600: Launching the “Community of Good” Experiment (A Humanist Alternative to Religious Community)

COGCVOn September 27, 2015 the first Community of Good Sunday service was held in Logan, UT at the Cache Valley Unitarian Universalist church building.  The Cache Valley Community of Good has created the following group description:

This secular community provides a supportive environment to residents in or near Cache Valley who may or may not choose to affiliate with organized religion. Dedicated to social interaction, intellectual exploration, and humanitarian service, the Community of Good allows members to enjoy the benefits of a tight-knit community without the dogma, rites, or rules of religion. We encourage respect for all belief systems ranging from orthodox to agnostic or atheist.

This episode shares the audio from this first meeting, including a presentation by Dr. John Dehlin, wherein he lays out a starting vision for the Community of Good.

The Community of Good – Cache Valley has been meeting regularly for three months now. We have held bi-weekly Sunday meetings, service projects, hikes, weekly support groups, and we even held an adult 80’s dance last weekend (which was wildly successful). The community here is new, but it is thriving and very high quality (for three months in).

If any of you are interested in starting a Community of Good​ group in your area, please join this Facebook group.

I believe that communities like this would thrive in places like Salt Lake City, Sandy/Draper, West Jordan/Herriman, Utah County, Ogden, Park City/Heber/Midway, Southern Utah, Phoenix, AZ, Boise, Southern California, Denver/Colorado Springs, Atlanta, Houston, Washington D.C., New York metro, London U.K., Sweden, Germany, and many other places.

In short, we would be more than happy to help you get one started, and we can all learn/grow together. Please reach out if you are interested.

599: Mindy Gledhill Discusses her Mormon Faith Transition

mindy-about-imageThis podcast is Part 3 of a Mormon Stories and A Thoughtful Faith Collaboration.

Mindy Gledhill is an American indie pop music singer-song writer. She has five albums, the Sum of all Grace, Anchor, Winter Moon and Pocketful of Poetry and has collaborated on many others.  Mindy’s music appears in film, television and commercials. Its has been described as ‘tender, emotional, intelligent, and touchingly auto-biographical, fun flirty and heartfelt.’

Her vocal style is warm and rich;  each of her songs attest to the tremendous talent she has as both a musician and a lyricist.  She’s also innovative and entrepreneurial and in 2012 was recognized as one of “Utah’s 40 Under 40” in the Utah Valley Business Q Magazine.

But Mindy also has a rich life story. Born into a large Mormon family she grew up in a faith tradition that could not keep up with her growing awareness of gender inequality and patriarchy.

Mindy joins Gina Colvin to discuss her life, her work, her family and her personal gender politics.mindy-square-about

In Parts One and Two of the series John Dehlin interviewed pop artist Mindy Gledhill and classical pianist Dustin Gledhill regarding their new electronic synth-pop project called Hive Riot. In Part 3 A Thoughtful Faith podcast host Gina Colvin interviews Mindy about her faith, women’s issues, and other dimensions of Mindy’s experiences as a woman, mother, wife, pop artist, Mormon, and human.

In Part 1 John explores Mindy and Dustin’s respective stories as Mormons, along with their careers as successful musical performing artists.  Dustin also discusses his difficulties as a gay Mormon (including his attempts to change his sexual orientation, driving him to the point of suicide), and Mindy discusses her journey to become an LGBT ally (partially through Dustin’s influence).   In Part 2 we discuss the Hive Riot project (which is the perfect Christmas Gift for this holiday season…along with Mindy’s Christmas album).

597-598: Mindy and Dustin Gledhill, and their New Project — Hive Riot

HiveRiot1In this three-part series we interview pop artist Mindy Gledhill and classical pianist Dustin Gledhill regarding their new electronic synth-pop project called Hive Riot.

  • In Part 1 we explore Mindy and Dustin’s respective stories as Mormons, along with their careers as successful musical performing artists.  Dustin also discusses his difficulties as a gay Mormon (including his attempts to change his sexual orientation, driving him to the point of suicide), and Mindy discusses her journey to become an LGBT ally (partially through Dustin’s influence).
  • In Part 2 we discuss the Hive Riot project (which, I might add, is the perfect Christmas Gift for this holiday season…along with Mindy’s Christmas album).
  • In Part 3 (to be released next week), A Thoughtful Faith podcast host Gina Colvin interviews Mindy about her faith, women’s issues, and other dimensions of Mindy’s experiences as a woman, mother, wife, pop artist, Mormon, and human.

From the Hive Riot Press release:

Rooted in the Beehive State, but stretching to Manhattan (where Dustin lives), Hive Riot is the sound of letting go. Officially, though, it’s the sound that indie pop darling, Mindy Gledhill, and classical virtuoso, Dustin Gledhill, make when joining forces.

Dustin Gledhill was a prodigy piano virtuoso, performing Gershwin and Rachmaninov with symphonies by the age of seven. He’s endlessly musically pedigreed (Juilliard, Royal Academy of Music, Manhattan School of Music) and has been an innovative collaborator with dance productions from London to New York to New Orleans.

Mindy Gledhill, a tireless and relentlessly seeking artist herself, has taken her artistry around the world—singing on two Kaskade albums, a #1 single in Korea, placing songs on major TV networks and in national ad campaigns, a mini-series with Scripps Network about renovating and touring in her vintage tour bus and most recently renovating a 100 year old blacksmith shop into a recording studio.

The two of them together are an electric alchemy and, yes, the sound of letting go. And, in that letting go, you hear the sound of celebration, of liberation. The songs are a synthy, dance-fueled party, hosted by Cyndi Lauper and CHVRCHES. And every great party has its afterparty and there are downtempo, after hours songs here too.

We all have something to let go, something to celebrate, something to move on from, something to move on towards. And Hive Riot is the soundtrack.

Finally, Dustin’s article from the January 1988 Children’s Friend can be found here.

Hive Riot’s first video — Sherlock — Available below!

596: Bill Reel Discusses His Falling out with FAIR and His Faithful Dissent of LDS Policy

I12282997_10207958075252208_88634732_nn this episode former LDS Bishop Bill Reel returns to Mormon Stories to discuss his falling out with the LDS apologetic group FAIR (including his conflict with apologist Brian Hales), and his faithful dissent from the LDS Church over its recent policy regarding “Same-Gender Relationships.”

Bill Reel is the host of Mormon Discussion podcast.

594-595: Alison Udall and Mormon Spectrum

Screen-Shot-2015-08-30-at-1.04.41-PMAlison Udall is the co-founder and main force behind Mormon Spectrum – a web site dedicated to supporting Mormons across the belief spectrum with content and community.  Since the release of Mormon Spectrum in August of 2015, the creation and growth of progressive and post-Mormon support communities have skyrocketed thank to Alison and the Mormon Spectrum team.

Mormon Spectrum can accessed here.

The Mormon Spectrum community locator map can be accessed here.  This map can be used to locate and join an in-person Mormon support community near you.  If you cannot find a support community near you, you can also create a community and list it on Mormon Spectrum.

BONUS: Ken Jennings Denounces LDS Church Policy on Same-Sex Relationships and Children

KenJennings3On today’s Savage Lovecast (hosted by Dan Savage), Jeopardy champion and active LDS Church member Ken Jennings publicly denounced the recent LDS Church policy changes regarding same-gender relationships and children.  He also explained why he remains LDS in spite of disagreements he has with church doctrine, policy, and leadership.  his is the excerpt.

593: “The Book of A Mormon” Book Review, with Scott D. Miller and Mark Hubble (Panel Featuring Hans Mattsson!)

BookOfAMormonFor this Mormon Stories Podcast episode a distinguished panel reviews a newly released LDS missionary memoir entitled, “The Book of A Mormon,” co-written by world renowned psychologists Dr. Scott Miller and Dr. Mark Hubble. This raw, thoughtful, and candid book chronicles Dr. Miller’s mission to Sweden in the late 1970s, and is a fascinating and detailed history of correlation-era LDS missionary service.

Joining us to review the book are several thoughtful panelists: Hans Mattsson (former LDS Area Authority from Sweden), Julienna Viegas-Haws (native of Belgium), Jennie Dendy (served mission in Finland), and Kirk Kinsey (Scott’s son).

All panelists consider this to be a very enjoyable and important book.  We hope you enjoy reading.

P.S.  A perfect Christmas gift!  🙂

590-592: Stephen M. Veazey, Prophet-President of Community of Christ (Formerly RLDS Church)

Veazey-SteveIn this three-part series I interview Community of Christ Prophet-President Stephen M. Veazey.  Community of Christ is the new name of what was formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

According to his bio:

Stephen M. Veazey is president of Community of Christ. Prior to his ordination on June 3, 2005, he served as a member of the Council of Twelve Apostles, the leading missionary quorum of Community of Christ. He is the eighth president of the church and the second who is not a direct descendant of church founder Joseph Smith Jr. He was ordained as president of seventy at the 1988 World Conference and as an apostle at the 1992 World Conference. In April 2002, Steve was set apart as president of the Council of Twelve and was the director of Field Ministries. His responsibilities also included Church Planting Ministries and Young Adult and Campus Ministries. His past assignments include missionary and administrative work in the Southern USA Mission Field; the Africa/East Central Field; the Ontario, South Central, and East Central Regions; apostle for SPECTACULAR; Outreach Ministries commissioner; the North Central Region; Advanced Leadership Studies at International Headquarters; and African American Ministries.

Born in Tennessee, he received a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Tennessee, and a master of arts in religion from Park College, Parkville, Missouri. Steve was an executive minister to the Fremont Congregation in California, and was in charge of a missionary development project for the San Francisco Bay Stake. Steve’s other church activities include serving as young adult minister to the Pacific Northwest Region; director of youth camps and seminars; field associate for a young adult campus ministries office; presiding elder; and counselor to the pastor in Paris, Tennessee.

Community of Christ has 250,000 members in more than 60 nations. The church’s mission is to “proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace. Community of Christ International Headquarters is located in Independence, Missouri.

For current and former LDS Church members interested in Community of Christ, check out the Latter-day Seekers program.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

588-589: Laura Roper Andreasen – Granddaughter of LDS Apostle M. Russell Ballard

12233222_10153252360531593_1963455529_nLaura Roper Andreasen is the granddaughter of LDS Apostle M. Russell Ballard.  Recently Laura resigned her membership in the LDS Church after struggling unsuccessfully for decades to find happiness and health as an active, believing Latter-day Saint (e.g., serving an LDS mission, marrying in the temple, having children).  In this vulnerable, thoughtful, respectful, and heartfelt two-part interview, Laura discusses the following:

  • The deep love and respect she has for her parents, grandparents, and Mormon heritage.
  • Her struggles as a child, teenager, and adult with:
    • What she experienced to be a culture of perfectionism and shame in the LDS church.
    • A family and church culture of avoiding emotional vulnerability and the open discussion of difficult topics.
    • The added difficulty/burden/pressure of being a direct descendant of Hyrum Smith and the grandchild of an LDS Apostle (within LDS culture).
  • Her struggle with low self worth, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation for multiple decades.
  • Her complex relationship with Grandpa Ballard, who (from her perspective) struggled to balance his role as an apostle with his role as grandfather.
  • Her perspective on what it is like to be an LDS Apostle, answering many questions from Mormon Stories listeners.
  • Her reasons for leaving the LDS Church after being unable to find joy within it.

To read from Laura’s blog, click here.

Part 1 (Laura’s Story):

Part 2 (Q&A):

 

586-587: Responding to the LDS Church’s Clarification on its Same-Gender Marriage and Children Policies

CQwCg4AToday the LDS Church released a clarification to the new policies on same-gender marriage and children.  Michael Otterson (Managing Director of LDS Church Public Relations) also released a memo entitled “Understanding the Handbook.”

To analyze the clarification and memo, have have assembled a panel of brilliant humans: John Hamer, Debra Jensen, James Ord, and Daniel Parkinson.

585: Eric Reeves, Son of LDS Relief Society General Presidency 2nd Counselor Linda S. Reeves, Encourages Open Opposition to LDS Church SGA Policy Changes

IMG_3999Eric Reeves is the son of LDS Relief Society General Presidency Member Linda S. Reeves and former LDS mission president Melvyn Reeves.

In this episode Eric discusses:

  1. His early years in the church, his loss of faith in the LDS church,
    and how he handled this process with his very faithful family,
  2. His analysis of the recent changes to the LDS policy for “same-gender marriage” and children of same-sex couples,
  3. Why he vehemently opposes the parallels made between same-sex marriage and polygamy,
  4. Why he is speaking out publicly against the new LGBT policies, and
  5. Why he is encouraging church members to openly oppose these policies.

Finally, Eric requested that we post the following open questions for the Church regarding the new policies:

  1. Why is same-sex marriage considered “apostasy” but same-sex cohabitating is only a “transgression”?
  2. Why does the Handbook of Instruction distinguish between same-sex cohabitation and marriage but refer to polygamous relationships as “marriages”?  Was this intentional or negligence?
  3. Why can an infant with a parent who has practiced polygamy be named on church records and receive a blessing but an infant with a parent who has practiced same-sex cohabitation or marriage cannot?
  4. Why can minors with a parent who has practiced polygamy receive approval to be baptized and become church members but there is no such exception for minors with a parent who has practiced same-sex cohabitation or marriage?
  5. In short, why is the Church coming down harder on same-sex families than on polygamist families? What is the social or doctrinal motivation?

584: RadioWest Discussion of The New LDS Church Policy on Same-Sex Families

mormons_same-sex_marriageNews broke last week that the LDS Church was adopting new policies aimed at married same-sex couples and their children. Mormons in a same-sex marriage will now be considered apostates and could be subject to disciplinary hearings and excommunication. Their children, meanwhile, will be barred from many of the faith’s sacred rituals, unless they get permission from church’s highest leaders. Monday, a panel of guests joined RadioWest to discuss the impacts and ramifications of these new church policies.

GUESTS

  • Jennifer Dobner is a journalist at the Salt Lake Tribune where she covers health care reform, Mormonism, polygamy, justice issues and more.
  • John Dehlin has a Ph.D. in psychology from Utah State University, focusing on religion, mental health, and the LGBT Mormon experience. He co-led the largest study ever conducted on LGBT Mormons that has been published in numerous scientific, peer reviewed journals, including the APA’s Journal of Counseling Psychology. He also produces and hosts the Mormon Stories podcast. He was excommunicated from the LDS Church in January of 2015. He was credited in several news reports for leaking information about the Church’s new policy on married same-sex Mormons and their children.
  • Kendall Wilcox is an openly gay and active Mormon. He’s a co-founder of Mormons Building Bridges, a group that works to build understanding between members of the LDS Church and the LGBT community. He’s currently producing a documentary film about the experience of LGBT Mormons. It’s called Far Between.
  • Mitch Mayne is an openly gay, active Mormon who served as executive secretary in the LDS bishopric in San Francisco through 2013.

A Public Brainstorm on How to Effect Significant Change in the LDS Church

kristof-tiananmen-videoSixteenByNine1050There has been a lot of talk about vigils, petitions, marches, mass resignations, and protests, and so I have been trying to think of what actions can be taken that will effect the greatest impact, with the least amount of effort and harm.

I would like to facilitate a brainstorming session to help us determine what actions might be taken that will lead to the greatest likelihood of meaningful change within the LDS church – and when I say change, I mean a change in policies/teaching/practices that harm LDS church members and their families/friends.  Here are two of my best ideas so far:

1) For those who are considering resigning, what if instead we were to request a church disciplinary council. From experience, I will tell you that a DC can be a very painful process, but it can also be very liberating. More importantly, disciplinary councils can be very effective at building awareness and empathy on a local and national level in ways that are very hard to match. They also garner a significant amount of empathy and exposure, as Marisa Pond Calderwood​, Carson Calderwood​, Kate Kelly​, Denver Snuffer, and I can attest.  In my mind/heart – an action is effective when it elicits empathy/sympathy from either believing LDS church members, or from the international media.

There will be people for whom a disciplinary council is not healthy, safe, or wise, and for them I would certainly not advise this approach. But for those who are in a position to do so, I wonder if requesting a disciplinary council might help the cause of truth, sunlight, and exposure more than most things we might do – especially vs. the choice to simply resign. After all, the church has set up the disciplinary council process. They have defined what apostasy is. Consequently, this feels like an ethical way to proceed. Thoughts? Feedback? Disagreement?

2) As we’ve seen by recent recordings of talks by Elder Oaks and Elder Nelson, and from my own meetings with my stake president, I wonder how much change we could effect if everyone who has had a conversation with, or who listens to a speech from a bishop, stake president, or general authority about matters of church policy or doctrine – were to make an audio recording of said speech or conversation (WHERE IT IS LEGAL TO DO SO). The idea is as follows – where we are able/willing to share the audio of what is being said/taught, I cannot think of a single greater way to effect change…to force them to be accountable for the things they say and do – on a large scale. This will also expose hypocrisy and inconsistency wherever it exists.  Again, in my mind/heart – an action is effective when it elicits empathy/sympathy from either believing LDS church members, or from the international media.

To be clear — I am NOT suggesting that everyone do these things. At this point, I am simply trying to brainstorm as to what actions we might take that would lead to the greatest degree of change in a church that means well, but (in reality) hurts far too many vulnerable people.

If you think these ideas are bad, please provide feedback…and preferably better ideas in their place.

Thanks for engaging. I look forward to your thoughts, ideas, and feedback.

Sincerely,

John Dehlin

583: Changes to LDS Policy Regarding Same-Gender Relationships and Children

GagDadsIn this episode we discuss the recent changes to LDS Handbook 1 regarding LGBT members who enter into same-gender relationships, and their children.  Panelists include Natasha Helfer Parker, Dr. Kristy Money, Dr. J. Nelson Seawright, and Dr. John Dehlin.

10989453_10156361127835438_7748453836820849633_o-3

581-582: Steve and Chris Holbrook on Discovering and Growing Healthy Post-Mormon Communities

11954641_10153694795983267_5456695587234242136_nIn this two-part episode, Steve and Chris Holbrook discuss the following:

  1. Part 1: Their early years in the LDS church, their disaffection from the church, and the factors that led to their interest in joining the Utah Valley Post-Mormon Community
  2. Part 2: Steve and Chris share the lessons they have learned over the years in helping to grow healthy post-Mormon communities.

To locate or create a community in your geographical area, check out the Mormon Spectrum web site.

Part 1:

 

Part 2:

580: Reviewing the Mother in Heaven LDS Essay

Queen-of-HeavenIn today’s episode a wonderful panel of women review the recent LDS Church “Mother in Heaven” essay.  Panelists include: Jamie Hanis Handy, Natasha Helfer Parker, Dr. Kristy Money, and Carol Lynn Pearson.

579: Mark Juergensmeyer (sociologist) Explains his Reasons for Boycotting BYU over Religious Discrimination

In this episode sociologist and scholar Mark Juergensmeyer, Ph.D. explains his reasons for boycotting Brigham Y0ung University over its policy to expel LDS students who lose their testimony of the LDS Church’s truthfulness.

The text of Dr. Juergensmeyer’s letter is as follows:

Prof Elizabeth Clark
Associate Director
International Center for Law and Religion Studies
Brigham Young University

Dear Elizabeth:

I regret that I will be unable to participate in the Law and Religion Symposium that is being held this week at BYU. It was an honor to be invited to speak at this event, and as you know I made every effort to make room in my schedule to be there on Tuesday. My decision not to participate is an act of conscience based on BYU’s policy of expelling any Mormon student who leaves the faith or converts to another religion.

Alas I was unaware of this policy until this weekend when it was brought to my attention. I have decided that it would be hypocritical of me to participate in a conference in which the issue of religious liberty is paramount when the institution sponsoring it fundamentally violates this principle in its policies towards Mormon students. As I understand it, non-Mormons are allowed to enroll in BYU, and they are welcome to convert to the Mormon faith if they wish, but if  Mormon students change their religious affiliation they lose their scholarship, their campus housing and jobs, and are expelled from school even if they are months away from graduation.

In making this decision I mean no disrespect to you, the Center with which you are affiliated, or the other participants in this week’s conference. I know that many faculty members at BYU are opposed to this policy and are quietly working to change it. I applaud them, and hope that my decision will be taken as a sign of support for those within BYU who are seeking change. I appreciation your dilemma and admire your persistence.

Again, thanks for the honor of the invitation. I hope that I will be invited back to BYU and will be able to accept some time in the future when this policy restricting religious freedom is lifted.

Sincerely,

Mark Juergensmeyer
Professor of Sociology and Global Studies
Founding Director and Fellow
Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies

To sign the petition calling on the LDS Church to change its policy, please click here.

A HUGE thanks to the amazing work of FreeBYU.org for breaking this important story.

Dr. Juergensmeyer is director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, professor of sociology and global studies, and affiliate professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a pioneer in the field of global studies and writes on global religion, religious violence, conflict resolution and South Asian religion and politics. He has published more than three hundred articles and twenty books, including the recent Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State (University of California Press, 2008). Here you can see picturesof Mark, read his full bio , or his wikipedia entry

576-578: LDS General Conference October 2015 Review – Three More White Males from Utah and the Ponderize Fiasco

new-apostlesIn this episode an EPIC panel reviews the October 2015 General Conference wherein:

  1. The LDS Church misses an incredibly important opportunity to fill 3 vacancies in the quorum of the 12 with a person of color, and instead selects (again) three white males from Utah, and
  2. The LDS Church doubles down on its “the Internet is evil,” “doubting is bad,” “choose to believe,” and “stay in the boat” rhetoric.
  3. Elder Devin Durrant publicly apologizes after attempting to merchandize (along with his son) his usage of the word “ponderize” from his general conference talk

Panelists for this conference review include Dr. Gina Colvin, Sean Carter, Andrew Ainsworth, and Jamie Hanis Handy.

These panelists are incredibly passionate, insightful and witty.  I hope you enjoy.

575: What I’ve Learned from 15+ Years of Mormon Transitioning (UVU August 2015 Presentation)

A presentation entitled “What I’ve Learned after 15 Years of Mormon Transitioning” delivered by Dr. John Dehlin at Utah Valley University on August 18, 2015.  Sponsored by the Utah Valley PostMormons.

 

UVUJohnDehlin

573-574: Losing Mormon Millennials with Tanner and Samantha (ZelphOnTheShelf.com)

In this episode we interview Tanner Gilliland and Samantha Snyder.  Tanner was raised as an orthodox Mormon in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Samantha converted to the LDS Church in the U.K.  Both lived very orthodox LDS lives as millennials, attending BYU-Idaho as devout members, and interning for Deseret Book after graduating from BYU-I.  Samantha co-founded the web site Millennial Mormons.

As Tanner and Samantha began to question the modern LDS Church, they briefly entertained the teachings of Denver Snuffer (Tanner was actually re-baptised according to Snuffer’s teachings).  Earlier this year, both Tanner and Samantha left the LDS Church, and recently co-founded the new post-Mormon millennial blog called ZelphOnTheShelf.com.

As recent reports suggest that the LDS Church is losing its Millennial members at a rapid pace (see here and here), this interview begins to explore why.

Mormon Transitions Retreat: October 23-25, 2015

Healing and Growth after an LDS Crisis of Faith: Weekend Retreat
with John Dehlin, Ph.D.

  • Who: Progressive, Inactive, and Post-Mormons.  Couples and individuals welcome.
  • When: October 23-25, 2015 (Starts at 6pm on 10/23, ends at 4pm on 10/25)
  • Where: Park City, UT
  • Purposes of Retreat
    • Tips on healing and thriving after a loss of LDS faith.  Major topics include:
      • Rebuilding identity, morality, mental health, meaning, and purpose after losing faith.
      • Healthy communications with believing family and friends after losing faith.
      • Strengthening marriages after losing faith.
      • MormonTransitionsRaising children after losing faith.
      • Rebuilding friendships and community after losing faith.
      • Finding joy, meaning, and fulfillment after losing faith.
    • Building relationships and community with others like you.
  • Cost:
    • Suggested donation: $350/person. Donation does not cover meals/lodging.
    • Scholarships available based on need – please do NOT stay away because of financial need.  We will do our best to accommodate those who want to attend (until the slots fill up).  Email mormontransitions@gmail.com to request scholarship information.
    • All proceeds go to support Mormon Transitions.

To reserve your spot:

  1. Complete the registration form here.
  2. Make your registration donation immediately below.

Mormon Transitions October 2015 Retreat



Finally, please watch this video before arriving on 10/23:

Can’t wait to see you there!

572: Announcing the Mormon Transitions Project

A first draft of the vision/strategy for the new “Mormon Transitions” initiative can be found below.

Also, for those interested, we will be holding our first Mormon Transitions retreat October 23-25, 2015 in Park City, Utah.  If you are interested in attending, please watch the video below, become a monthly subscriber at Mormon Transitions, and then email me at: mormontransitions@gmail.com to express interest.  More details coming soon!

 

571: Three Geneticists Respond to the LDS Essay on DNA and the Book of Mormon, and to Apologist Michael Ash

UnknownIn this episode, three geneticists respond to the LDS Essay “Book of Mormon and DNA Studies,” and to Apologist Michael Ash’s article entitled “The DNA Challenge to the Book of Mormon that Fizzled.”  The respondents are as follows:

12011706_10207551637653918_1539143381_oJamie Hanis Handy has a B.S. in Zoology and an M.S. in Biological Science Education and Genetics from Brigham Young University. She is the mother of 5, a pianist, a photographer, and a lover of science, truth, and sensibility.  Jamie is the author of a recent article entitled “DNA and Mormonism.”  Jamie also has a general topics podcast called “The Cereal Podcast.”

Simon Southerton completed a PhD in plant science at the University of Sydney in 1989. For 15 years he worked at CSIRO, Australia’s national research organization, where he Unknown-1
led its forest genomics team. In 2014, in partnership with his brother Bob, he formed a CSIRO spin off company named Gondwana Genomics. Gondwana provides DNA testing services to tree breeders to enable them to select better trees when they are seedlings. Simon first encountered DNA research on Native Americans and Polynesians in 1998
while serving as a bishop in Brisbane, Australia. In response to Mormon apologetics in 2004 he published Losing a Lost Tribe, which explores the origins of Amerindian and Polynesian DNA and its implications for LDS beliefs arising from the Book of Mormon. Simon is married to Jane who is an English teacher/librarian. They live in Canberra along with their five wonderful offspring.  Simon’s blog on DNA and Mormonism can be found here.

Eric Fairfield has a Ph.D. in moleular biology from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is currently EricFairfieldfounder and owner of Cognitive Architectures for Learning, a company that understands cell by cell and synapse by synapse what learning and memory are and how to build devices from this knowledge. Eric has also run a number of church courses and seminar series bringing together science and religion. He is the proud father of a female nanotech physicist. He is also a geneticist and biochemist with expertise in genes and their enzymes across many organisms. When there is time, Eric is a swimmer, photographer and chef.

569-570: Dan Wotherspoon Interviews John Dehlin About His Evolving Perspectives on Mormonism

IMG_1954In this two-part episode John Dehlin is interviewed by Dan Wotherspoon (of Mormon Matters podcast) about John’s evolving perspectives on Mormonism, post-Mormonism, and about his upcoming “Mormon Transitions” project.

567-568: Dan Wotherspoon: Reflections on 15 Years of Helping People Try to Find Rich Spirituality Within Mormonism

Dan_Sig-Book-portraitDan Wotherspoon has spent 15 years trying to help struggling LDS Church members find rich spirituality within Mormonism after a crisis of faith.  Dan has a Ph.D. in religious studies from Claremont University, is the former editor of Sunstone Magazine, and is the current host of Mormon Matters Podcast.  In this episode John Dehlin explores with (and challenges) Dan regarding his approach and experiences over the past 15 years.

Extra: Elder Ballard’s 9/13/2015 Utah South Area Talk

Ballard

An audio recording of Elder Ballard’s 9/13/2015 Utah South Area Talk.

The text of this talk can be found here.

Media coverage of the talk can be found here.

Some concerns expressed about the talk can be found here.

 

566: Psychologist Dr. Scott Miller on Missions, Mormon Transitions, and Thriving After Mormonism

Scott-D-MillerIn this episode we interview Dr. Scott Miller.  Aside from being a world-renowned psychologist, Scott recently penned a fabulous book about his mission experience to Sweden in the 1970s.  The book is called “The Book of a Mormon: The Real Life and Strange Times of an LDS Missionary.”

In this episode Scott discusses:

  • His early years in the church.
  • His mission experience to Sweden in the 1970s.
  • His path out of Mormonism after returning from his mission.
  • His work as a psychologist today.
  • His recommendations for healthy Mormon transitions, and for thriving as a post-Mormon.

In one month we will be re-launching “Mormon Stories Book Club,” and will invite Dr. Miller back to Mormon Stories to discuss his book, along with former Swedish Area Authority Hans Mattsson and a panel of other listeners/readers.  If you are interested in the book, or in being part of the book club discussion, please purchase it at Amazon.com, read it over the coming weeks, please consider writing an Amazon review for the book, and then join us for our discussion of the book in one month’s time.  Can’t wait!

Extra: Julie Rowe and “Spencer” Energy Conference Call

Julie Rowe and “Spencer” Energy Conference Call.  If anyone has details about this call (when it took place, how it was advertised), please share.

565: Julie Rowe, Her Near Death Experience, the Mormon “Prepper” Movement, and Prophecies of Global Disaster in September 2015

Julie6_smallJulie Rowe is an active, believing Mormon, and is the author of two books: “A Greater Tomorrow: My Journey Beyond the Veil” and “The Time is Now.” In these books, Julie details her near-death experiences, wherein she claims to have received divinely inspired visions of the past, present, and future.

Julie and her peers/followers are heavily focused on the “Latter-day” aspects of Mormonism and Christianity, with a heavy emphasis on predicting pending global disasters in the United States and abroad. Julie’s prophesies (along with those of her peers) have reportedly led upwards of 10,000+ believing Mormons to make somewhat drastic life decisions including selling their homes, selling off their 401Ks, purchasing gold, and purchasing thousands of dollars worth of “preparatory materials” (e.g., food storage, tents, trailers, guns, ammunition) for the pending global apocalypse, which is scheduled to begin in September, 2015.

In this episode we are joined by Ryan McKnight, Samantha Snyder (co-founder of Millennial Mormons and Whatsoever Is Good blogs), Tanner Gilliland (co-founder with Samantha of the exciting new Zelph on the Shelf blog for Millennial post-Mormons), and “Jared” (aka Fallen_Angel_MN on exmormon reddit).

  • Click here for the notes of a Julie Rowe conference reported delivered in Seattle, WA in January of 2015.
  • Click here to read the post mentioned at the end of the broadcast entitled “All just a coincidence – right?”
  • Click here to peruse the Julie Rowe posts on the exmormon subreddit.

And below is the Youtube video wherein Julie tells her experience (featured at the beginning of the podcast):

Important Update (9/9/2015):  Three things about Julie Rowe that I’ve learned over the past 24 hours:

1) The LDS church has issued the following warning against Julie Rowe:

“Although Sister Rowe is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, her book is not endorsed by the Church and should not be recommended to students or used as a resource in teaching them. The experiences she shares are her own personal experiences and do not necessarily reflect Church doctrine or they may distort Church doctrine.”

2) From what I understand, Deseret Book is no longer carrying her books (if they ever did):

3) I’ve had a few people very close to her (i.e., close family and/or friends) reach out to me over the past 24 hours to confirm that they are very worried about her, that they are very frightened/saddened by what is happening, and that (without revealing details) her health history and her particular situation is one that (if fully known) should elicit sympathy/support/love/empathy and not ridicule/judgment (with total acknowledgement that many people are possibly in harm’s way because of her teachings).

Anyway…I just felt like I needed to share this. I think we all have cause to be alarmed/concerned…but based on the information I have….we should look to Julie with empathy and not mocking or judgment.

Let’s hope for a “miracle” that this ends peacefully/happily.

Feel free to spread the word to friends/family who might be affected by her situation.

564: Lindsay Hansen Park Interviews John Dehlin on the 10th Anniversary of Mormon Stories Podcast

In this 2015 Sunstone Symposium presentation, the wonderful Lindsay Hansen Park interviews me (John Dehlin) on the 10 year anniversary of Mormon Stories podcast.  Warning — I get a bit emotion during this one….so listeners beware!

561-563: Gina Colvin Interviews John Dehlin on the 10th Anniversary of Mormon Stories Podcast

MeAndFamThe amazing Gina Colvin interviews me (John Dehlin) on the 10th Anniversary of Mormon Stories Podcast.  We discuss my early years growing up in the church, my difficult mission experiences in Guatemala, my time at BYU during the turbulent early 1990s, my faith crisis while working at Microsoft, my 10 year journey with Mormon Stories Podcast, my excommunication earlier this year, and my thoughts/plans about the future (with Mormon Stories and Mormon Transitions).