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  1. This was so good for me to hear! I can so relate with Linda, as a daughter and a mother. The church hurts family relationships so much. I look at the times that I drew an arbitrary line between myself and my loved ones—all because I was a member and they were not—and I want to weep. So glad for your entire family that the church can no longer stand in the way of your family relationships!

  2. John, you are normally an excellent interviewer but you really blew it on this one. If you go back and listen to yourself you will see how you worked and manipulate to get her to give your narrative to the story. Most of the time you normally let your guests tell their story. You blew it on this one!

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    2. I agree that you were, John, leading the witness, your Honor. Not cool. Contrived. Forced. If she has comments on the business aspect of the church, let her make the statements.

    3. I really enjoyed the bit of factual content of this one. It took a while to get there but it was interesting about how the writing gets done. Those stories kept me listening.
      Savanna should go on tic tok . She is the typical tic tok teenager who’s whole life has been turned upside down because the leaders were trying to do some good for her but ended up ruining her whole young life. We all know the church is not correct but the people are trying to be good. Slowly, I think everyone will come around, but most people have good intentions. Is the glass half full or half empty?
      I wanted to hear more from Linda but savanna wouldn’t let Linda tell her story.
      John, I have to agree with ‘listener’, you do try and lead with how you want their story to go..

    4. That’s what good interviewers do people. I thought this was an excellent MS episode. Ask Linda and Savannah if they felt manipulated or led to make certain statements. I’d be interested in that feedback. Otherwise, I thank them both for their story and their insight.

  3. Thank you JD for providing us stories that are very educational. LDS Church operates so differently in my scandinavian country. I had never heard about Deseret Ranches and how church treated those people who were sacked when not needed. I bet that majority of active members are not aware of the dark side of the Mormon church, and so you John are doing valuable job revealing those practices that actually harm people.

  4. Thank you for your time spent on Savannah’s patriarchal blessing! So much resonated with me. For years I felt like a sinner because my patriarchal blessing was short. As a grown, newly married woman, it again made me feel inadequate and like there was something wrong with me. We went through years of infertility and eventually adopted. However, the things in my blessing made me a hot mess. I felt that i had offended god and that I would die young because I couldn’t have babies. I ended up in therapy. Now…2 years out of the church, some issues with my son have again brought me back to that damn blessing and once again, I feel at fault!

    1. Tracy, I’m sorry that you’re own blessing was so hurtful. Would it help for you to see how standardized many blessings have been throughout the years? You aren’t the only one to feel like a failure. We are each so different with different needs and abilities and desires. It’s hard to feel condemned, it’s also hard to realize you were misled by something that wasn’t necessarily “revealed” just for you. “Unique to you” seems to actually be “stick to the pattern, hit the highlights without being too specific, and make it all conditional on their behavior.” Again, I’m sorry for your pain.

  5. You asked Linda if it was fair to say the church wants women to fit into a mold of becoming a mom. You referenced her patriarchal blessing as something that facilitates this church programming. I don’t think that is fair at all. I was born and raised on the San Francisco Peninsula (thank goodness not in Ut or Id) and this was not my experience! I was encouraged by leaders including my YW Pres to pursue higher education and a career. Even my blessing talks about my educational and career goals and how the Lord supported me and would help me to become all I could be.

    1. It really seems to depend on where you live and leadership roulette even within the YW organization and even the patriarch. I was honestly surprised that staying at home and forgoing a meaningful education/career is still being pushed TODAY in places like Utah county—and I live in Sat lake! It is so incredibly shortsighted in 2021. And so harmful to women. Even if they stay married, a couple’s Social Security benefits will not be as large if the wife’s not had her own fairly well compensated career. It hurts their retirement earnings, something the church should consider when it comes to seniors serving missions.

      I agree with you that there are actually plenty of examples from church leadership encouraging young women to pursue higher education.

  6. Wonderful interview. Linda thank you for sharing! I really liked the inside view of your work with the church. I have always felt there are at least 2 churches, the “gospel” side and the “business” side. Sometime members have a hard time seeing that they are different. I think the fact that the church was so financially strapped for the first 40+ years, to the point of coming very close to going bankrupt at least a couple times, they have made sure it never happens again hence the over the top wealth. Is that a bad thing? Some say yes, I say no, I get both sides though. I personally would rather have the church be rich than poor. Dedicatory Prayers have been scripted since day one but I can see how that may be odd to know for some members. Pres. Nelson changes are, IMO, his personal checklist that he has had for years that he pushing through before he dies. I honestly think if Oaks out lives him, he will make some changes that will pull back that absolute power that Nelson/Presidents of the church clearly has had.

    God bless you and your family. As a TBM, I would have loved to have your family in my ward ! Best to you all in your new chapter of life.

    John, thanks again for a great interview.

  7. By far, this is one of the best podcast episodes yet. Thank you for sharing your stories Linda and Savannah!

    (I’m not much of a Tik-Tokker but I may give it a shot!)

  8. Loved hearing about Linda’s experience behind the scenes as a writer for the church. Very eye-opening. Savannah is very articulate and I kept wanting to hear more from her. I wish she had been allowed to speak more without constant comments interspersed by Linda.
    I look forward to more interviews with women.

  9. I am normally critical of Mormon Stories and certainly of John’s leading questions adding flavor to the interview but this episode must be considered one of the best ever produced.

  10. I have been thinking about the “prophecy “ Pres . Nielson stated of not using the word Mormon anymore. I wonder how much of that may have to do with “Mormon stories”?
    Interesting to think about. John And the Mormon stories podcast is definitely making a huge impact if the church president wants the name change.

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  11. Church: “women can’t have conversations with God; take down her video!”
    Also Church: “Woman:! Pen a dedicatory prayer which I, a priesthood bearer ,will speak to God but no will know a woman actually wrote it.”
    This just exemplifies what we already knew; women can do it all in the church.

  12. Sorry about the late comment, but I think the other Apostle that Linda was trying to remember was Robert D. Hales. He preceded Monson’s death by only a few short months. I know this because I was in Church employment at this time, too. This also stuck with me because Hales gave a talk where he had spoken about my grandfather, so I followed him a little more closely. Thank you for your interview, Linda and Savannah! Much of what you have described matches my experiences leading up to my own exodus.

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