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  1. Wow nice to meet you Claudia. I too am a European counterfeit!!! I’ve been here for 17 years this February. I’ve learned a great deal. It was great to get your insights. I’m near Amsterdam. I hope this Europe podcast takes off. If you are interested in topic suggestions contact me.

    1. Thanks so much, Gail! We’re absolutely looking for people to talk to, and hope to find more Europeans — counterfeit ones as well. 🙂 So far it’s just me and Henning. His story is the next one we have lined up. After that we’ll have to see how it goes. So we’ll be in contact. And anyone else out there who is interested or has any ideas, like our page and send us a Facebook message! http://www.facebook.com/mormonstorieseurope

  2. I just listened to all the episodes of this podcast tonight, Claudia I really enjoyed hearing your story and perspective. I was especially interested in your experience with the asylum seekers, and your drawing the parallels between Mormonism and Muslim women’s roles.

    I was raised in a family of 5 daughters and we had no gender role delineations at home but in our church culture we understood that we had responsibilities to behave as was expected of women. It was odd to go from home to our broader culture and have to change ourselves accordingly in order to feel as though we were valiant or ‘proper’ Mormon women.

    All of it left a very bad taste in my mouth, my parents tried to instill in us that our opinions mattered and that there was nothing we couldn’t do. And then our spiritual leaders spent the rest of the time making us feel that we were wrong in thinking this. We were always a little too loud, a little too smart, a little too willing to give our opinions.

    I love listening to Mormon Stories podcasts as it is comforting and lets me know I am not alone.

    Your voice is much needed! As an American it is easy for us to think of ourselves as the center of the universe and pretend that all culture and society starts and ends with us. We are quite good at jingoism. It’s one of our most popular exports. 😉 Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us all.

    1. Thanks so much, Plastraa. I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up in a non-Mormon area where daily life at school and work provided me with an alternative viewpoint to what I was hearing at church every Sunday. In any case, I know there are many other women and girls with a Mormon background who struggle with these things, and that’s why I wanted to focus on that aspect of my story in particular.

  3. Claudia

    I so enjoyed listening to your story. It resonated with me on several levels. I was especially affected by your comparison of Mormon and Muslim attitudes on women. What an eye opener. Thank you for sharing your perspective.
    Angie

  4. I enjoyed this so much. I particularly was interested, Claudia, in your experiences with the Muslim people and the parallels between the Muslim and Mormon religions. I have two nieces, both who were born and grew up in the Mormon religion, who have left Mormonism and joined with the Muslim religion. Both wear the hijab.

    Thank you so much, Mormon Stories. I’m keenly interested in these subjects, having lived very devoutly for most of my life in the Mormon religion, and now having the opportunity to learn from these intelligent and thoughtful discussions.

    What a beautiful photo of you, Claudia, with your cat!

    1. Thanks so much for listening and for your kind words, Lois. 🙂 So interesting about your nieces. From Mormon to Muslim must be a fascinating story.

  5. Thanks so much for a fine interview Claudia. The two of you should certainly expand Mormon Stories Europe as I’m sure there is much to be learned.

    I suspect there is at least a partial American audience. I was born into the church, but in an area well outside the Wasatch Front tithing belt. I became uninterested at an early age and had become an atheist by the time I entered college. I’ve always lived in areas with a very low density of Mormons. Even so, after all these years, I realize there is still a lot of being culturally Mormon in me. I follow the word of wisdom, am closely linked to family, tithe my time to help friends and so on. I would consider myself a culturally Mormon atheist for lack of a better label (and as you mention, atheist is a poor label as it carries a bad connotation for many).

    Your comments on Islam were fascinating and in line with my experiences. We have a close friend who is, for lack of a better description, a culturally Muslim atheist. She is one of the most hospitable and kind persons I’ve ever met and her core values outside religion and politics are very Mormon. We’ve joked that culturally Mormon and Muslim atheists may well be the same, although her journey was exceptionally difficult.

    The experiences of transitioning and transitioned Mormons far from Utah are different from those in the state and the stories are equally interesting, although the audience may be different.

    I encourage you to set up a website or at least a simple blog. There are some, myself included, who have left Facebook as it can be too much of a time sink:-)

    good luck!!

    1. Thanks for your comments and for listening, Steve. I do hope that we’ll eventually be able to get Mormon Stories Europe really off the ground. The biggest hurdle seems to be to get people to talk. We were anticipating that that would be a challenge, but I think it may be even more difficult than we thought. A lot of Europeans tend to be reserved and religion is generally a private matter, especially in Scandinavia. I guess only time will tell.

    1. Hi, Bog. I don’t personally know of any Danes in the Mormon Stories groups or forums. Surely there must be some, but the Swedes seem to be much more active online.

  6. I am a never (and never tempted) Mormon with dear connections in the Mormon world and therefore an interest in what goes on in it. I have also been an avid listener of Mormon Stories for a number of years. This Mormon Stories Europe podcast was very good and I learned a number of things from it that I did not know before, most because of its European perspective. I got a hint that Mormons in other countries have different perspectives and priorities listening to a podcast or two of Gina Colvin’s. This set of three podcast made it much clearer and has given me something (much, actually) to think about.

    I would like to second Claudia Fox Reppen’s almost last statement, please do put Hennig Mueller on the hot seat and allow us to learn about him and his story. If he is going to be a regular (or main? I am not sure) MSE host, it is important that we understand his background and where he is coming from, so to speak. Knowing Claudia’s background will be helpful if/when she hosts future MSE podcasts. I do believe knowing more about Hennig’s story and his perspective (other than the short biography I found on the MS website) will add depth and relevance to his future interviews. Keep up the good work.

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