Today I sit down with two brothers, Samuel & Joseph. Both of these two brothers know the issues. They both have gone down the rabbit hole of Mormonism seeing its messiness and complexity. Having gone down the rabbit hole they came out different sides. Joe’s faith, once strong and both feet in, dissolved and vanished away as he left the Church and navigated the hard path out of the Church and making a new life and a happy one at that. Sam on the other hand, while agreeing with much of what the critic has to say, has continued to stay seeing value in continued practice and activity and faith that Mormonism can still be and become an inspiring place to be part of community, to raise a family, and to do God’s work. The most profound part of this conversation is the love and vulnerability these two brothers share with each other, honoring each others path and validating the position that the other has arrived at. Maybe, there is something each of us can learn from these two incredible men as they seek to set aside faith positions and simply love each other as brothers making space for each other to show up as they are with no expectation of what that should look like.
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Bill asked Sam some difficult questions, but he didn’t ask Sam about the Church’s authority claims. Some people who know about the Church’s difficult history still believe that being sealed in the temple is the way for families to be together in eternity, and that Russell Nelson is the one person on earth who holds all of the keys of God’s priesthood. For people like that, it is easy to see why they would stay in the Church. I would have been interested to hear Sam’s beliefs on those matters.
Just the podcast I needed at this time. I’m presently trying to help my bishop understand how/why my path departed from orthodox Mormonism. He seems to see me as the “very elect being deceived” and desires to guide me back into the fold. I plan to share this podcast with him to help him maybe alter the way he perceives formerly all-in members who step away.
Thanks Bill and your guests for an excellent discussion.
It’s sort of cringe to hear the brother who has stayed in the church. He knows of the polygamy issues the prophet Joseph Smith, and yet, he makes space to say Joseph Smith still did and said inspiring and beautiful things. In todays world, if Joseph Smith did what he did back then today, would you still defend the fact that he did so many things that were wrong, in the back of his wife, with children? This is the issue with TBM, they would condemn a Pedofile in todays world, oh, but not Joseph Smith, because he said and did other beautiful things, c’mon, where does your integrity stand?
Something you have to understand is not letting the church pay for other people’s even its leader’s previous sins.
I’m more about reforming the church than abandoning it. Just keep the good toss out the bad.
I loved this particular podcast. I so wish I could have this type of dialogue with my believing siblings. However, I do wish I had a chance to push back on Sam’s cruise ship analogy a bit. It’s about 80% good. But what is Fiji (celestial kingdom presumably?)? And are other cruise ships going there too? Does he believe the LDS church’s cruise ship is the only valid one? I find that these type of nuanced believers struggle to articulate their position on the church’s “one true church” stance and that only via the temple/priesthood power is one able to arrive in Fiji. Nonetheless, great discussion and interesting perspectives.
I liked the Frederick Nieztsche quote at 49:00.The Human mind craves purpose, and Mormonism gives purpose to so many people. But it still causes harm. I love how the brothers can talk, which is made possible by Sam being honest enough and loving enough to communicate with Joe with empathy born of understanding. What a great episode!