John Dehlin

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John P. Dehlin
Dehlin speaking in 2007
John Parkinson Dehlin

(1969-08-20) August 20, 1969 (age 54)
Alma materBrigham Young University (BA)
Utah State University (MS, PhD)
Occupation(s)New media journalist and commentator
Moral entrepreneur
Faith crisis coach
SpouseMargi Weber Dehlin[1]

John Parkinson Dehlin[2] (/dəˈlɪn/; born August 20, 1969) is an American podcast host. He holds a PhD in psychology. Dehlin founded the Mormon Stories Podcast, as well as several other Mormon-themed podcasts, blogs, and web sites.[3] He was an influential early participant in the Mormon blogosphere, and blogs at He has advocated for LGBT rights, equality for women, and other individual views outside mainstream Mormonism.[4][1][5] In January 2015, Dehlin was excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Boise, Idaho, and raised in Katy, Texas,[8] he attended Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1993.[9] In 2007, Dehlin also completed a Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology.[10] In 2015, he received his doctorate in clinical and counseling psychology from Utah State University.[11]


Early career[edit]

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.[9]

In 2004, Dehlin moved to Logan, Utah, to begin work under David A. Wiley at Utah State University (USU) on OpenCourseWare-related projects.[12] Dehlin would serve two years as USU's OpenCourseWare Consortium Coordinator and Director of Outreach for the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning, promoting OpenCourseWare to other universities,[9] and a few years as director of the OpenCourseWare Consortium for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In January 2007, MIT hired Dehlin as the Director of the OpenCourseWare Consortium.[12]


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[13] and, in September 2005, Dehlin joined the board of directors and began a Sunstone podcast as well as SunstoneBlog.[14] 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.[15] In that role, he increased organizational focus on its longstanding motto, "faith seeking understanding", and worked to attract new and younger membership.[16] Dehlin resigned from Sunstone in January 2008.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19]

Intermittently conflicted about continuing Mormon Stories, Dehlin stopped and restarted the project a few times.[20][21] In January 2010 Dehlin resumed the blog and podcast, focusing on faith crises and mental illness. The podcast has featured many notable guests,[22] beginning with interviews of Joanna Brooks and John C. Hamer.[23][24] 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.[25] 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.[26] In early 2008, Dehlin converted Mormon Matters into a group blog and lessened emphasis on new podcast episodes.[27] 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.[28] He co-founded Stay LDS,[29] a community that was dedicated to helping unorthodox Mormons stay in the LDS Church.[30]

Dehlin briefly blogged at a non-partisan religion website in a current-issues/events dialogue format with Mormon studies scholar Patrick Q. Mason.[31]

LDS Church membership[edit]

From 1988 to 1990, Dehlin served as an LDS Church missionary in Guatemala. According to Dehlin, his mission began baptizing up to 700 converts per month using practices he believed to be deceptive. After reporting this to his mission president, Dehlin was transferred to an area that stoked his allergies, and he was subsequently sent home. He chose to resume mission service, and was reassigned to finish his two-year missionary term in the U.S. in Tempe, Arizona. Dehlin remained an active, faithful member of the LDS Church for the next 20 years.[18]

In the Spring of 2011, Dehlin stated he had become inactive in the LDS Church (i.e., not attending weekly services), citing an inability to believe some of the church's claims.[32][33]

In 2014, Dehlin was investigated by his local church leaders regarding his online activity, culminating in a request by Dehlin for greater privacy.[34] Prior to 2014, Dehlin had faced church disciplinary hearings without any resulting disciplinary action.[35] In January 2015, Dehlin's stake president initiated another disciplinary council,[36][37] which determined Dehlin's online activity constituted apostasy. He was excommunicated for "conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church."[31][38] Dehlin appealed to the First Presidency on March 10, 2015, stating his actions had not met the church's definition of apostasy.[39][40][41] In July and August 2015, the First Presidency notified Dehlin via his stake president of the denial of his appeal.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "TEDxUSU: Survive", TEDx Events, Utah State University:, November 5, 2013
  2. ^ {{ authors[i].name }} (September 28, 2015). "John Parkinson Dehlin (john1parkinson1dehli) 2 uploads". Scribd. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  3. ^ "Mormon Stories Podcast". Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  4. ^ "Private Practice – John Dehlin, Ph.D". July 24, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  5. ^ Post by Joanna Brooks (July 13, 2011). "Landmark Survey of LGBTQ Mormons Launched". Religion Dispatches. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  6. ^ writer, Kevin Opsahl staff. "Dehlin upset over church handling of excommunication appeal".
  7. ^ Peggy Fletcher Stack, "Mormon critic John Dehlin is excommunicated", Salt Lake Tribune, March 12, 2015.
  8. ^ Dehlin, John. "Author Profile: John Dehlin". Mormon Matters. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  9. ^ a b c "User Profile: John Dehlin". OpenCourseWare Consortium. Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  10. ^ Dehlin, John (December 16, 2007). "I did it". Mormon Stories. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  11. ^ Dehlin, John (May 2015). Sexual Orientation Change Efforts, Identity Conflict, and Psychosocial Health Amongst Same-Sex Attracted Mormons (PhD dissertation). Utah State University. doi:10.26076/629f-6783. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Dehlin, John (March 15, 2007). "Meet and Greet". OpenCourseWare Consortium Forum. OpenCourseWare Consortium. Archived from the original on June 4, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  13. ^ Goble, Clark (September 26, 2005). "M* Interviews… John Dehlin". The Millennial Star. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  14. ^ Wotherspoon, Dan (September 15, 2005). "Bloggin and Podcasting Sunstone Style!". SunstoneBlog. Sunstone Education Foundation. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  15. ^ "Sunstone foundation hires executive director". Deseret News. July 28, 2007. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  16. ^ Moore, Carrie A. (August 7, 2007). "New direction for Sunstone?". Deseret Morning News. Salt Lake City. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  17. ^ Dehlin, John (June 8, 2008). "<comment>". The New Mormon History. Latter-day Commentary. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  18. ^ a b Dehlin, John (September 4, 2005). "Mormon Stories Podcast # 001: Bad Baptisms? My Mission Experience in Guatemala". Mormon Stories. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  19. ^ Grover, Tom (January 3, 2008). "John Dehlin, Mormon Stories featured in today's Herald Journal". KVNU’s For The People. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  20. ^ "What is/was Mormon Stories?". Mormon Stories Podcast. April 14, 2009.[dead link]
  21. ^ "Some Bonus Material, and a Break". Mormon Stories. December 25, 2007. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  22. ^ "Mormon Stories 2010 — A New Direction". Mormon Stories Podcast. January 15, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  23. ^ "Mormon Stories # 112 & 113: Joanna Brooks Parts 1 and 2". Mormon Stories Podcast. January 20, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  24. ^ "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 January 28, 2010.
  25. ^ "About|Mormon Matters". Archived from the original on June 8, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  26. ^ Dehlin, John (July 14, 2007). "Desperately Seeking Conservative LDS Panelist(s)". Mormon Matters blog. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  27. ^ Dehlin, John (January 9, 2008). "Looking to turn Mormon Matters into a Group Blog". Mormon Matters blog. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  28. ^ "Mormons for Marriage".
  29. ^ "Stay LDS / Mormon | New Ways to Stay Connected". Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  30. ^ Dobner, Jennifer (July 20, 2009). "Mormons in crisis find online refuge". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  31. ^ a b Tribune, Peggy Fletcher Stack The Salt Lake. "LDS scholar, ex-Mormon team up on new blog to debate key topics facing the faith".
  32. ^ "New Order Mormon • View topic - Conversation on FB with a friend, because oh John Dehlin". Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  33. ^ "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 July 22, 2013.
  34. ^ "Did you ask to be excommunicated?". Mormon Stories. June 27, 2014. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  35. ^ Walch, Tad (January 15, 2015). "Mormon critic John Dehlin says he'll face church disciplinary council". Deseret News. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  36. ^ Goodstein, Laurie (January 15, 2015). "John Dehlin, Mormon Critic, Facing Excommunication". The New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  37. ^ Moulton, Kristen (January 22, 2015). "Disciplinary council delayed for 'Mormon Stories' podcaster John Dehlin". Salt Lake Tribune.
  38. ^ Walch, Tad (February 10, 2015). "John Dehlin excommunicated from LDS Church". KSL.
  39. ^ Fletcher Stack, Peggy (March 10, 2015). "Mormon critic John Dehlin appeals LDS excommunication". Salt Lake Tribune.
  40. ^ "Mormon critic John Dehlin appeals LDS excommunication | Religion News Service". March 11, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  41. ^ "Will we ever know why the Mormons booted out a top official for the first time in decades?". Newsweek. August 9, 2017.
  42. ^ writer, Kevin Opsahl staff. "Dehlin upset over church handling of excommunication appeal".

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