Listen, Learn & Love Hosted by Richard Ostler
Summary: Welcome to our podcast! My name is Richard Ostler (twitter: twitter.com/Papa_Ostler; FB: facebook.com/richard.ostler.5; IG: instagram.com/papa_ostler/) and am a native of Salt Lake City. I am the author of "Listen Learn and Love: Embracing LGBTQ Latter-day Saints at Amazon (amazon.com/dp/1462135773) and Deseret Book (deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints) I am the author of two recent Ensign articles on ‘How the Savior’s Healing Power Applies to Repenting from Sexual Sin’ (August 2020/YSA Digital Only) www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2020/08/young-adults/how-the-saviors-healing-power-applies-to-repenting-from-sexual-sin and ‘7 Tips for Overcoming Pornography Use’ (October, page 72) www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2020/10/young-adults/7-tips-for-overcoming-pornography-use 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 several 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 "We need to listen to and understand what our LGBT brothers and sisters are feeling and experiencing. Certainly, we must do better than we have done in the past so that all members feel they have a spiritual home where their brothers and sisters love them and where they have a place to worship and serve the Lord(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. Are podcast are indexed by category at listenlearnandlove.org/podcasts 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 *I will respond to your e-mails*
My friend Bo Buchi (masters degree, licensed clinical therapist) talks about his role as a therapist to help clients use the Gospel of Jesus Christ to improve their lives (including ending pornography use and living the law of chastity). Bo also talks about listening to the right voices (our leaders, scriptures) to make the hard decisions to improve our lives. Bo explains the psychological principle of dissonance and how it relates to the Gospel and healing from spiritual illness. In addition to this podcast to help solve porn, please listen to episode 347 where Bo and Hayden Paul talk about Bo’s role as his therapist to end porn use. Thank you Bo for being on the podcast and your bold voice of truth in a confusing/noisy world. You are helping many. You can reach Bo at BoBuchiMHC@gmail.com or CobaltCounselor.com
My friend Tom Fairholm (who recently graduated from BYU with degrees in music composition and Russian) shares his story as a gay Latter-day Saint. Tom, who has deep testimony of loving Heavenly Parents, the Savior, the Book of Mormon, talks about coming out to his parents in his teens (good experience), serving a mission, trying to make dating women work, and coming out more broadly earlier this year. Tom wrote a very thoughtful medium article (https://humanparts.medium.com/of-power-and-of-love-and-of-a-sound-mind-150289b5b41f) which has great insights and thoughtful suggestions going forward. Tom discusses the article on the podcast. Tom concludes with a piano musical number that he composed for the podcast. You can hear more of his music at https://soundcloud.com/tom-fairholm. Thank you Tom for being on the podcast and sharing some of your journey. You are a very gifted man contributing to our church and community in wonderful ways. You are bringing hope, healing and better understanding to many. This world is a better place with you in it.
My friends Elin and Randy Dastrup join us to talk about Randy’s life-long battle of feeling broken and having no worth. This partly resulted from being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Randy (who served a mission in Puerto Rico) talks about his battles with pornography and having an affair. Elin and Randy share the moment Randy told Elin about the affair, how they kept their marriage together, and the role of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to heal and give hope. They recognize some marriages end, but share how their marriage survived and is now thriving – party because Randy finally addressed and solved his feelings of brokenness and having no worth. Elin wrote a novel based on the experience (see https://www.amazon.com/Its-Always-Been-Elin-Dastrup-ebook/dp/B08ND6YF7Z/) and there is additional information on the book's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/noblesonofgod. They discuss the novel and how one family uses the Light of Christ to show compassion and humility to conquer the trials of pornography and infidelity. Please listen to this podcast and read their book to better understand how to apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives, work through difficult situations, and find more hope. Thank you Elin and Randy for being on the podcast. You two are two of my new heroes!
In anticipation of the upcoming North Star Conference, on June 10th-13th, my friends Ty Mansfield and Jeff Bennion join us to share their story of the founding of North Star—how and why it all started. They share the goals, vision, and mission of North Star, as well as address some common misconceptions about North Star. Ty and Jeff also share some of their personal stories as Latter-day Saints navigating the intersections of sexuality and faith and their personal paths forward. You can learn more about North Star at NorthStarLDS.org register for the June conference at NorthStarLDS.org/Conference2021. I am deeply supportive of North Star—I encourage everyone to check out this organization and consider attending the conference. Please check out this LDS living article with Stephen Nelson's experience and testimony at last year's conference https://www.ldsliving.com/-Just-believe-The-unwritten-story-of-the-fourth-member-of-GENTRI-the-gentlemen-trio/s/93473 Thank you, Ty and Jeff, for being on the podcast and for your wonderful and needed work to better love and support our LGBTQ+ members and their families. ** Please Check Out My New Book At: ** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773
My friends Jordan and Adam share their journey as gay Latter-day Saints. Jordan and Adam served missions, completed college, have strong careers, have been together for three years and now feel their path is to get married. While we all understand their path is outside the doctrine of our Church, this episode is about how to come together in our differences as the same human family, reduce divisiveness, and show love and support. They also talk about raising Adam’s six-year old son from his former marriage, their hopes for the future, their strong relationship with Heavenly Father, their respect for the LDS church, and their good relationship with their LDS parents. Thank you Jordan and Adam for being on the podcast and sharing your story. You are good men with a wonderful future. Your story gives insights and teaches principles to bring us together to better love and support each other. ** Please Check Out My New Book At: ** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773
My friend Jed Alldredge shares his story about being the parent of a gay son, Jeffrey Alldredge (episode 270). Jeffrey came out at age 12 to his parents Jed and Starlyn—which is over 15 years ago. Jed has been on this road for a longtime and has wonderful insights into being the parent of a gay son. Like all families, there are some difficult moments and some great moments. The Alldredge family story is really a beautiful love story of coming together, having honest and vulnerable conversation, and supporting each other. If you are a parent of a LGBTQ child, I believe Jed has insights that will help you. Thank you Jed and Starlyn for raising such a fine son in Jeffrey and all your children. Thanks Jed for coming on the podcast. ** Please Check Out My New Book At: ** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773
My friend David (gay) and Ann (straight) Rickey share their journey. David, who kept the shame of his sexual orientation to himself for over 40 years, decided the time was right to come out to Ann in 2012 while serving as a Bishop in Nevada. Ann and David talk about the difficult and painful days that followed—but the joy, happiness and peace that is now in their marriage and lives. It is a beautiful love story. They also talk about the wonderful support from their adult children. Ann talks about how she would not change anything about David—including his sexual orientation because she doesn’t see this as something that is broken and needs to be fixed. David and Ann recently returned from serving a mission in Hawaii and now live in Draper Utah. If you want insights into how to better live the gospel and support others, please listen to this podcast. It will inspire you. You can read more about David’s story here https://tinyurl.com/2ft65ffm and Ann’s story here https://tinyurl.com/y9ktwsrh Thank you David and Ann for the courage to be on the podcast. You are two of my new heroes—and for your work to help teach us how to be more loving and inclusive. ** Please Check Out My New Book At: ** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773
My friend Tanner Robinson joins us to share his story. Tanner (age 24, active LDS, and working on a Doctor of Audiology) starts with his mission in Taiwan and returning home early because of fibromyalgia. Tanner then shares his journey to understand and be at peace with his sexual orientation as a bisexual Latter-day Saint. I have made many incorrect assumptions about those who are bisexual—so I’m grateful that Tanner (and others who have been on the podcast) are willing to step forward and share their story to help us better understand so we can better support. Tanner also has great insights into the love of our Heavenly Parents, personal revelation, and reducing shame. Tanner is in a great place and has a wonderful life ahead of him. ** Please Check Out My New Book At: ** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773
My friend Emerson Fersch, recently released as Stake President in the California Long Beach East Stake, talks about ‘creating Zion’ in his stake where everyone felt welcome, loved and needed. That included a significant outreach to LGBTQ Latter-day Saints in his stake—as well as working to make sure other groups who often feel on the margins feel a sense of belonging. Emerson also talks about his conversion story to the Church and falling in love with his dear wife Darcy (they now live in Cedar City, Utah) and their joint efforts to connect more with the blessings of the Gospel. If you are a local leader looking for real-life experiences to honor President Ballard’s challenge in April 2021 conference to create a greater feeling of belonging, please listen to this podcast. It will inspire you. Our prayer is that ideas will come into your mind/heart to better ‘create Zion’ in your area of stewardship. You can reach Emerson at email@example.com Thank you Emerson for being on the podcast and your great work. You are a hero to me and 100s of others. ** Please Check Out My New Book At: ** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773
My friend David Woods (early 60’s) and his niece Bekah Clements (married mother of three, HR Director) share their story. David (who served a mission in Switzerland) talks about being gay in Utah, moving away from Utah and leaving the Church, developing a successful multi-faceted career, returning to the Church after being out for several decades, moving back to Utah (where he is currently serving as a temple worker and ward clerk). It’s a moving and remarkable story. David talks about the difficult road of being gay and LDS and how he did his best to move forward. Bekah talks about her uncle David and how we can better support and love family members regardless of their church activity. This podcast is a beautiful love story. David and I learn—in real time during the podcast—that we crossed paths over 30 years ago. Bekah, who is a Relief Society teacher in her ward, shares this powerful statement about the need for everyone in our congregations. "For our boat to swing in unison we need you if you have gay or straight children. We need working women and full-time homemakers. We need women with children, those coping with the pain of infertility, and those that will not have children in this life. We need you if you are married, single, divorced, or widowed. We need those who are depressed, those who deal with crippling anxiety as well as those who can lift the burden of those in the pit of despair. We want those who have a temple recommend, those that have never had a recommend, and those who are working to get to a place where they can renew their recommend. We need introverts just as much as we need extroverts in this boat. Those with strong testimonies, wavering testimonies, and those who have never gained a testimony belong in our boat. There is a seat in the boat for converts, investigators, and those who come from pioneer stock. We need those dealing with crippling illnesses as much as we need those in perfect health. We need women of all colors, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and political affiliations. If you can fight the fight we need you as much as those who can make peace. We need those whose husbands struggle with pornography addiction. We need you if you are overweight or stick thin. If you are suffering with substance abuse or can be the support system for someone who is, we need you on our team. We need those that cook and bake as well as those who support Door Dash. We need you if your husband is a righteous active priesthood holder, an inactive priesthood holder, or does not hold the priesthood at all. We need those with a million dollars in the bank and those who are living paycheck to paycheck. We need those who want to be in the boat as well as those who don’t. (from her FB post: https://www.facebook.com/rebekah.w.clements/posts/10158824393103810) Thank you David and Bekah for being on the podcast. You are two of my heroes! Your insights bring us healing and together as the same human family. ** Please Check Out My New Book At: ** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773
My friend Kristen Reber (active LDS, married mother of three) joins us to talk about her early release from her mission 10 years ago. Kristen talks about the myriad of feelings that accompanied that experience including anger, pain, relief, and feelings of failure and frustrations with that experience. Several years after her early return, Kristen, realizing others are walking the same road, wrote a book and started a podcast on this subject (both are called Early Homecoming). Kristen has great insights to help others walking this road find hope for the future and belonging in our congregations. Her book is available in paperback, ebook, or audiobook on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Early-Homecoming-Resource-Early-Returned-Missionaries/dp/B08NWHZP36/ You can also buy it in paperback at Deseret Book: https://deseretbook.com/p/early-homecoming-a-resource-for-early-returned-missionaries-their-church-leaders-and-family You can listen to her podcast anywhere you like to listen to podcasts, or by visiting her website at: kristenreber.com/podcast You can also contact her via her website or on her social media sites: Facebook: facebook.com/kristenreber or facebook.com/earlyhomecoming Instagram: @author_kristenreber Thank you Kristen for your great work to help love, show compassion for, and give support for early release missionaries.
My friend Sharla Goettl joins us to talk about her outstanding new book called “Spiritual Resilience: Leading Our Youth to Go and Do”. This wonderful book is for LDS parents and will give you added tools, learned from Nephi's teenage years, to help guide your own children. The book is available at Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08T8L88TV or from Sharla’s web site at www.sharlagoettl.com. Thanks for being on the podcast Sharla. You are awesome. Thanks for your work to help our youth build a strong foundation.
My long-time friend Michael Broadhead joins us to share his journey being gay and raised LDS. Michael is joined by his husband Michael Massoni (they have been together for 25 years and married for 7 years). They both work for Southwest Airlines and live in Phoenix. Michael shares doing his best to navigate being gay, trying to find his way in the LDS Church, working through tough situations and finding a way forward. Michael, who is no longer in the LDS Church, has great insights on how to bring us together as the same human family, find common ground and reduce divisiveness, and principles to keep families together. In this podcast we discovered that in an event whereby we ran into each other decades ago, we were both affected by our fears of each other. Thank you Michael for being on the podcast. This world is a better place because of the contributions of you and your husband Michael. ** Please Check Out My New Book At: ** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773
My friend Jeanie Edwards (active LDS, married mother of three, teacher in Princeton NJ) and Sean Edwards (RM, Married to Matt, School Administrator in Utah) share their family story. Sean and Jeanie share Sean’s coming out at age 17, serving a mission, trying to date women, dating men and eventually getting married to Matt (also a RM) 2 years ago. Sean shares his deep love for his Heavenly Father and the Savior and the support he is receiving from his family, friends, and school community. Jeanie, who has been on this road for 15 years, shares insights as a deeply committed Latter-day Saint and mother on raising a LGBTQ child including how we can do better. Thank you Jeanie and Sean for being on the podcast. Your family story is a beautiful family love story and will help many. ** Please Check Out My New Book At: ** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773
My friend Jeffrey Scott Parsons (late 30’s, RM, talented signer, dancer and actor) shares his story as a gay Latter-day Saint. Jeff shares positive and difficult Church experiences, why he stays in the Church and attends his Ward, his hopes for the future, and how congregations can work with LGBTQ Latter-day Saints to be stronger and enjoy a better sense of belonging. Jeff also has wonderful insights for other LGBTQ Latter-day Saints. Thank you for being on the podcast Jeff. You are a great man—a true warrior—using your many God given talents to bring light and hope into the world. ** Please Check Out My New Book At: ** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773