lanceallredLance Allred’s Mormon story is fascinating for so many reasons.

  • He is the grandson of assassinated Mormon fundamentalist prophet Rulon Allred.
  • He was born deaf, and stands 6’11” tall.
  • He was a star basketball player for East High school (SLC, Utah), and played college basketball both at the University of Utah and Weber State University.
  • Lance developed scrupulosity (religious OCD), at least partially as a result of both perfectionism, and guilt/shame relating to matters of sexuality.
  • NCAA legend Rick Marjerus was forced to resign as University of Utah basketball coach, at least in part because of his verbal abuse of Lance.
  • After college, Lance went on to play 10 years of professional basketball (mostly overseas), including playing a year for the Cleveland Cavaliers with Lebron James (pre-Miami), amongst other teams (he even met Larry Bird!).
  • Lance become a popular public speaker, perhaps most recently known for his “What is Your Polygamy” TEDx talk.
  • Lance has fascinating insights on faith, doubt, and disbelief.

Lance’s web site can be found here:

Part 1:

Part 2:


Part 1:

Part 2:


  1. Dwight December 7, 2016 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Excellent Interview. Thanks for sharing your story Lance.

  2. Jed December 7, 2016 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your story fascinating.

  3. clh December 7, 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    You have a lot of insight and wisdom, Lance. Big thumbs up on your fabulous interview. πŸ‘

  4. Mensch December 7, 2016 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Great story and wonderful perspective on not letting the church control you after you are done with it. Listened to Part 1 via audio and thought I related to so much of what you said. Then watched Part 2 on YouTube, saw the KRCL hoodie, and realized we may have even more in common than I realized. :)

  5. Christina December 8, 2016 at 1:41 am - Reply

    Lance’s insight and take on life is fierce and refreshing. As someone who identifies as an agnostic, his cognitive flexibility is a model that I would like to move towards. Lance, you are an amazing humble human being. I wish you a life of ‘choose your own adventure’ stories that reflect your values.

  6. Jordan December 8, 2016 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Such a great interview! Loved hearing these perspectives on life, religion, love, and basketball! Thanks for sharing!

  7. CJ December 8, 2016 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Oh man, I wish I could relax like that! I research and find reasons to leave so I feel like I can defend myself when mormons ask why I left. My unhappiness is not enough for them or me apparently. I love that you say they can’t validate you. I really needed to hear that. I guess I’m still beating myself up that I couldn’t make the church work for me. Bah! Great interview.

  8. CR December 8, 2016 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Wow! Ive been a lifelong Utah fan and I never thought Id see a Mormon Stories podcast with Lance Allred . I had no idea about Lances story other than my one-sided view as a young fan. I have a different take on his time at the U than I did before.

    Love his perspective on faith, his upbringing, etc. His honest and forthright comments are so refreshing. Thanks for sharing!

    Also, we share your love for small towns in Montana!

  9. Emily Tagg December 9, 2016 at 5:16 am - Reply

    Amazing interview and your Tedx talk really touched me. My husband I left the church back in March. We live in France and don’t know anyone else who has left the church. When I decided to leave the church I had come to a point in my life where I really couldn’t care less whether the church was true or not, I just knew it was making me miserable and all my efforts to doubt my doubts had not helped me. I just wanted to be true to myself and feel authentic again. I am constantly trying not to get mentally stuck in a new box, it’s not easy but your interview was really helpful. Also love the way you watch how you say things, avoiding words like ‘need’ and ‘have’ that is something I am trying to work on as well. I went to a workshop in Germany once where a lady spoke about words in German that people use everyday that are reminiscent of the wars in Germany and that we need to stop using so that we can change our outlook on life. The way we choose to express ourselves is so important for our own mental and spiritual health. Can’t wait to see what book you write next!
    Also thanks John for your time helping people like us, it means the world to me!!

  10. Nancy December 9, 2016 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Lance your story and that of your family is truly amazing. I’m not a basketball fan but your story of learning self acceptance resonates with everyone.

  11. JASH December 9, 2016 at 11:44 am - Reply

    What a wonderful interview by so impressive a young man. I applaud his frank analysis of his situation and the intelligent assessment of how his ‘polygamy’ has had an impact on his thinking throughout his life. I loved seeing the TEDx talk and will share that link with as many LDS family members as possible.
    John…. this type of interview is simply WONDERFUL and I don’t think that you will ever know how meaningful all of your work on Mormon Stories is to many who have walked the complex and never ending journey out of the LDS church.

  12. joy December 9, 2016 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Such a fun interview to watch! This young man will inspire so many people with his lectures. He has a gift of sharing.

    I love that he didn’t need to do the mental gymnastics to stay in the church. He didn’t even bring up false doctrine or all the reasons why most of us leave. Being unhappy was enough for him. That is so refreshing.

    One of my favorite podcasts!

  13. Jay the nevermo December 9, 2016 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    I really enjoyed the interview. Lance has some real insight and wisdom to share. I dig his attitude about things. Great voice too. If his TedTalk is any indication, I think he has a bright future in public speaking.

    John, I think you were really enjoying branching out a bit and interviewing outside of the mormon wheelhouse – I can see you were really curious about his basketball experience and I loved the questions.

    There is one little thing that may have slipped through the cracks. Lance almost declared himself a prophet. Whoa!

  14. Watch December 11, 2016 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    Great interview.

    Very interesting.

    Great insights into being emotionally healthy.

    I don’t know if it is my imagination but his facial expressions and speaking mannerisms seemed identical to Labron’s

  15. Kelly December 12, 2016 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this interview. This is my very favorite Mormon stories interview because it really hit home. My oldest son has pretty serious OCD (light switches, door closing, pacing, touching things OCD) which makes him an exquisite athlete but a little odd and he had a coache and a trainer who were just so abusive to him. When we pulled him off the team (before the season ended which pissed people off even more), we got so much crap about babying him, not letting him learn to be tough, etc. I couldn’t believe that people thought emotional abuse was ok. Our 12 year old son now hated his favorite pass time, and like you, the coach gave him such a mental block that every time he got the ball he panicked. My husband coaches him now (he’s 14), and he is happy and smiling again and loves to play! It’s a fun team, a safe place, super positive and they are a talented team too. So you can have a good team without “tough love”.
    The other touch home for me is that my second son has ADP (auditory processing disorder) where his ears can hear but his brain can’t. So much of what you said about being a chess player on the court reminded me of my son. He gets lost in the language of coaches but uses his visual skills to be a great athlete. Sometimes his teammates laugh at him and think he’s stupid, but then his playing eventually shuts them up.
    Both my kids are going to listen to this interview tonight for bedtime.
    Thanks for being such a great example. Thanks also for your nuance and truthfulness.

  16. matty December 13, 2016 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Lance, bar none this has been my favorite Mormon Stories Interview.
    If anyone wants to learn more about other intense religious experiences and what Scrupulousity (sp ?) can possibly lead to, (its negative affects on ones life) listen to the podcast Mental Illness Happy Hour; an interview with the executive producer of Snap Judgement Glen Washington (#296, who grew up in a religious cult.
    Lance you started to talk about something (it was a bit tangential so you redirected yourself) that i find fascinating; the idea that in Mormonism as we go along and live the orthodox Mormon model we eventually all start acting very similarly and our personalities seem to meld together and we sort of all become the same person. This has really bothered me the longer I go as a former member. As a Physician seeing patients all day (30 or so in a day) in the Wasatch Front area I kind of have a intimate front row seat to this phenomenon. Maybe all this goes without saying but wow what a tragedy. I see my own parents who are in there early seventies unable to really form relationships with anyone who isn’t a strait arrow Mormon. If ” be ye therefore perfect” means we all become perfectly humble, submissive, outgoing, dedicated, spiritual…………etc. ect…wont we all eventually become the same person? If not in this life then in the next when we are all truly “Perfect”.
    Maybe that’s why Mormons are often just seen as “milk Toasty” by the larger world. I have has to relearn how to socialize in the real world since leaving. Its hard but so beautiful once I was able to fully let go.
    thanks for bringing this up I have never heard anyone really put it the way you did and it resonated.
    Great Job! I cant wait to see your TED talk on You tube

  17. Jess Q. December 13, 2016 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Do you believe in polyandry? I’ll totally marry you even though I’m married!! Lol…kidding. Though your buttery deep voice would be so awesome in radio or as a commentator. So impressed with you Lance and your gritty perseverance in all aspects of your life!

  18. El Aurian December 13, 2016 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Wonderful interview. Thanks for sharing your story. It was interesting even though I know nothing about sports. :)

  19. Jared December 27, 2016 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Lance, this has been such an amazing interview! You’re definitely on your way to being the world best motivational speaker.

  20. De Wilhelmsen January 1, 2017 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your remarkable story. It was inspiring. You reminded of the Hemingway quote β€œThe world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are stronger in the broken places.” I hope you will continue to have the opportunity to share you insights.

  21. Jan January 5, 2017 at 3:02 am - Reply

    What an amazing interview. Thank you, Lance and John!

  22. Vickie Duncan May 17, 2019 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Oh my a former regular mormon…and deaf, I so identify with you….and why Utah was a state that would at least feel like you are treated different. Thank you for sharing on so many levels. I played 4 instruments and sang a lot with family as a small child…but measles made me lose hearing every year. Sometimes we are invisible..and yet we hear a beat to a drum that is special. Your special was heigth and talent. God bless you….whatever God that is.

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