Join us now on Mormon Stories Podcast for our interview with Leah, Cody, and Brinley Young.  In these first segments of this epic interview, Leah and Cody discuss:

  • Their lives growing up in devout (though divorced) LDS families.
  • Getting married, and having children while Cody was attending medical school.
  • The sacrifice of serving in the church while raising young children and pursuing demanding careers.
  • Leah’s decision to start her own business with four young children at home and Cody working full time as a pediatric radiologist.
  • …and how all of this culminated in a Mormon faith crisis.

Note: Some of the resources mentioned in this interview include:

If you are seeking healing, growth, and inspiration during or after your Mormon Faith Crisis, you will not want to miss these episodes. <3

The 2nd part of this interview which highlights Brinley’s teen perspective of a faith transition, as well as the conclusion of our discussion with Leah and Cody, may be found here.


Part 1 – Leah and Cody provide their Mormon background:

Part 2 – Leah and Cody reflect on how their faith influenced the beliefs and behaviors they brought into their marriage:

Part 3 – How a faith crisis began:

Part 4 – How a faith crisis impacted Leah and Cody’s marriage:


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. Nic January 11, 2019 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Will these be made into audio podcasts? The video stream is fun but audio podcasts make it very accessible.

    • Mormon Stories January 11, 2019 at 10:25 am - Reply

      Hi Nic,

      We are in the process of making these into podcast format for release next week. Because of high demand, we posted the Facebook video in the interim.


      • Dave January 12, 2019 at 10:53 am - Reply

        Thank you! Also, FB video cannot be played back at 1.5x or 2x so when John said that impatient viewers like me could speed up the playback, I got triggered. ;)

        • Jonathan Mahoney September 15, 2021 at 9:20 am - Reply

          Probably not an issue for you now, but for future reference I highly recommend the Video Speed Controller extension. It works on lots of sites. I like to watch Mormon Stories around 2.5-2.8x.

  2. JASH January 11, 2019 at 10:45 am - Reply

    This interview was simply WONDERFUL. I watched every minute of it and was struck by the sincerity and thoughtfulness with which their faith crisis was described. Special thanks to Brinley – such a gracious and mature young woman. Her experience and perspectives are certain to be helpful to other teens who encounter this situation. A faith crisis is always a challenge, but it is a wonderful thing to have a community of acceptance and support to provide aid and comfort during the process. May Cody, Leah,Brinley and all of their family find great joy as they move forward on their life’s path. All the best to all of you!!!!!

  3. PCJ January 11, 2019 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Thank you John. These Podcasts are so fascinating. Love to hear of all these journeys. They hit home. Since the information age of the internet, the mormon enigma makes more sense now!

  4. Jayna January 12, 2019 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Yet another beautiful, but heart wrenching story, of honesty, true love and a commitment to learn truth. Thanks again John and the lovely Young Family.

  5. Kylie January 12, 2019 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this podcast! I have been going through my faith transition for over a year, and at times have been very angry when my husband won’t listen to my concerns or look at the information I’ve tried to show him. It’s taken a toll on us, and I can see that I’ve been pushing him away. I’m going to evaluate and write a new marriage proposal to share with him, and just work on accepting where we both are and making our marriage and our family work without trying to change him. Thank you again!

  6. Chuck January 13, 2019 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    About two thousand years ago a man taught a new gospel that drew in many followers. At varying points followers found of many
    things disappointment, disbelief, error of doctrine etc in what he and his apostles/teachers taught and walked away from the prophet
    they called Christ and did it feeling more joy and happiness and contentment in their soul afterwards then feeling those emotions
    while doing and believing as Christ instructed.
    One of the great blessing of this life is our being able to find personal joy and happiness where ever we discover it, with or without a
    belief in a higher power.

  7. Joy January 13, 2019 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Amazing podcast! Thank you John!!

    • Happy in Oregon January 14, 2019 at 10:24 am - Reply

      Through the first part and am really enjoying it. My wife and I were together when we stopped attending some 7 years ago. We followed Mormon Stories and Mormon Think. Our problem and one that we still have is our married daughter, nearly the same age as Leah. We have only one child and we adopted her from the Church when she was a baby. I was always very close to her, going camping and canoeing with just her and me, and since she lived so close to a temple, whenever we would drive 7 hours to visit her and her family (Similar in age and size of Leah’s and Cody’s.), we would always attend the temple with her. Of all people I could tell about my wife’s and my discoveries, I thought it was her. Wrong! So wrong!

      After telling her, and of course I said too much, she was silent. For the next few months she wouldn’t talk to us. It got better but is still strained. As I grow older, and osteoarthritis affects my knees, we only see the family once a year for a very few days on a short family vacation. Before our crisis, the grandkids were super friendly, but now only a few words are spoken on the trip and at Christmas we get to talk a short amount to each child.

      On one vacation, our daughter cried one day and told us that her husband was verbally abusive to her and was at different times, but later asking how things were, she denied it. On another trip, the husband cheated in a board game and I called him out on it and our daughter was very upset upon seeing that. But later she denied that. And for Christmas I gave her an electronic device that I could not understands its workings, and I learned that the husband took it for himself. So I, with the approval of my wife, wrote my daughter a letter outlining those concerns. The relationship was friendly in a couple e-mails. Then shortly thereafter, yesterday, she phoned around 10 in the morning and said that they would be here at a certain day in the summer and would bring her whole family whether we liked it or not. I was stunned at her attitude. She didn’t even get mad over the years when I sent her the Mormon Stories podcast about the two sisters and their husbands and how long one husband suffered with his knowledge. So I asked, “What happened to our loving daughter?” And she angrily replied that I had been harassing her all these several years (She must have been referring to when her mother and I stopped attending Church.). We heard some noise in the background and then she hung up.

      A while later, my wife answered a phone call from the husband, but I was out on my walk to help my knees so she told him that and she talked to him, but not about the angry phone call. The husband tried twice to reach me, but I did not answer the phone. I later called and talked to a close still TBM neighbor, about the only one of my Church friends who remained friendly. She and I had several years ago helped her daughter in a similar situation. She advised me to wait until next day or even longer before I talked to my daughter’s husband, so I took her advice. I’m afraid that the husband and I could get into a shouting match and things would be even worse. He is very patriarchal. I was while I was active and now am very aware of ever getting close to that behavior with my wife of nearly 51 years.

      Thanks again, Leah, Cody, and John. I am looking forward for the daughter segment.

  8. Janie January 13, 2019 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I left the Mormon church but my husband is still a strong member. 5 of eight of our children are out as well. I love my husband but I can be a little crazed at the beginning of my trip out of Mormonism. I am much better and your wise words will keep me civil!!! ❤️

  9. Maggie Rayner January 14, 2019 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Wow! Incredible. What comes up for me in listening to faith transitions is always: “Where about the kids?” As an aside, I laughed and laughed when Leah mentioned one of her Mormon suitors – not Cody – told her that he’d received inspiration that she was to be her wife – which form of courting I’ve started to call “pulling a Joseph Smith.”

  10. Andi January 15, 2019 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Hey John, just want to say that it would be nice if you removed “broken home” from your vocabulary. In Part 2, you refer to the church’s ideal of “sameness” as unhealthy and an impossible standard to uphold. This includes the ideal of family. My family was much more broken before my husband and I divorced. I walked around my home for years, silently uttering “not on my watch Satan…not my family,” before I realized the toll my husband’s continual infidelity was taking on me. (And before I realized there was no Satan.) My home may not have been broken from an outward perspective, but I was certainly broken. I’ve never been happier or felt stronger than I do now and my children are stronger, more compassionate, resilient, and non- judgmental. After being brainwashed for years to believe that “failure in the home” was the worst of the worst, and then discovering that there is light and joy on the other end, the term “broken home” just seems so outdated. The world doesn’t end, families can remain connected, and divorce is often the healthiest choice for all. Just sayin:-)

  11. Adam January 16, 2019 at 8:06 am - Reply

    I’m looking forward to watching this. Life is so odd. We were in the same Pioneer 4th Ward. We “taught” Brinley for a long time in our calling as nursery leaders. She was always such a petite, giggly and smiling little girl with pretty dresses and big bows. We remember admiring Leah and Cody for their kindness, ambition, and winning smiles. So it’s funny – in a Truman Show sort of way – to find this here around 13-14 years later. Especially since I’m out now too.

    After a lot of searching and not finding I left the church for many of the same reasons. My wife stayed. It was a rough go of it for many years. I’m grateful to have eventually, after a few years of anguished agnosticism, found faith again in Christianity. I’m glad to belong to the Christian body that I once looked down on (sorry!) and that God was able to help me dust off and reallign many of my Mormon beliefs with truth and trust in the Bible.

    Anyway – long journey, and I’m still on it. I wish the best for the Youngs and hope that after a resting season they reexamine their love for God and find peace in him!

  12. Struggling January 16, 2019 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Hello! Love this podcast. I was halfway through the part with Brinley and Cody and Leah, is there going to be other parts with this? Thank you for all you do!

    • Mormon Stories January 16, 2019 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      Hi, the blog description provides more information about this:

      “***Please note, the conclusion of Leah and Cody’s interview, as well as our segments with Brinley where we hear her teen perspective on a family’s faith crisis will be released in their own segment tomorrow, 1/17/2019***”

  13. Henry January 17, 2019 at 5:50 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing. This is the first of this type of video that I have seen. I have many similarities in my life (career, callings, mission, temple marriage, crisis of faith ). I have not shared my feelings or what I have discovered (CES letter, etc.) with my spouse or my close friends. It’s not that I think I would lose my family or friends, but that they would look at me differently and most of all that I would destroy something that is precious to them. My wife is lovely but fragile. Religion and the existence of God gives great comfort to my her (particularly considering the loss of one of our children). Anyway, I hope for only the best for all of you and admire (and envy) your courage.

    • Bill McClymonds January 18, 2019 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      To Henry,
      I wanted to express my sympathy for your loss of a child. That must have been very difficult. From what I am hearing on podcasts like this one, I am also starting to understand how difficult it is to find out about things like the CES letter and other problems within the LDS Church.

      Based on what you have written, you are in a very difficult position. You did not write anything about your current belief but I would like to make a gentle suggestion. As much as it is possible for you, try to emphasize Jesus in your home and de-emphasize Joseph Smith. If you have devotions together, try to emphasize the Bible over The other LDS scriptures. If you start to read the New Testament together with a very simple child like understanding of the text, I think you and your wife will have a much better understanding of mainstream Christianity. In my opinion, that is a much better path than continuing to follow the teachings of Joseph Smith and the LDS Church.

  14. Anne January 17, 2019 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Halfway through and loving this interview. Thank you, Leah and Cody, for being willing to share your experiences so generously.
    Every interview provides at least one moment of profound connection and validation of my own journey. I need to donate more, I’m thinking, because this podcast has been cheap, excellent therapy. :)

    May I add my perspective to John’s discourse on the way that the church characterizes conflict and the emotional times that accompany conflict? Just because.

    When we feel confused, frightened, unsure, angry, in the dark, chaotic,…often what we’re sensing is our approach to an Edge in our own psyche. The Edge is like the edge of a map; it’s the furthest reaches of our conscious map of reality, the edge of what we believe about how things work in our world. The Edge invites exploration so we can develop a more expansive, more accurate map. The feelings that arise at the Edge are strong, but not “bad”.

    If we’ve been taught that the feelings that arise as we stand at the dark edge of our internal map, are signals of wrongness, then we never make friends with those feelings. It’s important to make friends with them, because then they become allies and guides to our greatest freedoms, growth, and power. It’s actually where Life is. Without the energy of the Edge, we tend to stagnate, and stagnation is a form of death.

    I had to figure all this out on my own, over decades of exploring and trial and error. That’s why I feel like I can say with confidence that the narrative about “negative” emotions being signals of warning about wrongness/sin, etc.,is simply untrue. Actually, the narrative about “sin” has turned out to be untrue as well, but that’s another comment.

  15. Greg January 17, 2019 at 11:40 am - Reply

    When I went on my mission and first went through the temple in preparation I did not feel at all the way people describe it. It completely creeped me out. I can relate to Leah’s description of how it made you feel so much. I remember waking up the next morning and going into the bathroom and seeing myself in the garments. They looked awful and just acted as a reminder of the event. It was the start for me leaving even tho I didn’t know it at the time.

    My whole life I heard that the church brings you joy, peace, happiness etc etc. When I finally just left I felt this burden lifted. I never felt happy in the church. It was a constant sense of conflict. I have never looked back and never will. Hearing my family talk about it now with me being on the outside, they just sound insane to me.

  16. Kathy January 18, 2019 at 1:34 am - Reply

    I remember the lesson on the bible having the nail in it and our teacher used the Book of Mormon as the “sure nail” to make sure it didn’t move.

    I also sing the song….”I see the moon” to all my children. I even play it at night for my 8 year old son and he loves it. It’s a beautiful song!

    Only 4 days ago, I handed my husband the CES book I purchased as he was leaving for a business trip. He told me he would not read it. I told him I was not going to do anything drastic about the church and that I was in it with him but I needed him to know where I was standing. I promised to be on time to church if he read it. He smiled and took the book and he read it. We still have not discussed it but I’m hoping we can find the time to talk soon. I’m excited to write up my new marriage proposal.

    I first found out about the church 2 weeks after my son left for a mission. I have felt trapped and did not want to break anything to him while he was on his mission. When he returned, I had not even been able to talk much to my sweet husband about it and it actually gave me safety too in knowing I could still pretend for my husbands sake. Now my son is married and I am so sad to not even know what, how or even when to talk to him. He knows about my brother, his uncle…favorite uncle, who was the one who worked so hard to get him to go on a mission only to come across the church essays two weeks before my son left for his mission. Timing was so crucial. When my brother spoke to my son and told him he would not be at the temple for the wedding ….my son said, “ok” and my brother knew my son did not want to hear anything else so he left an open invitation if he ever had questions. My son didn’t even come talk to me about it….but by then he was already set to marry (quickly too) I was blind sided by his proposal so I felt I had no time to talk to him.

    I am excited to be to church on time this Sunday and shock the shockers out of my husband.

  17. Janeen Thompson February 2, 2019 at 1:38 am - Reply

    This was an interesting interview and I listened to every word–all 8 hours! I know you dont do sound bites john, but 8 hours is just a little much! Ideas get repeated quite a bit. However, they are a lovely family and I thank them for sharing their story and admire them for being so proactive about supporting others who are facing the same issues. Best of luck to them!

  18. Square Peg April 3, 2019 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do these interviews! This was very touching to listen to. As always, I am jealous of couples who leave together. I am in the 7th year of being in a mixed-faith marriage. I have tried all the things that were suggested in this interview, but my husband has no intention of ever leaving the church. I cherish our relationship and have done all I know how to maintain it. But there is always a wall up on the religion area that keeps us from being as close and connected as a couple as we long to be. It has been painful and lonely. We have tried through the years to find other ways to connect and grow closer, and while those have been great-our marriage still feels heavy and both of us are stuck in the grief and anger stages. We want to be on the same page, but I guess for our personalities, this is not going to be a reality. It leaves a hole in our marriage that we try to pretend isn’t there, but we feel it and see it and tip-toe around it everyday. I have hoped that time would eventually make this easier, but it has not. It still feels raw and we’re painfully aware that we have to somehow learn to live with this discomfort. I have suffered with depression profoundly-often times feeling like I’m somehow not worthy of him and that I have made his life harder by having deciding to leave the church. For whatever reason, I have a very difficult time not feeling like I am somehow an inferior person to those who are able to stay in the church and make it work for them. I feel weaker because I couldn’t. I have very angry days where I know that I am strong and did what I needed to do for my own sense of internal integrity. But the dynamics of my life and my personality always seem to fall back down into feeling like I’ve failed as a wife and mother because of this.
    I take hope in the healthy and successful examples and resources of ways that people have made these types of situations work in their lives. I hope eventually that we can find a place that feels happy and acceptable to us too. Thanks again for all the wonderful interviews and resources that you provide to help so many people who are quietly trying to navigate these types of situations. We aren’t all able to be in a position to use our voices and our stories to help others, even if we wish we could. I am glad that so many are able to use their voices and experiences to help and benefit others.

  19. Kye April 3, 2019 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    I NEVER comment on public places like this, but I heard that your family might be in trouble With the church.
    I needed to let you know how much your interview Helped me. I was going through faith crisis for about six months before I found your story. I really appreciated you’re helpful links and all of the advice you shared. I know I am only one person but your Interview made such an impact on me.

  20. Jonothan April 5, 2019 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    So, are they still active members or nah?

  21. Alicia April 17, 2019 at 11:09 am - Reply

    I just listened to all these episodes, I loved them and their story. What is the song that plays at the beginning and end of these episodes? I’ve tried searching for it, but haven’t had any luck.

    • Mormon Stories April 17, 2019 at 11:19 am - Reply

      Hi Alicia, “Alright to Be You” is a collaboration song by electronic musician, Milocraft, and singer-songwriter, Angela Soffe. In 2018 they founded the “Be Moved Project” to create music that helps people feel happy and connected. To hear more music or support the project by becoming a patron, please visit:

  22. Chris A April 23, 2019 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Such a beautiful family and I thank you for sharing your passage through your faith crisis. I’m not Mormom BUT….we had the unfortunate experience of living in Salt Lake City, UT for eight years. As a mom of three daughters, I fear that I will forever hold the pain that Mormonism caused my family. Personally, I was constantly battling my instincts to fiercely protect my girls from the wrath of not being Mormon and the need to bite my tongue in order to not cause more harm to my family.
    I wish you continued peace and love and again, thank you for sharing.


  23. Marcy Swan January 2, 2020 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    I am just 2 months into this journey. I’m the first one in my family. (I’m the mom.)
    Thank you for giving me a community.
    Thank you for finding these stories.
    Thank you for your bravery to post these stories. I had heard of your name but never listened to your podcasts. (Good Mormons don’t go there.)
    But now I’m out.
    I love these stories.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    And I have contributed, too. :-)

  24. Mike Larsen February 20, 2020 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    Very grateful indeed for the courage and honesty displayed and shared in these 4 hours of listening. We are all sharing in this life and we are all connected and honesty like this helps all of us feel connected. Most especially as we share our deepest fears and confusion and how we work our way through such things.
    Being raised in an active Mormon home we cannot help but identify completely with all that we are taught. It is inside us and we become it. Happened that way with me in Logan ( born in 1953) What a great childhood ….family and friends and adventure everywhere.,a mission to France , what a place to spend two years. Learned much more than I ever taught. College at USU and a temple marriage. Now 36 years living with Yupik Eskimo people in Alaska. One can learn so very much outside of the Utah culture about different ways of ‘ being.’
    I have always had doubts and knew that the coming forth of the gospel wasn’t what we were taught. I have always viewed it with curiosity and interest and read deeply as I aged but of course all of this changed with the Internet and what is possible now. My wife has never read the B of M or a single idea of the church and hasn’t missed a meeting here in 30 years . No exaggeration here. She simply does not want to know anything about it. I’m not built this way and I dive into the deep end as deeply as I can go . Love history of all kinds and understanding why people do as they do.
    Seems the me the essential concept shared by this couple is the question ” If the church is false in what they teach , would you want to know?”
    For my wife the answer is “No.” But if an individual can open up jut enough to answer this “yes” then the journey of discovery can begin . And what a journey it is ….. To freedom and enlightenment and not having to defend defend defend . Spirituality is open to all but to adopt dogma all one does is defend. It’s a collective egoic effort to try and put forth ” We are right and everyone is wrong “. I had trouble with that in my mission BTW . And I’ve tried my entire life to never say it . It never felt right.
    The church is changing . People are asking questions and demanding answers . The brethren are in a difficult place. Stay secret and quiet or risk it all and open Pandora’s box ? Well … The box is already open and there’s no slamming it shut now.
    Love these podcasts John. Extremely grateful to you for your efforts and the kind curious way you elicit information and encourage openness and even council people that struggle.
    I own a place on a golf course in St George and I have many guests there all the time . Of all kinds , mostly artists & photographers & hikers and wilderness lovers and golfers too! ( I went through college on a golf scholarship and still love the game ) and … Fly fishermen and fisher women are appreciated . The fly fishing in Bristol Bay is a dream and I live it all summer every summer. In short … Honest people that want a fun place to stay are welcome to come stay . My email is
    If anyone wants to discuss gospel issues or ideas in general or the struggles they are experiencing. I’ve been through it . I am a retired teacher , administrator and business owner. And I enjoy more peace in my life than ever before and freedom from defending a belief system that does not hold up to scrutiny .

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