We have been humbled and astonished at the caliber of guests we’ve been able to have on our podcast thus far. People like Greg Prince, Margaret Young, John Sorenson, Phil Barlow, and so many others are the true progenitors of the modern Intellectual Mormonism community. I was surprised to find out early on that many of these living legends had rarely experienced a monumental faith crisis in their lives. Since one of the objectives of this podcast is to help individuals navigate through a faith crisis with testimonies intact, I thought it would be important for us to find some regular LDS folks who have faced that “dark night of the soul” but still remained faithful.
Thanks to our wonderful A Thoughtful Faith Facebook Group and a recommendation by his brother Paul, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Michael Barker and hear his amazing story. In this interview, Mike shares how a close look at polygamy and polyandry catalyzed his doubts in the mission of Joseph Smith. He shares how a combination of unapologetic Mormon Scholarship and communion with God allowed him to find a way to maintain his faith as an active, believing Latter-Day Saint. Michael also discusses how his discovery of the concepts of Natural Theology led him to start the Rational Faiths Blog, and how a burning desire to inoculate the Saints fuels his current zeal for Mormonism.
Before this interview, I had known of Michael Barker and his brother Paul through their work at RationalFaiths.com, a blog dedicated to creating a “safe, fair, and balanced space to discuss the complexities, difficulties, and beauty of their Mormon tradition.” At Rational Faiths the Barker Brothers provide insights into the current LDS Sunday School Curriculum, book reviews, and various topics within Mormonism from seer stones to modesty. Be sure to check out their wonderful blog at RationalFaiths.com.
Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman
Early Mormonism and the Magic Worldview by D. Michael Quinn
In Sacred Loneliness by Todd Compton
David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism by Gregory Prince
By the Hand of Mormon by Terryl Givens
The God Who Weeps by Terryl and Fiona Givens