Infants on Mormon Stories – Pt 2

Interview

Posted December 15th, 2014

Part two of John Dehlin’s interogation of the Infants panelists (at least until the tables are turned and we start interrogating him).

  • Frank

    I hope Randy isn’t serious about quitting. I like all you guys, but Randy’s views always seem to sync up with mine the most.

    • ChicagoOG

      I second your comment Frank. What I like about the quorum is the diverse personalities that share a common flavor. I too most align myself with Randy and totally understood the comment he made about taking away from relationships as he continued on the “slamming” of Mormonism. I hope Randy doesn’t quit the quorum but I understand his reasoning if he choses to do so. I too am a secular humanist with a fully staunch, true believing wife who has dug in deeper than ever before. I would love to move on and leave Mormonism in the dust but I have children being indoctrinated by this f*cking cult. One foot out and one foot in the sh*tmire. Anyway….Randy your reasoning has always made sense to me ….. and you resonate with more people than you know. BTW loved the interview with the skeptics a year or so ago….touché!

    • Brian Kissell

      His views are the most different from mine, which is why I enjoy listening to him so much. I hope he does not stop participating as well.

    • Eric

      I’ll second the motion. My journey away from the church and my current thinking mirrors yours the most Randy and I like the way you can represent the humanist POV. As a fellow Denverite it makes me wish I were an expert at fly fishing…I’ve got the gear recently but I need to learn myself as well.

      • Randy_Snyder

        Eric, email me at snyder.braces@gmail.com so we can meet for beers some time. And now I feel like a douchebag fishing for compliments with my tongue-in-cheek comment about leaving the podcast. I’m having fun with the podcast right now so I’m not planning on leaving it anytime soon.

  • Don

    Not only did we get to know all of the infants better, you accomplished the daunting task of revealing more of the real John Dehlin than I have ever encountered before. Great work to all – I see a definate bump in IOT listener stats.

  • Mike B.

    I think this (both parts) was one of my favorite podcasts because you were all on it. There is synergy when it’s all of you and I even feel like you guys infused/influenced an energy and authenticity in John Dehlin that isn’t in a lot of the MS podcasts. I liked experiencing more of the real John. He’s a great guy and you helped us see that, in this podcast.
    Thanks for keeping us all entertained as we continue to unpack coming out of Mormonism. I will remain ‘parked’ with this podcast. And the editing was great, as usual. Having listened to a lot of MS podcasts, you guys increased the entertainment value a ton, compared to what they usually have on there.
    Keep up the good work! Sounds like you are committed to keep doing these until you decide not to be committed… 🙂

    • Matt

      I really felt that as well. There was a “flow” that we found with John. It’s what I love about doing the podcast. It stops becoming a podcast and just becomes a great conversation with friends.

  • Christian Hawes

    John, thank you for the new level of authenticity! Your strategy is completely ethical so why hide it?

  • Allison

    John Dehlin’s motives had always slightly confused me. (Which is probably mostly due to the fact that I haven’t listened to a ton of his podcasts). But I’m not confused any more.
    I like it.

  • Christian Hawes

    Oh yeah, and here’s my anecdotal testimony that you guys are making a difference. In the name of Christopher Hitchens. Amen.

  • Christian Hawes

    I think the church is going through cognitive dissidence. We’re seeing the buildup before the exodus or the Catholization. That’s my hypothesis.

  • Polly Anna

    I am completely in the same boat with Randy when it comes to ambivalence about whether or not I am happier since leaving the church. I actually raised this point back in the day in the ME VIP lounge when all those “I’m an Ex Mormon” videos came out. At the end of many of those videos everyone was going on long rants about how much happier, more wonderful, and brighter everything was after Mormonism. I just couldn’t relate. But I can relate to what Randy said about having greater anxiety and discontentment after leaving. I, too, know that what I want to be true doesn’t have any bearing on the reality of universe. I can’t just prioritize my feeling good and comfortable in the universe over what is likely the truth of the situation. I’ve very much in line with him there, I don’t put my happiness over truth as well. I can’t just will myself to believe something comforting anymore. I’ve met people who are like this though; just from the just sheer desire say something like, “Well, I want to believe that there is a life after death.” Well, I want to believe that too, but I see no credible evidence for that. Maybe, that approach gives one more comfort and a happier life, but I can’t make myself go in that direction anymore.

    It’s really it’s a mixed bag though. Because, of course, I’m happier in some aspects. I can’t tell you how liberating it is to just live my life as I please, and based on the dictates of my own conscience. I can’t believe how many years I spent in anxiety because I thought I had to temper everything I knew to be true against what some old men thought. Just being able to make my own life decisions feels amazing and just… like I said liberating! It took me a long time to come out to my family and friends –-painfully too long. I was closeted 7 years. I just told my family this past summer. It was miserable living a double life, so in that regard and in my present day to day life, yes! I am much happier. I am absolutely happier that I don’t have to deal with guilt on a regular basis, that I don’t have to try and reconcile stupid and offensive things, that I can dress and drink what I please. But really those are small things. They give me pleasure, but if I really thought there was an all-powerful being that wanted me to give those things up for a happy ending with my family on a cloud I would do it. I just don’t think that is likely at all these days. And the freedom that comes with that is the awesome and amazing part about letting go.

    But in the big picture of things I’m not as happy. I lost my source of comfort. And that’s been a heavy blow. I can no longer sing, “Where do I turn for peace? Where is my solace?” Because I don’t really have an answer for that anymore. I am floundering in that regard, and I just try to ignore the sad bits about life.

    I am not an enthusiastic atheist. I just don’t feel as though I have much of a choice in the matter. I’m not happy to have lost my place of comfort and how I soothed myself. I’m not happy to have to face my mortality. Who would be? So yeah, I gained a summer in tank tops and coffee, but what I lost is greater. But like I said, in the end it really doesn’t matter if the reality of the situation is bleak. I just sort of feel like I have to be an adult about it and deal with it. It is what it is. (I forgot who hates that phrase. Suck it).

    So, yes, please do an episode on this topic. I would really like to hear more on it. It isn’t the dominate narrative in postmormonism. I’d like to hear this side of things.

    That being said, I hope Randy does leave IOT. Good riddance! 😉

    • Eric

      I just want to say I admire Randy’s honesty in this answer. I haven’t navigated my way out of the church yet. But I will say it always gnawed on me how much exmos feel like they have to say life is perfect after leaving. Life is still hard, you can still lose your job, lose a loved one, etc. Maybe you’re happier overall, but just hearing him tell it straight actually makes me believe his experience more and gives me more courage to face up to a realistic situation.

      • Polly Anna

        I am unsure whether or not exmormons who claim they are so much happier are deluding themselves or not. I try to believe people at their word, but I’m sure there is some aspect of a coping mechanism and an attempt to protect against criticisms of family members going on as well.

        You’re right that life still is shitty with or with out the church, but now when those shitty and stressful things happen you don’t have your support system to call upon. There have been times when I’ve been going through something stressful, and I would think to myself in the past I would have gotten a priesthood blessing of comfort or at least prayed about this. But now that seems so stupid. I would have listened to hymns or a talks something like that to get me in a different head space. There were so many things I used to do that gave me comfort and peace, and now they can be a source of pain or triggering.

        Honestly, I have started doing atheist prayers as a way to sooth myself lately. It’s like the placebo effect thing. I don’t believe that I’m talking to anyone, but it is effective way to sooth my anxiety sometimes. I’ll be all like “Okay, I’m pretty sure there is no god, but please…..” I’ve reasoned that it’s maybe a lingering effect of having trained my brain over all these years too sooth in that way. This is what my brain is familiar with. I don’t know. What do you think? Maybe prayer just is effective even if there is no one listening.

        • Heather_ME

          I think it depends. If church made someone absolutely miserable and that belief structure kinda ruined their lives, then I think it’s a no-brainer that they’re happier afterwards. LGBT folks, for example.

          But, yes, I think the picture is much muddier for those who “fit” in Mormonism and were happy in their beliefs.

          • Polly Anna

            Yeah, Heather, I guess I’m am thinking of a more typical positive experience. If the church always made you completely miserable it wouldn’t be a source of comfort. You wouldn’t have a strong attachment to hymns or rituals as a way of coping in that case. That wasn’t my experience though. While in the church, certain cultural things made me question and uncomfortable, but I was mostly happy. It was once I started to lose my faith that I allowed myself to be more critical of all the goofy things about the church.

  • JT

    I appreciate Jake’s sharing his ambivalence about publicly expressing his criticisms of Mormonism because of how it affects his family relationships. Those are tough choices made so as much by the challenge of distinguishing self-indulgence from valid personal need as by the uncertainty of just how fragile the Mormon belief-system can make familial bonds.

    One of the saddest things I think Mormonism does is reflected in the feelings of caution that govern how I talk to believers. I find myself being so careful, as if the a mere whiff of skepticism will evoke a deep anxiety that unmasks the fragility they can best hide in the ward building – or provoke an equally telling righteous defensiveness. It is also revealed – I think – in how reluctant believing members, including local leadership, were about engaging me as I quietly stopped showing up after leaving word that I simply didn’t believe in it any more.

    This may signal the “bondage” that John Dehlin mentioned – or just the burden produced by all the crap that Mormonism forces people to carry along with their needs-satisfying faith and community. That is because at some level they are aware of it – they smell it in the air around them – even without reading it in the new essays.

  • Trent

    Randy, don’t you dare leave. I resonate with you the most and I think you are important voice on IOT. Holy the Ghost confirms the truth of your words to me.

  • Allison

    Randy, I’ll go against you for happier after leaving. Two thumbs way down for “ignorance is bliss.” Being on both sides of something big like this is interesting, and sort of rare, I think. We as ex-mos CAN say we’ve been on both sides, and which side we prefer. Circumstances make a huge difference, of course. But were you REALLY that happy as a mormon, and are so unhappy as a post mormon, that you’d go back to being ignorant?? I want to hear a podcast on this. For sure.

  • Don’t leave, Randy! Without you, the f-bomb count will decrease to unacceptable levels.

  • AJ

    I learned there is someone named Scott in the quorum.

    • Polly Anna

      I get Scott and Matt confused.

  • Nerdherd

    Where is this online forum where you interacted with Kate Kelly after your smack down episode?

    • Glenn

      “The Mormon Hub” on Facebook

      • Polly Anna

        I’m not on facebook right now. Did any one screen shot it? I want to be nosy now.

  • Nate

    I always appreciate your humor cause you make me laugh when I otherwise would be angry. But, I loved the raw, vulnerable quorum. My favorite episode to date.

  • Nate

    So come on Glen, let us know, did you get a huge spike in downloads? Hope so!

    • Glenn

      Yes.

      • Nate

        Sweet!!!!!

      • Nate

        What is that other early spike?

        • Glenn

          Part 1 and 2 of the Tom Phillips interview

      • Glenn

        And 24 days later:

  • Kristi

    I was finally able to listen to this episode (my ipod was lost in the depths of the couch!), and I was so touched by the vulnerable side y’all showed. I especially related to you, Randy, with your struggles with anxiety. I take a beta blocker, too, but I also love my Ativan. It gets me through a lot. One difference, though, is that I can say that the church was one major source of anxiety for me, so since I’ve stopped going, my anxiety level from that stressor has greatly diminished. This was confirmed in the past couple of months when I’ve had to go to church three times in the last two months. My kids’ primary program (dh and kids are still in. sigh.), my parent’s mission homecoming, and then dh singing in church, and my anxiety was awful. Thank god for Ativan on those days!

  • Eric

    Randy, I just wanted to say that I whole-heartedly agree with you about the effect talking about Mormonism has on your relationships with believing Mormon family and friends. During the periods where I don’t listen to IOT or ME or go into any of the FB groups, I feel much less cynicism toward the church and the members. It doesn’t change what I personally believe, but it does change how I view others. But I keep going back to the podcasts because they’re still therapeutic for me, even 6 years after letting go of any kind of religious faith. So it’s a fine line. I hope you continue to participate in the podcasts. I haven’t listened to any of the episodes yet after this one, so maybe you address this again. But your point of view is usually the one I agree with most, so I hope you keep going!