A Thoughtful Faith - Mormon / LDS
Rock Waterman is a popular LDS blogger who owns and operates the Pure Mormonism blog. In this interview Rock shares some of his backstory, including his "Mighty Change" that shifted his perspectives on Mormonism and ultimately motivated him to start his blog and share his perspective with all of Mormondom.

Rock stands as a unique voice, warning the Saints about relying too much on the institutional church headquartered in Salt Lake City and its administrative leadership at the expense of developing our own relationship with God through scripture, revelation, and the Spirit of God. In the interview, we touch on a few topics including: the error of institutional infallibility and blind obedience, the nature of true revelation mediated through prophets, and how to maintain faith in Jesus Christ independent of religious institutions.

I think Rock's unique take is an important and desperately needed voice in Modern Mormonism. We have all been taught that the Church and the Gospel are codependent and inseparable. As such, it is common for Mormons who take issue with certain aspects of Church policy, history and perceived past crimes to allow those grievances to influence their relationship to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rock Waterman's approach to this situation allows us as Mormons to embrace what we feel is true and right about the Gospel while setting aside aspects of our Mormon experience that are not in harmony with our values and ethics.

We would like to thank Rock again for his willingness to share his experience and perspective with our listeners.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-006-RockWaterman.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:27pm MST

We are proud to present this brilliant interview by Sarah Collett of Dr. John Sorenson. Dr. Sorenson is an emeritus professor of anthropology at Brigham Young University, and a renowned expert of Book of Mormon archeology and geography. His seminal work An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon popularized the Limited Geography Theory within LDS culture, and has been the reference point for both apologetic and critical approaches to historicity of the Book of Mormon. Since his retirement from BYU, Dr. Sorenson has dedicated over two decades of research into the body of work that will be released in his upcoming book Mormon's Codex, which will be published through the Neal A. Maxwell Institute of Religious Scholarship.

In this interview, Dr. Sorenson provides insight into his backstory and how he became enthralled with Book of Mormon archeological research. Here he also provides us a brief teaser of his upcoming book which serves as his last stand on the issue of Book of Mormon historicity. In this interview, Dr. Sorenson shares some information about contemporaneous evidence of metalwork, horses, elephants, and inscribed sheets of gold consistent with the understood Book of Mormon chronology. We hope this episode of A Thoughtful Faith will serve as a great introduction to Dr. Sorenson's upcoming book, and further the scholarly discussion about this important issue.

Many thanks to Dr. John Sorenson for his willingness to share his experiences, research, and wisdom through our podcast.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-005-JohnSorenson.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:18pm MST

We are pleased to share John Dehlin's recent interview with Phil Barlow, whose book "A Thoughtful Faith" has played a pivotal role in many Mormon's faith journey's, including John's, and is also the inspiration for the name and theme of this podcast.

Phil Barlow currently sits in the Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture, at Utah State University. He earned a B. A. from Weber State College and an M.T.S. and Ph.D. (1988, with an emphasis on Religion and American Culture and on the History of Christianity) from Harvard University. He spent two years as a Mellon Fellow at the University of Rochester after which he became professor of Theological Studies at Hanover College in Indiana. In addition to articles, essays, and reviews, Dr. Barlow has published Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion (Oxford Univ. Press, 1991) and several other books. He is past president of the Mormon History Association.
Direct download: MormonStories-371-PhilBarlowPt2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:09pm MST

We are pleased to share John Dehlin's recent interview with Phil Barlow, whose book "A Thoughtful Faith" has played a pivotal role in many Mormon's faith journey's, including John's, and is also the inspiration for the name and theme of this podcast.

Phil Barlow currently sits in the Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture, at Utah State University. He earned a B. A. from Weber State College and an M.T.S. and Ph.D. (1988, with an emphasis on Religion and American Culture and on the History of Christianity) from Harvard University. He spent two years as a Mellon Fellow at the University of Rochester after which he became professor of Theological Studies at Hanover College in Indiana. In addition to articles, essays, and reviews, Dr. Barlow has published Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion (Oxford Univ. Press, 1991) and several other books. He is past president of the Mormon History Association.
Direct download: MormonStories-370-PhilBarlowPt1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:07pm MST

In this episode, Sarah Collett interviews LDS Scholar Trent Stephens, professor of anatomy and embryology at Idaho State University. Prof. Stephens has received many awards and accolades in the world of academia for his investigative research into the developmental origins of vertebrate form, and the mechanism of the drug thalidomide in causing birth defects. He has published more than eighty scientific papers and books, including several leading textbooks for anatomy and physiology.

Trent Stephens has also published works relevant to his areas of expertise within Mormon Studies, including Who Are The Children of Lehi?, and Evolution and Mormonism: A Quest for Understanding, both of which he co-authored with Dr. D. Jeffrey Meldrum. In this interview, Prof. Stephens tells us his backstory and love of science that has captured him since childhood. He discusses his early attempts to refute the Theory of Evolution and how this led him to ultimately accept it as scientific fact. Trent provides a crash course in human genetics and evolution, and shares with us how he reconciles his knowledge of science with his relationship to God as a Mormon, and even provides some of his own speculative theories of how literal interpretations of scripture and creation narratives fit into the scientific worldview.

Thanks again to Sarah Collett and Trent Stephens for providing us with this wonderful episode of A Thoughtful Faith.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-002-TrentStephens.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:20am MST

For our inaugural installment of this new podcast, I couldn’t think of anyone better to have than Greg Prince. Greg is well known in our little Mormon world for his historical contributions and his grassroots activism within the LDS Church. Greg is an advocate for better curriculum, scholarship, gender equality, and open dialogue within Mormon discourse and church policy. Greg sits on the board of directors for Dialogue Foundation, as well as the Madison House Autism Foundation. In this interview, Greg and I discuss Dialogue, one of Mormondom’s oldest and most controversial publications, and what role it will continue to play in the Internet Age. Greg is a bold advocate for gender equality and women’s issues within Mormon culture. We discuss the contributions of Chieko Okasaki, women and the priesthood, and what practical solutions are available today to affect positive change in Mormon gender equality. In October 2011, at the Washington DC Mormon Stories Conference, Greg Prince gave a wonderful summary of his experiences of activism within Mormonism, discussed his role models, and in Section 5 of his speech provided a manifesto for how we should take ownership of the future of Mormonism. Greg and I discussed in further depth his admonitions, which range from influencing curriculum, creating better scholarship, and how to navigate the political intrigue of church service. Toward the end of the interview, I asked Greg to tell us more about his newest project, the Madison House Autism Foundation (MHAF), which he and his wife JaLynn co-founded in 2009. MHAF is a very important organization that strives to find solutions for the needs of adults with autism. I strongly encourage our listeners to visit MHAF’s website. We will provide links below. It was a sublime experience to interview one of Modern Mormonism’s greatest champions. I would like to thank Greg from the bottom of my heart for helping us start off on the right foot.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-001-GregPrince.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:18am MST

In conjunction with my interview on Greg Prince, I thought it would be very appropriate to repost here Greg's stirring speech from the October 2011 Washington DC Mormon Stories Conference as our first installment of our Mormon Stories Classic Series.

For the keynote address at the 2011 Mormon Stories Washington D.C. conference, noted author, scientist and philanthropist Greg Prince discussed the history of Mormon thought, and his vision for "Big Tent Mormonism."
Direct download: MormonStories-295-GregPrinceBigTentMormonism.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:15am MST

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