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The LDS Women Project Podcast
77 minutes | Jan 8, 2022
Fireside Series: Conversation with Melinda Wheelwright Brown
Recording of our November 9th, 2021 Fireside Conversation with Melina Wheelwright Brown about her book Eve and Adam: Discovering the Beautiful Balance. Melinda Wheelwright Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brigham Young University and is a respected teacher and public speaker. She has a passion for solving problems, particularly those faced by women. This has led to her involvement in and support of several organizations, including Fight the New Drug, Days for Girls, Better Days 2020, Big Ocean Women, and the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, where she’s a current board member. Melinda and her husband, Doug, are the parents of four children and have recently entered the delightful world of grandparenthood.
84 minutes | Jul 3, 2020
A Girl’s Guide to Heavenly Mother
A conversation with McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding about their new book A Girl's Guide to Heavenly Mother. We discuss how the knowledge of Heavenly Mother impacts us and influences our behavior. And we talk about the pandemic and racism within this context.
50 minutes | Dec 16, 2019
Robyn Burkinshaw: On My Road to Damascus
Robyn Burkinshaw is the secretary of her stake Relief Society, and a gay woman. She was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has always had a love of the Gospel. When she left the Church as a young adult and struggled deeply with depression, she felt a devastating distance between herself and God, believing herself to be unworthy of His blessings. Time, family, and tiny miracles led her back to the gospel and after a twenty-year hiatus, she returned to church. Robyn’s journey is her own. While her story may help LGBTQ people realize the love that God has for them, it is not a guide for their own lives or their relationship with the Church. Robyn is the CEO of BlytzPay, a financial technology startup. As a woman executive in the financial technology industry, Robyn is used to standing out and raising her voice for positive change. This interview is part of our Tales of Return Series. A condensed transcript of this interview, including photographs, can be found here.
67 minutes | Oct 22, 2019
Amber Richardson: Clarity and Connection
Elizabeth Ostler interviews Amber Richardson, a storyteller with many credits in many mediums. Amber has produced a YouTube series, “Splitting the Sky,” and a podcast, “On Sovereign Wings.” She has performed in festivals and plays, such as “Mother Wove the Morning” by Carol Lynn Pearson. One of the common threads running through her creative work is the desire to expand the female experience within a spiritual context.
33 minutes | Oct 15, 2019
Crossings: Melissa Inouye
Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye chats with Meredith Nelson about her recent book, Crossings: A Bald Asian American Latter-day Saint Woman Scholar's Ventures Through Life, Death, Cancer, and Motherhood (Not Necessarily In That Order), published as part of the BYU Maxwell Institute's Living Faith series. Her book is a compilation of contemplative and scholarly essays on faith and the Church organization, of family newsletters, song lyrics, and playful doodles, and of letters to her still-young children. All of this blends together to form a picture of one bright and mighty Latter-day Saint life, refined to its current state by her discipline, by discipleship, and by a faith community that has challenged her, brought her casseroles, and taught her the holiness of humans. Melissa is currently on leave from her position at the University of Auckland to return to the United States with her husband and four children, as she continues her fight with cancer. She is now working at the Church History Department, documenting the global history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
49 minutes | Sep 16, 2019
Yvonne Baraketse: I Know That My Redeemer Lives
On April 6, 1994, the airplane carrying the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi was shot down over Kigali. That moment was like “oil on fire,” setting off the devastating Rwandan Genocide. Yvonne Baraketse’s father, Chief of Staff of the Rwandan army, was also on the airplane and killed in the attack. Yvonne was 14 years old. Her immediate family lost many relatives and friends in the violent aftermath, managing themselves to escape to Belgium. Although prayer had sustained her through the terrors of war, now a refugee she ceased to pray, feeling God had abandoned her and her people. But while in Brussels, she found the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, which enabled her to forgive and look forward. She subsequently was made a refugee a second time in Hurricane Katrina, and was inspired to seek an MPA after observing relief efforts there. Yvonne lives in gratitude for her life, and has dedicated it to building bridges and lifting others: through service, through education, through dance. A condensed transcript of this interview, including photographs, can be found here.
45 minutes | Apr 29, 2019
Emily Bates: Searching for Truth in Science and Faith
Emily Bates suffered severe migraines from a young age, leading her to pursue a career in science in order to study the genetic causes of the condition. She now is an associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and runs a lab studying the molecular mechanisms of birth defects. Emily has led groundbreaking discoveries in the field of genetics, overcoming dyslexia, cultural pressures, and self-doubt along the way. She feels that God has led her from the beginning down this path. Emily sees science and faith as compatible methods of seeking truth, and relies on both as she runs her lab, partners with her husband to raise their daughter, and works to understand the nature of God and of the human body. A condensed transcript of this interview, including photographs, can be found here.
47 minutes | Feb 24, 2019
Kristin Hodson: LCSW and Certified Sex Therapist
Kristin Hodson is the founder and executive director of The Healing Group. As a LCSW and Certified Sex Therapist, she specializes in maternal mental health and healthy sexuality. In this interview she discusses issues regarding sexuality that are unique to conservative religious cultures, developing the confidence and skills to talk with our kids about intimacy, how we can better identify and support mothers who might be struggling with postpartum depression, and the importance of seeking out Christlike love and understanding in our relationships with those in the LGBTQ community. This interview was conducted by Nollie Haws. An edited transcript, including photos of Kristin and her family, may be found at our website, here.
49 minutes | Dec 20, 2018
Leslie Schwartz-Leeper: Mixed-Faith Marriage
Leslie Schwartz-Leeper’s parents divorced when she was very young. Her mother raised her six children by herself, and taught them that the bottom line of the gospel is love. Leslie always had a testimony, but drifted in and out of the Church through her teen and young adult years. In her early thirties, she married Ian, a non-believer of Jewish/Episcopalian heritage, at the same time as she returned to the Church. Leslie talks about her positive experience undergoing a Church disciplinary council, about the ways Ian supports her and their children in Church activity, about some of the challenges of a mixed-faith marriage, and about the peace she has in her partnership with a man she chose for his intelligence, kindness, and love. This interview is part of our Mixed-Faith Marriage Series. A condensed transcription can be found here.
53 minutes | Nov 16, 2018
Jennifer Kambourian: Mixed-Faith Marriage
This interview is part of our Mixed-Faith Marriage series, including many stories on the blog that will be published through the first half of December. A full transcript of this interview, including photographs, can be found on our website. Jennifer Kambourian is a lifelong member of the Church. At 42 years old she married John, a man of Catholic upbringing who had recently lost his first wife to cancer, leaving him to raise his three children. Coming from a part-member family herself, Jennifer had always been determined to marry a faithful Latter-day Saint man in the temple. But a revelatory process of prayer, fasting, temple attendance, and conversations with trusted friends led her to know she was meant to join this family and give her heart to raising the children and supporting them through their grief. Jennifer and her husband have been married twelve years, and she attributes their success to their mutual support of each other’s faith practices and respect for each other’s autonomy. She feels peace that the questions of eternity will be answered later, and that her current job is to love her family.
50 minutes | Jun 23, 2018
To Shine a Light: An interview with Elizabeth Ostler
Elizabeth Ostler is a theater-maker, activist, and professor living in Brooklyn, New York. She specializes in directing and puppetry, and in coaching others on how to tell their stories. A survivor of childhood abuse and of an abusive marriage, she dedicates her artistic work to advocating for other victims and raising awareness about domestic violence and human trafficking. She has felt the companionship of the Savior throughout her life, and her knowledge of His love and of her inherent value helped her find the courage to walk away from abuse, to work through her trauma, and to shine a light for others. Elizabeth is co-editor of the Mormon Women Project. (Photos and interview transcription can be found at the MWP blog).
38 minutes | Apr 11, 2018
Multiples and Miracles: an interview with Julie Bradshaw Grygla
Julie Grygla is the mother of six children under five years old. She and her husband achieved their first pregnancy with the help of fertility treatment, and gave birth to triplet boys. When their triplets were only five months old, Julie became pregnant spontaneously with twin girls, who were followed not long after by a baby boy. Their journey has carried them through many unexpected challenges, but Julie has depended on revelation and patience as she has navigated the abundance of motherhood one step at a time. Her own mother passed away unexpectedly while Julie was in graduate school, before her marriage. Julie has learned how to turn an isolated mourning into a connection with her mother and with God, both of whom she feels increasingly guiding her as her children grow older. (Photos and interview transcription can be found at the MWP blog).
39 minutes | Feb 9, 2018
Seasons of Change: Stories of Transition
Editors Sandra Clark Jergensen and Shelah Mastny Miner discuss Segullah's new anthology, Seasons of Change, with Meredith Nelson. It contains over fifty essays, stories, and poems written by LDS women on the topic of transition.
31 minutes | Nov 16, 2017
End of the Childbearing Years: Heather's Story
In 2017, an MWP reader named Heather reached out to us suggesting we cover the topic of the end of childbearing. Her idea blossomed into our End of the Childbearing Years series, in which we published nearly a hundred stories from Mormon women about this important life transition. Meredith Nelson interviews Heather about her own story in this episode, beginning with her childhood in Salt Lake County in the 1970s and 80s, the third in a family of nine children. They discuss what Heather learned through her journey about womanhood, mothering, agency, and revelation.
49 minutes | Oct 26, 2017
Eva Witesman, a professor of public management at the BYU Marriot School of Business, joins Meredith Nelson in this episode. They discuss Eva's viral BYU devotional, which commented on the right each woman has to her own personal revelation regarding her educational or personal path. In this podcast Eva follows up on some of the ideas in her devotional, and talks more about her own career and family journey.
54 minutes | Sep 12, 2017
Mother's Milk: Poems in Search of Heavenly Mother
In this episode, Meredith Nelson interviews Rachel Hunt Steenblik about her recently published book, Mother's Milk: Poems in Search of Heavenly Mother, illustrated by Ashley May Hoiland. Rachel talks about the fading taboo of talking about Heavenly Mother, about her own research and personal searching regarding Mother in Heaven, and about the lovely small poems she wrote to illuminate this searching.
23 minutes | Aug 16, 2017
Women At Church: PART 2
This is part 2 of an interview with Neylan McBaine, author of Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women's Local Impact (2014), who joins Meredith Nelson to discuss her book and her additional perspectives and experiences since its publication. In Part 1, Neylan talked about some of the challenges we currently grapple with as church members when it comes to gender relations. In Part 2, she outlines some creative solutions, and her hopes for the future of the Relief Society.
43 minutes | Aug 16, 2017
Women At Church: PART 1
Neylan McBaine, author of Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women's Local Impact (2014), joins Meredith Nelson to discuss her book and her additional perspectives and experiences since its publication. In Part 1, Neylan talks about some of the challenges we currently grapple with as church members when it comes to gender relations.
47 minutes | May 14, 2017
At the Pulpit
Meredith Nelson interviews Jenny Reeder and Kate Holbrook, about their recent book At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-Day Saint Women. They discuss women's authority, titles, words, themes and experiences across the history of the church.
62 minutes | May 14, 2017
Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Families
In this episode, Elizabeth Ostler interviews McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding about their book Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Families, published in 2016 by Deseret Book.
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