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  1. Dear John

    Are you still doing Mormon Stories? I always hoping you will do an interview with Andy Poland or Bart Pascoal. (Bart is of “Mormon Infographics” fame).

    Thanks!
    Charles

  2. I care deeply about your success. My concern is that I have made my transition out between my ears. I have six really great children. Some in some out. So my wife and I a straddles. One leg in and one leg out. We want to support our active kids 100% and our inactive kids 100%. And the most beautiful experience I have had other than the third day of our honeymoon (ha ha) is watching the acceptance going both ways. Thankfully our last child gets married in the temple this Saturday. So we’re through all the ordinance issues.

    Last month one of our grandsons sustained a terrible injury to his eye at a young men’s dodge ball activity using tennis balls. I only mention this so that someone will avoid a tragic injury. However, the leg supporting our active kids “kicked” in and even though I live in a different state, I emailed him a priesthood blessing. You can call it what you want but there were numerous miracles to my daughter, wife and myself. So you might have a podcast on the “Gene Autry, Back in the Saddle Again” transition method.

    It’s really hard after 63 years of living the gospel faithfully to just overnight change my thinking. Once I heard of the accident I completely “forgot” I didn’t believe in the church, etc etc. I acted completely without remembering my position. I guess there are no inactive grandparents when a grandson is concerned.

    Okay, that was the good news. I heard your announcement of only getting one donation from ten of thousands of listeners. I was not the one. I was saddened to hear the lack of support.
    Frankly I think we are all so pissed off at all the tithing that we have become reluctant donors. I also think John and Margo that we get the message and unfortunately your podcast to me is like a great weekly show on TV.

    A year or two ago I would have seriously considered making a significant monthly donation. However I hear what your talking about and have come to 100% of the same conclusions. Admittedly some by error unfortunately but nothing serious happened because the mistakes were made with my wife and we were and are madly in love with each other. She said exactly what Margo said about John. She trusted me and knew how much I loved the gospel, I had studied enough over 2 years, 18 hours a day (I’m bedridden from a terrible disease) before coming to a firm conclusion. It took two years because I was trying to find one significant issue that wasn’t messy. And the more I read the messier it got, so then went to next topic. Repeat repeat repeat.

    I’m not sure people will donate when you offer it for free. Mormons are cheap or frugal depending on where you are in your transition.

    If you want money do seminars. That’s the bad news. I hope Margi’s unconditional love still extends to me. If not I don’t blame you. You pick a poor audience for donations I’m afraid. I HOPE I’M WRONG.

    1. I suspect the donations dwindle because I think that people need this for a time while they are transitioning and then once they pick themselves back up, they don’t want to dwell on it anymore, so they pass through it and move on.

      I still do not know entirely where I stand, but I do know that I can only handle so much at once. Sometimes it just gets too heavy and I have to take a break. I don’t know how John does this for a living. It’d make me very depressed.

  3. Thanks to all of you. This discussion really helped me think through timing, intent, who and how, and if I even tell anyone other than my wife. I appreciate the hard lessons you have been through and your willingness share with others. Keep up the great work you are doing.

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  4. Was very interesting to listen to. My transition was very private; although I have been out for over four years most my extended family and friends have no idea I officially resigned my membership. It seems that many who give announcements on social media or anywhere else are mainly seeking attention. I did not feel I owed anyone an explanation, it is none of their business. The only thing I told Bishop is I do not believe it anymore please release me from all callings because I am not coming any longer. Leaving does not need to be as dramatic as many make it.

    1. “Leaving does not need to be as dramatic as many make it.”

      When mormons stop reacting dramatically to a family member or friend leaving the mormon church, then the curtain comes down and the play is over.

  5. I often think of a line from the Matrix (excuse the movie reference, but the Matrix is heavy in actual philosophy). Morpheus tells Neo, “Most of these people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.” I was once one of those people, so I understand it when I see it.

    Thank you for this podcast. I officially stopped attending last year after a few agonizing tries following the November policy changes. What I’m struggling the most with right now is how to talk to my TBM mom, who already knows our family has stopped attending and would be upset if it was just me, but I think it’s amplified x100 since my kids are involved, who she thinks I’m leading down the path of darkness. The most I have told her of my transition is that I came to realize that I had been unhappy in the church for a long time but wouldn’t admit it to myself, which is true, and I thought would be easier for her to deal with than all of the other reasons (the policy led me to an open mind to investigation). While I think there are good things in the church that my kids were taught, I also think there were very detrimental things that were taught that impacted my mental health as a teenager. Before we left, I saw my teens experiencing some of that as well. I’ve told TBM mom that I’m making deliberate parenting decisions (i.e., this isn’t the kids being left out because I’m a lazy jack mormon), but I’m still getting passive aggressive comments. I’m not sure how to deal with these without being more blunt, which would be very hurtful for her.

  6. Thank you so much for this podcast. It has given me some great ideas on how to communicate with my TBM friends and family. At this point in time I am an Agnostic Mormon (riddle me that one?) Still a member and attending church 75% of the time, but I am mentally checked out as far as Mormon belief. That being said, I still love the Mormon people, they are not evil, just misguided. I also love and agree with the Matrix reference above. It’s my favorite rated-R movie … haha.
    I will start donating to Mormon Stories and other great charities this year since Tithing is now off the table 🙂 I don’t need to keep feeding the beast.
    Keep up the good work.

  7. When people are caught up in a toxic world view of any kind, their minds will normally be closed to new information that might challenge their sense of reality even if that world view is pure illusion. People caught up in doctrines that hurt others will not be able to have eyes to see the damage the doctrines are causing. Normally the individual capital that they have invested coupled with incentives within the world view maintain them mostly though emotion. I think of Carolyn Jessop who gives a concrete life’s example of the illusion that even she clung to until her suffering pushed her beyond the mind barriers of her toxic world view within the FLDS. For me two things I try to gradually bring to the table in a variety of social constructs is 1. Educate the mind of others in how to properly think. Most poisoned constructs dumb people down in their capacity to think properly. So, I try to read and find any way that I can to enliven the thinking process within myself and then throw those methodologies out to others in order to expand their capacities to think. Helping others expand their minds to new information prepares the soil of the mind to be willing to say, “I could be wrong” and still be accepting of themselves. I do this in safe arenas to begin with and them move forward as allowed. 2. Always manifest the truth. Natural Law indicates that there is absolute moral and scientific truth. Solipsism would indicate that truth is relative. This is a lie. The quest is to find truth, even if one cannot find what is, apophatically one can find out what is NOT true and manifest that. It is NOT negative to manifest the truth of something that is not true or is an illusion. Otherwise when would the journey from lies, untruths and illusion begin to determine reality and truth? The foundation to my personal methodology to determine truth is, “What kind of man am I? I am one of those who would be glad to be refuted when saying a thing that is untrue. Glad also to refute another if he said something inexact. Not less to be refuted than to do it to another: since I deem it the greater blessing, in proportion as it is the greater good, to be released from that which is the greatest evil, than to release another from it.” I ask myself three questions. What do I know? How do I know it? Does it matter? These may be aggressive at times, but can be posed to others. Syllogistic chains of reasoning can lead to illusion as well as the truth. When we discover what is NOT true, it is ok to manifest that. Our self-concept and WILL must be sufficient to cope with the potential alienation of others. It would appear that that is just the way it is.

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