This international edition of Mormon Stories Podcast includes our interview with Amanda and Matt Ireland about their experiences as Mormons in Australia. This story includes their relatively recent faith crisis, and their being threatened as apostates by their local leadership for speaking openly about their doubts/questions with the church.  Amanda and Matt also speak openly and bravely about how they dealt with issues of mental health in their marriage and how they now find happiness in life outside the Mormon faith.


Part 1: Amanda and Matt describe their Mormon background

Part 2: Amanda and Matt describe how their faith began to unravel

Part 3: Amanda and Matt discuss possible disciplinary action as a result of this interview.  They also discuss their life now in terms of spirituality.


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. beth April 5, 2018 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Thank you Jon for another really refreshing interview, l thoroughly enjoyed listening to Amanda and matt and there sincerity and warm, they sound like a very loving caring couple, thank you for sharing your beautiful honest journey, l wish you both all the very best in your spiritual journey, would you mind me emailing you Amanda?!, that would be nice to be able to talk to you more, all the very best. please keep more of these faith journeys coming jon.

  2. Matt Ireland April 5, 2018 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Hi Beth. Thank you so much for your very nice words. Please feel free to friend either Amanda or I on Facebook and we can speak either through there or via email. Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you. Cheers. Matt IRELAND.

  3. Dot April 6, 2018 at 6:45 am - Reply

    From another remote continent, and from someone whose life was certainly saved by the brave people interviewed by John, my love and gratitude. I also discovered I could do more good in the world outside of the church. I wished I didn’t need family validation at the time, I would have recovered faster! As a convert, I lost my voice for many years, but I got it back, thanks to the voices on this podcast, and Lindsay Park Hansen, Gina Colvin, Margi Dehlin, Deb Diener, the MamaDragons, not enough space for everyone, but you know who you are! Is this called doxxing, or can I put more names here?

    Anyway, thanks Matt and Amanda, you bring light.

  4. beth April 6, 2018 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Matt, it was great to hear from you, thank you for caring, l will definitely email or face book you both, l really enjoyed listening to you both and would so love to keep in touch with you both, especially by email. Your story really touched me, l so admire and loved your honestly and genuine sincerity and l would love to talk more to you both about your own spiritual journey’s, thank you for being so honest and for showing such courage, for reaching out to people like myself, you are such a great strength and source of support to us who are struggling, l will be in touch with you both soon.

  5. G. Kallen April 6, 2018 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    Only through the first part so far. It was interesting to hear about life in a branch. My wife and I joined in a very small ward in a town with two gas stations and two stores but only 14 kids in the grades 1–6 school. A Jack Mormon owned one store and station while the bishop owned the other. It was a great place to start in the church. We had been married in a Protestant church 2 years before at the age of 23. When we were sealed in the Logan Temple, the bishopric and several members were there and that was after we had all driven from 50 miles south of Idaho Falls to Logan. The love was so great in that small ward.

    After two years of cold weather like snow in July even, we returned to Washington and a small branch, the only one in our county made up of 172 islands, we living on the one with the town of 600. We met in a house owned by the branch president and we, just like the Australian couple, had amazing experiences like the entire branch taking a boat ride to another Island to meet up with an dependent branch, and lots of beach picnics.

    Then we moved to a big ward but after a few years returned to our island branch and stayed there for 13 years in a house at first and then a new building that was built by the members. We were only there a few weeks when I was called to be an EQ President. In a branch I was over the elders, the seventies, and the high priests. I also had to go to every 7:30 AM branch presidency meeting. I held more than one job at a time. I loved all the time I spent in our branch and had we remained there, we would probably still been members. But we moved and boy, did things change!

    Thank you Amanda and Matt for your great story so far! I can relate a bit to your mental health issues. We have been married 50 years but it is hard and it took me a long time to finally realize that my wife has disorganized schizophrenia. And I kept believing for so long that I needed to go through this and that on the other side she would be normal.

  6. Mark April 8, 2018 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Matt and Amanda, Thank you for your thoughtful and personal approach toward this piece. I am profoundly impacted with the contrast between your (Amanda’s) mother’s loving and empathetic response to Amanda’s transition out of the church. Whereas Amanda was expecting an “I told you so” what she received was a concerned, loving and supportive response from her mother. Contrasting this with the ” no apologies” and “the caravan rolls on” rhetoric of the church, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure which of the two approaches is in harmony with the teachings of Christ.

  7. Bert Fuller April 9, 2018 at 8:19 am - Reply

    Part 2, around 44:45: when Amanda says “my Mormon dream ended,” that’s exactly how I felt. I realized that’s how I felt when I heard the lyrics for “Spare Me” by Faded Paper Figures.

    Also, there was an Australian senior couple in my mission (Poland Warsaw, 2009). There last name was Ireland. I only met them one time but I wondered if it’s any relation.

    Thank you for the heartfelt, level-headed, and down-to-earth interview. You two are wonderful people.

  8. Kaparowitz April 9, 2018 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    To me this is a tragic story. I kind of regret listening. Amanda gave up everything to join. They both did a fantastic job while Matt served as branch president. They were able to get a new building and quadruple the membership, etc. Somewhere along the line Matt was exposed to hard questions. He ended up losing his testimony and the whole family was soon out. I’ll admit that I don’t understand it. How can people be members that whole time and not have unshakable spiritual reasons?
    I listen because I’m curious to see why people leave the church. (FYI- I’m a practicing member with zero authority or positional status).

    Only a couple of reasons were really shared by Amanda. She mentioned the translation of the BOM and then the policy on children of gays. I don’t find either compelling reasons to quit over. For the first point, I’m assuming she is referring to Joseph translating by spiritual methods instead of in the normal sense of the word. She presumably feels misled because, at times he buried his head in a hat. True, that wasn’t common knowledge. It is strange, but really is not when you take into consideration he was seeing words and needed to block out the light. Did that really change how the words spoke to you? I’m not being judgemental, that’s just how I feel. I don’t see how it changes anything. It is of secondary importance. Whatever the method was to translate, the proof is in the pudding. I don’t have time to get into the policy right now.
    In conclusion, as far as the bishop goes who accused her of apostasy, I don’t agree with his methods as stated in the story and it sounds unfortunate, but why not wait it out? I don’t see how one mistake that someone else made is earth shattering. It happens. Name one person who is perfect.
    With that being said, there are plenty of options out there in the world. It’s ultimately up to you to decide.
    One final thought, I’ve listened to several stories and neither provided a definitive or explicit reason for leaving. It was more like someone offended you or you didn’t like how a situation was handled. That’s been my experience everywhere, family included. I just have to remember to forgive others.

  9. Emma April 12, 2018 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Wonderful people wonderful interview very inspiring and insightful it is obvious that the pressures and expectations of the church affect women throughout the world not just in Utah

    She is such a positive loving person and forthright about the truth she has found in searching about the church she has a lot of love and a lot of courage I just feel such a connection with her

  10. Jacob H October 24, 2018 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    You folks came across as so considerate, gentle, and kind in your interview. Best wishes for you and your families

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