Ex-Mormon Stories

559-560: Michael Adam Ferguson, J Seth Anderson, and their Fight Against Gay Conversion Therapy

August 31, 2015
By
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J Seth Anderson and Michael Adam Ferguson were catapulted into the public spotlight when they became the first same-sex couple to be legally married by the state of Utah. Seth and Michael both grew up in LDS homes, completed full-time missions for the Church, and throughout their twenties, undertook tortuous journeys to renegotiate their relationships with both the institution and with the faith of their childhoods. Since November 2012, Seth and Michael have been embroiled in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against a gay conversion therapy organization in New Jersey named JONAH: Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (formerly Jews Offering New…

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557: Dr. Dave Christian on Epistemology and Orson Wright, the Polygamous Mission President

August 24, 2015
By
DaveChristianPodium-Pics-006-768x1024

Dr. Dave Christian has served as a psychologist to believing and post-Mormons for decades. In this episode, Dave begins by discussing his LDS pioneer ancestry, and his early years in the LDS church as a faithful, science-loving boy from St. George.  He then discusses early doubts he began to have regarding his LDS faith as he explored the field of epistemology (the study of how we know things).  In spite of these doubts, Dave chose to serve an LDS mission in the Australia Sydney Mission (1979 to 1981 timeframe), and during this time struggled with the pressure tactics employed by his mission president…

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554: Sermon for the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City

August 12, 2015
By
DehlinFUUSLC

On August 2, 2015 I was asked to deliver the sermon for the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, Utah.  The topic was my experiences as a Mormon that led up to my excommunication.

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546: Rock Waterman (and Connie) Reports on his Mormon Excommunication

June 4, 2015
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On June 3rd, 2015 Alan Rock Waterman (blogger at Pure Mormonism) was excommunicated from the LDS (Mormon) Church for blogging about his beliefs and differences with LDS Church policies.  In this episode Rock and his wife Connie retell the experience of his disciplinary council.  

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545: Rock Waterman’s Pre-Disciplinary Council Interview

May 27, 2015
By
rockwatermanphoto

Rock Waterman is a prominent Mormon blogger who maintains belief in all of the fundamental LDS Church truth claims (e.g., God, Jesus, Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon).  His beliefs are similar to those of Denver Snuffer, in that he believes that the modern, corporate LDS Church is  failing to follow many of the teachings of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, and consequently has strayed from Christ’s and Joseph Smith’s core teachings. In this episode we discuss Rock Waterman’s recent notice that he will be facing an LDS disciplinary council for apostasy on Wednesday evening June 3, 2015 at…

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544: Marisa and Carson Calderwood Discuss Their Excommunication

May 24, 2015
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In this episode Marisa and Carson Calderwood discuss their excommunication from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on May 21, 2015 for apostasy. See here for a list of the five handouts Carson shared with his disciplinary council participants. See here for statements from Carson’s witnesses in the disciplinary council. Here is a link discussing how to raise children without religion. Below is the video mentioned by Marisa.

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541: LDS Church is Now Excommunicating Legally Same-Sex Married Members – Taylor Knuth-Bishop

May 6, 2015
By
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Taylor Knuth-Bishop was an active LDS Church member and seminary graduate who considered himself “heterosexual with same-sex attraction” until he met the love of his life, Sean Knuth-Bishop. Taylor and Sean fell in love and were eventually legally married during the now-famous 2014 Grammy performance wherein Macklemore, Madonna, and Queen Latifa married 33 same-sex couples during the performance of “Same Love.” Taylor and Sean have been living a happy life in New York City in the theatre industry, but recently (after moving home for the summer) Taylor was contacted by his LDS bishop and informed that he will be tried in a…

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535-539: Tom Phillips, the Second Anointing, and LDS Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland

April 27, 2015
By
tomphillips

Many LDS Church members are unaware that a secret LDS temple ordinance called the “Second Anointing” is regularly being administered by LDS Church apostles to elite friends, family, and leaders (mostly stake presidents, temple presidents, mission presidents, and LDS general authorities, along with their wives).  In this ordinance (according to reports) an apostle washes the feet of the couple in the temple, anoints them on the head with oil such that their “calling and election is made sure” (guaranteeing them a place in the Celestial Kingdom), and then invites the couple to retreat to a room in the temple, wherein the wife washes her…

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532-534: Micah Nickolaisen — From “A Thoughtful Faith” to “Any Opposed” – On Mormon Activism and Secular Communities

April 22, 2015
By
Micah

Micah Nickolaisen has been an important participant in the Mormon Internet for the past three years. His activism began in 2012 as co-founder of both the “A Thoughtful Faith” and the “Exploring Sainthood” podcasts/communities – both of which sought to encourage thoughtful and faithful LDS Church activity/participation. After losing his faith/confidence in the LDS Church in 2013, and in reaction to the Kate Kelly and John Dehlin excommunications in 2014/2015, Micah co-led several projects which sought to bring attention/visibility to problems within in the LDS Church. Micah co-founded the “Strangers in Zion” project, wherein LDS Church members were encouraged to…

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531: John Larsen’s Mormon Expression

April 11, 2015
By
John-Top-bar-2

John Larsen is the influential founder and host of Mormon Expression podcast, and of the White Fields Educational Foundation. This is his story.

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529: Marisa Pond Calderwood – From Hinckley Scholar, to Depressed Mormon Housewife, to Happiness as a Post-Mormon

April 2, 2015
By
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Marisa Pond Calderwood was raised devoutly LDS in Bellevue, Washington.  She was deeply committed to the church as a teen, but she also excelled in school and dreamed of obtaining a Ph.D. in Genetics.  After receiving the prestigious Gordon B. Hinckley scholarship at BYU, she married Carson Calderwood after her freshman year.  Although she remained devoutly LDS for well over a decade, Marisa struggled with feeling like she lost herself and her dreams once she married Carson, especially after going through the LDS temple and receiving the impression that women were ”less than” men in the LDS church.  Over the next…

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526-527: John Hamer on Community of Christ as a Church Home for Transitioning Mormons

March 19, 2015
By
Hamer

Mormon Stories alumnus John Hamer returns to talk about Community of Christ as a viable spiritual home for transitioning Mormons in this two-part video series.  John Hamer was raised LDS, but became a doubting teenager and left organized religion altogether as an adult.  In 2010, he joined Community of Christ and currently serves as pastor of its congregation in downtown Toronto, Canada. In part 1, John Hamer sits down with John Dehlin and makes the case for “non-literalistic” religion.  (The presentation is illustrated with John Hamer’s amazing diagrams, so the podcast audience is advised to watch the YouTube version.)  John…

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523: Interview with Radiowest’s Doug Fabrizio about My Excommunication

February 11, 2015
By
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Interview with Radiowest’s Doug Fabrizio about My Excommunication.

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518-519: Clark Johnsen – From BYU to Broadway’s Book of Mormon Musical

January 21, 2015
By
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In this hilarious and touching episode of Mormon Stories, John Dehlin interviews Clark Johnson, an original cast member in the hit Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon. In part one, Clark shares his experience as a young gay Mormon coming from a conservative LDS background, his mission to Mexico, and how he and his family came to terms with his decision to leave the church. In part two, Clark recounts the events and his favorite memories leading him to join The Book of Mormon cast; from the dance department at BYU to the Broadway stage. He goes on to share scene by scene and song by song, themes…

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514-515: Infants on Thrones Podcast

December 14, 2014
By
InfantsOnThrones

In this two-part series we interview the panelists for Infants on Thrones Podcast: Glenn, Matt, Scott, Randy, Bob, Tom, and Jake.  These guys do tend to get a bit rowdy (language!)…so listener discretion is advised.

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507: Free BYU — Religious Freedom and Faith Transition at Church Schools

November 13, 2014
By
freebyu

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long affirmed the importance of religious freedom, even issuing a press release in 2013 declaring that “it is the right to think, express and act upon what you deeply believe, according to the dictates of conscience.” But a group of current and former students is concerned about implications for students who find themselves transitioning away from belief in the church while still enrolled at a church-owned school. It creates, they argue, an impossible situation where students are seemingly forced to choose between their integrity and the education they have worked and…

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505-506: Carrie Sheffield on Leaving Mormonism, Finding Stoicism, Politics, Conservatism and More

November 7, 2014
By
carrie sheffield

In the world of politics and media, Carrie Sheffield is a veritable dynamo. She has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, BBC Radio and more, as an expert on politics and the economy. Graduating with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard, she went on to do stints at Goldman Sachs and the Washington Times before settling in as a public policy analyst all over TV and radio. But Carrie also has a Mormon story. Growing up in the church, then later leaving and exploring other faiths before finding peace with Stoicism, she…

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501-502: Kirk Caudle on Mormon Studies, Working for BYU-Idaho, Resigning, Apologetics and More

October 21, 2014
By
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Kirk Caudle, known for his Mormon Book Review podcast (which was, at one time, officially affiliated with BYU’s Maxwell Institute), made headlines over the summer when he resigned from the church after working as an online religion instructor for BYU-Idaho. However, he still attends church regularly and maintains strong ties to Mormonism. In this two-part episode, cross posted with our sister site A Thoughtful Faith, James Patterson sits down with Kirk to talk about his life growing up in Mormonism, his background and education in religious studies, his experience working for BYU-Idaho, and his resignation from that position and the…

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499b: Brent Metcalfe — Mormon Apologetics and Approaching Life After Mormonism

September 25, 2014
By
metcalfe

And now, the final installment of our epic* interview with Brent Metcalfe! In today’s episode, we’ll talk to Brent about his interactions and run-ins with prominent Mormon apologists like Daniel Peterson, Lou Midgley and others. We’ll also talk about the recent history of BYU’s Maxwell Institute and what he sees in its future and in the future of Mormon apologetics overall. We’ll also talk in depth with Brent about how he has been able to construct a healthy and happy life outside of Mormonism. And be sure not to miss the exciting announcement from Brent toward the end of the…

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497-498: Brent Metcalfe — After the Hofmann bombings, Brent’s excommunication, and examining the Book of Mormon

September 13, 2014
By
497-498: Brent Metcalfe — After the Hofmann bombings, Brent’s excommunication, and examining the Book of Mormon

In the highly anticipated follow up to our first interview, Brent Metcalfe continues his story. In Part 3, Brent discusses the aftermath of the Hofmann murders, including the trial and Hofmann’s eventual plea deal. He also discusses the events leading up to, and including, his excommunication. In Part 4, Brent examines some of the issues surrounding traditional approaches to the Book of Mormon. A special thanks to Brent, who was feeling significantly under the weather during our interview, for sticking it out to deliver what amounts to one of the more fascinating Mormon Stories interviews.

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483-486: Christine Jeppsen Clark, Daughter of General Authority Malcolm Jeppsen

July 7, 2014
By
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Christine Jeppsen Clark is a mother of six, a former Mormon Tabernacle Choir member, a Ph.D. graduate student focusing on dementia, and a dear personal friend.  She is also the daughter of the late Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen — former LDS General Authority, personal physician and best friend to Elder Boyd K. Packer, and a GA who was directly involved in the excommunication of Avraham Gileadi (one of the September Six).  In this multi-part episode with Christine we discuss: What it was like to grow up in the 1950s and 1960s in Salt Lake City as a very orthodox, devout member…

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480-482: Jeremy Runnells and his Letter to a CES Director

June 18, 2014
By
jeremy

In February 2012, Jeremy Runnels experienced a crisis of faith, which subsequently led to a faith transition in the summer of 2012. In the spring of 2013, Jeremy was approached and asked by a Church Education System (CES) Director to share his concerns and questions about the LDS Church’s origins, history, and current practices. In response, Jeremy wrote what later became publicly known as Letter to a CES Director. Letter to a CES Director very quickly went viral on the internet. The CES Director responded that he read the “very well written” letter and that he would provide Jeremy with…

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475: Sandra Tanner Pt 4: “Anti-Mormonism,” Her Christian Beliefs, the Future of the LDS Church, Jerald’s Passing, and Final Testimony

June 2, 2014
By
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In part 4 of a 4 part series, Sandra Tanner discusses her views on being called an “anti-Mormon,” her Christian beliefs, her views on the recent candor/openness and future of the LDS church, the passing of her husband (Jerald — Alzheimer’s), and shares her final testimony.

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474: Sandra Tanner Pt. 3 — Treasure Digging, Polygamy, Thomas Ferguson, Eugene England

May 26, 2014
By
SandraTanner

In part 3 of a 4 part series, Sandra discusses several issues including Joseph Smith’s treasure digging, connections between the Masonic Lodge temple ceremony and the LDS Church temple ceremony, polygamy, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, blacks and the LDS priesthood, the Thomas Ferguson story, the Eugene England/Bruce R. McConkie letter exchange, the LDS church’s law suit against UTLM, and the Godmakers film.

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473: Sandra Tanner Pt. 2 — LDS Apostles, First Vision, Books of Mormon and Abraham, and Mark Hofmann

May 22, 2014
By
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In part 2 of our interview with Sandra Tanner, Sandra discusses challenges that she and her late husband had with Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, along with her interactions with Joseph Fielding Smith, Legrand Richard, and famous Mormon forger and murderer Mark Hofmann.

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472: Sandra (and Jerald) Tanner Pt. 1 — The Early Years

May 19, 2014
By
100tannerfamily

Sandra and the late Jerald Tanner were raised in the LDS faith, both with a strong Mormon family history. Jerald was the great-great-grandson of John Tanner, well known for his sizable financial contributions to Joseph Smith and the LDS church in 1835 when the church was deeply in debt. Sandra Tanner is a great-great-granddaughter of Brigham Young, the second president of the Mormon Church. As teenagers, before they met, Jerald and Sandra were challenged by different people and events to examine the origins of Mormonism. Soon after their introduction, they jointly began researching Mormonism and became engaged. Both accepted Christ…

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467-468: Taryn and Jason Nelson-Seawright on Leaving the Church after Returning

April 23, 2014
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467-468: Taryn and Jason Nelson-Seawright on Leaving the Church after Returning

In November, 2005 Mormon Stories interviewed Jason Nelson-Seawright (known online as “Roasted Tomatoes”) and Taryn Nelson-Seawright (“Serenity Valley”).  In this touching, 2-part series Taryn discussed how she resigned from the church as a teenager, but ultimately felt called by God to become re-baptized into the LDS church — ultimately becoming sealed to Jason in the temple.  You can listen to this original episode here and here. In this episode, nine years later, Jason and Taryn discuss their decision to leave the church completely.  They also discuss how their experiences with Autism Spectrum Disorder affected this decision.

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459: Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin by Nicole Hardy

March 13, 2014
By
NicoleHardy

In this podcast, Heather Olson Beal interviews Nicole Hardy, author of the stunningly beautiful memoir, Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin, with readers and fans Claire, Mel, and Maren. From amazon.com: When Nicole Hardy’s eye-opening “Modern Love” column appeared in the New York Times, the response from readers was overwhelming. Hardy’s essay, which exposed the conflict between being true to herself as a woman and remaining true to her Mormon faith, struck a chord with women coast-to-coast. Now in her funny, intimate, and thoughtful memoir, Nicole Hardy explores how she came, at the age of thirty-five, to a crossroads regarding her…

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454: Josh Hanagarne on Tourette Syndrome, Faith, Family, and being the World’s Strongest Librarian

December 30, 2013
By
JoshHanagarne

Josh Hanagarne is a father, husband, avid reader, librarian, weight lifter extraordinaire, and the author of the amazing book The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family. In this podcast, Heather Olson Beal and John Dehlin interview Josh about his childhood and adolescence, his Tourette’s diagnosis and treatment, his LDS mission experience, his marriage and family, his educational and work experiences, his body building experiences, and his faith/spirituality.  Josh is open, honest, and frank about all of the above. The book is delightful and thought-provoking and full of humanity and beauty.  We can’t…

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438: Elders – A Mormon Missionary Novel by Ryan McIlvain

September 19, 2013
By
Elders

Ryan McIlvain was born in Utah and raised in Massachusetts. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in many journals, including The Paris Review.  A graduate of the Rutgers MFA Program and a recipient of the Stegner Fellowship at Stanford, he currently lives with his wife in Los Angeles. As part of Mormon Stories Book Club, today Heather Olson Beal and I discuss Ryan’s book “Elders,” which is the story of two young Mormon missionaries in Brazil and their tense, peculiar friendship.  Elder McLeod—outspoken, surly, a brash American—is nearing the end of his mission. For nearly two years he has spent his days studying…

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