WHATThe “THRIVING Beyond Orthodox Mormonism” project is an effort to profile thriving post-Mormons and progressive Mormons with the intent of providing tips, tricks, inspiration, and hope to those who are questioning and/or leaving orthodox Mormonism.

For those who are newly questioning/doubting Mormon, we want them to know know that:

  1. They are not crazy.
  2. They are not alone.
  3. They should not be afraid to doubt/question orthodox Mormonism.
  4. They CAN find healing, joy, and growth beyond orthodox Mormonism.

It is also a way for you to “bear testimony” of your truths and life choices as they stand today.

WHO: I am looking for a set of 100 post-Mormons and progressive Mormons to interview on Mormon Stories Podcast who would consider themselves to be thriving after leaving Mormonism (or Mormon orthodoxy). Not flawless….not perfect…..just thriving.  When I say thriving, I mean overall healthier and happier than when you were active in the church.

HOW: I have put together a list of questions for THRIVING post-Mormons and progressive Mormons to reflect upon, and to answer.  I have had numerous people tell me that the simple process of reflecting upon and answering these questions has been deeply therapeutic for them. Some have even wept joyful or grief-filled tears as they’ve gone through the process of answering the questions.  You can browse through the current set of profiles here.
The ultimate usage of these answers will be as follows:
  1. I hope to release at least a few profiles a week over the next 6-12 months.
  2. Candidates for future Mormon Stories Podcast episodes will be culled from these profiles.
  3. I hope to include these profiles in an upcoming book that I hope to write entitled: THRIVING: The Gift of the Mormon Faith Crisis.

NoteI have created a template to help you complete the questions below. Here is the template.  You can make a copy of this template, complete it, and send it back to me.

Please submit a profile if you are able/willing to do so!!!!  I know that this project is going to help many people.

I would LOVE to have some diversity in my interviewees in terms of age, race, geographic location, personality type, marital status, gender identity, sexual orientation, parent status, etc.

Once you have completed your answers to these questions:

  • Please email me the answers at: mormonstories@gmail.com.
  • Please put “THRIVE Interview” in the subject heading.
  • Please include a photo or two of you and/or of your family.
  • Please know that your submission grants me the right to use your answers both on this web site, and in any upcoming book projects that I hope to complete.

Since I cannot interview everyone for Mormon Stories Podcast, I will choose the most compelling, relevant, and/or diverse outlines to interview. I plan to record the interviews over the next 12 months. Please be thoughtful. Take your time to write something powerful and helpful to others.

Finally, even if you are not chosen immediately for an interview, I am confident that you will benefit from this exercise. I am also very confident that your story will reach many people like you, who are in need of support and (most importantly) hope.

I am excited about this. And please spread the word for any thriving individual or family that you know.

– John Dehlin


  1. Justin Smith December 12, 2019 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Hi John,
    I would love to participate with your project. I’m sort of liking russell m nelson’s moving away from using the word Mormon, because it creates a space for ethnic/cultural mormons to form an identity apart from the formal institution. In this way I consider myself very mormon but not affiliated with the LDS church. I might not be thriving in the sense of having tons of material prosperity but I feel that I have a much healthier worldview. I would say the most beneficial thing about mormonstories for me is that it made clear there were reliable alternative accounts of church history, that in many cases were more compelling than the official church version. It wasn’t that I accepted every guests views, its that it contradicted the church’s claim there were no other plausible explanations for the churches beginnings. From Here I read authors such as Hitchens and Dawkins, and its not that I accepted everything they said either, its just I began to realize Mormonism was one more example of a very common phenomena. I think a lot of millennials recognize this and have the same feelings, but do not want to give up their mormon identity, hence we see something similar to secular Judaism.

  2. Annetta Arrowwood March 21, 2020 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Hi John, I left the church officially in 2015. My road out has been very interesting. I am a lesbian, was married to a man for 10 years (sealed in the temple), had 2 kids, had an affair with/a woman at 29, got ex’d, got rebaptized, had my temple blessings restored, all while being in a celibate relationship with another LDS woman for 9 years. Then, finally had my name removed, decided to finally live life as an out gay person, married a woman, watched from outside as my child got married in the temple, and here I am today. I am now divorced, have no belief at all in the church (or even God really), but, I am more at peace than I have ever been.

  3. Marty Lazenby March 21, 2020 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    My family and I are very interested in divulging everything.
    We are ex Mormons.
    Would love to be a part of this!
    We love your interviews!
    My husband and I are both 51 yrs old.
    5 kids, 5 grandbabies.
    as a family and individually.
    We all grew up in Utah.

  4. Carol Oldham March 22, 2020 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    From the Salt Lake Tribune:

    That is me in the article. What happened to me the day after it was published is part of my story.

    • Sandra Phillips April 1, 2020 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      I just read the Tribune article, and I want to hear your story, Carol. (PICK HER, JOHN! PICK HER!) I grew up in CA and moved to WA in 2008 at 44 years old, just after being asked to participate in the Prop 8 neighborhood canvassing. Ugh! I came home from the first meeting and told my husband there is no way in this world I would ever participate in something so ridiculous. At that meeting, I had asked my friend, who is an attorney and my former bishop (he was leading our ward’s Prop 8 campaign) what would happen if same-sex marriage passed. He was horrified that I would dare even ask that question, and he said he had been to a regional meeting with general authorities, and they said, “Passage of same-sex marriage would be nigh to Armageddon.” Oh brother! Give me a break! I left the Church in 2015, and if it hadn’t been because I no longer believed the truth claims of the Church, the November ’15 anti-gay policy change would have been the reason. I will definitely be completing the questionnaire and sharing my story.

  5. Naz March 24, 2020 at 1:14 am - Reply

    I would like to participate in your podcast but can I still remain anonymous? I am a supposedly Lamanite Nephite mix or Mexican descendant for short. I have always had trouble understanding the Church”s racism especially against Black people and brown people like myself. I am still a member but having a faith crisis and I am about to resign from the Church before they call me in for that. I have also had some trouble understanding the pride of White people because they think that they are from Ephraim and therefore have the Lord”s birthright Blessing which in turn most brown people with Native North American roots are labeled from Manassa and are not to be as blessed as those from Ephraim. I have had several run in with Bishops as of late that have not been pleasant experiences. I have just all together decided to avoid them and not go to church anymore. My wife wants to be sealed in the Temple and is putting a lot of pressure on me about it but yet refuses to hear my concerns with the Church and it’s doctrine. She takes my two Children to Church religiously and does not want me to talk to them about my concerns in any way or fashion. It is pretty hard to navigate life under these circumstances and would like a little counciling on the best way to completely break off the Church without destroying my marriage.

  6. Anon March 24, 2020 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    I have noticed many things on my own over the past many years, and then to hear them described by your guests is so affirming to me. I’m 67 and am semi active. So I of course have to be anonymous. So many things.

    But two I haven’t heard described quite yet.

    *. The church will not allow you to ask about or talk about given things, like the REAL church history without coming after you.
    I’m sorry but the constitution guarantees me free speech. The church throttles free speech.

    *. The church says (has always said) don’t read anti Mormon literature. For one it’s not ‘anti-Mormon literature’. It’s history!!
    They are essentially telling you what you can and can’t read. Censure
    The constitution does not censure.

    I can’t go along with willful ignorance and the churches severely whitewashed rewriting history!!

    *. Then of course, women have no voice.

    It has become more about the Bank of Mormon than the Book of Mormon, a good old boys club. Too much focus on financials. Flash over substance.

    I appreciate your podcast and I feel you deal fairly with everyone. Thank you.

  7. Gary S. Allred April 5, 2020 at 11:06 am - Reply


    Please contact me to be an interviewee on Mormon Stories. I need an avenue, other than my writing to deal with my experiences. I believe my story is very unique, coming from a person who is not high-profile. I was raised in a Mormon-polygamist family. I was baptized under two apparent lines of priesthood authority. Later, I re-joined the Church. However, my experiences both in polygamy and in the Church are profound and harrowing. They have all contributed to a huge list of issues and my faith crisis.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

  8. Mike Nelson April 6, 2020 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    I will submit a profile. I am a fifth-generation Mormon, returned missionary, counselor in four bishoprics, etc.
    My dad tried, but could never have the “spiritual witness” everyone talked about. He went for years to support my mom, who left in her usual dramatic fashion when she was 82. I have two brothers and two sisters; of the five of us, only one is still numbered among the faithful.
    I married in the temple to a returned missionary. We have three sons and three daughters. Only my wife and my youngest daughter are still believers.
    I studied for years to try to figure things out, and just kept putting more stuff under the rug. Two of my sons are gay, and I finally gave in to reality when I saw what the Mormon church did for them (or TO them).
    I still go to sacrament meeting with my wife.
    I’ll be glad to tell my story.

  9. Mae April 7, 2020 at 12:10 am - Reply

    I will share my story and all that I have done out of “shoulds” instead of knowing how to really be authentic and listen to my heart….

    I have learned a lot over the last 2-3 years and I appreciate the tapes of the recordings recently that John posted, where John, you were being questioned for your dissertation and questioned about your testimony! Out of everything I’ve watched and listened to, this experience…struck home with me the most. Honestly it laid a lot of anger And turmoil to rest with me. It helped me turn a corner…..John you have helped me find the balance for the love of my heritage and the empowerment of living my life on my terms, between me and God.

  10. Carolyn Walker April 23, 2021 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Hi John,
    Are you still gathering experiences from former Mormons or am I “too late to the party?”

    If you’re interested, I may fit into your older demographic: 68 yo white female, descendent of original pioneers, Washington DC native, who left during the 1970s and have first-person experience – and subsequent disillusionment – with the church’s efforts at the time to kill the Equal Rights Amendment and the resulting excommunication of Sonia Johnson.

  11. Jennifer McCurdy October 10, 2023 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    I’m a convert who was lied to. Then when I wanted my boyfriend to take the discussions, the entire presentation was different than what I learned. It raised huge red flags and I eventually found out what the Mormon church really was! I was embarrassed, humiliated and mad! The story is much more long and drawn out, and would make you scream!!!! Wow, just wow. I’m glad I’m gone!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.