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Bill Reel – Statement on Excommunication – 12.3.2018

To those who have supported my family, me, and the podcast,

Yesterday December 2 2018 at around 12:30 in the afternoon the Stake President for the Mormon Church in my geographic location hand delivered his decision to my Disciplinary Council.  The decision was as we all had expected, I had been excommunicated.  Immediately, my family signed onto and completed their resignations.  It has been a long journey but one in which our home was united.   Our Family united in valuing truth and standing up for those who are marginalized and harmed led to our being hand in hand as we woke up to our lives.   When Mormonism one last time made it clear that the truth is not only not useful, but even more directly it is antithetical to Mormonism’s mission, our family unitedly said goodbye.

In regards to the Excommunication Document it is linked HERE

In regards to its wording, it is just more of the many games that Mormonism plays.  It speaks in generalities and as a good friend said, “it is impossible to box shadows”.  In the end Elder Oaks was correct, In Mormonism “it is wrong to criticize leaders even if the criticism is true”.  In fact it may be the only real true Doctrine left in Mormonism from the beginning of the restoration.

A lot of folks encouraged me to resign but I went out doing what I have always done which is being a voice for those who for one reason or another don’t have a voice, standing up against the the dishonest telling of our narrative, and shining a light on leaders who lie and deceive in order to protect their authority.

Mormonism, while not what it claimed to be was the very lie I needed to believe as a young man in order to change my life.  For that I say thank you.  When it fell apart my loss was so great that I only could express my fracture as a “faith crisis”.  But as time went on, I came to the realization it wasn’t a faith crisis at all.  It wasn’t me who had something wrong…. something broken.  It took years to come to grips that it was in fact Mormonism that had a Crisis.  A Truth Crisis.  It had built its entire foundation on stories that simply don’t hold up.

Its defenders try to keep us from trusting any information outside of the faith promoting point of view.  But I say read everything.  Trust no-one.  Read both sides, chase down sources, make space for even your most sacred beliefs to need adjustment and perhaps even discard.

“We must trust to nothing but facts: these are presented to us by nature and cannot deceive. We ought, in every instance, to submit our reasoning to the test of experiment, and never to search for truth but by the natural road of experiment and observation.” – Antoine Lavoisier

Mormonism can not stand an honest investigation.  I learned this the hard way.  Mormonism itself does not trust the truth seeker to explore both sides objectively and dissuades one from such a course at every turn and hence it poisons the well of every data point that seeks to expose its shadow.

To those who have sent messages, have supported the podcast by listening, giving donations, who had shown up at my disciplinary proceeding, stopped in to talk at my work, came to some event where I was in attendance, or who have followed my journey with appreciation….. Thank you!   It has been one of the best things about this journey.  Meeting, hearing from, getting to know good good people who also have woken up.  You were as much a lifeline to me as many of you claim I was to you.  The day of the “Court of Love”, I was calm and at peace.  That mindset has continued.  I am in a good place and have made peace with all that has occurred in the past month and even years.  I am proud of how I faced the challenges every step of the way in my journey.  The podcast will continue for the foreseeable future and I will continue to ensure that it offers the tools and resources to help others wake up and to deconstruct their religious system.  In fact I expect very little to change.

Lastly I want to speak to those who fear the full deconstruction of their religious system.   Many are scared of the unknown of what lies on the other side of deconstruction.  Many fear that what the Church says about those who leave could be true.  That without outer authorities within your specific tribe telling you how to live your life, your life will in fact fall apart.  While there are no guarantees, this much I do know.  I have spoken to thousands of people at this point, either by email, phone, face to face, and private messages.  I have, when I have gotten the chance, asked as many of them as I could a question?

“If you could go back to when it all fit so well and was so beautiful, and you were naive to the mess that is Mormonism, would you?”

At this point I have presented that question to hundreds and hundreds of people.  Can you guess how many answered YES?    ZERO

I want to add my testimony to theirs.  I wouldn’t go back.  This journey wasn’t easy.  It hurt and at some points it hurt a lot.  Learning your Religion and the God your religion handed you are not what was claimed is chaotic and imposed a ton of anxiety, hurt, anger, and grief.  But what I have gained from this journey I wouldn’t trade for anything.  Empathy, Learning to value authenticity over belonging, appreciation for diversity, learning to claim my independence,  recognizing the moral authority within myself, and learning to confidently stand on my own ground and for my truth, oh…. and the Best friends in the world!  I wouldn’t trade any of it.  If your scared to grow up and out, know that your not alone.  But when your ready…. lean into it.  There is a huge beautiful world out here and like always, my hand is extended for you to hold and to walk through this beautiful thing we call life together.   The world is bigger and more beautiful than Mormonism ever gave it credit for.  What a beautiful world and what a beautiful life.  I wouldn’t trade or change my journey one bit.  Thank you to those who went ahead of me and your welcome to those come after.  And in case I don’t see ya, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, and Goodnight!

3 thoughts on “Bill Reel – Statement on Excommunication – 12.3.2018”

  1. Bill,
    I must say that I wish I had even a small percentage of your energy level. You work at a full-time job, maintain your family obligations, obviously read a fair amount, and run the Mormon Discussions site along with its related activities. That in itself must well consume considerable weekly hours.
    I have never been a Mormon although I have had plenty of exposure to your former faith over the course of my life. After becoming interested in the study of religion as a young adult, the whole Joseph Smith story with its subsequent ecclesiastical and doctrinal distinctives never made sense to me; nevertheless, I viewed your excommunication letter in a less critical light than you did. I don’t know the man who wrote it and obviously can’t comment on his sincerity, but ostensibly he comes across as gracious and lacking in any rancor. You have been around “the system” long enough to evaluate his tone better than I, however.
    In my opinion, you and your wife gave candid, honest, and passionate testimonies about your current beliefs. The transparency was obvious. You are the type of people I would value as friends or neighbors.
    In closing I would like to editorialize on one point if you will allow it, Bill. You seem to be hoping that there imight be a form of liberal Mormonism to which you might possibly repair. I can understand that there are social, emotional, and cultural attractions to something of that nature, but spiritually it will not be sustainable. When certain theological and moral absolutes are abandoned, the sure drift will be toward an homogenized, amorphous, sterile, quasi-religious mush. As a “refugee” from Mainline Protestant liberalism, I have seen it first-hand.
    My best wishes and prayers to you and your family as you embark on a new phase in your lives! I hope you will continue your website and it would be a privilege to meet you personally one day.

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