This is a audio recording of Bill Reel’s presentation and Q&A to a Post Mormon group in Southern Utah on December 10th 2017. It includes me spending approximately 35 minutes telling my story, how I have reconciled the messiness, and why development is so important to the human experience. Then the last hour and ten minutes I try my best to be vulnerable to the questions, concerns, and comments of the group.
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You are a great presenter and speaker. Lots of good points. I do not understand why you say “in the sacred name of Jesus Christ” if you do not know whether he even existed . . . ? How to you have a recommend if you do not have a testimony of the basic tenet that Jesus Christ was and is the son of God born of a virgin, who dies and rose from the dead on the third day? I am probably not as “worthy” as you to hold a recommend, and I do not know much, but there is one thing I do know better than I know the sun rose this morning – and that is that Jesus was and is the Christ and that he died and rose from the dead. I know it as plainly as I know this computer I am typing on exists.
I’m not Bill but I have a question for you. You say in your own words “there is one thing I do know better than I know the sun rose this morning – and that is that Jesus was and is the Christ and that he died and rose from the dead. I know it as plainly as I know this computer I am typing on exists.”
Now, I personally witnessed the Sun come up this morning. I’m not entirely sure what I could know better than that because even at this point I would be speculating that it will go down tonight.
How is it that you know better than the sun came up today that Jesus was and is the Christ that he died and rose from the dead?
The only possible way that is, is if you physically saw him person to person and he told you as much.
Even if he had seen and spoken personally to the resurrected christ, surely he can see that such is his experience only and that his personal experience is not going to settle the question for any other person.
I would be fine with that being his personal experience and him saying that is how he knows. And while he may not be able to prove that to another person, I couldn’t say that it didn’t happen.
If he says that the spirit confirmed as such, then it wouldn’t be a fact or truth but a confirmation in his mind of his belief. That, is a different subject.
I believe Bill has had confirmation of truths to him by the Spirit and that he believes in this type of revelation. He just has issues with the church narrative. ?
First I have a deep and abiding belief and faith and reliance upon the Christ of Faith. Second I have a real hope and hope is part of the gospel idea of faith. Third even if he is not real and I have serious doubts, I have absolutely been affected by his grace and mercy. I don’t “know” that Christ isn’t real. I can only concede that I have no “knowledge” of the historical Jesus, that the data makes faith in him problematic, and I can only give what my brain will let me give. For example if I needed you to have faith in a flying spaghetti monster could you make yourself do that? no. So knowing all that I hope as much as I can, value deeply the real gifts that have come out of that, and acknowledge my doubts and validate the problems.
Thank you Bill for all you are doing. This is my second attempt to comment. I want to say that I truly felt that I was in an authentic Sunday School class. You podcasts are the direct cause of me staying in the church and not jumping ship. I feel deeply wounded from my church. Many thanks although you say you don’t care. Thank you.
I’m listening right now. Bill, I loved hearing your conversion story. It reminds me so much of my dad. I don’t think he was into drugs or anything, but I think Mormonism directed him as a teen to a happier path and gave him purpose, responsibility, meaning, and hope in a very similar way. He has told me that it saved him. I believe him. He also became a bishop at a very young age, though his experiences made his belief in the church much firmer over time.
I miss my dad a lot. I lost him to cancer several years ago. Thank you for sharing the positive sides to this story, and for being vulnerable.
Well, I hope that those of us who consider ourselves in the know can stick around to the lead of the organization. Christ as a concept in our minds can work, and there is something that is held very sacred about that name… as does Melchizedek, or Peter, James, & John.
In most cases I would say the church isn’t as damaging as we perceive, but that fact that it is hurting should be addressed.
We’ll get there, an impact is being made and I’ve seen changes in the tone of the church over my past 20 years of membership in it. Let’s push the rock in the right direction so it can continue filling the earth.
Thanks, my wife really liked this perspective.
Bill, I appreciated the discussion about the LDS faith being a tool-belt, but the pathway is learning, growing, expanding, etc. This discussion was a very interesting paradigm, melding conflicting concepts (at least to me) together in a way that actually made some sense.
I have also been affected by the idea of Christ. I really don’t know if there is such an individual–but I can honestly say I hope there is. That is truth for me.
One thing I’m appreciative of is the tolerance spoken about for those being in different places along what is really individualize faith journeys. The place where I struggle is when a particular faith is enforced, by leadership using everything from gold stars in the forehead to threats of going to hell, in such a way that it hurts people. There are many TBM in the LDS faith who are tolerant, kind, forgiving, and even somewhat understanding when people leave or live differently than the prescribed narrative allows, such as those in the LGBT community. What crosses a line, however, is when those in “The Faith” create environments, including social, political, financial and spiritual pressure, in such a way that things like self esteem destruction, depression, anxiety and even suicidal tendencies result. Its sad that such things DO exist inside the LDS tradition of many, especially when it flies in the face of the tolerance and kindness Jesus himself allegedly taught.
I think it’s interesting that you use words like ‘tribalism’and phrases like ‘Fowler’s stages of faith.’ I feel that many, perhaps most people (not just LDS) cannot comprehend what these words and phrases mean.Yet they are vital to understanding a certain world view which you and I seem to share. I believe that Love can help us cross these communication bridges, but there needs to be love on both sides on the bridge. Real communication is love in action. Many of you already know this. I’m just saying if one is not communicating, it’s the “love” ingredient that may be missing from one’s human experience.
By the way, Thanks Bill for your work here.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Bill, For about 4 years I have been listening to all your podcasts and watching what you post on facebook. The last few years I have tried to understand where you are at – not to judge you, but first understand and see why and how you can continue to engage in Mormonism. I feel like this was the first time I felt like I really understood where you were coming from. Thanks for clarifying and for all your efforts. You have a good cause and I thank you for it (including thanking you with $ assistance to keep it going in 2018).
In the Bible Christ’s critics never challenge his miracles. Rather, they attribute them to the devil. Most historians accept the historical Jesus. Now, going a step further, if he really did say the things he said in the NT (and the central message isn’t be nice to people even though that’s a big part of it) then he was indeed lunatic and guilty of blasphemy under their laws. If he did what it says he did, and if he said what he its says he said, then he was God on earth and worthy of faith. The alternative is a a deluded liar
Hello Bill- Is there a way for post Mormon newcomers to get to know the post Mormon community in So Utah? Being post Mormon alone in Cedar can be very difficult, would love to know others in this boat!