Nadine McCombs Hansen has been championing progressive causes within Mormonism for over three decades.  Some of her efforts include:

  • Supporting the Equal Rights Amendment as a Mormon mother, including interactions with Sonia Johnson.
  • Speaking out in favor of female priesthood ordination within Mormonism in the 1980s.
  • Opposing Proposition 22 and Proposition 8 in California, in support of same-sex marriage.
  • Working as an attorney in support of children of FLDS families in southern Utah.

In this 4-part series, Nadine discusses her evolution and reflects on her life as a progressive Mormon pioneer.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:


  1. Name Withheld February 11, 2017 at 3:19 am - Reply

    Thank you Nadine and John. Part two has been fascinating because I grew up on the SF Peninsula and was also born in 1947. I lived and attended college in the same communities where Nadine did, but as a single nonmember. I was baptized in 1996 and was active for 14 years, leaving during the rein of Los Altos Stake Pres Carmack. Nadine, you have filled in so much history for me, any of which would have deterred me from baptism. As an investigator the church was presented to me in a very different manner than it existed in reality. I know the church was meant to be part of my life’s journey, but knowing what I know now, it irks me that I joined, grrrrrr. BTW, the tragic Matis suicide happened on the steps of the chapel I attended, but I never heard a word spoken about it from either members or leaders. I’m looking forward to parts three and four!

  2. Name Withheld February 11, 2017 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    I have had the most enjoyable day – having just concluded listening to all four episodes with Nadine McCombs Hansen. Nadine, I met you briefly at the 2015 Sunstone Conference where I confided to you about a very difficult Bishop’s interview where my bishop (nearly young enough to be my son) asked me about my sexual practices. At any rate, ever since that brief meeting I have felt a connection to you and to your work. I had no idea you had asked to have your name removed. I also had the same visceral reaction to the November policy and after listening to Elder Nelson in January of 2016 – claiming it was revelation – I could no longer have my name associated with the church. Because I had also been a member for over sixty years, it has been quite a roller-coaster ride. My sincere gratitude to you as a progressive pioneer who has helped me see more clearly and act in accordance with my conscience. And thank you, John, for your valuable work. It is much appreciated!

  3. Kerstin February 13, 2017 at 12:47 am - Reply

    Thank you for this very insightful interview. We need more of Nadines in the world.

  4. Ksmith February 13, 2017 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful walk I just had listening to you talk. I love your smart, confident voice. It makes me want to be more brave and stand up for what I know is right. I find myself unable to go to church anymore, the policy was my tipping point. But I just quietly don’t go and I do not cause waves with my very conservative Mormon family. Your a really good example of causing waves in the nicest way possible. I loved every minute of this podcast. Thank you!

  5. Azul February 15, 2017 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Nadine & John,
    Thanks for a very interesting and inspiring podcast! I LOVE to hear the experiences of women who are able to confidently & thoughtfully navigate the terrain that’s created when ones heart and beliefs collide w/ church policies and practices. I wish I would have had some Nadine-type role models in my life while growing up. I found the $$ tracking info fascinating & was suprised and disappointed to learn that the church would go as far as it did in soliciting donations for prop 8. It certainly sheds new light on the church leadership for me. Keep pioneering Nadine! I love your spirit & example!

  6. Nadine Hansen February 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Thanks to those of you who have commented. In case any of you have interest in seeing the writings that were referenced in my interview, here they are.

    My Sunstone talk on Patriarchs and Politics: from the ERA to the Proclamation on the Family:…/Patriarchs-Politics-Talk-PDF

    My Sunstone talk about the Atonement. I read the first page in the interview regarding the experience I had when I was a teenager:

    My request to have my name removed:

    My defense of Kate Kelly. This one was for her bishop. I did separate ones for her appeal to her Stake President and to the First Presidency, but I’m not sure where they are:…/Apostasy-council-brief-in…

    My Pillars of my Faith talk from Sunstone 2001. I can’t remember whether or not I talked about it.

  7. Aaron February 16, 2017 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Near the end Nadine mentioned a woman who attempted to resign from another church and ended up in a law suit over it… Does anybody have a resource to learn more about that case? I didn’t realize people couldn’t resign from church in the past.

  8. Ryan February 17, 2017 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    This was a great interview. I loved it.

  9. Andrew February 18, 2017 at 6:09 am - Reply

    for interestng and thoughtful interview, amazing women, thank you’s to you both.

  10. Nancy February 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Nadine I loved your story. I grew up in Sunnyvale in the late 60s/70s. My father and brother also graduated from Santa Clara law school. But what I really wanted to say to you is that as a parent of an LGBT child I thank you for your advocacy. Needless to say the church’s involvement in Prop 8 is what finally broke my shelf although I didn’t resign until Nov 2015. My child is doing well but she had to leave the church too. Once again a great story!!!!!

  11. Wayne February 19, 2017 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Awesome interview! you have been a real inspiration to me. We need more Nadines in this world.

  12. Nicole February 19, 2017 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    You are an amazing person, Nadine! I loved every minute of this interview. We have many parallels in our consciousness raising moments. I really appreciate you adding your writings, too. Thank you for your inspiration!

  13. clh February 20, 2017 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Thank you Nadine. You are such a dear person, wise as a serpent but harmless as a dove. Wish you continued happiness.

  14. Kristin February 21, 2017 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Thank you, Nadine! I admire you so much for all the work that you have done. And I admire you also for your warmth and beautiful attitude. I hope you have found some like-minded friends in Cedar City!

  15. Aubrey February 23, 2017 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Nadine said she suspected that LDS people in other states were contacted to give donations to prop 8. I lived in Arizona at the time, and we had a stake conference where an apostle was broadcasted to us and was speaking live. He was also simultaneously broadcasted to other stakes. He said specifically that if we wanted to follow the bretheren, we would support prop 8. There was another proposition in Arizona regarding same sex marriage at the same time, and we were asked to vote against same sex marriage. Our ward also designated a person to collect donations for these causes and hand out signs for members to put in their yards. She presented during relief society and priesthood.

  16. Karen February 26, 2017 at 9:05 am - Reply

    This was one of my favorite podcasts.Thank you, Nadine. You are a woman I admire.
    For me as well, after 40 years of active church life (I am a convert), Prop 8 was my deal breaker. I used to live in Provo at that time and I recall vividly that horrible Sunday where the bishop urged us to contribute and to call members in California. I went home after the meeting feeling drained, flabbergasted, angry and immensely sad.

  17. Damaris Palmer February 28, 2017 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Nadine thank you so much for your openness. I listened to all of the episodes and felt really touched by your authenticity. Leaving the church has been a hard transition for me, in part because I feel similar to how you feel sad that things haven’t changed, that my hope has been shattered. Thanks again for taking the time to do this.

  18. Dorothy Milne March 3, 2017 at 9:27 am - Reply

    I just got to the last episode today. I was also born in 1947, and my journey as a convert was very different. But I did the whole journey with Prop 22 and Prop 8 and then completely fell out with the church in November 2015. This interview was so inspirational, and I am so grateful to you for the respectful and thoughtful way it was handled. Love and hugs from across the ocean.

  19. Dan Boyle March 8, 2017 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Thank you for a fantastic interview and for standing up for our LGBT family members. I am continually amazed at the powerful, honest, kind people the church is losing. Thanks for sharing your story. One of my favorite MS interviews ever.

  20. L. Worwood April 10, 2017 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    I too loved every moment of this interview. My greatest heartache in listening to it is that I needed a role model like Nadine when I was growing up. We had NO strong female voices leading, simply loud voices telling us that our role was to follow in blind obedience. Unlike you, Nadine, when I hit cognitive dissonance, I interpreted it as “the voice of the spirit,” and remained a follower for another 30 years–not even allowing myself near anything as radical as Sunstone. My greatest regret is that I didn’t trust myself. Your voice is one of such generosity of spirit and kindness. Thank you for all that you shared.

  21. Larissa March 16, 2021 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    I know I am behind in watching/listening. I am new here. I am greatful for this interview. Thank you Nadine. As a woman who grew up to be an adult in the church your example really inspires me.

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