In this interview we speak with LDS feminist Tresa Edmunds. Tresa is an active, believing member of the LDS church, and writes for several online blogs including:

In this 5-part interview Tresa discusses her story, along with a number of topics related to feminism including abuse, infertility, raising a disabled child, maintaining belief in the LDS Church, the LDS YW program, and LDS feminism in the 21st century.









  1. Donnell Allan December 22, 2010 at 4:00 am - Reply

    Tresa, you are so wonderful! Thank you for being so open and honest in sharing your life. You speak as well as you write and your story is a fascinating one.

  2. Jay Bryner December 22, 2010 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Tresa. I’m about halfway through the first episode. Just got to the part about you living in your car to finish up community college. You are a hero. I can’t wait to hear the rest.

  3. Natalie December 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Tresa, so excited to listen to this! First time I met you, you welcomed me into your home and made me feel so like I was a part of things… so proud to even know you!

  4. Hermes December 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Many thanks to Tresa for doing this. I stand all amazed at everything she has done (and continues to do). If you ask me, the kind of individualistic, grass-roots approach to theology and social participation that she represents is the best legacy of Mormonism (or any -ism, for that matter). No remote committee of authorities (no matter how qualified) is ever going to be close to unique opportunities for theological embellishment or charitable service the way an intelligent, caring individual is: so why make committees responsible for doctrine (which they do not and cannot know), or activity (which they do not and cannot really control)? If you ask me, the solution to the unbridgeable disconnect between committee and individual is to make the former a resource for empowering the latter (instead of the reverse). Instead of preaching tithing and adherence to questionable ethical protocols all the time (does passing a bishop’s inspection make you righteous? Tresa’s experience confirms that the answer is no), the committees should publish information, facilitating access to church history (all of it: the good, the bad, and the beautiful) and opportunities to volunteer meaningful service (like THARCE-Gulu). The level of individual participation should be determined by the individual, with the corporation existing to provide access to good information (giving the individual resources to make a really meaningful contribution). There you have my two cents.

    Thanks again to those who made this podcast possible. I really enjoyed it.

  5. Hannabeth F December 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    Tresa, thank you so much for this. I don’t know if you remember, but I met you at the Counterpoint conference this fall (I’m the BYU grad student in a ward leadership calling). I loved having the opportunity to hear a more complete version of your story and so appreciate all the work you put into this effort. Most days, the only thing that keeps me from feeling like I’m drowning in the traditional Mormon culture of Provo is the feminist discussion that happens on these blogs. Thank you again. This was fantastic.

  6. Steve Kimball December 23, 2010 at 1:53 am - Reply

    Nice Interview John. Renewing my faith in Mormon Stories. Mormon women ought to listen to this and stand up for who they are…they are not dependent on men, or the church they created to maintain control over them. Amen. Thanks John and Tresa!

    A prior priesthood power monger

  7. Claire December 23, 2010 at 6:22 am - Reply

    I love Tresa Edmunds! Everytime I read something she has written or listening to this podcast I feel a nugget of regret that I left the church. She is what I hope I would be like if I had stayed active. I hope more and more men and woman outside the Bloggernacle hear your message.

  8. Bill December 23, 2010 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Great interview! What an inspiration and example for all of us. As the father of three daughters and the husband of a disaffected woman, I appreciate Mormon feminist topics in a special way. I particularly like the “yipping dog with a clear conscience” reference! Our daughters need more YW leaders who are able to command attention by flashing a tatoo!

  9. Chelsea December 23, 2010 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    To give you an idea of how much I enjoyed this podcast, I was listening to it while folding laundry and cleaning, and when I finished my tasks I went and found more to do just so I could keep listening. Tresa, thank you so much for your willingness to do this and share yourself with us!

  10. Jay Bryner December 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Some parts I liked:

    I really liked your story about how Reed Benson opened up the scripture to flee into the wilderness. I had Reed Benson for Book of Mormon prior to my mission and I thought he was a really kooky fellow. But I liked him. He made us memorize a bunch of little snippets of the Book of Mormon, and the tests were little fill in the blanks for those scriptures. I still notice that they pop into my head almost 15 years later. What I liked most about this story you told was how Reed Benson is such a hard core conservative kind of guy, but he still made the right call in this instance.

    I remember VOICE in 1999. I remember one of my friends complaining that Bateman had pulled down the T-Shirt display himself. At the time I was really confused about what VOICE was really trying to do. It seemed like a bunch of angry females to me. I’d really like to see a dialogue on the issues brought up in this podcast, and it seems like the dialogue has really been abolished.

    Moneychangers in the temple in relation to the Young Women’s manuals. GOLD. I had never heard this before. I didn’t realize what an archaic resource this was. Frankly, I think the Dads in the church need to pick up this torch and carry this message to whoever needs to hear it, just as much as the young womens’ leaders.

    I liked to hear your thoughts and your vision regarding gender cooperation in the church leadership structure. Especially combined with John’s earlier reminisces of women’s roles in early church history.

    Thanks for another good edition of Mormon Stories. I’ve been browsing feminist literature this past year, and it was good to get a few more sources. There is a lot of information here.

  11. Jay Bryner December 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Just to clarify my comment above about VOICE. I remember being confused about it. Because, for at least the crowd I ran with at BYU, I’d be willing to bet that pretty much every issue VOICE advocated for, they’d be totally on board with.

    Since then, I’ve had more experience with people, and attitudes that clubs like VOICE were trying to address. And I see the need for an organization to approach those issues.

  12. T December 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    Loved the podcast. There are very few who are so candid. I went to one VOICE event in 1999 but I was very different then.

    Could Tresa or John tell us the exact statistic on 80% of unmarried women leaving the church and the source?


  13. Chelsea December 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    Forgot to add that I had to go back and listen again when Tresa said a BYU counselor told her not to worry about having an eating disorder because she “didn’t seem to be wasting away.” I was told the exact same thing by an LDSFS counselor after coming home from my mission with severe depression and bulimia. I am hoping intensely it was the same guy, because surely there can’t be two out there who would say such a thing!

  14. Matthew December 24, 2010 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Great stuff. The comments on the YM manual are spot on. The YM get tons of doctrine and priesthood responsibility content. They get the sorts of things a missionary or a leader of the church would need to understand. It is very doctrine heavy. Just a couple lessons that are not doctrine or priesthood.

    Where a young man gets entire lessons on things like the pre-existence, fall of Adam, the atonement, justice & mercy, the resurrection, the sacrament, fasting, tithing, several lessons about Christ, the young women don’t get any of those lessons. Instead, they get entire lessons on fulfilling women’s divine roles, preparing to become an eternal companion, creating a spiritual environment in the home, contributing to family life, eternal families, contributing to family unity, encouraging enjoyable family activities (seriously?), extended family relationships, two lessons on being how to be healthy, being dependable, associations with others, managing personal resources, avoiding crisis living, etc. The boys don’t get any of that stuff.

    So young men are being prepared to understand the gospel and to be missionaries and priesthood leaders. Young women are being prepared to be good wives and mothers. Is there any way to escape the conclusion that, at a minimum, the correlation committee thinks that it is more important that a YW get a lesson on fun family activities than it is that she get a lesson on the atonement? Or the one lesson they get about Jesus? Ladies, don’t trouble yourselves about these things. See to your handicrafts.

    • Annie July 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm - Reply

      Actually MATTHEW AND CHELSEA the lesson manuals are the exact same, from young mens & young women, right through Relief Society & Preisthood, and Sunday school, for the ENTIRE CHURCH .
      I got way more lessons on doctrine regarding the life of Christ, his purpose, the atonement, mercy & justice, the resurrection, the fall, fasting, tithing, scriptures, etc etc etc.
      One Sunday a month, its called Presidency Instruction, and it is up to the instructor to pick topics, and is not mandated by the church. Unfortunately sometimes for women it is about roles as motherhood, or
      divinity of women, family etc what you say we “only” learn” but I happen
      to know they have them for men & boys too  about fatherhood,
      contributing to family life,   or overcoming pornography,
      responsibility etc etc etc  In fact last week it was about being Happy/The Plan of Happiness, but the previous three (first sunday instructions) were life of Christ/Miracles, Making the Sacrament more meaningful, and Temple Work.

  15. Chelsea December 25, 2010 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    Matthew, I teach the YW and my husband teaches the YM and we had the same thoughts when comparing the lessons. The YM lessons are so much weightier and doctrinally rich. It’s shameful. I don’t think Tresa is overstating things when she says we will have to answer for what we are teaching our girls. There was actually a lesson this year on writing letters to missionaries. An entire lesson. And the main thrust of it was “don’t be flirtatious because it distracts them.” Needless to say, I skipped that one.

  16. Jay Bryner December 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    I just spent the last hour or so perusing through the YM/YW manuals. I checked out the lesson suggestions at beginnings new. Those are good suggestions. But in response to the comments about the deficiencies in the YW manuals, and for me, the most memorable part of the podcast where Tresa said she sometimes considers going ‘Moneychangers In the Temple’ on that issue…

    I don’t see it. I don’t see how anybody can say the YM manuals are better. They’re more doctrinally ‘dense’, but they’re doctrinally dense with the whitewashed correlated pablum all the rest of the manuals have. At least the YW manuals have some real-world topics to discuss.

    Is there any doubt that the YM program would be better off if the YM had a lesson once in a while on the following topics…
    Preparing to become an eternal companion
    Creating a spiritual environment in the home
    A man’s responsibility to teach
    Dating decisions
    Good health habits
    Being dependable
    Avoiding crisis living
    Choosing a vocation
    Money management
    Sustaining the missionaries through letters (just kidding about this one, what is that doing in our curriculum?)
    Preventing Disease
    The Sacred power of procreation

    These are real life topics that have an effect on the young men, as well as the young women. Instead, the YM gets basically the same exact curriculum I’ve been teaching the primary kids for the last 5 years. I remember when I was in the young men’s program we talked about sports for the first half of the class, then we breezed through the lesson. Then for mutual we played basketball in the gym. A complete waste of time. If my parents had forced me to do math homework during that same period of time I would have been better off.

    — I do agree that the framing of the YW lessons do have several problems. They’re framed within a mandatory patriarchal structure, and I can see how you can easily connect the dots to some damaging conclusions. I get that.

    What we need is an inspired translation of the YW manuals!

  17. Kate December 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Tresa & John, thanks so much for the time and effort you went through to make this interview.

    I really appreciate your candor and willingness to “hit the issues.” While I differ drastically in my thoughts about compromise and “being productive,” I think your voice is such a needed one.

    Again, loved the podcast & listened to the entire thing (while sewing ;)! Bravo!

    The one thing that leaves such a sour taste in my brain is that the church would be willing to move forward for the sake of women now (after the fiascoes for prominent Mormon feminists in the 80s & 90s) because the fear “retention” of women is failing or fear of negative “PR” etc. etc. This kind of calculus is so detached (and typical) from the moral calculus that truly needs to be done for real change to occur.

    It makes me sick that this progress can’t stem from the fact that women are treated BADLY in the church. AND that is immoral, sinful, and just plain wrong. Point blank.

    This is of course, your observation of the things and motivations of church leaders that will protect YOU from excommunication not your own beliefs on why treating women equally is important, but it is to me such a comment on how far we have to go– NOT how far we have come.

  18. Kate December 26, 2010 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    John! I also wanted to say, AMEN to your emphasis on alternate forms of media. A high-quality podcast a la Mormon Stories is invaluable… esp. for those of us not into the ‘nacle.

    Hurrah for Mormon Stories!

  19. Tol December 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    !Big Ups! for being able to effect change from within the church! I’m not there yet and may never be.

  20. OzPoof December 28, 2010 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    I can’t understand why people who claim to believe in the church want to change it. You either believe in the religion as it is or you don’t. If you want to change Mormonism, YOU DON’T BELIEVE IT!!

    If the religion you belong to does not teach what you consider to be truth, then go somewhere else. Either be a Mormon and act how Mormonism requires, or leave.

  21. DuzTruthMatter December 29, 2010 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t agree with OzPoof more. To beleive in this “wonderful gospel” that she seems to define in any way which fits her world view is not believing in any gospel at all. To say that she doesn’t claim the Mormon church is THE one true church but that it is HER one true church makes no sense at all. Either it IS as it has claimed from the beginning or it isn’t. Why does God grant her the freedom to inject her interpretations and ideas into the gospel when no one else can without repromand? The gospel she espouses is NOT the gospel I was encouraged to preach as a missionary. She says that the Mormon church is where God wants her to be and that He has called her to do what she is doing. This goes so against the way the Mormon church operates which is that no one is called by God, but by the bishop.

    Although I do agree that women are totally as capable as men to receive revelation which would pertain to the body of Christ as a whole, that’s NOT what the Mormon church teaches!!! This is the perfect scenario of having your cake and eating it too. She’s basically saying “I love this church and the Gospel it teaches, but I want to change the gospel it teaches to fit the way I see things”.

    Her brushing off of John’s questions about D&C 132 was laughable. To say that that was more or less the vain babblings of imperfect men and she can take or leave what they say misses the whole point. It is STILL in the canonized scriptures of the church she so desperately wants to change.

    I am all for women getting the treatment and respect they deserve. She’s just never going to find either in the Mormon church.

  22. Campeche December 30, 2010 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Tresa, I loved the interview. Your story is fascinating and your ability to tell it so articulately and eloquently is a gift. I am happy the church has women like you to inspire our young women to stay LDS even if they feel like they are not a perfect fit.

    I would appreciate it if OzPoof could explain what he/she means by “being a Mormon and acting how Mormonism requires”.

  23. Rhonda December 31, 2010 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    It may be wrong in this mormon world to say, but I’m jealous of the many mentors and friendships that Tresa has. I live in a far northern Canadian community in a branch of about 30-50 active LDS people. I returned to church a few months ago and I’ve missed a few Sundays lately. My non-attendance isn’t due to being angry (thankfully!), I’ve just felt, as usual, that I don’t fit in. Tresa is right about the big black void for a woman like myself who is not married in the temple and who does not and will not have children and who is disabled with a neuromuscular disorder. My life does not resemble anything that looks like a typical mormon woman. In fact, one woman who is a dear friend of mine just came back to church, is open in her cursing and attending bars and she has been embraced by members to the point of receiving a calling teaching adult SS. I have attended for 6 months and I have received no calling and contribute nothing to this branch. (I don’t blame them for not trusting me but it still hurts). I am educated and continuing in my education but that still doesn’t look like a mormon woman. When I am away from the church I feel like I fit in in constructive and worldly ways. There are also times when I attend church and it touches something deep inside that is also only triggered by being at church and is truly wonderful. I come from an abusive family and also have had CPS in my home as a child. I still have severed familial relationships and struggle with that continually but I find the kind of family that I wish I had come from within the church even if I know that they aren’t mine. I truly am glad that you have found the support that you’ve needed. I feel hopeful; that is what I tell myself.

    Best wishes to you always.

  24. Tol December 31, 2010 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Hey OzPoof and DuzTruthMatter,

    Tell that to the devout gay member who still feels they have a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon, etc. He or She doesn’t want to change the church but they can’t change who they are. What do they do?

    My Mom is a deep thinker. She was also raised Baptist. She has had many powerful experiences that basically keep her in the church despite her belief that Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet. So she feels like she CANNOT leave.

    Church wasn’t doing it for me and I found it pretty easy to leave but there are those who can’t just leave like you suggest.

  25. OzPoof December 31, 2010 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    The testimony thing is a fraud. The sooner people come to realize this the better. Humans should not determine truth by how something makes them feel. There are a lot of nasty things out there that make some people feel good.

    A gay member knows for a fact he/she did not choose to be gay, and can’t change that. That absolute truth must get them to question how the church they have a warm fuzzy about has got something so wrong.

    People need to be educated how to think for themselves rather than how to change the church. If they want to change the church they claim to have a testimony of, isn’t that an indication that they in fact do NOT have a testimony of the church? Their logic, rationality, and reason is telling them the church is NOT true.

    Your mom may have had powerful experiences, but the church she stays in claims Smith was a prophet to the day he died. Therefore, either your mom’s experiences were not indications that the church is true, or if they were, you mother is in apostasy for claiming Smith was a fallen prophet. Nowhere does your mother need to try and change the church. It is what it is. Believe it or not.

  26. OzPoof December 31, 2010 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Campeche, being a Mormon and acting how Mormonism requires means that whatever dogma comes out of Salt Lake, she should obey it completely. That’s what the church requires. Pay your tithing, fulfill your callings, do not question, marry early, have as many kids as possible, spread the gospel, prepare for calamity.

    It absolutely does not include questioning why the GAs want all of our Heavenly Mothers ignored, or questioning why women can’t hold the p/hood, or any attributes of Mormon dogma. What Tresa is doing is apostasy. She is teaching alternative messages to those taught by the church.

    That’s my point. How can someone claim they are a believing Mormon when they clearly are not?

  27. Rhonda January 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    OzPoof, you are saying that to believe in something is to believe in it AS IS only?

    Are you suggesting that questioning and delving deeper to become more effective in one’s calling and responsibility, such as Tresa has done, is labelled apostasy? If being a believing mormon means to believe in everything as is then why don’t we call the prophet an apostate when he proposes an evolution of change involving allowing blacks the priesthood? According to your logic it would seem that President Kimball didn’t accept church doctrine AS IT WAS back then! President Kimball himself questioned the lord and the other general authorities regarding blacks and the priesthood and was reported to have been relieved and grateful for a resolution to the racism issue that heavily weighed upon him in the years prior to the revelation. Might he have asked a question or two during those years? Does that make him an apostate? From any literature I’ve read it seems that revelation is given as a result of one person’s request and/or questionings. You have to ASK, according to Joseph Smith’s experiences, as well as the experiences of Moses, President Kimball, etc.

    When a person, like Tresa, is set apart in his or her calling s/he is then admonished to ask the lord and make themselves open to receive revelation for those things pertaining to their realm of responsbility. Since revelation is one of the points of doctrine that separates the LDS from other churches it would seem that questioning and performing your calling in a way that you feel called to do with everyone’s best interest at heart is highly acceptable.

    Rationale in your arguments seem lacking, which is disappointing for me as a reader. I was trying to understand you until you called what Tresa is doing an apostasy. Asking questions and speaking in terms that her audience would understand is intended to provide effective communication and a deeper understanding of what the gospel actually means in the context of worldly experiences. There is nothing in there that looks like an apostasy.

    My testimony involves using the tools of this church to believe in a world of possibilities and change as I might have seen when the church was first introduced and built by Joseph Smith et al. As an adult investigator of this church I liked the idea of revelation because it evoked a sense of movement, which I admired. As a member now for almost 20 years I am less impressed with how stagnant we seem and, in fact, how we’ve regressed with regards to the RS losing its’ autonomy in the 70’s, but I believe in the possibility of change that is inspired by positively effective and productive questioning. That is my view of a true disciple, in fact, those kinds of disciples (ones who asked questions) were the ones that are recorded to have followed Jesus throughout the new testament and those questions illicited the most beautiful responses by Jesus over his 3 year ministry. I sustain anyone who asks relevant questions and inspires meaningful dialogue and that includes Tresa.

    Thank you Tresa and John!

  28. OzPoof January 1, 2011 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    Everything I believe I believe in entirety because I believe in facts, logic and science. If scientific discoveries prove that something I currently believe is not true, I will change my belief then.

    I do not try to change science because aspects of scientific facts are uncomfortable to me.

    What I don’t know to be true, I can’t believe in. I can have an opinion, or an idea, but I can’t believe in something I think should be a different way than it is.

    Mormonism does not offer that type of freedom. It calls itself truth, and does not accept deviation from this truth. Therefore, if you don’t believe in Mormonism as it stands now, you are not Mormon as defined my Mormon leaders TODAY.

    We are not living in the times of common consent where a sustaining vote actually meant something. I don’t consider Tresa an apostate, the Mormon church does according to its own rules. Contemporary Mormonism frowns on personal revelation that does not confirm Mormon dogma or support leaders. In fact, I would go so far as to say that many in the church see personal revelation that counters current dogma to be Satanic in origin.

    The revelations given to Smith, Kimball, and other prophets who claim to have had revelations were given to the person who has the authority to alter Mormon doctrine. There is a different rule for those people. Mormons may say they believe in personal revelation, but this is a lie. Only if personal revelation agrees with current church doctrine is it given any credence at all. Personal revelation that opposes Mormon doctrine is not accepted or seen as legitimate. It is seen as coming from the individual, or worse, from evil forces. If only personal revelation that agrees with church doctrine is accepted, personal revelation becomes redundant and superfluous to membership in the church.

    Correlation has eliminated any requirement for personal revelation in teachers. You teach what is in the manual and nothing else. Even dated Ensigns are not to be quoted.

    Joseph Smith (aka “The Church”) received many revelations, many were personal such as the dimensions of the home his followers were to build him. Others were adding doctrine to the Book of Mormon, which although touted as the fullness of the gospel, was lacking even the most basic Mormon doctrine and ritual. In some cases the BoM actually countered later revelations such as plural marriage.

    The revelation to end plural marriage, and to give blacks equal membership in the church came under pressure from the US federal government, not because anyone asked God, who I very much doubt had anything to do with polygamy and racism in the first place.

    My point again is, if you don’t believe in Mormonsim as it stands, you are not sustaining your leaders. Personal revelation from the rank and file member should be limited to such questions as what school to send their kids to. Personal revelation that counters those who speak for Christ is by definition anti-Christ.

    You can’t believe your church leaders speak to and relay messages from Christ and at the same time seek to change the church they have set up if you are a true believing Mormon. I don’t say this, Mormonism does. If you believe that Mormonism does not have the entire truth, you aren’t a true Mormon. You should not be attending the temple if you believe it is acceptable to challenge your leadership.

    • Acmefemina January 20, 2011 at 12:51 am - Reply

      I agree with you. Your take on the operation of the church coincides exactly with mine. This is after a history of several stake callings and multiple years in CES.

      My children, however, see things differently. Is this new attitude that it is okay to “steady the ark” perhaps a generational phenomenon?

  29. Rhonda January 2, 2011 at 1:12 am - Reply


    I appreciate how you clarified your argument. It’s sad that it seems, according to the church, to be a full and true believing mormon means that while one attends the temple s/he is not expected to be an individual, ask questions, and inspire change. Why do we have to believe in EVERYTHING to believe in something? It’s tiring. I would prefer to believe in the metaphorical perspective and/or the bulk of theology that fits with my values and take the other things that don’t fit so well and use my voice to help them fit better.

    I suggest that while the church may see temple attendance as the ultimate form of sustaining the leadership and church, and therfore abandoning questions and desire for change on the part of regular members, many individual members do not sustain to that degree. This is evidenced by the wonderful mormon stories and similar sites as well as my experience of past temple attendance where I tried my best to be faithful but could not, in good conscience, buy into the whole story. (The temple was a huge disappointment. I expected to be alone with God and meditate like on a mountain top as opposed to being kept very busy. I opt for the mountain!).

    I agree with you that the church as a whole does not want to hear anything contrary to its theology (and even cultural positions/beliefs). One day in RS I voiced concern in response to a woman’s comment that included lumping lesbians in the same category as “feminist aggressors”. The RS president promptly reduced my point (because I also stated that “it would be helpful for us to be mindful of our languaging”) to the issue of profanity stating that I am right about language, “We need to be good examples and not use profanity.” ???? I sat there, angry as ever, and gave up. Sometimes it feels like a losing battle to try to stand for something in this church.

    By your definition of mormonism I would be classified as a non-true believing mormon. You’ve made me consider where I stand and to, once again, be ok with that. Thanks for your input!

  30. Katrina January 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    I’m loving this podcast. I’m about half way through and just skimmed the comments.

    @Chelsea… I remember that lesson on writing letters to missionaries from when I was in YW (10 years ago). I remember having it at least twice in my years as a YW and thinking how ridiculous it was then too. I’m sad that it’s still part of the manuals. Have they not been updated in the past 10 years?

  31. Brian Johnston January 6, 2011 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Tresa, you rock! Keep being you and making a difference. You are a hero. I loved when you got into some theological points later in the podcast, ones from your perspective. I would *LOVE* to hear women in the Church seize that podium on a regular basis.

  32. Joe January 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm - Reply


    I have noticed several podcasts dance around a story without actually sharing the story itself. It is as though we are hearing the commentary for a film without seeing the film first.

    For example, in episode 217 and 218, you and Tresa refer to her past… her story. You discuss how she has been pretty forthcoming with it in her other blogs and postings about how traumatic it was. But Teresa never really tells her story. Instead, your discussion is a peripheral retrospective on these events. I WANT THE STORY, ITSELF. Please?

    Dan (I think it was Dan) did the same with the Mark Hoffman interview. He and his guests provide a peripheral commentary for the Mark Hoffman story without ever telling the MH story (first).

    As a result, episode 217 and 218 were challenging.

    Episodes 219 through 221 were excellent, however.

    Thank you John and Teresa!

  33. MBAchick January 14, 2011 at 3:17 am - Reply

    I’d like to share a few thoughts about women & the priesthood & Heavenly Mother. First, a woman petitioning to hold the priesthood is akin to a man petitioning to bear children. It is not in God’s design and it is not going to change no matter how much lobbying you do. It is not the “church” who does not give women the priesthood, it is God. He has designed it that way for a reason. The ability to create and grow a human being is one of the most powerful gifts that could be given, it is a power as ever real and strong as the priesthood and in fact is a facet of it. Both man and women are required for exaltation. One cannot be exalted without the other. God designed man and woman with different gifts, powers and abilities, not inferior or superior, just different. Together they create a complete unit exercising all powers and authorities. Two keys are required to unlock the door. If one gender had a monopoly on the gifts and powers it they would not work together as a unit, but the powers He has given allow men and women to fit together perfectly complementing, supporting and exalting one another. A correct understanding of the priesthood power shows that it requires a woman for full exercise of it.

    Heavenly Mother. Do you think that God wants the name of His beloved wife and mother of his children drug through the mud, spoken vilely on the lips of every man, degraded and desecrated? No. I believe the reason we don’t know much about her is because He protects her, she is most precious to Him and He does not want her name treated as His is in this world.

    It is good and right to ask questions and to seek personal answers through prayer. It becomes apostasy, however, when you directly ignore and go against and actively try to turn others hearts against the principles of the gospel and the leaders of God’s church. The Fourteen Fundamental’s in Following the Prophet make it very clear as to what power the prophets have and what apostasy is. I caution you that sympathizing with affiliating with and leading such apostate groups and discussions is grounds for temple recommend removal and excommunication. “…if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matt. 24:24.) Please don’t be blinded by the world’s view of women. The prophets and apostles clearly state in every meeting their love, respect and admiration of women. They follow God, however, and cannot cater to every worldly whim or view, God’s house is a house of order and was established from the foundation of the world.

    I admire your desire to change the world and protect women’s rights. God loves women and wants all women to be safe and free from abuse and denigration. We are his greatest creation. He does not, however, want you to base your self worth on what you haven’t been given, but instead be grateful for the marvelous gifts you have. And possibly you are looking for the priesthood because of your struggle with infertility, perhaps feeling deprived of that gift you desire another, but God is the only one who can give His power, it can’t be taken by a vote or by force. I hope you will learn to feel His love for women even though they weren’t designed the same as man, different does not mean inferior.

  34. Joe January 14, 2011 at 11:08 am - Reply


    Let’s start with your handle. That is pretty funny… in an oxymoron type way (especially when taken in context with your post).

    Back to your post itself. Would you please re-write your post with scriptural references for each thought. For example:

    • “First, a woman petitioning to hold the priesthood is akin to a man petitioning to bear children.” Please provide some scriptural source that supports this.

    • “It is not the “church” who does not give women the priesthood, it is God.” Again, please provide a canonized source.

    • “He has designed it that way for a reason. The ability to create and grow a human being is one of the most powerful gifts that could be given, it is a power as ever real and strong as the priesthood and in fact is a facet of it.” Really? I can’t remember seeing this in the standard works? Maybe I am ignorant? Please source this too.

    We could play this game all day long. Your challenging Tresa using a wide variety of LDS mythology. But your commentary appears to be full of just that… urban legend, myth, and tradition (not scripture).

    Maybe I am ignorant. I am happy to concede this fact. But before I do, I simple ask for you to source out your commentary.

    Finally, if you are going to quote Benson’s “Fourteen Principles”, then I want you to provide an additional source, from Benson, stating that he has spoken with Jesus “The Christ”… and that he (Benson) received his inspiration from Christ directly.

    Heck, short of Joseph Smith, Jr., I challenge you to find any “modern day prophet” who makes this claim. A claim that they have literally seen Jesus Christ, touched his flesh, and been in his council.

  35. cwc January 15, 2011 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    ” And possibly you are looking for the priesthood because of your struggle with infertility, perhaps feeling deprived of that gift you desire another, but God is the only one who can give His power, it can’t be taken by a vote or by force. I hope you will learn to feel His love for women even though they weren’t designed the same as man, different does not mean inferior.”

    What a horrid thing to say. It confounds the imagination to ascribe your thoughts to someone representing themselves as a believer in Christ. I’ve heard more charitable words from drunken goats on two week benders. I am an atheist but I am going to make an exception and pray for you, MBAChick- because you are sick and need saving from your deep unkindness.

  36. Marshall Bond January 25, 2011 at 2:43 am - Reply


    At Sunstone SLC last August you gave a great presentation along with Laura Compton about the YM/YW programs and suggestions for improvement. During the question period, a Church employee stood up and said that some of your ideas were already being considered by the curriculum department and they were waiting to present them to the First Presidency. That seemed like a very significant occurrence to me — a Church employee commenting publicly at Sunstone, confirming grass roots observations and suggestions. I ordered the audio version of that session to document it but was disappointed to find that the end of your session was truncated, including the question period and the Church employee’s comment. I know there are others who attended who could corroborate this, but could you do that here, so Mormon Stories folks will be aware of it? Thanks.

  37. Writing August 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    […] also talk into a microphone: My history and religious life at Mormon Stories Young Adults leaving the church at Mormon Matters Interview on teenagers leaving the church with […]

  38. Michelle R. August 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Tresa, have you considered that your parents may have suffered from borderline personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder? I had a family member who was borderline and she sounds very much like your mother. I too had the problems with people not believing me when I spoke of these things. There is a book called “Stop Walking on Eggshells” that really made things click for me.

  39. Sue August 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    I am saddened. Those of us who were of the older generation of Mormon feminists wanted all these same things. Next to nothing has changed in decades.

  40. Jodie August 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    Thank you both so much for these podcasts. I recently spoke with my stake president about the effect a situation of date rape had had among the single women in our ward. The woman who was raped was called before a church court and put on probation. When I complained to my stake president about this situation, his response was that he wished people would not discuss these things!?!

    I realized he was just clueless. Women in my ward have told me that they are refusing to confess their sins to the bishop, even though we no longer have the same bishop.

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