A Thoughtful Faith - Mormon / LDS
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: 6:20pm NZDT

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: 6:18pm NZDT

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: 6:15pm NZDT