Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
156:  Adam S. Miller:  Future Mormon

156: Adam S. Miller: Future Mormon

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 10.16.52 AMAdam S. Miller writes

“I have three children, a girl and two boys. Our worlds overlap but, already, these worlds are not the same. Their worlds, the worlds that they will grow to fill, are already taking leave of mine. Their futures are already wedged into our present. This is both heartening and frightening. So much of our world deserves to be left. So much of it deserves to be scrapped and recycled. But, too, this scares me. I worry that a lot of what has mattered most to me in this world—Mormonism in particular—may be largely unintelligible to them in theirs. This problem isn’t new, but it is perpetually urgent. Every generation must start again. Every generation must work out their own salvation. Every generation must live it’s own lives and think its own thoughts and receive its own revelations. And, if Mormonism continues to matter, it will be because they, rather than leaving, were willing to be Mormon all over again. Like our grandparents, like our parents, and like us, they will have to rethink the whole tradition, from top to bottom, right from the beginning, and make it their own in order to embody Christ anew in this passing world. To the degree that we can help, our job is to model that work in love and then offer them the tools, the raw materials, and the room to do it themselves.”

In this episode Adam and I discuss a few  ideas that emerge from his new book Future Mormon.  We range far and wide, high and low to arrive at a place where there is hope for a future Mormonism that feels it might be capacious and expansive enough to last.


  1. Jesus said love everyone. Well, I’m loving you two. Your podcast sent my thinking in so many directions.

    1. I am not an intellectual. No scholarly, academic training. So, it takes a few minutes to get into the PHD style dialect. It’s kind of like when I see a Shakespeare play. For the first 15 minutes, I don’t understand much. Then the unfamiliar language light goes on. Followed by much enjoyment.

    2. “The church needs disruptions.” “Our religious form needs to be redeployed in order to save it.” Adam, that stumped me for awhile. Then I wanted to give you a hug. You, an active, thoughtful member were validating my actions. Talk about big…to me anyway.

    3. Grace. I so wish we could have discussions about this is priesthood. Frankly, our lessons are old, dull, and boring. Yet, grace should really be at the center of our gospel. Eight months into my faith transition, I changed my view on how grace works. It was a glorious day. I could literally feel a burden lifted from my shoulders. But, it’s a concept that can’t be discussed at church. At least, not yet.

    4. Faith and belief. I want to hear more about that. They are not the same? I have wondered if I can have faith without belief. Actually, I’ve concluded that I can.

    5. Regarding redeployment. You said that it’s everybody’s responsibility to redeploy within the station that we hold in the church. You used Paul’s analogy of the body of Christ. Some are hands. Some are feet. Adam…that sent goose bumps. I thought, “I am a hand. It’s my station to redeploy my hand in OPPOSITION when the apostolic sustainings are called for.” Then tears followed as I thought, “Many are feet. They are voting (redeploying) with their feet and leaving the church.”

    6. Whose responsibility is it to redeploy in order to save the church? Your response was EVERYBODY. That includes me.

    Thank you both, Gina and Adam, for a highly meaningful interview. I realize that perhaps I completely missed what you wanted to convey. But, as far as I’m concerned, you nailed some issues that I would love to see nailed down.

    1. Gina Colvin

      I’m thrilled that that is what you took away from the interview Sam! I think you are bang on with what you took away from it. That makes me happy because I worried somewhat that we were doing that annoying ‘academic thing’ and floating above so high that it was difficult to see any relevance! Thanks so much for your feedback!

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