Blair Hodges is host, producer, and editor of the Fireside podcast and works as a communications manager for a non profit in Salt Lake City. He served a mission in Wisconsin and earned a bachelor’s degree in communications (journalism) at the University of Utah and a master’s degree in religious studies at Georgetown University. Blair hosted the Maxwell Institute Podcast for eight years and has served many years as a Sunday School President and Sunday School instructor. He loves reading, family time, weekend napping, the Utah Jazz, and living in Salt Lake City.
9:00 Blair talks about being a liberal in a very conservative church.
12:00 How can leaders help everyone feel welcome despite having different views?
14:40 Leaders need to address tattletale culture. Instead of going to the bishop to complain, go directly to the person you have a problem with.
19:00 What is doctrine?
24:30 We all mingle the doctrine of men with scripture. We all see doctrine a little differently. We don’t have to be so rigid in our views but be open to new ways of thinking.
26:15 It’s a strength to hold space for uncertainty and let go of the need to be certain about everything.
31:15 Discussion of apologetics
46:30 The most important thing that a leader can do is provide a welcoming space for everyone. Give people space to disagree or to have questions. What matters is finding common ground. A leader can change the whole dynamic of their ward.
50:25 People become disaffected from the church. Meaning that many people come to feel unloved and disconnected. Feelings are the root of it all.
55:40 Our love and relationship with others shouldn’t be contingent on whether they stay in the church or not.
56:30 What does it look like to love someone without trying to change them?
56:45 Blair encourages leaders to get familiar with other resources and entities to help them get familiar with different situations. Examples: read a book from the Maxwell Institute, listen to podcasts, presentation from a FAIR Conference, BYU studies, read a couple of Dialogue articles, etc.
58:45 Even general authorities have different views on things. We don’t always have to agree. Some choose to defend their faith aggressively and others passively. The key is to be charitably peaceful.