These Mormon Stories episodes include our interactive Q&A with Dr. Greg Prince held at the Salt Lake City Community of Christ on March 17, 2018.

Gregory A. Prince earned his graduate degrees in dentistry (DDS) and pathology (PhD) at UCLA. He then pursued a four-decade career in pediatric infectious disease research. His love of history led him to write three books, including the award-winning David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. Most recently, he has published Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History.  Greg also has a new book that he is working on called “Intended Actions, Unintended Consequences: The Mormon Church’s responses to Homosexuality.”

We hope you enjoy these episodes as we celebrate Greg’s contributions to Mormon history!

Our most recent interview with Greg may be found at:


Part 1: Greg and John discuss contemporary Mormonism, including suggested improvements

Part 2: Greg fields questions from our live audience

Part 3: To end the evening, John asks Greg some final questions about truth claims of the Mormon Church


Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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  1. Carlos March 29, 2018 at 1:24 am - Reply

    Interesting that they consider Utchdorf “demoted” but make no mention of Eyring, who was ‘demoted’ from 1st to 2nd counselor.
    It’s only the second time in church history that this has happened. First was Clarke who was 1st counselor to two church presidents but then became 2nd when McKay called Richards as first. Note that Mckay had resented and thought incorrect that he being the senior apostle was 2nd counselor to Smith with Clarke, a junior apostle, first.

    However another way to look at the Utchdorf situation is to say: well Nelson obviously is very close to Oaks, they have sat side by side for 33 odd years and were sustain together, only age made Nelson senior and hence now president. So he calls Oaks as ‘a’ counselor. Then, who does he call as second? Utchdorf and leave the more senior Erying in the twelve? this after Eyring was second and first counselor to Hinkley and first to Monson? No, off course not. He calls Erying as second and then there is no room for now for the carismatic Utchdorf in the first presidency.

    I would suggest that this is a demotion for Utchdorf only if one of the counselors dies soon and then instead of calling Utchdorf as second counselor, Nelson calls someone else, like say Quentin L. Cook. Then yes, all the theories and suggestions made here during this conversation would be correct. If Uchtdorf is called again as second couselor, then it was only a question of no room in the first presidency because Nelson wanted his close friend and confidant Oaks there.

  2. beth March 29, 2018 at 4:27 am - Reply

    Hi John, Thanks for another Q and A with Greg prince, but l have to say sadly that there is so much being tied up in knots going on here with Greg and his audience and for all of us listeners. l think that there are far better places where you can go to be uplifted and councelled for good loved and appreciated, than to try to search for it in the lds church, when soo much is expected of each member and if the truth claims are not true, why pay your tithe, give so much of your time and energy, listen to the prophets, it does matter how joseph conducted himself within his marriage to emma and his so-called marital adventures do matter to us members, these are not good examples to each of us trying to make sense of it all, to hear the whole truth of what can be known is of the utmost importance and then rightly so each person can make up their own minds from then on. thanks jon, look forward to more interviews especially about the historic truth claims of the church the first vision and the book of Mormon and all lds scripture.

    • David April 20, 2018 at 8:28 am - Reply

      Beth, I agree that many people can find goodness, appreciation, happiness and love in places outside of the LDS church. However, there are also many people that find all of those things within the church, regardless of the truth claims or history. I would sincerely hope that those who choose to leave the LDS church can be respected for the choice to leave and just as importantly, those that stay are also respected for the choice to stay.

  3. Kia March 29, 2018 at 8:08 am - Reply


    Part 3, Your question to Greg about him being a white guy “dripping” with privilidge.
    Do you think that was an insulting question?

  4. John March 29, 2018 at 8:15 am - Reply

    How the Atonement deals with sin isn’t something that has really mattered to Greg? Really? As an exMormon Christian, I find this utterly depressing. But not suprising, because in Mormonism, Jesus is only the mascot that is brought out on the field in the 7th inning to rally the fans. Then, he is shoved back in the dugout so the owner and manager can get back to work buying real estate.

    Greg says that Joseph’s ever-evolving doctrine about the nature of God expresses some sort of an upward trend? Why not a downward trend? Greg chooses to cast it in this positive light, but why? Smith could’ve been slipping further and further into error, but Greg sees it all as some grand spiritual journey to greater light and knowledge?

    The fact remains: As Joseph Smith became more and more interested in women apart from Emma, God the Father became more and more like a man, until finally God himself has genitalia, and became God by learning to wield it properly. Mormon doctrine today is the offspring of Joseph’s twisted mingling of spirituality and sexuality. We don’t need to subject anybody to DNA tests. The doctrine itself is evidence of his adulterous life.

    Mormonism is a sexual reproduction cult. Greg Prince would be wise to wake up and stop making excuses for his inability to get out of it.

  5. RIO March 29, 2018 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    People used to join the church—and members stayed within the church—because they were taught, and believed, the official history and narrative that the church put out. The internet has destroyed that history and narrative. The internet is where religions go to die, and the LDS church is in a death spiral that will only accelerate as time goes on.

  6. Robert March 29, 2018 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    I have read and loved both of Greg’s unvarnished biographies of McKay and Arrington. I also greatly enjoyed listening to this and last week’s podcasts. Greg is an intellectual giant who has contributed so much to our understanding of the modern-day church. I was with him until the very end of the last podcast episode during John’s Q&A. There, Greg’s reasoning and apologetics fell apart for me. His stretching to arrive at answers to each of John’s questions seemed twisted and convoluted and much like the rationale of other historian apologetics such as Bushman. For me, the cumulative evidence set forth in sources, such as Grant Palmer’s body of work, are compelling. Joseph may have come to believe himself a prophet and there can little doubt of his creative imagination and genius; however, taken as a whole, the actual historicity proves fatal in its foundation. Although there is much to be said about the value of community and the church’s methodology of establishing community, that is a byproduct of an organization that understands the value in rule-based worthiness considerations. That same community can also be terribly destructive, as we now see among those who do not conform to the rules, such as LGBT members. Greg did not persuade me that the serious foundational flaws are something that can be overlooked by mere evolution.

  7. Dwayne March 29, 2018 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    Within the last week, I was speaking to a friend of mine in the Philippines. She is 39 years old. When I brought up the fact that Joseph had multiple wives, she became extremely defensive. I was told that I obviously had very little in the way of accurate information. She went on to say that Joseph was commanded to marry other women only to care for them; that all of them were widows and the commandment was that they should be gathered in one place and not left to suffer alone. I was subsequently lectured for blaming and falsely accusing brother Joseph. This isn’t unusual. I have other friends in the Philippines as well as Guatemala, Ecuador, Brazil, and others. As a whole, they remind me of where American church members were in the 70’s in terms of their awareness of the issues and their defensive natures.

    I have another friend, also from the Philippines who is a returned missionary of 23 years of age. She’s an extremely attractive woman. After having a number of conversations with her about church history, which caused her to grow increasingly angry with me, she subsequently married a man nearly 70 years old and the caption of her wedding picture read, “Without eternal marriage, there can be no exaltation.” I offered no further comments but genuinely wished them both the best in my heart. About a year later (6 weeks ago), she reached out to me and told me her marriage was horrible. He married her and returned to the US a couple of weeks later and it was the biggest mistake of her life. A combination of financial and personal reasons prevented her from joining him here in the states. Many people are probably unaware that divorce in the Philippines is basically illegal. If you have thousands of dollars, you can apply for an annulment. It’s a very costly and time-consuming process. This being a product and power of the Catholic church. Don’t get me wrong. I hate divorce. I also hate sham marriages.

    The church may contain many eternal truths. But it shouldn’t contain eternal secrets that alter the choices of people under its influence. At the very least, my hope is that people come to a place where knowledge is widely available and are able to make informed decisions. Dr. Price has done that and I have immense respect for him. Grant Palmer did that and I had immense respect for him. May others gain this knowledge also.

  8. Lee March 29, 2018 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Who else but Jon could ask those poignant questions in part 3, spot on. Let’s face it Greg’s mind has and will re-calculate any scenario past, present or future to achieve the desired outcome… to be a Mormon. Good for Greg! Greg can make a crooked line straight. I was in the church 40 years (went on a mission, graduated from BYU) before I knew Joseph Smith had a single plural wife. I don’t think my brain works like Greg’s; however, I appreciate listening to him because he gives me the road map on how to stay. It was so much easier being a naive Mormon (studying only church approved material), wish sometimes I could go back. Now I spend my days trying to figure out someway to re-calculate, just haven’t found the right equation yet.

    • David April 20, 2018 at 8:36 am - Reply

      Lee I am curious if in your 40 years in the church you were aware that Brigham Young, John Taylor and hundreds of other Mormon men practiced the church’s doctrine of polygamy, while not being aware of Joseph Smith’s polygamy. If the answer is yes, then why was Joseph’s practice of polygamy so difficult to accept if the Polygamy in the rest of the church was not?

      • Lee June 28, 2018 at 6:27 am - Reply

        David, really good question! The answer is simply disclosure. My question to you… How is it that I was in the church for 40 years, went on a two year mission (studied every morning at 6 a.m.), had a college level BYU religion class every semester for four years and never once was taught or read church approved material on this matter? Why does the church teach that Brigham Young, John Taylor and hundreds of other Mormon men practiced the church’s doctrine of polygamy but not a mention about Joseph’s polygamy? It might not have been difficult to accept if I had heard it in year 1 instead of year 40.

  9. Clark April 1, 2018 at 8:19 am - Reply

    I’m trying to find the episode and min:sec in which he talked about hotel marketing. I liked the analogy. Any help?

  10. Bunny April 2, 2018 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Awesome! No one does a better job confirming that my choice to leave “the only true church” was the right choice for me and my family (worlds without end) than Dr Prince . He both confirms that all the evidence that corroborates the church is based on carefully crafted lies; he also confirms that no matter how different your beliefs are from the correlated version (e.g., he doesn’t believe in a literal atonement,”) the Church will not discipline you unless you somehow put them in a bad light which he carefully avoids each time he respectfully trashes the “correlates truth,” as is the case when he explains his non-testimony of the “most correct” book 📚 I

  11. beth April 5, 2018 at 4:30 am - Reply

    Grant palmer is certainly a wonderful extremely well respected, honest, a reliable source of information, grant is and was totally sincere, loving kindly and he brought out three wonderful books, which l personally feel are deserving of a tremendously good report, l just feel that grant should be put up out there as someone whose book’s, especially his first and last books should be put on the list as most important and vital honest and sincere information and news of joseph smith and the church’s truth claims and the reality of all of this is essential for any one who is at all interested to be told that grant should be up there on the top of the list of brilliant and worthwhile, honest thoughtful, insightful work, putting things out there for everyone to read books, he tells it how it is, along with such authers as fawn Brodie.

  12. beth April 5, 2018 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Grant palmer, books are; An insiders view of Mormon origins, The incomparable Jesus and Restoring Christ, leaving the Mormon Jesus for the gospels Jesus, these are all excellent books, l strongly recommend them to anyone who is seriously keen and interested in learning and understanding more clearing what the truth claims of the church are and how grant with his insightful approach, being a true reliable source explains just how these truth claims cannot be true, have a read.

  13. D. Michael Martindale April 20, 2018 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    I love Greg when he discusses data points.

    I become angry when he addresses his personal relationship with the church and its issues. I get the feeling his way of dealing with things is a huge and dismissive, “I don’t care.” That feels like a slap in the face to all of us who dedicated our lives to the church on the stength of its truth claims. I didn’t remain a Mormon because “it works.” I didn’t remain because it was a nice community. I didn’t remain with the hope that I could trickle up revelation to make it better.

    I remained because I believed it was the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and in my many pre-Internet years came across little information that conflicted with that claim. I loved the church, I defended the church, I sacrificed for the church, I indoctrinated my children into the church, I built my whole life on the foundation of the church–for one reason only. Its truth claims.

    Those truth claims fell by the wayside once I had access to enough information to finally do my due diligence of investigating the church–something nonmembers are given the courtesy of being able to do, but I as a born-in-the-covenant was not allowed to do. If I ever gave the appearance of questioning, I could feel the heavy weight of the shunning factory gearing up for action.

    The disingenuous of the church is hands down the biggest betrayal of my life. One does not easily recover from that. One does not give a pass to anyone who holds massive power over millions of people and uses it to harm and deceive so they can protect their monolithic power structure. The foibles of human nature do not cut it as an excuse. Sincerity does not cut it as an excuse. Too busy to understand the issues does not cut it as an excuse. Not when the very lives of millions of people are in your hands.

    And “I don’t care” does not cut it as a reason to dismiss all the issues of the church. It’s an insult to those of us who did care with every fiber of our beings, only to find out we were betrayed.

  14. Quanah May 23, 2018 at 9:09 am - Reply

    I was looking forward to this podcast and came away feeling very disappointed.

    It surprises me that Greg considers himself a scientist and uses terms like data points. An objective scientist, assuming that exists, would look at the whole Mormon narrative and come to the conclusion JS made it up as he went along.

    It is disappointing to hear Greg say or imply the church has a problem with systemic racism, yet he doesn’t have a “data points” to back up this insincere, misinformed, and disrespectful claim. Calling a person or institution a racist is a serious claim and should be defended with “data points”. Because someone doesn’t want to date a person of color doesn’t make them a racist and I have yet to meet a Mormon who saw Mitt Romney as the “lord’s anointed”. Lastly, Greg suggested the church is more racist now than anytime in his lifetime. The only thing that has changed in the last 20 years is the so called millenials have become adults. Are the societal, self appointed generational saviors of the world the racist?

    Least anyone misunderstand me. I’m not a fan of the Mormon Church; however, the members of the church should be given a degree of respect. It seems tolerance on Mormon Stories has limits and respect doesn’t apply to those who still find value in their faith and conservative beliefs. This podcast confirmed why I stopped listening to Mormon Stories. I’m no longer a Mormon. I’m also not someone who hates those that find enjoyment in religion. Most importantly, I’m not a person that makes claims about someone/something without sufficient “data points”.

  15. Kenton Shaw June 4, 2018 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed this latest interview with Dr. Greg Prince. His insights on how change occurs in the church were helpful. I was very disappointed when John referred to him as “a privileged white male.” I have listened to many of John’s podcasts, and I can never recall John being so disrespectful toward a guest. Hopefully this is a one time outburst. I enjoy listening to Mormon Stories and I hope respect for others will always be upheld.

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