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.com/dp/1462135773 and seagullbook.com/Listen-Learn-and-Love-Richard-Ostler.html 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 ❤ email@example.com *I will respond to your e-mails*
Dina Alexander, noted LDS author and speaker, joins us to talk about her organization called Education and Empower Kids (https://educateempowerkids.org/). Dina talks about the books she has written on how to teach your children about sex and avoiding pornography in healthy and non-shaming ways. Dina has series of books on these topics that are age appropriate with workbooks to help parents have these important discussions. If you are a parent, grandparent or a local leader who wants better tools to teach about sex and tools to help others solve pornography, please listened to Dina’s remarkable insights. Please check out https://educateempowerkids.org/ to connect with Dina and for a list of her books and other resources. Thank you my friend Dina for being on the podcast. Your work is so needed.
Sam Bird (RM from Bolivia and Columbia, BYU Business Student, age 21) talks about supporting and learning from his older brother Charlie. Sam recounts, on their Mount Kilimanjaro hike, where Charlie came out as gay. Sam shares the story from his perspective—it’s a beautiful story of too close brothers staying close. How nothing changed. Sam shares what he has learned, advice to other family members, insights into Christ’s teaching to ‘Love One Another’, and his love/respect for Charlie. If you are a family member with an LGBTQ sibling, please listen to Sam’s podcast. He will give you insights and better tools to support, love and accept your LGBTQ family members. Thank you for being on the podcast Sam. Both you and Charlie are great men and give me hope for the future of our Church and society. Please read Charlie’s book at https://deseretbook.com/p/without-the-mask-coming-out-and-coming-into-gods-light-ppr and listen to Charlie and Ben’s podcast at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/questions-from-the-closet/id1504990147
My friend Bryce Larsen, Utah State grad with career in marketing, shares his journey as a gay Latter-day Saint. Bryce shares his hopes that his mission (which he loved and blessed many) would make him straight. After returning, Bryce released that he is gay and gradually has come to a place of acceptance. Bryce shares his beautiful coming out letter from May 2018 to his family (and how they responded with love and support). Bryce feels his path is to find a life partner and plans to marry a man, stay close with his Heavenly Parents and his family. Bryce’s 2020 New Year’s resolution is be to authentic and being on the podcast is part of that commitment Thank you for being on the podcast Bryce. You are a great man, full of love and kindness for everyone, and with a great life ahead of you. Honored to have you on the podcast
Dr. Debra Theobald McClendon, a psychologist who specializes in treating those with Religious OCD (Scrupulosity), joins us to answer questions about scrupulosity that were gathered from social media prior to the podcast. This is a great episode to better understand scrupulosity and help others who may be dealing with it—from one of the top experts in the Latter-day Saint community on this topic. In the podcast we talk about some available resources, such as her new online course with 6 hours of video lecture that covers scrupulosity research and treatment. Please see all of these resources at debramcclendon.com. Dr. McClendon is the author of two Ensign articles, covering anxiety and scrupulosity. For a good foundational introduction to our podcast topic check out: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2019/09/young-adults/understanding-scrupulosity-religious-ocd In addition, Dr. McClendon and her husband, Richard J. McClendon, have co-authored a book on strengthening marriage: "Commitment to the Covenant: Strengthening the Me, We, and Thee of Marriage." Dr. McClendon has previously taught as an adjunct faculty member at both Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University. On a personal note, Dr. McClendon enjoys working-out, reading, mountain views, doing puzzles, reading to her kiddos, sitting on the deck in the evening with her hubby, and eating spicy garden salsa and dark chocolate with mint (but not together). Check out her online courses and other resources at debramcclendon.com. Thank you for being on the podcast Dr. McClendon and all you to do help and heal others!
My friend Blaire Ostler (no relation) updated our listeners to help us better understand our bisexual and non binary friends. The first part of the podcast is educational to help us understand the labels people use to describe their identities and orientations. Labels matter. And using labels is key to helping our LGBTQ friends feel loved and accepted. The second part of the podcast is Blaire bravely sharing her experiences as a Latter-day Saint—including difficult experiences and some recent hopeful experiences. If you want to better help LGBTQ Latter-day Saints and honor our leaders charge to be more inclusive, please listen to Blaire share her experience. I wish I knew the things Blaire taught many years ago. It would have helped me better minister and support all of our Heavenly Parents children. You can reach Blaire (and read more of her excellent work) at blaireostler.com Thank you for being on the podcast my friend Blaire. You are awesome!
My friend Colby Lowe (RM, Age 26) share his journey as a gay Latter-day Saint. I became aware of Colby when I read his excellent coming out post on November 29, 2016. Here is a link to that post: https://www.facebook.com/colby.lowe1/posts/10154146718078494. Colby talks about his relationship with the Church (not currently fully participating), his excellent relationship with his Heavenly Father, and his mother Cindy. Colby also talks about his health include colon cancer, lymph node cancer and Crohn’s. Colby talks about the differences between cancer (that needs to be carved out) and being gay (that is part of his essence). This is an important distinction and Colby has firsthand insights and personal revelation and he knows both roads. If you’d like to help towards Colby medical expenses, here is his GoFundMe: https://gf.me/u/y5ks4z Thanks for being on the podcast Colby. I was deeply toughed by you and your strong spirit and goodness. You are a great man and are one of my heroes. Thank you for bringing hope and healing to so many others.
My friend Luke Romney (gay) and Madi Hawes (ally), both freshman at BYU, share starting an Instagram account supporting BYU queer freshman (who will be the class of 2024). Luke shares his story as a gay Latter-day Saint who grew up in SLC and wants to go to divinity school with a focus on environmental humanities. Madi, who grew up in Tacoma, Washington and wants to be a pediatrician, shares her story to be an ally to this group who walks a difficult road. I was deeply moved and impressed with Luke and Madi. Two great human beings with strong relationships with their Heavenly Parents and a desire to serve others. They are wonderful and courageous and are honoring their baptism covenants with their IG to bear, mourn and comfort. Honored to have them on the podcast.
My friend Reed and Amber Blackburn share losing their daughter Tessa who was stillborn on May 16, 2018. They learned she was going to be stillborn during a checkup around 35 weeks. Reed and Amber talk openly about the tragedy of losing a child, a few days with Tessa before the funeral, and how they are healing and moving forward on this brutal road. If you have lost a child, want to help someone who has lost a child, or just want to be inspired, please listen to this podcast. Reed (who is a seminary teacher at Cottonwood High in SLC) and Amber are two of my heroes and have great insight on how to help others. Thank you Reed and Amber for sharing your story. You two are awesome
My long-time friend Doug Cartwright shares his remarkable journey to identity and solve trauma, overcome feelings of being suicidal, finding spirituality, and self-love. Doug is brutally honest about his own story including being survivor of sexual assault, defined by being overweight, an early-release missionary, his Dad’s death, and trying to find happiness through financial success. All this led to a period of time where Doug because suicidal and worked hard to address and resolve difficult issues leading him to a great place and the ability to help others. Doug has developed a program to help you learn to love yourself and find your purpose as you navigate big life changes. He has compiled all the very best tools and techniques he discovered while taking 2 years off his life and traveling the world seeking spirituality and God. For our listeners he has never offered it this low before with a 65% discount. If you are suicidal or need better tools to find peace and self-love, please consider Doug’s course. www.thedailyshifts.com/LLL you can also download his app “ The Daily Shifts” in the apple App Store . He also responds to every DM on Instagram, you can follow him @Doug_Cartwright. Doug’s efforts were key to Braden Orgill ending his feelings of suicide (Episode 326). Thank you Doug for being on the podcast. You are a great man and friend. Thank you for your needed efforts.
My friend Jake Young (currently studying Entrepreneurship at BYU), shares reasons why he believes and wants to stay in our Church and things he disagrees with and hopes will change. Jake represents many of our Gen Z members with a world view on fairness, equality and reaching out those on the margins—and see where their faith communities sometimes stumble in these areas. Jake is deeply spiritual and student of the scriptures and is serious about his spiritual journey and loving everyone. I believe he represents the future of our Church and society. I was deeply moved listening to this good man honestly share his feelings and insights into the doctrine of Christ to love and support everyone. I believe we need to do a better job to make space for the men and women like Jake Young in our Church. Good members who do not agree with some aspects of our history and some of our current positions—but have testimonies of our restored doctrine. And doing much to honor their baptism covenants to sit with and lift the burdens of others. You can find Jake on IG at @jakeballa5. Thank you for being on the podcast Jake. You are wise, thoughtful, kind, and with a spiritual maturity that is remarkable for a man you age. Keep being you. The world needs people like you.
My friend Hayden and Sydney join us to share their feelings about helping and serving marginalized groups of people. Hayden, who had Ben Schilaty as his EFY counselor and is now taking his BYU class, shares his journey to better support LGBTQ Latter-day Saints. Hayden and Sydney have wonderful insights into how we can improve our culture to help everyone feel more welcome, valued, and loved. They also talk about Bryan Stevenson’s (author of "Just Mercy") speech at BYU gave them better principals to support others. Bryan’s four principals are: Find ways to get more proximate to those who are neglected and living in the margins. Change the narratives underneath the policy issues we grapple with. Stay hopeful Be willing to do things that are uncomfortable and inconvenient. Source: https://news.byu.edu/news/byu-forum-creating-justice Thank you Hayden and Sydney for being on the podcast helping us better help others feel welcome, understood, and needed in LDS congregations and society.
My friend Hayden Paul (age 24, married, United States Marine) shares his story with pornography. Hayden, who started viewing porn at age 13, shares using daily before his mission, being free from pornography during his mission to Budapest Hungry, but then relapsing soon after his mission. Hayden’s YSA Stake President, Jordan Clements, developed a ‘modified addiction recovery’ which was key to ending Hayden’s porn use. Hayden spoke in his YSA Stake Conference about this topic and each Elder Quorum. Hayden has become a key mentor to help others solve pornography. Hayden’s story is in this Church News article: https://www.thechurchnews.com/members/2020-02-18/pornography-addiction-family-history-indexing-healing-blessings-174645 I’ve had hundreds of interviews with YSA’s about porn and several podcasts on this topic. However, Hayden’s insights, tools, analogies, and use of the Atonement of Jesus Christ bring a unique and fresh perspective to this topic. You can reach Hayden at firstname.lastname@example.org Please listen to this podcast on solving porn. If will help you as a parent, local church leader or someone who wants to solve porn. Please also check out my October Ensign Article on this topic (page 72 or https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2020/10/young-adults/7-tips-for-overcoming-pornography-use). Thank you Hayden for being on the podcast and for the great work you and President Clements did in the Murray YSA Stake. You have a great life mission to bring hope, better tools and belief others can end pornography use.
My friend Valerie Payne (RM from Peru, Masters in Social Work from BYU) joins us to talk about ‘finding unity through seeking understanding, connection, healing, and love’. Valerie is practicing this in her life with her podcast ( https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/finding-unity/id1498082517) and her private clinical practice (https://www.valeriepaynetherapy.com/). Please check out and follow Valerie on Instagram at @finding.unity Thank you Valerie for being on the podcast and all your great work to heal divisions and bring us together as the same human family!
My long-time friend Braden Orgill (Active LDS, RM, Age 26, Married) shares what led up to him considering suicide, self harming, and how he was able to pull himself out of that dark space---which started with a conversation with a mutual friend Doug Cartwright. Braden, who is now a Keto Lifestyle Coach (check out https://ketowithbraden.com/), had great insights into ‘you are enough’, ‘own your own story’ and ‘finding peace and joy now’. Braden also shares falling in love with his wife Emily and how that relationship is built on trust, vulnerability, honestly and common goals---a beautiful love story. You can find Braden on twitter at @bradenorgill and IG @bradenorgill and FB at facebook.com/braden.orgill Thanks for being on the podcast Braden. You have a unique life mission to bring hope and healing to others. Thanks for having the courage to share your story.
My friend Drew Young, author of “The Meaning of Your Mission” (amazon.com/Meaning-Your-Mission-Lessons-Principles/dp/1462138063/) which we discuss on Episode 276, joins us to share his experience with pornography based on his brave Facebook post https://www.facebook.com/mrdrewyoung1/posts/2954728144653099. I deeply admire and respect Drew for openly discussing his experience with pornography. Not only does this help him, but it allows Drew to help so many to remove the shame and stigma of pornography (one of the first steps to solving it). We also discuss my recent Ensign article (October YSA Digital version) www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2020/10/young-adults/7-tips-for-overcoming-pornography-use If you want to solve pornography or help others, please listen to this podcast. Thank you Drew for being on the podcast and all your great work to help others feel the hope and healing of our Savior. Please follow Drew’s great comment and insights on FB www.facebook.com/mrdrewyoung1 and IG @mrdrewbyoung