Anthony Miller is widely known across post- and progressive- Mormon internet communities for his thoughtful contributions on faith, spirituality, religion, scripture, and relationships. Anthony has presented at multiple Sunstone Symposium sessions in the past and at this Summer’s Thrive Conference where he gave a presentation titled “Growing Beyond Grief” which we hope to feature on a future episode of Mormon Stories / The Gift of the Mormon Faith Crisis. Anthony has also given past interviews with Gina Colvin’s A Thoughtful Faith and appeared on multiple episodes with Bill Reel and Allan Mount (linked on Anthony’s blog) unpacking the Gospel Topic Essays.

On these episodes with Mormon Stories, we hope to dig deep into Anthony’s personal Mormon story including:

  • What he calls his “literal faith” in the truth claims of the Mormon Church, including using his patriarchal blessing as the literal guidebook for the choices and direction he pursued in life
  • How his faith began to unravel after he discovered the LDS-published Gospel Topic Essays
  • How he sought community and healing during his faith crisis, including the founding of a Mormon Spectrum group
  • How he deconstructed his past beliefs and is reconstructing a sense of spirituality after his faith crisis

….and so much more.

We hope our listeners will draw from Anthony’s rich experience in learning to navigate a mixed faith marriage, communicating across faith and belief, reconstructing a sense of spirituality after a faith crisis, and creating support communities for people inside and outside the edge of Mormonism.

Part 1 – Anthony provides his Mormon background:

Part 2 – Anthony shares how cracks formed in his faith:

Part 3 – Anthony discusses finding community during his faith crisis, including founding a Mormon Spectrum group:

Part 4 – Anthony discusses deconstructing his past beliefs:

Part 5 – Anthony shares how he and others have formed community to find new purpose in life:

Part 6 – Anthony and John have a conversation about contemporary Mormon issues:

Epilogue – Recorded 8/19/19 – Anthony shares the feedback he received from his interview:

Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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Part 4

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Part 5

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Part 6

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  1. Nancy August 9, 2019 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    I would like to comment on your thoughts about who moves the needle. Although podcasters, Sunstone, You Tube and other social media celebrities get conversations started, it ‘s the rank and file Mormons like me and my husband who vote with our feet that move the needle. I don’t know how many full tithe paying all in members like us are really leaving. The church is now as opaque with their membership statistics as it’s finances. But judging from the reaction when we resigned, it’s enough lost revenue and free labor to be noticed by the corporate church. Since we left 5 years ago, despite an attorney writing that we wanted no contact, it’s been a steady stream of boundary violations. They have literally weaponized every person we had a relationship with when we were members. Just as we finally establish boundaries with one person another shows up. It’s like playing wack a mole. This smacks of desperation and as Quit Mormon stats have climbed so have the mainly cosmetic changes. In the end it’s futile. Progressive and conservative churches are all losing members. I see now that all religions are based on myths and unverifiable beliefs.

    • Anthony Miller August 11, 2019 at 10:32 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experience here. This stuff is so messy. And yes. That is my experience too, that many people lack the capacity to respect boundaries.

      From my story, you heard me share how significant and helpful the Church was for so much of my life.

      There were means of support that would have been very unlikely to have occurred outside a faith community. I suppose after my parents divorced that we could have lived in Section 8 housing, been on government welfare, and relied on secular programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters, a public school based Boy Scouts of America troop, and things like that. However, I am not really that confident that the means of support would have been as helpful and coordinated as they were, coming from my Wards.

      I am not quite sure that I would have been able to navigate my ADD type tendencies without the structure of the Church, and especially, my mission. I might have ended up on an entrepreneurial route, like my father, but without developed skill sets of focus, study, delegation, and follow through like I developed on my mission.

      I very well could have ended up as a ski bum, working enough to ski and smoke weed in the winter, and then working as a river guide in Moab during the summers, earning enough to mountain bike and smoke weed in the summers. It is hard to say.

      I am not confident that I would have ended up with the skills to graduate Summa Cum Laude, with full tuition scholarships from USU, and then follow that with 2 masters degrees, and be able to build a business that serves more than 4000 households, without my experience in the Church…or a Church at least, that offered similar support systems and role models. Maybe I could have. My grandfather created a significant business, but my father didn’t, and all but one of my father’s siblings did not experience success as an entrepreneur.

      In my interview, I shared the distinctions between Pre-Rational Thought, Rational Thought, and Trans-Rational Thought.

      My experience and belief is that there can be beauty and meaning in Trans-Rational Thought. I can know that it’s all myth, but I can find meaning, value, community and connection in the myth.

      Money is a myth. It is a complete human-made construct. Yet, the myth has utility (use).

      A sense of identity by where we live, our citizenship, the schools we attended, our hobbies, etc., are all human-made myths. They are “forms” created by human beings in order to connect with each other, to support each other, and to protect each other.

      I believe where the brittleness lies is when we get dogmatic about our myths because that seems to often lead to the harm and abuse of others.

      I don’t know if what I am sharing here is helpful. I hope so. This thoughts and reconciliations have been helpful for me.

      I’ve been really stretched by living in a mixed-faith marriage, with an active believing 21 year old daughter, and an active believing wife who is an ordinance worker and 1st Councilor in the Stake RS Presidency. I’ve been stretched by having parents and one sibling, plus 2 step-siblings who are still orthodox believing. I’ve been stretched by having hundreds of active believing friends, whom I dearly love.

      I believe that brittle constructs based on literalism and dogmatism will continue to fail, but I don’t believe it will be helpful if we all stop stretching ourselves by camping in Rational Thought for the rest of our lives. I am NOT suggesting that is what you are expressing here. I am just expressing my experiences with these things at this moment in time.

      Thank you again, so much, for listening to my story.

      • Sunshine August 30, 2019 at 11:26 am - Reply


        Thank you so much for sharing your story and thoughts! I could feel a change or evolution going on inside of me as I listened.

        About a year and a half ago I read Joseph Campbell’s interviews in book form called the Power of Myth and it changed my life and led me to this day as I just a few days ago shared with my family that I will be taking a break from the church.

        I am leaving partially because it has been difficult over this past year and a half to reconcile my acceptance of the idea that the scriptures and prophets and most importantly, Jesus Christ, is a myth while continuing to go to church. I tried justifying that I could stay in the church by focusing on appreciating the beauty of the symbolism and myths that profoundly add meaning and beauty to the world. I could sit during the sacrament and think about how the story of Jesus metaphorically represents the amazing reality about the human journey and the types of qualities we possess, such as the ability to grow and evolve through struggle. It IS amazing! But it has been exhausting to sit in church and listen to people who take it all literally. I feel like it holds me back from the joy of really contemplating with freedom the significance of the stories as myths and poetry. And it makes me feel guilty if I find that same meaning and beauty in other myths, such at those in Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, ect.

        Anyway, I thought I would be alone forever in my life with this belief and passion in mythology but I have now found someone who sees it the same way as me. IT IS SUCH A RELIEF. I am currently trying to figure out if I can find or create a support group. It would be so amazing to find even more people who believe the same.

        Again thank you, and if you are able to give me advice or guidance on how to find these people I would appreciate it so much!

        • Anthony Miller August 31, 2019 at 2:20 pm - Reply

          Thank you Sunshine 🙏😊

    • Darlene Schmidt November 6, 2019 at 11:28 am - Reply

      Nancy I am concerned about LDS monies. Gov Herbert is LDS. He collects taxes and then never tells where they go. LDS is not a church…it is a government hiding behind a church claim. It is rumored the LDS have a trillion dollars savings account. Herbert is a businessman who knows our economy is ready to pop and send us deep into recession. I am wondering if he is collecting taxes for the group of elite to escape to an island and live like kings during the greatest recession to hit America. If you have studied the US constitution, you know it gave America the kingdom come taken from the Jews, Matt 21:43 which the apostles wanted back! Acts 1:6 they cornered the resurrected Jesus asking when they would get it back! Jesus told them it was non-of -their-business. This angered me that Judah wants it all.

      Herbert has brought thousands of immigrants to Utah. He allows many illegals here. They come here believing we must feed them first before we feed our families, pets and selves. In a recession these people would kill for food. Are there any programs to teach these people to self-sustain? With Herbert reaming us and allowing Rocky to ream us…very few electrical improvements and then only when things do not work…we could be in big trouble. I live in Salt Lake. The country acts like a business, not a government. They give alms to those who are not entitled. I talked to a man on the train. Asking why he left Oregon to come to Utah. “I heard about the freebies. I quit my job, sold everything and came to Utah.” “How much to you earn an hour?” “$25.00” He likely doubled his salary and gets all the freebies Utah’s church/state governments give. Do you know of a group willing to protest the counties tax increases that only property owners pay? Renters pay nothing yet they increase government spending.

      In 1851 B. Young applied corporation to Greater Salt Lake City. Dartmouth v. Woodward did not authorize application of corporation to government. Corporations are businesses. Corporation means: invisible, intangible, contemplation of law, artificial non-existent person. Salt Lake County is an imaginary government run by con artists like those in the Emperor’s New Clothes. They laugh that they have all the money they want and hold our homes for ranson. The LDS Church never existed…it is a hallucination. The first vision says Smith saw the father and his son. John 1 says no man has seen god. 14 yr old snot-nosed Jo never say god either. Jo talked to Jesus who told him to created a restored church. Acts 3:21 says Jesus cannot leave heaven until the restoration of all things. Lying Jo never say Jesus either. Smith was executed in Carthage jail after he wrote his government and constitution now lost–so so. It is so terrifying everyone would leave the LDS church. By their fruits, ye shall know them. I have studied LDS courts and government and they declared war on MO, 1838…lost…Jo escaped execution with extortion. He declared war on Ill and almost conquered her. Young lost the Utah 1847 war with the US arm. Young bragged he knew how to get everything he wanted. He implemented Jo’s priesthood, corporate murderous government in UT, 1851. He secretly declared war of the fed congress and departments and got congress to create a corporate seat of gov for him, 1871! He created the state of Deseret 1851, congress created UT 1896. Young’s enabling act lies. UT has never submitted to our US constitution. Corporate government is called Deep State, corporate government, democracy but never republic or kingdom come or zion or Matt’s kingdom taken from the Jews and given to anther NATION. Jo had to overthrow our republic to fulfill his dream of ruling the world.

      If they have a trillion dollars saved to the coming depression, they will rule the world using the same law they got put into Roe v Wade. Our preamble secures the same blessings of liberty to the living born and unborn. When the unborn can be murdered upon whim, so can the born. This must be why Herbert is leaving us with many people willing to murder to get what they want. I am interested in meeting with people who are exMormons. They understand Jo’s goal but may not understand his government. I know more about his government than his church.

      About 3 yr ago I got my property tax and looked up the law allowing the tax…it did not exist. A non-existent government is governed by nonexistent law! I tried to use but did not have the money to pay the filing fee. Herbert has so many scams to plunder us I cannot keep track of them. He seems to be escaping off the top of our taxes for secret things. In Roe the unborn living citizens is GUILTY AS ACCUSED INSTEAD OF PROVEN. The unborn was forced to exist without its permission. It was forced to rent the womb. It is evicted before the lease is up to murder without cause. The number takes unborn possessions…life. Jo wrote a law: exterminate non-members for their wealth…god had given their wealth to the LDS to do with as they see fit. Roe denies both the born and unborn their day in court, knowing the charges against them, calling witnesses in their favor, faced with witnesses against, objecting, filing evidence in their favor and on and on. I found these denials in Sonia Johnson’s papers at the UofU. She filed court documents in them. I was born a corporate slave. LDS have not conquered the presidency. God would not allow mitt or his father to be elected president of the US. We have 2 presidents (Trump & Nelson), 2 governments (republic & corporation) and 2 constitutions (ratified constitution & Smith’s murderous constitution) government America. Email me:

      I really do not want illegals or immigrants coming for my food…I have every little. UT has kept me poor. Anyone who wants what I have takes it and I cannot recover it. Half my retirement fund was stolen. I can not prove Herbert will not obey any code, or US law. He dictates to judges what they rule and they do it just like they did at the time of Young. I read Blood of the Prophets, Mtn Meadow massacre. It reveals Jo’s constitution…frames people for crimes not committed and on and on. Thank you.

  2. Jay August 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Anthony, I noticed you hesitated when you compared spiritual experiences from your past with what you currently experiance… though I disagree with your biblical conclusions etc I can agree that church history is messy.

    Anthony, satan has many ways of lurring us down paths that don’t promote obviously the mind and will of God. The devil prefers, I’m assuming, to bypass the straight up attacks where you see, feel, and hear the evil where he presents ample empirical evidence of his exsistance. It makes sense, yes?—- that he and his followers employe more subtle attacks where we feel it is our own enlightenment that gave us the impetus to alter our lives drastically and influence others down our same ill inspired path.

    Anthony my brother, as a run of the mill striving to follow Jesus person, I have encountered evil in a empirical evidence way–sight, sound, and touch that strengthens my understanding all the more that the countering infinitly more powerful influence who is the embodiment of wholeness and LOVE even GOD, that he does exsist. I have always thought such encounters with disbelievers would surely all the more motivate an agnostic / atheist to want to learn and want to embrace the light and truth and succor / protection from Jesus. I wittness if our religious motive is to embrace and live to the best of our given ability the truth that “it is life eternal to KNOW God the Father and his son Jesus whom he has sent” then that which is true will remain and that which is false will fall away. If our religious motive is anything other than being firmly rooted to the foundation of Christ which is perfecting ourselves in him through HIS grace , merits, and mercy / 2 nephi chapter 4—Nephi’s approach— if this is not our approach then the victory of satan’s deception surely will have its day with us…

    Great hope and victory and DELIVERANCE in and through our most loving advocate Jesus can be yours mine and everyone’s if we simply let him in… love and optimism for you my brother Anthony. Jay

    • Anthony Miller August 11, 2019 at 10:35 am - Reply


      Thank you so much for listening to my story. While I don’t reconcile things the same way as you do with regard to literal reliability and historicity of the stories and attributed to Jesus in the Gospels, I do find significant meaning in those stories and teachings, and I believe that is part of why they have endured and become such a significant part of Western Culture.

      At the very least, I can express that I stand with you in striving to live according to many of those teachings attributed to Jesus—particularly Matthew 25:34-40.

      I suspect that in your reconciliation of things, that might not be enough, but that is what I presently have to offer.

  3. Maggie Rayner August 10, 2019 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Thank you Anthony for sharing your faith transition with such vulnerability, eloquence, and wisdom. I found your authenticity and discussion of stages of faith refreshing and empowering. I appreciated your sharing the practical question you pose to your clients, which question is valuable in other settings.

    In listening to the discussion about change makers ‘moving the needle’ in the Mormon Church I am reminded of the unchangeable nature of psychopathy—I don’t believe the inherent, core nature of the Church has changed in the least, only some of its external behaviours as necessary to hang onto the life source of those who feed it.

    When I hear of members acknowledging and overlooking the ‘bad, because there is so much ‘good’ in the Church I am reminded of the dynamics of enmeshed, unhealthy relationships where there is no space for authenticity.

    • Panhandle Rag August 11, 2019 at 7:06 am - Reply

      I’m only a little past the half way segment of the first episode. At first I thought that 6 episodes would be a bit too much, but it is interesting so far. I, too, like your parents, Anthony, spent a lot of time reading Mormon Doctrine. And I attended an evening seminar with Cleon Skousen. I was really into the patriotic stuff and was even advised, once, by my stake president to play ETB filmstrips for priesthood classes. I had been very moved, as a recent convert, to follow the instructions given in 1970 general conference by Elder Benson, and I would buy cases of recommended books and give them away, though I got little response from members.

      I never served a mission since I was married when baptized, but I served in ward and stake missions. And wherever I lived, I was considered the missionary in my ward whether called or not. I would even visit other Christian churches looking for the “golden”. And when converted, the missionaries told me to pray about everything and that those good feelings meant that the HG was testifying God’s truth to me. I have had many amazing spiritual experiences, from what I used to term Satanic ones to healings, to missionary ones. I never doubted the church, but I always wondered why everyone didn’t try harder to be perfect, since we were in “The Lord’s Church”. How I loved being a member of God’s true church, but moving from being a leader in an island branch to a very fast growing ward at the edge of Mormon country, would see the gradual development of that “shelf”.

      And, Jay, You may be trying to help Anthony with your supposed knowledge of Jesus, but I would advise you to do a lot more studying on the Bible, it’s many versions, its authors and redactions, anachronism problems like in the B of M, the history of Christianity by highly acclaimed professors at theological schools in big universities. And if you don’t really study, but take some leader’s word for “truth”, then you are no different than Mormons who believe because of a good feeling. We cannot prove that God either exists or doesn’t and although I think that Jesus could have existed, there is no real proof outside of the scriptures and that isn’t proof. There are stories in the Bible that are very similar to ones of other cultures centuries before Hebrew stories. When I really began to study Mormonism, I didn’t stop when I found conflicts. I continued studying Christianity and other Abrahamic religions. I can still remember an online quote by P.C. Hodgell, “That which can be destroyed by truth, should be.”

      Back to Anthony’s story. I’m taking a day off from my fence building hoping, but not praying, that the fence will keep out the neighbor’s wandering, scary bull.

      • Anthony Miller August 11, 2019 at 10:39 am - Reply

        Panhandle Rag,

        Thank you for your thoughts and for listening to my story.

    • Anthony Miller August 11, 2019 at 10:37 am - Reply


      Thank you so much for listening to my story. In my reply to Nancy above, I share some thoughts that relate a little to your comment here.

      • Maggie Rayner August 11, 2019 at 2:39 pm - Reply

        Anthony – Thank you for replying to my comment. Who you are and the example you mentor has given me much to reflect on. I’m going to revisit Elkhart Tolle’s writings. I was pleased to find a Mormon Spectrum group has recently been started here in Vancouver.

  4. Jay August 11, 2019 at 11:52 am - Reply

    Panhandlerag, I very much agree about the arm of the flesh is not where we place our confidence. Let me be clear that unless our fidelity is in Christ alone, (see Nephi’s example in how this is walked out in 2 nephi 4) we will eventualy to varying degrees be deceived. If our motive is to know God and for no other reason it is to KNOW God and be perfected in and through him grace for grace—then our “itching ears” for contrary to God’s truths will not win the day with us.

    P.H.R., To know God is to see and understand the transcendence of his truth which is beyond contrivances of man’s making. Enos and how he obtained God’s most desired truth is so very instructive in this regard. See what motivated him and see how he ultimately obtained truth independent of the initial helpful examples or proclamations of those who had already obtained:

    And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.
    3 Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.
    4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.
    5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
    6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

    In all our intellectual pursuits which are not without value and satisfaction, to sacrifice on their alter that which opens the windows of heaven = bringing a broken heart and contrite spirit— our lack of this humility and meekness in fervent prayer to God would be playing to the designs of the adversary…

    It is beyond worth it for us to work through the muck of religious and secular traditions of man to KNOW God and his truth, and to pray for deliverance and to be motivated to move forward with this significant door unlocking counsel:

    And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

    Also, significantly helpful when reading God’s word and maximizing its purpose of reading it with the focused motive of KNOWING him, please read the instructive quote below with a new heart.

    “Let us here observe that three things are necessary for any rational and intelligent being to exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.

    3. First, the idea that he actually exists;

    4. Secondly, a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes;

    5. Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which one is pursuing is according to His will. For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive. But with this understanding, it can become perfect and fruitful, abounding in righteousness unto the praise and glory of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

    All the best to you in the pursuit of having God, not man, reveal his truth… Jay

  5. Jules August 11, 2019 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Can you provide links to the essays by BYU professors you mentioned? I specifically remember one about the history of the priesthood.

  6. Panhandle Rag August 11, 2019 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Jay, you may know more about the Mormon scriptures and writings than I, but I studied everything I could for over 40 years. And when it comes to knowing God, I would have to ask, “Which god?” The god of the Mormons? The god of the Muslims? Or of the Jews or the Christians. They all seem to base their beliefs primarily on the Bible and therefore must all believe in the same god but they don’t seem to. The Jews follow the Hebrew Scriptures, Mormons follow Mormon scriptures and the Greek [translated]Bible, Muslims believe, as did Joseph Smith that the Bible has lost much meaning in translating, and therefore follow the Qur’an, and mainstream Christianity follows the Greek [translated] Bible. And of course all these are different, and since we have no original transcript of the Bible, we have no idea what Jesus (if he even existed) said. All scripture has been changed by religious institutions. And the Book of Mormon and Book of Commandments (basically the D & C) have been altered substantially. (I currently have the 1980 version, the pre-1980 version and copies of the 1830 B of M and the 1833 Book of Commandments, as I supposed many members have.)

    Maybe you can answer the following question that I ask of many Christians: Had you been born in Arabia to good Muslim parents, taught by them and attended Muslim schools, married a Muslim woman, and sired children in the Muslim faith, would you be a Muslim, now, or a Christian? Now according to mainstream Christian faith, to be a Muslim might lead to dire consequences in the afterlife, through no fault of your own (probably in hell). Now of course as a Mormon you feel that only good Mormons can go to hell, having committed the unforgivable sin, but at least as a Muslim believing in Allah, your prospects still would not be too good, and still through no fault of your own. Most Christians I ask, just won’t answer, but a few days ago a Christian non-church attender DID tell me that he would be a Muslim. What would you be?

    When you talk of believing in God, you seem to presume that all those good people who believe in different gods don’t count, but they try to live their lives according to what they think their god or gods want them to do. And there are some 900 million Hindus, 1.6 million Muslims, and 2.3 billion Christians, nearly half of whom are Catholics. And though Christianity is the world’s largest religion, by the year 2100, according to PEW Research (cited by Deseret News), Islam will have surpassed Christianity in numbers. (And then Muslims can say they must have the true religion because of their numbers.)

    You cannot prove any deity exists nor can I prove any god does not exist.. As an agnostic, I do not feel I can know either way. A god’s existence may not be impossible but to me and scientific inquiry such existence is highly improbable. At this time I am not in the pursuit of finding God or a god or gods. I study the Bible as to its meaning realizing how important it has been to the development of Western culture. I have learned a lot from the writings of many theological professors and am currently reading “The Meaning of the Bible”, authored by two professors, one an orthodox Jew and the other a Christian, and have learned why Jews are not Christians–there are no references to the coming of Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures and Jesus did not fit the characteristics of the Messiah as are written in the Hebrew Scriptures.

    Keep reading and studying Jay. Study all the Abrahamic religions and learn what each of those four (if you class Mormonism as a religion) think about Jesus. And also read what most of this country’s Founding Fathers thought of Jesus. Like John Dehlin, I will probably always be a Mormon ns many ways due to how immersed I was in that culture for so long. I don’t appreciate the shunning I get from past friends and of my daughter and family no longer contacting us, but I was once brainwashed into such thinking so I can’t really blame people for what they believe. It is still painful for me. There are good teachings in all religions but for me I see no reason to follow one over another or any at all. Back to Anthony.

  7. Melissa August 11, 2019 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing that your son was bullied in Young Men’s . I had the same experience in Young Women’s and it took me a long time to overcome the ensuing feelings of worthlessness and depression. John has stated many times on Mormon Stories that the church is wonderful for young people and perhaps it is for some if not many. Unfortunately, it was incredibly harmful for me. Though I am deeply sorry for the bullying your son endured, I am grateful to know that my experience is not unique.

  8. Miranda Sofe Nelson August 11, 2019 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    What a great surprise to see you on here this morning! Thank you so much for all you have done in Billings. You provided me with so many valuable resources during my very turbulent faith crisis, and the community is so lucky to have someone like you. I think about you and your sweet family often and how kind you were to me at a time when most of the people I trusted didn’t seem to take me very seriously. I really hope to be able to make as much of an impact as you do someday. Hope all is well :)

    • Anthony Miller August 11, 2019 at 9:40 pm - Reply


      So much love and appreciation for you!

      Thank you for being part of my journey.

      We miss you here in Billings.

  9. Jay August 11, 2019 at 10:13 pm - Reply


    in holy writ we are told that all truth will be gathered in as one during the 1000 year reign of Christ once this earth makes the transition from tellestial to terrestrial. So much beauty of thought and lived behavior can be found through heaven inspired luminaries across the religious board… I am a believer in Christ who believes in the restoration of God’s more full truths given to us through Joseph Smith. I dont believe in the form of polygamy Brigham and others claim Joseph started… There are so many things in the history of heaven revealed religious truth that man distorts / misrepresents… To understand this fallen satan saturated exsistence is to know that people have manifested a high degree of instability in follow through and overcoming… To know Christ is to “verily be the manner of person that he is” it is to believe in earnest this book of mormon admonition:

    2nephi 9

    41 O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.

    And also these words from nephi in regards to the measurement of what constitutes inspiration from a person:

    2 nephi 28
    31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    To know Christ is to gain access to true freedom of thought and behavior that is not pacified by a wrong / familiar spirit but is rewarded by the unspeakable (neglected) gifts of the Holy spirit. PHR, In every generation of revealed truth apathy and disenchantment / apostasy wins the day… when Christ is our focus this changes. Unfortunately we love to place people in front of Christ and this is where the trouble cascades. Read and apply holy writ as this great man admonishes and watch the intervention of God be the linch pin- convincer in your life:

    Moroni 10

    30 And again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.
    31 And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.
    32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
    33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
    34 And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.

    “Said the Prophet Joseph Smith after one of the most revelatory meetings in his life, “There was nothing made known to these men [the Twelve] but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive” (Teachings, p. 237). This is the religion of every man. Not “Take my word for my experience,” but “Duplicate it in your own life.” How far do I go with this? All the way.

    Let me then come to a close. I have hiked, with my wife and at night, all the way from the base of what is known as Mt. Sinai to the top. (Incidentally, with a very sore toe. Climbing hurts, and the more you climb, sometimes the more it hurts.) We went up to where the air is thinner and the veil thinner. There isn’t time to describe the feeling, but we were able to recollect that Moses, there, had face-to-face communion with God. He came back down and said to the children of Israel, in the name of the God whose name he knew, “Now, you are invited to go back up with me.”

    And they said, “Thank you. No. That’s for prophets. That’s for people who are a bit fanatical. We will stay here and you go up, Moses.”

    In his absence they built an idol. The power of religious impulses goes in many directions. They built an idol—a thing—and were denied the privileges of Moses (D&C 84:23–25). That is what our generation is now doing again. We are staying down below and then claiming superiority for our judgment in doing so.” Truman G. Madsen, On How We Know, BYU Devotional Address, Sept. 20, 1994

    • Panhandle Rag August 12, 2019 at 7:18 am - Reply

      Jay, I want to tell people of all religions: “If you want to stay true to your religious beliefs, never, never read and study. Just read what your leaders tell you to read (like in LDS Gospel Doctrine classes.) and do what your leaders tell you.

      If you base your beliefs of Moses and his life on the Greek translations of the Bible or Mormon scriptures you will get a much different understanding than reading the Hebrew scriptures. Understanding the Hebrew will show that Moses could not have written the Torah. And that famous prediction of the coming of Jesus in Isaiah is incorrectly translated. And remember that the Greek Septuagint came from the Hebrew. Unless you are afraid for your testimony, you might want to learn the difference between the Hebrew and Greek and Catholic versions of the Bible

      You should also read Volume 1 and 2 of “Joseph Smith Begins His Work” which is an exact copy (according to a letter of 29 July, 1974 from Joseph Anderson of the Church History Department) of the 1830 edition of the B of M, and 1833 copies of “The Book of Commandments”, “Doctrine and Covenants”, “The Lectures on Faith”, and the “Fourteen Articles of Faith”, yes 14.

      One of the very interesting things I came across on my faith journey concerns the name of the Church. 3Nephi 27:8 tells us that the name of the church must have the name of Jesus (Jesus speaking here.) in it. For 6 years in the early church, the name was changed to not having the name of the Savior. On pictures of the Kirtland Temple we can see the name written as “The Church of the Latter-Day Saints”. Does that mean that for 6 years it was not the Lord’s church? Then many of the revelations written in the D & C must be wrong!

      I hope you have read “The Essays”. I told a bishop’s wife about these and she refused to look at them, saying that they were anti-Mormon, but like others have told me, when they also refused to read them, “The Lord put the essays on the Church website, to trap the non-valiant.” Does that mean that the Lord really does “lead us into temptation,” and that sections of the website approved by the First Presidency are attempting to deceive members?

  10. Bruce August 12, 2019 at 12:55 am - Reply

    John mentioned that Mike Norton is responsible for the reversal of the exclusion policy. I’ve never heard this before. What did he do to cause the change?

    • Anthony Miller August 12, 2019 at 8:58 am - Reply


      I think John was just listing names of “needle movers” and not specifically attributing the reversal of the Policy to Mike.

  11. Panhandle Rag August 12, 2019 at 6:22 am - Reply

    Anthony, I just finished part 2, and can see that you were fortunate to live in heavily populated Mormon areas where you can attend these support groups. I had no support group and still don’t. You talked about polygamy. I just looked up Section 132 and in the original (1833), where polygamy was forbidden. I lived in an area where polygamy caught on and this area was some 10 driving hours from the Utah–Idaho border. I had a former EQ counselor who went into polygamy and moved to the Mexican colony area. I got caught up into that movement as did others and even approached a sister to be a second wife. But fortunate for me, she moved to southern Utah and became a plural wife of a former stake president. At that time, there was a sort of polygamy underground where men could advertise to find wives.

    Even while still active, I read mounds of material by Ogden Kraut, a famous polygamist. There is some real weird stuff out there on the fringes of Mormonism. In my current ward boundaries (I haven’t attended in several years.) there are active LDS who believe in a flat earth, that Joseph was not a polygamist, that Joseph was and that all men need to be practicing it, in the Law of Adoption, that the top 15 leaders are leading the church astray, in Denver Snuffer (But they keep quiet.) Earlier there was a big meeting with Thomas Green who was finally imprisoned by the State of Utah for marrying lots of women and collecting welfare for each one, and even one member of the bishop was there. I wasn’t but it was put on in the home of this former EQ councilor of mine. In the days here, with polygamy, there were men at a social who would talk in groups. I know because I was a part of it. Many members were deeply into prophecy of the early leaders and preparation for the last days was on most minds. In my early days in this area, food storage and general preparation, not going to doctors, preparing and using herbs, was a big thing,. (Reading the Mormon Stories Interview of Tara Westover was similar to life here. Many members and non-members have become survivalists, just like Tara’s dad was.

    Patriotism was also a big thing, black helicopters, Bo Gritz (LDS), and meeting Randy Weaver of the FBI standoff at Ruby Ridge, Covenant Communities, noose thrown on the table before county commissioners to oppose building code implementation, guns openly carried into public meetings, bishop’s tires being slashed, meetings where people talked of being at “The Lord’s Supper”, of seeing angels. Active members who held sacrament meetings in their homes. People who were on the fringe in Utah moved to this one area and where the bishop would read the names of at least 2 families a week moving in. But, though I was on the edge, I remained strong through those years and did nothing out of the ordinary–maybe called the Stake President to repentance and was called to answer for giving a sacrament talk using the quotations of ETB.

    Oh, what I would have given for a support group! It is still tough. I went through much of what you did but the CES Letter came out just as I was basicallythrough my journey, although I may never be completely through it. I mainly went through Mormon Think and Mormon Stories. And I cried for days also. But the hardest thing was that after a few years of non-attendance, my grandparent days ended. And this was especially hard on my wife, whose schizophrenia seems to have worsened. I’m a bit over 20 years older than you and have been married over 50 years to the same woman.. There was one very active family in our area who left the church, but I haven’t seen them in years, so I have no one to communicate with except this site. I have one active LDS friend plus two others but only because they are secretly on the fringe.

    I will continue to listen to your story. It would be tough, I suppose to have a gay child, but I doubt not a lot harder than having a schizophrenic spouse who tells members things that I have had to continually explain to members. Life sure has its problems. Thanks for your story so far.

    • Anthony Miller August 12, 2019 at 10:26 am - Reply

      Panhandle Rag,

      My heart breaks for people who have and continue to process these things without in-person support.

      I think you’d be surprised of how many people could use support these days. The CES Letter has had a significant impact on the types of communities you’ve mentioned.

      Thank you again for listening to my story.

      • Panhandle Rag August 13, 2019 at 7:23 am - Reply

        Anthony, there seems to be a world of difference being a truth-seeking Mormon transitioning to non-Mormon in a populated LDS area and a member in a small rural community. I live in the country 5 hours from the nearest temple or interstate, 2 hours from the nearest Walmart, and 20 minutes from a town of 700. But still, within a mile radius of where I live are 6 active families, including a bishop and 3 inactives including me. Since we have lived here, the members aging 60–80 consider themselves “last-day Mormons.” Though some may be “on the edge” in ways, they all consider Joseph Smith a prophet, with a few believing the teachings of early leaders over the present ones.

        When my wife and I stopped attending, one of the hardest problems we faced was how to make friends. After over 40 years since conversion, we knew what our age-group knew. We knew the Church. Though we rarely went to socials, (due to us always sitting alone because most of the time not having a family), there were times with the brethren in the ward, when we would talk about last day prophecies, and conspiracies, and preparation. With that gone, I didn’t and still don’t know where to find people with those ideas. For a while I would join shooter groups or senior luncheons or attended a different Christian church once a month, but I gradually discontinued that. I now read a lot and research religion, having learned researching as a graduate student.

        But many people of my age, in rural areas, are what you would probably call electronic device illiterate. I have a laptop (Got my first one last fall.), don’t own a smart phone (Living in a mountainous canyon area and in a metal building, makes that rough, although I tried Verizon for a year but gave that up.), don’t understand most of what you are talking about in segment 3, and acquire most of my religion concepts from books, I find through purchasing online college lecture DVD’s, and then ordering from Amazon, going to Mormon Stories, which is one of only three websites I even know how to join, or just browsing the internet. I have enjoyed going to ldschurchgrowthblogspot learning about growth by stake and mission throughout the world, and watching podcast called “The Big Questions” out of Great Britain on BBC.

        I live in a very religious community (Most rural areas are.) and I have met and talked to briefly, one atheist, the local librarian, a deist (Most of our nation’s Founding Fathers were deists.), a close neighbor who is a Karrite (Believes in the written Hebrew scriptures but not the oral Talmud, talked to a couple of Messianics, and my 80-year old close neighbor-friend who is active LDS , like those like your high council friends who can read of discrepancies in Mormonism but not be fazed by them.

        A quarter mile from me is a family who used to be very close. Taught husband to play guitar, played music with him in 5 states, helped him go on a mission, was very influential with him marrying his life-long friend. (After I wrote and sang the song he requested to his girl, she told who told her then fiance it was all over and that LDS shot himself.) and helped him in many ways. Was even best friend with his mother for 15 years. And his wife was my daughter’s best friend and probably still is. I phoned and talked to the wife in December and asked why her husband only talked to me, maybe 5 minutes total, in 7 years and she replied, “You were his mentor for so long. He will never forgive you for what you have done [gone against the Church] and he will never forget.” I guess that is the same as with my daughter. Forgiveness seems to be a lost item in some homes.

        I know I am rambling, but Mormon Stories is what keeps me sane. It helps me keep my wife, who is even more computer technologically illiterate than I am, sane. But I want to than you, Anthony and John, and those many commenters over the years who have given me a community of sorts, even if not really a personal one.

  12. Crys August 13, 2019 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    These were such good episodes. Anthony’s thoughts about myths and deity really spoke to me. I so much admire his ability to listen to others and validate as well as being a caring person. I have listened and re-listened to the episodes and I am inspired by how he deconstructed and reconstructed his faith.

    • Anthony Miller August 13, 2019 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!

  13. The guy next door August 13, 2019 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Thank you Anthony. Your description of the types of feelings you encountered after discovering these things resonate with me so much. I also remember the exact moment of everything just coming down and the “falling” feeling. Afterwards I felt so desperate to have God tell me it’s ok, just let it go, or something like that. I felt like I had done something bad by researching all these issues for hours and hours on end over the months and I didn’t deserve to feel the Spirit because I should have just had faith and now I somehow had betrayed Heavenly Father and Jesus. I still remember the look on my wife’s face when I told her that there is a lot of evidence that Joseph Smith authored the Book of Mormon. It was a look that exposed a terror she felt that I would never want to cause her to feel again. Like you, going to church became such a task as I felt so isolated and I was reminded every week of the thing I had lost and I could not get back no matter how much I prayed. I stopped attending only very recently after my angel wife told me that she could see the pain it was causing me and she didn’t want me to go for her sake. During that time driving home one day from work, for a split second I thought it would be better if I just ran my car into this wall on the highway, because then my wife and family wouldn’t have to deal with the grief of having an apostate family member. I tried to get my wife to look at the issues with me and to look at my own personal research, but she does not want to and I don’t blame her and one side of me does not want her to look into these things because I know the type of despair that truly materializing the facts in your mind causes. On the other hand, she is the person I most want to be understood by, not just understood but also validated. I feel so ashamed, but I wish she could just reach the same conclusions that in my mind the evidence leads you to and the conclusions I have come to draw. And then we could rebuild something together. I just want to be with her after all this and I am so worried that while now she is understanding she will just get tired of her unfaithful husband. (You know what kind of unfaithful I am talking about.) I feel so very alone, my siblings and parents are members. I told one of my brothers who is a little more nuanced that I stopped attending and while he accepted my decision, he also played Devils advocate, that’s the way he likes to put it. He gave reasons of community, a framework to raise our son in and our future child who is currently on the way. I’ve thought about all these things, of course. I only recently found mormon stories and its helping me but I still feel so very lost. I have to say, I do feel very relieved not going to church, however, because having to put on a mask and pretend to have beliefs that I do not just was causing more harm than good, I believe. Anyway, thanks for sharing as it seems to me that there could never be a light at the end of this tunnel for me the way things are right now. Hopefully one day I can find a way to process and grow from all these things the way you seem to have done.

    • Anthony Miller August 13, 2019 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      The Guy Next Door,

      Thank you so much for commenting here. I am so grateful that you found my interview helpful.

      I specifically shared some of the things I did for people who are traversing the same things I experienced. This includes some of the things you’ve shared here.

      I tended to impute my interpretation of things upon my wife’s experience. For example, that she might get tired of her apostate husband and feel like she needed a worthy believing priesthood holder as a husband. What I found in asking her was that she wasn’t experiencing this. And, I trust her when she shares that kind of thing with me, even though I didn’t easily understand it.

      In my interview, I shared the stories of the Cross and the member of our Spectrum Group, the woman with a gay daughter and the King Solomon story, the examples of differentiation in things like the 5 Love Languages, and things that my active believing wife shared with me—that she viewed my journey like our son’s journey as a gay man, and that she trusted us, and she trusted God, and she trusted that it would all work out in the end.

      I don’t know if your wife is that nuanced. I hope she is.

      Sometimes, it can be helpful to have a tender conversation and ask a question like, “What is your greatest fear with regard to my changed beliefs?” And then, listen, validate, and seek to empathize with the answer. If she experiences full trust and validation in expressing her greatest fear, it’s possible that she might be able to hold you sharing your greatest fear. And, her response to your greatest fear might alleviate your concerns.

      Even if the answers are not validating, and they lead to seeking the skills and help of a marriage counselor, my opinion (not a professional or skilled one in any way), is that it can be helpful to be fully vulnerable with our fears with our spouse, as long as they are in a place where they can hold the discussion without feeling attacked or threatened.

      You aren’t alone. We are all around you. It sometimes takes work to find each other, but we are out there.

      There is light at the end of the tunnel.

  14. VFanRJ August 13, 2019 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much Anthony for taking the time to share your story at such a vulnerable level. I’m sure this podcast will serve as a source of comfort and knowledge for many. I know that I was truly enlightened.

    • Anthony Miller August 13, 2019 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!

  15. Anne August 13, 2019 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Anthony, thank you so much for sharing your story. It is powerful and inspiring. I just recently let my believing husband know, after years of wrestling with doubts and issues, that I am leaving the church. It’s podcasts like this one, and stories like yours, that help me have the courage to live a more authentic life. My husband and I have a lot to figure out but I feel like your story is one he could listen to and would provoke a lot of thought for him.

    Also…I was born and raised in Billings, MT. I lived up the street from the mission home and learned about the church when I was a 16 year old. My husband and I were married in the Billings temple 😊.

    • Anthony Miller August 14, 2019 at 6:16 am - Reply

      Thank you so much!

      No doubt that we would know many of the same people here and that you would know some of the people in our Mormon Spectrum Support Group.

      If you ever find yourself visiting and want to meet with some of our Group, shoot me an email, and I’ll make it happen.

      • Panhandle Rag August 14, 2019 at 7:37 am - Reply

        To The Guy Next Door, I can tell you life eventually gets easier. My wife was with me on the journey. But my only beloved child, a daughter whom we adopted from the Church, gradually wanted nothing to do with my wife and me. Broke wife’s heart. As of this spring, we can no longer count her 5 children as our grandchildren. I made a lot of mistakes along the way regarding explaining my journey too fast. The beginning trip was over 7 years ago and there weren’t as many resources as now. My wife still has anger toward the Church. Not healthy!

        I would strongly recommend that you go through all the Mormon Stories that apply to you and there are many. I have been helped so much by this site. And Anthony Miller has a lot of links to explanations of the essays and books to help you, but concentrate on Mormon Stories podcasts. I live in a very small area with no support but Mormon Stories. I began Mormon Stories with the one about the tapped-into-general-authorities institute director and his wife. I remember being scared even though I was in the early stages of my journey. I even e-mailed the podcast to my daughter, warning her to stay close to the church, but once I began, I went down the rabbit hole and read all I could find that had anything to do with Mormonism and Christianity and then world religions.

        On this trip, you will feel alone, but trust me, you are not. All Christian Churches in the U.S. are having similar problems. The internet is waking a lot of people up. But, like finding a cure for arthritis, the waking up the Church will probably not come in your lifetime. The people on earlier podcasts and commenters, love people just like you and I’m one of those commenters. I am 74, a past very active TBM (means true believing Mormon), an agnostic, and am thankful for the good things I got from the Church.

  16. David MacKay August 14, 2019 at 9:07 am - Reply

    I can’t express how hurt I have been from being turned down from being allowed to join A thoughtful faith group, which is now Water of Mormon.
    I was told to keep quiet about, to not bring it up otherwise I would never be allowed to join.

    It is so triggering for me to hear about this support group for which I was denied support from.
    Jeralee decided to just block me, because I responded with snarkiness regarding not allowing me to join the group, thinking that I was dealing with the likes of Gina Colvin and having consumed hours and hours of her podcast which mentioned the support group.

    I’ve reached out to Dan Wotherspoon to help advocate my joining, but unfortunately I was voted by the moderator group that I wasn’t allowed to join.

    This has been one of the most hurtful events for me. As someone that consumed hours and hours of podcasts, I felt entitled to join the group, but I wasn’t.

    The funny thing about all this, is that I still wish to be part of this special group. I consider myself a middle way Mormon or Latter-day Saint, or whatever of the likes of Dan, or Rob Terry (formerly Randal Bowen). I suppose that if I look for the divine in every life situation then joining the Waters of Mormon or then A thoughtful faith support group wasn’t meant to be and allowed me to find support in other places.

    But I still annoys me to no end to hear of this support group that denied me support during a time I needed it the most. It still hurts because I wish I could be part of it if it means that I can find the likes of Anthony Miller and Lindsay Hansen Park, Bill Reel, and many others that I wish to be associated with.

    • Anthony Miller August 14, 2019 at 11:40 pm - Reply


      One of the reasons they changed the name is to make clear that there was never any direct affiliation between Gina’s podcast and the A Thoughtful Faith Support Group.

      Neither Bill, Gina, or I am in that group anymore.

      I don’t know if Lindsay is a member there, but her presence is broad among other groups.

      • David MacKay August 15, 2019 at 1:30 pm - Reply

        Unfortunately, I join the group thinking that Jeralee was like Gina Colvin.
        That got me flagged and banned from ever having an opportunity to join the group.

        The sad part, is that my appeal was turned down. So it seems like I will never be allowed to join.
        I’m the type of person that understands the nuance and still wants to make the church work, so not being a part of that group feels extremely hurtful to me.

        • Ryan Wimmer August 15, 2019 at 9:43 pm - Reply

          I was in that group for a while, you are not missing anything. One of these days I might write or present something about my year or so experience there.

        • Ryan Wimmer August 16, 2019 at 2:29 pm - Reply

          David, I shouldn’t say your not missing anything, it is a meaningful group to many.

          • David August 19, 2019 at 9:20 am

            Thanks Ryan,

            I’m still trying to make middle way Mormonism work for me.
            I’ve been active throughout my faith transition for a while now. Since early 2015, and even before then I was already having serious doubts, but I would say 2015 was the year I stopped being TBM, even though I was probably NBM since 2012.

  17. EDiL13 August 14, 2019 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Wow. I just finished listening to all 6 episodes.

    Thank you, Anthony, for being willing to share your “dark night of the soul” and the wisdom you have gained from it. I resigned from the LDS church about 15 years ago, but I am still married to a TBM. I love him dearly, but we still have problems sometimes. I appreciate your insights on how to deal with a believing spouse..

    In my ongoing faith reconstruction, I currently define God as the sum total of all the conscious life in the universe. I guess that makes me some sort of a pantheist. How I relate to that — can I or should I pray to he, she, they, or it, worship it, etc. — I’m still trying to figure all of that out. Stand by for further developments…

    And thank you, John, for another epic interview. IMO, this has been one of the best ones yet, and that’s saying a lot. They just keep getting better and better.

    — EDiL13 (Elohim’s Daughter in Law)

    • Anthony Miller August 14, 2019 at 11:46 pm - Reply


      Thank you 🙏😊

  18. Janie Hamai August 14, 2019 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Anthony thank you for sharing your story. It really resonates with me. Your calm and cool moves are exactly opposite of my insane and desperate actions after the rug of my religious life was yank from under my feet. You are like the cool James Bond of Exmormons. Moving forward I am going to draw from your words and thoughts! Thanks so much Janie Hamai

    54 years young. Daughter, sister, friend, Aunt, wife, mom, school nurse, reader, truth seeker, excessive instructor, people lover, animal lover, and lover of life!

    Your wife seems even cooler than you! Like James Bond’s boss? M? No Q oh shoot I should have picked a better example. Just me

    Janie Hamai

    • Anthony Miller August 14, 2019 at 11:45 pm - Reply


      My wife is way cooler than me!

      My faith transition was full of bumps and crashes along the way—particularly as I found new things to grieve.

      Thank you for your kind words 😊

  19. Vanessa August 15, 2019 at 7:36 am - Reply

    Could someone please share the book titles of the books Anthony referred to regarding the Jewish origin myths? I have been relistening to the podcasts to try and find it, but haven’t come across it yet…..

    • Anthony Miller August 15, 2019 at 10:27 am - Reply


      By sometime next week, I will upload a guest blogpost from Ryan Wimmer of his recent Sunstone presentation on these topics.

      In the meantime, these are some things you may find helpful:

      Either the book, The Bible Unearthed, or the television series based on the book. The season costs $6.99 to stream on Amazon video, but I think it is worth it.

      This lecture on how the 5 books attributed to Moses came about from John Hamer at Community of Christ is very helpful:

      John also did one on the Flood myth:

      Or, you can start with Wikipedia and follow into the cited sources and go from there:
      “Scholarly consensus sees Moses as a legendary figure and not a historical person,[3][4] while retaining the possibility that a Moses-like figure existed.[5][6]”

      • Vanessa August 15, 2019 at 7:45 pm - Reply

        Thank you for your reply and for your wonderful interview! My husband (who has now listened to it twice) was the one who suggested I listen to your interview. I have since sent it to my SIL and two cousins. We greatly appreciated your insight!

    • Ryan Wimmer August 15, 2019 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      I highly recommend, “Biblical History and Israel’s Past: The Changing Study of the Bible and History,” by Megan Bishop Moore and Brad E. Kelle. It gives and excellent overview of the beginning of biblical archaeology when it was believed excavations confirmed such stories but as Archaeology improved the methodology many of the biblical stories began to unravel. It also discusses some of the Christian apologetic die-hards who maintain the tradition in a respectful but skeptical manner. You also cannot go wrong with James Kugel, “How to Read the Bible,” and another book with the exact same title by Marc Zvi Brettler, “How to Read the Bible.”

  20. Janeen thompson August 17, 2019 at 1:00 am - Reply

    Anthony, I so appreciated your story because it helped me to further understand the process by which I was “converted” to the church and likewise how I lost my belief. I have always felt that knowing and understanding oneself is essential . Learning new truths about myself and about my world is exciting. I especially love discovering that something I have always believed is not accurate. Being able to see the world with new eyes is quite thrilling. You helped me feel that, as I listened to your analysis of the deconstruction of your faith. I loved how you talked about elevation emotion (was that the term?) and the psychological processes that are in play. I remember one time I was at temple square watching the “faith in every footstep” movie and I was feeling anger as I resented the emotional manipulation from the movie and at the same time fighting back tears because the manipulation was working! On a lighter note , you are the male equivalent of Donna Showalter!

    • Anthony Miller August 17, 2019 at 4:07 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Janeen 🙏😊

  21. Ryan Wimmer August 17, 2019 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Excellent interview. I am continually humbled and better understand the traumatic event of losing faith when it has been your life for so long. When I look at my own story I realize my time as a devout member was really short. I was on and off devout until I was 25 years old when I lost belief. I continued activity with little problem for a while due to my wife and being a BYU student. But I never faced the level of trauma so many others have.

    After listening I realize me and Anthony are far more on the same page than previously thought. I’ve argued for a long time that Mormon specific problems are small when compared to the much larger problems with the foundational stories of Israel that is at the heart of Judaism and the two world’s largest religions that grew out of it: Christianity and Islam. Mormonism is a small fish in comparison.

    • Anthony Miller August 17, 2019 at 4:06 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for listening and for your kind thoughts my friend.

  22. A.E.Moss August 24, 2019 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Cain is NOT a “mythical character”. The children of Cain still exist in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Elam (province of Iran). The y call themselves the “Qayin” (Arabic: “Cain” Hebrew: “Cain”). They wander, they do not farm, they have a “mark” of protection. They speak Arabic. They do not farm. They claim Cain as their ancestor. You assume Abel had no children when he was killed. False. The Children of Abel are still alive, and call themselves the Sabians. They exist in southern Iraq and Elam province of Iran.

    • Anthony Miller August 24, 2019 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      Have these people been DNA tested to determine ancestry?

      Just because their origin traditions claim something does not make it accurate.

      Israelites claim to be descendants of Noah, and Noah is a mythical character. There wasn’t a 600 year old man between 3000-2000 BCE who built an ark and put a zoo in it. That is entirely mythical, and an adaptation of the earlier, Gilgamesh myth.

  23. Ron Dowse September 23, 2019 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Anthony, your podcast with John was amazing. Especially was touched with #1162. You mentioned many books that have helped you in your journey and you mentioned one that I can’t seem to find. It’s the book about the Israel/Jewish Origins by I believe a Ryan Winover? I have tried to google this book and can’t find it. Can you please share with me the correct name and author?

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