On March 26, 2011 we held our first Mormon Stories regional retreat/conference in New York City.  The purpose of the event was to explore the possibility of creating regional communities of support for “uncorrelated Mormons.”  This episode was the introduction to the event.


  1. […] 1. I love Mormons. I spent the weekend of March 25th with a wonderful group of Mormons of all stripes from Mormon Stories Podcast. We ate, prayed, sang, listened to talks and watched the Book of Mormon the Musical together. I was literally floating on cloud after meeting all those good people. One day I’ll post the outrageously long email I sent my friend about the weekend. Read about the play here. And hear a portion of our conference here. […]

  2. Jennifer April 13, 2011 at 7:03 am - Reply

    I was so excited to hear about Nadia! I’m a Catholic who spent a large part of my childhood in a largely Mormon community. I’m not sure how I ended up here, but I’ve become a regular listener. I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only weirdo, hehe. John, I actually think that much of what you talk about relates to other faiths as well, though of course most have been around longer than the LDS.

  3. Chris April 14, 2011 at 4:40 am - Reply

    I sure hope we get to hear more from this conference. This intro was just a teaser. I want to know everything you all talked about :)

  4. JCH April 14, 2011 at 6:39 am - Reply

    I really do not understand why you whip on the church over being correlated. Another word that might be synonymous with correlated is united (perhaps in faith and doctrine?). That is what I believe separates LDS from virtually all other denominations and what helps to make us Christ’s church in the the latter days. One Faith, One Lord, One Baptism, One Prophet with all the keys to speak for God here on the earth. When one looks at the church at the time of the original Apostles and even afterward, one finds how they vehemently fought for unity in faith and doctrine. It appears that one of the purposes of the podcasts is to somehow justify, under the guise of understanding, or at least condone descent within the church. I understand the frustration for those that struggle with their LDS backgrounds when they lose faith, I just do not understand pushing for change in the church from the bottom up. That is exactly what happened in ancient times and look at the mess it got us in. Over 32,000 different Christian denominations or points of Christian theology in the world and growing.

    I love Elder Packer’s conference address about his advice to his friend, “Just leave it alone”. But alas, I doubt that would or could happen here. It would not be intellectually honest, I guess. “Leave it alone” might not work or be the best solution of all when you consider that we all need a shoulder to cry on once in a while. This conference should provide a shoulder for many of the sympathizers that listen here.

    On a more positive note. I really did enjoy the podcast with Richard Bushman and the other TBM’s. You have a real talent for putting these together. The other podcasts I tolerated to a point and then lost interest even though I gutted out almost all of them. Same story over and over really. The theme, “Why I don’t believe” or “This is how the church could better to serve me…. me me me.” Geez, there are over 6 billion people in the world and guess what? All, minus the 14 million members (or the 18% active ones according to your numbers), would agree with you. What is so new and earth shaking about that? Or maybe to take a part from Grant Palmer’s title one might have an “insider’s view” that matters. Give me a break! Keep up the TBM stuff and leave the rest alone. Correlation is frustrating at times, but it is the Lord’s way. Plus it doesn’t seem to have impeded you and others from learning what you have in due time on your own. I do wish you the best as a brother in the restored gospel.

  5. Jason April 14, 2011 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Hi JHC, my name is Jason! I’m a correlated Mormon! Let me answer some spoon fed template questions for you about my religion. Give me a break man! you “gutted out” the podcasts? I guess I understand. I gut out testimony/thanktimony meeting once a month. I’ll attempt to apply what E. Packer really meant by “just leave it alone” and move on from this.

    I did want to say when I heard E. Uchtdorf’s conference talk, “the spirit” let me know that for me he was talking about John Dehlin. “President Spencer W. Kimball taught this concept when he said: “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.” 7 Brothers and sisters, we each have a covenant responsibility to be sensitive to the needs of others and serve as the Savior did—to reach out, bless, and uplift those around us.

    Often, the answer to our prayer does not come while we’re on our knees but while we’re on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us. Selfless acts of service and consecration refine our spirits, remove the scales from our spiritual eyes, and open the windows of heaven. By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answer to our own.”

    Whoa!!!!!! If ever a GA understood things and has potential to unite, its E. Uchtdorf…go figure…a liberal open minded European!! “remove the scales from our spiritual eyes” WOW!!!! That’s deep!!!!

    • jch April 14, 2011 at 11:55 am - Reply

      Great talk. I agree.

      I am afraid that I missed your talking to my point that many of the podscasts promote disunity by attacking the correlation of the the church. Somehow I do not believe that even “a liberal minded European” would approve of that. Personally I think, for example, that even “a liberal minded European” might even take offense to a podscast that promotes masturbation, relegates the B of M to a fairy tale, promotes homosexuality (if you aren’t for us your against us mentality), etc. etc.

      There is nothing wrong with being liberal in my mind. I consider myself to be liberal minded to a degree. There is something wrong however if we go from understanding other’s views to promoting their agenda. Attacking the correlation of the church is promoting an agenda other than the church. Joining this chorus of de-correlation and having sympathy toward it really is something other than the church, at least in my mind. My point was that if the church did go to something other than correlation or unity, we would be on very shaky ground. That is why I thank God every day for a prophet to guide us in these latter days.

      I lived in Colorado City, AZ. home of the FLDS. I interacted with them and tried to do all I could to help as a good LDS should. But I did not sympathize with nor promote their cause. I gained better understanding about their issues and even to a degree was part of bettering the community, but that is where it stopped. I did not get on a band wagon to change the laws of the land to promote a polygamous lifestyle nor to promote de-correlating the church to allow polygamous persons to be part of the church, even though my personal feelings might be otherwise. It would create a disunity even if it was with no one else other than me and the church.

      This is why I think creating conferences, communities and sympathizing groups against the church correlation is not a good thing. And I am not a gambling man, but I would guess that even “a liberal minded European” would agree.

      • Marcus April 15, 2011 at 5:29 am - Reply

        I can see where you are coming from. There are some positives that come with being correlated or united as you suggest. I think for a lot of TBM’s life in the Church is moving along beautifully until the actual “Truth” is revealed to them…..the truth about some seriously ugly things in our church’s history. Even Bushman, whom you mentioned in your post, agrees that there are some very difficult issues that can be difficult for some to navigate around. For some that frequent this site, these issues have become such HUGE issues because when you compare some of these historical challenges up against the “correlated” version of the church today the contrast is quite different. From there….everything comes into question…..even masturbation I guess :) Many of the people that are here are probably trying to find a way to stay in the church even though the facts or truth about many things are so painfully obvious it makes correlation look extremely silly.

        Don’t you sympathize with your brothers and sisters that struggle with all this? It sounds like you read Bushman’s RSR – How do you reconcile it all? Bushman says he chooses to believe. Is that what you do?

        • jch April 15, 2011 at 8:05 am - Reply

          I believe that all good comes from God. I have not heard anyone tell me that LDS people are not good as a whole. Delusional perhaps, but not bad. No one. People in and out of the church when they get acquainted with us see the goodness in LDSs. It’s almost universal. What is it that has produced this great good? I submit that correlation is a huge part of this. We quit wrestling with our history and the doctrine and trusted our prophets to guide us.

          Our history I find very interesting, but what I am more interested in is the results. This emphasis does not mean that LDS don’t struggle. Good intentioned people that have wanted to change the church for what they perceive to be a better good have come and gone throughout our history. But for someone to come to the conclusion that because they didn’t learn in a Sunday School class that JS had multiple wives or that BY condoned slavery or that JFS lied before congress or even how the B of M came about and that this person feels like they have been lied to because the brethren in the leadership of the church have emphasized something else is just silly.

          John D’s trying experience in the mission field for instance was not typical of mission presidents in any time period and was not condoned at the general level as far as what I’ve read and heard. So why are we making such a big deal of it. Seems the brethren have corrected the problem like they always try to do eventually. Meantime the Lord presses us forward in the missionary effort with renewed emphasis on a correlated program that will eliminate some of the problems with mission presidents in the present and future. Have you read “Preach My Gospel”?

          I think Marcus that you get my jest here. I do not sympathize with those who have lost faith. I just don’t. I feel badly for them and I pray for their return to the faith and I love them all, but I do not sympathize. For the most part those that choose to lose faith have turned from the light that almost all have felt at one time or the other. John is very good about helping them share their spiritual experiences in the church prior to them leaving. I gain great strength from this. None of them have explained away these experiences at least to my satisfaction. This testifies to me even more so that the church for all the faults and failings of men leading the church is still the place that fosters these types of experiences in all if they have a desire. Even to those who once knew and choose to leave.

          In the end good brother, I choose to follow the brethren and I follow Mormon’s advice written on the title page of the book of Mormon,

          “And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.”

          This to me applies to everything we do in the church. If there are faults they are the faults of men. But I do not condemn the things (church) of God. I wish you well in your spiritual journey.

          • Jason April 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm

            JHC, Ok, I’m not sure where to start here but I’ll just start and go. First of all, I too love the advice of Mormon. It is one of the main things that has kept me in the church thus far. However, I think we understand his wonderful advice differently. Just because one questions the actions and mistakes of others, and yes, OMG, LEADERS, doesn’t mean he or she is condemning the things of God! Hmm, let me think of an example. My mind goes back to 1978, and actually prior to 1978. If you “gutted out”, as you said, Johns podcast with Gregory Prince about David O McKay, you should have learned about the discussions, disagreements, and dissensions, between the leaders with respect to the policy regarding our African American brethren (and sisters because if you recall they weren’t allowed in the temples either, or anyone who’s blood had been “tainted by the wellspring”..Brigham Young). This would be a perfect example of people within the church, and certainly due to the pressures outside the church, going against the “correlated” view of things. Lo and behold, after much council, discussion, debate, etc.. a “revelation” comes and everything changes.

            I have a feeling that what I’m about to say next is going to make you extremely uncomfortable JHC, but yes, I am going to go ahead and liken 1978 to the issue today with Homosexuality. I’ll save laying out the position here, like the science, and you don’t have to respond and quote the bible. The point is that this is a forum for people to come and share their Mormon experiences, positive and negative. It’s a place to share opinions, thoughts, feelings, etc. Generally speaking, if the opinion, thought, feeling, etc. isn’t “correlated”, it’s not welcome in church. That’s my experience at least.

            You mentioned that you believe that all good comes from God. Do you also believe that all evil comes from Satan? Sorry to bring it up again, and I don’t have BY’s quotes regarding our African American brethren at my fingertips, but I seem to recall them being called Evil. Anyway, I find it interesting that you make the statement about all good coming from God, and your attempt to some way tie good, or “all good” to the church and correlation. Have you every left the state of Utah, (or Arizona I guess)? There is a whole wide world out there my friend, full of goodness that somehow managed not to spawn from the gospel of Jesus Christ….of latter day correlation.

            Unfortunately my time is limited and I have to run. I have to be honest though, I’m ecstatic that you’re here! Listening, learning, discussing, posting, and most important of all, THINKING!! Perhaps we’ll bump into each other at church sometime, or at a “Retreat”! ;-)

          • jch April 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm

            I don’t believe you heard that podcast the way I did. What I heard was brethren discussing the issues of the day as men of that particular time and when the Prophet spoke they correlated and when the time was RIGHT the Lord inspires his prophet later to act on those discussions and feelings. In short, correlation and unity until the time is right and the Lord’s will be done. I have been on a mission to Oakland/San Francisco, CA. and the overwhelming view of members of African descent is that their people were not ready to receive that blessing prior to 1978. You need to talk to Betty Stevenson the first African American Relief Society President in the church or Fredrika Waters our Gospel Essentials teacher also of African descent if you question this view. From my understanding prior to the 1978 revelation people of African descent were promised all of the blessings of the gospel regardless (in time or eternity) for God is no respecter of persons. In short correlation works and keeps the church united!

            I think that trying to compare the GLBT group to African Americans is really degrading to the of people of African descent. And I have no doubt with saying that you will feel very uncomfortable with that. Now with that said, I am not homophobic! The greatest experience that I have had is watching on my mission as a Senior Missionary the people that suffer and I mean really suffer from same sex attraction wrestle with it and overcome it to the point that they desire to stay or come back to the gospel of Jesus Christ and join or rejoin His church and associate with the Saints. The Saints open their arms with love and respect to these people. My home teaching partner is just such an individual. He is diagnosed with HIV and is on all kinds of medications. His Catholic friend that comes and cares for him is a most wonderful man, Occasionally he brings him to church and we have some wonderful discussions. These men acknowledge that homosexual sex is a sin. Being of African descent is not! Plain and simple. It is a choice to act out on same sex attraction tendency or not even though one who suffers from same sex biologically may never overcome the tendency. About a month ago an ENDOWED transgender person stood up in Fast and Testimony meeting and bore solemn testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and how it had blessed her life. Once again correlation works for all.

            All good does come from God and I did not say that LDSs have a lock on it. I believe there is more good outside of the church than even inside the church. Otherwise why we would need to do missionary work? We would leave all that evil to its own designs. This does not degrade the church which has the Priesthood and saving ordinances of which there is no replacement. Simply put, I believe that the church needs to gather all good and I might say all truth into one great whole. Correlation balances the ship in this process.

            One of the measures of God’s church is that it is united or correlated! It can be no other way! Where are you good brother on this issue? Are you united with the prophet and his church of correlation or not? Somehow I think being bored in a priesthood meeting or Sunday School class or listening to heartfelt gratitude in testimony meetings is hardly a reason to think that the church is not meeting your needs. If so, I would suggest some real reflection on what really matters in life.

            With love and gratitude your brother in Christ.

          • Marcus April 16, 2011 at 5:52 am

            I see what you are saying. I just think that we’ll keep losing a lot of good members with this kind of mentality. I guess it’s really true that few will make it to the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom because many, many good people just can’t hold on to that “iron rod”. It’s sad. I just wish we’d be more loving and accepting of all kinds of members – good, bad, or great. We are missing out not having many of our brothers and sisters with us in the church.

          • jch April 16, 2011 at 9:43 pm

            I guess good members is a relative term. If you mean good people that can contribute in a positive manner to the church? Lots of good people lose that faith for whatever reason and we all morn their loss and we pray for their recovery. I sympathize with your feelings because I believe it is a Christ like love for them. It reflects how I feel for them too. I know that God weeps for those that come so close and turn from the blessings that the church and His gospel have for all.

            When you say with this kind of mentality, do you mean with the Lord’s mentality? After all it is His church led by His Prophet or it’s not. It’s for you or for that matter anyone in this world that comes in contact with His messengers to determine for yourself if it is His or not. By the way and I mean this sincerely, what makes you think that the Saints as a whole are not loving? It has been my experience that the Saints as a whole are very accepting especially to those who struggle and who are working to accept or keep the gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately too many good people want to hang on to worldly notions or actions and desire to council the Lord rather than take council from Him. They have a difficult time with the Lord’s correlation or unity. God’s house is a house of order you know.

            There is nothing more moving than talking to young missionaries that wet their pillows with their tears at night praying for the souls of God’s children that are investigators that have been put in their way by the Lord. I know Bishops and Stake Presidents that do the same for those in their stewardships and if you heard President Monson in conference last, so does he. There is no end to our reaching out as a church that I can see. I believe that you are a good example of that too.

            God Bless

          • Anonymous April 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm

            JCH, you’ve written a lot of asinine thoughs on this forum, but one of your comments in particular really says a lot about what kind of a person you really are. You, by your own admission, “do not sympathize with those who have lost faith.” Mormon Stories is not for those that have lost faith, but for those that struggle with their faith. All of us, at sometime in our life, are like the father who asked the Savior to heal his child with the “dumb spirit”; in this scripture, the father told Christ “Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief.” You yourself would not listen to the Mormon Stories broadcasts if you did not have some type of faith struggle–not even for a minute. If you were as stalwart as you portray yourself to be, you would dedicate your time strictly to correlated materials (e.g., lds.org), and not to the Mormon Stories’ podcasts of someone like Richard Bushman. In other words, you are a freakin’ hypocrite (one of the greatest of sins according to Christ). Finally, I think I can rightly judge that a person who has no sympathy for those that have lost faith is not a true Christian. That’s great that your being “true to the faith” and feeling all proud about how unwavering you are, but I would invite you to really look at your faith in the teachings of Christ, which are primarily centered on sympathy for others.

          • jch April 20, 2011 at 10:48 am


            I’m going to sidestep the personal attacks and hopefully clarify your concerns with my posts.

            “You, by your own admission, “do not sympathize with those who have lost faith.””

            Definition of SYMPATHY

            a : an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other
            my comments: don’t really want a similar affect like lost faith
            b : mutual or parallel susceptibility or a condition brought about by it
            my comment: nope don’t want to be susceptible to or in the condition of lost faith
            c : unity or harmony in action or effect
            my comment: don’t want to be in unity or harmony with the condition of lost faith
            a : inclination to think or feel alike : emotional or intellectual accord
            my comments: nope don’t want to feel alike with the goal of lost faith
            b : feeling of loyalty : tendency to favor or support
            my comments: don’t really want favor or support lost faith
            a : the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another
            my comments: might want to do this under certain conditions
            b : the feeling or mental state brought about by such sensitivity
            my comments: don’t really want a feeling or mental state of lost-faith

            Maybe I oversimplified what I meant by sympathy. I hope this helps.

            With regard to the scripture you quoted:
            “All of us, at sometime in our life, are like the father who asked the Savior to heal his child with the “dumb spirit”; in this scripture, the father told Christ “Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief.”

            Please do go to the Savior or the Lord’s servants (Priesthood). Why would you go to a forum or something other than the Lord or the Lord’s servants for help if you are struggling with a faith issue?
            An alcoholic does not learn how to quit drinking by asking the advice of one selling alcohol.
            In a very real sense, someone that is struggling with faith is probably not going to find more faith by seeking the advice of him or her that is struggling with faith or has already lost faith.
            Am I naïve in thinking that the correlated church is where the Lord wants you to go for help in a faith struggle? This scripture suggests to me that strengthening unbelief must somehow be correlated with the Savior and I would say if you believe in the Priesthood, His Priesthood servants.

            “You yourself would not listen to the Mormon Stories broadcasts if you did not have some type of faith struggle–not even for a minute”

            Truth is where you find it. I consider myself a truth seeker that is not afraid of the truth in any form let it be science, biblical or church history. But, I seek it as one with an unshakable faith in the restored gospel. I have seen what I have seen and heard what I have heard and cannot deny it.

            I think I said that I enjoy the TBM podcasts. I gut out the ones that have less meaning to me or purport an agenda that is something other than TBM stuff. I just don’t think they are balanced very well. I also think there is an agenda to promote de-correlating the church which in my previous posts I’ve addressed.

            I hope this helps.

          • Anonymous April 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm

            JCH, thank you for defining all of the ways that you are unsympathetic to the Lord’s lost sheep. If only I could have you as my home teacher.

          • jch April 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm

            At least you would have one good brother.

          • Jason April 21, 2011 at 8:15 am

            Hey JCH, I’m back. Had a great weekend and a busy week. A couple of things…..(where do I start?)

            You don’t sympathize, but do you empathize with those who have lost their faith?

            You are correct that an alcoholic shouldn’t try to quit by getting help from one selling alcohol, rather by going to AA, and spending time counseling with others that have a similar problems, and more than likely have experiences to share, and methods to deal with and conquer the alcoholism. Wouldn’t you agree? I’ll also submit that the alcoholic shouldn’t seek help either from the abusive parents, or spouse, or whoever may have played a roll in perpetuating the disease!!!!!!!!

            You stated earlier, “About a month ago an ENDOWED transgender person stood up in Fast and Testimony meeting and bore solemn testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and how it had blessed her life. Once again correlation works for all.” What on earth do you mean by giving that example, and then stating “once again, correlation works for all.” Oh, and In my most recent reading of the “handbook”, the one I’m not supposed to have or read, I believe is said that NO transgender people are allowed temple recommends, and this isn’t new.

            You’ve implied several times that the people that have been interviewed or that post here, or whatever, feel that the church isn’t meeting our needs. I think you’re really off base with this. People that want to leave, leave! Most rant and rave about their happiness “post-mormonism”. I believe that most of the people here are fighting tooth and nail not to leave, because God is so much bigger that any one church, or teaching, or “saving ordinance”! Sure the church does good, provides service, all those wet pillows of missionaries. Don’t get me wrong but bla bla bla! The point is that the church (and I mean its leadership….over the years) has been deceptive and miss-leading and outright dishonest about many things! It’s created a distrust for many people, myself included! It’s difficult to deal with! It’s not easy for all of us, or I dare say impossible to just say as you do “One of the measures of God’s church is that it is united or correlated! It can be no other way!” And you’re going to have to do better than Gods house is a house of order. Enlighten me on some correlation scriptures from the New Testament if you would.

            You said “Correlation is frustrating at times, but it is the Lord’s way” I’ve heard it said many times today that Joseph Smith wouldn’t recognize the church today! It’s been stripped of it’s richness and so much of what the early saints sacrificed for. I really doubt that correlation, watering down and distorting facts, teachings, and principals is the Lords way.

            You asked me a question earlier and I havent’ yet responded. You said, “One of the measures of God’s church is that it is united or correlated! It can be no other way! Where are you good brother on this issue? Are you united with the prophet and his church of correlation or not?” As I’ve been on my own personal journey I’ve obviously battled with this question or type of question. I’ve avoided it, danced around it, and for a plethora of reasons simply refused to answer it. But I’ll go ahead and answer you now. HELL NO! First of all, it’s not HIS church, as you stated. Perhaps you meant something different, but I’m not sure. Second of all, faith is individual and not something you corral, homogenize, franchise, and spit back out to someone how, when, where, and what they should believe!! 2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun!! Works all around the world, doesn’t it! What a success! You already knew how it was going to end too, didn’t you, when I started with 2 all beef patties. You knew the rest right away! THAT’S NOT FAITH, BROTHER!! That’s something that’s extremely well correlated!!! Third, I’m sorry to say this, but some of your statements like this are similar in rhetoric to the kind that make people fly planes into buildings! Fourth and finally, I only unite, or pledge my loyalty, to someone or something that is transparent, and has nothing to hide. It’s hard for me to say but my distrust for the church has unfortunately become very deep lately. Let me ask you JHC, why can’t the church disclose to it’s members, it’s contributors, the financial operations and expenditures and investments of the funds? What company, what government, what person isn’t accountable to someone, specifically those who fund, support and sustain it? I can’t wait for your correlated answer to my question, but my answer is one that has something to hide!!

            I’ll end back where you began…with the advice of Mormon: “And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.” I’d like to pose a question to you. In your mind, what is a fairly recent “mistake” made by church leadership? And when was the last time you heard one admit to a mistake or fault? My problem here JHC is that the whole image of correlation is that there are no errors, or even room for errors! At least that’s the impression I get from correlation. This whole thread revolves around this stupid word, correlation! I want to be clear with you here also, The church is probably the most well oiled machine in the world! It’s organization is second to none! It’s ability to instantly have hundreds of thousands of volunteers for some purpose is amazing and envious of most other organizations! But when that volunteer service is to call from Utah, to California, to persuade voters how to vote on Prop 8, that power, that correlation is being used improperly, in my opinion. It was interesting that my stake pres and bishop had received calls to “rally the troops” from a gung ho area rep. My bishop and stake pres were very hesitant, and very uncomfortable with it, and decided not to do it…thank goodness! They couldn’t do it in good conscience. It’s a long story, but my point is that it’s one thing to be well organized and “correlated”, but to attempt to squash or manipulate truths and history, just so the story can line up, and we’ll all think and believe the same is ridiculous! Again, just my opinion.

            JHC, Please forgive my antagonistic tone. It’s just that this is a very sensitive subject for me, but I sincerely appreciate your comments and insights. They really help me to better understand where I really am, and why and how I’ve gotten here. God bless.

          • jch April 22, 2011 at 6:46 am

            Hi Jason,

            Empathy! I like that word. I hope Thisiscrazy28 let’s me come over and Home Teach now. Don’t care for the word sympathy when talking about those that fight against the church or turn from their faith and the light that they previously had.

            I still like my alcohol analogy. I think you split hairs trying not to understand what I meant by it.

            On the ENDOWED transgender person that bore testimony, the CHI states that a MEMBER who has gone through an elective transsexual operation cannot receive a temple recommend. Have you considered a transgender convert? They have repented and received the ordinance of baptism and the laying on of hands for the G of the HG. Good brother they are clean of sin on any level and can become….temple worthy.

            You said, “I believe that most of the people here are fighting tooth and nail not to leave, because God is so much bigger that any one church, or teaching, or “saving ordinance”!

            If I didn’t believe that the church has the saving ordinances, I would leave in a heartbeat. The ordinances are not just for the members. It is the ordinances for all mankind and that brother is as big as God gets for the human race. No other church purports to do that that I am aware of. It is the only way in my mind that God can be as he claims, “no respecter of persons.”

            Okay so I misspoke and didn’t capitalize the “H” in “his church”. Rather nit picky I think. At least you acknowledged that maybe I meant to. I did not mean to insinuate that it was Pres. Monson’s church or any other prophet’s. It is His (Jesus Christ’s) church.

            I really have a hard time understanding how someone cannot see why the church needs to be united or correlated in it’s faith, ordinances and practices. If this was not so, it really is not God’s church. For those of us that are looking forward to living with God someday and I believe that the church is helping us do that, it has to be united! Here is an example from Paul to the church at Corinth:

            .1 Cor. 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

            then Paul asks the question in verse1 3 “Is Christ divided?…”

            But the ultimate correlation or unity is in Acts 4 where it talks about the saints living the law of consecration. We that are endowed have covenanted to this practice, it hasn’t been rescinded the last time I went to the temple. Members are to give all and have all things in common both temporally and spiritually.

            32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that bought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

            Don’t you just long for those days of correlation and unity?

            Further, virtually all of Paul’s letters were to correct or to correlate the church so that it would be united. Read it, you’ll like it. And of course the B of M is full of it as well the D & C and P or GP. You cannot miss it me thinks! It’s a theme that runs all the way through the scriptures, to the restored gospel and all the way to Heaven.

            I assume that you are you familiar with early Christianity? What was the problem with Christianity when the Emperor Constantine unites the empire and wants to make Christianity the state religion? Quite literally Christianity had lost its way. It had become uncorrelated! So what did Constantine try to do when recognizing this problem? He attempted to unite or correlate Christianity not for Christianity’s sake, but to unite the empire. The point here is that without unity and authority the church lost it’s way in short order and tried to find it’s way back.

            That is why I am in favor of correlation or unity as a restorationist. This is why the church is as true today as when JS first had revelation to organize it line upon line precept upon precept and why the restoration will continue to receive correlated revelation through a prophet until Christ the bridegroom comes to claim His bride (His church). Without it we could not build Zion.

            I do not believe for a moment that the brethren are evil designing men and I don’t believe that you believe that either. Maybe they have put forth too much heroics to try and preserve the church from the critics and enemies, but they are not evil designing men. So give them a break. They have a hard enough job as it is. What do you say?

            Next, I think that you are safe. I don’t know how to fly airplanes and get a little queasy at high altitudes so the whole “plane through the building” thing might be over the top. (-;

            You ask, “I’d like to pose a question to you. In your mind, what is a fairly recent “mistake” made by church leadership?”

            I think they are way too patient with dissenters. I believe that dissenters hold us back from Christ coming sooner. One of these days I think they will have to cleanse the inner vessel and that will be very painful indeed. This shouldn’t surprise you though if you have read the rest of my thoughts. In the mean time good brother we will continue to work with all our might to keep you here and recover those that are lost by using all of our love and patience that we possess.

            The LDS Prop 8 support has brought more good to the church than you will ever realize. I am here in the bay area doing missionary work and that support that we gave has brought people to the church that would have never considered it before. It has put us in the forefront of the discussion with those that agree with us and they are many! You should have helped out too as well as those Bishops and SP that you purport did not.

            You are a very passionate person about very serious issues. There is nothing wrong with that. I hope that at some point you can reconcile your issues and that one way or the other I have helped in the process so that you can have some peace.

            With all respect,


          • Anonymous April 22, 2011 at 3:13 pm

            JCH, Interesting that you brought up the problems within the early Christian church. In 1962, Pres. David O. McKay voiced his fear of correlation within the Church, stating “that by these same means the early Christian church was made to stumble into darkness.”

            Let me tell you the issue that I have with correlation. I’ll use Elder Packer’s October 2010 General Conference address as an example. In Elder Packer’s conference talk, he stated that gay members of the Church could overcome their homosexuality and that homosexuality was not an inborn trait. These are teachings that have been taught by LDS prophets for decades, and Elder Packer was very clear in what he was saying (quote, “Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”). This was also the stance that my mission president told us to teach investigators when they asked about our teachings on homosexuality. However, what happened after he gave his talk? Well, before the talk could be published in print form, it had to go through the Correlation Department to see if it was what THEY wanted to print. This is the same process that every conference talk goes through–including the prophet’s. Just so you know, the Correlation Department is primarily made up of BYU religion professors and other LDS academics. These academics decided to override the teachings of an Apostle of Christ. The Correlation Department is no longer certain that homosexuality in not an inborn trait, so they told Elder Packer to reword parts of his speech. Doesn’t that seem a little odd to you? A bunch of academics can override a special witness of Christ? That’s my problem with correlation, and I think this highlights the worries that Pres. McKay had about the Church falling into the same issues that the early Christian church had. One could liken the Correlation Department to the Ecumenical Council (remember the Nicene Creed?) within the early Christian Church.

            In conclusion, I guess I don’t agree with your statement that “this is why the church is as true today as when JS first had revelation to organize it line upon line precept upon precept and why the restoration will continue to receive correlated revelation through a prophet.” When Joseph Smith received a revelation, it didn’t have to be correlated to any past teachings or social mores. Joseph Smith was a prophet, and the last thing that he would do is allow some committee of academics to correct or clarify his teachings. The revelations of a prophet are rarely correlated. When Joseph Smith received the revelation to practice polygamy, was that correlated revelation? What about Wilford Woodruff’s revelation to discontinue polygamy, was that correlated? What about Pres. Kimball’s announcement that black members of the Church could receive the Priesthood, was that correlated? Pres. Kimball’s announcement actually went against the doctrine that the Correlation Department was using (i.e., that blacks were the seed of Cain, less valiant in the pre-existence, and would never receive the priesthood).

          • jch April 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm

            Hello once again Thisiscrazy28,

            Thanks for stating your issues with correlation clearly. I really do not believe they are founded however.

            First, David O. McKay. I would ask that you please give citations for your quotes so I don’t have to go digging for them. (-:

            Have you listened to podscast 002 & 003 featuring Greg Prince? Greg’s first words, when asked why we should be interested in David O. McKay is, “The church that we have today is very much a product of David O. McKay and his era.” I would suggest that correlation might be a part of it. Perhaps even in a big way. That does not mean that there are not concerns.

            On Elder Packer and a correlating committee. I have no knowledge of such committee, but it would make sense to have one if there isn’t. If I were a general authority I would ask the advice of many including some of the brightest theological minds academically in the church. I don’t believe that Elder Packer would have let changes to his talk happen without his consent. What do you think? The Spirit can work through committee as well as individually.

            Homosexuality gets bogged down in the argument and understandably so of the effect of biology verses environment. One thing is for sure, those that participate in homosexual acts are sinning, plain and simple. The Lord makes up the rules not me. I have great empathy for those that suffer from same sex attraction, but I have the same empathy for those that suffer from pedophilia or any other biologically or environmentally induced tendency to sexual deviation. It’s not easy.

            Joseph Smith actually did work through somewhat of a correlation on revelation. Virtually all of the revelations that we have in the D & C came with some type of editing, some with major corrections. Ultimately it is the prophet that has the final say however. Just like Elder Packer.

            Joseph Smith and polygamy, probably not correlated. But ultimately accepted by the church as a whole.

            Wilford Woodruff and the manifesto. Absolutely was.correlated. That is one of the issues that Fundamentalists bring up is that it was. In other words it was the words of others not th prophet. Those words became the prophets in the end.

            President Kimball ultimately sought unanimity among the brethren before he went forward. Correlation at it’s best. They all received that revelation together as directed by a prophet of God. Then moved forward to present it to the other quorums and ultimately to the church. (Glad that Mark E. Peterson happened to be gone that day however.)

            I sorry, but I respectfully disagree with you on almost all of your issues.

            Hope this helps.

            Have a nice day.

          • jch April 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm

            I meant, “I am sorry” not “I sorry”. I just noticed it.

          • Anonymous April 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm

            The quote is from David O. McKay’s personal diary (September 19, 1962). The context of the quote is covered in the book “David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism” by Gregory A. Prince and William Robert Wright (read Chapter 7 and you will learn about how the Correlation Committee was started). Read up on the history and you will learn that Pres. McKay was very skeptical and wary of creating a Correlation Committee. Harold B. Lee was actually the apostle who headed the creation of the Correlation Committee (Pres. McKay was largely unaware of the power the committee would have in authorizing doctrine). The current Correlation Committee that we have today is the product of Pres. Lee. Also, I would invite you to listen to the podcast interview of Dr. Daymon Smith (the subject of his dissertation was Church correlation).

            I would encourage you to get knowledge of “such a committee” because every lesson that you are taught on Sunday comes through the Correlation Committee (including the teachings in Church magazines). I’d also like to comment on the following quote you made: “On Elder Packer and a correlating committee . . . it would make sense to have one if there isn’t. If I were a general authority I would ask the advice of many including some of the brightest theological minds academically in the church.” I consider Elder Packer to be more than just a general authority because every six months I sustain him as a “prophet, seer, and revelator.” He is the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Maybe it’s not a big deal to you, but I completely understand how other members could become skeptical about one of the Lord’s apostles going to get theological advice from an academic. Now, I understand that Elder Packer is also a man and subject to mistakes; however, I also believe that Elder Packer honestly believes and meant what he initially said in his talk. He was very clear in what he said (not to mention it was prepared beforehand). I believe that the Correlation Committee asked him to reword part of his talk, and he consented to keep the peace (not because he agrees with the change). This doesn’t sit right with me. If an apostle meant what he said while speaking in a General Conference talk, then we, as members, should take that as the word of God. To have a group of professors override that just doesn’t add up for me.

            I don’t really care where the Church stands on an issue like homosexuality. What bothers me is when their stance changes or shifts (as it has done very recently with homosexuality) in accordance with worldly pressure. We used to say that gay members of the Church suffered from “same-sex attraction” and offered support to overcome this “weakness.” In the 60s and 70s, the Church even performed shock aversion therapy at BYU to cure homosexuality. Now I see us changing the “correlated” teaching that homosexuality cannot be overcome. It is a burden that gay Saints have to deal with. They cannot be cured from it, so they have to just live a celibate life. You get what I’m saying? Who made that change? It doesn’t sound like Elder Packer believes in that change. So where did it come from? The answer is: the Correlation Committee. To answer your question, can the Spirit work through such a committee? Yeah, I think it can, but can that committee also override an apostle who speaks “the mind and will of the Lord”? Well, it looks like they just did.

            Finally, that’s fine to respectfully disagree with me. I totally respect that you are in here preaching the good word. My only issue with some of your comments on this board is your admitted lack of “understanding” at how others might take issue with correlation. I would encourage you to use your new-found “empathy” to gain some understanding for those types of people. They are not “dissenters” who have “turned against the greater light.” They are simply members of the Church who cannot reconcile some of the “gray area” issues that we see in the Church.

          • jch April 23, 2011 at 2:37 am

            Greetings Thisiscrazy28,

            I did listen to the podcast featuring Dr. Daymen Smith. It was one of the first that I did listen to. I’ve listened to almost all of the podcasts. Sounded like he had a lot of time on his hands and was bored while working for the Church. I found it interesting that he seems to be a closet Fundamentalist.

            So now that we’ve exposed the church for what it really is, a correlated, unified entity where octogenarian Apostles look for help on their talks from the mystical correlation committee of academia…..

            I mean, there are corrections all the time to conference talks. I don’t really see the problem. I think you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill and it seems to be affecting you spiritually. My advice as Elder Packer suggests, “is to let it go.” You’ll live longer, be happier and more focused on the things that matter.

            Good is what I believe our Heavenly Father wants for us to do, so what good is there and what do you want to see come out of this?

            What is it that you really want?

            Just a piece of advice, I would leave counseling the brethren to the Lord. He does a much better job of it than any of us. At least what I have seen.

            Thanks for the civil discourse. Much easier to communicate and gains respect from those that you communicate with.



          • Jason April 24, 2011 at 7:11 am

            JHC, These threads are getting really long, but I appreciate and enjoy your responses, and do want to respond back to your questions.

            Transgenders are indeed forgiven and made whole in Christ! He wouldn’t have it any other way! I just hope none of the poor souls are already members of the church.(Thank you for clarifying from the CHI)

            I don’t think I’m splitting hairs on the alcohol analogy, but we just see it differently and that’s ok.

            I find it interesting that if you “didn’t believe that the church has the saving ordinances, I would leave in a heartbeat.” I totally respect your belief here, but I guess I’ve just graduated from Primary now and am not to worried anymore about my calling and election. I’m more trying to focus on living the gospel of Christ, and doing unto others, you know, those kind of silly things. We can both scour through the New Testament and find words of Christ to support our views on this, but I think you get where I am, and I respect where you are.

            No problem on the “his church” thing. I wasn’t sure, but responded anyway.

            Thanks for the beautiful NT quotes with respect to “correlation”. I don’t have time to respond to all of it just now, other than to again say we can all find exactly what we’re looking for in the scriptures….BOM and D&C included.

            I do not believe that the brethren are evil designing men, or I to, as you so eloquently put it, “would leave in a heartbeat.” I fully agree that the brethren have plenty on their plates and a hard enough job. I don’t envy their positions or the tasks and burdens they carry. Frankly I hold them (most of them anyway) in the highest esteem as men, and indeed as spiritual leaders, but not infallible men. I already stated my issues, and they’re just my issues! Oh, and thank you for at least acknowledging their “heroics”.

            You man not know how to fly airplanes, or like high altitudes, but trust me good brother, there are plenty of other good brothers that do!

            I’m not to surprised, as you guessed, about your view of “dissenters”. In a way I can understand, I mean if someone doesn’t want to be here, then they should leave, right? So you might as well escort them to the door and the usher can open it, and they can leave the meeting! As long as you’re in control of things, I guess that’s how could go down. As long as your in control of things……….

            I couldn’t disagree with you more about Prop 8. That issue has done much more harm to the church than good. The next generation, my children, will not put up with this intolerance! They are born of goodly parents, and there is still enough of a spark of teachings of Christ in correlated Primary that they can see through the intolerance of the past generation, and when they’re in charge, things will change brother…they always do!!! The Church has back peddled so hard on this that’s I have mixed feelings of joy and embarrassment (for the leadership blunders). Which 70 was it that went to CA and more or less apologized for the way things were handled? I can’t remember. Oh, and thank God that my St. Pres and Bish had enough self respect not to engage in the whole telephone calling mess. I said before that it’s a long story, but basically they didn’t want to do it, and hesitated long enough for it to really fester and then the word came back down from above to go ahead and stop…….THEY NEVER STARTED!!!!!!! Those men really earned my respect! (and I’m personal friends with both of them and know the real story of things, if you know what I mean) So I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one. And I guess that’s the way it’s supposed to be, right?

            You to are passionate about your positions and well versed in the scriptures and history. I respect and admire that. I appreciate your ability to discuss these serious issues in this forum and manner and would greatly enjoy a Home Teaching visit by someone like you!

            Your BIG. (Brother in the Gospil)

          • jch April 24, 2011 at 11:26 pm

            Thanks Jason,

            I agree, it will be interesting to see what the next generation of LDSs brings. I pray the Lord to come some time soon, but then we’ve been waiting two millennia and I don’t imagine another generation or two will matter much in the eternities. Tolerance is one thing condoning or embracing evil is quite another and I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what a kind wise Heavenly Father has for us all.

            Love you good brother and God Speed.


          • Subeight April 22, 2011 at 4:05 am

            I have been reading your responses; and I cannot help but state that though I don’t know you, you are my friend and are very solid. Your a man among boys.

          • Battman May 24, 2011 at 4:29 am

            I happened upon this site by pure chance and have been reading some strands. It sounds to  me that many here with shaky faith in the Mormon church really just can’t let go of some passions and tendencies and want to complain about not being accepted because of it. I am a strait talking person. Make a choice, make a commitment, take a leap of faith, cincerely pray for strength in the commitment and accept possible “No” in answer. I guarantee the LDS church will not make policy or doctrinal change to accept any sinful act. With love……

          • Anonymous May 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm

            Battman, who said anything about the Church making policy and doctrinal changes to accept sinful acts? Read up before you hate, Bro.

  6. Aaron Hart April 15, 2011 at 6:38 am - Reply

    Good teaser for the conference. I guess I fall into the post-Mormon category, although I am still a very spiritual person, attend church regularly (although not the LDS Church), and do still read the Book of Mormon from time to time. Your podcasts are great and so are the people you interview. Doing something of this caliber is both emotionally and time management demanding. I can’t imagine what it takes to do these podcasts. Keep up the good work!

  7. Nathan Lisgo April 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Thanks for posting John. Any chance that the other presentations were recorded? :)

    Oh, and you did sneak a camera into the theatre as well, right?

  8. Jason April 15, 2011 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    Oh, and JHC, you misquoted me. I said E. Uchtdorf is a liberal, open minded European. Not a liberal minded European. Have a great weekend.

    • jch April 16, 2011 at 4:53 am - Reply

      Thanks for the correction. (-:

  9. Glen Fullmer April 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    John, isn’t 20% of five, one? That other poor 1/2 kid is not correlated, uncorrelated, a TBM, or UBM. ;-)

  10. Jean Bodie April 18, 2011 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    18%? That high huh?

  11. Justin April 18, 2011 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    John, I’d really like to know the source of the 18% of the church is active statistic. Pretty please.

  12. Joshua Packard April 19, 2011 at 1:58 am - Reply

    John, I loved the NYC MS conference, and would suggest we do it again on a yearly basis. It could be centered around The Book of Mormon musical and a conference with interesting speakers, just like last month. I’d be there again for sure (and probably hundreds of other new attendees).

  13. Christian J April 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    John, I was disappointed to miss this NYC conference. Where did you advertise for it? I had no idea…

    • Jake April 20, 2011 at 1:02 am - Reply

      Ditto! I live in NYC and would have loved to attend, but I never heard anything about it until after the fact.

  14. Subeight April 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.

    It sad that “after” you had, the “scoffing” is more than you can abide.

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