200 episodes

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.

This Week in Mormons This Week in Mormons

    • Christianity

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 463 – Polygamy Wow!

    EP 463 – Polygamy Wow!

    The Gospel Living app is here! Much anticipated, the app aims to unify uplifting messaging, goals, and chat into one ecosystem. For now, the app was designed with youth in mind. Does it hit the mark? Miss it? What can be updated in the future to help it achieve its goals?



    In the wake of the ongoing $100 billion question—that is, the Church's confirmed massive holdings—Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse sat down with the Church News to offer some more transparency on the issue. The sprawling interview covers many areas, but curiously, notes the Church's many expenditures while not acknowleding that the $100 billion war chest represents savings and investments – not budgeted funds for expenditures, at least as best as we can tell.



    We reported recently that the Church was pulling a certain number of missionaries from Liberia because of ongoing economic stress in the West African nation. However, due to the continued dwindling of resources necessary to keep the remaining missionaries afloat, all missionaries in the country will now be temporarily reassigned.



    LDSAccess. Pioneer47. You know what it means. It's all about wifi at your meetinghouse. Well, ostensibly as part of the continued effort to use the "correct" name of the Church and not anything "LDS" or "Mormon," even the wireless network is being renamed. Granted, the new name—Liahona—still has little to do with the actual name of the Church, but... OK! Also, those wishing to use the network will now be required to accept terms of service every day. Allegedly, this is to minimize use of the network, though we've spoken with some folks behind the scenes who have said it also aims to stop businesses near Church meetinghouses from sipping the wifi. We're not sure what situation there is that the building's wifi signal is somehow strong enough to make it to the exterior doors, let alone adjacent buildings, but sure!



    One of the unofficial reasons—or at least an apocryphal one, depending on whom you ask—that Church leaders opposed same-sex marriage is because it could open the floodgates to other forms of marriage being legalized. After all, if the state says I can marry someone of my same gender, who is the state to deny me the right to marry multiple people?



    That's the question now facing the Utah state legislature, as a bill decriminalizing (remember, decriminalizing is not the same as legalizing) polygamy has cleared a major hurdle and moved to the state senate. If passed, this would not necessarily mean that polygamists could legally be wed to as many women as they wish, but it would mean they would be spared prosecution for doing so.



    The perplexing saga of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell continues. The couple apparently wed in Hawaii recently after Lor...

    • 58 min
    EP 462 – No More Mr. Nice Mittens

    EP 462 – No More Mr. Nice Mittens

    What a week! Latter-day Saints were making waves all over the place, and with one Josie Gleave in our midst, we will also get a nice dose of international news.

    Mitt Makes His Move

    In the same week that Utahns finally gave Trump a slight overall approval rating, Mitt Romney, Lord of the Forest, Scion of Righteousness, liege to all, white horse jockey, shocked the world by becoming the first senator to vote to convict a president from his own party as President Trump's impeachment trial wrapped up. McKay Coppins sat down with the senator and former Republican Party nominee for president before the vote to discuss his decision and the reasons behind it. Romney now famously invoked his faith as part of his decision, arguing that he is accountable to God as a sworn-in impartial juror. In case you haven't seen his speech on the Senate floor, here it is for your enjoyment (or beratement).







    Naturally, Mitt is taking plenty of heat from what I suppose we now call the GOP establishment (i.e. supporters of the president i.e. nearly everyone in the power block of the GOP), but all is not lost. While his vote has proved divisive in Utah, he's garnered plenty of support. What will the future hold for a senator who admits his actions will have serious repercussions? Mitch McConnell was quoted as saying there's "no doghouse" in the Senate, and life will move on. Donald Trump, however, has already gone to work connecting Mitt with the Bidens and Burisma, as if it is all part of one, yuge conspiracy.

    Coronavirus

    Coronavirus! What fun! It's shutting down entire cities and disrupting global travel and commerce. Our own missionaries are not immune, as those serving in Hong Kong and Macau are being pulled for the time being. But the Church is doing more than protecting the health of missionaries. It is actively engaged in the humanitarian effort to combat the outbreak. President Nelson, speaking as if he just called up his old golf buddies, announced an aid package to China.





    Unfortunately, the Asia Women's Conference, a staple of the Latter-day Saint expat community in Asia, has been canceled this year. Josie, who lives in Singapore, is among those changing her plans. She also brings us some insights from the ground about how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting Southeast Asia.

    Adventures in Rebranding

    We almost named this episode "At Chuh" or "Too Much Chuh," but the phrase makes no sense without context. Here's the context! As part of the ongoing efforts to rebrand everything, the Church is finally abandoning the @ldschurch Twitter handle in favor of "@Ch_JesusChrist." We're, um, not exactly on board with this strange choice, although we recognize that "@ChurchofJesusChrist" is longer than the 15 character limit imposed by Twitter.

    Follow the Money

    • 1 hr 1 min
    EP 461 – One Handbook to Rule Them All

    EP 461 – One Handbook to Rule Them All

    Please give a warm welcome to Jared Gillins, whom we haven't heard from since our dynamite Christmas stories episode!



    Last week, we learned that the Church is combining Handbooks 1 and 2 into a single Handbook. One handbook to rule them all! So what will change in this new handbook? What might be removed? We know what we know and we don't know what we don't know, but we can speculate to no end, as is our specialty.



    http://www.thisweekinmormons.com/2020/01/church-announces-new-combined-general-handbook-of-instructions/



    We've spoken a lot in recent months (and years) about preventing abuse and Church leaders' responsibilities to in reporting abusive situations to the proper authorities. The Church has rolled out new requirements to protect youth, but a terrible story dating back to 2011 demonstrates the human failings in protecting kids. A father confessed to sexually abusing his children, but his bishop did not report the confession to the authorities. It was not until 2017, and many abuses and victims later, that investigators caught up to the man. Will the new guidelines prevent situations like this?



    New research by the Salt Lake Tribune, which our beloved Kurt Francom will decry as being inherently anti-Church just for conducting the research (love you, Kurt!), shows that a majority of Utahns want tax-exempt religious organizations to be required to report income. However, a small minority of self-identified active Latter-day Saints want the same.



    Also keeping with the headline-grabbing Tribune, apparently nursing mothers are no longer welcome at BYU Women's Week, a change from years past. Our gut reaction is to disagree with this, but we also recognize some of the rationale behind the move. So is it a fair decision or does it make attendance exclusive?



    Who watched the Super Bowl? Who watched the Halftime Show with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez? Who was enraged at the wanton displays of sexuality and filthiness? Let's talk about the reaction among Christian circles in the wake of what many have felt was an overtly sexual production (primarily due to a pole upon with J Lo actually did not dance).



    Williard "Mitt" Romney, better known by his excellent pseudonym, has spent the past few weeks sitting in the chambers of the U.S. Senate listening to impeachment arguments. Senate rules dictate that only water and milk - served in a glass - are allowed in the room, but Mitt, ever the rogue, was caught sipping BYU Creamery chocolate milk. And we almost trusted this man with the presidency. SHAMEFUL.



    And now, Competing Figures in Mormonism! Alex "The Tattooed Mormon" Carraway a href="https://universe.byu.edu/2020/01/27/al-carraway-speaks-to-hundreds-at-byu...

    • 1 hr 2 min
    EP 460 – You’re Very Generous with Your Thunder

    EP 460 – You’re Very Generous with Your Thunder

    Devin Thorpe is real. His largess exceeds all things. A giant of men.



    That was a haiku.



    Speaking of giants among men, renowned thinker, both spiritual and physical, Clayton Christensen, has passed away at age 67. Devin didn't always love some of Christensen's counsel, but his impact has been felt far and wide across peoples and industries.



    So, there's going to be a Book of Mormon-focused statue park somewhere in the Salt Lake City area. This is outstanding, absolutely outstanding. It appears to embrace American exceptionalism at its finest.



    Let's talk about LGBT and LGBT-adjacent issues. Brigham Young University has capitulated and will allow same-sex couples to complete in an upcoming national championship hosted by the university. Also in Utah, the state has formally banned conversion therapy after hemming and hawing for quite some time.



    Hey! So great temple news this week. First off, the Durban South Africa Temple open house is brief, but underway. Next, crews working at the St. George Utah Temple, which is undergoing a long-term renovation, have removed a massive addition put on in the 1970s in one of the first major moves of the project. Lastly, we now have groundbreaking dates for temples in Richmond, Virginia; Layton, Utah; and the second temple in Metro Manila, Philippines.



    Oh, and not lastly. Here are some cool photos of the Salt Lake Temple, which is also closed for its renovation.







    "Come, Follow Me" is not a home run for everyone. First of all, last week, the Sisters discussed the racist printing error for which the Church apologized. Now, Ben Spackman has an excellent piece on inerrancy, or Latter-day Saints' refusal to acknowledge that anything put forth by the Church could have been done in error... even when an apostle is the one admitting the error. Well worth a read.



    Now, Jana Riess, ever the polemicist, calls "Come, Follow Me" a "dumpster fire" before a href="https://religionne...

    • 1 hr 5 min
    EP 459 – Are You a Rachel?

    EP 459 – Are You a Rachel?

    Welcome! The Sisters are here to bring us the very best of Idaho, which is much, much bestness!

    Assessing New Young Women Structure

    With a new year is new goals, but also a new youth structure. Young Women, in particular, have been most affected, as the classes have no defined structure or names, leaving that up to the wards in question. The Sisters decided to poll the community and find out what local units are actually doing for their Young Women classes, and the results are interesting.



    First off, according to the survey, most wards are just calling the class "Young Women 14" or "Young Women 15-16," etc.



    Also, 35% of respondents said their ward now has two Young Women classes, while 29% have three, and 27% have only one.



    Advisers also speak to the struggles to coordinate activities with the Young Men because the class structures don't inherently line up.



    Generally speaking, the lack of structure is of concern to many, as there is a fear the Young Women won't follow through on their goals, and putting it on the ward to organize classes on their own - when many in smaller wards had been doing so anyway - unnecessarily complicates things.



    Tiffany also struggles to name The Handmaid's Tale.

    Other News

    This is a screw up that should get someone fired. The printed versions of Come, Follow Me contain outdated teachings on race, particularly the references to the "dark mark" on the Lamanites. The digital versions are fine. Whoops.



    The Church has issued a new statement on feminism. Feminism! WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?



    Excavation works continues on the Salt Lake Temple, with nifty statues being moved off the grounds, and the South Visitors Center now a remnant of the past.



    Also temple related, the First Presidency has announced some changes to temple ceremonial clothing. Read on and listen in to find out more.



    McKenna Denson, the woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by the Provo Missionary Training Center president while she was a missionary, might drop her case entirely.



    A Latter-day Saint was trapped inside a gym overnight, but he escaped in time for his son's missionary farewell. Another happy landing.



    Brigham Young University students have started a satirical website about Provo. Yay.



    And a heartwarming story out of Romania.

    Transcript

    [0:00] Hello twin listeners welcome to this week in Mormons the sisters Edition with Ariane Smith,

    • 59 min
    EP 458 – Alright, Wendy Nelson, I’m Gonna Need to See Some Credentials

    EP 458 – Alright, Wendy Nelson, I’m Gonna Need to See Some Credentials

    The week is here! THE week! Our favorite Singaporean resident, Josie Gleave, is with us from across the world to bring us some international news, as well as her singular form of comedy.



    Last month, the Salt Lake Temple closed for its four-year major overhaul. Renovating a temple means, of course, that the temple can no longer be a dedicated building, as it would be unrealistic for construction workers to hold temple recommends and conduct the work in the appropriate reverence. So when does a temple under revamp cease to be a temple? The Church let us know!



    http://www.thisweekinmormons.com/2020/01/when-exactly-does-a-temple-cease-to-be-a-temple/



    There's much in the world of women's issues this week. First of all, the Herald Extra has been kind enough to let us know that women who serve missions typically develop better leadership skills and gain in overall quality development. That's according to science!



    Next up: the forthcoming edition of the New Era magazine has a section on feminism! What could go wrong?! Actually, there's not a ton to it, although it does make a point that feminism = equality is a good thing, but feminism = agitation outside of a woman's divine role is a bad thing. And no, none of this is in response to recent heightened awareness of the Equal Rights Amendment.



    And how about some blogs on women's role in the Church? Our good friend, Carolyn Homer, sounds off about her fear of having kids. Elsewhere, the Church's own eternal marriage manual needs some serious updating, as it contains language about women that has been contradicted directly by more recent leadership. The Harvard Political Review also has a thoughtful piece on "More for Mormon Women," weakening the entire argument outright by using such a sinful term as "Mormon."



    On a healthy note, the section on unwed mothers and unplanned pregnancies has been mercifully updated in a new Gospel Topics page to reflect the times a bit more. No longer are father and mother encouraged to wed or give up the kid for adoption. Those options remain, but being a single mother is also now considered a respectable choice.



    Also, some history of how Utah women received the right to vote when some at the time in Utah (i.e. male leadership) thought such a thing was absurd.



    Geoff got really excited when the Church announced an application for a "multicultural" choir at the next General Conference might have revealed the location of the mysterious event.

    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

Granny-luv ,

Fun show!

I’m a spunky middle aged grandmother living in Texas who really enjoys this show. I’ve been listening for a couple of years now, so I’ve witnessed the show’s transition from Geoff and Al weekly (which I must admit is my favorite because I love the bantering between the two) to Geoff with a guest host and the addition of the TWIM sisters. I think that Geoff has done a great job of keeping the show fun and informative while it continues to evolve.

mereviewingtwim ,

Life long listener, first time reviewer

I’ve been listening since the beginning! Sad the dynamics of Geoff and Al are less frequent now, let alone it’s not even a weekly podcast anymore. I get it, adulting and life happens. I will still listen every week without fail. The sisters are “ok” at best. Wish they would fact check more though.

Saraquilts ,

Still listening

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I’m not family.
And I’m still listening.

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