The three guests in this Mormon Matters episode grew up in faithful, committed Mormon homes. In important ways, however, these panelists’ homes were different than what many listeners of the Open Stories family of podcasts experienced growing up in the way that these homes welcomed any and all questions about the faith and encouraged reading and exploration and working through difficult issues. Each home was highly orthoprax—there was no question of commitment to LDS standards, attending church, accepting and serving faithfully in callings—but what a family member had to believe was wide open. For them, Mormonism featured a wide array of ways to orient to the tradition or to God, and the set of claims one had to accept to truly be a Mormon was very small. What was it like to grow up in these homes? What messages about gospel “roominess” or what it means to be “Mormon” did these panelists absorb? How much of the way the parents in these homes did things have found their way into these panelists’ lives as they raise their own families now or think ahead to when they will have children?
I am extremely grateful for the generosity of heart and spirit of panelists Kristine Haglund, Jordan Kimball, and Katie Davis Henderson in sharing so much of their lives in this episode, and I am thrilled to present our conversation to listeners. These are issues that truly hit home for so many of us who are raising children while we are, at the same time, wrestling with our own faith and relationship with God and life’s biggest questions. We hope to teach them “fearlessness” in their spiritual lives but wonder exactly how open we should be with our children about our own struggle toward this type of faith. We want our children to have their own faith journeys, but at the same time we are not sure we want them to experience the sort of “crisis” that accompanied what many of us have or are going through. These are “tire meets the road” issues, indeed. May this podcast episode be a great conversation starter!