Welcome to our podcast! My name is Richard Ostler (twitter: twitter.com/Papa_Ostler; FB: facebook.com/richard.ostler.5; IG: instagram.com/papa_ostler/) and am a native of Salt Lake City.
I am the author of "Listen Learn and Love: Embracing LGBTQ Latter-day Saints at amazon.com/dp/1462135773 and seagullbook.com/Listen-Learn-and-Love-Richard-Ostler.html
I am the author of two recent Ensign articles on ‘How the Savior’s Healing Power Applies to Repenting from Sexual Sin’ (August 2020/YSA Digital Only) www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2020/08/young-adults/how-the-saviors-healing-power-applies-to-repenting-from-sexual-sin
and ‘7 Tips for Overcoming Pornography Use’ (October, page 72) www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2020/10/young-adults/7-tips-for-overcoming-pornography-use
I have degrees from the University of Utah and Brigham Young University (business). I married my best friend and eternal companion Sheila Juergens of Houston, Texas in 1990 and we are the parents of six children and several grandchildren and live near Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City. I believe in and am deeply committed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and want it to work for a wider group.
The name ‘Papa Ostler’ resulting from being introduced to Twitter by my High School age son Matt in 2010. I wanted the high school age youth to know I wasn’t their age as I interacted with them … hence the name Papa Ostler.
I served as a YSA Bishop in the West Valley City/Magna area of Salt Lake (released in 2016) and met some of the finest people I will ever know. In addition to meeting with wonderful active members of my Ward, I reached out and connected via social media (mostly via the private messaging features of FB and Twitter) with many of our inactive members and their non-member friends. Over time, many felt comfortable meeting with me and sharing their stories. Through hundreds of interviews and ‘listening to understand’, I was able to ‘see’ the church from the eyes of those on the outside. Many feel the church is their ‘spiritual home’ but feel uncomfortable attending for a variety of reasons such as work-in-progress testimonies, concerns about church history, feeling unworthy because of past or current sin, don't fit the cultural mold, role of women, are LGBTQ and/or feel God's LGBTQ childen should be more welcomed in our congregations, etc.
This podcast is designed to 'Have a Conversation' about some of the more complicated issues in our church to help all of us 'listen, learn and love' so we can minister in a more effective way to all of Heavenly Father’s children.
Most podcasts will be from our LDS LGBTQ friends to give them voice so we can better understand their road, touch their cross, learn from them, and minister to them as directed by President M. Russell Ballard when he said "We need to listen to and understand what our LGBT brothers and sisters are feeling and experiencing. Certainly, we must do better than we have done in the past so that all members feel they have a spiritual home where their brothers and sisters love them and where they have a place to worship and serve the Lord(Nov 2017 BYU Devotional)." Some podcasts will be from LGBTQ allies sharing their experiences and how to be helpful.
Other podcasts will be from guests talking about other complicated topics such as mental health, returning from a mission early, overcoming sin, and faith challenges.
Are podcast are indexed by category at listenlearnandlove.org/podcasts
Thank you for joining us. You can't donate to this podcast. There are no sponsors. But you can leave a review/rate the podcast on the platform you are listening.
With love, Richard 'Papa' Ostler ❤
*I will respond to your e-mails*
Episode 335: Blaire Ostler, Queer Latter-day Saint and Queer Theorist
My friend Blaire Ostler (no relation) updated our listeners to help us better understand our bisexual and non binary friends. The first part of the podcast is educational to help us understand the labels people use to describe their identities and orientations. Labels matter. And using labels is key to helping our LGBTQ friends feel loved and accepted.
The second part of the podcast is Blaire bravely sharing her experiences as a Latter-day Saint—including difficult experiences and some recent hopeful experiences. If you want to better help LGBTQ Latter-day Saints and honor our leaders charge to be more inclusive, please listen to Blaire share her experience. I wish I knew the things Blaire taught many years ago. It would have helped me better minister and support all of our Heavenly Parents children.
You can reach Blaire (and read more of her excellent work) at blaireostler.com
Thank you for being on the podcast my friend Blaire. You are awesome!
Episode 334: Colby Lowe, Gay Latter-Day Saint, Colon Cancer
My friend Colby Lowe (RM, Age 26) share his journey as a gay Latter-day Saint. I became aware of Colby when I read his excellent coming out post on November 29, 2016. Here is a link to that post: https://www.facebook.com/colby.lowe1/posts/10154146718078494. Colby talks about his relationship with the Church (not currently fully participating), his excellent relationship with his Heavenly Father, and his mother Cindy.
Colby also talks about his health include colon cancer, lymph node cancer and Crohn’s. Colby talks about the differences between cancer (that needs to be carved out) and being gay (that is part of his essence). This is an important distinction and Colby has firsthand insights and personal revelation and he knows both roads.
If you’d like to help towards Colby medical expenses, here is his GoFundMe: https://gf.me/u/y5ks4z
Thanks for being on the podcast Colby. I was deeply toughed by you and your strong spirit and goodness. You are a great man and are one of my heroes. Thank you for bringing hope and healing to so many others.
Episode 333: Luke Romney and Madi Hawes, BYU Students, Instagram Account @BYUQ2024
My friend Luke Romney (gay) and Madi Hawes (ally), both freshman at BYU, share starting an Instagram account supporting BYU queer freshman (who will be the class of 2024). Luke shares his story as a gay Latter-day Saint who grew up in SLC and wants to go to divinity school with a focus on environmental humanities. Madi, who grew up in Tacoma, Washington and wants to be a pediatrician, shares her story to be an ally to this group who walks a difficult road.
I was deeply moved and impressed with Luke and Madi. Two great human beings with strong relationships with their Heavenly Parents and a desire to serve others. They are wonderful and courageous and are honoring their baptism covenants with their IG to bear, mourn and comfort. Honored to have them on the podcast.
Episode 332: Reed and Amber Blackburn, Still Born Child Tessa
My friend Reed and Amber Blackburn share losing their daughter Tessa who was stillborn on May 16, 2018. They learned she was going to be stillborn during a checkup around 35 weeks.
Reed and Amber talk openly about the tragedy of losing a child, a few days with Tessa before the funeral, and how they are healing and moving forward on this brutal road.
If you have lost a child, want to help someone who has lost a child, or just want to be inspired, please listen to this podcast. Reed (who is a seminary teacher at Cottonwood High in SLC) and Amber are two of my heroes and have great insight on how to help others.
Thank you Reed and Amber for sharing your story. You two are awesome
Episode 331: Doug Cartwright founder of The Daily Shifts, Finding Spirituality & Self Love
My long-time friend Doug Cartwright shares his remarkable journey to identity and solve trauma, overcome feelings of being suicidal, finding spirituality, and self-love. Doug is brutally honest about his own story including being survivor of sexual assault, defined by being overweight, an early-release missionary, his Dad’s death, and trying to find happiness through financial success. All this led to a period of time where Doug because suicidal and worked hard to address and resolve difficult issues leading him to a great place and the ability to help others.
Doug has developed a program to help you learn to love yourself and find your purpose as you navigate big life changes. He has compiled all the very best tools and techniques he discovered while taking 2 years off his life and traveling the world seeking spirituality and God. For our listeners he has never offered it this low before with a 65% discount. If you are suicidal or need better tools to find peace and self-love, please consider Doug’s course. www.thedailyshifts.com/LLL you can also download his app “ The Daily Shifts” in the apple App Store . He also responds to every DM on Instagram, you can follow him @Doug_Cartwright. Doug’s efforts were key to Braden Orgill ending his feelings of suicide (Episode 326).
Thank you Doug for being on the podcast. You are a great man and friend. Thank you for your needed efforts.
Episode 330: Jake Young, RM Edmonton, LGBTQ Ally
My friend Jake Young (currently studying Entrepreneurship at BYU), shares reasons why he believes and wants to stay in our Church and things he disagrees with and hopes will change. Jake represents many of our Gen Z members with a world view on fairness, equality and reaching out those on the margins—and see where their faith communities sometimes stumble in these areas.
Jake is deeply spiritual and student of the scriptures and is serious about his spiritual journey and loving everyone. I believe he represents the future of our Church and society. I was deeply moved listening to this good man honestly share his feelings and insights into the doctrine of Christ to love and support everyone.
I believe we need to do a better job to make space for the men and women like Jake Young in our Church. Good members who do not agree with some aspects of our history and some of our current positions—but have testimonies of our restored doctrine. And doing much to honor their baptism covenants to sit with and lift the burdens of others.
You can find Jake on IG at @jakeballa5.
Thank you for being on the podcast Jake. You are wise, thoughtful, kind, and with a spiritual maturity that is remarkable for a man you age. Keep being you. The world needs people like you.