Mormon Bishop Bill Reel Excommunicated from Mormon Church


Well Salt Lake has struck again. In its continual efforts to silence those who publicly question the leadership of the church on various issues, the LDS church held a disciplinary hearing for Bill Reel on November 27th. Instead of giving the verdict to the accused at the end of the hearing, as has been the standard practice until recently, the new modus operandi is to delay for several days in order to avoid bad publicity. Instead, a verdict letter is delivered to the accused several days after the proceedings. This was the case with Bishop Sam Young just weeks ago, and now Bill Reel got the same treatment when he received his letter on December 2nd. Here is a link to the letter:

And here is Bill Reel’s statement on the letter:

Another recently established practice for Mormon excommunications is that the church forces the accused to sign a document saying that they will not record the disciplinary hearing. If they refuse to sign they will not be allowed to attend their own hearing and defend themselves. Of course, this letter has no real legally binding power. Bill Reel recorded it anyway and posted both the audio and a transcript. Some of the audio is hard to make out so I recommend you follow along with the transcript. I recommend right clicking on the audio link and opening it up in a new window, then go back to this window and click on the transcript link so you can follow along while the audio plays. It gets better at about the 7-minute point so don’t give up early.



During his time to speak on his own behalf, Bill discussed many of the problems he had discovered about the LDS church including the serious historical problems. Bill had obviously done his homework, presenting these issues briefly one by one to the members of the disciplinary council. One of the more interesting takeaways from the hearing was that the council admitted that Bill had told the truth, even when Bill said that current-day LDS apostles deceived the flock. Unfortunately, pointing this out publicly was grounds for excommunication.

The bottom line is that telling the truth about Mormonism will get you kicked out. Supporting the leadership, even when they are wrong, is more important than the truth. Just ask Elder Oaks:


Yes, this is why the Catholic Church sees Mormonism as a cult. Everything points to it. Let’s pray for all of them to see the light.


a big yawn…


Is his excommunication permanent? I mean, if he were to publicly recant everything he said, would he be able to rejoin the Mormon church if he wished to?


The Mormon church has a process for excommunicated members to return, which includes being rebaptized. Most never do, though, for obvious reasons. Bill will never go back because his research into Mormon history proved that there are just too many serious problems to believe in it anymore.


That also happens to be the typical response from LDS leaders when presented with tough questions by members who find themselves in a faith crisis. Also a sad but revealing response to the story of a fellow Mormon who just had their eternal family taken away for being truthful.


I am confused on how “high up” these bishops are. I met a Mormon bishop over the summer due to some family issues, and he said he was just a regular lay person who his church chose to be a bishop for a 3 year term. He had no special religious training for it or anything


Mormon bishops are kind of like a parish priest of a very small parish. He is in charge of a “ward” of members. Members are assigned to wards based on where they live, so members go to church with the same small group of people for as long as they live in the same area, or until the church changes ward boundaries. A bishop’s service lasts for several years which can vary. So they are not very high up in the church heirarchy, but once a bishop it’s a title they keep the rest of their lives.

Bishops receive no training for the job other than what they experienced in their day-to-day life as a Mormon growing up. They are given an official church handbook to follow.


One of the things said by the stake president (who presides over the disciplinary council) in his opening statement at Bill’s hearing was that the church welcomes questions. But it’s really not true. A member can ask questions, but if they don’t like the generic, vague answers that are usually given for tougher questions, then they are just supposed to shut up about it. If they instead persist on trying to get to the bottom of things, which can put the leadership in an uncomfortable position, they eventually will be excommunicated. In Mormondom, supporting the church leadership through blind obedience trumps the truth every time.


Good arguments by Bill Reel in the transcript about the problems of the LDS church. Some of these arguments are also important for other churches that believe the Book of Mormon is from God, including the churches that believe Joseph Smith used to be a prophet but later went apostate, started teaching false doctrines like polygamy and polytheism, contrary to the Book of Mormon and the Bible.
In fact, once I was speaking to a Mormon and I asked him where does the Book of Mormon ever say that there are more than one God. And he told me that no one had ever asked him that, he was used to people asking him where does the Bible say that, he can answer that, but he can’t answer where does the Book of Mormon say that. And certainly I would say that when Smith dictated the Book of Mormon, he still preached monotheism, as that is what the Book of Mormon preaches.


I have no idea really because it is so incredibly rare for a Catholic to be excommunicated.


How do we (Latin Rite Catholics) see excommunication?


I was baptized LDS or Mormon when I was 10. My mom had the missionaries come to our home and teach us about the church. We, my brothers and I, had a lot of fun with the young, charismatic missionaries when they visited our home. Since mom was behind it, of course we became members; although, she herself did not attend with us. I became quite serious about my faith, attended seminary in high school, and basically wanted to convert the world to the church. There is a lot of pressure on members to bring others into the church. They place a lot of guilt on a member for not tithing, not attending every Sunday, or not doing temple work.

From my experience, to question the church is looked upon as evil…scary evil. I remember how some of us kids heard about a visitor to church who was questioning the teachings of the church. Some of the kids thought the guy was possessed. It’s serious.

As in any church, not every member is the same as the next. With that, there is a saying in some cultures that the nail that stands out gets hammered down. I think that is true in the LDS church.

Finally, I was a convert who took everything the church taught to heart. It was the non-LDS Christians who walked the walk that God eventually used to distance me from the LDS church. Though, I was still a long way from Christianity myself.

Years after I left the church, I got a call from church headquarters in Utah. They were updating their files and asked if I wanted my name off of their records. I did ask them to remove my name.

Also, I need to share that a convert to Mormonism is different than a person who is born into the church; so, my experience is going to be somewhat different than someone born into the church.


Well, obviously if you happen to be a Mormon with your own podcast and you start saying things that challenge LDS history, doctrine, or the leadership, the hammer you will face is excommunication. Instead of dealing with the concerns voiced by such people, the church instead goes after the person in an attempt to silence them.

The reason is simple. The church knows those people are right and that there are no good answers to the myriad of problems they bring up.
They don’t even try to really address the issues anymore. They just shoot the messenger.


I had a very intelligent friend (in my Ph.D. graduate classes) who was a convert to Mormonism from Catholicism. He now is a professor at a Mormon university. For the life of me I never understood how someone with so much intelligence and reasoning abilities could convert. I still pray for him many years later.


For many the whole thing is based on an ounce of knowledge mixed with 3 tons of emotion. They can be rational about every other thing in their life, but when it comes to their religion emotion takes over and they simply are incapable of seeing the problems. The conditioning is very powerful, which gives many a cultish devotion so strong that critical thinking becomes impossible.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit