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 ❤ email@example.com *I will respond to your e-mails*
My friend Clark Morley (age 27, applying to grad school, high school teacher), shares his journey as a gay Latter-day Saint. Clark shares not accepting this part about him until he realized that he was not going to be able to marry a woman. This sent Clark, for the first time in his life, in to a world without hope and feelings of suicide. Clark talks about the need to find hope which led him to come out to his parents and family—who have been loving and supportive. Clark talks about his decision to date men and stay involved in the Church and his hopes for the future. If you are an LGBTQ Latter-day Saint or a parent/local leader wanting to better understand, please listen to Clark’s powerful story. I was deeply moved and I believe you will also be moved. Thanks for being on the podcast Clark. You are a great man with a wonderful life ahead of you! ** 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 Andy Miller (Uruguay RM, Westminster Graduate, Mid-Twenties, Works in the Airline Industry) shares his journey as a gay Latter-Day Saint. Some of you may remember Andy's story from the Mormon and Gay website released by the church a few years ago (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/gay/videos/tonyas-story?lang=eng). Andy shares coming out to his parents Tonya and Dylan before his mission, his mission in Uruguay, dealing with his emotional health, and finding his way through life since. Andy shares his hopes to stay as active as possible in the Church and marry a man. Andy talks about the support of his parents and Stake President who are “walking with him” as he makes his way forward. Thank you for being on the podcast my friend Andy. You are a great man with a wonderful future. Thanks for the courage to share your story. Glad you have people in your life that love you, see you, and believe in you. ** 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 Tom Christofferson joins us to talk about his new book which invites readers to learn more deeply about the Lord’s supernal gift of charity and shows how understanding that gift can change our very discipleship. We also talk more generally about Tom’s experiences with his former partner, his family, the local church leaders who have influenced him, and his hopes for our young LGBTQ members and their parents. If you want to better follow Christ’s example and better live His teachings, I encourage you to read and share Tom’s excellent book which is available at: Deseret Book (https://deseretbook.com/p/a-better-heart) or Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Better-Heart-Impact-Christs-Pure-ebook/dp/B08MJ3HPZ6) Thank you Tom for being on the podcast and your life ministry to bring us together as the same human family. Richard 'Papa' Ostler https://listenlearnandlove.org/lds-authors https://listenlearnandlove.org/gay-lesbian-same-sex-podcasts
My friend Rosie Card joins us to talk about improving the experience for those attending the temple for the first time with her new online book called “House of Light: Your Guide to the Temple”. Rosie’s book “takes you by the hand” to understand the various stops starting at the recommend desk til leaving the temple. Rosie also, which is consistent with latest Church teachings, talks about understanding and preparing for the five covenants made during the temple and to more fulling engage in the spiritual aspects of the temple. I wish I had Rosie’s book while serving as a YSA Bishop and for my own children’s temple preparation. You can purchase the book (digital download only) at https://qnoor.com/collections/temple-goods/products/house-of-light-your-guide-to-the-temple Rosie also shares her feelings and insights into Heavenly Mother and Her role in her (and our) lives and why Rosie is a committed Latter-day Saint. You can find Rosie on Instagram @Q.Noor and @rosiecard Thanks for being on the podcast Rosie. You are awesome and have a beautiful and unique life mission. Keep being you!
My friend Jocelyn Fowler (active LDS, married mother of three) joins us to share you journey with multiple mental health challenges. All this resulted a deep dark period of time about 2 years ago with feelings of hopelessness, suicidality and, because of emotional triggers, a decreased connection to her Church community. Jocelyn shares her journey to find hope and healing through an accurate diagnosis, better coping skills, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), a supportive husband, and developing better boundaries. If you are in a dark spot or want to help others in a dark spot, please listen to Jocelyn vulnerable and powerful story. Thank you for being on the podcast Jocelyn. You are awesome and your story is helping a lot of others!
My friend Serena Jamison shares her journey as a transgender women. Serena is in her early 40’s, a convert to the Church, married with four children. She talks about her long-term journey with gender dysphoria and finally accepting herself in November 2019 as transgender. Serena helps us better understand our transgender friends and how their experience is real, authentic and often difficult (but necessary) in their journey to self-acceptance. Serena's current project is to interview transgender people to hear their voices and she posts these interviews at https://vopserena.medium.com . She can be reached via social media at @SerenaNoelle_ on Twitter, firstname.lastname@example.org by email, and https://www.facebook.com/serena.jamison.22/. Thank you Serena for being on the podcast. You are awesome. Our church and world is a better place because of you and your contributions. Richard "Papa" Ostler ** 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 Wendi Jagerson, married mother of two and one grandson, bravely shares her journey with complicated life challenges that started after her successful mission in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. Wendi starts with her journey with Bipolar II Disorder which was diagnosed in 1994. Wendi talks about how it eventually became very difficult to leave her own home and how she wasn't able to enjoy church or social contact for several years. Wendi talks about her journey to find hope and healing. Wendi continues with her husband John opening up about his unbelief in 2012 (he is an atheist) and her two adult children also leaving the Church. Wendi talks about how she loves and admires John and how she is keeping the family circle strong and together, while leaving all this at the Savior’s feet. It is a remarkable love story including the birth of their grandson. Wendi also shares about her MS diagnosis in 2013. Wendi’s life is very different than she envisioned flying home from her mission in 1994. But Wendi’s story, like many of our stories, is about the realities of mortality—and how to find hope and healing living with those realities—and the role of therapists, medication, friends, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to give perspective to move forward. If you are in a tough spot, please listen to Wendi's story. It will give you hope and better tools to move forward. Thank you Wendi for the courage to share your story. You and your family are awesome.
My friends Darcy and Zach Spafford, active LDS and parents of 8, join us to talk about Zach’s 25-year journey to solve porn. Darcy and Zach, who has been clean for 5+ years and serves in his Bishopric, share how they solved unwanted pornography use in their marriage and how they help others do the same. If you would like to learn more about them and their journey check them out at the resources below. The Self Mastery Podcast ttps://self-mastery-podcast.captivate.fm/listen Instagram https://www.instagram.com/zachspafford.selfmasterycoach/ Website https://www.zachspafford.com/ Free Roadmap download https://www.zachspafford.com/roadmap Thank you for being on the podcast and your great efforts to give hope and healing to others!
My friends Sam and Autumn Duke, married parents of 3, share growing up with families affected by addiction, mental illness, and suicide. Autumn’s father Klair died in 2003 from alcoholism and addiction. Sam’s mother Jeannie died of suicide in 2019 after 2 decades of severe depression. Sam and Autumn love their parents deeply. They discuss how the Gospel of Jesus Christ helps them to see their parents the way our Heavenly Parents see them. They share their thoughts on the divine worth of every person, and the love, compassion, and hope they have for their parents and families. They speak directly to suicide and the impact it has had on their lives. If you are suicidal please call the suicide prevention hotline 1-800-273-8255. If you prefer not to call you can also text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. I became aware of Autumn with her wonderful post: https://www.facebook.com/autumn.nielson/posts/10157673692127314. You can also follow her on Instagram where she shares similar thoughts: @autumnduke If you feel that you or your family is imperfect and aren’t sure you fit the mold for LDS families, please listen to Sam and Autumn. They have great insights on how to help us all come together as the same human family with the healing and unity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The two conference talks referenced in the podcast are from Elder Gay https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2018/10/taking-upon-ourselves-the-name-of-jesus-christ and Elder James R. Rasband https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2020/04/13rasband Thank you for being on the podcast Sam and Autumn. You two are awesome. Thanks for your great work to bring us together and create more understanding.
My friend Emma Errgang shares her conversation story (baptized about two ago) and coming out as LGBTQ at BYU-Idaho. Emma shares some painful experiences (which help learn how to do better) and also many positive experiences with the administration at BYU-Idaho who are deeply committed to improving the experience for LGBTQ students. In particular, the Dean of Students and Director of the Honor Code have been very helpful to Emma and other LGBTQ students. If you want to learn how to help our LGBTQ member (or have hope things are improving), please listen to this podcast. Emma is a remarkable women—grateful to be a member of the Church (a choice) and be LGBTQ (not a choice). Thank you for being on the podcast Emma! On behalf of all our listeners, you are awesome! ** 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 Nate and Elena share their powerful conversation stories, finding each other at BYU after serving missions, and building a wonderful family together over the next two decades. Nate and Elena share the complexity of having their two oldest children step away from the Church—including their transgender son Glen who they love and support. Nate and Elena, like many other LDS parents of LGBTQ children, are in a middle of a faith-crisis trying to figure out how their children fit into the Church that they love and support. Nate and Elena are honest, vulnerable, and faithful as they process these complex issues. Their story is still unfolding (like many stories)—but their insights and work to keep the family circle together is inspiring. I hope and pray our Church is able to receive further light and understanding so that more of our LGBTQ members (and their families) feel a greater sense of belonging—increasing the chance they will feel their path is to stay in our Church and partake of its unique and healing doctrine. Thank you Nate and Elena for being on the podcast. You two represented the best and brightest of our faith. You inspired me and will inspire our listeners!
My friend Audrey Chugg (RM, BYU Grad in Public Health)joins us to talk about identifying and then solving her eating disorder. If you have an eating disorder and want to find hope and tools for recovery, please listen to Audrey's story. If you want to develop a family culture with positive messages about food and body image, please listen to Audrey’s insights. And if you want to help others walking this road, please listen. Thank you for being on the podcast Audrey! You are brave and courageous. Your story will help so many!
My friend Ben Schilaty joins us to talk about his new book from Deseret Book called “A Walk in My Shoes: Questions I'm Often Asked as a Gay Latter-day Saint.” https://deseretbook.com/p/walk-in-my-shoes-questions-im-often-asked-as-a-gay-latterday-saint. Ben also talks about his podcast with Charlie Bird called “Questions from the Closet” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/questions-from-the-closet/id1504990147 I encourage every Latter-day Saint to read Ben’s book which helps bring us together as the same human family. I also encourage you to listen to Ben and Charlie’s podcast. Great information to better understand and support LGBTQ Latter-day Saints. Thanks for being on the podcast, Ben. You are a great man doing wonderful things. The world is a better place with you in it.
My friend Bradley Talbot, Winnipeg Canada RM and former EFY teacher, shares his story as a gay Latter-Day Saint. Bradley talks about his desire to stay in the Church, close with God, marry a man, and together raise a family having family night, attending Church and reading the Book of Mormon. Bradley is graduating in Psychology and hopes for a career in criminal psychology. Bradley is the founder of Color the Campus at BYU (see @colorthecampus on IG) to help bring more understanding and support for LGBTQ Latter-day Saints. Thank you Bradley for sharing your story. It helps us come together as the same human family and better support each other. You are a good man with a wonderful future. Thanks for helping to make our world a better place. ** 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, Carson Perez, joins us to share his remarkable story. Carson begins by reading his spiritual journey, which includes being raised Pentecostal and embracing the Restored Gospel in July 1996, resigning from the LDS Church a year later, being involved with other faith traditions, including earning his Master of Divinity at Yale Divinity School and nearly becoming an Episcopal priest, and being rebaptized back into the LDS Church in August 2019. He shares his love for his partner, Alex, and how they support each other and help each other to be their best, authentic selves. Carson shares how he is actively following Christ and living with integrity, and being supported by his local ward and stake, in San Francisco, California. This episode ends with Carson's personal prayer for LGBTQ understanding. Carson talks about the unique aspects of our Church that are the foundation for his testimony of and commitment to the Church, and how it helps him come unto Christ. He also discusses feeling welcome and needed in his faith community, the Sunset Ward. Carson shares the evolution of his spiritual journey, from a rigid worldview to an expansive, living faith, and his full acceptance of his homosexuality and the important role that LGBTQ people have in building Zion. He invites everyone to unconditionally love and to effectively support LGBTQ people in every ward, around the world. Carson concludes with the powerful truth that Heavenly Father loves this part about him and that Carson is not a mistake—but created as intended. Carson describes Emmaus LGBTQ Ministry (a Church-affirming and LGBTQ-affirming LDS ministry) and invites our listeners to join this group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/emmauslgbtq. Emmaus's website is https://www.emmauslgbtq.org/. He is currently writing a book on LDS daily meditations that he hopes will be published eventually. Please reach out to Carson at email@example.com, with your questions or comments. If you are LGBTQ and want to feel hope, and that the world is better with you here, please listen to Carson’s story. If you want to do a better job of helping our LGBTQ members feel welcome and needed, please listen to Carson’s story. You are a great man, Carson. I was deeply moved and felt a powerful spirit listening to your story. On behalf of all of our listeners, thank you, Carson, for sharing your story. ** 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