In this episode, an all-star panel reviews a recently leaked presentation created by the quorum of the twelve apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The presentation is entitled “Area Business Weekends,” is dated December 8, 2015, and lays out the process for local LDS stakes and areas to request special training meetings from the LDS quorum of the 12 (e.g., Boise Rescue, Elder Ballard’s Young Single Adult stake in Utah County).

Within the presentation the LDS Q12 reveals its view on the external causes for people leaving the LDS church, which explicitly name individuals such as John Dehlin, Denver Snuffer, and Robert Norman, along with other broader trends, movements, and ideas such as secularism, Ordain Women, support for same-sex marriage (entitled “Disagree with current policies”), chastity, pornography, lack of commitment, failure to observe the sabbath, those fascinated with the “last days/end of world” (i.e., Preppers/Julie Rowe), “false prophets,” and anyone who feels they need “something more” from the church.

In no instance does the Quorum of the 12 demonstrate introspection as to what they or the church might be doing to contribute to disaffection from the Mormon church.

Today’s panel includes Dr. Gina Colvin (A Thoughtful Faith Podcast and KiwiMormon), Lindsay Hansen Park (Sunstone), Pastor John Hamer (Toronto Community of Christ), Jesse Stay, and Ryan McKnight (MormonLeaks).

John Hamer’s slide referenced in the podcast:




Timecodes (for YouTube video):

00:00 Introduction
16:05 Slide 1 – Opening
16:17 Slide 2 – Regulating the church
17:24 Slide 3 – Area business
24:48 Slide 4 – Issues and ideas leading people away from the gospel
25:30 Green bubbles on slide 4: Denver Snuffer, Robert Norman, False prophets, End of days predictions
48:47 Red bubble on slide 4: Language and cultural problems. Discussing general setup slide 4.
56:40 Orange bubbles on slide 4: Church history, ordained women, secularism, John Dehlin, Disagreement with current policies
1:07:28 Blue bubbles on slide 4: Chastity, pornography, etc.
1:10:23 Rhetorical uses: all of these things are dangerous
1:12:05 John Hamers bubbles
1:15:43 Closing thoughts by the panel
1:23:28 Closing words by John


  1. Q February 28, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    The document on giving aid to immigrants who may be in a country illegally is in no way surprising because it is in line with policies that have been in place for a long time. I was aware at least as long ago as 2005 that undocumented immigrants’ legal status did not prevent them from holding temple recommends or serving missions, and I’ve heard of this being discussed publicly over the pulpit at stake conferences.

  2. Brent February 28, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    On the right, generally, it’s a notion of “the Church has lost it’s roots.” On the left, generally, it’s a notion that “the Church has not lost it’s roots fast enough.” In the middle is sin, pick your favorite (and any other could be listed there). And then there’s that thing of members outside the U.S. The discussion was great; the slide is clearly symptomatic of an autocratic, inward-focused, missing-the-mark view that wholly sidesteps the greater laws: love/charity, compassion, forgiveness/apologizing for past mistakes, serving the poor, sick, & needy/good works. Yup, where is Christ in the corporation? Several of you hit it on the head. Thanks to you all. Keep up the good work you do.

  3. anonID February 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Here is Robert Norman old blog

  4. Ryan McCarty February 28, 2017 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    Hey John, is it still paranoia if they really are out to get you?

  5. St. Ralph February 28, 2017 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Wow. One of the best MS episodes in a long time. The so-called Church needs to be careful that it doesn’t become one of those institutions like Richard Nixon or the House Un-American Affairs Committee of the fifties that people wind up feeling honored to be named an enemy of.

    • Gabriel von Himmel March 2, 2017 at 6:11 pm - Reply

      Enemy of the press is the enemy of the people
      So many bubbles to defend and so little time in the Latter DAZE..
      The bigger bubble is the better bubbles but please John stay out of trouble.

      • St. Ralph March 2, 2017 at 7:24 pm - Reply

        Boy, ain’t that the truth? We ARE IN the latter DAZE! Without a doubt. And all of you prophecy buffs out there who never get anything right? Write this down: “After four billion or six thousand years, depending on where you count from, the later DAZE finally began on November 9th, 2016.” Now, how long was it supposed to last? (Not that anyone’s gonna get that right, either, but hey . . .)

  6. Micaela February 28, 2017 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Lindsay, I was following the prepper movement for a while. What was the stuff you said about Julie Rowe being outed or something like that?

    I’m still really interested in the prepper movement, how did they explain away the last few big things that were supposed to happen around the election and stuff?

  7. Matt February 28, 2017 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    John Hamer – yes
    Church – not so much

  8. CCA February 28, 2017 at 8:13 pm - Reply


    You said quite a bit about Robert Norman but you didn’t say where you got your information from? I’d be very curious to know. Also, if he views himself as the end time servant, how is he going about trying to fulfill that? Do other people know he believes that about himself?

  9. Sherry Hunt February 28, 2017 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    Surprised that Jeremy Renells didn’t get a bubble or a discussion by the panel as deserving one. He should have had a big one in my opinion.

  10. RobG March 1, 2017 at 12:30 am - Reply

    One of my first thoughts on seeing John Dehlin named in his own bubble was that this might possibly put him danger from TBM zealots, possibly people on the fringe but also overlapping the margins of FAIR, for instance. Probably more so if this had been something circulated generally within the church from the top levels, but probably less so coming out like this. On the other hand, mormonleaks being the source, and also an obvious “enemy” of the church as they are, may up the ante for zealots feeling increasingly threatened by all their enemies.

  11. nicole March 1, 2017 at 1:08 am - Reply

    Fantastic video.

  12. square peg March 1, 2017 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Enjoyed this very much. Thanks again for all your efforts.

  13. Jenny March 1, 2017 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    After watching this and learning everything else about the LDS church in the last 3 yrs, I personally think the church has morphed into just a Bus. Corporation for profit and thats it.
    It would make sense why the FEELINGS of christlike love are gone at the top levels of church leadership. You only get it within local wards with individuals trying to do thier best within the church.
    The churchs decisions are based only on growing its 1% millionaries, just look at thier dealing with the Boyer real estate group, romneys, they are in business with the RICH mormons only, thats all they care about.
    Damon smiths book , book of mammom also reveales this. Waiting to see the book that Quinn is working on about church businesses etc.
    If this ever comes out we will find out its not a church anymore but a business making business decisions.

    • Lesley O'Connell-Maritz October 12, 2019 at 11:21 am - Reply

      I thought we understood this for a long time now with frequent references to profit etc. as it was/ is known as The Corporation of The President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The saddest aspect is that there is a compulsion to engage with anything Mormon/ Lds /whatever in order to free TBMs , who are held captive by all the wishy washy soppy stuff. It is truly deplorable that we now commit to memory reasons why what we previously considered true, is now a bunch of lies. The burning question is : Do the possessors of the Mormon Hierarchy REALLY conclude that they are to be gods after death, in possession of their own worlds? Perhaps they have envisioned hell as they burn “brightly before us” to light up the universe.

  14. Mike March 1, 2017 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    John your bubble may be the smallest but it’s only slightly smaller than the problem of chastity, which I think everyone would agree is a universal problem. So cheer up!?

  15. Steve March 1, 2017 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    This slide portrays one of my biggest pet-peeves in ForeMonism, only this time it’s coming from the Church instead of the former Mormon community. I’ve been listening to and mostly agreeing with (more so over time) Mormon Stories since about 2006. What bothers me is that everyone on all these podcasts (mormon stories, feminist mormon housewives, infants on thrones, a thoughtful faith, etc.) talks about the problems of Mormonism being liberal problems and automatically associates them with politically left-wing thinkers. And the reason it bothers me is that I’m a politically conservative (although mostly libertarian) person who was born and raised in a multi-generational Mormon family, a returned missionary, married in the temple to a multi-generational, politically conservative woman AND I have a problem with all the things on the left side of this slide except maybe secularism (although that’s more of an issue since leaving the church). The issues on the right (except for Robert Norman and maybe the end times stuff) were all big parts of my disaffection as well. But just because I’m conservative, doesn’t mean I don’t care about women or gays or history. Blacks and the priesthood should also be on there. To be honest, the only reason I was ever more discriminatory toward women or gays in the past was because of Mormonism, not because of my political leanings. I though women had a divine role that blah, blah, blah. And I thought gays were just wrong because God said so. I have flopped on both of those issues. But it was because of Mormonism, not politics. I’m still conservative. And my wife feels very similar about all of it. I have at least one very conservative friend who still goes to church but has problems with all these issues too and it hasn’t changed his politics either. I guess I have changed to being more socially liberal, but I still mostly disagree with the Democratic platform. Is it because we’re libertarians and not true conservatives? Are there any other conservatives out there who have experienced a similar thing? Anyway, if anyone is still reading this, please stop talking like all these issues are owned by left-wing Mormons. And that goes for you too, Mormon Church (I know the Strengthening the Members Committee or whatever you’re called reads all this). John, maybe you could find a conservative to interview to help balance it out.

    • J March 2, 2017 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      You’re not alone. Also, John has already had a great interview along the lines you mention: check out Carrie Sheffield’s episode (she is on a couple of episodes, but one long interview).

  16. RobG March 1, 2017 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Interesting but not totally surprising…

    Somehow I’d not be surprised to see the bubble chart both back up on and in general circulation.

  17. Paul Douglas March 1, 2017 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    A great podcast! One would hope that the brethren might have the honesty, humility and, yes courage to thoughtfully discern it’s message. If you truly care about heavenly father’s children, listen to the story Lindsay shared of the young girl whose angst and sorrow led her to self-multilation. She is not alone. There are many young men and women all across this county and throughout the world who are driven to a final tragic end because of the Church’s bureaucratic self-preserving administrative policies. Any right-thinking openminded person can see the people like John Dehlin are saving lives and giving comfort where needed to our brothers and sisters who suffer. If this podcast ever makes it’s way into the hands of any of those at the head of this church; ask yourself honestly, would Jesus condemn them, would Jesus cast them out. Perhaps the real bubble is the one you share with your fellow General Authorities.

  18. Name Withheld March 2, 2017 at 12:02 am - Reply

    I agree with the statement that the church is a loveless hollow shell, and all the bubbles are only symptoms of seeking God/Christ in a loveless hollow shell and finding nothing there.

  19. Natasha Helfer Parker March 2, 2017 at 6:07 am - Reply

    The “ites” is so flipping offensive to me – I can barely breathe through that one….
    not to mention calling out a dear friend by name… so flipping inappropriate…
    Plus, it’s not the porn people…. it’s the flipping chronic, toxic sexual shaming…..

  20. EVH March 2, 2017 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Loved this broadcast and panel discussion!

    I consider myself smart enough to know the meaning of words, but I looked up Incredulity just to be sure I had the definition correct in my head….. Incredulity: The quality or state of being incredulous; inability or unwillingness to believe. I can envision the top 15 men sitting in a grand board room with lower level assistants writing this stuff on white boards. They are all scratching their heads because the inspirations/revelations they receive are just like any man. I don’t believe God is sending this stuff to their brains!

    Perhaps the Incredulous ones are the top 15 men. They can’t/won’t understand why the Mormon masses are “unable” or “unwilling” to believe in the gospel messages, now that the real historical message is so much broader and darker than the correlated manuals and missionary discussions. I think we will be seeing and hearing a lot more of these types of messages from the church in the months and years ahead.

  21. Emma griffin March 3, 2017 at 12:12 am - Reply

    Is it really Christ that leads this church ????

    If the leaders truly cared about the people and were showing love it would be a different chart
    This is not something Christ would create
    And yet they are supposed to be representatives of Jesus

    This chart is simply labeling and judging
    No one on the chart is good enough — there is absolutely no effort of compassionate understanding or even discussing issues–this is what those who have left the church face every day– people rejecting and judging us instead of discussing issues

    This chart should have been a simple list about people’s concerns about the church:

    “Reasons for leaving”

    ( there’s no need for naming individuals as the Cause of losing members-!!!!)

    that kind of reasoning sees us as blind sheep following whoever and whatever comes our way

    It should be A list of issues and facts that cause people to leave the church — these things should be on their list ……. these are among the reasons for people leaving

    * Historical facts and the origin of beliefs (most have been hidden-)-

    including …….
    —what Joseph Smith really said and did –
    ( The founder of the religion and the source of the doctrine Authority and scriptures)

    —church scriptures Origin and content

    —-temple ceremonies Origin and content

    *The Church current policies that are hurtful — including the ‘reasons’ for rejecting people and the process of excommunication

    *The doctrine that is disturbing– including historical and present beliefs

    But it’s true
    Some people leave the church because they want to reestablish the original purpose and designs of the LDS church

    It’s true there seems to be some basic areas of concern

    1—-There are those who reject The church because of the true history (including the origin of all aspects of the church )

    2—those who feel the present church–policies and doctrine are hurtful and not of Christ

    3—those Believe the church is not living up to its original potential and purpose — they want certain aspects of the original church which have been discarded– so they create a church they feel is more true to its origin

    To conclude …..
    This chart is an example of how this church functions

    This is why we who have left the church feel it must not be truly of Christ — for Christ would talk about truth and not hide it !!! And be honest…….

    And Christ would be loving and forgiving and Accepting of all people

    And Christ would not do nor say the things that Joseph Smith did and many other leaders of the church in the past and present

    This chart is confusing and misleading just like the church is…

    Why can’t it be simple and truthful
    Not blaming certain people for leading others astray but looking at the facts and the reasons that cause people to leave

    Respect us that we can know truth and make good decision’s–that we are not blind sheep easily led away

    Love us and try to forgive and accept us for being different or disagreeing

    As I said I don’t see Christ in any of this

    !!!!!!And the bottom line for all us–The basic question we have to ask ourselves–!????????

    is what kind of god do we believe in ?????

    do we believe that he would do and say what has been done and said in this church??

    The Answer is no no !!! we do not believe that Christ would do and say these things

  22. Ryan March 3, 2017 at 12:43 am - Reply

    I’d just like to comment not all of us who consider ourselves gay or lesbian find ourselves on the far-left like the graph :)

  23. Sara S March 3, 2017 at 9:11 am - Reply

    If the Church were true and the Brethren were really prophets, seers, and revelators, no graphics, charts, or studies would be necessary to help them determine why the Church is bleeding members.

  24. Kristen March 3, 2017 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Would John Hamer be willing to give some specific examples of statements from the early brethren that completely contradict current teachings? And what specifically BY was referring to when he said, if the church does this or that it will be in apostasy? This information would be very helpful to me.

  25. rob March 4, 2017 at 11:53 am - Reply

    I may have missed the hole after listening to about 3/4 of the podcast, but something specifically in the slide is rather offensive. The title says: “Leading People away from the Gospel”. This is typical cult type of mentality where the distinction between the “Church” and the “Gospel” is completely closed.

    The concern is “Leading People awayfrom the LDS CHURCH”. The church has again made itself synonymous with the gospel, and the implication, which is offensive to me, is you can’t follow the Gospel of Christ without being fully LDS.

    How arrogant!

    Perhaps this is mentioned later in the pod-cast, but not at the point where I am.

  26. Andrew Evans March 4, 2017 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    I really enjoyed this episode, for all the different voices, and I feel like this one slide is incredibly revealing. It shows just how far-off the mark current leadership is in addressing the real issues faced by members today. As always, I found both Gina and Lindsay’s insights refreshing, and I can’t help but wonder how this bubble chart would be labelled if it had been produced by the General Relief Society Presidency. The “problems” portrayed are problems perceived by men as threats to their power, whereas I imagine the women of the church (at every level) would have a very different perspective on the biggest challenges faced by membership today.

  27. JASH March 4, 2017 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    A GREAT presentation – the commentary was most insightful. Most significant was the idea that real data is needed on why members leave… the routine excuses are lame. Most BIC are thoughtful individuals who ponder deeply before taking action.K eep up the good work – John…. you are not the enemy of the LDS church, but you are a light in the darkeness to those struggling with the faith.

  28. Jake March 4, 2017 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    I wonder why packer
    Didn’t get his own bubble?

  29. Ryan March 5, 2017 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Just curious, are transcripts ever posted for these?

  30. Ian March 6, 2017 at 10:12 am - Reply

    The heading on the slide is instructive on how they think, “Issues and Ideas Leading People Away from the Gospel”. While the bubbles identify issues, ideas, and people that could lead people away from the LDS Church I don’t believe any of these issues or ideas are leading people away from the Gospel. Hence the need for the rewrite of Elder Poleman’s conference talk where he made distinctions between the Church and the Gospel. They equate the two.

  31. Andy Anderson March 6, 2017 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    Loved this episode, although I wish it were longer (never thought I’d say that about a MoSto podcast!). I really enjoyed the commentary from the panelists. I believe it was Jesse who said that he didn’t see anything Jesus-like in the slide. I agree. I think that if Christ showed up at church HQ they would not recognize him and forcefully usher him out of the building. While I’m not a traditional believer in Jesus, I do value him as a philosopher and reformer, and I think the world would be a better place if people tried to emulate his example more.

    Unfortunately the church has become much more concerned about its own strength than the example Jesus set. All of these bubbles seem to talk about what’s hurting them, and say nothing about what’s really hurting the members. I think they have been told how beautiful their new clothes are far too long to consider for a few moments how they hurt others.

    One interesting topic–if you’re looking for one–would be to discuss whether the church’s concerns about how others hurt them is normal, or if they’re too focused on it. For example, they have become quite good at trying to quash dissent by excommunicating offenders. Do other churches do this to the same extent as LDS INC does? More? Less? I think we have a history of extreme reaction to apostates. From the beginning Joseph Smith fought against dissention, and did a good of slandering those who got in his way. However, I know he could also fairly quickly forgive certain people–didn’t he excommunicate some only to reinstate them a short time later? The church seems to have a real stick up their ass about apostates. I would like to know how they compare to other fundamentalist religions.

    Hey, thanks again! Really enjoyed it.

  32. briain March 6, 2017 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    thank you John Dehlin, for having the one true bubble!
    All those guests are wonderful, individually & collectively.
    Please have them all back – especially John Hamer!

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