My name is Bill Reel. I joined the Church as a teenager and from day one I took the Church very seriously. I strived to be a good member of the LDS Church and wanting to know all there was to know about my new faith, I read every Mormon History or Doctrinal book I could get my hands on. I encountered critical thinking early on and weaved my way through difficult issues in the Church. Then while serving as a Bishop in my early 30’s I hit a major crisis of faith. I woke up one day and nothing fit anymore. I wanted nothing more than to reconcile my issues with the faith. I dove further into the problems, opened myself up to changing my beliefs, assumptions, and expectations in the ultimate search for truth. I created this podcast to help others like you to find their way to the other side of that fracture. My main piece of advice is to stop forcing the facts to fit your assumptions and instead allow your assumptions to change. Question everything and be willing to adopt new information and paradigms even if it compels you to throw off old paradigms that were deeply comfortable. Many of us were taught a MORMONISM that simply is unrealistic, too simplistic, and too black and white. Open up to all the possibilities and leave room for a a new perspective and a new you to come forth.
Podcast episodes or articles featuring my story!
If I can be of any help to any of you, please don’t hesitate to email me – MormonDiscussionsPodcasts AT Gmail Dot com
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Hi Bill. I have been catching up on your podcasts and find that it is more reliable to download them from this website than to use iTunes/iPhone. As is typical, you tend to hear peoples complaints rather than praise so that will be manifest here, as I do like 90% of what you produce. One assertion you make that keeps coming up that I am wondering from where you get your information has to do with the state of the wives/children of polygamous husbands/fathers. All my father’s family were Utah pioneers with many direct-line and peripheral polygamous families and, despite not performing a vigorous study among my family members, have not seen the horrendous conditions that you describe in your podcasts. However, I am unsure if you are lumping pioneer polygamy in with the modern day variety. I have read some studies of pioneer polygamy (Kathryn Daynes “More Wives Than One”)and in conjunction with my own anecdotal personal pioneer history, I believe the condition of wives/children compares favorably with that of monogamous families, AT LEAST. As a matter of fact, perhaps for the children, the family situation was even more favorable as the children often thought fondly of their father’s other wives as Aunt “so and so” etc and this added to their extended family. Indeed, in many situations these wives comforted one another during absences of their husbands in Church work, including missions, etc. Also, some of the wives were freed up to do other activities e.g. midwifery, etc. which involved a lot of travel and time away from home as in the case of my great++ grandmother You will always be able to find examples of poor situations in polygamous & monogamous relationships but you need some real statistics to work with to be factual. For the anecdotal references of poor situations of polygamous unions one can just as reasonably throw in anecdotal evidence of poor situations of monogamous unions and good polygamous unions. Today (6/17/15) PF Stack had an article in the SLT “Bad marriages had women running to and away from Mormon polygamy, historian says” of an address by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich that challenges the assertions you have been making (including the disparaging remarks GA husbands made regarding their wives which monogamous husbands of the time were just as likely to make). I would give consideration to having Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and Kathryn Daynes on your program to to lend balance to the disparaging remarks you have been making in regards to the family conditions of early LDS polygamous families which tens of thousands of current LDS (if they know their family history)would having to be scratching their heads over upon listening to some of your podcasts. Otherwise, keep up the good work!
My name is John Draper. I would like to offer up myself as an author interview on your podcast. I just published my first novel, A Danger to God Himself. It’s about a Mormon missionary who goes insane on his mission—schizophrenia. I started the novel eight years ago with the intent of skewering Mormonism through it. In fact, I felt led by God to write the book. Best laid plans. The book does skewer religious certainty, but in the process of writing it, my religious certainty suffered a protracted, though not entirely unpleasant, death.
So it goes, as Vonnegut says.
I’m not bitter or anything. Actually, it was kind of liberating. And I got a great book out of it. This book has everything! Sex! Comedy! Drama! The God of the universe striking people dead!
I also got a new perspective on how God works through people and through artists.
I’d love to talk about the eight-year process of writing my book and losing my religion, which were inextricably linked.
The novel is narrated in the first person by Kenny, the missionary who watches his companion, Jared, succumb to schizophrenia. At first, Kenny and others assume that the voices Jared hears and the visions he sees are from Heavenly Father.
But as Jared gets sicker and sicker, Kenny has to rethink his whole view of God and how God does or doesn’t interact with the world. He sees there’s nothing he—or God—can do to stop Jared’s descent into madness. Kenny’s journey became my journey: theist to, at best, deist.
For me, the clincher didn’t come from all the many books I read on Mormonism. It dawned on me because I spent time around Mormons. I continued to invite in the missionaries. Also, I attended a Mormon church under cover. There, I’d see people stand up in the congregation and tearfully say how much they loved the Savior and how far they were from living up to his teachings, sounding for all the world like Evangelicals.
How can they have a relationship with God? They believe wrong things!
The truth, I came to see, is that they have every bit of a relationship with God as I had—which is to say . . . none.
I wasn’t any closer to God than they were. I didn’t hear His voice any more clearly than they did. What’s more, I concluded that it’s impossible for anyone to have a relationship with God. God is not interested in having a relationship with us. If He were, he’d stop being silent and invisible. He wants us to have relationships with one another. He wants us to sacrifice for one another. However, he can’t give us the power to make those sacrifices. If He did, they wouldn’t be sacrifices. Sacrifices have to cost you something.
Likewise, I saw that God couldn’t inspire me to write this book. He doesn’t inspire artists. If He did, the work wouldn’t be their own. And, in fact, writing the novel was bloody hard work—hardest thing I’ve ever done. Where was God?
We’re on our own, which is not to say that God doesn’t exist. He does, I believe. He’s just hands off.
So what good is God then? I came to see that God doesn’t have to be of some use to me to be God—as a person or as an artist.
Life wouldn’t be life without struggle. Art wouldn’t be art without struggle. The essence of life and art is struggle—and overcoming.
This is the essence of what I’d like to talk about on your podcast.
Look forward to hearing from you
I have no intention to discourage you to believe in Supernatural.
But I had admit I was greatly entertained listening your podcasts last week while I was traveling through SL & Las Vegas.
The sad element in this all is that you already know what the reality of the matter is and still pursue to believe in a Supreme Being, (that is not the worst part).
Everything I listened, from “My Testimony” to your interview about how you became LDS bothered my conscience, gave me some literal pain. A guy as bright as you leading a deceptive life equaled to the setting of “SmallVille”.
Let’s look at your belief in “SuperNatural” being….If you believe in that God then you have a pretty good competition from my end, I can believe in “Lucifer”, “Astrology”, “Unicorns”, “Aliens” and whole lot more fantastic, unrealistic elements…
Sad thing is none of these are real, it’s all in our imagination, so much so that you can get up at 3AM and attribute a thought to one of your Ward Member…..
I have a better Lottery type encounter in my life that I used to attribute to a “Divine Intervention”;
I met Mssionaries 35 years ago, it was an unbelievable setting, I had nothing, except a my coat and few Francs in my pocket, fast forward to today, I drive a Range Rover, have Homes in Park City, and Houston’s most attractive neighborhood, not only that I run a million dollar business. What is God’s share in my Wealth and health? A fat zero, I would not give accolades to imaginary beings, who are not liable to any testing or seeing…
I can see you have a great heart and want very little to help people….But you are on a fantastically imaginary road where nothing you believe meets any type of reality.
I was on a David Copperfield Show in Vegas, I could not imagine a better Magic show, it was well beyond fantastic, what you believe is a very bad imitation of David Copperfield Show, you have nothing visual to ascertain any part of your belief, and get this; when you see the evidences of contrary, which proves the Hoax you brush them aside, like “Book of Abraham Papyrus”, Brodie’s Book, and how these misogynistic Men of LDS Brass treat LGTB people, they are the most brutal suckers of life, they like to suck the life out of people until the last person is alive.
I know, I realize I am a very comfortable place to see all these stuff, but I’ve been where are you now…..When I realized what kinda charlatanism I was following it didn’t take me long to punt the whole thing.
If you are thinking about your family, I can tell you this; they’d be very grateful for you later on leading them out of this mental darkness…
Just listen to John Larsen’s Podcasts, he is the most brutally honest guy in the business you are in.
I wish you well though, whatever you are doing but give yourself a chance to live a real life, far from Magic and MakeBelieve….
Your drivers should stop listening to your podcast and start paying attention to the roads. Your driver swerved into my lane and almost crashed into my car with my kids in the vehicle. Then your driver decided to flip me off. You should probably do a little bit more investigation into your drivers before you just slap your logo on to anybody’s vehicle. Your driver is a real piece of work.
If this was yesterday, That was me. you were in my blind spot and sadly I tried to get over not seeing you there. That said, I never flipped you off and was sorry that it happened. My apologies to you and your family.
Thank you for creating this podcast! I have only listened to a couple of them but after reading your bio, I know that I am like you. I’m ecstatic to find a community of likeminded saints. The true kingdom of God is about to come forth!!!! I will be following.
Source of tin for plates in Joseph’s area
Box was a wooden box for shipping.small panes of glass