John Dehlin

IMG_1956John Dehlin is a psychologist, researcher, podcaster, and social activist.  He has a Ph.D. in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Utah State University.  Information about his psychotherapy and coaching private practice can be found here.

John’s clinical and research interests involve the nexus of religion and mental health.  John’s research has been published in numerous peer reviewed scientific journals including the Journal of Counseling Psychology (APA), the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, Identity, the Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, the Journal of Homosexuality, and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Prior to obtaining his Ph.D., John worked for seven years at Microsoft Corporation, and three years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the Director of the International OpenCourseWare Consortium.

John is the founder of Mormon Stories Podcast, the most popular and longest running podcast within Mormonism.  Mormon Stories Podcast was established to explore and challenge Mormon culture.

John’s work has been featured in the New York Times, National Public Radio, ABC’s Good Morning America, ABC’s Nightline, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, VH1, and RadioWest.  John’s TEDx talk can be found here.

54 comments for “John Dehlin

  1. Guest1
    April 11, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Can really relate to your cause. It takes courage to confront the stereotypes branded around as truths. Keep up the fantastic work, especially in helping struggling Mormons be at peace with their personal views. It is my dream that someday the church will evolve and become more accepting, more open of the past.

    • July 27, 2016 at 1:23 am

      I’m not really good at this, so I hope this message goes to John Dehlin. I have not been mormon for over twenty years. I ended up loosing myself to find myself. Anyway, I’m a believer, but I am done with religions. I do not believe in the man who lived two thousand years ago than I believe in you or myself. Anyway, many people I associate with believe in that man and believe in bibles. I want to play some of your podcast for these people, especially ones like the “Moma-Dragons podcast. I believe there are some great messages in your podcast which could help traditional orthodox christians understand LGBTQ people better. However, I believe there are a couple nuances of mormonism in that podcast which give me pause in playing it for them. Is there a way to make mormonstories generic and or inclusive for other religions. In other words, many of the issues I see in mormonism, I also see in many if not all religions. Also, I believe other cultures/religions have culturalistics which mormonism could benefit from and likewise mormonism has some culturalistics which other cultures could benefit from. For example, christian religions say the bible does not say anything about smoking, therfore it is not a sin to smoke; yet many christian do not smoke. The thing I like about traditional christians is whenI ask them what motivates them to serve homeless people, a comon response is that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice and so it is nothing for them to make a little sacrifice for less fortunate. Also, christian baptize and pray for people without baptizing them into their religion. At most they might tell the person to find a good bible based church to attend. Last memorial Day, I was at a local city park and a motorcycle biker church group was having a barbique, so I wandered over to hang around for a few minutes just to see and hear. A fellow waring biker leathers came to me and asked me if he could pray for me. I said sure; so he put his hand on my shoulder and said something to the effect: god, you know this man’s needs, bless him with whatever his needs are, in Jesus name, Amen. I thought that wass the neatest prayer I’ve ever experienced. Anyway, thank you for doing mormon stories podcast. Sincerely, Jay Larsen

  2. David
    July 26, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Hi John, I just wanted to say that I saw your video on YouTube about why people leave the church and you were spot on. I mean it was me to a tee. I left about 4 years ago when I stumbled upon all of the things you mentioned. For me it started with the stone in the hat, but I dug until I found all of what you listed and a few things more. Having felt duped, I was reluctant to join another church–like you said, will you really find a better one? But you see for me it was more important to know the truth, than find a church. so I investigated Christianity in the same way. I read Bart Eherman, I watched theologians debate atheists. I read Dawkins and Hitchens. I read the History of God, and Did Man Create God? It turns out that Christianity is plagued by the same historical problems as Mormonism, as is Judaeism, and Islam. It seems man created the monotheistic god, just as he did the polytheistic gods before him. Religion is all man made. Now there may be a god, goddess, or higher power, but these religions have no claim to authoritive truth. whatever god or power out there must prefer to remain a mystery. I’ve learned it is perfectly okay not to have all the answers, and I would rather have good answers that I’m not sure about, than fairy tales that I “know” are true.

    • Nick
      October 29, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks for your reply, David. I was touched by what you said. I am trying to gain the courage to tell my wife that I am agnostic. I can’t shake the feelings that I’ve experienced about religious topics (BofM, priesthood, etc) and I don’t know where to put these if God doesn’t or “maybe” exists. No one in my family understands what I’m going through and continue to give me arguments that stretch to reach truth, more often leading to “I know because of the Spirit,” or “the philosophies of men” or “you’re in sin” and most recently was told that I’m acting like I’m a victim by choosing not to believe all of the brethren’s words because I feel like I’ll be led astray like the Willy Handcart company.

  3. Bryan Peifer
    August 4, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    John, I watched your video on why people leave the church and as David said in the previous message…Spot On! I’m a convert to the church and had read the scriptures since I was 11 years of age. After about 5 years of being a member of the church I just started to grow a little edgy about the corporate feel to coming to church. I would find the attitude of recruitment to the organization a little disturbing. I spent time as a stake missionary, Seventy, ward mission leader and in the stake mission presidency and it seemed more about numbers than people. This wasn’t the Christianity that I read about and desired. Because of something you said in that video made me glad that I’ve not walked away. It’s to make it better. I’ve heard the attitude come across the pulpit at times that the church doesn’t need you, you need the church. Well, I beg to differ. I need Christ and Christ wants me.

  4. Guest2
    August 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Hi John, Also watched your videos – interview with Shawn McCraney and why people leave the church. I was born in the church. My mom’s ancestors crossed the plains, my dad was a convert. I fell in love with a non-mormon at BYU and followed him out of the country to his own in South America. Fast forward 20 years and I have been inactive ever since and explored Re-Evaluation counseling, spiritual healing, Ram Dass, Neem Karoli Baba, Siddha Yoga, reading books about the many incarnations of Jesus and the Ascended Masters. Currently have a Catholic Jungian mentor who told me leaving my church was a mistake. I agree – I miss the community. I wouldn’t want to lose what I have learned, but community is important. Thank you for the work you do, it is the process of evolution and I applaud you. You are an intellectual and spiritual super-hero!

  5. Guest2
    August 24, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Hi John, I posted the comment with same name “Guest2” on 8/11/12. Just had to come back and say that my previous comment where I stated leaving the church was a mistake, was a comment I made during a time of intense personal growth (something I am currently going through). Leaving the church was inevitable for me. The next group I got involved with and referenced was a cult (Re-Evaluation Counseling)and ironically, the founder of this group was deceptive and told lies. It helped me for a time because I needed the safety of a box. Now I am only finding highly evolved humans and reading works written about and by enlightened beings – or those close to it. I have no idea how or why I am finding these teachers because my life is very normal and full of hardships. However, I think we leave the confines of a box when all signs point to us needing a bigger box – or no box at all. This has been my progression. Dark nights of the soul will come, but as I am sure you know, it is all part of the process. I have no doubt that you are being guided every minute of every day and that you will always make the right decisions for everything you do and say. I would like to share with you the name of someone who has written the most inspiring, entralling 18 part biography I have ever read: Lopsang Rampa. All the best!

  6. Chicago OG
    September 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    John,
    Mormon stories resonates with a wide spectrum of believers, those who hang on and those who have left…but I have seen a shift in the podcast that leans to a stronger “churchy” flavor. No doubt you have developed some relationships with those beyond the rank and file….I hope the church can find a middle way – I have severe doubts about that happening although I feel you are helping. My question is….why did you not post the Tom Phillips interview to the website. To me that was the quintessential interview. Wow! I speculate that it was let out the back door for a reason….thank you Mormonthink.com. You’ve got me scratching my head. I served as a Bishop for 6 years and a number of other key positions in leadership….during this interview I laughed, cried and felt the rage of the issues. I had read his story on the board but that did not effect me like hearing Tom in this live interview. I’ve listened to all the mormon stories and ME podcasts (I miss John Larsen)….this interview was by FAR my favorite…it really resonated for me….and I’m not alone here.

    Thank you for all you do
    Mike
    I would love to get Toms email if possible..to thank him for his contributions

  7. Ann
    October 2, 2012 at 2:51 am

    Hello –

    Just want to thank you for the interview with Bill Reel. (I question the propriety, or maybe wisdom, of so much ecclesiastical intrusion into personal sexual matters, but….) Thank you for asking questions politely, listening, clarifying, asking the follow-ups, and giving the discussion adequate time. I would love to see more like this.

  8. Mr M.
    April 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I like the show John- but after listening to a few podcasts I notice that you sometimes lead the guests – for instance after a question you sometimes say something like “I hope you’re going to say X” or in interviews where you want the guest to answer questions in a way that mostly pleases your personal needs when it comes to social and doctrinal doubts. “Tell me you felt some kind of moral outrage in the 1960’s towards such and such situation” when your guest most likely didn’t. Just ask the questions and let the answers fly. Nonetheless I think you are a good man and have a sincere and honest heart- God Bless you.

  9. January 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Wow! I love the way you worded your stance. That’s my view too.

  10. Carolyn Higdon
    June 12, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I totally agree with you! I am a Convert to LDS 1976. I am a Mormon but could not accept some of it’s doctrine
    I guess you could call me an inactivate member and I converse directly to God and get my answers quickly. Again thank you

  11. Jaime Rodriguez
    June 17, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Hello John:

    I’ve been listening to you and your colleagues for a while but have never posted a comment; however, after hearing of the recent events regarding the Church’s disciplinary council I’ve decided to speak out and let you know that I support you and what you stand for. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  12. Billie Thomas
    June 23, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    A woderfully concise perspective in favor of the common sense approach. For me, the answer is to accept the great mystery.

  13. Mark
    June 27, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I applaud you for talking out about the lack of support for all in the community, not just the ones who toe the line. Every teaching I have ever heard or read about Christ was his preaching regarding unconditional love for our fellow human beings. Too bad most fundamentalist religions conveniently ignore this fact.

    Religion is not for all, only those who will mindlessly follow doctrine because they don’t have the courage to think for themselves.

    God bless you and your gallant efforts to be inclusive.

  14. June 30, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I love your take. My little bro severed his mission in Guatemala as well . He’s a TBM. He thinks I’m wrong for leaving the church. I support your Stance.
    David Love

  15. Anjala Dick
    July 1, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Thank you for standing up for all Mormons. I am a bisexual Mormon who recently came out to my branch president. My spouse (who is also Mormon) is transgender. We are both converts to the church. I was listening to NPR the other day and I heard your story. I’ve listened to your podcast and I love it. I would love to have a conversation with you sometime. Thank you, again, for being so awesome.

  16. Julienna Viegas-Haws
    July 20, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Hello,

    I am officially still a member of the Church who lives in Switzerland. I am going trough a crisis of faith which started about a month ago, has been very intense and I am currently leaning towards having my name removed but I’ll give it more time and thoughts (at least getting through the stages of grief). I am 37 and have been a member my whole life…

    The reason I am writing is because I tried to comment on the Fiona and Teryl Givens podcast “The God Who Weeps” but couldn’t… So here is a few thoughts I had because I pretty much thought like them prior my crisis of faith.

    I am at your disposition if you have questions. Thank you.

    Julienna Viegas-Haws

    Here is my quick review of the Fiona and Teryl Givens podcast:

    Both their thinking is obviously well constructed and there is nothing to refute, it is how they feel based on their research and experiences. I would go as far as saying that I thought almost exactly like them prior to knowing what I know now. There is very little they say (except for personal life experiences) that I haven’t heard or thought before, especially with the Enoch episode of God weeping and the “Help thou mine unbelief” narratives. (I am not being arrogant when I say this, I really had the same way of thinking and explaining the gospel).

    Although I didn’t join the Church at 19 like Fiona–I was 4 when my mother joined the Church in Belgium–I relate to Fiona because before BYU I went to Catholic private schools in Belgium growing up (the lone Mormon among them). I have been exposed to all sorts of people, cultures and religions which automatically expands your world view. I was also wowed by the beautiful spirit the missionaries carried (simply because they were good people striving to do good every minute of their lives). I worked for the Church in Belgium before my mission, I served a mission on Temple Square, met lots of general authorities before, during and after my mission–whom I still respect and admire in many ways. I had a wonderful time at BYU, almost the same story as theirs, meeting my husband in an international politics class, etc. Then lived “blissfully” ever after as a member of the Church until my current crisis of faith. Now don’t get me wrong, I may be struggling with redefining my spiritual foundation but I am not unhappy at all! I am above and beyond blessed and l live in gratitude every day of my life. It could be a luxury that I have time to have a crisis of faith because I don’t have any other major trials in my life right now…

    My conclusion after listening to this heart warming podcast is that they have almost word for word the idealistic view of the Church I used to have. Good for them if that is what they feel is right for them.

    Unfortunately, that idealistic vision of the Church they portray is too far from the reality of how the Church functions today (again I exclude their personal experiences, we all have our own).

    Let me explain from a few things they say (I took a few notes as I was listening where I mentally objected):

    Fiona says in passing about one of her discoveries that it was “like a seminary student discovering that Joseph Smith used a stone and a hat to translate” I wish she’d gone further in explaining how that was like because to me it is not something to lightly set aside as if it were nothing that the Church never really portrayed Joseph Smith like that, to me that is brushing away the deception…
    She says “one mustn’t be disappointed in learning of Joseph Smith flaws and mistakes”. Really?! I’m sorry but if I learn that the man I trusted, followed and defended was a child abuser, I can’t help but be disappointed. I may eventually forgive him but my vision of him will be altered. For me a leader is supposed to have above average standards of morality and not the other way around.
    She says “our religion is so inclusive!” Really?! Maybe in theory but I don’t see it in real life… Inclusive as far as you do everything you are told and pay your membership dues.
    She says the early saints were “universalists,” that is why they were attracted to Joseph Smith’s gospel. Maybe they were universalists, I wasn’t there to ask but my gut feelings tells me that just like today the gospel provided a way out of their misery and poverty, the church promised to fulfil their basic spiritual, social and psychological needs and maybe a roof and some food. It is the same today! Very few intellectuals join the Church. Unless you were born in the Church and became an intellectual (whether you like to be called that or not) and learned to make both work (again because your spiritual, social and psychological needs are met and constantly reinforced) they are very few intellectual converts. The majority of converts are people struggling at different levels hoping for something better out of their lives. Of course we all struggle in life but my point is that poverty whether spiritual or physical is what brings people in the Church most of the time. That is the reason why my mother joined the Church. I don’t deny that the Church saved her, probably saved me too… But I am diverging.
    When it comes to religion, Fiona says and I quote “I’m not a fan of knowledge” because it distract from the spiritual… That is a very confusing statement to me given the “glory of God is intelligence” and if you type knowledge in the scriptures search engine you can see the importance God gives to it… Maybe she meant secular knowledge but even then I would have to disagree with her statement, but I respect the fact that it is the way she feels.
    At the end of the interview Teryl G. separates history (from men) and theology (from God) asserting that basically one should focus on theology more than history. Ok, but then can’t we just have God and Jesus Christ without Joseph Smith? Because I can guarantee you that except for a few authentic Joseph Smith ideas, I can find many of the great ideas he combined in other philosophers, theologians, great thinkers and writers who came before and after him… He was just brilliant at combining it all and add his own flavor to it. Neither Teryl nor Fiona mention once the current need of a prophet in their exposé — isn’t that a major fundamental tenet of the LDS faith? If all we have to do is hang on to God and Jesus Christ then it does not require being a member of the LDS Church. I know they believe it all and sustain the prophet. However, what I see in the the book “The God Who Weeps” from what they say about it (I haven’t read it yet and may or may not read it because they are just asserting what I already understood and believed before) is an idealistic universalist representation of our Church which is beautiful but does not match the reality of our Church today.

    I could go on but I’ll stop here, just my thoughts.

  17. Jacklyn Anderson
    August 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    John, I just want to thank you for this work you are doing. I have discovered Mormon Stories just lately and I can’t stop listening because the interviews are so fascinating. Finally people have a place to speak out without feeling a mountain of guilt for thinking outside the box of standard official Mormon thought. One thing I have been looking for on your site is someone who can speak to women in my stage of life. I was a stay-at-home mom for 30 plus years while raising six children. Somehow I found time to finish my BA degree during those years but now that I would like to move on from that to further education I find myself so heavily involved in the care of my elderly father that I don’t have the time for it and I am feeling very resentful. Plus the church doesn’t seem to know what to do with women my age and I really don’t want to teach primary. I also feel there are not dynamic women role models in the church leadership for women of any age. I must add that my husband is very supportive of anything I do.
    Thanks, again for your courage!

  18. Melissa Henn
    August 22, 2014 at 1:21 am

    I am not LDS, but Presbyterian. Your candor and curiosity for the truth is refreshing. Can you say if you’ve had any disciplinary action?

  19. Dana Suorsa
    September 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Hey John,
    Possible podcast idea. I’m sure it’s one that’s been discussed.
    Revisiting the past interviewees. A where are they today. New perspectives and knowledge gained from the past years. Are they in a better place, where they planned or expected to be.
    Thanks,
    Dana

  20. Daniel Pont
    January 2, 2015 at 5:51 am

    I am a licensed MFT in Omaha NE. I am bic, served a mission to Japan in 77/78, and left the church after getting married in the temple and fathering 5 children in 8 years. I officially resigned my membership in 2006, along with 2 of my 3 sons. My oldest daughter, the only practicing Mormon of the brood, is going through her own faith crisis right now, and were growing closer than we’ve ever been.

    John, I am keenly interested in joining your team to create a supportive progressive Mormon community in the Omaha area. If possible, I want to be a part of leadership retreat you are planning for the coming months. Please respond to this post and let me know how to share my contact information and how to otherwise proceed.

  21. Rachel
    January 4, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    I appreciate your courage and honesty in sharing your journey. It’s been a big support for me. I’m trying to meet with the provo support group. There’s a link on this website, but when I click on it I’m redirected to Facebook and I keep getting a “page not found” message. Do you have the contact information for the person or people who head this group. I’d like to find out if they meet and where and when. Thanks so much! Rachel

  22. January 15, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    John:
    I was born in the church in 1947, but excommunicated myself by postcard in my twenties.
    Welcome!

    : = ) Lance

  23. Margaret Dove
    February 1, 2015 at 7:15 am

    I recently heard your podcast on NPR. Thank you for your words. Several years ago, I converted to the LDS faith, but, overtime, become increasingly disturbed by the issuses involving historical inaccuracies, women, people of color, and GLBT concerns.
    Last year, when my 25 year old son came out as a bisexual, I stopped attending church. I couldn’t support the “love the sinner hate the sin” mentality of the teachings. At this point, I felt like an abolitionist, who was a member of the Klu Klux Klan. In addition, some church members who actively participated in the overturning of Proposition 8 in California further alienated me.
    Officially I am still a member, but I only attend service related activities. I so appreciate your braveness in coming forward on issues that need to be addressed with in this church.
    Thank you,
    Margaret Dove

  24. James
    February 8, 2015 at 9:33 am

    I am admire your courage and conviction.

  25. Liz Degn
    February 10, 2015 at 11:55 am

    John congrats for your bravery, and honesty. I left the church 25 years ago and as my new spiritual teacher councils ” just because you are excommunicated from the church doesn’t mean you are excommunicated from God!!!” That was such a healing knowledge for me.

  26. Josh
    February 10, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    John,

    It’s comforting to see someone else struggling with the same issues that i have for 12 years now. I left the church when i was deployed in 2009. As with any deployment you have a lot of time to think. I explored each sect of Christianity and how I truly felt about the subject of Mormonism. After a couple months of research, soul searching and praying I could no longer follow a religion that supports relegating women to inferior roles as well as the track record of the LDS church. I still hold many of the values that the church instilled in me but do so outside the church. Thank you for your honesty and I will continue following your website.

    Josh

  27. Emma Griffin
    March 10, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Hi I wrote you earlier about encouraging you to leave a place Utah ,that is so judgmental and rejecting of you ,I know there are places like Oregon where you would be appreciated and accepted
    but now I really want you to continue your podcasts because they help me so much I haven’t seen any podcast since your excommunication podcast I hope there are some coming soon

  28. Britny
    March 11, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I love that you encourage others to embrace science instead of distancing it from their spiritual beliefs. I left the LDS church and I almost stopped believing in God all together. The one moment in my whole life that kept me believing was a feeling of peace, love, and comfort I had when I was 16. Thinking back to that moment as an adult I realized that the church wasn’t going to prove itself to me so why have faith in it; and why was I having faith in a man made organization instead of God himself? I am grateful for the people of the church who taught me how to pray and what faith is and that I have a creator who loves me unconditionally. However I will never go back to church because of the psychological damage they have done. I will wake up some mornings feeling guilty for absolutely no reason, it almost tore my marriage apart, and it had me believing God wasn’t answering my prayers (to help save my marriage) because I wasn’t paying tithing(my husband was unemployed and we couldn’t afford food, but whenever I interviewed with the bishop he would encourage me to pay tithing and never bring up the church’s food bank….lol every week I had to go to another church for food and I once had to take a roll of toilet paper and ritz crackers from my work). Anyway, I just wanted to say that the church may have excommunicated you, and they say that your name is forgotten in heaven, but know that I don’t believe that one bit! God knows what you’re doing is helping his children understand their Father more fully. And just remember….Jesus was rejected by his own kind too.😉

  29. Nancy
    March 22, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Thanks John

  30. Kathryn
    April 25, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Hi John. Just thought I would share how much I appreciate your stories and sharing your support of the LGBT community. When I was 14 I left the church and mainly because of 2 reasons. The first being that my questions recieved many different answers until I was finally told that I didn’t need to know the answer to the questions that I had. Second, was because one of my closest friends was gay. He wa very open and was bullied and tormented by not only the students but by members of the staff at school – including the vice principal who happened to be a Mormon bishop. I felt so ashamed of my part in the mormon church. I cried and pleaded with my parents not to force me to attend church any more because I felt so wrong in doing so. They reluctantly agreed and while I tried in adult hood to go back I can never shake that feeling that it’s not right. The last time I attended an LDS church I sat and listened to 2 ladies in the choir bad mouthing another member of the choir to the point I felt I had to speak up and tell them how mortified I was as an observer of the church and left mid service despite being there with and in support of family (Missionary Farewell). That is my story – thanks again for sharing your story.

  31. janis
    December 1, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Hi John, I am writing from Seoul, Korea, a convert to LDS from 1979 for 35 years, our family moved to the U.S. and served my mission in Korea, now I live in Hawaii and in Korea. I thought I was the only one left the Church until I found your stories and other ex Mormon online community.

    Thank you for your courage and your braveness in coming forward on issues that need to be addressed.

    God is with each one of us, and his Gospel is true indeed!. True power of Christ will reveal all truth!. I am learning more about LDS church and Freemason connection. It is fascinating. Thank you.

  32. Jamie
    December 3, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Hey John,
    I recently became a fan of your podcast through my partner. He is a pretty avid listener, and he comes home talking about your podcasts and interviews. I found the subject matter to be quite fascinating. We both are LGBT Post Mormon, and have been together for almost three years now. I work nights for a local company, and I dont usually have a lot to occupy my attention. I usually either listen to music or comedy albums. After my partner introduced me to your podcast I went and downloaded the very first few episodes of Mormon Stories. I became quite an admierer just listening to your first couple podcasts. I found so many parallels wiith your own mission experiemce and my own. I served in New Mexico, and spent a majortity of my time on the Navajo reservation. I also felt as if my own mission experience was primarily based on numbers, and also had missionaries picking up small kids on Sundays and taking them to church and baptizing them. I’ve really enjoyed your coverage of the LGBT issues and policies in the church. I’m really grateful that there are people out there like you that support and uplift post mormons and people within the LGBT commuinty. You’ve also helped bring together so many of them and creating support networs for these individuals. Thank you! I just wanted to reach out and tell how much I appreciate what you do, and how awesome I think you are.

  33. Grant Price
    January 11, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    You do good work, and I think you acquit yourself admirably in public–especially in regard to your excommunication. I have been a long-time fan of your podcasts. I must admit, however, that I sometimes feel your guests dance around the periphery of relevance. Most podcasts, while extremely interesting and well-produced, never come close to effectively addressing the critical epidemiological questions inherent in religious belief. For example, objective evidence supporting Mormonism (or Christianity, for that matter) appears to be ultimately inconclusive. Therefore, it comes down to a single question: Is there any rational basis for concluding that the so-called “spiritual witness” championed in Mormon theology is anything other than a simple emotional response to religious stimuli which has nothing whatsoever to do with a power outside one’s own mind? Without first answering this question, what’s really the point of discussing anything else about either Mormonism or Christianity? If the efficacy of the spiritual witness isn’t supportable with a compelling argument, anything we do or discuss in regard to Mormonism is just straightening deck chairs on HMS Titanic. I, for one, would appreciate a more intellectually rigorous approach to questions of ultimate reality in future programming. Not mini-graduate courses, but something that sheds more light on philosophical reasons to believe (or disbelieve) in this peculiar institution known as Mormonism. Am I alone?

  34. Nigel
    January 13, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks you of showing us what the church really like. As a open gay mormon it make me how long before I am kick out of the church . My Stake prest hates the LBGT people and stop me going to the temple . I can not and stop being me

  35. Devon Bartolomei
    January 25, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Thank you for all you do. Your personality, insight and view of the church as well as the world around us has helped me on my new journey to find greater peace. I reached a milestone yesterday by typing a letter to the church and submitting it through my bishop to have my name removed. After months of pain and struggle, I feel at peace to be able to leave it behind me and move on. Thank you so much for being a help in making that possible.

  36. Sarah Bartholomew
    February 4, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I just started listening to your podcast today. I was raised LDS and have had a recent crisis of faith. Listening to the 13 years of silence episode has really helped.

    • Anna
      March 2, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      The podcast by Tom Phillips helped me when I first started my transition. I would recommend that one. Also good luck, and there is a lot of support if you need it.

  37. stan larson
    February 5, 2016 at 8:29 am

    John Dehlin, I received the following email from Judith Mehr. Please consider what is best to do with her story. Stan Larson, retired from the University of Utah library.

    “Dear Stan,

    Thanks so much for your comments on my Op-ed and that bit about being a
    missionary during the time before the ban was lifted. I can also a
    remember a time at BYU where I argued fiercely in favor of the Church,
    trying to defend that ban, with a student who was visiting from Arizona
    State University. The more I tried to explain the Church’s position the
    more I started to realize that the position was untenable. Wow, talk
    about a trial of faith that caused in me.

    But, fast-forward to now, yes, I hope to talk more about my feelings
    concerning the gay issue and Church policies in the future. I will
    consider doing interviews if asked and we shall see where that goes. But,
    thanks again for your comments.

    Judith Mehr

  38. John Johnson
    February 29, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/251056/WEEPING-DENTIST-ADMITS-TO-SEX-ACT-AT-HIS-OFFICE.html?pg=all
    Documented sex abuse committed by two LDS bishops/stake presidents on their patients.

  39. Louise
    March 16, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    First, love your podcast.
    I’m not a mormon, I don’t know any mormons, I’m actually not even religious, so why in the last few weeks have I been bingeing your podcast? It’s because I’ve always been curious, and not wanting to offend anyone, to understand the what, why and how people believe in Mormonism. Thanks to your podcast I now have a better understanding and, if this makes sense, I’m less ‘afraid’ and judgmental of people who choose to be Mormon. I enjoy your format, guests, and your ability to explain in a very clear middle ground sort of way the background and it’s inner workings
    I do have a question and I hope you might have time to answer. I was visiting a friend in Langley, British Columbia Canada and saw this huge, what I thought, Church. I assumed it was a Catholic Church and was shocked to find out it is a new Mormon Temple. I think I know why they choose this location; the cost of land more affordable and the new bridge makes getting from Vancouver easier and close to the boarder for Americans.
    I was wondering if you knew the membership size and also, with all that is going on, how the ‘church’ could afford to build such a humongous structure?
    I thank you in advance for any information you might share. *it also might make an interesting podcast episode.

  40. Randall
    May 4, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I am looking forward very much to the episode/series (you mentioned in the May 2016 update with Clay Christiansen) about missionaries who returned early or lost their faith while serving a mission, and continued on, necessarily lying, in order to serve as a missionary while doubting or not having a testimony.
    This is basically my story, so thank you for all you do to make the podcast.
    -Randy M

  41. Francie
    July 5, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    First, and foremost, John, I want to applaud you for your life’s work and this amazing website. Although not a Mormon, I’ve grown up with Mormons in Arizona, and have had work colleagues and Mormon friends over the years, which compelled me to study your faith. As many “born in the Covenant” Mormons would say, I am a 5th generation Episcopalian (as my “denomination”), and first and foremost a devout Christian in love with Jesus Christ. What amazes me in reading many of the heart-wrenching stories of transitioning Mormons, or Ex-Mormons, is how they feel lied to about the Book of Mormon and/or by the teachings of the church and of the founder, Joseph Smith. Additionally, the LDS church culture dictates and prescribes excommunication in a cold, judicial-like manner which rips at the faith of the believer, castigating that human and their family out of the pastoral community separating them from fellow believers. How can that even come close to being Christ-like? I have even personally known the son of a prominent Newspaper artist who is an Ex-Mormon, and when asked if he ever found another church or faith, I got a negative head shake. It is grievous to learn that many transition to Aetheism (which IS throwing the baby out with the bath water) because they feel betrayed. I have prayed for years that that a brand NEW revelation would come about to the LDS President and Prophet, Seer and Revelator that there truly never was an Apostasy or Great Restoration in the early 1800’s after all, and that the Christian faith is, for all time and eternity, as it was once delivered, in its purest form, by Jesus Christ to the Twelve Apostles, carried forth by the greatest of missionaries, St. Paul, demonstrating the real truth lies solely between Genesis and Revelation. The “lie” will then become the “real truth” and the love of God will truly reign overall — there will not be any need for excommunication, and the wonderful family values and tenets of the LDS faith can be opened up to all of Christendom, as will all the LDS Mormons worldwide be opened up to the true inclusive love of Jesus Christ. I can imagine how powerful that outpouring of love from the Holy Spirit will be upon this earth when that day comes to pass. Wishing you countless blessings and thanks on behalf of all of those lives out there, known and unknown, that have been so positively affected by your work and love.

  42. Frederick Davidson
    August 15, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Hi John, Thank you for your podcast and efforts to help those of us whose faith is more complicated. I only started listening recently (and still pretty secretly…), and I found an old episode from January 2006 about Fowler’s stages of faith (Episodes #015-107, with Tom Kimball and Dan Wotherspoon). I really enjoyed the discussion and found that it described exactly my personal faith quandaries in the LDS church. As I listened to those old episodes, it struck me that the discussion was prior to all of the events of the past couple of years (your very public excommunication, Kate Kelly and Ordain Women, “The Policy” on kids of LGBT couples, etc.). The tone seemed optimistic, and I couldn’t help but wonder whether that optimism remains after all that has happened. I would love to hear you revisit Fowler’s stages of faith with Dan and Tom, considering these more recent events. Personally, the recent events have made me feel far more entrenched in Stage 4, leaning far more towards agnosticism or straight-up atheism, and Stage 5 seems like wishful thinking. I find myself wondering, what is the point of faith (even in stage 5 or 6) if the stage 3 church organization purges anyone in 4, 5 or 6 from its congregations. Have the events of recent months destroyed any hope for us stage 4 people to co-exist with those within the church who are at stage 3? How do those of us in stage 4 manage the hostility from the mainstream church? I feel like this hostility that I feel that the mainstream church and my ward has toward me has only been retrenched, fortified and institutionalized — almost canonized. So I’ve gone under ground. Are my only choices to try and delude myself back into stage 3 or to stay in hiding? Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks, and throw out this suggestion for a future episode. I’d love to hear the three of you revisit the stages of faith discussion.

  43. Dean Snelling
    August 22, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Dear John,

    I am 71 years old and joined the church when I was 16 in 1962. I served a mission in Alberta and Saskatchewan when I was 19, went to school in Cedar City and graduated in 1970. I moved back to Canada and obeyed the church’s policy … got married when I was gay… and six years later my wife passed away in Utah with Cancer. Their policy did not work. I was still gay. My two daughters were 5 and 3 years old. Although I married again which ended in divorce, I basically raised my girls alone while I was teaching school in Switzerland. I lived there 15 years. My life has included many things which I would be happy to share with you if you are interested. I am in the process of writing my life story for my two daughters… both of whom are active in the church. If it is good enough, I will publish it. One of my daughters has supported her husband in a stake presidency. I moved back to Canada in 1998 and was excommunicated from the church in 2002 for breaking the law of chastity. In 2004 I was legally and lawfully married to my same sex spouse, David. We will soon be married 13 years. I believe I am the only person who has been baptized in the church that has been married so long… legally. After being exed I did not attend church for four years. I then decided to start attending, first in Nova Scotia, and then in British Columbia where I live presently. On November 5, when the new policy came out, I was not certain about staying active. I decided that if all the gay people stopped attending there would be nobody left to show that we are there… so I go faithfully each week. My bishop and stake president allow me to give my testimony in church and I have an unofficial home teacher. I have 8 grandchildren… all active, 3 foster grandchildren, and two step grandchildren. My oldest granddaughter is to be married in the temple on March 25, 2016. She is in her last year of medical school and will start her residencies after her temple wedding. My oldest grandson is serving his mission in Greece. Unlike many, I have maintained that the leaders over the past have made mistakes, but that does not take away from the divinity of their calling. We all make mistakes, and if the brethren make them too… I am so thankful, for if such good men can make them, it certainly gives me more hope as well. I put my faith in Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father to one day reveal to the leaders what they must do to allow ALL of Heavenly Father’s children have a place in His church. My life has spanned the church’s many policies and changes concerning gays, so I have learned that one thing that is certain is that nothing is certain. I believe it is why I have so much faith that it will change again one day… most likely when I am gone. In the mean time I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters who would perhaps not be active if the new policy had come out when they were younger, and I have been able to find the love of my life who has helped e to have more faith in myself and understand that I could be faithful to one man… and not need to resort from casual sex so that nobody would know I was gay and therefore raise my girls in the church. I hope to hear from you and if my story will help others to have faith and be strong… then I will have accomplished my goal.

  44. Dean Snelling
    August 22, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Louise,

    I just read your comment about the temple in Langley, BC. since I live in that area, I can answer your question. There are 3 stakes or diocese in the Vancouver area. A Stake has about 2,000 members… it varies, so that would make about 6,000 members in the Vancouver area, but the temple in Langley serves all the members in BC and also those from northern Washington. The church has about 15,000,000 members World Wide, but only about half attend church (approx).

    The church pays for the temples with tithes paid by the members. Both chapels and temples are paid in cash when they are built. The faithful pay 10% of their income to the church and feel blessed to do so. If a member is in need, the church will help them and under the direction of the Bishop, the relief society will calculate the needs of the family in need. When I was on church welfare for 6 months when my wife was passing away… my bishop told me to keep paying my tithe… and the church would sustain me until I was back on my feet again. Church welfare is usually given on a temporary basis and the members are usually also helped to find a way to take care of themselves and be self sufficient.

    I hope this answers your question and that I was accurate in my message to you.

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