Morgan Jones is the host of the All In podcast for LDS Living. She previously wrote for the Deseret News, where she published more than 480 stories and served as senior web producer. She is a passionate storyteller and loves having the opportunity to share stories that deserve to be told. Her new book, All In: Exploring What it Means to be All In the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shares what she has learned from nearly three years of hosting the All In podcast. She has served as a ward Relief Society president, a counselor in a stake Relief Society presidency, Primary chorister, and is currently a Relief Society teacher.
2:40 Beginnings of Morgan becoming a podcaster: While working at Deseret News, discussions came up with Hal Boyd and hearing so much about why people leave the LDS Church; Bro. Boyd’s thought was to do a podcast about why people choose to stay. HB went on to say that the decision for people who choose to stay is “just as thoughtful and deliberate” and needed to be talked about. Bro. Boyd’s belief in Sis. Jones and her experience interviewing led to her being tapped for the role of host of a podcast when she later went to Deseret Book.
5:30 Evolution of the podcast “All In” discussion of content and the name; appreciation of the fact that reflecting on what it means to be “All In” the gospel of Jesus Christ lends itself to reflection and genuine feelings; also would help prevent pompous, self-righteous explanations. It would cause people to think. Also the benefit of having a consistent question that elicits thoughtful responses.
7:30 Guests-Kurt observes that Morgan has had some well known people on the program; while those can be wonderful episodes, the diversity of members can provide some amazing insights from unexpected, even obscure members of the church in far flung areas that really resonate. The benefit of talking to the everyday person; everyone has a story.
8:15 Things MJ has learned while interviewing and how to connect:
* Find common ground, establish a connection with that person (where are you from? Common acquaintances)
* Everybody wants to be heard-to listen to them, help them to feel important and be genuinely interested
* Beware of distractions; sometimes we may be thinking of our next question to ask or otherwise lose focus; listening to listen and not with the intention of forming a reply is very helpful. People then feel cared about and in a safe place. Cultivating a connection is an art
* MJ quotes her grandfather, a fan of Dale Carnegie. DC wrote that the most beautiful word in any language is the person’s own name; MJ experience with interviewing Thurl Bailey and how he repeatedly said her name-that got her attention.
11:00 Discussion of ministerial interviews and the pitfalls that can be faced. While the purpose of the interview is to ask “how are your families?” this can prevent an opportunity to allow the person you’re interviewing to share information about themselves; (we default to an administrative level of communication)
11:30 Ministering interviews vs. visiting teaching or home teaching interviews; Ministering provides us with an opportunity to also check on the person we’re talking to just as much as the families the person is assigned.
12:00 The beauty of the good question-in the case of the podcasts, having a well-chosen question can lead to having the Spirit. In the case of ministering interviews, a good question can leave people feeling that spirit and coming away with a positive vibe.
13:15 Importance of being prepared and being present. MJ quotes D&C 38:30 “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” She testifies that the Lord will bless us if we have prepared to the best of our ability. He will make up the difference. The Spirit cannot call things to your remembrance if they were never there in the first place.
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