Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
201: Ministering to Those In Faith Crisis: Bishop Matt Jones

201: Ministering to Those In Faith Crisis: Bishop Matt Jones

Credit: Hartwig HKD @Flickr


LDS Bishops are at the front line as Mormons facing their own questions, concerns and doubts seek their counsel.   Too often these local leaders surmise that the person expressing doubt must have done something wrong to get there.   ‘This isn’t the case’, says Bishop Jones, a sitting Bishop in Seattle.
In this episode, we discuss how those in faith crisis are often at their most vulnerable and afraid, and how they can be ministered to with kindness and spiritual presence.


  1. Jessica

    I love this. I have had a really close friend exit the church and as their family was struggling the overwhelming advice they got on all levels was read your scriptures and pray more. Essentially making it their fault, when they were already hurting and fighting to make it work. I wish I had the words or that someone in authority had the words to help them navigate that valley.
    As for my own faith crisis, I’m still heavy into it. But this podcast was reassuring.

    1. Gina Colvin

      Loved your comment Jessica. This is the problem isn’t it? When we refuse to give faith crisis the beautiful language it deserves we make it something to be feared. I don’t think there is reason to fear it, but there is reason to be wary of those who are threatened by it. A pastor said to me recently, ‘We are all on our own faith journies and God is a part of that journey. I suppose the problems really come when church, or family etc. try to trouble that faith journey you and God are taking together. That’s when we have to dig in deep and trust the ride. It might make the church a little less ‘true’ but it might make God more present – besides which churches can afford to be made a little less true – we’ve been idolizing them for far too long.

  2. Jessica

    Wish I had run into a listening bishop like this on my way out.

    Two comments though…. I strongly dislike the phrase “it will all work out”. I think that’s easy to say when you have a reasonably pleasant life. If you are mired in generations of poverty, or a black man afraid of every police encounter or a terrified refugee or a women whose potential has been held back or any of a million really awful human situations it often doesn’t work out – and life can be long and exhausting and really sad, and saying that God will bless you in the next life for your suffering excuses those of us who have from really helping those who have not.

    When I don’t believe in a God/afterlife where all suffering is immediately rewarded then I am forced to relieve suffering right here and now.

    Also interested in your statement that you were able to “reconcile” really difficult aspects of Mormonism. How do you reconcile abuse of women or really blatant racism or abusive homophobia? I was 14 when I read in Mormon Doctrine that I had been less valiant in the preexistence and that changed who I was as a person. There is no reconciling that.

    1. Gina Colvin

      Thanks for your comment! I don’t think either of us said that it everything will work out as such. Things can be as bad as they can be but we both agreed that despite what life can throw at us there is still a wide, deep abiding love for us, and all humanity. We chose to call that seat of love, God.

  3. Dot

    Thank you for this podcast Gina. I left the church at the age of 68 in a huge huff in November 2015, but was never a born- or cultural Mormon. I was just fed up with the spin and lack of love, and ended up uncovering more than I went looking for. But I still feel loss and sadness and there was nobody to sit with me through my pain, as Matt is doing. Being spiritually present with someone must be the greatest of all comforts, and if I could Hie to Seattle I would!

    I appreciate the balance and empathy that I felt coming from this interview. So, so much!

    I look forward to you and Bill together Gina.

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