John Dehlin

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John P. Dehlin
Born 1969 (age 46–47)[1][2]
Boise, Idaho, US
Alma mater Brigham Young University
Utah State University (MS, PhD)[3]
Occupation Faith crisis coach
Clinical psychologist[3]
Spouse(s) Margi Weber Dehlin[4]

John Parkinson Dehlin[5] /dəˈlɪn/ is a psychologist, personal counselor, blogger, social activist, and scholar, who founded the Mormon Stories Podcast as well as several other Mormon-themed podcasts, blogs, and web sites[6] was an influential early participant in the Mormon blogosphere, and blogs at A psychologist whose research and clinical practice center around the nexus of religion and mental health,[3] Dehlin also is an advocate for the rights of skeptics in Mormonism, LGBT rights, equality for women, and the rights of certain other individuals outside of the mainstream within Mormonism.[3][4][7] He has published articles on anxiety disorders,[8][9] on the experiences of LGBT Latter-day Saints,[10][11][12] and on Mormon faith crises.[13]

Youth and early career[edit]

Dehlin was born in Boise, Idaho, and raised in Katy, Texas.[14] He attended Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1993.[15]

After graduation, Dehlin worked for five years in software and as a consultant for Bain & Company, Arthur Andersen, Citicorp, Heidrick & Struggles, and the LDS Church. He then worked at Microsoft for seven years in programs for developers, marketing, speech technologies, and product demos.[15] Dehlin's brother, Joel Dehlin, also worked at Microsoft, and became the chief information officer of the LDS Church in 2004.[16]

In 2004, Dehlin moved to Logan, Utah, to begin work under David A. Wiley at Utah State University (USU) on OpenCourseWare-related projects.[17] Dehlin would serve two years as USU's OpenCourseWare Consortium Coordinator and Director of Outreach for the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning Director of Outreach, promoting OpenCourseWare to other universities,[15] and a few years as director of the OpenCourseWare Consortium for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2007, while at USU, Dehlin also completed a Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology.[18] In January 2007, MIT hired Dehlin as the Director of the OpenCourseWare Consortium.[17] In 2015 Dehlin received his doctorate in clinical and counseling psychology at USU.[19]

New media[edit]


During Dehlin's early career developing massive open online courses (MOOCs) he had branched into Latter-day Saint themed new media. Dehlin approached the Sunstone Education Foundation and presented to its Board of Directors about the importance of participating in developing internet communities through blogging and podcasting, in order to address the then limited internet presence for constructive Mormon intellectual sources. The Board accepted his offer to initiate these programs[20] and, in September 2005, Dehlin joined the Board of Directors and began a Sunstone podcast as well as SunstoneBlog.[21] In July 2007, he also became executive director of the Sunstone Education Foundation, in which he was to focus on strategic initiatives to strengthen Sunstone's position as an open forum for Mormon issues.[22] In that role, he increased organizational focus on its longstanding motto, "faith seeking understanding", and worked to attract new and younger membership.[23] Dehlin resigned from Sunstone in January 2008.[24]

Mormon Stories[edit]

In September 2005, after experiencing doubts in his faith and subsequently finding reasons to remain a member of the LDS Church, Dehlin created the Mormon Stories podcast as an open discussion of Mormon issues, intending to give listeners reasons to remain in the church.[25] Through interviews, Mormon Stories focused on varying Mormon experiences and perspectives. Mormon Stories has been featured in many venues, including being broadcast on KVNU in Logan, Utah.[26]

Intermittently conflicted about continuing Mormon Stories, Dehlin stopped and restarted the project a few times.[27][28] In January 2010 Dehlin resumed the blog and podcast, focusing on faith crises and mental illness. The podcast has featured many notable guests,[29] beginning with interviews of Joanna Brooks and John Hamer.[30][31] Two other regular hosts joined Dehlin in conducting interviews for the podcast: Dan Wotherspoon, former editor of Sunstone magazine; and Natasha Helfer Parker, a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist.

Other blogs[edit]

In June 2007, Dehlin started Mormon Matters as a blog and weekly podcast.[32] The format was a discussion panel on events, culture, politics and spirituality within Mormonism. Panelists were to represent different sides of each issue, although the show later struggled to retain regular conservative LDS panelists.[33] In early 2008, Dehlin converted Mormon Matters into a group blog and lessened emphasis on new podcast episodes,.[34] Dehlin resumed the Mormon Matters podcast on March 5, 2011 with Dan Wotherspoon as the host, and Joanna Brooks as a frequent co-host.

Dehlin is also the co-founder of the pro-LGBT Mormons for Marriage website.[35] He also co-founded Stay LDS,[36] a community dedicated to helping unorthodox Mormons stay in the LDS Church.[37]

In 2016 Dehlin began to blog at non-partisan religion website in a current-issues/events dialogue format with Mormon studies scholar Patrick Q. Mason,[38] who has advocated for a more embracing ethos within Mormonism.[39]

Scholarship and lectures/consulting; private clinical practice[edit]

While a candidate and after his receiving Dehlin's doctorate in clinical and counseling psychology, which he received in 2015, Dehlin has given presentations on topics of his research and interests at various venues. In addition, during this period, Dehlin began providing to a small number of clients his personal and family coaching through their Latter-day Saint faith crises and transitions.[40]


Along with web-content (referenced above), Dehlin's publications include:

(Religious skepticism):



(Same-sex/trans-gender orientations within the LDS faith community):

(Applied cognitive psychology):


From 1988 to 1990, Dehlin served as an LDS Church missionary in Guatemala. During this time his mission began baptizing up to 700 converts per month, using practices he believed to be deceptive. After reporting this to an apostle, Dallin H. Oaks, Dehlin completed his two-year missionary term in the Arizona Tempe Mission. Dehlin remained an active, faithful member of the LDS Church for the next 20 years.[25]

In the Spring of 2011, Dehlin stated he had become inactive in the LDS Church (i.e., not attending church services), citing an inability to believe some of the church's claims.[42][43] In 2014, Dehlin was investigated by his local church leaders regarding his online activity, culminating in a request by Dehlin for greater privacy.[44]

Prior to 2014, Dehlin had faced church disciplinary hearings, but they had not resulted in any disciplinary action.[45] In January 2015, Dehlin's stake president asked him to appear before a disciplinary council.[46][47] The council ruled that Dehlin's online statements rejecting particular church teachings constitute apostasy, and he was therefore excommunicated.[48] Dehlin appealed the decision to the church's First Presidency on March 10, 2015, stating his actions had not met the church's definition of apostasy.[49][50]


  1. ^ Press, Associated (2015-02-10). "John Dehlin gets kicked out of the Mormon church after refusing to shut down his website | Daily Mail Online". Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  2. ^ (19 years ago). "John Parkinson Dehlin | Utah Voter". Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Private Practice – John Dehlin, Ph.D". Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  4. ^ a b "TEDxUSU: Survive", TEDx Events, Utah State University:, November 5, 2013 
  5. ^ {{ authors[i].name }} (2015-09-28). "John Parkinson Dehlin (john1parkinson1dehli) 2 uploads". Scribd. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  6. ^ "Mormon Stories Podcast". Retrieved 2014-08-30. 
  7. ^ Post by Joanna Brooks (2011-07-13). "Landmark Survey of LGBTQ Mormons Launched". Religion Dispatches. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  8. ^ Jesse M. Crosby; John P. Dehlin; P.R. Mitchell; Michael P. Twohig. "Cognitive and Behavioral Practice: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Habit Reversal Training for the Treatment of Trichotillomania". Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  9. ^ John P. Dehlin; Kate L. Morrison; Michael P. Twohig. "Behavior Modification: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a Treatment for Scrupulosity in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder". Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  10. ^ John P. Dehlin; Renee V. Galliher; William S. Bradshaw; Daniel C. Hyde; Katherine A. Crowell. "Sexual Orientation Change Efforts Among Current or Former LDS Church Members.". Retrieved 2014-05-26. 
  11. ^ John P. Dehlin; Renee V. Galliher; William S. Bradshaw; Katherine A. Crowell. "Psychosocial Correlates of Religious Approaches to Same-Sex Attraction: A Mormon Perspective.". Retrieved 2014-05-26. 
  12. ^ Kate Bradshaw; John P. Dehlin; Katherine A. Crowell; Renee V. Galliher; William S. Bradshaw. "Sexual Orientation Change Efforts through Psychotherapy for LGBQ Individuals Affiliated With the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.". Retrieved 2014-05-26. 
  13. ^ Goodstein, Laurie (July 20, 2013). "Some Mormons Search the Web and Find Doubt". The New York Times 
  14. ^ Dehlin, John. "Author Profile: John Dehlin". Mormon Matters. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  15. ^ a b c "User Profile: John Dehlin". OpenCourseWare Consortium. Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  16. ^ Dehlin, Joel. "About Joel". Joel Dehlin Weblog. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  17. ^ a b Dehlin, John (March 15, 2007). "Meet and Greet". OpenCourseWare Consortium Forum. OpenCourseWare Consortium. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  18. ^ Dehlin, John (December 16, 2007). "I did it". Mormon Stories. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  19. ^ "USU University Libraries". Retrieved 22 Aug 2015. 
  20. ^ Goble, Clark (September 26, 2005). "M* Interviews… John Dehlin". The Millennial Star. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  21. ^ Wotherspoon, Dan (September 15, 2005). "Bloggin and Podcasting Sunstone Style!". SunstoneBlog. Sunstone Education Foundation. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  22. ^ "Sunstone foundation hires executive director". Deseret News. July 28, 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  23. ^ Moore, Carrie A. (August 7, 2007). "New direction for Sunstone?". Deseret Morning News. Salt Lake City. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  24. ^ Dehlin, John (June 8, 2008). "<comment>". The New Mormon History. Latter-day Commentary. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  25. ^ a b Dehlin, John (September 4, 2005). "Mormon Stories Podcast # 001: Bad Baptisms? My Mission Experience in Guatemala". Mormon Stories. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  26. ^ Grover, Tom (January 3, 2008). "John Dehlin, Mormon Stories featured in today's Herald Journal". KVNU’s For The People. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  27. ^ "What is/was Mormon Stories?". Mormon Stories Podcast. April 14, 2009. [dead link]
  28. ^ "Some Bonus Material, and a Break". Mormon Stories. December 25, 2007. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  29. ^ "Mormon Stories 2010 — A New Direction". Mormon Stories Podcast. January 15, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  30. ^ "Mormon Stories # 112 & 113: Joanna Brooks Parts 1 and 2". Mormon Stories Podcast. January 20, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  31. ^ "Mormon Stories # 116: John Hamer Pt. 1 — The LDS Succession Crisis of 1844 and the Beginnings of the RLDS Church". Mormon Stories Podcast. January 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  32. ^ "About|Mormon Matters". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  33. ^ Dehlin, John (July 14, 2007). "Desperately Seeking Conservative LDS Panelist(s)". Mormon Matters blog. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  34. ^ Dehlin, John (January 9, 2008). "Looking to turn Mormon Matters into a Group Blog". Mormon Matters blog. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ "Stay LDS / Mormon | New Ways to Stay Connected". Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  37. ^ Dobner, Jennifer (July 20, 2009). "Mormons in crisis find online refuge". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ a b "Research – John Dehlin, Ph.D". Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  42. ^ "New Order Mormon • View topic - Conversation on FB with a friend, because oh John Dehlin". Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  43. ^ "Support for People as they Leave or Consider Leaving the Mormon or LDS Church | The Community Forum | Yes, John Dehlin has left the Church". Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  44. ^ "Did you ask to be excommunicated?". Mormon Stories. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  45. ^ Walch, Tad (January 15, 2015). "Mormon critic John Dehlin says he'll face church disciplinary council". Deseret News. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  46. ^ Goodstein, Laurie (January 15, 2015). "John Dehlin, Mormon Critic, Facing Excommunication". The New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  47. ^ Moulton, Kristen (January 22, 2015). "Disciplinary council delayed for 'Mormon Stories' podcaster John Dehlin". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  48. ^ Walch, Tad (February 10, 2015). "John Dehlin excommunicated from LDS Church". KSL. 
  49. ^ Fletcher Stack, Peggy (March 10, 2015). "Mormon critic John Dehlin appeals LDS excommunication". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  50. ^ "Mormon critic John Dehlin appeals LDS excommunication | Religion News Service". 2015-03-11. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 

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