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

009: Faith is Much More Than Belief

According to Joseph Smith, faith is the first principle of the gospel. And many of this teachings show that he understood it profoundly. But ever since the early church published its “Articles of Faith” with all but one of them beginning with “We believe,” Latter-day Saints, like so many other Christians who now live downwind from when their various traditions broke off from the main church and in doing so felt they had to distinguish themselves from other denominations by sharing how their beliefs differ from the others, “faith” has become far too conflated with what a person or group believes. The active, relational, magnificent engine of change and hope and well-being aspects of faith become, far too often, forgotten. And one set of circumstances in which this distortion of the concept of faith is often a bigger stumbling block is for those who begin to doubt the truth claims that they once held and/or feel out of place within a church of culture that seems to demand a high level of belief, whether in the form of creeds to assert or questions posed by ecclesiastical leaders.

How do we (re)claim in our own lives the power, hope, and love that are the core features of faith? How can we be “persons of faith” and persons who walk in faith even if we don’t/can’t actually give mental consent to very many particular claims about the nature of God, Jesus, Spirit, the universe, human beings, scripture, rituals, salvation, and so forth? Mark Crego and Latter-day Faith host Dan Wotherspoon believe <grin> that the first steps involve attaining more clarity on the subject/phenomenon of faith, unlearning the habit of equating it too much with beliefs, and most of all beginning to understand that it actually is all about relationships.

We hope you’ll enjoy this terrific, insight-filled discussion! Let us know if you did in the comments below! Thanks!

001: Introducing Latter-day Faith Podcast

n this inaugural episode of Latter-day Faith, host Dan Wotherspoon shares what the podcast will be about. As he moves into this new adventure following eight years as host of the Mormon Matters podcast, he emphasizes that Latter-day Faith will be far broader in scope, less LDS/Mormon centric, and will, at its heart, be about universal themes related to our faith lives. It will tackle the nature of faith itself, and how it should not be narrowed to assent to truth claims (beliefs) but instead be or become a trust that can only grow through participation and risk and stretching within a relationship with God (with God not solely limited to what can be thought with our minds or said with words—but only experienced). It will talk about scripture, religious practices, mythic and archetypal truths that are not best approached through discursive thought, community, institutional religion and how it can and does bless our lives while at the same time, too often, can obscure of place limits on our vision if we allow it to. It will feature many guests who are members or good observers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but also others from outside this tradition, many deeply immersed in their home or adopted religions, but always with an active and powerful spiritual life. Mormonism (the tradition) will certainly be mentioned in each episode, sharing touchstones within its teachings or group dynamics, but it hopes many others will also find Latter-day Faith (read: Faith needed Today!) a great resource for their spiritual journeys.

We are excited to bring you this new podcast! Please subscribe via iTunes or any of your podcast listening apps! And visit https://www.latterdayfaith.org/ to read the soon-to-be-started blog and learn of workshops and retreats or other offerings and announcements. Latter-day Faith intends to grow with its audience, and in dialogue with what listeners hope it will cover or do. Welcome to Latter-day Faith!!!