With the excommunication of Bill Reel pending, there is discussion in the Progmo world that there is a void in the Mormon podcast world in the faithful but nuanced (Middle Way) category.
I’m passionate about popularizing and modeling the paradigm I have of the LDS Church, whatever you call it, knowing as soon as I label it everyone will argue whether the label is appropriate: Metaphorical Paradigm, Nuanced Mormonism, Middle Way Mormonism, Neo Apologist, whatever.
I’ve been thinking of joining in the podcast craze for quite some time. I think there is a huge need that’s lacking in that faithful but nuanced territory. There are many great ones. Dan Wotherspoon at Mormon Matters. Blair Hodges Maxwell Institute Podcast. Jack Naneek, Mormon Awakenings, our own Rick Bennett’s Gospel Tangents, Jared Anderson’s Mormon Sunday School, Laura Hales LDS Perspectives, among others. All of these are great but none provide quite what I needed when I was deep in faith crisis, which is a faithful LDS voice who is very direct and very specific about faith crisis issues and modeling the Middle Way in a clear and direct way.
Here’s my tentative plan which may be more work than I’m willing to commit to, but here’s the idea:
- start in January
- podcast roughly every week
- three categories of podcast episodes
- one episode per month deep dive on the historical issues: BOM historicity, First Vision, Polygamy, etc
- one episode per month with focus on LDS Truth and Beauty with positive focus, this might be done together with my wife
- “Why I Stay” interviews with folks who have been through faith crisis and faith reconstruction and are enjoying their journey and positive engagement with LDS Church. Sort of opposite of the exit story type interview we see on Mormon Stories
- commitment to stay independent: not let donations or desire for wider audience influence me
- plan to go one to two years and then bow out or slow down considerably–this would likely be too consuming to do long term
- style would be fairly extreme in terms of unorthodoxy but much more loyal to the Church and church leaders than is traditionally in this space
- I would be “coming out” at some point during the first year and attach my real name and get current with my bishop and stake president and the podcast would be sort of a live experiment on how that goes
The goal would be supporting those in faith crisis and reconstruction mode and modeling that this can be a permanent landing spot not a temporary phase on your way out of the church. And that it can be done without taking too much heat from orthodox members or getting in trouble with church leaders.
Questions/request for feedback:
Is there a demand for this?
What’s a good name?
I have loved the concept of StayLDS for many years. John Dehlin started that brand and owns the website. Last year, I had some talks over email with John where we had agreed loosely on an arrangement for me to manage that website and build the brand up. I’ve tried contacting John again for that, but I haven’t heard back.
Any other good names?
I’ve tried knocking out an initial episode, and this stuff is way harder than I thought it would be. I’m way better writing than speaking. Tips on how to produce a quality podcast, efficiently?
Is there anyone else that’s really passionate about this same concept that wants to collaborate?