In this episode I interview Shawn McCraney, author of “I was a Born-again Mormon” and host of “Heart of the Matter“, a controversial weekly Christian TV show geared towards LDS Church members.

In part 1, Shawn discusses his born again experience, and makes his best case for why LDS Church members should also seek to become Born Again.

In part 2, I ask Shawn several questions about his style, doctrine and theology.

In part 3, I ask Shawn some final questions, and he shares some closing thoughts.

Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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  1. anon February 24, 2010 at 9:18 pm - Reply


  2. BHodges February 24, 2010 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    In part one of this interview Shawn mentions the review I wrote of his book. Shawn clarifies here that he was not addicted to drugs and alcohol, but that he abused them. I apologize to Shawn for the error and I added a correction at my blog. See

  3. Aaron February 25, 2010 at 12:07 am - Reply

    John and Shawn,
    I was really impressed by this Podcast. It was nice to see the civil discussion and that several issues were address. It was so good that I sent a link to my girlfriend who is an Evangelical Christian to watch. I do agree with both of you that the LDS do not know the Bible very well at all. Also, I completely agree with Shawn that a lot of members enter into a perfectionist attitude with their life and get burned out. You both have given me a lot to think about. John, this was one of your best podcast since Margaret Tascano and Anne Wilde. Shawn, it was wonderful listening to your story and I heard you answer one of my own questions and I want to thank you for agreeing to this interview.
    God Bless,

  4. someone February 25, 2010 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Loved it! I know personally some born again mormons inside and outside the church. People who have truly come to know Christ and his mercy. I believe Shawn has a great point. Lets focus more on Jesus and his grace. I have seen too too many (especially women) to burndown in the church, because its never enough. No one ever comes to say, you have done enough.

  5. John February 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    I’m not impressed with this guy. He admits to having been a jerk. To me he still comes across as a jerk and a bit pompous. I am not a TBM and I don’t believe in the magical powers of Jesus. From listening to this interview it sounds like he has gone from one fairy tail religion to another. I wish him well in his journey threw life.

    I view mocking something as a sign of disrespect. He admits to mocking others pre born again and now that he is born again he still opening mocks others. What has changed?

    Just not impressed with this interview.

    • Lacastillo_luis20 September 18, 2011 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      Since u admit u dont believe in Jesus or totally denounce a power from above then anyone post about religion or faith is bound to be false and u will always most certainly be not impressed, u should look into other subject matters of ur interest i am sure u can be of great input in those fields.   :)

  6. MikeC February 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Is it just me, or does it seem that in part 2, the LDS Church really does have better answers for some of the tough questions about life.

    • Caroline March 11, 2011 at 11:42 pm - Reply

      Just because someone can fill in the blanks to your questions does not mean they are true. If you have itching ears, Satan will fill them.

  7. Brian February 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Wow! I was very impressed with this interview. This might be one of my favorite Mormon Stories Episodes. For the last 6 months I have been listening off and on to Shawn’s show. I have always thought that he has many great points, but have always been turned off by his methods. This was a great interview that put out a very different Shawn McCraney then the one I have been getting to know through his program. I was shocked by many of his statements and all in all impressed with the person that he appears to be. I feel a great deal of sympathy and agreement with his cause, and feel that he is actually doing something very good through his program and life. Shawn, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed on this program. It is so great to better understand your perspective.

  8. George Windes February 25, 2010 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    John, thanks for another great episode. Shawn McCraney makes for one interesting guy. He sounds like an Orange County LDS. Those of us here in California often have experience with other faith communities, or the individuals in them. I also have turned to Christ and Grace. Spend time with me in my current ward and you’ll hear it from my lips
    (especially my testimony). Members often agree with me, sometimes ignore me and occasionally glare at me… I love them all… having worshipped together in the greatest fraud (thanks Gordon B.).

    • Steve in Millcreek June 4, 2012 at 2:33 am - Reply

      George, I am confused by your closing statement: “having worshipped together in the greatest fraud”. Is that a paraphrase of GBH? When, where?

      • David May 4, 2018 at 10:01 am - Reply

        I sure you figured this out by know, but it refers to when Gordon said that the first vision either happened making it the greatest church ever otherwise this church is the greatest fraud. I think a version of the first vision did occur so we are still left somewhere in the middle.

  9. someone February 25, 2010 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    BTW, I’m myself nowadays an agnostic church going new order mormon, but I still think that those believers in the church has lot to learn from Shawn. Although I agree with John (commenter above) that he has jumped from one fairy tale to another. However, I do believe that one can have a born-again experience without Jesus, but on some spiritual level.

    • BA Christian October 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Being Born Again and having a “spiritual” experience are very different.  There is no need to be born again if you remove Christ from the equation, you just end up having a personal epiphany regarding your “spirituality”.  Being born again in itself IS a spiritual experience, but not in the way a Universalist or Agnostic might think of it. 

  10. Harvey February 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    Charged with emotion, I think a lot of people have thrown down on Shawn. He did very well for being thrown into the spot light. He is well informed, honest, will addmit when he is wrong. I have not seen a lie out of his mouth yet, I doub’t any of us will either! But that’s my opion. God Bless

  11. Mike Reed February 25, 2010 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    What a ride that interview was. I loved it. I’ve never liked Shawn much before… he’s always rubbed me the wrong way. But after this show, I think I get him now. I felt Shawn’s sincerity. I think I understand his perspective. I felt his passion for the message he shares, that he truly believes he has a calling. Thanks to you both John and Shawn. Thank you Shawn for your vulnerability and transparency (something I’ve not seen much in your show, but I will certainly look for it in the future). Thank you John for pulling out (with your questions) this side of Shawn. I watched the show last night, and have been thinking about it all day today.

  12. Ecumenigal February 25, 2010 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    I love this interview! These two guys have been the biggest influences on my Mormanity. I watched every single one of both Shawn and John’s shows up until about a year ago.

    On the grace vs. works issue… It’s a compelling idea that grace is sufficient, and I too am concerned about the bondage that people are in when they believe that salvation is dependent on works. However, I don’t think that works are just a nice thing we do out of gratitude. Works actually change our natures and refine us. That’s not to say that they are sufficient to transform us into celestial beings, but they have a transformative, conscsiousness-evolving effect.

    So I gotta say, I still think that “salvation” or our transformation into celestial beings, is a co-creative process that we participate in. That doesn’t mean that grace isn’t sufficient or that we have to feel in any way bad or even obligated. But rather than simply “gratitude” making us want to do good works, I think that being in a hurry to be closer to God makes us want to pick up an ore and start rowing along with Christ.

    • Dave_jh March 25, 2011 at 9:29 am - Reply

      Christ is the one that changes our nature. When we follow Christ he shows us to give love. Once we start giving love it makes want to help others and do nice things (works) :)

  13. Donna February 26, 2010 at 1:07 am - Reply

    I really enjoyed this Podcast. It felt like such a good discussion…I stopped attending the LDS Church in 2004 and had my name removed in 06. During my time as a member, I felt that I was born again. I took to heart, the beautiful words in Alma 5. But after a time, I did not feel that this was enough in the day to day mormon experience. I become discouraged and beat down from the constant demand of having to do more and that I was not good enough.

    At this point in time, I am committed to my personal spirituality, but not, in any way into organized religion. I have attended some Unitarian Universalist services, and find a sense of peace and inclusiveness in their services.

    • BA Christian October 23, 2011 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Donna,

      Anyone can find a false peace in something that agrees with everything and no one is incorrect, and that is what the Universalists do.  They think that the muslims, buddhists, Christians, and everyone else has something to bring to the table.  If you look at God as a just and righteous Judge, then there has to be someone that is wrong. 

      If your brother/sister/child was murdered (God forbid) and they caught the person that did it.  He was brought before the judge, convicted, and now faces sentence.  The judge looks at the man and says, to your shock and horror, “I know you have done these bad things, but since I love you, I am going to forgive you and I’m just going to let you go.  Have a nice rest of the day!”  That would make him and unfair and unjust judge wouldn’t it?  You wouldn’t trust a thing that man did right?  God has to be fair, consistant, and just in ALL things.  If we break the law, including God’s law, we have to be punished and serve our sentence.  God’s law is not subject to exceptions.  If you break even one, you are guilty of them all.  You are a convicted law breaker.  God has sentenced EVERYONE that has sinned against him to death, me, Shawn, you, everyone.  With other religions and faiths, there is no way to commute that death sentence.  But God loved us SOOO much that He sent His son Jesus to take our sentence upon him.  Because he payed our debt to God, we don’t have to die as long as we accept his gift. 

      I am so sorry you did not feel included at your LDS church.  Try some Christian churches and see what they have to say.  If you don’t want to go out, check out In Touch Ministries and watch/listen to some of the messages.  I hope you find the peace, acceptance, and love that the Truth, Jesus Christ has to offer you.  He loves you Donna and only wants the best for you.

  14. AC February 26, 2010 at 5:24 am - Reply

    This interview totally changed my views on Shawn, I’ve watched his show and gotten hot under the collar at his criticism, but watching this really made me see that I agree with 90% of what he says, even as regards directions the Church should take. Thanks so much for this interview John and Shawn. One of the best so far!

  15. Bill February 26, 2010 at 8:49 am - Reply

    I loved watching and hearing John & Shawn’s three videos. I have never in my life been so interested in hearing any one speak on video or audio as I have watching Shawn’s videos and audios on his born again Mormon site. I have also really enjoyed many of John’s Podcasts. So these three videos becomes a real powerhouse!
    I have to say another of my favoriate mormon stories podcasts was the Grant Palmer interview!
    What a class act you did John by having such great preacher on as Shawn!

  16. Chino Blanco February 26, 2010 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Two thumbs up!

  17. Mike February 26, 2010 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Another great job. – John, you are really batting a thousand lately! Shawn: I can competely relate to your point of view – thanks for sharing it with us in this way.

  18. Rebecca February 26, 2010 at 11:56 am - Reply

    I probably should repent, because there is just something I don’t like about this guy! ;)

    I haven’t read his Book or seen the Show, so this was my introduction to him & I have to say after listening to the 1st part I thought this guy is an A**ho&#! but.. as the interview went on, I started to see that while I don’t agree with him, he is sincere in his belief!

    There’s enough in the Bible to back him up, also enough to back up Mormonism, I have no intent to argue either way.

    There’s a simple beauty in the message he’s sharing, and I think we can all benefit from a little more Jesus preaching, whether that leads to a born again experience or not.

    He’s right about the focus on works in Mormonism, I’d debate that it’s all about salvation, but it is a do culture. I’m sure we’ve all seen the burnout that happens when you go nonstop always trying to do better, be a little more. That’s where I’d like to hear the message of grace! Grace from God, Grace for ourselves, and Grace for others.

    I don’t think the church would crumble if we switched from a work focus over to a grace focus, I think the church would grow stronger, would be more inviting, (hell I’d probably come back to church if I didn’t feel like I was being judged so much as understood!)

    I find a contradiction in his view that people everywhere can have a born again experience without knowing who Jesus is and evangelical Christianity. But that’s where I’m enough of a Unitarian and a Humanist to agree with him!

  19. Shawn McCraney on Mormon Stories February 26, 2010 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    […] couple of days ago, John Dehlin’s Mormon Stories released an interview with Shawn McCraney.  McCraney refers to himself as a “Born Again” Mormon.  In reality, he is an […]

  20. Kramer February 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Basically the Mormon Church was too hard for Shawn. He found Jesus and started his own ministry. I loved the interview for the fact that it opened up some of the mind and motive behind Shawn. He grasps as straws threw out his life as he says he went from one schism to another. I would like to have heard more about his child hood. What where some of his earliest memories with in the Mormon Church and the conflicts he had? What led to his youthful promiscuity? Did the church screw him up or is it something ells? He states and alluded to the difficulty of living with in the Mormon Church if a person does not have moral fortitude. I would like to hear that explored more. I do believe Shawn’s dedication is genuine. I just hope he figures it out some day and finds the peace he is looking for. In the mean time I would suggest that he be still, move slowly. For all he knows he could be leading people astray just like what Joseph Smith did. Joseph Smith was well intended, very motivated, new the scriptures, probably believed what he was teaching and he was a good speaker.

  21. Mike February 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Shawn is like a Bull in a China shop.

    With Shawn’s brash approach He’s solidifying TBM testimonies more than any thing ells. He reinforces their view that it is because of sin that people leave the Mormon faith. He fits the pattern of what TBM people think of “apostates” as he riles against the Mormon Church. He and others like him make it harder for people like my self to come out to my family and others about my disaffection with the church.

    • BA Christian October 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      We are all sinful, but TBM’s don’t see themselves as sinful because of all of their works, rights, and rituals.  No matter how “good” you are, your works are as filthy rags to God.  That’s all he meant by sins causing him and other people to leave the LDS faith.

  22. Cowboy February 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    A much better presentation of Shawn McCraney than what comes across from his show. I think I was able to appreciate his message more, I might recommend that approach his presentations this way in the future.

    I particularly liked Shawn’s observation at the end of part 1, where he stated that in many cases a persons ability to conform to the “culture” of Mormonism, is contigent upon worldly externalities. Appropriate seratonin levels, education or income, have a direct influence on this. Particularly education I think. I think the fitting parallel to this observation is the well documented correlation to crime and poverty. In an inclusive theology, how can universal benchmarks for works be applied, when social externalities can be unfairly doled. I believe the parable of the talents is a good fit here. Well said Shawn.

  23. Oz February 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    Well done John…I like the Video Versions of your interviews.

    Relating to Joseph Smith, “I can see myself conning people in ways like that.”
    Relating to Bob Millet, “A showman, as much of a showman as I am.”

    I love Shawn’s honesty, that he is not perfect man, but brotha’ don’t throw yourself under the bus.

    I like to think that I’ve had a “Born Again” experience, but now, I use the Church to help create opportunities for me to serve God. I no longer worry about all these extra THINGS, that I once thought were so vital to returning back to Him. But now, I use those THINGS as tools to serve and worship with others. For example, the Temple has become my “Meditation House.” I no longer believe that God really cares that I missed 6 months of home teaching in 2003, but now I do it to serve, befriend, and worship with others.

    That’s how I feel today, but I feel that freedom if it was to lead me elsewhere, that it would be ok.

    Thanks Shawn for being you.

  24. Clay Painter February 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    Wow! McCraney is like a block of exquisitely aged Swiss cheese. Pungent, delectable, satisfying, delicious, but his epistemology arguments were so full of HOLES that he lost some merit in my eyes.

    He’s slams Dawkins etc. (which is easy to do at times), but he lacks the education to criticize bio-diversity through evolution.

    I am supposed to believe in God because I can make a chicken curry, a chicken salad, a fish fillet and a humus!!!!!????? What?

  25. Shawn McCraney February 26, 2010 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    I’ve got new for you, Clay. YOU haven’t made any of those dishes. Not the chicken, not the curry, not the lettuce, the fish fillet nor the garbonzo beans. You can only do what all men only do – create something that has already been created for them – and then call it their creation. Humble down, bro. I think you might find more light that way.

  26. Andrew S February 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    McCraney’s point about Dawkins: “How can you see the vegetables, fruits, etc.,? How can you see the babies born and not see a creator?” was SOOOOO BAD. SOOOOO BAD.

    I mean, I thought most of the interview was very good…I think that when pointing out the problem of evil/suffering, what’s more meaningful is to ask about non-manmade suffering (e.g., while genocide might be from the fall, is an earthquake? tsunami?)

    McCraney is pretty interesting indeed…but the low points (like I mentioned above) are SOOOOOOOOO low.

  27. Clay Painter February 26, 2010 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Ah, McCraney….
    I like you. In fact, I began my post with an obvious complement. You are probably correct that my life would benefit some humility. But sorry. Many of your arguments just fell flat for me.

    all the best in your ministry.

  28. Andrew S February 26, 2010 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Kinda synthesizing my two claims with a response to McCraney’s last comment (the comment before mine)…as he says to Clay, YOU haven’t made those dishes. They were created.

    Well, when we look at the bacteria or virus that kills, injures and maims — and the DIVERSITY, the STAGGERING and AMAZING diversity of these kinds of things, which rivals our vegetables, our fruits, our meats, everything in food and everything in everything else…*WE* didn’t make those either. So, if we are going to say these things are products of a fallen world, then what we are actually doing is “creating something that has been created for [us] — and then call it [our] creation.”

    I agree, we should be very humble. But out of humility, I can’t in good conscience attribute it to God either. But when I realize that the fruits, vegetables, babies being born comes from the same source as the bacteria, poisons, virii, natural miscarriages, natural disasters, stellar destruction, I realize that it’s not convincing in the slightest to selectively attribute to God — and its not flattering in the slightest as well to attribute it any to God.

  29. Qualia February 27, 2010 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Well I was going to write about how putting forward food as being the reason to laugh at Dawkins is just… laughable, but I see andrew s has covered it. So hear hear!

  30. Qualia February 27, 2010 at 9:55 am - Reply

    But on a more constructive note, an insightful interview with a nice flow of discussion. Great production quality as well! Nice work Mormon Stories.

  31. Shawn McCraney February 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    And so the no-Godists continue to see reasons NOT to receive Him while the Godders continue to discover evidences for receiving Him. And the age-old conflict rages on and on and on. Pascal nailed the odds with his wager. Even without faith, I’d bet on his analysis over, let’s see, one Qualia, one Andrew, one Clay and, oh, we can’t forget the astute and ray of sunshine Dawkins! I will meet with ANY of you when you are ready and willing to resign from your position of intellectual superiority, and come to the cross. Until then, best wishes.

  32. Kelli February 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    John and Shawn,

    Thank you both for doing this interview. It was great. However, I agree with everything that Shawn had to say. I too was raised LDS and Shawn story sounds alot like mine. However, I have been born again for 8 years now and though Shawn was right on the money on everything. I have to disagree with one part. The homosexual part that, homosexuals can be born again and still live the life still. That tells me that if you have sin, like homosexuality that you can just ask God into your life and that He won’t transform you. To me you are saying God doesn’t have the power to heal you from those desires. Now, I have just as great as sin as a homosexual. I was an aulterous. If I was to say that I was born again and continued to cheat on my husband, then am I letting God clean house inside me. If I don’t then maybe I am not truely believing in Gods power to heal. I know I will still sin but I will fight against the sin I am already aware of like my aulterous thoughts and not put myself in a situation to be tempted. I will fall short in many ways but I am clay for God to mold. If I don’t try to open myself up to be molded have I truely given myself to Him. I say not. Because scriptures says you will now them by their fruits. That is how we can spot false phrophets. In closing, not all Christian churches go wrong on this issue. I attend a great Chruch in Draper Utah that one of our pastors was a homsexual and he has been transformed. He has been married to a awesome lady for 20 years. We do welcome and love Homomosexuals into our church and we love them because they have sin and they are welcome just like I am. So, there are Christian churches out there, even in Utah who do love and welcome and they are apart of our church. Thanks, Kelli Coplin in West Jordan Utah. I pray many peoples eyes and ears are open to the truth.

  33. Hack February 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    Why the animosity towards Millet? It seems Millet and Robinson come to many of the same conclusions as McCarney yet they are working from within the church. McCarney in his heart thinks that coming out of Mormonism is the eventual progression of those that are “born again” but that is just not the case.

  34. Andrew S February 27, 2010 at 3:36 pm - Reply


    An appeal to Pascal’s wager too? This is pretty disappointing, man. I think there are a few problems with the wager…the first is that, I may be wrong, but perhaps God would realize that someone is just pretending or faking to believe just to try to cover bases (especially a god who can see the heart, right?). The second is that one can’t just “believe” on the drop of a hat. As even you mentioned, you had to have a significant and changing experience. If it weren’t for such an experience, if it weren’t for such disappointment with the way your life previously was going, etc., then you wouldn’t be in the position you are in now. The wager would do little to change that. I understand that Pascal also has an argument of kinda “fake it until you make it,” but this seems ultimately like what every check-the-box religion kinda proposes…aren’t you against that?

    I don’t think it’s much about intellectual superiority. I don’t think most of us have brought that (or even claimed to have brought that) to the table. I guess you’re not really all that great at telling where people are coming from?

    Instead, I think it is about humility. In your confidence, you’re pretty arrogant (but you push it off on Jesus Christ, thus making him — and, by extention, your cause — arrogant). It doesn’t make sense, you can’t set it up in a way that makes it make sense, so the way you’re trying to press this message (uh, don’t question! It’s just so obvious! Don’t be blind! Don’t be “intellectually superior”) makes me think that the message isn’t all that coherent or worth it. Just from looking at you, it’s not seeming very conducive to making you a better person or a better advocate. Even though you say in the interview that you just use this message to wake people up, to get them to challenge you (and that you’re not the jerk you once were), I don’t think this is very effective in your ultimate goal — or, at least, it won’t be very effective for everyone. You insist that there is a time and a place for love to be tough, but I think you miss the ineffectiveness this can cause when instead you’ve just alienated someone.

    I guess we go back to your first sentence of your last post. So, people are looking at the same data and seeing totally different things. Are you going to do something about this age-old conflict? Can you?

  35. Shawn McCraney February 27, 2010 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    I do what I believe I am called to do – share the truth. People will receive it, reject it, create their own – whatever. I will continue to share what I believe is Truth; and yes, I use the Bible (GASP!) as my manual. You can resort/appeal to whatever source you wish – we are free. Again, I wish you the best.

  36. SUZANNE February 28, 2010 at 1:06 am - Reply

    Great interview! I enjoyed you both! :)
    I too think that everyone in the LDS Church would benefit from what’s been said here!

  37. Ryan Jeffrey February 28, 2010 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Thank you both, I thought that was a great touching interview. Shawn, that helped me understand you and what you’re all about. It confirmed my view that you are a sincere guy who is committed with all his heart to doing what he feels called by God to do. I respect that. I didn’t agree with some of what you said, but a lot of it I did and I felt inspired by your words.

    Regarding your methods, I though you gave a pretty understandable explanation for why you do what you do on your show. Certainly you’re right that you are able to draw more veiwership because of it, and potentially more people to follow your message. This is a method that Glen Beck understands very well. However, I still have a problem with it. In my comment on the blog prior to the interview, I asked why you feel the need to pad your message with rants about Mormon culture. Do you fear the gospel alone isn’t enough to draw people to your message? It seems your answer would be yes. Again, I thought your answer was understandable, but I think there are negative aspects to your approach as well. I certainly wouldn’t have felt inspired in the way I was in this interview by watching your T.V. show. To me it seems you’re still a little bit of a “religious jerk” (to use you’re words), at least that is the way it comes across to me when I watch your show, and that is a big turn off to me and to others who might be willing to give you a chance. The other problem is that I think it’s harmful to the “choir” viewers, the ones who are already theological aligned to your message and have an axe to grind against the LDS church membership. I think it breeds further anger and resentment.

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but those are just my honest feelings. But, I want to reiterate that I was really touched by the your interview and your message. John, thank you for what you do. You too are a great inspiration to me.

  38. JackUK February 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    John and Shawn; thank you so much for putting this interview together, it was absolutely facinating. I’m glad it took place because it has helped me understand where Shawn is coming from and why he takes the approach he does on the tv show. I’ve watched ‘Heart of the Matter’ several times and felt the mocking, abrasive tone that Shawn sometimes takes detracts alot from his message. However, looking beyond this, the tv programme always gives me much to ponder about.
    John, programmes like Mormon Stories are vital to broadening the experience of all of us under the umbrella of Mormonism. I hope there are many more like this. Thank you for bringing Mormon Stories back to life.

  39. Russell February 28, 2010 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    This was a killer interview. Taking things to video, and HD even made it so fun to “partake” of also.
    I’ve seen tons of Shawn (shows online, personal conversations, visit to the studio, etc), but have to say that this much time and questions of him/about him directly made it easier to get to know him a bit better.

    I agree, with a previous post that he is like a bull in a china shop! And thank God for that. So much of man’s worldly religious stuff does need to be shattered and broken up…..and called on the table for what it is. Kudos to Shawn for having the brass to do it.
    The results of these shatters, allow people to find their way out of controlling religion and into either a better understanding of God, or at least a little more understanding of what they are living with. This puts them in a greater position to evaluate their lives and live in a clearer reality vs. the the lies they have had to take as God’s doctrine previously.
    Break more china, people!

    John, well done. I like the route things are heading.

  40. badseed March 3, 2010 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Great podcast. Thanks for sharing your story.

    I’ve watched Shawn before and although I took a different turn out of Mormonism I appreciate where he’s coming from. Even as Mormon the grace side appealed to me more than works. I just got too burned out. If I ever can believe again (big “if”) I think it would tend go that way. Right now I trust that if there is a God he knows what I have been through and will a) understand why I don’t believe or b) at some point help me see it differently.

    Thanks again.

  41. Bill March 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Sure enjoy your show shawn ! Enjoy your comments here too. God bless !

  42. steven March 5, 2010 at 10:39 am - Reply

    John and Shawn; thank you so much for putting this interview together you have helped me wery much both of you

  43. Drew Danburry March 8, 2010 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Shawn taught me Sunday School when I grew up and I love him very much. I think he’s very real and very wonderful. I admire him and think highly of him. He may not be perfect but I think he’s sincere and genuine and a wonderful guy and I love him whether he’s a “member” of the church or not. I love him.

    It’s sad to me though, to think that anyone would judge a person or his life experiences as unsubstantial to guide them in their own life. I find such validation in his experiences for him. Maybe not for me, but how could anyone argue against how his life has led him?

  44. Derrick March 10, 2010 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    John and Shawn,

    Thanks so much for doing this podcast. Loved it!

    Shawn, I am having a hard time squaring two ideas that you said: 1) A person must be born again to be saved 2)our works do not contribute to our salvation. There may be something that I’m missing–and if you don’t have time don’t worry about it! But I don’t understand this seeming contradiction. Thanks!

  45. Melissa March 13, 2010 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Shawn and John,

    This was one of the best interviews I have ever watched. I hope the church someday moves more to Christ, like Shawn said because I think the rest of the Christian world can learn a lot from the Mormon Church actually.

    I love your websites and shows/podcasts! Keep up the good work.

    Gob Bless,

  46. Elizabeth March 14, 2010 at 10:19 am - Reply

    I agree that Shawn is like a bull in a China closet…..and that is a GOOD THING, in my opinion. A bull in a China closet certainly gets peoples’ attention and if they are more concerned about the breakage of the China than seeing they, themselves, are broken – well, then, they have clearly missed the point.

  47. Sandra March 15, 2010 at 2:54 am - Reply


    What an amazing interview! I believe that the Leaders of the LDS church at their General Conference taking place on Easter (Resurrection Sunday) this year, need to from their pulpits, give an altar call and ask their members to completely humble themselves before the Almighty Creator God of the Universe and fall to their knees in complete surrender to Jesus Christ, asking Him to transform their hearts and and take over their will and lives completely. This will bring the LDS Church to it’s doctrinal knees and bring freedom to it’s heavily burdened members. There is freedom in the precious blood of Christ the Lord, WE ALL MUST be born-again in Jesus.

  48. Scotty March 17, 2010 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Why does Shawn always insist on comparing the absolute best of evangelical Christianity to the worst of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? I’ve seen him call Mormons polygamists, racists, hatemongers. But does he ever point out the other faiths’ flaws? The child-molesting Catholic priests? The Southern Baptist president who embezzled church funds?

    I suppose the interpretation in the Book of Ephesians that we are commanded to have “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God to be Father of all” leaves much to be desired. I mean, all the Protestant churches get along just fine yet for something so important to eternal salvation, you’d think the Church of Christ would be up all in the Southern Baptists face on the issue of baptism and “once-saved-always saved.” I was a Southern Baptist for 29 years. I saw gossip. I saw people judging others without knowing them kinda’ like what Shawn is doing to alot of Mormons.

    It is my understanding that Shawn did not “leave” the church but was excommunicated. I don’t know the details so I am not judging him, but his character by the example he sets on his shows leaves me to believe less in what he believes and more in what the LDS teaches. His example by the way he screams at and slanders the Mormons on his show only strengthen my testimony as a convert to the LDS Church.

    Oh, and I do consider myself a Christian through and through. The Mormons respect Joseph Smith and Thomas S. Monson as prophets but we don’t worship them. My focus as a member is always on Christ and what he taught. What Joseph Smith taught was complimentary to Christ’s teachings just as Paul, Peter, Timothy, and other prophets and apostles of the Bible.

    I am interested to know what Shawn thinks of the possibility of “missing scripture” since both the Old and New Testament are filled with references to such. I suppose Constantine (who canonized the scriptures to create religious order in Europe) in reprieved of any wrong-doing after he stripped many plain and precious part from the Holy Bible to do his own will rather than the will of God.

    By the way, look around people. Which churches in America are getting the free rides without persecution, and which church in America is constantly ridden into the ground by people like Shawn? Christ taught that we would be persecuted because he was. No Protestant or Catholic church in this nation has to endure the levels of persecution that the LDS church is dealt. That to me is another sign that many other faiths are lax in their testimonies and have conformed too much to the political ideologies of this world hiding behind the guise of “tolerance.” Tolerance for homosexuality, tolerance for abortion rights, tolerance for each other’s faiths despite their gross differences in critical aspects of eternity.

    Having experienced those other churches, and now having found this one. It is no mistake that God called me across the country in the time that he did and eventually find the Church. So many great things have happened in my life since joining the LDS Church. I have been able to come clean on many issues I could never trust to tell a southern baptist preacher. That comes from the Spirit the LDS church has, and it is strong. People can say what they want and believe what they want. It won’t change the fact that it is THE Church of JESUS CHRIST!

  49. Shawn McCraney March 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    The response from Scotty is to be pitied. I gave my heart and said all I could say from my heart in this interview – and yet still, people like Scotty INSIST on bringing up all the apologetic defenses so as to appear correct. I think I speak very clearly on the trouble with EV Christianity, and readily recognize the issues. The trouble is, these issues are the problems of PEOPLE, whereas Mormonism issues are doctrinal.

  50. Andrew Ainsworth March 18, 2010 at 1:46 am - Reply

    John and Shawn,

    I enjoyed this podcast immensely. Shawn, you and I have some things in common. We’re both So. Cal. boys (I’m in Orange County), raised LDS, and “born-again” experiences have been part of my spiritual journey as well, the most notable first experience occurring at a YMCA camp on Catalina Island where I said the “sinner’s prayer” (without realizing what it was) and for the next several days felt an incredible peace, mildness, and divine presence with me.

    I find your simple but strong emphasis on Jesus and forgiveness to be refreshing, and something we LDS could implement more and better. To be more precise, I personally think there’s an odd aspect of LDS culture where we all profess to be grateful for the Atonement but it’s so politically incorrect to call oneself, or to admit to being, a Sinner. There is so much shame and stigma, and yes, I do believe that comes from our emphasis on “walking the walk” rather than just “talking the talk.” So I find your message a much-needed counter-balance to LDS theology.

    However, with all the respect in the Universe, I find some gaping holes in your new views. I think you’re strong when you stand on Jesus alone, but when you stray one inch outside that, it begins to unravel pretty quickly. And some of your answers did cause me to appreciate LDS doctrines more. For example, why say that there’s no preaching to deceased persons when the New Testament tells us Jesus did that very thing? (1 Peter 3:18-20)

    I don’t want to dwell on that, but I did have one major question about your epistemology. If I understand correctly, your testimony of Jesus is based on your personal born-again experience. I totally get that; it’s easy for an LDS person to relate to that.

    However, what is your basis for believing in the Bible? You made clear that you cling to the Bible as your infallible guide. Why? If you’re going to conclude something is an infallible guide, I imagine you have very strong reasons for doing so. What are they? Is your testimony of the Bible based on having a personal experience with the Bible, similar to your personal experience with Jesus? Is it based on a belief that the Bible is supported by archaeological evidence? Fulfilled prophesies? I’m just curious what you base your absolute belief in the Bible as an infallible guide upon.

    Lastly, I want to thank you for sharing words and concepts that touched my heart and helped me feel God’s love. In a couple instances, I really felt your words, they really impacted me. For example, your words about how we need to accept that Christ’s sacrifice alone is sufficient, and that Mormon culture unfortunately sometimes (unintentionally I believe) alienates those who might be considered the poor downtrodden sinners of society, who ironically were the very group of people that Jesus reached out to most. That was powerful, and I really felt that. So thank you.

    Your brother in the Lord,


  51. Shawn McCraney March 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the comments, Andrew. In John 1 Jesus is called the Logos, or The Word. He is the living Word. How? He is the living embodiment of the invisible God. He “describes” Him, just like words describe things for us. As He is the Word, and I trust Him, so are His Words reliable. And so I have to ask: Where are His words found? Many men and books claim to be His Word, so I have had to do some investigating; so much investigating because I was not convinced anything represented Him. So we come to the book that more than any other lays claims on being from Him. So I examined it. First, read it through twice. Second, went full time to a pretty open school as to criticism of the book. Third, looked at the evidence to support its physical, archeological, historical, genetic, linguistic veracity. Fourth, was given eyes and ears to see how in intertwines contextually throughout though it was written over a span of 1500 years by some 42 or more writers. Then I stood face to face with the criticisms of the Word – and found that VERY VERY few hold any water at all. And then by faith, I have come to trust it – as Jesus trusted it when He was alive (if you want to believe that :) and am convinced the Bible to be God’s recorded Word. Comparatively speaking, no other sacred book can stand up to even one tenth of the scrutiny the Bible does – and yet it gets demeaned over them. I stand to the contrary, and believe I have every right to say to God – “You gave us your Son and the world used the Bible to support His claims. If I am faulted for buying into it, so be it. But I bought hook, line and sinker because that book, taken as a whole, changed my life in a way that liberated me from the control of man.

    Hope this helps, Andrew.

  52. Victor Bermudez March 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Shawn’s book, I Was A Born-again Mormon, was the most impressive work minus anti-Mormon literature ever. I enjoyed reading every page and when I need an answer use it as a reference guide with my conversations with my Mormon friends. I been watching his show Heart of the Matter for months now and do enjoy it(Shawn don’t get angry at LDS). I have learned very much what Mormonism is all about both historic and modern to equip me.

    Shawn is bringing people to the Jesus Christ of Christianity. God will loosen the chains and He is setting them free.

    If you’re a Mormon who is reading this now, let me ask you this question:

    If you were to die today(the Heavenly Father forbid) and were to stand before Him and He were to ask you, why should I let you into my Heaven, what will you say to Him?

    Also, no one can’t do absolutely NOTHING for our salvation. No amount of good works or righteousness, will save anyone, it doesn’t matter how much has been done.

    If Jesus precious blood shed on Calvary HAS NOT washed away the weight of all your sins, you will not enter the celestial heaven.

    • Anonymous August 28, 2011 at 4:25 am - Reply

      I realize that Victor’s comment was written a year before this reply – so that perhaps no one will read it – but I’m irritated enough to want to reply anyway.  I’m a born again Mormon too, except in my case the words are literally true.  I am a former evangelical who considered myself born again at the time (and hence by the standards of that faith, I’m STILL saved and still born again) and who considers himself spiritually reborn in Jesus Christ as a Mormon.  Some of what folks like Shawn exploit, and others like Victor accept uncritically, is a difference in religious vocabulary and framing, which turns out to have less substance to it than they would like to suggest.  Shawn’s example of the king who sends the servant to wait on the villagers’ every desire fails hugely as an analogy because somehow the servant in Shawn’s example never gets around to saying, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”  And yet the Savior – whose free gift, yes!, is offered to all unconditionally – very much does say that.  And eternity is not, as Victor seems to believe, a binary proposition:  saved or damned with no variations, options or alternatives.  Certainly nothing in the scriptures says that.

      So that’s what is so foolish, and annoying, about Victor’s question.  He desires salvation to be liberating — and of course it is, but not in the way he thinks.  Liberation is not a release from restraint but the freedom to pursue God’s will,  not our own.  Shawn’s emphasis on the experience to the exclusion of obedience – what does he think is meant by “take up your cross and follow Me?”  Just a cool and self-affirming relationship, or a relationship of trust, faith, obedience and discipline?

      So as a born again Mormon, let me answer Victor’s question:  I would say, I have believed in  the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of the world.  My belief has been expressed in my life by my actions.

      There are no Mormons who, if they prayerfully read the Bible and the Book of Mormon and listen to a living prophet and apostles, think that salvation is anything less than the gift of Christ’s atonement.  The widespread belief by non-Mormons otherwise derives from differences in vocabulary and framing, and a deliberate desire to misrepresent Mormon doctrine as though in opposition to Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians.  Every serious Mormon – which may not be every Mormon and which apparently didn’t include Shawn during his years in the Church – DOES have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and has invited Him to take control of their lives.  he widespread belief by non-Mormons otherwise derives from differences
      in vocabulary and framing, and a deliberate desire to misrepresent
      Mormon doctrine as though in opposition to elemental Christianity.  That’s unfair to our system of belief.

      • David May 4, 2018 at 10:13 am - Reply

        Thanks, I appreciated your comment.

  53. Jeff Spector March 28, 2010 at 3:12 am - Reply

    Just finished the interviws and thoroughly enjoyed them. I liked these interviews with Shawn more than his shows and videos and more than his appearance with Van Hale.

    I like his appoarch toward emphsizing the Grace of Jesus Christ that saves us, not through any act of ours.

    However, I would beg to differ with him and many menbers of the LDS Chruch who seems not to understand 2 Ne. 25: 23.

    ” 23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

    First, we are to persuade our children to beleive in Christ, that he bled and died and suffered in the garden to ransom us from our sins and to rescue us from enternal damnation because we are sinners.

    Second, it is by His grace that we are saved from it, period. Not for any act of ours. You cannot work our way to heaven. no way, no how.

    Third, “after all we can do.” The most misunderstood part. What is “all we can do?” All we can do is offer a “broken heart and a contrite spirit.” We have nothing else. All we can do is offer to follow Him and keep His commandments.

    I’d say that is the Born again expereience when we realize this and pledge ourselves lives to Him.

    That is the message of the Gospel as taught by the LDS Church.

  54. Shawn March 30, 2010 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Unfortunately, quotes from men far more authoratative than the personal opinion of Jeff Spector say differently than what he describes here as being LDS doctrine. Certainly, the “after all you can do” line has been massaged by more apologetically minded members today, but what leaders of the past have said, and leaders of the present have not corrected, stands – LDS are saved (meaning exalted) by a combination of grace and works – which Paul makes very clear, is not grace at all.

    But this point is even an aside: all you have to do is ask members like Jeff if grace is sufficient, they will with utmost sincerity claim “yes!” But when you when asked if that means baptism, priesthood rites and rituals, and the New and Everlasting Covenant are requisite, they will, if they are true to their faith, say yes. This is NOT salvation by grace and grace alone. It is truly another gospel.

  55. Jeff Spector April 5, 2010 at 8:13 am - Reply

    I never said Grace alone because I do not believe that concept exists in the scriptures. It’s easy for me as it is for Shawn to proof text any concept we wish from the scriptures. but, if we sincerely take the ideas in totality from the scriptures, a different view will emerge.

    For example, The Savior said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” this simple statement cannot be explained away,even by the great Apostle Paul. this admonition requires action on our part, which is a “work.” anything requiring effort on our part is a work. Faith, by definition, is a work. So we must do something in order for God’s grace to be efficacious in our lives.

    I don’t expect Shawn to agree, but that is my reading of the scriptures and the words of the Prophets. I wish the LDS Church would put greater emphasis on the Lord’s grace since it is truly the only way for us to return to Him.

    but clearly grace alone is not a biblical concept.

  56. Brian Bennett April 13, 2010 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    God bless Shawn. There are so many deceived people out there, and it is truly sad that this Apostate church continues to operate. Hopefully his word and His word will permeate the internet to help people come to the realization through the Holy Spirit that they have been misled by the ‘salesmanship’ of the mormon cult.

    All are God’s people and worth being redeemed. The Lord’s work can be summarized simply by John 3:16, and there is no need to have man’s destiny cluttered by all this confusion on what is right and what is wrong. God simply wants a relationship with His creation, but we have to choose. Thanks for helping them possibly consider the error of their ways.

  57. Darasu April 16, 2010 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Read this address by BYU Professor Stephen Robinson: or this passage from the Book of Mormon:

    I’m a faithful member of the Church, and find I need to be “born again” daily, sometimes minute to minute. Jesus Christ is my Savior and I know that I am not perfect. I need my Savior and His atonement to make it back to the presence of my Father in Heaven.

    Honestly, the whole faith v. works discussion that evangelical Christianity is fixated on seems a bit of a semantics argument….

  58. Chris April 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Man Shawn coould sell ice to an eskimo. Having done sales for three years, I’d have to say that he is about as slick as they come. I believe that he is sincere, but I also think he could be INSINCERE and it would slip right by me. It is hard for me to trust people like that, as skeptical as I am.

    Probably my favorite part was to hear about how devoted he was to Mormonism as a missionary and shortly after. It really made me more open to listen to what he had to say now. I guess I always kind of assumed never very into it. I also appreciated his honesty about not living the commandments before leaving the church. He was right in that it hurt his case in a sense, but it made me believe he wasn’t just giving lip service.

    I thought the questions John asked were great. Really posed some tough questions to Shawn that he didn’t have very good answers for. Maybe Shawn can empathize more with the apologists now. His contempt for the brethren seems to be the result of black & white thinking. At worst these men are just like him, imperfect sinners, but in their case their sin is that they are misleading people and are afraid to come clean for whatever reason (I guess?). They’re not doing it for money and power I don’t think, because most of them were rich and powerful before being general authorities. Actually, I really don’t see anything in it for them if they are deceiving every one, but maybe I’m wrong. And I don’t think any of them ever asked anyone to stand, I think people started doing it out of love and respect for them and now it is just a tradition. Big deal. I would really like Shawn to think hard and try to establish a motive for what they’re doing before he is so judgmental of them. He seems to subscribe to the same conspiracy theorist view that they all know the church is false and purposely deceive all the members to gain power. Sorry but I just don’t see that.

  59. Gim May 2, 2010 at 4:01 am - Reply

    I like the way you interview people and have them discuss their ideas.

  60. Christopher Allman May 31, 2010 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Great episode! I had sometimes seen shawn’s videos online and always felt a sense of dislike towards him and what he is doing and while I still disagree with him and his show as much as ever, but I have more compassion and understanding of where he is coming from and even like him as a person.(I disagree because I think trying to persuade someone from Mormonism into mainline Christianity is like trying to convince someone that because vampires can’t be proven as real they should believe in werewolves instead.)
    John, that is one of the aspects i enjoy so much about this podcast, it helps me understand and accept people I may have otherwise felt turned off by. The Mormon apologist interview is another example of this. At first I didn’t even want to listen to it, but after i did, I was glad for it.
    Giving people a forum to explain their beliefs in a way that challenges them yet isn’t antagonistic, as you have done, is something the world needs more of. Keep up the good work.

  61. Christopher Allman May 31, 2010 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    I hope it didn’t seem like I used vampires and werewolves as an example because I think Mormonism or Christianity is as frighting or scary as vampires and werewolves, I just wanted to use something mythical, but not unicorns, fairies or leprechauns, because sometimes those get used to much.

  62. Natalie June 16, 2010 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Whenever someone says they can “proof text any concept they wish from the scriptures” I have to respond. It is true to find one verse and twist it whatever way you wish, but that attitude is a direct consequence of mistrusting the bible in the first place.

    If you read the bible in context, as stated in 1 Corithians 14:33, you would be able to trust that God is not the author of confusion and we can know what his will is. However, if you use the bible at a surface level (meaning you don’t dig in and read, but rather cherry pick verses here and there AKA CROSS-REFERENCE with other books) you could actually start a pretty powerful cult.

    There is a powerful statement that Jesus made in Matthew 24:35. He said that Heaven and earth would pass away but His words will never pass away. I wonder how you take that if you believe Jesus would just leave earth without His words from after John died until Joseph Smith came along. Do you really believe Jesus doesn’t mean what he says?

    The teaching of Jesus is why I ultimately had to leave the Mormon church myself. I went to a family home evening at our bishop’s house and he asked “What would happen if the Book of Mormon weren’t true?” Then he answered the question and said “the whole thing would just kind of fall apart.” He went on to talk about how true the Mormon church must be, but unfortunately all I could think about was how Jesus said “upon this rock I will build my church.” And how he said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

    I realized there were too many little foundations in the Mormon church; 16 prophets, 4 books, countless ‘prophecies’, 13 articles of faith… I realized that there were so many little pebbles to stand on, it sort of appeared to be sand.

    What would happen if you decided that you should believe Jesus first, make him the foundation on which you stand, and test everything against Jesus’ word first EVEN if the person speaking claims to hear God directly? That would take real faith!

  63. Carey July 10, 2010 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Both the LDS Church and Shawn agree that the only saving power is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. They both agree that you have to have to make a sincere internal commitment to receive of the Atonement, where they differ is the LDS church is willing to say that God judge’s your sincerity based on your Works/Charity to your fellow man.

    From what I heard he seemed to even agree with the concept but just doesn’t like the emphasis the “LDS Church” approaches the topic. I do think that is valid criticism, and this comes from a life long member who had could not hear that message for a long time. But just like how he doesn’t blame God for the cruelty in the world, I don’t blame the Church for my inability to hear that message for many many years.

    All in all – I’m glad he’s found Christ.

  64. April July 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    This. Is. Awesome.

    Mr. John, thank you for your gracious facilitation of this episode. It was incredibly well-structured!

    Mr. Shawn, I will join the ones helping you to ‘hold your arms up’ in prayer and encouragement as you forsake ‘American’ religion and follow after Jesus (yours is such a similar story to Mark Martin, also a Calvary Chapel pastor, who came out of Adventism). I praise God for the work He has begun and continues to faithfully complete in you.

    Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!!

  65. Anita July 26, 2010 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    I, too, was a mormon for 40 years…seminary, mission, BYU, temple, all of it. I too, was born again and left mormonism and I am now a Christian. I have been Saved by Grace. I now have a relationship with Jesus Christ that I never even imagined possible when I was a mormon.

    Thanks, Shawn, for sharing your story! You are my brother in Christ.

  66. marie July 27, 2010 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    Thank you for explaining grace so well. I too was a Mormon who could never do enough or be good enough, or obey all the ‘laws and ordenences of the church’. I just couldn’t measure up to the works salvation,even after the temple services, temple marriage, mission on and on, sure was depressing. As humans we want to do all we can and then accept the gift. It’s easier that way than to believe and accept by faith. A human trait we have and overcome by the grace of God is called pride. It makes us want to earn our own way. Its easier to work and say “I” did it…than to except the free gift of salvation..But once you get it..REALLY get it, the grace of God is so freeing…so liberating, so abounding in love, graditude and joy unspeakable..that you can’t help but love others and serve the one who saved you. Appreciate the dialog.

  67. Gregory Anderson August 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    John and Shawn, thanks for the great interview. Shawn, I came across your tv show in April, 2006. I believe that I’ve watched every show since. Through your show, I discovered Jerald and Sandra Tanner’s utlm bookstore. It is a cornicopia of ‘Authentic Mormon History’, not so-called ‘Anti-Mormon Literature’.
    I was born into the covenant, sixth generation. I went through all the required steps, and attended church, hardly missed a meeting or ‘calling’. In 1974, at 19, shortly after becoming an Elder, I stopped attending. I refused to succumb to being pressured to serve a mission, so I walked away…and hardly ever looked back.
    I am a lowly sinner, yet God continues to bless me to this very day.

  68. Henry Jasso October 20, 2010 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    I find it very interesting that many viewers have either a love or hate view towards Shawn. Lets take his personality out of the equation and focus on his message, IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS. He is sooooo right. Shawn is not pushing his own agenda, but GOD’s. The passionate pro/con comments demonstrate that he is effective at delivering the Truth. After my failed marriage, four stressful combat tours (two as a helicopter medevac pilot), and having commited a mountain of sin, I have come to the realization that Peace only comes through accepting Christ and His sacrifice. Nothing I have done merits any grace. Shawn is right, being a Christian is hard, but it’s a good pain.

  69. Jean M Wright October 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    just listened to the second part:

    1. knowing vs not knowing–if you are born again: I contend that if you pray with real intent and God touches your heart; it changes. There will be no question; you will know. If you don’t know, your prayer lacked intention and/or God hasn’t touched your heart yet.

    2. who’s RIGHT. This is a personal experience; an internal personal experience. It is not for one to challenge another’s personal experience. The only time one needs to be questioning such a claim is if they are asking you to give money/time/your life based on that claim. Then, pray with real intent and wait patiently for the answer, knowing it will come. Don’t let external pressures dictate your agency.

    3. For me, requesting/receiving a relationship with God is like plugging in a power cord. Once extablished the flow is continuous because my heart is open and I am in a state of constant prayer.

    4. Bible babble: We live in a universe. How can anyone look to an ancient work(s) and suggest that it prescribes what God expects? Look to the universe to get a glimpse of the possibilities; see the wonder of it all. Don’t be too hasty to suggest that this is a definite anything. It is what it is–and we only know our own experience; very limited knowledge, at best. Keep an open mind and continue learning. More importantly, connect with God.

    thanx for the opportunity to share

  70. Jean M Wright October 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    just listened to the 3rd part:

    1. Homosexuality. Shawn has it wrong. Why does God prescribe sex as sin. Why does any religion or person feel they have the right to prescribe anothers sexuality. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Keep your nose in your own business. The only sexual issue parallels all other agency issues; agency. If you force another person to do anything, you are working Satan’s plan. You have no right to tell any other person how, or who they as concenting, of age, individuals, engage with. You have no right. God does not presribe sex as sin. That is a man invention. Rape, molestation; those are sex sins because they force another to engage without appropriate consent and without the expression of love. Two consenting, in-love individuals do so with God’s love.

    2. Love is never a sin. Love is the way. To love your neighbor is to respect their agency and their right to exercise it.

    3. For whatever reason, we have evolved religously to believe that one cannot be born again without a BREAK in spirit. That’s why bible-thumpers look for the down-troddin, the obviously sad and lonely people; they are easier to reach. Mormon missionaries are trending in that space as well. It is a mistake. The churches reach people in need because they have a need, nothing to do with God. And that is what is wrong with religion in general. The organization becomes God to the congregation.

    thanx for the opportunity to share

    • BA Christian October 24, 2011 at 4:07 am - Reply

      You are going by your own definition of “sin” not God’s.  Anyone can justify their actions or thoughts if they base it upon another person’s standard of morality.  Look at Hitler, he justified what he did and used his own standard of morality to do it.  When we use God’s standard of morality, the Bible, we can know His thoughts about different things, especially about sex.  Sex and marriage were created and ordained by God as a mirror of our relationship with the Lord.  The Groom (Christ) and the Bride (Body of Christ/Christians).  The joy and extacy we feel as couple in the marriage bed is the same joy and extacy we do (or should) feel about our Lord. 

      When a Christian talks to anyone about sin, the person is being made
      aware of it and makes them uncomfortable, because they know they are in
      sin and apart from God.  We have the right to freedom of speech just
      like you do, and the Bible commands us to share the Truth, so yes, we do
      have the right to tell others what the Bible says about sex and what
      actions are sins to God.  Yes, homosexual’s are consenting adults, and in-love or not, it is NOT done with God’s love, it is done with his disgust and anger.  Just as He is disgusted and angry at the heterosexual for committing adultery. Sexual sins, and all sin for that matter, is seen by the Lord as disgusting and separates us further from him.

      Love can most CERTAINLY be a sin, and the TRUTH is the Way. 

      God does not “prescribe” ANY sin, that would make Him inconsistent.  Sin is the opposite of who God is and he abhors it!  No one can “force” someone to stop committing sin, that is impossible.  Only God can show you your mistakes and get you to turn from them.

      Shawn said that a gay person could join his church and even hold offices in the church because we are ALL sinners!  There is no “degree” of sin, other than the ultimate sin of reject Christ.  But if the homosexual does not see their desire toward the same
      sex person as a sin, they are justifying their actions to make it ok and not trying to turn from their sin. 
      Just like the “father of all lies” satan tries to do.  But like ALL sin,
      it is not ok.

      I am saying this out of love, so I hope you don’t think I’m coming across as being mean :)

  71. Momma November 2, 2010 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    Cool dude.

  72. Greg November 18, 2010 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    This was a great interview. This really gives a unique view as to Shawn’s reason for his ministry. One only need to see his show to realize how sincere and honest Shawn is in his ministry. Too many see him as attacking the LDS as if he wants to destroy them, when he is doing almost the opposite. I know exactly what he is talking about when he says he need to slap some sense into people who are so walled up in their religion that they leave everything else out including Jesus. And if any one is to claim Jesus it must be by believing in his sacrifice as everything and all that one needs for salvation. I’m completely behind him with that.

    Sometimes I’m surprised how “rude” he is on his show with some people but I know that if I had been with Jesus when he talked to the Pharisee’s that I’d feel the exact same way because it takes a lot of power to break down those strongholds that people build up around their heart. I will continue to pray and support his ministry as long as he continues to speak truth and love from the mouth of Jesus.

    Great job Shawn and John!

  73. Don Ormsby November 30, 2010 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    When McCraney met with Van Hale on the “Mormon Misc.” program, he was confronted with the fact the his view of LDS history and theology is as valid as a outdated credit card. He showed up without even a Bible in his hands, and showed himself utterly destitute in factual knowledge of LDS concepts. At the end of the show, off the air, he stormed out of the studio claiming that Van Hale was a liar and a fraud, and that he would never meet with Van again. When I have attempted to discuss issues with McCraney, he had told me never to call him again, and called me a “Liar from Hell.” So much for honest discussion! Your interviews have only set in concrete what I have learned – that the man is simply ignorant and bellicose to the extreme. I know whereof I speak – I’m the one who arranged for McCraney and Van to meet on the air. It’s a shame there is no courage to meet again on McCraney’s part.

  74. Shawn McCraney December 18, 2010 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Mr. Ormsby called me out of the blue and invited me to a radio interview with Van Hale. I asked him what the interview was to be about, being I hadn’t any knowledge of Van Hale, his program, history or tactics. Mr. Ormsby told me that the interview was going to be about our ministry and the television show. I took him at his word. When I arrived I had no Bible because I did not think there would be any need for one – the show was going to be about our television ministry. When we went on air it was only then that I learned differently. The one responsible for this total error in judgment was yours truly. This was early in the ministry and I took Don’s words as truth. He lied. Now here it is, how many years later, and the man continues to try and lambaste me and my person for reacting to his and Van Hale’s deception. I have admitted on our program that it was a mistake to accept such an interview because Van Hale is not a true believing Mormon – he has his own version of Mormonism and considers himself and apologist. I am not an apologist. I am not a scholar. I am merely a man who was LDS and whose life was changed by and interaction with the living God. I thank God for honest men like John Dehlin who do what they say when they want to do an interview. I apologize for getting angry at Van Hale’s tactics on his program – I do not apologize for refusing to meet with him again. I have no time and zero tolerance for men like Don Ormsby and Van Hale.

  75. […] can also see his story here 126-128: Born Again Mormon Shawn McCraney | Mormon Stories Podcast. its 3 parts, totaling around […]

  76. BeLikeChrist_StayLds_org March 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Shawn, I liked the interviews of you and John here at I have seen you on YouTube before and I really had to shake my head at your approach to what I considered attacks on the Mormon church. However, there was something in your interviews with John that got me to sit up and take notice and it was what you had said about the apostles and how you considered them like the pharisees of the bible. It was the comment of how as a church we rise up at meetings when a general authority walks in. I do agree that that is a custom that I think is a little peculiar. And I say that because I don’t agree with putting general authorities on a pedestal. Even Jesus taught that even the chiefest of us should be a servant, as Christ taught by his washing of his apostles feet and basically how he spent time with and helped the less-fortunate. I do not like this aspect of the culture of the church where we put church leaders or even return missionaries on a pedestal. I would love to see apostles just coming unannounced to a congregation and just helping out the church in a ward or branch for just a few days and mingling with the ordinary joe’s and mary’s of the church instead of always focusing on spending time with church leaders and doing official business. Hopefully someday that may happen.

  77. Ed Jones March 22, 2011 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    Shawn, your weekly comments against the LDS church and your weak audience of former mormons are a joke! You all pretend to be former Latter-day saints , but all I see is people that never had a testimony and probably never will. I cannot see you as anything but a loud mouth, heavy drinker and probably drug user that probably has a bone to pick with a stake president somewhere that excommunicated you for your cheap liberal attitude towards the church and what it stands for. I cannot wait until the day that you meet our lord and savior!!! Sorry for being honest with my feelings, but I absolutely cannot stand you and what you stand for!! Which is nothing.

  78. Shawn March 23, 2011 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    I am certainly a loud mouth, not a heavy drinker, not drug user and I cannot wait until the day I meet the Lord and Savior either. God bless, Ed.

  79. Leanne Knudsen April 28, 2011 at 10:18 am - Reply

    In the words of Louie Giglio (Our Great God tour), “Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!” It was “Laminin”, our Great God reaching down and opening the eyes and heart of a lost soul, and sealing him into Jesus Christ forever. Loved your honesty, know your experience and have walked your road. The most awesome aspect of experiencing the spiritual birth is exactly how you described it: Your eyes are opened and you are seeing in a completely new dimension. You see with God’s eyes, you feel with His pain for the lost, you are thirsty for His Word, and you “pant like the deer” after God Himself- The One Who Created you, Who birthed you both times, and Who will never leave you.

    I am 7th generation Mormon, loved the Church with all my heart, had a rabid testimony and would have done anything the Prophet asked. Born and raised, temple-married, BYU, the whole 9 yards. Two great-grandpas did their prison time for polygamy, pioneer ancestors died with the W. Handcart Co., uncles and friends were BYU profs. My sweet LDS grandparents were the most dedicated, honest, hard-working, loving people on the face of the earth. When I came to my ‘Shawn moment’, I had come to the end of myself and all my efforts: I just kept begging God “to bring me closer to Jesus”. He kept me immersed in His Word until slowly He showed me that it was Just the Blood of Jesus. I could not believe that I had missed the Grace of God because I had kept mixing my works/obedience/ordinances with the pure, shed blood of Christ ON THE CROSS!!

    Shawn, I prayed that same prayer; I confessed every sin I could think of, and when I was through I told the Lord that I just had to have the Truth, the real Jesus, because I could no longer live without Him. There was pain and sorrow for the loss of family fellowship I knew would come; for the disappointment I knew I would see in their eyes. I even flashed to a visionary view of what I imagined would be my grandparents’ sadness at my leaving. But the words of Jesus rang so loud in my ears, that if we truly leave everything to follow Him, we would leave mother and father, sister and brother. And the minute that my soul made the conscious decision to chose Christ, fully aware of the cost of that choice, I was taken from this realm to the Father’s.

    For those of us whose salvation experience was immediate, radical and undeniable, we will forever identify with the Apostle Paul’s Damascus Road conversion: Acts 9:18- the scales fall off and we SEE. We seek baptism and obedience through another desire and unctioning that we never knew. By Acts 9:20, we’re out preaching and sharing because we are truly a new creature in Christ. I found the real Jesus/got saved/got born-again, after 35 years of blissful Mormon life, on the night of May 13, 1986, 25 years ago. I remain the Black Sheep in a large and loving LDS family, the oldest of 6, and broke my family’s heart, too. We pray for each other and we each trust our God. But our God is not the same and I see with new eyes. All 5 of my kids know the polytheistic, polygamous, and pagan religion of Mormonism is not the Biblical Word of Freedom, Love and Life through Y’shua Ha Meshiach. I still pay consequences of following my bishop’s advice to divorce my first husband, who was leaving the Church. But the Lord blessed me with a wonderful man of God, with whom I’ve been married to for 23 years.

    My song, and the one I ask be sung at my passing, is “Amazing Grace”, because I was blind and now I see. Thank you for your honesty, obedience and passion to share your new life with the Eternal God of the Universe.

  80. Stye Remedies May 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    I loved the interview, what a smart man :)

  81. Rea June 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Cannot thank you and Sean

  82. Rea June 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Words cannot express my gratitude for this podcast. I am one of those post-lds who, having discovered what I feel is betrayal by the religion I was dedicated to, am now questioning everything, including Christ. Shawn has changed my mind on that point. I accept his challenge to surrender. Thank you both so much.

  83. Pedro June 29, 2011 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    This is such an outstanding interview! I stumbled upon this website and happened to watch this video. I’m so glad I did. To both men sitting there that day, God Bless You! Shawn, your journey has touched me profoundly. I hope you can continue to do the Good Works you do.

  84. Utah_born November 25, 2011 at 9:20 am - Reply

    In early October of ’09 on a Friday morning, a friend of mine was – and I’m choosing my wording carefully – assaulted by McCraney. This event happened at the TV station where he broadcasts his weekly show in Salt Lake City. The assault was mostly verbal, but some minor & perhaps incidental physical contact took place. Shawn McCraney used the filthiest language imaginable (…you f**king piece of s**t…you pu**y…you scumbag…) over and over as he screamed at the top of his lungs. He also used threatening words (…I could take you out…). This went on for about 5-8 minutes. His followers will deny that such a “Man of God” would do such venomous, unChristlike, not to mention illegal actions. McCraney’s two puppets – Kevin Kennington & Marcus Maher – witnessed the whole event although later denied it ever took place.
    Truth is, McCraney is skilled at marketing himself & his anti-LDS bandwagon. He demonstrates doctrinal and emotional instability.  But he should be given some sort of award for being an excellent actor on live TV.

  85. Shaun February 23, 2012 at 5:20 am - Reply

    Very sad and conflicting interview, his poor family must be in turmoil!

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