Monday, November 14, 2005

The Good Samaritan

When I discussed the punishment of researchers by the Mormon Church on an AM radio show, the host and one of the callers responded that abuse did not matter. In the end, God would be the ultimate authority for appeal and everything would be fine regardless of human errors.

That's like saying the Good Samaritan might as well have left the victim in the street since God was going to take of the situation eventually.

Human beings ought to take responsibility for themselves and their neighbors. That is what this life is all about.


Blogger Keith said...

At one point, I think you made the assertion that a Mormon intellectual would be punished for pursuing the truth and Van Hale admitted that it depended on the personality of the local bishop or stake president.

That's what bothers me about the process - the lack of consistency in administering the church. While mormon authorities would like you to believe the "spirit" guides the outcome in ecclesiastic proceedings, a presiding leader's experience, personality, and individual style of leadership are the determining factors in governing the church.

In other words, if a bishop or stake president has a particular bias toward intellectuals, you can be sure that inclination will outweigh any impartiality toward them.

In my case, I was told that I could have my doubts about the church as long as I never taught anyone about them; to do so would result in a disciplinary action. In essence, I could live as a pretender, never disclosing my true thoughts in public.

That encounter bothered me enough to write a resignation letter; however, it took another 8 months to mail it in to the membership and statistical records department of the church. In the final analysis, I chose freedom of thought and expression over a life of cognitive dissonance and covert disaffection for mormon dogma.


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