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The Raising Family Podcast


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"The Raising Family Podcast" hosts David Steele and Linda Hill tackle the most pressing issues facing today's families, from social and cultural questions to theology. The show airs every week wherever you get your podcasts. To learn more, visit
33 Episodes
Our guest in this episode is Jenet Erickson, a Fellow at the Wheatley Institute and Associate Professor of Religious Education at BYU whose research has specialized in maternal and child wellbeing.  Join us as we discuss the different, yet sacred roles of both mothers and fathers.  Jenet shares how children develop emotionally and physically by bonding with both a mother and father as well as the areas of identity that are developed by each parent. (10:59).  She describes how facing the challenges we all face as imperfect individuals raised in imperfect families can help us respond, help and heal not only our hearts, but others’ as well (20:35).  Jenet goes on to explore how the “resilience” of children can be a strength to their own development, but also a detriment if it is used as an excuse to deny the struggles they are experiencing (26:06).  She also explains how the best way for all of us to find joy and happiness in life is by encouraging the development of strong relationships within our families and our society (35:36).To learn more, visit
Benjamin Pacini, host of the podcast, “Radical Civility,” is currently a faculty member at BYU-Idaho in Elementary Education and pursuing an EDD from BYU.  His experience as both educator and student has given him a unique perspective on how our culture seems to view and express “truth”. Benjamin explores how truth remains constant across cultural borders and historical periods (4:14) and how we can manage to stand for truth and still be compassionate to those who disagree (8:46). He goes on to explain how truth, by definition, cannot be individualized, but that we should have the humility and gratitude to be corrected by truth (17:54).  As we strive to teach our youth, Benjamin discusses the benefit of not only teaching them what to believe, but also what not to believe (27:35).To read more of Benjamin's work, visit episode is also paired with our 2021 Research Release and can be viewed at learn more, visit
Christopher Cunningham is the managing editor for Public Square Magazine, a faith and research based online editorial discussing various issues of the day. He joins us to discuss his most recent article, “When Therapy Subverts Change.”In this episode, Christopher and our host, Brent Andrewsen, discuss a potential communication disconnect between therapists and clients (5:57),  how therapy can be compatible with faith (16:45), and how repentance is a crucial element for true change and lasting happiness (28:31).  To read Christophers article, please go to learn more, visit
Sharing our testimony can sometimes be a little intimidating, but does it really need to be? In this episode we sit down with Mimi Bascom, a Latter-Day Saint Content Creator who has partnered with us for the knew #HowIKnow campaign.  This campaign follows the “Stories of How I Know” lesson on website and is designed to help each of us identify and share our own testimonies.Join us as we discover what motivates Mimi to share her faith (4:57) and how she deals with both positive and negative feedback from her followers (8:09).  Mimi then shares her passion for the #HowIKnow campaign  (12:47) and expresses  just how beneficial writing down our own testimonies can be (17:18).   To participate in the “Stories of How I Know” lesson, go to learn more, visit
Social media is a large part of our world and, for better or worse, our main source of information.  Our guest, Priscilla Davis started her Instagram account, SheSharesGoodness, to encourage anyone struggling with depression or anxiety and to help bring more light and truth to the world.She begins by discussing her own battle with depression and how she found help through therapy and understanding her relationship with the Savior (5:06).  Priscilla shares her experience with a pilot program from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called “Finding Strength in the Lord: Emotional Resilience for Self Reliance” (13:16).  Putting your ideas and thoughts on social media can often times be met with some backlash and hostility.  Priscilla speaks about her experiences with backlash and how we all can be resilient online (25:34).  She goes on to discuss how she gains comfort and confidence from leaning on the words of our prophets and apostles (32:04) To learn more, visit
Elder Neil L. Andersen once said that “spiritually defining memories from our book of life are like luminous stones that help brighten the road ahead.” How do spiritually defining memories act like luminous stones and what can we do to make sure we have them in times of need? Professional storyteller Teresa Clark joins the podcast today to discuss stories and why they matter. Clark gives some background about how she came to the storytelling profession (1:15) before discussing the “Stories of How I Know” lesson outline found on (4:40). Stories can effect our lives in a broad sense by keeping our families together (7:30) but also on a deep personal level by helping us during hard times. Clark shares a personal story about how her childhood journal entries “reconverted herself” (11:50).Tune in for some advice on how to write or improve the writing of your personal stories (17:43) and what to do when you feel like you don’t have anything special to write down (21:00). Clark finishes by telling a story of “how she knows” (31:40).To learn more, visit
Jeff Bennion is a real estate and property manager, a part time marriage and family therapist, and one of the co-founders of North Star International. In this second part of Jeff’s two-part episode, he clarifies that not subscribing to a gay label does not and should not mean going “back in the closet” (3:30). He talks about the three aspects of the gay label (4:55), what they mean, and why they make it difficult to remain “all in” to the gospel. Jeff shares his thoughts on dealing with unanswered questions (23:48), his testimony (24:50), and taking inspiration from Mormon to find hope in today’s world (30:16).“We have enough to get us back to Heavenly Father and Jesus. We know enough to get us there. Sometimes our focus on what we don’t know can distract us from what we do know…. What we’ve been given [on earth] through the Lord’s prophets and apostles and scriptures are the covenants and laws that will get us back into those loving arms we were once in.”To learn more, visit
Jeff Bennion is a real estate and property manager, a part time marriage and family therapist, and one of the co-founders of North Star International. North Star is a faith-affirming resource for Latter-day Saints addressing sexual orientation and gender identity, and who desire to live in harmony with the doctrines and values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.In the first half of this episode, Jeff and host Brent Andrewsen discuss basic concepts of identity and self-awareness before Jeff expands on what can happen when we over-identify with our feelings (6:19). Many times, especially in the case of depression and anxiety, making our trial our identity can make the problem worse instead of better. Jeff discusses how we see this today and how we can fix it (18:00), the sacrifices we need to make to discover our identity (21:37), and how this applies to members of the church in an LGBTQ+ community (29:35).To learn more, visit
Dennis Schleicher is the author of “Is He Nuts?: Why a Gay Man Would Become a Member of the Church of Jesus”.  He joins the podcast to share his conversion story (1:14) and what drew him to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (4:23). Though being a gay member of The Church can be a painful journey, Dennis shares how his membership brings him joy through family history work (12:15) and having the spirit in his life (24:55). In response to the question “why do you stay?” (42:03), Dennis quotes 2 Nephi 2 and testifies that God will consecrate our afflictions for our good. Tune in to this episode for even more discussion on paragraph 3 of The Family Proclamation.To learn more, visit
Many families have trouble addressing the topics of gender and identity. This episode is a recording of a speech given by Carol Rice (one of the contributors of about how to address these topics and how to combat the enticing narratives of the world. The speech begins at 2:13, where Carol reminds us that even though we may have the same vocabulary as the world, we are operating with different dictionaries for words like “love” and “accept.” She demonstrates that the stories we tell ourselves are powerful (5:30) before diving into three separate misleading narratives we may be telling ourselves about the topics of gender and identity. The first narrative (9:58) explores thoughts like “If I don’t accept then I must hate” and “all I can do is be loving.” Carol suggests a new way to write that story which says “I can be loving, because I can discern the difference between divine love and counterfeit love.” The second narrative (21:48) Carol explores is “It’s not my place to judge.” She reminds us that Heavenly Father showed us the right way to make judgments in Moroni 7. The third story we tell ourselves (27:30) is similar to the first: “I need to affirm and support other’s decisions.” During this section she invites a previous podcast guest, Blake Fisher, to share his thoughts about descriptive labels vs. prescriptive labels. Carol concludes (40:27) by sharing some thoughts about healing and reminding us that we all fit into Christ’s story.To learn more, visit
The Family Proclamation “calls upon responsible citizens… everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family.” Andrew Young joins the podcast to share his experience as a DreamWorks animator and how he was forced to decide between answering the call to strengthen the family or keep his job.Andrew begins by explaining what social engineering is (6:14). He gives some background on his career and then tells the story of his time at DreamWorks, starting with when he got his job (12:10) and began working on Mr. Peabody and Sherman (17:59). When Andrew discovered the actual motivations for making the movie (19:14) he decided to leave the company (26:44) which resulted in him learning how deliberately movie studios work against family and religious groups (29:52).He goes into more detail about how animation studios create their villains (31:01) and now we have power over the content being produced (36:31). “You will perpetuate what you consume and pay for.”Andrew gives advice on how to seek good media and correct false messages from the bad media (53:20).If you want to see more research about the family as the building block of society, please visit learn more, visit
Blake Fisher is an Inclusion Advisor at BYU with the Office of Student Success. Helping students navigate being in the LGBTQ community while at BYU has given him a unique perspective on labels and how to identify when labels are helping us or hurting us. This episode is paired with the lesson ‘Identity and Labels: Part One’ on Blake elaborates on his job at BYU (3:10) why people feel the need to label themselves even though it can be stressful (6:30) and the difference between prescriptive and descriptive labels (10:15). In the tension of navigating same-sex attraction we can find the Savior (12:40) and learn how to sit with others in their own tensions rather than trying to solve their problems. Host David Steele describes an identity activity from the new curriculum (16:35) and talks with Blake about finding what is beautiful and strong in others (26:50) and how Blake finds ways to strengthen his relationship with Christ (29:09).“If someone says, ‘historically I’ve always kept to myself and I like to recharge on my own,’ they would describe their past pattern as being an introvert. If they used that label prescriptively it would be, ‘because I’m an introvert I can’t get this job or I can’t go to this party….’ Then the label introvert dictates the choices they make in the future rather than describing their past pattern… I try to help [people] see that there are some advantages to using a word descriptively but there are some limitations that creep in when that word starts becoming a prescriptive path.”To learn more, visit
Nathan and Jelaire Richardson are some of the creators of the new curriculum on This curriculum is designed to be a resource for parents and church teachers who need extra tools when approaching difficult topics such as Identity, Gender, and Truth. The Richardsons discuss why this curriculum might be helpful for your family (3:42), how they created the curriculum and chose the topics (7:31), and how it might supplement official church curriculum (14:30). “We make kids take a semester long course in  drivers ed before we give them a drivers license, but we send them off into the dating works with a ‘good luck!’ … We have to give the spirit raw materials to work with so He can pull out the right words in the right teaching moments.”To learn more, visit
When Michelle Pollard moved from Australia to the US a few months ahead of her husband Steve, they had no idea that a pandemic was about to change a planned few months away into nearly a year and a half of separation. Michelle and Steve look back on that time and discuss what it was like for Michelle to raise their two teenage sons without Steve, and what it was like for Steve to be the sole grandparent back in Australia. On this episode about roles in the family, we also learn lessons about trials of faith—and that the right road is sometimes the hardest. Michelle and Steve tell their story (4:15) and give advice to couples who are separated (6:43). After discussing what they learned about themselves and each other (23:00), they talk about the potential we can discover within ourselves when under heavy burdens (29:50).“When you fall off a cliff, the Lord will either catch you or teach you to fly.”To learn more, visit
Danny Frost, a Family Life professor at BYU, offers a unique perspective on Paragraph 8 of the Family Proclamation by applying his background in philosophy and politics. Paragraph 8 warns us that the disintegration of chastity and family will bring calamities on our societies and nations. Danny discusses current views of sexuality (5:10), the recent movements on sexual consent (7:32), and what our children are learning about sexuality (14:30). “Our culture provides us with a way of looking out at the world… Kids get this from lots of different directions. On TV there’s a glamorization of a hedonistic and rebellious lifestyle. Specifically with respect to sex, while there is an emphasis on consent and some information about safe sex, there’s a strong emphasis on ‘you do you’ and ‘whatever feels good to you.’ That’s a recipe for confusion and heartache in many ways.”Danny also explores hard questions such as: Is there a way back from the decay of chastity in our current society? (20:15)  How do we teach our children to be compassionate with people who live differently than we do without normalizing that behavior? (37:20) Do we vote for policies that encourage agency or for policies that reflect our moral beliefs? (43:26)“The best we can do is try to see and follow the truth--live the truth as best we can. Perhaps we won’t influence very many people… perhaps none. But it’s still the case that living the truth is the best thing we can do. History has ups and downs--there have been dark times in the past and there will be dark times in the future. But the call that God extends to us always is to live the truth in all circumstances.”To learn more, visit
When Lauren Colemere  became a single mother she realized she wanted to make a course correction for her life and the life of her daughter. That course correction pointed them towards the temple, and on today’s episode Lauren shares her journey there and what the temple endowment means to her. We invite listeners to learn from the amazing response of her family and ward when learning of Lauren’s pregnancy (18:55) and the few things that helped prepare her to have a better temple experience (13:12). Lauren is now working to have her daughter sealed to her (24:25) and shares how life is different since receiving the endowment (26:08).To learn more, visit
In this follow-up episode, Collette Blackwelder shares the story of her husband’s kidney transplant and the sacred moments they shared with the family of the donor. His miraculous story teaches us to live a full life in return for the great gifts we’ve been given. To learn more, visit
Collette Blackwelder became a first time mom at the age of 50 after a miraculous adoption. On this episode she shared her thoughts on infertility and how one can still be a parent though they may not have children of their own (12:35). She gives advice to those who are struggling on their own journey (18:30) and the story of their adoption (23:00). “Everyone has unrealized dreams. But God knows them, and because of the atonement we can choose to be okay.”To learn more, visit
As a hospice nurse of 25 years, LeAnn Jackson has witnessed many sacred moments at the bedside of those passing from this life (10:02). These experiences have built a deep understanding of the sanctity of death, as well as a respect for "the greatest generation that's ever lived."LeAnn graciously shares her personal experience with the passing of her dad and how she came to hospice work (12:37), how Covid influenced the nursing center which she now directs (20:50) and how to hold onto patience with older family members (25:15). "Never correct, redirect."To learn more, visit
The Family Proclamation teaches that each soul has a divine nature and destiny. Jeff Carney works to uncover those divine natures in others by teaching Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits” to prison inmates. On this episode, Jeff shares what it was like going into a prison for the first time (4:50), His testimony of each person’s worth (16:00), and how we can avoid the victim mindset to more fully uncover our potential (22:28).Jeff teaches that finding your life purpose is more an act of discovery than of creation (33:54). “Seeing yourself as God sees you, as Heavenly Mother sees [you] changes everything. …They see us for who we truly are and who we can become.”To learn more, visit
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