Mormonism is a powerful tradition, presenting a worldview and truth claims that are extremely potent, but also creating a culture that can be, for many of us, totalizing. When we feel safe and secure within its teachings and the sense of meaning it presents, it can be a wonderful, comfortable home. If, on the other hand, we find ourselves holding a more complex view about its doctrines or occupying a position at odds in any way with the community and dominant culture, we can feel very much an outsider. For those of us in this situation, our preoccupation often becomes how can we negotiate the our new relationships and its tensions while still feeling fully ourselves? How can we participate—and even teach and lead—when we know or feel more than we sense is safe to say? How can we continue to have integrity with ourselves and our community?
These are the questions posed in this episode. Departing a bit from the typical Mormon Matters panel format, this two-part episode features host Dan Wotherspoon, along with LDS author Neylan McBaine, as interviewees, fielding queries (and sometimes pushback) from two Mormon Matters listeners, Adam Leavitt and Jefferson Birrell. What emerges is a spirited, intense, but ultimately empowering conversation that we believe listeners will very much relate to and hopefully come away from with renewed intensity to continue and make the most of their own spiritual questing.
We hope you’ll listen and then share your ideas and questions in the comments section below!
Links to writings mentioned in the podcast:
Neylan McBaine, Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women’s Local Impact, Greg Kofford Books, 2014
Dan Wotherspoon, “In a Room Down the Hall from the Bishop’s Office,” Sunstone, October 2003 (about not being allowed to ordain his son a deacon).
Taylor G. Petrey, “Toward a Post-Heterosexual Mormon Theology,” Dialogue, Winter 2011 (includes sections on LDS ideas about gendered spirits and whether spirits are brought into being via procreation)
Mormon Matters Podcast 92-93: Discussion of ideas in the Petrey article cited above
Abstract for Samuel Brown’s BYU Studies article, “Believing Adoption,” mentioned that also expands on spirit birth (not yet available online for free)