An inspiring interview on Seagull Book’s Go and Be Show is all about the importance of telling stories and learning from the experiences of those around us. In the segment, This Is the Gospel podcast host KaRyn Lay shares what it’s like for her to ask members of the Church their stories and to have a part in sharing them.
“It really does feel like a labor, a birthing process of seeing somebody and asking the right questions so that they can find their own story,” Lay says.
This Is the Gospel, Lay explains, is different from most podcasts where there is a traditional interview format with guests answering the questions asked by the host. Instead, it simply highlights the story each guest has to tell.
“That is a sacred experience for me. It’s really powerful for me to help people find the touchpoints in their own life that have created transformation for them, especially when it comes to the gospel,” Lay says.
Go and Be Show host Christie Gardiner says one of the blessings of listening to This Is the Gospel is that it makes her feel that everyone’s story matters.
“It changes the way that I look at my sisters and brothers when I’m at church or when I’m at the grocery store. I look at them and I think, ‘That person has a story that could change my life if I would take the time to listen to it,’” she says.
Co-host Michelle McCullough asked what Lay would say to someone who feels like they have no story because they don’t have a testimony, feel that their faith isn’t deep enough, or who simply think what has happened in their life isn’t significant.
“I think one of the things I love the most about This Is the Gospel is the stories aren’t huge. . . . Occasionally we’ll get those really dramatic stories, but most of the time the stories that we help people to tell are those quiet moments when they knew God was present in their life. And I think that when you start listening to other people’s stories and you start surrounding yourself in that space, you’ll start to feel the stories of your own life come up. And you’ll realize that quiet and small stories are as valuable in your personal history as the big, sweeping, romantic . . . stories, and sometimes they’re more powerful because they’re yours.”
Lay also recalled an interview between Yahosh Bonner and Sister Reyna Aburto that was eye-opening for her about telling stories. When Sister Aburto was asked if it’s hard for her to tell her story because of the tragic things that have happened to her, she replied that it was. But then she realized our stories, in a sense, belong to Heavenly Father because He has given us this life.
“If we can use our stories to bless the lives of others, to develop faith, to move people closer to Christ, there’s power there and we are covenantly obligated when it’s the right time for us to share those stories so that we can bless and help each other. And I think it’s really cool to see people recognize the power of that in themselves,” Lay said.