So this will be a very brief update. I was recently on the Listen, Learn, & Love podcast hosted by Richard Ostler. He is an active, believing Latter-day Saint striving to increase understanding between people that may not have as loud of a voice within the LDS church.
I was invited to do this by my high school friend, Taylor Smith. We had been chatting on and off about our respective journeys with the church and realized that we could have these discussions in a mutually beneficial, non-confrontational way.
I believe this episode shows the amount of growth I have undergone through this process of faith deconstruction and reconstruction of new, meaningful value systems. I have included the episode title and summary, written by Papa Ostler (as he is sometimes referred) as well as the website where the 1 hour, 20 minute episode can be listened to. If you do listen, I hope you enjoy.
Episode 415: Dason Harker (former LDS) and Taylor Smith (active/believing LDS)
My friends Dason and Taylor join us to share principles about how to keep relationships together when one goes through a faith crisis/transition. Dason and Taylor were friends growing up in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada and both served missions. After they both got married and started families, they lost contact until Dason’s Facebook post in 2019 about this faith transition. Taylor reached out to Dason with a desire to validate Dason's experiences/concerns, as well as share how he (Taylor) had reconciled some of the complex issues he had also encountered with church history/doctrines. After some bumps in the road and honest communication, they learned to accept and support each other in their respective journeys without an agenda to pull one to their way of seeing things. They report how their friendship is now closer than ever.
I believe our Heavenly Parents are pleased when we find ways to reduce divisiveness, stop pointing fingers, and love (instead of judge) others. Where we learn to “achieve greater unity as we foster an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for diversity” and “unity and diversity are not opposites” as taught by Elder Quentin Cook in October 2020 General Conference.
Dason and Taylor teach us how to do this in a real-life situation. Dason and Taylor are also admins in the Facebook Group called “The Restoration Table” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/720024265292786 where current and former church members are working together to better understand and support each other (see Episode 414 for more).
Thank you Dason and Taylor for being on the podcast and your good work to bring us together