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

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Just looked at Bill Reel's "24 Questions My Stake President Admitted He Could Not Reconcile". Looks like he's not up to date on his Book of Mormon textual research. A provided link goes to a PDF dated 2007, with a lot of out-of-date textual information. If he relied on that, then he's read conclusions based on deficient scholarship. It would have been better to study more judiciously and consult some of the work of the leading text-critical scholar, Skousen. Less likely to get bad information that way.

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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

With this NNN, does this guy have a job or wife/kids? how can he be at all these places and video recording stuff, doesn't he have other things going on in life? if I was married and my spouse told me yeah, i'm going to go follow someone around and harass them i'd be like ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.............................

 

 

NNN is absolute scumbag.  He diminishes the legitimacy of any movement in which he's involved.  I can speak for many of us non-believers and state that NNN is often criticized for what he does and most want him to stay away.

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1 minute ago, champatsch said:

Just looked at Bill Reel's "24 Questions My Stake President Admitted He Could Not Reconcile". Looks like he's not up to date on his Book of Mormon textual research. A provided link goes to a PDF dated 2007, with a lot of out-of-date textual information. If he relied on that, then he's read conclusions based on deficient scholarship. It would have been better to study more judiciously and consult some of the work of the leading text-critical scholar, Skousen. Less likely to get bad information that way.

To be fair to the SP, reconciling a question is often relative.  Bill Reel enjoys sensationalizing and Reel isn't original.  He's a walking exmo reddit post.  I am sure he's an alright person IRL, but the way he attacks local leadership, the recordings, his sensationalizing, etc. really calls into question his motives.

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Interesting perspective. I remember the Julie Rowe furor quite well as we had many members in my ward really pushing the philosophy and books in classes. I had to say something to the ward about it. My opinion as bishop wasn't nearly as authoritative as SLC chiming in, but it seemed to work fine. People still held their personal opinions, but didn't teach them as gospel. That's all I hoped for.

But it illustrates that there is a level of action that can be taken outside of disciplining a person. Like you said, Julie Rowe's teachings were disavowed even though she didn't get cut off from the church or have her saving ordinances cancelled. Is there a similar level of correction the church could take so that people know they don't endorse a person's teachings, while not kicking them out of the church?

There were a lot of stakes in my area where the stake president had to get invovled, and even then people were still spending all of their savings on canvas tents and food storage to take with them when they were called out to live in tent cities in the mountains.  Some people in the stake next to me boarded up their homes and were living in their backyards to 'practice'.  It was a little crazy.  And CES seminary teachers were teaching out of her books in seminary.  It's good that a few words from you helped reign your ward back in.

I think what it illustrates though is how different responses to church concern or criticism can lead to different outcomes.  I think that both Julie and DR were given opportunities outside of discipline to amend their behavior or public rhetoric as it pertained to the church.    

Julie said that she agreed with the church (that her books should not be taught as doctrine) and that people need to have faith in Christ and to look to the church leaders and Prophet for guidance.  Bill did not respond in a similar way.

Given the two different responses, it's not surprising that their stories have two different outcomes.

 

 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

I wasn't really talking about the number of listeners, but rather, how much relevance the listeners gave Bill's words.  Members often give more relevance to the words of other members in good standing, whose words haven't been specifically refuted by the leadership of the church.  

I'm reminded of Julie Rowe (who never faced any disciplinary courts and backed right down when her books were called into question) and how her books were being taught over the pulpit and to the youth in a lot of wards until the church specifically denounced them (while making sure not to impugn her personally).  After that, even though she still has a member following, it's NOTHING like it was before.  

Her membership and the church's silence on the things she was saying led a lot of members to feel good about embracing her words.  When the church spoke up (and she backed the church's stance), many members stopped being Rowe-ites.  

It's important for the church to remind members that there are some things they can't preach and still be members of the church.  It's important for the individual and also for those who that individual influences.  It protects the flock (which is one of the specific purposes, outlined in scripture, for excommunication).

I think Bill's tone changed that dynamic a bit though, so I think that would apply just as much to gaining new listeners that are more orthodox, and retaining an existing base of more orthodox listeners.  His influence and relevance diminished for that crowd.  

I recognize that you're taking the current approach as being necessary to continue, which is fine, I just think it will change in the future and I'm hoping it will change sooner than later.  

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12 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

On the contrary, a private joke sometimes can be very funny, and there's a degree of satisfaction that no one else gets it.

That's...uhhh...informative.

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1 hour ago, champatsch said:

Just looked at Bill Reel's "24 Questions My Stake President Admitted He Could Not Reconcile". Looks like he's not up to date on his Book of Mormon textual research. A provided link goes to a PDF dated 2007, with a lot of out-of-date textual information. If he relied on that, then he's read conclusions based on deficient scholarship. It would have been better to study more judiciously and consult some of the work of the leading text-critical scholar, Skousen. Less likely to get bad information that way.

The Bill-Reel-is-such-a-prodigious-thinker-that-he-thunk-himself-out-of-the-Church narrative has never sat well with me.  I've seen no evidence of much thoughtfulness or erudite study on his part about, let alone innovative scholarship or theories regarding, the doctrines of the Church.

He likes to talk a lot, that much is certain.  But does he exhibit a substantial familiarity with and command of the doctrines of the Church and expository/scholarly analysis and research pertaining thereto?  In all candor, my assessment is . . . no.  No.  Far from it, to be frank.

Moreover, in the end, this narrative also fails because it is an appeal to authority.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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1 hour ago, champatsch said:

Just looked at Bill Reel's "24 Questions My Stake President Admitted He Could Not Reconcile". 

Isn't that, like, the definition of a clickbait title?

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4 hours ago, Avatar4321 said:

What I find odd is that whenever they make these recordings all it does is make themselves look bad

It is all in perception.

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10 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Isn't that, like, the definition of a clickbait title?

Which of course never deliver what they promise.  

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

There were a lot of stakes in my area where the stake president had to get invovled, and even then people were still spending all of their savings on canvas tents and food storage to take with them when they were called out to live in tent cities in the mountains.  Some people in the stake next to me boarded up their homes and were living in their backyards to 'practice'.  It was a little crazy.  And CES seminary teachers were teaching out of her books in seminary.  It's good that a few words from you helped reign your ward back in.

Our ward's bishop ran into a similar situation (perhaps a bit worse, but I don't think going into detail would be appropriate).  Our bishop notified the local leaders of the people who are getting involved in strange stuff, and also the local leaders of the people who are purveying/selling this strange stuff.

Thanks,

-Smac

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13 minutes ago, smac97 said:

The Bill-Reel-is-such-a-prodigious-thinker-that-he-thunk-himself-out-of-the-Church narrative has never sat well with me.  I've seen no evidence of much thoughtfulness or erudite study on his part about, let alone innovative scholarship or theories regarding, the doctrines of the Church.

He likes to talk a lot, that much is certain.  But does he exhibit a substantial familiarith with and command of the doctrines of the Church and expository/scholarly analysis and research pertaining thereto?  In all candor, my assessment is . . . no.  No.  Far from it, to be frank.

Moreover, in the end, this narrative also fails because it is an appeal to authority.  

Thanks,

-Smac

What do you make of Dr. David Bokovoy, PhD and his leaving?  From his Dehlin interviews, he seems to have thought through the issues thoroughly and came up with a non-believing conclusion.  I don't think you can discount Mr. Bokovoy's non-belief as coming from a lack of scholarship, reasoning or not having read what apologists are saying.

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16 minutes ago, smac97 said:

The Bill-Reel-is-such-a-prodigious-thinker-that-he-thunk-himself-out-of-the-Church narrative has never sat well with me.  I've seen no evidence of much thoughtfulness or erudite study on his part about, let alone innovative scholarship or theories regarding, the doctrines of the Church.

He likes to talk a lot, that much is certain.  But does he exhibit a substantial familiarith with and command of the doctrines of the Church and expository/scholarly analysis and research pertaining thereto?  In all candor, my assessment is . . . no.  No.  Far from it, to be frank.

Moreover, in the end, this narrative also fails because it is an appeal to authority.  

Thanks,

-Smac

He has no understanding of logic it seems.  I have had talks with him trying to explain errors he has made in arguments and he never gets them primarily because he does not want to.  His opinions are fixed in concrete and does not respond to logical argumentation even when he is clearly in the wrong.

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11 minutes ago, Exiled said:

What do you make of Dr. David Bokovoy, PhD and his leaving?  From his Dehlin interviews, he seems to have thought through the issues thoroughly and came up with a non-believing conclusion.  I don't think you can discount Mr. Bokovoy's non-belief as coming from a lack of scholarship, reasoning or not having read what apologists are saying.

I would definitely never say that his non-belief comes from a lack of scholarship. I would say that his current unbelief comes from his training in historical criticism and the social issues concerning the church.  As he stated "the book of Mormon takes ancient motifs and puts them into the 19th century."  I have faith that this was done by the "gift and power of God" and I think that there are interesting scholarly avenues that open up when you believe that, but he is right that there is not necessarily anything without "faith" that proves a miracle happened. So its not surprising that if you use the tools of "scholary criticism" that you would see the BOM as 19th century pseudo-graphia.  But I def respect him as a scholar, a decent human being, and someone who takes these questions seriously. 

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4 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Well, I think in this case, Bill isn't really participating as an active member anymore.  So his "membership" is on paper only.  If he were showing up at church and causing a disruption, that would be another matter.  

I'm thinking about the freedom of speech in broader society example again.  People can protest things, as long as they don't do it on private property.  The country doesn't feel compelled to take away citizenship when someone is overly critical of America, yet there are limits to criticism, someone can't threaten the life of the President.  I think with all things there are limits, and there should be limits with what someone like Bill can do and still retain membership, I just don't think he crossed any lines in my opinion that should qualify someone for excommunication.  

However, when most of his activism is online and he isn’t posting a disclaimer up front everywhere he no longer attends church and no longer believes in the truth claims, etc, I don’t think activity level has much of an impact on whether his message comes across as from a member/insider or not. 

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3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Interesting perspective. I remember the Julie Rowe furor quite well as we had many members in my ward really pushing the philosophy and books in classes. I had to say something to the ward about it. My opinion as bishop wasn't nearly as authoritative as SLC chiming in, but it seemed to work fine. People still held their personal opinions, but didn't teach them as gospel. That's all I hoped for.

But it illustrates that there is a level of action that can be taken outside of disciplining a person. Like you said, Julie Rowe's teachings were disavowed even though she didn't get cut off from the church or have her saving ordinances cancelled. Is there a similar level of correction the church could take so that people know they don't endorse a person's teachings, while not kicking them out of the church?

I'm reminded of this Joseph Smith quote...

Honestly, I think most members are more quick to identify the rhetoric of the Bill Reels as outside the Mormon orthodoxy than they are the unorthodox teachings on the more conservative/fundamentalist side of things. Excommunication reinforces what members thought about Bill, but I don't really think it will do anything to his audience either way.

I don't understand why getting excommunicated would matter to someone who did not believe in the church or its authority.

I have been technically excommunicated from Catholicism and I don't care one bit.

So I don't understand why we worry about even having a "level of action that can be taken outside of disciplining a person" who doesn't care about church authority in the first place.

As has even been said in this instance- to them it is a "kangaroo court" anyway.

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7 hours ago, TOmNossor said:

We do not seek physical and emotional trials (and we certainly do not try to inflict these trails upon those we love) even though we frequently believe they were (usually past tense) good for us.  I think spiritual trials are much the same.

I agree, I would never want to take anyone's spiritual journey from them.  As I have told others, I believe part of our journey happens within a community, and part of it happens as an individual.  For many who leave the church - spending so much of our lives relying on others, relying on leaders/apostles/prophets - it becomes a very uncomfortable thing when all of that is perceived as being 100% gone.  In grasping for a community, in trying to gather together again some sort of security or support - many would like to have others take the journey with them.  We are social animals, no one wants to be alone - especially not alone through something as painful as a faith transition, and yet that is the only way to begin that personal individual journey...  not a time to convert anyone, instead a time to quietly take ownership of one's own mind, listen with the ability to interpret everything through the lens of one's own conscience, recognizing "where they are now, I once was... " without animosity towards anyone.

 

Good to read everyone's supportive comments, thanks.

Edited by changed

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7 minutes ago, Calm said:

 

I think it was unfair and foolish. When you want someone to change behaviour, you make it clear and definite how they should go about it and what the consequences are. Changing things unpredictably creates  a sense of helplessness and will more likely lead to giving up and losing trust. 

Hopefully the SP learned from this to check things out before making promises. 

If the longer term policy is in the manual it's one thing-  then it was the error of the SP- but if that was a direct de facto decision by the FP for this particular case, of course, that is another story

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3 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Also, I'm not sure why severing the relationship on paper makes any real difference.  Its more symbolic than anything else.  I argued earlier that just by putting on this disciplinary series of events, actually draws more attention to the whole problem and probably increases Bills listenership and relevance

Symbols hold meaning for people, that is why they are symbols. 

Reel having a picture on his website with him next to a FM logo had meaning to some viewers of his podcast familiar with FM even though he was no longer a member of FM. 

Reel claiming he values his membership has meaning for some listeners who value theirs and assume therefore they think similarly.

It may increase his listeners, but probably not as much among the currently believing group as it would have if he had continued as a member. That difference is important, it is about who is being influenced, not just numbers. 

Edited by Calm
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33 minutes ago, Calm said:

 

I think it was unfair and foolish. When you want someone to change behaviour, you make it clear and definite how they should go about it and what the consequences are. Changing things unpredictably creates  a sense of helplessness and will more likely lead to giving up and losing trust. 

Hopefully the SP learned from this to check things out before making promises. 

I don't know why you guys keep blaming the SP.  He said the 1st Presidency made the promise then broke the promise.  

"I was told by the first presidency that my application for a restoration of blessings would be considered after one year after rebaptism.

I applied after one year with hope that the first presidency would consider my application. I was wrong; they rejected my application."

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44 minutes ago, Calm said:

However, when most of his activism is online and he isn’t posting a disclaimer up front everywhere he no longer attends church and no longer believes in the truth claims, etc, I don’t think activity level has much of an impact on whether his message comes across as from a member/insider or not. 

Why should he have to post a disclaimer.  Do believers post disclaimers specifically about what they believe before making posts?  Does every believer, have the exact same set of beliefs?  

When it comes to online content, people can self select what they consume, its the free market of information, nobody is forcing someone to listen to anything they don't want to.  

Edited by hope_for_things

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4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I don't know why you guys keep blaming the SP.  He said the 1st Presidency made the promise then broke the promise.  

"I was told by the first presidency that my application for a restoration of blessings would be considered after one year after rebaptism.

I applied after one year with hope that the first presidency would consider my application. I was wrong; they rejected my application."

I didn’t read the comment about the 1st Pres until after I had posted. 

I apply the same standard to the First Presidency, that is not a helpful way to encourage people to change. Whatever the reason, I hope that was an exception and one not repeated. 

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2 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Why should he have to post a disclaimer.  Do believers post disclaimers specifically about what they believe before making posts?  Does every believer, have the exact same set of beliefs?  

When it comes to online content, people can self select what they consume, its the free market of information, nobody is forcing someone to listen to anything they don't want to.  

I didn’t say he should post a disclaimer. 

I am not arguing any of these points. 

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