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  1. Allison, we should compare people we know from the Berlin Servicemen’s Ward. I was there from 82-85 and rode the Duty Train countless times into Frankfurt for Super Saturdays. I also loved the youth conference in Bertchesgarten at the General Walker Hotel. I’m guessing you were there slightly after me since my temple trips were to the Swiss Temple.

    1. Wow! We were prob there the same time as I also attended that youth conference at the General Walker hotel! Small world. I was trying to remember who the main speaker was for that conference.

      My parents were married in the Swiss Temple. Now that i think about it I actually think they opened the Frankfurt temple after we moved back to the U.S.. These were the years I wasn’t active (although I attended church with my parents). Sometimes my family attended German branches and other places/times we attended the servicemen’s ward. If I remember right we attended the servicemen’s ward in Berlin. Wonder if you and I were in the same ward!!!

      1. I’ve got no idea who spoke other than it was a GA. I recognized his name but that was it. I mostly remember the day trips to the salt mines, Salzburg, and the Chiemsee. As for the Frankfurt temple, it was announced while I was there and they may have started the groundbreaking, but it was not functional when I left in August of 1985. We were still going to the Swiss Temple. The big news about temples however, was the announcement of the East German Temple. We were there (in Berlin) when Thomas Monson announced it (in Frankfurt) to the shock of the members in the stake. It was announced in Berlin and we were told that we were not allowed to donate to this temple as part of the arrangement with the East German government was that the East German members had to raise these funds themselves for the buildings’ completion. This struck me as grievously hard for them to do as we used to take over apples and oranges from the commissary to the East German ward or branch in E. Berlin for Christmas. They seemed so grateful. Fun and interesting times to get a front row seat to the Cold War.

        1. I don’t remember the speaker either but do remember it was someone noteworthy. I loved the location and the day trips as well. We moved back to the US the summer of 1983 so I would definitely have missed the Frankfurt temple opening as well. I also remember a youth trip into East Berlin where we took oranges and other fruit. We drove around a little because we weren’t sure if the van we were in was being monitored. The children were so appreciative and I remember feeling acutely aware of how lucky I was when I realized how grateful they were for the fruit. It sure was an interesting time with the wall still being up, checkpoint Charlie, people still trying to escape and the various military sectors. I haven’t been back since then so I’m sure it’s changed a lot!

  2. Because of this podcast, I have discovered the Mormon Spectrum website. Thank you!

    Yes, there really is a ‘spectrum’ of Mormons, and not this ‘Satan owns the fence’ mentality. (This coming from too many youth talks where youth are told that Satan is on one side of a fence, the true believers on the other and if you are not a true believer, you are on the fence.)

    Again, thank you. This is such a needed resource.

  3. I loved this podcast! Alison was a breath of fresh air and honesty. I too live in Montana and am grateful Mormon Spectrum is in Bozeman. I would be intersted in any events MS has planned in the big sky state, and would love to attend. Alison’s story touched me deeply, as I too resonate with her experiences and feelings. I wish members of the LDS church were as genuine and loving as Alison seems to be.

    Thank you Alison,
    Tim

    1. A fellow Montanian! You should join the Bozeman MSiP group. We’ve got our first event scheduled in January. Thanks for the kind words and I”m glad it resonated with you.

  4. I really enjoyed this episode! I was already a huge fan of the good work that Alison Udall is doing. With this episode I got to know Alison herself better and see inside the inner workings of the cause she has taken up. I was particularly interested in the push-back she has gotten from both ends of the Mormon Spectrum, believers not wanting to support non-believers, non-believers not wanting to support believers. But she has insisted on building bridges and walking the fine line of balance. She has created a space where there really is room for everyone at the table.

    We all have Mormonism in common. It has shaped us all in profound ways that those who were never part of Mormonism cannot fully understand. We have so much more in common than that which divides us. I am glad that Alison has created an inviting meeting place of minds where all are welcome and conversation is open. Echo-chambers get so boring after awhile. I like a little challenge, a little push-back, a little reminder not to get too comfortable in my perspective and paradigms.

    Keep up the good work, Alison, I am cheering for you!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I was kinda worried it would just be boring for other folks to listen to my story! I love your thoughts about building bridges and agree that we do have so much in common. At times it’s hard to remember this when you attempt to maintain and create relationships across this spectrum, but it’s sooooo true.

  5. Alison mentioned an anonymous letter written by a mormon woman that her ward and bishop thought was her. Where did you read the letter? Is it online? Thanks.

    1. This was an Ensign article written by an anonymous author. The title of the article is “When He Stopped Believing” and it was in the July 2012 Ensign.

  6. I think I’m part of a spectrum that perhaps isn’t included here. I just finished a stage of post-Mormonism I like to call the cool-off stage. I’ve been incredibly angry with the church and wanted nothing to do with it. Now I’ve had time to see what life as an introvert is like without a guiding force as strong as the church’s. I am feeling overwhelmed by the anger I feel coming from the post-Mormon communities I’m a part of.

    I have begun to yearn for the community I was a part of and have started to feel okay with having a Mormon heritage. I’ve prayed with the hope that God is there and will make Mormonism true, all the while realizing that my desire to believe is made impossible by my inability to believe.

    So I live in this weird paradox: believing the church isn’t true based on the facts but craving the stability of a ward family. I’m also very tortured by my desire for an afterlife but my lack of belief in one (I’m what some would disgustedly call “an intellectual”). I’ve toyed with the idea of joining a Universalist congregation or being a non-believing active Mormon. Based on feedback from some ex-Mormon communities, people probably think I’m insane. But maybe this is the best thing for me right now.

    I wonder if there are others like me who crave the support of wholesome Mormon people and wish the world were as black-and -white as they were taught. Unfortunately, it’s not, so I have to figure out how to deal with this glitch in my existence.

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