Posted January 10th, 2016
Tom is joined with Bob, Randy and Glenn to finally sit down with Heather to talk about how awesome she is.
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“Heather and the infants,” Yes, I applaud the marked egalitarian efforts to liberaliZe the enthroned infants. Vetting Heather on the infants, must include an image of her towering 6’3″ stature dressed in skin-tight leotards draped in a flowing cape standing next to the other infants holding glowing lianas. The lianona does direct the inspired to choose the right.
Her interview commentary and exposure was a gift to we quasi-liberated uncommitted gentiles who see The Saints as a threat to the further evolving American Way. Super Heather in leotards is the answer.
You’re a strange one, gabs.
I think Randy has asked Heather the same question like 3 times now, yes she knows all the bad stuff in the church and she still stays. It’s crazy, but a lot of us do it and find it works for us 🙂 I for one hope she stays in the Church and is a force for good within it.
In defense of Randy; people ask this of other NOMs and John Dehlin types and people who belong to Affirmation or Democrat Mormons. Why do you stay? The People think they can change the church or the church is doing good or they’re doing good. All Randy asked is What is Good? What is the Church doing that is Good? Is it the schools they’re building and sustaining? Is it the charities or shelters or jobs programs? Is it the social aspects such as setting up clean water and roads and providing healthy living skills, farming techniques in 3rd world countries? Is it cultural road shows and arts? Is it planting trees or maintaining parks?
Is the church providing more misogynistic teachings than raising women to leadership levels in schools, civil positions, sciences, etc???? Is the race relations being shown in their leadership in Utah and church boards? Even though we offer a hearty handshake and a welcoming smile, can we guarantee that all races and sexual orientations and sexual identities will be welcome in Sunday school???
I think Randy was correct in asking and trying to Pin down Heather in trying to explain and tell us “What” good she was doing by staying in the church. What good does it do to even have the LDS church to exist? Why can’t it just become another real estate development corporation? It seems to be doing pretty good at that. It’s providing jobs and infrastructure.
The two I’m thinking of are “don’t you feel culpable in Mormon wrongdoings” and “don’t you think the Church is a bad place to raise a daughter.” I admire the amount of insight she shared on both of those as it seemed very painful to talk about.
I wish Glenn had elaborated in a previous podcast why he thought Heather was so close to leaving the Church. It seems to me that she’s finding a way to do it that works for her, which the other Infants find somewhat baffling as it doesn’t fit their own journeys. Or maybe they’re right and she’s just a few years behind them.
I didn’t really respond to Glenn’s question of what good I am doing inside the church, nor did I answer the question of whether that good outweighs the potential and real harms of raising a family in the church. Nor did I answer my own internal question of whether I could be doing more good elsewhere. Part of that was Tom was trying wrap up. And part of it was knowing I could make Randy feel stupid by tersely agreeing with his diatribe.
We touch on some but not all of those in the minisode conversation with me and Randy coming up. But I think they are all important questions and ones which I put to myself on a weekly basis including yesterday as I sat in church.
Oh, it didn’t end there. There’s another whole conversation being published later where Randy makes another heroic effort to challenge my membership.
I have a few different, perhaps conflicting thoughts about this episode.
First off, like everyone else, I really like Heather. How could you not? She’s intelligent, eloquent, has a perfect voice for podcasting that’s easy to listen to, and a offers a perspective on the Mormon experience that the other Infants don’t offer; foremost on our minds is that she offers a female perspective, but also significant is her Liberal/NOM, still-totally-inside-the-church perspective.
That said, Heather seems almost too perfect. She’s a Harvard & Stanford Grad, beauty queen, recorded singer. Some of her struggles covered in the podcast were portrayed in this episode as being caused just because she’s just so much better than the peons around her, for example to paraphrase: “My mission was rough at times because I was too smart and too fluent in Russian”.
There’s nothing wrong with her being so exceptional. I like being exposed to exceptional people to learn from their experience and all that, and I’m pleased that I’ll be hearing her more regularly on the podcast. It’s just that, well, (sorry, I’m not the best writer, let me just put it out in bullet points, OK?)
1) The male infants are for the most part typical white-collar guys, with not much on paper that would make them seem to be deserving of a place on the IoT panel (which is kind of the point of IoT, I get it, it’s just a group of average friends shooting the breeze about their shared experiences in Mormonism).
2) There have been numerous excellent, interesting, insightful women on the podcast in the past. Why is Heather the first one to be offered a throne?
3) It seems like, therefore, for a woman to earn a permanent place on the panel she has to be almost unattainably perfect, which echoes for me the Molly Mormon standard for women within the church. Which is disappointing.
I’m probably reading way to much into the situation, but the above is just what has been running in my head throughout my listen to this episode. Am I the only one who’s thinking this?
I had a cringe-fest listening back to some of this. Not only were there moments that made it sound like a reality show contestant trying to extend my time on the show by whining about how “i’ve been through a lot,” but there was also a log of bragging. Le puke.
To be clear, my mission was hard for many reasons but primarily because I was expected to testify of things I didn’t feel I “knew”, because the constant rejection is psychologically exhausting, and because the stress of empathy made half my hair fall out.
“I had a cringe-fest listening back…there was also a log of bragging.”
Eh, you’re fine. If it comes off as bragging it’s only because we’re peons. I’m sure that when you have conversations with people at your level that anecdote about rejecting a full ride to Columbia’s Law School to chase a boy would be met without resentment, merely an amused chuckle and an “Oh, the folly of youth!”.
“…moments that made it sound like a reality show contestant trying to extend my time”
Eh, it didn’t come off that way to me. Rather, it come off as the male Infants falling over themselves to get your attention and keep you talking. It was actually kind of cute listening to them crushing on you so hard. Exception was Glenn’s unusual silence, but I think that was something of a flirting tactic too, because when you empathetically reached out to him (“Is Glenn still here”?) he got to go White Knight by saying “I’m letting Heather tell her story and not interrupting with my own”. Classic Beta-male-move, Glenn. Hilarious, though.
“To be clear, my mission was hard for many reasons…”
The point with my original comment was not to say that you’re an entitled privileged perfect princess, just that you’re a perfect princess. You feel me? Obviously you’ve had to work harder than I can imagine myself working to get to were you are today, and you deserve your lofty life.
My point with you being a perfect princess is that it’s just disappointing that you had to be a perfect princess in order to break the glass ceiling into the Infants’ Throne Room.
Reading over this the tone sounds mean or sarcastic, it’s not meant to be. Unlike you I’m not very good at expressing myself in writing. Hope you, and anyone else reading, can get the core message of my posts through my terrible prose.
Thanks for your thoughtful explanation.
Haha I don’t know if it was insightful. I’m just hoping for coherent.
Why’d the other women turn it down, do you know?
I did not think adding a woman infant because IoT felt they had to have a woman on the panel because of public pressure was a good idea. That could have been a real disaster. The reason Heather works is because she fits as naturally as any of the others. Nobody had to carve out a place out for her. There was a Heather-shaped space in the IoT universe and now it’s got a Heather in it. God’s in his heaven and all’s well with the world.
“Heather shaped space in the IOT universe.” Great line, great image, great sentiment. Love it.
It’s a bit dorky. Like a line from a quirky romantic comedy.
Mark, I can understand where you are coming from but I have to respond. Yes, the original 6 Infants didn’t have to pass some entrance exam. We were 6 guys that through chance coalesced to start a project. We’re not extraordinary on paper but we’re not total schmucks either. And nothing was planned. We just started to put shit out and see what happened. Then Jake came into our universe and he had just started the Brother Jake series and here’s the key, he wanted to join. We all recognized his talent from the get go and figured, how can we not add him w what he has to offer? Then Hamer got pulled into our universe when we did the Who Wrote the BoM series and we kept having him back and he is a known quantity in our community so when he wanted to join, of course we added him. But I think it’s clear from our awkward Sunstone answers that we weren’t looking to add a female just to fill a quota. But then Heather crashed our universe and her talent was undeniable. And she fit in on the locker room humor. It was totally natural and again the key, she wanted to join.
But here’s my question to you Mark, is Heather so much better than Jake or John to justify your statement that a woman has to be near perfect to be offered a throne? And I can tell you Heather is far from perfect. 😉
Our three additions of Jake, John and Heather are a function of talent brought to the table more than bringing youth, credibility and femininity to the podcast.
No mere mortal can be as perfect as Randy. We can but dream.
Right you original infants on thrones are no slouches. Higher degrees, lawyers, I get it. I didn’t mean to say you guys were schlubs.
And I get it that Heather brings so much to the podcast, precisely because she’s such a perfect person (I exaggerate obviously, but you know what I mean). But like I said it raises questions in my mind. Anyways, it doesn’t really matter, what I’m worrying about (how or why Heather was picked for perms-infancy) doesn’t effect how the podcast will be going forward (which I’m very optimistic about because like I said, I like Heather!)
Does that make sense?
I can see where you are coming from but I disagree.
I’ve really enjoyed the addition of John Hamer to the quorum mainly because he is so intelligent and he offers such a different perspective to the dialog.
I won’t lie that I was skeptical of Heather initially but thus far she has been a welcome addition to the podcast and much like Hamer is able to bring an intelligent and alternative viewpoint to the dialog.
Additionally, she seems like she can hang. One of the things that I love about IOT is the sense of humor that the infants have. I appreciate a good dick joke every now and then but some women are put off by that sort of thing and I’m glad that Heather is not one of those women because if she were it might change the dynamic of this podcast that we know and love.
So basically what I’m doing a shitty job of saying is that I don’t think the addition of Heather to the Infants will in any way take away from the podcast, it will only benefit it. I don’t think that the fact that Heather is so accomplished and FEMALE is the only reason that she was added to the group, rather I think its because she’s a smart person whose personality gels with the existing group. The addition of individuals with differing viewpoints and life experiences is only going to make the discussions on IOT richer and more entertaining.
Thanks Ashley. The addition of a woman to this fraternity was never going to please everyone. But far be it from me to stifle a good dick joke.
To be clear Heather, your addition does please me. I think you’re great. Don’t take my posts as hating on you.
Right, I totally agree with your point about the podcast going forward. Heather’s presence will only enhance infants on thrones going forward. Like I said in my just reply to Randy, I guess my concerns about her initially joining are made irrelevant now that it’s already happened, other than to just wonder about.
Don’t you DARE change the name of the podcast! I love recommending the podcast to people and then watching them glaze over as I explain where the name came from. It’s like putting blank faces made of icing on gingerbread people. It’s a badge of honor to know what “Infants on Thrones” is and where the name came from.
And if the name slips out at church, no TBM has any clue what it is.
Nobody is seriously considering changing the name, of course. But in response to Tom’s question, all I could think of were bad band names like Broken Elevator Sign or Forgotten Tampon. Clearly I would not be invited to a hypothetical naming committee.
I love your voice on the podcast. You’re a very impressive person, accomplishments-wise, but more importantly, you seem to be a decent person.
You’re so right. The name is perfect and represents so much of what makes the show great.
Best thing that ever happened to Infants on Thrones: Heather.
Heather, when did you serve in Kiev? I tried to listen as close as I could to the time span of mish but I don’t think it was mentioned. I served in Kiev ’95-’97 and by your description it must have been before my time by just a year or two.
!! Rada znakomit’sia s toboi!! I was there 1999 to 2001. I served in only two areas, Odessa and Simferopol.
Did you know an Elder Wolthuis by chance?
The presumption that Heather may have had to subject herself to her husband’s will in terms of location, etc. (Bob’s question) was so strange to me. Maybe because I feel like I relate so well to her that it wouldn’t even cross my mind that she’d marry somebody where that would even be an issue. Odd.
I love Heather. Maybe it’s actually narcissistic because I see so many similarities. 😉 Wonderful listen. Thanks!
Right, because nothing about a woman subjecting herself to her husband makes sense in the context of Mormonism… Snarkiness aside, really? In what Mormon world were you living in such that you, and all the Mormon women around you, didn’t have to live in the shadow of each of your husband’s career prospects and location-based opportunities… leading you to think that type of presumption to be strange?
In my Mormon world, it wasn’t just my wife who followed me based on my opportunities, but the vast majority of the Mormon women around me my age were where they were based on similar circumstances not related to their own career prospects. I’m happy to hear that you and Heather didn’t have to go through that experience.
I understand the premise for the question generally, but I guess I would have thought it would have been filtered out as you came to understand Heather’s personality and experiences. It seemed obvious to me. I can see that maybe it was simply a question on a list of things you had planned to ask and went through with it maybe anticipating her answer? I think you guys are all bright, so maybe I’m giving you too much credit, or maybe I’m just not appreciating the production side of the podcast. 🙂
I think it was only on my list to ask, and we didn’t coordinate. I didn’t know Heather than well, but I did know she got married late (by Mormon standards) and did all this other amazing stuff in her life as well (that I sorta assumed mostly came before marriage).
So by the transitive properties of post-Mormon judgment of aggregate pre-Mormon experiences mixed with assumptions based on my own experiences, yeah, I was totally curious how she dealt with her family’s 1950’s Utopian marriage that she didn’t have. 🙂
I had that same reaction, “Of course we made life decisions together, and my life received equal consideration.” But yeah, the idea that the wife is a supporting character in the husband’s life story lives on in the 1950’s utopia inside the church.
Thumbs up on keeping Heather – and it is not (just) that she is a woman. She makes the podcast even more fun. There is some good playing off each other.
BTW – what are listeners of IOT called? Are we “infinitesimals”? I feel that way a bit when I heard just how smart Heather is (but I don’t hold it against her since she will not be able to experience the level of “blissful ignorance” that I can).
Absolutely loved this podcast! Heather is an incredibly interesting person (no boring bits for me!). I can’t remember who said it, but PLEASE take time to do PPIs for all of the infants! One of the main things I loved about Mormon stories when I started it, other than the interesting topics, I got so much out of listening to their personal stories.
Thanks IOT for all the laughs, God knows we need them at the moment with the church’s frustrating behaviour.
Heather inspires me. Also, I loved her Christmas episode. Consider this my upvote to all the other good things people have said about her here.
I laughed. I cried. I peed a little. So it was a typical IoT show, listening to the talented Heather was joyous to me. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me – Beaver County! What are the odds? It seems Heather and I have much in common, both of us being raised in the utopia of The BC. Cows? Yes. Union Pacific? Yes. Cousins producing offspring? Yes. All second nature to those of us from tiny towns deep within The BC.
And yes, we have taken similar paths, Heather and I.
Say hello to your mother for me Heather. Okay that was creepy… damn.
I’m 5’4″. What line would be successful in getting a reeeeaaallly tall woman, say, over 6ft. tall, to accept a request for a date?
My grandmother was six feet tall and my grandfather was five-seven. When she met him, he was a WWI veteran, played drums in a dance band in Bear River, Utah and was a really snazzy dresser.
You could try that, or a modern variation thereon. Also, she was sixteen; that might have had something to do with it.
As with everything else, it’s all about confidence. My husband is several inches shorter than I am.
To Randy’s point of trying to pin down why Heather is still in the church, I feel like from her responses, she just needs time like most people do in life alternating transitions. If anything I hope she stays around in that area because that means she’ll be on this podcast more.
I sustain Heather’s addition to the one and only true Quorum.
Is there a Scott PPI in the works? he’s the one I feel like I know the least. Actually, the fact that I feel like I know any of you is kind of gross, but oh well. I’m a bored lonely person, I listen to a lot of Podcasts.
Heather. You mentioned you dated someone very tall at stanford. Mark Madsen?
Sadly, no. But my husband was roommates with him for two years when he was playing for the Lakers. He’s a great guy who can knock back some serious Baja Fresh.
Wow, interesting connection. I wonder if your hubby was ever lucky enough to catch sight of Maddog’s now famous dance moves.
+1 for the libertarian husband!
I am clueless…what does “PPI” stand for?
Google isn’t much help…
Producer Price Index
Pixels per inch
Plastics Pipe Institute
Personal Potential Index
This was a great episode. Heather, you didn’t make it boring at all. I could have listened to this for hours and enjoyed it, just like Mormon Stories interviews. I am always happy to see a new Infants on Thrones episode pop up.
Personal Priesthood Interview. It’s when a Mormon man of authority interviews a Mormon