Episode 172: Living Narrative Series: Chris and Alyssa

25 comments on “Episode 172: Living Narrative Series: Chris and Alyssa”

  1. Anonymous Reply

    Rich, I really love this idea of taking snapshots of people’s transition out of the church as it happens so you can “see” the evolution occur.  Thanks for letting me be a part!  :^)

  2. Alyssa Reply

    Thanks again to Mormon Expression for featuring us in this episode. FYI, we recorded this episode back in the summertime.

    The graphic we used for this episode is a page from my journal where I drew a tree diagram to represent my intellectual journey out of Mormonism. In case anyone wants to see the larger version of the graphic they used for our episode, you can check it out on my (sort of) private blog where I try to make sense of my experiences within Mormonism: http://oxymormongirl.blogspot.com/2011/11/changing-leaves-changing-callings.html

    (I’ve decided I’m willing to be a little more open about my blog these days.)

    • Hermes Reply

      Does the tree analogy come from the Book of Mormon (Jacob 5, Alma 32)?  Either way, I really like it (as an expression of honest-to-God Mormonism that subverts the correlated status quo).

  3. Anonymous Reply

    Great podcast. I can relate to the issues you discuss about being a non-believer in Utah. Everything you do in relation to your Mormonism feels like it has an impact on you and your family. I no longer attend and ditched garments and tithing a while back, and while I don’t worry too much any more about what my parents think I’ve found that not being active in Utah has had some consequences. Nothing I would change but it can be uncomfortable at times. Personally, I don’t understand how you can not only still attend but teach. I can handle SM now and then but find classes hard to take.

    I envy that you both are essentially on the same page not only regarding the Church but intellectually as well. My wife is still a believer and our differences can be a struggle at times for sure— especially where the kids are concerned.

    Best of luck to you both in your continued journey and thanks to Heather for doing the interview.
    BTW the Leeeeroooooooy Jennnnnnkinnns! referernce made me LOL. Funny.

  4. Chuck Borough Reply

    The question came: “How honest are you with your kids?” regarding a three-year old. Honesty comes from the word “honor,” and not from the word “truth.” I think Santa Claus is honest enough, so long as the truth is told when the child becomes more able to understand what a metaphor is. The problem concerning God, is that the untruth is continued into adulthood. At that point, and untruth is also dishonest (not honorable.) I also kind of like the Tooth Fairy for little kids.

  5. Anonymous Reply


    Looking forward to listening to this … but in the meantime you might be interested my response to your Jockers et al paper comment back in the “Later-Day Scripture” episode.  I alert you to James W. Pennebaker’s new book The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us.  He is a social psychologist who employs computational linguistics.



  6. Jack Rodwell Reply

    great job in expanding out into different shows.  continue to expand and build mormonexpression. it seems as though we are going to have a mormon president ! this is the best time to try and make your move and try and get your exposure in the national media .my sister works for the guardian in the uk and i always mention you guys to her.  she says people in the uk are very interested in mormonism and how it could affect an american pres.  they are going to run a big article on mormonism in an upcoming paper .hopefully they will mention you 

    • Chuck Borough Reply

      Did I read this right? “it seems as though we are going to have a mormon president – – ”  What?? Obama’s a Mormon now ??

      Kidding, of course, but the Republicans are not going to elect a Mormon President. The Church thinks, because it is enamored with that political party, that the Republicans are enamored with the Mormon Church. Nothing could be further from the truth. That party, in large numbers, hates the Mormons and believes they are going to burn in Hell. It was these conservatives who hated the Mormons when they were practicing polygamy. As a Democrat, Romney would have a chance. (Democrats generally don’t care what religion you are.) I like Romney quite a lot, including his health care program in Massachusetts. Of course, Mormon Republicans are going to vote for Romney, but go down south and see how many Republican votes you can get. My bet is that they’ll find someone else to have their ticket, but it’s too bad, because Romney, for this election and for the last, was the best candidate they had. I liked their John McCain, but he is the Democrats’ favorite Republican. Why did they do that? Only one reason – Romney was a Mormon.

  7. Robert Reply

    Hold the phone everybody!!!! I never heard that masturbation is equal to the actual breaking of the law of chastity!! Any thoughts on this? I once told a Bishop that I had done it and he simply said TRY not to do it again but didn’t really put much emphasis on it. So i have been trying ever since…lol  

    • Chuck Borough Reply

      I actually had one Book of Mormon teacher put it this way: Sex is meant for opposite sexes and only for marriage. Sex with the same sex is very bad, but sex with yourself is even worse. He said that masturbation was the most evil of all sex. There is a scripture that says it is better that one’s seed go to the “belly of a whore” than to cast it on the ground. He said that masturbation was “casting it on the ground.” The science of it is that among the countless billions of sperm my body has produced, only six have ever been used. The randomness of who is born is obvious. It’s not some fixed person from the pre-existence, or God would have only given me six sperm.

      On this issure, scripture is dummer than a bag of hammers. 

      • Robert Reply

        Thanks Chuck! But any official church doctrine besides Kimble saying missionaries shouldn’t be allowed to go on missions if they practice it…I mean missionaries don’t watch tv either but that doesn’t  mean its evil…I just never heard any leader say masturbation= no temple recommended  

        • Chuck Borough Reply

          Understood, Robert. I think your Bishop was one of the smart ones. More importantly, he was one of the understanding ones. “Official” means very little to me. It’s the word of a dictator.

    • Rich Rasmussen Reply

      That is doctrine brother: Don’t murder unless it is under holy sanction (obviously), then don’t mess with “procreation powers” (in this case spilling your seed), the don’t drink hot stuff. Simple really, just like the gospel…I think all you sinners are looking “beyond the mark.” 🙂

      • Robert Reply

        Not sure Rich? Mormons don’t always follow the Bible for doctrine…that also includes the Christian world as well…lust women in heart = adultery= nobody would ever be allowed in the temple, man and woman!!!  

        • Rich Rasmussen Reply

          Well, if you refuse to use your “second sight,” I don’t see this going anywhere. Disregard what you see and then imagine how you feel…now we’re getting somewhere.

          • Robert

            Not sure what you mean? But all I know is that my Bishop didn’t think it was that bad and I have never been asked in any temple recommend setting whether or not I masturbate…would my second sight over ride something that is sort out by leaders? Like I’m saying nobody would be allowed in the temple if this was the case…

          • Rich Rasmussen

            I totally agree,my sarcasm was lost in three attempts…I will cease and desist. Have a kick ass day.

  8. Buffalo Reply

    You guys seem like a super cute, super fun couple. You’re lucky that you lost faith together! Great interview, and I look forward to the next.

  9. Elder Vader Reply

    This is going to be great.  It was fun listening to your interview.  I look forward to the next one, 6 months, 12 months or however long in the future it is.

  10. Steve Kimball Reply

    I stopped listening to most of these as I moved on from my angry phase of leaving Mormonism.  Last night I listened to this podcast and today wanted to comment and say thank you.  What an amazing young couple!  It took me 40 plus years to realize my church was not what it claimed to be.  I raised my kids as Mormons, unwitting of reality.  They can make a better choice regardless of the pressures they are feeling. 

    We all go thru phases as we begin to question until we find peace and stop caring if we are pleasing the Mormons in our life and move on to a more authentic fulfilling lives.  It is super hard going thru those phases and takes time.  I went thru a time when I was trying to live with one foot in both worlds. When I heard the comments about Las Vegas for instance I flashed back to those days.  The statement “we feel like were not part of either world” I and many others have been there.  When you stop and think about it, of course you cannot feel comfortable in either world because you haven’t, and possibly are unable at this time, to commit to either world.  Cut yourselves a break and enjoy the journey that is disillusion from beliefs.  When they mentioned teaching at church, it caused me to reflect and want to share the shame I now feel now for years of pretending…I feel some responsibility for leading others to believe I believed.  During those times I like many going thru this found ways to justify my behavior but it lacked integrity.  What I would like to say in way of advice is that there is such a thing as truth.  Don’t be afraid to stand for it and let the consequence follow.  The consequence will be the befuddled non-thinkers in your life exiting, and although hard, in the end you will find yourself on solid ground with a much higher caliber of friends you can call family.  Lastly, there are real consequences for  allowing your kids to remain, I don’t need to point that out, as you know what they are…my advice is to take your kids and run.  If you need to leave Provo Valley to do it then all the better…  

    Awesome podcast.  Awesome couple grappling with the same issues we all do and in a stage of it where they need people who will shoot straight with them, and perhaps shorten the suffering curve for them.  Kudos

    • Elder Vader Reply

      I’ve been in this limbo for what feels like FOREVER.  But its been less than 2 years.  The internal friction drives me crazy.  Steve, this comment was very articulate.  That’s what I feel like.  I lack integrity in this way.  I’ve come out of the closet a lot of ways.  I’ve navigated through the angry waters.  But I’m not there yet.  I need to own it more than I’m owning it. 

      • Steve Kimball Reply

        In time man, it is super super hard.  I still flip-flop as its cost me my family and so on.  I have neighbors that literally won’t let their kids talk to mine. Anyways, looking back it is really a painful thing, I think some never get over it. So maybe the key is to get over it I dunno.  What I do know is that it takes time to readjust your world, all of it.  Loss of life as we knew it.  In time you will find your feet on far firmer ground then it once was and that is worth all we go through. Best of luck.  

  11. Marney Schaumann Reply

    Wow, I am coming on here a wee bit after the original airing of this podcast, but THANK YOU!  This was fantastic for me.  I am in a very similar place in my life at the moment and it does wonders to realize there are others like me.  Your story is fairly similar to mine and my husband’s, although we do differ in that although this has been a joint journey, I am farther along the path mentally than my husband.  He doesn’t adamantly believe it is NOT true, it is more of a “there are bits of truth everywhere, and it is fine if the scriptures are a metaphor to me but solid truth to others” kind of idea.  The dissonance doesn’t bother him like it bothers me.  I am still attending Church, but mentally am ready to stop going.  Not sure if I am brave enough though.  We are in a new Ward, and I think I am ready to refuse a calling if it feels like it would be too frustrating to pretend. 

    Anyway, rambling….  Can’t wait to hear the next installment.  Thank you Mormon Expression! 

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