Thinking and Acting For Yourself: Interview with Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife

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“I see in my mind’s eye throngs of people traveling that path, some with their hands firmly gripping the iron rod, but many others simply following the feet of the people in front of them. This latter approach takes little thought or effort. You can just do and think what others are doing and thinking….Following the feet of the people ahead of you on the path is not enough. We cannot just do and think what others are doing and thinking.”           –Larry Y. Wilson, General Conference, April 2018


“One of the things that interferes with our ability to think for ourselves is our need and desire for approval—our desire for other people to acknowledge or validate what we do. The more we depend on that, the more it will distract us from our own internal compass. You don’t want to cut out the voices of other people—-that would be immoderate in the other direction. But you don’t want the voices of other people to distract you from your own compass, because your own compass is an important source of knowledge and this is a gift to us.”

–Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife


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Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in relationship and sexuality counseling. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College where she wrote her dissertation on LDS women and sexuality. She has taught college-level classes on human sexuality and currently has a private therapy practice in Chicago where she lives with her husband and three children. She is an active member of the LDS church.

She is a frequent guest on LDS-themed podcasts, and has written articles for LDS-themed magazines and blogs, on the subjects of sexuality, relationships, mental health, and faith.


Thinking and Acting For Yourself: Interview with Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife

Within many religions, the idea of being a disciple is encouraged and honored and viewed as a pathway for growth, wisdom, and for spiritual and emotional development. But when discipleship is misused it encourages dependency rather than independence and in turn, limits one’s growth and development and wisdom.

Discipleship is about acting not about being acted upon.

In this interview, I talk with Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife about what it means to be a disciple that thinks and acts for themselves.

PDF Transcript – Thinking and Acting For Ourselves Interview


Interview with Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife – Thinking and Acting for Ourselves

or listen to this interview on Google Play or Stitcher

If you look closely and compare the audio to the written transcript, you’ll notice that they are not a replica of each other. This transcript has been edited by myself and by Dr. Finlayson-Fife.  We have both taken the time to read through the transcript, refining our words to articulate our thoughts better. The audio recording is unique whereas it is not like a formal a podcast. It is a recorded conversation that you have the opportunity to eavesdrop on, so to speak. It begins abruptly in the middle of the conversation as though you have just stepped into the room.


“Progression is only possible in a context that is rich with a variety of real choices, including between good and evil.”


Dean of the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences Jan. 30, 2018 • Devotional

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