For today’s episode, we were really excited to bring on Jason Olson, who, along with James Goldberg, is the author of a new memoir called The Burning Book. Jason’s story is truly fascinating: he was born into a reform Jewish household with a Jewish mother and a Christian father. As a child and young person, he was always drawn to God and to religion, and found himself very involved in both study and practice in his faith. After his Bar Mitzvah at age 13, he eventually encountered some Latter-day Saint friends who, after many hours of religious discussions over a long period of time, offered him a copy of The Book of Mormon with no real expectations. Afraid of what his family would think if they saw the book at home, and afraid of what his friends would think if they saw him carting it around, unread, he decided the best option would simply be to burn the book and destroy the evidence. But just as he was about to do so, Jason had a moment of remarkable spiritual insight — and that’s where his truly unique story begins. Now a defense diplomat and policy officer with a Ph.D. in Near Eastern and Judaic studies, Jason came on with us to share his remarkable insights about faith, religious conversion, and God’s expansive plans across all faiths and religions. The Burning Book was published by BCC Press, and you can find it on Amazon. 2023 Update: The Burning Book won the 2022 Association for Mormon Letters award in creative nonfiction.