Please join us now as we interview former Mormon Bishop and Podcaster Bill Reel. Bill is set to be excommunicated from the Mormon Church on November 27, 2018 at 8:30 PM. This is his pre-excommunication interview. On November 1, 2018, Bill released an episode on his podcast Mormon Discussion titled “Elder Holland – Liar Liar Pants on Fire” that he believes led directly to this action taken by his church leadership in St. George, Utah.

Previous Mormon Stories interviews with Bill may be found here:

Part 1 – Bill reviews the events that led up to his summons to a disciplinary council:

Part 2 – Bill reviews the summons letter he received:

Part 1

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Part 2

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  1. Jerry November 20, 2018 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Thank you for this interview. I have been a long time listener and subscriber to both Mormon Stories and the Mormon Discussion Podcast. Bill Reel has be a valuable voice within the tidy mess that is Mormon culture and I have deeply appreciated his mind and heart over the years. Thank you Bill and John for helping so many people along this lonely journey. It hurts to see the church continue to use excommunication as a means to silence the voices that don’t fit their narrative. When will they learn to stop using their authority in such damaging ways?

  2. David November 20, 2018 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Please show your support for Bill, by signing this petition.

  3. David November 20, 2018 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    The church should be calling Bill to be a general authority, not excommunicate him.

  4. AC November 20, 2018 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    “hold on, have faith, trust in those experiences you’ve had, and it will all work itself out on the other side” -Elder Holland.

    I can’t trust the experiences I’ve had, the ground I’ve gained, especially knowing it is based on a half-truth whitewashed version of what happened, there is no ground gained, my experiences are then based on lies, so are they even valid experiences? I don’t think so. In fact I can replicate those feelings with great music, literature, and more. are these testimonies of truth? or just great emotional feels i can create in my mind and body. These are Feelings not Facts. Not cool.

    I am going through the levels of grief, actually heartbroken about my shelf crash. I wanted it to be true, I wanted to be everything my wife wanted me to be. It really sucks to be here on the journey but no going back.

  5. Ed Goble November 20, 2018 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    I don’t really understand this tendency to blame everything on the Church, and sit here and bellyache about how the brethren don’t have all the answers. Yeah, so what? The brethren are people with keys to perform ordinances and to be the head of an organization. It is the man upstairs that they answer to, and that we all answer to, and he does things in his own timing and in his own way. This is about Bill Reel placing all of his own responsibility for his own actions on the brethren. Nobody forced Bill Reel to stop believing, not even “evidence” forced Bill Reel to stop believing. The Book of Mormon plainly tells us what state we are in in mortality, and what kind of evidence we would be offered to know the actual truth. That doesn’t mean that the Church has all the answers, but it does mean the Church’s basic truth claims are actually true, in spite of the fact that only the sign of the Holy Ghost is what is offered.

    Mr. Dehlin chose his own way, and Mr. Reel also chose what he chose for himself. Nobody forced Bill Reel to find fault with the Lord’s anointed and speak evil of them. That was Bill Reel who knows better as a former Bishop, but who decided that the covenant that he made to not speak evil and to obey those with the keys was unimportant, and his new fangled sense of “integrity” is more important than the integrity that he pledged to have when he made covenants.

    Bill Reel is just as capable through personal revelation to get the answers to the questions that he had. He had the same Holy Ghost as the Brethren. Why then isn’t Bill Reel getting the revelations that he needs to know the truth of these matters? Why should he care if the brethren know these things? Why is he putting that off on the brethren? Why does Bill Reel feel that he is entitled to Church membership when his definition of authenticity leads him to act in a manner that is contrary to what is becoming of a member of the Church? Not only do I have no sympathy for this situation. I have no empathy for it either, and I don’t coddle people that ought to know better, but I call it as I see it. Just like I didn’t in the case of John Dehlin. You guys dug your own holes that you found yourselves in. By your own choices, you decided not to act in ways that would allow you to retain your membership. You can’t blame spiritual suicide on anyone but yourself, any more than someone placing themselves in a position for physical death by cop. Your so-called authenticity is more important to you than covenants. You were told plainly how to proceed in your lives when you first entered the temple, and told what covenants you were expected to keep at all hazards, regardless of anything else that was to come your way. You have a false belief that the Brethren should have answers to everything. Again, having the Holy Ghost makes you able to get the same answers for your own life that are available to anyone else.

    I continue to shake my head when I see behavior like this, even though I have watched all of you closely for many years. All of this is like saying that you don’t like that a train is moving quickly on a track and you don’t like the way it is going, so you are going to go get in front of the train. You set yourself up for this. In your own arrogance and your own enmity, you chose to put yourself in front of a moving train. You think that being an activist makes you authentic. What makes members of the Church authentic is when they keep covenants, Mr. Reel. Those are the two competing definitions of integrity here. And you are expected to value one over the other, and make a choice. It is clear which one the Savior instructed you to choose, by way of his servants.

    How do you suppose the Lord was supposed to test your integrity to your covenants without placing you in a situation in this life where you would have every reason to turn away from those covenants, because you could not rationally see why you should keep them? This was the test of your mortality that you failed, Mr. Reel, and I admonish you to come back. You still have a chance to place yourself at the mercy of the court you will face, and tell them you will submit to whatever their demands are. You had to be given a rational reason to turn away from truth in your mortality. Otherwise you could not authentically have an opportunity to become an enemy of truth, and authentically believe that that was the right choice. Anyone that becomes an enemy of truth has to believe sincerely that they are right, that hat you are authentic in what you have become. You are unwilling to make the sacrifice to submit to the Brethren and to your local leaders in order to keep your covenants, because the Brethren weren’t omniscient. How dumb is that? Sorry, but it is.

    I have been through as much of a faith crisis as any of you, but I also know why I have rationally chosen to keep my covenants. I am pragmatic about the fact that everything you know to be true is also what I know to be true. But I also know how I have chosen to pragmatically react to the same information you all have who have chosen Mr. Reel’s and Mr. Dehlin’s way, and it is an entirely different choice. And I make this choice with my eyes as open as any of you.

    • Doubting Thomas November 21, 2018 at 4:03 pm - Reply

      Mr. Goble,

      The problem with your argument is this:

      Any covenant Mr. Dehlin or Reel made with the Mormon Church was obtained deceitfully and is therefore not binding. Ask Horace the Egyptian, Adam Clarke, Ethan Smith or millions of native Americans with no Israelite DNA.

      I’d enjoy hearing your response to the next used car salesmen who sells you a clunker with rolled back mileage and and a rebuilt title. After all, yourfelt wonderful when you promised payment, and therefore his lies mean nothing because you shook his hand and gave your word.

      For what it’s worth, I’d avoid anyone wanting to sell you the world’s best farm land on the west end of Great Salt Lake.

      Good luck to you and happy holidays.

      Doubting T

      • Tony November 30, 2018 at 8:44 pm - Reply

        I had a crisis of faith. I quit going to church for several years. The interesting thing that happened to me is when I re-activated.

        Upon re-activation, I had incredible poltergeist activity in my house. The activity has been a part of my life for the last several years and persists even now. My mattress would undulate underneath me waking me up at 2am. Loud, unbelievable pounding on my walls at all hours of the day but especially intense at night. My doors would shake as if somebody was trying to break into my house but nobody was there. One night, my wife woke up because the blanket was moving around me as I lay sleeping. It was as if an entity was moving around my body causing our blanket to move. Chairs would move and spin. I even had times when the floor boards underneath me would move and creek as I sat still.

        I’ve had so much paranormal activity happen to me that it has fundamentally changed my outlook on the world. There is definitely a spirit world, and it became agitated when I changed my activity level in the church.

    • B-rad November 26, 2018 at 2:47 pm - Reply


      You asked why doesn’t Bill Reel ask the Holy Ghost for answers to these questions. That simply doesn’t follow the pattern put forth by the church because Bill’s questions are general in nature, and under LDS doctrine, only the President can receive revelation for the whole church. It’s not in church’s program for Bill to receive answers as to why our prophets, seers, and revelators married minors and other men’s wives, or why the FP and Qo12 were consistently wrong over decades regarding blacks and the priesthood, and why these same leaders have whitewashed our history and taught half-truths to the members.

    • Taylor November 30, 2018 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      Oh ED GOBLE I read your comment multiple times trying to understand where you are coming from and I truly think you need to pay attention to those three fingers that are pointed back at yourself as you point your finger at Bill Reel and John Dehlin. You say “I make this choice with my eye as open as any of you” but your comments don’t seem to match up with that statement. All I see in your statements are about obedience to the brethren. “place yourself at the mercy of the court… submit to whatever their demands are” “you are unwilling to make the sacrifice to submit to the Brethren and local leaders”. What you are saying is submit to other men. I mean, really? Come on man! You said NOTHING of submitting to Christ or God. I beg you ED to think hard about that. It says A LOT about the church.

      Lastly, just because you think you have or know the “truth” does not mean you get to call other people “the enemy of truth” and call them dumb. You say you are being pragmatic but religious beliefs aren’t really pragmatic. So again, it just sounds like you are calling everyone else dumb. This is why your eyes are wide shut because you “know” about all the issues and are unable and apparently unwilling to see and validate both sides.

    • Aaron W. Johnson April 24, 2019 at 11:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Ed : )

      My name’s Aaron. Thank you for very much for sharing your feelings; I think there is tremendous depth there. I have found true, lasting peace in my realization that there are only 3 types of business:

      (1) my business
      (2) God’s business
      (3) other peoples’ business

      ….and that the only business I have any control over or is my own. After many years, I realized that others will everlastingly speak, believe, and do things which are contrary to my treasured values and beliefs in this world, even that which is sacred to me, yet becoming unaffected by it has become very powerful for me.

      God be with you and your family and loved ones. I know He lives.

      Your Friend,

  6. Hogbreath November 20, 2018 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    So the church that claims to get revelation from god has no answers? Bednar can say Jesus was born on a specific date (over 2,000 years ago) but they have no answers about what happened 200 years ago.

    Unfortunately for them, a lot of answers are easily researched nowadays to all of the disturbing details. Telling individuals who ask hard questions that there are no answers does not look well for a church that routinely says that they have all the answers. I guess they only have answers for people that don’t have questions.

    Of all the historical discrepancies and practices of the church, there is one that they follow and it has been passed down from Smith, and that is obedience and loyalty to the organization. It is not about enlightenment today nor was it in Smith’s day.

  7. David A White November 21, 2018 at 2:33 am - Reply

    Where did Richard Bushman say in Rough Stone Rolling that “Peter, James, and John is a fabricated event?” I checked every reference to them, and it appears Richard Bushman tells the story as Joseph reported it.

  8. Lefthandloafer55 November 21, 2018 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Ed Goble: it’s people like you, your arrogance, self righteousness, and condescending puff and blow – that are driving more and more people out of “the Church”! Geez, you must be an absolute Joy on Thanksgiving. What a horse’s ass!

    • Ed Goble November 21, 2018 at 9:52 am - Reply

      Mr. Lefthanderloafer, I challenge you to answer each one of my charges with logic and rationality, point by point, and refrain from the calling of names.

      • Nancy November 21, 2018 at 11:06 pm - Reply

        I know of no other institution that requires it members to make life long promises without actually knowing in advance what the promises are and only are given the chance to walk away before they know what they are, That’s a firm of coercion.

  9. Joy November 21, 2018 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Thank you Lefthandloafer55. Ed Goble, you truly are living in your own self righteous mind bubble. The Church is a fraud. The Church is clearly an organization making billions of dollars off ignorant, naive individuals. The Church does not want people learning of their deception. They want members to keep quiet and pay their tithing and then they can be apart of their club. Once you’re out, it really all seems so silly (99 percent of the world has NO interest in Mormonism and thinks of it as a cult). The part that is difficult is when someone is born into this religion and then learns the truth. They want to live authentic lives and question what they’ve been told their whole lives because they are hurt and confused but are then shunned by people they love. That’s the sad part.

    • Ed Goble November 21, 2018 at 11:40 am - Reply

      From my perspective, the only thing that is “silly” is to walk away from covenants that you have sworn to keep, when you have sworn with them to the God of heaven to keep them at all hazards and at all costs. You will remember biblically how serious people took “swearing” to do something in the Old Testament. This is precisely the thing people are walking away from when they walk away from the Church, and there will be consequences. They are all welcome to do whatever they want with their agency, and be as authentic as they want to be in their own way. They are not immune from being able to be criticized by people who have a brain and who disagree with them, who see things entirely differently from them, but who have been through the same type of experiences as them. If they can criticize the way other people live and are, then they ought to be able to stomach the same thing they can dish out. Just like how Rosebud is holding Dehlin to the same standards that he wants to hold the LDS hierarchy to! I presume that all of you follow Rosebud? Let’s have Mr. Dehlin answer her charges directly.

  10. Hogbreath November 21, 2018 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Well Mr. Gobel, for starters, you claim to have gone through your own faith crisis and still believe.
    How about you offer some details about the “pragmatic “ and “eyes open” approach you have chosen to deal with what is being discussed?

    • Ed Goble November 21, 2018 at 11:26 am - Reply

      Hogbreath, how about you focus on what I said, rather than on me.

      Secondly, I leave you with this statement that is not Mormon in origin. “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.” — Matsuo Basho

      Do I seek to follow Joseph Smith the man, and be hung up on where he failed in his personal life, and where he failed as a leader? Or do I seek what he sought, and follow the “way” in the sense of Dao in the eastern religions, left behind by him to receive what he received? Do I focus on his failures, or do I pragmatically focus on what was delivered to us with him merely being the conduit. And I ask the same question of the fact that I now “follow” Russell M. Nelson with my eyes open. What do I seek, which is independent of Russel M. Nelson? Exaltation and the blessings and privileges associated with it is the answer. That is what I seek. What is required? Keeping covenants and being temple worthy, to answer the temple recommend questions in the interview successfully and truthfully, and going forward in service and doing what is asked of me, and being loyal. That is not a hard thing that is asked of me, because I have done it my whole life anyway. Does Russell M. Nelson’s failures or Joseph Smith’s for that matter get in the way of my ability to make choices for my own behavior to keep my own covenants? They do not. This is pragmatic. You think the Book of Mormon is false. I say it is true, because the Holy Ghost told me so. You say feelings are not good indicators of truth. Maybe so. I say that I know this from signs from the Holy Ghost independent of feelings. I know what I must do pragmatically and independently of any other creature, and independently of the failings of the organization. Literally, the organization is like a flag that I salute to, not an organization that I must focus on as if it is the end all and be all of everything. Very little is required of me to be loyal. And for one thing, not being a bitter jackass that is against the Church is the first and biggest secret.

    • Ed Goble November 21, 2018 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      I presume that somehow this didn’t get posted before, so this is my last reply, because I have already stated my position, and you can take it or leave it.
      Matsu Basho, the great Japanese Philosopher said that we ought not to follow necessarily in the footsteps of the wise, but to seek what they sought.
      What do I seek? I seek what Joseph Smith sought, and if his way that he left behind of ordinances and authority and organization helps me to get what he sought, I will submit myself to that system. In other words, I valued what was conveyed by Joseph Smith. I value what is conveyed by way of Russel M. Nelson from heaven. I don’t care what they have done, or what they have said, from the perspective of their human elements. Therefore, I am orthoprax in my Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday-saints-ism, and I maintain myself in such a state that I am able to pass a temple recommend interview successfully. I believe in the historicity of the Book of Mormon and in the historicity of the Book of Abraham because of the signs from the Holy Ghost, not because of Joseph Smith’s failings. I do not rely on feelings from the Holy Ghost, but signs from the Holy Ghost. There is a difference, but John Dehlin would have you believe that feelings are not reliable indicators of truth. Indeed, they are not, when they are not signs. Therefore, I am very orthoprax in my actions, very orthodox in what I believe about basic truth claims, but very heterodox in anything that has to do with the “mysteries.” I value research and personal revelation in the realm of the mysteries over speculation and Church tradition. I do not believe that what anyone ever said about the “mysteries” is of value, high or low, unless I get personal revelation that it is of value for me. I am a “Transhumanist,” but not in the Lincoln Cannon variety. I believe “spirit” is some of the stuff that science calls “dark matter” in that it is not detectable through electro-magnetic interactions typically in its default state.

  11. Colin Fountain November 21, 2018 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    To be forced to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to be admitted into the disciplinary council for the sake of your own defence is a requirement made under duress. In that regard it becomes ineffectual and your right to break that agreement can be challenged and won in a civil court.

  12. Ramman November 21, 2018 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Ed Goble, I would agree that a great deal of emphasis is placed on the brethren needing to know all the answers… As someone who is a 5th generation mormon who has moved away from the system, I see how difficult it is to believe that the men at the head of this church can be so vehement in their belief in the face of all the evidence that it is not what it purports to be. I personally don’t see the need to go down the road of church discipline, just resign and move on already!!
    Having said that, you seem to have overlooked the obvious problems that Bill has raised… one being – did Mr Holland lie? Yes, do you condone this, should it be overlooked because he is a church leader? Should he not be held accountable. Has the church hidden the truth about: Joseph Smith incorrectly translating the Book of Abraham? Yes, Is that not a problem for you? Has the Church obfuscated the facts of the method of the BOM translation? Yes, is that not a problem for you? Has the church been racist? Yes, is it trying to rescind their standing on race and the priesthood? Yes, is this not a problem for you? I could go on… my point is that claiming that these men are called of God and given keys and authority to perform ordinances is your opinion based on an emotional feeling that you have received by a being you believe to be a member of a godhead. I have received confirmation from that same member of the godhead that they are not who they say they are, I based my question to God on the new found evidence and received a burning in the bosom confirming this to me. Interesting isn’t it!! Anyway, I personally wouldn’t waste my time or energy engaging with leaders who have no clue about the facts… good luck Bill, hope it’s worth it!! Good luck to you to Ed Goble…

  13. Garth November 21, 2018 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Ed Goble,
    I am very interested in how you respond to people who have concerns and questions. I love the quote by J. Golden Kimball. He said, “I often wonder when you have the Spirit of God. I used to think I had it in the Southern States, when I became excited and sensational, and my face was red, and the cords of my neck were swollen—I thought then, in my ignorance, that it was the Holy Ghost. I have learned since that the Spirit of God gives you joy and peace and patience and long-suffering and gentleness, and you have the spirit of forgiveness and you love the souls of the children of men” (Conference Report, Oct. 1918, p. 29). Are you comfortable revealing your age? I was born back in 1954. I was raised to always be open to truth, whatever the source, to never be afraid to ask questions, and speak up for what you felt was right. That certainly is not what I feel now in the Church. I remember loving the film, “How Rare a Possession”, about a Catholic priest who found a Book of Mormon, without a front cover, in a burn barrel. He didn’t know the name of the book but preached to his congregation from it. Leaders became concerned with his preaching and told him to cease preaching from the strange book or be excommunicated. He chose to continue teaching from the book and they carried out their threat. The message was loud and clear to me: we should stand for what we feel is right and let the consequence follow. I miss the feeling I once had in the Church of being able to question freely and have open dialogue and follow what I felt was the Spirit. Missionary work was uplifting when I was totally open to truth, wherever it could be found. Thank you, Mormon Stories, for bringing back that feeling of being able to question, have open and healthy discussions, and being transparent!!!

    • Ed Goble November 21, 2018 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      Mr. Garth,

      I am in my late 40’s. I don’t know what you think your point is, but I suspect that like so many others, you think that you can be a judge of my character, and bring the focus on to me. You think that you should stand for what you feel is right, and let the consequence follow. So be it. I am a man of passion, and it is a known personality flaw in my being that all know that I have who know me well, and that passion shows when I make my stand. You can say whatever you want about that, but I do know where I stand. If my presentation of when I make my stand is wanting because of a lack of perfection in me, my position that I take is not wanting. And I will continue to make it known when I see a need. I make absolutely no apology for where I stand, and I say it how I say it with the passion that is in me without apology as well.

      You say you are interested in how I deal with people on a personal level who have concerns and questions. I am a calm person when I deal with people in person. When I make my stand, I make it, and I make sure people know that I am serious person. I have no patience for people that think that they can ignore what I say, just because of my personality flaws. That, sir, is called Ad Hominem. And that, sir is the logical fallacy that you have committed here. Therefore, stick to the facts of the matter, and lay off the pointing out of the personality flaws.

  14. Ed Goble November 21, 2018 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    When I baptize my kids, Holland’s flaws have nothing to do with whether God recognizes the authority that enables the performance of that Baptism. What matters is whether I keep my covenants, which I have personally sworn to do. Holland has no effect on whether I personally make a choice to be faithful to what I have been told to do. Holland has to answer to Jesus Christ like anyone else. I am into this for getting through this life unscathed spiritually if I can, and I am primarily responsible for the spiritual welfare of myself and my own family. I am not the one that Holland has to answer to. You ask whether I condone it or should overlook it. I say it is as unimportant to the grand scheme of my personal eternity, because it is not my problem. It is Holland’s problem. Holland will be punished for his own transgressions if he does not repent, as will the rest of mankind. Holland can take that up with Jesus Christ, and so can you, if you think it is important, or should be dealt with. Should I look the other way because Holland may have lied? I say that it is not my problem. It’s Holland’s problem. And if I sit here and dwell on it, I think that would be stupid. And since Bill Reel has made it Bill Reel’s problem, now Bill Reel will suffer the consequence. I say Bill Reel should have left Holland’s problem to Holland and to Jesus Christ.

    In other words, I say it is irrelevant to my personal eternity, so I don’t care about it, because as a pragmatist, there is nothing I can do about it, nor do I care to. I don’t have an interest in Holland’s personal sins. I only care that Holland is a conduit of the Holy Ghost when the Holy Ghost chooses to use him that way. That’s all I care about, because that is what I profit from. Otherwise, I don’t care what Holland says or does. If you care about it, then you can stew over it. You have your agency.

    I only care about what I can profit from for my personal eternity. That’s what I’m into this for. And if I can help other people stay on the path where they will not commit spiritual suicide because of stupid stuff that has nothing to do with them personally, then that is a good thing.

  15. Anne November 22, 2018 at 7:00 am - Reply

    Thank you for reminding me of that beautiful film.
    You point to precisely the fallacy that has troubled me for decades, which is; why would such a being as God is supposed to be, ever feel threatened by any question we could come up with? If there were such a being, we are even younger and more underdeveloped by comparison, than is an infant compared to an adult human. To imagine that this God would punish one of us for seeking truth, regardless of whether we were erroneous or mistaken in our direction, in the words of the hymn, “makes reason stare”. It is a human kind of response, to shush a younger, less knowledgeable human who asks a startling question, not a godlike one. The response to silence another is based on fear. God, if there is such a exalted, loving, wise being as the Church theology presents us with, is, by definition, above such fearful shushing.

  16. David Larson November 22, 2018 at 11:01 am - Reply

    “In Saudi Arabia our leadership is a red line. The custodian of the two holy mosques (King Salman) and the crown prince are a red line,” Jubeir told the BBC.
    “They represent every Saudi citizen and every Saudi citizen represents them. And we will not tolerate any discussion of anything that is disparaging towards our monarch or our crown prince

    Sound familiar—-“In the Mormon church our leadership is a red line”.

  17. Garth November 22, 2018 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Wow, Anne, thank you! I’m going to save your response because you’ve expressed it so simply and beautifully! Your response is a Thanksgiving miracle for me!

    And to Ed Goble,
    Thank you so much for your response! Another miracle! I do want to extend my apologies for saying something that may have offended you. I’ve been carefully navigating my faith journey for the past 20 years. Through that time I’ve served as a bishop for 6 years, a seminary teacher for 3 years, a service missionary for the Church’s Addiction Recovery and Family Support groups for 3 years.

    As Anne so beautifully expressed, “God, if there is such a exalted, loving, wise being as the Church theology presents us with, is, by definition, above such fearful shushing.” Living in an environment of “fearful shushing” has been stifling for me. My fear is being responsible for harming a person who is happy and perfectly content with their testimony. When I have ventured into discussions, walls go up, adrenaline enters the blood, fight-flight-or-freeze mode kicks in, and I become the “evil-one” who is questioning my faith! Not a healthy environment for me! I’m seeking a community where questioning in a nonjudgemental environment is the key to spiritual growth. In my 64 years in the Church, the most healthy and safe environment for nonjudgemental dialogue was when my wife and I served in the Addiction Recovery program. (I still am very cautious and intentional with what I say to my wife and children and grandchildren. I have learned where that line is.) Although the conversations are not deep, the other healthy place where I am currently serving is with my wife in the Nursery.

    Ed Goble, you may be an answer to my prayers and meditations. I long for conversations with true believing members who can truly listen without running the risk that what I say may send them into a state of losing their testimony. For me, I want to have conversations that can bring me more “truth and light.” If you have it, I welcome it!

    The paradigm that brings me peace is doing my best to being open to all ideas, even if It means changing. I’m sure you’re a very intelligent individual and I don’t want to imply that my age makes me wiser, but if there is one thing that I have learned in my 64 years on the planet is that being human opens me up to all kinds of emotions, both positive and negative. For me, spiritual growth happens when I can quiet my mind and be in that observant state of non-judgement and explore my beliefs.

    Mormon Stories, thank you, thank you, thank you for creating a safe place for healthy and safe dialogue!

  18. Mike November 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    C’mon Bill you don’t really need him to send you the evidence ahead of time. We all obviously know why you are going to a disciplinary council…

    You didnt change your podcast name quick enough to “Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints discussions podcast” ;)

    In all serisousnees though, I wish the best for you and your family. I am a believing memeber of the church. I have come to different conclusions than you have obviously but I have always appreciated your podcast and your voice and the research and context you provide. I am sorry it has been so hard on you and your family and I am sorry you aren’t treated well by many in the church. On the other hand, I understand why a lot of members feel threatened by you. People act their worst when they sense a threat. I am sorry you are the target of their fears.

    • David November 23, 2018 at 8:00 am - Reply

      I’m in the same boat as you Mike.
      Bill has helped me nuance my belief.

      It still has good imperfect people in it, and it still is a community I enjoy.
      I know the church doesn’t suit everyone, and it is helpful to open our eyes.

  19. Garth November 22, 2018 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Ed Goble,
    Are you still out there? As I mentioned previously, in my experience, when I ask my questions to an active member it puts them into a fight-flight-or-freeze mode and I go into silence mode out of respect because I don’t want to hurt them. You, Ed Gobel, are an answer to my prayers!!! Your previous responses indicate that there is nothing I could say that could harm your testimony. You may have the answers that I seek. Is this a forum that we could have a dialogue. If readers tire of it, we can find a new forum if necessary. What do you think?

  20. Anne November 23, 2018 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    I appreciated that you heard my words in a good way.
    Also, may I second your gratitude for this podcast. I’ve looked all around the net in the past year, hoping to find a healing, thoughtful forum in which to connect with others whose faith was transforming dramatically, too. This is the first place I’ve found that provides a bit of that. So, amen! Thank you John, Margi, and every person who supports this podcast in any way.

  21. VFanRJ November 23, 2018 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    No MP3’s available for audio download?

    • Mormon Stories November 24, 2018 at 7:30 am - Reply

      This episode has not been fully produced yet. It will soon be episodes 1017-1018 and will be posted through our normal channels

  22. Adrie de Jong November 24, 2018 at 2:42 am - Reply

    Since I listened to the interviews from the Mattsson’s (984-985) I got this feeling: The Lord is also placing some wonderful leaders out of the church, for those who are not able to be IN the church, so, the ex-mormon-flock have some peacefull loving leaders aswell,

    Since in the 90’s the leaders told the members not to seek contact with Christ Himself, because He was too busy trying to connect with the prophet, and better not be bothered by the ‘simple members – minds’. Jesus went outside the church and gathered his flock outside the walls from a church that didn’t want to have Him as a Leader. There he saw He needed good leaders for the flock that still followed Him in the open fields.

    And so, Brother and Sister Mattsson were sent outside the church to gaurd His sheep ! He also took John Dehlin into His organisation, because John could reach so many people worldwide and give the other leaders a voice, aswell, as Bill Reel did.

    Now Jesus wants Bill in His organisation, so, He let The Brothers excommunicate him, because they don’t deserve such good honest people in their church.

    Now Jesus has a huge flock of followers outside the Mormon Church and He loves them and takes care of them !

    The leaders of the church are now claiming the name: The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Days Saints. If they want this title for truth, and not just for misleading, than they first have to correct the words they spoke in the 90’s that members should not seek personal contact with Jesus, and stop standing between the members and whom they truly should follow: Jesus Christ ! If the leaders do correct this error, and start pointing the members toward Jesus, maybe also the insight might arise that they should stop being puppets from patriarchy and become real followers of Christ and turn also the organisation into a Christ-like place !

    I got the feeling the leaders are busy to make the ship turn into the right direction. I will keeping an eye on this development and hopefully will rejoice when the church has completely become Jesus Christ’s church again !

    In the meantime Jesus takes care of His flock in the fields and will keep on going taking leaders away from the organisation, till the Leaders finally will realise that all the true followers of Christ are outside the wall of their church. Just only when the organisation becomes Christlike again, Jesus’s flock in the fields will return to the church and show in that way that the church is a Christ -worthy church again. Untill than, Jesus takes care of those who are too honest and sincere to lie inside the church and rather be outside and are true followers of Jesus Christ, including the contact with Him through prayer and an sincere heart !

    Bill, you are needed in the open fields, just as John was needed and the Mattssons and all the others who spoke on Mormon Stories or wrote reactions or otherwise showed their support and heartfelt concerns to those who left the church. Leaders are people and make faults, but Jesus always keeps His eye on even those who are the least of us all ! Stay close to Him and you are not alone, we are here in the open fields with you !

    Mw. Adrie de Jong
    The Netherlands

    • Peter November 24, 2018 at 5:15 am - Reply

      Hi Adrie,

      Are there examples of the Church telling members not to seek contact with Christ? I know that this has been a big part of the culture, but I don’t remember or haven’t seen it being directly taught. I’d love to read some resources to better understand the theology that was being taught at Conference, in the Ensign, etc. on this topic. Thanks!

      • Adrie de Jong November 26, 2018 at 2:41 am - Reply

        Hi Peter ,

        I had not heard about it, until learned about it in one of the interviews here on Mormon Stories.

        Later I read a comment here from someone who had attended a, I guess BYU, conference where an Apostle spoke and told the audience that they shouldn’t seek personal contact with Jesus Christ.

        I hope the person who shared that information reads our comments and will tell us again, what s/he had heard.

        This is where I got it from. I don’t know if it ever had been in the Ensign etc, but that would be interesting, too, to know.

        Adrie de Jong
        The Netherlands

        • D.S. November 27, 2018 at 6:45 pm - Reply
          • Peter November 28, 2018 at 8:57 am

            Wow, there it is. Thanks D.S. That’s a very jolting thing to read.

          • Adrie de Jong November 30, 2018 at 5:01 am

            Yes ! Thank you DS, I wanted to react after reading, but it is pretty long !

            It was even in 1982, that declares to me why some people in the church were hesitant to be willing to hear from my spiritual experiences. I thought that should be normal to share, since Joseph Smith gave his good example with The First Vision, but I was told not to talk about it. It was one of the stones that were laid in the pavement leading me out of the church.

            It’s funny there is a contradiction in what Elder McConkie said: he is pointing the members toward Jesus, but claims that it is not needy to have a relationship with Him. Infact The Holy Ghost is most important to be connected with. I haven’t read all yet, so, before I pull wrong statements, I’d better react after I’ve finished it !

            For now I, too, wanted to thank you so much for you help !

            Adrie de Jong
            The Netherlands

  23. Ryan Wimmer November 24, 2018 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    I have no problem with what Bill Reel’s podcast at all. I am however turned off by the attention seeking martyrdom of publishing the where and when of a church court to turn it in a victimization spectacle. It really is completely illogical to even attend a church court if there is no belief in the tenants of the church. I would have rolled laughing if I had been summoned to an excommunication hearing and thrown the letter away.

  24. Paul November 25, 2018 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Ed Goble…….The mindset that you present here is pretty off putting. As a former convert to the church, and also a former Branch President, I noticed that as time went on, my image and impression of Jesus had changed,to one of fear,power and authority….this is what the church emphasizes in many obvious (temple covenants for eg) and subtle ways….I prefer the loving, compassionate image I have now regained. In expressing the “duty to your covenants” that we took on, as you do here, and using threatening words to those no longer living those covenants, is all fear based and sums up so much of how the church presents devotion and commitment. No true spiritual pursuit needs to be based on fear.
    However, if you want justification within your mindset for walking away from the covenants that you mentioned………the former LDS head, President Hinckley did publicly state that ” If the first vision did not occur,then we are involved in a great sham”. With so much hanging on this…it’s interesting to note that it was no part of the early formation of the church…besides, there’s at least 4 versions, JS changed and embellished each one…such an experience would be branded in your psyche and would never change or be in doubt.
    Obviously, there’s a problem here, and if reasonable members come to the conclusion that there is a problem with the first vision, then following President Hinckleys own words, it’s completely understandable to come down on the ” sham” side of his statement.
    In that case, if one genuinely believes there to be a problem with the visions, any covenants made are void and meaningless.

  25. Clay Dixon November 25, 2018 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    If you do not believe the story that they gave you, what story to you believe. To what extent does the Temple or the Boys at the top play an effective role in your actual belief.

  26. square peg November 27, 2018 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Love you both! Thanks again to both of you for your willingness to put your necks on the line to be voices of truth and also to be voices for those of us who are not in a position to have our own voices that will ever be able to be publicly heard or acknowledged. You give faces and validation to many of us who have spent so much of our lives feeling invisible and demeaned because of our loss of belief. It means the world to so many that you are not even aware of. Best of wishes to you and your families.

  27. Sandra Morley November 27, 2018 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    This is a very good episode, however, one caution speaking about Elder Holland as being Bipolar is disrespectful to those who are suffering with a mental illness, perhaps another term would be more appropriate.

    • DocJohn November 27, 2018 at 5:10 pm - Reply

      Sandra – I struggle with OCD and do not find it disrespectful when others discuss symptoms/behaviors related to anxiety-related struggles. The intention is to understand behaviors; if someone is bipolar, they need to know in order to get the right medication and gain stability. People understand when someone is belittling and when they are describing a condition.

  28. Rico November 28, 2018 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Ed Goble,

    You said: “That was Bill Reel who knows better as a former Bishop, but who decided that the covenant that he made to not speak evil and to obey those with the keys was unimportant, and his new fangled sense of “integrity” is more important than the integrity that he pledged to have when he made covenants.”

    There is much to criticize there, it’s hard to find where to start. So let me begin with a self-evident truth: Lying and violence go hand-in-hand.

    The man who propagates lies will not hesitate to protect his lies with violence. And the man who commits violence will not hesitate to protect his violence with lies. Jesus himself affirms this connection between the two (John 8:44).

    The problem with Mormon temple theology and rituals is that they are rooted in violence and lies. If you have received your endowment before 1990 when the Mormon church removed the death oaths and other masonic elements in its rituals, then you would know what I am talking about. In freemasonry, an initiate to its degrees swears an oath to forfeit his life if he ever divulges the masonic oaths he agrees to keep secret. That Joseph Smith plagiarized some elements of those rituals of freemasonry is a fact known to freemasons themselves. Included in those elements he copied is the idea that a man’s life is worth sacrificing to keep him bound to his oaths.

    Is the life of a human being worth killing to keep secret a masonic or Mormon temple oath? You answer me.

    The problem with those masonic and the pre-1990 Mormon temple oaths is that they are either serious in the things they explicitly say, or they aren’t. If they aren’t, then they deserve to be exposed for the nonsense and absurdities they are.

    But if they are serious, then we are staring at something perverse: Whoever decides to take the lives of masons or Mormons because they divulged those secret temple oaths is guilty of murder. The person who executes the penalty demanded by those oaths is de facto a murderer. And those who abet and enable the murderer will be guilty of his crime just the same. Remember Saul who became Paul? He need not throw a stone to kill Stephen the first Christian martyr. He only held the clothes of those who murdered him.

    In a civil society where the dignity of a person is respected, no person can lawfully enter a contract by which he consents to his/her own murder. Such contracts are considered null or invalid at the outset. The intent of the contract and how it is to be enforced involves crime. By those elements, such contracts are found only among criminals. If secular laws don’t allow a person to consent to his murder, why would the higher laws of God be any different? “Thou shall not kill” is still a valid commandment never revoked by Jesus himself. That Mormon temple rituals ignored this fundamental commandment by God is a clear sign that its theology has nothing to do with Jesus nor the Holy Ghost.

    One of freemasonry’s biggest lie is the claim that its rituals go all the way back to King Solomon’s Temple. This lie has been believed by Joseph Smith and his contemporaries. They believed that freemasonry’s rituals are a corruption of the true priesthood ones. Thus, in creating the Mormon endowment, the early Mormons thought Smith was restoring what was lost from King Solomon’s times. Unfortunately, that lie has been debunked. The rites of freemasonry are no older than the 17th century. They don’t go back to the Solomon’s era.

    That Joseph Smith miserably failed to detect this blatant masonic deception is an excellent example of the blind following the blind. If Smith really wanted to know what went on inside Solomon’s temple, all he had to do was open his Bible. The rituals are all described there in great detail. He need not swallow the lies of freemasonry. But instead of following God’s truth in the scriptures, he chose to follow men’s falsehoods in their secret chambers. How then can Joseph Smith lead you to the truth? He can’t. He has already fallen into the ditch along with his blind freemason guides.

    Indeed, he is no different than Gordon Hinckley and Dallin Oaks who both swallowed hook, line, and sinker whatever Mark Hoffman fed them. And as you can see in the Hoffman forgery saga, the one who engages in deceptions never hesitates to commit murder.

    Lying and violence go hand in hand. The lies propagated inside Mormon temples can only be sustained by threats of violence. By reminding Bill Reel, John Dehlin, and others who have escaped the lies and threats inside Mormon temples, you are a participant in keeping those murderous threats alive.

    And please, don’t say Smith’s work is by the Holy Ghost. You ought to know that you can be forgiven for blasphemy against Jesus, but not if you blaspheme the Holy Ghost. Unless you repent of this, that sin cannot be pardoned even in the next life. Remember the “fruits of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22)? Where is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness when you are fed with masonic lies and threatened with murder for divulging temple secrets? They don’t exist in any meaningful way.

    If murder and lying go hand in hand (John 8:44) then its opposites are likewise true: Love and truth go hand in hand: “Charity rejoices not in iniquity, but in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6). Think of these scriptures carefully. Let them light your path. The road to perdition is never obvious to the one walking it.

  29. A.E. Moss November 30, 2018 at 12:13 am - Reply

    Mattsson: “Elder Perry, may I see the book with all the answers you promised to show us?”

    Elder Perry: “Don’t be impertinent!” walks away, holding briefcase, still closed.

    True story.

  30. A.E. Moss November 30, 2018 at 2:00 am - Reply

    Radio Free Mormon “guy” lives in Japan, and is from Canada. He does “Black Pigeon Speaks” videos. Super-excellent videos.

  31. Jared Madden November 30, 2018 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Garth – If you are still following this conversation (I’m late to the game) then I would be happy to have a dialogue with you. I’m a very faithful believer who is aware of much of the controversial history. In short, I will not run or be afraid of any questions you would ask. I’m always hesitant to join any of these online comment sections because I believe individuals (myself included) or more likely to phrase their questions/comments in a way that can too easily be taken as offensive. However, personal interaction is much less likely to take that route. Let me know if you’re interested.

  32. Dorothy November 30, 2018 at 11:34 am - Reply

    What did you say is the name of the process in which Joseph Smith had revelation instead of Translation that produced the Book of Mormon? Pseudo……? I can’t find that term.

  33. Darrick Evenson December 7, 2018 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Elder Holland “is” a Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire. Check out his PBS “interview” regarding the Curse of Cain Doctrine. He acts like he really isn’t familiar with the doctrine, so he doesn’t know what to say about it! In fact, Holland was taught the Curse of Cain Doctrine from the day of his birth. He served in the CES while the Church still openly taught it. He read “The Church and the Negro” in 1970 as the Institute Director in Seattle, Washington. The book, by John Lund, contains almost nothing but quotes from early Church leaders and Bruce R. McConkie. Holland read “Mormon Doctrine” by Bruce R. McConkie, the pre-1978 editions, which clearly taught the Curse of Cain Doctrine as “a doctrine of the Church”. Holland is a “Liar for the Lord” there is no doubt about it. And, he is third in line to become the “Living Prophet”. He’s a new Paul Dunn. He’s a new Hinckley. The guy has no problem about lying “to protect the image of the Church”. No problem at all.

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