024: A Paradigm Shift in Today’s Mormonism, Part 2

This episode follows up on the notion that we are experiencing a time of transition in today’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, during which the outlines of one dominant way of being Mormon, thinking Mormon, living Mormon is losing sway, and another, a more experiential way, is slowly rising and establishing itself as here to stay. Two great conversationalists, active church members, and astute trend watchers, Susan Hinckley and Mark Crego, join LDF host Dan Wotherspoon in this episode to share reactions to the earlier podcast and its proposals. What did they hear from others about the episode and its proposal? What were their own reactions to it and how it was presented? If they have, how have they experienced the shift in their own wards or circles? What cautions do they have for those who feel called to be part of the emerging awareness and to model new ways of interacting at church and in other typically Mormon settings they find themselves in? 

The episode is also full of broad themes that go beyond just the paradigm model, such as stepping into our own spiritual development, learning to experience God/Christ and speak of these in language that doesn’t move into “correlation speak,” as well as the call to be patient in trusting the slow work of God. Please listen in and comment below!

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Teilhard de Chardin prayer shared at end of the episode (adapted from a longer piece by the Center for Action and Contemplation and its Living School):

Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within us will be. Let us give God the benefit of believing that God’s hand is leading us, and let’s accept the anxiety of feeling ourselves in suspense and incomplete.

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Links:

J. Bonner Ritchie, “The Institutional Church and the Individual,” Sunstone 25th Anniversary Issue, 1999

Episode with Jana Spangler, Jody England Hansen, and Dan Wotherspoon on the upcoming Latter-day Faith Retreat, 11-13 October 2019, Salt Lake City

Description and registration information for the retreat

“Spiritually Surviving/Thriving as a Latter-day Saint”

A Latter-day Faith Retreat

LED BY:
DAN WOTHERSPOON
JANA SPANGLER
JODY ENGLAND HANSEN

1113 October, 2019
Salt Lake City, UT

Within an energetic, high-demand, service-oriented religion like Mormonism, it is so easy for us to lose sight that the purpose of our lives, including our church lives, is spiritual and personal self-transformation, coming to (re-)discover and grow into our highest selves as eternal, divine spirits. Too often we find ourselves simply going through the motions of a spiritual life, living out of pre-scripted and seldom-examined stories and worldviews. We seek a place at the grand banquet table we’ve heard we are invited to yet discover the same basic pot-luck fare. Where is the nutrition?

If you feel as if you are spiritually starving and long to (re)connect with God, Spirit, Love, your True Self, please come join us at this retreat. It will be co-led by Latter-day Faith podcast host Dan Wotherspoon, life coach and highly sought-after speaker Jana Spangler, and writer, activist, and insightful teacher Jody England Hansen. But YOU and the others in attendance will be in the real driver’s seat. Let’s discuss faith, belief, spiritual journeys, Jesus (and what he was really teaching rather than the water-downed version that has come down to us today), God, Holy Ghost, myth, ritual, prayer, discernment, spiritual practices, and more! Whatever you have in mind, we’re excited to dive into!

In choosing to attend, you are saying you want “more”—more depth, richness, understanding, and experiencing! More YOU! We can’t wait for you to join us!

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In addition to being able to attend the retreat in person, you will also have access to three monthly calls through Zoom in which we can continue where we have left off!

The retreat includes lunch and dinner on Saturday the 12th, and lunch on Sunday the 13.th

  • Friday begins at 6pm
  • Saturday runs from 9am until whenever (with all the evening portion consisting of relaxation and fun)
  • Sunday goes from 9am to 5pm.

If you have any questions about the retreat, where you might stay (if needed), etc., please contact Dan Wotherspoon at dan@latterdayfaith.org

Cost: $275 per person; $425 per couple (even two friends or family members deciding to register together).

SCHOLARSHIPS:

If you cannot afford to pay to attend, or can only swing some of the cost, please inquire abut partial or full scholarships and volunteering. We are working hard to encourage people to donate funds for others to attend, and we are happy to put you on a waiting list to see what might unfold.

If you would like to donate toward scholarships to those who cannot otherwise attend, please click below! Thank you!

We look forward to seeing you at this event! We know it will be something everyone will really enjoy as well as receiving great perspectives, renewed energies, and making new friends!

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023: Spiritually Surviving/Thriving as a Latter-day Saint

This short(ish) episode contains the announcement of a change to the upcoming Latter-day Faith retreat to be held October 11th to 13th in Salt Lake City. Natasha Helfer Parker can no longer be part of that event, so Jana SpanglerJody England Hansen, and LDF host Dan Wotherspoon have re-designed the retreat to focus more on spirituality, development, practices, faith journeys, and possible reframings of what we had previously experienced only in limited ways, and more. And though this episode was launched because of the changes to the upcoming event, the panelists all try to make what they share here relevant for those who might not even be able to consider coming to the retreat. What are some of the larger issues at play in LDS lives and faith journeys that serve as excellent jumping off points for our own spiritual reflections? Listen in to see what they say!

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Link to write-up (and registration) regarding the retreat.

022: A Paradigm Shift in Today’s Mormonism

In this episode, Latter-day Faith host Dan Wotherspoon goes solo to talk about some of the dynamics he sees at play in today’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Specifically, he utilizes the language of paradigm shifts to try to make sense of this current period, arguing that what we see fits the pattern often found when an all-encompassing vision of “the way things are” (a very strong, well-articulated paradigm that a majority of people think, react, and think out of) begins to show its limits as it can no longer reach and satisfy the curiosity and priorities and values of people who have begun to operate from a different sensibility. Ideally, this is a natural process and does not have to fraught with conflict and the result can be the instantiation of a new paradigm that honors and builds on the strengths of the previous one even as it shows how much “more” can be discovered and explored via the new one.

What cracks are beginning to show themselves in today’s current LDS paradigm? What is happening to reassure members of the church that today’s paradigm can explain and still inspire, protect, and bring peace at this time. What things are signaling that the current reactions to the new needs are not at all satisfactory, and that the paradigm requires expansion if it is to accommodate new data, events, trends, discoveries, and enrichments? If someone is experiencing tension with the old paradigm but does not want to abandon it or the church it dominates, what can they do to assist in a smooth transition from the one to the other? What are some of the values and methodologies and blessings that lie at the core of the new paradigm?

This episode is intended as a beginning to a discussion and does not pretend to be polished and very well articulated. Observations, hunches, sensibilities, and hopefulness are its hallmark, and Dan invites you all to suggest, challenge, tweak, and in any way you’d like become an active voice in identifying the issues and assisting in making a stronger case for the needs revealing themselves in today’s church dynamics. Or, again, please fight back. Propose alternative visions that frame things differently. However you react, please don’t keep things to yourself!

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