Ep 140 – Faith and Doubt


Posted December 17th, 2014

Glenn shares one of the last talks he gave in Sacrament meeting.  And then rips it to shreds, self-smackdown-styles.

For those of you who like a transcript, you can find at least a copy of the talk here, where it was posted on the Mormon Matters blog in June, 2010:


  • Cyn

    That was a very good Sacrament Meeting talk. For me, one of the most liberating aspects of being post Mormon, is the ability to live with the questions. I can hold an informed opinion one day, get new information the next and change my opinion without an emotional response. I no longer feel the need to be right. I no longer believe that the whole truth exists, so I’m not expecting anyone to give the whole truth to me and I wouldn’t buy it if they tried. I have traded being a faithful believer, for being a peaceful skeptic.

  • Jimmy Cho

    Hey Glenn,

    U are a great bull shitter. life is all bullshit. anyone who is spinning it any other way is also a bull shitter. It’s fun, looking back how fucked up we really are. I really enjoy it. this is by far the best podcast on the net, it’s your creative touch. I enjoy your passion Glenn, it bring warm fuzzies to me and a stiffness to my bits.

  • Ophelia

    I’m fairly new to this “faith crisis” process, and I’m still in that stage of trying to hold it all together. I gave a Sacrament Meeting talk a couple of weeks ago, and it was so stupid. I’ve changed too much to be standing up in front of the congregation trying to pretend I still fit in there. I love listening to IOT because you guys give me hope that there’s some peace beyond this process, and I appreciate your acknowledgement that the internal tug of war between believer and skeptic really sucks!

  • Orrin Dayne

    I love how 2009-2010 Glenn compares his belief that it will rain as the objective weather-forecast-based belief and the listeners’ beliefs that it won’t rain as the herd mentality that relies on other people not holding umbrellas. Definitely some not-so-subtle contempt for the listeners there.

    • Orrin Dayne

      To his credit, Glenn was willing to share this talk, which was hard for him to read and is probably hard to listen to for those of us who can see some of ourselves in that talk. I’m so glad he shared it and the message of hope he ends the podcast on. Such a good episode!

  • Glenn

    I remember debating over what example to use for the believe vs. not believe object lesson. I really wanted to use god — I believe there is a god vs. I don’t believe there is a god (aka I believe there is no god) but that just felt way to harsh and edgy to use for some reason — so I went with something innocuous, like rain.

  • The first part of the actual talk had some good points, for example where you took the absolutely insipid pronouncements on “belief” (so-called) and “doubt” (so-called) as mis-defined by LDS leaders and said essentially, “Wait a sec, how are we defining these terms? If we’re defining them this way, don’t they make zero logical sense at all?”

    That discussion had the potential to go places. What is actual belief / what is actual doubt? As you were sortof asking: doesn’t everybody believe something at multiple levels? — i.e., you “believe” both premises/postulates (which you can’t prove because you need a basis to begin any logical framework), and you “believe” different conclusions that are derived from your premises. And yet, simultaneously, we always hold the counter-view somewhere in our inner dialogue.

    • Glenn

      Yeah, there are kernels in there that came out of a graduate course on belief — some genuinely interesting stuff. But I was tailoring it for a Sacrament meeting talk, and had cross-purposes, and was just pretty sloppy about it.

  • Duke of Earl Grey

    Loved the cough track!

  • Flackerman

    Loving the cough and laugh track. More convincing than the Poleman talk. 🙂

  • Flackerman

    I think it is ironic that the church was created in the crucible of doubt through an act of faith, only to evolve into one that demonizes doubt.

  • Kathryn Teleste

    I will thoroughly enjoy any episode that employs the Greatest American Hero theme song so generously, regardless of the content. (But hey, the content was pretty good, too.)

  • Susan Mowers

    A great talk about doubt’s relationship to faith is Lesley Hazleton’s TED talk entitled “The Doubt Essential to Faith”: http://www.ted.com/talks/lesley_hazleton_the_doubt_essential_to_faith

    Helped me realize that faith can’t happen without doubt.