In Laurie Goodstein’s very thoughtful and important recent article in the New York Times about Hans Mattsson, she described Mormon Stories Podcast as, “…a podcast of interviews with scholars and church members, many critical toward the church.” While I want to be clear that this statement is technically accurate, and that I feel as though Laurie’s article is groundbreaking in terms of the degree to which it sheds insightful light on a topic that is crucially important to Mormonism — I feel it important to add a few things:
- Mormon Stories has always tried (though not always succeeded) to be fair and balanced in its selection and treatment of interviews. As an example, we have interviewed dozens of faithful Mormons over the years including Richard Bushman, Claudia Bushman, Terryl Givens, Grant and Heather Hardy, Daniel Peterson, Margaret Young, Ralph Hancock, and many, many others. For a full list of pro-Faith Mormon Stories interviews, please click here. For a list of apologetic interviews, click here. In short, Mormon Stories has always striven to be balanced towards faith and doubt, and continues to seek to be a constructive (not destructive) force within Mormonism.
- Mormon Stories has been a long-time supporter of (and continues to sponsor) several pro-faith podcasts and resources including:
- Mormon Matters Podcast
- The StayLDS Community
- A Thoughtful Faith Podcast
- Mormon Mental Health
- Mormon Sunday School
- I want it to be known (for the record) that I, John Dehlin, am a happily active and participatory LDS church member. I believe in many (most?) of the church’s core teachings (e.g., love, charity, faith, forgiveness, kindness, repentance, sacrifice, love of truth, family). Everything I do in my life with regard to the church…I do out of a desire to make the church better, and to alleviate unnecessary suffering. However effective or flawed my approach may be….this is my sincere goal/objective, and pretty much always has been.
Finally, I want to take this moment to thank everyone (especially my wife and children) who have supported Mormon Stories over the years…through its ups and downs. Your support has kept me going. Also, I want to again thank Laurie Goodstein for this wonderful piece of journalism that highlights and models a pressing need within Mormonism — the need to show greater understanding and empathy towards those who struggle with legitimate historical, doctrinal, and cultural issues.
In the end, our hope and prayer is that this article/interview/project together help to create a bigger (not smaller) tent within Mormonism — one that does not fear/punish doubt, but that embraces both doubt and faith as important aspects of belief/religiosity.