Join us today as we bring back the wonderful, groundbreaking historian Shannon Caldwell Montez.

Previously on Mormon Stories, Shannon shared with us:

  1. Her research regarding how LDS Church general authority, historian, and chief apologist B.H. Roberts lost his testimony in Book of Mormon historicity (Part 1, Part 2), and
  2. Her own heartbreaking and inspiring story as a Mormon woman, wife, and mother.

Today Shannon returns to share with us her research regarding “The Secret Mormon Meetings of 1922” – which were organized by LDS Church General Authority B.H. Roberts after he failed to obtain any meaningful or useful answers from the LDS Church First Presidency, Quorum of the 12, or other General Authorities regarding the deep and significant scientific problems that completely undermine the credibility of the Book of Mormon as ancient history.

Shannon’s thesis is outstanding, and it can be found here.

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  1. J September 23, 2020 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    1. Shannon and John and this series is amazing
    2. Shannon, NEVER interrupt John (watch this interview back and count how many times you killed his thunder)
    3. ALWAYS let John interrupt you
    4. Follow this advice no matter what John says about it
    5. You’re both awesome

    • Jack Torrance September 28, 2020 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      Because John is the priesthood holder. Oh wait, I guess not:)

  2. Faith September 24, 2020 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    History continues to repeat its self. One of many stories. My parents’ Stake President was not cared for by the members of his stake, in SLC. He had only served 6 years and then was prematurely released to be a mission President in 2003. Every one in the SLC stake was relieved to get rid of him. They felt bad for the missionaries and the members who would have to deal with him.

  3. Paul Douglas September 27, 2020 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    John, I just need to thank you for the brilliant interviews with Shannon Caldwell Montez. She is an amazing women. These are among my favourite Mormon Stories podcasts.

    But I also wanted to comment on your vent relating to the fact that the leaders of the Mormon church have known all along, not what is true, but what is not true and have nevertheless worked to hide the real story to the peril of many.. The only word, that fits their actions is evil.

    John,. you have done so much to shine a light into the darkness. I hope that you will take some comfort in knowing that your courageous example has inspired many of us to speak out in our own small way. I am not overstating it to say that your work has saved lives.

    Best wishes for continued success in fighting the good fight.

    • J Paul September 30, 2020 at 8:46 pm - Reply

      Paul Douglas, I want to second your comments about John Delin. I am also very very appreciative that he has been, as you say, shining a light into this darkness.

      We, Mormon people, have been kept in the dark for far too long! Thanks very much John, and Shannon, and all your other excellent guests for your courage.

      Now that we know that we were lied to so very much, it’s time to stand firm with these hooligans. If we all do this in a calm direct and firm way I feel that we can prevail!

      I have a question, because I simply do not know the answer to this, is there not a public forum, during this next conference time, that the 15 (the 12 and the three others) participate in? In a democratic society there should be a way to voice our concerns and let them know that we do not appreciate the lies that constantly are fed to us.

      I hope that we can have enough courage to confront the errors that Church leaders have used to control us. (We have been gullible sheep).

      I pray that we will find courage. We are going to need it during the next few weeks, months and years.

      The mind controlling nonsense that is forced onto us by the 15 is not Christianity. What we have here is very clearly a cult. We need to find the best way possible to remove ourselves from this mess.

      During the last few months it keeps coming to my mind that the church needs to be held responsible for the fraud that they have perpertuated.

      One of the guests commented that because it is a church they can say anything you want. (I am paraphrasing of course.) A question to the followers who are attorneys, is fraud not a good reason to shut this thing down? Is it possible to bring a case against the church for this fraud?

      Thank you very much in advance.

  4. jp September 28, 2020 at 10:34 am - Reply

    President Nelson has at least one son in law that’s a general authority (Elder Ringwood)

  5. Frank September 28, 2020 at 11:30 am - Reply

    I really enjoy this podcast. I believe the interaction between Shannon and John was what it should have been. It was two people with expertise in history and doctrine having an intellectual and honest discussion about the LDS church — unfiltered. And, to my benefit, they allowed me to listen in.

    This is what makes Mormon Stories so valuable.

  6. Doug September 28, 2020 at 11:56 am - Reply

    What if the real reason GA’s don’t leave is because the Church has “collateral” against them? I have been watching the HBO documentary series “The Vow,” about the NXIVM group (, and it has started me thinking about the LDS GA’s and this group’s concept of “collateral.”

    In the NXIVM organization, a number of women were lured into a secret group within it that ultimately involved having sex with the group’s leader. When initially recruited, they were told there was this super-empowering secret group for women. To join, they had to first give “collateral,” which was supposed to be something that would keep them loyal and from divulging anything about the group once admitted. This typically involved nude pictures of themselves, or information about themselves that could be ruinous. It feels similar to me to the situation Scientology sets up, where in the “auditing” sessions its members go through, lots of personal information is divulged, which creates a hammer that can be used to keep you in (and is what has led lots of observers to speculate is the reason high-profile Scientologists like John Travolta, Tom Cruise, etc don’t leave, because the Church has dirt on them).

    In the ExMormon community we always ask whether the Brethren know the truth about the Church and if one of them would ever break ranks. We have the reports about the Twelve being given $1 million and think they are handcuffed by money. We have heard about them signing NDA’s, and wonder if these and the threat of a lawsuit from the Church keep them loyal.

    But listening to this interview, when we got to John’s comments about how the leaders that move up the ladder are those that have done shady stuff (and thereby proven their loyalty), and that lots of GA’s these days are attorneys (brought in to do the dirty work for the Church and cover up scandals), is leading me to believe that the real reason GA’s never leave and go public is because the Church has “collateral” against them for all the shady stuff they’ve done proving their loyalty.

    If a GA has “proven” himself by doing unethical things, or possibly illegal, that individual cannot leave as it would drag him down with the Church. At that point, he has to keep going, or the consequences are far greater than having to pay back $1 million or defend yourself against a lawsuit from the Church related to an NDA. The dirty stuff you did for the Church could result in lawsuits, jail time, etc that far outweigh those other things.

    • Paul Douglas September 28, 2020 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      Interesting proposition but I think it is more about the ‘fortune and men’s eyes.’ Mormont GAs constantly get their tires pumped up by all the bowing and scraping of the TBMs on the Wasatch front.

  7. CELESTE KENNARD September 28, 2020 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    One of my favorite parts of this parper, seeing as I studied Biology at BYU and spent way too many hours wasting brain power on trying to square reilgion with evolution.
    page 107 of the paper.

    “Chamberlain was at Cornell with Lyman, and both earned Ph.D.s within a year of each
    other.236 Chamberlain,*** a biology teacher***, had been part of the academic freedom controversy
    at BYU in 1911 and ***ended up losing his job due to his belief in evolution***. Lyman’s father,
    Francis, was on an anti-evolutionist committee that brought charges against the professors. At
    the time, Chamberlain argued that evolution was the part of creative process used by God, a
    belief that was radical at the time, but has been adopted by many church members and is no
    longer considered controversial.237”

    *** added for emphasis by me. Geesh! he got kicked out for teaching EVOLUTION in the college of BIOLOGY at BYU. And what’s worse is his friend’s dad sat on the committee to kick him out. Luckily this college named Harvard picked Chamberlin up as a Professor. Sometimes the scales of justice balance nicely in the end.
    I feel bad for every student at BYU that struggles in the Science Departments, maybe at least they wont be called to be a Sunday School teacher using the manual Joseph Feilding Smith. ARGH!

  8. Frank September 29, 2020 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    I attended BYU from ‘69 to ‘73. To my surprise back then, my Botany and Biology professors had to defend themselves about believing and teaching evolution. To use the vernacular, “It blew my mind!” Orthodox students who disagreed with our professors and the science quoted Joseph Fielding Smith’s opinion about evolution ad nauseam.

    • Celeste Kennard October 1, 2020 at 3:16 am - Reply


  9. Matt Folks October 24, 2020 at 6:26 am - Reply

    Hey John and Shannon! Another great interview. So much great, previously uncovered information. I did have one quick comment regarding the three witnesses. In the podcast, John says the Church teaches the three witnesses handled the plates. The testimony of the three witnesses itself does not make that claim (but the testimony of the eight witnesses does). I was taught growing up that the three witnesses had a “spiritual witness” and the eight witnesses had a more physical experience. Great show guys!

  10. Vinceglo March 16, 2024 at 10:40 am - Reply

    I just listened to this and loved it! Shannon referred to an excellent Sunstone article that outlines the letter writing between Sterling Talmage and Joseph Fielding Smith. I can’t find it. Can anyone identify the article to which she refers?

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