355: What Mormon Stories is Trying to Do, and How to Keep it Alive

In this presentation we try to cover the following: 1) what are Mormon Stories and the Open Stories Foundation trying to do? and 2) what can be done to keep them both alive.

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  1. I’ve been listening to your podcast for over a year now so I suppose it is about time to start giving you some support. I honestly think that your approach has the best chance of helping people compared to anything else that I have seen out there and I am a crazy smart guy so I should know (tongue firmly in cheek). I hope plenty of others will be inclined to give some support as well so you can keep doing what you do. It can be a difficult thing for people since alot of us have spouses that still believe but my thinking is that I don’t give my wife any flack for paying her full tith to the church so I don’t think she can complain too much about my choice to support you guys.

  2. John, I’ve been listening to podcasts on here for about seven months, and I’ve really appreciated the insight and understanding they offer. I’m a gay man in a mixed-orientation marriage with three kids, and I’ve lost any testimony I ever had (my situation covers so many topics you address. No doubt, those like me have kept you busy). Once my faith started to unravel, it all collapsed pretty quickly. Many parts of me would like to leave Mormonism behind and never look back, but I’m not yet prepared to pay all the costs associated with doing that.

    As many of your guests have explained their introductory histories, I’m not a stranger to the church. I’m a returned missionary; I’ve been an Elders’ Quorum president three times, executive secretary twice, and ward mission leader twice. I currently serve as the Gospel Doctrine teacher. It’s quite the closet I live in. Despite the tediously boring lesson manuals, my goal is to make the lessons engaging, thought-provoking and a bit entertaining. I cannot teach things I don’t believe (I don’t treat scriptural stories as factual), but I can understand that the stories we tell say something about the things we value. I explore what we learn from those stories, and how we can use those ideas to improve our lives. No one in the room even notices that I skip the Elder Packer quotes or that I don’t use the term “I know” when speaking of the Gospel. Your work has helped me come to a better place of peace.

    Anyway, I had a weird dream last night where we finally met in person and had a good conversation. I don’t remember the topic, but I remember my emotion that I was worried about you. So with that, today’s podcast, and a long feeling that I should contribute to the cause, I have finally donated. I can’t imagine the amount of work it takes to keep this going. I want your foundation to survive a long time. Thanks for your hard work.

  3. Daniel Graham


    Your podcasts have been a life line for me and my wife. I can see how it can seem like the podcasts have been one sided, but they have been very heavy topics. The very topics that people struggle with the most in my opinion. And they have been refreshingly honest.

    The church has some very rough waters to navigate and all they seem to be able to do is to tell the youth how to ask questions and what questions are okay to ask. I just can’t see this approach working. But that is another story for another day.

    Anyways, thank you, thank you for all the work you and everyone have been doing at mormon stories.

  4. may I have the presentation which appear on YouTube video? So that I can translate it into Japanese?

  5. John,
    Wow, what a powerful and thought provoking presentation – this and other MS have helped me out immensely. Someday, I hope I get the privilege of shaking your hand. God Bless.

    P.S. GA’s, Stake Presidents, Bishops, the relief society, and common members everywhere need your god given talents, gifts, good works and informal leadership to bless people. Thanks for all you do.

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