Roy wrote: ↑
25 Jan 2019, 12:51
Even here, I believe that it can be important for the spouse with the secret history to finally come clean. I suppose, in a way, the church can be said to be doing exactly that with the essays and JS Papers project. I guess it is up to each one of us to process the withheld information and address the ongoing relationship as best we can.
When I hear that, I'm reminded of decades ago when I came home with flowers for my wife one evening. I had previously mentioned emphasis was on being kind to our wives as a topic in Stake Priesthood Meeting. When my wife saw the flowers, she didn't seem impressed. When I asked why she replied "you only did it because they mentioned it in priesthood meeting". At first, I felt discouraged. But I now realize her comment showed an unmet need -- a need to feel loved without any external prodding or forces encouraging such expression.
I guess I feel the same way toward the church -- they only came clean because, as someone said earlier, they'd already lost that ground. If the internet didn't shout the church's past sins on the rooftops, would we have the gospel topic essays and JS papers? I think not. And it was a long time in coming too -- after years and years and years of the truth being leaked on the Internet.
It makes it hard to trust them (along with other experiences I've had). And doesn't to me, point to character change. It was damage control.
If you want to link it to past GA talks on motives for obedience, the lowest level is fear of negative consequences, then it rises to the expectation of reward, and then for social approval, and finally pure love. Nothing but the highest level (pure love) is permanent and indicative of character change in the absence of external influences.
What would it take to show such character change? I think disclosing things the Internet doesn't know that were objectionable, even at the risk of hurting members' faith would help. Admitting the history wasn't forthright, and expressing sorrow would help. And then, other kindnesses even when such kindnesses put the church's naked interests second. The only time I think I ever heard church leaders apologize was DHO over the Mountain Meadows Massacre. And even then, he said "there's no doubt MEMBERS OF OUR CHURCH were involved", sidestepping the likely command from a leader in authority. How else would 60-100 men, seeking righteousness, willingly massacre that number of men in lockstep??? They must have been acting on the strength of a command from an "inspired leader". But I still felt some emotion that a notable leader actually attempted an apology. But it was a guarded one, for sure.
On the other hand, lest I be too negative, the church DID show a character change in the two-hour church, changing that awful HT program to something more practical and kind, combining the priesthood quorums, and making a concerted effort to lessen unnecessary burdens on church members. For those changes, I think there can be forgiveness for the years of not listening, or being arrogant about suggested change as challenging revelation, etcetera. I think that if such kindnesses continue (such as regular listening posts, openly administered) about the experience of being a Mormon, with continued, true, responsive change, this could mitigate the way were mislead for so many decades when information didn't flow as freely as it does now given the internet.