An Illustration of Why I Do Mormon Stories Podcast : Anti-LDS DVDs in Arizona

March 27, 2007
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For the last year or so, I’ve had 3 primary goals for all I do with Mormon Stories Podcast: –More Knowledge within Mormonism –More Understanding/Empathy/Compassion within Mormonism –Less Pain within Mormonism When I conduct an interview, it is always with these 3 goals in mind. Recently I’ve had to discuss and justify (in a friendly setting) the costs/benefits of what I do (which is a very healthy exercise, I might add). Clearly I feel like what I’m/we’re trying to do is a good thing, but sometimes it’s hard to articulate. Perhaps this recent news article I stumbled upon today helps…

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Today, It’s a Wonderful Life

March 25, 2007
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Today, It’s a Wonderful Life

I have so many reasons to count my blessings this week…so bear with me as I mention a few…. The very generous and supportive letters I received last week (both as comments to the post, and in private) in response to my call for help were more than I coud have ever hoped for. Thanks to all of you from the bottom of my heart. To me, this was my Jimmy Stewart/Frank Capra moment — and it will remain with me always. Rest assured that these letters were put to very good use, and that they made a huge difference.…

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Neil LaBute bears a heavy load

March 22, 2007
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Neil LaBute bears a heavy load

 2007-03-16 — JewishJournal.Com: Arts in L.A. Whether it’s business or religion, the ‘Fat Pig’ playwright tells it like it is By Naomi Pfefferman, Arts & Entertainment Editor Neil LaBute. Photo by Lisa Carpenter During one of many cringe-worthy moments in Neil LaBute’s play, “Fat Pig,” a cad chastises a co-worker for dating a plus-sized woman named Helen. “I don’t understand you taking God’s good gifts and pissing on ’em,” the cad, Carter, warns his colleague, Tom. Tom is handsome and successful, and Helen is simply considered too fat to grace the arm of a corporate player. It doesn’t matter that…

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Mormon Senator Harry Reid: Why I Believe

March 21, 2007
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Mormon Senator Harry Reid: Why I Believe

I’m sure others have blogged about this, but I just discovered (via buddy Eric). A good, classic Mormon Story. Why I Believe: Harry Reid by Harry Reid March 15, 2002 Printed from Mormon Life (http://deseretbook.com/mormon-life) For me, the title of this…would better be Why I’m Glad I Believed. I was born and raised in Searchlight, Nevada, a mining town of about two hundred people. Mining was not the main industry in Searchlight when I grew up; the number-one business was prostitution. At one time in my youth there were thirteen separate bordellos in town. I went to a two-room school,…

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Lecture on LDS women at UVSC Thursday night: Claudia Bushman

March 21, 2007
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(From my good buddy Eric) Deseret News: OREM — Columbia University professor Claudia Bushman will speak Thursday at Utah Valley State College on the topic “Should LDS Women Speak Out? Thoughts on Our Place.” Bushman’s lecture is at 7 p.m. in room 101 of the Liberal Arts Building. The lecture is free and open to the public. Bushman is this year’s presenter of the Eugene England Lecture for UVSC’s Religious Studies Program. She is also the author of the book, “Building the Kingdom: A History of Mormons in America.”

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A few letters

March 20, 2007
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Mormon Stories Listeners, A small situation has arisen and I’d love to gather a few letters from folks who feel like Mormon Stories has helped them find a way to remain active in the church when they otherwise might not have. If you are able to help, please either email me at mormonstories@gmail.com or post your story here. Thanks so much, and sorry to be a burden.

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14TH Annual Mormon Women’s Rocky Mountain Retreat

March 7, 2007
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14TH Annual Mormon Women’s Rocky Mountain Retreat

14TH Annual Rocky Mountain Retreat June 1-3, 2007 Snow Mountain Ranch, Winter Park, Colorado

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Thanks for your support

March 7, 2007
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Thanks for your support

I just want to thank our listeners for their support.  It really means a lot.  More (pink) Mormon Stories goodness very soon!!!!

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Me, Grant Palmer, and Wikipedia

March 7, 2007
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Me, Grant Palmer, and Wikipedia

Wow. We’ve officially arrived. In the Wikipedia entry on Grant Palmer, our podcast interview w/ Mr. Palmer (and Mr. Bushman) is mentioned. They also compare Grant Palmer to Galileo. Those of you with WAY too much time on your hands, or who want to Snark me, can even now begin writing a blurb on my own, personal “yet to be created wikipedia entry” (I’m not allowed to write about myself. That would not be neutral). This Web 2.0 thing is starting to get a little crazy, eh?

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MTV’s Engaged and Underage Episode 6: Mormon Temple Marriage and the Exclusion of Non-Members

March 6, 2007
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MTV’s Engaged and Underage Episode 6: Mormon Temple Marriage and the Exclusion of Non-Members

(Props to Tom Grover for the Head’s up) MTV is running a series called “Engaged and Underage” on underage marriages in the U.S. One of the couples they are spotlighting is a Mormon couple — she was raised in the church, he converted. Within this episode, they explore how hard it is for non-LDS families to be excluded from the wedding ceremony in the LDS temple. It’s definitely an interesting Mormon story.  Some parts are QUITE painful. To watch the episode, click here and then click on the “Engaged and Underage: Episode 6 — Play All” link at the top…

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U.N.L.V. Forward Does Not Lack Family Support ( Mormon Fundamentalist Polygamy Meets NCAA Basketball )

March 5, 2007
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U.N.L.V. Forward Does Not Lack Family Support ( Mormon Fundamentalist Polygamy Meets NCAA Basketball )

NY Times: LAS VEGAS, March 4 — (Again from Paula) When the cheering section for Joe Darger is at full strength, it includes his father, his mother, his 18 siblings and his father’s other wife. They wear red T-shirts, blow on red noisemakers and wave red pompoms. They appear no different from any other group in the U.N.L.V. family section — only larger and louder. “We cheer for all the players,” said John Darger, Joe’s father. “We like to get a little rowdy.” John Darger is married to Carollee Darger, Joe’s mother. He is also married to Elizabeth Darger, the…

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(Mormon) Radio Open Source

March 2, 2007
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Check this out. It would be fun to think about what types of things we could do within Mormonism and the Bloggernacle like Radio Open Source. Brainstorming? Thoughts? Volunteers?

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Niblet Awards

March 1, 2007
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Hey! A few John Dehlin-affiliated sites were nominated in the Niblet Awards. The nominations were for: Mormon Stories: Best Podcast The Cultural Hall: Best New Blog John Dehlin: Unsung hero If you are so inclined, check it out!

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Bloggernacle Fast For Peace: March 4th

February 23, 2007
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From Bored in Vernal: “Hi, Bloggernacle Friends, Some of us would like to do a Bloggernacle fast on Sunday March 4. We are fasting for for peace in Iran and that American and world leaders will be directed to work in peaceful ways for the solutions to political tensions. If you can support this, will you write a post on it and let your readers know? Thanks, Bored in Vernal”

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Some good writing/thinking on Blogs, Forums, and Community

February 23, 2007
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For those of you ever-noodling about how to nurture and grow community on the Internet within Mormonism, here are some great blog posts/thoughts on the matter. I’m always interested in thinking of new ways to move the community ball forward.  Any of this interesting to any of you in the Mormon Bloggernacle context?  With this article in particular, I’d be interested in learning where all of you think the Bloggernacle is today (which of the 3 models) — and what direction you think it is heading. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!!!!

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054: Nate Oman — On Messiness, Harvard, the Bloggernacle, and Thoughtful Faith

February 22, 2007
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Chances are, you’ve never heard of Nate Oman. Nevertheless — Nate is a Mormon worth knowing. Born to Sunstone and Dialogue – style parents, Nate was raised to expect “messiness” within both the world, and his Church. After serving an LDS mission in Korea and graduating from BYU, Nate attended Harvard Law School. During law school, Nate became one of the very first Mormon bloggers on the Internet, and is one of the founders of the juggernaut blog “timesandseasons.org” — you might even call Nate Oman the godfather of the Mormon bloggernacle (or the network of Mormon-themed blogs on the…

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Mormon Women’s Issues Podcast Series Update

February 21, 2007
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As some of you know, I am preparing to do a podcast series on Mormon Women’s issues (see here and here). I have received some EXCELLENT essays from a handful of Mormon women, and am very excited about every one. A few final updates: I’m looking to record the 1st set of stories next week (week of Feb 26th). For those of you who have submitted essays, please email me with couple of dates/times that work for you I still need more essays, so if you have not submitted, please consider doing so. Please do not feel like you have…

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053: The Trolley Square Mall Murders — An Interview with Witness Matt Lund

February 17, 2007
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053: The Trolley Square Mall Murders — An Interview with Witness Matt Lund

To keep this podcast alive, please consider donating to Mormon Stories by clicking on the “Make a Donation” button at the top right of this blog. ============================ At 6:44pm on February 13th in Salt Lake City, Utah — an 18-year-old Salt Lake City resident and Bosnian immigrant named Sulejman Talovic entered Trolley Square mall with a shotgun and began a shooting spree. In the end, 9 people were shot, and 6 were killed, including Talovic himself. One of the witnesses to this event was Matt Lund — father of 6 children, and member of the LDS Church. This is his…

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052: J. Bonner Ritchie—On Organizations, Individuals, and Pillars of Thoughtful Faith

February 16, 2007
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052: J. Bonner Ritchie—On Organizations, Individuals, and Pillars of Thoughtful Faith

To keep this podcast alive, please consider donating to Mormon Stories by clicking on the “Make a Donation” button at the top right of this blog. Also, please show Sunstone your gratitude for the following presentation by either subscribing to the magazine, donating, or purchasing some of the MP3s from their library. ============================ A few weeks ago, a very close friend of mine named Russell mailed me a CD full of his favorite Sunstone Symposium MP3s. While several of struck me as profound, one presentation in particular was groundbreaking, and almost breathtaking to me. It was a presentation delivered in…

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Mitt Romney and Mormonism: On Point

February 13, 2007
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Mitt Romney and Mormonism: On Point

For those interested, check it out. Former Massachusetts governor, Republican Mitt Romney formally throws his hat in the ring for the presidency today. Romney comes to the contest as successful businessman, state leader, increasingly conservative politician who saved the 2002 Winter Olympics – and as a Mormon. He’s hardly the first Mormon political leader – or presidential candidate. Orin Hatch ran. So did Mitt Romney’s own father. But Mitt Romney is running hard to be the favored candidate of the religious right. Howard Berkes, Salt Lake City-based correspondent for NPR Richard Bushman, Emeritus Professor of History at Columbia University and…

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Philip Barlow Selected as USU Leonard Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture

February 13, 2007
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Philip Barlow Selected as USU Leonard Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture

It’s a great day. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Philip Barlow has been selected as the Utah State University Leonard Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture (thanks to Mormon Wasp for the heads up). Perhaps the most interesting quote from the article for me is, “At USU, Barlow will not be discussing or promoting his faith. ‘We are not teaching Mormon doctrine or theology . . . or testing the truth of it,’ said Norman L. Jones, history department chairman. ‘We are looking at what people do because they believe certain things.'” I’m excited because he’s in Logan.…

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Seeking Your Story as a Mormon Woman

February 10, 2007
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To begin our series on Mormon Women, I’m looking for around 20 Mormon women to tell a story. The details: I’m thinking that these will be written essays that are read, and I will capture the audio. We can record the audio over phone, or skype (if you have broadband, and a headest) Let’s try to keep the story under 5 minutes. Unless it’s really, really, really crucial to make it longer. Email me when you can, and send me your essay, along w/ a day/time that you might be able to do the recording. You can do this anonymously…

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Seeking Help in Preparation for a Series on Women’s Issues Within Mormonism

February 7, 2007
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I am literally sickened with embarassment that I have now surpassed 50 episodes on Mormon Stories, and I have yet to do an episode on Women’s issues and the church. I would like to atone for this soon, but I need your help. In all honesty (and isn’t this classic?), I know virtually NOTHING about feminism or women’s issues within Mormonism. Here’s what I’m thinking:

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My Reflections from My Interview with Richard Bushman

February 7, 2007
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Most of you will likely consider this a rambling mess, but I wanted to post my reflections from my interview with Richard Bushman somewhere–so I’m doing it here. I include these comments in audio form at the beginning of part 5, but here they are in text form:

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051: Richard Bushman Part 5 — Final Thoughts (For now)

February 7, 2007
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In the 5th and final part of this multi-part interview with Dr. Richard Bushman, the world’s foremost scholar on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism and author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, John Dehlin offers some final thoughts on his time with Brother Bushman, and Dr. Bushman himself provides some final musings on the challenges of dealing with tough Mormon issues. He then concludes with his testimony of Joseph Smith. To access this interview, subscribe via iTunes, or click here to listen to the audio directly. To provide direct feedback to me or to Dr. Bushman about this episode, please…

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050: Richard Bushman Part 4 — Book of Mormon Historicity and the 3 and 8 Witnesses

February 4, 2007
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In part 4 of this multi-part interview with Dr. Richard Bushman, the world’s foremost scholar on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism and author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, Brother Bushman discusses the historicity of the Book of Mormon, and the credibility of the 3 and 8 witnesses to the Book of Mormon. To access this interview, subscribe via iTunes, or click here to listen to the audio directly.

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049: Richard Bushman Part 3 — Joseph Smith and the Translation of the Book of Mormon

February 1, 2007
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In part 3 of this multi-part interview with Dr. Richard Bushman, the world’s foremost scholar on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism and author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, Brother Bushman discusses Joseph Smith’s bringing to light of the Book of Mormon, from angel Moroni’s visit, to the obtaining of the plates, to the actual mechanics of the translation process. He also discusses the process of receiving revelation within Mormonism, as a Patriarch in the LDS Church. To access this interview, subscribe via iTunes, or click here to listen to the audio directly.

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History and Faith: Reflections of a Mormon Historian by Richard D. Poll

February 1, 2007
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I often mention Lowell Bennion, T. Edgar Lyon, Eugene England, Leonard Arrington and now Richard Bushman as personal heroes with regard to how they were/are able to deal with Mormon history directly and candidly, but still retain a faith, and even a commitment to the LDS Church. Unfortunately, I too often omit Richard D. Poll. Richard Poll wrote one of the most important essays ever written for thinking Mormons: What the church means to people like me. In this essay he first explores the “Liahona vs. Iron Rod” metaphor for approaches to LDS faith. Well, I’m very pleased to announce…

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Requesting Polite Questions for My Next Interview w/ Richard Bushman

January 28, 2007
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I’m interviewing Richard Bushman again soon. The topics will be: The “translation” of the Book of Mormon The credibility of the 3 and 8 witnesses Please let me know if you have sincere, thoughtful, polite questions, and I’ll try to work them in. Also, if you have follow-on questions from the past 2 interviews, please include them as well. Thanks! John

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048: Richard Bushman Part 2 — The Art of History, Joseph Smith’s First Vision Stories, and Joseph’s Participation in Folk Magic and Treasure Digging

January 25, 2007
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In part 2 of this multi-part interview with Dr. Richard Bushman, the world’s foremost scholar on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism and author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, we tackle 4 main topics. First, brother Bushman provides a high level review of the major Joseph Smith biographies that preceded Rough Stone Rolling, including Fawn Brodie’s “No man knows my history.” Next, brother Bushman discusses the art of writing history, and the challenges involved in trying to arrive at “the facts” and “the truth” for both historians, and readers of history. Finally, we discuss in depth the first 2 of…

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047: Richard Bushman Part 1 — Experiences as a Mormon Historian

January 22, 2007
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047: Richard Bushman Part 1 — Experiences as a Mormon Historian

In part 1 of this multi-part interview, Dr. Richard Bushman, the world’s foremost scholar on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism and the author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, discusses his years as a Mormon historian–including his struggle with faith as a Harvard undergraduate, his decision to get a PhD in history, and his experiences with Leonard Arrington, Dialogue and Sunstone. He also discusses the role of candid, honest history within the modern LDS Church. To access this interview, subscribe via iTunes, or click here to listen to the audio directly. =================== As a side note, I’m simultaneously elated and…

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