Listen, Learn & Love Hosted by Richard Ostler
Summary: Welcome to our podcast! My name is Richard Ostler (twitter: @papaostler) and am a native of Salt Lake City. I have degrees from the University of Utah and Brigham Young University (business). I married my best friend and eternal companion Sheila Juergens of Houston, Texas in 1990 and we are the parents of six children and two grandchildren and live near Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City. I believe in and am deeply committed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and want it to work for a wider group. The name ‘Papa Ostler’ resulting from being introduced to Twitter by my High School age son Matt in 2010. I wanted the high school age youth to know I wasn’t their age as I interacted with them … hence the name Papa Ostler. I served as a YSA Bishop in the West Valley City/Magna area of Salt Lake (released in 2016) and met some of the finest people I will ever know. In addition to meeting with wonderful active members of my Ward, I reached out and connected via social media (mostly via the private messaging features of FB and Twitter) with many of our inactive members and their non-member friends. Over time, many felt comfortable meeting with me and sharing their stories. Through hundreds of interviews and ‘listening to understand’, I was able to ‘see’ the church from the eyes of those on the outside. Many feel the church is their ‘spiritual home’ but feel uncomfortable attending for a variety of reasons such as work-in-progress testimonies, concerns about church history, feeling unworthy because of past or current sin, don't fit the cultural mold, role of women, are LGBTQ and/or feel God's LGBTQ childen should be more welcomed in our congregations, etc. This podcast is designed to 'Have a Conversation' about some of the more complicated issues in our church to help all of us 'listen, learn and love' so we can minister in a more effective way to all of Heavenly Father’s children. Most podcasts will be from our LDS LGBTQ friends to give them voice so we can better understand their road, touch their cross, learn from them, and minister to them as directed by President M. Russell Ballard when he said 'Mormon leaders, along with the rank and file, need to listen to and understand what LGBT members are feeling and experiencing (Nov 2017 BYU Devotional).' Some podcasts will be from LGBTQ allies sharing their experiences and how to be helpful. Other podcasts will be from guests talking about other complicated topics such as mental health, returning from a mission early, overcoming sin, and faith challenges. Thank you for joining us. You can't donate to this podcast. There are no sponsors. But you can leave a review/rate the podcast on the platform you are listening. With love, Richard 'Papa' Ostler ❤ firstname.lastname@example.org
My friend John Gustav-Wrathall shares his journey as a gay Latter-day Saint who served a mission, resigned from the church, staying close to God, finding his husband, returning to church and staying in his same-sex marriage. Thank you John for sharing your story. You are a great man and honored to call you friend.
My friends Grayson and Neca (both Latter-day Saints) share their journey to comes to term with Grayson’s gender identity being male, affirming that gender and the road they shared together with Grayson’s social, legal and medical transition. Great podcast to learn more about our transgender friends and how to understand, respect and support them. Thank you Grayson and Neca for sharing your journey. You two are awesome.
My dear friend Vickie Walker tells the story of her husband Jeffrey being killed and 16 year old son injured in the Trolley Square 2007 shooting, starting Circle the Wagons (circle-the-wagons.org) for survivors to heal, having two gays RM sons who have both stepped away and have partners, supporting and serving God’s LGBTQ children and doing all this as a Latter-day Saint. Vickie is one of the bravest, most loving and Christlike people that I know. Thanks for sharing your story!
My friend Tarik LaCour shares his journey to join the restored Church of Jesus Christ and serve a mission in Alabama. Tarik shares how he processes the messy and complicated history of our church, imperfections of our inspired leaders, and how he maintains a strong testimony. He shares some of his favorite doctrines and why he is a committed member. It is people like Tarik that give me hope in the future of the Church and the world. Thank you, Tarik for sharing your story. You are a great man.
My friend Patrick Risk bravely shares his story as a survivor of sexual abuse as a child, confronting his perpetrator, healing and now helping so many others. Patrick gives hope and healing to other survivors and also has insights for everyone on how to support, understand and help victims of sexual abuse. You are a brave man, Patrick. Respect. You and your wife have a great life together! Patrick: You are a great man. You inspire me and inspire many others!
My friend Bryan Mortensen shares his journey leaving the MTC after 5 days, returning to serve a service mission, and then finishing his mission in the Texas Lubbock mission. Bryan has great insights for our early release missionaries, for family and local leaders to best support them and for all of us to better support those on the margins of our Church. Thank you Bryan for sharing your story as it is helping so many. You are a great man and are helping our Restored Church work for more of our members.
My dear friend Chad Curtis bravely shares his story of being an victim on a sexual assault before his mission, coming to terms with his sexual orientation after his mission, concluding his sexual orientation is not a result of the sexual assault, a loving and helpful Bishop, dating his future wife and jointly walking into a mixed-orientation marriage. Thank you Chad for sharing your story. I hope our listeners feel your courage, vulnerability and pure spirit. Your story helps all of us better understand.
My dear friend John Martinez shared his journey to join the Mormon church, processing Prop 8 as a new convert, falling in love, being inactive, almost resigning, receiving his Endowment and doing Temple work for relatives, and his hopes for the future. Thank you John for sharing your story. You are a great man.
My friend Jerry Chong shares his conversation story, coming out as gay, and the LGBTQ sensitivity training he does for the Stakes in Calgary, Canada. Thank you Jerry for sharing your journey so we can all better understand. You are awesome.
My dear friend Mormon Brother from twitter (https://twitter.com/SGAMormon) shares his journey as a gay active Mormon. Listening to this podcast and following him on twitter will help all of us better understand God’s LGBTQ children.
My dear friend Patrick Patterson shares he journey to join the Church in August of 2015 and come out as gay in April 2017. Patrick is an Elder in his Ward and serves as the Assistant Ward Mission Leader. Patrick is a remarkable man. I think you will enjoy hearing his story.
My friend Eric Kirby shares his journey to love, understand and support God’s LGBTQ children and how that is part of his Mormon beliefs. I became aware of Eric when I saw this Tweet on June 3, 2018 at the beginning of Pride Month https://twitter.com/ericmkirby/status/1003458251059417089. Eric helps us understand how active Mormons can show love, support and respect for God’s LGBTQ children. Please listen as Eric shares his journey.
Lisa Hansen, PhD, LMFT, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and clinical director of Flourish Counseling Services, PLLC (with an office at Encircle). She has conducted approximately 4,000 LGBTQ therapy sessions. Lisa shares her insights and expertise on our transgender friends to help families, local leaders and our trans friends navigate this road. Thank you, Lisa! You are awesome!
My friend Taylor Christensen (active Mormon, RM, age 24) shares how he maintained his testimony in our Restored Church knowing all the complicated and messy topics in our history. I believe it is members like Taylor that are part of the future. Instead of avoiding these topics, Taylor has learned about and wrestled with these difficult topics. He maintains a strong testimony and can now ‘go there’ with others giving them vision and tools to stay. Taylor also has great empathy and understanding for those who step away. Thank you Taylor for sharing your story.
My friend Dexter Beach (from my home Stake) shared his journey as an early release missionary and shares how best to support these great members. Dexter talks about what questions to ask and what questions are less helpful. Dexter is one of the finest men I know and has a great life ahead of him. This podcast is based on his June 20, 2018 Facebook post that deeply touched me https://www.facebook.com/DexterTheStudBeach/posts/2478839285474915