In this edition of Mormon Stories, we continue our conversation with Roger Hendrix – possibly the highest ranking and most well-connected LDS church leader interviewed on Mormon Stories Podcast to date.  In these final 3 episodes,


  • Part 6: Roger describes how the LDS Church’s involvement in Proposition 8 in California, and his daughters’ questions surrounding polygamy, led him to have a more deep and informed conversation internally as he tried to reconcile Mormonism and church history
  • Part 7: Roger describes his evolution on opinions of church history, and how new sources of information including Richard Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling and Mormon Stories Podcast contributed to his faith evolution
  • Part 8: Roger answers questions submitted by our listeners, including questions regarding whether he has received the 2nd Anointing.  Roger also tells us why he decided now to share his Mormon Story on the podcast

The video mentioned in this interview regarding LDS Philanthropies can be found here.


Part 6:

Part 7:

Part 8:

Part 6

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Part 7

Download MP3

Part 8

Download MP3


  1. david starr alleman May 21, 2018 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Thanks for this fine contribution to the dialogue between liberal Mormons. Roger is a liberal in the Church and John is a liberal who has been pushed out of the Church.
    I grew up in SoCal in a liberal Mormon home where Dialogue was read along with the Improvement Era. After my mission, I started a reading program in scripture/church history/American history/world history. After 40 years of study, I come to the same conclusions as Roger.

    • Bob Jones May 26, 2018 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      You can bobb and weave and equivocate all you want, but if the story isn’t true, then it is a lie. As Gordon Hinckley said, if the First Vision did not happen then the Church is a fraud. It didn’t and the Church is. Call a spade a spade.

  2. Aaron Hancock May 21, 2018 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this wonderful interview series. Would love to take you up on your final offer some time – I’ll buy!

    I find it very interesting hearing others’ stories. It helps me understand their reasoning behind staying even though it wouldn’t be what I would choose.

  3. Don Coe May 21, 2018 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    John, Roger Hendrix was a seminary teacher when I was in high school. I am a Cyprus Pirate – 1968 – 1972

  4. John Prince May 21, 2018 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    Wow what a great interview. With one episode to go I definitely am not having anymore “this guy could be a shill” thoughts lol.

    I have been MIA from MS over the past couple of years. It wasn’t striking the right tone for me after I left the church but this was great. Keep these coming!

  5. Garth May 21, 2018 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    John and Roger, a huge thank you!!! Every minute of all eight episodes was so extremely healing and uplifting for me. Although my donations at this time are not a lot, it is a mindful meditation that I look forward to at the beginning of every month. It is a spiritual experience for me to push the send button for my monthly donation. I appreciate so much being part of the Mormon Stories community!

    • Mormon Stories May 23, 2018 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      Garth, we are very honored. Thank you!!

  6. Jo Ann Webb May 22, 2018 at 5:59 am - Reply

    Thank you John for bringing Roger Hendrix’s story to us. Thank you Roger for having the fortitude, courage and honesty to share your story. Roger, I could tell how difficult it was to actually answer John’s questions that are similar to temple recommend questions. I applauded you when you were able to step into your truth and state your views. At first you almost wanted John to answer for you as you said things like “Well John how do you think I’d answer that.” But then you boldly stepped across that invisible boundary and actually gave words to you truth. As a former Mormon, I KNOW how difficult that was for you. Bravo to you Roger Hendrix!!!!!

  7. Catherine May 22, 2018 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Excellent interview- initially I wasn’t sure what Rogers motives was – but these last few showed a genuine individual making a courageous decisions –
    He has faith – a faith were it should be –

    Thank you John and Roger keep up the good work

    • David May 30, 2018 at 10:50 am - Reply

      Faith? – He was clear that when he started on doubts, he thought about his “paycheck” – Honestly, I believe that about 70% of the members depend on the church for their living therefore they will fight for and protect such a source.

  8. jake May 22, 2018 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Good for Roger Hendrix, he seems like a good guy liberal mormon focused on equality, civil rights and fairness. Obviously he’s going to be fine, but I don’t see how the brethren at temple square can ignore this very public interview . If they come after him his family will pay a price………..

  9. Bruce Van Orden May 22, 2018 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I knew Roger Hendrix as a colleague in CES in southern California. I really enjoyed his friendship. It would be terrific to be friends again.

  10. Chowder May 22, 2018 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Great interview, but why does he stay if he doesn’t believe any of it? Does he still attend Mormon church services?

  11. Joy Howe May 22, 2018 at 11:57 am - Reply

    There are probably more people than you can imagine, John, who listened to this wonderful interview from start to finish. Let me know if you do get a group together–I’m in. You are an amazing interviewer. And I found myself agreeing (out loud) to many of Dr. Hendrix’s comments.

  12. GP May 22, 2018 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    I love how balanced and genuine this interview was. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into how Roger thinks through and mentally processes ideas, issues and concepts. I also like how authentic he is in staying aligned with that which he believes is true for him, regardless of possible pressure to please anyone else.

  13. joy May 22, 2018 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Another great interview! I will be honest, at times I was SO impressed with his honesty to tell his truth and stand up for what he believes. He was absolutely correct when he said that some listeners would want him to turn on the church. (It’s hard not to think that way after the church has been the culprit of so much hurt.) I almost applauded when he admitted that he doesn’t believe JS had a true restoration but told a great “story”. To me, this was him basically admitting that the church is a made up “story” (man made) and that it is NOT what it claims to be. It’s very confusing that he is just taking a sabbatical and not leaving the church after admitting this publicly. I’ve seen many MS episodes where excommunications take place for saying far less on Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud his honesty and admire him but I don’t understand why he would want to be a part of a church (not resign) when it stands for social issues that he opposes and that he admits that it’s just a made up story. I hope this doesn’t come off harsh because I truly enjoyed the interview and I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him to say some of the things he did.

  14. Cristina May 22, 2018 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Well I did it! I listened to all 10 + hours and found it interesting. I’m up for ice cream any time! One thing I wonder about. Roger says many times near the end that he is against social issues with the church implying that he is fine with doctrine. But early in the interview he came out and said he did not believe the Book of Mormon to be ‘true’ (historical) and he also said he did not believe the church is God’s one and only true church. That sounds like doctrinal problems to me. I wonder if he sees it that way? I enjoyed his perspective but found it very nuanced. I appreciate that he is up front about where he stands and doesn’t try to hide it. I hope those in authority listen to this and learn from his experience. Thanks to both of you for the interview!

  15. Fernanda May 23, 2018 at 7:23 am - Reply

    This is a great interview. Roger is courageous and genuine. I have also come to the same conclusion that all religions are man-made; Joseph Smith is indeed a religious genius who created a powerful myth. I am still participating primarily because of family reasons. I enjoy my association with many members and I think the Church does produce good people because it teaches good values. However, I know if I have a gay child, I won’t be part of the organization.

  16. Chantelle Bingham May 23, 2018 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    I loved this interview! I listened to every bit of it and I really appreciate both of you for your time. I love Rodgers willingness to be interviewed. I love his story and i am so glad i was reccomended this website. So far it has been really helpful.

  17. Sandy May 23, 2018 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Another fantastic interview! I watched all 10.5 hours – and I want my ice cream, John. :) I am so impressed with Roger ‘s spunky spirit and his attitude! Can’t wait for the next episode.

  18. Lisa Baldwin (formely Bagwell) May 23, 2018 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Thank you Roger for all your honest commentary. I jist finished all 10.5 hours and am ready to get ice cream with John as soon as he visits SoCal 😎. I grew up in Palos Verdes stake (was a teen in the glorious 80’s) and was thrilled to see Roger on mormon stories. Prop 8 was the straw that broke our belief in the LDS church and since leaving we’ve been happier than ever. I love my authentic life and i am so grateful for mormon stories.

  19. HENRY ROLLINS May 23, 2018 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Very nice man, I think this religion unlike most others, the foundation is built on more lies that any of them.
    Thats the problem with staying in and keeping the lies going with our families. I would bet his own kids ( those girls) wont be as forgiving staying in the church as he is.

  20. Elizabeth May 23, 2018 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Several thoughts… I am in the thick of figuring out what participation level I am comfortable with in the Mormon church. Through all episodes of the first part I was thinking, okay if this guy can be this liberal and hang in then maybe there is hope. His perspective really resonated with me….. then the second part dropped 🙈 darn it. I want the church to be a place where the more liberal minded are free to participate as they would like. That being said, the discussion where Roger talks about why it is in the best interest of the church for them to double down and not be very progressive, was super interesting to me. I also loved John’s comment at that point that the progressives will never be satisfied and too much progression will sour TBMs. I have been chewing on that, it makes sense to me.

    Secondly, I felt like Roger answered fairly and quite transparently, in both parts. It was a breath of fresh air and held no “don’t touch the building” skirting around the elephant in the room tone I’ve grown used to from leadership.

    Thank you for giving your time and being willing to go on record Roger. Thank you for your effort to unpack it all John. Bravo.

  21. Dwayne May 24, 2018 at 2:35 am - Reply

    He doesn’t believe in an anthropomorphic God but I’m still curious if he holds out hope for an afterlife. Probably not, as it’s clear he’s not accepting of any other world religion but I’m not totally sure if he’s ruled out a spiritual infinity. The one thing I am sure of is that the church is going to use the lion’s share of all incoming revenue to build up SLC and the surrounding area. And I don’t live in SLC. I can envision a time in the near future when wards (which were intentionally designed to function as office space) are sold off and internet podcasts become the Sunday norm with physical gatherings only happening every few months at a stake center.

    Being inactive for the past 35 years, I’ve had time to reflect on why I still remain on the books. One is that they don’t bother me. I vividly remember a time in the late 70’s when our ward weeded out members who weren’t active. I hear those days are gone but I’ve seen the result. Back then, we used to have about 250 members attend a church service. Now, I hear 60-75 attend on any given Sunday. A generation of young people chose family over church. I often hear the question as to why a member still wishes to have their name remain on the rolls. My biggest reason is my father. He went to the temple and was sealed to his wife. He had all his children sealed to him. It means everything to him. Why would I hurt one of the few people that I truly love? I wouldn’t. No opinion of gold plates, plural wives, or any other issue is that important.

  22. Chichagof May 24, 2018 at 8:59 am - Reply

    I, too, enjoyed all ten plus hours of this podcast. This morning, early, I finally could say that I understood all that Roger was saying. He believes in god as do I. We both believe in the god of Mormonism, the god of Jewry, the god of Christianity, the god of Islam, in Zeuss, and in the Hindu gods. Indeed, man creates gods for his needs. And I also love the Church, mainly because I was so entrenched in it for over 40 years. Every few days, I tune into the LDS membership growth blogspot to find how and where the Church is either growing or declining. I, too, was a Church employee and I remember those enjoyable personnel meetings. I enjoyed being a leader even if only at the Elder’s level and as a ward mission leader, enjoying doing missionary work, and talking of the Church to so many people I met.

    Like Roger, I also don’t believe in a god in a white robe sitting on some throne in a distant planet such as Kolob, who deals with humans through prayers and miracles. There is no evidence for this. And though the Book of Mormon helps many people in their spiritual journeys, there is no evidence for its historicity. But neither is there for much of the Bible and most of its characters. Simple shepherds were described as Kings and leaders of magnificent kingdoms, but little or no evidence exists. Men make gods to suit their purposes, whether it be for control or explanations of physical phenomena.

    Thanks, Roger, for talking about the rise of Salt Lake City as the head of a global religion. And Mormonism is a religion, separate from the beliefs of mainstream Christianity. And I agree that the leaders need to preach to the core of temple attending believers, if they wish the Church to remain stong and vibrant, just like Trump continues to preach his brand of right wing nationalism to his core.

    As a convert, I began as a conservative, with Elder Benson being my hero ever since I heard his speech at the 1970 general conference when he advocated all members to read four books. And I pushed these books to whomever would listen to me, especially, “None Call It Conspiracy”. And I remained a strong conservative until near my faith crisis when I began reading more things, not just spiritual. I now consider myself a liberal and can see the bad traits of capitalism leading to wealth diversity and control.

    Keep up the good work, John. I can surely see how the Church is concerned about you, but you do a great work. Keep it up! And thanks again, Roger, for your story.

  23. Deb May 24, 2018 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    I listened to every second of this fascinating interview, and I value the perspectives Dr. Hendrix presents.
    One question remains for me. Dr. Hendrix applauds Nelson for courageously offering the clarity drawing a hard policy line in the November 5 decision. In lauding the hard line and celebrating Nelson’s courage, does Dr. Hendrix include the affects of the decision–does he acknowledge the human cost of that line? The spike in the suicide rate of young Utahns since that date supports the premise that many of us saw would result because of the pronouncement. How do the consequences and human costs of that drawn line–now that the data are available–factor into his sense of the power of Nelson’s act? (And how do the deaths of young LDS LGBTQ+ people affect his lifelong support of gay folks?)

  24. David A Edwards May 25, 2018 at 5:43 am - Reply

    I have always thought Eric Hoffer’s ‘True Believer’ is the ultimate book on the topic of mass movements. I am glad that you agree with me :)

  25. Roger hendrix May 26, 2018 at 7:15 am - Reply

    I enjoyed the interview.

    I have not lost my testimony. Rather, my testimony, and personal philosophy, has evolved .

    Lost means you are less than when you possessed something you no longer have.

    Evolve suggests what you once had has adjusted and adapted, grown and mature.

    • david starr alleman May 26, 2018 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      That came through clearly to me because of my similar experiences over the last 40+ years of studying and living the gospel principles as they have evolved in the modern church.
      Testimonies from God come to the majority of God’s children. Many miracles have been experienced in every religious tradition. The miracles that I have seen and experienced , are truly “unbelievable”, yet I will never deny them.
      Edward Gibbon said after his life time study of the evolution of the Roman Empire (and Christianity within it) that, “all religions are true to believers, false to philosophers and useful to magistrates”.
      William James, the founder of American Pragmatic philosophy had a footnote in his book The Varieties of Religious Experience referring to President Lorenzo Snow’s vision of the Savior in the Salt Lake Temple. He found out about that from one of his students at Harvard, Levi Edgar Young. The truth of that vision is revealed in the ability of these early believers in Joseph Smith’s visions to evolve theologies of change and transition. The ending of polygamy had a “rough rolling”. Gay life in the modern church is having a similar “rough rolling”. Every religious and non-religious attempt to regulate how people should live together have had these “rough rollings”.

    • Jason S. June 2, 2018 at 5:10 am - Reply

      Roger (and John) – Not only had I lost my testimony of the church, but of Mormon Stories for a while. Ha ha! I just got frustrated with what I perceived as “churchy”-style censorship John would make on any and all comments. Now, I see so much more and the timeless value of these types of contributions (i.e. these full 10 1/2 hours which I just finished. Phew!). Roger, through this 10 1/2 hour journey with you and John, it was a rollercoaster of emotion from being frustrated with you to admiring you as maybe the most erudite guest ever. Your ability to express and navigate these complex issues was quite magical actually. Thank you both for your time (and RE-introducing me to Mormon Stories)!

  26. Phil May 26, 2018 at 10:12 am - Reply

    “The church is really nailed down on its finances”

    Exactly, gullible yet sincere individuals donate 10% to a financial monolith, regardless of their own personal situation.

  27. Bob Jones May 26, 2018 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Roger is concerned about gays and blacks and women ‘s issues. Great. But, what about the outrageous lies that the Church has told to brainwash and deceive and control millions of children and other members. Don’t justify this evil manipulation by some siritual experiences. As Gordon Hinckley kley said, either the First Vision happened or the Church is a massive fraud. It didn’t and the Church is.

    • david starr alleman May 26, 2018 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      The first vision did happen. Every LDS and non-LDS historian knows that. But the 1832 version is the one we should start with according the the best LDS historian that I have know….the late Marvin S. Hill. The evolution of the story of the first vision had not been possible until 1965 when Paul Cheesman wrote his Master Thesis at BYU. Thanks to the Tanners the analysis began and was published in 1966 by James B. Allen in Dialogue and in 1969 by Dean C. Jessee and 1972 by Marvin S. Hill. Dr Hill made the point that the critics of the evolution of the first vision story should be aware that Fawn Brodie was Secular and Sectarian…which is rich with irony. Not believing in God has many psychological ramifications (just as believing in God does). It takes many life times to make moral judgements on moral judgements. The sectarian bias that Fawn Brodie used was not what she believed ( that the efforts of early Mormons were not based on visions and revelations from God). Using her logic would undermine most religious experiences of most religious people. The new Mormon apologetics works in the field of Religious Studies. Experts in that field like Lawrence Foster are more sympathetic to giving all religious experiences a chance to evolve into a useful manifestation of God in human life. As for “brainwashing”, everyone is and always has been according to the last genius of the western philosophical tradition, Ludwig Wittgenstein. It is hard for “flies to escape the bottle”. Talking about God has been very useful to most humans. Talking involves words and words are symbols. Hugh Nibley was once asked the question, “what is a symbol”. His answer was, “Do you have 10 hours…” That is why Roger’s “Last Lecture” is such a treasure…it is something that Wittgenstein and Nibley would appreciate even though most TBM probably won’t have time for.

      • Greg June 8, 2018 at 11:05 am - Reply

        There is an important distinction here: Every LDS and non-LDS historian does not “know” that the First Vision happened. They *know* that Joseph wrote and talked about having a First Vision. Whether it’s a true account of an actual event that happened to Joseph or not is quite another matter. It depends on many things, no the least of which are whether Joseph was a credible person, and whether the things Joseph and his successors say were revealed to them really resemble the actions of an omnipotent, omniscient being, or not. Having strong feelings does not equate to knowledge.

        • david starr alleman June 19, 2018 at 6:48 am - Reply

          correct….we know that Joseph Smith experienced revelations and wrote of those experiences
          the written records of his experiences were expanded and revised
          the revisions show the nature of Joseph’s reveleations
          historical contingencies created the ironic cognitive dissonance that we all deal with
          hopefully we can come to a solidarity that Richard Rorty envisioned for “humanity progressing”
          Nobokov and Orwell documented the problems of sex and violence in Godless post modern communities
          Those genius writers/creators/translators were trying to help us lesser intellects to answer the question “what do we do next?”
          in Mormonism the answers to this question have help millions of us to make progress… but of course Orwell, Nobokov and Rorty didn’t join the Church (but Richard’s wife was a life long member)
          as the Canadian comedian Red Green used to remind us “we are all in this together” so “keep your stick on the ice”

  28. John Franko May 26, 2018 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Yep, its a fraud and I think Roger would do better to invest in Mormon stories and build it within the church and say NO to excommunication. This would be the authentic route and the only one that makes it so its honest and not a BIG FAT LIE, I served a mission when pres hinckley was in and it makes me sick how much time I invested in people and taught lies, he did say its either a fraud or ALL TRUE… Its lies man, lies. My family still goes once every few months because its in everyone’s DNA in Utah, what else can you do if you love Utah and dont want to move. I really like Roger but hes a business guy and doesn’t see how this church has hurt every member by doing little things every week that teach the adults and kids they are better than everyone around them, just go less active and see what happens! They tell the girls they are to blame for the young men sins if they dont dress modest, come on really,, women are beautiful and should show what they’ve got. Anyway the shame the young women feel is a disgrace to them. Its the biggest manipulation in the world. I drink beer just like before my mission and live a very happy life without all the guilt. For 25 yrs listened to talks and lessons all built on the less effective way to teach, manipulate everyone.

  29. John Crane May 27, 2018 at 8:03 am - Reply

    In Part 6, Roger shows his insight in his early support of Gay rights, back before Magic Johnson raised consciousness by announcing that he had HIV, and by his (Roger’s) correct description of the Proclamation on the Family as an anti-Gay document. The Church had to manufacture anti-Gay “doctrine” — an expedient and suspiciously convenient answer to the fact that there are no prior scriptures or revelations which condemn legal, faithful, monogamous same-sex marriages.

    In Part 7, Roger mentions “The True Believer” by Eric Hoffer. This is a must-read for anybody. Roger has a great attribute that is sorely lacking today. He is not afraid to confront facts for what they are. And, he is not afraid to change his opinion when new facts come to light.

    • John Crane May 28, 2018 at 7:22 am - Reply

      Listening to Part 8. Re: “caretakers of the culture/values of the past”. There is a difference between culture and values. I would say that we need Gays because they are the caretakers of the culture of the past. With regard to culture and values, we need to understand the difference between the baby and the bathwater.

  30. Mark LeBaron May 27, 2018 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Made it through all ten hours! This was very interesting. Thanks for being willing to share, Mr. Hendrix! I find you to be extremely likeable, and a credit to Mormonism; regardless of where you end up.

    I found myself frustrated, at times, with Mr. Hendrix’s non-answers. However, I can understand that he may still be working through being torn by his love for the good things and feelings his membership has brought into his life and his evolving understanding of how the church became what it is; and the fact that not all the church does is good. Additionally, there’s all the peer and family pressure; and one doesn’t want to say too much to offend people one still cares about. Without going into detail, let me say that I can relate!

    My one criticism is that it is maddening to hear yet another CES or church history insider acting as if the rest of us rank and file members must not have been listening if we didn’t previously know about the troublesome issues enumerated in the CES Letter or on Mormonthink. Please allow me to state, for the record, that I attended my meetings regularly, served a mission, I read the scriptures, I listened to conference, I graduated from seminary, I took institute classes, I read the Friend, I read the New Era, I read the Ensign, I read the canon allowed missionaries in the 80’s (eg, Truth Restored). I read the Sunday School, Priesthood, and Primary manuals. I believe I speak for many, many “Born in the Covenants” of my generation when I tell you that I had either never heard of the issues; or I had heard of the issue only at a 30,000 foot level and had been given the canned, whitewashed answer (eg, “Oh, polygamy was just practiced by the pioneers because all the men had been killed by the mobs; and people who didn’t give it up were excommunicated.”).

    I need all the insiders (Givens, Prince, Bushman, and the like) to please stop blaming me, the victim (an apology might help, too). I was busy working hard at my job, paying my tithing, getting my lessons ready, attending meetings, doing home teaching, doing other various callings, etc. oh, yeah, and there’s that little fact that we had been told all our lives that reading about such things was evil and would get us excommunicated.

    That said, I wish Mr. Hendrix the best. He really seems like a great guy. I appreciate both his giving the best, most open, and most honest answers he can give at this point in his journey.

    OK, now I’m going to go watch that video from LDS Philanthropies…..

  31. Robert M Hodge May 28, 2018 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    “Why would they come after me for just being honest? You said it. Honesty in public creates “friction”. The Church does not like “friction” as I suspect you will soon learn.

  32. Amy Rich May 28, 2018 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    I loved everything about these interviews with Roger Hendrix. His comments were both respectful and refreshingly honest. The only thing that I might change would be the title of these episodes. Rarely did Roger speak about his time as a mission president (compared to all the other topics), andI am not so sure he “lost” his testimony as it may never have been there in the traditional sense of the word? I got the sense that Richard has a testimony. It just looks different than what we were told a testimony had to be, and it rings true to me. His is one of science and spirituality, wisdom and wonder, service and self-improvement, humanity and empathy. Thank you, Richard. You have a new fan.

  33. Jean Bodie May 29, 2018 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    I appreciated much of what Roger spoke about, having come to many of those conclusions on my own about how we create the stories we need. Today, people seem to feel more of a need to feel and give love and acceptance as the march for human rights continues.
    Why is it that when US Mormons of all stripes discuss the issue of people of color being barred from holding the priesthood for a long time, they refer to them as African Americans? It is NOT an American issue.
    For crying out loud! There are people with ‘negroid’ blood IN Africa – in much greater numbers who were under the same ban. People in Brazil, UK, the Caribbean and so many other countries in the world.
    The church categorized people of color.
    They told native North and South Americans that they were Lamanites. They extended that to peoples in the ‘isles of the seas’ – Tonga, Samoa, Hawaii, New Zealand etc.
    US Mormons are US centric and are unable to see past their own American history.
    Let’s face it; it’s an American church and not the world wide church that they claim to be.

  34. Roger hendrix May 29, 2018 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Yes. Worldwide religions need to see people from a global lense

  35. Ray May 29, 2018 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    Great interview, thanks to both Roger and John. Loved it.

    My question is the same as Mark Lebaron’s above. Why does Roger wave off the CES letter as easily as he does? And why/how does he believe the recent essays are the church being transparent?

    Roger repeatedly makes statements that indicates he is a data driven decision maker, which is awesome. “Wha does the data say?” It would seem that if Roger listened to some of the MS podcasts about people’s faith transitions, or if Roger could spend a while on some of the online forums, the impact of truth (CES Letter) is supported by the data, i.e. the number of people impacted.

  36. David May 31, 2018 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Almost finished. One more part to go.

    • David June 1, 2018 at 7:55 am - Reply

      Finished. Well John you do owe me know two dinners because it’s the second time you’ve mentioned that if you make through X number of interviews that you would take me out to some place. Too bad I live in Toronto. You were once in town at a Community of Christ Seminar, but I think I had to pay like $50 to attend, and it would have been hard for me to justify that expense with the family.

      Roger was notably (and rightfully tired) with the interview.
      I’m a bit disappointed that Roger doesn’t believe in Christ’s resurrection, hopefully he is ambivalent about it. I know I am, but when I believe it stirs my soul and hope swells within, but I understand and love Roger, as well as you John. Thank you both for putting yourselves out there, makes me want to do the same.

  37. Ron June 1, 2018 at 10:03 am - Reply

    I just finished all 10.5 hours and loved it!!! I was, like others, not ready for the amazing last 3 episodes, but thrilled with Rogers humble and yet articulate explanations of his “beliefs” now. I especially loved how he talks of the great “story” of JS and JC, and how powerful these stories are, whether you believe they are fiction or true!!
    Great job John!!! Thanks for all you do!!

  38. Old Dog June 1, 2018 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Regarding the Nov 2015 policy on homosexuals:
    Praising the coming forth of a clear statement to straighten out any confusion is really stretching it to find something positive to say. Yes, the church has made the message to LGBTQ members perfectly clear, “F U, and F your children, too.” Great clarity.

    Regarding a vision of SLC becoming a Mormon Vatican, and pride and excitement over the church’s status as a global organization:
    Beware of a house built on sand. The rank and file membership, who are the flesh and blood base of the church, who trust and believe in the religion and make sacrifices for it . . . will they care about its impressive buildings and worldly global status once they come to realize that it was built on a fraud?

    Regarding the crucial importance of the membership’s trust in their leaders:
    You nailed it. Everything depends on that, which is why the church will stop at nothing to protect their image and to hide any harm done by their policies or pronouncements. There are no rationalizations too outrageous, no apologetics too disingenuous, no half truths that are too misleading, no Public Relations statements too exaggerated, no photo ops and events too self serving, and no member with hurts, questions, or challenges who will not be thrown under the bus in sacrifice to the cause of maintaining unquestioning faith, trust in the leadership, and undying obedience.

  39. Old Dog June 2, 2018 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Old Dog’s Clarification of the Clarification of the Policy/Revelation on Homosexuality of Nov 2015:
    My dear, beloved homosexual LDS brothers and sisters, I know that you will not want to come and bring your children to church with you, because as children of homosexuals, they will feel marked as lesser and different when they are not allowed to be baptized along with their friends at the age of eight. God is OK with that, because He doesn’t want you here anyway. He is afraid that the straight members may get to know, love, and accept you, your same sex spouse, and your children. Then those stalwart true believers may jump ship, because they may decide that the sexual behavior of any married, consenting adults in the privacy of their own bedroom should not be dictated by the church. I know that requiring your children to choose between you and the church at the age of eighteen will either drive a wedge between you and your children, or will drive them away from the church in defense of, and out of loyalty to, you, their parents. The Holy Ghost has whispered that He is OK with either outcome. I know that requiring you to remain celibate, unmarried, and alone for life is asking too much, especially since the LDS church is all about marriage and family, but that’s also Okey Dokey. Jesus said so, honest, he really did. PS, He denies he was married to Mary Magdalene.”

  40. Stella June 8, 2018 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Roger’s comments about what he would say to his grandchildren or great-grandchildren brought tears to my eyes. What a good man. Thank you, Roger, from this mom of a gay child.

  41. Christy November 13, 2018 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    I loved this! So much good info and views. I listened to all 10.5 hours! Keep doing this. Thank you Roger for speaking your truth. Thank you John for opening my eyes.

  42. Christy November 13, 2018 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    I did try to watch the LDS philanthropies video and I couldn’t even make it to the end. It was so hard to watch that manipulation tactic. I can’t imagine ever doing that to my kids. By the way the boys in the video did not look like they agreed with what their parents were saying. I’m glad you posted the video.

  43. Martie Jarvis January 18, 2019 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    This is the most frustrated I have ever been with a “Mormon Stories ” Podcast. I love to hear different opinions and points of view. What I don’t love, or even like is the double speak and dishonesty.

    He claims to support the ERA, yet oh ya, they did the right thing by excommunicating Kate Kelly.

    He claims to support the end of racism in the church. But, the church has admitted it was all Brigham Young’s preference, not doctrine. Ugh…were it not doctrine, Kimball would have never had to pray ever so diligently in the top room of the temple to end the practice….. He wouldn’t have had to pray and receive Heavenly input on anything not “Doctrine”.

    The Church wouldn’t do anything dishonest with money?…too many instances to recount here. The Prophets don’t have many 2nd and 3rd houses….again its just information that has already been public information for a while now.

    I think Roger said it best. The more someone tries to “explain” a question, rather than just honestly answering it, the more likely it is not the truth. So sad he can’t hear this in his own interview.

    I think Roger is probably a super decent guy, who loves his family and who wants to do good. Probably a lovely father, husband, Grandfather. Just like the church, he has a problem with truth. I do not expect him to want to bring down the Church. I do not expect him to want to burn the church down. I do not expect him to try to bring any negativity to his church, friends, peers, fellow members. Truth, that is what I expect to hear.

    I have to admit, i’m a little heart broken. Semantics, double speak, outright dishonesty…..

  44. Vickie Duncan February 7, 2019 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed all of this..but still somewhat frustrated. My only issue ..(though appreciate is total honesty), is that I was one of those seminary students who 40 years later realized that Joseph Smith’s “stories”…were lies and affected my life so deeply. That so many members of my generation and family were penalized or filled with guilt and remorse for things that are not true!! If it was all just Gold and Green Balls and Road Shows…yes, it was a great church. But when it comes to tithing…and abuse….there is no wonderful prophet. The church has been good for Roger…because he was making money…I so regret that his integrity was not worth more and that he didn’t start telling the truth in CES for many years. I will respect his opinions…but fail to find admiration. This is just kissing asses to the heirarchy of a church based on lies.

    • Taylor Morgan December 30, 2019 at 3:32 pm - Reply

      I find it frustrating too, Vickie. If Hendrix knew while teaching CES that the Joseph Smith story was not real, truth, fact based or whatever one chooses to call it, what was Hendrix teaching his students about what took place in the “Sacred Grove” or what a testimony consisted of. Hendrix admitted not being able to leave CES because he had a family and couldn’t afford to leave CES. Then after he finally figured out how to make another living he accepted a Chilean Mission president calling to teach or support WHAT? A non-factual, myth Joseph Smith story which influenced a whole lot of young missionaries who taught a whole lot of Chileans.

      It is interesting. Grant Underwood who taught institute at Cal State Los Angeles, probably somewhat near the time as Hendrix at USC, also knew the Joseph Smith story was myth. A friend asked what he was teaching his children. Underwood replied that he was teaching the church’s story to his kids and when they were older he planned to tell them the truth. Maybe Underwood had a revelation from god reeducating him about the Joseph Smith story because he has managed to teach for many years at BYU.

      I also find it funny that Hendrix called out Greg Prince for “obfuscating” his, Greg’s, beliefs and Hendrix didn’t sense he was doing the same thing with the Joseph Smith story within the CES teaching and church mission setting. It would have been interesting if Hendrix would have ever been called to the secular financial Deseret Trust position if he had mentioned not believing the Joseph Smith story.

      Plus, the biggest social injustice in the church that Hendrix left out is WOMEN and their place throughout Mormon history. Why would any intelligent person believe in a God who excludes women from authority/priesthood that has given Hendrix such rich experiences that he has luxuriated in.

      If hunting for the truth, I don’t think the church is your best road.

  45. Oliver Parson August 27, 2019 at 8:33 am - Reply

    The Link to the LDS Philanthropies video is not working, Is there any way you could send me the video. I really want to share this with my wife.

  46. Jeffrey Hall December 24, 2020 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    I met Roger for a few days in Chile during the transition from his presidency of the Santiago South Mission to my father’s presidency. I have a great photo of the two standing in the Santiago airport – my father in a suit and tie and Roger in what looks like a 90’s hip-hip outfit.

    My own faith crisis started a few days earlier when Richard Scott, also my fathers mission President, made a comment about the “brethren” having heated debates about church policy. As a young man getting ready to serve a mission, I was under the false assumption that Jesus talked to the prophet and apostles. If he did, there should be no debate! It took me another 20 years to leave the church.

    I remember when I was hanging around the mission office hearing elders talk about the negligent practices of baptizing anyone and everyone. There were at least three missions that shared the office building and I remember the bragging and posturing between missions.

    Glad they stopped that practice.

    Anyway, just wanted to thank you for podcast.

  47. Angie April 14, 2021 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    John….In all fairness to your listeners who had valid observations about perhaps the seeming less than sincere or one dimensional aspect of your guest based on the first 6 interviews…..choosing not to intertwine Roger’s faith crisis throughout his narrative, gave the distinct impression that he was TBM inspite of some red flags…which just wasn’t the whole picture at all. ( not everyone will see this interview thru to the end )

    There are many interesting ways to tell a story and granted, you had a lot of details to cover and so you decided to go that way. But I just ask that you don’t over sanitize or eliminate a critical feedback, when its understandable why so many of your viewers were confused and did not assume that you , of all people would be withholding his faith crisis( for 7 hrs ) for an overlay later…without at least telling us that.

    Im sure you just intended to find the most interesting and efficient way to get thru a lifetime of very unique experiences on the inside of the elite of the church. I don’t think you need to be so protective of the feedback that you allow your guests to see. Hold them as able and even welcoming of a point of view that isn’t all babies and puppies, but that is meant to be constructive. We mormons and post mormons have spent a lifetime having info manipulated to get a certain affect and perhaps for that reason, I am sensitive to what I see as unnecessary censorship, ( not saying that was your aim )

    There was no reason for me to believe , after listening through 7 plus hours that I didnt have a somewhat good picture of his life and feelings about the church. I wrote a response , based on the first 6 episodes that you did not pass through and I wish that I had had a more accurate picture to go from…… even so, I do not know why it was dropped.

    I thought some of your questions were so great….the one that was so awesome to hear was when you asked him to tell you what type of man the church leaders look for in promoting someone up the ranks. I was delighted that he was so frank about what they want. I don’t think many in his position would have answered as he did.

    I think you successfully walked the difficult line between not being too aggressive or offensive , and asking the pertinent questions, without compromising the purpose of the interview. You’ve come a very long way in your interviewing skills and its really upped the quality of Mormon Stories considerably. Bravo, dear man:)…I owe you a lot.

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