KaRyn Lay produces LDS Living’s This is the Gospel podcast and the Sunday on Monday study group, and hosts and writes the This is the Gospel segments. KaRyn has a degree in English Literature and a masters in Communication with an emphasis in film, and loves storytelling and the power of story. She has served in Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society presidencies.


5:15 KaRyn’s background and path to podcasts with LDS Living
7:30 Careful with the wording in the introduction to This is the Gospel: Every one of us is practicing discipleship.
11:00 Bringing storytelling into your organization: We discount our own experiences, but everyone has a story of transformation.
14:15 Vulnerability: we are missing an opportunity for connection when we fail to share our failings and struggles because it helps us see one another the way Christ sees us.
17:30 Our first reaction might be to step back, but if we keep listening we can lean in and connect. Our brains are wired for this.
19:15 Sharing past sins: no need to give the details, but don’t leave out your mistakes. Example of the Brother of Jared.
21:00 Formulating a story

  • Tell your own story, not someone else’s story.
  • Create an outline of the main points of decision in your story. Set up the context, tell what happened, the results, and your takeaway.
  • Determining what details to include: choose carefully, keep it short, and be real. Be curious about your own story and consider previous experiences where it was different. Don’t gloss over moments of doubt or other hard experiences.
  • Find the moment of transformation and build around that. Touch lightly on the takeaway.
  • Know your audience. Tell the right story to the right people. How will it be useful, interesting, and meaningful to them? Consider telling the story from the perspective of where you were at the time.

28:25 Speaking to youth: how to get them to pay attention and respond
31:30 Vulnerability with youth will increase the power of hope and connection in your message, and show youth that you can be trusted with their struggles
33:05 Doctrine & Covenants 50:21-23 Edifying and rejoicing together is a gift of storytelling, creating true communion
34:00 Developing questions to encourage youth to talk, offering them an opportunity to tell a story of their own
35:20 KaRyn’s own learning experience with believing in “inappropriate pulpit disclosure” and coming to recognize that the listener needs to offer grace and mercy to the speaker telling their story.

  • Sharing difficult experiences so that the ward can share your burden.
  • Vulnerability hangovers

39:45 It’s the leader’s place to gently pull the conversation back from situations where there was uncomfortable oversharing. Teach and train that this is a safe space.
41:30 Part of a leader’s stewardship is to practice sharing stories and to set the tone. We get better at telling stories by listening to stories by great storytellers such as Elder Holland.
44:30 Brene Brown: You cannot tell your story until you’re far enough removed from it that you don’t care what other people think of it. Know yourself well enough to know when you’re at that point.
46:00 Journaling about your stories to process what it means and why it’s important.
46:25 Sister Aburto’s response to the difficulty of telling her difficult stories
48:20 Boundaries for storytelling: Will it do harm for the person telling it or to the faith of someone listening? Ask for guidance with knowing what stories to tell.
51:05 The weight of ministry and understanding the love the Lord has for her through hearing the stories of others


Instagram: @thisisthegospel_podcast
Facebook: @thisisthegospelpodcast
A Deseret Book Live Conversation with Sister Reyna Aburto hosted by Yahosh Bonner
This is the Gospel Podcast, Episode 51: Weak Things Made Strong
Contact Kurt with your thoughts on storytelling in the church: https://leadingsaints.org/contact

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