What is Gay Mormon Stories?
The goal of the Gay Mormon Stories podcast is to create a space where LGBTQ or SSA individuals and their families and allies can acknowledge, explore and honor shared experiences. No issues strike more deeply than who we love and how we understand and honor God. These issues carry an especially profound weight in Mormon communities and have been the source of a great deal of misunderstanding, judgment and hurt. Consequently, gay Mormons are deeply divided over how to address same-sex attraction and negotiate the choices they face.
We are inviting LGBTQ Mormons and their families and allies to step beyond historic divisions to establish a shared space where all who have ever self-identified as Mormon and have experienced same-sex attraction can speak truthfully and respectfully. Mormon Stories and the Open Stories Foundation are hosting this podcast as an expression of our longstanding commitment to LGBTQ issues and in the spirit of our Shared Values:
- We acknowledge the richness of Mormon heritage, teachings, and community in all of its diversity.
- We believe that one can self-identify as Mormon based on one’s genealogy, upbringing, beliefs, relationships, and other life experiences, regardless of one’s adherence or non-adherence to the teachings or doctrines of any religious organization.
- We seek spaces where we as Mormons can live lives of intellectual and spiritual integrity, individual conscience, and personal dignity.
- We acknowledge and honor different spiritual paths and modes of religious or non-religious truth-seeking. We respect the convictions of those who subscribe to ideas and beliefs that differ from our own.
- We recognize the confusion, distress, emotional trauma, and social ostracism that people on faith journeys often experience. We seek constructive ways of helping and supporting people, regardless of their ultimate decisions regarding church affiliation or activity.
- We affirm the inherent and equal worth of all human beings. We seek spaces where Mormons (and all people) can interact as equals regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. In this spirit of egalitarianism, we prefer non-authoritarian and non-hierarchical means of organization and affiliation.
What is Mormon Stories?
Mormon Stories is a nonprofit organization that seeks to create online and in-person environments that allow for authentic self-expression and the open discussion of Mormonism. We are a secularly-based organization with no affiliation to the LDS church. We are not a religion and have no intention of becoming a religious organization at any point in the future. Our podcasts, websites, online and in-person communities are conducted in the spirit of the Mormon Stories Shared Values (above).
In addition to explicitly striving to align all operations with the Mormon Stories Shared Values, we endeavor to ensure that the projects we undertake 1) support individuals in Mormon-related faith crises, 2) save marriages, 3) heal families, and 4) celebrate, challenge, and advance Mormon culture in healthy ways.
We recognize that our goals are lofty and that we consistently fall short of our own ideals. We continue in the pursuit of what we hope will empower individuals, strengthen family relationships, and forward healthy Mormon culture despite our imperfections because we believe that goodness and happiness will come from our efforts. At the same time, we acknowledge our own ineptitude and see the advantages of maintaining flexibility in our programming and decision-making. Your feedback is therefore important to us. Please let us know when and how we’ve missed the mark and what you can do to help make Mormon Stories better. Please email us at MormonStories@gmail.com.
What is the Mormon Stories Podcast?
In 2005, John Dehlin, a member of the Mormon church, started a podcast dedicated to the open, thoughtful exploration of Mormonism as a religious and cultural tradition. The podcast has since explored many aspects of Mormonism and has featured leading scholars like Richard Bushman, Daniel Peterson, and Terryl Givens, as well as psychologists, filmmakers, artists and everyday Mormons offering their own opinions. Topics addressed include Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, Joseph Smith’s life, Mormon polygamy, masonry, racism, feminism, homosexuality, apologetics, Book of Mormon historicity, the LDS missionary program, the reconciliation between faith and the intellect, and apostasy.