For more than 45 years, Sunstone has been exploring Mormonism in all its expressions through our publications and symposiums. The Sunstone Podcast gathers the best of these explorations, including compelling sessions from our worldwide symposiums as well as interviews, book reviews, and deep dives into all things Mormon. Hosted by Stephen Carter.

Listen to the Sunstone Podcast on iTunes or Spotify, or view and stream any of the episodes from this podcast on the Sunstone website.

E147: Should Mormons Become a Part of Cancel Culture?

May 22, 2023

It’s hard to know how to respond when a favorite artist breaks one of you most cherished values. Starting with Erich Hatala Matthes’ book “Drawing the Line: What to Do …

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E146: The Curious Case of James Madison Monroe.

May 9, 2023

The line between polygamy and adultery in early Mormonism was blurry, and people were killed over the interpretation of that line. This article by Edward Hogan explores how often the …

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E145: Are Mormon Rituals Weird Enough?

April 28, 2023

Ritual is the basic building block of civilization. But what makes a strong ritual? And does Mormonism have enough of it to survive? Stephen Carter explores the Mormon implications of …

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E144: Telling Your Life Story After Religion.

April 17, 2023

When you lose your religion, you lose your life story. You have to reconstruct what life means. Stephen Carter presents an approach to telling your life story after the pre- …

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E143: Could the Book of Abraham Save Us from AI?

March 31, 2023

Artificial Intelligence could possibly destroy humanity. How do we reduce that risk? R. W. Richey shows how Abraham 3 offers a practical solution.  

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E142: How Testosterone Changed Mormon History

March 7, 2023

Why are Mormons a bewildering mix of peculiar and normal? Some of it has to do with . . . testosterone? Stephen Carter explores the Mormon implications of Joseph Henrich’s …

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E141: “You Will Not Talk about that Woman in My Church”: How We Wrote “Mormon Enigma.”

February 20, 2023

“Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith” was a turning point in the telling of Mormon history. And it has a fascinating history of its own. Linda King Newell recounts how she …

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E140: Hallucinogens in Early Mormon History

February 8, 2023

How much of a role might hallucinogens have played in some of the visions of early Mormon history? Bryce Blakenagel, host of the Naked Mormonism podcast, explores the possibilities. This …

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E139: The Jungian Shadow and Mormon History

January 23, 2023

If the LDS Church has light, it also has a shadow. But what should it do with that shadow? Valerie Hamaker, host of the Latter Day Struggles podcast, shows how …

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E138: The Woman Who Brought Satanism to Utah

December 28, 2022

LDS Church member Beatrice Sparks published two wildly popular diaries of teen drug abuse and Satanism: “Go Ask Alice” and “Jay’s Journal.” But the diaries, and Beatrice herself, were much …

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About the Host


Stephen Carter stumbled into the Mormon Studies community in 1998 when he became Eugene England's administrative assistant at Utah Valley University, helping him establish the world's first Mormon Studies program. After earning an MFA in creative writing and a Ph.D. in narrative studies, Stephen joined Sunstone as its director of publications in 2008. Since then, he has had a front-row seat to everything from Proposition 8 to the Ordain Women movement to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign to the effects of COVID-19 on the the LDS Church. From all this, Stephen has found that Mormonism is most interesting where its tensions are greatest. 

Stephen's tension-marked life in Mormonism can be encapsulated in two experiences. The first was when he was fired from being an early-morning seminary teacher for "raising more questions than he answered," but on his last day, receiving a letter from a student saying that her time in his classes had reactivated her interest in the Church. The second was the year he spent attending a Unitarian Universalist congregation on Sunday mornings before rushing back to his ward to fulfill his calling as Sunday school president. (He still attends both congregations.)