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Mormon Stories - LDS

Mormon Stories is an attempt to build understanding between and about Mormons through the telling of stories in both audio and video formats.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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1409: Jared Hess and Tyler Measom - Murder Among the Mormons

Join me today for this amazing Mormon Stories interview as I talk to Jared Hess and Tyler Measom about the making of their new Netflix documentary, "Murder Among the Mormons."

2hr 22mins

22 Mar 2021

Rank #1

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944: Joseph Smith’s First Vision, and how the Church and its Apologists Mislead Pt. 1

In response to a recent article published in the Deseret News titled “Defending the Faith: The supposed scandal of multiple First Vision accounts” by past Mormon Stories guest Dan Peterson, we assemble an all-star panel to conduct a deep dive into: 1) The multiple and conflicting accounts of Joseph Smith’s first vision, and 2) How the Mormon church and apologists mislead church members about the issue. Our panelists include Sandra Tanner, Mark Crego, Warren Ludlow, and Johnny Stephenson.

52mins

18 Jun 2018

Rank #2

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774: 30 Questions Nobody Asks My Husband at Church - Julie DeAzevedo Hanks

In this episode of Mormon Stories/Transitions, John and Margi interview the brilliant Dr. Julie DeAzevedo Hanks about her article titled “30 Questions Nobody Asks My Husband at Church.” John, Margi, and Julie focus on the powerful cultural messages about gender, potential, life decisions, and worth that are broadcast in the questions we ask.  During the interview, cultural assumptions are challenged in some of the questions from Julie’s article: Did you know that you are a son of your Heavenly Mother? What does your wife do for a living? Who’s watching your kids? Why are you getting a graduate degree? Will you go home and change? Your clothes are distracting the sisters. …and many more.

1hr 31mins

20 Jul 2017

Rank #3

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860: Carol Lynn Pearson - The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy Pt. 1

Mormon Stories Podcast is excited to team up with Sunstone to present a recording of our live podcast on 1/25/18 with Carol Lynn Pearson where we discuss her book, The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy. Special thanks to the Salt Lake City Community of Christ for hosting such a wonderful evening and for the many listeners who came to enjoy the experience. These episodes closely follow the abstract of the book: "'Polygamy?' says the mainstream Mormon Church, “We gave that up long ago.” Not so, claims noted LDS poet and author Carol Lynn Pearson, who examines the issue as it has never been examined before. Any member of the LDS Church today who enters the practice of polygamy is immediately excommunicated. However, Pearson claims, polygamy itself has never been excommunicated, but has an honored and protected place at the table. It has only been postponed, a fact confirmed by thousands of “eternal sealings” giving a man an assurance that he will claim as wives in heaven the two, three, or even more women he has sequentially married during his lifetime. No such opportunity is available to women. Through her own personal stories, those of her ancestors, and the thousands of stories that came to her through an Internet survey, Pearson shows the power of the Ghost of Eternal Polygamy as it not only waits on the other side to greet the most righteous in heaven, but also haunts the living—hiding in the recesses of the Mormon psyche, inflicting profound pain and fear, assuring women that they are still objects, harming or destroying marriages, bringing chaos to family relationships, leading many to lose faith in the church and in God."

1hr 11mins

31 Jan 2018

Rank #4

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881: Tara Westover - Author of "Educated: A Memoir" Pt. 1

We are excited to release our interview with Tara Westover, author of the New York Times bestseller “Educated.” “[A] searing debut memoir… Westover recounts her upbringing with six siblings on an Idaho farm dominated by her father…who tried to live off the grid, kept four children (including the author) out of school…and stockpiled supplies and guns for the end-time…When she finally escaped the toxic atmosphere of dogma, suspicion, and patriarchy to attend college and then grad school at Cambridge, her identity crisis precipitated a heartbreaking rupture. Westover’s vivid prose makes this saga of the pressures of conformity and self-assertion that warp a family seem both terrifying and ordinary.”

1hr 8mins

16 Mar 2018

Rank #5

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762: Natasha Helfer Parker - Mormon Sex Therapist Pt. 1

In this series on Mormon Stories, we interview the fabulous Natasha Helfer Parker, MFT, CST — moderator of the Mormon Mental Health podcast — to finally hear her “Mormon story.” This interview covers: *Being raised in the Church with convert parents in Spain and her eventual move to the US *Natasha and her family’s concerns about the practice of polygamy and frustration that their questions never seemed to be answered, yet remaining true-believers *The impact of being a victim of sexual abuse as a child and teenager and how it influenced her experiences exploring her sexuality as a teenager and young adult *Her removal from BYU because of her sexual experiences and her thoughts now about the unintended consequences of honor code enforcement *How she met her husband and disclosed her sexual past in an act of transparency, and how it affected the first years of their marriage *Her thoughts now about the difference between behavior and self-worth within the Church, especially as it relates to sexual behavior *Her decision to become a sex therapist and how her move to the Midwest became an impetus to develop a wider online presence *How being a believer in the faith, but having a nuanced view of sexuality led her to being widely known as the “Mormon Sex Therapist” *How cracks developed in her Orthodox faith foundation *Her feeling of being in a continuing faith transition for much of the 20+ years of her practice http://www.mormonmentalhealth.org https://www.symmetrysols.com

1hr 36mins

5 Jul 2017

Rank #6

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1311: Claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse within Mormonism: An Introduction

In today's episode I will provide a brief introduction to the history of Satanic Ritual Abuse Claims Within Mormonism. My intention is to follow up a few more episodes from experts and others who are able/willing to give first-hand accounts relating to this topic.

57mins

14 May 2020

Rank #7

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809: Mike Norton (NewNameNoah) Tells His Story Pt. 1

Whether you love him, are troubled by him, or don’t quite know what to make of him, our listeners need to hear these episodes of Mormon Stories with Mike Norton—known frequently by his handle “NewNameNoah.” Mike is recognized most for his covert actions in secretly recording the LDS temple ceremonies and posting video to YouTube so the general public can experience what members consider to be the most sacred ceremonies of the faith.  In addition to these videos, Mike has controversially forged and distributed temple recommends to others and in the past assumed an identity to become an active, temple-recommend holding member of the church. Mike was also responsible for bringing international attention to the story of Savannah—the young woman who came out to her LDS congregation as lesbian during a fast and testimony meeting and had her microphone cut off by a male leader.  Our past interview with Savannah may be found here. In these episodes, we explore Mike’s personal experience growing up as a member of the LDS Church and the agonizing faith crisis he experienced that serves as the impetus for his controversial tactics.  We discuss those tactics in detail, and then embark on an important conversation dealing with the ethics and effectiveness of these methods—weaving Mike’s story into the greater narrative about how change is made in the LDS Church. ________ Like what we do?  Please consider becoming a Patron at our newly created Patreon account. This is an option in addition to our regular monthly donation option.  Patrons donate based on the amount of content we produce, at the price of $1 per interview.  Please visit https://www.patreon.com/mormonstories for more details.

1hr 40mins

27 Oct 2017

Rank #8

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1082: How the Book of Mormon was Created, by John Hamer Pt. 1

Join us now for this Mormon Stories Podcast episode, wherein John Hamer offers his theory as to how the Book of Mormon was created.

1hr 16mins

20 Mar 2019

Rank #9

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1037: Todd and Sarah Gale - The Challenges of Attending Church with Accused Sexual Predator Joseph Bishop (Chandler, Arizona) Pt. 1

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to attend the same Mormon ward as accused rapist/sexual predator Joseph Bishop? Todd and Sarah Gale attend the same Mormon ward as Joseph Bishop (in Chandler, Arizona). Last year McKenna Denson shared a recording of her confrontation with Joseph Bishop, who was serving as president of the Provo, Utah Mission Training Center at the time he is accused of sexually assaulting McKenna in the 1980s. Both share their thoughts and feelings of sharing a ward with Joseph Bishop, and discuss precautions and actions they take to protect their family. “Alright to Be You” is a collaboration song by electronic musician, Milocraft, and singer-songwriter, Angela Soffe. Raised in the LDS Church, both are returned missionaries, and each chose to leave the Church when faced with a faith crisis. In 2018 they founded the “Be Moved Project” to create music that helps people feel happy and connected. To hear more music or support the project by becoming a patron, please visit: www.angelasoffe.com

1hr 14mins

8 Jan 2019

Rank #10

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1098: The Excommunication of Leah and Cody Young Pt. 1

Leah and Cody describe the events leading up to their disciplinary council

1hr 37mins

26 Apr 2019

Rank #11

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852: Family Ties - Laurie, Doug, Julie, and Jerry's Mormon Faith Crisis/Transition Pt. 1

In this special episode of Mormon Stories, we travel to Southern California to interview 2 couples—Doug & Laurie and Jerry & Julie about their Mormon faith crisis and transition.  The couples are connected in that Laurie and Julie are sisters, and Doug and Jerry served in the same LDS mission together. This is a super fascinating story in that each grew up as faithful, orthodox Mormons and both couples were living what they considered to be the "Mormon dream" until Doug began to have a faith crisis that he endured silently for years.  Suffering alone and feeling unable to share his doubts with anyone, he finally opened up to his wife Laurie and they carefully navigated a mixed-faith marriage for some time.  Seeking support, Doug and Laurie reached out to Jerry and Julie to share their questions and struggles and we learn how each began a faith journey they did not expect. Important topics we cover: What the Church meant to each as they were in it What caused them to doubt and question What was hard and difficult about the faith crisis The mistakes and successes they discovered while navigating their faith crisis How they shared their faith crisis with their children How they "came out" about their beliefs to others, including ward members and leaders How they have begun to forge a new life This interview is a first of many this year that will highlight what John calls "The Gift of the Mormon Faith Crisis."  More information for this 2018 initiative can be found at http://www.mormonfaithcrisis.com _______ Part 1: Each provide their Mormon background Part 2: Doug is the first to have a faith crisis, which has ripple effects to Laurie, Julie, and Jerry Part 3: Laurie, Doug, and Julie share how cracks developed in their faith Part 4: Each tackle the tough topic of sharing their faith crisis with their children Part 5: Each discuss "coming out" about their beliefs to others Part 6: Each discuss the hard, yet rewarding task of forging a new life _______ Like what we do?  Please consider becoming a Patron at our newly created Patreon account. This is an option in addition to our regular monthly donation option.  Patrons donate based on the amount of content we produce, at the price of $1 per interview.  Please visit https://www.patreon.com/mormonstories for more details. __________

1hr 20mins

16 Jan 2018

Rank #12

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964: Jeanne and Jason Booth on Losing Your Faith as Bishop and Bishop's Wife Pt. 1

What would cause a sitting Mormon bishop and his wife to lose their testimonies while he is serving as bishop – leading him to resign as bishop? Jeanne and Jason’s story is another in a series of episodes where we interview past Mormon bishops. The two describe raising their four children in the church, their varied callings, and how inextricable Mormonism was in their marriage and worldview. Jason’s first call to a bishopric was not one he felt ready or spiritual enough for. Moved by the words of President Hinckley to “Forget yourself and go to work,” he accepted and immediately went to work. “He was a good bishop,” affirms Jeanne. Jason “upped his ‘spiritual game’” by eliminating hard rock from his music collection. Jeanne and their children made similar steps to fit the mold. Once called as Bishop, Jason began reading the LDS Gospel Topics Essays, beginning with “Race and the Priesthood,” which caused him to reflect on 2 Nephi Chapter 5 as well as his own experience teaching individuals in New Zealand. “It shook my confidence in the scriptures. It never occurred to me that prophets could be wrong…in ways that affect people’s lives.” These essays served as the beginning of a series of events that eroded Jason’s testimony. Jason was further shaken by being invited to interview as a candidate for Stake President, causing him to wonder if such callings were really the result of inspiration or perhaps the leadership were just ordinary people doing the best they could. Expressing these concerns to Jeanne caused her grief, wondering how her husband could still be a good in person if he left the church. Around this time, Jason found Mormon Stories Podcast, which helped him learn more about challenging issues in the church. Issues for Jason began to mount as he learned about individuals who questioned doctrine and did not receive sufficient answers. Jason goes on to describe what it’s like to remain a Bishop after losing confidence in fellow priesthood leaders. As both of their testimonies crumbled, Jeanne and Jason describe being “heartbroken.” What does this bishop do as he, his wife, and his family lose their testimonies? Join us now on Mormon Stories Podcast to hear the full story. You will not find more sensitive and thoughtful people than Jeanne and Jason Booth.

59mins

17 Aug 2018

Rank #13

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985: Truth Seeking with Hans and Birgitta Mattsson Pt. 2

Join us for our highly anticipated follow-up interview with both Hans and Birgitta Mattsson during our recent trip to Sweden to visit with those who attended the original "Swedish Rescue" fireside in November, 2010. Our first interview with Hans and Birgitta was released on July 22, 2013 and is noted as one of our most important releases given Hans' church leadership pedigree as a bishop and stake president in Sweden before serving in the LDS church 3rd Quorum of the Seventy from 2000-2005 in the Europe Central area under LDS Apostle L. Tom Perry, as well as the sincere struggles with testimony that both Hans and Birgitta faced after his release as an Area Authority. In this two-part interview, we relive both Hans and Birgitta's ascent through the LDS Church, we elaborate for the first time on Hans and Birgitta's experience receiving the Second Anointing (a rarely-talked about temple ordinance reserved for those in the upper echelons of the LDS Church and described in detail during our epic interview with Tom Phillips), and we discuss the motivations for writing the book, "Truth Seeking: The Story of High-Ranking Mormon Leader Hans Mattsson Seeking Sincere Answers From His Church but Instead Finding Contempt, Fear, Doubt ...and Eventually Peace."

1hr 26mins

27 Sep 2018

Rank #14

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1168: Accused Voyeur/Bishop Steven Murdock: A Case Study in How the Mormon Church Ignores/Covers up Abusive Behavior, Leaving Future Victims Vulnerable

SUMMARY: While I am pleased to finally see extensive news coverage of Mormon Bishop/Stake High Councilman Steven Murdock’s voyeurism story, I feel strongly that the reporters are missing the most important part of this story: basically, that Mormon church leadership explicitly knew of Bishop Murdock’s history of sexual harassment as early as 2017, but chose to ignore the reports, kept him in as bishop for several months after the firing, and eventually “promoted” Steven Murdock to the Stake High Council in spite of at least three different direct reports regarding his pattern of behavior. The following report comes from personal interviews with over 20 individuals who have personal relationships with Steven Murdock, either as friends, co-workers, neighbors, or ward/stake members.

1hr 42mins

22 Aug 2019

Rank #15

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870: Sam Young and ProtectLDSChildren.org - Apostasy Charges and March for the Children

In this episode, we check in with Bishop Sam Young to discuss progress in his petition to end sexually-invasive questions to children during clergy interviews.  We also discuss his plans to organize a march on March 30 to deliver the petition of signatures gathered from ProtectLDSChildren.org to the LDS Church Office Building in Salt Lake City.  Sam also details the threats against his safety he has received as well as charges of apostasy leveled against him by his local priesthood leadership.

1hr 5mins

1 Mar 2018

Rank #16

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861: Carol Lynn Pearson - The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy Pt. 2

Mormon Stories Podcast is excited to team up with Sunstone to present a recording of our live podcast on 1/25/18 with Carol Lynn Pearson where we discuss her book, The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy. Special thanks to the Salt Lake City Community of Christ for hosting such a wonderful evening and for the many listeners who came to enjoy the experience. These episodes closely follow the abstract of the book: "'Polygamy?' says the mainstream Mormon Church, “We gave that up long ago.” Not so, claims noted LDS poet and author Carol Lynn Pearson, who examines the issue as it has never been examined before. Any member of the LDS Church today who enters the practice of polygamy is immediately excommunicated. However, Pearson claims, polygamy itself has never been excommunicated, but has an honored and protected place at the table. It has only been postponed, a fact confirmed by thousands of “eternal sealings” giving a man an assurance that he will claim as wives in heaven the two, three, or even more women he has sequentially married during his lifetime. No such opportunity is available to women. Through her own personal stories, those of her ancestors, and the thousands of stories that came to her through an Internet survey, Pearson shows the power of the Ghost of Eternal Polygamy as it not only waits on the other side to greet the most righteous in heaven, but also haunts the living—hiding in the recesses of the Mormon psyche, inflicting profound pain and fear, assuring women that they are still objects, harming or destroying marriages, bringing chaos to family relationships, leading many to lose faith in the church and in God."

57mins

31 Jan 2018

Rank #17

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965: Jeanne and Jason Booth on Losing Your Faith as Bishop and Bishop's Wife Pt. 2

What would cause a sitting Mormon bishop and his wife to lose their testimonies while he is serving as bishop – leading him to resign as bishop? Jeanne and Jason’s story is another in a series of episodes where we interview past Mormon bishops. The two describe raising their four children in the church, their varied callings, and how inextricable Mormonism was in their marriage and worldview. Jason’s first call to a bishopric was not one he felt ready or spiritual enough for. Moved by the words of President Hinckley to “Forget yourself and go to work,” he accepted and immediately went to work. “He was a good bishop,” affirms Jeanne. Jason “upped his ‘spiritual game’” by eliminating hard rock from his music collection. Jeanne and their children made similar steps to fit the mold. Once called as Bishop, Jason began reading the LDS Gospel Topics Essays, beginning with “Race and the Priesthood,” which caused him to reflect on 2 Nephi Chapter 5 as well as his own experience teaching individuals in New Zealand. “It shook my confidence in the scriptures. It never occurred to me that prophets could be wrong…in ways that affect people’s lives.” These essays served as the beginning of a series of events that eroded Jason’s testimony. Jason was further shaken by being invited to interview as a candidate for Stake President, causing him to wonder if such callings were really the result of inspiration or perhaps the leadership were just ordinary people doing the best they could. Expressing these concerns to Jeanne caused her grief, wondering how her husband could still be a good in person if he left the church. Around this time, Jason found Mormon Stories Podcast, which helped him learn more about challenging issues in the church. Issues for Jason began to mount as he learned about individuals who questioned doctrine and did not receive sufficient answers. Jason goes on to describe what it’s like to remain a Bishop after losing confidence in fellow priesthood leaders. As both of their testimonies crumbled, Jeanne and Jason describe being “heartbroken.” What does this bishop do as he, his wife, and his family lose their testimonies? Join us now on Mormon Stories Podcast to hear the full story. You will not find more sensitive and thoughtful people than Jeanne and Jason Booth.

1hr 14mins

17 Aug 2018

Rank #18

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1120: The Purves Family: How a Davis, CA Bishop and his Family Navigate(d) a Mormon Faith Crisis Pt. 1

On this episode of Mormon Stories Podcast, we travel to Davis, California to visit with the Purves family as they share their unique experience with a Mormon Faith Crisis. In this interview we cover: The goodness that Mormonism brought Scott and Joanna as youth, including a nurturing community and a sense of purpose Scott and Joanna's decision to raise their family in Mormonism, culminating in the calling of Scott as Bishop The rewards and challenges of serving as a Bishop, and how the demanding service impacted Joanna and the rest of the family What made a Mormon Bishop question and then lose his testimony? What happens when a Mormon Bishop's daughter comes out as lesbian and how does the family handle that? How does the Purves family rebuild and regroup to find joy and fulfillment outside of Mormon orthodoxy? And so much more... Join us as this amazing and loving family becomes both strong and vulnerable to share the joys and challenges of their Mormon Faith Crisis!

1hr 36mins

6 Jun 2019

Rank #19

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788: BYU Athletes, Provo Police, and the Honor Code

In this episode of Mormon Stories, we hold a panel discussion with Dr. Darron Smith—author of When Race & Religion Collide: Black Athletics at BYU and Beyond, Ryan McKnight—MormonLeaks publisher, and Vanessa Judd—a victim of assault by a BYU athlete. We discuss the MormonLeaks video which depicted an interaction between the Provo Police Department, a BYU football player, and other unidentified individuals. The video was recorded on December 4, 2016 and in it we learn that this is the second visit from the police that night and one of multiple visits they have had to make over time to the athlete. We discuss: *The ethics of releasing the video *The ethics of NCAA athletics (especially at BYU), and *The relationship between Provo Police, BYU and the Honor Code, especially regarding the many claims and accusations made concerning students being expelled or suspended for less than what is admitted to in this video

1hr 36mins

1 Sep 2017

Rank #20