John P. Dehlin is the creator of several Mormon-themed podcasts, blogs and web sites including the Mormon Stories podcast and blog, the Mormon Matters blog and podcast, the Understanding LDS Homosexuality podcast, the Mormons for Marriage web site (co-founder), and the StayLDS web site and forum. John worked for several years in various positions at Microsoft, and served for a few years as the Director of the OpenCourseWare Consortium for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was an influential early participant in the Mormon blogging scene (often called the Bloggernacle). John is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical/Counseling Psychology from Utah State University.

Biographical background

Dehlin was born in Boise, Idaho and raised in Katy, Texas.[1] As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church or Mormon church), he served as a missionary in Guatemala in the late 1980s.[2] He then attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1993.[3]

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.[3]

Dehlin's brother, Joel Dehlin, also worked at Microsoft, and became the CIO of the LDS Church in 2004.[4]

In 2004, Dehlin moved to Logan, Utah to begin work under Dr. David A. Wiley at Utah State University (USU) on OpenCourseWare-related projects.[5] Dehlin would serve as USU's OpenCourseWare Consortium Coordinator and Director of Outreach for the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning Director of Outreach for two years, where he promoted OpenCourseWare to other universities.[3] While at USU, Dehlin also completed a Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology in 2007.[6] In January 2007, MIT hired Dehlin as the Director of the OpenCourseWare Consortium.[5]

John is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Utah State University.[7]

Crises of faith

As an LDS missionary in Guatemala, Dehlin's mission began baptizing hundreds of "converts" per month. To accomplish this, many missionaries were using deceptive methods which were taught and supported by some mission leaders. Dehlin was disturbed and reported these activities to his Mission president; he did not share Dehlin's concern and sent him home early (normally a disciplinary action). After reporting on this to a sympathetic Apostle Dallin H. Oaks and completing his two-year missionary term in the Arizona Tempe mission, Dehlin remained a faithful member of the LDS Church.[2]

While living in the Seattle area, Dehlin was called to be an early-morning LDS Seminary teacher. In preparation for the next year's class, he began studying LDS Church history in greater depth which led to his discovery of several controversial issues. With shaken faith, he didn't find many informed or sympathetic local church members and therefore contemplated leaving the church. On the Internet he found communities antagonistic toward the LDS Church which didn't encourage him to stay either. Eventually he discovered intellectuals and publications such as Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and Sunstone Magazine which acknowledged LDS controversies yet helped Dehlin decide to stay in the church.[8]


Finding limited internet presence for constructive Mormon intellectual sources, 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. The Board accepted his offer to initiate these programs[8] and, in September 2005, Dehlin joined the Board of Directors and began a Sunstone podcast as well as SunstoneBlog.[9] 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.[10] In that role, he tried to increase the organizational focus on its longstanding motto, "faith seeking understanding", and to attract new and younger membership.[11] Dehlin resigned from Sunstone in January 2008.[12]

Mormon Stories

In September 2005, after finding reasons to stay a member of the LDS Church, Dehlin created the Mormon Stories podcast as an open discussion of Mormon issues with the intention of giving listeners reasons to remain in the church.[2] Through interviews, it focused on varying Mormon experiences and perspectives, including antagonistic, apologetic, intellectual, gay, black, fundamentalist, feminist, and dissenting. Several notable Mormon figures were guests on Mormon Stories, including Gregory Prince, Todd Compton, Grant Palmer, Darius Gray, Margaret Blair Young, Richard Bushman, and Margaret and Paul Toscano. Listenership eventually reached over 10,000 downloads per episode. At its height, the show was broadcast on KVNU in Logan, Utah.[13] Gaining notability, Dehlin was quoted in June 2007 for stories by The New York Times and Good Morning America, discussing Mitt Romney and Mormonism.[14][15]

At times personally conflicted about continuing Mormon Stories, Dehlin stopped and restarted the project several times, then retired it at the end of 2007.[16][17] After only minor additions the following year, Dehlin took the blog and podcast offline in October 2008 over concerns that it may hinder some listeners' faith. Since his content had been released under the Creative Commons license, it was still made available by several other websites.[16] In April 2009 Dehlin restored Mormon Stories as an "archive" for "historical purposes",[16] citing his desire to control the content's presentation, to help those struggling with faith, to dispel rumors of church coercion, and to accept his past work despite later reservations.[18] In January 2010 Dehlin resumed the blog and podcast, focusing on faith crises, mental illnesses, and notable guests,[19] beginning with interviews of Joanna Brooks and John Hamer.[20][21]

Other blogs

In June 2007, Dehlin started Mormon Matters as a blog and weekly podcast, with the intention of eventually becoming a radio show[22]. 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[23]. In early 2008, Dehlin converted Mormon Matters into a group blog and lessened emphasis on new podcast episodes[24], which were afterward released irregularly by other contributors.

Dehlin is also the founder of Mormon Blogs (an aggregator of blog postings, by topic, as found throughout the Bloggernacle)[1] as well as the founder of the blog Stay LDS.[25] He has also provided support and the domain name for the LDS music website Linescratchers.[26]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dehlin, John. "Author Profile: John Dehlin". Mormon Matters. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dehlin, John (September 4, 2005). "Mormon Stories Podcast # 001: Bad Baptisms? My Mission Experience in Guatemala". Mormon Stories. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "User Profile: John Dehlin". OpenCourseWare Consortium. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  4. Dehlin, Joel. "About Joel". Joel Dehlin Weblog. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dehlin, John (March 15, 2007). "Meet and Greet". OpenCourseWare Consortium Forum. OpenCourseWare Consortium. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  6. Dehlin, John (December 16, 2007). "I did it". Mormon Stories. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  7. Dehlin, John. "John Dehlin Ph.D.". Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Goble, Clark (September 26, 2005). "M* Interviews… John Dehlin". The Millennial Star. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  9. Wotherspoon, Dan (September 15, 2005). "Bloggin and Podcasting Sunstone Style!". SunstoneBlog. Sunstone Education Foundation. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  10. "Sunstone foundation hires executive director". Deseret News. July 28, 2007.,5143,695195330,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  11. Moore, Carrie A. (August 7, 2007). "New direction for Sunstone?". Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City).,5143,695198451,00.html?pg=1. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  12. Dehlin, John (June 8, 2008). "<comment>". The New Mormon History. Latter-day Commentary. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  13. Grover, Tom (January 3, 2008). "John Dehlin, Mormon Stories featured in today’s Herald Journal". KVNU’s For The People. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  14. "Church and State: Mormonism and Romney" (video). Good Morning America. ABC News. June 19, 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  15. Goodstein, Laurie (June 11, 2007). "Romney’s Run Has Mormons Wary of Scrutiny". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "What is/was Mormon Stories?". Mormon Stories Podcast. April 14, 2009. Archived from the original on January 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  17. "Some Bonus Material, and a Break". Mormon Stories. December 25, 2007. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  18. "If you are not completely comfortable with the overall impact of Mormon Stories, why have you kept the archive online?". Mormon Stories Podcast. April 14, 2009. Archived from the original on January 5, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  19. "Mormon Stories 2010 — A New Direction". Mormon Stories Podcast. January 15, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  20. "Mormon Stories # 112 & 113: Joanna Brooks Parts 1 and 2". Mormon Stories Podcast. January 20, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  21. "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. 
  22. "About". Mormon Matters. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  23. Dehlin, John (July 14, 2007). "Desperately Seeking Conservative LDS Panelist(s)". Mormon Matters blog. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  24. Dehlin, John (January 9, 2008). "Looking to turn Mormon Matters into a Group Blog". Mormon Matters blog. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  25. Dobner, Jennifer (July 20, 2009). "Mormons in crisis find online refuge". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 

External links

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