Part 1: Peter and Mary Danzig discuss their early years as faithful LDS church members, their mission experiences, their marriage, their joining as founding members of the Orchestra at Temple Square, and the origins of their interest in the topic of homosexuality. The music from this episode was played live during the interview.  For more about the Danzig’s music, check out their web site here.

Part 2: Peter Danzig discusses how his experience as a social worker to (primarily) LDS Church members led to an increase in sympathy for LDS homosexuals, a loss of his traditional LDS testimony, and his decision to write a letter to the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune to protest the action taken against former BYU Professor Jeffrey Nielson, and the LDS Church’s urging of members to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriag

Part 3: Peter and Mary Danzig discuss Peter’s removal from the Orchestra at Temple Square because of his letter to the editoropposing professor Jeffrey Nielson’s termination from BYU (over Dr. Nielson’s public support of gay marriage). They also discuss his local church leadership’s request for silence, the threats of church discipline, his and Mary’s ultimate decision to resign from the LDS Church, and Craig Jessop’s resignation as Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Part 4: Peter and Mary Danzig discuss life after resigning from the LDS Church, including how they are raising their children as former members, reworking their relationships with extended family, and their new life/spiritual perspectives. They also discuss their recent work  the Foundation for Reconciliation, which seeks reconciliation between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Gays and Lesbians

The music from these episode was played live during the interview.  For more about the Danzig’s music, check out their web site here.


Part 1

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Part 2

Download MP3

Part 3

Download MP3

Part 4

Download MP3




  1. jake February 6, 2010 at 8:47 am - Reply


    thanks for the good work. love that ms is back. and thanks danzigs for sharing.

    who did the music on this podcast. i love it. can we download it somewhere?

  2. Cheryl L. Nunn February 6, 2010 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Exceptional interview John, it captures the sincerity of the Danzigs, and their journey and experiences very well. Personally I’ve not ever met a more compassionate or kinder couple. Looking forward to hearing part 2.

  3. Paul February 6, 2010 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    John, please take this the right way: You need to up the quality of the audio. May I make a suggestion? I use a pocket sized digital recording device that is top in its class and quite affordable. It would become the one tool that will be available all the time and produce exception sound quality — not motor sounds, and a snap to upload and edit. It’s the Edirol R-09HR. I purchased mine at:

  4. George Windes February 7, 2010 at 12:13 am - Reply

    I’m so anxious to hear Part 2 of the Danzig’s presentation. With two gay brothers and a gay son, I have more than a passing interest in the church’s attitude toward gays and its involvement in prop 8. The proposition ended my tithing to the church and damaged my continued sojourn in our faith, sadly after standing with the church for half a century.

  5. Peter Danzig February 7, 2010 at 12:37 am - Reply

    I second the thanks to John! Jake The music was Mary and I and if you liked it you can hear it again on our website at It’s not a track we have up on Itunes at the moment so if you want a copy of your very own contact us via facebook and I’ll see what we can do.

  6. Michael February 9, 2010 at 9:20 am - Reply

    John, dude! Where’s part 2????? I was sitting at breakfast listening and thought, “Oh, this is the good part, I can’t wait to hear what’s next” and then the music started and it was the end of part 1. You really know how to keep us hanging.

    (No pressure, I know you have a lot to do and the interview was long and I’m sure you’re working on it.)

  7. David Eames, Ph.D. February 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    When we are born, we awaken in the midst of a profound mystery. Einstein acknowledged that all of his scientific work was little more than “child’s play” in the face of such dazzling mystery. Joseph Smith awakened in the midst of the same mystery, and it is time to acknowledge that he was equally helpless before it.

    Until our discussion of the “Mormon Problem” and the “Prophet Puzzle” makes a quantum leap to new levels of wonder and humility, we will see Danzigs stacked upon Danzigs like leaves before a thunderstorm. We might have learned from the Holocaust that Reality will allow incomprehensible levels of human suffering as long as human beings insist on trying to stretch their puny arms and brains around Mystery and confine it within the chains of human language and human desire.

  8. Marshall Bond February 9, 2010 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Whoa. Heavy.

    But what other option to we have? We try to comprehend the mystery as best we can with our finite capabilities. I love that humans / children of God have the capacity to wonder. But occasionally the wonder has to be translated into real human action so we can actually do something noble with our lives. I guess you just left me hanging. What is the next step, David? And how does Mormonism fit in, if at all?

    BTW — I have incredible admiration for the Danzigs. Thanks for this episode.

  9. brit-exmo February 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Great podcast, and so well told

    Do you think Peter’s Dad would ever do a podcast? Would love to hear his story from his POV

  10. Flor March 2, 2010 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Wonderful podcast, and my all time favorite. Peter and Mary Danzig are beautiful people and I’m grateful they shared their story with us. It was very disturbing to hear of the church abuse concerning his father’s job and the vault. All I can say is WOW.

    I could have listened to this articulate and sincere couple speak all day about their family history and experiences in the church.

    Thank you John for bringing back Mormon Stories!

  11. Kaylana March 2, 2010 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Yeah, I am so glad you have brought the stories back! This was a wonderful interview. I’m grateful for the Danzigs and their willingness to share their story with us all. They are also very talented musicians and singers! I’m happy they shared their talents as well.

  12. Peter Danzig March 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm - Reply


    My father is convinced that if he speaks publicly about the abuse he went through he will be excommunicated. I don’t think that is something he is willing to risk.

  13. Anon Brit March 10, 2010 at 4:25 am - Reply

    Another fabulous interview.
    Peter and Mary sound like lovely people. The story of Peter’s father really touched me. I can’t wait to listen to the other parts of the interview. I listen while I’m at the gym – I think I’ll be taking a lot of extra exercise this week!
    Thanks John.

  14. melman March 14, 2010 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    Thank you John, Mary, and Peter for sharing your powerful and touching story with all of us. As a non-Mormon, and one who is not interested in becoming involved with Mormonism, stories such as yours really serve to shed further light on the reality beyond the facades that are painted. Especially in how the LDS leadership treats its own who are not in lockstep behind the brethren, as well as how when mistakes are made, how the victims of such mistakes continue to be treated horribly due to paranoia on behalf of the all-powerful leadership.

    Just to draw a bit of a historical parallel, the story of Peter’s father reminds me more than a little bit of how Josef Stalin treated his imagined “enemies” within Soviet Russia during his reign of terror. Never mind that an injustice was done; the victims of the injustice continue to be punished for life in order to keep them silent about the injustice that was done. And that is sad indeed – especially for a religion whose message purports to be one of love.

    You’ve given me a bunch of insight with what you’ve shared here. For example, given your story, would I ever want one of this religion’s true adherents in the White House where they would have the power to appoint leaders of our investigative and intelligence bodies? Not unless I wanted the Patriot Act to be remembered as a bastion of privacy and civil liberties.

    I’m just horribly, insanely curious as to how the LDS security service managed to get a wiretap installed on Peter’s father’s private home phone.

  15. David June 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Was the music for this podcast provided by the Danzigs? Is it possible to purchase recordings?

  16. Peter Danzig August 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    David, Yes, the music was Mary and I, I don’t remember exactly what we played but I know at least one of the pieces is on our album “Hunter’s Moon” which is available via our website at or for download via Itunes and Is there a particular song you were interested in, we have a few tracks that aren’t available online at present that I could possibly send you. Contact us via our website and we can chat.



  17. Anonymous April 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Boy do I feel ripped off. I thought this Podcast featured music from Danzig :) Turns out that “Danzig” and “The Danzigs” are two entirely different groups :)

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