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This three-part episode consists of a recording of a live event held Sunday evening, March 24, 2019 in Salt Lake City. It is an interview of Mormon Matters' longtime host, Dan Wotherspoon, about his eight years helming this podcast, and to formally announce his stepping down from the show and alerting all who are interested about what's next in his life. Sponsored by Mormon Stories, Mormon Matters, and the Waters of Mormon Facebook group, John Dehlin interviewed Dan, and others asked questions and shared various thoughts about the show and Dan and his new plans. It was a wonderful evening, with about seventy in attendance, and many more who watched a livestream, and we hope you'll enjoy this recording of a celebration and closure to this era of the Mormon Matters podcast.

Parts 1 and 2 constitute the bulk of the interview, in which John asks Dan to share a bit about his life story and spiritual journey, various reflections on Mormon Matters, and about ways he holds various Mormon and Christian truth claims and ideas about God and the elements of a transformative life path in which we become more and more in alignment with God and/or the universe, and in that way, experience deep and abiding joy in our relationships and greater effectiveness within what we are being called to.

Part 3 features the announcements of Dan's new podcast and other projects, as well as interactions with several audience members. 

We hope you will enjoy this final trip with Dan as Mormon Matters host, and will continue to come to Mormon Matters for its 500+ episode back catalog, with their discussions of many and diverse aspects of Latter-day Saint life, thought, and events of note!

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This three-part episode consists of a recording of a live event held Sunday evening, March 24, 2019 in Salt Lake City. It is an interview of Mormon Matters' longtime host, Dan Wotherspoon, about his eight years helming this podcast, and to formally announce his stepping down from the show and alerting all who are interested about what's next in his life. Sponsored by Mormon Stories, Mormon Matters, and the Waters of Mormon Facebook group, John Dehlin interviewed Dan, and others asked questions and shared various thoughts about the show and Dan and his new plans. It was a wonderful evening, with about seventy in attendance, and many more who watched a livestream, and we hope you'll enjoy this recording of a celebration and closure to this era of the Mormon Matters podcast.

Parts 1 and 2 constitute the bulk of the interview, in which John asks Dan to share a bit about his life story and spiritual journey, various reflections on Mormon Matters, and about ways he holds various Mormon and Christian truth claims and ideas about God and the elements of a transformative life path in which we become more and more in alignment with God and/or the universe, and in that way, experience deep and abiding joy in our relationships and effectiveness in what we are being called to.

Part 3 features the announcements of Dan's new podcast and other projects, as well as interactions with several audience members. 

We hope you will enjoy this final trip with Dan as Mormon Matters host, and will continue to come to Mormon Matters for its 500+ episode back catalog, with their discussions of many and diverse aspects of Latter-day Saint life, thought, and events of note!

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This three-part episode consists of a recording of a live event held Sunday evening, March 24, 2019 in Salt Lake City. It is an interview of Mormon Matters' longtime host, Dan Wotherspoon, about his eight years helming this podcast, and to formally announce his stepping down from the show and alerting all who are interested about what's next in his life. Sponsored by Mormon Stories, Mormon Matters, and the Waters of Mormon Facebook group, John Dehlin interviewed Dan, and others asked questions and shared various thoughts about the show and Dan and his new plans. It was a wonderful evening, with about seventy in attendance, and many more who watched a livestream, and we hope you'll enjoy this recording of a celebration and closure to this era of the Mormon Matters podcast. Parts 1 and 2 constitute the bulk of the interview, in which John asks Dan to share a bit about his life story and spiritual journey, various reflections on Mormon Matters, and about ways he holds various Mormon and Christian truth claims and ideas about God and the elements of a transformative life path in which we become more and more in alignment with God and/or the universe, and in that way, experience deep and abiding joy in our relationships and what we are being called to. Part 3 features the announcements of Dan's new podcast and other projects, as well as interactions with several audience members.  We hope you will enjoy this final trip with Dan as Mormon Matters host, and will continue to come to Mormon Matters for its 500+ episode back catalog, with their discussions of many and diverse aspects of Latter-day Saint life, thought, and events of note!

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In the brilliant and fascinating new book, The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church, Jana Riess, with collaboration from Benjamin Knoll shares results from a huge, representative, survey they designed and administered that compares Millennial Mormons with two other generations—Boomers/Silent Generation and Generation X in ten major areas. In this episode, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon focuses the conversation on three of these: beliefs (in God and various LDS claims and directives), practices (from church attendance, to prayer, scripture reading, and more), and how members of each generation decides what sources are most authoritative in their lives. The book also covers LDS missionary experiences, rites of passage such as baptism and other ordinances, as well as experiences with the Temple; Singleness within the church; gender-related topics; Mormonism and race; LGBT inclusion; and social and political views. Another chapter looks at Millennials who are former Mormons.  We are excited to have Jana and Ben join us for a fascinating discussion of the chosen themes and a bit more. They are engaging, thoughtful, incredibly informed. Plus you can learn more about the book, including where you might purchase it, as well as the website that features additional materials, synopses, the survey itself, and regular updates.

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Mormon Matters by Mormonstories@gmail.com - 4M ago

This episode was conceived as a supplement to the previous one, the two-parter 537–538: Being "Good and Mad" within Mormonism,  featuring Kristine Haglund. It certainly serves well as that but ended up being more of a full episode than originally envisioned. In particular, the topic is the potent emotion of “outrage” and it’s very strong role in driving much of social media, that then fosters thinking and speaking habits that can cripple our ability to engage with others in ways that might truly be transformative and work for the good of the changes we want to see instantiated.  Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon invited his friend and former colleague, John Hatch, to come on the show to read a short essay about outrage that he wrote about five years ago and presented at a Sunstone symposium session focused on moving beyond “black and white thinking.” He reads that piece here, and then the conversation that followed went into explorations that led to additional dives into other related ideas. It’s a terrific essay, accompanied by discussion of some of its themes that we hope you will also find interesting and worthwhile!

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In this two-part episode, a conversation between Kristine Haglund and Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon, Kristine shares insights and distillations from various sources and her own thinking about "anger" and ways to understand and better utilize its energy, especially within Mormonism. In her presentation, she picks up the term, "Good and Mad" from Rebecca Traister's recent book, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger, and applies it as an aspirational ideal within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Ways we might learn to be both angry (and harness its power) and good (operate within acceptable discourse and behavioral standards). Whereas there is no setting in today's very top-down hierarchal structure in which anger can be well-received, regardless of our sex, we can, however, learn how to effectively channel our strong senses of "This is not right" or "No God I can ever believe in would countenance this sort of behavior (or teaching)" into forms that can lead to interpersonal as well as organizational changes. This is a terrific listen containing many powerful insights. Part 1 offers a wide framing of the topic, and Part 2 introduces and discusses Kristine's ten different principles for helping us better comprehend our own and others' anger, and to then make sure its energies don't go to waste as easily as they often do in this day of social media and its unfortunate stock-in-trade: outrage, and then outrage about what's the proper amount of outrage, ad infinitum. Kristine originally presented some of the ideas within this episode at the Utah Valley University Mormon Studies Conference, "Women of Mormondom," held March 7–8, 2019. Audio/video of the conference's sessions is forthcoming very soon.

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In this two-part episode, a conversation between Kristine Haglund and Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon, Kristine shares insights and distillations from various sources and her own thinking about "anger" and ways to understand and better utilize its energy, especially within Mormonism. In her presentation, she picks up the term, "Good and Mad" from Rebecca Traister's recent book, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger, and applies it as an aspirational ideal within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Ways we might learn to be both angry (and harness its power) and good (operate within acceptable discourse and behavioral standards). Whereas there is no setting in today's very top-down hierarchal structure in which anger can be well-received, regardless of our sex, we can, however, learn how to effectively channel our strong senses of "This is not right" or "No God I can ever believe in would countenance this sort of behavior (or teaching)" into forms that can lead to interpersonal as well as organizational changes. This is a terrific listen containing many powerful insights. Part 1 offers a wide framing of the topic, and Part 2 introduces and discusses Kristine's ten different principles for helping us better comprehend our own and others' anger, and to then make sure its energies don't go to waste as easily as they often do in this day of social media and its unfortunate stock-in-trade: outrage, and then outrage about what's the proper amount of outrage, ad infinitum. Kristine originally presented some of the ideas within this episode at the Utah Valley University Mormon Studies Conference, "Women of Mormondom," held March 7–8, 2019. Audio/video of the conference's sessions is forthcoming very soon.

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Mormon Matters by Mormonstories@gmail.com - 5M ago

The classic theological puzzle known as the “problem of evil” arises when we assert the existence of an all-powerful God who is also perfectly loving, while also asserting the presence of genuine evil in the world. As David Hume puts the case: “Either God would remove evil out of this world, and cannot; or He can, and will not; or, He has not the power nor will; or, lastly He has both the power and will. If He has the will, and not the power, this shows weakness, which is contrary to the nature of God. If He has the power, and not the will it is malignity, and this is no less contrary to His nature. If He is neither able nor willing, He is both impotent and malignant, and consequently cannot be God. If he is both willing and able (which alone is consonant to the nature of God), whence comes evil, or why does he not prevent it?”

Very often, as in Hume’s framing above, the focus of efforts to approach the “problem” is on God. Can God? Should God? Is God? Why does/doesn't God? In a departure from this, in this episode the panelists place greater attention on those who are currently, or who have, suffered great evil, and how traditional approaches so often fail them. In many cases, one of the costs of great suffering, especially when it does not arise as a natural consequence of something we did, is the loss of faith in God altogether. More atheists are created by the fact of genuine, massive, and seemingly unfair distribution of great suffering than any other trigger. Clearly, in such cases, an “omni-everything” concept of God fails as a being or power that is able to comfort those who suffer.

In a new book, God Can’t: How to Believe in God and Love after Tragedy, Abuse, and Other Evils, Christian and open-relational theologian Thomas Jay Oord directly faces the effects on individual faith that arise from evil. Through his posing and discussing five theological claims about God's loving nature in relation to evil, many Christians, and we sense Latter-day Saints would as well, have at last found new hope and the kind of comfort and peace that only an explicit faith in God can bring.

Brittney Hartley and Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon join Tom in discussing the ideas of his book, while contributing as they arise various places where Mormon thought is in close alignment with his theses. In the final section, they also discuss one large disconnect between Tom’s and wider Christianity’s view of God and that of Latter-day Saints: the question of whether God is embodied or not. It leads to a fascinating exchange, even as it primes the pump for many more explorations. We are grateful to Tom as an open-hearted, brilliant, and friendly conversation partner. Here’s to more episodes to come!

Please listen in! Share! And be mindful that we’d also love your comments and ideas to become part of the ongoing conversations at mormonmatters.org!

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No term to date has been more associated with the leadership tenure of President Russell M. Nelson than “Covenant Path.” It’s become ubiquitous in his and many other church leader messages, and it now also rolls easily off the tongues in LDS stakes, wards, and other conversations. It’s an intriguing term, yet to date, it seems to Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and his friend and fellow close church watcher Mark Crego that it hasn’t been explored as widely and deeply as it might. Right now, in its current usage, comes across primarily a goal to be accomplished—"make and keep covenants, and if you stray, return to the covenant path"—with a promised reward at the end: eternal life (with all its inherent meanings when understood in full Latter-day Saint context). In that sort of presentation, walking the covenant path feels very “transactional.” Do this, receive that.

To Dan and Mark, however, the idea of both “covenant(s)” and “path(s)” are very rich concepts, and in this two-part episode they share what they consider to be larger and more ennobling visions of what this simple phrase might mean were we as Godwrestlers and faith journeyers to keep revisiting this term and allow its symbolism and sensibilities to grow along with us as we continue to walk our spiritual paths. Among other things, this episode covers: What are Mormonism’s seven primary covenants that make up the “covenant path”? What is their relationship to each of us individually and our relationship with God, however we define that term, but also (and perhaps even more importantly) as members of a religious or community? What roles do symbols and ritual markers of covenanting play in human lives, and can we allow our understanding of such things to become ever expanding and empowering? As LDS rhetoric about the covenant path is still in its infancy, how might each of us learn to understand it and teach of its richness with far more power than we currently do and see/hear from those around us?

Please listen in! We’d also love your comments and ideas to become part of the ongoing conversations at mormonmatters.org! Please share!

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No term to date has been more associated with the leadership tenure of President Russell M. Nelson than “Covenant Path.” It’s become ubiquitous in his and many other church leader messages, and it now also rolls easily off the tongues in LDS stakes, wards, and other conversations. It’s an intriguing term, yet to date, it seems to Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and his friend and fellow close church watcher Mark Crego that it hasn’t been explored as widely and deeply as it might. Right now, in its current usage, comes across primarily a goal to be accomplished—"make and keep covenants, and if you stray, return to the covenant path"—with a promised reward at the end: eternal life (with all its inherent meanings when understood in full Latter-day Saint context). In that sort of presentation, walking the covenant path feels very “transactional.” Do this, receive that.

To Dan and Mark, however, the idea of both “covenant(s)” and “path(s)” are very rich concepts, and in this two-part episode they share what they consider to be larger and more ennobling visions of what this simple phrase might mean were we as Godwrestlers and faith journeyers to keep revisiting this term and allow its symbolism and sensibilities to grow along with us as we continue to walk our spiritual paths. Among other things, this episode covers: What are Mormonism’s seven primary covenants that make up the “covenant path”? What is their relationship to each of us individually and our relationship with God, however we define that term, but also (and perhaps even more importantly) as members of a religious or community? What roles do symbols and ritual markers of covenanting play in human lives, and can we allow our understanding of such things to become ever expanding and empowering? As LDS rhetoric about the covenant path is still in its infancy, how might each of us learn to understand it and teach of its richness with far more power than we currently do and see/hear from those around us?

Please listen in! We’d also love your comments and ideas to become part of the ongoing conversations at mormonmatters.org! Please share!

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