LDS History, Faith, and Culture

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

Tuesday, we’re talking about a man some disaffected Mormons believe to be a prophet. Denver Snuffer does claim to have spoken with Jesus, but he says he is not leading a new church. The so-called Remnant movement argues the LDS Church has strayed from Joseph Smith’s teachings and is more corporation than spiritual endeavor. So, they reject structure and authority and believe anyone can receive revelation. Doug and guests will explore the movement and the viability of a leaderless sect.

We’re live Wednesday morning, talking about Millennials and Mormonism. Religion scholar Jana Riess has been studying what she calls “The Next Mormons,” and while nearly all say they believe in God, the way they practice their religion is very different from older generations. And like other faiths around the country, the LDS Church is experiencing its share of young adults leaving the fold. We’ll talk with Riess and others about this generational shift, and what it means for Mormonism.

Mormons and Sex

Jun 29, 2017

Thursday, we’re talking about Mormons and sex. LDS therapist Jennifer Finlayson-Fife says that Mormon theology of the body is very different from many Christian traditions. Within marriage, sex isn’t just for procreation, but also for pleasure, intimacy and becoming god like. So, what’s the disconnect in a culture where there seems to be so much shame and guilt around sexuality? She’ll join us live, along with LDS sex therapist Kristin Hodson and Chris Duce of the “Celestial Sex” podcast.

Thomas Wirthlin McConkie is a descendent of two highly influential Mormon leaders.  And yet, his close ties to the LDS Church didn’t insulate him from questioning his faith. He left the church as a teenager and found spiritual fulfillment in Zen Buddhism. After almost 20 years, he returned to Mormonism, and he wants to help others navigate their own faith crises. McConkie joins us Monday to discuss how the tools of developmental psychology can help guide us through faith transitions.

North Star International, Voices of Hope Project, http://bit.ly/2o08ydI

Monday, we’re talking about the delicate balance of being religiously conservative and attracted to the same sex. Ty Mansfield is a family therapist and he’s attracted to men. He’s also married to a woman, has kids, and is a faithful Mormon. Mansfield believes that human sexuality is fluid enough for some gay people - not all - but some to be perfectly happy married to someone of the opposite sex. Mansfield joins us to share his own story, and to talk about what he’s learning about sexuality and happiness.

MormonLeaks

Jan 30, 2017

Monday, we’re exploring MormonLeaks, an online platform where LDS Church employees and insiders can leak private Church documents. Nothing all that incriminating or even interesting has come out yet. The videos and papers have basically shown the LDS Church to be a byzantine bureaucracy run much like a business. But MormonLeaks founder Ryan McKnight says he’s not looking for scandals, just transparency. We’ll talk about the leaks and what they reveal about Mormonism today.

Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich grew up in Sugar City, Idaho, and in the late 50s, she figured she would just “get married and have children.” So it may surprise you to hear that she coined the phrase “well-behaved women seldom make history.” Ulrich is a Mormon, a feminist, a Harvard professor, and a Pulitzer Prize-winner. She’s dedicated her career to telling the stories of early American women and helping modern women find their voices. She’s in Utah, and joins Doug on Monday.

19th century Utah photographer Charles Ellis Johnson was a son-in-law of Brigham Young with access to the state’s elite. He trained his camera on the LDS Temple and leaders like the prophet Wilford Woodruff. So what should we make of his brisk mail-order business of “spicy girls”? Art historian Mary Campbell says at a time when most Americans thought of the Saints in terms of the “barbarity” of polygamy, Johnson’s erotic photography helped make Mormons mainstream. Tuesday, she joins us to explain.

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