John Larsen and John Dehlin spent years publicly deconstructing the LDS Church. But now they’re wondering, what can they build “from the ashes?” What is their role in the post-Mormon community beyond the “addiction to anger” and toward doing the difficult work of community building? Join us for this joint release with the Sunstone Podcast!


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  1. Becky April 16, 2019 at 6:21 am - Reply

    I don’t even know where to start. This conversation makes me crazy. It’s almost comical. I take a great deal of time as a conservative to listen to tons of left leaning thought through podcasts, other media and conversations with people because I truly want to understand where people are coming from. I have been doing this for literally years. I have a pretty open mind and am friends with many different types of people. I have really come to appreciate so many different points of view, but I just have to say that this conversation truly reinforces my love for conservative principles and thought. Thanks for that! It gets really crazy out there these days and it’s hard to know what to think sometimes, until you listen to things like this and it quickly helps bring back into focus why I believe what I do. It’s not that I haven’t listened to literally hundreds of hours of Mormon Stories, because I have, so it’s not that I just tuned in and was shocked by what you say. It’s just that this conversation was extra fun. The self loathing about being a white guy, the condemning of capitalism while still wanting to make a good living off of a business you’ve built, the condemning of institutions while still recognizing the need for structure and creating something that can last…. and soo much more. Unfortunately I have to get to work this morning, but there are so many other things that make me giggle about this conversation. Thanks again for reminding me of why I believe what I believe and know that you’ve really made a difference today!

    • John Dehlin April 16, 2019 at 8:18 am - Reply

      Would love to hear your perspective sometime, Becky. – John

      • Neal April 18, 2019 at 12:44 am - Reply

        Really John, C’mon!
        You know as well as I do Becky’s perspective….not possible to have open objective discussion with her especially given the sarcastic disingenuous tone of her comments. “but there are so many other things that make me giggle”

        Self loathing, no….just self awareness and recognition of how the cards have fallen in the laps of the same privileged majority over and over again.

        I love what John and John are doing so incredibly honest, open, vulnerable and courageous…the countless hours spent helping others navigate their own spiritual journey.
        Keep doing what you’re doing you’ve touched the lives of so many through your commitment and determination to help others.

        Personally, you continue to inspire and uplift me daily! Thank you

        • jessica April 22, 2019 at 4:48 pm - Reply


    • Robert M Hodge April 16, 2019 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      When you look at it objectively, Conservatism is based fundamentally on selfishness.

    • Bliss Doubt April 17, 2019 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      I just have to throw my thoughts into the fray. Self loathing is a tag you are pinning on questioning a perspective based on white privilege, and the difficulty of deconstructing that perspective, to build a better one for understanding issues.

      Thing 2: Condemning, or perhaps better stated as indicting or disliking capitalism, has nothing to do with wanting to earn a living from a business one has built. Capitalism as we know it today does not seek to make a living or provide the means for people to make a living. Capitalism aims to own and grow, to grow by acquisition, by increased market share, and by using predatory pricing calculated to put competition out of business. Capitalism devalues labor, calling it an expense. Capitalism aims to make profits, period.

      Next thing: “the need for structure and creating something that can last…”, in the conversation on which you commented, referred to community. Institutions come and go.

    • Fletcher Brinkerhoff May 24, 2019 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      I really appreciate your comments, it helps me remember that some people really do know it all.

  2. KLT April 16, 2019 at 10:30 am - Reply

    It all made perfect sense to me and I loved it. Tha k you to both of you. ♡

    John, I want to start my bit in making the world a better place by apologizing for something I said to you last August. I’m guessing you won’t remember and would say it was nothing, but its haunted me all these months. I’ll email you.

    Thank you both for such a vulnerable stance in this podcast; it was beautiful and humbling.

  3. Ezra April 16, 2019 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    If you want to build a more “positive”, “healing” or “ecumenical” direction, discourse or community, it would help if you stop criticizing a major group of people that contributed to the great achievements of Western society…..the “white men”! It is such a worn-out politically correct mantra. I’m all for advancing great women and recognizing the achievements of all varieties of our fellow man, without tearing trashing the people that built so much good in the world, that also did so much to fight the bad in the world. Other than this one criticism, I think your hearts are in the right place, and you both have done a lot of good…..and I do think your main message was a desire to transition more to helping with building good rather than tearing down….a message of love. All the best to you.

    • RIO CRUZ April 18, 2019 at 1:11 pm - Reply

      Amen, Ezra…and GOOD GRIEF!! The entirety of Western civilization was conceived and constructed by men…mostly white men! Every field of culture, whether science, math, governments, medicine, art, literature, sociology, psychology, physics, cosmology, architecture, etc., together with the infrastructure and systems necessary to support and sustain them, has been accomplished mostly by men—most often by white men. Just look around you. What do you see? Look at the buildings, roads, electrical systems, towns, cities, cars, airplanes, washing machines, educational institutions, governmental bodies, art foundations, etc. etc. All are predominantly the product of men—white, black, brown—working together, often in extreme conditions, to make life better for one and all. Not only that, but all the hard, dirty, dangerous work necessary to sustain and protect this amazing accomplishment is still carried out mostly by men. There has NEVER, in the whole ebb and flow of world civilizations, been anything to compare with the enormity and scale of what has been created.

      Is it perfect? Of course not. But failure to at least acknowledge the stunning magnificence of the achievement shows utter contempt for fairness and rationality. Such failure is the life-force of dogma and cultural myopia, and represents the complete collapse of intellectual integrity.

  4. Mark Lee April 16, 2019 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Just because you say it doesn’t make it so! I spent 40 years in a church where there were definitive answers to life’s questions. As I listened to this I couldn’t help but think I’m now listening to a guy John L that again makes definitive statements, in this case, white conservative males (a massive demographic) with the same fervor. Whenever you take an entire class of people all “white males” all “black males” all “Mexicans” all “Jews” all “…..” and make generalized statements about that group of people “your” thinking/statement “is” the problem. “…Sean Hannity doesn’t have a lot of self reflection…” Why would you say that? Let me guess… because you don’t share the same paradigm? Sorry, I get more of the same from John L. I’d much rather listen to someone that recognizes that an opposing viewpoint isn’t necessarily less reflective but rather the aggregate of an individual’s life experience. John L and Sean Hannity are exactly right from their vantage points based upon all that they have experienced in life! Who is more self reflective? Depends who you ask…

  5. Rebecca April 16, 2019 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    This is what the people are feeling they want to see happen. It’s a core press for them also!

    A place with male/female unity and balance. And acceptance and welcoming for all! It would just be so great if we could have a place for everybody.

    People who have visions, like me, and also the “normal” people who don’t, all happy to accept each other wherever they are.

  6. Lloyd April 17, 2019 at 8:02 am - Reply

    I’m a TBM, this podcast was very important for me to listen to. I empathize with those who are transitioning in their faith journey.

    I listened to this twice, and now want to read a transcript.

    I empathize with you and your family for the therapy that you have had to go to. This must be still a difficult transition for your family.

    You have emerged from some of the complexity of church history, hierarchy, and dogma, with a new simplicity. You desire to have a “Zion”, or “Utopia”. A community led by a New undefined leadership with no white male asserting primary authority

    You and Larsen expressed desire for love, to be the primary motivation for this community.

    I sat all amazed with a few of your exchanges, this was a profound exercise.

    I too have emerged from the complexity of Church History, hierarchy, and dogma, testimony intact, and returned to the simple principles of love, charity, and empathy.

    These are the principles that I hear from Temple Square. These are the principles I embrace.

    You and John seem to be over your anger, and are looking to fill a void.

    Love is the answer for filling that void. I hope you find a loving community.

  7. Mw. Adrie de Jong April 17, 2019 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Just to add my 2 cents:

    I learned about Karen Tate, SHE also she wants to create a new awareness, from the female/goddess point of view:

    Karen Tate, Manifesting a New Normal for the 99%:

    If we want a better world, we must design a path forward to get us there.

    We can learn from what worked in the past, and turn to our heart wisdom and intuition, ideals of partnership, inclusivity, compassion and negotiation to nurture healthy interconnections. We must reject domination and exploitation and the shallowness of consumerism for personal development and the art of being. Let us work together to transform ourselves and our world into a more sustainable future of prosperity, peace, equality and joy!

    Karen Tate has her own podcast:
    And her call for creating a better world:

    Also her books also invite for a better world:
    and Awaken The Feminine!: Dismantling Domination to Restore Balance on Mother Earth

    One of her favorite podcast for me are about the “Nine Touchstones” of Goddess religion by Carol Christ:–principles-of-goddess-spirituality-wcarol-christ

    Carol Christ: the “Nine Touchstones”:

    The ninth touchstone is based on the Jewish “commandment” to repair the world. It is derived from the mystical tradition in which prayers were directed towards reuniting the broken sherds that became the created world with their transcendent source. It was reinterpreted by liberal Jews in America as a commandment to create justice in this world through social and political action. I rephrase it as “Repair the web,” to underscore to the need to repair not only the human community, but also the web of life in which it is situated.

    “Nine Touchstones”
    Nurture life.
    Walk in love and beauty.
    Trust the knowledge that comes through the body.
    Speak the truth about conflict, pain, and suffering.
    Take only what you need.
    Think about the consequences of your actions for seven generations.
    Approach the taking of life with great restraint.
    Practice great generosity.
    Repair the web.

    The Nine Touchstones help us to imagine the way to a better world. Can we join together to create it?–principles-of-goddess-spirituality-wcarol-christ

    and offcourse: From Jerry Jampolsky:

    The Twelve Principles of Attitudinal Healing are:

    1 The Essence Of Our Being Is Love
    2 Health Is Inner Peace, Healing Is Letting Go Of Fear
    3 Giving And Receiving Are The Same
    4 We Can Let Go Of The Past And Of The Future
    5 Now Is The Only Time There Is And Each Instant Is For Giving
    6 We Can Learn To Love Ourselves And Others By Forgiving Rather Than Judging
    7 We Can Become Love Finders Rather Than Fault-Finders
    8 We Can Choose And Direct Ourselves To Be Peaceful Inside Regardless Of What Is Happening Outside
    9 We Are Students And Teachers To Each Other
    10 We Can Focus On The Whole Of Life Rather Than The Fragments
    11 Since Love Is Eternal, Death Need Not Be Viewed As Fearful
    12 We Can Always Perceive Others As Either Loving Or Fearful And Giving A Call Of Help For Love

    I believe in sharing our own inner thoughts and listen closely we will allways find a deepest inner connection of righteousness, caring and understanding why we are here. It's only the dusty layers of patriarchy and all them lies and blingbling, that makes us fragile for abuse and misuse, that keep us away from that inner connection. We have to dust off the patriarchy principles and than we will see clearly why we happen to be in this body here on earth and rejoice in it together.

    My 2 cents !

    Mw Adrie de Jong
    the Netherlands

  8. Nicole Allison April 20, 2019 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    We have a growing number of post-mormons. We really could be a powerful force for good and we could use something productive to do with our bitter pain and disappointment. I want to get to work. I want to be Christian. I looked at every non-denominational church in my area, none are affirming. They don’t say on their church’s website, you have to dig through hours of sermons or even figure out who else they are connected to through tons of research. After tons of research, not one non-denominational Christian Church is affirming. The Methodist are also dividing presently. We really have the power to do something great here. Maybe even reach out to the affirming Methodist. The world needs non-denominational affirming Christian churches, there are none. Those of us who want to raise kids in a healthy community and believing that God is love and redeeming, we have no good options. Let’s make an option. Let’s make a non-denominational Christian affirming church. We could reach out to affirming Methodist and/or Presbyterians for support. There are a lot of christians out there that just don’t want to leave their community even though they don’t agree with their stance. It’s hard to leave when your kids have friends and community, but it also weighs on your conscience. Yet, these churches call anyone affirming apostates, so they have to keep their mouths shut. Sound familiar?! We could grow to serve the whole Christian affirming community. Some never Mormons would be good for us honestly. What do you think?

  9. Tom H April 21, 2019 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Interesting piece from Nick Kristoff on his interview with Pres of Union Theological Seminary, Serene Jones in today’s NYT. She mentions a spiritual crisis that all religious communities are facing this Easter as during the first Easter.

    Reverend, You Say the Virgin Birth Is ‘a Bizarre Claim’?

  10. Steve (last name witheld) April 23, 2019 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    I really loved this episode. The insight that the postMormon community is about a dozen leaders *getting attacked* by a big chunk of their followers while the church has more than a hundred general authorities, all apparently pulling down 6-figure base stipends to further the work of the church, supported by the unquestioning loyalty and tithes of their followers really puts things in perspective.

    Keep up the good fight! The majority of a *lot* of audiences are quietly appreciative — sometimes *too* quiet, especially when other exMormons act out of the pain and confusion of feeling that their faith’s been abused. I have faith in you podcasters from the Mormon margins — not the “absolute loyalty” sort of faith the church trained me to have, but the more constructive, limited faith that I can support you because you’re trying to do what’s right and your approaches are fundamentally sound.

    And thanks so much for putting me onto the new Sunstone podcasts. These are wonderful, and the work Lindsay Hansen Park is doing is fantastic. I’ve been hungering for ways to build communities and for ways to strengthen relationships with those in my family still in the church. It was either Lindsay or Cristina Rosetti in their Sunstone Firesides intro episode who pointed out that in a lot of ways, we’re all still Mormon. Even when we’re fighting Mormons, we’re doing it in the most Mormon way possible. I think I’m at a place where I can embrace that. I have decades’ worth of Mormon cultural, scriptural and doctrinal background — the very least I can do with it is talk to my TBM mom in a way that doesn’t distress her.

    Be excellent to each other.

  11. Fletcher Brinkerhoff May 24, 2019 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    In all seriousness, this was one of my favorites. I have been thinking back on points that were made by John Larson. It was a very helpful discussion, I have been recommending it to people. This is the future, this is healing for me. Thanks to John and John, but mostly to John😁.

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