1364768In this three-part series we interview Neil Ransom (Kate Kelly’s husband, and Ph.D. candidate in anthropology) and we speak with Kate about her excommunication and the aftermath. Some of the fascinating tidbits we explore:

  • Neil’s early years growing up in Africa
  • How Neil’s mission, along with his attending BYU-Idaho, actually turned him into a progressive Mormon
  • How Kate and Neil met (their love story), and what Neil loves most about Kate
  • What Neil is researching for his Ph.D. (hint….it’s super cool)
  • Has Neil experienced a faith crisis?
  • Who “wears the pants” in Kate/Neil’s marriage…also what are the traits of a “real man” according to Neil and Kate  :)
  • Are Kate/Neil planning to have kiddos?
  • Kate’s detailed account of her interactions with church leaders prior to her excommunication (in response to allegations of dishonesty on her part)
  • A deep dive into Kate’s beliefs re: Mormonism, Book of Mormon historicity, etc.
  • Kate’s plans for Ordain Women post-excommunication
  • Is Kate going to start her own church?
  • And most importantly….Why does Neil wear that funky hat?  :)


  1. Monica July 26, 2014 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    1. BYU has fantastic counselors! Of course everyone’s experience is different, but mine was great.

    2. John, do you know the Young Mormon Feminists at BYU do a fmh/discussion group type thing? And it looks like it’s spreading! So be careful–that could be lot of pizza.:) https://youngmormonfeminists.org/feminist-fhe/

  2. George July 26, 2014 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    Just through part 1, but it is so great to hear from Kate’s equal. What an amazing couple, I am in awe of their goals and aspirations. My oldest son mirrors some of Neil’s direction and drive.

  3. Austin July 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    John I was offended by a serious mistake you made in this podcast.

    “Dogs and Cats sleeping together” is from Ghostbusters, not Fletch.

    I’m truly disappointed in you.

    • John Dehlin July 26, 2014 at 10:45 pm - Reply

      Doh!!!! Got my 80s movies mixed up!!!!

    • Andrew July 27, 2014 at 10:43 am - Reply

      And the quote is wrong it is “Dogs and Cats living together”

      • Dave July 28, 2014 at 3:59 pm - Reply

        And it was Bill Murry, not Chevy Chase! Ha, ha!

  4. Darren July 27, 2014 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Wow. The corporate church probably got more than it bargained for in going after what sounds like a true-blue TMB who happens to be articulate and savvy in the ways of corporate maneuvering. If they thought they could simply cow Kate into silence they appear to have failed spectacularly. Instead, their actions and missteps appear to have introduced her ideas to a vastly larger audience while at the same time revealing a somewhat brittle and inconsistent corporatism at work. As with the stories of John and Rock Waterman so far I pity the bishops and stake presidents tasked with executing these pre-determined verdicts from above while being told to claim it was their own doing. Hopefully you won’t be interviewing some poor ex-bishop someday, John, whose cognitive dissonance over being directed to excommunicate one of you guys led him to part ways with the Church!

    I’m glad you included Neal in this conversation, John. I love this guy! Having him in her life is evidence that God loves Kate Kelly. An eternal family still? As long as they persist in mutual love and service to one another–of course.

    The account of Kate being snagged by her Instagram photos sounds like the work not of Kate’s old bishop but rather the STMC, whose task is to accumulate clip files on problematic members then share that surveillance with the local leaders.

    These interviews are important for those of us still committed to church affiliation but longing for a church led more by Jesus Christ and less by personal whim and corporate infighting. Have a marvelous experience in Kenya, Kate and Neal. May the Force be with you in August, John.

    • Jay July 27, 2014 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      Darren, did you listen to the interview? She doesn’t sound TBM. She said she doesn’t believe its all literally true and she doesn’t care. She doesn’t care that its historically false. She only cares about her “lived experience” of mormonism.

      I’ve been wondering how she could believe and I’m glad to find out, she doesn’t. Now it all makes a bit more sense to me. I do think that the historical truth does matter to many people and to those people this interview helps open the door a bit more.

      I enjoyed the interview and I wish Ordain Women great success in exposing the truth.

      • kinglamoni July 27, 2014 at 11:09 pm - Reply

        Kate sounds like the majority of active faithful members when talking about the history of the church and its truth claims. Most members don’t scrutinize the churches history. They hear the one side of the story they learn in Sunday school or seminary and that’s good for them. The true history of the church to many members is not as big a deal to them like it is to the many others who view it from an objective stand point. She sounds like she is a progressive thinking TBM.
        I am half way threw the interview and find it interesting to learn more about these two people. I found their feelings on having kids fascinating. So far from my views on the subject. But I respect them and their feelings. The world is beautiful because of its diversity, not because of its monotony.

        • CNJM July 28, 2014 at 1:22 am - Reply

          I think Kate’s position is similar to many members, but definitely more progressive as well. I didn’t like her stance that lived experience is the only important part to her. Yes it is a big part, but it is a little bit of a cop out as she says. I think one must imbrace the history full on and then makean informed decision on their beliefs about the church. Until then she is in the same boat of most members who just think that they don’t know, its not important for their salvation, and god will work it out in the end. I’m glad that John drove that point home that the foundation is very important. In my opinion, I think she may eventually have a change of opinion and through the church out all together.

      • Dale July 28, 2014 at 10:01 am - Reply

        Jay, I have changed my mined on Kate. It has to do with ‘Sincerity!’ I had believed Kate to be a sincere person, but no more. My issue is Polygamy and all that surrounded it in the early church, as it was a direct impact on wormen. I agree with Kate when she said she, “fully rejects polygamy as a doctrine. . . . A lot of the practices were to take advantage of women.” Kate even said that “reading the diaries of the women who were in the practice of Polygamy was detrimental to them.”

        History is clear. It is well known that Joseph Smith married Helen Kimball, a fourteen year old, who said in her own words, her diary, “I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it.” (Mormon Polygamy: A History by LDS member Richard S. Van Wagoner, p. 53.)

        However, I do not agree with Kate when said that she ”has so much more compassion for Joseph Smith. . . . you have to give the guy a break!”

        Does Kate find the practice of what is essentially pedophilia (child molestation) discussing to the point of rejecting polygamy when it involves 14 year old girls, but has so much more compassion for the child molester who stands in public and lies about it? . . . Joseph Smith’s lied ─ he had at least 34 wives when he made the following public address:

        “I had not been married scarcely five minutes, and made on proclamation of the Gospel, before it was reported that I had seven wives. This new holy prophet [William Law] has gone to Carthage and swore that I had told him that I was guilty of adultery. This spiritual wifeism! Why, a man dares not speak or wink, for fear of being accused of this… What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago.” Source: (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.410)

        I would hope that Kate is not using the church to further her cause. Sincerity says a lot about the core of the individual. I do wish Kate well in her movement, “Ordain Women,” but hope she will be honest and SINCERE about how she expresses her feelings about the church.

        I can say without a doubt that ‘LDS People’ are some of the most wonderful and sincere people, but the structure and leadership of the church is the issue. Those 15 who run the Mormon Church need to learn the meaning of Sincerity! . . . rather than twisting facts and history to maintain control.

        • Bob July 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm - Reply

          “History is clear. It is well known that Joseph Smith married Helen Kimball, a fourteen year old, who said in her own words, her diary…”

          You’ll want to check the source of that quote. It’s not Helen’s diary.

          Those words were reportedly spoken by Helen to the mother of Catherine Lewis. The quote first became public in Catherine Lewis’ 1848 book. That makes it a 3rd person account, published 4 years after Smith’s death.

          After Smith’s death, before Lewis’ book came out, and shortly before departing for Salt Lake, Helen was married “for time” to Horace Whitney and sealed to Joseph Smith for eternity. So an alternate interpretation would still support Helen being influenced by the polygamist movement (not Smith, but including her father) to tell tales supportive of polygamy.

          Unfortunately, the history is a lot less clear than many want to make it.

          • Dale July 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm

            Bob, you are correct — those are Helen’s words — spoken to a close friend, as so recorded. I have no reason to doubt them, as Helen never refuted them. I was in a hurry to tie my idea to the “Diary” train of thought and misspoke about the sourced of Helen’s words when Helen confided to a close friend in Nauvoo.

            The following are, however, Helen’s written words which express her feelings: “She [Helen’s Mother] had witnessed the sufferings of others, who were older and who better understood the step they were taking, and to see her child, who had yet seen her fifteenth summer, following the same thorny path, in her mind she saw the misery which was as sure to come as the sun was to rise and set; but it was hidden from me.”

            I do not think there is much doubt among researchers that Helen’s words – spoken or written – express depression. Lines from her poem seem to validate this:
            And o’er thy sad’nd mem’ries of sweet departed joys
            Thy sicken’d heart will brood and imagine future woes,
            And like a fetter’d bird with wild and longing heart,
            Thou’lt dayly pine for freedom and murmor at thy lot;

            Thanks again Bob, for pointing out to me my error! . . . much appreciated.

          • Bob July 29, 2014 at 9:01 am

            Thanks Dale.

            I couldn’t agree more that polygamy was sickening, and I’m not looking to give Joseph Smith any undeserved breaks.

            I just don’t believe Brigham Young’s big lie about Smith being the origin of Mormon polygamy. The idea that Smith was a pedophile or a child molester is part of that lie. I dont’ buy it.

            Your quote about Helen’s “fifteenth summer” comes from her 1881 autobiography – 38 years later. By 1881, Helen was not a disinterested third party, nor was she a naive 14 year old. Her father, Heber, had been Brigham Young’s First Counselor until his death in 1868. Her son Orson would later become an Apostle. Helen was highly invested in Brigham Young’s church.

            At the time, the church was famously engaged in a battle over polygamy with the federal government. For a variety of reasons, Young wanted to tie the church’s practice of polygamy as tightly as possible to Smith. Helen’s 1881 autobiography (along with memoirs of other women of the same time period) was part and parcel of Young’s bigger propaganda lie.

            If you are disgusted by the horror that was polygamy, anger at Smith is misplaced. Blame Brother Brigham.

            Now, if Kate Kelly believes Smith really did all those horrible things and still wants to give him a break… wow. Just wow.

          • Dale July 29, 2014 at 11:37 am

            Hi Bob,

            I couldn’t agree with you more when it comes to good old Brigham. Not only was this guy a pedophile, but if you crossed him, you may end up in a ditch with a bullet in your head. I’m sure he has found his just reward and discovered HELL in ‘The Land of the Dead!’ We have the Church’s statement about the Mountain Meadow Massacre, “Isaac C. Haight, a stake president and militia leader, sent John D. Lee, a militia major, to lead an attack on the emigrant company.” It can’t get more evil than that. Brigham’s scribe, John V. Long, the man who might testify about the communications, was found dead in a ditch.

            However, I do not give Joseph a pass. He cornered and got 16-year old Lucy Walker in his mansion – sent Emma off to St. Louis on a shopping mission – so he was alone with this young teenage girl. This is what she [Lucy] had to say, “Oh that the grave would kindly receive me that I might find rest on the bosom of my dear mother…Why – Why Should I be chosen from among thy daughters, Father I am only a child in years and experience. No mother to council; no father near to tell me what to do, in this trying hour. Oh let this bitter cup pass. And thus I prayed in the agony of my soul.” Source: Compton, In Sacred Loneliness

            Joseph lied in public about his plural wives – my quote above. I put the whole lot of them in the same “Disgusting Bucket!” – to name a few, Lorenzo Snow was 57-years-old when he married 15-year-old Sarah Minnie Ephramina Jensen (she didn’t have a child by him for about 5 years having five children with him, the last impregnated when Snow was about 82-years-old).

            Heber C. Kimball said, “Brethren, I want you to understand that it is not to be as it has been heretofore. The brother missionaries have been in the habit of picking out the prettiest women for themselves before they get here, and bringing on the ugly ones for us; hereafter you have to bring them all here before taking any of them, and let us all have a fair shake. – Apostle Heber C. Kimball, First Counselor to Brigham Young, The Lion of the Lord, New York, 1969, pp 129-130.

            All I can say is “Disgusting!” . . . Yeah, Joseph started it – the disgusting practice of molesting young girls, taking other men’s wives and the beat goes on . . . even to day with Warren Jeffs in jail. I just can’t give Joseph a “Break!” as Kate said.

            If some “old” self proclaimed prophet came to me and wanted my 14 year old daughter and said he had an angle after him with a fiery sword, I would have called the authorities and would of had him committed.

          • Bob July 29, 2014 at 5:44 pm


            To me it is sad how badly Smith has been treated by history and historians.

            I don’t think Smith lied about polygamy. He consistently opposed it. In the legal battles after Smith’s death, the splinter group with the same doctrine as the original church would often be judged to have claim to church property. Thus the Utah church needed to make Smith’s teachings match up with their own teachings to help win legal battles. So there was a constant push by Young et al to paint Smith as a polygamist and fight back Emma’s claims.

            Every document I find where Smith appears to endorse polygamy, it turns out to have been altered to give that impression. The women who accuse him of being a child molester turn out to have done so late in life after a lifetime of polygamy when they had their own motives. Contemporary journal entries always turn out to have been back-dated. Folklore dominates and openly defies reality.

            I know nothing about Lucy Walker, but I’ll blindfold myself and make a guess: your Lucy Walker quote comes from after 1875? And she was a polygamist wife living in Utah?

            Removing blindfold, opening Google… searching… Google says: she married Heber C. Kimball in 1845. (Yes, THAT Heber C. Kimball. Hmm.) Then in 1888 her memoir was published (including your quote) telling of her marriage to Smith. Bingo. Kind of a pattern here, isn’t there?

            Google also found this quote from 66 yr old Lucy Walker, in 1892: “It was the principal of plural marriage that we (she and Heber Kimball) were trying to establish, a great and glorious true principle, and if we had established it, it would have been for the benefit of the whole human race, and the race will say so yet. Yes, sir, and the day will come when you will doff your hat to the plural wife system.”

            The Lucy Walker you quote was the one pushing polygamy here. Not Smith. And I’m not trying to blame the victim. I’m saying that Joseph Smith WAS the victim.

          • LS July 31, 2014 at 12:20 am

            Hi Bob,

            Even the LDS church historian Richard Turley (you can listen to the audio in the “Swedish Rescue”-to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth) confirms that Joseph Smith practiced both polygamy and polyandry.

          • Bob July 31, 2014 at 9:23 am

            Hi LS, I would never expect an LDS Church Historian to do anything other than confirm that Joseph Smith had multiple wives. Would you?

            During the mid 1800s there was conflict between Young/Utah-church and Emma/RLDS. The Utah church was polygamous and claimed that’s what Joseph had taught and practiced. The Missouri church was monogamous and claimed that’s what Joseph had taught and practiced.

            In legal battles, if one group could show their doctrine more closely aligned with the original church it gave them priority in legal disputes over church-owned property.

            So the Utah church made it a priority to make it appear that Smith agreed with them on polygamy. They came up with Section 132, modified original documents before adding to the History of the Church, lined up their wives to testify they were also married to Smith, etc. Young’s policy was basically: whatever it takes, make sure Smith looks like a polygamist. If Smith looks like a liar, fine. Whatever it takes. He has to be a polygamist like us.

            The current Utah LDS church bases its authority on succession through Brigham Young. If they don’t “confirm” Smith’s polygamy it undercuts the argument they have been making for over 150 years. Disagreeing with Brigham Young on polygamy would create a very real, very HUGE problem for them that could nullify their claims to priesthood authority.

            So please don’t be surprised when I don’t grant the church historian much weight on this question. He has a dog in the fight.

        • Dale July 29, 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

          Bob, you believe Joseph Smith never lied? Hmmmmm, that’s the position of LDS Church sponsored apologists.

          A few bona fide examples:

          1844 Sermon given by Joseph
          It is clear that on May 26, 1844 Joseph lied about practicing polygamy, despite claims to the contrary:
          “I had not been married scarcely five minutes, and made one proclamation of the Gospel, before it was reported that I had seven wives. I mean to live and proclaim the truth as long as I can. This new holy prophet [William Law] has gone to Carthage and swore that I had told him that I was guilty of adultery. This spiritual wifeism! Why, a man does not speak or wink, for fear of being accused of this…I wish the grand jury would tell me who they are – whether it will be a curse or blessing to me. I am quite tired of the fools asking me…What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers.” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 410-411)
          1838 Interview with Joseph (at least 3-5 years after his first plural wife)
          In the July 1838 edition of the Elder’s Journal (“Edited by Joseph Smith”) Joseph Smith answered some questions including the following:
          “Question 7th. Do the Mormons believe in having more wives than one?
          “Answer. No, not at the same time. But they believe that if their companion dies, they have a right to marry again. But we do disapprove of the custom which has gained in the world, and has been practiced among us, to our great mortification, of marrying in five or six weeks, or even in two or three months after the death of their companion.
          “We believe that due respect ought to be had, to the memory of the dead, and the feelings of both friends and children.” (Elder’s Journal, Vol 1, No. 3, p 43; reprinted in History of the Church Vol 3, p 38)
          1838 Letter written by Joseph
          On Dec 16, 1838 Joseph Smith wrote a letter to the church from Liberty Jail which included the following:
          “We have heard that it is reported by some, that some of us should have said, that we not only dedicated our property, but our families also to the Lord; and Satan, taking advantage of this, has perverted it into licentiousness, such as a community of wives, which is an abomination in the sight of God.” (History of the Church Vol 3, p 230
          1844 Notice in Church-owned Newspaper
          “As we have lately been credibly informed, that an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter day Saints, by the name of Hiram Brown, has been preaching Polygamy, and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer, state of Michigan.
          “This is to notify him and the Church in general, that he has been cut off from the church, for his iniquity; and he is further notified to appear at the Special Conference, on the 6th of April next, to make answer to these charges.
          “JOSEPH SMITH,
          “HYRUM SMITH,
          “Presidents of said Church.” (Times and Seasons, vol. 5, page 423)
          1843 Joseph’s speech in front of the Ladies’ Relief Society
          By the time Smith had dismissed Bennett in the summer of 1842, Smith had taken the following “spiritual wives” for himself in Nauvoo:
          Louisa Beaman, Zina Huntington Jacobs (current wife of Henry Jacobs), Presendia Huntington Buell (current wife of Norman Buell), Agnes Coolbrith, Sylvia Sessions Lyon (current wife of Windsor Lyon), Mary Rollins Lightner (current wife of Adam Lightner), Patty Bartlett Sessions (current wife of David Sessions), Marinda Nancy Johnson Hyde (current wife of Orson Hyde), Elizabeth Davis Durfee (current wife of Jabez Durfee), Sarah Kingsley Cleveland (current wife of John Cleveland), Delcena Johnson Sherman, and Eliza R. Snow. (In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, Todd Compton, 1997, p. 4.)
          That’s twelve women who have been amply documented as JS’ plural wives, during the period in which Smith placed responsibility for the entire polygamy practice on Bennett. In a speech before the Ladies’ Relief Society, on February 21, 1843—–wherein many of his “plural wives” were in attendance—–Smith had the audacity to state the following:
          “There is a great noise in the city…and many are saying there cannot be so much smoke without some fire. Well, be it so. If the stories about Joe Smith are true, then the stories of John C. Bennett are true about the ladies of Nauvoo; and he says that the Ladies’ Relief Society are all organized of those who are to be the wives of Joseph Smith. Ladies, you know whether this is true or not.”
          Because his “plural wives” in the audience had been sworn to secrecy, Smith felt confident enough to stand before them and lie unabashedly.

          • Bob July 29, 2014 at 11:13 pm

            Joseph was not a polygamist and he consistently opposed it.

            After his death, the polygamous faction of the church, led by Brigham Young, made every effort to make it appear that Smith was one of them. 8 years after Smith’s death they even forged a revelation on plural marriage in Joseph’s name and eventually added it to the D&C as Section 132. And they spent the next 150+ years selling the lie that Joseph was a polygamist in order to reinforce their claim to succession and authority and church owned property.

            The LDS church owns, markets, and distributes the idea that Joseph was a polygamist. The “sponsored apologists” are there to reinforce that idea. Church scribes went to tremendous effort to rewrite the history so it looks that way.

            So, you see, it should come as absolutely no surprise that the church is 100% in favor of the idea that Smith was a polygamist. When you spread the word that Smith was such a horny polygamist that he even married 14(!!!) year olds – guess what? That is exactly the message the church wants broadcast.

            Let me say that again, just to be clear: The LDS Church in Utah wants you to believe that Smith was a polygamist. It reinforces their position as rightful heirs to the restoration.

            But they have you so confused that you post quotes from Smith consistently denying polygamy and you obediently conclude he was lying. Or maybe you are one of those “sponsored apologists”?

          • Lilli July 30, 2014 at 10:25 am

            I agree totally with Bob. I don’t believe that Joseph Smith lived polygamy, but that polygamists just said he did to cover for their adulterous deeds, for I believe everyone knows it’s wrong and contrary to the Gospel of Christ, yet most people still seem to fall for it and go along with it.

            If the fact that the Church supports & promotes such leaders who committed such vile abominations doesn’t awaken people to the corruptness of the Church, then I don’t know what will. It never ceases to amaze me how anyone can support such vile actions as LDS church leaders did back then and still do today, and believe them to be prophets. They must have never studied or believed in Christ’s teachings and thus blindly follow and fall for the vilest of false prophets, because it’s easier then studying and finding and following light & truth for yourself.

            Thank you Bob for defending Joseph. Though I don’t believe he was a true prophet either, I do believe he was innocent of polygamy. If it turns out he wasn’t then unfortunately he was just as vile as the rest of them back then and today, but I give him the benefit of a doubt, for it’s never been proven he lived polygamy. Hearsay, no matter how much, is not proof.

            It also would have made no sense for Joseph to lie about polygamy if he thought the truth would have to come out one day, for he would know that he would lose all credibility.

            It seems though that most people want to believe that Joseph lived polygamy and committed such vile deeds, for then it gives them a free pass for their own sins or to believe in and look forward to such perks themselves one day.

          • Dale July 30, 2014 at 10:33 am

            Nope, Bob, you are the confused one when you say, “Joseph was not a polygamist and he consistently opposed it!” And me . . . Apologist me? That would be the revelation of all time . . . ‘The moon made of green cheese and me an Apologist!”

            This discussion had drifted into the realm of ‘Conspiracy Theories,” which makes me run for the hills, so you certainly have your right to believe Joseph Smith did not practice Polygamy, but the facts speak louder than fantasy.

          • David Macfarlane July 30, 2014 at 10:49 am

            Drifted into the realm of conspiracy theory? This is Warren Commission-level alternative reality type stuff. Forged a revelation on plural marriage? Does forging a revelation actually create a truth in the same way two negatives make a positive?

            And Brigham get’s thrown under the bus once more. Maybe he was a detestable human being and he deserves it, I don’t know. From a historical accuracy perspective, I have trouble with the “blame Brigham” approach that seems to have become so fashionable. It doesn’t wash as an explanation for all in Mormon history that needs ‘splainin. Magic rocks, angelic visitations, gold plates, plural wives, curses of dark skin, sacred underwear and self-evisceration rituals … the more you learn the more strange it gets. So, when does the Joseph Smith biopic come out? Should be a blockbuster.

          • Bob July 30, 2014 at 1:25 pm

            Lilli – thank you.

            Dale – show me where I’m confused. Give me ONE unambiguous, contemporary, not back-dated, not a memoir-from-40-years-later, not third-hand, not altered later, document showing that Smith was polygamous or taught polygamy. One. Be prepared to support that document with the original manuscript showing it wasn’t altered. Please. Show me. I’m totally open and willing to change my mind. Really.

            David –

            To me, claiming Smith was or was not a polygamist says absolutely ZERO about ANY of his other claims, either to support or to refute them.

            Dale/David –

            This debate is as old as the church itself. Nothing new or particularly strange about it. The LDS and CoC argued back and forth over this until the CoC walked away to focus instead on Stuff That Matters.

            You are making the case that the Utah church has argued all along. Dismiss it as crazy. Emma was crazy, right?

            I’m just making the case that was traditionally argued by Emma and her sons.

            Do you see a Section 132 in the CoC scriptures? No, because it was written after Smith’s death. Eight years after his death. By the polygamist faction of the church to justify polygamy. And they made it look like Smith wrote it so it would be more legitimate. It is a forgery. This has been the argument f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Nothing new.

            If Brigham were here, he would pleased to see you dismissing it as a conspiracy theory. Quite pleased.

          • David Macfarlane July 30, 2014 at 1:53 pm

            Hey, Bob. Thanks for sharing your perspective. I don’t necessarily disagree with you. I just don’t know. And I’m not arguing the polygamy issue has any impact on the other aspects of Joseph Smith’s life. To be fair, we should probably evaluate the historicity of the BoM, BoA translation issues, etc.,on their own merits. But you have to concede that the story you’re shopping goes against the mainstream grain. I was not familiar with it until recently. Maybe you are correct, and maybe not. I have nothing to evaluate your assertions by since I am already so dubious about other aspects of Mormon history that I won’t find the time or energy to research Joseph’s supposed polygamy. When is your book coming out so I don’t have to?

          • Bob July 30, 2014 at 4:53 pm

            Thanks David – Sorry, I’m not shopping a story, not writing a book. If the RLDS couldn’t sell the story in 100 years of trying, why would I expect to do any better? There is just too much weight on the other side pushing relentlessly back. No, I’m just a kid on the parade route hollering that this particular Emperor has no clothes.

          • Dale July 30, 2014 at 5:39 pm

            Bob, like David, I’ll echo his comments; “Hey, Bob. Thanks for sharing your perspective. I don’t necessarily disagree with you. I just don’t know. And I’m not arguing the polygamy issue has any impact on the other aspects of Joseph Smith’s life.” I go one step further – I have never heard of your theory until now. But all that aside, here are 3 samples of many I could list that cause me to have problems with Joseph Smith telling the truth:

            1. According to the LDS Church until just recently, Joseph Smith translated the BOM from golden plates — Nope, roll the clock forward and now according to the LDS Church he used a magic Peepstone in a hat to translate the BOM.
            2. According to the LDS Church (for over 150 years) and until just recently, The Church held onto a story of a skeleton found with brass plates in Pike County, Illinois on April 23 1843 that Joseph Smith “translated a portion them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth.” – At first, scientific testing (1960, 1966 and 1969) on one of the Kinderhook plates were inconclusive. So, in 1962, Welby W. Ricks, President of the BYU Archaeological Society, said that the tests proving plate 5 was a forgery put Joseph Smith’s work back to the category as “genuine.” Was Joseph Smith telling the truth? Roll the clock forward to 1980. Nope, destructive methods of scientific testing on one of the Kinderhook plates changed things. Now according to the LDS Church, this was a hoax – Joseph’s story is lost in the shuffle of ‘Heavenly Inspired Translations!’
            3. According to the LDS Church – declaration at front of The Book of Abraham, “TRANSLATED FROM THE PAPYRUS, BY JOSEPH SMITH,” Joseph was carrying on his track record of translation. Did that theory last? Nope, roll the clock forward and now according to the LDS Church, we have a Bill Clinton situation where the meaning of the word, “IS” takes on a whole new dimension. The LDS Church is reinventing the meaning of the word, “TRANSLATIOM! . . . Oh wait, I mean the word TRANSLATION!”

            So, Bob, having never heard of your theory before, I am left puzzled. The three examples above are just a small sampling of the shams that have been precipitated over the last 175 years. And your theory . . . Who knows where it will all lead?

            But, I like what David said, “Mormon history that needs ‘splainin. Magic rocks, angelic visitations, gold plates, plural wives, curses of dark skin, sacred underwear and self-evisceration rituals … the more you learn the more strange it gets. So, when does the Joseph Smith biopic come out? Should be a blockbuster.” I can’t wait for the next Indiana Joseph Movies! The “Zelph” episode will be a thriller!

        • Michael Surkan July 31, 2014 at 9:48 am - Reply

          The thing that really perplexes me is why no blood descendants of Joseph have been found from his polygamous unions. Extensive DNA testing has been carried out on pretty much everyone who was thought to possibly have descended from Joseph’s polygamous wives with no positive results. Everyone who actually claimed to have been told by their forefathers that Smith was their ancestor has been proven NOT to be a blood relation.

          There is some ambiguity about one person who’s unique genetic makeup lacks some of the markers needed for testing and some blood lines have died off altogether with no more decendents. But seeing as how the unverified decendents of Joseph have been narrowed down to such an incredibly narrow group of people we can already conclude that it is VERY strange there was such a paucity of Joseph’s progeny. Why did the vast majority of his wives have none of Joseph’s children. Sure, some claimed that their children were Joseph’s but we have now PROVEN that most of those claims were false.

          Something just doesn’t make sense here…

          • Bob July 31, 2014 at 12:32 pm

            Of course, it makes perfect sense if there were no polygamous unions. Lex parsimoniae.

      • Darren July 28, 2014 at 10:56 am - Reply

        But doesn’t she remind you of Joseph Smith in that, Jay? Joseph urges us over and over not to take his word for the gospel he restored but to question and doubt for ourselves. Kate’s loyalty to authenticity seems closer to what Joseph is trying to teach us than simply repeating the doctrines that have evolved and over morphed over time.

        • Jay July 28, 2014 at 3:37 pm - Reply

          Respectfully, no, I don’t think so. She rejects the doctrine of polygamy, which is a rejection of Joseph Smith and other prophets. She acknowledges the church is historically not true but says she doesn’t care. She doesn’t think the church is the one true path to god.

          She radically rejects mormon doctrine and historical truth claims, but she embraces the people and “lived mormonism.” I can only conclude she’s trying to help the people and doesn’t care about the institution. Maybe that’s a good thing – there are a lot of people – young girls and boys who are being railroaded into a life not of their own choosing, lgbt individuals who are suffering in the church. I wish Kate success in her attempts to change the people, but I think she’s all about the people and recognizes the institution is false on most levels.

          I imagine that in her life journey she’ll move on past mormonism, but hopefully after helping make changes that impact the lives of individuals.

    • tropical animal July 30, 2014 at 11:16 am - Reply

      Darren. Strongly agree with your comment. Love the way you write.
      You are smart and write so well.

      But could you explain this?

      “. . . the STMC, whose task is to accumulate clip files on problematic members then share that surveillance with the local leaders. . .”

      I’ve read where some members have some kind of check mark on their name, putting them on a black list, which church leaders are instructed not to call on these individuals for any teaching or leadership activity. Is this true?

      Would does STMC mean? Need more info on this. Thank you.

      • Maddy July 30, 2014 at 4:50 pm - Reply

        Strengthening the Members Committee

        Probably you could use google and find more information.

        On another note.
        Though I continue to attend church, for me, ordaining women isn’t at the top of my list (but is on “the “list) of issues I have with the Church. My guess is that for most active LDS women it isn’t on the list. But I do think it is of value to open minds to the possibility. Sometimes we are like lab animals who can’t think and are threatened by life “outside the box.” Perhaps Kate was brought up in a broader environment coupled with living in more liberal areas, which may increase her optimism for change?

  5. CNJM July 27, 2014 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Great podcast, it was good to here the full story. I agree with John when he said it was irresponsible of the church to allow, basically rogue stake presidents, excommunicate the members. However it is a convienent way to get rid of trouble makers without taking responsibility. However, Kate is right, it ultimately is their responsibility. Another comment I want to make is regarding revelation and church doctrine. It seems that progressive members are basically turning the church into a club or community with everyone’s voice being regarded as potential revelation. Don’t get me wrong, this is great, however it is not what the church itself purports to be. The church is, as it claims, led by the lord through revelation to his prophets. My point is, why are we arguing with the church on what it actually is and why not just take their word for it? Then a person can make the decision to believe or not believe based on the organizations own teachings. Instead, we create our own version of the church, even when it disagrees with us. I remember teaching on my mission that God had to restore his church and would or could not reform another. I know i may be over simplifying but this is what seems to be the case with many new order Mormons.

    • Adam July 28, 2014 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      You said what I was trying to say a lot better than I said it. I completely agree with your comments here.

      I actually think that most TBM members would agree with your argument of having members make a decision to believe or not based on what the Church actually purports itself to be today. That’s why, IMO, that most members will end up supporting Kate excommunication.

      This, to me, is also the key difference between John’s and Kate’s discipline. John is not trying to get the Church to do anything (other than perhaps be more candid and forthcoming). John is saying, “I don’t know if I believe and I want to explore, with others, what I believe and what the historical records actually support.” John is publicly questioning the veracity of the entire thing whereas Kate is operating as a believer that is publicly questioning whether the leaders are doing it right or not. Not that I think Kate should have been excommunicated, or not. Maybe I just sympathize with John more because I have found myself in the same sort of boat as he has.

      • Jay July 28, 2014 at 3:39 pm - Reply

        Adam, are you really listening? Read the About section on this website. John clearly states he does not believe.

        • Adam July 28, 2014 at 9:09 pm - Reply

          I agree with that. I guess I could have said it better but John has a certain respect for the Church system that Kate does not have, IMO.

  6. ChrisWir July 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Thanks to all involved! Very interesting and I loved the authenticity!
    I, too, have a hard time understanding how Ecclesiastical Roulette could be the best way to lead something that leans on correlation.

  7. CaCoast July 27, 2014 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Pt. 3: Like Kate, I innocently believed that stake (and higher) leadership was honest, trustworthy, and reasonable. Due to this misconception, and my resulting loss of trust in church leadership, I became inactive in 2011.

    BTW, D. Hallstrom was also one of the individuals involved in my decision to leave church activity.

    John, thanks for your courage and this wonderful interview!

  8. K July 27, 2014 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this. I loved learning about Kate Kelly’s husband and his journey. I gained so much more respect and understanding for the couple. I’m amazed at the variety of testimonies within Mormonism, and I have deep respect for Kate’s unique approach.

    One thing, though – From the interview, it seems as if Kate’s bishop wasn’t very interested in pursuing this process from the get-go, but he his taking a lot of heat for everything that went down. The stake president did everything. Maybe the bishop deserves a break. I also hear he is suffering with cancer. Maybe complaints should be directed only at the stake president.

    Best of luck to Kate and Neil!

  9. RS July 27, 2014 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Having worked in the Confidential Records department of the Church I can say unequivocally that the disciplinary process of the Church is by and large beneficial to thousands of current and former Church members. The priesthood line with regards to matters of discipline is Bishop –> Stake President –> First Presidency. Members of the Twelve or of the Seventy are not decision makers and cannot excommunicate a member.

    To those who have already decided that the Church and it’s teaching are not for them:

    -If you truly wish to have nothing more to do with the Church, I strongly suggest that you have your name formally removed from Church records. As long as your membership record is active you will be contacted by the Church at some point. Swallow your pride if you have to, but it is the only way to permanently sever the cord.

    -If you feel that you need to leave the Church for purposes of your own integrity but are open to the possibility of coming back someday, name removal is the way to go. Leave on your terms. Readmission after name removal is more manageable than readmission after excommunication.

    • ChrisWir July 28, 2014 at 8:51 am - Reply

      In all sincerity, I did not get the difference:
      “truly wish to have nothing more to do with the Church” —> Name removal.
      “open to the possibility of coming back someday” —> Name removal.
      So the hard-line AND the soft-line are the same way?

      • RS July 28, 2014 at 9:39 am - Reply


        Becoming inactive without removing your name does nothing if your desire is to be left alone permanently or temporarily. There is no such thing as a Do Not Contact list where you can remain on Church records and not be open to being contacted.

    • Spaghetti Monster July 28, 2014 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      RS, thanks for the info. I am the son of a stake patriarch and would like to have my name removed from the records but cannot see a reason to take that step if it will cause my elderly parents additional pain. Are the families notified in any way when someone decides to remove their name? I would like this to be a private matter between me, the church and omniscient deity, should one exist.

      • Sam July 30, 2014 at 9:51 am - Reply

        Spaghetti Monster, the answer is not as a matter of course or policy, but the church is a very small world. It might happen just because we are so interconnected.

    • Eric Carlson August 1, 2014 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      RS, you obviously have no idea the suffering that the church “system”, officially or not, imposes on families where faith crises becomes an issue. Once upon a time though I would have and did (as a bishop) tell several inactive members the same thing. I have since repented of my lack of compassion and hope you can develop some yourself.

  10. Adam July 28, 2014 at 10:44 am - Reply

    I have to say that this interview by John was really good. I really appreciated, especially during the second segment, where he pushed Kate, and even Neil, on what they actually believed. In a very nice and friendly manner, he would not accept the premise that Kate was a literal believing Mormon and pushed to see what she did believe about the Church. This was much appreciated because it answered a lot of my questions about her motivation with OW.

    I started listening to the third segment and went back and listened to the first two. Actually, as I write this, I have about 30 mins left of the second (my third) segment. I had written in with a question of “If the Brethren actually went to the Lord and prayed for an answer, similar to the experience in 1978, and were told ‘No’, would this satisfy you?” I was somewhat irritated (wrongfully so it turns out) initially that this question wasn’t posed, at least in what I have heard thus far, but the second segment really answered all of that for me.

    I have spoken with a lot of active men and women about the OW movement and I feel like the irritation they have with Kate and OW comes from the fact that see her as trying to get God to reveal something and that God cannot be coerced. This conversation in the second segment really helps frame the issue for me. She doesn’t really buy all of this, at least not literally. She says in this second segment that she doesn’t really believe that Mormons have a unique claim on the authority to perform mandatory (or even non-mandatory) ordinances. When John sort of pushed the issue about whether the Melchizedek Priesthood is a historical fact, she said “For me, that question isn’t as important to me as the fact that I and no other woman has the Melchizedek Priesthood.” Here, nor when she comments about everyone in the history of the world being baptized, she doesn’t say that she disbelieves but throughout the second segment, she is pretty frank that she doesn’t think the authority within Church is exclusive and even rejects the authority that her Priesthood leaders have to dissolve her membership in the Church.

    Now, I feel that I walk away from this interview with a complete different opinion about Kate and the OW movement. There is a mindset that the Priesthood is not really a God given, exclusive, authority given to Joseph Smith with Keys held exclusively by President Monson, current Stake Presidents, Bishops, or even men in the Church in general. The Priesthood is merely the authority, accepted by members of the Church and members of a community, to perform individual and communal rituals.

    Personally, with this mindset, I am much more apt to understand their position and reasons for wanting women’s ordination. I agree that there is a lot that women miss out of by not actually performing ordinances. I don’t know that the gender inequality issues are solely the cause of a lack of women holding the Priesthood but I can see where she and others that support OW are coming from if they don’t really believe in the exclusivity, divinity, and historicity of the Priesthood lineage as the Church puts out there to members now. With this mindset, it isn’t so much about trying to get God to reveal that women can be ordained but that the men that lead this Church should institute a change.

    On a last note, I am far from a literal believing Mormon and have gone through, and am still going through, my faith reconstruction but I can’t help but say to myself, “What Church is she a member of?” when I hear her or others like her talking about the demeaning of women in the Church. I am a convert (when I was 17), served a mission, married in the temple, and have lived in Idaho, Oregon, Washington (for a short time), and Minnesota and my wife and I feel that the members of the Church absolutely degrading to men. I can’t tell you how many EQ and YW lessons I have been in where I was told that “women are closer to the Spirit”, that “women are the backbone of this Church and are much more efficient and effective and getting things done”, that “men and boys are inherently predisposed to be more sinful than women”, and on and on. I actually think this is a strong ridiculous response by members to sort of counter-balance the patriarchy in the Church but as a man in this Church, I certainly don’t feel that I am given more of a voice or taken more seriously than my wife.

    I do recognize that many women and men do have certain demeaning or degrading experiences toward women but that is simply not my, nor really anyone that I know, experience in this Church. When you pull a group people together that have had experiences that are sort of exceptions to the general Church population (through online groups or through other means), it would be easy to think that this mindset is somehow more general than it really is. It is no less valid, I just think that I don’t think it is realistic to think that most active members of this Church think so progressively.

    • Adam July 28, 2014 at 11:49 am - Reply

      Meant to say YM not YW.

    • Adam July 28, 2014 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      Man, I should have finished the second interview before I posted. John did ask the question and it was perfectly built up to in the second segment. I really, really appreciate these podcasts.

      I think John’s style to interviewing is very effective in general. It isn’t argumentative but he gets to where he needs to go. In this interview, he is very respectful and friendly but also finds a way to hammer and hammer until Kate finally hits the issues head on.

      Good job John and thank you!

    • Marty Erickson August 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm - Reply

      Adam, I appreciate you careful explanation of what you see as Kate’s position and views on the PH. To me it seems to highlight as was discussed in the interviews how women and men often differ in issues of history and teachings/doctrine in the church with men preferring more of a literal, historical, factual focus and women seeming to prefer this less. To me this speaks to the Western man and how we are indoctrinated to view and perceive the world in this way.
      I also agree with you that there is a great deal in LDS culture and discourse that is directly demeaning and negative toward men. You gave great examples. I like to consider very carefully what such discourse about men is in the service of. I’m convinced it is actually in the service of patriarchy. It is not in the service of man-hating just to hate men and masculinity. It is in the direct service of patriarchy and defensively maintaining the patriarchal power within LDS culture and ecclesiastical structure.

    • Lilli August 10, 2014 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      It’s not surprising that you don’t see or acknowledge the problems with the Church regarding women, past or present, and how they and their full equality & divine God given rights, Priesthood power & authority in both the home and church are (and always have been since Brigham Young) abused and disrespected by all church leaders. For most men & even most women don’t acknowledge or see it, but you know as a man that you wouldn’t be in the church if things were reversed. For Christ’s Golden Rule proves the Church completely false.

      But just quietly going along with and supporting the Church and thus it’s abuse of women, is abusive, but few choose to see it, for if they did they wouldn’t stay in the Church, unless they of course support men’s disrespect, abuse and control of women, and men & women many do.

      But LDS church leaders themselves have never had any Priesthood Power, authority or rights from God themselves because of their unrighteous dominion from day one.

      And all the compliments in the world that some leaders may make about women, don’t make up for the control & abuse the church condones, teaches, encourages, practices and rewards.

      One need only look at abusive men like Brigham Young and his treatment of women to see how most of his policies and beliefs are still preached and practiced in the Church.

      When the church leaders finally decide to follow Christ (and they will have to one day in the next life) and repent and denounce abusive teachings like past, present or future polygamy, and women’s submission to men/husbands and allowing men to abuse and abandon their wives & families, just to have the red carpet rolled out for him to marry his next victim in the temple, and when the Church repents and respects and recognizes women’s full divine authority, Priesthood power and right & equal voice in leadership in every position in the church, from President to Bishop to Co-Presider in the home, then the Church can say they are starting to respect women.

      Until then, ‘actions speak louder then words’ and reveal their true character, no matter how many empty compliments they may lay at women’s feet.

      • John Crane August 10, 2014 at 7:04 pm - Reply

        I agree the problem is with the men, not the woman. Priesthood is a calling to serve, not a calling to dominate. They need to learn to respect women and value their opinions. However, if women realized how little authority and independent judgment priesthood holders are actually allowed to exercise, they wouldn’t be so envious.

        Wives should submit to their husbands, if the husbands are righteous, and the submission should be voluntary and initiated by the wive, not demanded by the husband. That’s not submission. That’s dominance.

        “And all the compliments in the world that some leaders may make about women, don’t make up for the control & abuse the church condones, teaches, encourages, practices and rewards.” Putting women on a pedestal, or putting anybody on a pedestal, for that matter, does not connote respect. It connotes marginalization and disrespect,

        • Lilli August 11, 2014 at 9:58 am - Reply


          While I understand how Bishops & Stake Presidents and even G.A.’s hands are tied in many ways, by prideful men above them, all leaders at every level still have a lot of power over decisions, including how money is spent and what is taught and done in their wards & stakes. Power to help & serve people.

          Which if there were female Co-Bishops, female Co-Stake Presidents, female Co-G.A.’s and female Apostles & a female Co-President of the Church,(preferably as husband & wife teams so there would not be a problem working together closely on matters, as I believe Christ & his wife worked together over the Church in their day, much to the dismay of the apostles who weren’t used to women having equal authority or any at all.) for then women could better look after and protect the needs and rights of women and children in the church.

          For now it’s a ‘good ol boys’ club and leaders usually support & protect their brothers instead of their sisters and allow men to abuse and abandon their wives & families and just get away with it and far more.

          Christ & his disciples taught that the main reason for religion was to teach ‘men’ to love, respect, provide for & protect women and children from abuse, abandonment or any neglect or want. Even Pres. Hinckley admitted that was his and all leader’s 1st responsibility. But the Church leaders have a history of saying the right things to look good but then doing the opposite.

          For women, especially single mothers (the fatherless), are not being protected and provided for in the church like they should be, and if they have equal voice over the finances and over what is taught and required, then women could and would make great changes and things would run more righteously in the Church.

          But the good ol boys club is not about to give up their power, perks or money and thus repent and start respecting, protecting and taking care of women as they are commanded to by God.

          I agree women should submit to their husbands, but ONLY if he is righteous and completely faithful to her and IF he has 1st submitted to her in all things and puts her 1st desires & needs & feelings above his own & all else. Then of course she should do the same for him in return.

          But men need to deserve their wife’s submission by submitting 1st to her. The church does not teach that, they only teach that women should submit to men, which is a very abusive and controlling perk that men have held onto since time began.

          Husbands and wives should preside equally together over the family and make all decisions jointly, neither one over the other, neither having the last say, both having the right to veto any decision. That is true respect and equality for women in marriage. Most men I personally know already do that in their marriages, but they unfortunately still go along with & support unrighteous dominion in the Church on leadership levels.

          It seems you may be still influenced by the evil doctrines in the Church today that came from the pamphlet ‘The Peacemaker’ that Brigham Young liked and taught from, if you believe women should only submit to husbands and not the other way around too.

          Also, if there was a female Co-President, Co-Apostles, etc. of the Church, those women could definitely help change things to give women much more voice and power to see to the needs and protection of women and children and also see to the teaching of correct truths instead of letting male leaders continue to teach false doctrine like polygamy (sealings to more then 1 wife) and divorce & remarriage, or the idea that the poor should pay tithing, or the evil that the fatherless are nearly completely neglected in the Church and not taken care of.

          Yes, women could and would change the whole church if they were given equal power & voice over finances and decisions & policy making at every level, and I believe they would finally bring it all more in line with Christ’s teachings. And I believe church leaders know this and that’s why they are so adamant against sharing leadership & power with women in the church, for those men don’t want to repent & respect women & do their duty towards them.

  11. Andrew July 28, 2014 at 11:03 am - Reply

    This was very eye opening with getting into it much it was clear to me though that underlying it all Kate never had a testimony of the “Gender role” doctrines and it was also telling to me when she confirmed she does not feel the church has a monopoly on God’s authority.

    Many times on the OW FB page detractors question the testimonies of supporters and are met with intense derision. I agree it uncouth to question another’s testimony, but we need not question Kate any longer from her own words it is clear she never gained a testimony of what many deem fundamental truths and principles this lack of testimony has greatly influenced her POV and directly relates to the question of why OW and why gender inequality, I also feel the criticism of “she doesn’t understand the different roles but equal value in God’s eyes as explained by the Family Proclamation” is an accurate and valid criticism from a TBM perspective.

    I’m sure I’ve poorly articulated some of what I’ve taken away from this interview, but it did strengthen my thoughts that the whole movement is built off misunderstood doctrine and is misguided.

  12. JT July 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    The day before this interview was posted I finished reading Sinclair Lewis’s novel, “Babbitt.” I found in it remarkable parallels between the conflicted inner-life of the conventional, conservative, and codependent George Babbitt living in mid-sized “Zenith” and the conflicted inner-lives of at least some TBM Mormons in their Latter-day “Zion”- which Kate and Neil’s activism and experiences shine light on. These parallels are sustained right to the final page and point, I think, to a hopeful future – notwithstanding all that remains the same nearly 100 years after Babbitt was published.

  13. Laura July 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    I loved hearing from Kate’s husband. He seems like a really likable person as well as Kate. I was bothered by Kate’s comment at the end where she basically said if you don’t speak up about this issue or any issue in the church, you have no integrity. She mentioned that women’s issues are the thing that hurts her the most in the church so she consequently puts other questions like church history on the back burner. I would’ve appreciated her allowing other people the space to categorize things that are most important to them and acting accordingly rather than passing judgement on something as meaningful as one’s integrity. Not losing my authoritative voice as an active member of the church with my children is more important to me than speaking up about ordination or a variety of issues. I guess it’s human nature to demand to not be judged for our actions and words, but not to give the same courtesy to others. I was feeling generous in giving Kate the benefit of the doubt concerning her own integrity until she decided to pass judgement on my silence.

  14. Tunflog July 28, 2014 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    This was a great interview and has to be one of my favorites on Mormon Stories. It was so helpful and educational to hear from both Kate and Neil. I didn’t know anything about him prior to this podcast and have a lot of respect for both of them as they try and navigate their way through this difficult situation. I had wrongly assumed Neil would be very TBM and somehow feel comforted that he isn’t.

    Something that really rang true to me was the “validity versus utility” comment. I had never really thought about it that way before. My wife and I are currently in a similar situation where I am more concerned with validity while she focuses on utility. I can appreciate the attitudes and feelings from both of these camps, and honestly believe that almost every member of this church with any doubts at all can be placed into either of these two groups.

    I found it very interesting when John pressed Kate about the level of her faith in some of the fundamental Mormon teachings (BoM historicity, BoA, ect.) This also comes back to the “utility” idea of Mormonism, but I also felt that Kate picked a side a while ago and is sticking with it. I feel like if you choose to battle the church for progression, you either battle from the inside or the out, not both. It was nice to hear Kate sticking to her guns and remain consistent. Her answers may have sounded like “cop outs” but I believe they are valid.

    Anyway, great interview and thank you John, Kate, and Neil for putting this all together. Good luck!

    • Jay July 28, 2014 at 3:47 pm - Reply

      @Tunflog, regarding the validity versus utility argument, I think both prongs require serious consideration. The evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that the foundational truth claims of mormonism are false. I think what some people do is stop the inquiry there and say, “well, we may not know what is true, but mormonism is good – has utility.

      But does it? Should children be taught false historical claims? Should gays be taught to act on gay impulses is a sin? If such teaching results in suicides, is it okay because mormonism is still good for some people? When it comes to the utility argument, I think careful consideration will reveal that the good that mormonism may offer can be found in many other ways without lugging along the bad.

      • Tunflog July 29, 2014 at 11:32 am - Reply


        I totally agree with you. As I stated before, I myself am safely in the “validity” camp and don’t accept many of the truth claims offered by the church to be accurate.

        As far as “utility” goes I think it really depends on the person. It’s true that some of the LDS doctrine, in my opinion, serves very little in terms of utility (modesty, LGBT issues, parts of the WoW, ect.) However, if an individual approaches certain teachings of the church from a productive perspective I believe it is possible to turn some of those teaching into a positive utility-type outcome. It just comes down to whether or not that individual thinks the church is worth it.

        You are right when you say “I think careful consideration will reveal that the good that mormonism may offer can be found in many other ways without lugging along the bad.” I am constantly attempting to find those “other ways”. But if you do decide to remain a TBM and try to make things work then there really isn’t any other option; utility is sometimes all you have.

      • Bob Hall July 30, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

        I’d like to add something to the validity vs utility concept: When considering the utility half of the equation, not only should you ask “Is this useful to me and my family?” one should also ask “Is this useful (or at least not harmful) to others within and outside the church?” For me, giving money to an organization that discriminates against blacks and gays, that tells women that they need to have kids or else there is something wrong with them, etc puts the LDS church on the non-useful side.

  15. Lance July 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    I was hoping to see the timeline of the letters sent to the church and the corresponding(or not corresponding) communication back from the church. Anywhere that is available?

  16. Jenni4jlss July 28, 2014 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    When I was a TBM, I never considered that revelation is/was a collaborative process that I could be involved in. I never considered that a interview or even an informal chat with the Bishop could be a discussion amount peers. Having now heard Kate’s point of view on these and other issues -it is really quite eye opening and interesting. I’m more validity focused rather than value focused, by the way. I was raised LDS and found myself – a young mother of 4 children, with a failing marriage and a number of responsibilities and callings in this church, extremely overwhelmed. The church just ran me into the ground until I couldn’t take it anymore. Had I considered the notions above, I still might be a mormon. I don’t know. I can tell you that prior to listening to this interview, I thought Kate was wasting her time and everyone else’s. Now I think she is a pioneer in manner of speaking -for today. What’s more – before I listened here, Kate came off to me as an eccentric and a bit annoying. I still see her as eccentric, but I like her now. I really appreciated the interview. Thank you.

  17. Charlie July 28, 2014 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Kate on rejecting secure video: “I think they weren’t really interested in what I had to say” (or close to that)

    Most true statement she made throughout this entire interview!

    The only reason a member is brought before a disciplinary council is to Discipline them. They, bishop and stake pres in this case, have already talked and debated the issue and what the most likely outcome will be before a disciplinary council is called. Only the counselors and clerks walk in with only a summary of what the reason for holding it is.

    Also she is mistaken in saying that the move restriction was imposed before she was disciplined because the stake pres had already placed her on probation (ie disciplined her in december) and was only discussing with the bishop how to formalize the process, so the move restriction is normal in her situation. If she complained about this matter in her appeal letters it will be rejected since it is standard procedure in cases like Kate Kelly’s.

    Anyways my guess is that the stake president will reject her appeal since it’s obvious that he instigated the process. (remember that only the stake pres is a judge in israel and the high councilmen are there to support him but don’t need to agree with him for his actions to stand) My guess is also that he at very least got an email from the area authority or seventy in HQ asking that he look into this case because (as they would typically write) this sister is in apostasy and should be interviewed etc etc…so the first presidency will also most likely reject her appeal unfortunately. I’d suggest her current optimism is misplaced. Her chances of rejoining after a year are probably the best option but she’d have to at very least stop her actions at general conference and just stick with the webpage, a bit toned down, and a different bishop and different stake may just let her be rebaptized. Also Kenya may be an easier place to rejoining than in the US. jmho though.

    Aside from that, maybe mormon stories could do an interview with an ex stake president and an ex bishop on the issue of church discipline (i’d be willing as a ‘john doe’ if they can put up with my accent!) because there seems to be a lot of misunderstandings and straight out myths out there over why, when and how the church disciplines its members.

    • Lurker July 30, 2014 at 6:19 pm - Reply


      Kate Kelly was never formally disciplined until she was excommunicated. In May, she was put on “informal probation”, which does not count as formal discipline and does not qualify for a move restriction. Btw, her stake president was incorrect when he stated in the informal probation letter that Kate Kelly could no longer represent herself as a member in good standing, because only formal discipline can impact a member’s standing in the church (this is all per the church handbook of instructions). If Kate is serious about her appeal, she’s got to hit on these procedural irregularities since they show incompetence and lack of sound judgement by her local priesthood leaders.

      • Charlie August 1, 2014 at 10:53 pm - Reply

        Lurker, not true! informal discipline does count, it simply doesn’t have any paperwork done for church hq. Also the presiding officer, who should have been the bishop, can put any condition/s on a member like that they need to inform others that they are no longer in good standing as members. It is all very subjective. They can’t take away membership via informal discipline though, but thats it.

        And a move restriction is an arbitrary decision made by Bishops whenever they feel the need. The handbook is only a policy guide and not a rule bible by the way.

        The appeal will fail if based on what you claim. The first presidency always defends its subordinates, above all else. Church discipline is not a court of law nor does it have things like due process. They do ask that they be fair but if a stake pres wants to excommunicate, believe me, he will get it done sooner or later.

  18. Bryon Craig July 28, 2014 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed the interview. Like all of the other interviews of the “damned” on MSP, my overall opinion of the interviewee was much improved. She came across as extremely intelligent and endearing. However, I still don’t know what a LDS Church with ordained women would look like or how it would be able to manage that magnitude of a change. I hoped to hear more of how such a change could actually implemented. I think she would say that it is not her call to make but I would have liked to have heard how she would do it if she were in charge.

    • Lilli July 30, 2014 at 9:52 am - Reply

      It would not be hard at all to implement equality into the LDS Church, except for men & leaders bent on power & control, which is apparently most all men in the Church, who seem to support such disrespect & control over women or at least silently go along with it, and thus why the LDS Church will never repent and respect the equality of women in all things.

      Sadly even women in the Church go along with such disrespect, for most don’t seem to even want God’s righteous power and authority and a voice over the affairs of the Church that greatly effects them, they have become used to being controlled and told what to do like children and sadly don’t even think they deserve such respect & rights. Many say it’s because they don’t want more responsibility, they are busy enough, but I believe such respect for their true Priesthood authority would mean ‘less’ work for women not more, for self-respecting women would require men to do their fair share of the work load, in the church and home.

      While I don’t believe anymore that the LDS Church is true or ever has been, it’s leaders and members could repent and become a righteous church if it wanted to, just like any church could, though the LDS Church would never become ‘Christ’s’ true Church, but at least it could become righteous.

      I believe a righteous Church and true prophets would (like Christ) have & respect and share equal power with female prophets & apostles with their full Priesthood power and there would be female leaders in every position down the line. I believe married couples would serve as Co-General Authorities, Co-Stake Presidents & Co-Bishops (him over the men & her over the women generally) with both with equal power and authority in all decision making, neither one over the other.

      But this would necessitate a full repentance and a new teaching that husbands don’t rule/preside/have authority over their wives, but that both preside equally over the family & church with equal voice, power, authority & Priesthood.

      I believe Brigham Young & Co. loved the idea of men ruling over/controlling over women. It was a popular topic in Nauvoo, because of a pamphlet called “The Peacemaker” that was written and circulated by Udney H. Jacobs, which preached the idea of making wives submit to their husbands and polygamy for men. While Joseph called these ideas evil trash and warned the Saints against such ideas, it seems most church leaders (including BY) and men in the Church loved and quickly tagged onto the idea (especially after Joseph died) and thus incorporated it into the doctrines of the Church in Utah and thus it’s been falsely taught from pulpits and in the temple ever since. So we now have all these sexist abusive teachings about men presiding oveer women in home & church leadership.

      I commend Kate in what she has done, even if somewhat unknowingly. She has awakened a sleeping giant of an idea that should have been awakened a long time ago by self-respecting women who should have been asking for full equality in the Church all along and never should have put up with control and domination of women in the home & church, let alone put up with the abomination of polygamy.

      I believe all men and women in the Church know that polygamy and the submission of women is wrong, but they don’t want to have to take on the responsibility to repent of it and correct things, so they go along with it and stay in denial about it.

      But if we don’t learn from church history then we will have to repeat it and I believe the church will bring back full polygamy as soon as it’s legal nationwide, which it will be soon, then most women will learn by sad experience how wrong submission & polygamy really are.

      For it appears the church leaders are still bent on living, preaching, promoting & promising polygamy (past, present & future) and continue to allow men that abusive perk. Even today the church supports, encourages and rewards ‘serial polygamy’ and the abuse of wives and destruction of families by allowing men to abandon their wife and remarry another woman (and even be sealed to her) as many times as he wants. Which is an adulterous abomination according to Christ, if anyone bothers to read his teachings, but the LDS leaders have never followed Christ so that isn’t a concern to them.

      I salute Kate’s wonderful ‘actions’ that have awakened many women to a sense of their full equality and rights to the Priesthood, which God has already given them, usually even more then to men, if only women would realize this and that men (especially the one’s in the LDS Church) have no power to give or deny them their Priesthood and power. For God alone gives Priesthood power & authority to all women liberally if they are worthy, just like with men.

      And since LDS leaders have never been righteous or worthy of Priesthood power themselves, nor have they ever followed Christ (but fell for & followed wicked men instead), they do not have, nor ever have had, any authority, keys or Priesthood to give or deny.

      Kate is just asking the wrong person for Priesthood, for the President of the Church has no Priesthood himself (for unrighteous men who disrespect women can’t hold or maintain any Priesthood).

      Kate just needs to ask God for Priesthood power & authority and he will give her all the Priesthood she wants (if she has true charity with is the pre-requisite for God’s power) and a full understanding of her full divine equality with men.

      And she will one day realize, if she doesn’t already, that her excommunication has no effect on her spirituality or standing with God, and that actually it was a wonderful blessing to help awaken her & distance herself from a corrupt church of false prophets and abusive teachings.

      • layla August 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm - Reply

        Lilli, I can’t tell you how much I loved what you just wrote. Amen, sista!

  19. Winebibber July 28, 2014 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    First, so you know where I’m coming from, I do not believe in mormon theology or doctrine. While most mormons I know are good people, I do believe some tenants/beliefs/administrations are racist and sexist in nature.

    Listening to Kate’s story, both here and other sites, I feel compelled to comment.

    Kate, you mentioned the underlying theme of your story is “those with questions get punished”. That statement makes me want to scream! Please stop playing the martyr card that your questions got you in trouble. It’s your actions. Whether right or wrong, your actions have got you in trouble. John, spoke of this. He even asked if you have more actions, (more dramatic, more attention getting) planned for the future. Your reply was yes. That’s what got you into trouble.

    And please, stop saying your actions are respectful. If you try to “crash a party” (priesthood session) to which you are not invited, please tell me how that is respectful. Your intent wasn’t to be respectful; your intent was to expose, thru the media, what you believed to be sexist.

    I get your cause; you are trying to stir things up. Bring awareness to a sexist policy. I get that. I can agree with the sexism claim. I can agree with your desire to change that. You just don’t want to ask question, you want to effect change. You’re an activist! Activists show ACTION!

    That’s why you got into trouble.

    You made your bed, now you must decide if it was worth it.

    • Dale July 28, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      Winebibber, ‘Two Thumbs Up’ on your comments.

    • layla August 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      I wouldn’t call it “crashing a party” to ask to be admitted to a men’s meeting (when men can attend women’s meetings – why can’t it go both ways?). These women were respectful and calm. They didn’t crash any party. I have friends that went to these, and they were shocked by the way the church and media portrayed them in such a negative light, telling untruths about them. They asked to go in, and when they were turned away, they went.

      • Winebibber August 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm - Reply


        From Webster…
        : to enter or attend without invitation or without paying

        • Winebibber August 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm - Reply

          That’s the definition of crashing a party. Exactly what they were doing.

        • David Macfarlane August 7, 2014 at 2:35 pm - Reply

          Using that definition: If I were to ask the door man for admission to a party for which I had no invitation, and that door man then conversed with the party organizers and decided to have me arrested for even asking, I would consider that a gross overreaction.

          Kate Kelly had the audacity to ask for admission. If the elders truly had both love for Sister Kelly AND healthy respect for the power they hold in the minds of believers, I believe the loving response would be to simply, warmly and consistently say ‘no.’

          When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The brethren have a full toolbox, and yet they still grabbed the hammer.

          • Winebibber August 7, 2014 at 7:50 pm

            I agree, they used the hammer.

            To my point above, she made her bed. She chose the movement over her membership. The mormon leaders weren’t going to let her have both.

            Just once more reason not to believe in this religion.

            I cant wait until I find I religion that is just about love, period. No BS, no powertrips, no control, no “tithing”, just pure love. If you know of it, please tell.

  20. Heidi July 28, 2014 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    GREAT interview…Kate you have been an inspiration to me through everything I went through with my Bishop with my temple recommend being taken for not taking down my Ordain Women profile last year…your emails back and forth and having a place to go where it was safe to talk was a balm to my soul.I loved hearing from your husband…after everything I have been through this last year being a faithful Mormon my whole life I am a little bit more on the side of Neil when it comes to what I believe, at least where he said he doesn’t think family will be kept from each other in heaven…(That I had a near death experience at 16 also gives me a different perspective I believe)

    • Heidi July 28, 2014 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      A couple near death experiences that are amazing and line up with what I experienced are Anita Moorjanis “Dying To Be Me” (I like her audio book where shes reading and “Proof Of Heaven” I think they both solidify Neal’s thoughts about heaven…

      • Rio July 28, 2014 at 9:08 pm - Reply

        Hi Heidi…and thank you for bringing up your NDE and for mentioning Anita Moorjani’s book, Dying to be Me! It, and other NDE literature—including Eban Alexander’s, Proof of Heaven—present such an expansive, loving and amazing view of the cosmos and our place in it that I would hope everyone interested in spiritual issues would give them a read.

        Have you posted your NDE account to the NDERF website? (https://www.nderf.org/) It is one of the best repositories of NDEs on the web and I would personally love reading your story.

        And thanks to John and Kate and Neil for a fascinating interview!

  21. Don July 28, 2014 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    I am glad for Neil and Kate’s more progressive views of Mormon doctrine. In my judgement this has made things drastically easier for them in their individual journeys and that as a couple. I am a member undergoing a crisis of faith who believed everything and questioned nothing until recently, and that journey is not one I would wish on anyone.

    I do not agree with Kate that most members of the Church share her views about people of other religions being treated the same as those who are LDS in the next life. Nor do many of them feel it is OK to throw out Polygamy. And her belief that all churches are an appropriate route to heaven is certainly not doctrinal and not what the typical member believes.

    While I enjoyed the interviews and getting to know them better and gaining insights into who they are and how they make things work, I believe that Kate in particular is extremely out-of-touch with just how strictly most active members of the Church strive to “Follow The Brethren”

    • Maddy July 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm - Reply

      I would agree, Don. Most of my fellow Ward members–in various states and wards, believe that no one is going to the celestial kingdom without a Mormon baptism and church membership. I’ve even sat through RS lessons where it was taught that even Mother Teresa would be in spirit “prison” upon death, along with every other deceased person until they are taught and accept the Gospel and Mormon baptism.

      On another note,
      Kate spoke about “discrepencies” in things her leaders wrote and people assuming “he’s telling the truth.” It is unclear to me on what point(s) Kate thinks her leader(s) were “lying.” But the bigger point is that Kate thinks we should question ourselves as to why we automtically assume “men in power” and “men in general” are telling the truth and discounting women. Kate, maybe everything is not about men vs women. Maybe some of us have learned through experience that usually truth is found somewhere in the “middle” and has nothing to do with male vs female issues. Kate is really the only person speaking out, and releasing various letters, so we only have her version of the situation and her to question if there seem to be discrepencies. At times Kate, being human, displays a defensiveness that could detract from her goals and aspirations. The earlier podcast with Maxine Hanks and others, the comment section was unfortunate.

      Finally, I appreciate this podcast and hearing Kate and Neil’s stories. I wish them well in Kenya. Women have so many challenges around the world! I’ve wondered how a more expansive role for women might help/hurt the Church’s foothold in various other countries.

  22. Gail July 29, 2014 at 9:59 am - Reply

    As someone who is living out of the U.S. I would have to wonder about launching Ordain Women internationally. It might not be so easy to do. Given cultural issues are different in Europe for instance. I’ve had conversations with women and viewpoints are different. I would love to see peace and understanding between women come about. WE don’t have that yet. This is a challenging issue and if there is a division in the camp shouldn’t a united front be part of the goal?

  23. Dave July 29, 2014 at 11:13 am - Reply


    The podcast is a significant contribution to Mormon history. Thank you.

    I was hoping to hear some more of the specifics of the discipline that Kate’s parents received. When I first heard it as a sub-story to Kate’s story I really felt that it would be as significant as Kate’s discipline because it speaks of the insidious hereditary punishment akin to the purging of bloodlines to send a message of fear. Such punishment coerces family members to police each other and report dissenters within their own family in order to protect themselves from such punishment by relation.

  24. CE July 29, 2014 at 11:20 am - Reply

    I’m concerned about the use of the term “progressive” in this interview. The idea that everyone gets to heaven (I think it was said “many paths up to Mount Fuji”) in modern Western society is ubiquitous. Thirty years ago it was “many spokes on the wheel all lead to the same central place.” I don’t see any progressive thought in that notion; in fact it’s fairly retrogressive that a Mormon would join the thinking of most protestant religions in the US with that notion.

    • John Dwyer July 29, 2014 at 2:19 pm - Reply


      I think they mean “progressive” relative to other Mormons.

      (I was taught that same doctrine in a religion class at BYU so in and of itself I don’t believe it’s a terribly progressive belief.)

      I certainly agree that having women priests would be considered “progressive” for Mormons.

    • son July 29, 2014 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      CE, it is interesting to me that you singled out the same word whose use I found troubling/confusing throughout this interview, albeit for a different reason.

      Of all the many Mormon Stories podcasts I have enjoyed, certainly this one included, I feel that this episode in particular would benefit from some definition of some of the terms being used. I found, for example, that the usage of the term ‘progressive’ over and over again to be somewhat confusing as its specific contextual meaning was never touched upon.

      When Kate or Neil or John say that something is or is not ‘progressive’ are they using the word in a way that I, or you dear reader, or they themselves/each other would agree upon? I find words like ‘progressive’ and ‘diverse’ to have different meanings in different contexts depending upon both content and audience. They are often used as political buzzwords for in-group communication and while this has the ability to facilitate communication between individuals who already agree and may see themselves as being part of a larger group it makes understanding for those not already part of that group somewhat more difficult.

      When Kate remarks that some individual or some policy or even doctrine is ‘not progressive’ what specifically does she mean? Progressing towards what?

      Or are these buzzwords just part of the rhetorical nature of the ‘activism’ of Ordain Women which seems, at least to me, to be targeting a specific political subset of the society of the church rather than reaching out for greater and more general understanding/acceptance?

      I apologize if this comment reads overly critical. I tuned in to this podcast with a sincere desire to understand KK’s perspective as well as in the hopes to gain a greater understanding for the OW movement but now find myself less informed and, quite honestly, less interested.

    • Andrew July 29, 2014 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      That is a good point if she believed Mormonism doesn’t have a monopoly on the keys to the gates of Heaven where is the concern with excommunication. I understand it is what she knows but the point of sticking to one path is it provides something no other path can. If many paths lead to Heaven in the end why not take what you must with you and forge your path to God.

      The point of Christian living is to emulate with exactness the example of Christ. That is to say give your will entirely over to Him. So it is true and Christ taught all of the desires of our hearts we should be willing to sacrifice for His cause. Included in this would be using an example she gave, to not have children. If God’s command is multiply and replenish the earth it is incumbent upon us if we truly wish to follow Him to sacrifice our desires and natural inclinations, this is the broken heart the contrite spirit. Doing otherwise is to follow our own pride

  25. Ephima Morphew July 29, 2014 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Revelation Streaming In the RELIGION MAKING BUSINESS

    A Chauvinist Theocracy is disposed to protect its Divine Right Rite, that is the Melchizedek Priesthood, a Levitical right stolen from Tribe of Levite. It’s also the only tribe that was allowed more than one wife.

    Ask why the Clerical Authorities have made this stuff up. Ask Why Joe Smith returned to an atavist theocracy? Ask Why the apostate status of Kate Kelly is scripted and imutable.
    Is this issue waiting for a Priestly Revelation or does this ossification continue to some sexist inexorable end?
    In the end, it all will be sorted out to the rights of both, sexes.

    and don’t forget about all the little animals not covered by the Divine Right Rite.


  26. CaCoast July 29, 2014 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    I’m feeling uneasy about KK and hubby going to Africa with the Ebola outbreak spreading. We need you alive!

  27. Michael Surkan July 30, 2014 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Unfortunately, I strongly suspect the optimism Kate expresses for allowing the ordination of women in the near term are slim indeed.

    The problem is that giving women the priesthood opens up a Pandora’s box of problems that would force cultural change throughout the entire church. The entire separation of women from men would have to change. There would be an expectation that ALL women receive the priesthood just as there currently is for men. Young men who never receive the priesthood are treated like pariahs and the same would be true of women.

    What Kate fails to understand is that allowing the ordination of women would be FAR more disruptive to the existing church culture than almost any of the other reforms being suggested. Accepting LGBT members and gay marriage is nothing compared to the ordination of women. The fact that there is a gay married couple in your ward doesn’t have to change how people think of themselves or their place in the church within your own home. The same thing with granting the priesthood to blacks. The policy change had virtually no impact on most members of the church.

    Due to how much of a change the ordination of women would have to the very culture of the church leads me to think that church will accept LGBT members long before it allows the ordination of women.

    The real problem Kate is facing is NOT the “brethren”. The issue is the “women” of the church. Yes, I am sure there is a solid undercurrent of women in the church who want more equality, but Kate is very mistaken if she thinks that there is anything approaching a majority of female church members who want the priesthood. Ordination is very threatening to this silent majority. Ordination would, in a VERY real sense, change how all women related to the church. There are lots of people who just aren’t ready for such a change.

    But don’t lose hope. Kate’s efforts are helping grow a greater awareness amongst LDS women regarding these issues. Moreover, it is helping lead to numerous small changes in how women participate in the church. In the end, ordination of women will occur after a lengthy process of changing the culture, and expectations, of women in the church. So in that way Kate is having an impact. She is helping with the growing awareness of the need for change that is already being felt in so many small ways.

    Decades from now, and a couple generations down the road, we may actually see Kate’s dream come to pass.

    • Lilli July 30, 2014 at 4:25 pm - Reply


      I don’t believe honoring women’s right to full Priesthood Power and equality in leadership would be that hard of a change for the Church, IF the leaders were humble enough to let it happen, but I don’t think the leaders are, even though most men in the church would probably be fine with it, and those few who still want to control and rule over women would have to repent.

      I believe most men and women in the Church today understand and believe in women’s full equality, in the home and society especially, for we now understand spouse abuse much better and how any control or domination is abuse, even church leaders have said as much, though they don’t back up their preaching with practice.

      The only reason most men & women put up with disrespect of women & inequality in the Church is because they are told not question their leaders, even if they are wrong, so most just blindly and unthinkingly go along with whatever the Church does or says, no matter how destructive and disrespectful it is and has been all along to women.

      I agree that many women say they don’t want the Priesthood, but I believe that’s because they think it will cause them to take on even more responsibility, when they already do most of the work at home and in the church. But actually, it would give women more ‘power & voice’ at home and in the church which they would find they like, for they could then cause change and they would then expect more of men and change things so women aren’t so burdened and disrespected and abused.

      So, while I know many LDS women who don’t want more to do in the Church, they do want and would enjoy equal power and voice to change things, which again, would lessen their load.

      And I agree that the Church will soon allow same sex marriage in the Church, they are softening on the issue already.

      But I don’t believe church leaders will ever humble themselves as a whole & repent from Brigham Young’s prideful abusive false doctrines of polygamy & ruling over women and instead finally respect & honor women’s divine right which God intended all along for them, to hold equal Priesthood power & authority with men in all things and places, in the home, society & church.

      The real truth is God already gives righteous women all the Priesthood power and authority they need or want to bless whomever they are inspired to, most just don’t know it yet.

      And Church leaders have never had any real Priesthood themselves to give or deny others anyway, for unrighteous men who control, disrespect or dominate women or anyone else, can’t gain, maintain or pass on any true Priesthood keys or authority. That means Brigham Young never had any such power or authority to hand down to anyone either.

    • Lilli July 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm - Reply

      Of course though, I agree that someday, in the Millenium, when Christ reigns, women’s full equality will finally be acknowledged, respected and honored in all stations of leadership, as he did when he was on the earth. And I believe that only men and women who respect women’s full equality here and now will be there to see it.

  28. Christina July 30, 2014 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    I totally relate to Kate Kelly and her personality. All through Young Women and then in Relief society I felt weird and crushed under guilt because I don’t fit the woman gender role at all. I wasn’t sure what was wrong with me. I’m supposed to be a mother and nurturer but that is not me at all. I’m glad that I’ve learned more things about the LDS Church that has shed light on things that I had no idea about. I no longer feel guilt for not conforming to my “role” and it is very freeing.

  29. Matt20 July 30, 2014 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this interview with Kate and Neil. What integrity and courage! I resigned my membership many years ago, and no longer belong to the tribe. In my opinion, what you’ve done is better. You were excommunicated for your support of high values: truth, justice, equality, goodness…

    If life is the canvas and our decisions the paint, you are creating a beautiful masterpiece.

    I recall a poem, “freedom begins in your head, if you want to be free, you can’t wait to be led.”

    Polygamy (female slavery) is the original sin of Mormonism. After all these years, it is only fitting that the oppressed smash their chains.

    • Michael Surkan July 30, 2014 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      Actually, if the accounts of Joseph’s multiple wives are true (about which there is some legitimate dispute), I think it is very progressive to hear that he was a practitioner of polyandry (i.e. where women have more than one husband). In the hands of Joseph, having multiple spouses was an equal opportunity proposition. It was only under the leadership of Brigham Young that polyandry was disowned and the very sexist practice of polygamy became the norm.

      I think modern Mormon’s should be thrilled to learn of Joseph’s polyandrous relationships. This makes the principal of plural marriage SO much more fair and even progressive.

  30. David Macfarlane July 30, 2014 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    “If we can give Joseph Smith a break, we can give each other a break.” Well said. In my experience with the church in Utah, it has become more about perfection and judgement than love. Thanks, Neil.

  31. John Crane July 31, 2014 at 3:59 am - Reply

    I have listened to all three interviews. They were well-done, and I certainly learned more about Kate and Neil. I felt a common bond with her when she stated that because of her Mormon upbringing, she had a great desire to learn the truth and a great desire for self-authenticity. I agree, but these traits have lead me in another direction, but I’m sure, she would be OK with that.

    Let me sandwich a couple of negative comments in here. She needs to get rid of the upspeak that women have now started using. She is more more intelligent than that, and it takes away from the seriousness of her message. The other point was when she quoted from the D&C about Priesthood, she got her section numbers wrong. Right thought. Wrong reference.

    I see the problem as something different. The problem is the way the church has concentrated authority into the central leadership, which happens to be male and hold the Priesthood. Women do have a lot to contribute to the church. So do gays. And, so do other ordinary people like us who will rise to the challenge, when expectations are raised. The church expects far too little of its members. They want to keep us children, even when lots of us are already grown-up.

    The problem is the really bright and talented people who want to contribute are unable to do do, and they see the church ordaining women or accepting gays as the solution. We are all told how the valiant spirits were held back to come forth at this time in the history of the world, but the church they were born into or attracted to doesn’t want them to be valiant, and in fact, condemns it. The Gospel wasn’t restored to set up a Smith Family dynasty, or a Salt Lake dynasty. It was restored so that ALL may have the opportunity to speak in the name of God. (D&C 1:20)

    The scriptures and the revelations I have received point me toward the idea that the work of the Restoration is far from over; there will yet be many great and important things to be revealed; and, most importantly, it won’t be the work of just one man or group of men. It will involve all of us, and women have a vital role to play as well.

    Joseph Smith, in speaking of the great latter-day work spoke of many of the ancient (“these authoritative characters”) returning and “joining hand and hand with us” in establishing this work.

    People like Kate have demonstrated leadership ability, and whether one agrees with her or not, she had demonstrated the temporal leadership skills that would stand her well in a position of Priesthood leadership. There is another dimension of spiritual leadership in the Priesthood, which is sadly neglected in the LDS church today, and which few, if any, men or women have had the opportunity to develop or demonstrate.

    I was actually among those to ordain the first woman in the Restoration since the early days of the church. I have a very interesting story to tell, and so far it hasn’t been told. I am putting together a video for Youtube, and you can also read about my story on my blog. It’s a “Mormon story” that is different, comes from a completely unique perspective, and needs to be told, along with all the others.

    I don’t know how much you know about the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ, but I was one of the co-founders, and I hold the copyright to the book “Hidden Treasures & Promises”. In that book is a revelation from Christ setting out the specifics of sexual morality. He basically says that the main principle is chastity and fidelity within a committed relationship, and the gender of the two parties is a non-issue. This is actually consistent with the 1990 version of the LDS Endowment, and the Law of Chastity, as explained, therein. The LDS Church has had a copy of this volume in their archives since 1990. They have the revelation in their possession, and though they might chuckle at it and discount it, a person acting in the role of Samuel the Lamanite (the hated outsider) has stood on their wall and read it to them.

    Incidentally, one teaching of Samuel that has been ignored is the principle that a city or a people (or a church) has ripened in iniquity when they begin to drive the righteous from among their midst. Check it out. (Helaman 13:14)

    I am probably the only person you will ever meet who is gay, was excommunicated, received actual communication from God, ordained women, was ordained myself by a woman, and who was involved with the organization of a Restoration church, from the inside out.

  32. yvonne July 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    I have almost finished listening to the first interview. I have gotten a completely different impression from it than I had before and it is negative. And I am a Mormon who loves my religion but thro study and research have come to believe it’s all lies by J Smith. I can see why she was excommunicated. She can say she has a testimony, but does nothing but mock BYU and Mormon beliefs. She needed to be gone.

    I also had not realized that John Dehlin, Kate and Neil, were so liberal. Far left, they appear to me. Outside of a few issues, I’m now seeing I might not have as much common ideology as I thought when listening to his podcasts, which I only discovered a few months ago.

    I do enjoy his podcasts and have learned a lot from listening to them. I hope he continues his work. Even tho I find I’m disagreeing with much I hear in the first interview with Kelly and Ransom, I like hearing other viewpoints.

  33. JT August 1, 2014 at 7:49 am - Reply

    In reply to John Crane’s comment:

    “She needs to get rid of the upspeak that women have now started using.”

    I am glad he pointed this out, though this vocal intonation habit certainly is hardly restricted to women.

    However, it is distracting and at least for me, annoying and saps some strength from of her message. I hope if Kate reads this she’ll take this as constructive criticism.

    This is the first time I’ve heard the term “upspeak”(or HRT) though have noticed it since first suffering through a college course with a professor (a man) who displayed the habit. In that case it seemed he was trying to overlay every statement with, “are you following me?” – thereby accomplishing a sort of two-for-one. Pretty economical – but annoying (even insulting) because by not actually pausing to ask us that question explicitly he never gave us room to answer,”No, we don’t understand.”

    In Kate’s case I got the impression that this tonal overlay was asking the listener, “do you agree with me?” In addition, it came across as a chronic pleading for affirmation – while, again, not allowing the listener to actually affirm – or, perhaps more importantly, to dis-confirm. As with that professor, as long as the speaker keeps this up they bowl right over potential disagreements. Perhaps this a way of wish-thinking disagreements away – or a preemptive defense of them.
    I can certainly understand how this may be the case.

    Respectfully submitted – just trying to help.

    • John Crane August 1, 2014 at 9:01 am - Reply

      The upspeak may well be a solicitation for agreement, though I wish we had a less annoying way of doing it. American English doesn’t have a convenient construct for this. Canadian English speakers say “eh”. The French say “n’es pas”. The Germans say “nicht wahr”. The Swedes say “eller hur”.

      She sounds so intelligent and authoritative when she doesn’t use it.

      • Gary August 2, 2014 at 4:06 pm - Reply

        …and lose the filler word “like”. I stopped counting after, “like”, 100.

      • JT August 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm - Reply

        Some Americans do it by interjecting, “You know what I’m say’n” a bit too frequently.



  34. Tangerlacks August 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    First of all, I don’t understand why there are so many comments about Joseph Smith being a polygamist. The church does not deny this, familysearch website does not deny this. If there were a court hearing to decide whether or not he was a polygamist, I have a strong feeling he would be found “guilty.” I listened to the entire interview and I have to say that listening to these podcasts for hours and hours has truly been a blessing. It also leaves me feeling confused sometimes. It is quite clear that such “revelations” as discontinuing the practice of polygamy and giving black men the priesthood was a calculated decision, or essentially voted upon after the leaders started feeling pressure. I don’t see modern day “revelation” happening the way most church members expect it to. I am also wondering what kind of church the Mormon church is going to be if everyone is picking the things that work for them and throwing the rest away. I can’t even say enough how much to me this makes it seem like there is no way this can be the “one and only true church.” This kind of picking and choosing has never been more prevalent, and it just makes everything sound like a mess to me. The church used to be full of literal believers, and now that the historical and other problems are surfacing, it seems like there could be thousands of new sects of the Mormon church formed. It’s a lot to process…and for me hard to hear that someone says they “believe” in the church when it is obvious that they don’t really. Great interview John!

    • David Macfarlane August 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm - Reply

      Great comment, Tangerlacks. Thanks for sharing. I was raised an active church member and only in the last couple of years have I heard that Joseph practiced polygamy. You will find some here who think he didn’t (Hi, Bob.), and that is certainly a conversation worth having, but I think the church both did not actively hide Joseph’s polygamy (assuming it to be true) AND did not actively disseminate that information. (Kind of a chicken poop approach to the whole subject, if you ask me.) As for members picking and choosing what they believe, in my opinion this is the maturation of a newer religion. I don’t think Mormonism is going anywhere. But I also don’t think that the literalism that was so common before the age of the Internet will survive for many, many church members. I think they will see it for what I believe it truly has to offer–community and values, like any other religion.

      • Rude Dog August 2, 2014 at 3:38 pm - Reply

        I have strong suspicions that the many here that don’t think Joseph practiced polygamy are members of the reorganized church. I know Lilli comes from this tradition. So it ought be asked, Bob, Lilli, are you members or have sympathy for the RLDS views?

        I love the “Validity vs Utility” articulation. Tangerlacks, I agree. I have a tough time understanding those who see the church for what it truly is, a man made construct, how or why they would chose to hold any belief/faith. I have not yet renounced my membership although I see that day approaching, but I left the belief, the faith, the trust, the value far behind. I strongly believe the church to be false in relation to reality vs the truth claims of the church. I believe the church to be a net negative in the world. Just listen to the fourth installment of Christine Jeppsen Clark’s interview with John. It flowed so well for me as to why we should abandon this faith altogether.

        Although there are a lot of folks at this particular pod cast website, I would say the vast majority of folks leaving the church are not picking or choosing what they will and will not accept. Most are rejecting it completely, and half if not more of that crowd become strong agnostic/atheist. Color me there.

        • Bob August 2, 2014 at 9:57 pm - Reply

          I’m active LDS. I was proud to score something like a 95% on the Infants on Thrones Mormon Cred scale a couple months ago. (It’s actually called “Bob’s Mormon Cred Scale”, but no relation.) https://alturl.com/h66ze

          • Bob August 4, 2014 at 11:24 am

            If I had sympathies for the RLDS/CoC, that could bias my views and give me a possible incentive to mislead, am I right?

            Is the same true of, say, William Clayton? If he had certain sympathies, could that give him an incentive to maybe backdate a journal entry or two?

            William Law? He was probably influenced only by the goodness of his heart, right?

            I’m probably wrong. Men in the past were probably driven only by Pure Goodness and we should accept their words at face value. Not like us people today who are all conniving and driven by hidden motives and such.

        • John Crane August 3, 2014 at 4:56 am - Reply

          As for “Validity vs Utility” articulation, I point you to 1 Thess. 5:21 “Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good.” The word “prove” is also translated “test” and “examine”. If we claim to follow the “admonition of Paul”, we should question everything. Question it in the light of the Spirit, but question it nonetheless.

          “Suppose that the leaders of this people had forsaken the Lord and should introduce, through selfishness, that which would militate against the kingdom of God on the earth, that which would in the issue actually destroy this people, how are you going to detect the wrong and know it from the right? You cannot do it unless you have the spirit of the Lord

          “Some may say, Brethren, you who lead the church, we have all confidence in you, we are not in the least afraid but what everything will go right under your superintendence; all the business matters will be transacted right; and if Brother Brigham is satisfied with it, I am. I do not wish any Latter-Day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied. I wish them to know for themselves and understand for themselves, for this would strengthen the faith that is in them. Suppose that the people were heedless, that they manifested no concern with regard to the things of the kingdom of God, but threw the whole burden upon the leaders of the people, saying, ‘If the brethren who take charge of matters are satisfied we are,’ this is not pleasing in the sight of the Lord.”

          [Journal Of Discourses (JD) 3:44-45]

          Testing isn’t a one time exercise for investigators and the Book of Mormon, feel the confirmation of the Spirit, then blindly accept everything else.

          Lifelong members who do not receive their own testimony of everything purported to be the word of God are deceiving themselves. God speaks by revelation, and if we do not listen by the same spirit of revelation, who, then, are we listening to? The voice of the flesh.

          The Spirit confirms words, principles, doctrines, teachings, and practices that are true. It does not confirm that which is false.

          Faith does not begin with the premise that you already know. Faith begins, as it does with a little child, that you do not know, and that you are seeking further light and knowledge.

          Perhaps this was easier for me than most, having grown up with half my family in the church, though most not terribly active, and half outside the church. I had to work to gain my own testimony, and in the process, I discovered many great and powerful truths in the church, and many cultural constructs presented as if they were truth.

          For example, I know the doctrine and principles presented in the Book of Mormon are true. But, I have never received a confirmation that the history of the Nephites and Lamanites is true, nor have I ever received a confirmation about a translation from gold plates or a peep stone.

          I was in the Sacred Grove, and as must as I love the forest, never received the confirmation that this forest was any more “sacred” than any other forest. However, I have also been to Adam-ondi-Ahman, and received a powerful confirmation that this was the real deal, everything JS claimed it was, and more.

          Our loyalty and devotion needs to be attached to the truth, to the confirmations we receive from the inner voice of the Spirit, not from the current utterances of some person claiming to be a prophet or apostle, but can’t demonstrate any of the gifts and callings of that office.

          to do once with the Book of Mormon, or for “lifers” to never do. It’s something we should do

          • Lilli August 3, 2014 at 11:54 am


            I totally agree we need to ‘prove, test & question’ all things & persons before putting faith in them.

            But the problem is that Satan also speaks to us through revelation, warm fuzzies, confirmations, inspirations, dreams, visions, visitation, etc, which everyone is easily deceived to think it’s from the right spirit, for it can feel the same.

            Just look at all the people in every church or religion who are just as sure ‘the spirit’ has confirmed to them their religion or beliefs are true and right. Even in the Church everyone, including Presidents, believe different/opposite things about the same scripture or doctrine, thinking they are right and others are wrong.

            So proving all things by the ‘spirit’ is not enough, for we are all too easily deceived and can’t tell by which spirit it comes. The Holy Spirit usually speaks more by giving us ‘pure intelligence & ideas’ then by ‘feelings’, thus so we can take those new ideas and test them against what Christ said to make sure they are true.

            So we must prove our revelation or beliefs and anyone else’s (as Joseph Smith and other presidents taught) by a more sure way, by comparing what anyone preaches or practices to what ‘Christ’ said.

            And Christ also told us to prove whether a person or prophet is really his true disciple or not by whether they have true charity or not (which is easy to see if you understand what true charity is).

            And applying the ‘Golden Rule’ to anyone’s teaching is also a good way to test if it’s true or not, and thus why the idea of ‘polygamy’ proves totally false (As Joseph Smith constantly said it was), for no man would want done to him what men do to or expect of women in polygamy, nor would men even put up with it (to their credit) and stay totally faithful to one wife their whole life and take care of all the children themselves even though they rarely saw their wife cause she was away living with & being wined and dined by countless other men. What I can’t figure out is why so many women put up with it, when men wouldn’t.

            Another example is, BY said he would hate being dictated to by a women, yet he expected women to listen to his dictates. Thus he proves he was not a true disciple of Christ or righteous or followed the Golden Rule, which is the basis of proof for all prophets & commandments.

            If our revelation or the revelation of any so-called prophet, ancient or modern, or anyone, teaches something contrary to Christ’s words in the scriptures, then we can know for sure that they are wrong.

            There are many things in the BoM, D&C, & especially throughout the Bible that are totally contrary to the teachings of Christ. Many things done by so-called prophets even that were contrary to Christ & thus prove them to be false or fallen prophets.

            Even Nephi proves he was not a true disciple of Christ, for he didn’t have charity, for no one who has charity & was Christlike would have killed Laban, even for the plates, for even the reason Nephi gave was wrong and in error, for his people would not have dwindled in unbelief even if they didn’t have the plates, for if Nephi was a true prophet he could have easily received all the revelation he needed to replace whatever was on the plates. And being a prophet he would have known by heart the teachings of Christ already. So that is 2 proofs Nephi was not a true prophet, nor was Moroni, or Joseph Smith, etc, for if they had been they wouldn’t have wrote or added that about Nephi. So it appears that Joseph Smith did write the Book of Mormon after all and it wasn’t ancient scripture, for God would never want or expect us to believe in such a book with so many things contrary to Christ.

            The Book of Mormon also erroneously teaches us to prove things by the Spirit, by warm fuzzies, which again cannot prove things definitely enough to make sure they are really true, and if Moroni had really existed & been a true prophet he would have never said such a thing, for he would have known how easy it was for everyone to be fooled by the Adversary’s revelation, good feelings & warm fuzzies.

            But it’s easy to prove all things & persons when one holds them up to the teachings of Christ.

            The Holy Spirit can teach us all things too, but even then we still have to prove what comes to us through the Spirit to make sure it’s from the right Spirit, which it seem hardly anyone does and that’s why we have so many different beliefs in the Church and in the world. For the standard measurement for truth is not the Spirit, but Christ’s teachings.

            Everyone is getting different/opposite revelation and thinking it’s true, and even more important, hardly anyone in or out of the Church has true charity, which as Christ taught, is a requirement for righteousness & to discern Christ’s teachings correctly.

          • John Crane August 3, 2014 at 1:04 pm

            I agree with most everything you said with regard to understanding the principles of revelation. I did not intend to give a full discourse on the principle of revelation, only to state that it was an important principle, and the key to discerning which parts of Mormonism, or any religion for that matter, are worth keeping, and which are worth throwing away.

            But, what I hear you essentially saying is revelation is worthless and unreliable as a measure of truth. I disagree. Most people, even small children, have an innate sense of truth and justice, as well as common sense. The light of Christ is given to every person who enters the world, and those who keep themselves pure, who perceive that voice, who hone their sense of discernment. AND, couple it with reason and logic will not stray too far off the mark.

            I don’t understand the idea of being a “true prophet”, and I think you are setting up your own standards, which are so unrealistic and so impossibly high, that perhaps not even Christ could measure up. Nephi was probably not a real person, but like a real person, and every other person in the Book of Mormon and the Bible, Nephi was not black and white.

            I agree that Nephi was not a perfect example of charity 24×7, but he was concerned about his family, and his people loved him so much that they gave their subsequent leaders the title of “Nephi”. He forgave his brothers when they wronged him. Rather than complain, he solved problems that endangered the survival of the family.

            On the negative side, he was arrogant and tended to rub people the wrong way.

            I don’t recall the Book of Mormon speaking about “warm fuzzies”. It does speak about listening to and feasting upon the words of Christ. It talks about speaking with the tongues of angels. It talks about the Holy Ghost making the truth of all things known. It talks about being led by the Spirit for guidance in how to act. It talks about the Spirit changing hearts and minds to that people “have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually”. It talks about the evidence and power of faith, and how you can tell your faith is focused on the right object. It talks about men experiencing the daily ministration of angels and about people having such strong faith that people could not disbelieve their words. It even talks about a man whose faith was so strong that he overcame the effects of the fall.

            The Book of Mormon deals a lot with the fruits of the Spirit, such as the joy of experiencing the love of God. The Book of Mormon deals with the gifts of the Spirit and the fruits of faith – namely, miracles. Mormon says that if there are no miracles, there is no faith.

            This is just off the top of my head. If I spent time researching, I could give more.

          • Lilli August 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm


            I think we do basically agree on most things and it’s nice to hear of someone who does see these things.

            But I do not consider the Holy Spirit ‘worthless’ but yes, unreliable to a certain point, for even though we (especially children) can ‘sense’ good from evil if we are ‘pure’ (there’s the catch), and even though the Holy Spirit can teach us the truth of all things and give us all the revelation we need and want, we still have to take it a step further and test our revelation and good feelings, to make sure it’s really true and in line with what Christ taught.

            I believe everyone I know, including me, and everyone in the church has been or currently is being deceived by falsehoods and false prophets that they are ‘sure’ the Spirit has told them is true, good & right, but who is leading them to support or do evil. The scriptures are filled with even most all ‘Prophets’ eventually falling for false revelation & teaching & doing evil.

            The Book of Mormon teaches at the end in Moroni that “when we shall receive these things that we should ask God if they are true”….and if it is, he said God would give us a confirmation (warm fuzzies), but such is not entirely reliable for it needs further testing, for people of all religions think they have had such confirmations about their scriptures.

            But I agree praying about such things like the BOM, is good advice, but if Moroni had really been a true prophet, and true disciple of Christ, he would have known that that was not enough, for Satan could also confirm that the Book of Mormon is true to us, even if the BoM is false in many areas and not from God & leads people astray in many ways. Satan can confirm that anything is true when it’s not, all the while people thinking it’s God’s confirmation.

            So Moroni would have said to not only pray but he would have added, like Paul said, to ‘test’ it against the ‘words of Christ’ also, only then can one see the falsehoods and errors in the BoM.

            Most people, especially in the Church, seem to think that if they feel God confirms that the BoM or Joseph or Brigham or the Church is true, then they think that is a sure thing as a whole and they never bother to compare & test those things or people with Christ’s teachings.

            I agree also that the Book of Mormon teaches many true and wonderful things, but that doesn’t mean it’s all true or a divine work from God or that Nephi or Joseph Smith was a true prophet (meaning righteous or called of God to lead people).

            The Book of Mormon and the Bible & D&C are like countless other books written by men throughout time, they all teach some truth & some error to one degree or another, and we have to discern what parts are true and what are false.

            Righteous people know that no book ever written by fallible men or women, even righteous men & women, is going to be ‘all true’, as Moroni seemed to think God would confirm to people if they prayed about the BoM. Thus proving that Moroni wasn’t real or righteous to suggest such a thing, he would have known that the BoM had too many errors in it to be completely confirmed by God as a whole.

            Above all we need charity, for without it we are nothing. It is charity that brings us in tune with the Holy Spirit & helps us see & discern rightly. And ‘The Holy Spirit’ + ‘Christ’s words’ together are how we prove & determine truth from error. Without either one we will easily be deceived to think error is truth and false prophets are true prophets and false churches are true churches.

            I agree that Nephi did & taught a lot of good and wonderful things and got many people to follow him. But all false prophets do the same. Even people who do evil are usually very nice people most of the time and most people like them.

            Joseph Smith even taught that false prophet teach so closely to true prophets and do so many wonderful things that most everyone falls for them. He said only those with Charity don’t fall for falsehoods and false prophets, (at least not for long before they start to see the errors).

            In D&C 76 Joseph Smith warned about how easy it was for good honorable people to fall for false prophets and falsehoods and how easy it was for true prophets to be deceived and fall themselves.

            But false prophets like I believe Joseph was, never think they are false prophets either, even though they warn of them.

            And yes, I agree Christ’s standards of righteousness are very high, next to impossible. But Christ did achieve them and he ask us to try to do so also.

            We may not become perfect in this life, but if someone is going to call themselves a ‘prophet’ and expect people to read their writings or follow them, then they need to be pretty near perfect, and have true charity, for Christ warned us how to tell true prophets and righteous people, for they will have charity, which I agree & believe is very rare and hard to achieve. I don’t think I have ever known or heard of anyone with true charity today.

            But who is going to follow or put trust in a so-called prophet, G.A, Stake Pres. or Bishop or anyone, who does not have charity or is not near perfect or even as righteous as they themselves are? And why should they?

            We are better off to not follow any fallible men or women, but just follow Christ’s teachings, for he said everything that needs to be said.

            And I believe we should and must all be ‘prophets’ ourselves, if we hope to achieve eternal life. It takes a true prophet to know a true prophet and not be fooled by a false one, who wears ‘sheep skin’, meaning they do a lot of good to look good.

        • Lilli August 3, 2014 at 1:51 pm - Reply

          Rude Dog,

          While I have left the Church, I don’t believe in the RLDS Church either. I believe the RLDS Church was/is just another false break off from Joseph’s original Church, but in the beginning at least, the RLDS church was a much closer religion to what Joseph started then Brigham’s church ever was.

          I don’t believe any church is a true church today, nor do I know of any true prophets in the world today or since Christ, especially not LDS prophets, who all preach and practice opposite to Christ.

          But there are many Christian churches today who teach very close to Christ’s true doctrines. I don’t believe the LDS Church is even a Christian Church, for it’s teachings and practices and temples are so completely contrary to Christ, even though they mention him once in a while and do & teach some good things as all false churches & false prophets do.

          But, I believe Joseph Smith did not live polygamy, for he not only constantly preached and warned the Saints against it, warning them that they will be damned if they fall for anyone, even a prophet, who may come teaching it. Joseph even taught that if he himself or any ‘prophet’ or even angel from heaven ever came teaching it then to not listen to him or them.

          Joseph was smart enough to know he would lose most members once they found he was lying if he had really been living polygamy behind the scenes. He would have known he would have eventually been found out or would have to confess it and thus would have lost all credibility with good people.

          Also, I believe Joseph understood that Christ taught against all forms of polygamy, when Christ taught that no married person can marry another person or it’s always adultery. So Joseph knew enough that he couldn’t preach or practice contrary to Christ or contrary to even his Book of Mormon & D&C scriptures that he wrote, which condemned all polygamy.

          Then you have the matter that who would believe in a man who would constantly lie to the whole church and more especially lie to his wife & children and abuse his wife so vilely and run around behind her back with other women? Who would believe such a man was a true prophet? For Christ constantly warned against falling for just such false prophets who did such things.

          So either Joseph was innocent and falsely accused by BY & other polygamists to make themselves & their dark deeds look good & justified, or Joseph did lie and was just as vile as BY & Co.

          It really doesn’t matter much if Joseph did or didn’t live polygamy, for the LDS Church could not be true or Christ’s Church anyway, for even Joseph without living polygamy did not follow Christ in all things (thus true followers of Christ would never follow him) and if he ‘did’ live polygamy then Christ would have nothing to do with such men and the countless other vile things they preached and practiced then and now.

          And I agree that people are leaving the Church today because they are finding out the real truth, hidden for so long, and they reject the whole church and not just a few things here & there.

          I also see that many who leave, if not most, are so fed up with religion and being deceived false false prophets, that they become agnostic/atheist. But many are just going back to Christ and on their own following what he taught and not listening to or trusting anyone who teaches more or less then His teachings.

  35. Penny Meadows August 2, 2014 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Brother Dehlin,

    Are you and your family OK? What is happening with your situation? I hope your guys are OK. I hope you will keep doing the podcasts as you are now. I hope you got the Reece Cup recipe and are enjoying it. I also hope to meet you guys someday. Stay as good as you are.

    Penny Meadows

  36. Josh August 6, 2014 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Kate Kelly seems to be an intelligent person, but she continues to say she was excommunicated for “I don’t know, asking questions”. We all know she is a leader of a group that marches on temple square. That is quite a bit different than “asking questions”.

  37. alice August 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    No word yet on her appeal? Is this painful delay good news or bad news?

  38. Tara August 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    The interview made me more sympathetic with Kate in some ways and less sympathetic in others. She’s clearly very intelligent, and telling this story definitely exposes weaknesses in these kinds of proceedings — weaknesses that affect people’s lives profoundly. On the other hand, she seems to reject so much of church doctrine and culture, I guess I’m a little bit baffled as to why she wants to continue to be affiliated. I wish that had been a bit more emphasized in the discussion: what does she believe in (rather than what she does NOT believe) and why does she want to stay.

    Also, we got a review of the Ordain Women’s formation and its activities, but not much of a discussion of actual sexism or discrimination in the church. I found myself wishing for a summary of what Kate believes about priesthood and her argument for ordaining women.

    Forgive me if these things have already been expressed in other forums and I am just too lazy to go do the searching.

    Thanks to John and Kate for taking the time and being willing to put yourselves out there like this.

  39. Lori August 9, 2014 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    This was so very interesting. Loved every moment, John, you are very good at getting your guests to talk. That is a great skill. It was also great to hear Neil’s point of view. Kate is lovely, and the more I hear from her…her honesty, sincerity, and candor…the more I am impressed. This is an exciting time to be a Mormon woman. If I could offer one concern, it is that the Savior isn’t mentioned much. He needs to be. Especially when so many are wondering…asking…transitioning, etc. As for the “up speak..” I teach university communication classes and public speaking classes, and “up speak” (we call it up talking) is very common…especially in women (in our culture). Part of the reason people do it is because they are checking for understanding at the same time. Teachers, as a group, can be very prone to up talking. Also anyone in the service industry. Anyone that is used to checking for understanding, or service in some way to another (Would you like fries with that?). This little inflection has serious implications when dealing with the ideas equality. This is what I have had to do, and what I suggest to those who struggle with it. Questions end on an up-note (unless you are making a statement with your question (are you finally off the phone?), and statements end on a down note. Remember that consciously, and it will improve. But beware Kate. When I reduced up talking in my own life, all of a sudden I got back door comments like “she’s bossy,” or “she’s too pushy…” In our society we EXPECT women to have a certain amount of up talking (after all, it’s mom’s job to make sure everyone has everything they need)…but if they use TOO MUCH up talking, they are perceived as less credible, unsure. And not using any, as a woman, and we are bossy and pushy.

    I have been intrigued by all the talk about OW and Kate’s “tone.” That idea that asking is ok, but HOW you ask it…that’s a different story? I try really hard to understand that because in the MANY debates I have had with people online and offline, and in the news reports, press releases…even statements made by those in my own ward and stake…the “tone” that is used by what one would call TBM’s is NOT what ANYONE should deem appropriate. The amount of vitriol and plain just MADE UP stuff is unreal. I have NEVER heard Kate be disrespectful or angry or bitter…or ANYTHING besides respectful in her communications. Yet she is criticized for her tone. Kate is assertive, but never disrespectful.

    To the last criticism I wish to comment on…regarding Kate’s “not caring” attitude. Anyone that studies history knows that history is subjective. Many of us choose not to subject ourselves to someone else’s view on things…because that could lead us in seriously bad directions. We are blessed with the gift of discernment, and so we spend our lives taking in information, and then decoding it again for our own selves. I don’t think Kate doesn’t care. I think she is saying “I don’t care if Adam had a belly button, it just doesn’t matter.”

    I appreciate these podcasts so much. Thank you for bringing the conversations to us.

  40. Tracie August 11, 2014 at 4:19 am - Reply

    I really appreciated this interview and was so relieved to hear Kate’s hopeful outlook. Reminded me of the faith of a dear friend who in the 90s in Utah was mistreated by her priesthood leaders and stake when she sought to divorce her husband. Her temple recommend was taken, her job then forfeited, and her ward and stake “took sides.” She left Utah, but maintained faith in her knowledge that if the Savior himself would not have treated her in these ways and it was he that gave her strength to face an uncertain future. While I don’t agree with OW’s strategy, I’m deeply grateful for the conversations they have brought to the forefront and the bravery they have exhibited. No one is perfect and I have been disheartened by all sides, but thank you for this forum to hear directly from those involved.

  41. Aron August 13, 2014 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Perhaps Kate is unfamiliar with the Serenity Prayer.

    “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can, and
    Wisdom to know the difference.”

  42. spanish fly September 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?


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