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Content warning: mentions of child abuse, assault, suicidalality

Four former Mormon Bishops – Beau, Nick, Jedd, and Rob – have an intimate discussion about the oft-hidden realities of serving in Mormon leadership, including the lack of training on handling abuse cases, near-suicidal stress levels, the painful contradictions between doctrine and human needs, and the ways bureaucratic priorities seem to trump pastoral care. With empathy and nuance, they peel back the curtain on issues like LGBTQ exclusion, leader worship, doubted spiritual ‘gifts’, unhealthy perfectionism, and the people left wounded when conference talks supersede mental health expertise – all while recognizing the very real human desire to do good amidst institutions not structured to support it.

1861: Why I Resigned as a Mormon Bishop – Nick and Amanda Jones

1771-1772: A Tongan Mormon Story – Saane Siale


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13 Comments

  1. Ann Heydt February 3, 2024 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Great episode. Along with their comments about hiring people to do the cleaning & other needed assistance….would also
    provide EMPLOYMENT to those who could benefit from that. AND…pay them well..with benefits! The church has enough $ to do this.

  2. Clark February 3, 2024 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    A tour de force !
    John, if you ever decide to rest on your laurels, you are certainly worthy.
    But please don’t.
    You are so needed.
    One bishop was told to ‘ask more questions’. In a larger narrative, boy does that
    back fire…

  3. BJ February 3, 2024 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    Minor correction. The First Presidency letter against Oral Sex WAS read over the pulpit, at least in my ward, and it seems like it was years (maybe 20) not months until it was quietly removed. By then the damage had been done. That initial prohibition became church moral policy for a generation

  4. Sue Bernstein February 3, 2024 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Rob: Brilliant insight to the very last question. The church leadership “wants both”, [the welfare of the people and the welfare of the institution] but can’t have it, given the way the institution is structured. “They choose the institution over and over again.”

    Wise and heartfelt words by all four gents. I understand why my brother was drawn to the institution because of the quality of the men he was able to associate with. These are sterling people. Thanks, guys for allowing us your company and companionship. (And now I can understand and forgive some of the stuffed shirts who seemed to have wood behind their foreheads and so little expectation of me as a female. 😆)

  5. Karen Everton February 4, 2024 at 8:27 am - Reply

    “Enlightenment from the East” lecturer who knows the Aramaic language said “A more accurate translation is Be ye ALL INCLUSIVE even as your Father in Heaven is ALL INCLUSIVE
    “instead of the one that has thousands of LDSwomen on Prozac

  6. William A Christiansen February 4, 2024 at 9:46 am - Reply

    This is my favorite episode. As a former Bishop (for 7 years), I can relate to many of the stories and comments. What great insight from each of the four former Bishops. Thank you. I wonder how many other Bishops, Stake Presidents, and other leaders have similar experiences. Probably more than we would guess.

  7. Maggie Rayner February 4, 2024 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    I applaud the vulnerability, honesty, courage, and reflections of these four bishops. I am impressed with the former bishops who have left the church and particularly impressed with newly-left Nick’s authenticity. I don’t understand Bo’s positioning at all and would like more from him when he is not in a moderator role.

    Their advice to the church of “Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth” triggered grief and heartache for the inter generational damage to my family sustained by the church’s many deceptions.

    While I admit to not having respect for LDS women tolerating the role assigned to them by Mormon patriarchy, I understand why they have. I would like to see them take an equal place in whatever discourse is essential to action and see them claim the right to have their part matter. As Nick mentioned about not drowning in 3 feet of water, all the women have to do is Stand up.” Yes, yes, yes! May I see that in my lifetime.

  8. Timmy Tim February 8, 2024 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Great panel and discussion! This is a great way to highlight the experiences of a particular group of LDS people. And they were all telling “Mormon Stories”.

  9. Emma February 10, 2024 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Excellent!!

    So honest and vulnerable

    It wiuld be so interesting to hear from a panel of rhe wives of these leaders

    Being a bishops wife or stake pres wife is equally hard in a different way

    They are the unsung sacrifces

    Will you do that

  10. Jason B. Major February 14, 2024 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Thank you Dr. Dehlin for all your great work and for the inspiration you bring to all of us through your moving podcasts.

  11. Lesa Stewart February 14, 2024 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    It was the best of times for our family when my husband was Bishop. Beau didn’t have a chance. It’s my last listen.

  12. Tracey Bryant February 16, 2024 at 11:57 am - Reply

    When you do the RS presidents can you have Margi do the interview? You just had a 3 hour convo with 5 white men. It would be lively to see an all women group.

  13. Tonya Wilson February 23, 2024 at 8:50 am - Reply

    I don’t normally take the time to reach out unless I am really troubled by something or unless I am incredibly impressed with something. But yesterday, I watched the episode OUR EXPERIENCES AS MORMON BISHOPS https://www.mormonstories.org/portfolio-items/mormon-bishop-panel/ and was just absolutely awestruck numerous times at the profound truth bombs that were dropped all throughout this interview. One of them left an indelible impression on me and even caused me to break down bawling. I have included the timestamps below. It was a MASSIVE eye-opener that I wish that I had, not only had at the beginning of my faith crisis, but also many years ago in my life. – If what we are doing isn’t working for us, then let’s try something different. Beau blew my mind with this one. But that entire panel of former bishops was simply STELLAR. Very cerebral. THANK YOU for this one! Now, I wait with bated breath for the Relief Society sisters panel. There’ll be some stories there that’ll blow the barnacles right off the butt cheeks of the brethren. ;)

    Time Stamps:

    START – 1:45:56

    FINISH – 1:48:50

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