In this episode, John Dehlin discusses the past, present and future of the podcast.

  • The Past: Why I shut down Mormon Stories podcast, what I learned along the way, and were I am now with the church.
  • The Present: Why I brought Mormon Stories back
  • The Future: What I promise to each of you w/ the podcast, and what I need from each of you to keep it going.

Thanks in advance for your support!

Part 1

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  1. Kareen Thornock February 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Thank you John!

    I love the idea that the church is not just for people who like what it does for them.

    Church is for those who want to give, to serve, and to love.

    And church extends far beyond the walls of the temples and the meetinghouses.

    I’m hungry and thirsty for a place and a time for discussion of real people’s stories!

    Thank you again.

  2. Andrew Callahan February 3, 2010 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Well done, John.

    I appreciate your clear statements about your motivations (past, present and future).

    Your goals here are ambitious, and I wish you success.

    I believe you are right that Mormonism encompasses more than just one church, and I think you are also doing a good thing by encouraging open discussion.

  3. Polly Anna February 3, 2010 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    John, It makes me sad that you felt like your the past Mormon Stories was harmful. I can tell you that Mormon Stories was nothing, but a God send to me. It was extremely helpful to me and still is. I can relate to so much of your experience. You echo many of the thoughts that I’ve had I’ve found that extremely helpful to simply know that I’m not alone.

  4. G February 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    an extraordinary podcast john. Thank you. I will be sharing this around.

  5. wade February 3, 2010 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    I can’t tell you how good it is to have you back. Thank you for sharing your beautiful talent with us.

  6. Amie February 3, 2010 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    I almost jumped for joy when I went to update my podcasts and saw new Mormon Stories up and running. My soul hungers for a place to think deeply and freely about the religion I love so dearly and yet question so much. I wrote to you a while ago about how I was reconciling knowledge with my faith. I wanted to let you know that I am striving for a Fowler Stage 5. The light feels brighter and I feel much faith in God and hope for a better world. Thank you, thank you for the good work you do.

  7. Jethro February 3, 2010 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    My comment disappeared?

    …just wanted to say:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Mormon Stories validated my re-investigation of mormon history.

    Thank you for coming back John!

    It would have been a much harder process for me to leave the church without the help of Mormon Stories.

  8. Michael Waltman February 4, 2010 at 1:29 am - Reply


    Great to see you back. I found this podcast the summer of ’09. I learned a lot and grew a lot. I had my ups and downs in faith. Your interviews along with much thought, study and prayer helped me do the one thing I’ve tried to do for a long time. That is come to understand, follow and focus more on Christ. I think Paul Toscano’s interview really opened my eyes to gaining more understanding of Christ. I even dropped his one liner Elders Quorom. “Is this the church of God the father and his holy apostles or is this the church of Jesus Christ” :)

    I’ve seen a lot of pain and suffering come from incorrect understanding of simple principles. If you tackle anything on Obedience replacing Unconditional Love, man I have stories for you!

    Welcome back!

  9. iamse7en February 4, 2010 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Wow. You’re back?

  10. Donnell Allan February 4, 2010 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    I so agree with your view of Jesus as one who was always drawing in those who were rejected by others. It is essential that we come to love one another, as you put it, where we stand, and I, too, am hopeful that your work will help toward that end. I am eagerly anticipating hearing many diverse stories from His children. It has been the awareness of His love for me where I stand which has kept me hanging on through my own particular journey, which has gone from a high level of activity in the church to being in the throes of mental illness, too anxious to be among groups of people. I was especially heartened to hear in this podcast that you are going to put a particular emphasis on mental illness.

    Thank you for this work as well as your PhD pursuits. God bless you.

  11. Ashley February 5, 2010 at 9:21 am - Reply

    What beautiful ideas you have outlined here. I so look forward to listening, learning and doing all I can to help.

    I truly believe that “The Mormon Stories Era” will be talked about for years to come in the world of Mormons! I am grateful for you passion, sacrifice and commitment, for all they have done in helping me find a home throughout my faith journey.

  12. Hellmut February 5, 2010 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    That’s right. You are doing a beautiful thing, John. The cultural model goes a long way. Unfortunately, cultural Mormonism does little for converts.

    On the contrary, converts who take the Church’s claims seriously usually will have to alienate their friends, family, and heritage.

  13. Living and Learning February 6, 2010 at 10:32 am - Reply


    We echo the sentiment of others…we’re glad you’re back.

    We look forward to hearing from both sides of the spectrum (It appeared that some of the more strong believers participation was missing in your past work)
    As a suggestion, I would love to hear from some emeritus GA’s.
    Keep up the great work

  14. Drew Emmick February 6, 2010 at 7:34 pm - Reply


    I am excited that Mormon Stories is back! I have sorely missed your podcasts and the sincerity in which you conducted them. I have thoroughly enjoyed the fresh openness and positivity of your latest episodes. You are taking Mormon Stories in the right direction; opening the conversation to everyone in all of the stages of faith.

  15. George Windes February 6, 2010 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    John Hamer and the Danzig’s, bless you John. Once again you expand the boundaries of Mormonism. A few months ago I put to paper my wishes concerning a memorial service. I suggested a Unitarian-Universalist approach, as I don’t want a “plan of salvation” presented. When you called yourself a “Unitarian-Universalist Mormon,” I could but laugh.

    For half a century, I tried to be accepting of the church. Finally I researched dozens of tiny Book of Mormon believing churches, making friends and seeing Mormonism from a broader perspective. You now appear accepting of different
    faith communities and independent paths (or lack thereof). You lift the boundaries of Mormonism and made it an experience shared by much larger congregation. You provide hope I can remain, though I reject temple Mormonism.

    Keep on keeping on…

  16. TexasChick February 9, 2010 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    John, this podcast was so heartfelt and actually got me choked up a few times. You have such a way with words and so eloquently talked about what is in my heart that I have had a hard time articulating. Amazing podcast. I’m referring as many as I can to Mormon Stories. Your attempt at bridging the gap had many people confused for awhile, but at least for me, I get it know. I finally get your goal and I commend you for it. You are a rock star! Good luck on your path. I have loved every podcast so far and I look forward to even more in the future. Rock on my friend!

  17. Guy February 11, 2010 at 9:22 am - Reply


    Just want to say thanks for all that you do to bridge the gap between the orthodox and the non-orthodox. Mormonism IS more than just the LDS Church, and it is nice to see that concept embraced and celebrated.

    For some of us, who no longer have that literalist faith, but love the background and culture we were raised in, you are a God-send. You give us hope that our TBM spouses, and TBM friends and family, will one day be able to understand us, and to continue to love us. You give us hope that we will no longer be seen as a threat to their belief. And you give us hope that our beliefs have validation, and will one day be accepted by the mainstream/orthodox members. Thank you!

    I look forward to future podcasts and plan to be a regular contributor.


  18. kmillecam February 18, 2010 at 11:42 am - Reply

    I was so moved by this podcast. I have been so happy to have more Mormon Stories to listen to again, but this one really took me by surprise. I believe that it is very important to expand the Mormon tent to include all the shades of Mormonism there are. As usual, you do an excellent, heartfelt job. Thank you.

  19. Eric May 22, 2010 at 5:09 am - Reply

    John, keep up the good work. The church and the initial “faith crisis” I experienced nine years ago has had a profound impact on my life. There are a lot of people out there who need this blog and other blogs like these. Just letting you know that here’s another person that supports your work.

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