Episode 24: An Interview with Nyal

29 comments on “Episode 24: An Interview with Nyal”

  1. Polygamy Porter Reply

    Interesting….

    All of these men at the top leadership of the LDS church.

    Many members believe they all speak with god. At least the first prez.

    Yet like Nyal said, looking at their actions, speeches, written works, it is clear they do not speak with god.

    How do they carry on as a sane person? Monson gets up and every morning looks in the mirror and wonders why god has not spoken with him.. How long before he looks around, makes sure no one is near and looks into the mirror as he rubs his face and whispers “WHAT IF ITS NOT TRUE?”.

    Financial pressures.

    Feeling responsible for the economy of so many in Utah?

    See this is what is great about being on the outside. I can think about it objectively, wonder about it, but then forget about it because I have no need to fit those thoughts into a world view that requires being framed by mormonism.

  2. Polygamy Porter Reply

    Interesting….

    All of these men at the top leadership of the LDS church.

    Many members believe they all speak with god. At least the first prez.

    Yet like Nyal said, looking at their actions, speeches, written works, it is clear they do not speak with god.

    How do they carry on as a sane person? Monson gets up and every morning looks in the mirror and wonders why god has not spoken with him.. How long before he looks around, makes sure no one is near and looks into the mirror as he rubs his face and whispers “WHAT IF ITS NOT TRUE?”.

    Financial pressures.

    Feeling responsible for the economy of so many in Utah?

    See this is what is great about being on the outside. I can think about it objectively, wonder about it, but then forget about it because I have no need to fit those thoughts into a world view that requires being framed by mormonism.

  3. Jordan Reply

    I wonder if the question shouldn’t be if it WAS the spirit… but, rather, WHICH spirit?

  4. Jordan Reply

    I wonder if the question shouldn’t be if it WAS the spirit… but, rather, WHICH spirit?

  5. george Reply

    Very good interview. Good getting to know you a quite a bit better. With as much as you know about the doctrinal issues, I was surprised that you left the church in more of the traditional manner we’ve heard about. Help me out and clarify. You were about to be potentially ex’d for living with your G/F, but you resigned to keep that from happening. Is that right? If that is the case, when/why did you start exploring the doctrinal issues as well?

  6. george Reply

    Very good interview. Good getting to know you a quite a bit better. With as much as you know about the doctrinal issues, I was surprised that you left the church in more of the traditional manner we’ve heard about. Help me out and clarify. You were about to be potentially ex’d for living with your G/F, but you resigned to keep that from happening. Is that right? If that is the case, when/why did you start exploring the doctrinal issues as well?

  7. Nyal Reply

    Hi George!

    No, I did not resign to stop the proceedings. I admit I was not thrilled about the possibility of being exed, but on onther level I wanted it to happen. I left when I did because I felt it was time to go. Time to end it, sort of jumping in the deep end to avoid that long process of getting the water past the naughty bits.

    You know how it is with the doctrine. You put those issues on that metaphorical shelf until it breaks and it falls down and kills the cat that was your testimony. I was mostly NOM by this point, but it was not a doctrinal or disproved claim that got me. It was see just how I mattered to the Church. It was that moment of knowing I am not even a cog, I am the ant that god squished in the cog. That broke the shelf and I was able to ask the questions I had never allowed before in my head.

    I suppose I am just using that stuff to justify my decision to leave? I guess I left cuz I wanted to sin. Well, I am human, I suppose.

  8. Nyal Reply

    Hi George!

    No, I did not resign to stop the proceedings. I admit I was not thrilled about the possibility of being exed, but on onther level I wanted it to happen. I left when I did because I felt it was time to go. Time to end it, sort of jumping in the deep end to avoid that long process of getting the water past the naughty bits.

    You know how it is with the doctrine. You put those issues on that metaphorical shelf until it breaks and it falls down and kills the cat that was your testimony. I was mostly NOM by this point, but it was not a doctrinal or disproved claim that got me. It was see just how I mattered to the Church. It was that moment of knowing I am not even a cog, I am the ant that god squished in the cog. That broke the shelf and I was able to ask the questions I had never allowed before in my head.

    I suppose I am just using that stuff to justify my decision to leave? I guess I left cuz I wanted to sin. Well, I am human, I suppose.

  9. John Dehlin Reply

    Nyal,

    I really enjoyed your story. I could really feel the moral/ethical dilemma you faced trying to reconcile your newfound libertarianism w/ your longstanding faith.

    Great stuff. Thanks so much for your candor and integrity.

    John Dehlin

  10. John Dehlin Reply

    Nyal,

    I really enjoyed your story. I could really feel the moral/ethical dilemma you faced trying to reconcile your newfound libertarianism w/ your longstanding faith.

    Great stuff. Thanks so much for your candor and integrity.

    John Dehlin

  11. Walt Reply

    Great interview Nyal. I enjoyed hearing your full story. I was really struck by the love you seemed to have for the temple and still seem to harbor some strong feelings for it. I guess I never got the whole temple thing myself, but I too have wondered why it is not available to everyone. My only conclusion is that it is somehow tied to the secrecy the Masons have for their ceremonies and it was carried over somehow. I especially hate the idea of limiting who can attend a temple marriage, especially when it is such a “family” centered institution.

  12. Walt Reply

    Great interview Nyal. I enjoyed hearing your full story. I was really struck by the love you seemed to have for the temple and still seem to harbor some strong feelings for it. I guess I never got the whole temple thing myself, but I too have wondered why it is not available to everyone. My only conclusion is that it is somehow tied to the secrecy the Masons have for their ceremonies and it was carried over somehow. I especially hate the idea of limiting who can attend a temple marriage, especially when it is such a “family” centered institution.

  13. Polygamy Porter Reply

    Walt, can you imagine kids during the sealing part?

    They would be bored out of their minds, but only if they weren’t laughing their head off at the goofy outfits that the bride and especially the groom are wearing.

    Imagine what outsiders would think as well. Ever been to a full mormon funeral with non mormons or non temple mormons attending? They all get puzzled looks on their faces when the Uncle puts the bakers hat on grampa.

    The whole family centered thing is nothing more than a facade to lure in the unwitting.

    In reality, Family centered is what they want all of your family smack dab center in their cult. The have no respect for mixed families.

  14. Polygamy Porter Reply

    Walt, can you imagine kids during the sealing part?

    They would be bored out of their minds, but only if they weren’t laughing their head off at the goofy outfits that the bride and especially the groom are wearing.

    Imagine what outsiders would think as well. Ever been to a full mormon funeral with non mormons or non temple mormons attending? They all get puzzled looks on their faces when the Uncle puts the bakers hat on grampa.

    The whole family centered thing is nothing more than a facade to lure in the unwitting.

    In reality, Family centered is what they want all of your family smack dab center in their cult. The have no respect for mixed families.

  15. Walt Reply

    LOL, you do come across a bit fanatical at times but all your points were good and also made me laugh – thanks! I have often speculated that the reason for all the secrecy is strictly because of the outfits, no one likes to be laughed at!

  16. Walt Reply

    LOL, you do come across a bit fanatical at times but all your points were good and also made me laugh – thanks! I have often speculated that the reason for all the secrecy is strictly because of the outfits, no one likes to be laughed at!

  17. simplysarah Reply

    Particularly enjoyed the last 5-10 minutes of this one. Having had a few “spiritual experiences” in my life that seemed impossible to explain away (at the time) as anything but being from god…I really believe that the LDS apostles believe they are receiving guidance from god and truly acting as prophets. Plus I come from a family of dreamers, and I suspect that a lot of the “undeniable witnesses” mentioned at general conference were dreams.

    The human psyche – and ability to rationalize, as you suggest – is fascinating.

  18. simplysarah Reply

    Particularly enjoyed the last 5-10 minutes of this one. Having had a few “spiritual experiences” in my life that seemed impossible to explain away (at the time) as anything but being from god…I really believe that the LDS apostles believe they are receiving guidance from god and truly acting as prophets. Plus I come from a family of dreamers, and I suspect that a lot of the “undeniable witnesses” mentioned at general conference were dreams.

    The human psyche – and ability to rationalize, as you suggest – is fascinating.

  19. Tammy Reply

    Were you not scared to leave? How did you know what to do?

    I think it is normal for grown women to go party following a break up from a marriage that begun in a young age.

    We are made to sustain the presidents as prophets and they sustain themselves. I don’t believe they are in communication with the Lord. I wonder with the knowledge they have, whether they know they will go to hell or not for lying if they are.

    Interesting political thoughts.

    How loooong is this podcast 😀

  20. Tammy Reply

    Were you not scared to leave? How did you know what to do?

    I think it is normal for grown women to go party following a break up from a marriage that begun in a young age.

    We are made to sustain the presidents as prophets and they sustain themselves. I don’t believe they are in communication with the Lord. I wonder with the knowledge they have, whether they know they will go to hell or not for lying if they are.

    Interesting political thoughts.

    How loooong is this podcast 😀

  21. Gunnar R. Reply

    Interesting interview. I feel, though, that of the Mormon Expression panelists whose interviews I have so far listened to, Nyal is the one with whom I have least in common. I do agree with him that the punitive, legal prohibition approach to the problem of drug abuse is wrong–not because recreational drug use is harmless (it very clearly is not), but because that approach to the problem only tends to add to and exacerbate the very real harm done by the drugs themselves, and probably only benefits organized crime and the army of bureacrats and law-enforcement necessary to implement it, and whose job security depends on or is enhanced by perpetuation of the problem and the consequences of the miserable failure of that approach to alleviate it.

    As for his views about church leaders, I think it may be possible that some or, perhaps, even most of them may sincerely have good intentions, but I find it increasingly difficult to believe that none of them are aware that they are perpetrating a deliberate fraud.

  22. Gunnar R. Reply

    Interesting interview. I feel, though, that of the Mormon Expression panelists whose interviews I have so far listened to, Nyal is the one with whom I have least in common. I do agree with him that the punitive, legal prohibition approach to the problem of drug abuse is wrong–not because recreational drug use is harmless (it very clearly is not), but because that approach to the problem only tends to add to and exacerbate the very real harm done by the drugs themselves, and probably only benefits organized crime and the army of bureacrats and law-enforcement necessary to implement it, and whose job security depends on or is enhanced by perpetuation of the problem and the consequences of the miserable failure of that approach to alleviate it.

    As for his views about church leaders, I think it may be possible that some or, perhaps, even most of them may sincerely have good intentions, but I find it increasingly difficult to believe that none of them are aware that they are perpetrating a deliberate fraud.

  23. Erico Reply

    As to the church leaders perpetuating a fraud, I’ve thought about this a lot over the years since my disbelief kicked in. Here are my observations:

    The human mind is predisposed to picking up hits, screening out misses, and rewiring itself to relieve itself of cognitive dissonance to the point where even sometimes false memories become your reality. I really think that the top 15 believe that they are prophets and that the church is true, although they do know that they are not the same kind of prophet as Joseph Smith. The put him on a pedestal for a reason. There’s a reason he is “Joseph Smith the Prophet” versus say a “Howard W. Hunter the Prophet” down through history, or even “Gordon B. Hinckley the Prophet”. You’ll notice that the top 15 distinguish themselves from Joseph Smith in that manner.

    I remember Hinckley looking visibly uncomfortable at times when being compared with Joseph Smith. I also think that at times it has been hell for him as everywhere he goes he was hounded by star-struck LDS crowds constantly sing “we thank thee o god for a prophet” when he knows he is not like Joseph Smith the Prophet.

    The top 15 constantly harp on the revelatory process known as the “still small voice” or “whisperings of the spirit”. This is the only kind of revelation that they are familiar with and that’s the mode of revelation that they constantly preach to the members to obtain as well. The LDS church is a church that believes in personal revelation, but we never hear the top 15 telling us to be on the lookout for open visions. It’s always the “still small voice”. They probably view the open visions of Joseph Smith as the necessary revelatory process required to roll out the restoration and now that the church was restored, that manner of revelation is no longer required. Hinckley has even said as much in so many words on Larry King.

    Hinckley has also opined, backed up with scripture, that the most powerful form of revelation is the “still small voice,” citing Elijah’s experience in the wilderness where there was an earthquake and a fire, etc. but God was not in any of them, except that he was in the still small voice.

    I read the biography of Heber J. Grant back in the 90s when I was still a believer. In it Heber was a newly appointed apostle and he was traveling around to various stake conference with Joseph F. Smith. Heber was the spiritual child of Joseph Smith because Heber’s mother was a plural wife of Joseph Smith, even though he was sired by Jedediah (I hope I have those facts straight). Anyhow, Joseph F. Smith got on Heber’s case because Heber was never saying “I KNOW such and such” but was rather saying “I believe…” Heber told Smith straight up that he didn’t “know” but that he believed with all his heart. At that point Smith chided him a bit and told him that he needed to make a stronger statement because it was undermining his apostleship, so Heber went on a quest for some kind of witness that could rise to the “I KNOW” level. A short time later, after a lot of inner struggles, he had a powerful dream involving Joseph Smith that he later used as the basis for his testimony for the rest of his life.

    With all that being said, I agree with Nyal in that the top 15 are perpetuating a fraud because they definitely know that God is not hanging out with them in the manner that most of the lay members believe. They are content to allow the members think that because they don’t want to lose the followers. At the same time, I agree with John in that they do believe that God is putting thoughts into their minds and giving them inspiration to run the church, and they have no pyschological incentive to search out the more troubling aspects of church history because they have no natural curiosity or inclination to do so. As long as the top 15 are predominantly businessmen, lawyer types, and professional shmoozing yes-men that they naturally are, the church will stay its present course.

  24. Erico Reply

    As to the church leaders perpetuating a fraud, I’ve thought about this a lot over the years since my disbelief kicked in. Here are my observations:

    The human mind is predisposed to picking up hits, screening out misses, and rewiring itself to relieve itself of cognitive dissonance to the point where even sometimes false memories become your reality. I really think that the top 15 believe that they are prophets and that the church is true, although they do know that they are not the same kind of prophet as Joseph Smith. The put him on a pedestal for a reason. There’s a reason he is “Joseph Smith the Prophet” versus say a “Howard W. Hunter the Prophet” down through history, or even “Gordon B. Hinckley the Prophet”. You’ll notice that the top 15 distinguish themselves from Joseph Smith in that manner.

    I remember Hinckley looking visibly uncomfortable at times when being compared with Joseph Smith. I also think that at times it has been hell for him as everywhere he goes he was hounded by star-struck LDS crowds constantly sing “we thank thee o god for a prophet” when he knows he is not like Joseph Smith the Prophet.

    The top 15 constantly harp on the revelatory process known as the “still small voice” or “whisperings of the spirit”. This is the only kind of revelation that they are familiar with and that’s the mode of revelation that they constantly preach to the members to obtain as well. The LDS church is a church that believes in personal revelation, but we never hear the top 15 telling us to be on the lookout for open visions. It’s always the “still small voice”. They probably view the open visions of Joseph Smith as the necessary revelatory process required to roll out the restoration and now that the church was restored, that manner of revelation is no longer required. Hinckley has even said as much in so many words on Larry King.

    Hinckley has also opined, backed up with scripture, that the most powerful form of revelation is the “still small voice,” citing Elijah’s experience in the wilderness where there was an earthquake and a fire, etc. but God was not in any of them, except that he was in the still small voice.

    I read the biography of Heber J. Grant back in the 90s when I was still a believer. In it Heber was a newly appointed apostle and he was traveling around to various stake conference with Joseph F. Smith. Heber was the spiritual child of Joseph Smith because Heber’s mother was a plural wife of Joseph Smith, even though he was sired by Jedediah (I hope I have those facts straight). Anyhow, Joseph F. Smith got on Heber’s case because Heber was never saying “I KNOW such and such” but was rather saying “I believe…” Heber told Smith straight up that he didn’t “know” but that he believed with all his heart. At that point Smith chided him a bit and told him that he needed to make a stronger statement because it was undermining his apostleship, so Heber went on a quest for some kind of witness that could rise to the “I KNOW” level. A short time later, after a lot of inner struggles, he had a powerful dream involving Joseph Smith that he later used as the basis for his testimony for the rest of his life.

    With all that being said, I agree with Nyal in that the top 15 are perpetuating a fraud because they definitely know that God is not hanging out with them in the manner that most of the lay members believe. They are content to allow the members think that because they don’t want to lose the followers. At the same time, I agree with John in that they do believe that God is putting thoughts into their minds and giving them inspiration to run the church, and they have no pyschological incentive to search out the more troubling aspects of church history because they have no natural curiosity or inclination to do so. As long as the top 15 are predominantly businessmen, lawyer types, and professional shmoozing yes-men that they naturally are, the church will stay its present course.

  25. Heather Reply

    I’ve been listening to Mormon Expression for about a month now. At first I started with the newest ones and listened in order. Then I decided to skip around and look at the others on the list. I avoided Nyal’s interview for a long time because I found him irritating. I was always disappointed when I started a podcast to find out he was on the panel that day. But I decided to listen to Nyal’s interview today and my opinion of him has completely changed. Listening to his story I’ve developed a respect for him. I was really touched by what he had to say. After listening to Nyal’s interview I listened to a couple more podcasts. He was on both of them. His contributions were the same as they always were. Though, instead of finding him irritating, I was glad for his viewpoint. I should have listened to his interview a long time ago. It helped me re-learn the valuable life lesson about understanding our fellow man before we judge them. Thanks Nyal.

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