Today we welcome on Randy Bell, well known socio-economist expert on real estate damages and friend of the podcast on to hear his epic Mormon Story. Raised in Fullerton, CA, we discuss Randy’s relationship with the Fender family, the effects of his profession on his Mormon faith including stories about how the Pulse Night Club shooting transformed his LGBTQ beliefs. In part 2 we will dig deeper and discuss Randy’s incredible, thoughtful journey from Mormonism to Progressive Christianity.

In part 2 of Randy Bell’s Mormon Story, we dive into Randy’s faith post-Mormonism, his experiences with people of other religions around the world including Hindus, Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Among some of the topics we cover are his reasons for becoming a non-denominational Christian, feelings vs science, and the common ground we share.


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Part 1:

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Part 2:

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Part 1 Show Notes:

Part 2 Show Notes:


Part 1 Timecodes (for video):
00:00 Introduction
7:00 Randy’s profession as an economist studying disasters
9:05 Randy’s Mormon Story begins in Fullerton, CA
11:50 Primary memories
14:30 Randy’s dad’s job at Fender
18:40 Fond boy scout and church dance memories
21:00 Orthodox Mormon upbringing
25:25 Schoolmate gives Randy “anti-Mormon” literature
29:00 First Vision story not sitting well, other incorrect teachings
34:50 Good Mormon kid in high school, 70s music
41:11 Bishop’s interview about masturbation
42:45 Vision for his life graduating high school
46:20 Randy’s mission to England
51:40 BYU, hired at MTC
55:50 First Temple Experience
57:50 Taking issue with blacks and the priesthood
1:04:00 Getting married at 30
1:07:58 What Jesus meant to Randy
1:11:20 Randy’s Mormonism as a dad
1:17:00 Heaven’s Gate and cults
1:21:50 Pulse Night Club, Prop 8, secret meetings in Laguna Beach
1:31:20 How the Pulse Night Club transformed Randy’s LGBTQ beliefs
1:34:50 OJ Simpson case
1:40:20 Impact of Sandy Hook, Hurricane Katrina, institutional corruption
1:44:30 Divorce in the Mormon church and faith crisis
1:53:40 The day of Randy’s faith crisis
1:58:00 Impact of Fanny Alger and Joseph’s affair
2:04:40 Randy’s response to not knowing truth claims earlier
2:15:40 Peep Stone in a hat translation process
2:19:00 DNA and the Book of Mormon
2:21:10 Book of Abraham, bishops interview
2:23:40 Children and women treatment
2:26:00 Feelings as a PhD economist not thinking critically about the church
2:29:00 Non-Mormon support system
2:35:00 Trauma and shock of leaving the Mormon church
2:40:10 Message to those in faith crisis
2:52:10 Outro

Part 2 Timecodes (for video):
0:00:00 Introduction
02:10 Recap of career
8:25 Going back to study basics of epistemology
14:06 Having lunch with Penn and Teller talk about atheism
18:15 Conversations with Randy’s brother and holocaust survivor about god
22:00 Gaining respect for Islam
26:00 Hindu guide in India, visiting prisoners
27:30 Teaching in the prisons
33:10 Atheism and Agnostic differences
39:54 Carah and John explain Agnostic Atheism
45:28 Bart Ehrman, historical Jesus
51:36 Evolution, nuanced belief
58:55 Journey into Christian belief
1:05:45 Progressive churches, criteria for church attendance
1:09:20 Investigating atheism
1:12:20 Randy’s reasoning for belief in Christianity
1:22:40 If it’s not love, not paying attention to it
1:28:30 Randy’s “Big 8” – Counterculture of Jesus
1:54:38 The Low Threes – What pissed Jesus off?
1:59:40 Sexual shame
2:05:30 Jesus stood up to Pharisees
2:16:00 Randy Bell’s temple recommend questions
2:20:50 John’s question about condescending Christians
2:28:00 Carah and Randy chat on beliefs
2:41:50 Randy’s view on heaven and hell
2:48:57 Feelings vs Science
2:51:05 Sympathetic residence
2:52:31 John’s common ground
2:54:30 Smart religion is evolving
3:04:24 Boy Scout child abuse payout
3:05:58 Outro

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