LDS History, Faith, and Culture

A collection of RadioWest conversations about LDS history, faith, and culture.

Last week, MormonLeaks released a recording of a woman confronting an LDS missionary leader she said tried to rape her. We’re talking about what the Church is or isn’t doing to protect its own.

Tuesday, we continue our coverage of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with Don Argott’s documentary film about Mormon rock ‘n roll star Dan Reynolds and his efforts to find some kind of middle ground between his church and the LGBT community.

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Wednesday, we’re talking about new LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson, other changes in the First Presidency, and how the Church may meet the challenges of a global faith in the 21st century.

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Thomas S. Monson, President of the LDS Church, has died at the age of 90. Thursday, we’re talking about his life, the course of the Church during his tenure, and what comes next for Mormonism.

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There’s a petition challenging the way Mormon bishops discuss sexuality with young men and women. Intimate questions come up in interviews conducted one-on-one by adult men. We’ll look at the potential risks, and the pros and cons of untrained clergy.

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The LDS Church may have been founded by an uneducated, 19th century tenant farmer, but historian D. Michael Quinn estimates its 2010 tithing income at $33 billion dollars. And that’s to say nothing of the Church’s investments, business holdings, and “seemingly endless capital.” To understand the Church’s economic history, Quinn says you have to understand God as the ultimate CEO of the Church and its business on earth. He joins us to talk about his new book on Mormon “Wealth and Corporate Power.”

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From 1947 to 2000, the LDS Church ran the “Indian Student Placement Program.” It took 50,000 native children from reservations and placed them in Mormon homes. This effort to educate and convert them came naturally out of Mormon theology, which taught that Native Americans were descended from a lost tribe of Israel and were cursed for their wickedness. Wednesday, we’re talking about the program and what it reveals about Mormonism’s complicated relationship with Native Americans.

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Years ago, Tom Christofferson asked to be excommunicated from the LDS Church. He says he couldn’t figure out how to be Mormon and gay, so, he aimed at being happy and gay. And he was. He had a man he loved, and his family - including Mormon apostle D. Todd Christofferson - made them both welcome. But he still wasn’t fulfilled. So Tom Christofferson left his partner and returned to his church. He’s written a memoir and joins us Tuesday to talk about reconciling his sexuality with his faith.

Monday, we’re talking about the complicated relationship between the Mormon Church and homosexuality. Our guest is historian Gregory Prince who is working on a history that includes the public and not-so-public campaigns against same-sex marriage and their attempt at punishing and curing same-sex attraction. He also examines whether the LDS theology of an afterlife will ever have room for gay people. Prince is coming to Utah, and joins us to talk about Mormons and Gays.

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