In part two of our series on the Spirituality of the rising LDS generation, we interview Ashley Sanders — former BYU student, english/philosophy major, political activist, and chief organizer of the BYU Alternative Commencement with Ralph Nader, in opposition to the invitation to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.

Ashley discusses her experiences with BYU, the Alternative Commencement, and her hopes for greater “transformation” within the lives of Mormons.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 1

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Part 2

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  1. Kevin October 16, 2007 at 9:52 pm - Reply


    I was moved by your articulate intensity, your willingness to follow your beliefs wherever they lead you and your joyfulness.

    Good strength to you. Surely a young person wouldn’t be burdened by stage four-type faith unless they were up to the task. In the run up to the 2nd Coming I would hope you are typical of souls to come.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Anne Hutchinson October 19, 2007 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed this podcast ! Any chance on an article on Ms. Sanders and the Alternative Commencement making the pages of Sunstone ?

  3. Dan W. October 19, 2007 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    We have a wonderful short essay by Ashley in the Sunstone issue now at press. It deals with the issue of the importance of the tension created between insider and outsider discourse about religion and ethics.

    Sunstone covered the Cheney at BYU controversies and mentioned the alternative commencement in its news section in the June issue, but we’d certainly welcome a longer reflection by Ashley (and her co-organizers) on their motives and the full story of how it came about. I’ll point her to your request.

    Dan Wotherspoon, editor, Sunstone

  4. Andrew October 31, 2007 at 12:25 am - Reply


    You have a brilliant mind and I think you’ve definitely put it to a good use. I’ve always considered myself a “ponderous” type but you’ve inspired me to strive to take that observation and introspection to continually deeper levels.

  5. Jana November 5, 2007 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    My favorite part of this interview was Ashley speaking about her Discussion Nights. We do something similar at our local university campus. I suspect that this is happening all over the U.S. under the radar of the church or CES…

  6. wade November 6, 2007 at 12:28 am - Reply

    I very much enjoyed your insights in this interview. Thank you. I especially liked your description of the importance of tension in our spiritual journey.

    Off the topic of this interview… You read an essay about ethics, critical thinking & revolutionaries at Sunstone this year (session 232). I would love to have a text copy of it. Could you post a link to the paper it was published in?

  7. […] encountered within Mormonism — Ashley Sanders. Some of you will recognize Ashley from a previous Mormon Stories episode. Others might recognize her name — as being one of the principal organizers for BYU’s […]

  8. Michelle December 19, 2012 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Wonderful, absolutely wonderful! I love how eloquent and articulate Ashley is. My feelings are kindred to hers, but I’ve never been able to express them as well as she does.

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