Episodes

To Our Loved Ones: The Struggle Is Real

This audio program is hosted by Bill Reel, an active faithful Latter-day Saint who has himself gone through a difficult and painful crisis of faith and has remained active in the Church.  This program is for the loved ones of those struggling in hopes for understanding and a safe space to have conversations.

You likely received this audio program from someone you love who is going through a hard time.  They need you as a trusted friend and they treasure your relationship and are hopeful you will listen to this episode in hopes that you can better understand their struggle of faith.   In the end the real solutions to a crisis of faith is love, empathy, compassion, and support and most importantly validation.  May this be one step to such things.

RESOURCES:

The LDS.ORG Gospel Topic essays accessed from one location

More Info on how to better frame support

Many of the issues discussed in more detail

Richard Bushman discusses Faith Transitions

Play

19 thoughts on “To Our Loved Ones: The Struggle Is Real

  1. Compassion and understanding must, and should be, a two way street. Whether it be the “loved one” or those whom give their lives to serve the Lord, with their best intentions, both deserve the benefit of doubt!

    The foibles of man and the need for “further light and knowledge” welcomes us to the stark reality of this probationary state. There is no doubt there are a myriad of problems posed by man’s inability to ascertain the correct will of God and communicate to His children without error. It is just not possible within a realm of a process theology backdrop that Mormonism adheres to. Therefore, I am confident through the patience from both sides of the debate that truth will overcome. It will not be done by mocking, insinuation and the trust that history tells the whole story. It will be done by the power of the Lord as we hearken to the precepts of his truly humble servants regardless of the weakness they possess. And through long suffering and persuasion His children (i.e. Leaders, members etc.) will eventually, and without compulsion, receive the light and knowledge to correct the wrongs that have permeated through the Church and from without.

    • Meanwhile gay kids take their lives while we take the slow and steady and soft way that assumes all sides actually desire truth and are willing to relinquish some degree of authority to discover it

    • Dale says: “It will be done by the power of the Lord as we hearken to the precepts of his truly humble servants regardless of the weakness they possess.”

      Who are his humble servants? The Governing Body (Jehovah’s Witnesses)? Christopher Nemelka (the prophet who recently translated ‘The Sealed Portion’ of the Gold Plates delivered to Joseph Smith)? The prophets and apostles of the non Brighamite sects of Mormonism? The Pope?

      The whole problem with this line of thought is its circularity. You want me to “hearken to the precepts of his truly humble servants,” by whom you probably mean humble servants found in Mormonism as currently led by Thomas Monson. Your assumption is that we continue to accept the premise that they have any authority from God. That premise has been destroyed. You asking me to “hearken” to the LDS church members and leaders is no different than asking me to hearken to the members and leaders of any other church. All claim authority. All claim salvation. All claim to be the one true church.

      I need a little more than, “just hearken to the LDS leaders and everything will be alright. i can’t tell you why or how, but the Lord will eventually give us light.”

  2. Well that is one way to perceive the effect that the natural condition creates. However, most likely such will not produce an environment of cooperation on either end. The reality is there will always be a justification or blame to point our finger at. Regardless, of political, social, cultural and religious authority, humanity will always fall victim to their own weakness in a world of natural opposition. The insinuation that moral or civil constructs promote self harm to a society and its members can be grossly over stated. It is absolutely evident that in some cases, where compulsion is used, there will be a larger negative impact. However, where agency and self authority can be exercised, the impacts may not be so binary in its outcome.

    There appears to be the accentuation of the negative aspects of the Church history or doctrine that seem to take a center stage in the narrative. I do whole heartedly agree that it is time for the Church and its members to mature into real adults and understand the nuances and difficulties within our theology and history. It may be helpful that there is equal coverage to the positive side without leading the listener to some conclusive description of what is meant by some quote etc. I see this very prevelant MO used by the Mormon Free Radio commentator (not you necessarily). I really do enjoy the topics and insight that is being offered. Nevertheless, it is frustrating at times to be continuously told how to interpret what is or is being said. And yes…this can go both ways!

    Thanks Bill for the opportunity afforded to speak out on these topics even if we may not exactly see eye to eye. One thing we most likely do agree on is that we better use our heads and souls to put aside childish and stubborn assumptions and learn the real story behind the story. I’m confident we’ll all reach that promised land. And I hope soon!!!

    • I appreciate your response. The trouble is for all of us to get bothered when someone is not holding up our conclusion. Can we truly hear others and validate their perspective. Too many of us only want information that allows us to continue to have our sacred comfortable beliefs and never be pushed to think differently.

  3. Dave;
    Thanks for your comments. It opened a few windows of deep thought that inspired a very long reply. It is not my intent to try to disarm you and my comments are not directed at you but at statements made by you that got me thinking about why your comments didn’t sit quite right with me and are contrary to the inclusive approach Bill seems to be presenting. I dissected your commentary cutting out chunks that inspired my own personal commentary that I hope open a broader lens on people of faith that are fighting a crisis. You seem to brush them under the rug in your commentary.

    DAVE: “Compassion and understanding must, and should be, a two way street.” NOT DAVE: First thing I want to say is no, it should not always be a two-way street. I’ll elaborate but first I want to frame something up. The people in question who need Bills voice are generally good, hard working, faithful Latter Day Saints who are or have suffered a faith crisis (Disaffected/Doubters; DD hereafter) – a crisis often on par with losing a loved one – or worse endless separation for eternity. Having been traumatized by what straight up looks like a betrayal by church leadership who have historically and even contemporarily side-stepped and distorted historical truth, there is a growing disconnect that needs to be addressed. The essays are not enough, as Bill says, because they are spun in a positive only – faith promoting only way. Instead of an apology from head office, we get a predetermined memo brewed somewhere in the correlated narrative with a very real and scary message that the membership proper better step back in line, conform (repent), and drink the cool-aide as prescribed – even it’s known to contain unspecified contaminants. I might add, we don’t get the option of asking what it’s contaminated with, it’s level of toxicity, or how to fix the damage done by it. The answer from the church, is love and support DDs (clearly I am one) – they will eventually re-find their way home or I guess we’ll just have to boot them out. Bill’s message, on the other hand, is love and support DDs. You can’t do it unless you allow, are able, and are willing to momentarily set the church mantras on the shelf long enough to open the door for honest discussion about difficult issues. It might be scary, but is very needful. Bill is doing what the church can’t but I hope someday will. Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help them, God. Please help them. Bills podcast is not about protecting the orthodoxy. It’s already well fortressed and needs no additional support. But there are those of us still banging the door having been tossed out with the garbage wanting to come back in – maybe not to stay but to at least be with our “loved ones” once again.

    Another point. Orthodox members typically have no idea that these issues Bill describes even exist. On the flip side, many of us DD, grow weary of the apologetic proposals that are nothing more than sugar-coated conjectures (5 in the case of the BofA narrative) that have no scholarly and/or objective, and/or evidence based and or/valid support. The DD are in desperate need of answers the church is still withholding or bending to fit the current narrative. And yup. We get it that their hands are tied because to come out and apologize or publicize the detailed historical truth it’s still hiding is an admission of guilt which would put a serious dent in tithing settlement attendance. But I think it’s clear the church is clinging to an unraveling mantra – that we are the only church with the God given content, authority, sacred power, and Deity-sanctioned obligation to steward expressions of Gods love to his minions. Orthodoxites are still clinging to the idea that the church is the only authorized organization able to remind DDs of God’s wrath when ordinary good-willing folks make mistakes, ask too many questions, and read too many true documents – even if they are available from the secret I mean used-to-be secret historical archives of the church. While working through these issues, we find it sickeningly clear that we cannot turn to leadership or loved ones to find answers because their answers comes from inside the very small ‘Joseph Smith was a prophet therefore and thereafter so were all his successors and if we follow their lead, we cannot go astray’ box. Too bad the entire membership of the church went astray as they followed the yellow book road as defined by BY down the Adam/God portal. I can only assume they are sitting on some moon just this side of Kolob going, “What the . . . .?”

    Another point. According to your model of ‘fair and balanced’ these people (DD) should give equal ear to what the good parts/people of the church are all about (family oriented, goal driven, social inclusive, belief in faith and how to build it, eternal progression, service is fun, great health and moral codes, etc.). Some DDs have spent life-times in this one-sided only narrative, struggled for years – even decades trying to make sense of it all, and finally feeling some sense of vindication when hard-working investigators like Bill (true historical, un-biased investigators – not one-eyed church apologists) uncover the deep and hidden historical truths. Truths that should be open to discourse at every level of church education, from primary, to gospel principles class, to the hallowed halls of the temple, to the top fifteen apostles weekly get-togethers. Of course, that’s a pipe-dream because once the church opens that door, (post essays that include the historical facts Bill identifies in this podcast and including the other 99.9% he doesn’t touch on), then the entire church narrative pyramid will crumble. If the BofA is a fraud, which it most certainly is, then how can we trust the BofM isn’t the same? Wait! Do a bit of historical digging and you might be less confident when a tiny voice from behind the pulpit says, “I know this chewch is twue.” While I’m ranting, how and why would God use fraudulent means to bring about the salvation of mankind? Doesn’t that put him in league with Satan? Do we have to rethink the Godhead again? Why wouldn’t he skip this and go straight to truth rather than perpetuate frauds as a mechanism for finding truth because, after all, all mankind are fallible – and then require the membership and investigators to pray and they will know in their hearts these frauds are true? Which I’m sure many of them did. These are legitimate questions coming from a long list of garbled, one-sided answers that default to the same old correlated stuff we find in your commentary. When it all comes out and I hope it does, then the pyramid will stand in ruins. Let me prophecy like you did. From the dust of ruin shall rise a church built on the foundation of the moral, ethical, spiritual, and social values we currently espouse without the embarrassing secrecy and deceit employed to justify it. It’s clear the church keeps stamping on the fuse connected to the historical dynamite. The leadership sees the fuse is lit and needs to put it out. So they pick somebody – usually the church historian and say, “Hey. See that fuse? Why don’t you run over there and put it out? Hurry along. No. There’s still some fuse. Quick.” That has worked until somebody from the internet secretly connected a bunch of fuses and lit them all at once.

    I’d like to go a bit deeper on where we (the DD) are coming from. I mentioned the trauma. Do you really think that telling the DD to be compassionate and understanding to those who continue down the path of orthodoxy (I know – not all – I’m generalizing to make a point) while they (the DDs) are staggering through the grief cycle, rejected by the hands of an institution they have given their lives to? An institution with a zero tolerance policy against anything but the everybody-in-the-box methodology? When local leadership and orthodox members see this trauma, DD are often viewed as dissenters who threaten to destroy the box and/or it’s inhabitants. This is not the objective of the ‘evil dissidents’, but a perception by the box people who alienate and marginalize DDs because of three things: FEAR (‘But I might get some of that anti-mormon BS on me if I get too close staining my new white shirt), APATHY (’The DD are too far gone what with their sinning ways, intellectualizing, and broken thinking’. and CONDESCENSION: ‘Can you believe so&so left the church? I thought he/she was smarter than that.’ Bill clearly is trying to bridge the gap between us and give voice to those of us that feel the intense loneliness that comes from our abrupt dismissal silenced voices once we have shared our concerns about the things that cause us to doubt. Wait. I already said that. Wait. I’m likely gong to say it again before I’m done because it’s such a critically important point.

    DAVE: “Whether it be the “loved one” or those whom give their lives to serve the Lord, with their best intentions, both deserve the benefit of doubt!” NOT DAVE: Um . . .’both deserve the benefit of the doubt’? Do you mean DDs generally doubt the good intentions of those who serve the Lord? Or do you mean the loved ones and Lord serving members deserve equal time to share their testimonies? Oh, and suggest we get back to reading our scriptures, praying, and paying a bit more tithing to open a few more windows allowing us to see the light (all of which seems to be your thesis). Answer? No they don’t deserve the benefit of doubt. Not here. Not now. Bill provides plenty of positive support in a variety of scripts tailored to find the balance you feel is needed here. In this podcast, Bill has done a great job of distilling some key problems down in an unfiltered forum that represent our voice. I think he was correct to keep the focus on the issues unencumbered by coddling the impact with a ‘but’ that brings the emphasis around to what you think is a ‘positive’ view. It’s our turn to be heard and there are very few venues for us to find a bit of real estate, screen, pulpit, or otherwise, without feeling like we’re lacing on the boxing gloves and stepping in the ring to duke it out with the last people on earth we want to hurt. BTW, I’m not sure why you have separated the ‘loved ones’ from ‘those whom give their lives to serve the Lord’ because Lord serving loved ones are the very audience Bill is trying to reach on our behalf.

    DAVE: “The foibles of man and the need for “further light and knowledge” welcomes us to the stark reality of this probationary state. There is no doubt there are a myriad of problems posed by man’s inability to ascertain the correct will of God and communicate to His children without error. It is just not possible within a realm of a process theology backdrop that Mormonism adheres to.” NOT DAVE: So how is it, then, seeing that we’re fallible and all, that leadership has and continues to present itself to the membership as infallible? So . . . how do we sift the sweet from the tears I mean wheat from the tares? Who can we trust? Once you start dismantling the fallibility as Bill and many others have done, we DD can finally draw in that deep breath of comfort, knowing that what we have shockingly discovered has a broad base, and a loud, united voice built on empirical data instead of apologetic conjecture. By the way, unlike you, I especially need Corbins voice (Mormon Free Radio) right now for he validates with facts and yes, a bit of sarcasm when the brethren do dumb I mean fallible things that we (but clearly not you) can’t help but snort a few chuckles at. These guys and others like Jeremy Runnells and John Dehlin artfully, and articulately cry out with a clear, honest, and charitable to us unmentionables voice. We certainly don’t mind (in fact need) a bit of humor or even intense descriptive language that borders on sacrilege to validate our fears and explore ways to fit in a place called home that we suddenly find ourselves alienated from. These guys are helping us through our pain where some of us can find our way back and salvage the good parts that I think you think need to be presented here to give balance to the presentation. There’s gobs of that goodness plastered all over the LDS website, church meetings, youtube, Facebook, artwork – and on and on. That ‘goodness’ shaped not just your life and perhaps your ‘loved ones’, it also shaped ours. There is a palatable belief among membership that because we have suffered a crisis of faith, we somehow have discarded everything and no longer value or adhere to the same things we were taught. We are labelled inactive, apostate, lost souls, but few orthodoxites can see that we have, in some ways, been enlightened. Some of us want to stay connected first to our families and friends, and also to the love, virtue, and opportunities to serve that are as much a part of us as they are of you.

    DAVE: “Therefore, I am confident through the patience from both sides of the debate that truth will overcome. It will not be done by mocking, insinuation and the trust that history tells the whole story.” NOT DAVE: Woah . . . woah . . . easy, there fella. Nobody out here is saying that this is the whole story. BUT. As stated, a lot of DD are suffering beyond imagine. That includes, deep emotional traumas that are often expressed in anger and somewhat softened by a sense of mockery. It might be a broken way to respond but for those of us suffering like this, the use of sarcasm and humor (sometimes sarcasm) is a powerful vent and essential expression that can help us claw back the power that has been taken away from us because of the ‘fallibility’ of the brethren past and present. I know this is duplication but it’s important to say it again.

    DAVE: “It will be done by the power of the Lord as we hearken to the precepts of his truly humble servants regardless of the weakness they possess.” NOT DAVE: So we are to accept Joseph F. Smith as fallible and excuse his hiding of the first vision account for decades as a weakness? When such an act is perpetrated to maintain a fraudulent narrative – one repeatedly presented to millions of members, millions of times, shouldn’t the details be laid out in full view with a sticky attached by the brethren that says, “Oops. Sorry we kept you in the dark. We thought that it was in your best interest to do this FOR you and allow you without telling you to let us do the looking even though we admit now we didn’t look hard enough or when we saw things that we knew you couldn’t handle, we changed to protect you.” These sins of omission (and commission – purposefully tampering with historical records or accounts) perpetrated by past leaders are much more than just a simple mistake, weakness, or accident. It’s a calculated fraud so please couch it for what it is instead of side-stepping the issue by straw-manning us toward the assumption that the brethren won’t lead us astraw “regardless of the weakness they possess.” We have countless data to demonstrate not only their weakness, but suggests a new faith-shaking narrative is emerging.

    The antiseptic historical stories that have evolved that teach us do not to question unless the answers can be found in the correlated materials inside the sanctuary of our sacred halls and websites. Turns out the divine intercessionary hand guiding our testimonies has a pretty dark, often illegal, and deceitful side. To find it can be debilitating. It’s raw. It hurts. We need our loved ones to understand and they can’t until they know what has happened to us.

    You seem to have no idea or little regard for our voice. What a stress-reducing blessing it is to be able to point our loved ones, who cannot and may never see our view, to a third party who respectfully, plainly, and very genuinely broaches the missing details, distortions, and misrepresented data currently found in the essays or promoted on FAIR. Here at last is a voice in the dark – a little David facing a correlated Goliath. A little David who has given us each small stone (I think it’s a peep stone – every man should have one) to see our way into potential conversations in a way that can disarm the extreme tension and rejection we most often feel when we try to share our church troubled hearts with Goliaths’ foot soldiers. It’s a tool. It might work for some. And that alone gives us hope that we can and will be heard; even if by only a few.

    DAVE: “And through long suffering and persuasion His children (i.e. Leaders, members etc.) will eventually, and without compulsion, receive the light and knowledge to correct the wrongs that have permeated through the Church and from without.” NOT DAVE: Wow! That’s quite the prophecy. I sure hope you are right. Clearly you know that the churches primary construct is compulsion. I will unequivocally join this church you are describing. Can’t wait until it’s restoration.

    DAVE: “The reality is there will always be a justification or blame to point our finger at.” NOT DAVE: No offence, but I take offence at this statement. Holding the church accountable for misrepresentations does not equate to blame or justification. Blame is avoidance of taking responsibility for our own thoughts and behaviors and channelling it to someone/thing else – usually to avoid emotional/physical/spiritual pain. Justification is excusing our behavior, belief, and/or moral commitments or lack thereof. To label us (I am assuming we are the ‘reality’ you have aimed this sentence at) as blamers or justifiers is far from the truth. I can’t speak for all, but I can speak for many that we want and need the information we are getting (all verifiable and most coming from church sources but not, I might add with some dismay, key church representatives). So do our ‘loved ones’ need it for nothing more than to understand us. I think and hope Bill’s vision is similar to mine which is that a day will come when the true and complete historical and institutionalized records will eventually be issued to us by church leadership and disseminated through our correlated CES curriculums, general conferences, church publications, lds.org and other church sanctioned websites, and freely passed along various social networks without threat of disfellowshipment. The reality is, there will always be oppressive organizations that will use justification to implement compulsive means that strip it’s members of objectivity and to a large degree, individuality or personal identity. Our church currently fit’s that model in my view. I want my power, agency, and freedom to worship the Almighty God according to the dictates of my own conscience and allow all babies with LGBTQ parents the same privilege. Bill threw us a precious life-line instead of a baited hook to help us find our way back to the safety of our loved ones. I admire that kind of courage because I think we all know what doing so could cost him.

    DAVE: “This Regardless, of political, social, cultural and religious authority, humanity will always fall victim to their own weakness in a world of natural opposition. The insinuation that moral or civil constructs promote self harm to a society and its members can be grossly over stated.” NOT DAVE: “It can also be grossly understated as well – especially when the natural opposition bubbles to the surface in an oppressive institution that finds itself struggling to unnaturally plug the holes. Good luck. I hope the church finds where the internet extension chord is plugged in. It’s their only chance of cutting off the access to info highway where one might stumble upon some pretty key truths that used to be pretty easy to hide.

    DAVE: “It is absolutely evident that in some cases, where compulsion is used, there will be a larger negative impact. However, where agency and self authority can be exercised, the impacts may not be so binary in its outcome.” NOT DAVE: Great point, if you assume that agency and self authority are something the LDS church practices. Before I address this, let’s talk about compulsion because we’ve already established the point that the church uses compulsive measures that will, if it not strictly controlled, lead to the binary outcomes we are currently trying to stitch back together in the church. Here’s a few synonyms of compulsion: obligation, constraint, coercion, duress, pressure, intimidation. I have seen all of these employed to varying degrees in the church but kept my mouth shut to make sure I got to keep my kids in the hereafter. Agency AND self authority are pretty much extinct under these process driven, compulsively oppressive methods leading us directly to this binary outcome you describe. I will point out that we the DDs did not choose this binary approach. It was chosen for us because of the fallibility and gullibility of some of leaders (Salamander letter? Seriously?) Comes a time, when we give up our agency because the outcomes are too great. Give up your family for eternity if you don’t stop learning about our true history. That’s a lot to give up. In fact too much. I’d rather give up my agency which I did for a very long time.

    DAVE: “There appears to be the accentuation of the negative aspects of the Church history or doctrine that seem to take a center stage in the narrative.” NOT DAVE: Suggestion, if I may. In the first sentence of this paragraph, strike the words ’negative aspects’ and plug in the word ‘truth’. Of course these ‘truths’ takes center stage. It’s what this podcast was designed to do. It’s what our more orthodox and often less informed loved ones need to hear and a great many of us can’t do it without inciting confrontation. Bill is still an active member. This empowers his message – especially to the orthodoxy who have been repeatedly taught to never question authority. Bills voice can bridge that gap.

    DAVE: “I do whole heartedly agree that it is time for the Church and its members to mature into real adults and understand the nuances” NOT DAVE: (you meant, calculated betrayal, right? – just trying to keep it balanced)

    DAVE: “and difficulties” NOT DAVE: (i.e. polandry, falsifying ancient documents (BofA), race and the priesthood and so-on)

    DAVE: “within our theology and history. It may be helpful that there is equal coverage to the positive side” NOT DAVE: The ‘positives’ robbed me (and I know I’m not alone) of objectivity for most of my life. We have to assume what you mean by positives as you don’t ever list any, but that said, I think we all have a pretty solid idea of what they are. ‘Positives’ in the context of your commentary are actually ’negatives’ for many of the DD.

    DAVE: “ “without leading the listener to some conclusive description of what is meant by some quote etc. I see this very prevelant MO used by the Mormon Free Radio commentator (not you necessarily). I really do enjoy the topics and insight that is being offered. Nevertheless, it is frustrating at times to be continuously told how to interpret what is or is being said.” NOT DAVE: I think most of us are quite capable of realizing that the conclusive descriptions that we are being led to are purely subjective. I value all conclusive descriptions on both sides of the fence and yes, including yours.

    DAVE: “And yes…this can go both ways!
    Thanks Bill for the opportunity afforded to speak out on these topics even if we may not exactly see eye to eye.” NOT DAVE: Sorry to pick on you a bit here, but I’m going to hold your digital feet to the fire. Why can’t you see eye to eye with Bill? He doesn’t spin the narrative. He explores the data in a very open, genuine, and objective way. Why can’t you? I don’t know you, but I have to guess that because you haven’t suffered a faith crisis, you’re an inside the boxer trying to represent the institution as seen through the eyes of apologetics only. If this is the case and of course, I can’t be sure, because of this, you have seceded victory in the debate arena. No matter how you frame up your defense, you cannot spar with these guys because you are swinging with one eye closed. In other words, you only see one side of a coin. In more other words, if you are wearing a confirmation bias blindfold following strict construction codes as prescribed by the church, your not going to be able to describe or address with any kind of merit what you can’t see. It’s what always frustrated me about what apologists do. Wait a minute. Are you an apologist? Sounds like it.

    DAVE: “One thing we most likely do agree on is that we better use our heads and souls to put aside childish and stubborn assumptions and learn the real story behind the story. I’m confident we’ll all reach that promised land. And I hope soon!!!” NOT DAVE:
    I hope you reach it soon too. Just kidding and I’m sorry. Of course I don’t really mean that but can’t help it when an opportunity drops in my lap to take a fun jab at something. I went pretty deep at your expense, but I feel very strongly (obviously) that there is a way for orthodox loved ones to hear the voice of the DD and presenting this narrative with the positives only degrades the intensity of our very difficult journeys in my very strong view. I don’t know you and I apologize for my language that you may find cutting, condescending, and even bitter. All might be true. If they are, and you feel attacked, then I’m sorry. I’m passionate about defending truth unfiltered to protect you or anyone else who doesn’t seem to understand the complexities of waking up one morning and discovering the surveillance camera in the corner of the kitchen caught your dad taking a couple of bites out of the cookies and swigging the milk you left out for Santa. That’s why I need Bill. Currently to maintain my relationship with my ‘loved ones’ I have no choice but to put the filters back on which smacks of a dishonest. I firmly believe that what Bill is offering will allow me to eventually have the unfiltered discourse I shared here with the people who mean the most to me. Thanks Bill. You are amazing.

    Cheez! I just wrote a book!!!

  4. Mike,

    Very well said/written. Loved this: “No matter how you frame up your defense, you cannot spar with these guys because you are swinging with one eye closed.”

    Bill, I really enjoyed this episode. I’ve listened to it three times. Also, I want to put in a good mention for “Radio Free Mormon.” Always a little extra excited when one of those is released. Keep up the great work, Bill.

  5. Bill,

    Bill, in this podcast you mention that the First Vision wasn’t really used until the 1940s and, and, something about 1961. I had heard that the First Vision was not used much, if at all, in the early days of the Church, but those recent dates that you mentioned were new to me. Do you have a source or a reference for that? Where could I read more about it?

    Thank you!

    • http://ww.w.mormonismi.net/pdf/significance_1stvision_allen.pdf

      “”Probably there were earlier sermons or writings that used the story of the first vision to demonstrate the Mormon doctrine of God. Evidence indicates, however, that they were rare in these early days and that only gradually did this use of the story find place in the traditions of the Church. Suffice it to say that by the turn of the century the device was regularly used. James E. Talmadge, for example, in his Articles of Faith, used the story to illustrate the Godhead doctrine, and Joseph Fielding Smith, in his Essentials in Church History, makes a major point of this doctrinal contribution. In 1961 the official missionary plan of the Church required all missionaries to use the story in their first lesson as part of the dialogue designed to prove that the Father and the Son are distinct personages and that they have tangible bodies.””

      http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith%27s_First_Vision/Church_Hides_Accounts_(1910-1968)

  6. Mike,
    The name is Dale not Dave. But no offense taken and it is the least of things to rangle over. Nevertheless, I’ll try to keep my response to your dissections short since this may not be the most practical or appropriate forum to have a back and forth debate. Which by the way was never my intention with Bill or any other listener.

    My response to Bill’s podcast was just to provide another perspective to the dialogue. I would hope critique and different ideas would be welcomed in such a forum as this. It was interesting how many labels and judgements of my background or intent were ascertained based on a few paragraphs. The accusation of a “apolegetic” strikes me especially funny since we all our defenders of our own bias and understandings. Therefore, we all are apologetics. However, it appears to only be a negative and a blind faith position when it comes to defending some aspect of the Church. You even referred yourself as a defender of truth. Therefore, I guess we are both apologetics but for some reason your defense is perceived with more worth. With you’re own admittance, as “defending truth….unfiltered”… I am interested how anyone could make such a definitive statement. Since I know I don’t have a corner on truth and really don’t know if anyone does. You apparently must know something the rest of us don’t.

    The speculative personal labels ascribed, or not ascribed, were Incorrect and goes to show that we all are prone to being lead by our own subjectivity, blind judgments and bias. I have been through faith transitions (faith crisis to some), years of inactivity and a myriad of other life experiences that make me far from the “orthodoxy” member that it appears you felt I am defending. I do believe the Church has, like any institution, held back in its narrative the negative aspects with all the warts and blemishes. I also believe that scriptural literalism must be dealt with and that Church leaders past and present are fallible as we all are. And believe it or not I am a fan and listener of the Mormon Disscusion Podcast and have been for quite awhile. I may not agree on the strategy or conclusions sometimes. However, I’m not out to lecture against the perceived stereotype listeners and their perceived stances. I’m one of them! I would imagine there is far more diversity in the listenership that was and is implied. The bottom line is that I have opinions and share them under my own stewardship and am not some label or in support of the “kool aid drinkers” or towing some Mormon line. I’m am just like you and any other searcher of truth in trying to figure it all out. I have spent many years in study and prayer trying to understand who God is and what I need to understand and do to find truth. I have total awe for the restored Gospel and those who’ve dedicated their lives, past and present, regardless of all the mistakes and flaws that come with it. The search for further light and knowledge is a mandate I take seriously and am so disheartened on the polarization I am seeing amongst us members. Nevertheless, as I stated in my original comments, I do believe we can get to that promised land. Thanks. May God bless you!

    • Dale;
      Thankyou for responding. I appreciate (and I mean it) providing more details about your character and experience that I blatently disregarded and shamefully disrespected. I think it’s obvious I wrote this flaming response while under the influence of anger or let’s call it what it really is: fear. It’s clear I stumbled across your post pulled out both pistols and started firing at unseeable enemy. Sorry about that. This is all so new to me and frankly I’m terrified as I’m working through this mess trying to make sense of it all. I realize you had little choice but to respond as my speculative labels were completely misdirected. As it stands, I’m running around with my hair on fire hoping and wanting somebody to put it out for me – but deep down understanding this is something I have to sort out on my own.

      I think the most valuable thing you pointed out was that we are all apologists and I certainly was posting my position as if I had some corner on truth when in fact I don’t. My only thought regarding your statement, “With you’re own admittance, as “defending truth….unfiltered”… I am interested how anyone could make such a definitive statement.” Simple. I learned it at church. I want to break that mold and thank you for pointing that out.

      I do stand by my position that I think that looking for a balance with the positive high-jacks the narrative and I wished I would have posted this sentence only instead of airing my dirty laundry in the process and forcing you and Bill to deal with it.

      Getting a better handle on your history, honestly, I don’t know how you do it. I just can’t unsee the mess and the mess to me means things I thought were foundational truths are not. It has eroded my confidence in any claim on truth.

      I agree this is not the forum for this type of discourse and in hindsight regret posting it. I feel any contribution to the discussion of your commentary or the content of the podcast was drastically diminished because of my unqualified character assassination I levelled at you. I’m embarrassed by it.

      Down the road I hope to engage you and others that post on these forums when I’m in a truer place where respect and friendly exchanges will draw us closer to the truth of all things that I hope and think is out there somewhere. Maybe in the promised land. If so, I hope to see you there.

      Mike

  7. Mike,
    Thanks for your response and appreciate your candid honesty! That is the beauty of these forums and I’m pleased we are offered such. God Bless!!!

  8. Bill,

    Thank you for this podcast geared towards TBM’s trying to understand some of the complexities, or as you say ‘messiness’, and nuanced approach that is necessary to make sense of non-correlated church history.

    This podcast does a wonderful job of quoting from current church leadership and providing a good general overview of the online essays. I have forwarded this podcast to at least five family members/friends to try to help them understand that these issues aren’t from anti-Mormon sources and that most members are going to have to come to terms with this at some point.

    Again, thank you. You’re providing a meaningful service.

  9. Bill,
    I am new to your podcast and was sent this particular one by a friend who had been struggling with membership in the church. This was a beautiful podcast with information to help me navigate and understand my friend. One thing mentioned was about the urim and thummim not being used to translate the pages of the book of mormon we have today. The essays say that it was used, along with a few other tools. Is there a reputable source in which you can direct me that says otherwise? Thank you.

  10. Pingback: 023: Part 2 of Bill Reel, Backfire Effect, Confirmation Bias and its Accompanying E-Book! – Healthy Mormon Journeys

  11. Pingback: 266: The "Mormon Primer" Document and "The Struggle is Real" Audio - Mormon Discussion PodcastMormon Discussion Podcast

  12. Has anyone done a good flow chart, with commentary, showing the directions and reasons truth seeking LDS may turn and branch out as a result of discovering truth vs lies in the LDS church?

  13. What will it take for the LDS church to survive this self-generated, line upon line, Faith (Truth) Crisis in this information revolution? BTW, all of this and more is in the BoM:

    Perhaps leadership will have to step down to earth, to apologize to Christ and men, and then move themselves to restore the True Gospel of Christ which includes, but not limitted to:
    – Restoring financial and all transparency and tithing integrity.
    – Restoring the real Word of Wisdom, without eternal judgment and damnation, with salvation hinged to it, even being the very key and guardian at the gate to ordinances to heaven (D&C 89:2,4, 10,11)
    – Restoring Christ’s own Law of Common Consent where the membership is part of the accountability for keeping the ship on course through their truthful consent rather than current shamed or coerced “consent” where leaders can do nor say no wrong.
    – Restoring leadership to their rightful positions away from a church where leaders must be revered (worshiped, with hymns of praise sung to them) as demigods who must never be questioned, along with their worshiped creations (temples, commandments of men, and the “God, Christ and Holy Ghost” they create in their own image, whose only purpose is to bear witness of “the truthfulness of the leadership.”).
    – Restoring the church to a True Organization of Christ which follows Him first and rejects all commandments to follow the edicts and creeds of leaders first, and blindly, leaders who contradict Christ, each other and even themselves

    What more should or must be added to RESTORE Christ to His own Gospel, to the head of His own Church, more than you just mentioned in a wonderful podcast?

    Thanks! I will share for sure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*