Hi, I’m Brad.
My ancestors on both sides were prominent Latter-day Saints. I am directly related to Brigham Young. I was baptized at age 8, and served a mission in Independence, Missouri, where I was an Assistant to the President. I served in several callings (e.g., counselor in the Branch Presidency, High Council, Ward Mission Leader, counselor in High Priest Group, Sunday School Teacher, Primary Teacher). I had a current temple recommend since I went on a mission in 1979. I never let it expire, and attended as often as I could. I married my wife in the Logan Temple. I was active in the LDS Church my entire life.
I am a professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University, and a professor of communication science at the VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands during the summers. For over 25 years I have conducted research on aggression and violence. I am a member of President Obama’s committee on gun violence, and have testified before the U.S. Congress on the topic of youth violence. In 2003, the Editor of the Ensign asked (and paid) me to write an article on media violence titled: “It’s Only Violence.” In 2014 I gave the Marjorie Pay Hinckley Endowed Chair lecture titled: “Is Violent Media ‘Just Entertainment?‘”
I remember crying for joy in 1978 when the revelation was given that black males could receive the priesthood. Since that day I have been praying for a black apostle to be called.
For about 40 years I have been praying that a revelation would be given that females could also receive the priesthood. I also have been praying for the day when there will be six male apostles and six female apostles, of different races and ethnicities. I find it intolerable that 12-year-old boys who are ordained to be deacons in the LDS Church have more power and authority than women do. Why would a loving Father in Heaven deny half of his children (females) such a wonderful power as the priesthood? In the LDS Church, husbands are also supposed to “preside” over their wives—in “righteousness.” By definition, there can be no gender equality if men preside over women, even if it is done “in righteousness.” I believe in gender equality.
In 2015 I decided to “step away” from the LDS Church. Note that I did not “trip,” “slip,” “slide,” “stumble,” “fall away,” “become lost,” “become deceived,” or “go astray.” It was the right choice for me because in my view equal rights for all people (regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.) trump everything, including religion, prophets, and even God. Equal rights for all is the central core of who I am, more so than being LDS. I could no longer belong to a church that treats women and LGBTQIA+ individuals as second-class citizens, in the same way that it used to treat black males as second-class citizens (prior to 1978). I believe women should be ordained.