648: Missionaries Pt. 6: Jacob Hampton – Sent Home Early for Cuddling with Zone Leader

me now400Jacob Hampton realized he was gay only a few months before he left for me missionary400his LDS mission. He served in the San Jose, Costa Rica mission from August 2012 to September 2013.

While serving in Costa Rica, a zone leader became attracted to Jacob, and as they began to do “splits,” Jacob and his zone leader would occasionally “cuddle” in bed – but did not engage in any overt sexual behaviors.

This is Jacob’s mission story.


647: Missionaries Pt. 5: Rose Sorenson – Becoming an Atheist as a Missionary

IMG_7582RoseSorensonMishRose Sorenson was raised in a devout LDS household (Idaho Falls, ID), but began having doubts as a 12 year old. Although she continued to struggle with perfectionism and doubts as a teenager, Rose decided that the LDS church’s decision in 2013 to lower the missionary age for women was a “sign” that she should serve a mission to strengthen her testimony.

She served in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission from March 2013 to August 2014.

After a year of struggling with her testimony, including bouts of depression and anxiety — and after reading the Book of Mormon four times without receiving a spiritual witness that the book was true — Rose decided that she was an atheist, but remained determined to complete her mission.

This is Rose’s story.

646: Missionaries Pt. 4: Tre Shortland – Tormented over “Self Abuse”, Disillusioned by Uninspired Mission Leadership

13029455_1267573276605515_1588216449003661173_o1167447_608199069225383_1301350252_oTre Shortland was raised in Oakland, CA as a bi-racial Mormon (Filipino mother and New Zealander/Maori father). While he was very committed doctrinally to Mormonism, he was not crazy about Mormon culture, and was taught the fundamentals
of critical thinking from a young age. Prior to and during his
mission, Tre was tormented by doubts, along with teachings and rules regarding “self abuse.” For over a year on his mission Tre was taught that lack of success on his mission was due to these practices/weaknesses. After becoming zone leader, Tre became aware of a sex scandal that reached the
highest levels of missionary leadership. This is Tre’s story.

The music for today’s episode is from Tre’s band: http://www.Seaviewmusic.com. The song is called “Relativity.”


645: Missionaries Pt. 3: Mike Woodruff – Gay, Abused on Mission, PTSD, Early Return

IMG_0138EDITPC300006EDITMike Woodruff knew that he was attracted to men by age 14. After consulting with his LDS bishop, he was told that his “same-sex attraction” would “resolve itself” once he served an LDS mission. His LDS patriarchal blessing also assured him that he would serve a complete LDS mission.

After being called to the Leeds, England mission, Mike was physically and emotionally abused by his first companion, suffering severe PTSD symptoms.

Listen to Mike’s story here.



644: Mormon Missionary Faith Crises and Early Return Pt. 2: Sage Dalton and Depression, Faith Crisis, Suicidality

13932313_10153909708643247_1386823770_oSage Dalton was a graduate of Dartmouth University and a regular listener to Mormon Stories podcast when she decided to serve an LDS mission in 2012. Towards the latter half of her mission Sage began to 13978277_10153909694758247_1687515961_oexperience depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation, along with doubts she began to experience as a missionary (primarily around LGBT and historical issues).

Listen here for more of Sage’s story.