Date: June 19, 2017 02:28PM
I was recalling how my father and his 'lady friend' (someone, in our ward growing up, whom he had converted, and a close 'family friend') were disciplined for some sin of theirs.
(Of course nobody has ever said what it (the sin) was, but when my mom at the same time was given permission for divorce from the church authorities, you can guess what it was!)..
Anyway they were not allowed to partake of the sacrament for some time (don't remember how long it was).
I was maybe 10 years old at the time. Old enough to notice and of course I felt all of the shame they were projecting and the misery my mom was enduring. But the fact that neither of them would take the sacrament when it came around was of course a very public way of pointing out to the whole congregation that they had sinned and likely together! (I think how horrible this really was for my mom in particular, what an embarrassment for her and a blow to the charade she tried so hard to maintain of the 'perfect Mormon family.)
And to not take the sacrament it usually means a pretty big sin right?
So of course we were all in shock and I remember feeling fearful. Why wasn't my dad taking the sacrament? What happened? What will happen to our family? It was horrifying on this level of survival, like the church is the tribe and we were outcasts or had the potential to be outcasts and to be banished and so banished from God and then what would happen to our family, to me AND to our eternal hereafter?
Scary stuff for a little, believing kid.
Anyway I was remembering that and it got me thinking about how crazy that is. What a clever tactic on the part of TSCC to use that as a 'disciplinary' measure. Something that is really so public! Very controlling.
I thought the members problems/sins were between the member and god (or rather the member and the bishop or whatever other elder who might be involved in the judging and condemning)? Why then do something like that to make sure everyone at church knows?
The people who aren't taking sacrament must surely be noticed by the rest who are and they of course will wonder and probably gossip but also keep some distance from that person who then seems so 'unclean'.. almost like they are carrying a disease you might get if you get to close.
I remember feeling that way myself towards the 'lesser' members.. the ones who attended sporadically, who were married to non-members, women who worked outside the home, people who didn't take the sacrament, etc, etc.. I was afraid of them. Like they might contaminate me. Because I, I was going to be PERFECT, just like god wanted me to be! And I wasn't going to let any of those lepers take that away from me.
It's a lot like the book The Scarlet Letter.. public shaming.. pitting the members against each other..
It's pretty awful!
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2017 09:36PM by shapeshifter.