Holy Moly (didn’t I just say that?). This episode of “Speaking of Faith” podcast entitled, “The History of Doubt” literally blew my socks off.

Please, please, please listen to it, and come back here to discuss in an LDS context (if you so yearn). I can’t recommend it highly enough.


  1. Hyrum July 2, 2006 at 4:47 am

    THANK YOU for this reference. I enjoy how Jennifer Hecht celebrated the contribution that skeptics have given groups over time. She mentions how a common theme in Skepticism that she noticed was that they simply wanted to be happy and content with themselves!!! How excellent!

    I look back at the ‘McKay days’ of Mormonism and wish for a future time where again we can OPENLY TALK about doubts. It’s no doubt (excuse the pun) that Hinckley recently told the press that church members are allowed to their opinions, -it’s when they openly talk about them that gets them into trouble-. We’ve seen it practiced recently when members of the church talked to newspapers, or through writing in editorials, etc. etc.

    My Mormon sibling told me that my initial interest in Mormonism’s darker history was comparable to a juvenile’s new-found-vice in pornography. How crazy! Shouldn’t Mormon’s who understand their own Faith-Promoting story, see that an ESSENTIAL part of the Joseph Smith story is his DOUBT and his DISCONTENT with the religions around him?

    This quick condemnation of DOUBTERS and those who leave … it seems like the easy-way-out for some faithful. It’s a natural groupthink reaction. I don’t think it’s necessary to Mormonism at all times, because McKay seemed to tolerate it quite well.

    Faust’s attitude in the 2005 Oct. Gen. Conference seems silly to me:
    … And that’s my heritage! So be it! What an interesting ride. I AM glad I’m out … (but who wants a subjective ‘testimony’ anyway?)

  2. Mike Thomas July 2, 2006 at 5:20 am

    If not for Joe Smith’s DOUBT/SKEPTICISM that all other religions could bring him what he was looking for, he never would’ve had a vision and started his own religion.
    L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology’s founder, is infamous for advice on how to make bucket loads of money: start a religion!

  3. John Remy July 2, 2006 at 11:03 am

    Jennifer Michael Hecht is one of my heroes. I started (but never finished) reading A History of Doubt a few years back, and since then I’ve viewed Joseph Smith, Jesus, and other religious founders as rebels, skeptics and doubters–as heterodox, and not orthodox. Hecht has performed a great service by creating a narrative of doubt that legitimates and validates religious questioning. I feel like I’m part of a great legacy!

  4. Cody Clark July 3, 2006 at 7:03 pm

    Great podcast! Thanks for the recomendation John. Itching for a new podcast from you though…

  5. John Dehlin July 3, 2006 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks, Cody. I have a couple of things in the works…but thanks for the encouragement!!!

  6. Hyrum July 3, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    As long as we’re on this let’s-refer-everyone-to-our-favorite-podcasts … here’s one I’ve enjoyed lately:

    An absolutely EXCELLENTLY produced show, this is a who’s who of secular guests podcast.

    CHECK IT OUT! The episodes with Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, & Richard Dawkins are quite neat!

  7. Nat Whilk July 4, 2006 at 1:13 pm

    The man who said “I never hear of a man being damned for believing too much, but they are damned for unbelief” (TPJS, p. 341) is an icon for skeptics? Go figure.

  8. Doc July 4, 2006 at 2:23 pm

    This is an interesting contrast with your Jim Jones, when religion turns evil posts, John. I agree figures like Christ, Joseph Smith, Galileo, Newton, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, (I could go on and on and on) caused a furor largely because they were radical, brought new paradigms, challenged authority and orthodoxy which really could not stand it. However, they received a label for their unorthodox behaviors, today you could call them cult leaders, radicals, extremists, heretics, martyrs, narcicists, self deceived, take your pick. As Joseph Smith said “I’ve been called just about everything.”
    But how do you go about figuring which they were? A look at their social context tends to get me to side with this post and to fear doubt and new ideas less, to keep an open mind when others have an idea that may seem off the wall, and yet the Jim Jones, Hale-Bopp groups of the world would seem to indicate that being open to new ideas is inherently dangerous. It is really a complex issue. Do you have the answer?

Comments are closed.