In this episode, Dave begins by discussing his LDS pioneer ancestry, and his early years in the LDS church as a faithful, science-loving boy from St. George. He then discusses early doubts he began to have regarding his LDS faith as he explored the field of epistemology (the study of how we know things). In spite of these doubts, Dave chose to serve an LDS mission in the Australia Sydney Mission (1979 to 1981 timeframe), and during this time struggled with the pressure tactics employed by his mission president (Orson Wright). Ultimately, to Dave’s surprise, Orson Wright was removed from the mission for propositioning the sister missionaries of the mission to be his polygamous wives — and the reasons for President Wright’s removal from the mission were covered up by LDS Church leadership including Thomas S. Monson and Joseph B. Wirthlin.
This episode provides a fascinating look into the issues of: 1) how we come to feel as though we “know” things, and 2) how LDS church members (and members of other religious faiths) can be manipulated into claiming religious knowledge through emotional means.