Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
118-119: Mormonism through the eyes of Swedish women

118-119: Mormonism through the eyes of Swedish women

Photo Credit: Wiktoria Heinz (2016)

Marion Fust Saeternes, Kristina Olergard Tenney and Wiktoria Heinz join me at A Thoughtful Faith to discuss the  differences between Swedish culture and Mormon culture and the invariable tension that creates.  Recorded during a week where  we are discussing and debating the benefits of cultural diversity in the upper echelons of the church Marion, Kristina and Wiktoria describe their experiences in trying to reconcile Mormon culture with their own socialization, consciences, loyalties and convictions.

They talk about the misfit between American Mormon and Swedish socialization, the differences in the economic and political system which sets them at odds with a largely conservative political culture in the LDS church and the loss of gender and sexual equality in the church compared with Sweden.

American Mormon culture is so ubiquitous in the church that it is difficult to occupy both parts of the self and in this episode we discuss what parts of themselves are sacrificed in the quest to be both Swedish women AND Mormon.


  1. A Happy Hubby

    This was very very interesting. I have never lived in the Mormon corridor, but over a thousand miles (1609.34 kilometers 🙂 from Utah. But these podcasts help me see how much of an American fish I am in American cultural water. Gina – keep bringing these on. I just wish these could be shown between the sessions of conference!

    I have had some interactions with swedes’ and the topics they so wonderfully covered were interesting, but one thing stood out from my ‘mercan POV is that these wonderful sisters were constantly asking, “can I add/say something?” I noticed that being different when compared to my culture where people just say what they feel without asking, especially in a podcast where the point is to get viewpoints!

    Marion, Kristina, and Wiktoria – thanks for taking the time to enlighten others!

  2. Michelle Stone

    This was so interesting to me! And it did a wonderful job of shaking up and making me reexamine my paradigm and assumptions. Thank you! I am a Utah County homeschooling mother of a large family. As I listened to these fascinating women, I (more than usual) introspected and analyzed my life and my decisions. I remember as a teen being taught how almost evil Sweden was because of the breakdown of the family structure among other things. While it makes me sad that it does seem to somewhat shut down the option for women to stay at home with their children, there are aspects that sound simply wonderful. As usual, I have far more questions than answers, but I so appreciate the perspective.

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