Listen, Learn & Love Hosted by Richard Ostler

A Religion and Spirituality podcast
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My friend Dennis Schleicher joins me to update our listeners on his service, journey and work. Dennis (who joined us on Episode 108) is now a LDS literary agent, talks about his firesides, his work in his EQ Presidency and North Star. Dennis also shares answers he get to common question from other Latter-day Saints. You can buy Dennis’ book at: Thanks for being on the podcast my friend Dennis. You have a beautiful and unique life mission to help many unto Christ.
My friend and neighbor Luke Davenport shares his journey with long-term and debilitating OCD. Luke, who is age 19, has been battling this mental illness—a plague in his life—since age 3. Luke bravely explains this illness, how it can be solved, the life session learns and how he is helping others. He shares the positive roll of his parents and therapists. While Luke would love to follow many of his friends and serve a teaching mission, he realizes this is not a possible at this time. So Luke, one of the first in our area, has decided to serve a service mission (call opened on Jan 28th) as he understands this is equal and needed service in the sight of Heavenly Father and our Savior. Luke wants to help others who are not able to service teaching missions, to serve a service mission and to help normalize this type of service as needed and equal to help people come unto Christ. Thanks for being on the podcast, Luke. You are one of my heroes. And a hero to many others.
Colin Hanson shares his journey as a gay Latter-day Saint coming out to friends following his successful mission in Brazil including his close friends from the 7th grade Travis and MacKenzie Tiner (married three years ago, active Latter-day Saints). The three of them share this journey together. Very helpful insights on how a friendship can be strengthened and how Travis and MacKenzie are providing much needed support to Colin and how Colin is now in a much healthier places as trusted friends know about his sexual orientation. Did Travis and MacKenzie always suspect that Colin was gay? Well, listen and find out! Thanks Colin for sharing your journey. You are a great man with a wonderful life ahead of you. Thank you Travis and MacKenzie for you love and support of Colin. You all give me hope on how we are learning to do a better job as Latter-day Saints supporting all of God’s children.
My friend Kim Pearson share his journey as a married father of three children one of which is his gay 18 year old son. Kim shares the journey of his son coming out at age 13, finding safe places for him (such as joining the Bridging Voices, The Portland GSA Youth Choir), and supporting him in his decision to not be an active Latter-day Saint. Kim is doing a great job keeping his family together and navigating this complex space in our Church. Thank you my friend Kim for sharing your story!
Honored to have my friend Jana Riess, noted author and Mormon convert, discuss her research findings on why some of our men, women and our millennials are leaving the church. It is part of her forthcoming book ‘The Next Mormons being released in March 2019 from Oxford University Press. To minister to those that might step away or have stepped away, we need to understand the reasons. Jana provides the research and helpful insight to reach, understand and minister. Thank you Jana for your important work.
My friend Tiffany shares the story of growing up in a home with a mother with mental illness (Dissociative identity disorder), bravely sharing this with her Mission President and his inspired response, writing a book called ‘Mother Had a Secret ( and now working on a shortfilm to bring more understanding to this topic (you can donate to the shortfilm at @SaltDance via Venmo). Tiffany, a frequent speaker on the Ward/Stake level and Women’s Conferences, has wonderful insights into the Atonement of Jesus Christ to heal and bring hope. Thank you for sharing some of your journey. You are awesome and your voice is helping so many.
Ganel-Lyn Condie noted LDS speaker and author, who just released her 6th book called ‘You are More Than Enough, You Are MAGNIFICIENT”, shares valuable insights to see ourselves as beloved children of Heavenly Parents. She also talks about suicide, being kind to LGBTQ people, how to navigate faith changes within our families, and making our church more inclusive and accepting. Thank you Ganel-Lyn for all you are doing to bless others and help us come unto Christ.
Our close friends Doyle, Kathy and Chelsi Jenkins’ son and brother Riley died by suicide in 2010 at the age of 19. They share faith promoting lessons and insights about God’s love for all of us as they bravely share their family journey which helps all us of better minister and understand. Sheila and I served with Doyle and Kathy in our YSA assignment and Chesli was a member of the Ward. We love and admire the Jenkins family ... one of the finest families we know .... and all they have taught us about love, family and Christlike service.
My friend Stanley Alvey, my youngest guest yet, bravely shares his journey coming out to his parents Duke and Jessica Alvey at age 16. Their wonderful support. How coming out to his parents has strengthened their relationship and brought the whole family closer. Stanley shares his deep testimony of our Heavenly Father, the Savior and our Church. He also talks about the difficult road he faces trying to reconcile his love for the church and desire to stay a member in good standing and his sexual orientation. You are a strong and courageous man Stanley with a spiritual maturity well beyond your years. You have a great life ahead of you. Thanks for the courage to share some of your journey.
My long-time friend Jake Watts (married father of two young children) discusses his own faith journey following his mission and how he stays a believing and committed Latter-day Saint. Jake has wonderful insights into how to help our members in a faith crisis/journey in a positive and thoughtful way. His thoughts will also help those who are trying to help others in a faith journey. Jake also shares insights into how he and his wife are teaching the more complicated issues to their children. Thank you, Jake for sharing your story. Its great families like you and Chelsie that give me hope for the future!
Erika Munson, a straight married Latter-day Saint, shares her journey of marching in a Utah Pride parade in 2012 which led to founding of Mormons Building Bridges. Erika has great Christlike principals for active Latter-day Saints to step into this space of supporting God’s LGBTQ children. She also shares helpful insights about our LGBTQ friends. Thank you Erika for sharing your story. You are awesome!
My dear friend Mormon Brother from twitter ( shares his journey as a gay active Mormon. Listening to this podcast and following him on twitter will help all of us better understand God’s LGBTQ children.
My friend Brother Emmett Claren calls in from California to share his journey as a transgender man. Emmett shares the long-term gender dysphoria he felt from a young age and the accompanied feelings of depressions leading to suicide attempts. Emmett shares serving as a sister missionary (Salt Lake City) and then starting to transition after the mission while at BYU-Idaho. Emmett shares his experience with supportive priesthood leaders as he went through the social, legal and medical stages of transition. Emmett shares how he is in a much better plan emotionally and spiritually, has a great relationship with his family, and his Heavenly Parents. Great podcast to learn about our transgender Latter-day Saints. Thank you my friend and brother Emmett for being on the podcast and sharing your journey.
Episode 233: Cory and Lynette Braddock, Active LDS, Parents of a Transgender Daughter by Richard Ostler
My friend Adam Durfee talks about his career in digital marketing including starting a digital ad agency, being named social media innovator of the year, and leaving his agency to teach at BYU to help students be better digital marketers. Adam also advises the Church on its digital marketing efforts. Yes, Adam (married) is a Professor at BYU at the age of 30. But most of the podcast is Adam sharing insights into our LGBTQ siblings, bringing voice to our talented women (his favorite topic), and his insights into the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Adam talks about how he creates an accepting culture in his class and on social media so that students (including those not in his class) know they can open up about difficult issues they are confronting. Thank you Adam for sharing some of your insights. You are a rare combination of great business skills and strong pastoral skills helping to lift so many. Thanks for being on the podcast. You can find Adam on Twitter, IG and Facebook @AdamDurfee
Our dear family friends, Royal and Elissa Richards, share their family story of raising three great sons who all served missions and who are all married. Their middle son Conner is gay and was married earlier this year to his husband Jan. Royal and Elissa will talk about how are navigating this road, supporting and loving their dear son Conner, keeping the family circle together and helpful Ward support (including some vulnerable and helpful Elder Quorum discussions, and a shower hosted by the RS President). Their story helps all of us show Christlike principals to better love, support and respect others.
Chuck shares the story of how he initiated and led the first ever community float project (that included people of all backgrounds) for the Days of ’47 Parade. Regina shares her perspective on how the float project gave the community a chance to build something beautiful together. After the Days of 47 Parade, both Chuck and Regina spoke in their local Ward about this community effort. They share their Christlike talks in our podcast. Thank you Chuck and Regina. You two are awesome!
My friend Sarah Kemp shares her journey coming out gay on her mission to her companion and Mission President (good experience), graduating from BYU, finishing medical school in Michigan, starting residency in Texas as part of her path to become a trauma surgeon. Sarah shares her personal revelation that her mortal mission as a gay child of Heavenly Parents is not to get married, and have children but use her divine gifts and attributes to bless others through her medical career. It is not plan B because getting married didn’t work out. It is plan A. She also shares her journey as a gay Latter-day Saint and how her love for the temple and the peace that she finds there help to keep her a fully believing and committed member. Thank you Sarah for sharing some of your journey. You are awesome and have a great life ahead of you. Honored to have met you!
I wanted to give you, our listeners, an update on a few topics. I will talk about my LGBTQ POV, upcoming book (fall 2020), podcast history and future, my testimony, church service and additional thoughts. Thank you for joining me and your efforts to make this podcast possible.
My former missionary companion shares the story of his people, the Northwest Band of the Shoshone Nation. This group of Native Americans lived in Utah when Brigham Young arrived and their tribal leader Sagwitch visited with Brigham Young. This group helped the first Mormon settlers in the Cache valley but then most of their tribe was massacred in the Bear River Massacre in 1863. This was the largest massacre of Native Americans in history (around 400-450). Sagwitch later converted to the LDS Church. Darren’s mission is to bring voice to his people. The good they did. The injustices they received. How they converted to the LDS Church. Darren has been working with LDS Church leaders (close friendship with Bishop Causse) and Utah Government Leaders (Governor Herbert and Lt Governor Cox) to raise funds for a permanent facility at the site of the massacre. You can learn more at or donate at Here is a recent article from the Deseret News: Thanks Darren for being an awesome senior companion in England in 1980 and, more importantly, the wonderful work you are doing for your people.
My friend RJ joins me to share his story as a gay Latter-day Saint. RJ served a mission in Bolivia, graduated from Utah State and served as an EQ President. RJ then stepped away from the church for about 8 months. RJ received a scholarship to ASU (Speech-Language Pathology) and decided to give his new Tempe YSA Ward a chance in the Fall of 2018. RJ shares the two things that needed to happen (which did occur) that week for him to become active in the Ward. RJ shares meeting Bishop and Sister Steele during the mingle, coming out as gay, and then meeting with Bishop Steele later that day. RJ loves this good couple and their ability to help RJ feel needed and welcome. RJ shares about Bishop Steele’s prayer for someone with music talents to join the Ward and extending a call to RJ to serve as the Ward Music Chair in answer to that prayer. RJ gave a powerful talk in his YSA ward about the doctrine of Christ to love everyone and shared some of his journey as a gay Latter-day Saint. Link to talk: RJ finishes the podcast performing on the piano ‘Beautiful Savior’ arranged by Jason Tonoili.
My friend Noah Kelsch joins us to share his journey with OCD, Anxiety, and Scrupulosity. Noah, who is getting a degree in Marriage and Family Studies with plans to be a therapist, talks about how scrupulosity was first manifested while getting ready for his mission, then on his mission, and more recently while a student at BYU-I. Noah did not know this was scrupulosity until his therapist diagnosed him in 2019. Please listen as Noah bravely shares his journey. His insights, perspectives, and experiences will help you if you have scrupulosity or simply want to help others. Also, check out Noah’s podcast, "Survive and Thrive: From Courtship to Marriage," at: It can also be found on most podcast streaming platforms.
My friend Jordan shares his journey as a gay Latter-day Saint. Jordan shares growing up, doing his best to stay in the Church, and helping other LGBTQ people. Jordan is on the executive committee at The Utah Hearth ( and is launching (end of 2020) as a central place for Utah resources. Thanks for being on the podcast Jordan. You are a great man, helping many, and with a wonderful future.
My friend Sister Alyssa Edwards joins us to talk about issues facing our High School LDS members and her deep testimony of our Restored Church. Alyssa shares her journey as an early release missionary (which gives her added skills to connect with her students), discussions with her students about LGBTQ, role of women, overcoming sin and faith crisis. Alyssa gives wonderful insights in how to meet these students where they are and point them towards the hope and healing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To show she is safe for her LGBTQ students (and really all her students) to open up if needed, she has a copy of J. Kirk Richard’s painting ‘Jesus Said Love Everyone’ hanging in her office. This painting was originally commissioned by our family friend Allison Dayton as a Christmas gift for her gay son Jake. Thanks for being on the podcast Alyssa. You are awesome. Thanks for sharing your voice and all you are doing to bring the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the lives of others
My friend Alex Boye shares his story of joining the Church while living in England, significant hardship, serving a mission, building a foundation on Christ, using his God-given musical gifts to bless others, his latest song and video called ‘Bend Not Break ( to give hope to those who are suicidal, and inspiring thoughts for our dear LGBTQ friends. Thanks Alex for your efforts to lift, give hope and heal others. May God continue to sustain you in your unique and wonderful ministry. We all love you!
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Podcast Details

Feb 10th, 2018
Latest Episode
Aug 3rd, 2020
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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