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.

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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E153: Jesus Christ (Almost) Visits the Mormons.

August 16, 2023

Would Jesus pass muster to visit an LDS ward? Ryan Shoemaker doesn’t think so. But for reasons that have more to do with Whole Foods than the whole gospel. Episode …

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E152: Saving the Good Ship Zion by Leaving It.

July 10, 2023

The story goes that anyone who leaves the Good Ship Zion comes back all wet and half drowned. But in this episode, Stephen Carter argues that this is short-sighted, and …

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E151: Jesus, John Wayne, and Captain Moroni: How Mormonism Became Evangelical.

July 3, 2023

Mormonism used to pride itself on how different it was from other Christian sects. But it has since become part and parcel of the Evangelical movement. How did this happen? …

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E150: A Pride Month Sermon.

June 26, 2023

Walking into the forest means walking into the unknown. Reverend Patty Willis has done so many times in her life, and is about to do it again.

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E149: How the Proclamation on the Family Could Include Transgender People.

June 15, 2023

When the Proclamation on the Family says “gender,” what does it mean? Ted Lee makes a case that using the academic, rather than colloquial, definition of gender opens the way …

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E148: What Would Socrates Think of LGBTQ Issues if He Were Mormon?

June 9, 2023

In these two hilarious and compelling dialogues by Theric Jepson, Mormon Socrates explores the theology behind transgender people and reproductive rights.

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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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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.)