215: When a Former Mormon Becomes Your Prime Minister: Reflections on Jacinda Ardern and the LDS Church in New Zealand

Ganeshji Cherian, Sarah Howard, Quintin Howard and Nathan McCluskey discuss the cultural mismatch of American Mormon culture with New Zealand culture in the wake of Jacinda Ardern’s becoming the Prime Minister of New Zealand.




  1. Marion Fust Sæternes

    I cannot claim, of course, that NZ is exactly like Sweden/Norway and vice-versa, but this conversation resonated! It mirrors past, and some present tensions in my life.

    I understand and respect Jacinda Ardern. Her stance is a principled one. But “must” one give up LDS origins to quiet an often-beleaguered conscience? (How) is it possible to navigate the relationship with the big C – US – church as a woman of the 21’s century? It can be an interesting journey if one values paradoxes and mental gymnastics. But it is also very taxing in the long run.

    Listening today moved those tensions out from within me to the space between five other persons, thus offering a moment of welcome respite and perspective. Thank you. I’m sure many Scandinavian Mormons would appreciate this pod-cast.

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  3. LAman

    I’ve lived in many nations, from Norway to New Zealand and currently on the Navajo nation. My experience is that Utah white leaders have a quite modest impact on any congreation. May I posit that local growth is 99% contingent on local members. This is to say, Maori growth is contingent upon Maoris. Kiwi growth is contingent on Kiwis. Utah church leaders, at best, offer direction and then get out of the way. My thoughts anyway.

    Secondly, I have observed that “cultural incompatibiliy” is often a veneer—with the real complaints being doctrine(s).

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