A Thoughtful Faith - Mormon / LDS
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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

Pantsmageddon! PantsGate! Pants-apocalypse! Whatever term you've used over the past week to describe the Mormon frenzy about All Enlisted's oddly controversial "Wear Pants to Church" event, I think most of us are intrigued about what will actually happen at church tomorrow. With the hope of providing a calm, respectful dialogue on what has become a controversial subject, my lovely wife Stefanie had an opportunity today to interview Kristina Monson, who is a spokesperson and core leader for All Enlisted, the organization sponsoring this event.

Kristina describes herself as a devout, active Mormon Feminist. In this interview she shares some of her backstory and how she has become involved in this new form of Mormon activism. Stefanie and Kristina discuss the motivation and intentions of All Enlisted, and what they hope to accomplish with "Wear Pants To Church" and future activities.

Many thanks to Kristina Monson for taking time out of her national interview circuit to speak with us! And of course, thanks to Stefanie Nickolaisen for sharing this wonderful interview!

Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-015-KristinaMonson.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:09pm MDT

We have been humbled and astonished at the caliber of guests we've been able to have on our podcast thus far. People like Greg Prince, Margaret Young, John Sorenson, Phil Barlow, and so many others are the true progenitors of the modern Intellectual Mormonism community. I was surprised to find out early on that many of these living legends had rarely experienced a monumental faith crisis in their lives. Since one of the objectives of this podcast is to help individuals navigate through a faith crisis with testimonies intact, I thought it would be important for us to find some regular LDS folks who have faced that "dark night of the soul" but still remained faithful.

Thanks to our wonderful A Thoughtful Faith Facebook Group and a recommendation by his brother Paul, I've had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Michael Barker and hear his amazing story. In this interview, Mike shares how a close look at polygamy and polyandry catalyzed his doubts in the mission of Joseph Smith. He shares how a combination of unapologetic Mormon Scholarship and communion with God allowed him to find a way to maintain his faith as an active, believing Latter-Day Saint. Michael also discusses how his discovery of the concepts of Natural Theology led him to start the Rational Faiths Blog, and how a burning desire to inoculate the Saints fuels his current zeal for Mormonism.

Before this interview, I had known of Michael Barker and his brother Paul through their work at RationalFaiths.com, a blog dedicated to creating a "safe, fair, and balanced space to discuss the complexities, difficulties, and beauty of their Mormon tradition." At Rational Faiths the Barker Brothers provide insights into the current LDS Sunday School Curriculum, book reviews, and various topics within Mormonism from seer stones to modesty. Be sure to check out their wonderful blog at RationalFaiths.com.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-014-MichaelBarker-Part2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:32pm MDT

We have been humbled and astonished at the caliber of guests we've been able to have on our podcast thus far. People like Greg Prince, Margaret Young, John Sorenson, Phil Barlow, and so many others are the true progenitors of the modern Intellectual Mormonism community. I was surprised to find out early on that many of these living legends had rarely experienced a monumental faith crisis in their lives. Since one of the objectives of this podcast is to help individuals navigate through a faith crisis with testimonies intact, I thought it would be important for us to find some regular LDS folks who have faced that "dark night of the soul" but still remained faithful.

Thanks to our wonderful A Thoughtful Faith Facebook Group and a recommendation by his brother Paul, I've had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Michael Barker and hear his amazing story. In this interview, Mike shares how a close look at polygamy and polyandry catalyzed his doubts in the mission of Joseph Smith. He shares how a combination of unapologetic Mormon Scholarship and communion with God allowed him to find a way to maintain his faith as an active, believing Latter-Day Saint. Michael also discusses how his discovery of the concepts of Natural Theology led him to start the Rational Faiths Blog, and how a burning desire to inoculate the Saints fuels his current zeal for Mormonism.

Before this interview, I had known of Michael Barker and his brother Paul through their work at RationalFaiths.com, a blog dedicated to creating a "safe, fair, and balanced space to discuss the complexities, difficulties, and beauty of their Mormon tradition." At Rational Faiths the Barker Brothers provide insights into the current LDS Sunday School Curriculum, book reviews, and various topics within Mormonism from seer stones to modesty. Be sure to check out their wonderful blog at RationalFaiths.com.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-013-MichaelBarker-Part1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:30pm MDT

In conjunction with the Winter Issue of Exponent II, which is guest edited by the Mormon Women Project, we are proud to share Sarah Collett's interview with Neylan McBaine. As an active and faithful Latter-Day Saint, Neylan shares her story of how she was led to start the Mormon Women Project, a non-profit website which features weekly interviews with LDS women from around the world. Neylan and Sarah also discuss the various modern issues and challenges that face the LDS Church and its members as it relates to gendered participation, which Neylan presented on at the 2012 FAIR Conference.

Neylan McBaine is a graduate of Yale University and is currently an Associate Creative Director at Bonneville Communications. Neylan's writings have been published in Newsweek, The Washington Post, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Segullah, Meridian Magazine, Patheos.com and BustedHalo.com. She is also the author of a collection of personal essays—How to Be a Twenty-First Century Pioneer Woman (2008). In addition to her career as a marketing guru, her contributions as an essayist, and her work with MWP, Neylan is also a devoted wife and mother of three daughters. We are incredibly grateful for her willingness to share her story and thoughts with us at A Thoughtful Faith.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-012-NeylanMcBaine-Part2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:10pm MDT

In conjunction with the Winter Issue of Exponent II, which is guest edited by the Mormon Women Project, we are proud to share Sarah Collett's interview with Neylan McBaine. As an active and faithful Latter-Day Saint, Neylan shares her story of how she was led to start the Mormon Women Project, a non-profit website which features weekly interviews with LDS women from around the world. Neylan and Sarah also discuss the various modern issues and challenges that face the LDS Church and its members as it relates to gendered participation, which Neylan presented on at the 2012 FAIR Conference.

Neylan McBaine is a graduate of Yale University and is currently an Associate Creative Director at Bonneville Communications. Neylan's writings have been published in Newsweek, The Washington Post, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Segullah, Meridian Magazine, Patheos.com and BustedHalo.com. She is also the author of a collection of personal essays—How to Be a Twenty-First Century Pioneer Woman (2008). In addition to her career as a marketing guru, her contributions as an essayist, and her work with MWP, Neylan is also a devoted wife and mother of three daughters. We are incredibly grateful for her willingness to share her story and thoughts with us at A Thoughtful Faith.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-011-NeylanMcBaine-Part1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:09pm MDT

We are proud to release Sarah Collett's recent interview of Terryl and Fiona Givens. In this episode we are introduced to some of the beautiful themes in the Givens' new book The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life. Terryl and Fiona also express their concern, empathy, and encouragement for those who experience doubt as a integral part of their relationship to faith and Mormonism.

Terryl Givens (PhD Comparative Literature, UNC Chapel Hill) holds the James A. Bostwick chair of English and is professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond. Author of several 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 biography (with Matthew Grow) of Parley Pratt (winner of the 2012 Best Book Award from the Mormon History Association). Fiona Givens (MA European History, University of Richmond) recently retired from directing the French Language program at Patrick Henry High School, in Ashland Virginia. Besides education, she has worked in translation services, as a lobbyist, and as communications director of a non-profit. A longtime collaborator in Terryls previous books, this is her first coauthorship.

We are incredibly grateful for the Givens, who graciously gave of their time and thoughts for our new podcast. Please check out The God Who Weeps, as well as Terryl's recent Letter to a Doubter referenced in the interview.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-010-TerrylandFionaGivens.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:39pm MDT

In this fascinating interview by Sarah Collett we are introduced to Chase and Rebecca and their remarkable faith journey. Shortly after Rebecca met Chase and they were married, Rebecca made an astonishing realization of the similarities between her charismatically spiritual father and the prophet Joseph Smith. But it wasn't until scandal rocked her mother and father's marriage that Rebecca realized how similar her father and Joseph truly were.

This couple's story takes us through a complex journey where a daughter's admiration and faith in her father as well as her subsequent disappointment and heartbreak mirror hers and her husband's descent into faith crisis. While Rebecca's father catalyzed hers and Chase's doubts of Joseph Smith, remarkably it was the two men's similarities that ultimately brought them back as they learned to forgive and move past both men's respective shortcomings.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-009-ChaseandRebecca.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:27pm MDT

In this interview with our own Sarah Collett, Dr. Thomas G. Alexander covers the broad spectrum of his many historical writings and research. From Post Manifesto Polygamy, to Mormons in American Politics, to the Word of Wisdom, and Evolution, Dr. Alexander provides an overview of many topics of interest within contemporary Mormon Scholarship.

Dr. Alexander's thoughts and research provide an interesting examination of how revelation, doctrine, culture, and human weakness connect and intermingle into the inspiring yet imperfect religious movement of Mormonism. Thomas Alexander explains how his awareness of what can be complicated and challenging issues have broadened and deepened his own connection to Mormonism. He stands as a brilliant model of thoughtful belief, and has provided our community an amazing legacy of wisdom, faith, and scholarship.

We would like to offer our sincere thanks and gratitude for Dr. Thomas G. Alexander for taking the time to share his thoughts with us and our listeners. Enjoy.

Dr. Thomas G. Alexander is an American and Mormon Historian, and professor emeritus of Brigham Young University.
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-008-ThomasAlexander.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:29pm MDT

We are grateful for Kylan Rice sharing this excellent interview with LDS author, filmmaker, and playwrite Margaret Young. In this interview Margaret shares he story of how she became enthralled with Mormon Race Dynamics, and how she has spent her life as an advocate for Black Mormon issues in LDS culture. Margaret also discusses how gender dynamics present challenges to her and other LDS women, and how she reconciles these issues with her faith in the Gospel.

Guest host Kylan Rice is a producer for BYU Radio, a poet, and a student of English literature. He also contributes, as a guest writer, to the blog RationalFaiths.com, which seeks to "provide a safe, fair, and balanced space to discuss the complexities, difficulties, and beauty of the Mormon tradition."
Direct download: AThoughtfulFaith-007-MargaretYoung.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:25pm MDT

In conjunction with Kylan Rice's interview with Margaret Young for A Thoughtful Faith, we would like to feature Margaret Young and Darius Gray's Mormon Stories podcast episode from April 2006 on Blacks and LDS Priesthood.

At the time of this podcast Margaret and Darius had been invited by Brigham Young University to deliver a presentation entitled, “Blacks and the LDS Priesthood.”

In this podcast, Darius re-delivers this presentation, along with Margaret Young. Darius and Margaret are co-authors of a trilogy dealing with black Mormon history entitled: Standing on the Promises.
Direct download: MormonStories-026-BlacksPriesthood-DariusGray.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:12pm MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT