Ep 501 – On Death and Truth and Why Some Stay


Posted July 8th, 2018

Glenn, Tom and Randy sit down with Christian Braithwaite, author of “Open Letter to Mormonism” and 2nd place winner in the most recent Listener Essay contest to discuss his essay, how to deal with tragedies like death after rejecting a belief in an afterlife, and how to define things like “truth.”  We also talk with Christian’s wife Cassandra, a licensed social worker, about her experience with Christian’s faith crisis, some of the problems she sees in the Mormon church, and the reasons why she chooses to stay.




  • Under the radar

    Hey Infants, I think you should do an episode on how people stay active in church when they don’t believe. I have a story. I lost my faith in Mormonism in my 50’s while my husband was in a Stake Presidency. He was also my bishop in my current ward. I go to church every week. Sometimes I listen to your podcasts with my airpods while sitting in church. Occasionally I laugh out loud while listening. My bishop told me that there are “others like me” in my ward. However, I don’t have a clue who they are. I would love to find out though. I wish there was a way we could recognize each other. Love you guys. N

    • How about a gold barbell piercing through your left eyebrow? I’ll bet not too many have existing piercings of that description. You could easily identify each other.

  • Good old fashioned Infants episode! Entertaining enough to keep you chugging through that unbalanced check register right to the end.

    I know where Christian and Glenn are coming from. Some people can’t abide rice pudding with even one rat turd in it, or knowing that it ever had even one rat turd in it. Others are content to pick the rat turds out of the pudding and be thankful that there are at least some raisins: “Hey, they’re not ALL rat turds. Yeah, you do have to put up with the patriarchy and the misogyny and the bigotry and intolerance and homophobia, but there’s still lime Jello salad with cottage cheese and pineapple at the end of the line.”

  • Lisa

    Just wanted to share this article…https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2018-07-07/near-death-seeing-dead-people-may-be-neither-rare-nor-eerie
    One of the saddest things that can occur in LDS when they lose a belief is also losing the belief of an afterlife but when I see articles like this, it gives one hope.

  • Cory

    I have not listened to this whole thing yet, but in re your dad’s leaving the choir, did that occur in 2008? I wonder, because when Thomas Monson became president, he instructed then choir director Craig Jessop to “kick the gays out.” Jessop refused and resigned abruptly. I wondered if your dad was part of that “purge.”

    • Christian Braithwaite

      Hi Cory. That’s interesting, I’d never heard that before. From what I know, my Dad wasn’t experiencing any external pressure to resign from the choir; but I’ll ask him.

      • Cory

        Craig did not say publicly why he was stepping down, not even to the choir members. It did come as a surprise to them, I know.

        Also, I knew a Braithwaite who worked for the state department and lived in Cairo in 2011. I can’t remember his name, but I was attending the Cairo branch at the time. Is he any relation to you?

        • Christian Braithwaite

          Hi Cory – I’m pretty sure most folks with the last name Braithwaite from the Inter-mountain West are relatives of mine; however, most of them aren’t directly related. I don’t know of any of my relatives that worked for the State Department or lived in Cairo.

          Also, I did discuss this with my Dad and he was familiar with the story. However, as he put it, this happened “after his time”.

          • Cory

            Okay, good to know. Thanks for your story. Enjoyed listening.

  • CurrerBell

    When Christian said the purpose of Buddhism was to alleviate suffering in the world, I was surprised that Glenn gently corrected him to say that the purpose of it was more to find a way to be at peace with suffering. I *did* listen to the recent episodes on Buddhism before this one, so–out of order. I wanted to say, “Yes–the purpose of it is to alleviate personal suffering, then to find a way to be at peace with natural suffering.” I guess you’re both right. 🙂