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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504: Professor David Campbell on Politics, Religion and Mormonism

October 29, 2014
By
David-E-Cammpbell-1

In this episode of Mormon Stories, J. Nelson-Seawright interviews David Campbell, Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and the founding director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy, about his celebrated research on religion and politics in America. Professor Campbell argues that the current partisan environment, in which religious people mostly support the Republican Party and less religious people the Democratic Party, is a recent development — and he explains how this pattern can help explain America’s recent rise in irreligiosity.Campbell also discusses his work on Mormonism and politics. He explains his research…

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503: Discussing the New LDS.org Polygamy Essays Part 1 — With Lindsay Hansen Park, John Hamer and J. Nelson-Seawright

October 23, 2014
By
josephemmacloseup

This week The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released its long-awaited series of essays on polygamy in Kirtland/Nauvoo, Utah and post-manifesto polygamy, igniting a firestorm of discussion online. In this episode, we bring together an all-star cast of Mormon Stories favorites to discuss the Kirtland/Nauvoo essay:

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

October 21, 2014
By
kirk caudle

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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500: To Be Released

October 21, 2014
By

Episode 500 is in the works, and will be released as soon as John can finish it.   In the meantime, we’re going to be releasing some of the other great content we’ve been working on. Enjoy!

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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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499: Brent Metcalfe and the Book of Abraham

September 19, 2014
By
35852_all_A01_001-priestAbraham

In Part 5 of our interview with Brent Metcalfe, one of the foremost Mormon scholars, we explore the history surrounding Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham (one of the primary scriptural texts for the LDS Church). We also talk about the concept of translation, Joseph Smith’s views on his “translations,” the traditional apologetic responses concerning the Book of Abraham (Hugh Nibley, John Gee, and Kerry Muhlestein), as well as the LDS Church’s recent essay on the Book of Abraham. Stay tuned for the sixth and final episode of our series with Brent Metcalfe.  Coming soon!  In it, we’ll talk to…

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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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495-496: Fiona and Terryl Givens and “The Crucible of Doubt” – Parts 1 and 2

August 28, 2014
By
Crucible of Doubt

In their latest book, The Crucible of Doubt, published by Deseret Book, Fiona and Terryl Givens tackle perhaps their most daunting — and important — subject to date: doubt in the context of Mormon faith. In Part 1, we interview a Mormon Stories listener and contributor, James Patterson, about his struggles with doubt and how the book helped him. In Part 2, Terryl and Fiona take us through the book as we discuss the elements of Mormonism that cause some of the biggest doubts and how to approach them with new paradigms. Time last night didn’t allow for a Part…

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Resources for Married Couples

August 27, 2014
By

Some resources for married Mormons or former Mormons.  Topics are relevant for unorthodox LDS couples, mixed-faith couples, and post-Mormon couples: Screencasts: Top 5 Myths and Truths about Why Committed Mormons Leave the Church http://mormonstories.org/top-5-myths-and-truths-about-why-committed-mormons-leave-the-church/ Podcasts: Navigating a Mormon Faith Transition (an overview) http://www.mormontransitions.org/2012/04/05/001-navigating-a-mormon-faith-transition/ 182-185: Navigating a Marriage When One Loses Their LDS Testimony http://mormonstories.org/182-185-navigating-a-marriage-when-one-loses-their-lds-testimony/ 143-146: Raising Children in a Non-Traditional LDS Home http://mormonstories.org/143-146-raising-children-in-a-non-traditional-lds-home/ 123-125: What to do when your husband loses his LDS testimony — Jacque Parts 1-3 http://mormonstories.org/123-125-what-to-do-when-your-husband-loses-his-lds-testimony-jacque-parts-1-3/ 157-159: How to Improve Your Marriage After One of You Loses Their Testimony http://mormonstories.org/157-159-how-to-improve-your-marriage-after-an-lds-crisis-of-faith/ 330: Raising Children in a Mixed-Faith Mormon Home…

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A Thank You to Our Workshop Scholarship Donors

August 27, 2014
By

To those of you who graciously supported the scholarship recipient program for our August “Marriage and Faith Transition Workshop” — I wanted to let you know that we were able to fund (by my best count) 12 couples scholarships because of your donations.  Margi, Natasha, and I cannot thank you enough for your generosity.  Below are a few “thank you notes” to you, from some of our scholarship recipients. Participant #1: “To those who helped my wife and I attend this meeting thank you very much. My wife and I have struggled for many years with our concerns for a mixed faith…

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493-494: Brent Metcalfe – Early Years, Mark Hofmann, the Salamander Letter, and the Bombings

August 20, 2014
By
493-494: Brent Metcalfe – Early Years, Mark Hofmann, the Salamander Letter, and the Bombings

Few people had more of a front-row seat than Brent Metcalfe to the goings-on surrounding Mark Hofmann, the “Salamander Letter,” and the tragic events of October 1985 — what would be dubbed as the “Mormon Murders.” As a personal friend and research assistant for both Steve Christensen and Mark Hofmann, Brent Metcalfe watched the whole episode unfold right before his eyes. In Part 1, Brent talks about his early days in the Church and his time working for Church security. He also talks about his early forays into Mormon studies. In Part 2, Brent describes working for and with Steve…

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Questions for Kirk Caudle

August 18, 2014
By
Questions for Kirk Caudle

Later this week I’ll have the privilege of guest hosting Mormon Stories. I’ll be talking to Kirk Caudle, Mormon studies scholar and host of the Mormon Book Review Podcast. Until this summer, Kirk was also an adjunct professor of religion at BYU-Idaho. After a series of run-ins with school administrators regarding his teaching, Caudle resigned not only from his position with the school, but also from the Church. I’ll be talking to Kirk about his Mormon studies work, the formation of his testimony of the Book of Mormon, his time at BYU-Idaho and the reasons behind his resignation. Please post…

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491-492: Mara and Danny Kofoed — A Blog About Love

August 13, 2014
By
mara danny kofoed

Since 2011, Mara and Danny Kofoed have been blogging about their positive approaches to life, even in the face of sometimes heartbreaking circumstances such as infidelity, divorce, and infertility.  A Blog About Love stands as a the Kofoed’s testimony to the human spirit’s ability to transcend despair and difficulty, and to view life for the positive, uplifting, and even loving experience that it can be. In this two-part series, Mara and Danny talk about their lives in Mormonism, their failed first marriages, meeting each other, starting the blog, their experiences dealing with infertility — and how they keep a loving attitude through it…

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Questions for Brent Metcalfe

August 11, 2014
By
metcalfe

I am very excited to announce that I will soon be interviewing Brent Metcalfe.  Brent is a fascinating interview for Mormon Stories for many reasons, including: He knew forger and bomber Mark Hofmann personally. He worked directly for Steven Christensen (son of Mr. Mac), one of Mark Hofmann’s victims. He went on to author/edit New Approaches to the Book of Mormon: Explorations in Critical Methodology, which examined in-depth the historicity claims of the Book of Mormon. Brent was ultimately excommunicated for editing/authoring this book. Brent has become one of the foremost scholars in understanding the Book of Abraham. Brent is generally a giant…

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488-490: Neil Ransom and Kate Kelly – After Kate’s Excommunication

July 26, 2014
By
1364768

In this three-part series we interview Neil Ransom (Kate Kelly’s husband, and Ph.D. candidate in anthropology) and we speak with Kate about her excommunication and the aftermath. Some of the fascinating tidbits we explore: Neil’s early years growing up in Africa How Neil’s mission, along with his attending BYU-Idaho, actually turned him into a progressive Mormon How Kate and Neil met (their love story), and what Neil loves most about Kate What Neil is researching for his Ph.D. (hint….it’s super cool) Has Neil experienced a faith crisis? Who “wears the pants” in Kate/Neil’s marriage…also what are the traits of a “real man” according…

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487: An Outsider’s View of Joseph Smith — Alex Beam’s “American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church”

July 15, 2014
By
AlexBeam

In this episode we interview Alex Beam: author of “American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church.” Alex provides an extremely insightful and compelling “outsider’s view” of Joseph Smith’s final years in Nauvoo, along with his murder and legacy.

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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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Questions and Answers

June 25, 2014
By

Below is a listing of the most common questions that I am being asked about the possible pending disciplinary council. What past experiences led you to start Mormon Stories? Why did you start Mormon Stories? Why do you believe that you are being considered for disciplinary action? Do you desire to amass followers? Have you taught false doctrine? What aspects of LDS Church teachings/doctrine do you still believe in, vs. not? Are you guilty of “speaking ill of the Lord’s anointed”? Do you want to be excommunicated? Why do you value your membership? Do you see yourself as a victim?…

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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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476-479: John Dehlin and Kate Kelly Discuss Possible Disciplinary Action

June 18, 2014
By
dehlin-kelly

In this series we share four interviews in response to John Dehlin and Kate Kelly being informed about pending disciplinary councils.  The interviews include the following: Episode 476: A June 13th, 2014 interview with John Dehlin for Utah Public Radio. Episode 477: A June 16th, 2014 interview with John Dehlin and Kate Kelly for RadioWest. Episode 478: A June 17th, 2014 interview with Ally Isom, Senior Manager of LDS Church Public Affairs. Episode 479: A June 12th, 2014 interview with Jennifer Napier-Pearce of the Salt Lake Tribune.

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365: Why I Stay — John Dehlin

June 12, 2014
By
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This presentation was delivered as part of the 2012 Salt Lake Symposium held on July 27th. To listen to the entire session, click here. The text for the talk can be found here.

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Messages to my Family

June 12, 2014
By
1487775_738196073219_1721715103_o

It’s a surprisingly heart-wrenching experience to tell your wife and children that you are being put on trial for apostasy by the church you love. What I learned today is that it’s even more difficult to receive this news as the spouse or child of an alleged apostate — especially when you happen to live in a very conservative Mormon town, and will likely face considerable social stigma as a result of your father’s decisions (for no fault of your own). The decisions I’ve made have certainly led to this week’s events.  I desire no pity. But if you have a word or two to…

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400: Top 5 Myths and Truths about Why Committed Mormons Leave the Church

June 12, 2014
By
WhyMormonsLeave2013

I created this video/presentation for two reasons: To dispel any misunderstandings about why people leave the church (and what happens to them when they do) that came about as a result of my recent podcast interview, and I’ve been wanting to update my “Why people leave the LDS church” youtube video for some time to include the results from the “Why Mormons Question” survey. Please watch and provide feedback if you can…and then share w/ family, friends, and church members/leaders who lack understanding or empathy.  Powerpoint presentation can be found here.

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My TEDx Talk: The Ally Within (On Being a Mormon LGBT Ally)

June 12, 2014
By
John

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397-399: John Dehlin and Faith Reconstruction

June 12, 2014
By
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In this three-part interview conducted by Sarah Collett of A Thoughtful Faith podcast we discuss: My ups, downs, and ups with the church The story behind the “Why Mormons Question” survey, including my interactions with a few church leaders A discussion of the Daniel Peterson/Neil A. Maxwell institute incident last year The reasons behind the discontinuation of the Mormon Stories conferences and communities Interactions w/ my bishop and stake president over the past year How and why I’ve returned to full activity in the church Big thanks to Sarah and Micah for all of their hard work.

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Understanding Mormon Disbelief Survey – Results and Analysis

June 11, 2014
By

Click here for the full report.  Description below. This survey represents the first in a series that will explore the beliefs and practices of current and former Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). We recognize that there are many different decisions and experiences in the lives of Mormons. Our initial area of exploration relates to reasons that Mormons question their belief in the Church or experience a “crisis of faith.” Many believing Mormons never experience a faith crisis, and many Mormons who do experience a crisis of faith do not ultimately lose their faith in…

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Flawed, but Trying

June 3, 2014
By
Flawed, but Trying

I’m going to say a few things that are completely obvious, but I want to say them anyway. Many, many people have been very kind to me recently, showering me with descriptors such as “hero” and “saint.”  Others have been not-so-nice, accusing me of deliberately contriving and manipulating the past and present situations for various motives (e.g., attention, money, career, narcissism).  As I imagine that both types of descriptions will continue into the next few weeks (months/years) — I would like to be “on the record” as stating two things. First…the obvious.  I am a flawed individual who is simply trying to do what he…

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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
a-foto

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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