A Thoughtful Faith - Mormon / LDS

In a frank discussion, Rebecca Sachiko Burton talks about being the mother of seven children and how she manages parenting with wisdom and openness on the 'Big Tent' side of Mormonism.  

Direct download: Rebecca_Sachiko_Burton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37pm MST

Derrick Clements and Gina Colvin give a quick nod to Thor: Ragnarok and then provide a thoroughly Mormon review of Star Wars VIII.   

Direct download: CMMR_ep_4_-_The_Last_Jedi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38pm MST

Mormon Temple policy doesn't change a great deal from year to year, so the 14 December 2017 announcement that extends the rights of Baptistry officiation to 16-17 year old boys was a surprise.

While this might bring gasps of pleasure for the boys, there are, naturally, questions and concerns with respect to the impact this has on Young Women who have been given administrative duties.

Joanna Smith and Paula Baker join me to discuss the implications for Mormon girls and women.

Direct download: baker-smith_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:31pm MST

It seems most unMormon for anyone to receive a call to ministry.  Mormons are supposed to wait for someone in the church to extend that call and as things stand no call for women in the LDS Church involves ordination.  But what happens when Mormon women hear the call? 

In this discussion The Rev. Dr Fatimah Salleh, and candidate for ordination, Katie Langston, talk about where their calls to ministry have taken them.

Direct download: Fatimah__Katie_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:10am MST

Dr.Bill Bunn is a BYU psychiatrist who specializes in adolescent and young adult psychiatric disorders.  He joins me to discuss mental illness, the brain and neuroplasticity.  We also consider how scrupulosity and anxiety disorders present among young Mormons and missionaries.

Direct download: Bill_Bunn_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:55am MST

With the promise of education, social mobility and gathering to Zion, many Tongan and Samoan Mormons have made Utah their home.  But what are the challenges for Polynesians growing up in Salt Lake where wealth, church leadership, education, and opportunity continue to be a  racial privilege?  What are the psychic and cultural costs for those children who live between two worlds without really being grounded in either?

Direct download: moana_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:14pm MST

In May 2015 Gina Colvin & Nathan McCluskey recorded a frank conversation about how faith crisis was affecting their marriage.  Two and a half years later they find that their differences are now even more marked.  Yet, in spite of their now occupying different moral worlds,  their differentiation  has given rise to new and more profound ways of being in relationship with each other.

Direct download: Ginath.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:59am MST

Manhattan-based Psychotherapist Wendy Christian discusses patriarchy in the LDS Church and how this imbalance hurts everyone including men and boys. 

Direct download: Wendy_Christian_Toxic_Masculinity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:41pm MST

Tom Christofferson's spiritual journey as a gay man took him from Mormonism, out, and back again.  Rima Tamaiparea-Puke's spiritual journey as a gay man took him from Catholicism to Mormonism and back to Catholicism.  Both stories attest to stories of deep faith and religious devotion.  Both stories speak to the need in all of us to be reconciled in one way or another to the faith of our families.

 

 

Direct download: Rima_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:31pm MST

Ganeshji Cherian, Sarah Howard, Quintin Howard and Nathan McCluskey discuss the cultural mismatch of American Mormon culture with New Zealand culture in the wake of Jacinda Ardern's becoming the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Direct download: Kiwi_Chat.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:37pm MST

Tom Christofferson is gay and he's Mormon.  His recently published book 'That We May Be One' is a touching memoir of love, loss, and faith.  We discuss the story within his story that our life's journey be underscored by a demonstrative, kind and gentle love, particularly for our LGBTQ brothers, sisters and children.

Direct download: thomas_christofferson_fina.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:08pm MST

Filmmaker, Kendall Wilcox and I delve into the question of why the LDS Church has poured so much legal and political energy into the preservation of heterosexual marriage and its corollary debates over religious freedom.

Direct download: kendallwilcox_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:19pm MST

Ian Thomson is a public defender in Boise, Idaho.   

In this podcast, we deconstruct the ideology and practice of excommunication.  We also discuss how enmeshed LDS excommunication is with the US judicial system.

Direct download: Ian_Thomson_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:53pm MST

Amiee Flynn-Curran is a non-Mormon ethnographer who did her PhD fieldwork in the Oakland First Ward of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Amiee’s was interested in finding out how a conservative Christian church community negotiates the question of gender and sexuality inclusivity.   For 18 months Amiee participated in the life of the Oakland First Ward as a participant researcher.

Amiee shares some of her research conclusions as an observer looking into how social politics is played out in an LDS ward widely hailed as one of Mormonism's most liberal congregations. 


Direct download: Amiee_Curran_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:01am MST

Melissa Inouye is Chinese, Japanese American and grew up as a Mormon in California, aware of her cultural and ethnic differences from the general LDS population.

Melissa reflects on the experience of being Asian in the LDS Church along with other reflections on Mormonism and God and spirituality in the religious margins.

 

Direct download: Melissa_Inouye_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:50pm MST

Low retention and a failure to contextualize means that the LDS Church continues to be a minority faith tradition in South American.   Missionaries who are called to serve from nations outside,  are more often than not culturally incompetent to proselyte in this region of the world and sometimes do more mischief than good.  With complex economic and political conditions and even more strained historical relationships with the United States, missionaries and General Authorities too often speak into a cultural void,  organising the LDS Church around ideas that work in Utah but have little relevance anywhere else.

Samy Galvez (Guatemala) joins me to discuss the Latin American Mormon context and to critique the issues of class, religion, politics, race, culture and ethnicity that are either overlooked or misunderstood in LDS Latin American mission and ecclesial practice.

Direct download: Samy_Galvez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:17pm MST

Laurie Maffly-Kipp is the Archer Alexander distinguished Professor at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics in St. Louis.  As an observer of Mormonism, she has researched Mormon mission and the way that the LDS Church replicates it self in places beyond it's Utah centre.

In this conversation, we discuss Mormonism as a Wasatch Front cultural transplant and consider the issues that arise for both local cultures and for the church as it seeks to be a relevant and vibrant worldwide faith tradition.

Direct download: Laurie_MK_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:12pm MST

On August 15, 2017 the LDS church issued the following statement:

"White supremacist attitudes are morally wrong and sinful, and we condemn them. Church members who promote or pursue a “white culture” or white supremacy agenda are not in harmony with the teachings of the Church."

Moroni Benally (Navajo) discusses the implications for a church where white supremacy and its many manifestations have been at the very heart of the church's identity and its organizational world view.   For the first time, the church has publically called themselves into question.   And not a moment too soon for these indigenous Mormons!

Direct download: Moroni_Benally_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:27pm MST

"Rachel Hunt-Steenblik wrote 246 small poems exploring aspects of our Heavenly Mother. And BCC’s own Ashley Mae Hoiland complemented these poems with more than 40 original drawings. The result is an intimate discussion of the deep human longing for a Mother God." 

Direct download: Rachel_Hunt_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:45pm MST

Lancaster University PhD student, Sheldon Kent discusses the esoteric and mystical influences abroad during the early days of Mormonism.   In particular, he discusses Emmanual Swedenborg and the impact that this 18th-century philosopher and church man had on Joseph Smith's theology.

Direct download: sheldon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:02am MST

Rich Vial is a Republican representative in the Oregan State Legislature.  He's also a former Mormon bishop who went through a faith crisis during his tenure.  In this episode, we discuss how to go about having difficult conversations with those who are ideologically and religiously different from ourselves, and how to do that with grace and compassion.

Direct download: Rich_Vial_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:11pm MST

Jenne de Normandie Eregiro Alderks was a teenage convert from Unitarian Universalism.  When she joined the LDS church her mother, knowing somewhat of the strict gender roles in Mormonism, asked her,  'Can you really be a Mormon woman?'

Jenne has spent many years trying to do exactly that and her efforts to be a Mormon woman have surprisingly led her to seek feminist spiritual practices outside of the faith.  This quest has taken her to temple studies, paganism and Gnosticism as supplements to her spiritual life.  

One of the hallmarks of the restoration was Joseph Smith's openness to other spiritual traditions and ideas and this seeking has been kept alive in Mormon feminism.  Jenne's spiritual seeking is part of a rich intergenerational tradition of Mormon women who quietly keep alive the faith's mysticism.


Jenne is one of the founders of LDS Wave and Birthing Zion.   She works as a doula and lives in Seattle Washington.

Direct download: Jenne_Alderks_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm MST

Gina Colvin and Bill Reel (host of the popular podcast Mormon Discussions)  get together for a chat about what it takes to still be engaged in the LDS Church when so many of their friends have left.   They discuss the development of their young testimonies but reflect on how difficult it has become in recent years to love the church with the same enthusiasm they once had.  They consider how LDS Church could be better for those who crave a deeper and a kinder experience at church.  They also consider their futures as Mormons.

Direct download: Bill_and_Gina_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11pm MST

Dr Alan Jamieson is the senior pastor at the South West Baptist Church in Christchurch, New Zealand.  He is an author of multiple books on faith development.   We talk about the implications for those ministering to those in faith crisis and how church leaders and communities can best respond to those with doubts and questions.


Direct download: Alan_Jamieson_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:07pm MST

LDS Bishops are at the front line as Mormons facing their own questions, concerns and doubts seek their counsel.   Too often these local leaders surmise that the person expressing doubt must have done something wrong to get there.   'This isn't the case', says Bishop Jones, a sitting Bishop in Seattle.   

In this episode, we discuss how those in faith crisis are often at their most vulnerable and afraid and how they can be ministered to with kindness and spiritual presence.

Direct download: Bishop_Matt_Jones.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:17pm MST

This week Derrick Clements and Gina Colvin cast their critical Mormon eyes over 'Wonder Woman.'

Direct download: ep_3_-_Wonder_Woman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:22am MST

Mormons all over the world are gathering online in increasing numbers.   They do this to process their past, present and future relationships with the church.  It is online that they find people who understand their growing or changing faith lives   The increasing size and complexity of Online Unchurched Mormonism attest to its utility.

But without the formal rules, manners and ethics found in face to face community, online 'progressive' or post-Mormon communities that provoke challenges that signal the community's volatility and vulnerabilities.

Lindsay Hansen Park, Natasha Helfer-Parker (who joins us later on in the conversation) and I talk about the benefits and challenges of Mormonism's fastest growing congregation.

Direct download: Progressive_Mormonism.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:55pm MST

We review Get out, Jordan Peele's break out satirical horror featuring British actor Daniel Kaluuya, and US actress Alison Williams.   While we wouldn't recommend seeing Get Out as a church or a Family Home Evening activity, we feel like it needs to be seen by everyone because of its biting treatment of the dangers of White American middle-class liberalism.

Direct download: Get_Out.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:53pm MST

Join Gina Colvin and Derrick Clements for a fun, cheeky, slightly irreverent but joyful review of the latest at the box office!

This week we review 'The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2'

 

Direct download: CMMR_1_-_Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_Vol._2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:18pm MST

Too often the unique cultural identity of Canadian Mormonism gets lost in the noise of their neighbours to the South.  In 1977 Canadian author Margaret Atwood, said of the United States:

"About the only position, they have adopted towards us, country to country, has been the missionary position, and we are not on top.  I guess that is why the national wisdom vis-a-vis them has so often taken the form of lying still, keeping your mouth shut and pretending you like it."

In this podcast, Lindy Yamamoto and Robert Slaven call for more Canadian authenticity in the Mormon experience.  They also give Southern Alberta a hard time!

 

Direct download: Canada_Podcast_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:15pm MST

Chantal Mukamurera is Rwandan.  She was born in Burundi, raised in Rwanda and grew up in Germany where she joined the LDS Church and married.  She's been Catholic, Mormon and is now preparing for the priesthood ordination in the Community of Christ.  

Chantal has moved across countries and religious traditions.  She has had to watch a genocide that took the lives of her loved ones.  She has also had to reevaluate the faith that had her heart for most of her adult life.  Chantal's journey is a lesson in gracious transition and change.

Direct download: Chantal_Mukamurera.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:02pm MST

When Azul Uribe was 11 years old she was sent from Mexico to live with her Grandmother in the US.  She lived there for 15 years when she tragically discovered that she was undocumented.  After a 2.5 year battle in the courts she was deported to the Mexico with a 10 year ban from reentering the US, leaving behind a life, friends and loved ones.

In Part One we discuss how Mormonism's American cultural imperialism plays out in Mexico.  In Part Two we talk about how it came about that she was deported.

Direct download: Azul_Uribe_Part_Two_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22am MST

When Azul Uribe was 11 years old she was sent from Mexico to live with her Grandmother in the US.  She lived there for 15 years when she tragically discovered that she was undocumented.  After a 2.5 year battle in the courts she was deported to the Mexico with a 10 year ban from reentering the US, leaving behind a life, friends and loved ones.

In Part One we discuss how Mormonism's American cultural imperialism plays out in Mexico.  In Part Two we talk about how it came about that she was deported.

Direct download: Azul_Uribe_Part_One_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19am MST

During the month of May 2017,  we look at Mormonism across the world and how an American religion makes its way into cultural, national and social systems beyond the United States.  We discover that Mormonism isn't the clean and tidy fit that some have romanticised it to be.  Mormons outside of the United States invariably pay a heavy tax in trying to negotiate the cultural, social, economic and political demands placed on them by their Utah-based faith tradition.

Nepia Mahuika is a 6th generation LDS who was asked one too many times to choose between being Mormon or Māori.  

Direct download: Mahuika_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:17pm MST

John Bonner (clinical social worker, singer and grower of flowers) joins me to talk about his growth into manhood as young and gay in one of the most religiously conservative areas in the Mormon corridor.  He shares his story of trying to make sense of his young self in a religious and social context in which his kind of manhood was daily rejected.   His story is heartbreaking but tinged with moments of delight as he gradually learns to accept, understand and love himself notwithstanding a faith tradition that has shown how little it values him.

Direct download: John_Bonner_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:36am MST

Blaire Ostler joins me to discuss God -   God as feminine and masculine; God in Mormon theology; God as a plurality; God as a creator; God without the biological need to procreate; the God of our own imagination ...and much more.

Direct download: Blaire_Ostler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:55pm MST

Daniel Hernandez, PhD Candidate at the University of Auckland, is Mayan but grew up in Rose Park, Salt Lake City, Utah among a mostly Tongan and Samoan community.  As both observer and participant in the various cultures of 'Brown Utah' we discuss Kava and the importance of cultivating and preserving traditional practices that build connection to home islands.

(Kava as a root extract  from a plant found in the Pacific Islands and is consumed as a drink in ceremony.  Both Kava drinks and the ceremonies associated have come under General Authority criticism from time to time.  BYU-Hawaii and some local leaders have banned it outright.)

Direct download: Daniel_Hernandez_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20pm MST

The Rev. Dr. Fatimah Salleh began life as Muslim, converted as a teenager to the LDS Church, served a mission, taught LDS Institute and then, responding to a call, she attended Duke Divinity School.  Following a period of discernment, she was recently ordained a Baptist minister.

Her call to ministry is part of a colourful journey into finding a God for all and for the least.  God is too often the product of a White Western Patriarchy and as a Black, Brown women whose spiritual life was percolated in the intersection of different faith traditions Fatimah is passionate about  preaching a God that holds, loves and ministers to everyone.

Direct download: Fatimah_Salleh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:59pm MST

The Book of Mormon has been claimed by the LDS Church to be a history of Native Americans.  While this proposition has been scaled back over the years it's still somewhat present in a literalist view of the text.  But why is it that Native Americans are only rarely and then selectively consulted in the conversation as to the book's origins?  Surely the church and Mormon scholars, if they take seriously this claim, should be beating a determined path to the door of Native Americans to receive their wisdom and input.  But they aren't.  

Thomas Murphy (Mohawk) and I discuss this dynamic;  why it might be? And, what is the potential for the faith in allowing for the very voices that are central to the Book of Mormon narrative. 

Direct download: Thomas_Murphy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:43pm MST

Chris Smith is not LDS but has been fascinated with the tradition since he dated the local Mormon bishop's daughter in high school.  His research as a religious historian has lead him to the conclusion that Joseph Smith sought to resolve 19th Century America's political conundrums allegorically through the Book of Mormon.  He argues that Joseph's hope was that one day the church he established would redeem the USA and become the Kingdom of God on Earth.  

The Book of Mormon is not, he argues, a literal history of an extinct Native American civilization unless the civilization was experiencing exactly the same political, social, economic, racial and cultural issues that characterized antebellum USA.

Direct download: Chris__Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:29am MST

David Conley Nelson has written an extensive account of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nazi Germany in his book "Moroni and the Swastika'.  Desperate to keep the church alive during World War II  the Mormons exploited congruences between the faith and the Nazi Party with shocking results.  

Direct download: David_Nelson_Level.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40pm MST

I catch up with Sam Brown for a very quick chat about this cultural moment that sees us grappling with the question of the Book of Mormon as a 'translation'.

Direct download: Sam_Brown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:07pm MST

Philip Barlow, Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture, and the 2017 fellow at the Maxwell Institute at BYU joins me to discuss the state of Mormon Studies.  We discuss the need for new conversations regarding the Book of Mormon and the place of Joseph Smith in the tradition.

Direct download: Philip_Barlow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:03am MST

Professor Richard Bushman's contribution to contemporary Mormon Studies cannot be overstated.  In this interview we discuss the need for a refreshed understanding of the idea of the 'translation' of the Book of Mormon; the imperative for a more supple Mormon conversation, and  the urgency for us to speak up with candor at church.  We also talk about the upcoming Mormon Art Center Festival at Riverside Church in New York City.

Direct download: Richard_Bushman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:10am MST

Carolina Allen, founder of Big Ocean Women, discusses the motivation behind her desire to find a space for women away from some of the more aggressive politics that progressive feminism is known for.  Rather than seeing a more gentle and inclusive feminism as weak, she sees a peaceful, non-combative posture as more powerful, inviting and intuitive.

Direct download: Big_Ocean_Women.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:13pm MST

Natasha Helfer Parker, Mindy Gledhill, Jana Spangler, Andrea Radke-Moss and Rachel Hunt Steenblik discuss their experiences at the Women's March in Washington DC and New York City.  Contrary to Sister Elaine Dalton's observation each of these women found the event to be sacred, peaceful and transformative.

Direct download: Womens_March_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28pm MST

How did The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints become an over-bloated corporate bureaucracy?  What are the implications for the way in which the church practices religion, and for the way it inspires faith? Ron and Josh Madson address these questions and share some reflections about how all of this squares up with the God's passion for justice and Jesus' call for the relief of the poor.

Direct download: Ron_and_Josh_Mason.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:37pm MST

A conversation about the the Disney film 'Moana', its meaning and its significance and as 'Polynesian' Mormon women.  

Direct download: Moana_with_Moana_and_Kalani.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22am MST

Mormon women, particularly those from Utah, aren't necessarily known for their assertiveness. Socialized in a heavy patriarchy, too many women are socialized to accept that surrender to the authority of masculinity is necessary for their salvation.  Julie de Azevedo Hanks takes this cultural habit on in her recently published The Assertiveness Guide for Women.  Drawing from her extensive research and work in this area Julie joins Gina to discuss the religious and cultural influences that might complicate a woman's desire to be assertive along with good advice about what to do about that.

Direct download: Julie_Hanks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41pm MST

A candid chat with sex, marriage and family therapists Natasha Helfer-Parker and Julie de Azevedo Hanks about Wendy Nelson's controversial talk at the January 2017 Young Single Adult World Wide Broadcast - part two

Direct download: Worldly_Sex_Part_Two.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:04pm MST

A candid chat with sex, marriage and family therapists Natasha Helfer-Parker and Julie de Azevedo Hanks about Wendy Nelson's controversial talk at the January 2017 Young Single Adult World Wide Broadcast.  

Direct download: Worldly_Sex_Part_One.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:59pm MST

Guest's from across the world share their objection to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's forthcoming appearance at Donald Trump's inauguration.

Direct download: motab.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:37pm MST

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