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Mormon Discussion: 301: Bill Reel discusses the twists and turns of his Faith Journey

Today guest host Brittney Hartley sits down with Bill Reel from Mormon Discussions Podcasts and discusses his current relationship with Mormonism.  In this 2 hour interview Bill tackles what got him to this place as they discuss many of the important moments along this journey.  They tackle where he is at currently including where his wife and kids are with the Church.  He finishes by speaking to what lays ahead for the podcast.  If you have grown to appreciate Bill Reel and his voice in this space, your going to love this chance to see deeply inside his heart and mind.  We hope you enjoy this episode!!!


9 thoughts on “Mormon Discussion: 301: Bill Reel discusses the twists and turns of his Faith Journey”

  1. It might be interesting to go back to the temple again one day and see it with fresh eyes knowing everything you already know. Because despite it all what makes it special is the meaning we imbue on it. If all you can think of is negative things, well of course you are going to walk away feeling down instead of uplifting. So in many ways religion is what we make it mean to us.

    The narrative you give to the church is one of harm, pain, abuse, useless. No wonder you don’t want to go anymore. Who can blame you for that.

    In a way, we are supposed to be molded somewhat by our faith and while I agree it would feel great to just run wild and be a free spirit I wonder if its the best thing for the church.

    That said, perhaps this is the very disruption the church needs. Has anyone tried to setup a Sunday School class for the inquisitive spirits, some type of advance doctrine class perhaps?

    I’m thinking about asking having this class setup in my ward.

  2. Loved the cast. You came out of the closet as it were with this, and even though you want to stay in, it will be interesting Bill to see what happens. As you know, the church doesn’t tolerate division, and several of the opinions you shared were apostate ones (from my perspective). BUT, you know me, and know that we see the same on these things (which we do).

    I wonder if the church will continue to take action against those who find and voice concerns about how policies and doctrines are handled? Sometimes there is more damage done when someone is excommunicated as I think the case is with Dehlin, Kate and others. Will the church change its policy on this?

    We shall see…..

  3. Hi Bill, I have enjoyed listening to your podcasts knowing that you were wanting to get answers to your concerns (that I share) about the historisty of church. Now that you have drawn a line in the sand that has taken you into inactivity I need to ask you if doing so has or will stop your research and feedback on current and future developments (good or bad) of the church. Perhaps you will become more critical or less objective and compassionate about it. I hope you dont as I am not as well informed or researched as you are and rely some what (in my inactivity

    1. Since Bill Reel more critical position I take his perspective with a heavier dose of salt. In my early years I would have frowned upon just like I did with John Dehlin.

      He has lost credibility among the hard core conservative and won’t have an influence on TBM’s any more. Unless he softens his stances, most members won’t give him the time of day.

      But for anyone out there correct me if I’m wrong.

      1. I don’t think you are wrong. I suppose I would be best described as a TBM. I was drawn to this podcast because somebody close to me was going through a faith crisis, and I wanted to understand that person’s point of view. They are still working through things but remain active for now. I liked the idea of listening to somebody going through the same thing trying to make it work. Trying to lead with faith. That’s what brought me here.

        I’ve learned alot. I’ve grown to love Bill’s honesty and sincerity even though we have never met. The podcast has changed me for the better.

        That being said, after listening to over 300 episodes under the Mormon Discussion umbrella, I just can’t listen anymore. It was clear the leading with faith part was no longer a priority long before Bill admitted to it in this last podcast. It feels like the negativity has increased. This isn’t meant to be a criticism. In fairness, I knew going in that this podcast were for those that were in faith transition and not for people like me so I shouldn’t be surprised. I suppose this Fowler stage 5 podcast has moved beyond my stage 2 understanding.

  4. Bill, thanks for being so open, so honest and sharing. People have been excommunicated for things in the past that they would never be excommunicated for today. The one problem for the leaders though is, the church is still excommunicating people for telling the truth faster than they can handle.

    Who does Christ make exempt from being “honest in our dealings with our fellowmen?” Leadership as a whole have only grown their own problem larger, which only they can own, by not opening the flood gates of honesty and truth far enough or fast enough to prevent the dangerously overfilling dam from cracking, becoming damaged and bursting.

    Your picture with D. Michael Quinn says this, though even he and we all tend to hold back a bit too, at least partly because we all do see our “common LDS doctrine” differently than each other.

  5. Bill, for future programs you (or Wendy w MWP) might address the entitled, abusive, addict behaviors of zealot leaders and enforcer members interacting with the codependency behaviors of those resisting them, on eggshells, and trying to to get them to see their unhealthy addict behaviors and destructive lies, bullying and abuse and to instead Choose the Right (or left)?
    Crazy Zealots in a “nutshell?”

  6. Bill,
    First off, you really need to rename your podcast the “Unhealthiness Discussion”. I tried playing a drinking game where I took a shot every time you used a form of the word “unhealthy”, but I was flat on the floor before the show was half over.

    Secondly, it’s time you gave up the conceit of your slogan, “leading with faith”. That ship sailed a long time ago and any honest appraisal of the last year+ of your content would quickly reveal that you have crossed over to “Infants” territory, just absent the humor. That said, I still find your material honest and interesting, even if the intent has clearly changed. I think your suggestions for the church (we all love to do this, don’t we?) are good ones. The idea that the church has sacrificed authenticity for loyalty is an especially astute observation, and I personally believe that it’s the hallmark of all institutions in decline. As soon as honest and well intentioned criticism get outlawed in favor of empty headed praise of the emperor’s new suit, you know we have a problem.
    I really don’t see where you go from here. Like Dehlin, do you continually recycle the same objections, perhaps from different voices, in order to keep your own creation alive? Or do you fade back into obscurity and pursue your own new path forward, without faith, without community and without the archetypal myths that attempt to give meaning to our lives? Like you, I believe that the church is worth saving, but I have made a decision to not paint myself, with logical arguments, into an airtight box of constant cognitive dissonance that makes every moment in Church a living hell. I wonder about your justification for withdrawing yourself from your community because of all the pain and “unhealthiness” you are subject to. How long before that same type of logic requires you to withdraw from the society of all humans, or from life itself?

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