Share this Episode

Comments 59

  1. My first reaction: “Woah! There is a problem with the church and it’s not a new problem.”
    My second reaction: “Well…of course! This is to be expected. Just because I can’t see something, doesn’t mean nothing is there.”
    My third reaction: “We can no longer un-see this! ”
    And my final reaction: “And if I still wanted to insist the church was true, I could easily see no problem.”

    I can’t wait to hear more from Shannon.

    1. I have include myself as part of the carnage. I did everything trying not to make any mistakes yet my struggles to get the BYU degree and Mary but ending up totally unhappy and learning much of it because it worked hard to fit the mitt Romney mormon mold was very unhealthy for me.

      Also. I believe the Daybell carnage in eastern Idaho, also the gal from Eureka, CA who murdered her user boy friend the sex predictor bishop in Provo who was told by the judge at the bishops reinvent when the judge told the bishop he’s a good man. I could go on and on but all this carnage occurs because the people are deceived and they try to fit a deceptive mold. Forgive me for using the term mitt Romney mold, but it has nice ring to it. But, what I’m saying is because the portrays a no mistakes allowed attitude about sexuality, if I would have stayed in the church I really believe I could have ended up a sex predator bishop, but chose to rebel from the church get ostracized. But broke away, was very lonely for years, unsuccessful career and homeless, but rather than be inauthentic possibly do something criminal I worked to heal my brokenness. The church is very unhealthy unless you are one who does fit the mitt Romney mold.

      1. I have had doubts for years about everything and a voice kept telling me the BOM was not true, that it was false, etc. But I kept my head down and followed blindly as counseled. I have listened to the wrong voice for too long. I am at the very beginnings of leaving, the pandemic made it easy as there is no church on Sunday, but as zoom sacrament starts, I will not participate. There’s gonna be sh*t hitting the fan because my husband is in bishopric, and I was RS Prez for 5 years (released a couple of years ago). I am preparing to lose most of my friends, if not all, within the church that is. I was one of the duped. I have had what I called spiritual experiences, but people in other religions have spiritual experiences too. The church didn’t give me those experiences, I was open to a higher power to them. I will no longer give them $$ to pad their pockets (speaking of general authorities who make $120K a year, the shopping mall “our” church owns, and the billions of dollars they hold in excess, ETC.)!!!

        1. Having gone through all of this over the past year, I applaud you allowing yourself to honestly consider the truth issues that you have been struggling with. My wife and I started down the rabbit hole together, fortunately. (I was a bishop at the time.) Our journey started with a heartfelt conversation about some of the difficulties we had been experiencing with trying to live up to the standards of the gospel. We just dreamt about trying the inactive route for a while, but we really felt that we needed to make sure that what we were living was real and true. We made a pact at that time that whatever we say, or whatever conclusions we come to, we each reserve the right to change it as we go, and we promised to each respect the other’s changes. This allowed us to be very honest with ourselves and each other. Our search led us exactly where it was supposed to, away from the church and into a life of true happiness where we can reach our own conclusions. I hope that you and your husband can find a way to do this together.

          1. Post
            Author
    2. Thank You for this Podcast! As I do feel/believe that Joseph Smith had a vision, beyond his experience of a higher being running the universe, I have grave doubts. I had a personal experience that I cannot explain well in words, no, I did not have a vision. But I do believe that he believed he truly had a vision. How things evolved from that vision to the BOM, and now the Mormon Religion/Business, is a mystery in that it attracts so many people (my dad was a convert, so I grew up in it). I am numb by the hidden histories and things we were/are kept from, and this doesn’t eve cover Brigham Young’s “blood atonement” years. They didn’t even mention the thing with J.Smith putting his head in a hat to translate? Where are all of the seer stones now? Why were we not taught how he “really” translated the plates, or if he even used them? So, I am stepping out of the church, I am keeping my belief in God, and I will continue to be a good person to others. I think that should be good enough to at least get me to Heaven’s gate, regardless if they let me in or not. It’s all too stressful otherwise.

    1. Post
      Author
        1. Post
          Author
    2. Perhaps worth breaking up your listening across multiple days. No penalty for not finishing these podcasts in one sitting. I never do.

  2. There is a small parallel between the brethren sending B.H. Roberts on a mission, when he was causing too much trouble, and the current brethren demoting Dieter Uchtdorf from the First Presidency and sending him to Europe to do missionary work.

  3. I read B.H. Roberts book ‘Studies of The Book of Mormon’ and Simon Southerton’s book ‘Losing A Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and The Mormon Church back to back a few years ago and they meshed really well together I thought and couldn’t hardly put them down.

    Great interview and hope Shannon comes back for a follow up soon — I would love to hear more.
    To Theron who was complaining about an 1 hour and 45 minute interview (it was actually 2 hours and 49 min) I just wanted to say that this interview was one of the shortest I have listened to — I was just getting warmed up!

  4. I’ve taught every adult class the church offers. I’ve stated time & time again to all adult classes: “It isn’t a question of whether the church is true, rather it is an issue if the “restoration is true. The restoration is true but the result is not. The gospel remains constant. The LDS faith does not. . Thanks for a super interview.

  5. As an expansion upon the podcast, here is what was recorded happened when BH Roberts took his problems from the Riter’s 5 questions to the General Authorities (Roberts discussed this with Wesley P. Lloyd) . In answer to the question and answer problems:
    “In answer, they merely one by one stood up and bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon…George Albert Smith [later President of his church], in
    tears, testified that his faith in the Book had not been shaken by the question.”

    There was no reason, logic or fact in the answer. The answers to his questions were literally a round of appeal to authority logical fallacies.

  6. Great podcast John, thank you so much Shannon! My wife (a descendant of B.H. Roberts) and I have only been out for 1 year now. We’re still unpacking and navigating so much in this new world we find ourselves suddenly thrust into. Your research Shannon and this episode (every episode John) help bring clarity and desperately needed support and validation to those of us still experiencing the terrible pain that is a Mormon faith crises. Shannon please write that book. I think you and those like you are needed to help shine the light on truth. Great job! (A little chiasm there, beginning and ending with GREAT!) But it’s well deserved praise, this was great.

  7. John you have done so much valuable work during your podcast years. I was lied when investigating chuch. My shelf cracked very soon and I left the church. After 40 years to find out that my instincs about the hoax were right.
    This amazing podcast is a show stopper and may help to lead thousans of members away from church lies. I want to know more about Shannon. This was Super Great!

  8. Great information here. It makes me sad though. The deception and the pain it has caused so many people is just disturbing. I can understand their initial reactions. I think we’ve all felt them when we found out the truth. But to continue to in the lie after so much evidence is just shameful. These are not uneducated men who are leading the church, which means they are intentionally promoting a lie for money, power, and control. What other explanation can there be? Is there not one of them who will come clean? Oh wait, when they try they get excommunicated……oh yeah. *sigh*

  9. This much of an interview because John basically controls the narrative, but again it is also undeniable to realize that the church did put systems in place to hide the conflicting narratives of the church. However, anyone with TBM family members does this naturally and not maliciously as John Dehlin seems to imply. They don’t realize the harm it does to people’s self-esteem and they just want to avoid cognitive dissonance altogether.

    Moving forward we will have to hold on to the narrative that the church is good, even though it’s not entirely true. Otherwise, the alternative would be to just walk away from the church, but I’m not interested in walking away from the rest of my family.

  10. A very interesting and a very important podcast. I agree with you that we need more 20th (and 21st) century history. Greg Prince , Joanna Brooks and Taylor Petrey among others, have contributed significant pieces and we need more. Really good work Shannon I hope you can continue work in this area. John, thanks for letting it out in the last 40 minutes of the broadcast. I find Givens’, Riess, Mason, and their ilk to be disingenuous and mostly unhelpful. Bushman is a more subtle apologist.

    Long podcast but it flew by.

  11. The body he retrieved was probably Joseph Standing. He was shot to death in the Cohutta, Ga area ,which is just outside of Chattanooga, TN. The Church has monument to Joseph Standing. Standing’s companion at the time of his murder was Rudger Clawson.

    1. Judi,

      It is easy to get the Standing murder (1879) confused with the John Henry Gibbs and William Shanks Berry murders (1884). Roberts brought the bodies of Gibbs and Berry back to Utah, Clawson brought the body of Standing back to Utah.

  12. This interview is so important! I agree, this info needs to go viral. Shannon, please write the book. It will be a best seller! One of my very favorite interviews so far. Thank you.

  13. Great Podcast! Any chance I could get a link to Dallin H. Oaks talk when he is speaking to the F.A.R.M.S. people? Thanks.!

    1. Is this it?
      https://rsc.byu.edu/historicity-latter-day-saint-scriptures/historicity-book-mormon

      Great interview John – Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,

      Those who accept the Book of Mormon for what it claims to be, may not so state their
      case that its security chiefly rests on the inability of its opponents to prove a negative.
      The affirmative side of the question belongs to us who hold out the Book of Mormon to
      the world as a revelation of God. The burden of proof rests upon us in every
      discussion…

      This calmed me – Thank you, – Contrast that with footnote 28 and Dallin Oaks saying the burden is on those apposing the BoM to prove the BoM is not as claimed. Basically D.O. is claiming Russell’s Teapot idea orbiting the sun – Which is ironically fitting considering he works for a russell.

  14. I emailed a document from Dialogue with more information on the questions passed along to BH Roberts. Basically is was a chemist/botanist named Crouch who was stationed at a Utah research station and a Utah State University undergrad (William e riter) who gave a BOM to Crouch and asked him to study it. Crouch at that point was 33 and had already written scientific papers still cited today, so he knew how to read critically. He then wrote the questions and gave them to the undergrad who sent the, to talmage.

  15. Thank you to your guest. This was a great interview and topic. It is probably the most damaging issue in my faith crisis; that information given to me in my growing up was calculated and manipulated to produce a desired outcome. I see now that it has been a heavy dose of “how does it make you feel” and don’t worry about the facts or of logic.

    1. Bravo-Shannon Caldwell Montez. Well done. Appreciate you sharing your research and I look forward to the next round of interviews.

      I’d buy that (#gaslighttheworld) proposed book in a heartbeat. 😉

  16. The Brethren are aware of all these issues, but they disagree as to what stance to have. Some, like Oaks, believe that science will “yet” vindicate the Book of Mormon as history, but not yet. Others believe that The Book of Mormon is probably an inspired story. Others refuse to “think” about the issue and can’t understand why some think about it. Monson was open to “new” interpretations of the Book of Mormon. However, Nelson is not open to it. He does not consider them, nor think about them, and does not understand why anyone would do so.

    1. Post
      Author
    2. I agree with John. The things you say about current Q15 and how they deal with this stuff all sound completely plausible to me, but I’d like to know whether this is based on real inside knowledge or just speculation.

  17. Echoing others, this was a really intriguing subject. Thanks to Shannon for pulling these threads of the history together. Looking forward to learning more about these informal discussion groups, which I gather is at the heart of the thesis.

    I’m also looking forward to hearing more about Shannon’s personal journey, since my ears perked up when it came up she grew up in Kaysville since that’s also where I grew up. That’s just one of the things I like about Mormon Stories even though my faith crisis period is many years in the rearview mirror. I like to hear about people who started out in a similar place (at least mentally and spiritually) to me and how their lives have taken unexpected turns when confronted with a different perspective on their faith.

  18. John and Shannon,

    As I sit here crying, I want to tell you thanks from the bottom of my heart for this episode. I have been struggling for a long time with my personal cognitive dissonance between what I was taught to believe (and what as a faithful missionary taught myself!), and what I know and believe now. I cry for the loss of decades of happiness wasted in search of some non-existent artificial position-of-being. I cry for all the times I failed as a husband and father because my personal blindness. I cry for the loss of my personal free agency, and the free agency of nearly all of my beloved family.

    Just because you fail to see any shackles does not make you any less a prisoner.

    And I know not where your personal belief lies now, but if you pray, ask a little grace for me as I try to share your message with those I love.

  19. I’ll be damned ,a swear word I heard more than a few times growing up at the feet of a pretty darn honest jack Mormon . later in life as I neared going on a mission, he reactivated and did a lot for the church, and really solidified his testimony of Christ and his hopes for eternity ,as he did many great things in the lives of his children and friends he was pressured often to take more time and become a temple worker .he didn’t ,he was happy to be in charge of cleaning the church and greeting folks at the door before sacrament meeting, he didn’t let his hope ruin his faith . I have looked many times into B H Robert s life, honestly is the basis of obtaining that coveted position of being numbered in the lord’s kingdom .for mr Roberts as well as my father facing the test of life is to be steadfast in your hope, if faith isn’t doing it’s job in your life . .Mark Twain describes it in a quote( be good and you will be lonesome be lonesome and you will be free) mr Roberts couldn’t very well free himself as his life was very much a part of the narrative. It must have been harrowing for him as it is for us going through this revelation that is modern Mormonism . We’ll all be damned, I guess is the best way to put it . Jimmy buffet s song( that’s what living is to me )has become the back drop to my slow departure from orthodox membership. Hope is still alive within my bones. but I will be happier when truth is associated with honesty and not apology . Great interview John I commend you for your honesty. But I like many others am waiting for instruction from my father. He is passed but his wisdom still remains And loneliness should never be mistaken for steadfastly standing on higher ground one day we will all be free and the chains of association will be replaced by the freedom of expression and love

  20. Super session Shannon and John thanks for your efforts.

    Looking at a couple of related things together – the Oaks (a true lawyer wordsmith) BoM historicity speech and the latest Restoration video where joseph smith ‘translates’. In the video you can see great care was taken to skirt around and not show the stone in the hat. It is only me or is it becoming increasing obvious that the church has multi million dollar decisions in these two areas.

    i.e. if they come out and say the BoMormon is not historical AND finally show the stone in the hat I am guessing the $7billion (? happy to hear otherwise) p.a. in tithing will get a major hit within weeks. Half the membership will go, surely. What decisions these corporate managers, er hm, Apostles have to make. I wonder how much longer they can spin it out.

  21. I notice that a number of you say Sister Montez should write a book. Those wanting a book will be happy to know that her thesis, a 180 page book, can be downloaded from this link: https://scholarworks.unr.edu/handle/11714/6712?fbclid=IwAR0Hmo3DlNsEHu8nn_3uownmKcc_mVEQh4VLo7rokdM_fv7qc30xCok01Ls#:~:text=Abstract,premise%20of%20their%20religious%20beliefs.&text=In%20fact%2C%20it%20is%20often,the%20contents%20of%20his%20studies.
    I haven’t read it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

  22. I haven’t yet had the time to listen to the Pod Cast, but I read the the thesis. Brilliant. I have long been aware of B.H. Roberts and his concern with the historicity of the Book of Mormon and about the clear parallels with “A view of the Hebrews” This information has been out in the ether for years but has seemingly had little impact on the True Believers. “Seek and ye shall find, knock and it will be opened unto you”.

  23. Wonderful interview!

    Questions for Shannon, if she would be kind enough to clarify Heber J. Grant’s comments on the meetings with Roberts.

    You mentioned in your thesis that there were notes from both Arrington and the Church History Library quoting different accounts for the same days of 4th, 5th, and 26th of January 1922 by stating the following:

    “*Typed excerpts from Arrington papers. Church History Library staff could not locate the originals.”

    “-Less detailed Journal entries from Church History Library:”

    I’m confused by the fact the Church History Library had a different account from Arrington’s papers.

    So what documents where the Church History Library staff not able to locate? Arrington’s papers or Heber J. Grant’s notes/journal?

    And why would Arrington’s papers have different account from Grant’s shortened journal entries for the same days?

    What is the process asking for documents from the Church History Library?

    Again, thanks much for writing and sharing a wonderful thesis.. I have learned a great deal.

    1. Leonard Arrington has typed excerpts from Heber J. Grant’s journal in his papers. It appeared he was collecting references to these meetings into one document.

      Grant apparently had two journals, one that was brief notes, the other was one where he would go into more detail (apparently the one Arrington was using). The church history library was able to locate the shorter entries but claimed not to know where the longer journal entries were and that they did not need to look because I clearly already found that information through Arrington.

      The process for requesting information is to find a call number for a set of documents in their computer catalogue and make a request (this requires that the papers are even in the system). If the papers are “closed,” you can request a review and a committee will decide whether or not to grant access to the papers after asking why you want the information and what it will be used for. The committee can will then either grant or deny access to the papers requested.

  24. Wow, sad to see Mormon Stories become a place where angry people go to have their frustrations shouted back at them.
    Once John tried to see the world from more than a grievance-confirming perspective. No pretense of that anymore.

    As a no-longer-literal believer I appreciate when these discussions are rounded out. We’ve learned that early church leaders turned a blind eye to anachronisms like horses and steel and The View of the Hebrews. Aren’t most of us guilty of the same thing? For many it takes years of being conscious of these things before they leave. Seems predictable, if disappointing, that they would react that way.

    Are we really that much holier then they? I mean common people, if ever there were a group that should know that church leaders are flawed it’s this one.

  25. John it is good to see that you are passionate about the things that the church has done to hurt people and is still doing.

    It’s good to hear your frustration at the lies the church has told and how it controls peoples choices.

    Most of us will suffer the consequences of our devotion for the rest of our lives and struggle to regain and recuperate what we have lost

    I can’t help but every day suffer part of that day recognizing how deeply I have been hurt

  26. John thanks for your courage in speaking out against the horrible things the church has done in all our lives. Mainly lying and taking away our choices

  27. If the church “knew” the BoM was fake in 1921 then why did they set up the NWAF in 1952? The church was actually a significant sponsor of Mesoamerican archaeology. That suggests to me that they thought they’d find something. I suspect that in 1921 when first confronted with some of this that they reacted exactly the way Roberts described and exactly the way Talmage describes in his journal.

  28. This podcast is yet another data point on why many members don’t just leave, but leave feeling that they’ve been lied to by those who they trusted most.

  29. John
    You bring out so many great things but your little digs into the Bible being a myth and a worldwide flood not being true shows that you are not fully informed. There is a Gap Theory re the space of time between creation and Adam and Eve being on the earth Every day evolution is losing ground but one has to be willing to investigate both sides. 😉. And then all the artifacts they are finding in Israel That demonstrates the truth of the Bible. Plus the work of David Rohl snd othets that there was a mistake in dating events in Egypt. Go to this link and it explains it all
    https://youtu.be/QEm-ovpMM5c

    And then of course there is the evidence of the worldwide flood. There are amazingly brilliant scientists who never have lost their faith. Only Listening to atheist scientists is not the answer. One must view both arguments

    So though you have lost your faith in God, please stop trying to promote atheism upon others.

  30. Wow! Another grand slam interview of a really interesting interviewee about a fascinating and important topic. Can’t wait to hear the rest.

    Also: thank you, John for calling out the so-called “neo-apologists” who continue to provide cover for the LDS Mormon church leaders who have known about and covered up these truths for so long. As personable as they may be, the net result of their efforts is not cool.

    I’m not completely sure, but I think you forgot, as you listed their names, the anesthesiologist from Logan who’s always defending polygamy. Nice guy and a heck of an anesthesiologist, but defending JS’s polygamy…. not cool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.