John is a born 7th generation member from Utah roots. John served his mission in San Diego California among the Laotian refugees. John’s lifelong interest in Mormon studies, particularly Mormon history, culture and doctrine, fuel his ongoing interest in all things Mormon. John Graduated from BYU with a BA in linguistics and from Weber State University with an MBA. John and his wife, Zilpha, took the journey out of Mormonism together about 8 years ago.
Hear the interview of John
Zilpha was the 3rd of 7 children. She was born in Provo, UT to BYU attending converts. Most of her childhood was spent moving around middle America (the mission field!). Once she graduated from high school, she made the pilgrimage back to Provo to attend BYU. She met and fell in love with John Larsen during her freshman year, and they were married in the Bountiful temple a few months later. They now have two children and live in Lehi, Utah.
Zilpha completed her Bachelor’s degree through BYU Independent Study and is nearly finished with her Master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology through the University of North Dakota (distance program).
Zilpha made the journey out of Mormonism (with John) about 8 years ago. But she is still very interested in Mormonism from an cultural and historical perspective. Zilpha enjoys participating in the Mormon Expression Podcast by helping out with just about anything that is needed, including being a panelist, hosting, editing, responding to emails, planning live events/socials, and doing lots of other fun (and not so fun) and important (and not so important) stuff related to the podcast and White Fields Educational Foundation.
Richard was raised in several U.S. locations before settling in Las Vegas, where at 21 he repented of a sinful life and served a mission to Norway. He returned with minimal honor and married a Norwegian-return-missionary-Bishop’s-daughter. After 3 years in sin city, they moved back to Norway where he now resides with his TBM wife and 5 kids.
Long faithful but studious and open-minded, Richard devoured every book he could on Mormon history while serving in high-profile Ward callings until eventually concluding the church was not what it claimed, and he could never be the Stake or Mission President his Patriarchal Blessing predicted.
Richard is now officially ex-Mormon and serves the community in every way he can, usually with his web skills or by throwing money to good causes, instead of calling it Tithing.
Rich is a lifelong Mormon. He has pioneer histories on both sides of his family, and is a triple-great grandson to Lorenzo Snow: President of the church and brother-in-law to Joseph Smith. Rich served an honorable and largely administrative mission in cities and bayou’s of Southern Louisiana. Rich and his wife, Heather, were soon sealed in the Logan temple. After five years of marriage, numerous callings, and their first child, Rich and his wife truly investigated and left Mormonism together. A few years later, Rich is ultimately interested in helping reform the church from its patriarchal and fraternal ideals to those of equality and civility; ambiguity and dishonesty towards doctrinal, historical, and fiscal transparency.
Brandt is a active, believing, second-generation lifelong Mormon from Detroit, Michigan. Brandt served his mission in South Korea, and still longs for the subtle nuances of kimchi and fried rice. Brandt met his wife in typical BYU-fashion while playing a rousing game of Ultimate Frisbee, and they were married in the Mt. Timpanogos temple a year later. He graduated from BYU-Idaho with a BS in Business Finance, and currently works in the IT sector. Brandt has served as an Elder’s Quorum President, counselor, and is now in his second tour of duty in the Young Men’s Presidency of his ward (his favorite calling, by far).
Amy Rapp B.:
Left the Church 2 weeks after turning 18 to preserve her life and sanity. She currently lives in downtown SLC with her betrothed, 13 yr old daughter and their pitbull, Lola. She has an employment history in nonprofit work, community education and is currently finishing her BS in Sociology with plans to work with victim advocacy groups. She is a UFC fanatic, loves Malcolm X and will knit for tattoos.
Matthew was raised in Northern Virginia in a family with deep Mormon roots. He attended BYU and later the University of Utah where he earned a BA in Political Science. Matthew went on to earn a law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, DC and has practiced in Virginia’s Piedmont region as a trial lawyer since 2004. He is most proud of his roles as husband to his smart and beautiful wife of nearly 13 years and dad to his three formidable children. Matthew and his wife ceased activity in the Mormon church in 2010 but maintain an active interest in their heritage as well as strong bonds to the many more traditional LDS people in their lives.
Matthew joined Mormon Expression on episode 150 and has been a semi-regular panelist since. He hopes to visit Studio Fist In Your Face in person very soon.
Robyn left Mormonism five years ago and has since been active in the post Mormon support community. She has participated in several Mormon Expression episodes and has also been an ongoing support behind the scenes. She currently directs the White Fields Foundation’s Mormon doctrine wiki, mormonarchives.org. In addition, Robyn is a board member of the Exmormon Foundation. For those who have attended its past five conferences, you may recognize her as the quirky, scantily clad (as in not garment accommodating) “Relief Society president” in the hospitality room who makes a mean exmojito, rice krispie treats , and green jello shots with just a hint of carrot. In her other life she has been a sexual assault advocate for twelve years. Recently she rediscovered her artistic side and hopes to use the expressive arts to further promote healing in both support communities.
Late thirties, Married in the Temple, Three kids, Work Construction in Las Vegas, Currently have calling as Deacons Quorum Advisor. Unshakable Testimony in the Mormon Church and its teachings. Served as a Missionary in the Scotland Edinburgh Mission under Joseph Fielding McConkie. Known as Gazelam on Mormon Discussions.
Glenn Ostlund has never enjoyed taking luke-warm baths any more than he enjoys straddling fences, although he quite enjoys reading between lines. Glenn joined Mormon Expression on Episode 48: Mormon Humor, and has been a regular panelist and occasional guest host.
Glenn served his mission in Okayama Japan, and graduated from BYU with a BA in English. He earned graduate degrees in Folkloristics from Indiana University, which he is still paying for but doesn’t ever use. Glenn has never seen an angel, although he prayed for it many times as a youth, and only lied about seeing a devil once. His patriarchal blessing told him that someday he should “…go forth into the world and podcast, for many will be seeking, far more than in the past” — and this was long before there was even anything called the Internet to podcast on — which only goes to show you that something must be true. Or not. Because everything happens for a reason.
A native of Las Vegas, James left Mormonism a little over 5 years ago. Currently he resides in the Mid South with his wife and two kids. James’ interest in Mormonism “comes from a need to understand the culture I come from along with lingering issues I am confronted with concerning the present state of the LDS church and its dependent corporations.”
James works in IT and his hobbies include writing, the outdoors and technology and claims to be “a hardcore geek ”.
Nyal was born in Provo, Utah of goodly parents edifying themselves at the Lord’s University. He has been an active, if imperfect member of the Church for the next three decades. Now an apostate, Nyal enjoys longboarding, fishing, hiking, camping, snowshoing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, and especially running. He is trained as a historian and cultural anthropologist with fancy pants degrees from Weber State (BA, baby) and Utah State (MA-ABD, ha ha ha). He has studied Scandinavian history extensively focusing on the early Middle Ages and Modern Norway. He currently resides in Norway, but don’t ask him to eat that lutefisk.
Garen “George” Thatcher is a life-time member of the LDS Church. His relations were in the Willie Handcart Company. He grew up in SW Wyoming and Utah County. He served a mission in Scotland, married in the temple, and has 3 kids. His career has taken him to several locations, but home as always been on the left coast.
George has served in every position in the Young Men Organization along with a stint as Elders Quorum Pres. For 5 years, he taught early morning seminary, which led to why he is now involved in efforts such as Mormon Expression.
He loves to be informed and no longer takes everything so serious, nor with a judgmental eye. Well… at least he tries.
Hear the interview of George
Bridget Jack Jeffries:
Bridget spent her childhood between Alaska and Washington state, raised in a household that was fairly apathetic toward religion. When she was 16, she fell in with a crowd of passionate evangelical Christians and became one herself. Later that same year, she developed an insatiable fascination with Mormonism and embarked on a lifelong study of a religion she would never join.
Her journey led her to pursue her bachelor’s degree in classics at BYU where she eventually seduced a worthy priesthood holder into becoming her husband; he remains a faithful Mormon to this day. They have one child, a daughter born in 2006. Currently Bridget is working on her MA in American Christian history at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and attending the Evangelical Covenant Church. She loves playing guitar, video games, and discussing all things LDS.
See A Word Song:
The song used by Mormon Expression as bumper music is titled See A Word. It was written by Dawn Dineen and performed by The Seldon Plan. More information about songwriter can be found at her website: http://www.dawndineen.com and more information about the band can be found at: http://www.theseldonplan.com/