A Thoughtful Faith - Mormon / LDS
As an independent historian, Russell Stevenson has been studying Mormon history for nearly two decades. His first book, Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables, tells the vexing story of race in nineteenth-century Mormonism through experiences of Elijah Ables, a biracial man ordained to the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s lifetime. Drawing on documents unused in other treatments, Black Mormon is the first effort to understand Elijah Ables in all of his identities: black, male, Mormon, and priesthood holder.
Direct download: MormonStories-437-ElijahAbelPt2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:34pm MST

As an independent historian, Russell Stevenson has been studying Mormon history for nearly two decades. His first book, Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables, tells the vexing story of race in nineteenth-century Mormonism through experiences of Elijah Ables, a biracial man ordained to the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s lifetime. Drawing on documents unused in other treatments, Black Mormon is the first effort to understand Elijah Ables in all of his identities: black, male, Mormon, and priesthood holder.
Direct download: MormonStories-436-ElijahAbelPt1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:32pm MST

Terryl Givens did graduate work at Cornell University in Intellectual History and UNC Chapel Hill where he received his PhD in Comparative Literature. He holds the James A. Bostwick chair of English, and is Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond, where he teaches courses in 19th century studies, and the Bible’s influence on western literature. As a commentator on Mormon religion and culture, he has appeared on PBS, NPR, and CNN. Author of ten books, his writing has been praised by the New York Times as “provocative reading,” and includes, most recently, When Souls had Wings, a history of the idea of premortal life in western thought, and a two volume history of Mormon theology underway for Oxford University Press.
Direct download: MormonStories-293-TerrylGivensPt5.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:32pm MST

Terryl Givens did graduate work at Cornell University in Intellectual History and UNC Chapel Hill where he received his PhD in Comparative Literature. He holds the James A. Bostwick chair of English, and is Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond, where he teaches courses in 19th century studies, and the Bible’s influence on western literature. As a commentator on Mormon religion and culture, he has appeared on PBS, NPR, and CNN. Author of ten books, his writing has been praised by the New York Times as “provocative reading,” and includes, most recently, When Souls had Wings, a history of the idea of premortal life in western thought, and a two volume history of Mormon theology underway for Oxford University Press.
Direct download: MormonStories-292-TerrylGivensPt4.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:32pm MST

Terryl Givens did graduate work at Cornell University in Intellectual History and UNC Chapel Hill where he received his PhD in Comparative Literature. He holds the James A. Bostwick chair of English, and is Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond, where he teaches courses in 19th century studies, and the Bible’s influence on western literature. As a commentator on Mormon religion and culture, he has appeared on PBS, NPR, and CNN. Author of ten books, his writing has been praised by the New York Times as “provocative reading,” and includes, most recently, When Souls had Wings, a history of the idea of premortal life in western thought, and a two volume history of Mormon theology underway for Oxford University Press.
Direct download: MormonStories-291-TerrylGivensPt3.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:32pm MST

Terryl Givens did graduate work at Cornell University in Intellectual History and UNC Chapel Hill where he received his PhD in Comparative Literature. He holds the James A. Bostwick chair of English, and is Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond, where he teaches courses in 19th century studies, and the Bible’s influence on western literature. As a commentator on Mormon religion and culture, he has appeared on PBS, NPR, and CNN. Author of ten books, his writing has been praised by the New York Times as “provocative reading,” and includes, most recently, When Souls had Wings, a history of the idea of premortal life in western thought, and a two volume history of Mormon theology underway for Oxford University Press.
Direct download: MormonStories-290-TerrylGivensPt2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:32pm MST

Terryl Givens did graduate work at Cornell University in Intellectual History and UNC Chapel Hill where he received his PhD in Comparative Literature. He holds the James A. Bostwick chair of English, and is Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond, where he teaches courses in 19th century studies, and the Bible’s influence on western literature. As a commentator on Mormon religion and culture, he has appeared on PBS, NPR, and CNN. Author of ten books, his writing has been praised by the New York Times as “provocative reading,” and includes, most recently, When Souls had Wings, a history of the idea of premortal life in western thought, and a two volume history of Mormon theology underway for Oxford University Press.
Direct download: MormonStories-289-TerrylGivensPt1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:32pm MST

Boyd Jay Petersen is the Mormon Studies Coordinator at both Utah Valley University, where he also teaches in the English Department, including courses on Mormon literature. He is also an adjunct instructor at Brigham Young University. In this delightful conversation hosted by Dan Wotherspoon, Boyd shares about many aspects of his spiritual journey, centering on a several-decades-long process of coming to be able to testify that the "Church is true." His framings and how he got to them reveal an active mind and open heart, a person who is deeply thoughtful and who takes the challenges of history, human foibles, the call to actively work for social justice, and spiritual and other meaningful experiences seriously. In sharing this journey, he offers a wonderful and powerful analogy about similarities in the ways he makes sense of his relationship with the Church and how he does it in his relationship with his wife. One recurring struggle in Boyd’s life is with depression, which he talks about openly in this episode. The discussion also includes anecdotes about Boyd’s experiences with Hugh Nibley, his father-in-law (Boyd is married to Zina Nibley Petersen), including some about the processes involved in his writing of the award-winning biography, Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life (Greg Kofford Books, 2003).
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-054-BJPetersen.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:04pm MST

In the 5th and final part of this multi-part interview with Dr. Richard Bushman, the world’s foremost scholar on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism and author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, John Dehlin offers some final thoughts on his time with Brother Bushman, and Dr. Bushman himself provides some final musings on the challenges of dealing with tough Mormon issues. He then concludes with his testimony of Joseph Smith.
Direct download: MormonStories-051-RichardBushmanPart5.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:04pm MST

In part 4 of this multi-part interview with Dr. Richard Bushman, the world’s foremost scholar on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism and author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, Brother Bushman discusses the historicity of the Book of Mormon, and the credibility of the 3 and 8 witnesses to the Book of Mormon.
Direct download: MormonStories-050-RichardBushmanPart4.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:03pm MST

In part 3 of this multi-part interview with Dr. Richard Bushman, the world’s foremost scholar on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism and author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, Brother Bushman discusses Joseph Smith’s bringing to light of the Book of Mormon, from angel Moroni’s visit, to the obtaining of the plates, to the actual mechanics of the translation process. He also discusses the process of receiving revelation within Mormonism, as a Patriarch in the LDS Church.
Direct download: MormonStories-049-RichardBushmanPart3.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:03pm MST

In part 2 of this multi-part interview with Dr. Richard Bushman, the world’s foremost scholar on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism and author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, we tackle 4 main topics. First, brother Bushman provides a high level review of the major Joseph Smith biographies that preceded Rough Stone Rolling, including Fawn Brodie’s "No man knows my history." Next, brother Bushman discusses the art of writing history, and the challenges involved in trying to arrive at "the facts" and "the truth" for both historians, and readers of history. Finally, we discuss in depth the first 2 of our top 10 tough Joseph Smith issues: 1) The multiple and somewhat varying accounts of Joseph Smith’s first vision story, and 2) Joseph Smith’s involvement in folk magic and treasure digging. The slight audio buzz from the previous interview continues on this one, with an additional static sound that lasts for about 2 minutes at the beginning of the interview.
Direct download: MormonStories-048-RichardBushmanPart2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:41am MST

In part 1 of this multi-part interview, Dr. Richard Bushman, the world’s foremost scholar on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism and the author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, discusses his years as a Mormon historian, including his struggle with faith as a Harvard undergraduate, his decision to get a PhD in history, and his experiences with Leonard Arrington, Dialogue and Sunstone. He also discusses the role of candid, honest history within the modern LDS Church.
Direct download: MormonStories-047-RichardBushmanPart1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:25am MST

Jeff and Amy have a unique perspective of what it is like to be fully active, participating members of the church even though they aren't members of the social club. Infertility and the struggles that come with it created a situation where they felt that they were always looking in from the outside. In this interview we explore their experience and the wisdom that comes with many years of knowing what it feels like to be rejected and excluded. These are two great people who share a compelling message.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-048-AmyandJeff-Part2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:33pm MST

Jeff and Amy have a unique perspective of what it is like to be fully active, participating members of the church even though they aren't members of the social club. Infertility and the struggles that come with it created a situation where they felt that they were always looking in from the outside. In this interview we explore their experience and the wisdom that comes with many years of knowing what it feels like to be rejected and excluded. These are two great people who share a compelling message.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-047-AmyandJeff-Part1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:32pm MST

Dr. Jeremy Timothy MD is a Pediatric Neurologist for Cardon Children's Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona. In this podcast Dr. Timothy shares how his Social Anxiety Disorder presented formative challenges throughout his life, and how bouts of depression and severe anxiety during his Residency almost ended his medical career. Through a combination of good medicine and therapy he emerged as a leader in his specialty, which requires him to treat to injured, mentally disabled, and handicapped children. On a daily basis he is confronted with the incredible tensions of faith and science, suffering and theodicy, and life and death. How he has learned to cope with his own weaknesses and bear the burdens of his patients and their families has shaped his faith in God and his connection to Mormonism.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-046-JeremyTimothy-Part3.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:44am MST

Dr. Jeremy Timothy MD is a Pediatric Neurologist for Cardon Children's Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona. In this podcast Dr. Timothy shares how his Social Anxiety Disorder presented formative challenges throughout his life, and how bouts of depression and severe anxiety during his Residency almost ended his medical career. Through a combination of good medicine and therapy he emerged as a leader in his specialty, which requires him to treat to injured, mentally disabled, and handicapped children. On a daily basis he is confronted with the incredible tensions of faith and science, suffering and theodicy, and life and death. How he has learned to cope with his own weaknesses and bear the burdens of his patients and their families has shaped his faith in God and his connection to Mormonism.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-045-JeremyTimothy-Part2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:39am MST

Dr. Jeremy Timothy MD is a Pediatric Neurologist for Cardon Children's Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona. In this podcast Dr. Timothy shares how his Social Anxiety Disorder presented formative challenges throughout his life, and how bouts of depression and severe anxiety during his Residency almost ended his medical career. Through a combination of good medicine and therapy he emerged as a leader in his specialty, which requires him to treat to injured, mentally disabled, and handicapped children. On a daily basis he is confronted with the incredible tensions of faith and science, suffering and theodicy, and life and death. How he has learned to cope with his own weaknesses and bear the burdens of his patients and their families has shaped his faith in God and his connection to Mormonism.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-044-JeremyTimothy-Part1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:38am MST

"I get impatient with dogma and dictum, but somewhere way inside me and way beyond impatience or indifference there is that insistent, infernal, so help me, scared singing -- All is well, All is well. My own church, inhabited by my own people -- I would be cosmically orphaned without it."- Emma Lou Thayne

I first met Emma Lou Thayne at Benihana’s- a Japanese steakhouse. We shared a table, watching the chef stack onions & dice peppers at rapid speeds, swapping stories about our individual travels through Asia. I bumped into her a few months later at a conference, & once more at a film screening. I was deeply impressed with her handle on life & her view on Mormonism- although her stories were her own, she inspired me to create a better story for myself through her sharing. When I was presented the opportunity to interview her- I jumped at the chance. The following podcast is less of an interview than we had planned, and more of a casual conversation held one afternoon in Emma Lou’s home. We cover a range of topics- from her memories of pre-correlation Mormonism, the ERA, & Helen Keller, to her work in raising awareness for mental health.

Emma Lou Thayne is a nationally ranked Senior Women’s Singles & Doubles tennis player, she taught for many years in the University of Utah’s Department of English and Division of Continuing Education, she is an award-winning poet, a well published author, and a leader for the arts, education, and business.

The Thayne Community Service Center at Salt Lake Community College (named for her), had this to say about her: "Emma Lou Thayne is a peacemaker, she cares deeply about people. Whether writing of love or loss, triumph or suffering, Emma Lou sees the extraordinary in the ordinary, she recognizes dignity in daily experience, and she magnifies moments that many would allow to pass without recognition. Emma Lou Thayne is a poet, and her poems celebrate connections."

Her most recent book- “The Place of Knowing- A Spiritual Autobiography", can be found online & at a bookstore near you.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-043-EmmaLouThayne.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:35pm MST

Dan McDonald is a husband, father, lawyer, author. His book, Gethsemamnesia: Forgotten Lessons From Gethsemane, Golgotha and Beyond, chronicles the lessons he learned while dealing with a life threatening disease. The evolution of his faith has been shaped by his understanding of a savior who doubted and who experienced real fear. In this interview we talk about his book, but also his faith and his dedication to Christ. Dan has a very refreshing view of the gospel, developed through hardship and trial. I hope that you will listen and enjoy.

Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-042-DanMcDonald-Part2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:30pm MST

Dan McDonald is a husband, father, lawyer, author. His book, Gethsemamnesia: Forgotten Lessons From Gethsemane, Golgotha and Beyond, chronicles the lessons he learned while dealing with a life threatening disease. The evolution of his faith has been shaped by his understanding of a savior who doubted and who experienced real fear. In this interview we talk about his book, but also his faith and his dedication to Christ. Dan has a very refreshing view of the gospel, developed through hardship and trial. I hope that you will listen and enjoy.

Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-041-DanMcDonald-Part1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:41am MST

While preparing for this interview with Adam Miller, whom Richard Bushman described as "the most original and provocative Latter-day Saint theologian practicing today," I was delighted to have my paradigm yanked out from under me again and again to reveal a world much richer and more colorful than I had imagined. In covering his 'Rube Goldberg Machines,' and 'Letters to a Young Mormon,' we explore a range of topics like how to "care" for our bodies desires, the revelations of science, and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, all in the context of something Adam Miller calls "grace" which is not what you think it is. Adam shows us a new way of seeing and living life using scripture and philosophy in a way that is surprisingly and profoundly useful.

Thanks to Adam Miller for being willing to give us this interview.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-040-AdamMiller-Part2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:10am MST

While preparing for this interview with Adam Miller, whom Richard Bushman described as "the most original and provocative Latter-day Saint theologian practicing today," I was delighted to have my paradigm yanked out from under me again and again to reveal a world much richer and more colorful than I had imagined. In covering his 'Rube Goldberg Machines,' and 'Letters to a Young Mormon,' we explore a range of topics like how to "care" for our bodies desires, the revelations of science, and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, all in the context of something Adam Miller calls "grace" which is not what you think it is. Adam shows us a new way of seeing and living life using scripture and philosophy in a way that is surprisingly and profoundly useful.

Thanks to Adam Miller for being willing to give us this interview.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-039-AdamMiller-Part1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:07am MST

We at A Thoughtful Faith are really proud to announce a new ATF project. This Saturday April 6th at 11:00pm MDT, we will launch the all new A Thoughtful Faith Blog. Since the beginning we have been extremely interested in supplementing the podcast with regular blog posts that support our message of thoughtful belief and participation in Mormonism.

Thanks to the efforts of our new blog manager Shan Rees Sullivan we now have an awesome group of contributors that will share their thoughts and perspectives under the Blog tab at AThoughtfulFaith.org.

In this recording, Micah and Sarah officially announce the launching of the blog, and Shan shares a little bit of her story and what her vision is for the blog. Thanks for listening and reading, and please join us for the launching of our blog this weekend!
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-Special001-Blog.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:06pm MST

In 2001 Rebecca Maesato founded a non-profit organization: Foundation for Children in Need. She and her two daughters traveled to Haiti in 2002 to work in orphanages and among the neediest children in the world. This began a journey that would ultimately expand their small family of four to a family of twelve and change their world view forever. Rebecca has come to understand a larger Christian community and establish her life's work with the people of Haiti. I had the wonderful opportunity to sit and speak to her and her sister, Kathy Mitchell, about some of their experiences and lessons they learned. Rebecca's approach to life and God is inspiring and hopeful.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-038-RebeccaMaesato-Part2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:03am MST

In 2001 Rebecca Maesato founded a non-profit organization: Foundation for Children in Need. She and her two daughters traveled to Haiti in 2002 to work in orphanages and among the neediest children in the world. This began a journey that would ultimately expand their small family of four to a family of twelve and change their world view forever. Rebecca has come to understand a larger Christian community and establish her life's work with the people of Haiti. I had the wonderful opportunity to sit and speak to her and her sister, Kathy Mitchell, about some of their experiences and lessons they learned. Rebecca's approach to life and God is inspiring and hopeful.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-037-RebeccaMaesato-Part1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:02am MST

This is an episode of A Thoughtful Faith that has been a long time in the making. I made contact with Andrea Radke-Moss shortly after we launched the podcast, and we recorded the first part of our interview in October 2012. Due to various circumstances, including a blunder on my part (I lost my original audio), we had to postpone the release of the episode. Thankfully a couple months ago I was able to recover a low-resolution backup of our interview. However, Andrea and I realized that by this time so much had changed in the Mormon Gender Equality debate, that we needed to augment our discussion. So several weeks ago we recorded the second half of our discussion. You can find all four segments of our discussion at the links below.

Andrea Radke-Moss is a professor of Women's History at BYU Idaho. Over the years she has become regarded as an expert in Mormon Women's History, and her perspective is incredibly helpful in providing perspective on our current discussion on LDS gender equality. In the interview, Andrea provides her backstory and a brief foray in the evolution of Mormon Women's roles from the 1800's to the present. Afterwards, the rest of our discussion focuses on how in a modern LDS Church and culture we can find ways to produce greater gender equality, while still embracing the important foundational principles of Mormonism.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-036-AndreaRadkeMoss-Part4.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:39am MST

This is an episode of A Thoughtful Faith that has been a long time in the making. I made contact with Andrea Radke-Moss shortly after we launched the podcast, and we recorded the first part of our interview in October 2012. Due to various circumstances, including a blunder on my part (I lost my original audio), we had to postpone the release of the episode. Thankfully a couple months ago I was able to recover a low-resolution backup of our interview. However, Andrea and I realized that by this time so much had changed in the Mormon Gender Equality debate, that we needed to augment our discussion. So several weeks ago we recorded the second half of our discussion. You can find all four segments of our discussion at the links below.

Andrea Radke-Moss is a professor of Women's History at BYU Idaho. Over the years she has become regarded as an expert in Mormon Women's History, and her perspective is incredibly helpful in providing perspective on our current discussion on LDS gender equality. In the interview, Andrea provides her backstory and a brief foray in the evolution of Mormon Women's roles from the 1800's to the present. Afterwards, the rest of our discussion focuses on how in a modern LDS Church and culture we can find ways to produce greater gender equality, while still embracing the important foundational principles of Mormonism.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-035-AndreaRadkeMoss-Part3.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:38am MST

This is an episode of A Thoughtful Faith that has been a long time in the making. I made contact with Andrea Radke-Moss shortly after we launched the podcast, and we recorded the first part of our interview in October 2012. Due to various circumstances, including a blunder on my part (I lost my original audio), we had to postpone the release of the episode. Thankfully a couple months ago I was able to recover a low-resolution backup of our interview. However, Andrea and I realized that by this time so much had changed in the Mormon Gender Equality debate, that we needed to augment our discussion. So several weeks ago we recorded the second half of our discussion. You can find all four segments of our discussion at the links below.

Andrea Radke-Moss is a professor of Women's History at BYU Idaho. Over the years she has become regarded as an expert in Mormon Women's History, and her perspective is incredibly helpful in providing perspective on our current discussion on LDS gender equality. In the interview, Andrea provides her backstory and a brief foray in the evolution of Mormon Women's roles from the 1800's to the present. Afterwards, the rest of our discussion focuses on how in a modern LDS Church and culture we can find ways to produce greater gender equality, while still embracing the important foundational principles of Mormonism.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-034-AndreaRadkeMoss-Part2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:34am MST

This is an episode of A Thoughtful Faith that has been a long time in the making. I made contact with Andrea Radke-Moss shortly after we launched the podcast, and we recorded the first part of our interview in October 2012. Due to various circumstances, including a blunder on my part (I lost my original audio), we had to postpone the release of the episode. Thankfully a couple months ago I was able to recover a low-resolution backup of our interview. However, Andrea and I realized that by this time so much had changed in the Mormon Gender Equality debate, that we needed to augment our discussion. So several weeks ago we recorded the second half of our discussion. You can find all four segments of our discussion at the links below.

Andrea Radke-Moss is a professor of Women's History at BYU Idaho. Over the years she has become regarded as an expert in Mormon Women's History, and her perspective is incredibly helpful in providing perspective on our current discussion on LDS gender equality. In the interview, Andrea provides her backstory and a brief foray in the evolution of Mormon Women's roles from the 1800's to the present. Afterwards, the rest of our discussion focuses on how in a modern LDS Church and culture we can find ways to produce greater gender equality, while still embracing the important foundational principles of Mormonism.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-033-AndreaRadkeMoss-Part1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:33am MST

Jay Griffith and I had the chance to sit with James (Jim) W. McConkie and speak to him about his personal history and family. As a nephew of Bruce R. McConkie and Joseph B. Wirthlin, Jim has a unique perspective of the Church and the brethren and a valuable approach to the Gospel. Speaking about his faith, parenting, and his views on the historical Christ, Jim explains his approach to doubt and difficult questions. He has written a book, Looking at the Doctrine and Covenants Again for the Very First Time, and is currently working on a book focusing on the inclusive Christ.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-032-JamesMcConkie-Part2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:39am MST

Jay Griffith and I had the chance to sit with James (Jim) W. McConkie and speak to him about his personal history and family. As a nephew of Bruce R. McConkie and Joseph B. Wirthlin, Jim has a unique perspective of the Church and the brethren and a valuable approach to the Gospel. Speaking about his faith, parenting, and his views on the historical Christ, Jim explains his approach to doubt and difficult questions. He has written a book, Looking at the Doctrine and Covenants Again for the Very First Time, and is currently working on a book focusing on the inclusive Christ.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-031-JamesMcConkie-Part1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:35am MST

I recently had the privilege of hearing one of the most concise, respectful, and thoughtful explanations and approaches to Mormon Feminism through this brilliant podcast by our friends at the Feminist Mormon Housewives Podcast. If you are new to the concept of feminism, and particularly how feminism fits into an LDS perspective, please enjoy this wonderful discussion between Lindsay Hansen Park, Danielle, Meredith, and Amanda. And please make sure you visit the podcast website and subscribe to enjoy their growing library of content.
Direct download: CommonFINAL.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:49pm MST

The theory of Cognitive Dissonance is a well-established concept in the field of psychology that explains why we all experience discomfort and anxiety when we are exposed to new ideas and beliefs or engage in behavior that conflict with our pre-existing views, ideals, and beliefs. I've been extremely interested in producing an episode of A Thoughtful Faith that could explore the concept of Cognitive Dissonance as it relates to an LDS faith crisis / faith transition. When the opportunity came to produce a collaborative episode with the wonderful Nathasha Helfer Parker at the Mormon Mental Health Podcast, this seemed like a really good fit for both audiences. So, I couldn't be more thrilled about sharing my discussion with Natasha Helfer Parker and the amazing Jennifer Finlayson-Fife.

Both Natasha Helfer Parker and Jennifer Finlayson-Fife are active Latter-Day Saints, as well as marriage and family therapists. Natasha and Jennifer each have experience with treating Mormon individuals and couples, and have observed the function of Cognitive Dissonance as it pertains to Mormon culture and ideals. Please visit their respective websites below.

In the first part of this episode we explore the clinical definition of Cognitive Dissonance, including some of the history behind the theory, as well as common examples from day-t0-day life. Afterwards, we transition into how understanding Cognitive Dissonance can be useful in understanding and navigating faith transitions and crises. We hope you enjoy, and please share your thoughts and comments with us below. Thanks again to Natasha and Jennifer for sharing their experience and expertise with me and our audience.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-029-CognitiveDissonance.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:28pm MST

I had the privilege of speaking with Brian Hales about his upcoming three-volume history of Joseph Smith's Polygamy, published by Greg Kofford Books. Brian is a practicing anesthesiologist, author and scholar of Mormon History, with emphasis on Mormon Fundamentalism and Plural Marriage. He is also an active, faithful Latter-Day Saint. In this interview, Brian discusses his research of the historical context, circumstances, and theology that gave rise to Joseph Smith's secret practice of polygamy in the Kirtland and Nauvoo periods. We talk about specific cases and incidents, including Fanny Alger, polyandry, Helen Mar Kimball, Emma Smith's struggle with the Principle, as well as Brian's perspective as a faithful Latter-Day Saint who embraces the theological necessity for the Mormon doctrine of Plural Marriage.

Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-028-BrianHales-Part2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:51am MST

I had the privilege of speaking with Brian Hales about his upcoming three-volume history of Joseph Smith's Polygamy, published by Greg Kofford Books. Brian is a practicing anesthesiologist, author and scholar of Mormon History, with emphasis on Mormon Fundamentalism and Plural Marriage. He is also an active, faithful Latter-Day Saint. In this interview, Brian discusses his research of the historical context, circumstances, and theology that gave rise to Joseph Smith's secret practice of polygamy in the Kirtland and Nauvoo periods. We talk about specific cases and incidents, including Fanny Alger, polyandry, Helen Mar Kimball, Emma Smith's struggle with the Principle, as well as Brian's perspective as a faithful Latter-Day Saint who embraces the theological necessity for the Mormon doctrine of Plural Marriage.

Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-027-BrianHales-Part1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:50am MST

We are incredibly excited to feature this fascinating interview by Daniel Parkinson at Gay Mormon Stories Podcast of John Gustav-Wrathall. John shares his amazing story, including his LDS upbringing, his wrestling with his sexual identity, his journey away from Mormonism, his sexual awakening, and the path that led him back to the LDS Church.

John's story of courage, love, and faith is a wonderful example of the diversity and possibilities of Mormonism's future. Thanks again to Gay Mormon Stories and John Gustav-Wrathall for sharing this interview with our audience.
Direct download: GayMormonStories-008-JohnGustavWrathall-Pt4.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:41am MST

We are incredibly excited to feature this fascinating interview by Daniel Parkinson at Gay Mormon Stories Podcast of John Gustav-Wrathall. John shares his amazing story, including his LDS upbringing, his wrestling with his sexual identity, his journey away from Mormonism, his sexual awakening, and the path that led him back to the LDS Church.

John's story of courage, love, and faith is a wonderful example of the diversity and possibilities of Mormonism's future. Thanks again to Gay Mormon Stories and John Gustav-Wrathall for sharing this interview with our audience.
Direct download: GayMormonStories-007-JohnGustavWrathall-Pt3.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:40am MST

We are incredibly excited to feature this fascinating interview by Daniel Parkinson at Gay Mormon Stories Podcast of John Gustav-Wrathall. John shares his amazing story, including his LDS upbringing, his wrestling with his sexual identity, his journey away from Mormonism, his sexual awakening, and the path that led him back to the LDS Church.

John's story of courage, love, and faith is a wonderful example of the diversity and possibilities of Mormonism's future. Thanks again to Gay Mormon Stories and John Gustav-Wrathall for sharing this interview with our audience.
Direct download: GayMormonStories-005-JohnGustavWrathall-Pt1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:39am MST

We are incredibly excited to feature this fascinating interview by Daniel Parkinson at Gay Mormon Stories Podcast of John Gustav-Wrathall. John shares his amazing story, including his LDS upbringing, his wrestling with his sexual identity, his journey away from Mormonism, his sexual awakening, and the path that led him back to the LDS Church.

John's story of courage, love, and faith is a wonderful example of the diversity and possibilities of Mormonism's future. Thanks again to Gay Mormon Stories and John Gustav-Wrathall for sharing this interview with our audience.
Direct download: GayMormonStories-006-JohnGustavWrathall-Pt2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:39am MST

Bob Rees and I recorded this interview a little while ago. I've been holding on to it, hoping to release it to our audience at the right moment. This past week I re-listened to our conversation and found myself moved and enlightened all over again by Bob's wisdom and insight. Though I don't know what's special about this week, for some reason the timing feels right. I hope you will enjoy Bob's perspective on Mormonism as well as his take on faith crisis and how to successfully engage with the Modern Church as an unconventional Mormon.

Bob Rees is no stranger to the Intellectual Mormon community. He was the second editor of Dialogue, and has been contributing to to progressive Mormon thought and scholarship most of his life. We hope our listeners enjoy Bob's unique approach. Please leave us your comments and feedback below.

DISCLAIMER: This audio was a low-resolution recovery of Bob's interview, and so the quality may be a little spotty. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-022-RobertRees.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:51pm MST

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview one of my new favorite LDS bloggers Nathaniel Givens. A friend of mine introduced me to Nathaniel's series on the concept of Epistemic Humility that he wrote for Times and Seasons. Embracing epistemic humility allows us to be more open to new ideas, and better equipped to search for additional knowledge and truth. I felt Nathaniel's ideas here are especially applicable and useful in our LDS community, which is often a culture that shies away from uncertainty and doubt, and loves to frame discourse in the terms of "I know . . ."

We apologize in advance for the audio quality from this interview. We had some Internet connection difficulties, which resulted in conducting the interview via telephone.

Since recording this interview, Nathaniel has become a perma-blogger for Times and Seasons. He also maintains his own blog, Difficult Run. Please be sure to check out Nathaniel's writings and provide feedback and responses below. Many thanks to Nathaniel Givens for his contributions to A Thoughtful Faith.

Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-020-JohnDehlin-Part2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:06am MST

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview one of my new favorite LDS bloggers Nathaniel Givens. A friend of mine introduced me to Nathaniel's series on the concept of Epistemic Humility that he wrote for Times and Seasons. Embracing epistemic humility allows us to be more open to new ideas, and better equipped to search for additional knowledge and truth. I felt Nathaniel's ideas here are especially applicable and useful in our LDS community, which is often a culture that shies away from uncertainty and doubt, and loves to frame discourse in the terms of "I know . . ."

We apologize in advance for the audio quality from this interview. We had some Internet connection difficulties, which resulted in conducting the interview via telephone.

Since recording this interview, Nathaniel has become a perma-blogger for Times and Seasons. He also maintains his own blog, Difficult Run. Please be sure to check out Nathaniel's writings and provide feedback and responses below. Many thanks to Nathaniel Givens for his contributions to A Thoughtful Faith.

Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-021-JohnDehlin-Part3.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:41pm MST

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview one of my new favorite LDS bloggers Nathaniel Givens. A friend of mine introduced me to Nathaniel's series on the concept of Epistemic Humility that he wrote for Times and Seasons. Embracing epistemic humility allows us to be more open to new ideas, and better equipped to search for additional knowledge and truth. I felt Nathaniel's ideas here are especially applicable and useful in our LDS community, which is often a culture that shies away from uncertainty and doubt, and loves to frame discourse in the terms of "I know . . ."

We apologize in advance for the audio quality from this interview. We had some Internet connection difficulties, which resulted in conducting the interview via telephone.

Since recording this interview, Nathaniel has become a perma-blogger for Times and Seasons. He also maintains his own blog, Difficult Run. Please be sure to check out Nathaniel's writings and provide feedback and responses below. Many thanks to Nathaniel Givens for his contributions to A Thoughtful Faith.

Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-019-JohnDehlin-Part1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:49pm MST

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview one of my new favorite LDS bloggers Nathaniel Givens. A friend of mine introduced me to Nathaniel's series on the concept of Epistemic Humility that he wrote for Times and Seasons. Embracing epistemic humility allows us to be more open to new ideas, and better equipped to search for additional knowledge and truth. I felt Nathaniel's ideas here are especially applicable and useful in our LDS community, which is often a culture that shies away from uncertainty and doubt, and loves to frame discourse in the terms of "I know . . ."

We apologize in advance for the audio quality from this interview. We had some Internet connection difficulties, which resulted in conducting the interview via telephone.

Since recording this interview, Nathaniel has become a perma-blogger for Times and Seasons. He also maintains his own blog, Difficult Run. Please be sure to check out Nathaniel's writings and provide feedback and responses below. Many thanks to Nathaniel Givens for his contributions to A Thoughtful Faith.

Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-018-NathanielGivens.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:42pm MST

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with John Kesler to hear about his conversion to the church and subsequently to eastern meditative practices years later. Lately I have been inspired by so many expressions of expanding faith and feel that this expansion is often the natural outcome of questioning and reevaluating. John Kesler offers a very hopeful perspective on the possibility of continued spiritual communion with God despite doubt or lack of literal belief. After encountering Eastern meditative practices years ago he went on to be a founding teacher of the Integral Spiritual Center, consisting of a group of senior members of various Eastern and Western spiritual traditions. John then went on to develop his own meditation and awareness practice called Integral Polarity Practice. He is a active member of the LDS Church and has served as a bishop and in several bishoprics and high councils. If you are interested in receiving emails regarding his workshops please email him at j_Kesler@woodburycorp.com.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-017-JohnKesler.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:04pm MST

Since it's the beginning of a new year and all, we thought it would be a great opportunity to discuss how Sarah and I became involved in the A Thoughtful Faith Podcast, and what our collective has been so far, and where we see the podcast moving forward in 2013. We also want to take this opportunity to express our extreme gratitude for our listeners, who with resounding support have made us feel validated and uplifted as we have strived to provide the best experience possible for our audience. So thank you all very much, and please stay tuned for a promising new year -- more great episodes ahead!
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-016-MicahandSarah.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:58pm MST

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