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Called to Create is a podcast where your desire to create will be supported and celebrated through interviews with inspiring Latter-day Saint creators who are passionate about their craft and share helpful, real-life experiences that will guide you on your creative journey. Look for new episodes on the first and third Wednesday of each month.
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Sam Payne is a national and international musician and storyteller. He hosts The Apple Seed podcast that features stories for families. He was part of the Peabody-nominated team that created Treasure Island 2020, the serial podcast based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel. As a live performer, Sam has brought his stories and songs to Canada,…
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Alexis and Chanté are sisters and best friends. They grew up in Utah and raised both of their families there. Together they have seven children and two hunky husbands. They love building bridges and connecting communities. As sisters they are intentionally teaching about race, diversity and human connection in their homes! They are motivational spe…
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Brandon Mull is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Fablehaven, Dragonwatch, Beyonders, and Five Kingdoms series. A kinetic thinker, Brandon enjoys bouncy balls, squeezable stress toys, and popping bubble wrap. He lives in Utah in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife, Erlyn, their eleven children, and three mi…
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For the Truman Brothers, music and faith are in their DNA. Raised in Nashville, Tennessee as sons of Latter-day Saint musician, Dan Truman (of the Grammy-winning group Diamond Rio), they spent their formative years in green rooms and tour buses as well as sacrament meetings and early-morning Seminary classes. Despite their musical upbringing, the b…
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Fiona Smith is British born with Jamaican roots and is a modern-day renaissance creator who focuses on projects that bring unique stories out of obscurity. Fiona was the TV host for “Road to Zion,” a documentary on early pioneers in Great Britain who immigrated to the United States. In England, she earned a Bachelor of Law Degree, and in America, g…
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Winning over live audiences has been Shupe’s natural-born talent since childhood. A fifth-generation fiddler, he started performing with his siblings at age 10. He formed the RubberBand with the idea of drawing from a pool of musicians who could wander in and out. However, certain members seemed to stick, and the band soon became a cohesive unit. R…
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Shannon Foster is a wife, mother, and the founder of The Red Headed Hostess. She has a passion for helping children and adults understand and fall in love with the scriptures. After thirteen years of teaching seminary full-time for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Shannon had her first child and then focused her attention on helping…
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Boyd Matheson is the host of KSL NewsRadio’s Inside Sources, KSL-TV’s Sunday Edition and a nationally recognized social and political commentator. Prior to joining KSL, he served as opinion editor for Deseret News, chief of staff in the United States Senate, president of a public policy think tank, and spent years as an international business strat…
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In 2001, at the age of 27, Chad’s life changed in an instant when a 2,000-pound bale of hay shattered his neck, leaving him a quadriplegic. But Chad’s dreams were not paralyzed that day—he became an example of what is possible. Chad is a best-selling author, president of his own communications company, and recognized world-class wheelchair athlete.…
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Alice Faulkner Burch is general editor of “My Lord, He Calls Me: Stories of Faith by Black American Latter-day Saints.” She also serves on the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board, is on the Signature Books Editorial Advisory Board, and is the Director of Special Events on the Executive Committee of Sema Hadithi African American Heritage & …
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Dr. Stacy Taniguchi is a motivational speaker and experiential education consultant. He is a retired university professor from BYU's Marriott School of Business and works as an outdoor wilderness guide, specializing in remote adventures in Alaska and international mountaineering. Dr. Taniguchi is also an expert witness for tort liability cases invo…
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Jeanette Bennett earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism from BYU and is the founder/editor of Utah Valley Magazine, BusinessQ Magazine, Utah Valley Bride and UtahValley360.com. She has also been a regular guest on HuffPostLive and has moderated gubernatorial debates and numerous business panels. Jeanette plays the piano and organ, bu…
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Jared and Marcie Austin are owner creators of Latter Day Kids! They have worked together for the last 4 years as a husband and wife team to deliver free weekly videos and lesson bundles that support gospel learning in the home. Jared earned a Bachelor's Degree in Art Education, and a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. He is an art teach…
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Summerisa is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a BFA in Music Dance Theatre and a Minor in Ballroom Dance. She and her husband moved to NYC and performed professionally as actors for seven years, working with many of the top directors and choreographers in the business. Summerisa was awarded Best Actress in a Musical by Broadway World for…
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Brooke Walker is the host and executive producer of KSL’s “Studio 5 with Brooke Walker.” She is an Emmy award-winning journalist and a member of the KSL News Team, where she contributes as an anchor and reporter. Brooke is also the host and executive producer of “Family Rules” on BYUtv and BYU Radio. Brooke’s most important and cherished titles are…
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Reyna Aburto was born in Nicaragua and studied Industrial Engineering there. She holds a degree in Computer Science from Utah Valley University and has worked in the language industry for more than 30 years. Reyna and her husband own a translation business. She has served as Relief Society General Presidency Second Counselor and as a member of the …
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Bonnie Oscarson, a native of Utah, has lived in eight states and one foreign country. She and her husband served as Mission President and Companion in the Sweden Gothenburg Mission in the 1970s. Thirty years later they returned to Sweden as Temple President and Matron for the Stockholm temple. Bonnie wrote a book in 2015, What Makes Us Sisters, urg…
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Tarsha Joyner’s most cherished roles are that of wife, mother, grandmother, creator, and Latter-day Saint. She also owns and is head Treatmaker at Mrs. Joy’s Absolutely Fabulous Treats. She created and built her business based on a project she worked on in her graphic design classes at University of Lynchburg. At 41 years old, wanted to open a bake…
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Steven Sharp Nelson is the only cellist in history to play atop the Great Wall of China, among the Chichen Itza ruins in Mexico, in front of The Christ Redeemer Statue in Rio, at the Petra sandstone city in Jordan, near the Iguazu Falls in Brazil and Argentina, on the grounds of the most iconic castle (Eilean Donan) in Scotland and, best of all, on…
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Jenny Doan is more than just a quilting icon. She’s a wife, mother, and popular YouTube personality. Her professional quilting journey began over 27 years ago, back when her family first moved to rural Missouri. Little did she know their random point-and-go selection of the Midwest guided them to an epic adventure atop a quilting empire. Watch this…
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Brooke Romney, a writer, speaker, and connector, is committed to sharing real life with a hopeful twist. She is the best-selling author of three books: “52 Modern Manners for Today's Teens” Volume 1 and 2 and “I Like Me Anyway: Embracing Imperfection, Connection, and Christ”. Brooke comes from girly roots but has morphed into an outdoor adventuring…
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Scott Christopher is the best-selling author of People People, The Levity Effect, and The Seven UPs of Happiness. He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, Fox Business Channel, CNBC, National Public Radio, and BBC. Since 1995, Scott has circled the globe entertaining and motivating thousands of audiences from senior leader retreats to all-staff meeting…
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Anthony Sweat is an Associate Professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. He received his bachelor's degree in painting and drawing and his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction. He is the author of several articles and books dealing with the teachings and history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His most …
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Dave Finnegan is a seasoned “human experience collector” who dedicated an entire year to exploring the world to gain a deeper understanding of cultures and human experiences. In 2022 he traveled over 130,000 miles, setting foot on every continent including Antarctica, and navigated some of the world's largest rivers such as the Ganges, Amazon, Nile…
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Hilary Weeks loves hearing stories and imagining what it would be like to feel and experience the things someone else does. She feels drawn to unlock and express the feelings of the heart through music. Sometimes her music collections feel a little like children in that they consume her thoughts, energy, and creativity and she hopes they add good t…
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Inspirational speaker, entertainer Jason Hewlett is the author of the Facebook post entitled, “I Saw My Wife at Target Today”, a viral post that was seen by more than 100 million people across the globe. Jason has delivered thousands of presentations and was one of the youngest speakers to be inducted into the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame. His …
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Cali Black is an author, podcaster, speaker, and content creator who loves the scriptures. At the beginning of 2019, Cali felt called to start an Instagram account titled @ComeFollowMeStudy. Little did she know that a worldwide pandemic would hit the following year and her content would be needed more than ever. She was able to pivot her content an…
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Lauren Walker is one of six sisters, THE Six Sisters, who have published 10 cookbooks, released cooking and freezer meal courses, and recently launched two podcasts: “Table Talk for Moms” where listeners can sit down together each week to tackle difficult topics of motherhood; “Start-up Spark” offers quick tips to help listeners take their start-up…
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If he can help students find joy in reading and writing by telling them the story of how he wore an eye patch in first grade and told classmates he was a pirate, then J. Scott Savage will do it. In this episode of “Called to Create: An LDSPMA Podcast” with host Connie Sokol, Scott shares insights garnered over decades of experience, telling how it …
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Award-winning journalist Jane Clayson Johnson has traveled the world covering domestic and international stories for two decades, interviewing the biggest newsmakers of the day. Widely known for her work at CBS News, ABC News, and on the nationally syndicated NPR program, On Point, she co-anchored with Bryant Gumbel, worked with Peter Jennings, and…
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Fine art painter Crystal Despain wasn’t so sure she wanted to be an artist at first. As a high school student, she “thought arguing for money sounded like a good plan and wanted to be a lawyer.”1 Now a distinguished artist with many awards, Crystal credits her mentor artists but especially her persistent husband for dragging her paints out and remi…
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Adassa exudes a zest for life. She’s fiery and confident and speaks with a passion that makes you want to eat whatever salsa she’s eating. Above all her fame, she knows what’s important and how to stay in an eternal lane. A proud descendant of Latin ancestors who sacrificed dreams and pleasures, Adassa is a talented musician of world-class renown w…
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Ganel-Lyn Condie, popular speaker and author, pulls back the curtain on what it's like to be a creative who feels a passion to share principles that empower others. Through her own challenges of contracting lupus when newly married and later in life the suicide death of a sister, Ganel-Lyn shares what it is like to "throw every dart at the board" t…
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Mauli Junior Bonner is an energetic, joyful member of the Bonner family, a beloved Latter-day Saint family of talented singers. As a young man, Mauli traded his college football scholarship for airline tickets to Los Angeles, without his parents' knowledge, to start his career in the music industry. He now writes music for top pop artists and is a …
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Jon Heder, best known for his acting debut role as Napoleon Dynamite in the movie of the same name, is also a filmmaker and voice actor of a number of films and television shows including the voice of Napoleon Bonafrog in an episode of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. Jon performed at the Children’s Educational Theater in Salem, Oregon from…
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Steve Young, best known for his 15-season NFL professional football career as quarterback, first for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then the San Francisco 49ers, previously set school and NCAA records playing college football for Brigham Young University (BYU). While playing for the NFL, Young received a graduate law degree from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark La…
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A fine arts painter best known for his award-winning contemporary religious art, J. Kirk Richards urges creators to exercise faith and take the next step forward. In his early teens, Kirk decided to put aside the music lessons he’d been taking his “whole life” and follow a persistent tug toward visual arts. Illustrating the book “The Carpenter of G…
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Jackson VanDerwerken knew he didn’t fit the casting criteria for the role of Nephi in the Church’s new Book of Mormon video series, but his mother urged him to send in his audition video anyway, even if a day late. Despite his lack of screen acting experience and being “skinny as a string bean”, he was chosen for the part out of a thousand applican…
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Jason F. Wright is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. Also a popular speaker, he enjoys speaking about the miracle of opening doors, faith, failure, the Christmas Jars movement, the lost art of letter writing, and many other topics. Each year Jason visits schools across the country and presents assemblies and wr…
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This episode of Called to Create: an LDSPMA Podcast features prolific author and highly regarded speaker, Camille Fronk Olson. She shares her journey as a single woman who began her career with no great dream in mind but was led on a God-directed course that has paved the way for women to serve in Church education in expanded capacities. Camille’s …
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Dan Clark, world-renowned motivational speaker, United States Distinguished Silver Medal winner, contributing author to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and Utah Father of the Year, is a man who has literally done it all, yet he self-describes as “a funny man with a serious message.” In this episode, Dan shares what his experiences have taught…
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Honorable Sela Tukia, Tongan fan of popular 80s dance-pop band The Jets, sat down with host Connie Sokol for a delightful ten-minute interview about the faith and family values The Jets have brought to the music industry in the past and the new generation of Wolfgramm family musicians, 13 Crowns. Tonga Consulate General The Kingdom of Tonga 13 Crow…
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The Jets, a popular 80s dance-pop, teen pop, R&B band, including LeRoy, Eddie, Eugene, Haini, Rudy, Kathi, Elizabeth, and Moana Wolfgramm started out performing luaus in Canada. They eventually settled in Minnesota and started a band they named “Quasar” after a brand of television set. The band enjoyed great success with several Billboard Hot 100 h…
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Dora Whitaker knew at a young age that she was more interested in the business side of the entertainment industry than being an actress. Now, a 28-year industry veteran and CEO of Whitaker Entertainment, Dora focuses her efforts on providing and producing quality entertainment. Along the way, she has been able to share her faith in Jesus Christ wit…
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Jennifer Nielsen is an accomplished New York Times bestselling author of young adult and children’s fiction and a 2022 LDSPMA Conference keynote speaker. In this episode, she shares her failures and triumphs with her trademark optimism and encouragement for all who struggle to keep going when everything is going wrong. Tune in for this inspiring ep…
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Gerald Lund has written 57 books, including the famed Work and the Glory series, and is arguably the most widely read author of Latter-day Saint literature with 3.5 million copies sold over the course of 51 years. In this episode, he shares little-known details of how “The Work and the Glory'' series came to life and grew from one volume into an ex…
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Sherry Meidell’s loves include her five boys, mountain biking, kneaded erasers, her sketchbook, and watercolors. Her artistic talent with watercolors has led her to illustrate several books by other authors and one of her own, titled “The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs.” On a humanitarian trip to Kenya, Africa, she used her talents to help schoo…
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Allison Hong Merrill’s multiple award-winning book, “Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops”, is more than a memoir; it is her “humble offering” to her children. Her deepest desire was to write it so they would know about and cherish their Chinese roots. As a Mandarin-speaking Taiwanese immigrant and newlywed, Allison lived in the United States for sixteen months …
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Twenty-five years ago, Laurel Day was a college graduate with a useless degree who felt called to move to Utah and work at Deseret Book. When a friend told her about a part-time position as an event specialist with Deseret Book, she applied for and got the job. Opportunity followed opportunity until she came to work under Sheri Dew, who became her …
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The hero of Tiffany Rosenhan’s heart-pounding spy thriller, “Girl from Nowhere,” is a common, everyday teenage girl who uses her unique abilities to conquer the bad guys. Tiffany’s hope is that her book will help young women “feel empowered to magnify their skills and talents…and embrace [their] different characteristics and unique qualities.” In t…
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