Episode 177: Travis Steward (Gay, former Mission President) and his dear wife Margaret Steward
My friend Travis and Margaret Steward, active LDS, parents of 6 children, Mission President in Houston from 2005-2008, share their story with Travis coming out as gay to his wife in 2014 and then more broadly to trusted friends and family members.Travis bravely shares the 40+ years of shame and self-loathing being in the closet as a gay Latter-day Saint and how this shame is now gone. Travis shares how he now has a much deeper relationship with Christ and sees himself worthy of God’s love. They both share how they are navigating this road. Their marriage is real, authentic and a beautiful love story. Travis and Margaret have wonderful insights on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how we can better minister to all of God’s children. As I recorded this podcast, I felt I was on sacred ground as this great couple shared their journey and insights. Often with tears in all our eyes. I encourage everyone to listen to this podcast as you will gain valuable insights to be better disciples of Christ and the road our LGBTQ members walk.Thank you Travis and Margaret for sharing your story. You two are awesome. Thanks for blessing 1000s. We love both of you!
23 Sep 2019
Episode 144: Jana Spangler, Active LDS, Expert of Faith Transitions
My friend Jana Spangler, married mother of 3, talks about how to understand and minister to those in a faith transition and in a mix-faith marriage. Jana also talks about Fowler’s stages of faith a framework to help all of us better understand our differences and create common group. Jana, a Life Coach, shared these insights recently at North Star (a LDS LGBTQ support organization) and a Ward fireside. This will be a very helpful podcast for those looking for added insights and tools to minister to those in a faith crisis or transition, those in a faith transition and those who find themselves in a mixed-faith marriage. Jana can be reached at https://www.symmetrysols.com/jana-spangler Thanks for being on the podcast Jana. Your work brings more understanding and helps keeps us together. You are awesome.
25 Jun 2019
Episode 121: Eric and Heidi Swapp, Active LDS, Parents of 5, Son Cory Died by Suicide in 2015
My friends Eric and Heidi Swapp bravely share the story of their dear son Cory who died by suicide at age 16 in 2015. Following his suicide, Heidi has stepped into the space of talking about suicide in an open, authentic and helpful way so that we can do better. Eric and Heidi have beautiful insights into how to help others. However, it is a brutal road to be parents of a child who has died this way as mortality will never be the same. Turning to our Heavenly Father and our Savior, they share deep spiritual experiences that have given them hope, vision, perspective and healing. They are able to take these experience to bring hope and healing to many others. In their pain, they have an ability to help others. You two are awesome, have a wonderful family and are helping so many. Thanks for being on the podcast. More about Cory can be found at https://www.heidiswapp.com/my-heart-corys-story/. Heidi can be reached at: https://www.heidiswapp.com/. Heidi’s podcast is at: http://elevatepodcasting.com/light_the_fight/
5 May 2019
Episode 190: Joe and Amy Pierson, Active LDS, Joe’s Porn Addiction
My dear friends Joe and Amy Pierson (married 27 years, parents of 6 children and 1 grandchild) bravely share the story of Joe’s 20+ year addiction to pornography. Yes, it almost ended their marriage. And pornography ends some marriages. Through hard work, the Savior’s help and a deeply spiritual experience feeling God’s love, Joe has been free of pornography for nearly three years. It’s a brutal road of shame and dishonesty resulting in significant emotional pain (betrayal trauma) for Amy. It is also a beautiful love story of Joe and Amy struggling, but determined to keep their marriage together, with 12-step programs, learning to surrender, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. When I served as a YSA Bishop, many of the wonderful YSA’s were working to solve this problem. I wish I had heard Joe and Amy’s story back then. It would have given me additional tools to help others overcome pornography. I encourage everyone to listen to this podcast. It will help you help others. If you are working to overcome pornography, this podcast will give you more tools and hope. Here are a couple of lines of wisdom from Amy and Joe: My worth is set. Everything else is experienceRepentance from sin is not the same of recovery from addictionThe 12-steps are the Atonement of Jesus Christ in actionForgiveness and trust are two different things. Amy and Joe are heroes to me (and my others) for bravely sharing their story. Stories like these are so needed. They are available to speak in Ward/Stake events. We have plenty of messages of ‘stay away from pornography’. I agree with this message. But we need more stories of people actually walking this road as they authentically help others. Thanks for being on the podcast Joe and Amy. You two are awesome.
26 Oct 2019
Most Popular Podcasts
Episode 199: Tim and Aubrey Chaves, Active LDS, Faith Crisis, Scrupulosity
My friends Tim and Aubrey Chaves (parents of 4 children) talk about their faith crisis/transition and why they stay active LDS. It’s a beautiful story. They also share creating a feeling of belonging at church, their role with Faith Matters (check out https://faithmatters.org/), wonderful gifts of a faith crisis and conclude with Tim’s journey with scrupulosity. If you are in a faith crisis and want to stay in the Church (or are helping others stay), please listen to this podcast. Tim and Aubrey have incredible insights and a wonderful testimony of our beautiful restored doctrine. You can read from Tim at https://timchaves.com/. Thanks for being on the podcast, Tim and Aubrey. You two are awesome and give me hope for the future of our Church and society. Thanks for all you are doing to bless and help others.
17 Nov 2019
Episode 157: Thomas McConkie, Active LDS, Author of ‘Navigating Mormon Faith Crisis’
My friend Thomas McConkie shares his story stepping away from the LDS faith for about 20 years (age 13 – 32) and then returning. While away Thomas lived around the world and developed a deep spirituality as he connected with and learned from the good in other faiths. About 7 years ago while in Salt Lake City, Thomas shares spiritual experiences that led him back into the LDS faith. Thomas started a nonprofit called Lower Lights to heal and bring hope to others. Check out: https://lowerlightsslc.org/ On a personal note when I went through my mini-faith crisis while serving as a YSA Bishop, Thomas’ book was one of the three books that I read that helped get through that time (which I’m now glad occurred) helping me to stay a committed member of the Church. Thomas’ book is at: https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Wirthlin-McConkie/e/B0164TIIJK%3Fref Thank you for being on the podcast, Thomas. You have a unique and beautiful life ministry. Bringing all your experiences, gifts and insights to bring hope and healing to others.
25 Jul 2019
Episode 65: Dr. Spencer Fluhman, Executive Director of the Neal A Maxwell Institute at BYU
My friend Spencer Fluhman talks about the Maxwell Institute, how seeing good in other faiths helps us appreciate the restored truths in our Church, ministering to those in a faith crisis and helping thoughts for our LGBTQ Saints. Many of my BYU friends have mentioned to me the personal ministry of Brother Fluhman and how he is helping them navigate complicated topics. I think you will enjoy the podcast.
7 Dec 2018
Episode 243: Skyler and Amanda Sorensen, Active LDS
My friends Skyler and Amanda share their story. The first part of the podcast is Skyler coming out as gay to Amanda while they were dating. That brought them closer together and they were married in the Provo City Center Temple in March 2018. They have a beautiful, authentic and wonderful marriage. The second part of the podcast is the birth of their beautiful son Milo at 24.5 weeks. They share having Milo for 24 days until his sudden death on Aug 25, 2019. Skyler and Amanda bravely share the story of losing their beautiful son, how they are grieving and what helpful things we can do/say to those grieving. I felt Milo with us.” Thank you for being on the podcast. I learned so much from you and your story will give hope, healing and better understanding to our listeners. The three of you are awesome.
28 Feb 2020
Episode 247: Kerri Scott, Active LDS, Married Mother of 6, Affair
My friend Kerri Scott bravely shares the story of her 2-month affair that resulted in a child. Kerri shares telling her husband Troy, going through Church discipline, how her marriage ultimately survived, and how Troy accepted this child as his own. This is a story about pain, redemption, forgiveness, communication, friends and family, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ to forgive and heal broken hearts. Thank you Kerri for sharing your story. It gives us all hope and better insights into the Atonement. You are Troy are two of my new heroes. Thanks for being on the podcast.
12 Mar 2020
Episode 167: David Ostler, Former Mission/Stake President, Ministering to Those Who Question
My brother David Ostler joins us to talk about this new book ‘Bridges: Ministering to Those Who Question’ (available at Deseret Book, Gregg Kofford Books and Amazon). Dave shares why her wrote the book, findings, implications and what we can do differently. Please see Dave’s page at https://www.bridgeslds.com/. Dave shares how members who question need three key things: 1) Trust 2) Belonging and 3) Meaning. This book (currently #1 in Mormonism at Amazon) gives better pastoral tools for parents and local leaders to meet the spiritual needs of their members with honest questions. This book also helps those with questions and desire to stay members of our Church. I encourage everyone to read his book (search ‘David Ostler’) at Deseret Book, Amazon or Kofford Books and share it with family members and local leaders. Thank you Dave for being on the podcast and helping our Church better minister to our members who have sincere questions.
16 Aug 2019
Episode 77: Stacey Harkey, RM, Gifted Performer, BYU Grad, Gay Latter-Day Saint
My friend Stacey Harkey shares his journey as a gay Latter-day Saint. Stacey came out in December 2018 with this FB post https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10104722886604359&id=17829724 that went viral and was followed up by an LDS Living Article. In the podcast Stacey shares his journey, personal revelation from God, coming out to close friends and family, helpful insights for our younger LDS LGBTQ members and hopes for the future. Stacey is strong and courageous. I am inspired by listening to his story. Thank you Stacey. You are a great man with a wonderful future.
14 Jan 2019
Episode 259: Brother Jared Halverson, U of U Institute Teacher, Helping Those With Questions
My friend Jared Halverson, finishing up a PHD in American Religious History from Vanderbilt University Divinity School, joins me to talk about how to help Latter-day Saints with honest questions. I became aware of Jared from these excellent LDS Living Videos: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=518222565797021 and https://www.facebook.com/LDSLiving/videos/222190582197378/ If you have questions about the Church or want better tools to help those with questions, please listen and share this podcast. Brother Halverson helps us understand that questions are positive steps in developing our faith and testimony. Thank you for being on the podcast, Jared. I was personally deeply touched by the things you shared and your insights into our restored Church. You have a beautiful and unique ministry to help in improve our culture to normalize asking questions and help more of our wonderful members have better tools to stay in our Church.
13 Apr 2020
Episode 216: Richard Ostler, Update to Listeners
I wanted to give you, our listeners, an update on a few topics. I will talk about my LGBTQ POV, upcoming book (fall 2020), podcast history and future, my testimony, church service and additional thoughts. Thank you for joining me and your efforts to make this podcast possible.
27 Dec 2019
Episode 211: Jacob Graf, Gay Latter-day Saint, RM, Age 26
My friend Jacob Graf shares his story as a gay Latter-day Saint. Jacob feels his path is find a husband and have a family. Jacob is respectful of the church and grateful for the spiritual foundation it provides and his continued relationship with his Heavenly Parents. Jacob and is close to his wonderful and supportive family. Jacob acknowledges he is choosing a path outside the teachings of our church which I sustain and support, and as a fellow human is worthy our support and understanding as he makes his way forward. Jacob, who is out as gay at work, has a leadership role at Divvy located in Utah County and talks about the positive environment for fellow LGBTQ employees. I’m glad to hear this is a non-issue at Divvy and realize how far we have come as a society. Thanks for being the podcast, Jacob and sharing your story. You have a great life ahead of you.
14 Dec 2019
Episode 176: Leanne Payne Tressler, Active LDS, Husband and Oldest Son Died by Suicide
My friend Leanne Tressler (mother of 7 children) joins us to talk about her journey ‘living her worst nightmare’ with her husband Spencer (age 39, died Oct 2015) and her old son Kaden (age 16, died April 2019) both completing suicide. Leanne has been sharing valuable lessons and insights on her Facebook page. Check out these posts: https://www.facebook.com/leanne.paynetressler/posts/10157779753572022 https://www.facebook.com/leanne.paynetressler/posts/10157659894277022 Please listen to his podcast. Leanne has remarkable things to say. It will give you more hope to stay. It will give you more tools to help others. It will help all of us talk openly about suicide so we can better solve this tragedy in our community. I’m grateful for Brother Reed Blackburn (Seminary Teacher at Cottonwood High and a cousin to Leanne) for facilitating this podcast. Leanne: We love you and your family. Thank you for the courage to share your story
20 Sep 2019