In this episode of Mormon Stories/Transitions, John and Margi interview the brilliant Dr. Julie DeAzevedo Hanks about her article titled “30 Questions Nobody Asks My Husband at Church.”

John, Margi, and Julie focus on the powerful cultural messages about gender, potential, life decisions, and worth that are broadcast in the questions we ask.  During the interview, cultural assumptions are challenged in some of the questions from Julie’s article:

  • Did you know that you are a son of your Heavenly Mother?
  • What does your wife do for a living?
  • Who’s watching your kids?
  • Why are you getting a graduate degree?
  • Will you go home and change? Your clothes are distracting the sisters.

…and many more.


Dr. Hanks is hosting a Women’s Workshop in Salt Lake City on July 26, 2017.  Information for that event can be found here

Dr. Hanks is also presenting at this year’s Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium on July 29 at 9:00AM with her subject “The Shame with no Name:  Identifying and healing aspirational shame in Mormon women.”  Information for this can be found here

And finally, you can learn from Dr. Hanks alongside John at our Mormon Stories Mixed Faith Marriage Retreat on 8/11-12 in Salt Lake City.  Event details are located here.



  1. Jay July 20, 2017 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    How do you get your husband to listen to the problems with the mormon church truth claims?

  2. Jason Vidaurri July 21, 2017 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    C’mon guys. “Cats and dogs living together…” Ghostbusters. Bill Murray

  3. Lizbet July 23, 2017 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    These kind of questions irritate me to no end. As a professional with a graduate degree and children at home, I have been asked almost all of them.

    I agree that these types of questions are more prominent in the Book of Mormon belt (having lived in and out of it), but exist everywhere. Living in the belt now, women outside of work ask me what my husband does for a living. Period. When we meet a couple, they ask my husband where he works, and ask me how many kids we have. When I tell them that I work, there is always the question, of wow, how do you juggle it all? My husband never gets that question, despite taking ownership of half of the household/children duties. He gets super irritated by TV portraying dads as incompetent idiots, although I think it’s also done out in society to a less obvious degree.

    The bit about when we tell girls that their clothes are distracting the boys, or their actions may imperil a boy’s worthiness and chances to go on a mission, we are basically saying that boys are brainless walking hormones that have no control over their actions or thoughts. We remove the boys’ agency and put their worth as the responsibility of the girl. It’s utterly insulting to both the boys and the girls.

    Lastly, regarding education, when I was in college in the belt, there was a very strong push that I should study something that would benefit my future position as a mother (early childhood education, as an example) or something that I could do later while the kids were at school (school teacher). Those are both valid education paths, but I think they should be pursued because you have an actual interest in them, not because you need a job that can put you home by 3:00, because obviously, 1) you’ll have kids and 2) good moms wouldn’t consider something that takes them away from their kids for a minute. I can’t imagine my sons being persuaded to study a specific program so they could be home with the kids.

  4. Q July 26, 2017 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    My wife has been asked most of these questions (and I have not, of course). A few years ago we moved to the city where we now live for her career. If you want to see a really confused look on someone’s face, try explaining that one at church.

  5. Matt July 28, 2017 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    My wife works in a high level position for a church owned company. When she first got the job and was introduced to the head of a church dept at the COB she wasn’t asked about her background etc., instead she was asked “what about your children, ” and “what are doing with your children.” When her boss retired and she naively thought she could get his job she was told “the church casts a large shadow .” Translation – don’t even try to get the job. She was also asked by our neighbors and ward members: “why do you want to work”, “how did YOU get that job,” and just generally putting her down because she had an advanced degree and worked,

    Another comment: gender roles do matter. women are nurturers and men are protectors. Women pushing no gender role is old time feminist BS and directed toward putting down men, like they have no value. Men and women are different.

  6. James July 30, 2017 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    I tire of the idea that if we justices the gospel better the culture wouldn’t have such problems. It’s the gospel is true but the church isn’t rephrased. The gospel is flawed and can not produce a better culture even if we implemented it better. Don’t blame members for the culture that grows from the teachings they are given.

  7. Tami September 3, 2017 at 10:58 am - Reply

    “The deep end” is fun, &absolutely the safest way to dive. :)

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