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  1. Loved her story. I didn’t see her as a minority of color . . I just saw her as a beautiful woman with great hair and wonderful life stories.

    I’m 69 . . had my name removed from Church membership 10+ years ago after my greatest spiritual experience.

    I love Mormon Stories.

    1. YES ! I so appreciate these interviews, after 40 years as a member, beautiful people like Laura willing to share their spiritual journey stories is healing and affirming. THANK YOU.

  2. ANOTHER GREAT INTERVIEW!!!! Laura is incredible! John, you seem super relaxed lately. I think it’s having the amazing Carah B. co-hosting. You two are a great team!

  3. The sexism against men in this interview is unreal. Why do women and girls assume most if not all men are bad? That the older or larger a man is the scarier he is? Is a woman/girls’ fantasy to run around with only other females while giggling at and simultaneously hiding from men like they are all flesh-eating ogres? Is a woman’s ideal world one where women flee from men similar to how birds flee from everything simply because rape is possible and escaping once in his grasp is almost impossible? How about perusing the book, “Nurses Who Kill” (1990). Or how about spending the same amount of time it took you to listen to this interview to research female crime. But even if most violent crime is done by men, I guess women are just animals, too, running away from the alpha if he’s even remotely near making orangatang noises as they flee. Would women feel offended if men didn’t want to have a female teacher? “I don’t feel comfortable with this big, old woman, I want to be in the other teacher’s class…” If the genders are different then be complete in your logic and apply that truth across the board instead of pretending there are no differences between the genders and simultaneously differences whenever it’s convenient for you. #gross

  4. Add me to the list of those that love Carah!

    I think she is a wonderful addition and am glad she joined in!

    And thanks Laura. I enjoyed hearing your story and appreciate your vulnerability.

    Oh, and great job Carah asking how Laura reassesses her “spiritual experiences” now. I think it’s crucial that is asked so any believer watching/listening doesn’t wonder why anyone having had such experiences can ever deny them (or what they mean).

  5. Absolutely LOVE the “You don’t need me anymore” vision! I am much more comforted by the lack of god than I ever was trying to justify Mormon God. Atheist me has so much more peace in my life!

    Great story–thanks for sharing!

  6. Thank you very much to everyone for sharing this story.

    As an attorney, I just wanted to clarify the general legal issue at play in a potential discrimination lawsuit against the church.

    Discrimination is a federal issue and these kinds of cases are filed in federal court. The law providing for discrimination lawsuits was passed by the US Congress.

    The issue isn’t that the church is THE church, but that it’s A church. The separation of church and state guaranteed in the Constitution means that the federal government can’t tell churches how to hire and promote religious teachers.

    Someone employed by a church as a janitor, for example, could potentially sue for employment discrimination. But once a church employee is involved in teaching doctrine, all bets are off. It’s any church’s prerogative to decide who can teach doctrine and what doctrine they teach.

    Therefore, religious teachers employed by their churches are not protected by the federal discrimination laws. Churches can apply doctrine however they see fit in promoting teachers. They can say “it’s revelation,” or even have rules that they promote men over women in every case.

    One major case in this area involved a female Catholic religious teacher who sued the Catholic church for gender discrimination when less qualified men were promoted over her. She lost in federal court.

    The moral of this story is that you have to be aware as a religious teacher employed by any church that you are not protected by the same anti-discrimination laws as employees of secular organizations.

    My heart goes out to Laura for the tremendous anxiety and pain she experienced.

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