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  1. Wow!

    Thank you so much for putting that out there.
    What a touching, heart-felt, genuine interview.

    Blown away.

  2. Incredible! Shame in both mission presidents. But……. encourage Madeleine to allow Jamie to finish her thoughts/responses before she (Madeleine) interrupts if you invite them back.

  3. Madeleine and Jaime….

    I love your story and am so grateful to learn about your courageous journey. I’m so sorry for the traumatic and shameful treatment you were both made to go through on your missions. Your situation is a perfect example of how shameful the worthiness interviews are. It is also a crazy reality about leader roulette in how one Bishop or Stake President can handle a worthiness interview and the confession process, and yet another Bishop or Stake President can handle the confession process so inappropriately.

    I was glad to hear that you are going to therapy. The two of you are young and beautiful and have a great future ahead of you to enjoy. And your ongoing joy will be so much greater since you figured this all out while you are young instead of living a conflicted life for decades. I wish the church would create a therapeutic education fund to pay for all of the trauma and shame it has brought on people with individual cases that are so varied and different. How cool would it be for the church to admit that religious transitions have caused severe depression, sadness, divorces, and even suicide? How cool would it be for the church to defer a few million dollars each year out of the $32 Billion on the stock market to help people that have found themselves in a faith/personal crisis and to use the money to seek appropriate therapy rather than to be harassed by Priesthood Leaders that don’t have a clue. It will never happen, but one can dream!

    It is interviews like this that make it so important to financially support Mormon Stories and other podcasts that get the messaging out there about the Mormon Church. Thank you John for what you are doing and for bringing so many different stories to light.

    Good luck to you Madeleine and Jaime! I hope you have a great and happy life together. You have helped a lot of people today with this interview.

  4. Jamie and Madeleine, your love story—the love you have for each other and for your authentic selves—inspired me and gave me hope for the world in which my children are growing up. Madeleine’s beautiful, intense integrity and open-mindedness are a great example of the “fruits” of LGBTQ parents (to use an LDS phrase). I loved hearing how the two of you were drawn to each other as human beings, not as boy and girl or priesthood holder and whatever the female counterpart to that is supposed to be. I loved how this made it a non-issue for Madeleine to learn that Jamie felt compelled to begin identifying openly as a trans woman.

    You have both been through so much in your short lives, and you’ve used it to make you stronger and to build up the people and community around you. Utah needs people like you, and I hope you continue your activism of love. I wish you all the best and hope you can come back on Mormon Stories to discuss more about Jamie’s transition, about how parents and family can support non-gender-binary paradigms in a practical way, and about how feminist/women’s empowerment groups can do a better job of integrating the LGBTQ community. Thank you for sharing in such a vulnerable and powerful way!

  5. I have only listened to part 1 so far, but I am so moved by this story. The authenticity is so beautiful. I have not had such a good experience being authentic and I feel that I need to hide my queerness.

  6. I love these two so very much!!! Jaime reminds me of my tender nephew that committed suicide because of not fitting into this world. My heart is full of mixed emotions as I listen to the unbelievably sad hard things these two went through. That they seem so genuinely at peace and happy with being themselves now. How I hope there is just one young person who see’s this that felt like my nephew and finds encouragement to find a safe healthy space to live like these two beautiful people!
    Thank you for your interview. It was beautiful!

  7. This interview is blowing my mind. Beautiful. You can hear the heart <3 I love how comfortable you were always able to be with each other and how gender wasn’t a defining part of your relationship. True love, transcendent of society in a lot of ways.
    This is a question about all of the podcasts. Do you have a list of song credits for songs that play in between portions of the episode? There have been some good ones on all of these.

  8. The honesty expressed by these two is powerful stuff indeed. Others have already expressed most of the feelings this interview evoked in me so I will add just this. The good news is LDS Inc. has nothing to do with God and your personal relationship with the almighty is every bit as valid, in fact more so, than the pious jerks who claim to have authority over others. The bad news is LDS Inc. continues to mishandle and abuse those who put personal integrity above the sanctimonious pronouncements of those archaic hypocrites who stand at its’ head. Thanks John for continuing to shine the bright light of day into the dark recesses of this dishonest and secretive organization.

  9. I loved hearing your story. A suggestion to Madeiline, would be to let Jaime finish her sentences. You may not notice it much, but you cut her off all the time., and it was kind of distracting and frustrating.

    Much love to you both! Thanks for sharing your story.

  10. I was sent home early from a mission back in 1990 and the memory of the ride home from the airport is still so vivid. I cried along with you as you told your story, Madeleine. I wasn’t sent home for “worthiness” reasons but my mission experience was horrible and involved emotional abuse and gaslighting which had long-lasting impact. That feeling of being told to pack and that I’d be on a plane the next day…. Not being able to teach at the MTC, which had been a dream of mine, and not being able to fulfill my calling because of circumstances that were confusing and outside my control, caused grief that continued into my early marriage. I was still having actual dreams (when I was sleeping) that I was going to go back, even after my first child was born. I dreamed once that I was going to be leaving her and my husband to go back. There was a deep subconscious shame for having never finished my mission, but the experience also made me a more realistic and compassionate person, and gave me a deep empathy for vitims of emotional abuse. I’ve been able to help many people because, once I had healed from my experience, I could recognize and name what was happening to others. Thank you both for sharing your stories. I cried along with you, but also am so happy for the beautiful life you share no and the example you are setting for others.

  11. Thank you speakers for your wonderful and amazing accounts of Mormon faith journeys! The area of youth and young people sexuality in the realm of Mormonism is something I find interesting and helpful for me to hear.

    I am a Church convert. I joined as an older teen. I had my own Church sexuality struggles, and for me lived so many (I realize now!) unhealthy lies and self-deceptions to myself as a new Church member.

    As a child raised without the Church’s influence I had very healthy and ordinary sexual desires. At a very early age I felt no shame whatsoever to masturbate.

    Starting in preschool I loved to daily undress and pleasure my body. It became my daily sensual enjoyment time experiences, my daily moments of intimate personal exploration, orgasms, and private joy.

    I’d pleasure myself everywhere. Sometimes I’d stretch out in our family’s bathtub. Many times I’d relax on a couch, carpet, rug, or bed. Other times I’d position myself under spigots, shower sprays, and faucets. I’d even press myself against our family’s running clothes washing machine and dryer to feel the vibrations. I found ingenious places and ways to feel my body, and feel climaxes. I discovered places on my body I liked to pull, press, enter, squeeze, and touch. It wasn’t just sexual but also self touch. I’d caress my skin and feel pleasing sensations. I think it was simply exploring myself, normal sexual and enjoyable body curiosity, and feelings.

    At around eight years old I realized I must be bisexual. I felt no guilt for loving girls and boys. I was already dreaming and imagining boys and girls I liked. I’d pretend in my mind holding their hands, or imagining observing them naked, and visualizing us kissing. I actually had a very vivid and wild childhood sexual imagination. (I don’t want to make this message too long, so I won’t get into everything!) I realize now everything I was doing and feeling was healthy and even normal.

    Fast forward to high school. I am still not yet a Church member. I am still a healthy sexual person, still masturbating and enjoying my orgasms and sensual enjoyments every day. I was brought up in a home where love, feelings, and sensations of a person’s body were perfectly acceptable and expected to be cherished and enjoyed.

    I should add my non-Mormon family had introduced me to nudism when I was very young. As a child and later teen I loved to be naked. I’d often be outdoors in the sun nude especially with some of my closest friends. We’d swim without even swimsuits. We’d just have fun, playing undressed with each other in scenic spots of nature. I loved also being nude in the privacy of a home. I also loved sensual massages from others. I loved to feel hands sliding soothingly and lovingly over my skin.

    My normal directions of teen sexual desire, curiosity, and exploration expanded as I became older. Later good friends and I would masturbate together. I eventually let some masturbate me. I would masturbate them. Later we tried oral sex too. It was just normal ordinary teen discovery and sexual exploration, an ordinary evolution in teen sexuality.

    My dearest friends and I would sometimes suntan nude, talk about our feelings, and soak up the sun. There was no shame in my mind just being a sexually free teen. I even enjoyed porn and sexual fantasy with little non-Mormon guilt.

    I felt happy. I loved my body, especially my long golden hair, my big smile, my green eyes, and even the little freckles I had on my cheeks and nose. I felt special. I felt loved. I was deeply proud of myself in a very healthy way. I felt fortunate I had an attractive figure and was healthy. I wasn’t really ashamed of myself. I’d say I was very polite, sweet, and kind. I really was a very responsible and empathetic teen.

    I can understand now why Mormonism was in some ways so easy for me to join. I lived many life values the Church teaches. I didn’t even swear, and even lived as a nonmember already living the Word of Wisdom.

    But then as an older teenager investigator I was told by the Church missionaries and members that chastity and modesty were extremely important.

    It felt confusing what I was being told. I never wore clothes except in public or when people were around. I was even known earlier at my schools as the student who dressed with less clothes on at school than any of my classmates. My mother was a great defender of my body, where she eventually helped change the school district policy to permit me to wear short pants to classes. Soon boys and girls everywhere in my town were also wearing short pants to school.

    But as a Church investigator I felt lots of confusing things. The missionaries and members were saying it was wrong for me to masturbate. It was wrong for me to have sexual fantasies. It felt like it was wrong for me to even feel anything sexual or sensual.

    As a new Church member I began to feel very ashamed. I was told I had to dress more modestly, and to stop my nudism. I was instructed to no longer enjoy my nude massages with my friends. I was told I shouldn’t even suntan nude ever again. I was told I needed to put on a bathing suit or wear clothes even at desolate swimming and sunbathing spots.

    I tried. I honestly tried.

    But after my baptism I felt the normal and healthy urges and desires still existing within my body.

    I was bewildered with all the guilt and body shaming the Church preached. It was wrong for me as a baptized person to even see a photo of an undressed or scantily clad person.

    I will shorten this message by just saying I later served and completed a full time Church mission. I probably wasn’t considered worthy to go on a mission by the opinion of some of my Church leaders, but I nevertheless knew God wanted me to go anyway.

    I knew God knew I was worthy.

    I knew absolutely God didn’t care if I suntanned nude or even if I sometimes masturbated, even if I climaxed.

    I knew God loved me.

    I knew God wanted me to serve.

    I knew God knew my soul, even my desires.

    I knew God deeply wanted me to be healthy and happy, to share His love and Spirit to the world.

    I think I was an extremely positive missionary influence. I actually helped the Church to change some of its policies on how missionaries were treated as missionaries. I witnessed many great people join the Church, even entire families. I was never perfect and still sinned as a missionary, but I think I was an influence for great good as a full time Church servant.

    It’s just not healthy to shame young people for having Heavenly Parent-given feelings and desires.

    I hope one day the Church will be more accepting (even embracing!) of youth and young people human sexuality, just like Blacks now get to have the priesthood, women say prayers in Church General Conferences, sister missionaries can now wear slacks while proselytizing, or the recent changes in the Church temple ceremonies to treat sister members more equally to the brethren.

    The Church is still changing.

    I’m so sorry both invited speakers in this podcast had to go through so much disturbing and painful stuff to just be healthy, loving, obviously wonderful friends! While I have no one currently as a partner in my life, I always admire those who do find someone in this world to be love partners! My heart is with both invited presenters always! ❤️

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