Friends and Followers of Mormon Stories and Mormon Transitions Podcasts,
The Project: I (and others at the Open Stories Foundation) have been been planning for over a year to fully launch the Mormon Transitions project — a community effort to provide multimedia materials, events, community, research, and ultimately a book or two — targeting those transitioning away from orthodox Mormonism, and towards either unorthodox/progressive Mormonism or post-Mormonism.
The Themes: Some of the central topics of interest for this project include: healthy marriages, mixed-faith marriages, raising healthy/happy children, alternative forms of (secular) spirituality, healthy sexuality, finding community, “trading up” after leaving religious orthodoxy (in terms of identity, morality, meaning, purpose, community, etc.).
The People: Some of the people who have initially expressed interest in helping to lead this project can be found here (with more to follow).
The Progress: We have made great initial progress in 2016 on this initiative (e.g., some incredibly successful events, several podcast episodes (sincere thanks Kristy Money!), a few blog posts, etc.), but I am now prepared to make this project my central focus for 2017 (along with an emerging team of amazing co-leads).
The Deliverables: The central deliverables for the project (as currently envisioned) will be the following:
- Podcast: An expanded podcast (me as the main host) that includes three types of episodes: a) people telling their stories specifically about their Mormon transitions, b) mental health professionals hosting a “call-in show” to provide practical advice for people in a Mormon transition, and c) interviewing experts on topics around religious transitions.
- Events: We will be holding several Mormon Transitions retreats and workshops through the world this year. Some of the areas who have shown interest include Seattle, Portland, Northern California, Southern California, Houston, San Antonio, and Washington, D.C., Southern Utah, Toronto, and Utah County. Are there others? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help us organize an event in your area.
- Research: We would love to gather, analyze, and publish research data on demographics, stories, and best practices for navigating a Mormon transition.
- Books: We plan to write (with your support) and publish 1-2 books over the coming two years to specifically address these themes. Content from these books will come (in part) from you as community members.
The Ask: Before we launch in January, 2017, we would love to do the following:
- Community: Begin forming a community of supporters to help us shape the project. If you are interested in helping out, please join this Facebook community to stay abreast of what we will be doing in the coming months. Also, please feel free to email us at email@example.com if you are interested in volunteering for this effort, along with a description of the basic skills/talents that you are offering.
- Your ideas: Please send us your ideas either: a) as a voice message — click the “Send Voicemail” button at the right border of this page, leaving us your first name, city, and description of your idea – we will be selecting a few voicemails to play during our first episode of Mormon Transitions Podcast (2017 edition, b) as a comment on this blog post, or c) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Prize: The best idea that we hear will win a $100 prize, to be awarded a week from today – determined by yours truly. 🙂 The ideas can be about any aspect of what you read above.
The Excitement: I have not been as excited about a project this much since the founding of Mormon Stories Podcast in 2005. I can’t tell you how eager I am/we are to get this rolling in January, 2017
Tons of love and gratitude to you all.
John Dehlin and the Mormon Transitions Team
I look forward to the direction Mormon Transitions is going. I would love to see more resources available for singles who transition. There are many resources for families and even LGBT members. Of course I think that is really important, but singles are often overlooked and yet need real information on sexuality, dating, gender roles, etc. A podcast episode with a panel of singles who have transitioned might be good or organizing an event for singles in certain areas would also be nice.
Still hoping Mormon Transitions is put on Stitcher (https://www.stitcher.com/) where I listened to Mormon Stories, Mormon Matters, and A Thoughtful Faith. I’ve asked before but no movement. Pretty please?
I agree with the above comment. Please add the podcast to Stitcher if possible – I love this podcast & it would be wonderful to be able to access it there.
It should on Stitcher now. Thanks, Kat!
Margi, thank you for your story. It SO makes me want to share mine! You have won over our hearts with your story. I recently listened to a TED Talk by Sisonke Msimang called, “The Dangers of a Single Story.” I have shared so much of your journey and, still, aspects totally different. I think it is shortsighted of many in the Church to paint us all with the same “story” in order to minimize what they need to understand about us. My journey began with becoming more educated and especially, during a Master’s Program studying women’s Issues, all the while raising my children and having my 5th baby in the middle of my Master’s Program. Believe me, it did not come without criticism! Msimang states in her talk, “I think there’s lots to celebrate about the flourishing of so many stories and so many voices. Stories are the anti-dote to bias.” I TOTALLY agree. My story is born more out of feminist thought and that still seems to make even the most liberal thinkers in Mormonism nervous. It seems as though they believe I must harbor anger, resentment, distain for men, etc, etc., etc., which is just one more stereotype we need to get over. In the beginning, I was going to change the Church. I thought by pointing out the obvious second class stature of women, the men would just fall all over themselves to say they “just did not realize.” Obviously, that did not happen and so my journey intensified in defense of the dreams of my daughters. I did not worry about my boys because they seemed to know they were entitled to pursue whatever education they wanted. I now have a daughter who is a dentist and a daughter who is a doctor. A son who is a CFO, a son who is a doctor and a son who is an attorney. We are CERTAINLY and unusual family coming out of Rexburg, ID. I would love to tell the story of what that was like. I still love so many of the people there, I can only say it was keeping a fine balance of never wavering about what my daughters could do and maintaining a sense of humor sprinkled with insight that kept us somewhat acceptable. I have a nephew who committed suicide who was gay and, now, have so much love and support for his brother who is, also, gay. . . which really has so little to do with who they both were. I have a brother who is a Bishop and a brother who has been a Bishop and, although, they are troubled by my disaffection with the religion they are still so very good to me. My daughters pretty much exited from the Church after the way they were treated by Mormon boys in the respective dental and medical schools. They were treated with open hostility and criticism. Yet, they are not bitter nor surprised by it all. Such a long journey for me to go from a completely Myopic Mormon to Hypermetropic Freedom Fighter! Margi’s description of juggling so many tops that she did not even know who she was or much about herself at al, speaks to so many Mormon women. One only has to listen to the anguish and angst in a Relief Society meeting to see it up close and personal. It is a phenomena that is absent in Priesthood meetings. I think as Mormon women we have to CELEBRATE the flourishing of so many stories as we follow the Underground Railroad out of a religion, that, although, may have a “kind” Master, certainly a “Master” who wants to keep women in their place and people obedient! Thank yo Margi and John for doing this! In short, find those you can share their experiences in resolving what comes when—to paraphrase Emily Dickensen—our silver shelf was full of plated ware. : (
Marianna – <3. Let's meet someday soon! Would love to hear your story!!!