Southpark Creators Working on Mormon-Themed Broadway Muscial!!!

June 21, 2006
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Southpark Creators Working on Mormon-Themed Broadway Muscial!!!

Holy Moly!!!! Mormon Play By ‘South Park’ Creators A Reality South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are working on a Broadway musical – about Mormons. The new show – which will be co-created by Avenue Q writer Jeff Marx – is currently being developed by the comic duo but is yet to be given a title. Marx told Bang Showbiz: “Trey and Matt were over with me in London recently while I open Q here and so far we’ve written about four songs but we’ve got loads more ideas. “The show is going to have nothing to do…

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This I Believe: How Do You Believe in a Mystery?

June 20, 2006
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On my way home from work, I heard a really good radio essay on NPR–as part of their “This I Believe” series. It captures, in many ways, my own personal belief in God. I hope you enjoy. How Do You Believe in a Mystery? by Loudon Wainwright III, Singer-songwriter Morning Edition, June 19, 2006 · Here’s a question: How do you believe in a mystery, in something you don’t understand and can’t prove? When we’re children we’re encouraged to believe in some mysterious things that turn out to not necessarily be true at all — things like the Tooth Fairy,…

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My List of “Must Read Books” for Mormon Studies

June 19, 2006
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“Must Read” Books on Mormonism and the LDS Church: Overview: Mormon America: The Power and the Promise (Hardcover), by Richard and Joan Ostling The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-Day Saints, by Leonard J. Arrington (Author), Davis Bitton On the 19th Century Church: Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism, by Marvin S. Hill The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, by D. Michael Quinn On the 20th Century Church: David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, by Gregory Prince The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation, by Armand Mauss The Mormon Hierarchy:…

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When Religion Becomes Evil

June 16, 2006
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Anybody heard of this book? A friend lent it to me today and told me to read it. No connection to Mormonism at all. On the back I found the following “Five Warning Signs of Corruption in Religion.” They are: Absolute Truth Claims Blind Obedience Establishing the “Ideal” Time (no idea what they mean here) The End Justifies Any Means Declaring Holy War Let me be clear….I’m not accusing our faith/church as being evil, or as being more “guilty” on these 5 counts than any other religion today is. Still…I thought it was interesting, and worth noting….if for nothing other…

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Lots and lots of press coverage on the Jeffrey Nielsen Firing at BYU — 2 Options for What the Brethren Were Thinking

June 15, 2006
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Check these out…. USA Today LA Times Seattle PI Inside Higher Ed Pink News.UK KCPW in Utah KVOA in Tucson, AZ Even BYU NewsNet in 2 places: http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/60124 http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/60127 — With a fun/interesting quote….”This has very little to do with academic freedom” And lots of others….. Personally, I believe that the “Brethren” are both smart, and sincere….so my main question is…..which of the following scenarios are more likely? The brethren knew that they would get this type of press over this firing, and WANTED this coverage as sort of a public/PR/political “stake in the ground”, or Was it more of…

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BYU instructor Jeffrey Nielsen let go for questioning LDS stand on gay marriage

June 13, 2006
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BYU instructor Jeffrey Nielsen let go for questioning LDS stand on gay marriage

Bummer. A BYU Philosophy professor got fired for publicly voicing his views about the church’s opposition to gay marriage. His original editorial essay in the Salt Lake Tribune can be found here: http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_3896635 The news about his firing can be found here: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_3934360 Jeffrey is also being interviewed on RadioWest, which can be streamed, or downloaded later from here.

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ABC News Nightline: Life of Gay Mormons

June 8, 2006
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Others have posted this, but I can’t help myself. This is a well-worth-watching video on the life of gay Mormons. Check it out here, and please pass it on.

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030-033: An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins — An Interview with Grant Palmer

May 15, 2006
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In this episode of Mormon Stories, we interview Grant Palmer–author of the book entitled “An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins.” Grant (M.A., American history, Brigham Young University) is a three-time director of LDS Institutes of Religion in California and Utah, a former instructor at the Church College of New Zealand, and an LDS seminary teacher at two Utah locations. In episode 1, Grant talks about his childhood (growing up in Salt Lake City), his mission experience in Virginia, and his early years with the Church Education System. In episode 2, Grant talks about his move with CES from California to…

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Interviewing Grant Palmer — Please Post Your Questions for Him

May 9, 2006
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Within the next few days I will be doing a 3 hour podcast with Grant Palmer–his life, his time w/ CES, his books, his church disciplinary court, and his future. I would love to be able to present him w/ questions from my listeners. Please post any questions you would like for Grant to answer, and I will coallate and ask. Thanks!

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027-029: My ( John Dehlin’s ) Story

May 7, 2006
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At least once each week a listener will ask me (John Dehlin) about my testimony of the LDS Church. Liberals or ex-Mormons sometimes call me an apologist. A few conservatives have accused me of being a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” So, to dispel the speculation–and in response to lots and lots of requests–I recorded a 3 part episode sharing a bit of my own story within the Mormon context. For more details on the episodes, see below: Part 1–Mormon to the Bone: In this episode, I discuss my childhood, youth, and missionary experiences within the Mormon church, through the end…

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Progress on my “Top 10 Tough Issues in Mormon History” Site

May 1, 2006
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Hey, For an HTML class I’m taking for my masters at USU, I’ve been creating a web site dedicated to laying out the “facts” surrounding 10 of the top issues that cause some people to struggle within Mormonism and Mormon History. You can check out the site here: http://www.mormonstories.org/top10toughissues I very much welcome your feedback….for both tone and accuracy. As mentioned on the home page, my design specs for this site are: For each topic, we will in no way attempt to cover the material comprehensively. Instead, these topics will be VERY BRIEF. Our intent will be to do the…

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Teen Suicide in Utah – My Elder’s Quorum Lesson Today

April 23, 2006
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Today, Deseret News began a multi-part series on Teen Suicide in Utah. Some of the statistics were surprising to me: Every 11 days a Utah teen commits suicide Utah leads the nation in suicide among men 15-24 Utah has the 11th highest overall suicide rate in the nation The Utah youth suicide rate has tripled over the last few years Suicide is the #1 cause of death among Utah teens Since today’s Elder’s Quorum was on death & resurrection, I decided to teach a lesson on depression and suicide in the church. My sources were:

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026: Blacks and the LDS Priesthood–An Interview with Darius Gray and Margaret Young

April 12, 2006
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026: Blacks and the LDS Priesthood–An Interview with Darius Gray and Margaret Young

Recently, Brigham Young University invited Darius Gray–one of the founders of the LDS Genesis Group, and a black Mormon for over 30 years–to deliver a presentation entitled, “Blacks and the LDS Priesthood.” An audio-based PowerPoint presentation of this podcast can be found here. In this podcast, Darius re-delivers this presentation, along with Margaret Young. Darius and Margaret are co-authors of a trilogy dealing with black Mormon history entitled: Standing on the Promises. 2 of the links mentioned in the podcast are: http://mormonstories.org/top10toughissues/blacks.html and http://www.ldsgenesisgroup.org/howtoreach.html Finally–Darius, Margaret, and Richard Dutcher are collaborating on a documentary about blacks and the Mormon church…and…

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025: New Order Mormons Pt. 2–Ann’s Story

April 9, 2006
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Today we finally release Part 2 of our series on New Order Mormonism. New Order Mormons’ web site can be found here. According to their web site, “New Order Mormons are those who no longer believe some (or much) of the dogma or doctrines of the LDS church, but who want to maintain membership for cultural and social reasons.” In part 2 of this series, Ann discusses New Order Mormonism in detail, and talks about the “Seasons” within her life as a New Order Mormon. Note: After listening to the initial release, there’s a 5-10 minute segment near minute 45…

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022-024: Black and Mormon — The Darron Smith Story

March 30, 2006
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In this 3 part series, we interview Darron Smith–a black man who joined the LDS church as a teenager in Tennessee. After serving a mission for the LDS Church and graduating from the University of Utah, Darron began a 10 year teaching career at church-owned Brigham Young University. Late last year, Darron’s employment was terminated in response to (according to Darron) his public outspokenness regarding the LDS Church and its treatment of blacks–past and present. In this podcast, Darron: Discusses his positive upbringing in the LDS Church Provides a brief history of Blacks within the LDS Church Discusses his termination…

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Mormon Stories Blog Back in Business

March 29, 2006
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After a few months off, the Mormon Stories Blog is back in business. I want to offer a warm, heartfelt thanks to RoastedTomatoes and SerenityValley for sponsoring/supporting blogs about my podcasts over at LDS Liberation Front while I was away. They are a wonderful couple–and I have only deep love and admiration for their continuing friendship and support. I can’t say that I’m gonna maintain a traditional blog…in that I consider this blog mostly a forum to discuss my podcasts…but I imagine I will continue to blog from time to time. Regardless, thanks to all of you for your continued…

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019-021: Mormon, Married, Gay and Facing Discipline–An Interview with Buckley Jeppson

March 17, 2006
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In this 3-part series, we interview Buckley Jeppson. Buckley, 57, says he’s been informed verbally by a senior church leader that his life is incompatible with the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that a disciplinary council will soon address the matter. Jeppson, of Washington, D.C., married Mike Kessler in Toronto on Aug. 27, 2004. It is believed that if Jeppson is excommunicated, it would be the first time a Mormon in a legal, same-sex marriage was punished by the church. Jeppson claims that over the past five months Nolan Archibald, his Stake President and…

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New LDS group blog: Purimblog.org

March 14, 2006
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Hey! My good buddy known as Watt is staring a new blog with some buddies. The blog is located at: http://www.purimblog.org. As I understand it, the blog is dedicated to the discussion of religion and politics, but you can read more about it here. Anyway, Watt is one of the most thoughtful, sensitive people I’ve ever met….so this is likely to be a really good thing. Please check it out if you get a moment! John

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A warm, heartfelt thanks for your donations to Mormon Stories

February 15, 2006
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I must expressed how grateful, and thoroughly touched I am at the generous donations I have received for Mormon Stories thus far. I feel like full disclosure is super important, so I’m listing the donations I’ve received so far, while still protecting the anonymity of the donors. As I spend this money, I also intend to keep an itemized list of how I spend it, so you all know where the money is going. Link to donation table. Once again, thanks so much to all who have contributed. This amount should be more than enough to solve the recent bandwidth…

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More Readings on Mormons, Blacks, Curses, and Priesthood

February 14, 2006
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I have been lightly bombarded with kind suggestions to provide other sources on the topic. Here are a few:From Armand Mauss: Dispelling the curse of Cain: or, How to Explain the Old Priesthood Ban Without Looking Ridiculous Neither White Nor Black Newell Bringhurst’s Saints, Slaves, and Blacks All Abraham’s Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage (University of Illinois Press). From FAIR: http://www.blacklds.org/ http://members.cox.net/mikeparkerpublic/gd06_cursemyth2.pdf Thanks to all for the feedback! I look forward to this. John

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018: New Order Mormons Pt. 1–Ann’s Story

February 13, 2006
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Today we begin a 2 part series on New Order Mormonism.  New Order Mormons’ web site can be found here.  According to their web site, “New Order Mormons are those who no longer believe some (or much) of the dogma or doctrines of the LDS church, but who want to maintain membership for cultural and social reasons.” In part 1 of this series, we interview Ann–a pleasant but strong force in the bloggernacle, and also a leader within New Order Mormonism.  Ann shares with us her story–and details her journey into New Order Mormonism. To listen directly to the podcast,…

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Upcoming Podcast on Mormons, Racism and People of African Descent

February 12, 2006
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For the past 2 weeks, my 8 and 10 year old daughters were both taught in Sunday School that blacks were descendants of Cain, and that’s why they didn’t get the priesthood until 1978. In celebration of this momentous event in our family , I’m gonna soon do a podcast on Mormons, Negroes/Blacks and Racism. In my preparations, I found a great article/history on the subject. For those interested, check it out here. Also, if anyone has ideas, or questions for the podcast, please let me know. Stay tuned for the podcast. John Dehlin

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Accepting Small Donations to Increase Bandwidth and Support Expenses

February 8, 2006
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Today, 2 listeners independently suggested to me that I allow for donations on the site to help support the Mormon Stories podcast. Many of you may know that last month I had to take down the MP3s for about 4 or 5 days because I was set to exceed my bandwidth allotment for the month by my ISP. I have another podcast ready to post, but I’m already set to exceed the bandwidth for February based on current downloads. Ugh! We’re getting over 500 downloads per episode now, and it continues to grow (a good problem, I guess). Anyway, several…

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Mormon Stories Podcast Back Up!!!!

February 1, 2006
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It’s 2/1, so we’re all back up! Thanks for listening. John

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Podcasts Taken Offline until 2/1/06 — Bandwidth exceeded for January

January 29, 2006
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Hey! Due to lots and lots of downloads, we’ve exceeded our allotted bandwidth for this month, and I had to take the podcasts offline (we’re up to over 400 listeners now). They will go back online 2/1/06. Sorry for the inconvenience!!! Fortunately, these are the good sorts of problems. John

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015-017: Mormon Stages of Faith with Tom Kimball and Dan Wotherspoon

January 24, 2006
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In this 3-part series: Part 1: Dan Wotherspoon and Tom Kimball outline the basics of Fowler’s “Stages of Faith.” Part 2: Tom Kimball (with support from Dan Wotherspoon) takes us through the “Stages of Faith” from an LDS perspective, and Part 3: Tom and Dan both share with us a bit about their journeys into stage 4, including their attempts to work with their respective bishops to baptize (Tom) and ordain (Dan) their sons while in stage 4.

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God’s Army II – States of Grace has been re-released in Salt Lake City!!!!! One week only. Also to be released in Las Vegas & Phoenix/Mesa, AZ.

January 19, 2006
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Dear Friends, For the large number of you that contacted us after missing STATES OF GRACE due to the incredibly busy holiday season – IT’S BACK FOR ONE WEEK ONLY! PLEASE FORWARD THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW. OPENS FRIDAY, JANUARY 20 at: THE GATEWAY IN DOWNTOWN SLC JORDAN COMMONS IN SANDY CINEMARK 24 IN WEST JORDAN THE MEGAPLEX AT THANKSGIVING POINT CARMIKE WYNNSONG IN PROVO It also opens: FEBRUARY 3 IN LAS VEGAS, and FEBRUARY 10 IN MESA & PHOENIX, ARIZONA We will be taking this film to theaters across the country, therefore the DVD is not even scheduled…

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013-014: An Introduction to Mormon Polygamy with Todd Compton Parts 2 & 3

January 19, 2006
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Parts 2 and 3 of my interview with Todd Compton entitled “An Introduction to Mormon Polygamy” have now been posted to the Mormon Stories podcast. To comment on this podcast, please proceed to the LDS Liberation Front post for this podcast. To launch the podcasts directly from this blog: Click here for Part 2 Click here for Part 3 We hope you enjoy, and look forward to your thoughts and feedback!!! John Dehlin

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012: An Introduction to Mormon Polygamy with Todd Compton Part 1

January 17, 2006
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In part 1 of a 3 part series, we interview Todd Compton about the basics of polygamy in the Mormon church. Todd Compton is the author of the book In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith. To launch the podcast directly from the blog, please click here. To comment on this podcast, please post comments directly to the corresponding post at the Latter-day Saint Liberation Front.

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Stepping away for a bit….feel free to submit your story in text or audio form

December 25, 2005
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For a gaggle of personal reasons, I need to step away from the blog for a bit…..and I will miss all of you while I’m away (yes….all of you). To all my readers/listeners–you are dear, dear people. I hope to keep in touch (I’m NOT taking a sabbatical from email). LDSBlogs.org…..feel free to de-list me. I won’t be hurt by it (since I got to initiate it). You guys have been really cool/supportive, and I am very grateful for all of your kindness and sincerity. And please know that this has nothing whatever to do with our recent exchanges. I…

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My Challenges to the Bloggernacle for 2006

December 22, 2005
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It’s been 5 months or so since I entered the bloggernacle with a huge thud. Since then, I’ve tried to be a bit more focused, and constructive in my comments and contributions to the Bloggernacle, but I know I still have a long way to go. Bet even though I’m a bit more experienced and realistic than I was 5 months ago, I still have grander aspirations for the Bloggernacle than what it seems to be offering today–and so I want to humbly issue a few friendly challenges to the Bloggernacle in 2006. Here goes:

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