This Week in Mormons is the leading podcast on Latter-day Saintnews and issues, peppered with a bit of absurdist comedy and snappy wit! Join our host and editor-in-chief, Geoff Openshaw, as he partners with engaging Latter-day Saint co-hosts from around the world to bring you the best in Latter-day Saint news and commentary. Follow the blog at thisweekinmormons.com
Episodes typically published mid-week.
EP 518 - The Impact of Parents' Religious Rigidity on Young Adults Leaving the Church - An Interview w/ Liz Brown-Macdonald
There are many stereotypes that float around regarding Latter-day Saints, particularly those in the so-called "Mormon Corridor," the more heavily LDS section of America along the western edge of the Rockies, stretching from eastern Idaho across Utah and down into Arizona. Perhaps nowhere are those stereotypes more manifest than Utah County, home of Provo and arguably the densest population of self-described "active" Latter-day Saints in the world.
One such stereotype is that of overly pious or religiously rigid parents - parents so wrapped up in living their faith that deviations from the script are cause for major rifts between children, and these children often feel misunderstood and unloved in the process. This isn't to say such parents don't have noble goals and love for their kids - but there is a real struggle to balance their religious ideals with the choices their children might make.
Liz Brown-Macdonald is a research and aspirant PhD candidate and recently conducted a study among young adults ages 18-30 who had left the church and described themselves as having religiously "rigid" parents. She chronicled and analyzed their stories, looking for common threads. While Liz is quick to note her study is not meant to be representative of the overall population, it does provide crucial insights into decisions parents can make differently if their children choose to leave The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, particularly those in areas of dominant Latter-day Saint culture.
Many of the responses from these individuals are heartbreaking - tales of parents effectively cutting kids off, saying routinely they hope to see their children in the next life, awkward family gatherings. Indeed, one respondent argues simply, “The Church doesn’t have an answer for mixed-affiliation families.” So what answers can we find together?
Going a step further, there are examples of children engaging in dangerous sexual behavior because they are too afraid to be seen purchasing contraception, or a few examples of bishops unfortunately shaming a girl for coming forward with her indiscretions because of the damage it could do to a young man's standing in the Church.
It's worth noting many of the actions reportedly taken by the respondents' parents seem to go beyond the mark and aren't even supported by the Church. How easily do we fall into cultural chasms when parenting? We have huge goals and ideals for our children, and it can become easy to forget that the Church's teachings are more moderate and sensible in many areas than we might suppose.
We are thankful to Liz for sharing her insights with Josie Gleave and Geoff Openshaw. There's good material here for many of us, regardless of our activity level in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or any church, for that matter.
EP 517 - Friend to Friend Forever
Arianne's kids are going back to school full time, but while she expected to feel a sense of relief at her kids being safely away learning, she has mixed emotions. How has it been for any of you parents with kids able to attend school in person during the pandemic?
Tiffany's daughter is getting married! And she met her fiance on Mutual!
It's a grab bag of news this week, with all sorts of items involving and affecting Latter-day Saints. Let's dive into it.
Sister Michelle E. Amos, the companion of Baton Rouge Louisiana mission president John D. Amos, worked on the Mars 2020 rover as a systems engineer. Despite her current calling focusing on the missionaries of Louisiana, she was able to watch the rover's landing last week.
Before being called on a mission, Sister Michelle Amos had a 30-year career at NASA. She worked on the Mars 2020 rover as a system engineer. Today she watched the Mars rover landing via Zoom with the 200 serving in Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission. #Mars2020 #MarsLanding pic.twitter.com/rPUFLN3UKv
— Trent Toone (@tbtoone) February 18, 2021
Jerold Ottley, the famous longtime director of the not-anymore-"Mormon" Tabernacle Choir, died last week due to complications from COVID-19. He was 86. Take COVID seriously, folks!
Is the temple in you? Is it IN YOU? Elder David A. Bednar is wondering how much the temple permeates your very being. You can watch the video below.
Have you wondered how President Dallin H. Oaks courted his second wife, Kristen? Did you know his four daughters approached him after his first wife died when they felt he was ready to remarry? You can learn more about their courtship in this LDS Living profile.
Did you watch the Friend to Friend broadcast last week? It was the first time the Church had done such a production for Primary, and we thought it went pretty well. Learn more about the background of the event and watch it in full below.
Mormons Behaving Badly! Chad Christensen, a Latter-day Saint and representative to the Idaho state legislature, had the gall to make rabbit ears while another member of the legislature was speaking. Idaho is ridiculous on so many levels. Should it even be a state? All in favor of neighboring states absorbing Idaho please show by the uplifted hand.
Also Mormons Behaving Badly, Raymond John Ramsey of Loveland, Colorado, a href="https://www.9news.com/article/news/crime/loveland-church-fire-damage/73-d46d2562-e0ad-42f4-ad51-0fc71ea03952" target="_blank" ...
EP 516 - Your Guide to the Temple w/ Rosie Card
Prominent Latter-day Saint author, speaker, and entrepreneur Rosie Card joins us this week to work through the news and tell us about her new book, House of Light: Your Guide to the Temple, which provides a detailed walk-through of the temple experience and provides a study guide to maximize the way you ponder and live your covenants, whether it's your first time or 100th time. It's a great read and a terrific study companion.
How can one truly prepare for the temple? What does into writing a book of this nature? How has temple preparation evolved in the past 10 years? How much did the Church publishing temple endowment covenants make a difference in helping with any unease that might exist for some about discussion temple details? We say our bodies are temples, but what other meaning does that have?
Rosie has done plenty of research here, and we hope you'll enjoy hearing about her work and what it can do to help you and those you care about.
But there's also news!
The Church's investment fund added $6 billion in value in 2020. As the Church continues to save for a rainy day we must ask ourselves, when exactly is that rainy day if not in the middle of a global pandemic, political malaise, and racial unrest? Obviously, we're doing good things with money, like donating $300,000 to the Children's Justice Center, but it's easy to ask - what else?
A new By Common Consent article discusses the affordability crisis and how it affects Latter-day Saints. If you want to see your ward grow and thrive, consider what needs to be readdressed to enable young families to stay in your area.
Also at BCC, what more can we do to combat racism in our ranks? We've seen Church leaders in recent years decry white nationalism and prejudice, and even work with the NAACP on some issues, but what more? What action, programming, curriculum are we investing in to identify and stamp out prejudice in our ranks? If it remains a quick reference in General Conference, how can we expect things to improve?
Hey, so Salt Lake Tribune "humor" columnist Robert Kirby retired, and we won't be sad.
Missouri recognizes the 1838 extermination order as one of the "saddest" moments of American political history. Was it?
How many of you use Latter-day Saint-centric dating apps, like Mutual and LDSSingles? It's a whole exciting world! But are these serving the needs of these Mormons? Peggy Fletcher Stake a href="https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2021/02/13/how-religious-dating-apps...
EP 515 - Shadow Ward Clerks
Another week, another chance to go deep into the news. Kurt Francom of Leading Saints is kind enough to join Geoff to make sense of it all. And there is much of which sense must be made!
The Salt Lake Tribune does the noble work of explaining #DezNat to everyone. You might have seen this hashtag floating around the Twittersphere. Is it for white nationalists? Is it for racists? Geoff akins DezNat to modern-day Danites. Anyway, don't use the hashtag and think you are fighting for Zion.
Are educated Latter-day Saints in Utah leaning more Democratic? One Brigham Young University professor argues they are. What does this mean for Kurt? What does this mean for you? Who has the answers?
The politics of Latter-day Saints are an interesting area to explore. Researcher Jana Riess examines how far-right members of the Church are often now acting as one might expect from more liberal members: cherry picking which prophetic counsel to follow and which to willfully ignore. What happens to leadership structures and authority when everyone is making conscious choices what to obey and what not to obey?
There's drama in Ogden, Utah! Some want to name a portion of a street after an old pioneer fort. Others think that's offensive to Native Americans originally from the area, and the street should be named for them. Who will win??
Why do we have college devotionals? We often discuss what a Church leader says at a devotional but rarely examine the purpose behind them. The Church News has our back.
What should we expect from the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square in 2021? Something, they tell us. We should expect something. What that something is eve Ryan Murphy does not know.
Apparently there is some Latter-day Saint comedian in Italy who is "beloved." He appears to be a mix of Mr. Bean and Blippi, and we all know that multiplying a positive by a negative equals a negative. What is this? WHO IS THIS? Oh, and he wrote a book.
Great news out of Tokyo.
Posted by This Week in Mormons on Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Kurt loves shows about murder and death, so he's stoked that Jared Hess, director of Napoleon Dynamite has a new documentary series dropping on Netflix about the Salt Lake City bombings of 1985, Murder Among the Mormons. Nobody told them it should have been called Murder Among the Latter-day Saints. Come on, Jared!
Other news: a a href="https://www.deseret.
EP 514 - Noelle Pikus-Pace
Olympian Noelle Pikus-Pace has used goals to overcome trials, judgmental church culture, and physical injury, all with an eye toward faith.
EP 513 - End YSA Stakes
Are Young Single Adult stakes serving their purpose? How do we combat "brain drain" of members moving to more affordable areas when the baptism rates don't replenish what is lost?
Also, how do we combat inanity on social media, particularly when THE PROPHET tells us getting vaccinated against COVID is a miracle from heaven and we should consider it?
Customer ReviewsSee All
Love the TWIM sisters
I love the TWIM sisters episodes! I feel like I’m sitting around a kitchen table hanging out with my own sisters!
You can't go wrong with Geoff!
Great weekly podcast to keep one up-to-date with all things Latter-day Saint. Geoff and his co-hosts have a fun, light-hearted perspective on the news items they review while also adding commentary that is very thoughtful and light-hearted. I highly recommend this podcast.
Loved Sariah as cohost!
The latest episode with Sariah as cohost was so fun! Good conversation and well selected topics. Loved it!