Good podcast

Top 100 most popular podcasts

Mormon Stories - LDS

Mormon Stories - LDS

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

Subscribe

iTunes / Overcast / RSS

Website

mormonstories.org

Episodes

1401: Mike Rinder - Former Top-Level Scientology Official

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."

2021-02-26
Link to episode

Please Help: Scientology vs. Mormonism - Which Does More Harm? (For Mike Rinder interview)

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.

2021-02-25
Link to episode

1400: How to Help a Loved One who Believes in QAnon - Cult Expert Steven Hassan

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:

Combating Cult Mind Control Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs The Cult of Trump

Cult Documentaries Mentioned in Today's Episode:

The Vow NXIVM Documentary Series Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult The Great Hack The Social Dilemma People You May Know Going Clear Wild, Wild Country 4th Generation Warfare
2021-02-24
Link to episode

1399: Contemplative Mormonism - Jana Spangler Pt. 2

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).

2021-02-23
Link to episode

1398: Contemplative Mormonism - Jana Spangler Pt. 1

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).

2021-02-22
Link to episode

1397: Civil War - John Gee vs. the Joseph Smith Papers Project

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.

2021-02-12
Link to episode

1396: Visions in a Seer Stone: Joseph Smith and the Making of the Book of Mormon - William L. Davis

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

2021-02-12
Link to episode

1395: Seeking Feedback for a New Project - Video Shorts for Understanding Mormonism

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

Thanks!

John

2021-02-12
Link to episode

1394: Tyler Glenn & Paull Cardall: "I Know it Hurts" Video Premiere on Mormon Stories

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.
2021-02-06
Link to episode

1393: All Things New, by Fiona and Terryl Givens - A Review

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.

2021-02-04
Link to episode

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

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:

Writing a letter/email ward members to explain why she was leaving the church. Inviting her bishopric to attend a "Resignation Speech" that she offered to them, primarily with the intent of recovering her lost voice as a Mormon woman, and speaking her truth. Diving deeply into the "cult" and "unethical persuasion" literature, Creating a web site to share her story and perspectives with the world. Authoring a series of children's books to help parents educate their children about how to avoid falling prey to undue influence of any sort.

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).

2021-02-03
Link to episode

1391: The Touch Of The Masters Hand - A Sundance Film by Gregory Barnes

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 

2021-02-02
Link to episode

1390: Undefining 'God' with John Hamer

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.

2021-02-01
Link to episode

1389: Catching Up with John Larsen (2021)

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"

2021-01-29
Link to episode

1388: Recreating the Book of Mormon Plates with Trent Told

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).

2021-01-26
Link to episode

1387: Breaking Down Patriarchy with Amy McPhie Allebest

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

2021-01-25
Link to episode

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

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: [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] 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.

2021-01-19
Link to episode

1385: The Legal Case for Mormon Church Fraud - Gaddy vs. The LDS Church

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):

Gaddy v. LDS MDO Granting Defendants Motion to Dismiss Gaddy v. LDS Amended Complaint Gaddy vs. LDS Opposition to Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint

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.

2021-01-15
Link to episode

1384: How Mormon Stories Podcast Helped Our Family Heal

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:

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. 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. 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.

2021-01-13
Link to episode

1383: Liz and Ray Interview John Dehlin (2021)

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.

2021-01-13
Link to episode

1382: How Mormonism Groomed us For, and Can Help Save us From Trumpism / Fascism

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

2021-01-07
Link to episode

1381: Belief After the CES Letter Pt. 5 - A Passionate Q&A with Jim Bennett

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.

2021-01-05
Link to episode

1380: Belief After the CES Letter - Feminism, Sexuality, Worthiness Interviews, Abuse, and Excommunication - Jim Bennett Pt. 4

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: [email protected].

2021-01-02
Link to episode

1379: Belief After the CES Letter - Polygamy, Racism, LGBTQ Issues and Prophets - Jim Bennett Pt. 3

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.

2021-01-01
Link to episode

1378: Belief After the CES Letter - Book of Mormon, Book of Abraham, First Vision, Kinderhook Plates - Jim Bennett Pt. 2

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.

2020-12-31
Link to episode

1377: Belief After the CES Letter - God, Jesus, Prophets, and the "One True Church" - Jim Bennett Pt. 1

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.
2020-12-31
Link to episode

1376: Bruce Bastian and Clint Ford - An Unexpected Love Story

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.

2020-12-30
Link to episode

1375: Bruce Bastian's Fight for Equality

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!

2020-12-29
Link to episode

1374: Enjoying Christmas after a Mormon Faith Crisis

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

2020-12-23
Link to episode

1373: Zelph on the Shelf - 5 Years of Laughter, Wisdom, Healing, and Growth

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.

2020-12-19
Link to episode

1372: FAIRMormon and Mormon Apologetics in 2020 - Anthony D. Miller

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:

Motivations behind Mormon apologetics. Differences between Mormon apologetics and critical scholarship Contrast traditional apologetics and more progressive, nuanced apologetics Examples of people who have shifted from apologetics towards critical scholarship, and their explanations as to ?the why.? Examples of people who engage with critical scholarship, but operate within Mormonism with a mostly a metaphorical paradigm with an apologetic bent. Contrast how GenZ, Millennials, GenX, and Baby Boomers engage with information. 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). Current spectrum of apologetics Approaches and methods for distribution Firesides and conferences Radical Orthodoxy proclamation, Deznat, etc. Adaptations to respond to social media, YouTube, TikTok What we might expect going forward Will this approach work? Will it backfire? Is it ethical?
2020-12-19
Link to episode

1371: The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - Heather Gay and Dre Nord Pt. 3

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.

2020-12-19
Link to episode

1370: The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - Heather Gay and Dre Nord Pt. 2

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.

2020-12-19
Link to episode

URGENT: Has Mormon Stories Podcast Destroyed or Helped Your Family? Please Share Your Story.

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: [email protected], 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

2020-12-15
Link to episode

1369: The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - Heather Gay and Dre Nord Pt. 1

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.
2020-12-10
Link to episode

1368: Mormon Apologist Non-Profits and Violence

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.

2020-12-09
Link to episode

1367: Paul Cardall - World-Renowned Pianist

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.

2020-12-09
Link to episode

1366: Whiteness Theology and the Evolution of Mormon Racial Teachings - Matt Harris

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

2020-12-09
Link to episode

1365: The LDS Gospel Topics Essays - A History by Dr. Matt Harris

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.

2020-12-09
Link to episode

1364: Investigating Tim Ballard and Operation Underground Railroad - Lynn Packer Pt. 6

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.

2020-12-08
Link to episode

Help us Keep Mormon Stories Podcast Alive - Giving Week 2020

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!
2020-11-30
Link to episode

1363: Lying for the Lord: The Paul H. Dunn Scandal - Lynn Packer Pt. 5

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.

2020-11-20
Link to episode

1362: Investigating the Dark Side of Mormonism - Lynn Packer Pt. 4

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.

2020-11-20
Link to episode

1361: J Reuben Clark, Boyd Packer, and The Charted Course of the Church in Education

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:

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.) The careers of both LDS apostle Boyd K. Packer and GA Paul H. Dunn,  And, 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.

2020-11-19
Link to episode

1360: LDS Bishop Adam and Marlana Hughes - Leaving Mormonism in Tucson, Arizona

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.

2020-11-12
Link to episode

1359: Investigating Mormonism as an Apostle's Nephew - Lynn Packer Pt. 2

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.
2020-11-06
Link to episode

1358: The Rise of Mormon Apostle Boyd K. Packer - Lynn Packer Pt. 1

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.
2020-11-06
Link to episode

1357: Why Some Mormons and Post-Mormons are Voting for Joe Biden

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.

2020-10-31
Link to episode

1356: Why Some Mormons and Post-Mormons are Voting for Donald Trump

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.

2020-10-31
Link to episode

1355: The Sandy, Utah Rainbow Flag Revolution - Willy & Kristy Donahoo and Cynthia Phillips

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:

To spotlight good people doing good things. 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.
2020-10-19
Link to episode
A tiny webapp by I'm With Friends.
Updated daily with data from the Apple Podcasts.