Justice and Mercy: A Rape Survivor’s Perspective

Today’s guest post is from Rachael.

I was sexually abused as a child and later raped as a teenager and again as an adult. All of these horrific experiences were at the hands of LDS priesthood holders. Of course, those who did these things were sinning and were not true representatives of Christ or His priesthood. It was relatively easy for me to separate out in my mind these evil men from what I knew God wanted.  But it was much harder for me to figure out how to make sense of the good men, bishops and stake presidents, who counseled me to forgive, to bury the past, to not hold my perpetrators legally responsible.  Because I believed that these men were representatives of God, I believed them when they told me that it was God’s will that I let my rapists (and abusers) off the hook.  And so I did.  I earnestly practiced the forgiveness that I was taught to practice, burying any hint of anger the moment it tried to rise up in me, and consequently, I believe, that buried emotion took on a life of its own, to the detriment of my health. [Read more…]

Some Spiritual Guidance

Whenever I rank the seriousness of sins, I like to start with mine first. Those are the lightest sins, easy to forgive. Not much to see here. Next are the sins that I have not personally struggled with – but mostly because I haven’t had the chance to. They are bad and people who commit them should be shunned, but if one day it is I who commits them, I do think they are ultimately forgivable and deserve mercy. Finally we have the most egregious sins. Those are sins I have never struggled with and almost definitely never will. They are abominable and unforgivable. Those people will go to hell and rightfully so. That was their choice. They should have chosen instead to commit my sins and they too could go to heaven with me and God.

Transgressors in Eden

This Sunday in Sunday School, we’re going to study the Fall.[fn1] The lesson quotes Elder Oaks distinguishing sin from transgression[Read more…]