Thanks for your willingness to give Mormon Stories a 2nd run.
My focus for 2010 (and beyond?) will be:
- Empathy and Support for Those Struggling w/ a Faith Crisis: First and foremost, I want to help to build greater understanding, empathy and support within the broader LDS culture for those struggling with an LDS-related faith crisis. I envision interviewing many who have struggled with their faith — and to put forward several examples of people who have found joy on the other side of the struggle (regardless of whether they landed in or out of the church). The goal will not be to keep people in the church…nor to nudge them out of the church…but instead to help build broad empathy, and to help the strugglers find positive role models, tips, tricks and ideas to help them in their own religious/spiritual/life journey….regardless of where it leads. I anticipate interviewing folks from all sides including: FAIR/FARMS, StayLDS, New Order Mormon, PostMormon and ExMormon.org — and wherever else it makes sense. This will be about finding joy for those who come from a Mormon paradigm…NOT about nudging people one way or the other.
- Less LDS-related Divorce over Faith Issues: I honestly cannot count the number of couples who have come to me in the past few years seeking help w/ their marriage…as it falls apart due to faith-related issues. Consequently, I desperately want to see less divorce and marital strife because of faith struggles within Mormonism. In my mind/heart….the LDS Church should NEVER be a major cause in the dissolution of a healthy family. To this end, I plan to find couples who have made it through such a struggle with their marriage in tact (in or out of the church), and to discuss things like: 1) how to “get on the same page” (where possible), 2) how to deal with differences (where they exist), 3) how to raise children in a mixed-faith, progressive faith or even an ex-LDS home, and 4) how to deal with the in-laws, etc. I also hope to prepare new materials (like my “Why they leave…” Youtube presentation) to be used as resources to share w/ loved ones (as needed) to support people in these situations.
- Mental Illness: Because of my interest in Psychology, I plan to do an in-depth exploration of mental illness with Mormonism (including Depression, eating disorders, addictions, Autism, abuse, etc.)
- And for some fun (we can’t get too heavy, now, can we?)….an attempt to interview prominent LDS artists, media personalities, celebrities, etc. And of course….you can expect much of the same Mormon Stories that you have enjoyed in the past. Hopefully I can throw in a few surprises along the way.
I will be operating Mormon Stories on an NPR/PBS model (through donations of both time and money). As financial support comes in, I will use it to fund new episodes. As long as the donations continue to come, I will keep things hopping.
To Donate to Mormon Stories 2010, please click on the donate button at the top right of this blog.
Other ways I could use help:
- Good ideas for really, really good interviews will also be critical. I have to find a way to keep things super interesting to my diverse audience — which includes both believers and non-believers. Here’s the direction I’m hoping to go: http://mormonstories.org/?p=716 . Helping me actually get the quality interviewees to agree to the interview is also super helpful.
- Awareness/Marketing: The extent to which you can help build awareness about Mormon Stories, either through email, Facebook, Twitter, Internet Forums, Blogs, etc. — the more folks who subscribe to and support Mormon Stories, the easier it will be to keep things going.
- I will likely need some technical support if you’re a wiz w/ web technology (design or dev)…let me know.
- Moral support is best of all, of course.
I will do my best to make you proud.