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57 minutes | 7 days ago
70. A Better Heart — A Conversation with Tom Christofferson
Those fortunate to have come into the orbit of Tom Christofferson have found a wise, genuine and compassionate friend. His first book That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective on Faith and Family was instrumental in healing many hearts and building many bridges. In his new book A Better Heart, Tom dives deeper into his journey toward the kind of Christ-like love to which we aspire as disciples. Tom sat down with Aubrey and Tim Chaves this week to talk about the spiritual journey that led to his latest book.
46 minutes | 14 days ago
69. Constitution by a Thread (Part 2) — With Thomas B. Griffith, Kurt Francom, and Bill Turnbull
This is part 2 of our last episode on President Dallin Oaks’ recent conference address, in which spoke passionately about the U.S. Constitution, and ended with an urgent admonition to end political tribalism and division.We collaborate in this episode with Kurt Francom of Leading Saints, which is a really remarkable organization that helps Latter-day Saints be better prepared to lead. In this episode, Thomas Griffith, Kurt Francom and Bill Turnbull explore how we can have a conversation about Pres. Oaks’ challenge in our local wards and stakes, and how to ensure we live up to that challenge.Our guest, Thomas Griffith, has broad experience in both church leadership and public service. He has served as chief counsel for both the U.S. Senate and for Brigham Young University, and was appointed to a judgeship by George W. Bush on the D.C. Court of Appeals, from which he recently retired. He now practices law in DC and teaches at Harvard Law School.
41 minutes | 21 days ago
68. Is the Constitution Hanging by a Thread? — A Conversation with Thomas B. Griffith
President Dallin H. Oaks delivered a landmark address at our church’s most recent General Conference. He spoke passionately about the U.S. Constitution, and ended with an urgent admonition to end political tribalism and division, insisting that we address this in our wards and stakes.In this episode, Faith Matters co-founder Bill Turnbull reached out to his good friend, Thomas Griffith, an expert in constitutional law, to explore not just Pres. Oaks address, but what lies behind it—the rapid erosion of good will and trust in the American body politic—including among Latter-day Saints. Griffith sees the possibility of a cataclysmic crisis in the not-too-distant future, and believes Latter-day Saints can and must play a critical role in healing today’s divides.Thomas Griffith has served as chief counsel for both the U.S. Senate and for Brigham Young University, and was appointed to a judgeship by George W. Bush on the D.C. Court of Appeals, from which he recently retired. He now practices law in DC and teaches at Harvard Law School.
83 minutes | a month ago
67. Faith’s Dance With Doubt — A Conversation with Brian McLaren
In this conversation, we spoke with Brian McLaren about his new book, Faith After Doubt. Brian is a former evangelical pastor, bestselling author, speaker, and podcast host, whose ideas we found to be extraordinarily resonant for our own faith tradition.In this most recent book and in the interview, Brian shares his own experience passing through periods of deep doubt and shares how those experiences have been key for him to unlocking a greater sense of simplicity, integration and harmony in his life.We want to make clear that we recognize that the word doubt has different meanings to different people. To some, it means an attitude of cynicism some bring to questions of faith. To others it means an open and honest questioning without a predetermined outcome. It’s really that latter definition of doubt that Brian examines in his book. And we know that this kind of questioning can be profoundly disorienting. But, according to Brian, it can also result in a new kind of faith that leads to a deep and abiding love between ourselves, others, and our world.And while this episode is in many ways for those who have experienced deep periods of doubt, it’s also for those who want to stand in love and solidarity with those who have. We really think there’s something for everybody here.
47 minutes | a month ago
66. Atonement: From Penal Substitution to Radical Healing — An Excerpt from "All Things New" by Terryl and Fiona Givens
For this Easter holiday, we wanted to do something a little different — so today, we’re sharing a chapter from the audiobook version of Fiona and Terryl Givens’ new book, All Things New, which was published by Faith Matters. The chapter is titled “Atonement: From Penal Substitution to Radical Healing.”It may be the most important chapter in the book. They walk us through the history of poorly translated texts and a medieval worldview that really emphasized a jealous, angry, and retributive God, and then Fiona and Terryl show how we’ve been passed this conception of Atonement that focuses on being “saved,” rather than being “healed.”By looking at more appropriate translations, restoration doctrine, and the details of Jesus’s life, they show that an emphasis on healing can emerge and, in the words of theologian Delores Williams, give “humankind new vision to see the resources for positive, abundant relational life.”Happy Easter to each of you, and we really hope you enjoy this excerpt from All Things New.
75 minutes | a month ago
65. OCD Isn't What You Think It Is — A Conversation with Bonnie Young
In this episode, we talked about OCD and scrupulosity. OCD is a difficult subject because the term is often thrown around as an adjective to describe perfectionistic tendencies. But true obsessive compulsive disorder is so different than the stereotypes may lead people to believe, and it can be a really serious mental health issue — one that is undoubtedly affecting someone you know and love. It can also be especially hard on missionaries.So many people who have OCD, especially religiously themed OCD don’t know what to call their pain, and they often have only religious language or explanations for what they’re feeling. That can lead to years of deep and unnecessary suffering. And that gets to the primary reason we’re doing this episode — we hope that listeners who are suffering from OCD, or their loved ones, will hear this and recognize something in themselves that they didn’t quite understand. We really want them to know that they’re not bad or corrupt or evil, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.Bonnie is a marriage and family therapist, mother of two, and author of several academic articles on religion and mental health. She has a bachelor’s degree in history with an emphasis in Mormon women’s history and a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, both from BYU. Bonnie’s currently based in Seattle, and specializes in treating clients with anxiety, religious OCD / scrupulosity, and sexual disorders.Bonnie was amazing, and she really helped articulate some of the most difficult challenges that OCD presents, and ways to start addressing it.—Recommended Resources—Self-help:“The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD,” which you can find on Amazon.“Brain Lock,” by Jeffrey Schwartz, also available on AmazonChildren:“What to do when your brain gets stuck”, workbook for kids which again, you can find on Amazon.Hey Warrior, by Karen Young, great illustrations, our kids love this one. Podcasts:Bonnie recommended “The OCD Stories.” Richard Ostler has also done several podcasts related to OCD, and you can go to listenlearnandlove.org and head to the mental health section.Parenting Survival Podcast by Natasha Daniels focuses on kids with OCDEducational videos:“Madeofmilllions.com”“Nathan Peterson OCD.” has a series of educational vioeos on OCDWe also loved the movie about OCD for kids called “Unstuck,” which you can find at “ocdkidsmovie.com”And for conferences, camps, and other general resources, the International OCD Foundation has it all. Perhaps most importantly, you can find a therapists who specialize in OCD in your city on their website @ iocdf.org
66 minutes | 2 months ago
64. Women Creating Sacred Spaces — Carol Lynn Pearson, Jana Spangler, and Becky Edwards
This is an episode we’re really excited about. When we heard Terryl’s conversation with Claudia Bushman a few weeks ago, it sparked some ideas that we thought really needed to be explored further, particularly around what Latter-day Saint women can do here and now to vitalize the feminine divine in their own lives and in the lives of their daughters.Aubrey took that idea and really ran with it. So for this episode, she brought on Carol Lynn Pearson, Jana Spangler, and Becky Edwards. They explore how the unique doctrine of a Heavenly Mother can play a foundational role in allowing women to embrace creativity when developing spiritual practices. They also get really specific on ideas for ritualizing and celebrating milestones for women throughout their lives.To give you just a brief background on each of our guests — Carol Lynn Pearson is the author of "Goodbye, I Love You", "Finding Mother God", and the primary song "I’ll Walk With You", and many other books and poems. She’s been a powerful voice in the Latter-day Saint tradition for many years.Jana Spangler is a Faith Transitions Coach at Symmetry Solutions and graduate of The Living School, a 2 year program under the direction of Fr. Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation.Becky Edwards is a faith-based mentor, blogger, author, and speaker, who’s presented at many events including BYU Women’s Conference.
39 minutes | 2 months ago
63. Beliefs, Biomes, and CRISPR - Dr. Laura Bridgewater with Terryl Givens
In this episode, Terryl Givens speaks with Dr. Laura Bridgewater, a molecular biologist at Brigham Young University. In their conversation, they explore the cutting edge of genetic science, and how it can both challenge and transform our beliefs.One of the most interesting parts of their conversation centered on how an understanding of evolutionary biology might challenge our beliefs around agency — we’ll let Laura explain in the episode, but rather than being threatened by the scientific reality, she sees it as an invitation to judge others less harshly.Laura and Terryl also discuss CRISPR, the nobel-prize winning gene-editing technology, and talk about the ethical issues that arise from it — for instance, CRISPR could insulate us against hereditary diseases, but could also empower us to genetically engineer our children.We loved hearing all of Dr. Bridgewater’s perspectives, and want to give her a special thanks for coming on to talk with Terryl. We really hope you enjoy this conversation.
39 minutes | 2 months ago
62. An Urgent Invitation to Women - Claudia Bushman with Terryl Givens
In this episode, Terryl Givens speaks with Claudia Bushman. Claudia is truly an original. She’s fearlessly straightforward and has an incredible passion for discovering and passing on the stories of Latter-day Saint women. She’s been the animating force behind several landmark publications and projects in women’s history. In their conversation, Claudia urges women in the church to be similarly bold and creative in asserting their place and bringing their gifts to the faith. This is a delightful conversation with one of the most remarkable Latter-day Saint women of our time, and we hope that you enjoy it.
25 minutes | 2 months ago
61. Repentance as Transformation — Thomas McConkie and Adam Miller
Today we’re doing something a little different, and sharing a really fascinating conversation between Thomas McConkie and Adam Miller, a popular author and professor of philosophy. It’s taken from Thomas’s online course, Transformations of Faith. As a part of the course, Thomas and Adam recorded a series of conversations that take a deeper dive on several of the ideas and principles Thomas teaches in the course, and each of the conversations is really enlightening in its own way.In this particular conversation, Thomas and Adam explore the idea of repentance and forgiveness in the context of spiritual growth and transformation, and it’s a very different take than you might expect in a typical “gospel doctrine class” discussion.We hope it provides a unique perspective on this subject that we spend quite a bit of time thinking about and talking about as Latter-day Saints. And of course, to hear all of the conversations, or to learn more about the course, you can head to transformationsoffaith.org to sign up.
39 minutes | 3 months ago
60. Discipleship vs Partisanship — Former Congressman Ben McAdams with Terryl Givens
Ben McAdams has had an unusual life in public service. Running as a moderate Democrat in a very conservative Republican state, he managed to be elected as a State Senator, then as Salt Lake County Mayor, and then as a Utah Congressman. Concern for the disadvantaged among us has been a driving force in his public life. Tasked as Mayor with helping to solve problems with Salt Lake City’s homeless population, he decided to spend a few days and nights living incognito with on them on the streets of the city. He needed to understand the issues first hand.In 2020’s politically polarized elections, McAdams was narrowly defeated. In this conversation with Terryl Givens, McAdams reflects on the disturbing power of tribal political loyalties. Does political identity now hold greater sway in our lives than our identity as disciples of Christ? Givens explores McAdams’ personal life as well as his public life, and they touch on what may be next for this unique public figure.
56 minutes | 3 months ago
59. Restoration: God's Call to the 21st-Century World - Patrick Mason
***"Restoration" is available in every format, including Audiobook, from Amazon, Apple Books, and Deseret Book:https://deseretbook.com/p/restoration-gods-call-to-the-21st-century-world?ref=Grid%20%7C%20Search-10&variant_id=190930-paperbackhttps://www.amazon.com/Restoration-Gods-Call-Century-World-ebook/dp/B08PKKCVJ3/ref=sr_1_1?crid=15402VNGHO8W3&dchild=1&keywords=restoration+patrick+mason&qid=1612652298&sprefix=restoration+%2Caps%2C211&sr=8-1***In this episode, we got to speak with Patrick Mason about his new book, Restoration, which was published by Faith Matters Publishing. When we started the Faith Matters Publishing project, one of our goals was to explore what Restoration really means as the church moves into its third century, and that’s exactly what Patrick does in his book.In the interview, we got to ask him about the origins of the book, its most important ideas, and what he hopes for the Church in the coming decades. One of our favorite insights from Patrick in this episode has to do with the meaning of the word restoration itself — he explains that the phrase “restored Church” doesn’t even appear in any recorded sermons until well into the 20th century, and that its original meaning might be really be seen as a call to reach out to the most marginalized and vulnerable in society. That insight alone has changed the way I see our Church membership, but we’ll let Patrick connect the dots as you listen.Obviously, we can’t recommend the book strongly enough, and we hope that you’ll pick it up and even share it with others. It’s available at Deseret Book, Amazon, Audible, and Apple Books. The book itself has so much more than we were able to cover in this one conversation — it’s a brief but powerful read packed with stories and insights that we really think you’ll love.A huge thanks to Patrick for coming on to speak with us, and for all the effort he put into writing what we think is an incredibly important book.
35 minutes | 3 months ago
58. Congressman John Curtis with Terryl Givens—Healing our Nation's Wounds
One of John Curtis’s first votes after winning reelection as a U.S. Congressman in 2020 was one of the toughest decisions of his life—whether or not to impeach Donald Trump for instigating a mob attack on the US Senate during its vote to ratify Joe Biden’s election as the next U.S. President.In this conversation with his longtime friend, Terryl Givens, Curtis talks about that vote, the current political climate in America and how we might heal the divisions in our country. They also talk about what role Curtis’s deep personal faith plays in his public life, first as Mayor and now as a U.S. Congressman. He explores this and more in this very personal conversation with Terryl Givens.
63 minutes | 4 months ago
57. All Things New - Fiona and Terryl Givens
In this episode, we spoke with Fiona and Terryl Givens about their new book, "All Things New: Rethinking Sin, Salvation, and Everything in Between."This book has the potential to really change lives. In it, Fiona and Terryl trace the roots of our religious vocabulary and show how many of these words have been unmoored from their original foundation — and how so many traditions that have been carried forward from hundreds, or thousands of years ago are still damaging us today. They then dive into specific ideas for how we might reformulate our language in healthy and inspiring ways.This book is healing and hopeful, even paradigm shifting and we believe you won’t be able to put it down. You can pick up a copy for yourself, or for family and friends at Deseret Book, or on Amazon, Audible, and Apple Books. We’re so grateful for Terryl and Fiona and the amazing work they’ve done here.Our conversation with them was really inspiring for us as well, and we loved hearing more about how the idea for the book originated and what Fiona and Terryl hope people get out of it. We hope you enjoy this conversation!
46 minutes | 4 months ago
56. The Most American Religion - McKay Coppins with Terryl Givens
In this latest installment of Conversations with Terryl Givens, Terryl is joined by McKay Coppins, a highly respected young political commentator and writer, widely known for his back-and-forths with Donald Trump over the past several years. Coppins recently published a truly remarkable piece in The Atlantic titled “The Most American Religion” which is both a retrospective on the place of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in American consciousness and a look forward to the third century of the Church and its place in American culture. As part of writing the piece, Coppins was granted a rare face-to-face sit down with Pres. Russell M. Nelson to discuss a wide range of topics.We think you’ll enjoy this conversation between two very insightful Latter-day Saint thinkers.
57 minutes | 7 months ago
55. Transformations of Faith - Thomas McConkie
*** Find out more at transformationsoffaith.org ***In this episode, we spoke with Thomas McConkie about something really exciting that he’s been working on over the past year in partnership with Faith Matters.Thomas has created an online course called Transformations of Faith. Many of our listeners are familiar with Thomas’s unique story. He’s a mindfulness teacher and practitioner of over 20 years, a committed and thoughtful Latter-day Saint, and a researcher and teacher in the field of adult development. In Transformations of Faith, Thomas draws on all three of these perspectives to create some truly transformative insights and practices.It’s an extraordinarily rich course with over 10 hours of teaching and guided meditations by Thomas, plus some fascinating conversations between Thomas and Adam Miller in which they dive deeper into the ideas in the course. Faith Matters is a non-profit organization, but we’ve made a substantial investment to produce this course because we believe what Thomas has to share will be life-changing for many people. For that reason, the course is the first product we’ve made available for purchase through Faith Matters. We’re offering a discounted price of $98 for the first 100 purchasers. We’ve also decided to make financial aid available for those who can’t currently afford it — we don’t want money to be the reason anyone misses out on the course.Subscribers will also be able to access an audio-only version of the course on a private podcast channel.For those of us who have taken the course, it’s been a subject of constant conversation. Many of the ideas and practices Thomas shared have truly been life-changing and opened up new awareness for both of us about ourselves and others around us that we simply couldn’t see before. We expect we’ll be back to it over and over again to process and uncover new layers of meaning. We think it could be particularly helpful if you feel spiritually or emotionally stuck or stagnant, or if you struggle with anxiety.You can head to transformationsoffaith.org in order to see more detail about the course, watch a sample video, and enroll. We had a ton of fun talking with Thomas about some of the most interesting and impactful moments in the course for this episode of the podcast. We can’t wait for you to listen and hope you enjoy the conversation.
56 minutes | 8 months ago
54. Finding Mother God - Carol Lynn Pearson
In this episode, we got to speak with Carol Lynn Pearson about her new book, "Finding Mother God: Poems to Heal the World."Carol Lynn has been a powerful and well-known voice in the Latter-day Saint community for many years. She’s perhaps most well known for her memoir "Goodbye, I Love You," about her marriage to and care for her husband Gerald, a gay man who died of AIDS in 1984. Her full catalog of works is too impressive to list here, but one other highlight is that she wrote one of our very favorite primary songs: "I’ll Walk with You," which has recently been published as a children’s book. Carol Lynn’s new book of Poetry, "Finding Mother God," is incredibly moving — Carol Lynn found a way to somehow simultaneously mourn and celebrate the way we interact with Heavenly Mother, both personally and in community. We found ourselves both laughing, crying, and everything in between as we read — and we can’t recommend the book highly enough.Carol Lynn was kind enough to read several of her poems and discuss them with us — we were only able to get through a few of our long list of favorites, but we think you’ll find her words and insights inspiring, and hope you pick up the book to find your own favorites.Thanks so much to Carol Lynn for coming on, and we hope you enjoy this episode.Finding Mother God: https://www.amazon.com/dp/142365668711:11 Asking Father21:06 Before Prayer29:08 Jesus Remembered36:36 What to Do40:04 Imagine42:17 A Motherless House46:07 First Thought of Me
59 minutes | 9 months ago
53. Depression and the Plan of Happiness - Jane Clayson Johnson
In this episode, we spoke with Jane Clayson Johnson about a really tough and important topic.Jane is an award-winning journalist widely known for her work at CBS News, ABC News, and on the nationally syndicated NPR program, On Point. At CBS News, Jane was co-anchor of The Early Show, a regular correspondent for 48 Hours, and an investigative reporter for “Eye on America” segments for the CBS Evening News.We spoke with Jane about her 2018 book Silent Souls Weeping, an incredibly important book that addresses depression, specifically within a Latter-day Saint context. In our discussion, Jane shared her own moving story about her struggle with depression, along with insights about how depression relates to missionaries and missionary work, a culture of perfectionism, social media usage, suicidality, and the stigma that still remains around mental health issues.We’re so grateful to Jane for coming on and for her vulnerability and openness. If you or anyone you know struggles with depression, we invite you to listen to Jane’s message of hope, survival and resilience.11:24 Depression and Feeling the Spirit22:01 Finding Traction When Depressed26:51 Having OCD While Serving a Mission36:36 Dealing With Toxic Perfectionism47:22 Returning To Our Wards During A Pandemic
45 minutes | 10 months ago
52. The New Normal, Part 2 - Melissa Inouye
This episode is part 2 of our mini-series we’re calling “The New Normal.”We spoke in Part 1 with Ashley Mae Hoiland a few weeks back. For this episode, we spoke with Melissa Inouye.Melissa’s been on our podcast before, and is one of our very favorite guests and people. After receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard in 2011, Melissa became a Senior Lecturer in Asian Studies at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. She’s now working for the Church History Department, and last year published a new book called “Crossings."In this conversation, Melissa shared with us her reflections on the crazy year we’ve had so far. The discussion we had was wide-ranging, and includes reflections on lockdown, home church, parenting, and even how we can use a lack of stability as a transformative experience.We’re really grateful Melissa came on the podcast and are excited to share her insights. We hope you enjoy the conversation!
52 minutes | 10 months ago
51. The Real Story of the Priesthood-Temple Ban - Terryl Givens with Paul Reeve
In this episode, Terryl Givens and Paul Reeve explore the history of the Church’s priesthood-temple ban that concluded in 1978.Paul is the Simmons Professor of Mormon Studies at the University of Utah. His award-winning book, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness, is considered by many the best book written to date on the subject.Dr. Reeve has also written a fantastic essay that addresses how to make sense of our history of denying priesthood and temple blessings to our Black brothers and sisters. It’s a fascinating read—and you really shouldn’t miss it. You can view it on our website here:https://faithmatters.org/making-sense-of-the-churchs-history-on-race/In this episode, Paul and Terryl go both wide and deep on the priesthood-temple ban. Among other historical details, they discuss how the church was broadly criticized as being too inclusive in its early years—not white enough. This became a factor in Brigham Young’s 1852 decision to ban Black people from the priesthood and temple. They also explore some of the explanations that developed in the church to explain the ban during its 126 year duration—and how each of these explanations have since been rejected and disavowed by the church.We think this is an incredibly important and insightful episode. We suspect you’ll enjoy it.
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