(KUTV) — A well-known blogger who talks about the LDS Church, is facing possible excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Bill Reel — who is outspoken on what he sees as issues with what is often called the Mormon religion -- posted on Nov. 15 that his disciplinary court is imminent.
"It has finally happened. I received a disciplinary notice from my stake president," he wrote.
Reel lives in the St. George area and previously served the church in a volunteer role as the bishop of a congregation where he lived. According to a letter he posted, reportedly from the local church leaders that says he may face a formal disciplinary action because "... you are reported to have participated in conduct unbecoming a member of the Church."
The disciplinary council will be held on Nov. 27 at 8:30 p.m. in Washington, Utah, where Reel is invited to attend.
The letter states the council is strictly confidential and is a sacred ecclesiastical proceeding.
"Therefore, your in-person participation in the council is conditioned upon your signing a confidentiality agreement. This agreement will state that no part of the council proceedings will be recorded or made public in any way."
The letter also states that Reel could remain a member of the church.
"I honestly pray that we can find a way to keep you as a member of this Church," it said in its final line.
Reel is accused of attacking the church in his public social media. In the list of his podcasts a few appear that seem likely to cause issues with the church. They include:
Reel says in his description about himself that while serving as a bishop in his early 30s, he had a major crisis of faith. He said he found his way forward and found a renewed faith. He stated that he doesn't wish to leave his tribe. In a written update about the disciplinary proceedings.
"Thousands of people are watching this proceeding ramp up," Reel writes.
On MormonNewsroom.org, the LDS church says explains the purpose of removing a member from the church. It says:
In rare instances, we may commit serious transgressions that jeopardize our progress. Church discipline — restrictions and conditions of repentance that prompt a person to reevaluate their situation and return to full fellowship and activity — is a process designed to help us overcome sin in these instances.
A church spokesman told the St. George News that the decision to hold a council for Reel was an entirely local decision and referred the news outlet to the MormonNewsroom link above.
Reel's possible excommunication comes in an era of some high-profile excommunications. Sam Young, a former bishop from Houston who advocated ending one-on-one, behind-closed-doors interviews between church leaders and children, recently had a disciplinary council and was taken out of the church. He said recently that his appeal was denied.
Podcaster John Dehlin was perhaps the most recent high-profile excommunication after he announced the decision in 2015. Scholars consider excommunication to be the Utah-based faith's way of keeping dissenters in line.