Date: March 28, 2012 10:21AM
I would like to address this post to the member(s) of the Strengthening the Members Committee who are monitoring this site.
Earlier today I posted something I want to make sure you see. It is a suggestion for a simple axiom upon which to rely to make decisions about the things you involve yourself with.
It makes a difference the kind of work you do, whether for pay or as a volunteer. We all should have Right Livelihood. This may be an unfamiliar phrase to you because it is not part of the Mormon lexicon. It is jargon from Buddhism and it means work that does no harm. I know that you feel you are doing good when you help people who are struggling with their faith, or when you report people who are causing others to struggle with their faith.
Here is a thought for you to consider when evaluation whether your job is a positive contribution to the world.
What if it is necessary for people to struggle with their faith? What if they need to have it tested--and the people around them who are leaving Mormonism are essential tools in the Lord's work?
I honestly believe that each person must individuate in their faith the same way that people grow up and individuate as adults. They sift through what their parents taught them and decide for themselves which values, all values, no values that they were taught by their parents will be adopted in their new life as an adult. In this process they own these values.
You have chosen Mormon values and around you are people at all levels of belief. Some firm, some not firm. There is no need to pretend that everyone is the same. You know that isn't true in your heart, and I think it's probably ok for everyone to be on the path where they are with their testimony.
So your paid job is to influence/threaten those who are posting here and elsewhere. Using punishment of disfellowship or excommunication in a Court of Love is a mockery of Christ's plan in the pre-existence. Did he not die for free agency? Is not the use of force Satan's plan? So why are you using force?
I say you rather than the church because you are free to seek other employment if you are a true believer. I urge you to stop promoting Satan's plan and to seek for integrity in your own life as a number one priority. Be authentically Mormon and follow Christ's plan of non-compulsion.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s play Richelieu opened in London (March 1839). In act 2, Cardinal Richelieu speaks the now famous lines,
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword.
He meant of course that effective leadership depends on persuasion, not on force. In the work of spying on members to see if they are speaking evil against the Lord's anointed, you are attempting to impede the power of such men. Please consider reading this article by Jeffrey S. O’Driscoll and Hal B Gregerson, “‘Persuasion and Love Unfeigned’: The Exercise of Agency, Influence, and Principle,” in Joseph and Hyrum—Leading as One ed. Mark E. Mendenhall, Hal B Gregersen, Jeffrey S. O’Driscoll, Heidi S. Swinton, and Breck England, (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2010), which discusses the ethics involving the use of force:http://rsc.byu.edu/archived/joseph-and-hyrum-leading-one/persuasion-and-love-unfeigned
Especially this excerpt:
"If we hope to lead souls to Christ, we must work toward pure means of influence—means that honor the agency of others. Indeed, Joseph taught, 'If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.'(38)"
 Smith, History of the Church, 5:499.
Thanks for reading my posts. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am more than willing to answer your questions confidentially and have helped people in your position in the past (just don't ask me for names) haha!
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/2012 10:39AM by anagrammy.