What would cause a sitting Mormon bishop and his wife to lose their testimonies while he is serving as bishop – leading him to resign as bishop? Jeanne and Jason’s story is another in a series of episodes where we interview past Mormon bishops.
The two describe raising their four children in the church, their varied callings, and how inextricable Mormonism was in their marriage and worldview. Jason’s first call to a bishopric was not one he felt ready or spiritual enough for. Moved by the words of President Hinckley to “Forget yourself and go to work,” he accepted and immediately went to work. “He was a good bishop,” affirms Jeanne. Jason “upped his ‘spiritual game’” by eliminating hard rock from his music collection. Jeanne and their children made similar steps to fit the mold.
Once called as Bishop, Jason began reading the LDS Gospel Topics Essays, beginning with “Race and the Priesthood,” which caused him to reflect on 2 Nephi Chapter 5 as well as his own experience teaching individuals in New Zealand. “It shook my confidence in the scriptures. It never occurred to me that prophets could be wrong…in ways that affect people’s lives.” These essays served as the beginning of a series of events that eroded Jason’s testimony.
Jason was further shaken by being invited to interview as a candidate for Stake President, causing him to wonder if such callings were really the result of inspiration or perhaps the leadership were just ordinary people doing the best they could. Expressing these concerns to Jeanne caused her grief, wondering how her husband could still be a good in person if he left the church.
Around this time, Jason found Mormon Stories Podcast, which helped him learn more about challenging issues in the church. Issues for Jason began to mount as he learned about individuals who questioned doctrine and did not receive sufficient answers. Jason goes on to describe what it’s like to remain a Bishop after losing confidence in fellow priesthood leaders. As both of their testimonies crumbled, Jeanne and Jason describe being “heartbroken.”
What does this bishop do as he, his wife, and his family lose their testimonies?
Join us now on Mormon Stories Podcast to hear the full story. You will not find more sensitive and thoughtful people than Jeanne and Jason Booth.
Part 1 – A Faithful Couple Meets and Begins a Faithful Family:
Part 2 – Jason Booth is Called to Positions in Bishoprics Where His Testimony Beings to Falter:
Part 3 – How Jeanne and Jason Dealt with Their Changing Faith:
Part 4 – Life After Orthodoxy – How Jeanne and Jason Booth are Doing Since Leaving the Church:
Links to topics referred to in these episodes:
- Mormon Stories Podcast 173-177: Carol Lynn Pearson – Mormon Author, Poet, Playwright, Feminist, and Philosopher
- Mormon Stories Podcast 388: Carol Lynn Pearson and “The Hero’s Journey of the Gay and Lesbian Mormon”
- Mormon Stories Podcast 767-768: Navigating Progressive Mormonism with Carol Lynn Pearson, Jana Riess, and Jana Johnson Spangler
- Mormon Stories Podcast 860-861: Carol Lynn Pearson – The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy
- Carol Lynn Pearson’s website and books
- Salt Lake Tribune coverage of Gospel Topics Essays
- Book of Abraham Gospel Topics Essay
- Mormon Stories Podcast 348-349: Simon Southerton, DNA, Lamanites, and the Book of Mormon
- Mormon Stories Podcast notes on Lowry Nelson
- Doug Fabrizio’s Radio West interview with Joanna Brooks
- Year of Polygamy Podcast
- Todd M. Compton’s In Sacred Loneliness
- LDS Student Manual Church History and the Fulness of Times
- Richard Lyman Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling
- Mormon Stories Podcast 229-230: Understanding Scrupulosity within the LDS Church
- Mormon Stories Podcast 323: Scrupulosity, OCD and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with John Dehlin
- Secular Buddhism Podcast with Noah Rasheta
- Mormon Spectrum Map
- Mormon Stories Podcast 701-704: Kim Sandberg Turner, Founder of WOCA – Navigating a Mormon Faith Transition as a Grandparent
- Dan Vogel’s Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet
- Brian Hales’ Joseph Smith’s Polygamy
- Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion
- Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ
- Laura Harris Hales’ The Reason for Faith
- Patrick Q. Mason’s Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt
- Terryl Givens’ The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith