood and adolescent years?
  • When and how did Mark Hofmann lose his Mormon faith?
  • What are some of the direct and undeniable similarities between Joseph Smith and Mark Hofmann?
  • What can we ascertain about Mark Hofmann's possible motives for forgery?
  • What issues regarding Mormon Church truth claims were being discussed publicly during Mark Hofmann's childhood and adolescence years, and what written materials may have influenced him?
  • What behavior on the part of the Mormon church in the 1960s and 1970s may have served as motivating factors for Hofmann?  Particularly, to what extent did the LDS Church participate in overt deception of its members that could have influenced him to turn on the church?
  • What are Sandra's memories of Hofmann and his close associates like Shannon Flynn, Brent Metcalfe, Curt Bench, Lyn Jacobs, Brent Ashworth, etc.?  Were any of them suspected as accomplices?
  • What do we know about the main Mormon-related Hofmann forgeries, and why were each relevant from a Mormon.history perspective?  How did Hofmann's forgeries intersect with and challenge Mormon church truth claims?  How did they stand to harm the church?
  • What role did the Mormon church play in hiding and/or covering up Hofmann's forgeries?
  • Perhaps most importantly, Sandra recounts the inspiring story of her husband, Jerald Tanner, discovering that Hofmann's Salamander Letter was a forgery a FULL YEAR before the bombings, how she and Jerald fought about his discovery, what Hofmann's reaction was to Jerald's discovery, and how it was received in the larger Mormon studies and news community (spoiler alert: it was largely ignored).
  • Sandra also movingly discusses how she and Jerald were largely ignored and marginalized by the broader Mormon history community, including being denied a display table at Sunstone, and how many Mormon history scholars would take advantage of the Tanner's research without giving them any credit or citations.  She cites as the main reason of this mistreatment her and Jerald's willingness to question Joseph Smith's sincerity - which remains a taboo in the Mormon studies community to this day.
  • Sandra recounts her memories of the bombings and of the investigations.
  • Perhaps most importantly, what responsibility does the Mormon church play in contributing to the environment and led to the bombings?

All this, and so much more.  This is a 6 hour interview.

  • Part 1 (4 hours) talks mostly about Sandra's memories during and after the bombings.
  • Part 2 (2 hours) focuses more on Sandra's direct reactions to the documentary Murder Among the Mormons.

For your convenience we have created time codes that will let you know which parts of the videos you can jump to (if you want to jump around or refer certain parts to friends).

We hope you enjoy!!!!!!!  And a HUGE thanks to Sandra (and Jerald) Tanner for sharing with us her/their historic insight.  For me, this was a true honor.  MORE TO COME!!!!

- John Dehlin (March 10, 2021)

P.S.  If you value Sandra and her contributions to Mormon history, please support Sandra Tanner and Utah Lighthouse Ministry with your donations!!!

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

00:01:32 - Sandra’s impressions of “Murder Among the Mormons”

00:14:39 - How the LDS church was portrayed in the documentary - positive vs. negative

00:21:06 - Could this documentary pose a challenge to some member’s faith?

00:23:16 - Truly’s role in the documentary & lawyers as church “historians”

00:30:20 - Was it smart for it not to be a “hit piece” in the LDS church?

00:42:11 - How the story is being revived

00:51:15 - Could Hofmann had any accomplices’?

00:54:44 - Heroes & villiain of the story

01:00:35 - Culpability of the LDS church & their obstructing of justice

01:04:13 - Sandra’s recommendations for books on this subject

01:10:47 - Legacy of the Hofmann scandal & its impact on Mormonism

01:22:56 - “Lying for the Lord” & how Joseph Smith set a president of dishonesty within the church

01:28:04 - Why people stay in the church after they have lost their faith

01:32:21 - Could there be another event like this that threatens the church?

01:34:35 - Sandra’s predictions for the future of Mormonism

01:39:48 - Upcoming biography on Jerald & Sandra Tanner

01:43:41 - Sandra’s experiences from Mormon Stories Podcast

01:50:07 - Reflections on Jerald Tanner

01:54:21 - Closing remarks 

Mar 12, 2021
1405: Sandra Tanner - Reflections on Mark Hofmann & "Murder Among the Mormons" Pt 1
04:36:16

This week Mormonism and the world (basically) have been captivated by the new Netflix Documentary "Murder Among the Mormons" - which covers the Salt Lake City bombings of 1985, and is currently #2 in the USA on Netflix.  (SPOILER ALERT!!!!)

While reactions to the documentary (produced & directed by friends Jared Hess and Tyler Measom) have been universally SUPER positive, many progressive and post-Mormons have expressed a wish that the documentary would have spent more time discussing the role of the Mormon church in: a) creating the environment that gave rise to the bombings, b) attempting to cover up/hide its problematic history, and c) obstruct or hinder the investigation of the bombings.

I this epic, 2-part, 6 hour interview with Mormon/Ex-Mormon legend Sandra Tanner, we cover many of the questions/topics/issues that progressive and post-Mormons have been wanting to know about the Mormon church, Mark Hofmann, the bombings, and the investigations, such as:

  • What do we know about Mark Hofmann's childhood and adolescent years?
  • When and how did Mark Hofmann lose his Mormon faith?
  • What are some of the direct and undeniable similarities between Joseph Smith and Mark Hofmann?
  • What can we ascertain about Mark Hofmann's possible motives for forgery?
  • What issues regarding Mormon Church truth claims were being discussed publicly during Mark Hofmann's childhood and adolescence years, and what written materials may have influenced him?
  • What behavior on the part of the Mormon church in the 1960s and 1970s may have served as motivating factors for Hofmann?  Particularly, to what extent did the LDS Church participate in overt deception of its members that could have influenced him to turn on the church?
  • What are Sandra's memories of Hofmann and his close associates like Shannon Flynn, Brent Metcalfe, Curt Bench, Lyn Jacobs, Brent Ashworth, etc.?  Were any of them suspected as accomplices?
  • What do we know about the main Mormon-related Hofmann forgeries, and why were each relevant from a Mormon.history perspective?  How did Hofmann's forgeries intersect with and challenge Mormon church truth claims?  How did they stand to harm the church?
  • What role did the Mormon church play in hiding and/or covering up Hofmann's forgeries?
  • Perhaps most importantly, Sandra recounts the inspiring story of her husband, Jerald Tanner, discovering that Hofmann's Salamander Letter was a forgery a FULL YEAR before the bombings, how she and Jerald fought about his discovery, what Hofmann's reaction was to Jerald's discovery, and how it was received in the larger Mormon studies and news community (spoiler alert: it was largely ignored).
  • Sandra also movingly discusses how she and Jerald were largely ignored and marginalized by the broader Mormon history community, including being denied a display table at Sunstone, and how many Mormon history scholars would take advantage of the Tanner's research without giving them any credit or citations.  She cites as the main reason of this mistreatment her and Jerald's willingness to question Joseph Smith's sincerity - which remains a taboo in the Mormon studies community to this day.
  • Sandra recounts her memories of the bombings and of the investigations.
  • Perhaps most importantly, what responsibility does the Mormon church play in contributing to the environment and led to the bombings?

All this, and so much more.  This is a 6 hour interview.

  • Part 1 (4 hours) talks mostly about Sandra's memories during and after the bombings.
  • Part 2 (2 hours) focuses more on Sandra's direct reactions to the documentary Murder Among the Mormons.

For your convenience we have created YouTube time codes that will let you know which parts of the videos you can jump to (if you want to jump around or refer certain parts to friends).

We hope you enjoy!!!!!!!  And a HUGE thanks to Sandra (and Jerald) Tanner for sharing with us her/their historic insight.  For me, this was a true honor.  MORE TO COME!!!!

- John Dehlin (March 10, 2021)

P.S.  If you value Sandra and her contributions to Mormon history, please support Sandra Tanner and Utah Lighthouse Ministry with your donations!!!

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

Part 1 Timecodes:

00:07:13 - Summary of Sandra’s background
00:14:51 - Sandra’s understanding of Mark Hofmann’s early life & beliefs
00:19:39 - Hofmann’s exposure to treasure digging and LDS truth claims
00:32:02 - Parallels between Mark Hofmann and Joseph Smith
00:36:12 - Theories surrounding the Golden Plates & Book of Mormon
00:45:30 - Speculations on Mark Hofmann’s faith crisis
00:48:17 - Sandra discusses Shannon Flynn
00:55:53 - More on Hofmann’s mission, & his research into Mormon history
00:57:03 - Salamander Letter
00:58:50 – Sandra on intentional deception by LDS Church leaders
01:00:58 – Hofmann first comes to Utah Lighthouse Ministry in 1978 to share first known forgery – on the 2nd Anointing
01:06:19 – Mark’s handwriting – juvenile “chicken scratch”
01:07:10 – The beginning of a discussion of Mark Hofmann’s possible motives
01:09:07 – Mark Hofmann’s lack of empathy - callousness with the bombings.
01:12:44 – Mark Hofmann’s ego & his desire to pull off the “ultimate deception”
01:14:23 – Hofmann’s desire to embarrass the church & expose the faults their “power of discernment”
01:18:50 – More comparisons between Joseph Smith and Mark Hofmann – Around their “Ponzi schemes” unraveling into chaos and violence
01:20:56 – Discussion of Anthon transcript - Hofmann’s first major (known) Mormon forgery
01:28:34 – Jerald Tanner first uncovers forgery in 1960s – Oliver Cowdery pamphlet
01:31:21 – Jerald Tanner received pushback on forgery claims - Fawn Brodie and Juanita Brooks state they will continue to use the document
01:35:19 – Discussion of original Anthon transcript
01:39:08 – Hofmann’s Joseph Smith III Succession Forgery
01:45:58 - Hofmann trying to paint Brigham Young in a bad light.
01:52:11 – Brent Ashworth describing Hofmann “fishing” for documents that collectors might want
01:53:01 - Hofmann begins a bidding war over his Joseph Smith III Succession document
01:54:11 - LDS church “front buyers”
01:57:09 – Hofmann’s claim to have the McLellin collection
02:05:19 – Lyn Jacobs & Sandra’s thoughts on his omission from the “Murder Among the Mormons” documentary
02:08:18 – A discussion of frequent questions regarding Hofmann’s sexuality
02:14:09 - Hofmann’s 1825 Letter from Joseph Smith to Josiah Stowell
02:17:42 – What LDS Church leaders knew about Joseph Smith’s use of folk magic and treasure digging
02:21:15 – The Smith family merging of folk magic with Christianity - Hyrum Smith’s use of “magic documents” & Joseph Smith’s use of the “Jupiter Talisman”
02:28:52 – LDS General Authorities consciously sanitizing Mormon church history (Hinckley, Oaks, Turley)
02:31:40 – Church Patriarch Smith showing magical papers at LDS church firesides in the 20th century
02:32:50 – Wilford C. Wood “buying up” valuable LDS Church artifacts
02:36:29 – Smearing critics - tragic story of LDS Church translator, Stan Larson, losing his testimony of Book of Mormon Historicity, and being forced out of LDS Church employment.
02:42:57 – Other LDS Scholars forced out or fired
02:44:40 – Discussion of top LDS Church leaders knowing the problems with the church’s core truth claims, but continuing to mislead members intentionally
02:46:55 – The “rule” that Joseph Smith can’t be known as an intentional deceiver
02:49:56 – Did Mormon General Authority Hugh B. Brown admit that he did not believe in Book of Abraham historicity to Thomas Ferguson?
02:51:46 – Did Mormon General Authority B.H. Roberts loose his faith in Book of Mormon historicity?
02:59:51 – The integrity of Jerald Tanner.
03:05:53 - Martin Harris as one of the three witnesses
03:07:26 - Potential motives and means for deception
03:12:39 - Do LDS General Authorities have the gift of discernment? The Anthon Manuscript and photo of Hofmann with LDS General Authorities
03:16:25 - Questioning authenticity of salamander letter
03:32:13 - “Salamander or Moroni?” pamphlet for Sunstone Symposium
03:46:07 - The unwritten rule of the Mormon history community – “Don’t question Joseph Smith’s sincerity, or face marginalization”
03:52:51 - How Jerald and Sandra Tanner were disrespected by the Mormon history community & treatment of the Tanners by Dialogue and Sunstone (Tanners not allowed to have display table at Sunstone)
03:56:13 – Begrudging acceptance of Tanners after Jerald is vindicated.
04:01:01 – How Sandra’s work affected the relationship with her sister, who was embarrassed by her work
04:03:05 – God was Sandra’s motivation to keep going.
04:07:41 – The McLellin papers & other Hofmann forgeries
04:09:11 – Sandra’s discussion of Richard Turley’s book on Hofmann, Victims, & Mormon church’s obstruction of the murder investigation
04:13:47 – Hofmann’s motives for murder & conviction
04:19:27 - Discussion of first murder
04:23:13 - Brent Ashworth as potential target of Hofmann’s 3rd bomb
04:33:04 - Mark Hofmann’s plan to forge the lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon

Mar 10, 2021
1404: View of the Hebrews - A Review by Radio Free Mormon
03:30:12

"View of the Hebrews" is a book first published in 1823 by Ethan Smith of Vermont.  In "View of the Hebrews," Ethan Smith argues (among other things) that the Native Americans were descended from the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.  This book was so popular that it had a second printing in 1825.  

Mormon General Authorities and apologists have feared "View of the Hebrews" for over a century, starting with B.H. Roberts in the early 1900s.

Why is "View of the Hebrews"  potentially problematic for the Mormon church and the Book of Mormon?  A few reasons:

  • Joseph Smith claimed to have come up with the idea for the Book of Mormon the VERY SAME YEAR (1823) that "View of the Hebrews" was first published.  Coincidence?
  • Ethan Smith (the author of "View of the Hebrews") was Oliver Cowdery's pastor in Vermont PRIOR to his working with Joseph Smith as Book of Mormon "scribe," and it is certain that Cowdery was familiar with the book.  Coincidence?
  • Mormon General Authority and historian B.H. Roberts wrote hundreds of pages doing research on the disturbing similarities between View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon.  Later, B.H. Roberts went on to lose his testimony in the historicity of the Book of Mormon.  Coincidence?

Recently, the brilliant Radio Free Mormon decided to read "View of the Hebrews" from cover to cover to see what the "hubub" is all about.  

Join us as we explore the following questions:

  • What is View of the Hebrews fundamentally about?
  • What are the important similarities and differences between View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon?
  • Was Ethan Smith's "View of the Hebrews" a source of inspiration for the Book of Mormon?
  • What cultural dynamics were at play in upstate New York in the early 1820s that could have influenced BOTH books?
  • Are there any direct connections between "View of the Hebrews" and Joseph Smith?
  • Why has "View of the Hebrews" caused so much concern for Mormon apologists, from B.H. Roberts to today ? How have Mormon apologists responded to View of the Hebrews?
  • Does "View of the Hebrews" present significant, compelling problems for LDS Church and Book of Mormon truth claims?
Mar 05, 2021
1403: Finding Community Outside of Mormonism - Chelsea & Nick Homer
03:36:42

Chelsea and Nick Homer were both raised as devout Utah Mormons - with all the good and bad this entailed, and both were equally determined to have the perfect Mormon marriage and family.  After meeting at BYU and an extended, careful courtship, Chelsea and Nick were married in the Bountiful temple. Then their Mormon dream immediately began to fray.

Beginning with the wedding night/honeymoon, Chelsea and Nick experienced problems with sexual intimacy, due (in large part) to unhealthy messages they received around sexual "purity" and "modesty" as Mormon teens.  Then, a year into their marriage, Nick began to lose his testimony in the Mormon church - causing Nick and Chelsea to seriously contemplate divorce.

When it became clear that Nick was not going to perform the priesthood blessing for their their firstborn child, Chelsea and Nick decided to courageously post about their situation on her Instagram account, in part to defy the shaming and unhealthy rumors that so often accompany this situation within Mormonism (e.g., "Nick must be into PORN!"). This post was dated September 24, 2017.

Surprisingly to both Chelsea and Nick, a Public Relations employee for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked if Chelsea would write a post about this experience for the Church’s Instagram. This post (dated February 7, 2018) can be found here, and to date has 58,947 "likes."  Later, the LDS Church PR department asked Chelsea to author an article about navigating her Mormon mixed-faith marriage as a believing wife.  This heavily correlated article is entitled "Who Do I Choose - God or My Husband? - and was published by lds.org on July 25, 2018.

After these social media posts, Chelsea and Nick immediately began receiving messages, emails, and phone calls from other young Mormon couples also experiencing faith crises and/or mixed-faith marriages.  To help provide support and community for all the young Mormon women who were struggling with faith crises, Chelsea formed on July 31, 2019 a Facebook group entitled "Faith Journey Meetups," which at present has over 2,000 members.  The description of this group is as follows:

Welcome! This is a meetup hub for women who are actively navigating their personal faith journeys anywhere along the LDS belief spectrum. Come, make friends, schedule get-togethers. This is a safe place to find support and turn internet acquaintances into real life friends.

Eventually, Chelsea also lost her faith in the Mormon church, and today Nick and Chelsea are navigating a life of healing, growth, and joy after Mormonism.

This is their story.

Mar 04, 2021
PSA: Murder Among the Mormons - Seeking Your Reactions to Mark Hofmann Documentary
05:09

Hey Mormon Stories Listeners!

I am planning some super-cool interviews for the newly released "Murder Among the Mormons" documentary (released today on Netflix).  A few SUPER important requests for you all:

  • Please watch it ASAP! It's fantastic!
  • Please share it with all your believing Mormon family members and friends.  If they are concerned about the content, consider letting them know that:
    1. Richard Turley (former assistant LDS Church historian and head of LDS Church Public Affairs) participates in the documentary, and
    2. The documentary was carefully designed by both Jared and Tyler to be fair/balanced.  In my opinion, the doc is TOTALLY TBM worthy, so please watch it AND tell everyone about it!

I am planning several super cool interviews, including an interview with Directors - Jared Hess and Tyler Measom.  So stay tuned for that!

Here's where I need your help.  I would REALLY love it if you would share with me: a) your reactions to the doc, and b) any questions you have for Jared and Tyler. This will help me make the most of time with them (which I see as precious).  It will also stand as a cool record of progressive and post-Mormon reactions to the film.

Please post your reactions here!

If you want to watch additional coverage of the Mark Hofmann bombings on Mormon Stories Podcast, you can check out the following episodes:

Thank you in advance for your support!  And a HUGE thanks to Jared and Tyler for making a documentary that we ALL can be proud of as Mormons/Ex-Mormons. More soon!

Mar 03, 2021
1402: Finding Spirituality After Mormonism
03:06:01
  • Do you miss the "spirituality" that you once felt as an active Mormon?
  • Have you struggled to find joy/meaning/mental health after losing your Mormon faith?
  • Are you still active in the LDS Church, but feeling spiritually empty as of late?

Join me as I assemble am amazing panel of wise humans to discuss "Spirituality After Mormonism." Panelists include Margi Weber Dehlin, Anthony D. Miller, Samantha Shelley (Zelph On The Shelf), and Holly Ashton Wallin.

You will not be disappointed with this amazing lineup of wise humans.

Feel free to bring your own questions, comments, and suggestions!!!!!

Mar 03, 2021
1401: Mike Rinder - Former Top-Level Scientology Official
01:20:19

Join us today on Mormon Stories Podcast as we interview Mike Rinder - former top-level Scientology Executive. Mike was raised a Scientologist, knew L. Ron Hubbard personally, and became David Miscavige's "right hand man" as he lead Scientology's "Office of Special Affairs" (OSA). The OSA handled media and public relations, legal and government relations, and dealing with the "enemies of Scientology."

Mike appeared in the Scientology documentary "Going Clear," as well as in the documentary TV Series "Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath." He currently co-hosts a podcast with Leah Remini called "Scientology: Fair Game."

Feb 26, 2021
Please Help: Scientology vs. Mormonism - Which Does More Harm? (For Mike Rinder interview)
07:51

Hey Mormon Stories Listeners - I need your help!!!! This Friday (9am mountain time) I will be interviewing Mike Rinder - a former high-level leader of the Church of Scientology. I only have an hour with Mike, so I want to spend at least a few minutes of the hour comparing the Mormon church with the Church of Scientology.

To be clear - I have studied Scientology enough to know that it is deeply problematic....from literally kidnapping/imprisoning members, to having members physically beaten, to militantly suing members, etc. In short, I know that Scientology is a brutal, inhumane, super-harmful cult. Consequently, I am also fully aware that any comparison between the Mormon church and the Church of Scientology is deeply fraught. But hear me out.

I once read in Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel" that sometimes the less immediately lethal viruses are often the most harmful viruses overall, primarily BECAUSE they are less deadly than their counterparts. In other words, if a virus is so deadly that it immediately kills its hosts, it has a tougher time spreading, and ultimately harms fewer organisms. Conversely, if a virus doesn't kill its host, but makes its hosts sick enough for a long enough time, the virus can spread much more successfully to a much larger population, and do more harm overall to many more people . Get it?

And so this is where I would like your feedback...and it's only an intellectual exercise. Here is the question:

If the variables we are measuring include:
1) Total human hours extracted from members without fully informed consent (total hours wasted under false pretenses, in a sense),
2) Total abuse/pain/suffering inflicted on humans under false pretenses, and
3) Total $$$ amount fraudulently extracted from its members over the lifetime of the church....again, under false pretenses and without informed consent....

...could an argument be made that the Mormon church, in aggregate, causes more overall harm than the Church of Scientology...in part BECAUSE it is somewhat less severe overall?

Also, what arguments/points am I missing?

Please make your best case below (one way or the other), and I will do my best to incorporate your input into my discussion with Mike Rinder on Friday.

Also, if you have any questions for Mike, please share them below and I will try my best to incorporate them.

THANKS IN ADVANCE!

John Dehlin

P.S. Please know that I KNOW that the Mormon Church does a TON of good in the world (particularly for its members). Believe me....I see that, and I believe that. I am talking about the harm that the Mormon Church causes IN SPITE of all the good it does as well.

Feb 24, 2021
1400: How to Help a Loved One who Believes in QAnon - Cult Expert Steven Hassan
01:12:04

Join us as we talk with cult expert Steven Hassan about how to help a loved one who believes in and follows the QAnon conspiracy cult. Questions we will address include:

  • What is QAnon?
  • Does QAnon qualify as a harmful cult?
  • How is QAnon harming people, families, and our nation?
  • How can you help a loved one who believes in and follows AQnon, or any other destructive cult?

Dr. Steven Hassan's Reddit AMA (Q&A) at QAnonCasualties entitled "How to Help People Involved in QAnon" can be found here.

Steven's main web site is: Freedom of Mind.

Books Mentioned in Today's Episode:

Cult Documentaries Mentioned in Today's Episode:

Feb 23, 2021
1399: Contemplative Mormonism - Jana Spangler Pt. 2
02:17:17

Is it possible to stay active in the LDS Church in 2021 after....

....learning all of the problematic history... ....becoming an ally for LGBTQ Mormons... ...becoming a feminist... ...becoming an "intellectual Mormon"... and after losing one's orthodox faith?

More importantly, why would anyone WANT to?

In Part 1 of my two-part interview with dear friend and faith transitions coach Jana Spangler, Jana told us the story of her Mormon faith journey, which includes:

  • Battling with perfectionism as an LDS teen and young adult.
  • Feeling broken and inadequate as a single Mormon woman attending the University Utah, struggling to meet the church's standards of "worthiness."
  • Being threatened with an LDS Disciplinary Council be a well-meaning Mormon bishop, and how that actually HELPED turn Jana's life around at the time.
  • Finding and marrying Rob - who "checked all the Mormon boxes" at the time.
  • Batting with infertility.
  • Experiencing self-doubt and depression as a Mormon Mom.
  • How Jana's passion for self-improvement and retreats/workshops led to a Mormon faith crisis.
  • Jana's shifting views of Christ's atonement, which include absolute, unconditional love.
  • Jana's courage to share her testimony struggles with her Holladay, Utah ward and stake.
  • How untraditional Mormon podcast hosts, authors, and organizations (such as Bill Reel, Gina Colvin, Dan Wotherspoon, John Dehlin, Thomas Wirthlin McConkie, Sunstone, etc.), along with a supportive husband and understanding church leaders, helped Jana find a way to stay ACTIVE in the LDS Church.
  • What factors led Jana to decide to stay active in the LDS Church...for now.

In Part 2, Jana provides a more detailed framework for how others can find a way to remain active in the LDS Church if they so desire, inspired by the works of Richard Rohr and James Fowler (among others).

Feb 23, 2021
1398: Contemplative Mormonism - Jana Spangler Pt. 1
03:10:10

Is it possible to stay active in the LDS Church in 2021 after....

....learning all of the problematic history... ....becoming an ally for LGBTQ Mormons... ...becoming a feminist... ...becoming an "intellectual Mormon"... and after losing one's orthodox faith?

More importantly, why would anyone WANT to?

In Part 1 of my two-part interview with dear friend and faith transitions coach Jana Spangler, Jana tells us the story of her Mormon faith journey, which includes:

  • Battling with perfectionism as an LDS teen and young adult.
  • Feeling broken and inadequate as a single Mormon woman attending the University Utah, struggling to meet the church's standards of "worthiness."
  • Being threatened with an LDS Disciplinary Council be a well-meaning Mormon bishop, and how that actually HELPED turn Jana's life around at the time.
  • Finding and marrying Rob - who "checked all the Mormon boxes" at the time.
  • Batting with infertility.
  • Experiencing self-doubt and depression as a Mormon Mom.
  • How Jana's passion for self-improvement and retreats/workshops led to a Mormon faith crisis.
  • Jana's shifting views of Christ's atonement, which include absolute, unconditional love.
  • Jana's courage to share her testimony struggles with her Holladay, Utah ward and stake.
  • How untraditional Mormon podcast hosts, authors, and organizations (such as Bill Reel, Gina Colvin, Dan Wotherspoon, John Dehlin, Thomas Wirthlin McConkie, Sunstone, etc.), along with a supportive husband and understanding church leaders, helped Jana find a way to stay ACTIVE in the LDS Church.
  • What factors led Jana to decide to stay active in the LDS Church...for now.

In Part 2, Jana provides a more detailed framework for how others can find a way to remain active in the LDS Church if they so desire, inspired by the works of Richard Rohr and James Fowler (among others).

Feb 22, 2021
1397: Civil War - John Gee vs. the Joseph Smith Papers Project
03:07:34

Recently, BYU Egyptologist John Gee published an article via the online Mormon apologetic website "The Interpreter" - attacking the scholarship of the Joseph Smith Papers Project, specifically Volume 4 of "The Joseph Smith Papers Revelations and Translations." The article is entitled: "Fantasy and Reality in the Translation of the Book of Abraham."

Gee's main attack targets are recently retired BYU professor Brian Hauglid and current LDS church employee Robin Jensen.

- Why would a BYU professor be attacking the work of the Joseph Smith Papers project - both of which are owned and controlled by the LDS Church?

- What issues are at stake in this battle between old style and new style Mormon apologists?

Join me and Radio Free Mormon on Friday at 11:15am Utah time as we discuss the history and details of this "civil war" within the world of Mormon apologetics.

Feb 12, 2021
1396: Visions in a Seer Stone: Joseph Smith and the Making of the Book of Mormon - William L. Davis
03:00:41

Please join me as I interview Dr. William L. Davis about his book "Visions in a Seer Stone: Joseph Smith and the Making of the Book of Mormon."

In this interdisciplinary work, William L. Davis examines Joseph Smith's 1829 creation of the Book of Mormon, the foundational text of the Latter Day Saint movement. Positioning the text within the history of early American oratorical techniques, sermon culture, educational practices, and the passion for self-improvement, Davis elucidates both the fascinating cultural contexts for the creation of the Book of Mormon and the central role of oral culture in early nineteenth-century America.

Drawing on performance studies, religious studies, literary culture, and the history of early American education, Davis analyzes Smith’s process of oral composition. How did he produce a history spanning a period of 1,000 years, filled with hundreds of distinct characters and episodes, all cohesively tied together in an overarching narrative? Eyewitnesses claimed that Smith never looked at notes, manuscripts, or books—he simply spoke the words of this American religious epic into existence. Judging the truth of this process is not Davis's interest. Rather, he reveals a kaleidoscope of practices and styles that converged around Smith's creation, with an emphasis on the evangelical preaching styles popularized by the renowned George Whitefield and John Wesley.

William L. Davis, an independent scholar, holds a Ph.D. in theater and performance and has published in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought; John Bunyan Studies: A Journal of Reformation and Nonconformist Culture; Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies; Style; Text and Performance Quarterly; and Textual Cultures.

Dr. William L. Davis’ book, “Visions in a Seer Stone: Joseph Smith and the Making of the Book of Mormon” can be purchased in the following ways:

University of North Carolina Press

Amazon

Feb 12, 2021
1395: Seeking Feedback for a New Project - Video Shorts for Understanding Mormonism
22:41

For those who really care about Mormon Stories Podcast, and particularly for those who donate, please provide feedback when you can.

Thanks!

John

Feb 11, 2021
1394: Tyler Glenn & Paull Cardall: "I Know it Hurts" Video Premiere on Mormon Stories
01:56:16
Please join me as Neon Trees front man Tyler Glenn and award-winning pianist and composer Paul Cardall return to Mormon Stories Podcast to premiere a new music video: "I Know It Hurts", from Paul Cardall's memoir-style album "The Broken Miracle." We would welcome your questions for Tyler and Paul during this live Q&A.
 
“I Know It Hurts” was co-written by Cardall and Glenn after they met several years ago at the famed LOVELOUD Festival, where they were both performing. Glenn is co-founder of the festival, alongside Imagine Dragon’s Dan Reynolds.
 
“Before writing this song, Tyler and I discussed at length the challenges we all feel that result from trauma,” Cardall explains. “In my case, though my heart transplant was a beautifully orchestrated miracle, it was still the grand finale to a lot of years of medical trauma. It triggered anxiety and depression. For everyone who is suffering, not necessarily physically, but because they are different or feel like an outsider, I want to say to them, ‘I know it hurts.’ This song acknowledges that you are not alone. This song validates our feelings in a way that says, ‘keep going, keep fighting, we understand.’”
 
Glenn adds,
 
“I wanted the lyric and performance of this song to convey a sense of understanding how it feels to get through a trauma or heartache. So much of life for many is the search for a sense of belonging, a sense of self-worth. This song feels more like an acknowledgement of that, and I hope it brings a feeling of being seen and comforted. I hope those in pain from whatever it may be, feel a sense of validation.”
 
The video, directed by Rob Norbutt, is in stark black and white, the simplicity of which amplifies the power of the message:
 
You’ve been floating out in space
You just wanted to believe
There were tears upon your face
And your body felt no ease
Dear God is there not more
Cuz it’s cold on the church floor
 
Cardall’s new album is more than a colorful collection of 19 emotionally-charged songs. The Broken Miracle is a musical memoir, a personal manifesto that celebrates a life filled with nearly unfathomable tragedy and heady triumph. An enthusiastic collaborator, Cardall welcomes an all-star cast of creative partners on The Broken Miracle. The title track was penned with Christian music veteran Matt Hammitt and Carter Forge, and is sung by Hammitt. “Broken Machine” features singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata’s vocals on the tune Cardall co-wrote with Yamagata and Trevor Price. In addition to Glenn, the project also includes appearances by Ty Herndon, J. Daniel, and Akelee; while pop star David Archuleta sings the power-ballad “My Heart Beats for You.” His collaboration with Thompson Square on “All I See is Snow” was declared “ the Christmas song of the pandemic.”
 
Cardall’s evolution as an artist continues with the release of The Broken Miracle, a title inspired by his true-to-life story of being born with a congenital heart defect, which nearly took his life numerous times. Cardall received a heart transplant 10 years ago and continues to thrive as a father, husband, and artist. The Broken Miracle will also be released as a biographical fiction novel written by J.D. Netto. The book will be released February 2.
Feb 06, 2021
1393: All Things New, by Fiona and Terryl Givens - A Review
03:26:34

Join us for a review of Fiona and Terryl Givens' new book: "All Things New: Rethinking Sin, Salvation, and Everything in Between."

According to Amazon: "In this book, Fiona and Terryl Givens trace the roots of our religious vocabulary, explore how a flawed inheritance compounds the wounds and challenges of a life devoted to discipleship, and suggest ways of reformulating our language in more healthy ways all in the hope that, as B. H. Roberts urged, we may all cooperate in the works of the Spirit to find a truer expression of a gospel restored." Panelists include Jana Spangler, Anthony D. Miller, and Brittney Hartley.

Feb 04, 2021
1392: The Faith Journey of an Ultra-Orthodox, Utah County Mormon Mom - Gretchen Day
04:38:38

After being raised by an orthodox Mormon mother and a "redneck, somewhat Jack Mormon Pioneer stock dad," Gretchen Day decided that she was going to be an "all in" Mormon mother.  After getting engaged at age 19 (as a BYU Freshman), Gretchen went on to get married in the LDS temple, and to fulfill many of the stereotypes of a Utah County Ultra-Orthodox Mormon mother, including:

  • Having 8 children.
  • Homeschooling her children using Book of Mormon-based curriculum.
  • Raising her children with little to no media.
  • Imposing strict "modesty" guidelines on her children (mostly her daughters).
  • Doing at least one underwater home birth.
  • Pursuing strict dietary practices ("perfect eating) such as restricting sugar, eating only raw, vegan foods, etc.

Over time, Gretchen's ultra-orthodox Mormon dream began to crumble in several different ways:

  • She began to experience serious depression.
  • She started making serious life decisions based on "spiritual experiences" based on feelings -- that may not have been very healthy for her (in hindsight).
  • Some of her children started to lose their testimonies of the church.
  • She had a son who became seriously depressed and ultimately suicidal, based in part on inhumane "worthiness" interviews conducted by well-intentioned bishops, mission, and stake presidents - who were/are operating within an abusive system.  This included feeling pressure to lie about his faith crisis to his home ward and BYU bishop, in order to keep his place at BYU and to stay in good standing with the church.
  • She began learning about factual Mormon church history (e.g., polygamy, Book of Mormon problems), which became deeply triggering for her.

As Gretchen's faith began to crumble, she started to feel trapped within the Utah County Mormon bubble.

  • Should she lie to her son about her faith journey, as he was preparing to leave on his mission, or should she be honest with him and risk spoiling his experience?
  • Was she trapped in a "Mormon mafia" of sorts, with no escape?
  • Should she "come out" to fellow ward members and leadership, and risk social ostracization?
  • Or should she quietly "fade away" from church activity to avoid any conflict?

In Gretchen's case, she decided to leave the church in a very vocal fashion.  This has included:

If you are seeking a powerful, inspiring story of one ultra-orthodox Utah county Mother's journey out of Mormonism, this is it.  If you enjoyed the interviews of folks like Donna Showalter, Leah Young, you will deeply treasure this interview (but only after it breaks your heart).

Feb 03, 2021
1391: The Touch Of The Masters Hand - A Sundance Film by Gregory Barnes
01:38:15

Gregory Barnes is a Mormon filmmaker and artist raised in Oak Park, Illinois. He studied film at BYU and served a Mormon mission in Argentina. Raised a faithful Mormon, Gregory was influenced by the comedic absurdity of exiting that Jell-O-obsessed desert religion.

Gregory currently is a Master’s Student at TISCH at NYU where he made his most recent short film The Touch of the Master’s Hand -- a dark comedy about a Mormon missionary who confesses an unusual pornography addiction to his mission president. The film premieres at the Sundance Film Festival this week.

Gregory's work has been featured by NPR, Playboy, and Pitchfork.

Clip from movie: https://letterboxd.com/festiville/story/exclusive-clip-greg-barnes-mormon-masturbation/?fbclid=IwAR1wLkfTSrP06TpCoMac0ccOdq_uKWvikcPE_ODomZ8gACJCBfwz-h939rI

https://fpg.festival.sundance.org/film-info/5fd1639604818b0ec7648fa7?fbclid=IwAR0_XlPZxkvM_JkWJbl3NrZV7EHJIdr5b-cZLmDzUAqWQlbBB0krBYjOTKo

https://www.gregorybarnes.com 

Feb 02, 2021
1390: Undefining 'God' with John Hamer
03:29:14

After losing your orthodox Mormon faith, have you given up on the possibility of any sort of belief in and/or association with "God" or "Jesus"? More importantly, are you seeking to fill some of the existential and/or spiritual holes left over after your faith crisis?

Today I sit down with John Hamer, Community of Christ Seventy and pastor of the Community of Christ Toronto Congregation to talk about why he thinks theists especially, but also some atheists have adopted a counterproductive position about the idea of "God." We'll also discuss why he thinks this is even a relevant conversation to have in the 21st century. Didn't rational people hash this all out in the Enlightenment? John Hamer believes that the majority of Christians including many intellectual leaders of the movement took a wrong turn centuries ago and with negative consequences for the whole path of Western civilization today. He proposes going back and exploring an alternative path, including opening up the term "God" as a variable in need of undefinition and reexamination. What, if anything, might this accomplish?

Tune in and pose your own questions and objections.

Feb 01, 2021
1389: Catching Up with John Larsen (2021)
04:04:58

John Larsen is one of the most influential and well-respected figures within Modern progressive and post-Mormon communities.  John (along with his ex-wife Zilpha) was the co-host of Mormon Expression podcast for several years, and he is an occasional host of Sunstone Podcast.  He has appeared on Mormon Stories Podcast several times over the past decade.

In today's episode I bring John Larson back, and we discuss several topics, including:

-Divorce after a faith crisis.

-Raising children with mental illness after a faith crisis.

-Alcohol and drug use after a faith crisis.

-Non-monogamy/swinging after a faith crisis.

-The LDS Church's response to the COVID pandemic.

-The impact of the QAnon phenomenon within the United States, and within the LDS Church.

-How conservative politics within the U.S. are tearing apart some Utah wards and families.

-What it would take to bring John Larsen back as a podcaster.

-The need for kindness within both political and religious discourse, and how challenging this can be.

John Larsen is one of my favorite thinkers in modern Mormonism, and is a fantastic guest.  you will not be disappointed with this episode.

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

Some of the Mormon Expression episodes mention in this episode include:

-Episode 27: The Word of Wisdom for Dummies

-Episode 95a: Doctrine and Covenants 132 for Dummies Part 1

-Episode 95b: Doctrine and Covenants 132 for Dummies part 2

-Episode 275: How to Become an Ex-ex-Mormon

-Episode 276: How to build a transoceanic vessel

 

John's past Mormon Stories Podcast episode include:

-Episodes 186-187: "Mormon Stories Broadcasts Live with John Larsen and You!"

-Episode 312: Mormon Expression Interviews John Dehlin

-Episode 531: "John Larsen's Mormon Expression"

-Episode 1097: "Building Community after Mormonism: A Conversation with John Larsen"

Jan 29, 2021
1388: Recreating the Book of Mormon Plates with Trent Told
19:51

In this short Mormon Stories Episode I sat down with Trent Told, who created a prototype of Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon Plates. Based on Dan Vogel’s theories surrounding the “Tin Plates” and the Book of Mormon, Trent created a proof of concept model of the Book of Mormon made out of tin, in order to help demonstrate the physical size and weight of the plates. This model is also intended to help illustrate complexity and improbability that Joesph Smith could have possessed and handled actual Gold Plates (let alone run with them).

Jan 26, 2021
1387: Breaking Down Patriarchy with Amy McPhie Allebest
04:05:01

Join me today for one of my favorite Mormon Stories Podcast interviews/interviewees of all time. In today's episode, Stanford University graduate student Amy McPhie Allebest returns to discuss the development of patriarchy within human civilization, with a specific focus on the religious context. She also announces her new podcast entitled "Breaking Down Patriarchy - An Essential Texts Book Club."

Patriarchy has incredibly deep roots in the human condition, and harms everyone - especially women, but also men, youth, and children. This episode is for ALL of us, and you will not be disappointed with Amy's incredible knowledge, insight, and compassion.

The Oxford Dictionary defines patriarchy as "a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it." All cultures all over the world practice patriarchy, sometimes violently, sometimes seemingly benevolently, sometimes in ways we are so accustomed to that we don't even notice. But when was patriarchy instituted? How? Why? Who has challenged this system, and how have their critiques changed the world?

Breaking Down Patriarchy: An Essential Texts Book Club answers these questions, as well as addressing the very personal ways that patriarchy impacts our lives and relationships. Every week, an intelligent, insightful, relatable guest joins host Amy McPhie Allebest to read and discuss a historical text. Listeners are invited to read the book ahead of time, but even if they are not able to read, Amy and her reading partners provide a thorough "breakdown" of the issues and powerful, practical takeaways that benefit the real lives of women - and men! - everywhere.

Check out the introductory episode to hear about the reading list, and the egalitarian vision that aims to foster the flourishing of all human beings, including boys and men.

Amy's Bio: I grew up in Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, reading, writing, drawing, singing, and practicing the piano and violin. I attended Brigham Young University, where I met Erik Allebest during my first week of freshman year, studied abroad in Israel, lived in Chile for a year and a half as a missionary, and married Erik all before graduating with a degree in English. Erik and I moved around - to Colorado, Southern California, Utah, Spain, and Northern California - while Erik started and ran chess businesses for a living (primarily chess.com) and I stayed home to raise our four children. Those four kids have become brilliant, hilarious people and are our very best friends. I am a long-time trail runner, a recent CrossFitter, a lifelong reader and writer, and an almost-graduate of Stanford University's Master's of Liberal Arts program.

Web Site Link: www.breakingdownpatriarchy.com

Facebook Page: facebook.com/breakingdownpatriarchy

Instagram: @bdownpatriarchy

Twitter: @bdownpatriarchy #patriarchy #feminism #mormon

Jan 25, 2021
1386: The Miracle of Forgiveness: Why It Should Be Removed From Desert Book, and How You Can Help
42:27

In my opinion, one of the most damaging books ever published by the Mormon Church is Spencer W. Kimball’s “The Miracle of Forgiveness.” Among other things, this book teaches that:

  • No young Mormon man or woman is worthy to go on a mission if they masturbate.
  • Masturbation alone leads to masturbation with others, which leads to “homosexuality.”
  • Being gay or lesbian is “ugly,” “repugnant,” and comparable to a disease.
  • “Homosexuality” leads to bestiality.
  • “Homosexuality” can be easily “cured.”
  • People who have pre-marital sex, and even rape victims, are “blighted” and “scarred.”
  • It is far better to die than to lose one’s “virtue.”
  • Death by suicide is a sign of foolishness, faithlessness and/or weakness and/or sin.

To be clear, this book is currently sold at Deseret Book, and remains on the book shelves of hundreds of thousands of Mormons across the world.

In this short presentation, I offer my brief argument for why I believe that “The Miracle of Forgiveness” should be removed from Deseret Book, and I let listeners and viewers know what they can do to help. I also share my thoughts on what the Mormon Church can do to help “atone” for selling this damaging book for several decades.

How You Can Help:

  • Share this Presentation.
  • Email Deseret Book:
    • service@deseretbook.com
    • mediainquiry@deseretbook.com
    • hrdept@deseretbook.com
  • Call Deseret Book
    • 1-800-453-4532 (Toll-Free US and Canada)
    • 1-801-517-3369 (International)
  • Speak to any influencers you know.
  • Do what you can to remove this book from the access of people who might be vulnerable (book shelves, etc.).
  • Please share with me/us what you did, and the reactions.
  • Remember the date: 1/18/2021.
  • Monitor deseretbook.com for when they take the book down.
  • I will throw a party when it’s gone (likely this summer post-COVID)

P.S. This is a re-recording to make the video less “ranty,” and to remove the discussion of book bans and book burnings, which is not useful. HUGE thanks to everyone who gave feedback on this. I always want to be a constructive voice.

Jan 19, 2021
1385: The Legal Case for Mormon Church Fraud - Gaddy vs. The LDS Church
03:27:56

Please join me and Radio Free Mormon for a discussion of “Laura A. Gaddy vs. the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” – a class action lawsuit currently before the United States District Court for the District of Utah, with Robert J. Shelby as the Presiding Judge.

The main purpose of the case is as follows: “The case seeks certification as a class action based upon the large number of former Mormons who have been deceived by Defendant COP’s fraud, as a result of the Mormon Corporate Empire’s longstanding coordinated lies and material omissions about its history as well as lies about its use of tithing donations and how it would use that tithing in the future.”

Two of the main documents central to the case can be found here (for your review):

Click here to contact Kay Burningham (the attorney on this case), or to follow this case.

Financial donations to support the past and ongoing expenses for the case can be made here.

P.S.  One primary motivator for this episode is to fundraise for Radio Free Mormon so that he can be supported in his podcasting efforts, and so that we can keep him around for a very long time.  Please click here to become a monthly donor to Radio Free Mormon.

Jan 15, 2021
1384: How Mormon Stories Podcast Helped Our Family Heal
58:44

In a recent video released by paid actors supported by FAIRMormon and the More Good Foundation, Kwaku El, Brad Witbeck, and Cardon Ellis make the claim that I and Mormon Stories (and Jeremy Runnells) are intentionally "homewrecking for profit" with the work we do.

In an attempt to combat this hurtful claim, I reached out to our amazing Mormon Stories Listeners, requesting your help by sharing if/how Mormon Stories Podcast has helped your family. I have been deeply honored and humbled by the overwhelming support we have received, and would like to personally thank each one of you that were brave enough to share your own “Mormon Story” with me.

Mormon Stories podcast seeks to understand, explore, challenge, and improve the Mormon experience through stories, and has never had the intention of harming families in any way. In fact, we strive to support and mend family relationships by promoting healthy communication skills and unconditional love.

The primary objectives of Mormon Stories podcast include:

  1. Providing support to Mormons who are transitioning away from either orthodox Mormonism, or from Mormonism altogether, with a particular emphasis on:
    • Minimizing the anxiety, depression, and occasional suicidality that can accompany a transition away from religious orthodoxy.
    • Reducing the number of unnecessary divorces attributable to Mormon faith crises.
    • Creating a community of support for liberal/progressive and post-Mormons.
  2. Building greater awareness regarding accurate LDS/Mormon church history, doctrine, and theology – so that both active, believing Mormons and investigators of the church can make informed decisions regarding their investment in, and engagement with the church.
  3. Identifying opportunities for growth/improvement within the LDS church, and within broader Mormon culture.

Mormon Stories Podcast by no means benefits from the destruction of families, and we are saddened to see our community mis-represented in this way. It is my hope that the personal accounts represented in this video will be evidence of how Mormon Stories has actually benefited the lives of our listeners, and lay to rest the claim that Jeremy Runnells and myself have ever participated in “homewrecking for profit.”

Thank you.

Jan 13, 2021
1383: Liz and Ray Interview John Dehlin (2021)
02:24:56

Recently two friends of mine (Liz Cannon and Ray Purcell) asked to interview me about my role and experiences over the past 20 years trying to support people experiencing a Mormon faith crisis.

This is our interview.

Note: This interview is not a "typical" Mormon Stories Podcast interview, in that it warrants a PG-13 "rating" due to some adult language and topics in the interview.  Listener and viewer discretion is advised.

I hope you enjoy.

Jan 13, 2021
1382: How Mormonism Groomed us For, and Can Help Save us From Trumpism / Fascism
43:17

My reaction to yesterday's riot at the U.S. Capitol (January 6, 2021).

Jan 07, 2021
1381: Belief After the CES Letter Pt. 5 - A Passionate Q&A with Jim Bennett
04:15:36

Jim Bennett is the author of "A Faithful Reply to the CES Letter." He is also the son of the late Utah U.S. Senator Bob Bennett.

In Part 5 of a multi-part series with Jim, I bring to Jim listener/viewer questions, along with several questions/observations of my own, into a passionate, 4 hour final conversation.

If you were frustrated that I gave Jim "a pass" in the previous episodes, you may be more satisfied with this episode.

Jan 05, 2021
1380: Belief After the CES Letter - Feminism, Sexuality, Worthiness Interviews, Abuse, and Excommunication - Jim Bennett Pt. 4
01:53:34

Jim Bennett is the author of "A Faithful Reply to the CES Letter."  He is also the son of the late Utah U.S. Senator Bob Bennett.

In Part 4 of a multi-part series with Jim, we discuss in-depth his approach to maintaining belief in the Mormon church AFTER exposure to all of the historical and social problems currently vexing the LDS church, as highlighted in Jeremy Runnell's groundbreaking book "CES Letter: My Search for Answers to my Mormon Doubts."

Today's episode covers:

  • Women and the church and the Ordain Women movement.
  • The Mormon church's approach to "Law of Chastity" issues including pornography, masturbation, and one-on-one "worthiness interviews."
  • The Mormon church's handling and mishandling of sexual abuse cases.
  • The Mormon church's treatment (including excommunication) of activists and critics.
  • A closing discussion of the faith crisis "epidemic" within the modern LDS church, and Jim's opinions about the best way to handle the situation.

To thank Jim for his participation so far in this series, please email him at: jim@canonizer.com.

Jan 02, 2021
1379: Belief After the CES Letter - Polygamy, Racism, LGBTQ Issues and Prophets - Jim Bennett Pt. 3
03:04:21

Jim Bennett is the author of "A Faithful Reply to the CES Letter."  He is also the son of the late Utah U.S. Senator Bob Bennett.

In Part 2 of a multi-part series with Jim, we discuss in-depth his approach to maintaining belief in the Mormon church AFTER exposure to all of the historical and social problems currently vexing the LDS church, as highlighted in Jeremy Runnell's groundbreaking book "CES Letter: My Search for Answers to my Mormon Doubts."

Today's episode covers:

  • Joseph Smith's polygamy.
  • Racism in the Book of Mormon.
  • The LDS Church priesthood and temple ban on members of African descent.
  • The LDS Church's teachings regarding LGBTQ members and same-sex marriage.
  • What is the role/need for Mormon prophets?

Also, please do not miss my dear friend Bill Reel's super in-depth interview with Jim if you happened to miss it.

Dec 31, 2020
1378: Belief After the CES Letter - Book of Mormon, Book of Abraham, First Vision, Kinderhook Plates - Jim Bennett Pt. 2
02:32:24

Jim Bennett is the author of "A Faithful Reply to the CES Letter."  He is also the son of the late Utah U.S. Senator Bob Bennett.

In Part 2 of a multi-part series with Jim, we discuss in-depth his approach to maintaining belief in the Mormon church AFTER exposure to all of the historical and social problems currently vexing the LDS church, as highlighted in Jeremy Runnell's groundbreaking book "CES Letter: My Search for Answers to my Mormon Doubts."

Today's episode covers:

  • The Book of Mormon
  • The Witnesses to the Book of Mormon
  • The Book of Abraham
  • The Kinderhook Plates
  • The First Vision
  • And much, much more!

Also, please do not miss my dear friend Bill Reel's super in-depth interview with Jim if you happened to miss it.

Dec 31, 2020
1377: Belief After the CES Letter - God, Jesus, Prophets, and the "One True Church" - Jim Bennett Pt. 1
02:34:36

Jim Bennett is the author of "A Faithful Reply to the CES Letter."  He is also the son of the late Utah U.S. Senator Bob Bennett.

In Part 1 of a multi-part series with Jim, we discuss in-depth his approach to maintaining belief in the Mormon church AFTER exposure to to all of the historical and social problems currently vexing the LDS church, as highlighted in Jeremy Runnell's groundbreaking book "CES Letter: My Search for Answers to my Mormon Doubts.

Today's episode covers:

  • How/why to continue believing in God after a Mormon crisis of faith.
  • How/why to continue believing in Jesus after a Mormon crisis of faith.
  • What it means to Jim to be a fallible Mormon prophet.
  • How Jim views the claim that the Mormon church is the "one true church."
  • Jim's condemnation of FAIRMormon's recent YouTube videos attacking Jeremy Runnells and me.
Dec 31, 2020
1376: Bruce Bastian and Clint Ford - An Unexpected Love Story
01:43:43

Are you looking for a story of hope and love to end this gosh-forsaken year? Here you go.

WordPerfect co-founder and philanthropist Bruce Bastian (interviewed here and here) never expected to find love again after his mixed-orientation Mormon marriage dissolved.

Then he met Clint Ford.

This is an epic love story for the ages, folks. So hopeful. So inspiring. I hope you enjoy!!!! And I hope that this story makes you as happy as it made me.

Dec 30, 2020
1375: Bruce Bastian's Fight for Equality
54:03

Ten years ago I interviewed WordPerfect co-founder and philanthropist Bruce Bastian, wherein we discussed his life growing up as gay Mormon boy in Idaho, his years at WordPerfect, his journey "coming out" as a gay Mormon father in the 1990s, and his early efforts to support LGBTQ rights.

Since this first interview, Bruce became even more active in fighting for LGBTQ equality in the United States, continuing his involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and supporting LGBTQ equality in Utah - all of which meaningfully contributed to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States in 2015.

Recently I sat down again with Bruce to record a history of these past 10 years from his perspective.  I hope you enjoy!

Dec 29, 2020
1374: Enjoying Christmas after a Mormon Faith Crisis
02:23:30

Today, Anthony Miller, Jana Spangler and Brittney Hartley join us to discuss the topic of navigating and enjoying Christmas after a Mormon faith crisis.

Dec 23, 2020
1373: Zelph on the Shelf - 5 Years of Laughter, Wisdom, Healing, and Growth
03:27:26

Zelph on the Shelf is one of the most successful YouTube channels in history dedicated to exploring Mormonism in thoughtful and entertaining ways.

 

Five years ago I sat down with Samantha Shelley and Tanner Gilliland to discuss their loss of faith as "Mormon Millennials." That episode was extremely well-received at the time, and was highly influential in the journey of tens of thousands of Mormons, including Tyler Glenn (lead singer of Neon Trees).

Today's episode with Tanner and Samantha will be in two parts:

Part 1: Samantha and Tanner discuss the evolution and impact of Zelph on the Shelf over the past 5 years.

Part 2 (My favorite part): Samantha and Tanner discuss how they have healed and grown over the past 5 years in many of the domains most salient to transitioning Mormons, including: creativity, community, identity, mental health, spirituality, sexuality, finding meaning/purpose in their lives, and in thoughts about death and the afterlife.

Part 3: We end this interview by discussing Tanner and Samantha's perspective on the recent Mormon apologetic content released by FAIRMormon, featuring controversial apologist Kwaku El.

I found Samantha and Tanner to be incredibly thoughtful and wise, and am confident that you will thoroughly enjoy this episode.

Dec 19, 2020
1372: FAIRMormon and Mormon Apologetics in 2020 - Anthony D. Miller
02:37:13

Recently, the Mormon apologetic organization FAIRMormon has released several aggressive new videos via their YouTube Channel starring the actors Kwaku El, Cardon Ellis, and Brad Witbeck. These videos are intended to appeal to younger Latter-day saints, but also launch aggressive attacks against me (John Dehlin) and Jeremy Runnells (author of the CES Letter). The historical accuracy/honesty of these videos has also been called into question by many.

Today we interview Anthony D. Miller - a wise and thoughtful post-Mormon - about these latest events. Some of the topics we hope to cover are listed below. We would also welcome your questions/comments.

Topics for today:

  1. Motivations behind Mormon apologetics.
  2. Differences between Mormon apologetics and critical scholarship
  3. Contrast traditional apologetics and more progressive, nuanced apologetics
  4. Examples of people who have shifted from apologetics towards critical scholarship, and their explanations as to “the why.”
  5. Examples of people who engage with critical scholarship, but operate within Mormonism with a mostly a metaphorical paradigm with an apologetic bent.
  6. Contrast how GenZ, Millennials, GenX, and Baby Boomers engage with information.
  7. How GenZ at times experiences fragility, catastrophizing, call-out culture, and perception of violence in speech, and how these things affect engagement with apologetics and scholarship. (Jonathan Haidt’s book, The Coddling of the American Mind).
  8. Current spectrum of apologetics
  9. Approaches and methods for distribution
    1. Firesides and conferences
    2. Radical Orthodoxy proclamation, Deznat, etc.
    3. Adaptations to respond to social media, YouTube, TikTok
  10. What we might expect going forward
  11. Will this approach work? Will it backfire? Is it ethical?
Dec 19, 2020
1371: The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - Heather Gay and Dre Nord Pt. 3
02:41:50

Recently I was super fortunate to sit down with reality tv stars Heather Gay and Dre Nord - who are both currently appearing on BravoTV's "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."  In this three-part series, we focus on Heather and Dre's life experiences within the context of Mormonism (and Utah Mormonism). 

Part 1 covers...

  • Heather and Dre's early years as devout Mormons.
  • Dre's marriage, divorce, and faith crisis as a Mormon in her early 20s.  This includes how Dre navigated her life as a divorced single ex-Mormon Utah Mom without a college degree.
  • Heather's experiences at BYU and serving an LDS mission in France.
  • Heather's somewhat challenging efforts to find a faithful Mormon husband (Billy Gay).
  • Dre shares how she almost lost her mother to death by suicide, in part due to pressures of "perfectionism" that many Mormon women experience.
  • Heather shares some of the reactions she has received from members of the Mormon and ex-Mormon communities, as well as from the Utah LGBTQ community, regarding her participation in the show.

https://youtu.be/svHV0bQEHwA

Part 2 covers... 

  • Heather's marriage to Billy Gay III, which culminated in Heather becoming Relief Society President ended in divorce.
  • How Heather and Dre met, and how they were able to build a successful, multi-million dollar business together (Beauty Lab Laser) as divorced Mormon single women in Utah.
  • Dre shares the tragic story of losing her brother to suicide last year, and how she and Heather created a 501c3 non-profit called "Don't Leave" to help "break the stigma around mental health."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtUYWOc_JOo&feature=youtu.be

Part 3 covers...

  • Heather's struggle to accept the end of her "Eternal Marriage," which included years of denial.
  • Heather's life as a divorced single Mom, which included experimentation with things she never considered trying as a devout Mormon (e.g. alcohol).
  • How Heather's perspective on Mormonism changed once she became dear friends with two wonderful gay Mormon men.
  • Heather and Dre discuss their opinions about how harmful the LDS Church's doctrine around LGBTQ members is.
  • Heather and Dre also discuss the ways in which the LDS Church's "Proclamation on the Famly" harms not only LGBTQ members, but also Mormon women/girls and men/boys as well.
  • Heather discusses her current struggle to reconcile her longstanding orthodox Mormon beliefs as they conflict with her developing beliefs about life.

This is a heartwarming, epic, and inspiring story of resilience.  I was deeply moved by this vulnerability, wisdom, courage, and resilience of these inspiring women.

Please share any questions or comments you have for Heather and Dre below.

Dec 19, 2020
1370: The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - Heather Gay and Dre Nord Pt. 2
03:21:00

Recently I was super fortunate to sit down with reality tv stars Heather Gay and Dre Nord - who are both currently appearing on BravoTV's "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."  In this three-part series, we focus on Heather and Dre's life experiences within the context of Mormonism (and Utah Mormonism). 

Part 1 covers...

  • Heather and Dre's early years as devout Mormons.
  • Dre's marriage, divorce, and faith crisis as a Mormon in her early 20s.  This includes how Dre navigated her life as a divorced single ex-Mormon Utah Mom without a college degree.
  • Heather's experiences at BYU and serving an LDS mission in France.
  • Heather's somewhat challenging efforts to find a faithful Mormon husband (Billy Gay).
  • Dre shares how she almost lost her mother to death by suicide, in part due to pressures of "perfectionism" that many Mormon women experience.
  • Heather shares some of the reactions she has received from members of the Mormon and ex-Mormon communities, as well as from the Utah LGBTQ community, regarding her participation in the show.

https://youtu.be/svHV0bQEHwA

Part 2 covers... 

  • Heather's marriage to Billy Gay III, which culminated in Heather becoming Relief Society President ended in divorce.
  • How Heather and Dre met, and how they were able to build a successful, multi-million dollar business together (Beauty Lab Laser) as divorced Mormon single women in Utah.
  • Dre shares the tragic story of losing her brother to suicide last year, and how she and Heather created a 501c3 non-profit called "Don't Leave" to help "break the stigma around mental health."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtUYWOc_JOo&feature=youtu.be

Part 3 covers...

  • Heather's struggle to accept the end of her "Eternal Marriage," which included years of denial.
  • Heather's life as a divorced single Mom, which included experimentation with things she never considered trying as a devout Mormon (e.g. alcohol).
  • How Heather's perspective on Mormonism changed once she became dear friends with two wonderful gay Mormon men.
  • Heather and Dre discuss their opinions about how harmful the LDS Church's doctrine around LGBTQ members is.
  • Heather and Dre also discuss the ways in which the LDS Church's "Proclamation on the Famly" harms not only LGBTQ members, but also Mormon women/girls and men/boys as well.
  • Heather discusses her current struggle to reconcile her longstanding orthodox Mormon beliefs as they conflict with her developing beliefs about life.

This is a heartwarming, epic, and inspiring story of resilience.  I was deeply moved by this vulnerability, wisdom, courage, and resilience of these inspiring women.

Please share any questions or comments you have for Heather and Dre below.

Dec 18, 2020
URGENT: Has Mormon Stories Podcast Destroyed or Helped Your Family? Please Share Your Story.
05:42

Mormon Stories Listeners,

I really need your help.  The Mormon Church is funneling millions of dollars each year into non-profit "charities" like the More Good Foundation and FAIRMormon to smear my name and Jeremy Runnell's name, in hopes of destroying the positive impact of Mormon Stories Podcast.  Watch any cult documentary.  It's what cults do.

In a recent video released by paid actors supported by FAIRMormon and the More Good Foundation, Kwaku El, Brad Witbeck, and Cardon Ellis make the claim that I and Mormon Stories (and Jeremy Runnells) are intentionally "homewrecking for profit" with the work we do.  Here's a clip of their lies.

https://youtu.be/3jYZNBwsS3Q?t=86

I could really use your help in the following way:

  • Please record a short video or write out a paragraph or two describing if/how Mormon Stories Podcast has helped (or harmed) your family.
  • Feel free to include what role (if any) the LDS Church, and/or apologetic sites like FAIRMormon played in promoting family health and unity, or in harming your family.
  • Please email your videos to me here: mormonstories@gmail.com, or you can message them to me on Facebook.
  • Or if you prefer to write your story, please do so in the comments below.
  • Please know that these videos and/or this text could be used publicly.

This would mean the world to me, and will help blunt the lies that FAIRMormon, Cardon, Kwaku, Brad, and the More Good Foundation are telling people.

Thank you so, so much for your support.

John Dehlin

Dec 15, 2020
1369: The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - Heather Gay and Dre Nord Pt. 1
02:50:58

Recently I was super fortunate to sit down with reality tv stars Heather Gay and Dre Nord - who are both currently appearing on BravoTV's "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."

In this two-part series, we focus on Heather and Dre's experiences as Mormons.  Topics covered in today's episode include:

  • Heather and Dre's early years as devout Mormons.
  • Dre's marriage, divorce, and faith crisis as a Mormon in her early 20s.
  • Heather's experiences at BYU and serving an LDS mission in France.
  • Heather's somewhat challenging efforts to find a faithful Mormon husband (Billy Gay).
  • Heather also provides glimpses into her emerging Mormon faith crisis, which she is currently in the middle of processing.
  • Heather shares some of the reactions she has received from members of the Mormon and ex-Mormon communities, as well as from the Utah LGBTQ community, regarding her participation in the show.

This is a heartwarming and inspiring story of resilience.  I was deeply moved by this vulnerability, wisdom, courage, and resilience of these inspiring women.

Next week we plan to share Part 2 of this interview, which will cover:

  • Heather's marriage to Billy Gay III, which ended in divorce.
  • Dre's life as a single Mom in Utah.
  • How Heather and Dre met, and how they were able to build a successful, multi-million dollar business together as divorce Mormon single women in Utah (Beauty Lab Laser).
  • Heather will go into more detail about her Mormon faith crisis.
  • Heather and Dre will share their perspectives on life today, as highly successful entrepreneurial non-practicing Mormon single moms in Utah.
Dec 10, 2020
1368: Mormon Apologist Non-Profits and Violence
01:21:57

In today’s episode we will provide an overview of several LDS church apologetic non-profits, and discuss recent concerns about dishonesty, mean-spiritedness, and the incitement of violence by some people associated with these Mormon apologist non-profits. The Mormon apologetic non-profits that we will be discussing today include: the More Good Foundation, the Mormon Interpreter Foundation, Book of Mormon Central, and FAIRMormon.

Dec 09, 2020
1367: Paul Cardall - World-Renowned Pianist
05:03:40

Paul Cardall battled long odds from birth, eventually triumphing over a serious heart disability to earn distinction as an outstanding composer and pianist. In 1997 he first won widespread notice by setting author Richard Paul Evans’ No. 1 NY Times best-seller The Christmas Box to music. Cardall’s achievements range from releasing 11 chart-topping albums, winning the Gospel Music Association Dove Award for Instrumental Album of the Year, collaborating with Grammy-winning singer CeCe Winans, Audrey Assad, The Piano Guys among other distinguished artists.

With over 2 billion streams, Cardall is one of the most listened to Steinway & Sons sponsored artist in music business. His entrepreneurial activities include founding and directing the Stone Angel Music label and recording studio, promoting medical research and providing scholarships for congenital heart disease through his foundation. Cardall’s music has included works for piano, vocal, band and orchestral settings. On his latest album, Peaceful Piano, he returns to his solo performance roots while exploring complete real-time improvisation for the first time.

Paul's Mormon story includes:

  • Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah, learning to "fit in" as a child and youth with a heart condition.
  • Serving an LDS mission, and marrying in an LDS temple.
  • Paul's rise to celebrity as a piano performer - first in Salt Lake City, then joining the LDS Church speaking/inspiration circuit, and ultimately becoming a world-renowned musician, with hundreds of millions of Spotify downloads.
  • Paul's receipt of a human heart transplant, and his recovery.
  • Paul's struggles to maintain a healthy/happy marriage, ultimately leading to his disfellowshipment from the LDS Church and a shaming public divorce.
  • Paul's remarriage to a non-LDS woman, and his invitation to co-author a Mormon hymn with LDS Church apostle David A. Bednar called "One by One."
  • Paul's loss of testimony in the LDS Church, and his discovery of a new faith in traditional, non-denominational Christianity.

Cardall’s story is continuing to evolve as an artist, author and humanitarian. His upcoming album The Broken Miracle, which will be available for pre-order this December, was inspired by J.D. Netto’s biographical fictional novel, based on real events in the artists life from being born with only half a heart, enduring a series of surgeries, which culminated in a heart transplant. While waiting for a donor heart, the pianist’s brother was tragically killed. The album will feature several award-winning guests including David Archuleta, Ty Herndon, Thompson Square, Neon Tress’ Tyler Glenn and more.

We hope you enjoy this episode!  Paul is a fantastic human.

Dec 09, 2020
1366: Whiteness Theology and the Evolution of Mormon Racial Teachings - Matt Harris
03:02:53

In 2014 the LDS Church released an essay entitled "Race and the Priesthood" as part of its Gospel Topics Essays Initiative. This essay was groundbreaking in that it officially renounced past LDS racist teachings regarding blacks and the LDS Priesthood. This essay has been highly controversial. Some see it as groundbreaking positive progress. Some see it as deceptive and/or inadequate. Others lost their faith in the LDS Church because of it.

Today on Mormon Stories Podcast we interview Dr. Matt Harris who recently published an analysis of the Race and Priesthood essay. Matt's essay is entitled "Whiteness Theology and the Evolution of Mormon Racial Teachings." This essay is contained within the newly released book entitled "The LDS Gospel Topics Series: A Scholarly Engagement" published by Signature Books (edited by Matt Harris and Newell G. Bringhurst).

Click here to purchase this very important book: https://www.amazon.com/LDS-Gospel-Topics-Scholarly-Engagement/dp/1560852879

Dec 09, 2020
1365: The LDS Gospel Topics Essays - A History by Dr. Matt Harris
03:14:10

Join me now as I interview historian Dr. Matt Harris about his new book entitled "The LDS Gospel Topics Series: A Scholarly Engagement" published by Signature Books. In this episode we will provide an overview of the book, and discuss the events that led to the release of the essays by the LDS Church.

Dec 09, 2020
1364: Investigating Tim Ballard and Operation Underground Railroad - Lynn Packer Pt. 6
03:45:00

In today's Mormon Stories Podcast episode legendary Utah journalist and investigator Lynn Packer discusses his recent investigation into possible fraud perpetrated by Utah Mormon Tim Ballard and Utah Mormon Attorney General Sean Reyes - as part of Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), which has raised over $30 million claiming to rescue children from sex trafficking.

Packer has raised concerns about Tim Ballard and Sean Reyes being involved in the following:

- Stockpiling $30M in donations that are not being used to save children.

- Excessive compensation to Tim Ballard (over $300k/year). - Unethical accounting that now is likely hiding Tim Ballard's total compensation.

- Lavish expenditures (e.g., first class flights, 5 star hotels, dramatic helicopter appearances) with no financial accountability about how funds are used.

- Using false statistics to over-state the prevalence of child sex trafficking worldwide to lure donors.

- Using excessive emotion and religious manipulation to lure donors, including claims to be called of God, and to be protected by God in OUR's work.

- Using affinity with Mormon celebrities like Mormon apostle M. Russell Ballard, Glenn Beck, and Elizabeth/Ed Smart to lure donors.

- Claiming credit for raids that they were not involved with. - Engaging in illegal and unsafe raids (jump teams) that often yield no positive results.

- Alleged unsavory behavior of jump team members, including illegal drug use during raids, sexual assault, etc.

- Drawing money and attention away from legitimate charities who are meaningfully providing solutions to the problems OUR decries.

- Victimizing and politicizing the suffering of children for political gain (Sean Reyes).

- Associating with and taking advantage of known false conspiracy theories like QAnon.

- Using the LDS Church's law firm (Kirton & McConkie) to intimidate and silence whistleblowers.

- In summary, manipulating wealthy donors through religious and patriotic emotion and misusing or misallocating funds, all on the backs of a very vulnerable population.

Lynn Packer is best know for accurately exposing Mormon General Authority Paul H. Dunn for lying to Mormon church members about made-up World War II heroics and about playing professional baseball, all of which led to Elder Dunn being prematurely fired as a General Authority (and which the Mormon church tried to cover up through intimidation).

Please join us if you have comments or questions for Lynn.

NOTE: This podcast is not asserting that any of these allegations are true. Only that Lynn is claiming to have gathered evidence in support of these positions.

Dec 08, 2020
Help us Keep Mormon Stories Podcast Alive - Giving Week 2020
10:36
Dear Mormon Stories Podcast Listeners,
 
Due to COVID-19, we have lost several donors in 2020.
 
Please help us keep Mormon Stories Podcast alive by donating today, tomorrow, #GivingTuesday, or any time over the next several weeks.
 
Facebook is matching donations made at or near 6am Mountain time tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. The Facebook Campaign link can be found here:
 
https://www.facebook.com/donate/936338056891340/936338066891339
 
Our Facebook goal is $20,000 for this year, and we are at $1000 at this point.
 
You can also donate directly here:
 
https://donorbox.org/mormon-stories?default_interval=m
 
Please help us stay alive if you are in a position to help!
Nov 30, 2020
1363: Lying for the Lord: The Paul H. Dunn Scandal - Lynn Packer Pt. 5
03:24:08

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

The only problems were:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until today that is.

Nov 20, 2020
1362: Investigating the Dark Side of Mormonism - Lynn Packer Pt. 4
02:09:48

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

Nov 19, 2020
1361: J Reuben Clark, Boyd Packer, and The Charted Course of the Church in Education
33:08

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

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

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

Nov 19, 2020
1360: LDS Bishop Adam and Marlana Hughes - Leaving Mormonism in Tucson, Arizona
04:44:35

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

This is their story.

Nov 12, 2020
1359: Investigating Mormonism as an Apostle's Nephew - Lynn Packer Pt. 2
02:36:59

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

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

  • In Part 1 we discuss the early life of Mormon Apostle Boyd K. Packer, and his rise to power within the LDS Church.
  • In Part 2 we discuss Lynn Packer's life, and his perspectives on and interactions with Boyd K. Packer while he was working as a Utah investigative reporter (and while working at BYU).
  • In Part 3 we will discuss Lynn's investigation of LDS General Authority Paul H. Dunn, discovering that he was telling false stories to LDS Church members about his involvement in professional baseball, and in his activities as a World War II soldier.
  • In Part 4 we will discuss Lynn's recent investigation into Operation Underground Railroad and Tim Ballard.
Nov 06, 2020
1358: The Rise of Mormon Apostle Boyd K. Packer - Lynn Packer Pt. 1
02:03:20

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

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

  • In Part 1 we discuss the early life of Mormon Apostle Boyd K. Packer, and his rise to power within the LDS Church.
  • In Part 2 we discuss Lynn Packer's life, and his perspectives on and interactions with Boyd K. Packer while he was working as a Utah investigative reporter (and while working at BYU).
  • In Part 3 we will discuss Lynn's investigation of LDS General Authority Paul H. Dunn, discovering that he was telling false stories to LDS Church members about his involvement in professional baseball, and in his activities as a World War II soldier.
  • In Part 4 we will discuss Lynn's recent investigation into Operation Underground Railroad and Tim Ballard.
Nov 06, 2020
1357: Why Some Mormons and Post-Mormons are Voting for Joe Biden
03:27:44

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

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

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

Oct 30, 2020
1356: Why Some Mormons and Post-Mormons are Voting for Donald Trump
03:08:45

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

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

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

Oct 30, 2020
1355: The Sandy, Utah Rainbow Flag Revolution - Willy & Kristy Donahoo and Cynthia Phillips
02:06:37

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

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

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

Our goals with this episode are:

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

Please join us with your comments and questions!

Bios:

  • Kristy Donahoo is a financial advisor and partner with Ray LeVitre, CFP™. Together, Much of Kristy’s career spanned over 20 years in executive management positions in Northern California/Silicon Valley with high tech and early internet companies. When she relocated to Utah, she was personally recruited by Utah’s Governor Michael O. Leavitt to lead the state’s hosting and business development programs for the 2002 Olympics. She later went on to teach in a highly regarded private Utah school prior to becoming a financial advisor. Kristy and her husband moved to Utah from California about 20 years ago. They enjoy Utah for its people, the four seasons and proximity to their four adult children. She and her family enjoy beach time in California and Hawaii during summers and snow sports during Utah winters. Kristy serves on the Advisory Board of the John Williams Encircle Home in Salt Lake City, a resource center for at-risk LGBTQ+ youth and their families.
  • William Donahoo is an attorney with Donahoo & Associates and also handles case management and firm administration. William joined the firm in 2009 and specializes in prevailing wage cases, representing employee interests. 
  • Cynthia Phillips has been a teacher and administrator in secondary schools for the past 35 years during which she has taught Latin, History, English Language Arts, and Ancient Greek. Cindy is currently a secondary teacher at the Weilenmann School of Discovery, a public charter school located in Park City, UT, where she also served as the Executive Director for many years. During her career, she has never allowed administrative assignments take her fully out of the classroom because teaching and students are her love and passion.  Prior to her administrative and teaching positions at the Weilenmann School, Cindy was an administrator and teacher at the Waterford School, a private school located in Sandy, UT. Cindy is currently a member of the governor-appointed Utah State Charter School Board, a member of the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission, a member of the Lone Peak Hospital Board in Draper, UT, and a former member of the Northeastern Utah Educational Services Board.  Cindy holds a BA in Latin from Brigham Young University, an MA in Classics from Tufts University, an MA in History from the University of Utah, and she is currently a PhD candidate in Comparative Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Utah. Cindy and her husband, Greg, reside in Sandy, UT and Heber, UT. They have five children and fourteen grandchildren.
Oct 19, 2020
1354: Informed Consent and "Ableism" in the LDS Church - Katie Harmon
05:48:31

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oct 18, 2020
1353: TikTok's "ExMormonMindy" - Kayla White
02:46:14

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

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

This is Kayla's story.

Oct 13, 2020
1352: My Father's Death by Suicide as BYU-Idaho Dean - The Brennan and Kip Harris Story
04:26:11

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

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

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

This is Brennan’s story.

Oct 11, 2020
1351: Ezra Taft Benson and the Making of the Mormon Right (Matt Harris) - Pt. 2
03:53:35

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

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

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

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

Oct 11, 2020
1350: Ezra Taft Benson and the Making of the Mormon Right (Matt Harris) - Pt. 1
05:39:31

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

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

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

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

Oct 06, 2020
Mormon Stories Video Shorts - Please Help me Reach Thousands More
03:17
Mormon Stories Podcast Friends,

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

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

And thank you SO much!

John Dehlin
Oct 03, 2020
1349: Mormon Transhumanism with Carl Youngblood
05:10:10

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

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

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

Oct 03, 2020
1348: Surviving the LDS Church's 12-Step Pornography "Addiction" Program (Dawna and Nick Berry)
04:25:39

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

Oct 03, 2020
1347: Mitch Shira - Impersonating LDS General Authorities as TikTok’s "genie_man"
03:34:01

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

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

A sampling of MItch's videos:

Sep 23, 2020
1346: Shannon Caldwell Montez - The Secret Mormon Meetings of 1922
04:02:36

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

Previously on Mormon Stories, Shannon shared with us:

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

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

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

Sep 23, 2020
1345: Douglas Stilgoe - Leaving the LDS Church as a Young Adult in the U.K.
03:57:26
As part of our ongoing series on 21st century Mormonism outside of the United States, today we interview Douglas Stilgoe. Douglas is a 23 year old, 3rd generation Mormon raised in Warwickshire, England (Coventry England Stake).
 
Douglas' story is interesting for many reasons:
  • He discusses life as a Mormon in the UK in the 2000's.
  • He was raised in the same area as Tom Phillips, the high-ranking Mormon church leader in the U.K. who lost his faith and left the church AFTER receiving his 2nd anointing.
  • His story explores how painful and damaging Mormonism can be on families when a parent loses their faith.
  • He discusses his own very recent loss of faith as a young adult in the U.K., after being a very devout believing youth (just over the past year).
 
For more information on Tom Phillips and the 2nd Anointing, see here.
Sep 16, 2020
1344: Captain Kidd, Treasure Digging, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon
01:17:08
Today I will be reviewing my recent research into the topic of how the pirate Captain William Kidd and the practice of New England treasure digging that followed Kidd directly inspired Joseph Smith to create the Book of Mormon.
 
I've been doing this research in preparation for a new Youtube channel I'm launching called "Understanding Mormonism with Dr. John Dehlin."
 
I need your help in the following ways:
 
1) I'd love to know if there are any important errors or omissions in my research.
2) I'd love to know if you find the research interesting/worthwhile overall.
3) I am making a call for listeners to submit their own essays/PowerPoint presentations for future videos in this project.
 
Any feedback, questions, or any submissions can be sent to:
 
understandmormonism@gmail.com
 
 
Sep 10, 2020
1343: Karen Adam - From Scottish Mormon Mother to Political Activist
03:40:44
Karen Adam was raised in a same-sex household in Scotland (her mother identified as Lesbian). She joined the Mormon church at age 17 in 1992 after a teenage pregnancy. Karen lived as a member of the LDS Church in Scotland for almost 20 years - maturing from a young teenage mother to serving as LDS Sunday School teacher, Young Women’s President, Compassionate Service Leader, Relief Society Teacher, Primary Presidency, etc.
 
Karen was married and sealed for eternity in an LDS temple, and for years helped raise six children, living a very traditional LDS family life.
 
When Karen’s marriage fell apart she found solace in serving the wider community in Scotland outside the confines of her Scottish Mormon ward. This led on to a political awakening, and ultimately to her leaving the LDS church, and running for political office in Scotland.
 
Topics covered in this episode include:
  • Converting to the LDS Church in Scotland,
  • Teenage pregnancy.
  • Being a devout Mormon in Scotland.
  • Navigating an abusive marriage that included drug addiction.
  • Navigating divorce and remarriage within the Mormon church in Scotland.
  • Dealing with harmful messages and policies regarding female sexuality as a Mormon Scott, including damaging bishop interviews.
  • Responding to the Mormon church's harmful LGBTQ policies as a Mormon Scott having been raised in a same-sex household.
  • Experiencing a Mormon faith crisis in Scotland.
  • Rebuilding life as a post-Mormon divorced Scottish mother.
  • Throwing her hat into the political ring in mid-life as a Scottish ex-Mormon woman.
This is Karen's story.
Sep 04, 2020
1342: Did B.H. Roberts Lose His Testimony of the Book of Mormon?
03:40:02

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

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

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

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast Include:

Aug 29, 2020
1341: Dr. Robert Ritner - An Expert Egyptologist's View of the Book of Abraham Pt. 3
05:24:19

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

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

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

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

https://youtu.be/ORNYUyHg3pY

Part 2: Facsimiles 2 & 3

https://youtu.be/df4flxToFvM

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

 

Series Description: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 12, 2020
1340: Dr. Robert Ritner - An Expert Egyptologist's View of the Book of Abraham Pt. 2
04:10:26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 04, 2020
1339: Dr. Robert Ritner - An Expert Egyptologist's View of the Book of Abraham Pt .1
03:33:29

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 31, 2020
1338: Haley Wilson Lemmón - The BYU Undergrad Who Discovered Joseph Smith's Plagiarisms in his Bible "Translation"
02:39:53

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

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

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

Today's story includes:

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

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

Jul 19, 2020
1337: Shannon Caldwell Montez - From Wife and Mother to Groundbreaking Mormon Historian
03:18:15

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 14, 2020
1336: The Rise and Fall of B.H. Roberts
02:53:57

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 09, 2020
FULL: Ed Decker - Ex-Mormon, Evangelical Christian, Career "Anti-Mormon," and Creator of “The God Makers”
03:47:37

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 07, 2020
1335: Ed Decker - Ex-Mormon, Evangelical Christian, Career "Anti-Mormon," and Creator of “The God Makers” Pt. 4
59:08

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 07, 2020
1334: Ed Decker - Ex-Mormon, Evangelical Christian, Career "Anti-Mormon," and Creator of “The God Makers” Pt. 3
01:03:24

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 07, 2020
1333: Ed Decker - Ex-Mormon, Evangelical Christian, Career "Anti-Mormon," and Creator of “The God Makers” Pt. 2
01:04:47

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 07, 2020
1332: Ed Decker - Ex-Mormon, Evangelical Christian, Career "Anti-Mormon," and Creator of “The God Makers” Pt. 1
56:36

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 07, 2020
1331: Leaving Mormonism to Join Teal Swan’s Cult - Jared Dobson Pt. 4
01:03:21

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

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

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

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

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

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

He has been recovering ever since.

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

Jul 01, 2020
1330: Leaving Mormonism to Join Teal Swan’s Cult - Jared Dobson Pt. 3
01:02:43

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

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

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

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

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

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

He has been recovering ever since.

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

Jul 01, 2020
1329: Leaving Mormonism to Join Teal Swan’s Cult - Jared Dobson Pt. 2
58:36

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

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

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

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

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

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

He has been recovering ever since.

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

Jul 01, 2020
1328: Leaving Mormonism to Join Teal Swan’s Cult - Jared Dobson Pt. 1
58:17

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

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

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

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

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

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

He has been recovering ever since.

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

Jul 01, 2020
Idaho Falls Mormon Stories Podcast Billboard Campaign - 2020
07:17

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 23, 2020
1327: The Excommunication of Sam Pinson and his Family in Ammon, Idaho Pt. 7
45:25

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

This is one of those episodes.

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 09, 2020
1326: The Excommunication of Sam Pinson and his Family in Ammon, Idaho Pt. 6
01:44:58

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

This is one of those episodes.

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 09, 2020
1325: The Excommunication of Sam Pinson and his Family in Ammon, Idaho Pt. 5
01:17:35

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

This is one of those episodes.

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 09, 2020
1324: The Excommunication of Sam Pinson and his Family in Ammon, Idaho Pt. 4
01:37:05

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

This is one of those episodes.

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 09, 2020
1323: The Excommunication of Sam Pinson and his Family in Ammon, Idaho Pt. 3
01:43:13

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

This is one of those episodes.

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 09, 2020
1322: The Excommunication of Sam Pinson and his Family in Ammon, Idaho Pt. 2
01:05:50

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

This is one of those episodes.

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 09, 2020
1321: The Excommunication of Sam Pinson and his Family in Ammon, Idaho Pt. 1
01:22:23

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

This is one of those episodes.

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 09, 2020
1320: The Killing of George Floyd, the Protests, and Russell M. Nelson’s Reaction Pt. 2
01:39:05

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our panelists included the following:

Cecile Shellman

Spencer Nugent

Darron Smith

Jason Ball

Kimilyn Poulson

Mark Nugent

Solange Renfroe

Victoria Denise

Jun 04, 2020
1319: The Killing of George Floyd, the Protests, and Russell M. Nelson’s Reaction Pt. 1
01:35:15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our panelists included the following:

Cecile Shellman

Spencer Nugent

Darron Smith

Jason Ball

Kimilyn Poulson

Mark Nugent

Solange Renfroe

Victoria Denise

Jun 04, 2020
1318: Dr. Massimo Introvigne - Sociologist, Author of "A Rumor of Devils: Allegations of Satanic Child Abuse and Mormonism"
01:36:31

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

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

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

May 27, 2020
1317: A Cautionary Tale of Repressed Memory Therapy Pt. 4
01:11:01

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

This is Kim’s story.

May 20, 2020
1316: A Cautionary Tale of Repressed Memory Therapy Pt. 3
01:28:51

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

This is Kim’s story.

May 20, 2020
1315: A Cautionary Tale of Repressed Memory Therapy Pt. 2
01:23:01

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

This is Kim’s story.

May 20, 2020
1314: A Cautionary Tale of Repressed Memory Therapy Pt. 1
53:04

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

This is Kim’s story.

May 20, 2020
1313: The History of Rumors of Satanic Abuse - Dr. David Frankfurter Pt. 2
01:02:27

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

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

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

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

May 14, 2020
1312: The History of Rumors of Satanic Abuse - Dr. David Frankfurter Pt. 1
01:08:49

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

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

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

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

May 14, 2020
1311: Claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse within Mormonism: An Introduction
57:23

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

May 14, 2020
1310: Hannah Comeau - Struggling with Scrupulosity and Feminism as a Mormon Teenage Girl in Rexburg, Idaho Pt. 3
52:56

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

May 13, 2020
1309: Hannah Comeau - Struggling with Scrupulosity and Feminism as a Mormon Teenage Girl in Rexburg, Idaho Pt. 2
01:19:28

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

May 13, 2020
1308: Hannah Comeau - Struggling with Scrupulosity and Feminism as a Mormon Teenage Girl in Rexburg, Idaho Pt. 1
57:03

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

May 13, 2020
1307: Mormon Faith Crisis Retreat Pt. 10 - Closing Remarks
59:23

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 23, 2020
1306: Mormon Faith Crisis Retreat Pt. 9 - Communicating with Believing Family and Friends
20:51

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 23, 2020
1305: Mormon Faith Crisis Retreat Pt. 8 - Conscious Parenting
01:00:29

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 23, 2020
1304: Mormon Faith Crisis Retreat Pt. 7 - Healthy Sexuality After a Faith Transition
44:35

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 23, 2020
1303: Mormon Faith Crisis Retreat Pt. 6 - The Key to Healthy Relationships: Emotional Intimacy Pt. 2
01:38:46

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 23, 2020
1302: Mormon Faith Crisis Retreat Pt. 5 - The Key to Healthy Relationships: Emotional Intimacy Pt. 1
02:28:00

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 23, 2020
1301: Mormon Faith Crisis Retreat Pt. 4 - Fundamentals of Mental Health in a Religious Transition Pt. 2
01:36:00

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 23, 2020
1300: Mormon Faith Crisis Retreat Pt. 3 - Fundamentals of Mental Health in a Religious Transition Pt. 1
02:17:30

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 23, 2020
1299: Mormon Faith Crisis Retreat Pt. 2 - Understanding and Navigating a Religious Transition
01:52:47

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 23, 2020
1298: Mormon Faith Crisis Retreat Pt. 1 - Introductions
02:20:09

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 23, 2020
1297: Healing after Intense Sexual Shame and Suicidality as a Mormon Teenage Girl - Clarissa Winter Pt. 4
01:03:41

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

Apr 14, 2020
1296: Healing after Intense Sexual Shame and Suicidality as a Mormon Teenage Girl - Clarissa Winter Pt. 3
01:01:23

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

Apr 14, 2020
1295: Healing after Intense Sexual Shame and Suicidality as a Mormon Teenage Girl - Clarissa Winter Pt. 2
58:57

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

Apr 14, 2020
1294: Healing after Intense Sexual Shame and Suicidality as a Mormon Teenage Girl - Clarissa Winter Pt. 1
01:02:22

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

Apr 14, 2020
Announcement: Launching Two Online Support Groups for Mormons and Post-Mormons
03:15

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

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

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

Topics for these groups will include:

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

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

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

This is the registration page for the individual group.

https://donorbox.org/mormonfaithtransitiongroup

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

Email for any questions at: drjohndehlin@gmail.com

Apr 13, 2020
1293: Surviving Spiritual Abuse and Suicidality at BYU-Idaho Faculty - Ryan & Holly Nielsen Pt. 7
45:48

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

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Apr 06, 2020
1292: Surviving Spiritual Abuse and Suicidality at BYU-Idaho Faculty - Ryan & Holly Nielsen Pt. 6
58:49

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

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Apr 06, 2020
1291: Surviving Spiritual Abuse and Suicidality at BYU-Idaho Faculty - Ryan & Holly Nielsen Pt. 5
01:06:13

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

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Apr 06, 2020
1290: Surviving Spiritual Abuse and Suicidality at BYU-Idaho Faculty - Ryan & Holly Nielsen Pt. 4
01:01:44

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

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Apr 06, 2020
1289: Surviving Spiritual Abuse and Suicidality at BYU-Idaho Faculty - Ryan & Holly Nielsen Pt. 3
56:04

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

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Apr 06, 2020
1288: Surviving Spiritual Abuse and Suicidality at BYU-Idaho Faculty - Ryan Nielsen Pt. 2
01:06:48

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

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Apr 06, 2020
1287: Surviving Spiritual Abuse and Suicidality at BYU-Idaho Faculty - Ryan Nielsen Pt. 1
01:00:27

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

Important themes for this episode include:

  • Ryan's perfectionism and guilt/shame as a Mormon youth.
  • Holly's closeted feminism as a Mormon youth and adult.
  • Holly and Ryan learning to listen to their own inner voices, which also involved navigating a religious faith crisis.
  • Navigating BYU-Idaho while one is full time faculty, and in a mixed-faith marriage. This story includes harassment from bishopric over maintaining continuing faculty endorsement (mostly related to Holly’s resignation from the Mormon church.
  • An insider’s view of BYU-Idaho administration, including difficulties dealing with BYU-Idaho executives related to Title IX issues (e.g., sexual misconduct of Mormon ecclesiastical leaders towards BYU-Idaho students and faculty).
  • Navigating and healing from religion-based depression, including suicidality.
  • Deconstructing Mormon literalism and reconstructing a nuanced worldview.
  • Learning to choose love over ideas.
Additional Resources mentioned in the episodes:
  • Ryan's AMAZING faith crisis/transition Reading/Podcast list can be found here, and has also been included below, after the video and audio links.  This is probably the most impressive and thoughtful resources list I've ever seen for Mormon/religious faith transitions.
  • Holly's Art: https://www.artbyholly.com/abstract.html  -- This link goes straight to the art Holly has done related to her faith transition, and her reclamation of motherhood.
  • Ryan's Music: http://www.ryannielsenmusic.com/music -- This link goes straight to the music portion of Ryan's website. Several pieces there are related to my faith transition, including "Prayer for Peace" and "Requiem."
  • Support Ryan!  Ryan has written a 9 movement suite that explores his experience of a faith crisis, through the lens of the life of Elijah Abel.  It's time to get this recorded. Ryan has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the project.  Please support this worthy project!
Apr 06, 2020
Seeking Profiles/Interviewees for the THRIVING after Mormonism Project
12:10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 02, 2020
1286: Kalin Orgill Organ - Losing and Finding One's Self in Search of Truth Pt. 5
59:56

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 29, 2020
1285: Kalin Orgill Organ - Losing and Finding One's Self in Search of Truth Pt. 4
01:05:36

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 29, 2020
1284: Kalin Orgill Organ - Losing and Finding One's Self in Search of Truth Pt. 3
49:06

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 29, 2020
1283: Kalin Orgill Organ - Losing and Finding One's Self in Search of Truth Pt. 2
01:02:56

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 29, 2020
1282: Kalin Orgill Organ - Losing and Finding One's Self in Search of Truth Pt. 1
01:06:07

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 29, 2020
1281: The Mormon Church's Inadequate Response to COVID-19 / the Coronavirus
38:30

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

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

Mar 17, 2020
1280: Loving and Accepting a Transgender Spouse - Steph, Katie, and Jennifer Pt. 3
01:05:29

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

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

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

- Faith, family, commitment.

- Divorce. Estrangement.

- Excommunication and re-baptism.

- Faith crisis issues.

- Family reconciliation after 17 years of estrangement.

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

Mar 13, 2020