Author: Dan Wotherspoon

396–397: Spiritual Journeys Outside of Mormonism

This episode features two wonderful teachers, pastors, scholars, and clergy from non-Mormon faith traditions sharing their own spiritual journeys and the ways that God has moved in them throughout their lives and ministries. Neither shies away from sharing about their…

395: Spiritual Mentors and Heroes

Most of us have someone special in our lives, or with whom we’ve become acquainted through reading or listening to, whose spiritual insights, wisdom, compassion, and ways of carrying themselves and meeting the world stand out for us. Some will…

393–394: Does “Certainty” Hinder Living Faith?

Living faith is a growing faith. It is faith in a living God. It is trust in a trustworthy being (or beings). It is striving to align ourselves with a will conveyed to us by a wise and loving God. In…

390–392: Mormon Women Gaining Spiritual Confidence within a Patriarchal Church

The title of this three-part episode says quite a bit about it. Several weeks ago, Mormon Matters released a conversation, “Gaining Spiritual Confidence,” featuring three men sharing their journeys toward and insights about a strong sense of their own spiritual connection with…

388–389: Our Brains and Faith

Our faith lives, including how we orient toward the world, God/Spirit (or whatever we consider the highest center(s) of value and power), and ourselves, are fed by many things. Some we can easily identify. Others—perhaps the majority, and especially the…

387: LDS Church Changes to Its Scouting Program

On May 11, 2017, the LDS Church announced it is dropping Varsity and Venturer Scouts as the primary program for its U.S. and Canadian young men ages 14–18 effective at the end of the 2017 calendar year. In its place,…

386: Announcing a July 2017 Mormon Matters Retreat!

A MORMON MATTERS RETREAT! “Understanding and Navigating Healthy Perspectives and Journeys within Mormonism” Led by Dan Wotherspoon, Ph.D. Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST, Marty Erickson, Ph.D., LMFT 14 – 16 JULY 2017, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH _____ Many of us find…

384–385: Gaining Spiritual Confidence

All religions point adherents toward gaining knowledge and insights for themselves through their own spiritual dives. Religious cultures, however, often (overtly but more often subtly) put a premium upon group cohesion, following rules and counsel from leaders or elders, staying…

382–383: The Living Nature of Mormon Covenants

Covenanting is a huge feature of Mormon theology and group life. Beginning at age eight with baptism, and extending through the temple endowment and sealing rites, Latter-day Saints make a lot of covenants. Sundays build into the sacrament ritual the…

381: Why Ritual “Makes Sense”

Ritual is strange—or so it seems to our rational minds—yet, strangely, for many of us who participate in these often highly stylized and repetitive actions, we feel better afterward. Why is this so? Is there a method to ritual’s madness…

379–380: Effective Teaching in the Church

Mormonism provides numerous opportunities for us to teach each other. But, as we know, many times our Sunday classes fall short of being wonderful, too often failing to convey new or important insights, and hardly ever yielding transformative classroom experiences.…

378: Engaging Constructively with General Conference

The April 2017 General Conference season is upon us. Having started last weekend on March 25th with the Women’s session, it continues April 1st and 2nd with four general and one priesthood session. For many who have undergone (or are…

373–377: (Encore) An Easter Primer

Encore presentation of a great discussion of all things Easter. First released 12 March 2013. Enjoy the old bumpers and their music! With a forty-day Lenten season that flows to a conclusion in Holy Week and its beautiful rituals, for…

372: Jesus’ Abba: The God Who Has Not Failed

John B. Cobb is one of the world’s most renowned theologians and philosophers, noted especially for his Christological pluralism and work across many disciplines, and lately in major ways in ecological sustainability circles. His writing and thinking are marvelously clear…

371: New Perspectives on Joseph Smith and Translation

As Richard Bushman mentions in this podcast episode, one of the very first things Joseph Smith did in announcing himself to the world was to take on the title of “translator.” What an audacious thing, especially as Mormonism associates translation…

369–370: Helping Children Plant Lasting Seeds of Faith

Every person is different, and this is completely true with children, as well. Often we as parents will assume our children are picking up ideas, teachings, and various behavioral cues from us, our families, and our church in the way…

367–368: Faith within a Mormonism that Points Beyond Itself

We all sort of “know” but still very often forget that God and religious and spiritual truths are couched in symbols, language, propositions, metaphors, stories, and ritual actions, meaning that, by definition, a religion’s primary languages themselves are not meant…

366: Sin

Because it’s so central to Christianity, and because of the concerns so many have about “salvation,” the concept of “sin” deserves fresh consideration. What does scripture say about it? Does that match up with how it is often thought and…

365: More on the Mormon God (with help from Process Theology)

In somewhat of a continuation of our previous episodes (363 & 364), Jim McLachlan and Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon are joined by David Ray Griffin, a world-renowned philosopher and theologian specializing in process theology. Griffin has recently published a new book, God Exists But Gawd Does…

363–364: Mormonism’s Wonderful, Vulnerable God

For many who find themselves in the middle of a faith crisis, casting about for new footing and ways of orienting to life and others, one of largest stumbling blocks is often their view of God. All of a sudden,…