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.

E163: Nephite Treasure in the Mountains: Utah County’s “Dream Mine.”

November 22, 2023

Treasure digging did not stop with Joseph Smith. In this episode, Kevin Cantera tells us about John Koyle, a Mormon visionary who started a mine that he said would lead …

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E162: In the Garden God Hath Planted: Remembering Lavina Fielding Anderson

November 13, 2023

This episode honors the life, thought, and spirit of Lavina Fielding Anderson with one of her best Sunstone articles: “In the Garden God Hath Planted: Explorations Toward a Maturing Faith.”

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E161: How the Barbie Movie Rewrites the Faith Crisis Script.

October 30, 2023

Are you a Barbie, a Ken, or a Gloria? Stephen Carter, who watched the Barbie movie five times in the theaters, argues that these three characters typify some of the …

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E160: The Plan of Saw-vation: What the Movie “Saw” Reveals about What Truly Terrifies Mormons.

October 18, 2023

As the old Primary song goes, “I’m trying to be like Jigsaw.” In this episode, Stephen Carter explores the peculiar reason why so many Mormons are afraid to die.  

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E159: Why the Heck Don’t Mormons Swear?

October 9, 2023

Jana Riess grew up in a household where swearing was the norm. And she wonders if bringing a little of that spice over to our religious devotions might not kick …

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E158: How to Listen to a Man: And Other Things I Learned from “Fascinating Womanhood.”

October 2, 2023

Buckle up as Stephen Carter takes you on a ride through Mormonism’s most popular, and notorious, marriage manual on its 60th anniversary.  

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E157: The Excommunication of Charles William Kingston.

September 19, 2023

How did the one of richest Mormon polygamous groups get its start? With one man, Charles William Kingston. In this episode, his great-grandson, Charles Elden Kingston, tells his story.

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E156: Should We Save the Provo Temple?

September 12, 2023

Yes, the mothership temple of Utah County has been the butt of many jokes. But what will we lose if the LDS Church goes ahead with its renovation of the …

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E155: Are There Jokes in Heaven? Are They Better than General Conference Jokes?

September 1, 2023

Our intuition tells us that there must be humor in heaven, but the D&C has specific injunctions against laughter. Using theories of humor and stories from the Bible, Stephen Carter …

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E154: Passive-aggression Among the Latter-day Saints

August 23, 2023

When Michael Stevens started teaching university courses in Utah, he noticed that passive-aggressive behavior was significantly higher there than at the midwestern universities he had taught at. His studies revealed …

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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.)