Longtime friend of John and Margi Dehlin, Jeremy Young joins us discuss his pioneer ancestry, faith journey, ventures as an entrepreneur, and wine! Near the conclusion of the interview, we hear about an exciting scripted TV series on Joseph Smith and the founding of the Mormon church that Jeremy is undertaking with John C. Hamer and other brilliant collaborators.

Part One:  Growing up deeply rooted in Mormon culture in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Jeremy felt the pressure to be perfect but realized early in his teen years that he didn’t quite fit the mold. From mimicking the edgy “Zestfully Clean” TV commercial in front of his entire high school – to performing magic tricks as an icebreaker for investigators on his mission – Jeremy had a playful approach to life.

Jeremy attributes much of his success in life to the values instilled in him by his Mormon upbringing. Jeremy served a French-speaking LDS mission in Québec, Canada, which he reflects fondly upon. Attending the temple was never a source of feeling the spirit for Jeremy like playing church music on the piano or attending church was.

Part Two:  From climbing the ranks within telemarketing to building Rush Limbaugh’s early online store, Jeremy realized great success as a business person. He became a multi-millionaire by the age of 28 with over one hundred employees and multiple ventures under his belt.

After about 6 years of dealing with infertility, Jeremy and his wife Molly adopted their first child through LDS Social Services. Jeremy emotionally recounts the challenging and beautiful experience of growing his family and interacting with the birth mother of his adopted child. “It was a magical experience.” In total, the couple now has three children.

German board games became a passion for Jeremy, inspiring him to start a board game company. There, he created the game Settlers of Zarahemla. Jeremy came close to owning the rights to the game Ticket to Ride.

Part Three:  After serving in multiple church callings related to music, Jeremy became the Elders’ Quorum President as a young father and husband. Jeremy found three of D. Michael Quinn’s books at his mother-in-law’s house. Jeremy describes the cognitive dissonance reading these books cause within him as “jolting.” Other influential books in Jeremy’s were Newell’s Mormon Enigma, Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling,  and Dawkins’ The God Delusion.

Around this time, Jeremy heard of John Dehlin’s work and Mormon Stories Podcast but was cautioned to stay away. Living in St. George, Utah at this point, Jeremy was grappling with his emotionally-taxing faith crisis.

In a temple recommend interview, Jeremy’s bishop questioned Jeremy’s tongue-in-cheek Christmas cards that he would send to hundreds of people, using this to threaten not issuing a recommend.

Living in St. George, Utah was a challenge for Jeremy during his faith journey. Perhaps the last straw that made him move was receiving a gift certificate for a massage. When he went to the massage studio, he was given a massage by a polygamist woman in full garb with a Massage Envy t-shirt over her dress. “We’ve got to get out of here!” Jeremy told Molly.

Expressing concerns about issues within the church prevented Jeremy from having a temple recommend, which strained relationships between Jeremy and his friends. Transitioning out of the church, what took Jeremy thirteen years, took Molly three days after reading Runnell’s CES Letter. Jeremy and Molly’s participation in Arizona LDS LGBT & Family/Friends and marching in Pride parades “caused all hell to break loose in the ward” and started untrue rumors that Jeremy is gay. The “November Policy” was a final straw for Jeremy and his family, causing the entire family to resign membership in the church through Quit Mormon.

Jeremy details how he and Molly have evolved as a couple, sought help from others, and have moved from “okay” to “great.” John and Jeremy share memories of a trip they took together with their spouses to Tuscany, Italy. There, Jeremy shared with John his love of the craft of wine – which John did not drink. The two discuss the role and risks of incorporating alcohol into life as an ex-Mormon.

Links to other topics referenced in this interview:

Part 1 – Growing up deeply rooted in Mormon culture in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho:

Part 2 – Becoming a successful entrepreneur, husband, and father – The highest of highs and the lowest of lows:

Part 3 – From straight-laced LDS to learning the other side of life:

Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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16 Comments

  1. Pat Clark August 20, 2018 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Your second comment about “single moms, out of wedlock”.

    John, this doesn’t seem to be your tolerant best.

    Mmm.

    • Melissa August 29, 2018 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      John’s comment was in regards to couples struggling with infertility and seeing many women get pregnant . It brings with it feelings of sadness and sorrow seeing others get pregnant like teenagers or unwed mothers when it was perhaps an “accidental” pregnancy. Seeing this is very hurtful to a women desperately trying everything to get pregnant.
      I didn’t think it was offensive.

  2. Joy August 22, 2018 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Wow, love this guy. Talk about true “Christ-like” living, he puts his money where his mouth is. He is living and loving, not judging. He has a magnetic personality and I loved this podcast. Also, cannot wait for the Joseph Smith movie to come out! I’ll be first in line!! My guess is that it will be a hit. I also live in the Seattle area and I’ve noticed that more and more people are truly fascinated with the whole history of Mormonism. Even people that have never been Mormon and really don’t have too strong of an affiliation. People are truly interested because they cannot believe how crazy it all sounds yet there are still believers. I think people would love this movie!

  3. RobG August 22, 2018 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Re: priesthood ban on blacks.

    John or Jeremy, might you please also post a link, if it exists, to the letter(s) from Mormon GA’s in answer to local Mormon leaders who were doubting or questioning whether the priesthood ban was “policy” or “doctrine.”

    Thanks.

  4. Todd T. August 22, 2018 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Small world, the beginning of part 2 was a trip down memory lane. I was in the same ward as Mike and Matt, the 2 vServers employees you mentioned, when they moved to the Atlanta area. I also worked at Interland with them and played golf with your brother-in-law.

    Great episode, thoroughly enjoyed it. Can’t wait to see the film.

  5. david secrist August 22, 2018 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    John, One of the best episodes. I would personally speak with you a former bishop times 2.

  6. Bob Roberts August 24, 2018 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Hi,
    I’m hoping John or any listeners could tell me which book by D. Michael Quinn and what pages contain the story about how for several years Apostles had been trying to allow African Americans the priesthood but were voted by senior Apostles.
    Thanks

  7. D&C 74:1 August 25, 2018 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    Jeremy,

    You mentioned Heber J Grant was a self admitted alcoholic? That he drank beer as Prophet Seer & Revalator!

    Could you post the link to that article, history or source where you got that info I would like to add it to my collection of church history!

    Thanks

  8. Melissa Burton August 29, 2018 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Great interview!! I related so much with your story in relation to adoption.we were married 10 years before we adopted. The first word you spoke in regards to not having children in a family oriented church.. DEVASTATED. Truly that Word says it all. We adopted our daughter through Lds family services. I felt The feelings of having the baby placed in my arms from the biological mother, Knowing she’s Feeling pain and sorrow and we are feeling amazing joy. Unbelievable! Your story was just to similar. Thank you for sharing your journey and your story. We can all learn from each other as we are all more alike than different.

  9. Mark LeBaron September 2, 2018 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Another great interview of another of the “best and brightest” the LDS Mormon church has lost.

    Once again, there are SO many things I can relate to in yet another one of these interviews. It’s SO reaffirming and vindicating! Thanks to Jeremy for sharing!

    One comment on the JS movie idea, I’ve often had a similar thought; that you couldn’t write a better script if you paid all the writers in Hollywood. However; please, please don’t try to do this as a single movie or even three movies! This needs to be a two or three season Netflix or HBO series. Otherwise, I believe you’ll end up having to truncate/condense too much of the important detail.

    • Rike September 12, 2018 at 8:34 am - Reply

      +1
      The JS story has everything to make a good story, from manipulation to power hunger to crime to sex. This could be made into a fantastic movie, if one simply stays with the facts, and the church does not manage to stop it, due to copy rights.

  10. Naomi September 3, 2018 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story, Jeremy. Leaving mormonism can be a shattering experience. I’m glad to hear you and your wife have found your way.
    I share your fascination with wine–it is history, chemistry, geology, microbiology, astronomy, physics, sweat, love, politics, family, money and religion in a bottle. Each one marking a time, place, and people on this earth; each bottle alive and changing year by year.
    I do have one quibble, though. The word “dry” in relation to wine describes it’s lack of sweetness, or residual sugar after fermentation. It is not related to the level of tannin, which comes from exposure of the juice to grape stems, seeds, skins and oak barrels. Tannins have an astringent quality, and do, in fact leave your mouth with a dry sensation. But the word dry, as a descriptor of wine, means little or no residual sugar. Ok. Pedantic education is over.
    Here’s to walking our path, finding connection with family and friends, and living joyfully in this life. Cheers!

  11. Cheryl Kosmo September 23, 2018 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    I have listened to a lot of these podcasts, and as an outsider I continue to be stunned by how people’s circles of family, friends, colleagues, can just disintegrate based on the level of religious participation in this church. It is just outside by realm of experience to be completely surrounded in all these arenas by people who adhere to such a rigid standard of identity and connection to this church that it is so devastating to step out of it even temporarily and be harassed by others to prove their loyalty or be gone from their lives, even down to the children’s friendships.

  12. Shane Cunningham January 22, 2019 at 8:41 am - Reply

    I have listened to many “faith transition” podcasts, and have been enriched and taught. Thank you, for this forum. As a 43 Year Convert, who served in Church leadership, at several levels, the common experience of the guests on Mormon Stories is fascinating and supportive to me. I have an observation; one of the evolutionary products of Mormon Culture is what some have called “the Gospel of Prosperity”. It is an idea that if I do everything that I am supposed to do, my life will be blessed with everything that constitutes happiness. Obviously, the life of Joseph Smith is a problem for this philosophy. I have noticed that most (if not all) the guests on Mormon Stories seems to fall within this “all is well” narrative; families are intact and happier, since they left the church. The material condition of the family is alright or improving. What about the stories of the individuals that have lost everything? Those who’s faith transition has resulted in enormous difficulty? Perhaps, at some point, a little leavening of the podcast experience will be helpful to those of us who have lost more, as a result of “losing our faith”. There is much about my life that is good and getting better, but the cost has been immeasurable and still exacting a toll. Some of your guests have alluded to seasons of difficulty, but there is very little validation of the pain and suffering, as most podcasts are ex post facto (revisiting after) the trauma.

  13. VFanRJ August 5, 2019 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Part 3 demonstrates the Church’s overt cult behavior.

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