Your Questions for John Larsen

January 6, 2015
By
John-Top-bar-2

On January 21st at 6pm in Salt Lake City we will be hosting a live interview and celebration of John Larsen (former host of Mormon Expression Podcast, and current president of the White Fields Educational Foundation).  Please post your questions for John here, and please RSVP to attend the interview/celebration here.  We hope that many of you will join us to celebrate John’s many wonderful contributions to Mormonism.

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516: 2014 Mormon Stories End-of-Year Update

December 27, 2014
By
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In this episode I address the past, present, and future of Mormon Stories.  I also discuss my past interactions with Stake President Bryan King, my current beliefs, my current relationship with the LDS church, and my thoughts about what appears to be a pending disciplinary council.  

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Your Questions for Clark Johnsen and/or about the Book of Mormon Musical Go Here

December 24, 2014
By
ClarkJohnsen

We will be interviewing Clark Johnsen — original cast member for the Broadway Book of Mormon Musical — this Sunday in Salt Lake City. Please post your questions for Clark about his story, or about the Book of Mormon musical, below. To RSVP to attend the interview with Clark on Sunday afternoon on 12/28,  (it will also be a Mormon Stories celebration), please RSVP at this link.

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514-515: Infants on Thrones Podcast

December 14, 2014
By
InfantsOnThrones

In this two-part series we interview the panelists for Infants on Thrones Podcast: Glenn, Matt, Scott, Randy, Bob, Tom, and Jake.  These guys do tend to get a bit rowdy (language!)…so listener discretion is advised.

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513: A Non-Member Reads the Book of Mormon — David Michael and his “My Book of Mormon Podcast”

December 10, 2014
By
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In this episode J. Nelson-Seawright interviews David Michael about his experience creating his new podcast “My Book of Mormon,” wherein David shares his thoughts and witty comments on each chapter of Mormonism’s central book of scripture. With no background in Mormonism, David is reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover for the first time in an attempt to discover why millions of people have come to believe in its writings.  As a result, David offers an insightful and entertaining “outsider’s perspective” on the characters, stories, and lessons he encounters. In this episode, the two discuss David’s Christian upbringing, his thoughts on spirituality and…

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512: Discussing the New LDS.org Polygamy Essays Part 2 – With Lindsay Hansen Park, J. Nelson-Seawright, and Joe Geisner

December 3, 2014
By
30b

Recently, 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 second installment, we bring together an all-star cast of Mormon Stories favorites to discuss the Early Utah Polygamy essay: Lindsay Hansen Park, who in the middle of an amazing and incredibly exhaustive project for Feminist Mormon Housewives in the Year of Polygamy podcast series. Joe Geisner, a long-time Mormon historian who has been assisting Lindsay in her research for the Year of Polygamy project. J. Nelson-Seawright, a political science professor at…

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Why was Kate Kelly Excommunicated, but You Have Not Yet Been?

December 2, 2014
By
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In Kristine Haglund’s recent article in Slate Magazine regarding the end of the “Mormon Moment,” she wrote: “Around the same time that Kelly was excommunicated, the host of the popular Mormon Stories podcast, John Dehlin, was threatened with disciplinary action as well. Unlike Kelly, he was not excommunicated, perhaps in part because he initially kept details of his interactions with church leaders out of the media.” While I really enjoyed the article overall — and feel that it was a very important piece of writing — I did feel the need to correct Kristine’s misstatement….since in reality, I explicitly declined my stake…

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511: Jan Shipps — New History of the Prairie and Mountain Saints; Race and Gender

November 26, 2014
By
001_Jan-Shipps

Mormon Stories is very proud to introduce its newest sister podcast — Mormon Studies Podcast! In its inagural episode, host Brent Metcalfe interviews Jan Shipps. Jan is professor emeritus of history at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis and a former president of the John Whitmer Historical Association (2004–05) and the Mormon History Association (1979–80)—a scholar’s scholar who has influenced a generation of students of Mormonism, often reaching across and even narrowing the chasm between believer and nonbeliever. Over the past several years Jan has laid the foundation for a forthcoming book on the history of Community of Christ (a.k.a. “prairie saints”;…

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508-510: The Abhau Family — Supporting their Gay Son, Dealing With Faith Crisis and Finding their Voice

November 20, 2014
By
abhau family

In this very important episode of Mormon Stories, psychiatrist Daniel Parkinson M.D., who is also host of our sister podcast Gay Mormon Stories, interviews Meg, Jake and Jon Abhau. Meg and Jake were conservative Mormons when their 13 year old son came out to them as gay 18 months ago. In this series, the Abhaus discuss the problems that LGBT teens face in the LDS church and how those problems can spill over and impact the families of all LGBT Mormons. The Abhaus are very concerned about the damaging messages that LGBT people hear at church, and how rejection is…

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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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An update on my discussions with Stake President Bryan King (8/23/2014)

August 23, 2014
By

It appears as though our discussions with stake president Bryan King have abated for the time being, so I wanted to provide a quick update (for those who keep asking). After sending me this initial letter asking that I resign my church membership or face a disciplinary council, my wife Margi and I met with President King and his first counselor for the first time on 6/29/2014 (at our request).  President King framed this original meeting as an opportunity for him to listen, and so we spent most of our time together with me sharing my beliefs, doubts, and concerns about the church, its…

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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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A Fascinating Look Into How the LDS Church Conducts Marketing Research Around Progressive Issues

August 13, 2014
By
LDSSURVEY1

I received these screen shots today from a supportive listener. To me, it’s a fascinating look into how the LDS Church currently conducts marketing research (to its members) around progressive issues such as its disciplining of high-profile members, and the ordination of women.                    

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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
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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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Are you guilty of “speaking ill of the Lord’s anointed”?

June 27, 2014
By

A few years ago, Elder Dallin H. Oaks was quoted as saying: “It’s wrong to criticize leaders of the Church, even if the criticism is true.” I have worked very hard in my work with Mormon Stories to not criticize LDS church leaders.  That said, I believe that it is generally unhealthy for organizations to shield themselves from constructive, well-intended criticism.  I, myself, am extremely sensitive to criticism — so I am not necessarily a model in this regard…but I still believe that constructive criticism is very healthy….and I actively seek it from people who I do not believe wish me harm.…

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