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Bill Reel announces excommunication is official, as a recording of his Disciplinary Council is released.

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34 minutes ago, california boy said:

It amazes me that the church is so ashamed at what takes place at these courts that they force the person accused of misconduct to not record the event and if the accused are unwilling to agree to that, then they are not allowed to attend and defend themselves against the accusations that may be brought up in that court.  

Oh, baloney.  This isn't about the Church being "ashamed."  The Church treats these things with decorum and sanctity and confidentiality.

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Seems totally manipulative and just another example of how the church hates transparency. 

There are all sorts of circumstances where proceedings are not allowed to be recorded, and all sorts of perfectly legitimate reasons for not allowing recordings.

But for some, resentments against the Church run so deep, they just cannot allow for that possibility.  So the Church is evil.  "Ashamed."  "Totally manipulative."  "Hates transparency."  None of this silliness flies, but if a person is addicted to rage against the Church...

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If what the church was doing was straight up and honorable, then I would think they would want an accurate record of the proceedings and welcome the light of day into the proceedings.  

Gotta love the loaded premise.

Here's mine: "If the Church wants disciplinary matters to be held in confidence, and to be treated with sanctity and decorum, then prohibiting recordings makes a lot of sense.  Recording the proceedings would alter the calculus of behavior.  Recording the proceedings would facilitate a violation of confidentiality.  Recording the proceedings would lessen the sanctity and decorum of the meeting."

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The standard policy should be,

Chutzpah is my favorite Yiddish word.  Thank you for so amply demonstrating its meaning by presuming to dictate to the Church what its "standard policy should be."

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we are recording these proceedings and you are welcome to do the same.  

No, that should not be the standard policy. 

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In every incident where I was being recorded in a proceeding, the same courtesy was extended to me to record the meeting if I so wished.  

Good luck going into a courtroom that does not allow recording of proceedings and insisting to the judge what the "standard policy should be" (while preserving for itself the right and need to record the proceedings).

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It keeps the integrity of the meeting intact and beyond reproach.

Unless, of course, there are further considerations in play, such as confidentiality.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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here's a hypothetical scenario. Let's say I was on the High Council and signed my name to this document saying I wouldn't record it and then the accused broadcasted the proceedings, secretly or took a pic of that document with everyone's signature on it. Now let's say I get harassed at my job or my family or some negative impact on my life because my name is now out there, would I have legal recourse?

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15 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

The letter he received does say "It would not be appropriate, for example, for anyone who attends the council to make a recording of it, whether for private or public use".  

That is entirely correct.  The written record kept by the clerk is not for the clerk's "private or public use."  It's for the Church's records.

15 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

This clearly tells Bill one thing.  No one, not he nor anyone, should make record of it. 

No, it doesn't.  It says that nobody should make a recording of it for public or private use.

The clerk's record is a well-known part of the proceedings.  Bill Reel must have known this.  The Stake President and his counselors and the clerk knew this.  Probably most or all of the members of the High Council knew this.

Your implication insults the intelligence of every participant.

15 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Taking notes is of course making a record of what took place--depending on the note taker the notes taken could very well be more complete than an audio recording.

It's the Church's meeting.  On its property.  Involving its representatives.  The Church gets to set the ground rules. 

And those ground rules are reasonable.  I can think of all sorts of reasons why the Church would not want to have such proceedings recorded.  Confidentiality and security logistics would be a nightmare.  There are what, tens of thousands of disciplinary proceedings held each year?  How many people who are the subject of those proceedings do you think would want the Church to maintain a audio/video record of them confessing to their sins?  Do you have any idea how creepy that sounds?

May I suggest that you give this matter a bit more thought?  What you are advocating here - that the Church keep audio/video recordings of disciplinary proceedings of its members - is patently unreasonable.  Dangerous.  Difficult-to-impossible to implement and maintain.

15 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

And whether it's public or private it should not have been done, according to the letter that was sent him. 

Patently incorrect.  The letter says nothing about the Church adhering to its standard procedure of maintaining a written record of the proceedings.

Really, dude.  I get that you have some beefs with the Church, but this argument is a non-starter.  You are insulting the intelligence of everyone in that meeting, including Bill Reel, when you suggest that the Stake President's out-of-the-ordinary security measures (quite understandable, given Bill Reel's proclivities as a publicity hound) were intended to also apply to the clerk's written notes.  That smacks of desperation.

15 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

So if I were sent what Bill was sent I'd not expect anyone there to take notes. 

Honestly, I don't even think Bill Reel would agree with you on this one.  I think he knew that the clerk would be keeping a written record.  

Has he said anything on this point?  Did he object to the clerk taking notes during the council?

15 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Because it was said no one should record it. 

No one should record it for public or private use.  The clerk wasn't doing that.

15 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Once I saw that, I'd figure the promises made regarding that requirement/request were null and void.  

Again, I get that you have some disagreements with the Church.  But this one isn't worthwhile.

Thanks,

-Smac

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31 minutes ago, smac97 said:

In a super-duper reductionist sense, you might have a point.  But in the main, no.  There is no "subjective assumption" in play here.  The Church has scriptural mandates, from which it has formulated proceedings for disciplinary issues.  The Church has published a handbook that lays out the guidelines for what constitutes "apostasy."  Those guidelines are:

That first one is obviously applicable to Bill Reel's behavior.  Objectively so.

And even then, the Church doesn't just rely on some "assumption" about that behavior (as in "a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof").  The Church requires a formal proceeding, a disciplinary council, which involves the presentation and weighing and evaluation of evidence, and an adjudication based on that evidence.

The yardstick by which Bill Reel's behavior is measured is the doctrines and policies of the Church.  By that yardstick, Bill Reel is in a state of unrepentant apostasy.  That's not a subjective assumption.  That is a considered conclusion supported by competent evidence.

Thanks,

-Smac

You make a strong case, but I think a person could still argue the efficacy of the rules the church currently has in place, and whether God's will is aligned with those rules, and if unaligned properly that repentance is not needed. 

In this sense its still subjective.  

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28 minutes ago, Duncan said:

here's a hypothetical scenario. Let's say I was on the High Council and signed my name to this document saying I wouldn't record it and then the accused broadcasted the proceedings, secretly or took a pic of that document with everyone's signature on it. Now let's say I get harassed at my job or my family or some negative impact on my life because my name is now out there, would I have legal recourse?

That would vary by jurisdiction.

I wish the people griping about the Church's policy would take five minutes to step back from their railings against the Church and consider the ramifications of the Church allowing or ordering audio/video recording of disciplinary proceedings.

Why do you folks want the Church to make audio/video recordings of people confessing to their deepest, darkest sins, and other people discussing such incredibly sensitive matters?  

What if the person being disciplined doesn't want the proceedings recorded?  Would their wishes be honored or not?  

What if the person consented to the recording, then later had a change of heart?  Would the recording be destroyed?

How would the logistical issues be handled?  Who would retain possession of and access to the recordings?  Where?  Using what storage medium and security measures?  For how long?  Would the recordings be transmitted to the Church's headquarters?  How?  And how long would the Church hold on to such recordings?

Assuming, arguendo, that the Church capitulates to this demand and starts to keep audio/video, how long would it take for other critics to jump up and harangue the Church for violating the members' expectation of privacy and confidentiality?

And these are just some off-the-top-of-my-head questions.

I'll admit that I'm a bit mystified by this.  The Church maintaining audio/visual recordings of disciplinary councils, where extremely sensitive and difficult topics are addressed, is a mind-numbingly stupid idea.  That this idea is being seriously proposed here, apparently out of nothing but unthinking and reflexive hostility to the Church, is baffling.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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18 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

I wouldn't want the priest recording my confession in the confessional. That's pretty... creepy and gross. Thankfully it's against canon law -- it would break the confessional seal and automatically excommunicate the priest.

I suppose I, as the penitent, could record it (penitents are not bound by the seal), but I don't see the point of that, either.

These disaffected Mormons making huge deals of their excommunications is rather foreign to me. Maybe because I'm not in the LDS culture, but still. What's the point? I guess it's to show their perceived injustice of the proceedings to others, but I don't understand why someone who is very much against the LDS church gives any credence to the proceeding to begin with. Let's say I had been raised Mormon and then converted to Catholicism. If the Mormon church held proceedings against me I wouldn't go and I wouldn't care because obviously I no longer believe. Going to the proceeding and making a big deal of it seems to show that they want to have their cake and eat it, too.

But then again, I'm an outsider, so that could be part of why I don't get it.

 

That's what I say too, if I were up for discipline I would be SOOOOOOOOOO embarrassed and would want hardly anyone to know or anyone and would want this to be over and done with, like broadcasting this to others and like don't they have any shame?????? 

FYI in our Province and I don't know if this is done elsewhere but if you are a lawyer, Doctor or Dentist and maybe other similar professions and you were up for a disciplinary hearing they don't put online the proceedings of the hearing just the results, so if a lawyer was fined $13,000 and lost his license for 6 months the public can be aware were someone to hire them on, like ohhhhhhhhhhhh, maybe i'll take my business elsewhere! a friend of mine worked for a lawyer and he faked wills and stole hoards of money, he was disbarred and spent time in the klink

Edited by Duncan

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16 minutes ago, smac97 said:

It's the Church's meeting.  On its property.  Involving its representatives.  The Church gets to set the ground rules. 

 

This is one of the most sensible summaries of the situation that those of us (myself included) who don’t like the current DC process need to accept.

The process is not designed to find justice. It is not designed to be fair. It is not designed to be right. It is not designed to investigate fully.

It is a proces designed by the leaders of the church to correct behavior the church does not want in its midst.

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10 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

But then again, I'm an outsider, so that could be part of why I don't get it.

 

I am not and I see it the same way.

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9 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

You make a strong case, but I think a person could still argue the efficacy of the rules the church currently has in place, and whether God's will is aligned with those rules, and if unaligned properly that repentance is not needed. 

In this sense its still subjective.  

You are still being way too reductionist.  

I see this sort of think in court on occasion.  For example, a "sovereign citizen"-type of person may, a priori, refuse to recognize the authority of the state district court judge to enter an order authorizing the eviction of the person from his foreclosed-upon home.  But that's overly reductionist and untenable.  The sovereign citizen may subjectively feel and assert that the court lacks jurisdiction, but that argument flies in the face of practical reality.

It's the same here.  Membership in the Church is a mutually voluntary thing.  The Church gets to define the parameters of acceptable behavior for its members, but specifically disclaims any authority to foist those parameters on anyone not voluntarily associated with it (see D&C 134:10).  As a corollary, the individual gets to decide whether to abide by those parameters, or not.  

To suggest that the Church lacks authority to set these parameters is simply wrong.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 minute ago, SouthernMo said:

This is one of the most sensible summaries of the situation that those of us (myself included) who don’t like the current DC process need to accept.

Thanks, I guess.

1 minute ago, SouthernMo said:

The process is not designed to find justice.

"Justice?"  Not sure what you mean here.  It's designed to discern truth.  Would you agree with that?

1 minute ago, SouthernMo said:

It is not designed to be fair.

I strongly disagree with this.  The process is quite fair.

1 minute ago, SouthernMo said:

It is not designed to be right.

I disagree here, too.  See here:

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Formal Church discipline begins when a presiding priesthood leader determines that it is necessary to hold a disciplinary council. The purposes of disciplinary councils are to save the souls of transgressors, protect the innocent, and safeguard the purity, integrity, and good name of the Church.

There is a lot of "rightness" about these purposes.  Seeking to save the soulds of transgressors is "right."  Protecting the innocent is "right."  Safeguarding the Church as a community and institution is "right."

1 minute ago, SouthernMo said:

It is not designed to investigate fully.

Well, that is probably true.  The Church is not really in the law enforcement / investigative business.

But the proceedings have some very substantial procedural and evidentiary safeguards to protect the individual against false accusations, fabricated evidence, etc.  Are you familiar with those safeguards?  What are your thoughts about them?

1 minute ago, SouthernMo said:

It is a proces designed by the leaders of the church to correct behavior the church does not want in its midst.

This is an argument from emotion, not reason.

Thanks,

-Smac

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9 minutes ago, smac97 said:

That would vary by jurisdiction.

I wish the people griping about the Church's policy would take five minutes to step back from their railings against the Church and consider the ramifications of the Church allowing or ordering audio/video recording of disciplinary proceedings.

Why do you folks want the Church to make audio/video recordings of people confessing to their deepest, darkest sins, and other people discussing such incredibly sensitive matters?  

What if the person being disciplined doesn't want the proceedings recorded?  Would their wishes be honored or not?  

What if the person consented to the recording, then later had a change of heart?  Would the recording be destroyed?

How would the logistical issues be handled?  Who would retain possession of and access to the recordings?  Where?  Using what storage medium?  For how long?  Would the recordings be transmitted to the Church's headquarters?  How?  And how long would the Church hold on to such recordings?

Assuming, arguendo, that the Church capitulates to this demand and starts to keep audio/video, how long would it take for other critics to jump up and harangue the Church for violating the members' expectation of privacy and confidentiality?

And these are just some off-the-top-of-my-head questions.

I'll admit that I'm a bit mystified by this.  The Church maintaining audio/visual recordings of disciplinary councils, where extremely sensitive and difficult topics are addressed, is a mind-numbingly stupid idea.  That this idea is being seriously proposed here, apparently out of nothing but unthinking and reflexive hostility to the Church, is baffling.

Thanks,

-Smac

Yeah - an across the board policy of recording these councils and making them public would have made me NOT want to come forward and confess when I went to my DC.

I get it - some want them published, especially if they feel they’ve done nothing wrong. But most of these DCs (from what I’ve been told) deal with more personal sins that people already have a hard time sharing with 16 men in that room.

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8 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

This is one of the most sensible summaries of the situation that those of us (myself included) who don’t like the current DC process need to accept.

The process is not designed to find justice. It is not designed to be fair. It is not designed to be right. It is not designed to investigate fully.

It is a proces designed by the leaders of the church to correct behavior the church does not want in its midst.

I don't really disagree with this (though not having been to any, I may be wrong) depending on what you mean by fair and right (like a legal court case, I am assuming, not morally fair and right), but that is because I would think all this would have been done long before they got to a council in the vast majority of cases.  A council is about resolutions.  Dehlin was having sessions with his bishop and stake Pres for a couple of years on a regular basis prior to his council.  Snuffer had meetings as well, iirc.  I don't know about Runnell''s one way or the other as he didn't really go public until after he was a nonbeliever.  I think the only exception I have heard of was Kelly and that was likely because she was moving, imo.  She had also only been engaged in public behaviour for a year, much less than any of the others, who in my opinion usually took time to ramp up.  She went to extremes from the beginning, so an exception there so it is hard to determine how the bishop would have typically handled it.

Edited by Calm

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9 minutes ago, smac97 said:

You are still being way too reductionist.  

I see this sort of think in court on occasion.  For example, a "sovereign citizen"-type of person may, a priori, refuse to recognize the authority of the state district court judge to enter an order authorizing the eviction of the person from his foreclosed-upon home.  But that's overly reductionist and untenable.  The sovereign citizen may subjectively feel and assert that the court lacks jurisdiction, but that argument flies in the face of practical reality.

It's the same here.  Membership in the Church is a mutually voluntary thing.  The Church gets to define the parameters of acceptable behavior for its members, but specifically disclaims any authority to foist those parameters on anyone not voluntarily associated with it (see D&C 134:10).  As a corollary, the individual gets to decide whether to abide by those parameters, or not.  

To suggest that the Church lacks authority to set these parameters is simply wrong.

Thanks,

-Smac

There are a multitude of examples in the history of Mormonism where individuals felt like they were following a higher law by directly going against laws of the land, or theological principles.  If one wants to support early church leaders and say that their disregard for certain laws (polygamy for example) is justified, then I think my scenario about the current rules of the church being out of alignment with the will of deity with respect to what constitutes an excommunicatable offense is similar.  

Whether the church has the power to enforce an excommunication is not in dispute, as they clearly have that ability.  Whether what they are doing is right or wrong, and whether someone is in need of true repentance or not, is the subjective element to all of this.  I don't think my position is too reductionist, quite to the contrary, I'm pointing to the complexity of these scenarios.  

Edited by hope_for_things

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2 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Thanks, I guess.

"Justice?"  Not sure what you mean here.  It's designed to discern truth.  Would you agree with that?

I strongly disagree with this.  The process is quite fair.

I disagree here, too.  See here:

There is a lot of "rightness" about these purposes.  Seeking to save the soulds of transgressors is "right."  Protecting the innocent is "right."  Safeguarding the Church as a community and institution is "right."

Well, that is probably true.  The Church is not really in the law enforcement / investigative business.

But the proceedings have some very substantial procedural and evidentiary safeguards to protect the individual against false accusations, fabricated evidence, etc.  Are you familiar with those safeguards?  What are your thoughts about them?

This is an argument from emotion, not reason.

Thanks,

-Smac

I think my argument is quite reasonable. I don’t have emotions around this particular issue.

I think we can debate specifics, but your initial point is spot on. The church sets the rules.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Similarly, the moderators of this site can block, limit, ban anyone they want. There is nothing wrong with that because the site belongs to (whoever).  It’s his/her site. They set the rules.

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37 minutes ago, smac97 said:

That is entirely correct.  The written record kept by the clerk is not for the clerk's "private or public use."  It's for the Church's records.

What?  The records of the Church are not either private or public?  What are they?  

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No, it doesn't.  It says that nobody should make a recording of it for public or private use.

The clerk's record is a well-known part of the proceedings.  Bill Reel must have known this.  The Stake President and his counselors and the clerk knew this.  Probably most or all of the members of the High Council knew this.

And yet it was promised that it wouldn't happen.  And, yet, against their own stated wishes they had someone record the events.  

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Your implication insults the intelligence of every participant.

It's the Church's meeting.  On its property.  Involving its representatives.  The Church gets to set the ground rules. 

And those ground rules are reasonable.  I can think of all sorts of reasons why the Church would not want to have such proceedings recorded.  Confidentiality and security logistics would be a nightmare.  There are what, tens of thousands of disciplinary proceedings held each year?  How many people who are the subject of those proceedings do you think would want the Church to maintain a audio/video record of them confessing to their sins?  Do you have any idea how creepy that sounds?

May I suggest that you give this matter a bit more thought?  What you are advocating here - that the Church keep audio/video recordings of disciplinary proceedings of its members - is patently unreasonable.  Dangerous.  Difficult-to-impossible to implement and maintain.

You have mischaracterized and misunderstood me again.  I am only saying they should have done exactly what they outlined--it's inappropriate to record the meeting.  I didn't say anything you seem to be hearing from my words.  You are distracting from the actual discussion again.  

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Patently incorrect.  The letter says nothing about the Church adhering to its standard procedure of maintaining a written record of the proceedings.

It sure does.  It says no one should record it.  that means they should not make record of what took place.  And they did.  So apparently they went against their words to Bill.  

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Really, dude.  I get that you have some beefs with the Church, but this argument is a non-starter.  You are insulting the intelligence of everyone in that meeting, including Bill Reel, when you suggest that the Stake President's out-of-the-ordinary security measures (quite understandable, given Bill Reel's proclivities as a publicity hound) were intended to also apply to the clerk's written notes.  That smacks of desperation.

You can complain about me all day, but as quoted they are the ones who said it would be inappropriate for anyone.  They didn't put an exception in for themselves.  I mean, I'm not saying they aren't stupid for doing it, but they did say it.  

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Honestly, I don't even think Bill Reel would agree with you on this one.  I think he knew that the clerk would be keeping a written record.  

Has he said anything on this point?  Did he object to the clerk taking notes during the council?

No one should record it for public or private use.  The clerk wasn't doing that.

Again, I get that you have some disagreements with the Church.  But this one isn't worthwhile.

Thanks,

-Smac

I haven't seen anything from bill on this.  I"m pointing out a clear problem with the Church's actions here.  The Church's reps said that it would not be appropriate for anyone who attends the council (which has to include a clerk or note-taker) to record the meeting, whether for private (church use) or public (posted on the internet or to a news agency).  Bill showed up and someone was recording it.  

Bad Form.  A lack of integrity, obviously.  Under such obviousness why should Bill feel that they were taking it seriously?  

Edited by stemelbow

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

I wouldn't want the priest recording my confession in the confessional. That's pretty... creepy and gross. Thankfully it's against canon law -- it would break the confessional seal and automatically excommunicate the priest.

I too wouldn't want my confessions recorded, or any disciplinary council regarding my alleged misconduct.

Again, I am perplexed that there are people who seem to be seriously suggesting that the Church do this.  

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I suppose I, as the penitent, could record it (penitents are not bound by the seal), but I don't see the point of that, either.

You labeling yourself as "the penitent" gives it away.  A penitent person wouldn't be behaving the way Bill Reel has been.  A penitent person would not look at a disciplinary council and think "Hmm.  How can I exploit this to generate laudatory publicity for myself and resentments and animosity toward the Church?  A-ha!  I'll secretly record it!  Even though I promised not to!  Or else I'll induce someone else to record it, such that I can have plausible deniability!  And then I'll publish the recording to the world!  As a final birdflip to the Church!"

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These disaffected Mormons making huge deals of their excommunications is rather foreign to me. Maybe because I'm not in the LDS culture, but still. What's the point?

Animus and rebellion.  That's the point.  

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I guess it's to show their perceived injustice of the proceedings to others, but I don't understand why someone who is very much against the LDS church gives any credence to the proceeding to begin with.

I think it's a bit more reflexive than that.  The Church wants to conduct a disciplinary council, which is very much the Church's meeting, on its own property, conducted by its own representatives, pertaining to its own internal laws and policies.  The Church wants the proceedings of the council to be kept in confidence, and for the meeting to be conducted with decorum and reverence and sanctity, as opposed to, say, a dog on pony show put on by the person being disciplined, such as we saw with Jeremy Runnells, and now Bill Reel.  The individual, then, reflexively opposes this.  Not because such opposition is sensible, but because it contravenes what the Church wants.

In the end, it's intended as an expression of supreme contempt and disrespect.

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Let's say I had been raised Mormon and then converted to Catholicism. If the Mormon church held proceedings against me I wouldn't go and I wouldn't care because obviously I no longer believe. Going to the proceeding and making a big deal of it seems to show that they want to have their cake and eat it, too.

Yep.  There's not a lot of logic in the position of people who

  • A) endlessly rail against the Church and how awful it is, then
  • B) fight tooth-and-nail any disciplinary efforts - particularly those resulting in excommunication - that they knew would be the likely result of their behavior, which is in turn followed by
  • C) expressions of happiness and gratitude at being liberated from membership in the Church.

Unless, of course, the individual is an applause junkie.  A publicity hound.  A person who does not actually value in their membership in the Church except to the extent it facilitates them getting attention and applause and publicity.  For that kind of person, A, B and C above make perfect sense.

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But then again, I'm an outsider, so that could be part of why I don't get it.

It's a weird thing, to be sure.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

Assuming repentance is needed, which is subjective.  

I thought that was assumed based on your question, was your question insincere?

 

2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

If true repentance is objective, please explain the criteria that we can use to objectively evaluate true repentance.  

 

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2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Do we know that all the HC members voted to sustain the decision?  If so, that would be an interesting point on your part.  I hadn't thought about that.  

I was going by Smac’s statement that it is the practice in disciplinary proceedings to seek a unified vote from the high council sustaining the decision of the stake president. I have no personal experience with such proceedings, but I know that Smac does by virtue of leadership position(s) he has held. 

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14 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

There are a multitude of examples in the history of Mormonism where individuals felt like they were following a higher law by directly going against laws of the land, or theological principles.  If one wants to support early church leaders and say that their disregard for certain laws (polygamy for example) is justified, then I think my scenario about the current rules of the church being out of alignment with the will of deity with respect to what constitutes an excommunicatable offense is similar.  

You raise a fair point.

Bill Reel, among many other things, publicly accused Elder Holland of being a liar because he held up a copy of The Book of Mormon.  Pardon my French, but what a stupid hill to die on.  What a banal bit of triviality.  He broke his temple covenants over that?

I admire people who act on principle.  I just don't think Bill Reel did that.  I think he has been acting on anger, even hatred.  I think he's "addicted to outrage."  I think his behavior exemplifies, perhaps better than any other person's in recent memory (save Sam Young), the following:

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“I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.” [--Joseph Smith]

His non-stop self-aggrandizing rhetoric about his own righteousness and integrity has become almost embarrassing.

In the end, I feel badly for him.  I am sad that he has chosen this course.  I hope he has a change of heart at some point.

14 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Whether the church has the power to enforce an excommunication is not in dispute, as they clearly have that ability. 

I agree.  The Church also has the power to establish parameters for acceptable behavior in its meetings.  Would you agree on that point?

14 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Whether what they are doing is right or wrong, and whether someone is in need of true repentance or not, is the subjective element to all of this.  I don't think my position is too reductionist, quite to the contrary, I'm pointing to the complexity of these scenarios.  

Okay.

Thanks,

-Smac

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2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

If true repentance is objective, please explain the criteria that we can use to objectively evaluate true repentance.  

I did not say it was always objective. Just that it was definitely objectively not there in this particular case. For reference I recommend the transcript of the illicit recording from the council.

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4 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I was going by Smac’s statement that it is the practice in disciplinary proceedings to seek a unified vote from the high council sustaining the decision of the stake president. I have no personal experience with such proceedings, but I know that Smac does by virtue of leadership position(s) he has held. 

There is an attempt to reach consensus with the High Council (and the Stake President’s counselors). It is not mandatory though and the Stake President’s decision is final no matter if anyone disagrees even if it is everyone else present. If I remember correctly disagreements are notated in the record of the council so it could conceivably help in an appeal.

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A little self-reflection should make it obvious that those who record and broadcast and publicize the confidential contents of LDS Disciplinary counsels in order to demonstrate how unethical and wrong and intolerant the LDS are for having such courts, themselves happen to be summoning the LDS to the Court of Public Opinion of their Choice, in the hopes that the subsequent shaming and ostracizing and disciplining of the errant LDS by their own chosen audience will in some way shame and redirect as many as possible LDS into the welcoming embrace of Wider Public Opinion (aka The Great and Spacious).

Hence, the chronic lack of self-reflection.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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18 minutes ago, Danzo said:

I thought that was assumed based on your question, was your question insincere?

 

You're not following the full back and forth.  I said true repentance is subjective, then someone else said it wasn't, and I asked what criteria they would use to judge it in an objective sense. 

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13 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I was going by Smac’s statement that it is the practice in disciplinary proceedings to seek a unified vote from the high council sustaining the decision of the stake president. I have no personal experience with such proceedings, but I know that Smac does by virtue of leadership position(s) he has held. 

I've served on the HC as well, but its been a few years, and honestly I can't recall if this is a procedure that we specifically followed with respect to every council I was a part of.  

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