Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
135:  Patrick Mason “Planted”:  Tackling the Hard Questions

135: Patrick Mason “Planted”: Tackling the Hard Questions

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 12.57.53 PMPatrick Mason’s new book “Planted:  Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt” brings both thoughtfulness and compassion to the  crisis of faith currently experienced by many in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Drawing on his academic training his work offers an honest and a rigorous  treatment of the cultural and spiritual landscape inhabited by many Mormons,  along with fresh ways of understanding and responding to this moment.

In this co-hosted episode with Dan Wotherspoon, including Boyd Peterson we tackle some of the hard questions that Patrick’s book arouses.  What is a prophet?  What does it mean to sustain a leader or to forgive a leader?  What would Jesus have done in our circumstances?  Where do women fit into this model? And much, much more!


  1. Boy, how I hated this podcast. It really was painful to listen to. I started with an open mind but 1/2 through found myself muttering to myself ‘that’s easy for you to say’ everytime I heard one of these guys explain to us how we should approach difficulties we find in the church’s policy/organization. Glaring ignorance! They really to need to check themselves in the privileged position department. Of course if you’re a white (lkely Utah) male in the church you may be able to ‘see’ some problems but you sure aren’t going to EXPERIENCE many of them, so – like I said ‘that’s easy for YOU to say’ when you give advice.

    One question I did have – the author talked a lot about how an argument for ‘incremental change’ was because often the radical change may work for a time then give you a new structure or new situation that is worse that before. Can he give an EXAMPLE? I can’t think of one that’s relevant. It stank of blindly maintaining the status quo to me.


    1. JR

      Karen, It seems to me it probably doesn’t help either understanding, acceptance, or change to assert that white male Church members aren’t going to “EXPERIENCE” many of the problems others do, regardless of those men’s sexual orientation; marital status; socio-economic level; educational level; cultural background; organizational interests, talents, willingness or ability to function as yes-men; willingness to be cast in the role of knowing God’s will better than others; etc. While it is true that some white, male Church members are unlikely to experience some of the problems faced by others, it might be more helpful to refine your categories.

      Incidentally, there are locations in Arizona and Idaho that are at least as provincial LDS as some in Utah. There are so-called “Utah Mormons” scattered throughout the U.S. who continue to maintain culturally provincial attitudes wherever they are. For a time I lived in a Utah ward without those attitudes. (Almost all in that ward had lived outside Utah for some years.) The “likely Utah” generalization does not seem to be much better than characterizing all French men as womanizers or all German men as overweight beer-drinkers. When I have listened to Patrick Mason or Dan Wotherspoon in other contexts, I heard them offering possibilities for consideration, not insisting that their ideas would work for all. Thanks for confirming that some, one at least, perceived something different from that this time.

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