For this epic episode of Mormon Stories Podcast, we travel to Davis, California to visit with the Purves family as they share their unique experience with a Mormon Faith Crisis. This interview continues our series exploring how a Mormon bishop, his wife, and their family could end up experiencing a Mormon Faith Crisis.

In this interview we cover:

– The goodness that Mormonism brought Scott Purves and Joanna Rudd Purves as youth, including a nurturing community and a sense of purpose
– Scott and Joanna’s decision to raise their family in orthodox Mormonism, culminating in the calling of Scott as Bishop in Davis, California (his home ward).
– The rewards and challenges of serving as a Bishop, and how the demanding service impacted Joanna and the rest of the family. This included several very challenging interactions with Scott’s then stake president.
– What made a Mormon Bishop (and his wife) question and then lose his/her testimony?
– What happens when a Mormon Bishop’s daughter comes out as lesbian while at BYU, and how does the family handle this?
– How did the Purves family rebuild and regroup to find joy and fulfillment outside of Mormon orthodoxy?

And so much more…

Also, this podcast continues in the Mormon Stories Podcast tradition set by the Paul & Lisa Hacking interview (with son Kyle Hacking) and the Leah Lewis Young and Cody Young interview (with daughter Brinley Young), wherein we include the family children as part of the interview. This interview includes INCREDIBLE insight and wisdom from Maddy PurvesJake Purves, and Sophie Purves (love to Lilly Purves who had to work!).

Join us as this amazing and loving family becomes both strong and vulnerable to share the joys and challenges of their Mormon Faith Crisis!

Part 1 – Scott and Joanna Purves’ Mormon Upbringing:

Part 2 – Following the Orthodox Family Path, Scott Becomes Bishop at Age 29, Conflicts with Stake Leadership:

Part 3 – What Caused the Purves Family to Have a Mormon Faith Crisis, and How did They Cope?:

Part 4 – The Purves Family: Embracing a Gay Child, Healing and Learning to Grow as a Family After a Mormon Faith Crisis:

Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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Part 4

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  1. Freedom West June 6, 2019 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    I’m only about a third of the way through the first part, but the part about how growing up as a youth in the Church being something really special and something that non-LDS family life might not have. I disagree with that somewhat.

    When I was 9 years old, my parents and I moved from Buttonwillow, California to an island in Washington. My mother occasionally attended a Protestant church there. My dad had been a part of a large family who’s parents were fundamentalist Baptists and when each child reached 18, they would rarely return to Church. But I look back at my lengthy family history, that I later wrote, and think I had an interesting life. I raised rabbits which were found wild in our county in the millions. I raised banties. I learned to row a boat and catch ling cod, one weighing 56 pounds. My parents and I would take out rowboat to a bay at low tide and using a pitchfork or two and would scoop up big crabs and take them home to cook. I shot rabbits and my mom and I would clean and I would skin them for dinner. We dug clams on the sandy beaches. We were often given salmon because my dad was a good fish smoker and we would get half and we ate and canned a lot of salmon. My friends and I would pick wild blackberries and salmon berries, and apples and pears from abandoned orchards, and eat them or else take them to my mom for pie. We explored caves and abandoned buildings, and made bowl from clay we found on small island. When I was 12 my much older brother asked me to christen his newly boat before it was launched. And when I became 17, my parents let me go north to Alaska to begin one of seven partial summers having amazing adventures and earning enough money for college. At the age of 12 my dad helped me shoot my first deer. But island life with two older but adventuresome parents was something I am so proud to have had.

    My parents were in their 40’s when they had me, but I knew my family loved me. I was never spanked but I knew the limits. My dad, though an atheist, read the Bible quite a bit and always told me that the Bible was the greatest book of fiction ever written. He would talk about how to stump Bible thumpers and religious folk by asking two questions. After I was married, going to college and at my first jobs, I would ask those questions wherever I went. After an interesting encounter with the missionaries, I asked those questions and the Mormons were the only ones who could answer them. It shocked me an so my wife and I became LDS for the next 40 years.

    • Taylor June 6, 2019 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      Freedom West,

      I am so interested in what those two questions were AND how the missionaries answered them?


      • Freedom West June 7, 2019 at 8:45 am - Reply

        Taylor, the questions:
        A good woman is walking down the street in a big city. She has done good all her life, always helping people, but she doesn’t know whether there is a god or not. A criminal follows her and then attacks her. He rapes and kills her. Awaiting his execution, he says he accepts Jesus as his savior and Lord. Which one goes to heaven and which one goes to hell? I asked this in Christian bookstores, Campus Crusade For Christ meetings, Baptist and Presbyterian churches, Seventh Day Adventist churches. Missionaries said, “She will be judged on her faith and works, and the intent of her heart. Those other church leaders would sort of gulped and said that the man would to Heaven and the woman to hell.

        The other question: What about all the people who have lived in the past and now who lived in places where they have never heard of Jesus, but yet the Bible says that a man must be born of the water and the spirit…? Will they go to heaven or hell? Missionaries talked about temple work for the dead. So we were taught all the lessons, by the missionaries who rode to our home each day on the school bus, and on the trip of 37 miles to the stake center, to be baptized, I was stopped by the state cops because my vehicle matched that of a deer poacher in the area. Took a while to explain even though I was dressed in a suit. But that would be just one of many things that would happen before baptisms.

    • John Dehlin June 6, 2019 at 4:52 pm - Reply

      What an epic story, Freedom West! What career did you end up pursuing professionally?

  2. Freedom West June 7, 2019 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Well, John, I became a teacher, but I thought being a member of the Lord’ true church meant that I never lied so when I signed a contract, that to me was a promise that I would work. My first year as an elementary teacher in a migrant area, there was a 63-teacher strike in my district and I was the only one who refused to strike. I made a promise. What else could I do? “Do what is right, let the consequence follow.” And, boy, did they follow! There were a couple other LDS teachers and they did strike and that bothered me some. I taught three years there as what is called a federal programs teacher. But my parents were in their 80’s and I wanted to be with them in their later years so I resigned and move to that island area and did any work I could find. I finally tried to get back into teaching but quickly found I had been blacklisted by the union where I had taught before. Now, I always thought that I was the best teacher I had ever seen. I had amazing results with Mexican kids who spent part of their days in asparagus fields, but I was no longer able to get a teaching job, anywhere, and my career that I loved was cut short. I called the Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction and he emphasized with me, but that small cloud over my past made possible district jobs a thing of the past. So after my parents both died and I did menial work, we prayed and moved to the state where I had converted, and among other amazing experiences that I would later write in my then 500 pages of personal history, we ended up in an area with a stake president just like Scott’s, who held ward priesthood meetings that I will never forget.

    So thank you, Scott, for writing about your stake president. I was never made a leader of anything in my area after I gave a talk and referenced a book that had been recommended by an apostle in a 1970 general conference, and then got called into the bishop’s office for a reprimand. And I don’t take reprimands well. Never being called to anything but primary teacher and 11-year old scout helper was a bit of a surprise because when I had been called as an elder’s quorum president in a branch, which meant that I presided over, elders, high priests, and seventies, the stake high counselor told me, “Brother, you will be in church leadership for the rest of your life. But, Scott, it definitely sound like you also had a president who fit the scripture: “It is the nature and disposition of almost all men…..”

  3. Freedom West June 7, 2019 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Sorry if I comment too much. I guess you can just delete such rambling. This story and Scott, who’s honesty and integrity seem to mirror mine is kind of hard to ge through. I can remember one year sitting with my wife in a room with a group of sisters when a phone call was taken, telling us that a special meeting in the State of Washington would be held in a town some 60 miles from where we were. And the phone call came from, I guess, at least, an area authority. The issue was regarding the passage of The Equal Rights Amendment. All the sisters there wanted to go and I asked if I could go and I did go, which was very unusual. I remember that of the 4,500 women (All the Christian churches in the area were notified.) who attended all but a couple hundred were LDS. This was apparently women at the state level wanting a quick meeting to get this ratified in the state. But the church was so powerful and with such a mass communication network, that its passage was easily defeated in the state. So I can see what Scott is talking about. But at this time in my life, I was a great admirer of Ezra Taft Benson and therefore a very active member of the John Birch Society and pro-Church as well as anti-equal rights for women. What an idiot I was! But I lived in a very active and patriotic area and our stake president even had me show an ETB film in a big ward priesthood meeting with the stake president there. Thanks, Scott, for reminding me of being a small part in a church-sponsored national movement. I only wish I would have “seen the light” at an early age like you did and were able through it all to keep your family.

  4. Jen Nielsen June 7, 2019 at 10:21 am - Reply

    I find it ironic that the emotions that are so clearly natural and tender, the ones that practicing members attribute to being “the Spirit”, are still felt and emoted when you are no longer “worthy” of it’s influence…
    The realization that our thoughts have so much influence on our feeling was the back before p of my faith Crisis. I had lived my life feeling led and guided by the Holy Ghost 💯. I felt confident in every aspect of my life by receiving conformation of the spirit.
    when I made the study of the brain/mind my focus, my world was rocked!
    I’m still rocking, back and forth, trying to sooth my shattered reality. It’s tough. The hardest part is not knowing what I believe. I based everything in what the Lord wanted and commanded me and my family to do, that was the why to everything. Currently we are blowing in the wind. I don’t know what to tell my children to do because I don’t know what the hell to do. Other than love and accept people I have no rubric or way of measuring or directing myself or my family.
    I am holding to the belief that this is part of the process, feel my feelings, work through the discomfort.
    I hope to find comfort and peace in the unknown and uncertain. I don’t know that I can believe anything abstract again and as an artist/creative that feels foreign and utterly devastating…
    Hoping for better days ahead.

    • Freedom West June 7, 2019 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Jen, You will find it gets better but bad times keep peeking through. My wife and I stopped attending over 7 years ago. It’s hard to completely break away from the culture even if you have few or no friends. We have quite a few members in our area, but since it is small in population, the nearest therapy for faith transitions would probably be in Seattle and that is 10 hours of driving. But, as the Purves family expressed so much, keeping the family with you is the most important thing you can do. We only had one child but right after we disclosed to her our decision, she gradually became more distant until 6 months ago when she and her family cut off all contact, blocking our phone call attempts and e-mail. We assume it is because of the church, but we sent a couple Mormon Stories podcasts to help her understand why we no longer believed. On Mother’s Day my son-in-law called my wife but not a word from our daughter.

      I listen to maybe 40% of the Mormon Stories and want to highly recommend them to anyone at any stage of this journey. Since we have almost no contact with anyone—-Mormons don’t want to talk about our problems and non-members, especially Christians, of which there are many in small rural areas, simply tell me that Satan blinded us to the truth when we were in his church. Just keep listening to Mormon Stories!

      Eventually I came to consider myself an agnostic which means that I don’t think it is possible for mankind to know one way or the other whether there is a god. And studying world religions, I find that other religions believe their god (or gods) tells them their faith is true either by revelation, or holy book or just culture. And if it makes them happy to believe in one or many deities, that’s fine with me, but transitioning out of Mormonism, I learned how to really research and I found in other faiths the fallacies I found in Mormonism.

    • Patrick July 12, 2019 at 7:19 am - Reply

      Here is something that I wrote that might be helpful. Glad for comments.

      “Asymmetrical Bets: a Tool for Decision Making Best Practices in Highly Uncertain Environments

      The most accurate model of human decision making theory is likely Prospect Theory. There are three stages:

      1. Editing Phase. I must realize that I am biased in my decision making and try to edit out the biases. Behavioural biases: framing effect, endowment effect, loss aversion, anchoring bias, peak end effect and duration neglect, mental accounting, alief bias, recency bias and any number of other human biases. I therefore do things that will counteract these biases to neutralize them while assembling all of the available information (and sometimes testing the options if possible).
      2. Evaluation Phase. After I have properly neutralized the human biases and gathered all of the information I can, I calculate the utility of each one of the decisions. The probability multiplied by its impact on my life expected utility. This is a fancy name for a process where: I weight out the probability of each option and its costs/benefits and make a decisions that will give me the optimal result (greatest expected utility).
      3. Commitment and Monitoring. The selection process done, I take action and monitor progress.

      It is easy when information is independent, unbiased and reliable. ‘Value investing’ (independently audited company performance history is available in many countries by law, I pick the company with the best financials for what I am trying to do), oil production (data can be very reliable as to quantity and size, the outcomes unknown, but through statistical analysis and expert geology, I can pick the optimal well location) and buying habits for consumers for spaghetti sauce (anyone for a dark rich hardy roast?) are all examples of this. If we are able to overcome our human biases we can come to a decision about what is the optimal solution to the problem and easily select the right decision.

      Other things might have less reliable, independent or quantifiable data. However, this procedure still works because even though there isn’t a wealth of data available on the case in question, there is still a base rate in society or in a similar category that can be fairly reliable and applied with good success, if careful. Even though the risk that we are wrong is higher, we are still able to come up with a solution and it is based on some type of evidence. Software development time, how much effort should be applied to learning a language,development of new industrial mega-projects are examples of these.

      There are, however, other decisions that have to be made, but have no reliable corollary and it is difficult to find or interpret the data as independent, unbiased or reliable. This makes any decision seem right if given enough attention. These are circumstances where either the timelines are so long (e.g. the precise anthropological impacts on planetary geology in the next million years…will it be +10 degrees or +100 degrees different?) or the subject so complicated (e.g. the nature of extra-terrestrial life, should it exist) that it destroys all possibility as to the confidence of the decision. There are too many variables to consider, leading to wide variations in the probabilities associated with each outcome. However, many of these problems we can’t ignore. A decision must be made and now.

      It is for this reason that I, and others, have offered an addition to the decision making model: asymmetrical betting. My first real exposure to this, was from statistical trading of public securities, day-trading and growth and momentum investing. But, it has its origin origins and effects found in the writings of Immanuel Kant, Aristotelian Virtue Ethics, and goes back as far as 600BC to Aesop. The idea goes by many names: ‘a bird in hand is worth two in the bush,’ ‘modern portfolio management’ and ‘margin of safety.’ Some more modern authors, with a more refined approach, such as Ray Dalio, Mohnish Pabrai and Nassim Taleb, but there are many others.

      What is asymmetrical betting? It is making decisions that are sub-optimal in order to control down-side risk and increase up side potentialities. It is making bets of the form: “heads, I win, tails, I don’t lose much.” To the above Evaluation Phase of prospect theory, there is an addition:

      Revised: 2. Evaluation Phase. After I have properly neutralized the human biases and gathered all of the information I can, I calculate the utility of each one of the decisions. The probability multiplied by its impact on my life expected utility. This is a fancy name for a process where: I weight out the probability of each option and its costs/benefits and make a decisions that will give me the optimal result (greatest expected utility). Of the decisions that have a minimum acceptability, an have similar probabilities, which will give me the best combination of low downside, with high upside? Pick that one.

      Frequently Asked Questions About Asymmetrical Betting
      • Why would you chose something that is less than optimal? Because I don’t know what the optimal answer is and there is no way of knowing it, but by positioning myself in a way that is acceptable in most cases, I am able to potentially gain from the uncertainty.
      • Doesn’t this mean that there isn’t an optimal answer? Maybe. But the question is really irrelevant. Whether truth is truth and independent to my detection matters little to my decision making paradigm. I do, from experience, understand that A is A and that what I do matters to me. It matters what I do. How do I know? I don’t know. Experience is my only guide and in a classical sense I cannot ‘know’ whether truth is independent and separate from my perception of it, but I certainly don’t need to know to make decisions.
      • Why not wait until you have more information before commitment is made? In many cases, like those in investing, the clock runs against us. In these cases, waiting is itself a ‘decision’ of inaction. In other cases, there will never be sufficient information to change the case.
      • Why not try one thing out and then the other and so on? Experimentation to come to a better solution? In some decisions one cannot go back. For example, I am reasonable certain that killing someone in cold blood is an experience that one cannot both do and not do. After doing it, I can never try the experiment of living my entire life without having actually killed someone in cold blood. There are just some decisions that cannot be reversed.”


  5. Tanner Fullmer June 7, 2019 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this wonderful podcast. My wife and I are struggling through our own faith crisis and these types of episodes are vital to us. I have listened to so many MS podcasts the last few months I sometimes hear John in my head narrating my life. It’s amazing to me how universal the experience is for devout TBMs who come across the Church’s troubling history and then realize the deceitful coverup. We feel so angered and betrayed, but (like Scott) mostly heartbroken. We are still trying to find our way in this mess, so I appreciate the vulnerability displayed by all of you, especially in the last episode answering the “Questions of the Soul”. This is the most difficult part in our faith transition. I’m coming to terms with the fact that there may not be answers.

    I wish your family the best and again grateful for your willingness to share your story.

  6. Janie June 7, 2019 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    I love this family! Such good vibes! Thanks for sharing your time and experiences. It helps me a ton. Husband still true blue morm. Eight children 3 in the rest out. I love them all.

  7. Kirsty Choffin June 8, 2019 at 9:25 am - Reply

    I am on the second section, and was so sad to hear the story about your dad and his beard! It infuriated me!
    My wonderful faithful home teacher from years ago was also in the stake, and they made him shave his beard, and he had had a cleft lip and palate repaired! So he could no longer soften his scar!!!! I asked him if he preferred his beard , and he said he did. When I expressed my disgust that he would be forced, he just shrugged.
    That kind of unbending arrogance and bullying is SO pathetic!!!

  8. Aaron June 8, 2019 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Hello John,

    I’m glad you did this podcast. Thank you. May blessings and joy be upon the Purves family. The LGBTQ members of the LDS Church (as well as throughout the world entire) and their families and friends need to continue be heard and voiced – loudly. These precious sisters and brothers in God’s family have been mistreated, minimized, and ignored for so, so long, and I weep with joy that rectification has, at last, begun to unfold.

    Yet I think a large demographic continues to be overlooked: disabled members, born so or who’ve become such.

    These are they who go through tortuous hours just to get dressed, living dependently on the mercy of others for many of the things most take for granted. These are they who have not been published or won awards or been financially successful or have some following or spotlight in the media. There are exceptions, certainly, but few.

    The eternally single is another group. That demographic has had past spotlights, though. Still, there seems to be a consistently specific profile for those whom you give the spotlight to, John, and I think it would be good to broaden it to others who’re often overlooked who also have a great deal to teach us.

    I say all of this as a matter of personal opinion through the medium of feedback. Thank you very, very much for all you and your colleagues do. It is truly a marvelous work. God bless and be with you, the Purves, and everyone. Love love.

    Aaron W. Johnson

  9. Shawn Wiscombe June 9, 2019 at 2:11 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for being so vulnerable and sharing so many tender moments as I have listened I reflected on so very many similar feelings, wanting nothing more than the church I grew up in, sacrificed for and loved, to be true yet now being able to see the hurt and devistation it caused not only myself but so many wonderful people. My heart is full, I have many sweet memories with this truly incredible family, I hope they know how much I love and admire them! Scott’s description of the two Stake Presidents brought back so many emotions to me, their contrasting personalities, I have no respect for the first one and was serving as a counselor to the second one when he was a bishop and could not say enough good about the genuine, kind man that he is. I feel so much as Scott expressed, I was truly devastated when I realized that the church is not true, when the church is the focal point of your life for so many years it is a horrible transition. I am so very proud of your kids and amazed at how they have grown!

  10. Mark Blanchard June 10, 2019 at 11:40 am - Reply

    I listened to all four episodes and found them fascinating. I’m always looking for the “trigger” that first causes these TBM families to crack their faith and start taking their “shelf items” down to give them fresh, hard looks. The minute they’re willing to take those shelf items down, that’s the beginning of the end it seems. So it’s all about the triggers that prompt them to take them down.

    This is the second TBM family you’ve had on recently whose trigger seems to be “calling burn-out”. (The Youngs being the other notable one.) This is a trigger that I formerly discounted, but now I’m beginning to realize it must be much more significant than I thought. I can see some signs of it in my own still-faithful family and it appears that with the shortening of Church services, abandonment of home teaching, etc., that the Church is also cognizant of the phenomenon. If Calling Burn-out is so prevalent and it is causing many families to take down their shelf items and re-examine them, then it is potentially the greatest single threat to the Church at present.

    If Calling Burn-out causes members to say “what am I getting out of this deal?”, then they look at their shelf items in a new light, it’s Katie bar the chapel doors. They’ll leave in droves as they realize they give far more than they get.

  11. Janeen thompson June 10, 2019 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    I am so impressed by this family. First because they’re Giants fans! and second because everyone of them is so thoughtful and wise. And Maddy, JD Goates is my cousin’s son and I’ve been proud of the good that he has done and glad you got to know him. It’s been wonderful to hear your family’s journey and how you’ve all handled it in such a seemingly healthy way. The love you have for each other is very evident and I dont have any doubt that you will all go on to lead happy and productive lives. When you are not constrained by a predetermined path, the sky is the limit. Go Giants!

  12. Beatrice June 11, 2019 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    I listened to this episode with interest. I have gone through my own faith transition and have been out of the church for 6+ years now. I related to much of what Scott said but also contrasted it with my own experiences growing up as a woman in the church. Scott’s feelings and frustrations are absolutely valid. It’s incredibly frustrating to work hard and sacrifice so much and to be given so little appreciation in return. However, I think it is also helpful to recognize that Scott was/is in a position of privilege and many members of the church who are not able-bodied white men (women, people of color, people with disabilities, single people, LGBTQ+) face many of these frustrations, but compounded. For example,

    1. I loved the leadership opportunities I had in the church. I enjoyed being a YW leader and mentoring the younger girls. However, these types of leadership opportunities are extremely rare for women and were infrequent for me. To really grow in my desire to lead and mentor others, I had to look for opportunities in my professional career.
    2. Scott talks about his hope to be a Bishop/Stake President/Mission President and the frustration and disappointment that came with those dreams being squashed by an authoritarian Stake President . Many people in the church can not even hope for such opportunities, because they will never have them despite how righteous they are.
    3. Scott calls the Stake High Council a bishop’s graveyard. I think he is trying to express his disappointment at being demoted from the upwardly mobile leadership track he was on. I was a bit taken aback by this comment, because of how often I have wished that women could serve on Stake Councils so that they had the opportunity to serve on the Stake level, have some influence on Stake level decisions, and have a voice in disciplinary counsels.
    4. Many many women in the church have the experience of being micromanaged, talked down to, or ignored in a similar way to how Scott was treated by his Stake President. However, I think leaders are much more likely to treat women they preside over this way than men.

    None of this is to attack Scott or diminish his real experiences. My hope is to add an additional perspective into how the frustrations that Scott felt are shared by many members who are dismissed outright from leadership opportunities or a voice in decision making in the church simply because they don’t fit the mold of what a leader in the church should be.

    • Genevieve September 7, 2019 at 2:04 am - Reply

      I listened to the 3 first parts and I completely, absolutely agree with Beatrice’s comment. Absolutlely true. It should be heard, understood and taught.

  13. Rock Waterman June 11, 2019 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Scott, for those kind words of praise about me. And believe me, you’re forgiven for the “wish I’d said” at my hearing. I’m kicking myself for not being more forceful and Abinadi-like when I knew that was a kangaroo court with a pre-determined outcome.

    I was grateful for that four hour pizza fest you and I had together. If there’s anything I miss about Sacramento, it’s that we were located in an area where readers could drop by and meet now and then. Now that we’ve moved to the Great White North (Sandpoint, Idaho), we’re out of the way.

    Nice interview. It was good to be able to watch and lay eyes on your family.


  14. Freedom West June 12, 2019 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Rock, at least you don’t have lots of Mormons around you. As one leaves Boise and heads on north on 95, Mormonism thins out. I’m about 3 counties south of you, six if I stay on main highways. Your essay on the prophet who talked about the Founding Fathers asking to have their temple work done for them, and how that story changed so much over the years, was one of the stories that helped on my faith journey. Thanks for the good info I got on “Pure Mormonism”. Having made my decision I rarely go there or to the Snuffer site anymore. But, after several years I still check out “Mormon Stories” often.

  15. Grammabd June 14, 2019 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    8 topics from John Dehlin and my responses to them for me. I really enjoyed listening to the Purvis family today as made the beds, did the dishes, fixed something to eat! And sitting here at my computer and thinking about how I feel about these things after being out of the lds church for 7 years!

    1. morality – if you are a moral person – you ARE a moral person – in the church or out of the church!

    2. spirituality – I am a spiritual person, but not a “religious” person – I still have “feelings” of doing good that comes to me and I still act on those feelings sometimes and sometimes I don’t; just like when I was a TBM. In a world as big as ours, there are many ways of receiving our spirituality – whether from God, or Jesus, or a higher power or even Karma! I do believe there is something more.

    3. what is the purpose of life if not the TBM viewpoints? I go back to what Jesus said – to love one another; to be kind, to not purposely hurt others, to have joy, to be content – and if there isn’t a Jesus, I would still want to live this way!

    4. friends and community – When I first resigned – I really missed my ward! I even visited from time to time. I also joined a non-denominational church – made friends with the lady’s bible study group and that helped a lot. But I still miss my Mormon friends. As the years have gone by, it has been much easier – I guess it just takes time! I do like not having to “saving” others and just enjoy being in the here and now – what if this is all we have? What if there is no life after death – I would hate that I used all my time trying to get me and all my family and friends there and we don’t have a “there!” I have a hope for life after death – but I can no longer say “I KNOW” about it.

    5. family – I want to spend as much time with my family and friends right now – just in case there isn’t a life of being together after death. Since I was a convert to the lds church, I didn’t lose any family over leaving; but I’ve seen the opposite happen.

    6. service – there are tons of ways to serve – just start paying attention to your community. There are also real “Missions” you can serve with organizations that go overseas and dig wells, build homes, teach children, go on a medical mission in the USA or overseas. And most communities need volunteers in lots of different areas. You don’t have to feel guilty if you don’t want to serve in this time of your life – do it when you want to!

    7.tithing/giving – I love giving my tithing to people or organizations that I really want to help!

    8. death – see #4

  16. DJE June 20, 2019 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    I loved John’s comment about tithing. I also still pay tithing. It is just in a different way that I have in the past. I find a need and help. My son does this too. So, I didn’t get a 10% raise as people say. I just put it where it is needed not to a multi billion dollar corporation. This includes Mormon stories. This is a much needed podcast, that has helped so many. Thank you
    Also, congrats to being able to relax! Enjoy! LOL Love it!

  17. Chris June 21, 2019 at 10:52 am - Reply

    I am very concerned about what the gay daughter did to her girlfriend while at BYU. Apparently the gay daughter felt the need to confess/repent to her Bishop. Because she repented, her treatment/punishment was milder than others had received in similar situations. But what about the girl with whom she was “committing the sin” (description?)??? The daughter states she did tell the Bishop the name of the other girl. I would like to know how the other girl was treated/punished, the girl who did not come forward and “confess” on her own. I’m pretty sure it was much more harsh than what Miss Purves received. I am dismayed at the glib ability to simply dismiss the other young gay woman and throw her to the wolves. I’m sure by outing her girlfriend she saved some of her own skin, but it speaks very poorly for the daughter who outed her girlfriend. Turn yourself in to the Gestapo first and throw your friends to the wolves = “my needs come first and I have no consideration or care for any repercussions to you”.

  18. Kepha June 26, 2019 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    I listened to each one of you and what was said in this podcast. No doubt we should all appreciate your shared experience, but in your realness you have echoed that which I have heard from so many other x-Mormons. That you’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater, and no longer have a clearly defined spiritual compass. Scott, in stumbling on the significant issues in Mormon history, and because there was no foundation of Christ in your lives, other than that found in traditional Mormon orthodoxy, your family has essentially arrived at the conclusion that God doesn’t exist, and truly lack any real connection to Christ. What an awkward place to find yourselves in after being TBM’s, from mission leadership to ward leadership and being such a fine family. Judgement, perhaps the most undesireable characteristic of Mormon culture has turned on itself.
    Through all you have shared it can be concluded from Jake’s own words, “that you no longer care.” I have publicly fought for LGBTQ rights, but Matty your family’s transitition as you articulated sounded more like a sexual convenience for you than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, we all appreciate life’s pleasures, but where was your heart and thoughtful concern for your girlfriend who was apparantly thrown under the bus in your confessional. Hopefully we will care more about others and recognize who we really should be.
    My awareness of church history issues goes back decades, and I can honestly share with you that the truth we should be rooted in is directly connected to our Savior and the loving gospel of Jesus Christ found in the New Testament. I remember my own grandfather, himself a beloved bishop saying, if it wasn’t for the gospel of Jesus Christ, the people in the church would have destroyed it a long time ago. Mormon hierarchy can be a blessing when inspired and an awful stumbling block when liening to their own understanding,
    Still, too many Mormons having discovered their former leaders dishonesty use it as an excuse to degrade their own speech, pattern of thinking and way of doing. The church will continue to evolve; it must to survive. What’s more important is that there are people in the world that don’t meaure themselves by the compromised character of others, but that stand up for those principles that they recognize in their hearts are worthy and worthwhile. Christ spoke of two interrelated commandments on which were based all the laws of the prophets. He didn’t say do whatever you want if Mormon leaders fall short of the mark. He said, “Love.”

  19. Freedom Northwest June 27, 2019 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Keptha, You seem to be a Christian and are surprised at why many exes no longer believe in Christ. Just answer these short questions I am about to give you and maybe such belief or non-belief will become clearer.

    If you had been born in Arabia, and had been raised to follow the Qur’an by good Muslim parents, gone to a Muslim school, and married a Muslim girl, and had given birth to Muslim children, what religion would you be now? Christian or Muslim? What would determine which religion you would be following? And if you would be Muslim, would you be destined for hell, because you did not believe Jesus to be the Son of God?

  20. George C. June 28, 2019 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    I finished listening to this today. As with many other episodes, it helped me continue to sort through my own attitudes and experiences. I particularly appreciated the last part, and the Purves family’s willingness to comment on the difficult questions regarding morality and meaning that can follow a faith transition. When you’re already being vulnerable and open like this, I imagine it can be even more difficult to go one step further and discuss things that aren’t settled and ways in which life isn’t necessarily happier after a faith transition. But that can be refreshing to hear.

    Similar to what Aaron said above, it might also be helpful to some to hear a similar discussion in a future episode with someone who doesn’t have a close family or supportive friends. Maybe even someone introverted, though that might be an impossible goal given the format.

  21. VFanRJ July 15, 2019 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much to the Purves family for being vulnerable and opening up about their faith journey. I listened to all of it and was impressed by the sincerity of their faith struggles.

  22. KS August 13, 2019 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Really enjoyed these episodes. I am still a believer but always enjoy hearing the perspective of others. Although to be honest, this couple’s open leadership aspirations were a little disheartening, comments like “we wanted to be mission presidents”, “now i was just going to be a church janitor”, “that’s why we are here” (to climb the leadership ladder). Completely opposite of how I approach church service (having served at all levels). I always suspected there were members like this but my heart sunk a little to actually hear someone say it so openly. (and to realize that many who are currently in these positions, wanted them desperately). Sigh… Nevertheless, enjoyed hearing their story. And, we’ve all come in contact with leaders like Scott’s stake president, sadly.

  23. JPrice September 19, 2020 at 11:18 am - Reply

    I love the son’s sense of humor. Keep at it, Sir. You’re hilarious.

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