Episode 110: A Discussion with a Current Bishop

105 comments on “Episode 110: A Discussion with a Current Bishop”

  1. Jason Reply

    Thanks for coming on to MormonExpression, Bishop! “Spiritual leprosy” – loved that term. I loved the Lord of the Rings metaphor as well. “If you dig deep enough, you’re going to find a Balrog.” The Mormon Balgor definitely comes to life if you start exploring deep caverns of Mormonism.

  2. Gail F. Bartholomew Reply

    Bishop X,

    Thank you for spending this time. I do believe their are good bishops out there. My Bishop has really tried to be very understanding, but like you said there is not a good venue for the type of dialog I would like to have.

    I am impressed with your concern in avoiding unrighteous dominion. I also believe that the Church works on this as well. This being said the more I think about this issue I do not believe the church will fully divest itself form the ecclesiastical abuses that happen until they come away from the idea of dominion, or promoting righteous dominion. In the church we talk a lot about dominions and practicabilities. Priest holders are to exercise righteous dominion over those they have stewardship over. If “No apower or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood” Than why by virtue of the priesthood You are called to preside or exercise righteous control over your ward? Or a Father over his family and his wife? Is there such a thing as righteous dominion and if so how? Bishop X this is a real question.

    Thank you for your time.

  3. Marty Reply

    I really enjoyed this podcast, but I would be willing to bet that this bishop is out of the church within the next 3 years. His take is on the church was exactly like mine when I was trying to rectify church history and other issues. Eventually it crumbles and you’re left with a few pieces of nonsense. Taking a non-literal approach to the church is like taking a non-literal approach to a grilled cheese sandwich. As much as you try to seek a symbolic approach to it, it’s still a grilled cheese sandwich. Good luck bishop.

  4. don't know mo Reply

    Wow! Epic! Thank you Bishop for doing this podcast. I am in the dark night of my soul and I don’t feel like I can participate in the church without being the worst kind of hypocrite. With the Temple Recommends being valid for two years, I haven’t had to face that interview since my crisis of faith yet. As I deconstruct what I thought I had a testimony of, I don’t feel like I “know” anything. I am not sure if I will be given a TR if I say “gee, I’m not really sure anymore” to the interview questions. I feel this undercurrent where saying the words “I have a testimony” is more important to my leaders than whether I really have a testimony or not. Perhaps in my doubting state I shouldn’t have a TR. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this, Bishop.

  5. Austin51 Reply

    Awesome interview! Thank you phantom Bishop who ever you are! If only the church had more Bishops like you, there were be far fewer being treated as if they had Spiritual Leprosy and a lot less former members whose hearts are breaking. The church would also not be loosing good, wonderful, loving, serving intelligent members at the rate they are currently loosing them. Thank you again.

  6. Jay Bryner Reply

    Great conversation. I was surprised by how quiet John was. Usually he takes a much more active role in the conversation. Bishop X resonated with me quite a bit. Lord of the Rings. Metaphor. BYU honor code enforcers (you want to run into those guys like you want to run into an IRS auditor)

    I agree with the comments in the podcast that the church would be experiencing less attrition from dissidents if it took a different approach toward the disaffected.

  7. Glenn Reply

    This is my new favorite podcast just ahead of Zilpha’s interview with Nate and the Nauvoo Expositor for Dummies. Tom rocked the world with this one. Nice job brother!

    John asked a question at one point around “loyal dissent” in the church, and it made me think about my own role and “agenda” as an active member who does things like Mormon Expression and bearing public testimonies that “I don’t know that the church is true, but there are other reasons for wanting to stay in the church,” etc etc. I wouldn’t say “loyal” dissent is the right description for me, because obviously I make my own path and do my own things and my loyalty is first with learning and education and expression and a desire to truly hear and understand different perspectives — but “respectful” dissent fits me pretty well — I hope so at least.

    And I felt that Bishop fits that profile as well, and I really liked what he had to say (with one exception — Jesus’s disciples really thought that he meant he wanted them to eat and drink his literal flesh and blood? For realz? That sounded strange to me — challenge-worthy at least — but otherwise, I really liked the messages and Bishop’s position).

    The only two things I wished I would have heard Bishop address is 1) what his SP or other surrounding bishops, councilors, or “line managers” do think or would think of his more liberal interpretations of the temple recommend answers or other approaches to a metaphorical vs. literal approach — i.e. is he affraid he might be ex’d for his beliefs? And this may be connected, but 2) for me especially — and I’m no bishop with all of the pressures of ward members’ high expectations and such — but I’m out in the open here, real name, saying what I feel, carefully and measured, yes, but let the cards fall where they may — my 2nd councilor knows all about my involvement here at M.E. and he listens regularly and is a fan of the podcast, and my Bishop certainly knows how I approach things over the pulpit in church and yet still asks me to give talks — so the other question is why the need for anonymity? I can assume the answers to these two questions, but I wish I could have heard Bishop explain in his own eloquent words.

    Anyway, great podcast — I loved it. And Bishop — we totally need to meet.

    • Anonymous Reply

      I second Glenn’s questions— What do your file leaders think of you approaches to being a Bishop ? Are they aware of your more liberal views? Is silence golden in this case?

    • Scott Reply

      The part about some of Jesus’s disciples thinking that eating his flesh and drinking his blood was literal can be found in John Chapter 6. It is a great story. Jesus didn’t just come out and say “eat my flesh and drink my blood.” It all started with him miraculously feeding the five thousand and transformed into teaching the people that if they want eternal life, they must eat his flesh and drink his blood.

      Some of the disciples thought it was literal and refused to walk with Jesus anymore. John 6:66. Read the NASB or NSRV version of the story. It is really good.

    • Scott Reply

      The part about some of Jesus’s disciples thinking that eating his flesh and drinking his blood was literal can be found in John Chapter 6. It is a great story. Jesus didn’t just come out and say “eat my flesh and drink my blood.” It all started with him miraculously feeding the five thousand and transformed into teaching the people that if they want eternal life, they must eat his flesh and drink his blood.

      Some of the disciples thought it was literal and refused to walk with Jesus anymore. John 6:66. Read the NASB or NSRV version of the story. It is really good.

    • Tom Reply

      Thanks for the nice words Glenn. I consider you a good friend and when you mention where you put this podcast in relation to the others, that really means a lot. Obviously the Bishop gets most, and/or all the credit, but I really appreciate the feedback.

  8. Anonymous Reply

    Good interview. Thanks Bishop for sharing. If only more members and especially leaders could have a more open minded about belief and the LDS gospel, the Church would be a much better place. That said, I have to agree with John. Even if there were more ‘bishops’ in the Church I likely wouldn’t go back. It just isn’t worth the time and effort now that I no longer see it as the ‘only true and living.’ Maybe it would be if the Church were to become the more nourishing organization Bishop refers to. Not holding my breath.

    Also, did I hear Bishop use the “whole nother thing” phrase that you ME types have become so fond of. Maybe I heard wrong.

    Good job Bishop, Tom and John.

  9. Austin51 Reply

    Bishop, are you at all worried that you are going to be “outed” by coming on here? I know that they disguised your voice, but do you worry the “brethren” will learn of this podcast, and that you are posting on some online boards, and search to find out who you are since you currently serve as one of their Bishops? The only thing I feel they could really be upset about is your stand on the gay rights issue (which I think it is great that you support them). I loved this podcast and wish there were many, many more Bishops and leaders that were your caliber!

    • anon_member Reply

      “do you worry the “brethren” will learn of this podcast, and that you are posting on some online boards, and search to find out who you are since you currently serve as one of their Bishops? ”

      Are you kidding me? As long as “Bishop” is paying a full tithe to the LDS Corp Downtown Mall Building Fund and he doesn’t directly speak of these things to other members of his ward, the “brethren” won’t bat an eye.

  10. Kris Fielding Reply

    One of the best episodes yet! Great job Bishop and Tom. I would like to add that when I went through my disaffection, having a bishop like this would, without a doubt, have prevented me from leaving. My disaffection and the way our bishop handled it led my wife to leaving also, and she was an absolute TBM.

    On one hand it gives me hope that there are leaders in the church who are the ideal of the term “Christlike” (humble, compassionate, understanding, loving, etc). But then back to reality – he has to disguise his voice to stay anonymous or else he would face discipline by the church. This exemplifies what a sad organization the church really is.

    • Seth Leigh Reply

      I am personally having a hard time understanding how people say they wouldn’t have left the church if they had a bishop like Bishop X. He sounds like a great guy to have as bishop, but since the church wasn’t true on April 6, 1830, or any day since, how does having Bishop X as your bishop change that?

      The only way having a bishop like this would help me stay in the church is if I wanted to stay for tribal reasons only. He may be a great guy, but Joseph Smith still never really saw God, and he still really did usurp power in the here and now over people by lying to them and promising them fairy tales he could never hope to deliver.

      Until Mormonism evolves to the point where people can exist in the church like those secular Jews who aren’t run out of their tribe on a rail for their non-belief, Bishop X could only ever really serve as a minor speedbump on the path out of the church. IMHO, anyway – I recognize that others think differently about it.

      • Glenn Reply

        But Seth, it sounds like you are very close to understanding it. It’s not really about the truth claims of J.S. or the angels or the BoM or any of that. If you can have some breathing room in our home ward — like I currently do — with a bishop who has an approach more like Bishop X here, then I get to learn from other members who have expertise in areas where I am not as strong, like financial wizardry, and repairing car engines, and getting help with depression, and helping new move ins aclimate to Bloomington more smoothly and completely – and all this from people who share a similar background, culture, language, experience-set that I do — some even very close on the belief/non-belief side of things. So when people say that things would be different if there were more Bishop X’s around, that’s what I think they mean. At least that how it currently is for me.

        • Seth Leigh Reply

          Yeah, I believe you, and I’m sure you’re right. What’s interesting is that as my wife has finally decided she doesn’t believe it either, I actually counseled her to take it slowly and not just bolt from the church altogether, and I counseled her thus because I was worried she might change her mind and realise that she’s burnt some bridges she’d rather not have done.

          I haven’t really had all that close of a relationship with the elders quorum of my ward here, because by the time we started coming here I was pretty much already an unbeliever, and three or four years ago I stopped going to Sunday School and Priesthood because I couldn’t stand hearing BS taught as fact and have to hold my tongue. Literally the very last Sunday School lesson I went to voluntarily the ward scriptorian lady was teaching about the Flood, and describing, in details only the ward scriptorian would have taken the time to weave for our imaginations, how awful Noah must have felt as the water started to come down, and his neighbors came to the Ark and were beating on the door begging to be let in, but Noah knew it was too late, and had to ignore their desparate pleas and let them drown, powerless to help them avoid the consequences of their own previous choices.

          Anyhow, in my previous comment I did allow for tribal reasons. Also, I’m an atheist, and I believe that when we die there’s really nothing next, ie: upon death the consciousness that is us at this moment ceases to exist, and does not continue. In a very real sense, it doesn’t really matter what we do with our lives. That’s part of the whole deal, that everyone decides what to make of the life they have. If someone decides to spend their life in a church they don’t believe in, I cannot really say that’s any worse for them than anything else they could be doing. It’s their choice, and it’s their own subjective evaluation of their options, and their own acceptance of the ramifications. The fact that I react one way to finding out the church isn’t true, and Bishop X reacts another way, well, I may not agree with him, but that’s the miracle of it all – I have my life, and he’s got his, and we each get to do whatever floats our boat.

          Apparently, Bishop X has decided that Mormonism is worth spending his life on, for reasons that are sufficient to him. That’s his choice.

          • Anonymous

            @Seth “three or four years ago I stopped going to Sunday School and Priesthood because I couldn’t stand hearing BS taught as fact and have to hold my tongue.”

            That’s exactly how I felt. Sounds like we both left for the same reasons.

            Btw, what’s a “ward scriptorian”?

          • Seth Leigh

            You know how there are some stereotypes about people in an LDS ward? Well, I’m using the term “ward scriptorian” to describe a Mormon, who inevitably gets called to be Gospel Doctrine teacher or whatever, who spends hours and hours a week reading and studying and preparing, and knows the scriptures backwards and forwards, inside and out. I can’t promise that you’ve run into such people, but I have, in several wards. Anyhow, this lady teaching the lesson on Noah was exactly that kind of person. She’s the kind who you would assume has an extensive personal library of LDS authors, probably including Hugh Nibley, Cleon Skousen, and so forth.

            Anyhow, the detail she went into about Noah building the ark, and how it must have pained him knowing what would come, and being unable to convince his neighbors, and then when the floods came and it was too late, how terrible it was for him to have to hear his neighbors pleading for their lives to be let in, but he couldn’t do it and had to let them drown. I just wanted to jump and and scream at the top of my lungs: “people, my God, you actually believe this? Noah’s Ark?!?! This is MADE UP. It’s pure mythology!”

            Oh, here’s another humorous tidbit. My wife prevailed upon me once more since then to go to Sunday School, and that lesson the teacher spent the whole time talking about Prop 8 and Prop 102 here in Arizona, and how natural the church’s position was, and how hard “we” worked to see them pass, and how awesome it was that they did, and how we would be blessed, and rejoice that we’d made our mark on society and all that jazz. The teacher was one of those Mormons who just assumes that everyone in the room is Republican, hates gays, etc. I was biting my tongue the whole time, and finally did stand up and say that I thought it was important for everyone to realize and accept that Democrats, and gays, (in America), are just as American as all of us fine Mormons, and they have their rights too, and it is simply dead wrong for us to infer that they are not as genuinely American as we are because they happen to disagree with the LDS church on some matter. I didn’t let fly with a bunch of other things I wanted to say because I knew my wife would be mortified. Well, she actually apologized to me afterward for dragging me to Sunday School, knowing how much I disagreed with what was being taught, and how grateful she was that I’d restrained myself and not embarassed her.

            She never asked me to go to Sunday School again.

      • Kris Fielding Reply

        There are many reasons why people stay active in the church, regardless of the claims. My testimony was based on the truth claims, but that aside I had a TBM wife and a social life in the church. Once I had my interviews with the bishop and he not only treated me poorly, but told my wife she would need to find another husband. That whole ordeal caused my wife to lose her belief and look into the history/doctrine issues also. If we had this bishop those problems would have been mitigated or avoided altogether and my wife probably wouldn’t have had her faith challenged.

    • Jay Bryner Reply

      I’m with you there. That makes me the most uncomfortable. There just are things you can’t/don’t/won’t talk about. Bishop X has to hide in anonymity which is sad.

      It’s just weird. It reminds me of John’s comment to Richard Packham where he said ‘I think the church has a stronger case than they give themselves credit for’ – but even something like Richard Dutcher becoming disaffected removes his movies from being sold at Deseret Book.

  11. Chris J Reply

    Bishop – Thank you for your kind words. If only some other leaders could have a similar approach I would think many would stay in the church. There could be so much less pain and suffering if we could all be more tolerant of those who see things differently.

    I do have a couple of questions though.
    1- You discussed the temple questions with Tom at length – I have heard on many occasions that the leaders have been counseled to not add to the questions in order to get a recommend. Where are you getting this info? I served as a counselor in the bishopric for five years and was counseled to do the very opposite. i.e. Ask the men about porn, attending meetings means Sunday School too, etc. I would like to have a reference – if I ever decide to renew my recommend (been lapsed for over two years now).

    2- Do you have any kind of feel for how many others who may be in your situation? Basically in your speaking with other leaders in Stakes and Wards are there other bishops, stake presidents, high counselors, etc who see things more metaphorically? Who at least recognize some of the problems with our history? It seems to me like 95% of the leaders I have ever interacted with a very literal minded.

    Lastly – How has some of your more literal minded ward members taken your nuanced approach? You do get some leeway because your the bishop, but I would imagine you have to have some resistance.

    Anyway, thanks again. Your approach is refreshing and at least gives me pause to think of remaining in the church. I’m only hanging by a thread now.

  12. Ozpoof Reply

    While I think it is great to hear a Bishop speak about the church on ME, the fact he has to remain anonymous only shows he does not speak for the church he claims to be part of. It also shows that he knows who is boss, not his own conscience, but a pack of fogies in Utah.

    This Bishop is an apologist, pure and simple. He may have liberal leanings, and may believe gay rights are human rights, but I’m afraid he does not have the conviction of those beliefs. If he truly believed in equality and human rights, and the utter triviality and waste in obsessing over personal issues like masturbation, this Bishop would walk the talk and resign. By trying to cram Mormon dogma into his liberal leaning brain, he is becoming twisted. I mean come on, really, Bishop, PLEASE listen to this back and hear yourself distort Mormonism into a weird figment of itself so you can sleep at night. Wake up and smell what you’re shoveling.

    Bishop, as John said, your continued participation in a church that lies pathologically, supports the wrong side of EVERY human rights fight, and creates a culture of self loathing and guilt, is an indication that you SUPPORT this. It does not matter how you say you deal with ward members, you are part of the problem. You are complicit. When a kid listens to Packer or some other nut tell him that beating off is evil, YOU are the immediate authority figure that he is supposed to confess this “sin” to. Unless you stand up on Sunday and say WHO CARES if you occasionally release some sexual tension and get a hit of reward chemicals to the brain then sleep really well! I mean there are boys of 13 who are bouncing off the walls and some old fart like Packer is telling them to let it get to the stage where all you can think of 24/7 is shooting one off! Welcome to the 21st century man! They used to think semen was life essence because men crashed after sex. Now we know that men sleep because they are completely relaxed. Maybe Packer doesn’t know that.

    Take a look at this religion. How much of it do you believe is factual, truth, good for people? Unless you believe it 100%, I’m afraid you’re lying to yourself and everyone else.

    Man-up, take a stand for what you claim you believe in, and leave this destructive cult.

    • Anonymous Reply

      Oz, is it possible you aren’t seeing the bigger picture?

      I agree with what you say about the church but this Bishop might actually be helping his Ward-members by staying in. He is serving them after all and imagine how much better off they are with him at the helm rather than a Packer-type?

      You and I chose to leave the church for our integrity but I can sympathize with those who might feel they can make a difference from the inside. While I would have felt like a liar if I kept my calling, attended church and went home teaching, I can appreciate that some people could in fact be an influence for good in an otherwise corrupt organization.

      If I had a Bishop like this guy, who knows, I might have even stuck around. I doubt I would have been able to keep a temple recommend (I’m with John that I can’t honestly say I believe in the restoration), but maybe I would have been able to attend with my wife and that might have helped my marriage. Then again, maybe not. But at least I would feel better about my children attending and the interviews they are supposed to take part in to be able to participate in the youth activities.

      This dude’s a good man who is making a difference in the lives of many people. I wish I could say the same about myself.

      I wish him all the best.

      • Ozpoof Reply

        WHY would you stick around? I don’t understand this at all. If you don’t believe in the basics of Mormonism, why stay a Mormon and have to lie to everyone?

        How long do you think your marriage would have lasted if you were honest enough to tell the truth in a TR interview? Wouldn’t your wife start asking why you can’t go to the temple with her? Sure you could lie and say you believe 100%, but what a price to pay – 10% and lies forever. You did not change into another person when you left. Your wife seems to have chosen the religion if you are no longer together. That says a lot about what type of organisation Mormonism is.

        I think you’re better out of it.

        This bishop may make it a little easier on someone struggling with being gay, I don’t know. I very much doubt he would advise a gay youth to come out as gay because gay is ok. I really don’t know what he would do with a gay kid. Claiming you support gay rights but staying in a role where you are required to oppose gay rights seems conflicted to say the least.

        • Anonymous Reply

          I might stick around because I would feel that somebody in leadership actually shares many of my views regarding church history and wouldn’t mock me for them. Because I would think “If this guy can hold such an important leadership calling in the church, maybe I can at least attend with my wife and kids.”

          There are a vast number of reasons it would be more attractive to attend church with this man leading the fold than a TBM who thinks the church’s “faith-promoting history” is factual and anything else is of the devil.

          Most likely though, I would have stopped attending anyway because for me the hardest thing about attending church was the interaction with people who feel they have all the answers when they know almost nothing about true history or reality. I couldn’t stand fast and testimony meetings where so many would stand up and claim to *know* the church, the book of mormon, joseph smith, etc. etc. etc. is “true” from the bottom of their burning heart. The stories I would hear every week to promote false history or tithing paying or what ever – just drove me crazy.

          So most likely I wouldn’t attend anyway, even with a bishop as awesome as this one would be. But at the very least it would help me feel better about my children attending – especially when they are supposed to have interviews with the Bishop (which I personally think is one of the worst aspects of the church).

          • Ozpoof

            That’s good that you won’t pretend to believe. Mormonism just doesn’t work like that. It’s not like being a Catholic where you can go as a family while you don’t believe. If you want to appear like you believe in Mormonism when you don’t you are forced to lie to your family consistently. I can’t see how living like that is a good thing.

    • Glenn Reply

      Oz, dude, there’s a line between fair criticism and personal attacks and you crossed it man. There’s no way you can convince me that Bishop is not taking a stand for what he believes in. He most definitely is. He’s just not taking a stand for what you believe in — and that’s got you angry and telling him he’s not man enough for you. Yowza! I know you feel that the church robbed you of important parts of your life, and I respect that in you — I really do. But taking this approach with our quest here is just a little too over the top for me, man. I’m just saying…

      • Ozpoof Reply

        Glenn, I am angry. What this Bishop said was nice, but it would have meant a LOT more if he actually stood by his own words. I mean the guy is anonymous, which is fair enough, but do you believe anyone from his ward who listens to this would guess that he is their Bishop? I very much doubt he has said anything publicly about gay rights being human rights. He just wouldn’t be a bishop anymore if he said something like that. I really can’t see how this Bishop making some comments anonymously while toeing the line enough to remain in his calling is “taking a stand for what he believes in”.

        Let’s imagine you are in his ward and you get interviewed by him. If he decides not to ask you about masturbation you might not think much about it, but even by him not mentioning it, he is tacitly supporting whatever you have read or heard from the 15 about masturbation. If the subject comes up he told us in this podcast that he would advise “self control”. WHY? How does that help at all? How many people out there are chronic masturbators to the extent of losing their job or whatever? Those people need self control, not a teenage kid who has enough to deal with already without some middle-aged man asking him if he wanks or not.

        Glenn, really listen to the mind-games this guy is playing with himself and tell me what he says doesn’t sound like Nibley explaining away the papyrus AFTER it was revealed that Joseph Smith did not translate it at all. He’s distorting the dogma so he can cope mentally. Claiming everything is metaphorical is a free pass mentally, because you can create just about any “lesson” from any story about anyone anywhere. Where he draws the line on what is metaphor and what is reality didn’t seem clear to me or him.

        One of John’s questions seemed to intimate that this guy doesn’t really oppose what comes out of Nth Temple because he is still a Bishop, and therefore has to do as he is told to a large extent. Don’t you agree that if this man made a stand for what he believes in he would get at least released from his position?

        Sorry Glenn if I seemed like I was making a personal attack. I was attacking an apologist in my opinion who wasn’t even defending true Mormonism. He was defending his interpretation of Mormonism while filling a position that requires him to abide by current Mormon dogma. The man is pretending to be a Bishop in a church he claims he doesn’t really support all the way, while trying to reconcile his own doubts through reinterpreting the entire religion, and at the same time letting some of the “sins” he is supposed to be looking for in his ward slip by. This is Sybil material Glenn. I really don’t know exactly what this man stands for.

        • Glenn Reply

          Excellent points Oz. I would like to hear Bishop respond to these things you bring up as well. And this is, afterall, the place where “the discussion continues…” so these are all valid comments based on different experiences we’ve had with the church — and I don’t really want to see any of these different perspectives pissed on. Not yours, not his, not anyone’s.

          I just think that taking a more respectful approach, where you try to see things through the other person’s eyes and give them the benefit of the doubt — genuinely, not just “saying the right things” but actually meaning it — is more likely to have that discussion continue into a more constructive place. Because maybe bishop has actually thought about these points you have made, and maybe he has a good response to why he feels that staying in, and doing it the way he is doing it, will be more effective than resigning and walking away from a position where we does have influence, and how do we really know from this one hour interview how he really influences his ward members or not?

          On the other hand, maybe he would hear something from you or from Steve Kimball or from others here that would cause him to pause and think about things in a new and different way, and maybe that would lead to a different approach — it seems to me like he has made changes in the past and will be open to others in the future if the conversation is a respectful conversation. But if he is being told that he is a coward and has no balls and needs to man up, how likely is that to happen?

          I get the anger. I have felt it, too. and there have been times where I have completely withdraawn. But at this point in my “journey” (ugh) I have choosen to stay in the church — my choice, no one elses — and it’s not because I am a coward or lack conviction or integrity or I am doing it for my wife or kids or career or I am lying to myself and twisting the worldview to make it fit for me to stay in — that’s not what is happening for me — but I am open to having those discussions with you guys if you think that’s what’s going on, and I absolutely have learned new things from those discussion and I truly respect where you have been and where you are and areas where I have been a little off in my thinking about stuff (i.e. can you really make a belief?).

          And so if you can’t understand why bishop has made the choice he has made, i get that — it’s different than the choice some of you have made — so maybe “man up” is just code for “do it the right way — my way. And I get that, but to me that isn’t really listening to or trying to empathize with what Bishop said is motivating him at all, and the aggressive aproach is not a productive way to engage him in a conversation.

          That’s what I think. If I’m wrong, show me — I’ll accept it.

          • Ozpoof

            Maybe I shouldn’t have said “man-up”. I meant it as a statement on his integrity, not his manhood. It’s not a real common term here in Australia, and here it is used with women too. It means ‘take a stand’ here I guess. I don’t know where Steve Kimball is from, but I’m guessing the US since I’ve only ever heard that surname via Mormonism.

            I really could not do what you guys do. I’ve heard John go off on a rant, but you’re right, he always treats the guests well, as do you, but man, I actually got out of bed and turned on my computer to make that first comment because I got so frustrated.

            I don’t know if Bishop reads these, but I hope he does, because I guarantee there are people in his ward who are being mind-screwed with self hatred, confusion, even thoughts that killing yourself would be best for all.

            I’ve been told I see things in black and white. To me, if a church that claims it is 100% truth is shown to be 99.99% truth, they are still a fraud. For me it’s clear, either you believe in what the leaders (contemporary) tell you and abide by the church position on issues they deem are important, or you find a lie and then the entire thing has the sand washed out from under it. Your choice is then to leave, or lie.

            You might say no human institution is perfect, but I had faith Glenn. I believed what they told me, that Christ was the head of the church and was communicating with the Prophet. How can any institution with a God as an advisor be wrong? Isn’t this still the LDS position?

            So imagine troubled youth who have such faith yet have problems that are not really problems at all. They *know* they are at fault. Then imagine learning that because you are a dude and love looking at dudes, had a crush on a male teacher when you were 11, could not get aroused by a woman if your life (and I believed it did) depend on it, imagine learning and therefore *knowing* that you were almost as bad as a murderer, that you would NEVER see your family once you died, that you had zero chance of attaining the CK or any of the other promises made, that you could NEVER be with someone you truly loved in this life, that you would be thrown out of home if you came out because you heard the hatred of gays from your parents all the time. Imagine believing that demonic forces were making you feel so bad. Imagine being afraid to look into the shadows at night, or as a 12yo not sleeping because you could see shapes when you closed your eyes and assumed it was Satan’s face forming. Imagine fasting to the point where people believe you are a drug addict you were so thin, and praying for hours until there were no more tears for you to not be evil like you are because you have been told that gays choose to be gay. Imagine hating your body to the point of cutting it to punish it.

            Glenn, if this Bishop was my Bishop then, he would have to know this about me, and I told no one, then he would have to deny all of the teachings of Mormonism that brought me to the brink of suicide and convince me that this dogma is a lie, and that I did not choose to be gay, that I am fine as I am, that I am loved, that I WILL achieve glory if I am a good person, that demons do not want me and are not tempting me to look at blokes rather than at girls, that I can sleep safely because I am not evil and did not choose evil, that I can be with the man I love if I find one and that will be great.

            Glenn, no Bishop would ever make me feel good about myself. They can’t say those things to gay youth and still be a Bishop. I found out that I am a good person even though I am gay because I found that the church lies, only then did I realise I knew the truth all along. I did not choose at all, so they lied to me when they told me that I did. However, the conditioning was so complete that for many years I was convinced I chose evil.

            That’s happening all the time Glenn. This Bishop won’t stop it until he makes a stand publicly, or even if he leaves that act removes his support for the organisation that can create such misery.

            The church might be benign for you Glenn, and I don’t begrudge you that, but for many it is toxic, especially if you don’t fit the Mormon stereotype.

            I will take your point on-board about this man’s position. To me, an organisation that wrecked me – I can’t attach to anyone emotionally – is somewhere that people should not support ESPECIALLY if they have the gift of transcending the Mormon line of crap they teach as gospel. There are so many people trapped under the weight of BS. They have no idea of what information is out there, and they are scared to search. Bishop knows things, yet he supports the status quo through his position, and tries to morph his new-found knowledge into a grotesque form so he can rationalise his position, rather than accepting it on face value.

            That was frustrating and got me angry Glenn. I’m sorry if I offended you, or Bishop, but that’s the way I felt when I made those statements.

            I’m sure this man is well intentioned. I just hope he finds those who really need to know they are ok people before they hurt themselves or before the next bishop takes over. Man-up might mean he protects someone from teachings that make them hate them self. It could just mean that he refuses to sit quietly when certain people are attacked in church, or in Bishopric and Stake meetings. It could mean refusing to read a letter like the one Bishops here were recently asked to read advising members to contact their federal member of parliament with their concerns about pending gay marriage debates.

            I believe that’s what I meant. Peace Glenn.

          • Glenn

            So let me ask you this Ozproof, what if we had a guest on, who was perhaps a little sensitive and less grounded than Bishop sounds to be, and had things going on in his/her life that maybe you know nothing about, and the way you responded to him/her played a part — large or small — in wrecking his/her life? Is it all OK because the church wrecked yours?

          • Ozpoof

            You’re comparing my comment to 30 years of lies and psychological damage from a cult? ………….. OK, did I lie to Bishop? Did I say anything he didn’t need to hear? I don’t think so.

            Glenn, he’s a bishop in the LDS corporation. He has to say certain things, not say some things and keep silent many times in order for him to retain that position. I think you and some others here are giving him way, way too much credit. He must appear to agree with Mormon dogma, or else he will be replaced or worse. That means he is lying to the people in his ward. To appear to be a believer you must peddle the lies.

            Are you seriously telling me that he speaks to his ward members as he did in this podcast? Of course he doesn’t, else why would he need to be disguised? The guy is part of the problem Glenn. I believe he needs to know that.

            I believe people who pander to him and swoon over him making him feel like he’s doing the right thing by just pretending to be a believer while secretly opposing church teachings on podcasts are doing him far more damage. He needs to know that the church he is actively filling a role as a leader in, HURTS people.

            So I don’t think it is I who am leading this guy astray or lying to him at all.

            As for other guests, I don’t believe I have told anyone else to man-up (I had no idea such a statement was so life-wrecking), and I can’t see myself telling anyone else to do so after your reaction. However, I will not hold back if you interview people in the future who are just part of the machine and who have not yet decided to be true to what they believe privately.

            I hope ME continues to allow the discussion to continue.

          • Ozpoof

            You’re comparing my comment to 30 years of lies and psychological damage from a cult? ………….. OK, did I lie to Bishop? Did I say anything he didn’t need to hear? I don’t think so.

            Glenn, he’s a bishop in the LDS corporation. He has to say certain things, not say some things and keep silent many times in order for him to retain that position. I think you and some others here are giving him way, way too much credit. He must appear to agree with Mormon dogma, or else he will be replaced or worse. That means he is lying to the people in his ward. To appear to be a believer you must peddle the lies.

            Are you seriously telling me that he speaks to his ward members as he did in this podcast? Of course he doesn’t, else why would he need to be disguised? The guy is part of the problem Glenn. I believe he needs to know that.

            I believe people who pander to him and swoon over him making him feel like he’s doing the right thing by just pretending to be a believer while secretly opposing church teachings on podcasts are doing him far more damage. He needs to know that the church he is actively filling a role as a leader in, HURTS people.

            So I don’t think it is I who am leading this guy astray or lying to him at all.

            As for other guests, I don’t believe I have told anyone else to man-up (I had no idea such a statement was so life-wrecking), and I can’t see myself telling anyone else to do so after your reaction. However, I will not hold back if you interview people in the future who are just part of the machine and who have not yet decided to be true to what they believe privately.

            I hope ME continues to allow the discussion to continue.

          • Ozpoof

            You’re comparing my comment to 30 years of lies and psychological damage from a cult? ………….. OK, did I lie to Bishop? Did I say anything he didn’t need to hear? I don’t think so.

            Glenn, he’s a bishop in the LDS corporation. He has to say certain things, not say some things and keep silent many times in order for him to retain that position. I think you and some others here are giving him way, way too much credit. He must appear to agree with Mormon dogma, or else he will be replaced or worse. That means he is lying to the people in his ward. To appear to be a believer you must peddle the lies.

            Are you seriously telling me that he speaks to his ward members as he did in this podcast? Of course he doesn’t, else why would he need to be disguised? The guy is part of the problem Glenn. I believe he needs to know that.

            I believe people who pander to him and swoon over him making him feel like he’s doing the right thing by just pretending to be a believer while secretly opposing church teachings on podcasts are doing him far more damage. He needs to know that the church he is actively filling a role as a leader in, HURTS people.

            So I don’t think it is I who am leading this guy astray or lying to him at all.

            As for other guests, I don’t believe I have told anyone else to man-up (I had no idea such a statement was so life-wrecking), and I can’t see myself telling anyone else to do so after your reaction. However, I will not hold back if you interview people in the future who are just part of the machine and who have not yet decided to be true to what they believe privately.

            I hope ME continues to allow the discussion to continue.

          • Anonymous

            I agree with much of what you are saying except there is one pretty big aspect to this you don’t seem to be considering.

            Yes: The Church damages and hurts people. Clearly, without a doubt.

            So, what if this Bishop, remaining in his calling and doing his best to help people, actually makes a positive difference in some people’s lives? What if his decision to remain in the church HELPS people or at the least has the affect that less people are hurt and damaged by the corporation?

            I think it is very possible that this Bishop may be helping people in ways you or I can not possibly know by listening to his interview on ME’s podcast. Affecting the lives of people in his ward who might otherwise by more damaged by the Church than if he should simply leave the fold.

            At least, that is a possibility I would like you to consider.

            In the mean time, you and I can both be outright pissed off about the many things the Church has done to ruin our lives. We can fight the good fight from the outside while this man fights from where he personally deems the most affective.

          • Ozpoof

            As I’ve said before, if he is still a bishop, I don’t know how much false and damaging dogma he can be opposing openly.

          • Ozpoof

            Maybe I shouldn’t have said “man-up”. I meant it as a statement on his integrity, not his manhood. It’s not a real common term here in Australia, and here it is used with women too. It means ‘take a stand’ here I guess. I don’t know where Steve Kimball is from, but I’m guessing the US since I’ve only ever heard that surname via Mormonism.

            I really could not do what you guys do. I’ve heard John go off on a rant, but you’re right, he always treats the guests well, as do you, but man, I actually got out of bed and turned on my computer to make that first comment because I got so frustrated.

            I don’t know if Bishop reads these, but I hope he does, because I guarantee there are people in his ward who are being mind-screwed with self hatred, confusion, even thoughts that killing yourself would be best for all.

            I’ve been told I see things in black and white. To me, if a church that claims it is 100% truth is shown to be 99.99% truth, they are still a fraud. For me it’s clear, either you believe in what the leaders (contemporary) tell you and abide by the church position on issues they deem are important, or you find a lie and then the entire thing has the sand washed out from under it. Your choice is then to leave, or lie.

            You might say no human institution is perfect, but I had faith Glenn. I believed what they told me, that Christ was the head of the church and was communicating with the Prophet. How can any institution with a God as an advisor be wrong? Isn’t this still the LDS position?

            So imagine troubled youth who have such faith yet have problems that are not really problems at all. They *know* they are at fault. Then imagine learning that because you are a dude and love looking at dudes, had a crush on a male teacher when you were 11, could not get aroused by a woman if your life (and I believed it did) depend on it, imagine learning and therefore *knowing* that you were almost as bad as a murderer, that you would NEVER see your family once you died, that you had zero chance of attaining the CK or any of the other promises made, that you could NEVER be with someone you truly loved in this life, that you would be thrown out of home if you came out because you heard the hatred of gays from your parents all the time. Imagine believing that demonic forces were making you feel so bad. Imagine being afraid to look into the shadows at night, or as a 12yo not sleeping because you could see shapes when you closed your eyes and assumed it was Satan’s face forming. Imagine fasting to the point where people believe you are a drug addict you were so thin, and praying for hours until there were no more tears for you to not be evil like you are because you have been told that gays choose to be gay. Imagine hating your body to the point of cutting it to punish it.

            Glenn, if this Bishop was my Bishop then, he would have to know this about me, and I told no one, then he would have to deny all of the teachings of Mormonism that brought me to the brink of suicide and convince me that this dogma is a lie, and that I did not choose to be gay, that I am fine as I am, that I am loved, that I WILL achieve glory if I am a good person, that demons do not want me and are not tempting me to look at blokes rather than at girls, that I can sleep safely because I am not evil and did not choose evil, that I can be with the man I love if I find one and that will be great.

            Glenn, no Bishop would ever make me feel good about myself. They can’t say those things to gay youth and still be a Bishop. I found out that I am a good person even though I am gay because I found that the church lies, only then did I realise I knew the truth all along. I did not choose at all, so they lied to me when they told me that I did. However, the conditioning was so complete that for many years I was convinced I chose evil.

            That’s happening all the time Glenn. This Bishop won’t stop it until he makes a stand publicly, or even if he leaves that act removes his support for the organisation that can create such misery.

            The church might be benign for you Glenn, and I don’t begrudge you that, but for many it is toxic, especially if you don’t fit the Mormon stereotype.

            I will take your point on-board about this man’s position. To me, an organisation that wrecked me – I can’t attach to anyone emotionally – is somewhere that people should not support ESPECIALLY if they have the gift of transcending the Mormon line of crap they teach as gospel. There are so many people trapped under the weight of BS. They have no idea of what information is out there, and they are scared to search. Bishop knows things, yet he supports the status quo through his position, and tries to morph his new-found knowledge into a grotesque form so he can rationalise his position, rather than accepting it on face value.

            That was frustrating and got me angry Glenn. I’m sorry if I offended you, or Bishop, but that’s the way I felt when I made those statements.

            I’m sure this man is well intentioned. I just hope he finds those who really need to know they are ok people before they hurt themselves or before the next bishop takes over. Man-up might mean he protects someone from teachings that make them hate them self. It could just mean that he refuses to sit quietly when certain people are attacked in church, or in Bishopric and Stake meetings. It could mean refusing to read a letter like the one Bishops here were recently asked to read advising members to contact their federal member of parliament with their concerns about pending gay marriage debates.

            I believe that’s what I meant. Peace Glenn.

          • Ozpoof

            Maybe I shouldn’t have said “man-up”. I meant it as a statement on his integrity, not his manhood. It’s not a real common term here in Australia, and here it is used with women too. It means ‘take a stand’ here I guess. I don’t know where Steve Kimball is from, but I’m guessing the US since I’ve only ever heard that surname via Mormonism.

            I really could not do what you guys do. I’ve heard John go off on a rant, but you’re right, he always treats the guests well, as do you, but man, I actually got out of bed and turned on my computer to make that first comment because I got so frustrated.

            I don’t know if Bishop reads these, but I hope he does, because I guarantee there are people in his ward who are being mind-screwed with self hatred, confusion, even thoughts that killing yourself would be best for all.

            I’ve been told I see things in black and white. To me, if a church that claims it is 100% truth is shown to be 99.99% truth, they are still a fraud. For me it’s clear, either you believe in what the leaders (contemporary) tell you and abide by the church position on issues they deem are important, or you find a lie and then the entire thing has the sand washed out from under it. Your choice is then to leave, or lie.

            You might say no human institution is perfect, but I had faith Glenn. I believed what they told me, that Christ was the head of the church and was communicating with the Prophet. How can any institution with a God as an advisor be wrong? Isn’t this still the LDS position?

            So imagine troubled youth who have such faith yet have problems that are not really problems at all. They *know* they are at fault. Then imagine learning that because you are a dude and love looking at dudes, had a crush on a male teacher when you were 11, could not get aroused by a woman if your life (and I believed it did) depend on it, imagine learning and therefore *knowing* that you were almost as bad as a murderer, that you would NEVER see your family once you died, that you had zero chance of attaining the CK or any of the other promises made, that you could NEVER be with someone you truly loved in this life, that you would be thrown out of home if you came out because you heard the hatred of gays from your parents all the time. Imagine believing that demonic forces were making you feel so bad. Imagine being afraid to look into the shadows at night, or as a 12yo not sleeping because you could see shapes when you closed your eyes and assumed it was Satan’s face forming. Imagine fasting to the point where people believe you are a drug addict you were so thin, and praying for hours until there were no more tears for you to not be evil like you are because you have been told that gays choose to be gay. Imagine hating your body to the point of cutting it to punish it.

            Glenn, if this Bishop was my Bishop then, he would have to know this about me, and I told no one, then he would have to deny all of the teachings of Mormonism that brought me to the brink of suicide and convince me that this dogma is a lie, and that I did not choose to be gay, that I am fine as I am, that I am loved, that I WILL achieve glory if I am a good person, that demons do not want me and are not tempting me to look at blokes rather than at girls, that I can sleep safely because I am not evil and did not choose evil, that I can be with the man I love if I find one and that will be great.

            Glenn, no Bishop would ever make me feel good about myself. They can’t say those things to gay youth and still be a Bishop. I found out that I am a good person even though I am gay because I found that the church lies, only then did I realise I knew the truth all along. I did not choose at all, so they lied to me when they told me that I did. However, the conditioning was so complete that for many years I was convinced I chose evil.

            That’s happening all the time Glenn. This Bishop won’t stop it until he makes a stand publicly, or even if he leaves that act removes his support for the organisation that can create such misery.

            The church might be benign for you Glenn, and I don’t begrudge you that, but for many it is toxic, especially if you don’t fit the Mormon stereotype.

            I will take your point on-board about this man’s position. To me, an organisation that wrecked me – I can’t attach to anyone emotionally – is somewhere that people should not support ESPECIALLY if they have the gift of transcending the Mormon line of crap they teach as gospel. There are so many people trapped under the weight of BS. They have no idea of what information is out there, and they are scared to search. Bishop knows things, yet he supports the status quo through his position, and tries to morph his new-found knowledge into a grotesque form so he can rationalise his position, rather than accepting it on face value.

            That was frustrating and got me angry Glenn. I’m sorry if I offended you, or Bishop, but that’s the way I felt when I made those statements.

            I’m sure this man is well intentioned. I just hope he finds those who really need to know they are ok people before they hurt themselves or before the next bishop takes over. Man-up might mean he protects someone from teachings that make them hate them self. It could just mean that he refuses to sit quietly when certain people are attacked in church, or in Bishopric and Stake meetings. It could mean refusing to read a letter like the one Bishops here were recently asked to read advising members to contact their federal member of parliament with their concerns about pending gay marriage debates.

            I believe that’s what I meant. Peace Glenn.

          • Ozpoof

            Maybe I shouldn’t have said “man-up”. I meant it as a statement on his integrity, not his manhood. It’s not a real common term here in Australia, and here it is used with women too. It means ‘take a stand’ here I guess. I don’t know where Steve Kimball is from, but I’m guessing the US since I’ve only ever heard that surname via Mormonism.

            I really could not do what you guys do. I’ve heard John go off on a rant, but you’re right, he always treats the guests well, as do you, but man, I actually got out of bed and turned on my computer to make that first comment because I got so frustrated.

            I don’t know if Bishop reads these, but I hope he does, because I guarantee there are people in his ward who are being mind-screwed with self hatred, confusion, even thoughts that killing yourself would be best for all.

            I’ve been told I see things in black and white. To me, if a church that claims it is 100% truth is shown to be 99.99% truth, they are still a fraud. For me it’s clear, either you believe in what the leaders (contemporary) tell you and abide by the church position on issues they deem are important, or you find a lie and then the entire thing has the sand washed out from under it. Your choice is then to leave, or lie.

            You might say no human institution is perfect, but I had faith Glenn. I believed what they told me, that Christ was the head of the church and was communicating with the Prophet. How can any institution with a God as an advisor be wrong? Isn’t this still the LDS position?

            So imagine troubled youth who have such faith yet have problems that are not really problems at all. They *know* they are at fault. Then imagine learning that because you are a dude and love looking at dudes, had a crush on a male teacher when you were 11, could not get aroused by a woman if your life (and I believed it did) depend on it, imagine learning and therefore *knowing* that you were almost as bad as a murderer, that you would NEVER see your family once you died, that you had zero chance of attaining the CK or any of the other promises made, that you could NEVER be with someone you truly loved in this life, that you would be thrown out of home if you came out because you heard the hatred of gays from your parents all the time. Imagine believing that demonic forces were making you feel so bad. Imagine being afraid to look into the shadows at night, or as a 12yo not sleeping because you could see shapes when you closed your eyes and assumed it was Satan’s face forming. Imagine fasting to the point where people believe you are a drug addict you were so thin, and praying for hours until there were no more tears for you to not be evil like you are because you have been told that gays choose to be gay. Imagine hating your body to the point of cutting it to punish it.

            Glenn, if this Bishop was my Bishop then, he would have to know this about me, and I told no one, then he would have to deny all of the teachings of Mormonism that brought me to the brink of suicide and convince me that this dogma is a lie, and that I did not choose to be gay, that I am fine as I am, that I am loved, that I WILL achieve glory if I am a good person, that demons do not want me and are not tempting me to look at blokes rather than at girls, that I can sleep safely because I am not evil and did not choose evil, that I can be with the man I love if I find one and that will be great.

            Glenn, no Bishop would ever make me feel good about myself. They can’t say those things to gay youth and still be a Bishop. I found out that I am a good person even though I am gay because I found that the church lies, only then did I realise I knew the truth all along. I did not choose at all, so they lied to me when they told me that I did. However, the conditioning was so complete that for many years I was convinced I chose evil.

            That’s happening all the time Glenn. This Bishop won’t stop it until he makes a stand publicly, or even if he leaves that act removes his support for the organisation that can create such misery.

            The church might be benign for you Glenn, and I don’t begrudge you that, but for many it is toxic, especially if you don’t fit the Mormon stereotype.

            I will take your point on-board about this man’s position. To me, an organisation that wrecked me – I can’t attach to anyone emotionally – is somewhere that people should not support ESPECIALLY if they have the gift of transcending the Mormon line of crap they teach as gospel. There are so many people trapped under the weight of BS. They have no idea of what information is out there, and they are scared to search. Bishop knows things, yet he supports the status quo through his position, and tries to morph his new-found knowledge into a grotesque form so he can rationalise his position, rather than accepting it on face value.

            That was frustrating and got me angry Glenn. I’m sorry if I offended you, or Bishop, but that’s the way I felt when I made those statements.

            I’m sure this man is well intentioned. I just hope he finds those who really need to know they are ok people before they hurt themselves or before the next bishop takes over. Man-up might mean he protects someone from teachings that make them hate them self. It could just mean that he refuses to sit quietly when certain people are attacked in church, or in Bishopric and Stake meetings. It could mean refusing to read a letter like the one Bishops here were recently asked to read advising members to contact their federal member of parliament with their concerns about pending gay marriage debates.

            I believe that’s what I meant. Peace Glenn.

          • Ozpoof

            Maybe I shouldn’t have said “man-up”. I meant it as a statement on his integrity, not his manhood. It’s not a real common term here in Australia, and here it is used with women too. It means ‘take a stand’ here I guess. I don’t know where Steve Kimball is from, but I’m guessing the US since I’ve only ever heard that surname via Mormonism.

            I really could not do what you guys do. I’ve heard John go off on a rant, but you’re right, he always treats the guests well, as do you, but man, I actually got out of bed and turned on my computer to make that first comment because I got so frustrated.

            I don’t know if Bishop reads these, but I hope he does, because I guarantee there are people in his ward who are being mind-screwed with self hatred, confusion, even thoughts that killing yourself would be best for all.

            I’ve been told I see things in black and white. To me, if a church that claims it is 100% truth is shown to be 99.99% truth, they are still a fraud. For me it’s clear, either you believe in what the leaders (contemporary) tell you and abide by the church position on issues they deem are important, or you find a lie and then the entire thing has the sand washed out from under it. Your choice is then to leave, or lie.

            You might say no human institution is perfect, but I had faith Glenn. I believed what they told me, that Christ was the head of the church and was communicating with the Prophet. How can any institution with a God as an advisor be wrong? Isn’t this still the LDS position?

            So imagine troubled youth who have such faith yet have problems that are not really problems at all. They *know* they are at fault. Then imagine learning that because you are a dude and love looking at dudes, had a crush on a male teacher when you were 11, could not get aroused by a woman if your life (and I believed it did) depend on it, imagine learning and therefore *knowing* that you were almost as bad as a murderer, that you would NEVER see your family once you died, that you had zero chance of attaining the CK or any of the other promises made, that you could NEVER be with someone you truly loved in this life, that you would be thrown out of home if you came out because you heard the hatred of gays from your parents all the time. Imagine believing that demonic forces were making you feel so bad. Imagine being afraid to look into the shadows at night, or as a 12yo not sleeping because you could see shapes when you closed your eyes and assumed it was Satan’s face forming. Imagine fasting to the point where people believe you are a drug addict you were so thin, and praying for hours until there were no more tears for you to not be evil like you are because you have been told that gays choose to be gay. Imagine hating your body to the point of cutting it to punish it.

            Glenn, if this Bishop was my Bishop then, he would have to know this about me, and I told no one, then he would have to deny all of the teachings of Mormonism that brought me to the brink of suicide and convince me that this dogma is a lie, and that I did not choose to be gay, that I am fine as I am, that I am loved, that I WILL achieve glory if I am a good person, that demons do not want me and are not tempting me to look at blokes rather than at girls, that I can sleep safely because I am not evil and did not choose evil, that I can be with the man I love if I find one and that will be great.

            Glenn, no Bishop would ever make me feel good about myself. They can’t say those things to gay youth and still be a Bishop. I found out that I am a good person even though I am gay because I found that the church lies, only then did I realise I knew the truth all along. I did not choose at all, so they lied to me when they told me that I did. However, the conditioning was so complete that for many years I was convinced I chose evil.

            That’s happening all the time Glenn. This Bishop won’t stop it until he makes a stand publicly, or even if he leaves that act removes his support for the organisation that can create such misery.

            The church might be benign for you Glenn, and I don’t begrudge you that, but for many it is toxic, especially if you don’t fit the Mormon stereotype.

            I will take your point on-board about this man’s position. To me, an organisation that wrecked me – I can’t attach to anyone emotionally – is somewhere that people should not support ESPECIALLY if they have the gift of transcending the Mormon line of crap they teach as gospel. There are so many people trapped under the weight of BS. They have no idea of what information is out there, and they are scared to search. Bishop knows things, yet he supports the status quo through his position, and tries to morph his new-found knowledge into a grotesque form so he can rationalise his position, rather than accepting it on face value.

            That was frustrating and got me angry Glenn. I’m sorry if I offended you, or Bishop, but that’s the way I felt when I made those statements.

            I’m sure this man is well intentioned. I just hope he finds those who really need to know they are ok people before they hurt themselves or before the next bishop takes over. Man-up might mean he protects someone from teachings that make them hate them self. It could just mean that he refuses to sit quietly when certain people are attacked in church, or in Bishopric and Stake meetings. It could mean refusing to read a letter like the one Bishops here were recently asked to read advising members to contact their federal member of parliament with their concerns about pending gay marriage debates.

            I believe that’s what I meant. Peace Glenn.

          • Ozpoof

            Maybe I shouldn’t have said “man-up”. I meant it as a statement on his integrity, not his manhood. It’s not a real common term here in Australia, and here it is used with women too. It means ‘take a stand’ here I guess. I don’t know where Steve Kimball is from, but I’m guessing the US since I’ve only ever heard that surname via Mormonism.

            I really could not do what you guys do. I’ve heard John go off on a rant, but you’re right, he always treats the guests well, as do you, but man, I actually got out of bed and turned on my computer to make that first comment because I got so frustrated.

            I don’t know if Bishop reads these, but I hope he does, because I guarantee there are people in his ward who are being mind-screwed with self hatred, confusion, even thoughts that killing yourself would be best for all.

            I’ve been told I see things in black and white. To me, if a church that claims it is 100% truth is shown to be 99.99% truth, they are still a fraud. For me it’s clear, either you believe in what the leaders (contemporary) tell you and abide by the church position on issues they deem are important, or you find a lie and then the entire thing has the sand washed out from under it. Your choice is then to leave, or lie.

            You might say no human institution is perfect, but I had faith Glenn. I believed what they told me, that Christ was the head of the church and was communicating with the Prophet. How can any institution with a God as an advisor be wrong? Isn’t this still the LDS position?

            So imagine troubled youth who have such faith yet have problems that are not really problems at all. They *know* they are at fault. Then imagine learning that because you are a dude and love looking at dudes, had a crush on a male teacher when you were 11, could not get aroused by a woman if your life (and I believed it did) depend on it, imagine learning and therefore *knowing* that you were almost as bad as a murderer, that you would NEVER see your family once you died, that you had zero chance of attaining the CK or any of the other promises made, that you could NEVER be with someone you truly loved in this life, that you would be thrown out of home if you came out because you heard the hatred of gays from your parents all the time. Imagine believing that demonic forces were making you feel so bad. Imagine being afraid to look into the shadows at night, or as a 12yo not sleeping because you could see shapes when you closed your eyes and assumed it was Satan’s face forming. Imagine fasting to the point where people believe you are a drug addict you were so thin, and praying for hours until there were no more tears for you to not be evil like you are because you have been told that gays choose to be gay. Imagine hating your body to the point of cutting it to punish it.

            Glenn, if this Bishop was my Bishop then, he would have to know this about me, and I told no one, then he would have to deny all of the teachings of Mormonism that brought me to the brink of suicide and convince me that this dogma is a lie, and that I did not choose to be gay, that I am fine as I am, that I am loved, that I WILL achieve glory if I am a good person, that demons do not want me and are not tempting me to look at blokes rather than at girls, that I can sleep safely because I am not evil and did not choose evil, that I can be with the man I love if I find one and that will be great.

            Glenn, no Bishop would ever make me feel good about myself. They can’t say those things to gay youth and still be a Bishop. I found out that I am a good person even though I am gay because I found that the church lies, only then did I realise I knew the truth all along. I did not choose at all, so they lied to me when they told me that I did. However, the conditioning was so complete that for many years I was convinced I chose evil.

            That’s happening all the time Glenn. This Bishop won’t stop it until he makes a stand publicly, or even if he leaves that act removes his support for the organisation that can create such misery.

            The church might be benign for you Glenn, and I don’t begrudge you that, but for many it is toxic, especially if you don’t fit the Mormon stereotype.

            I will take your point on-board about this man’s position. To me, an organisation that wrecked me – I can’t attach to anyone emotionally – is somewhere that people should not support ESPECIALLY if they have the gift of transcending the Mormon line of crap they teach as gospel. There are so many people trapped under the weight of BS. They have no idea of what information is out there, and they are scared to search. Bishop knows things, yet he supports the status quo through his position, and tries to morph his new-found knowledge into a grotesque form so he can rationalise his position, rather than accepting it on face value.

            That was frustrating and got me angry Glenn. I’m sorry if I offended you, or Bishop, but that’s the way I felt when I made those statements.

            I’m sure this man is well intentioned. I just hope he finds those who really need to know they are ok people before they hurt themselves or before the next bishop takes over. Man-up might mean he protects someone from teachings that make them hate them self. It could just mean that he refuses to sit quietly when certain people are attacked in church, or in Bishopric and Stake meetings. It could mean refusing to read a letter like the one Bishops here were recently asked to read advising members to contact their federal member of parliament with their concerns about pending gay marriage debates.

            I believe that’s what I meant. Peace Glenn.

          • Ozpoof

            Maybe I shouldn’t have said “man-up”. I meant it as a statement on his integrity, not his manhood. It’s not a real common term here in Australia, and here it is used with women too. It means ‘take a stand’ here I guess. I don’t know where Steve Kimball is from, but I’m guessing the US since I’ve only ever heard that surname via Mormonism.

            I really could not do what you guys do. I’ve heard John go off on a rant, but you’re right, he always treats the guests well, as do you, but man, I actually got out of bed and turned on my computer to make that first comment because I got so frustrated.

            I don’t know if Bishop reads these, but I hope he does, because I guarantee there are people in his ward who are being mind-screwed with self hatred, confusion, even thoughts that killing yourself would be best for all.

            I’ve been told I see things in black and white. To me, if a church that claims it is 100% truth is shown to be 99.99% truth, they are still a fraud. For me it’s clear, either you believe in what the leaders (contemporary) tell you and abide by the church position on issues they deem are important, or you find a lie and then the entire thing has the sand washed out from under it. Your choice is then to leave, or lie.

            You might say no human institution is perfect, but I had faith Glenn. I believed what they told me, that Christ was the head of the church and was communicating with the Prophet. How can any institution with a God as an advisor be wrong? Isn’t this still the LDS position?

            So imagine troubled youth who have such faith yet have problems that are not really problems at all. They *know* they are at fault. Then imagine learning that because you are a dude and love looking at dudes, had a crush on a male teacher when you were 11, could not get aroused by a woman if your life (and I believed it did) depend on it, imagine learning and therefore *knowing* that you were almost as bad as a murderer, that you would NEVER see your family once you died, that you had zero chance of attaining the CK or any of the other promises made, that you could NEVER be with someone you truly loved in this life, that you would be thrown out of home if you came out because you heard the hatred of gays from your parents all the time. Imagine believing that demonic forces were making you feel so bad. Imagine being afraid to look into the shadows at night, or as a 12yo not sleeping because you could see shapes when you closed your eyes and assumed it was Satan’s face forming. Imagine fasting to the point where people believe you are a drug addict you were so thin, and praying for hours until there were no more tears for you to not be evil like you are because you have been told that gays choose to be gay. Imagine hating your body to the point of cutting it to punish it.

            Glenn, if this Bishop was my Bishop then, he would have to know this about me, and I told no one, then he would have to deny all of the teachings of Mormonism that brought me to the brink of suicide and convince me that this dogma is a lie, and that I did not choose to be gay, that I am fine as I am, that I am loved, that I WILL achieve glory if I am a good person, that demons do not want me and are not tempting me to look at blokes rather than at girls, that I can sleep safely because I am not evil and did not choose evil, that I can be with the man I love if I find one and that will be great.

            Glenn, no Bishop would ever make me feel good about myself. They can’t say those things to gay youth and still be a Bishop. I found out that I am a good person even though I am gay because I found that the church lies, only then did I realise I knew the truth all along. I did not choose at all, so they lied to me when they told me that I did. However, the conditioning was so complete that for many years I was convinced I chose evil.

            That’s happening all the time Glenn. This Bishop won’t stop it until he makes a stand publicly, or even if he leaves that act removes his support for the organisation that can create such misery.

            The church might be benign for you Glenn, and I don’t begrudge you that, but for many it is toxic, especially if you don’t fit the Mormon stereotype.

            I will take your point on-board about this man’s position. To me, an organisation that wrecked me – I can’t attach to anyone emotionally – is somewhere that people should not support ESPECIALLY if they have the gift of transcending the Mormon line of crap they teach as gospel. There are so many people trapped under the weight of BS. They have no idea of what information is out there, and they are scared to search. Bishop knows things, yet he supports the status quo through his position, and tries to morph his new-found knowledge into a grotesque form so he can rationalise his position, rather than accepting it on face value.

            That was frustrating and got me angry Glenn. I’m sorry if I offended you, or Bishop, but that’s the way I felt when I made those statements.

            I’m sure this man is well intentioned. I just hope he finds those who really need to know they are ok people before they hurt themselves or before the next bishop takes over. Man-up might mean he protects someone from teachings that make them hate them self. It could just mean that he refuses to sit quietly when certain people are attacked in church, or in Bishopric and Stake meetings. It could mean refusing to read a letter like the one Bishops here were recently asked to read advising members to contact their federal member of parliament with their concerns about pending gay marriage debates.

            I believe that’s what I meant. Peace Glenn.

    • Tom Reply

      Between you and Steve I’m at a loss at to what to say. Why do you feel like you are in any sort of position to tell this Bishop to “Man up”? Who exactly are YOU to think you are in any sort of position to tell him what he should do?

      You make some very valid points about the church and it’s teachings, but all of that falls of deaf ears because of your obvious hostility. Do you realize how you sound? Take a step back bro.

      • Ozpoof Reply

        Tom, bottom line, the guy is still a Bishop as of the podcast, so he is part of the problem. You don’t get to be a Bishop and STAY a Bishop if you are all about equal rights for gays. It’s nice that he states on this podcast that he believes gays are entitled to live as equals, but he absolutely CAN’T be saying that to his ward, and there may be youth struggling with same sex attraction in that ward as we speak. People just don’t stay bishops if they talk of equality in Mormonism.

        Ask yourself this, if it was pre 1978 and this man came on a “podcast” stating that he really thinks Blacks are ok and should be treated equally by the church, but was still a Bishop who has to toe the LDS line and support the leaders with their racism, would you be so generous? Or if it was during the ERA and he said anonymously that women should have equal rights but kept quiet in public because those who spoke out were getting exxed, would you still think he was good for the people of his ward? What is the use of privately saying things you don’t stand up for? Sorry Tom, but it’s about integrity. I see him as a person with internal conflicts and I feel for him on that front, but as a Bishop, you have to behave a certain way or the Area or Stake will come down like a ton of bricks.

        Did you actually listen to everything he said? I’ve never heard the flaws of Mormonism explained away as he did. He’s obviously trying REALLY hard to still believe, which personally I view as a character flaw, but when you are taught to ignore facts from birth, who can blame him right?

        I started thinking as you do, that he’s ok and not asking kids if they jerk off is good. However, by simply ignoring all the lies and flawed dogma, he supports it. If you see someone being treated poorly despite the policy of an institution, YOU SPEAK UP. He has stated here that he knows the problems of LDS dogma that cause depression, guilt and create an environment where gays would rather eat a bullet than put up with it, yet he will only oppose these things anonymously, then he goes back to his role as puppet for the criminals who know the truth but suppress it. Why would I react any differently than with anger???

        • Tom Reply

          “Sorry Tom, but it’s about integrity.” I do understand your point, but you make it sound like that is ALL that matters. You also make it sound like the Bishop has no integrity, which is not true. Are you aware of all the other contributing factors? Like his personal belief system, family connections, responsibility, etc… That’s right, you aren’t aware of all the other strains in his life.

          Now I want to address my favorite line you said, “Did you actually listen to everything he said?”

          That is awesome. Guess what Ozpoof? I was the one who had to comb through the entire audio and change his cadence and pitch in his voice in order to provide him with the privacy he requested in order to come on the show. Not only did I listen to everything he said, but many, many times and in several different pitches.

          You really haven’t heard anyone explain their beliefs in Mormonism like the Bishop did? Most of his views are actually more common than you would think. The only one that I hadn’t heard of was the Hill Cumorah and the “most correct book” metaphor. But to be fair, his approach to Mormonism is not rare. In fact, I personally know dozens of people that take a similar approach to the church. If this approach is new to you, then you need to get out a little bit.

          As to the gay issue you mention. Isn’t it so much better that if a member of his ward is gay just happens to have a bishop who is sympathetic to homosexuals rather than what he or she would expect from a literal, or fundamental bishop? Don’t you think that he is probably helping many of the members in his ward? Don’t you think he is in a position to help change some of the toxic mindsets of the literal and fundamental teachings of the church? What if the bishop helps change only one person out of a homophobic mindset? Only one. And that one person has a gay son or daughter. Think about how that one change will affect just that families lives.

          I get your anger. I do. But, in my opinion, this bishop has so much potential to help and change things for the better.

          • Glenn

            “Not only did I listen to everything he said, but multiple times and in several different pitches.”

            Classic.

          • Ozpoof

            Big difference between listening and hearing someone. You know this.

            I have NEVER heard anyone explain away many of the flaws in Mormonism by saying that the teaching is a metaphor for something else – whatever that may be. Bishop says he views EVERYTHING taught in the temple as metaphoric. I do not believe the GAs would see it that way, and it is they who lead the church. I haven’t even read that on any boards. Even if it is as common a view as you claim, that’s irrelevant because it’s not Mormonism as it comes from Nth Temple Street. Do the dozens of people you say believe this way tell their bishops that they see so much Mormon dogma as not truth, but metaphor? I find it difficult to understand how they can still be Mormons, either by their own choice or by the actions of their Bishops who must ask them how they view Mormonism in interviews.

            The gay issue? I absolutely do not believe this Bishop would say what a gay kid would need to hear which, let’s face it, would be ‘the leadership of the church are clueless when it comes to gay issues. They believe you chose to be gay and are evil. This is a lie, and every time the repeat it the lie.” Come on Tom, let’s get real.

  13. don't know mo Reply

    ME Guys,
    A follow up podcast with the Bishop, where people could submit questions in advance, would be great.

    • Tom Reply

      This is a good idea. I don’t know if the Bishop would be up for it, but this sounds like something we could try to pull together. Nice suggestion!

  14. Seth Leigh Reply

    When a person has to try to invent understandings such as “you are the Hill Cumorah, and through your inner struggle you find the metaphorical Golden Plates within yourself” or whatever, you’re pretty far gone. I have a lot of admiration for Bishop X. I really do. But by the time you’re admitting that the Golden Plates didn’t really exist, except in some metaphorical sense within each of us, you’re still in the church only because you’ve decided to stay despite knowing it isn’t really true, for tribal reasons or whatever.

    There are millions of secular Jews who don’t really practice or believe strongly in God, but consider themselves part of the Jewish tribe. Fine, I get it. I suppose Mormons like Bishop X can try to treat Mormonism this way too. The glaring difference is that Jews who don’t really believe anymore don’t have to disguise their voices to go on a podcast, and refuse to give any kind of self-identifying info or hints or clues as to their true identity, lest their cover be blown.

    I was raised in the Church believing, strongly, the the Golden Plates really existed, that Joseph Smith really did translate them from some Egyptian/Hebrew concoction into English, that the Celestial Kingdom is a very real place, where exalted beings really do exist and act as gods of very real universes populated by spirit offspring of said people, and so forth.

    The “Hill Cumorah within you” version of Mormonism would be, to me, like an empty, farcical shell of Mormonism, devoid of all of the substance that meant anything to me intellectually, yet still filled with all the bullsh*t like obsession with masturbation, earring count, no rated-R movies, condemnation of “the world” and pretty much everyone in the world who isn’t Peter Priesthood or Molly Mormon.

    I really did appreciate hearing Bishop X, but not because it is refreshing to imagine the church going in some new and improved direction. That isn’t happening. Instead, I feel some glimmer of hope as I realize how many currently-active Mormons must be out there who really don’t believe it anymore.

    Great podcast, guys! Tom, I thought you did a great job hosting it. I listen to you guys with much chagrin, realizing how far I have to go in improving my hosting skills. This job certainly ain’t easy, and my hat’s off to you and John, and Glenn and the others who have hosted ME.

    • Lemniscate Reply

      My thoughts exactly. Just try to voice that metaphorical Hill Cumorah stuff in a sacrament meeting and watch the fallout. Seriously Bishop, you seem super nice, but come on, NO ONE besides you will accept a metaphorical interpretation like that. If you want to create your own version of mormonism, that’s fine, but don’t try to pretend that anybody besides you will think that THAT is mormonism.

      • Hermes Reply

        Actually, I once had an EQ lesson where the Second Coming was interpreted as a myth recognizing the individual mortality of every human individual: at some point, unknown and unknowable until it arrives, each one of us will die and pass through some kind of judgment (as our life passes before our eyes and we see what we have valued). I will grant that this interpretation was offered as an addition to the normal, literal interpretation (10th article of faith), but I was impressed at how open everyone in the class was to admitting it. No one spoke up against it..

    • Tom Reply

      Seth,

      Hosting is certainly not easy and I’m still not anywhere near as good and John or Glenn, but I sincerely appreciate the compliment.

      You are one of the smartest dudes I have ever read or listened to. I really appreciate the compliment.

    • Anonymous Reply

      I agree totally. Bishop has a terrible case of cog-dis and he is creating his own dogma in order to cope.

      I don’t think he is addressing his concerns at all.

  15. Buttongear Reply

    EXCELLENT discussion! It took me back a few years to my mission, where my companion SERIOUSLY ticked-off the Zone Leaders by not only reading non-approved missionary literature (get this: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry), but claiming it to be (tongue-in-cheek) to be inspired scripture.

    I’m actually thankful for that experience, because in a way, I feel it helped me ‘loosen my bonds’ of literalism that besets so many good Church members. In other words, the Book of Mormon can be “TRUE” because it teaches incredibly true and inspired principles by PARABLE. It doesn’t have to make it less true if it so happens that there might have never been an actual Nephi.

    And I find that there are, as “The Bishop” suggests, many doctrines, policies and even some traditions within the Church that can be similarly viewed as parables and principles, not literal liturgy.

    Thanks again to Mormon Expression for providing a fair and balanced way to air an otherwise potentially explosive issue in a safe but productive manner.

    • Tom Reply

      “Thanks again to Mormon Expression for providing a fair and balanced way to air an otherwise potentially explosive issue in a safe but productive manner.”

      This is one of the best lines I have ever heard in relation to one of our podcasts.

      Thank you. That made my day.

  16. Oz Reply

    Tom, awesome choice!!! Kuddos to you and the Bishop!!!

    You should have asked the Bishop what it was like to be coached by John Wooden at UCLA? Or wining the NBA Finals MVP in 1977 with the Portland Trailblazers? Or calling play by play with Marv Albert? Dude sounds like Bill Walton…Bishop “The Big Red Head” Walton.

    This interview really resonates with me. I remember one night reading some church history book, and having this overwhelming collapse in my heart and mind about the truth claims of the church. It was like watching the Towers fall and crumble before my eyes. I became very upset and emotional, almost to my knees, and then immediately having this strong spiritual voice pop in my head/heart that said, “don’t worry about that (the church or JS), its about me (Christ).” It was so real, but I’m willing to admit that experience may be an instintcual reaction to the stress that I was feeling, but I choose to embrace it as a spirtitual experience. Right after that, I began to see the church as symbolic, and began to look for the symbolism in all aspects of the church, it has been interesting and freeing. But now as I’m attempting to study the Historical Jesus, that symbolism which represented aspects of Christ or whatever is now in question and possibly crumbling as well.

    Bishop, have you approached that level yet, where you are begining to question the truthfulness of the sybolism or its representaion?

    Do you openly share your symbolism with members of your ward? It is so frustrating to me when leaders, temple workers, people who think they know everything have this esoteric strong hold on “the real or the reverent meanings” of the symbolism within the gospel or the temple. Almost every time after I teach a Sunday School Lesson, there is this one guy who comes up to me, and speaks to me in code, “you know what that really means right, yeah, just think about it?” I have no idea what the hell he’s talking about half the time.

    Anyway, this was fantastic for those of us who are choosing to stay dispite the struggles we have with history, ect…it gives me hope that we can one day open up about all this STUFF.

    Was it me, or was there a moment of awkward silence when Tom asked about John “yanking it.” That was funny as hell!!!!!

    Tom, thanks man!!! And and a big THANKS to Bishop Walton!!!!

    • Tom Reply

      Thanks Oz. I really appreciate your comments. And I love the Bill Walton reference. That made me laugh! That was Hoooooribllle.

  17. Larry Reply

    I am going to send this to my TBM Bishop.

    I especially loved the Evil Kanevil Grand Canyon imagery.

    Sadly, in my experience this Bishop is 1 in 100.

  18. Stone Reply

    We need a part 2! Thanks Bishop and Tom and John…it was very refreshing to hear that even a Bishop or 2 feels like I do!

  19. Steve Kimball (real name)l Reply

    COGNITIVE DISSONANCE and the worst case I have heard of, ever. This man has sold his integrity out, and is leading Mormons, for what motivation? Obvious answer. A real man would come clean. Come on a show like this unafraid, as Jesus would have, and say his own damn name, then say what he had to say, not cower. This man is an example of how we all got hurt to start with. Hey here is a clue “Bishop” if you know its not true, and you repeatedly indicated that was the case, then MAN UP and stand for the truth, do what is right and let the consequence follow… Sickening sorry but truly to bad people will sell out for social and power. Sickening a person can justify every single aspect of their faith and religion, in ways they can’t even apply to those they lead. Leadership has responsibility and here is fine example of, I’m sure a real nice man, who doesn’t get that. A real leader “Bishop” would stand for the truth and get the hell out, and set an example, but that takes nads my friend. Grow some!

    • Ozpoof Reply

      I agree with you except with the public “outing” on Mormon Expression. A person can get a LOT of flack from family, but in Utah it seems you can be ruined financially as well as business dries up.

      If the guy doesn’t believe, I agree, stop lying to everyone except those who you don’t pressure answers from in interviews, and resign already, or at least just go inactive. There is no changing Mormonism from the inside if you are in a position where you have to stick to the status quo in public.

      It’s like voting Democrat on Saturday then going to church on Sunday and saying nothing during all the Republican rhetoric because you are scared you might seem too liberal.

    • Stone Reply

      Steve,
      I can understand your points but sometimes one’s love or like of something, someone, some institution, some hobby, some church, etc. makes it very difficult to leave when confronted with the “negative” aspects of that “thing” they choose to continue to associate with (even if untrue, silly, or even damagin). Personally, I’m sick of being bent over every time I see my paycheck and half of it goes to taxes and a bunch of BS but I put up with it and put up very little resistance to the IRS/governement. I also hate many of the policies of the company I work for but again I don’t leave or revolt or put up much resistance. I just deal with it for several different reasons and keep pluggin’ along. I can go on and on giving examles of this and one could argue that I should man up and grow some man-jewels and make a stand or whatever else, but at the end of the day I’m the one that has weighed my several options and I’ve decided to put up with these things.

      Clearly the Bishop has his reasons for trying to make things work within the church and I respect him for it. It’s a lot more complicated then just saying someone needs to man up. Good for you that you’re in a place where you can say whatever you want regardless of consequences and that you’ve chosen to act upon whatever conclusions you’ve made about the church. Perhaps the Bishop will one day have the kind of freedom he’s looking for. It sounds to me like he’s finding peace and freedom in his symbolic approach to the church. I say amen to his approach and wish him the best. I don’t think personal attacks are appropriate here. That’s just my take.

      I’m sure we’ll agree to disagree…..

    • Hermes Reply

      I am going to join those who defend the bishop. He is just a human being like the rest of us. Like us, he once believed he possessed superpowers. He is slowly coming to terms with the gap between mythical superpower and practical reality. As bishop, he is really just as powerless as anyone else in the church with the possible exception of 15 men. Sure his position of “authority” requires him to “abuse” people: what position of authority does not? If you were to examine his situation closely, you would see that he is not the only person with an active interest in what he does. Many of his ward members “demand abuse” — thinking that righteousness requires certain things which a “bishop” is obligated to provide. They come to him begging for solutions to their problems, convinced that he has special access to something that can help them. They come to him because they believe in his office; if he resigned, renouncing the church and all it stands for, they would not suddenly decide to talk to professional therapists or non-Mormon clergy. No, good Mormons that they are, they would have to sort their issues out with Mike Tannehill, who still holds the power. I can understand the kind of thinking that wants the church to degenerate into nothing but an enabling mechanism for nutters with javelins, but I can also understand more moderate positions that seek less potentially harmful methods for improving the lot of the sheeple. Remember that these sheeple are people too, good people even, who take responsibility for themselves. Their problem is that they take as gospel truth the words of 15 men who will not come clean (or, alternatively, are as trapped in the nets of ignorance as their flock).

      Bottom line: improving this situation for everyone requires a lot more than massive doses of testosterone. Kudos to the bishop for recognizing that.

    • Tom Reply

      Steve (real name) Kimball,

      How is the view from up there? Wow. You and the three people who clicked “like” on this post are despicable, frankly. I truly understand your point Steve, I really do, but who are you to judge this Bishop? I don’t know you and I don’t know your situation in relation to the church, even if I know your real name. I don’t even know if you are a former member (although it sounds like you are), or a current member of the church. So, guess what? I’m in NO position to judge you or your decisions.

      Why after only listening to this Bishop for only an hour do you feel like you are in any sort of position to tell him to “get the hell out”, or “grow some”? Have you experienced what the Bishop is going through? Have you ever been a bishop? Have you ever been a bishop and experienced a crisis of faith at the same time? Are you aware of the Bishop’s current family situation in relation to the church? Are you aware of the pressures that this Bishop is facing? If you can say yes to these questions, then that would put you in a much better position to tell him how wrong he is.

      Here’s a thought. How about you try to really understand the person before you decide to judge, or condemn them.

      • DuzTruthMatter Reply

        Tom,

        You said the following to Steve, “How is the view from up there? Wow. You and the three people who clicked “like” on this post are despicable, frankly.”

        Are you really calling people who listen to ME and have a different opinion than you “despicable”? Kind of sounds like name calling to me. Isn’t this a forum for all opinions to be expressed?

        And then you say, “I truly understand your point Steve, I really do, but who are you to judge this Bishop?”

        Aren’t you then judging Steve and those seven, not three, people who liked his comments?

        Maybe you should be as careful of the words you choose as you expect Steve to be.

        • Tom Reply

          Your point is taken Duz. If I came across like I was name calling, I apologize.

          As to accusing me of “judging” Steve, I do recall saying, “So, guess what? I’m in NO position to judge you or your decisions.” So I’m don’t believe I was judging Steve.

          Was I being defensive in Steve’s completely unfair assault on the Bishop? Yes. Answer me this Duz, are you in agreement of Steve’s points? Is the Bishop without “nads”? Or saying that if only he were a “real” leader… Or that he should “man up”?

          Rather than pointing the finger back at me because of my offensive use of the word “despicable”, are you willing to address the issue at hand?

          I’m more than happy to say I crossed the line and I have openly apologized. But if someone decides to take a unfair swing at someone who clearly doesn’t deserve it, then I might take issue with that person.

          The Bishop is more courageous than most active mormons by simply coming on our podcast. I am tired of hearing over and over again that we need to get more “believing” members on the show because as soon as we get someone on that is even close to that, a small minority of you here decide that it is open season on them.

          • DuzTruthMatter

            I’m not saying that the Bishop doesn’t have any nads. And I never agree with name calling. I applaud him for even granting the interview since he had not too much to gain by participating. And, by the way, I thought you did an outstanding job with the interview.

            However, if someone is willing to come on ME and do an interview, that person should know that not all listeners will agree with what they have to say or how they present it. And back to my point, this is an open forum for all opinions, even if only one person has a particuar opinion. If you or the Bishop or any other guest don’t agree with someone’s assessment of what was said, take it for what it is, their opinion.

            Although I don’t agree with the Bishop’s approach to handling the tough issues of Mormonism, I respect his right to practice his religion any way he sees fit. And I found the interview to be very insightful into the mind of someone I can’t possibly relate to.

    • Sdcawley Reply

      I’m a long time listener of Mormon Expression and I usually don’t make comments, but I had to in this instance.

      I understand the anger a person can feel when going through a crisis of faith, but I strongly disagree with your comments Steve.

      We all go through our own individual journeys when we are questioning long standing beliefs. Nobody can know what another person’s experiences are or how their individual circumstances affect their decisions. It is extremely unfair and misguided to critcize another person for how he/she chooses to cope with a loss of faith.

      I think the “Bishop” is very courageous simply for taking the step of asking himself those difficult questions, especially in his position, let alone going public with them.

      Each of us needs to find our own way and it would be more helpful to encourage someone rather than tear them down because you feel they’re not doing it the “right” way (whatever that is).

  20. Tom Reply

    I just wanted to thank everyone for such a positive response. It took courage for the Bishop to come on the show with us. The response to this podcast has been overwhelming.

    The Bishop is fighting a fight that most of us would never dream of fighting. I really do wish him the best and I hope to speak to him again in the future.

  21. Jared Reply

    I can understand what the Bishop experienced when his “veil” of belief was dramatically altered. I remember when it happened to me in the early 1970’s when I rent the veil of church history and doctrine.

    The message I would like to leave with the Bishop is that the solution to the problem he is gapingly with is found in prayer. Not everyday prayer, but in mighty prayer, as taught in the Book of Mormon.

    When a crisis comes into our lives, whatever it may be, it is an invitation to apply all that we’ve learned about the gospel. I can speak from experience, when a crisis came to me I turned to the Lord and found Him, but only after doing as Enos and others have done, wrestling with the Lord in mighty prayer.

    It doesn’t matter what kind of problem we bring to the Lord, he will help us, but ultimately He will lead us to a place where we can fulfill our baptism covenant by receiving a remission of our sins by fire and the Holy Ghost. Then and only then, will we experience the blessings of the atonement as the Savior desires for us. We must have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. It may be that the Bishop is in a place where he can do that.

    Bishop, don’t give up or give in. Go to the Lord and plead with Him until you get an answer. Follow the teachings found in the Book of Mormon!

  22. Sam Johnson (real name) Reply

    I have never posted on this forum but this podcast really touched me. About seven years ago, I too was in a similar situation as the good bishop. However, I was not bishop, but I was Elders Quorum President. I caught my bishop one evening at home, he lived three houses down from mine, and told him of my doubts about the truth claims of the church. I was released the following Sunday and eventually stopped going to church about six months after.
    If I were to give any advice to the bishop I would say stay until your time as bishop is over. Being released or resigning will bring scrutiny to your family and an enormous amount of gossip. I was told by a few members, who remained my friends after I left, that I had sexually abused my children, was addicted to porn, had an extramarital affair, and so on. Of course none of this was true but members can not accept the fact that people leave for legitimate reasons.
    I feel for you that you have to jump through all these mental hoops to make your faith work. I hope that eventually you find a way to truly express how you feel and what you believe. Good luck on your journey of faith.

    • Jared Reply

      Sam–

      If you’re willing, I would be interested in knowing if you sought the Lord diligently before you left the church?

      Also, did you contact anyone who has investigated the issues that caused you to leave, like a religion teacher or church leader?

      • Sam Johnson (real name) Reply

        Jared, I guess I should first tell you a little about my deconversion. I was looking for a good Mormon book to read and wandered into our local Walden Books store and could only find one LDS book and it happened to be Mormonism and The Magical World View. I looked at the jacket and saw that Quinn was a B.Y.U. professor, so I thought it would be a safe read. It was not and from that point on I started my quest down the rabbit hole.

        I can remember the day, the smell, and the weather outside the day I realized the church was not true. I had just finished Mormon Enigma and decided to pray about the truthfullness of the church. I knelt down and truley, fervently, and emotionally asked if the church was true. I got what can best be called a tingling sensation in my chest and soon tears started streaming uncontrollably from my face as I realized it was not.

        As for talking with a church leader, I did consult my bishop with the issues that I had. He was completely inept and new very little about church history and the issues that bothered me. I should point out that I tried, like the bishop in the podcast, to make my faith work. I bought just about everything I could find by Nibley but in the end I couldn’t make it fit. I eventually found that huddles, which kept getting taller and taller, were much easier to just walk and under. So, I quit jumping and walked away from the church.

        • Jared Reply

          Sam,

          Thanks for taking the time to respond. If I haven’t worn you out, what about the impact on your immediate and extended family? Assuming you’re married, how did your wife handle the change?

          • Sam Johnson (real name)

            Jared, my wife was heart broken over me leaving the church. Luckily she, my wife, is supportive and stuck with me even after the bishop counseled her to leave for the sake of the children. He felt that our children would see me as a negative influence and it may jeopardize their chances for exaltation. My wife and children still are active in the church and attend regularly, my wife is in the primary presidency.

            The ones who really fell apart were my parents. I think my mother said something to the affect that I wish you would have died prior to your current beliefs. My dad didn’t want to hear any of my concerns and, like my mother, was devastated. It’s funny how fast a family can drop one of its members. My parents rarely talk to me, but they still interact with my wife and children.

            My wife and I decided to lay down a few ground rules. I do not drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, or drink coffee. In fact, I would say I’m temple worthy, even with tithing since my wife still pays. I just no longer believe. The only thing that changed about me was my belief in Mormonism, yet everyone around me connected to the church, with exception of a few, kicked me to the curb like I had the black death.

          • Jared

            Sam–

            One again, thanks to you.

            I’ve been surfing the bloggernacle for nearly four years. Doing so has opened my eyes to something I was a ware of, but not seeing clearly—the vast difference in the faith of church members—even among those who hold significant callings in wards and stakes, and possibility even among the GA.

            Additionally, I am becoming aware of something that I think is true but it is very difficult to obtain information on.

            This leads me to the next question I have for you, if you’re still willing to share your thoughts and feelings.

            To begin, I have studied, (since 1971) the doctrines and church history pitfalls that are causing some members to lose faith. Some leave the church, some don’t. I would be like you, I would just leave. I think it’s the honest thing to do, that is, once one has thoroughly studied, sought help from qualified others, and diligently wrestled with the Lord in mighty prayer and fasting for an answer.

            With that as background, here is my point and question. I didn’t leave the church when I discovered the pitfalls because of the powerful manifestation of the Spirit I received years earlier. In other words, deconversion wasn’t possible because of my conversion (testimony and conversion are different animals).

            The generation we live in lacks faith because of the prosperity we’ve experienced in America. This always results in the gifts of the Spirit diminishing.

            I believe there are those who are converted, those who the Lord plants in nearly every extended family, ward, or stake who possess the Spiritual gift(s), the gift of testimony that are qualified to help others whose faith is failing. Do you know of anyone like this, a trusted family member, friend, or even an acquaintance? Are you still willing to open yourself to the possibility that you are wrong and be willing to retrace your steps and give faith another chance?

            PS I think it’s great that your family has stayed together.

          • Sam Johnson (real name)

            Jared in regard to retracing my steps the best I could do is quote Joseph Smith, “I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.” I do not take lightly the spiritual experience and intellectual experience I had while wrestling with church history and doctrine. I don’t think I’m wrong, if I had any doubt I would still be in the church. Staying would have been so much easier than leaving.

            As for having someone with a Spiritual gift testify to the truthfulness of the gospel, I would say the best witness I got, concerning the church, was the fact that I was completely cast aside. It definitely is a members only club and the moment they realize you’re out or not joining the phoniness of the Mormon Gospel shines through.

          • Jared

            Sam–

            Thanks for taking the time with me.

            The Lord is much more merciful than we can begin to imagine. I don’t think He is anywhere near giving up on you and others who are traveling the same path.

            Regarding those church members who you feel threw you under the bus after you left the church. Based on my experience, I’ll bet they are more confused than anything else.

            Once again, thanks for taking the time.

          • Seth Leigh

            I too had what I regarded as “spiritual” experiences, especially on my mission, since I was so focused on this stuff for those two years. While I don’t deny that I had these experiences, what I have come to see since my deconversion is that the experiences I had didn’t really mean what I thought they meant at the time I had them.

            For instance, I had a powerful burning of the bosom experience as I finished reading the Book of Mormon in German for the first time, when my mission companion was sick and I spent something like a day and a half doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and reading the BoM. I read about half the BoM in that time, and when I finished it, I had an exceedingly strong bosom-burning feeling. At the time I thought “wow, this is it! I’m actually have the burning of the bosom experience told of in the D&C! It’s true! It’s all really true! Yay!”

            Since then, I had the exact same experience when I spent almost an entire day reading the final book in Glenn Cook’s “Black Company” series. That book ends with some very powerful, weighty stuff, and in my exhausted, hungry state at like 3 or 4 in the morning, as I finished that book, I found myself in the exact same kind of “burning in the bosom” euphoric state. If you’ve ever read the “Black Company” series, you will know that most uber-righteous Mormons would disapprove of it on the basis of crude, sometimes vulgar subject matter and content. It’s hardly something “The Spirit” would witness to my soul about.

            What I took from this is that I had in fact experienced something. Just, what I had experienced, almost certainly hadn’t meant what I thought it meant at the time I first had it.

            I’m convinced that, as complex, thoughtful, emotional, irrational and illogical at times, desperate, hungry, lustful, longing for companionship, longing for friendship, looking for surety in an unsure world, and so forth as we human beings are, we have lots of experiences that people attribute to outside agents influencing them through “magical” or “spiritual” means, but which in fact are just manifestations of the variety of human experience. The “spiritual” experiences we think we’ve had, maybe we really did, only they weren’t what we thought they were, or they didn’t mean what we thought they really meant.

            For one who has realized that the evidence doesn’t support the Mormon Church’s truth claims, but is hesitant to “give up” their testimony on the basis of having had “spiritual experiences” one cannot deny, I would simply say hey, you don’t have to deny them at all. If you think you experienced something, that’s fine, you probably did. It just probably didn’t mean what you’ve thought it did.

            At least, given examples like mine that demonstrate that at least sometimes people really do have experiences like their spiritual ones that turn out to be not so spiritual after all, one must ask oneself: is the likelihood that I’ve simply misattributed or misinterpreted my “spiritual” experiences at least as high as, or even higher than, the likelihood that all of the negative evidence against the Church’s truth claims still don’t really reflect the church’s not being true?

            What is more likely, that I once had a euphoric experience that really wasn’t a supernatural being communicating to my “spirit” using powerful feelings, or that Joseph Smith invented revelations and books of scripture that are fictional yet touted as historical record, and spiritual manipulated women into believing that they were obligated by the principle of obedience to God’s messenger on Earth to give themselves sexually to that very messenger, and yet was in fact really a true Prophet, who really had been granted (in private) authority from the Creator of the Universe to tell the rest of us all what to do?

          • Jared

            Seth,

            You make a good point. The idea of a “burning in the bosom” as an exclusive means of receiving revelation doesn’t cut it. Church leaders have said this. The Book of Mormon doesn’t allude to this kind of revelation either. I’ve receive many manifestation from the Lord and a burning in the bosom isn’t how the Lord communicates with me. Dallin Oaks said:

            “What does a ‘burning in the bosom’ mean? Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion? If that is the meaning, I have never had a burning in the bosom.”

      • Kris Fielding Reply

        I’m sure you are right. The only reason why people leave would be lack of prayer and investigation.

    • don't know mo Reply

      Sam,
      One has to consider how differently things may have gone if Bishop X had been your Bishop when you had your faith crisis. I have been able to fly under the radar, so far, but know I will eventually face the dilemma of whether to come clean or not. I’m wondering if you live in the “Mormon Corridor”. I’m heart sick about you and your family’s pain and wonder if this scenario is more prevalent in the corridor.

  23. Heather Reply

    I find something incredibly disturbing about the idea that only those who “KNOW the church is true” are worthy to participate. I think this culture of “KNOWING” has created a really unhealthy dynamic among the members. It seems as thought enduring to the end, working hard to be a good person, trying to improve, or just trying to keep your head above the water are not permissible. If you don’t possess a perfect knowledge and toe the line perfectly, then you should get out. I don’t think that is Christ’s message. Nor do I think that is a healthy attitude for the church — “knowers” and “apostates” alike. Honestly, I also think it says something about the overly sensitive position of the finger pointers. If one is truly secure in their position, whether it be inside the church or outside of it, I think they aren’t so hostile or threatened by ambiguity.

    I heard nothing in this discussion that would lead me to make such strong assertions against this bishop. He sounds like a caring, decent person who is trying to do the best he can in a difficult situation. (And let’s face it, being a bishop is a difficult situation, regardless of your level of belief.)

    Furthermore, I have had problems with 2 bishops in the past. When I’ve tried to seek help with these problems I’ve been told, “Those men were called to those positions for a reason. It’s not up to you. It’s up to God who is chosen.” Perhaps we should hold the same view of this bishop. He wasn’t called by us. Nor has he done anything to any of us that would have him removed from his calling. So really, is it any of our business to be casting stones?

    • Heather Reply

      Oh for the want of editing…. haha. If you see any glaring mistakes up there, please note that I see them too and I cringe from where I sit. 😉

  24. Catalyst Reply

    What is the source of my antagonistic feelings?
    First, the Bishop pulls the Paper Man argument. For example, he says he doesn’t want to be a part of a church that heavily coerces action with guilt. Well, none of us do…
    Next, he says he wants to live by the theme “Do No Harm.” … like a trail guide (he is a Bishop) focusing on not stepping on bugs or leaves, rather than what path he is on and where he is taking the troop?
    Lastly, when he accepted the calling of Bishop, he committed to doing certain things – such as ask specific questions and based upon those answers “filter” members ready for the temple. I get that he wants to respect others privacy, not push guilt, etc. But if he’s not willing, he should express that or ask to be released. Admittedly, I go back forth between agreeing with someone for not asking about masturbation b/c he feels its none of his business, versus acknowledging an opportunity for help and counsel a young, unmarried kid if they feel they need it. The Bishop just closes his eyes.
    Maybe my antagonistic feelings are a reflection of my own search for answers – as I’m not sure where I lie at the moment. I believe that “doubt trickles” though, so although I’m as turned off by the zealot on the pulpit as probably most other listeners, where does a doubter destroy the faith of others inadvertently?

    In the meantime, I’ll follow Dwight”s advice about sitting on the fence… The trick is to do it facedown, so you can hold onto the fencepost with your mouth.

  25. Walt Reply

    Thanks to the Bishop for being willing to come on here. I think your mindset, although rare in the church, is amazing. The only part that I started to cringe during was the discussion of the TR questions. I was having flashbacks of Pres Clinton trying to get a definition of “what is….is.” They are not all that symbolic in my mind, pretty straight forward until you start trying redefine basic terms such as “prophet.”

    • Walt Reply

      I forgot I was also going to mention Pres. Hinkley’s quote about “Either JS saw the first vision and the church is true, or he didn’t and it is a fraud.” (not word for word, sorry.) Not much room for interpretation in his eyes.

  26. Michael Gonda Reply

    Wow. I guess getting an active mormon into the discussion really opens up the controversy! I thought you did a nice job, Tom, and I agree with your defense of the bishop as well.

    I personally think the bishop is a ‘man’ for coming on Mormon Expression at all. I completely understand his need for confidentiality. It may have something to do with the church and what ramifications it might have on him and his membership if he ‘comes out.’ But I bet you it is a lot more to do with the individual members of his congregation. Whether you like it or not, he has an obligation to them, and coming out openly and saying some of the things he felt on this podcast would harm some of the fold. Yeah, nobody’s perfect but the idea that the only ‘manly’ thing to do is just out himself on ME and leave his congregation hanging is a silly thought.

    I probably better stop there. I had a few choice words to add to those who are ripping the bishop. But I will do the ‘manly’ thing and hold back. It just seems bothersome to me that others obviously think being a jerk to someone who doesn’t act the way they want them to is the manly way to handle things.

    • Chris Reply

      I agree with this. I respect the Bishop for staying in and finishing his term as he will actually be able to help ward members with his attitude and new beliefs. HOWEVER, after he is released, I would hope that he will have the guts to be true to his feelings and have enough integrity to take a stand and let his honest feelings be known. Otherwise he is abandoning all the members who have been hurt by the church and who have had the courage to discontinue attending. Especially if he has pre-teen kids of his own. How can he possible live with himself if he continues to publicly support an organization he no longer believes in and one he has seen first hand the damage it does to kids and adults alike. Could he really have one of his own daughters go through the horrible youth program, does he want his own son spending two years of his life preaching lies? Not to mention the indoctrination that takes place at the MTC and the tremendous guilt and control the church exhorts. I also don’t buy into his imaginary “symbolic golden plates” story. That’s just a coping mechanism for now, I would hope. The church teachings are LITERAL, the tithing you pay is LITERAL (not symbolic), the mall projects, etc. that tithing is spent on is LITERAL, the guilt and control the church holds over its members is LITERAL, the damage done to the youth is LITERAL, and I could go on and on. I cannot imagine this Bishop will not step up to the plate once he’s released and be true to his own integrity and stop attending. That is the ONLY voice the church will hear (that and stop sending them money, hit them where it hurts). You absolutely cannot change the church from the inside. That will never be allowed and it will never happen. But he can make a difference and get noticed by being true to himself and helping those who truly need the church to hear.

      .

  27. Villageseer Reply

    Tom

    Thanks for this outstanding interview. I listened to this 3 times today while I was driving around to my various stops. I felt relieved to find out that I was not the only person who had an issue with the Churches portrayal of the translation process. I was devastated to find out that I too had been mislead to believe that Joseph truly did use the plates to translate the Book of Mormon, only to find out that it was actually his seer stone in his hat. Unfortunately it lead me to more questions and finds and I’m now in the process of taking the Book of Mormon 1 chapter at a time to see, if after studying everything I could find on Joseph Smith, if there were any comparisons from his life that might have ended up in the Book of Mormon. Even started a Blog, so “Shout Out” to you and the Bishop and John. Great Job

  28. Brian Reply

    To those who don’t like to see inside this Bishop’s mind and heart, I would suggest you go watch the movie “What Women Want” again. If you think he is alone as a bishop with these thoughts, you need to think again. Interviews like this would be commonplace if we all spoke what was really on our minds. We all wander with our uncertainties and with our own weaknesses, whatever they are. Takes a real person to talk about them.

  29. Tim Reply

    I understand how “Bishop” gets around the restoration part of the temple recommend, but how does he get around the part about affiliating with others who seek to tear down the church? Isn’t granting an interview to ME an affiliation with anti-Mormons? I understand the shallowness of the term “anti-Mormon” but this is for sure a critical venue. Isn’t publicly telling others (in this interview) that “they” are the golden plates mean that he is teaching heresy?

  30. Fanson Reply

    Best Mormon Expression podcast EVER!

    Bishop is a hero and a man of courage and integrity despite the (predictable) flack that he’s taken from extremists of all ilks on this discussion board thus far.

    And I would remind everyone of two things:

    1) The only person’s behavior that we can ultimately control in this life is our own – control wisely!

    2) Every man must walk his own path to truth – walk wisely!

    And if those cliches don’t resonate try this instead:

    Matthew 7:1-3 (King James Version)
    Judge not, that ye be not judged.

    For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

  31. Mik3 Thoma3 Reply

    I have never been here before and I am so impressed with this broadcast. It beats the pants off the usual yes-it-is/no-it-isn’t dialogue. I agree that this is a strong case of cognitive dissonance and he doesn’t describe the Mormon Church I recognise from my time. But it is also a process so maybe this bishop needs to be allowed the space to find out for himself. I really value process in conversion and in a Christian Church that lays such store by spectacular stories I think it is undervalued. I know there are casualtiers along the way but God is always in control and I trust that he will do what is right. What we need to do is what he requires and leave the rest to him.

  32. Cls357 Reply

    With all due respect, this Bishop’s view is very “Clintonesque”. “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

  33. Johncallster Reply

    Wow.  This is what I hate about people in mormonism.  I grew up in the church like most that come to this site.  I guess I took everything literally….but how else was I to take everything?  As a kid, you’re told that you were special.  you were saved to come down to earth in the last days.  You were valiant in the pre existence and privileged to be born into a mormon family.  Only mormons have the truth, authority, a living prophet.  And now I hear from this bishop that things that are taught in the church are not to be taken literally.  Really?  So how do we distinguish?  A prophet is fallible?  Really?  I think that goes out the window when you are getting direct communication from on high.  If you’re the only mouthpiece of the Almighty on earth, how are you able to communicate wrong info to the masses?  Come on.  This is such a stretch.  Listening to this bishop makes me sick.  He is courageous for being interviewed, but he is really stretching things.  He is saying that we need not take things literally…but how do we know what to take literally and not?

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *