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Bill Reel Disciplinary Response to the Charges

Tell My story

convert 17
Bishop 29
Faith Crisis
value truth and transparency and honesty

Treasure Digging
1819 –  first seer stone
1823 – second Seer Stone
– Money Digger, Treasure Digger –  gold treasures buried in hills protected by guardian spirits using a seer stone.  He would tell others where the treasure was for money only to then tell them in the end it had slipped further into the earth.  

First Vision
There are actually 4 vision accounts  
– these 4 accounts all differ and some of the differences are significant .

1832 Account, personal journal, written by his own hand
– only saw jesus, motives for praying are very different, the answer is very different
–  That 1832 account was cut out of Joseph Smith’s journal by Joseph Fielding Smith and hid away for approx 30 years until rumors surfaced of its existence

Book of Mormon Translation
– The story we grew up with (Nephite Spectacles and Joseph using the Plates).  The art work.
– The data imposed a different story, seer stone from treasure digging – hat, exclude light,.  

– While the seer stone sat in the Church vault and the Church leadership grasped the stone was used and not the nephite spectacles, discussion of the stone leads to Joseph Smith Treasure Digging and his getting paid to pretend to locate fictional treasure.
– The internet age hit us and we could no longer avoid this particular conversation and hence you saw the Church show the stone and begin a conversation about these things.



Book Of Mormon
19th century material
– phrases, sermons, geographic locations
Stories are absurd if interpreting literally – I share only two of many.  2000 stripling warriors and a Transoceanic Vessel
Richard Bushman Quote – “Translating the book without the plates even in sight, wrapped up in a cloth on the table. It’s not something that comes right off the pages, [that is] the characters on the plates. So we don’t know how that works. And then there’s the fact that there’s phrasing everywhere, long phrases that if you Google them, you’ll find them in 19th century writings. The theology of the Book of Mormon is very much 19th century theology, and it reads like a 19th century understanding of the Hebrew bible, as an Old Testament: that is, it has Christ in it, the way Protestants saw Christ everywhere in the Old Testament.”

Book of Abraham
– Egyptian papyri w/ facsimiles
– Joseph Told us what that papyri meant in English
– He told us what every part of those facsimiles symbols meant
– the trouble is in the 1960’s the papyri surfaced and because of the rosetta stone we know knew how to read egyptian.  Joseph’s translation was a fail.  The text was a common egyptian funeral text and had zilch to do with abraham.

Book of Moses
Uses exact phrases from Luke chapter 4 and matthew Chapter 4.  Since if the Book of Moses is historical , that text would in no uncertain terms be authored before the New Testament, such phrases are out of place.  This is called an anachronism. Like a photograph of Abe Lincoln holding an iphone

While we were taught that the JST was a restoring of truths from the bible that had been lost due to corruption – the reality is we now now that the JST is a plagiarism of a contemporary source to Joseph.  Adam Clarke’s Commentary, A bible commentary, has long sections and phrases lifted right off of it and placed into Joseph’s Bible translation.

Kinderhook Plates
Scam – small bell shaped plates – buried and then uncovered – and they involved a mormon to trick Joseph Smith and it at least in part worked as Joseph translated a couple of sentences.

Fanny Alger  16 1836 2 years before sealing keys maid (Emma Smith and Oliver Cowdery both called it an affair)
Lucy Walker  16 adopted daughter
Partridge sisters – mock marriage – Emma kept out of the loop 23 woman sealed to him
Lawrence sisters
– at least 34 wives.  Most were either young teenage girls or women married already to other men (Polyandry).  Emma was the 23rd wife sealed to him and was left in the dark on most of these marriages.  Is that the story you were raised with? Why didn’t they tell you? Why were they comfortable with you not knowing? That fidelity as you know it?  

MP Restoration
– Bushman –  later fabrication
– peter james and john visistitations were much later additions to the Mormon narrative and only when Joseph’s authority was been seriously challenged.  For example David Whitmer says he never heard this story and that he was by Joseph side and a witness to this work

Race and Priesthood
We taught no doubt that people of color were cursed & less valiant in the premortal life as Doctrine.
We taught that such beliefs were “doctrine”
But we have had to walk that back.  In 2013 the LDS Church disavowed those past doctrines.  
But how can the Holy Ghost be a trustable source if prophets make statements on both sides of this issue and and are absolutely certain that the Holy Ghost told them such things.  In other words if Prophets A is sure by the Holy Ghost that something is true and Prophet B is certain that that same thing is false then the Holy Ghost becomes useless for knowing the truth of that thing.  

Lamanite DNA
– The Church now acknowledges there is not Jewish DNA within Native American DNA.  They hypothesis about how such could vanish but at a minimum it means we no longer know which folks are lamanites and which are not and hence the very people the book of Mormon was written for are no longer discernible.  We no longer can point at anyone and say with any level of certainty that there is alamanite.

Handicapped Kids
We all grew up believing our church taught that the handicapped kids were the most valiant.  That was not always the case

“This privilege of obtaining a mortal body on this earth is seemingly so priceless that those in the spirit world, even though unfaithful or not valient, were undoubtedly permitted to take mortal bodies although under penalty of racial or physical or nationalistic limitations….” (Decisions for Successful Living pp 164-165) TLDP: 497- Harold B. Lee

Can you see why reading what they don’t tell you shed light on the mess that is Mormonism?



– verifiable history
–  God magic

–  no seas parted, no limbs restored, no fire from heaven
– no prophecy, seeing, and revelating
– No smiting critics with deafness, lameness, or mute
– So now all we do is minutely minor stuff after testing it first with surveys and pilot programs

Elevation Emotion
– In the end, Latter Day Saints (including President Carnavale here) dismiss all I have said by saying that such doesn’t matter, because they have had a spiritual experience.  I understand that. I had deeply profound experiences as well. But two things have caused me to take a deeper look at that.
#1 – People of all faiths have spiritual experiences.  Christians, Muslims, Scientologists, Jehovah’s witnesses.  Members of unhealthy cults, essentially all members of all religious systems.
#2 Elevation Emotion.  Mormonism imposes that the Holy Ghost is a burning in the bosom.  A peaceful feeling and a increased love for goodness and truth. The problem is the Psychology has a better explanation.  It is called Elevation Emotion
“”””Elevation (emotion) Elevation is an emotion elicited by witnessing virtuous acts of remarkable moral goodness. It is experienced as a distinct feeling of warmth and expansion that is accompanied by appreciation and affection for the individual whose exceptional conduct is being observed.””””””   You see this happens to everyone and has nothing to do with truth (as people can be tricked into feeling this with lies as well) and it supplies the same exact feelings we all use to frame our testimony in Mormonism.


This Room
First – No one in the Church knows any of these issues.  There is no safe space to be a voice for correcting our narrative and raising a hand to the unhealthiness I am about to lay out with tons of shame and marginalization by folks like each of you who think you know the story but have not spent a 1000th of the time swimming in the history or the past immoral behaviors and deceptive dishonesty by our leaders.  What I have told you is not Anti-Mormon lies. It is our factual history based on the documents and the sources. All you have to do is care enough about the truth to read and to dive into all sides and be determined to get to the bottom of it.

–  NOV 2015 –   Was when I stopped giving deference to leaders.
suicide  highest suicide rate and the fastest growing (14-17 year old especially)
– we have no theological space for these people and yet we now acknowledge being gay is not a choice.  (Alone. If I asked anyone of you to our church requires you to live alone having to avoid romantic relationships at all costs, my assumption is all of you would not hang around.)
– we impose our hurtful rhetoric and such imposes deep harm to children and certainly such can not sit well with God
– Leaders in the past taught insidious reasoning for the causes of Homosexuality that masterbation caused homosexuality
– That a bad mom or absent dad causes homosexuality
– We no longer hold that ground….  The Church admits being gay is not a choice and the Biology and Science impose such  But no one really cared to make sure you and I knew that but the Church is really uncomfortable talking about just how wrong prophets are.

–  Women are treated as less than and and they can perceive it.   Both in terms of ability to lead without being under a male and also in terms of the value we place on what they have to say.

-You might immediately disagree but ask yourself when the primary president speaks in conference how much you care about her voice versus a male voice.  How much weight do you place on her thoughts versus yours.

Children and sex abuse
Sam Young served as a Bishop in the Church and was recently Excommunicated for asking the Church to change its policies around youth interviews.  Utah is one of the highest states in sex abuse. Think about that. We are one of the few religions who permits one on one interviews between an adult and a child behind closed doors.  We are one of even fewer religious systems that then proceeds to ask children questions of a sexual nature. If you were permitted to answer I would ask how many of you growing up were asked by your Bishops about masterbation or specifics about other sexual behaviors.  Such is known in our day and age to be deeply unhealthy.

– It creates unhealthy boundaries that those children carry with them for the rest of their lives.  
– It leads to a safe space where abuse can and does occur.

– We also have an untrained lay ministry.  Our bishops are not taught Ethics. They are not taught about safe boundaries.  They are not taught how certains lines of questioning that can cause trauma or inflict emotional harm.  They are just plumbers, and electricians, and accountants, and in my case a carpet salesman. It is a deeply unhealthy practice.  And yet we excommunicated the person who raised his hand to it.

Doubts and Questions
– For every 100 people who dive deep into our history and doctrine and are willing to consider both sides and exploring the historical documents and sources, my guess from swimming in the waters for 7 years, is that about 95% of them end up outside the Church eventually.  Some members could care less about history or truth claims but for those who care and who are willing to get uncomfortable it almost always falls apart.

– In spite of this we have a ton of mechanisms that encourage members to distrust and distance themselves from those who have doubts and tough questions.  
– We bad mouth Symonds Rider for Leaving because his name was spelled wrong when that isn’t why he left.
– We bad mouth Thomas Marsh for leaving for leaving over milk and stripping even though that is not a historically accurate event (Lucinda Harris was his JS polygamous wife)
– We bad mouth the 3 witnesses for their time out of the Church and fail to discuss all the things they wrote that pointed to dishonesty and a changing narrative
– We bad mouth William Law and William McLellin.  We claim the Nauvoo Expositor was spreading lies. None of the stories are we spread about these folks and things hold up.  

–  Even in the more present tense.  We excommunicated D. Michael Quinn for telling the factual history, John Dehlin for acknowledging this doesn’t add up,  Kate Kelly for questioning our Patriarchy, Jeremy Runnells for asking questions about our history and doctrine, Sam Young for asking to reconsider our youth interviews.  And now me for shining a light on all of that and….. also the dishonesty of our leaders.

And yet we don’t have one healthy story about someone who leaves.

– I am here because I put out an episode calling into question Elder Hollands Honesty.  I laid out 5 demonstrable instances of deceptiveness and dishonesty.  There are others.

But he is not the only one.  Mormon Leaders have obfuscated the truth, been deceptive in their answers, and flat out lied from the beginning

Elder Ballard “We would have to say, as two Apostles who have covered the world and know the history of the Church and know the integrity of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve from the beginning, there has been no attempt on the part of the Church leaders to try to hide anything from anybody.”

Sadly There is an unwillingness to give me enough time to share with you the the many many many occasions where LDS leaders have been deceptive and dishonest.

I have also spoken up exposing that most of our faith promoting stories in our manuals are not true.  While faith promoting, they are false or deeply misrepresented.  Brigham Young’s transfiguration, the Sweetwater crossing,  Seagulls and Crickets, and even How Brigham Young took control of the Church  

No one along the way has accused me of lying or fabricating these details.  Only that It is unacceptable to share them. I have through this entire process maintained integrity, vulnerability, and authenticity.  I have only spoken the truth.

So President Carnavale – Tonight you get to decide whether Seeking and also Telling the truth are acceptable endeavors in Mormonism.  You get to decide whether the facts matter or whether we simply need to protect a story no matter how harmful or dishonest that story is.  Brethren tonight you may have thought it was me that was on trial. But it was never me. It is the Church on trial and in part each of you.  I rest my case!

11 thoughts on “Bill Reel Disciplinary Response to the Charges”

  1. Bill, I love it! I know the court is
    Now more likely than not over. My thoughts all day and this evening I’ve been with you. I’ve listen to you for years that sharing your heart aches and your deep thoughts and your soul searching. I wept with you I walk the journey with you. I thank you for all your dedication and effort. What you wrote above as well worded. Stand proud and stand strong. I’m a fan of yours. I give you $1000 again. Your friend Danny

  2. You have made a great case Bill. I am interested to see how they defend their actions. I’m sure they already have their orders. The truth will set you free!

  3. Wow! Great information. I’m sure you blew their minds, if in fact they were clueless as to who was going to be on trial for what in this ‘court of love’. I hope and pray that you will have touched the SP’s heart but I dont think that will make any difference as he has to uphold the narrative of the church in order to stay in his place of power. What a mess. But on a positive note, I’m grateful for your hours and hours of study and sharing so that those of us who are only looking for the truth have been able to find it. God bless you and your family.

  4. After discovering Mormon Church messiness for myself, I had to admit it was all based on fraud by a charismatic conman and sexual predator. To do otherwise would have been counter to my own personal integrity.

    You, Bill, have maintained yours by standing for the facts, “truth”, if you will.

    Thank you and welcome to freedom of thought and being able to act based on your own conscience.

  5. An excellent list, Bill – thanks for sharing your experience through all of this. I can only imagine how difficult it has been for you and I wish you the best as you move forward with your life.

    I am happy that everyone in your family has been able to leave together – that is such a, may I say “blessing”? I know from what you have shared over the years that you are a man of integrity and the LDS Church will be lesser for losing you.

    I don’t know as any of the men who listened to your presentation will leave Mormonism – it is often complicated with family matters to do so and it is next to impossible for them to even get on the same page to understand. But at least you have offered that there are problems and hopefully when youth or their own kids approach them with doubts, they can be understanding and supportive.

    Good luck moving forward!

  6. That is an excellent defense and although the results were predetermined long ago, I hope some nugget will bother at least one of the people in that room.

  7. All that within an hour. What a punch to the gut.
    I guess skipped over the part regarding tithing and how it wasn’t always 10% Net or Gross. Quite a change. Although leaders today are on record that it is supposed to be 10% Net so who cares about what it was in the past, right?

    Besides the temple, you are supposed to covenant to everything you own, right?!

    Tip for RFM:

    Perhaps this can be used as one having once and then losing one’s testimony. Willing to give everything just to have a testimony again….

    <3 <3

    God bless!!

  8. You are a great person Bill! Thanks for having the courage to do what you’re doing.

    Would you please do an episode where you record yourself presenting as closely as possible what you presented to the counsel? I think it would be an awesome episode.

  9. Bill, thank you for sharing this. Spot on! It’s a great summary of so much! Thank you for standing tall with integrity. I wish everyone could see it, but it seems only those with integrity can. Thank you for sharing your journey with the rest of us. It helps immensely!

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