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*
Episode 217: Jessica and Matt Frew (Active LDS) and Steve Stoddard (Jessica’s gay former husband). by Richard Ostler
I wanted to give you, our listeners, an update on a few topics. I will talk about my LGBTQ POV, upcoming book (fall 2020), podcast history and future, my testimony, church service and additional thoughts. Thank you for joining me and your efforts to make this podcast possible.
My friend Daniela Mera-Pray, age 24 and living in Mexico, shares her journey with her faith crisis. Daniela faith crisis ended with her still believing in our restored Church and staying a committed member. Daniela has great insights to help others in a faith crisis and those ministering to them. Daniela found community in the Facebook Group Called Uplift Community of Faith (https://www.facebook.com/groups/UpliftCOF/). I encourage anyone in a faith crisis who wants to find a way to stay in our Church to check out this group. Daniela and my friend Leo Winegar are moderators in this group. Thanks for being on the podcast Daniela. You are awesome. It is wonderful members like you that give me hope for the future.
My friends (and ward members) Mike and Tamie Snarr join me to give the talks they shared in our Ward about ‘sharing the light of Christ’, thoughts on guilt free missionary work, and keeping the family circle together when a child steps away. Thanks for being on the podcast Mike and Tamie. You two are awesome. Thanks for helping us be better disciples of Christ.
My friend Doug Richens joins me talk about impact of crime and incarceration of individuals, families and communities. Doug, who works for the Church as Sr. Manager in the Priesthood of Family Department, share important work being done in the Church in this area. While this podcast focuses on incarceration, Doug shares wonderful principals of ministering and insights into the excellent work being done at the Church do meeting the needs of marginalized groups. Thanks for being on the podcast Doug and all your great work. I was deeply touched and educated by the things your shared.
My friend Darren Bush, a Bishop in Madison Wisconsin, talks about making his ward safe for everyone, helping his ward members focus on Christ, creating an atmosphere that's safe and unconditional loving, so when Ward members need spiritual guidance, they'll feel comfortable knowing he will "judge without being judgmental." Thanks for being on the podcast my friend Darren and all you are doing to help people truly understand the Atonement and come unto Christ through our restored Church.
My friend Jacob Graf shares his story as a gay Latter-day Saint. Jacob feels his path is find a husband and have a family. Jacob is respectful of the church and grateful for the spiritual foundation it provides and his continued relationship with his Heavenly Parents. Jacob and is close to his wonderful and supportive family. Jacob acknowledges he is choosing a path outside the teachings of our church which I sustain and support, and as a fellow human is worthy our support and understanding as he makes his way forward. Jacob, who is out as gay at work, has a leadership role at Divvy located in Utah County and talks about the positive environment for fellow LGBTQ employees. I’m glad to hear this is a non-issue at Divvy and realize how far we have come as a society. Thanks for being the podcast, Jacob and sharing your story. You have a great life ahead of you.
My friend Valerie Loveless (active LDS and mother of 3) joins me to talk about the joys and challenges of getting married young, being a ‘stay at home mom’, having a miscarriage and wanting to join the work force. Valerie has wonderful and honest insights to help others. Valerie talks about the book she wrote ‘Enduring Promises of the Heart’ (https://www.amazon.com/Enduring-Promises-Heart-Valerie-Loveless/dp/1462123074) and her work at Cedar Fort Publishing including their new podcast called ‘Cedar Fort Publishing and Media: Behind the Scenes Podcast’ (https://www.cedarfort.com/pages/cedar-fort-publishing-and-media-behind-the-scenes-podcast) Thanks for being on the podcast Valerie and thanks for all the good work you and my friend at Cedar Fort Publishing are doing to help others.
My friend Daniel joins me in Philadelphia to share his journey converting to the Church and then serving a mission. Daniel’s emotional health deteriorated on his mission leading to thoughts of suicide and self-harm. Daniel returned to Philadelphia after 9 months. During the next nine months , Daniel’s emotional health further deteriorated with constants thoughts on suicide and self-harm. Daniel is doing much better and shares how he was able to ‘walk out of this desert’ because of therapy, medication, great friends and local leaders. If you are suicidal or want to help someone, please listen as Daniel bravely shares his story. Daniel also shares why he stays a committed member of the Church. Thanks for being on the podcast Daniel. You are one of my personal heroes. You have a great life ahead of you!
My friends Kyle and Reece Jacobsen (RMs from Moscow Russia and Ventura California, respectively) share their journey as gay Latter-day Saints. They eventually felt their path was a same-sex marriage and stepped away from the Church. They are respectful of the Church and are please it works for others. They share how their active LDS families navigated this road and the great support they had at their wedding and going forward. They are both close with their families which is consistent with Church teachings to keep the family circle together. Great job to Kyle’s parents Hugh and Margaret and Reece’s parents Kent and Marilyn. Thanks for being on the podcast Kyle and Reece and your contributions to society. You are good men who are worthy of our support and friendship as you make your way forward.
My friend Mayor Jon Pike shares his thoughts about our LGBTQ friends including a former missionary companion and a cousin. As mayor of St. George, Jon shares his desire to ‘be the Mayor for everyone’. With that charge, he shares learning about LGBTQ member of his community and what he and his team is doing to meet their needs. He talks about allowing pride flags during this summer pride festival and the community discussion that followed. Jon shared some thoughts in his FB post on Sept 17th: https://www.facebook.com/jon.pike.988/posts/10214245372195049 Thanks for being on the podcast Mayor Pike and all the good you are doing in our community to create a feeling of love, respect and inclusiveness.
My friend Stephen Lambert shares his journey as a gay Latter-day Saint. Stephen got married and together they raised 5 children. Stephen came out to his former wife 6 years ago and their marriage ended. Stephen no longer participates/believes in the Church but is respectful and glad it works for others. Stephen has great insights on mixed-orientations marriages (many do work) our single members considering a mixed-orientation marriage. Stephen also has helpful insights into how to better minister to our LGBTQ members. As Director of Pride of Southern Utah, Stephen manages the St. George Pride Festival (3rd week of September) in its 4th year with over 3,000 attending. Stephen talks about this ‘family friendly’ event and how it is helping to bring the community together and help our LGBTQ community members. Thanks for being on the podcast Stephen and all the great work you are doing.
My friend Dr. Tim Hollingshead shares his story of being a YSA Bishop (St George area) helping the YSAs overcome porn. Tim went on a deep dive realizing that he lacked all the tools needed to meet his YSA needs. After Tim was released he started freein13.com to help people escape the trap of pornography. If you are working to solve porn or are trying to help others, please listen to this podcast and go to freein13.com. This is an inspired program to help solve this challenge. I wish I had these resources during my YSA assignment. Thanks for being on the podcast Tim and all your great work to help and bless others.
My friends David (Psychology major at BYU) and Jordyn (Dental Hygienist major at UVU) share their journey with scrupulosity. Since they are walking this road, they have great insights to help others. The have started an Instagram account about their story @scrupcrew (please follow to learn more). Thanks for being on the podcast and bravely sharing your story. You two are awesome and are helping so many!
My friends John and Jenny Dye share their work with the #LightTheWorld initiative (including the new elements announced for 2019), John’s work on the Mormon and Gay web site (https://mormonandgay.churchofjesuschrist.org/) and Jenny’s great podcast called Mormon News Report (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mormon-news-report-podcast/id1258689254). Wonderful efforts to help us Come unto Christ through our restored Church. Thanks for being on the podcast John and Jenny. You two are awesome!