Latest Story

270: “Yes, and . . .”: Activism and Renewal in a Tragic World

February 26, 2015
By
270: “Yes, and . . .”: Activism and Renewal in a Tragic World

We all recognize that there is a significant distance between the “real” world we live in and the “ideal” one we’d love to see instantiated. Parker Palmer calls this space between real and ideal the “tragic gap.” He uses “tragic” to denote the inevitability of this distance and to acknowledge that even the greatest person living the best kind of life will never live to see her or his ideals fully realized. “Tragic” implies those things that are inescapable conditions of life. In Mormon theology, even God lives in the tragic gap. God can call and urge and try to…

Read more »

269: The Effects of Excommunication on All of Us: Healing Perspectives

February 11, 2015
By
269: The Effects of Excommunication on All of Us: Healing Perspectives

This week’s excommunication from the LDS Church of John Dehlin, and its making fresher the memory of Kate Kelly’s excommunication last summer as well as other actions taken against persons of conscience who have found themselves in tension with the church, is taking a great emotional and spiritual toll on…

Read more »

267–268: The Gospels

February 10, 2015
By
267–268: The Gospels

In this two-part Mormon Matters episode, Taylor Petrey and Eric Huntsman join host Dan Wotherspoon to help ground the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the political, geographic, linguistic, and religious contexts of their times. What do we know (and not know!) about the authors of these texts,…

Read more »

265–266: Mormonism as a “Religion”

February 3, 2015
By
265–266: Mormonism as a “Religion”

Of course Mormonism is a religion. But do we always think about it through the lenses of such a big and diverse category? Among those who are born into and/or otherwise live and experience the world primarily through the lenses of Mormonism, most often their focus is on its “truth…

Read more »

263–264: Ordinances

January 29, 2015
By
263–264: Ordinances

In the Doctrine and Covenants, we read that it is through ordinances that “the power of godliness is manifest” (D&C 84:20). There are many ways to read this scripture, various angles to take, and all of them are fruitful. In this two-part episode, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and panelists…

Read more »

262: Gospel Burn-Out

December 17, 2014
By
262: Gospel Burn-Out

Ever feel worn down, your spiritual life lagging, feeling like all you are doing is going through the motions, and church engagement is feeling more like “gospel grind” than blessing? When we find ourselves in one of these moments–perhaps days, months, years!–what might we do to recover a little of…

Read more »

261: Faith and Repentance

December 8, 2014
By
261: Faith and Repentance

Because they come up so often in gospel lessons and are indeed the “first principles” of the gospel (Article of Faith 4), we might think that a 90-minute podcast on faith and repentance would be redundant and boring. Not so when talked about by Sam Brown and Adam Miller! Mixing…

Read more »

260: Introversion and the Mormon Experience

December 3, 2014
By

No two individuals are exactly alike, and no schema can fully capture our particular essence or personality. Yet it is sometimes helpful to speak about different temperaments or “personality types.” One of the largest personality type groupings distinguishes between “extroverts” and “introverts,” with certain studies recognizing between 30 and 50…

Read more »

259: A Reason for the Hope That Is In Me

November 19, 2014
By
259: A Reason for the Hope That Is In Me

In 1 Peter, we are encouraged as Christians to always be ready to give voice to “a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). This past weekend, I was given an opportunity to do just that when I shared reflections from my…

Read more »

258: Question 7

November 12, 2014
By
258: Question 7

In the LDS temple recommend interview, Question 7 reads: “Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” This question came into public consciousness this past week…

Read more »

257: Negotiating Adult Faith within a Developing Institution

November 3, 2014
By
257: Negotiating Adult Faith within a Developing Institution

Just as many theorists understand individual human maturation through developmental stages, a great deal of literature suggests that institutions (churches, corporations, governments) as well as other all other groups, cultures, and societies, also undergo similar processes. In this episode, guest host Katie Langston and panelists Dan Wotherspoon, Marybeth Raynes, and Brad Kramer discuss ideas about socio-cultural…

Read more »

256: The Church’s New Articles on Plural Marriage

October 27, 2014
By
256: The Church’s New Articles on Plural Marriage

The LDS Church has just released via its website, LDS.org, several new essays under the heading “Plural Marriage in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” The cluster includes a framing article (named above) and links to three more detailed pieces: “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo” (new article),…

Read more »

255: New Church Video on LDS Temple Clothing and Garments

October 21, 2014
By
255: New Church Video on LDS Temple Clothing and Garments

Through its Newsroom website, the LDS Church recently released a new video and essay that depicts Mormonism’s sacred temple clothing, along with the garments worn by those who have gone through the temple and made covenants there. The video and essay frame temple robes and garments as continuous with the…

Read more »

254: Meet the Mormons–Is It Signaling a Shift in Mormon Identity?

October 16, 2014
By
254: Meet the Mormons–Is It Signaling a Shift in Mormon Identity?

Meet the Mormons was filmed for use in LDS visitor centers, but in a surprising move it was released in U.S. theaters on October 10th, and was seen by a substantial number of people–mostly Mormons, and many there from encouragement by leaders or local organizers to attend the opening weekend…

Read more »

253: Supporting Missionary Work During or After a Faith Transition

October 14, 2014
By
253: Supporting Missionary Work During or After a Faith Transition

The importance of actively participating in sharing the gospel is a prominent topic in contemporary Mormonism. For youth, there are big pushes to prepare for and serve a full-time mission. For parents, one of our most important calls is to raise future missionaries. We’re frequently called on to pray for…

Read more »

251-252: Mormonism’s Apostasy Narrative

October 1, 2014
By
251-252: Mormonism’s Apostasy Narrative

No story differentiates Mormonism from other Christian traditions more than its claim to be the restoration of the church Jesus Christ set up while on the earth—an organization led by twelve apostles who were granted priesthood and authority to continue Christ’s saving work after he died. This framing narrative of…

Read more »

249–250: Being Authentic within Mormonism

September 23, 2014
By
249–250: Being Authentic within Mormonism

Mormonism is a powerful tradition, presenting a worldview and truth claims that are extremely potent, but also creating a culture that can be, for many of us, totalizing. When we feel safe and secure within its teachings and the sense of meaning it presents, it can be a wonderful, comfortable…

Read more »

248: Approaching Scriptural Texts with Fresh Eyes

August 28, 2014
By
248: Approaching Scriptural Texts with Fresh Eyes

Scripture is not its own genre. Some scriptural texts are letters, some are songs or descriptions of rituals and liturgies, some poetry. Many sections are historical narratives, but others fall into the classification of “wisdom literature,” a genre that has completely different goals from historical accounts and a radically different…

Read more »

247: The “Best Thing” About Mormonism—2

August 22, 2014
By
247: The “Best Thing” About Mormonism—2

This episode features four one-on-one conversations between Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and wonderful friends of his—Jeff Krey, Chelsi Archibald, Jim Smithson, and Becky Linford—who he asked to think about and share their favorite thing about Mormonism. What it is that they like or love most about Mormonism or life as a…

Read more »

244–246: Genesis, Part 6—Isaac, Rebekah, Esau, and the Transformation of Jacob

July 29, 2014
By
244–246: Genesis, Part 6—Isaac, Rebekah, Esau, and the Transformation of Jacob

In this episode, the Mormon Matters “Genesis Team”—David Bokovoy, Tom Roberts, and Brian Hauglid—join host Dan Wotherspoon for a discussion of Genesis 24–33, which focus on the God-ordained meeting and marriage of Isaac and Rebekah, and the tales of their twin sons, Esau and Jacob—many of which focus on trickery…

Read more »

239–243: Jesus Christ within Mormonism

July 16, 2014
By
239–243: Jesus Christ within Mormonism

We Latter-day Saints “talk of Christ . . . rejoice in Christ . . . preach of Christ . . . prophesy of Christ . . . and write of Christ, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi…

Read more »

237–238: Hope and Healing in the Face of LDS Current Events

July 7, 2014
By
237–238: Hope and Healing in the Face of LDS Current Events

As we in the LDS Bloggernacle continue to process and strive for healing and renewed hope during this time of unease and pain caused by the recent church disciplinary actions for public LDS voices, it is important to hear helpful framings from experienced and wise friends. Moderated by Mormon Matters…

Read more »

236: Encountering Other Traditions, Part 1: Freemasonry

June 19, 2014
By
236: Encountering Other Traditions, Part 1: Freemasonry

Mormon Matters is launching a new series that focuses on Latter-day Saints who, in addition to their Mormonism, are intimately familiar with another religion or philosophical tradition and whose spirituality has grown through that encounter. In this first episode of the series, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon engages four LDS…

Read more »

235: Perspectives on News of Possible Excommunications of LDS Activists, Part 5

June 12, 2014
By

June 11 brought news that Kate Kelly, founder of Ordain Women, and John Dehlin, prominent public LDS voice through Mormon Stories and other podcasts and venues, have been called to face church disciplinary councils for “apostasy,” as evidenced through their activism and public expressions of concern regarding various issues facing today’s…

Read more »

234: Perspectives on News of Possible Excommunications of LDS Activists, Part 4

June 12, 2014
By

June 11 brought news that Kate Kelly, founder of Ordain Women, and John Dehlin, prominent public LDS voice through Mormon Stories and other podcasts and venues, have been called to face church disciplinary councils for “apostasy,” as evidenced through their activism and public expressions of concern regarding various issues facing today’s…

Read more »

233: Perspectives on News of Possible Excommunications of LDS Activists, Part 3

June 12, 2014
By

June 11 brought news that Kate Kelly, founder of Ordain Women, and John Dehlin, prominent public LDS voice through Mormon Stories and other podcasts and venues, have been called to face church disciplinary councils for “apostasy,” as evidenced through their activism and public expressions of concern regarding various issues facing today’s…

Read more »

232: Perspectives on News of Possible Excommunications of LDS Activists, Part 2

June 12, 2014
By

June 11 brought news that Kate Kelly, founder of Ordain Women, and John Dehlin, prominent public LDS voice through Mormon Stories and other podcasts and venues, have been called to face church disciplinary councils for “apostasy,” as evidenced through their activism and public expressions of concern regarding various issues facing today’s…

Read more »

231: Perspectives on News of Possible Excommunications of LDS Activists, Part 1

June 12, 2014
By

June 11 brought news that Kate Kelly, founder of Ordain Women, and John Dehlin, prominent public LDS voice through Mormon Stories and other podcasts and venues, have been called to face church disciplinary councils for “apostasy,” as evidenced through their activism and public expressions of concern regarding various issues facing today’s…

Read more »

230: The Mormon God

June 9, 2014
By
230: The Mormon God

Mormons have several quite distinctive views of God, but do most Mormons realize it? In almost every theological area, ranging from the nature of God as Creator (creating “from nothing” or as organizer of eternal element?) to the four major “omnis”—omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipresent—Mormons have a take that is…

Read more »

228–229: Mapping LDS Faith Transitions (with help from James Fowler)

June 2, 2014
By
228–229: Mapping LDS Faith Transitions (with help from James Fowler)

Many Mormon Matters listeners find their way to the podcast and other online communities and discussion groups because they recognize that they are experiencing some kind of “faith transition,” a re-orienting in their relationships with life’s fundamental questions, powers, and values. Often, however, this transition feel to us much more…

Read more »

227: “Living” Stories

May 21, 2014
By
227: “Living” Stories

In this episode, philosopher-theologian Adam Miller and narrative studies specialist Stephen Carter join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon to explore the many and varied ways we live within, think from, are shaped by, and are both aided and hindered by “stories.” The depth at which our lives are impacted by…

Read more »