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 dear friends Cynthia Winward and Susan Hinckley join me to talk about their new podcast At Last She Said It (https://atlastshesaidit.org/), a project aimed at amplifying the voices of LDS women, helping them feel valued and heard, and creating a safe space to share their feelings and experiences. Cynthia and Susan are active Latter-day Saint women, and we talk about the goals for their podcast, why they feel it is needed, feedback from their listeners, and ideas for improving women's church experiences. This is a great podcast for LDS women. However, it is also a good podcast for LDS men to better understand women's experiences, and appreciate the contributions they bring to our local congregations. I encourage all our listeners to subscribe to and share their podcast. It’s awesome. Thanks, Cynthia and Susan, for being on the podcast and all your great work!
Kent Griffiths and Nancy Ayre, a father/daughter team (and dear friends), join with us to share their valuable experience and insights. Dr. Kent Griffiths earned his Masters and Doctorate of Social Work at the University of Utah and has been a clinical therapist in the Salt Lake area for over 45 years. Nancy Ayre lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and family, and is the mother and bonus mom of six children. She is currently working on her Masters of Social Work at the University of Houston. This dynamic duo share insights posted on Riverside Chats (see their blog Riverside Chats: Reflections on life between a therapist and his daughter at riverside-chats.com and their new Facebook page @riverchats), with topics that include essential keys to healthy relationships and good communication, managing toxic relationships, and ways to decrease the suffering of others. Kent and Nancy also share the tragic yet hope-filled journey they've travelled with their beloved son and brother, Scott, who died by suicide in 2017. They have lived and continue to live through their worst nightmare and share valuable insights on how to help other families walking this road—including how to find a measure of peace and healing along the way.
My friend Patrick Mason (Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University and author of “Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt”) joins us to talk about his new book “Restoration: God’s Call to the 21st Century World” available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Restoration-Gods-Call-21st-Century-World/dp/1953677045. If you want to be inspired about our future, please read this book and listen to this podcast. Here is more about the book: The Restoration began in the spring of 1820, when Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees in upstate New York. Joseph had questions, and Jesus had answers. That was two hundred years ago. As the Restoration enters its third century, the world has new questions. A loving God has answers. In Restoration, scholar and author Patrick Mason reflects on what it means for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to participate in the ongoing Restoration. Every generation must rediscover the gospel anew, and this book breathes new life into well-worn terms and phrases. What does it mean to restore Israel ? How can a church with less than one percent of the world s population be true ? What baggage have we picked up these past two centuries, and how do we move forward with confidence, relevance, and impact? The Restoration was intended to bless all of our Heavenly Parents children, especially the marginalized and vulnerable among us. This book will inspire and challenge you to rethink, recommit, and respond to God s call to the 21st-century world. Thank you for being on the podcast Patrick and your efforts to being to life our the restoration.
My friend McKay Bryson joins us to share his story as a gay Latter-day Saint. I became aware of McKay as he was a guest on Ben Schilaty’s and Charlie Bird’s podcast called “Questions From the Closet”. McKay was on Episode 37 which I encourage all to listen to and share https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/is-there-a-place-for-me-in-the-church/id1504990147?i=1000501822009 McKay, who served a mission to Thailand and is graduating in Information Systems, shares coming out in May 2019—and what led him to this decision. McKay has wonderful, powerful, and unique insights into the life of a LGBTQ Latter-day Saint and how to get better love and support our LGBTQ friends on the unique and difficult road they walk. If you are LGBTQ or what to better understanding and support our LGBTQ members, please listen to and share McKay’s podcast. Thanks for being on the podcast McKay. I was deeply moved by your spiritual maturity, goodness, doctrinal insights and your good heart to help and bless others. You have a great 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 Ryan Michael Painter joins us to talk about his new book called “The Unexpected Son” which talks about his gay LDS father Michael, who was the first AIDS death in Utah when Michael was 7, and his LDS mother Patti. The book is at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Son-Ryan-Michael-Painter/dp/1735051209 Michael, in his 40s, talks about his love for both his father and mother (who were divorced shortly after Michael’s birth but remained friends) and how is has found peace with the complexity of his family situation. It is a beautiful story of love as captured by this review on Amazon: “This book is truly a testament of love. I was particularly moved by Patti’s narrative. There are so many times during this story when anger, fear, or resentment would have been the natural reaction. Instead, this is a story of love, compassion, and charity during the most challenging of circumstances. Lessons we could all learn from. Ryan Painter has artfully told his family’s story. He has managed to balance the heavy significant subject matter with more lighthearted antidotes to keep the pace from feeling weighted.” I became aware of Ryan and his book from this excellent story from Peggy Fletcher Stack https://www.sltrib.com/artsliving/2020/11/29/different-type-ghost/ Thank you my friend Ryan for being on the podcast and teaching us how to better love and support everyone. I encourage everyone to read your book and listen to this podcast.
My friend Valerie Nicole Green shares her 50 year journey with gender dysphoria leading to transitioning over the past few years. Valerie, who is a widow with 5 children and 6 grandchildren, talks about how her local congregation is helping her feel welcome and loved. Valerie is one of the founders and co-chairs of Emmas LGBTQ Ministry (check out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/emmauslgbtq) a place for Latter-day LGBTQ members and allies. If you are transgender or a parent of a transgender or non-binary child, please listen to this podcast. It will help you! If you are one of my transgender friends, this podcast will also help you along your path and know that our Heavenly Parents love you and will give your personal revelation. ** 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
Laurie Rodriguez (mother of 3, two of which identify as LGBQ) and Dr. Mary Elizabeth Wilde (integrative pediatrician, mother of 8) talk about how to support LGBTQ family members. These two sisters have unique and powerful insights from different perspectives: Laurie with a direct and personal one as a mother with LGBTQ children, and Mary with a professional/clinical one as a pediatrician who supports families. If you are a parent, friend or local leader and want to better understand the research and personal stories on how to help LGBTQ family members, please listen to this podcast. It will give you better tools to improve LGBTQ emotional health and keep the family circle together. You can learn more about Dr. Wilde at https://drmarywilde.com or connect with her on IG @drmarywilde. Connect with Laurie Rodriguez through the Chicago Affirmation Chapter at https://www.facebook.com/AffimationChicagoChapter/ or at email@example.com Other resources mentioned: • The Family Acceptance Project at https://familyproject.sfsu.edu/publications or https://www.listenlearnandlove.org/articles (article #7) • Debra Oaks Coe’s article https://www.ldsliving.com/Preventing-Youth-Suicide-in-Our-Wards-and-Families/s/88081 Debra Oaks Coe quotes Brene Brown from these sources: Huffington Post, updated December 6, 2017, “Brene Brown On Why Courage, Vulnerability and Authenticity Have to Be Practiced” Psychology Today, Aug. 2012. “Connect To Thrive – Social Connection Improves Health, Well-Being & Longevity” by Emma M Seppala Ph.D. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-it/201208/connect-thrive Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 140 Penguin Group US • Sara Hughes-Zabawa (whose work is mentioned at [28:00]) can be found at https://sarahugheszabawa.com.
My friend Jake Berry, Joined by his friend Nic Quilter, shares his life story. Jake starts with having Cerebral Palsy since birth, difficult situations, setbacks, positive experiences and receiving personal revelation. This is the first time I’ve listened to someone with Cerebral Palsy and I learned so much. Jake talks about being inactive until moving to Arizona and being fellowshipped by the missionaries, a dear aunt and wonderful ward members like Nic leading to full activity and a call to serve a full-time mission to Upstate New York. Jake bravely talks about a spiritual prompting to open up to his Mission President about his past which led to his mission ending after 12 months. I was deeply moved as Jake shared this part of his story. Jake talks having Cerebral Palsy and being LGBTQ and his desire to feel loved, accepted and a feeling of belonging when people know these aspects of his essence. Aspects that Jake looks as a blessing and hopes that others will accept and support --- and not pull away from him. I was deeply moved as this good man bravely opened up his heart to be vulnerable with myself, our friend Nic and the listeners. I am filled with love, support and compassion for Jake --- someone who is a hero to me! Thanks for being on the podcast Jake. This world is a better place with you here. Thanks for helping us feel hope and God’s love. ** 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 Rebekah Clark (married mother of 3) shares her journey with OCD. Rebekah, in her 30’s, has been walking this road since age 6. Rebekah talks about the many OCDs that are or have been part of her life including checking, scrupulosity, relationship and "just right" OCD. She shares learning about these OCDs, the impact in her life, and working with a therapist to solve them. Rebekah also talks her husband’s wonderful support and how she now looks at her emotional health challenges as a “super power” to connect with and help others. If you’d like to reach Rebekah, please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on FB at https://www.facebook.com/rebekah.d.clark Thank you Rebekah for being on the podcast. You are brave, strong and courageous. Thank you for sharing your story. It will help so many! Addendum to the episode from Rebekah: I realized that I should have explained that the "no reassurance thing" only applies in a situation where a trained therapist is helping the patient through ERP on that particular topic. In my case when I was eleven and struggling with scrupulosity I think my Mom probably did the right thing to reassure me because we were not yet working with a therapist. Not reassuring causes a HUGE increase in anxiety so understanding when and how to go about that would really need to be led by a therapist. And ERP tackles one compulsion at a time, starting with the easier ones and moving up so the therapist might have a family member stop reassuring on one subject but continue as normal on another subject. Also, it would really be best if the person with OCD knew in advance that the family member wouldn't be reassuring them on that topic. And I wish I had said it a little differently on the podcast - instead of saying, "You'll just have to learn to live with the uncertainty," you can say, "I love you so much and you know I can't answer that question but I'm right here with you." So even when the person with OCD is working on ERP and you can't reassure them of a specific thing, you can still reassure them of your love and you can still reassure them that you understand what they are doing is extremely difficult and brave. And that is helpful reassurance as they tackle this very difficult task of fighting the OCD.
My friend Tony Fieldson (married father of two, active LDS) joins us to talk about his miraculous conversion story, and of his work to build bridges of understanding between members of the church and critics of the church. His goal is not to convert everyone to the Church or to demonize critics—but to bring us together as the same human family in respectful conversations. Tony is honest about his own mini-faith crisis and why he nevertheless stays a believing and committed Latter-day Saint. Tony's work is consistent with Elder Cook’s statement from the October 2019 General Conference: “Unity and diversity are not opposites. We can achieve greater unity as we foster an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for diversity.” Please check out Tony’s YouTube channel, The Restoration Table, at: https://youtube.com/channel/UCviVDh4U9YNFNOiFA1sitXA and his Restoration Table Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/720024265292786. You can also find Tony on FB at https://www.facebook.com/tony.fieldson
My friend Andrea Forsythe bravely shares her story that includes a mental breakdown (or "break open" as she likes to call it), caused from mental health challenges exacerbated by continuously ‘hustling for worth’ as a woman in the church. Andrea talks about the path to heal from the pain and also how this pain/heartache has brought an awareness and desire to see, validate, and serve marginalized groups in our Church and society. Andrea has powerful insights on how we all can do better. Andrea, who hopes for changing in our church, stays a committed Latter-day Saint. You can connect with Andrea on Facebook at www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=660393956 or Instagram @andreasitterudforsythe. Thank you Andrea for being on the podcast. You are awesome and courageous. Our Church and society is better off with people like you in it bringing us together as the same human family!
My friend Adam Baker (Masters degree as a Physicians Assistant from Idaho State University)shares his story as a gay Latter-day Saint. Adam talks about life before his successful mission in Wisconsin (including being hyper-religion to overcome being gay), getting a degree at BYU-Idaho, and starting to come out to roommates and family members. Adam talks about learning to accept this part of himself (partly by working with great therapists like Cameron Staley) as a gift from God, eliminating shame---which helped him stop the suicidal ideation that was part of his journey for a few years. Adam has a strong relationship with his Heavenly Father and the Savior. Adam also has a testimony that Jesus is at the head of our Church. Adam shares his hope to marry a man, have a family, desire to fully participate in and contribute to the Church he loves and supports. You can find Adam on IG @adambakeridaho Thanks for being on the podcast Adam. You are a great man. Our Church and world are better with you part of it. You have a great life ahead of you! ** Please check out my new Book** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773
My friend Thomas McConkie joins us to talk about his new online course called “Transformations of Faith”—a contemporary expression of timeless Wisdom as understood through the lens of the Restored Gospel. The course was jointly developed by two non-profits: Faith Matters (https://faithmatters.org/) and Lower Lights (https://lowerlightswisdom.org/) In the podcast Thomas explains why he developed the course, who the course is for, the nature of the content, and how it brings hope and healing. He even walks us through some practices in the conversation! I encourage our listeners to enroll in this course. It will give you tools to better activate the possibilities of our gospel (especially around healing and finding peace) in your life. Please go to transformationsoffaith.org to learn more or enroll. Use the discount code HOLIDAYS for 25% off. Thank you, our friend Thomas, for being on the podcast and your unique and needed life work to bring hope, healing, love, peace and unity.
My friends Fiona and Terryl join us to introduce their new book “All Things New: Rethinking Sin, Salvation, and Everything in Between”. Fiona and Terryl authored three other books: The God Who Weeps, The Christ Who Heals, and The Crucible of Doubt. This book talks about our beautiful restored doctrine and how to better apply it in our lives to heal our woundedness, have more hopeful view of the future, power of Heavenly Parents whose love is unconditional, and how to better love everyone. I encourage all our listeners to buy this book and listen to this podcast. I promise you it will give you more peace, hope, and better use the Atonement of Jesus to heal from the woundedness that we all experience as part of mortality. The book is available at Deseret Book (https://deseretbook.com/p/all-things-new-rethinking-sin-salvation-and-everything-in-between) and Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/All-Things-New-Rethinking-Everything/dp/1953677029) Thanks for being on the podcast and for your important work to bring hope, healing and unity.
My friend Adam Brulotte joins us to share his remarkable story. Adam’s story includes coming out as gay to his parents, his remarkable conversion story to the LDS Church, and then his journey as a gay member of the Church which includes supportive leaders, members and friends. Adam looks at being gay as a gift from God and something neither God or Adam are ashamed of. Adam’s leaders not only listened to and learned from Adam, but put him to work in the Church. Adam has served in many callings including his current calling as the First Counselor in his Branch Presidency. Adam has a feeling of belonging that all Latter-day Saints should feel in their congregations. Thank you for being on the podcast Adam. Your story will help so many. You are a great man and wonderful member of the Church. ** Please check out my new Book** Deseret Book: www.deseretbook.com/p/listen-learn-and-love-embracing-lgbtq-latter-day-saints Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773