John Dehlin will be no stranger to most of our listeners. Ten years ago he posted the first of hundreds of podcast interviews with Mormons who have over the last decade shared their own stories, narratives and experiences that have been painful, beautiful, angry, disillusioned, searching or reconciled to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Where Mormon public knowledge has been largely controlled and managed by the central body of ecclesiastical leaders, or has been the subject of intellectual concern and debate John did something unique. He allowed every day folk to tell their stories and what emerged was a progressive Mormon movement that has over the years grown exponentially. For the first time, available to Mormons all over the world who had the technology to listen were volumes of compelling and heartbreaking personal stories. In short Mormon Stories has been a phenomenon. Mormon Stories is the result of a perfect storm of John’s own questioning natures, his hubris and confidence, his dogged insistence that if Mormonism and its dark recesses saw some sunlight the church might be healthier for it – his facility with the technology and of course the internet.
Over the years John’s faith life, his mistakes, his successes, his ideas and schemes and his immense compassion for the suffering particularly for LGBT folk have been lived publicly and he’s taken hundreds of thousands of his listeners with him on this often turbulent journey. John has from the first courted censure and 2015 he was excommunicated from the church.
John joins Gina to discuss these things and more!