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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Author: Dan Wotherspoon

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