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flameburns623

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About flameburns623

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    Former LDS considering return
  • Birthday 02/03/1960

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    Southern Illinois--near St. Louis

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  1. In the midst of this thread, I have just learned that a member of my ward, someone I knew pretty well, who my family had given rides to church, has passed. Suicide is the CoD. He was 32. Depression and addiction contributed to his passing. Some other issues were going on as well. He was a friendly guy, good sense of humor. Sealed to his wife, two children. I am told he was a Sunday School teacher. I am only just learning of some of his issues, as I wasn't his home teacher nor able to be close to him otherwise. Unsurprisingly, I now realize that I could see some of the signs of something like this and I am wishing that I could have done more for him, been closer to him. But I am more than twenty years older than he was Second-guessing myself is fruitless just now. My own wife had a breakdown in 2016 which included suicidal impulses. This hit pretty close to home. More later.
  2. I so think that it was a foregone conclusion that there would be a Church clerk keeping minutes of the event. A written record of the matter would have to be maintained in case Bill ever opted to return to full membership. My notes from 1979, the first time I left the Church, were still on file, even though I had returned in 1988 and had been a member in good standing, if largely inactive, until my second resignation in 2008. The bishop involved in reinstating me in 2008 was actually more concerned about the stuff from 1979 than about my '08 resignation. As a former bishop, Bill Reel must have known the Church would maintain such records. Since Disciplinary Councils are currently set up much as an adversarial proceeding, I think that (upon request) a transcript, performed by an Independent stenographer whose fees were split between the subject and the local ward, would make the most sense. The subject of the DC gets a copy, names expunged, in case there are relevant inaccuracies which could be corrected, especially in event of an appeal or petition to reinstate. In Bill Reel's case, his Disciplinary Council requited itself well. Bill is the one who came off badly--perhaps not a "clown" as I said earlier--that was a bit harsh,. I only inserted that in the context of my likening the whole affair to a circus. (I watched a lot of John Dehlin's live feed). But, time after time, while reading the transcript, I asked myself, "Bill: why are you bothering? Why didn't you resign and just have done with this?" I could see that all he was doing was establishing that he was no longer a believer, and that via his podcasts and social media, was being very open about his unbelief. He wasn't a seeker struggling quietly to resolve matters. He had passed that point some time ago. In an organization which does not value open faith challenging questions, the thing was a waste of people's time. There ARE religious bodies which do welcome questioning members: I've told Bill so; and said here that he would make better use of his faculties and energy in such communities. I do understand that Disciplinary Councils are NOT actually investigative or adversarial procedures. Since these DC's are also never actually "counseling" sessions for the subject, either, I think the more pastoral thing to do is as I proposed earlier: Do whatever counseling or consultation needs to happen in the Bishop's or Stake President's office, after notice has been served that in X amount of time, a DC will convene. Unless the subject of a DC denies whatever allegations of misconduct have led to that point, start working on the solution rather than rehashing the transgression before witnesses. Use the DC, once convened, to provide oversight in case a particular leader is laboring under a misapprehension or has an axe to grind. No reason for the subject of the DC to be invited or attend: just let them present any exculpatory evidence via an accounted advocate from among the Disciplinary Council.
  3. We speculate that he did. His wife could have been wearing it, beside him. It could have been somewhere in the room near him. One of the participants (the Church) IS recording the proceedings. A symmetrical relationship accords the privilege to both parties.
  4. One other thing. Bill Reel clearly no longer respects several of the key figures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He no longer believes, even in a nuanced or thoughtful manner, the things that the Church teaches. He no longer planned to participate in Church functions. His podcasts, he acknowledges, are no longer primarily geared to helping LDS members remain faithful while adjusting to a different type of understanding about difficult issues. To the contrary, they seem designed to help facilitate the exit from LDS membership in a manner most satisfactory to an exiting member. The decision to convene a Disciplinary Council was reasonable. Bill's only reason for not simply resigning was to make a circus of the proceedings. As a Freemason and a Shriner, I happen to like circuses. Except when neither peanuts nor cotton candy are available. This was a particularly poor circus. Bill made a clown of himself. He was free to do it. And, believing that he did so because he is on a quest, a pilgrimage, for higher truth, I wish him all the best. But I have seen better circuses and much better clowns.
  5. Your first paragraph is why I believe the Church is at least as immoral in this matter as Bill Reel. If the Council is about Bill Reel, and will involve his standing in the Church, he has a moral RIGHT to be there if he chooses (unless some other mechanism for answering the allegations is provided). To defend his standing and make a case for why he should not be disciplined. And Bill Reel, being the subject of the Disciplinary Council, is the only person with the moral right to determine if he wants the proceedings to be private. If he elects privacy, then he is entitled to the strictest privacy under law (understanding that churches are mandated to report certain types of matters). If he wishes the proceedings public, my view is the Church has no moral rights to insist the matter be kept secret. There may be no statute under law which can force the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to behave morally in these matters. But, by my lights, for the Church even to suggest a nondisclosure agreement is unethical behavior. Your second paragraph overlooks that it is not YOU but the other party . . .in this case, Bill Reel . . . who is the subject of the information at stake. Bill Reel is always free to share any and all information about himself that he elects. Or to maintain his own privacy. Frirnships, like church membership, are voluntary associations. If someone elects to make information about themselves public which you prefer they keep private, you are free to dissociate yourself from such a friendship. But neither you nor the Church, morally speaking, have veto rights over another being's privacy. All of which bypasses another germaine point: Bill Reel agreed that "he" would not record. Apparently, "he" did NOT.
  6. Speculation on Facebook, some of it by people professing to be attorneys, is that requiring a nondisclosure agreement in order to participate in the Disciplinary Council is probably illegal and unenforceable on at least a couple of grounds. 1. Because the Church has a clerk talking notes of the DC which are not made available to the person subject to the DC, but which would remain on file to be used against the subject of a Disciplinary Council, should that subject ever seek readmission to Church membership. This asymmetry is said to be something no court would uphold. 2. There is no quid pro quo nor consideration paid. The Church apparently perceives a benefit from such a nondisclosure agreement, but the subject of the Disciplinary Council, even if they do NOT perceive any benefit accruing to themselves, must sign or be denied opportunity to participate on their own behalf. I am not an attorney. These two points make some sense to me, as a layman. But they may not hold water in actual law. Short of an actual court hearing, I don't know if we could know the legalities of any certainty. But anyone with actual legal background is welcome to opine. (And if the arguments I outlined above are actually preposterous to a trained attorney, please dry the tears of laughter from your eyes before replying. 😁 We wouldn't want you to cause moisture damage to your electronic device. 😁😀😁) Superficially, I am thinking that if either of the above are true under law--and, to some extent even if the agreement were lawful, owing to the lack of transparency being displayed by the Church--there are some fair questions of ethical conduct which could be raised against the Church as well. (These are the kinds of transparency issues raised against other churches vis'a'vis internal investigations of clerical abuse, for example. Secrecy in such matters--at least when some involved would feel safer if things were done with maximum openness--simply looks less than Christlike). Although, again, the transcript shows that Bill Reel was treated with due consideration and given a fair hearing during the DC.
  7. Has he acknowledged being the one who recorded the DC? It was not released by him and initial conversation tried to imply that the person recording might have been a sympathetic member of the Council.
  8. Mwahwhaha! 😄😄😄I can't even afford a trip to Salt Lake. How would I afford a trip to Israel? And my present wife would deeply object to my marriage to an Orthodox Jewish woman. 😄🤣🤣😄🤣🤣
  9. flameburns623

    And now, Gina Colvin faces a Disciplinary Council.

    She hasn't specified a date but Gina's Disciplinary Council will occur before Christmas.
  10. I was positing suggestions, due to the way critics of the Church have misused the current process.
  11. You know, these councils don't have to have the appearance of an adversarial hearing. The same basic structure could be maintained with modifications such as these: 1. The accused is notified not less than thirty days nor longer than sixty that a DC will be convened. They are advised to whom they can submit evidence or testimony in their defense, and assigned a spokesperson who will present their evidence on their behalf. Evidence must be submitted at least 48 hours prior to the DC. They are given opportunity to arrange private meetings with their bishop or Stake President prior to the DC. While awaiting the DC all callings and privileges of membership are in suspension. 2. A DC is held, WITHOUT the presence of the accused or witnesses, and any evidence submitted discussed at that time. A transcript is taken for the member's record, a copy being made available to said member. 3. The decision is made and sent to the member, with any adverse decision being effective FIFTEEN DAYS FOLLOWING the DC. The member can, once more, meet in private to discuss the reason for the DC. The member can also use the time to resign. 4. Once final, the member can appeal as they currently are privileged to do. This can help avoid the circus atmosphere attending Disciplinary Councils currently.
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