Mutual Respect: How to Create Healthy Relationships When Kids Leave the Church

A discussion with the Shields family about how they have dealt with a child publicly struggling and leaving the church. The panel, moderated by Dan Worthspoon, will give both the parents, Heidi and Eric, and the child, Chelsea, a chance to share their story, fears, conflicts, thoughts and inside information in an attempt to create understanding and mutual respect for seemingly opposed views. The panel will talk about things that went well, things that caused pain, and things they hope other families can learn from. As always, questions and comments will be entertained by the group during and afterwards.



Friday, May 8, 2015, 7:30-9:30 pm


Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT

Please come in the back door if you arrive late. 

About the panel:

Screenshot_2015-05-03-16-10-13-1Chelsea Shields Strayer is an anthropologist and consultant who has been struggling with a faith transition for the past decade. In the course of that time, she wrote for Exponent II, helped found LDS WAVE: Women Advocating for Voice and Equality, helps run Ordain Women, and is a regular panelist on Mormon Matters, The Mormon Women’s Roundtable, Feminist Mormon Housewives, Mormon Mental Health, Mormon Stories, and Infants on Thrones podcasts.

momdadEric Shields comes from a prominent religious education family in Provo where his father taught in the BYU religion department. He has been in CES Seminaries and Institutes for the past 30 years teaching in Tooele, UT, Gresham, UT, BYU Provo, Lodi, CA, and now Orem, UT.

Heidi Shields has worked as a mother of 8 through all these years and all of these moves and kids lived to tell about it. And lived well.

Dan_Sig Book portraitDan Wotherspoon is a free-lance writer, editor, and podcaster—now in his fifth year hosting the popular MormonMatters podcast. From 2001 to 2008, he served as editor of Sunstone magazine and director of the Sunstone Education Foundation. Dan has a Ph.D. in religion from the Claremont Graduate School, an M.A. in religious studies from Arizona State University, and a B.A. in philosophy with a minor in classical civilizations from Brigham Young University.

Read, listen, watch:

This is the first time Eric, Heidi and Chelsea are sitting down publicly to share their journey but there are some preparatory reading that could come in handy. Listen to this Mother-Daughter discussion with Chelsea, Heidi and other LDS mother/daughter combos on

Check out this panel discussion about Motherhood on Mormon Matters:

Read Eric’s Ensign article about his son’s death:

Listen to Chelsea on a podcast about Mormon Mental Health which combines her religious activism and anthropological training:

And if you want to hear someone ask tough questions about Ordain Women listen to Chelsea explain her stance on:


The Shields family would love participation from the group in the form of sharing their own stories or struggles and by asking questions. Come prepared with some hard hitting questions you would like to ask either a child leaving the church or parents who stay–maybe the kinds of questions you would get into trouble asking your own kids or parents.