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.

E127: The Polygamy Explosion in Early Utah

August 25, 2022

During early Utah’s “Mormon Reformation,” LDS leaders whipped the Saints into a religious fervor. Along with this reformation came an unprecedented spate of polygamous marriages. Scholar John G. Turner tells …

Read More

E126: Will You Have a Personality in Heaven?

August 16, 2022

Will the personality we develop in mortal life have any kind of staying power in the post-mortal life? Stephen Carter uses the television series “Severance” to explore the possibilities.

Read More

E125: A Native View of Pioneer Day.

July 21, 2022

Who was living in Salt Lake Valley when the Mormon pioneers arrived? What relationships existed between the Mormons and the Natives during Utah’s settlement? Forrest Cuch talks about the role …

Read More

E124: Post-Mormonism and the Witchy Worldview.

June 21, 2022

In this episode, Zina Bennion and Sara Hanks talk about their journeys from being Mormons to being witches, and how their upbringing still affects the way they practice and believe …

Read More

E123: Why Latter-day Saints Should Embrace “Under the Banner of Heaven”.

June 13, 2022

  It would probably surprise both the prophet Mormon and Dustin Lance Black to know how much they have in common. In this episode, Stephen Carter shows how the similarities …

Read More

E122: Bug or Feature? Historical Inaccuracies in Under the Banner of Heaven.

June 6, 2022

How important is the “historical” in historical fiction? Three historians, Barbara Jones Brown, Bryan Buchanan, and Cheryl Bruno, talk with Stephen Carter about the historical inaccuracies in Under the Banner …

Read More

E121: Mormon Fundamentalists Talk about Under the Banner of Heaven.

June 3, 2022

Mormon fundamentalism plays a shadowy, menacing part in Under the Banner of Heaven. This episode gathers Vicki Darger, Benjamin Shaffer, Shirlee Draper, and Moroni Lopez Jessop, all either current or …

Read More

E120: Under the Banner of Heaven with Actors Tyner Rushing and Scott Michael Campbell

May 17, 2022

Lindsay Hansen Park interviews two actors who took on iconic Mormon roles for “Under the Banner of Heaven”: Tyner Rushing as Emma Hale Smith, and Scott Michael Campbell as Brigham …

Read More

E119: An Ex-Mormon Temple Worker Tours the Washington DC Temple

May 13, 2022

Stephen Carter and his ex-Mormon brother walked into the Washington DC Temple open house, and what they saw on the walls changed the way they perceive the LDS Church forever. …

Read More

E118: The LDS Proselytizing Mission as Hazing.

May 4, 2022

In this episode, S. Richard Bellrock argues that the LDS proselytizing mission hits all the right buttons at all the right times to be a bona fide instance of hazing, …

Read More

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.)