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Should the Church Modify Bishop’s Interviews? (Part 5)

If you have young children around, you may want to save this episode for later, as we frankly discuss sexual matters.  This American Life, an NPR podcast, recently discussed LDS bishops asking young teens what some call sexually explicit interviews.  Should the LDS Church modify the interviews or ban questions about sex?  Kurt Francom of the Leading Saints podcast weighs in and we discuss the pros and cons of bishop’s interviews.

Kurt: The vast majority of bishop interviews or having a total net positive in the lives of youth.

GT: Yeah. I mean we could look at is 87 percent are good, 13 percent are bad.

Kurt: Right. Right. We can’t shut down all the beaches because shark attacks happen every once in a while. There’s so much good that happens in these wards because of bishops interviews, even alone with youth, right? Now, obviously the bishop has to protect themselves and handle this correct, but I guess that’s my main point. Sure, more policy would be good. But there’s so much more we can do without a new policy.

GT: Let me throw this out there because I know this has always been a thing that has bothered me over the years. We have two-deep in scouts although we’re getting rid of scouts, but we have two-deep in Primary. Why do we not have two-deep in bishop’s interviews? Why is it? I mean even if you don’t allow the parent to be there, why not have the Relief Society president there if it’s a girl, or a young men’s president, if it’s a boy, I mean, a lot of people have made these suggestions and you know, it’s not like I’m coming up with something original here. Why isn’t the church, and I know it’s not your pay grade, but some people are saying this is common sense, you know? If you have one percent of the problem, I mean the Boy Scouts was a problem. So we have two-deep leadership. The Primary apparently was some sort of an issue. So we have two-deep. So why is the bishop different?

Find out Kurt’s response!  What are your thoughts on sexually explicit Bishop’s interviews?  Should the Church modify them?

Some say LDS bishop's should ask young teens about sex. Should the Church modify these interviews to protect children?
Some say LDS bishop’s should ask young teens about sex. Should the Church modify these interviews to protect children?


221: Results of Faith Crisis Research

220: “We’ve Got to Have These Difficult Conversations”

219: Ministering to the Faithful & Faithless

218: Is it Bad to be Called LDS or Mormon?

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Results of Faith Crisis Research (Part 4)

Kurt Francom recently interviewed David Ostler on his podcast about faith crisis research Ostler has done regarding reasons why people quit coming to church.  Is there a disconnect between what leaders believe and what these people say?  Kurt will answer that question.

Kurt:  Another question he asked, “The percentage who strongly agree about the contribution of issues in individuals’ faith crisis in regards to questions about church history and then went the other way, right? A lot of a faith crisis members, that was a biggie: more than 85 percent. Gender roles within the church, that was another biggie.

GT: How about the leaders? Did the leaders see that as a problem?

Kurt: The leaders were around 40 percent, but it wasn’t the 80 percent. Right? There’s still a discrepancy.

GT: Yeah, 40 and 80, there’s a big difference.

Kurt: The Church’s LGBT policy, same thing. I mean they almost look identical. Transparency with decision making, same thing, right? And so with this information, I feel like a leader can better approach some of these situations when they have the right statistics, right? The right the right data. So does that make sense?

GT: Yeah. So, the big issues or the real issues I guess we should say are our church history was, was 85 percent, you said?

Kurt: [Yes]

GT: LGBT was probably second?

Kurt: Yeah, that was just under 80 percent.

GT: Under 80 percent. So Church history….

Kurt: Gender roles was the other one which was about 70 percent.

GT: Seventy percent.

Kurt: Yeah. And to me that doesn’t mean, in my opinion, no doctrine, absolutely zero doctrine has to change. It’s not about getting doctrine to change, it’s about the culture. If we can change the culture and start talking, and having a dialogue about these things, then then I think that’s where we’ll see those pews start to fill up with those that maybe have separated themselves from the church.

He thinks that if more leaders were armed with correct information, they can come up with other ways to make our congregations more friendly to people who are experiencing issues of faith.  Do you agree?  Check out our conversation, as well as our previous conversations with Kurt.

Kurt Francom discusses David Ostler's faith crisis research, and hopes to make wards more friendly to those who doubt.
Kurt Francom discusses David Ostler’s faith crisis research, and hopes to make wards more friendly to those who doubt.

220: “We’ve Got to Have These Difficult Conversations”

219: Ministering to the Faithful & Faithless

218: Is it Bad to be Called LDS or Mormon?

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Is it Bad to be called LDS or Mormon?

President Nelson said calling when people say "Mormon Church" it is a victory for Satan. Is it bad to refer to ourselves as LDS or Mormon? Kurt Francom answers.

I’m excited to introduce Kurt Francom of the Leading Saints podcast. He recently changed the name of his podcast due to President Nelson’s admonition to avoid the term “Mormon.” Is that now a derogatory term, like it was in the early days of the Church?  Is this name change silly?


Kurt:  Well, my background, I have a marketing degree so I’m a marketer. So when I first heard of it I was like, “No! The search engine optimization and the branding, this violates every principle of marketing that there is.” But I mean, the reality is, is that every prophet has certain directions and ideas and thoughts that they’ll move forward. And you look at President Hinckley’s time as I’ve read his biography and such, the smaller temple concept came to his mind long before, decades before he was actually in that seat as the prophet. And so I think, I think the Lord massages different ideas into the minds of future prophets so that when their time comes, they can move the church in that direction. Now does our Father in Heaven really care what we call ourselves?

Well, obviously it’s in the Doctrine and Covenants. And so I don’t necessarily mind it. I mean the marketing person inside of me sort of is uncomfortable with it and I didn’t see any problem with the term Mormon or LDS, but I get what he’s trying to do and accomplish. And obviously the hardest thing to shift in this church is the culture. And he stepped up and is trying to change that culture. And I think over time we can get there, and I sort of liked the idea of instead of calling us Mormons, calling us Saints. Latter-day Saints is sometimes a little bit long, or uncomfortable, but, we’re Saints, and not Mormons and we’re part of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints and not the LDS Church. So is it silly? I mean, I’m fine with it and the more I adjust that in my vocabulary, the more I’m, I’m fine with it.

GT: Originally in the early days of the church, the Mormon was a derogatory term?

Kurt: Yeah.

GT: With president Nelson’s switch, do you see it becoming a derogatory term again?

Kurt: No, I don’t see that at all.

What do you think?  Is LDS or Mormon still a net positive term?