His Majesty has continued to ruminate on crime and punishment.
Elder Christofferson once preached that the aim of the gospel is to draw down “perfect justice and infinite mercy” from heaven. The phrase stuck with me. Perfect justice and infinite mercy. Infinite mercy, sure. But who among us struts so cockily that he wants perfect justice? Who among the wise can know that he is more sinned against than sinning? None.
But the truly wise know that justice is joyful.
The scriptures may have been fine in their day. Previous generations were, after all, more primitive than us, and needed more childlike instruction. Besides, their cultural prejudices could not be overcome all at once, and those prejudices permeate the scriptures.
A few nights ago, in the sleepy haze that follows nightly prayer but precedes full unconsciousness, Mrs. MC and I discussed how we discipline our kids, what we might change, etc. Nowadays, no right-thinking parent ever defends corporal punishment, even if they sometimes practice it. It’s time outs, privileges withheld, that’s it. (more…)
Worth repeating: a comment by Silver Rain:
Justice isn’t ours. In fact, the very essence of forgiveness is handing our need for justice over to the Lord. Just as the Savior atoned for our sins and errors, He also atoned for the sins and errors of others. If we truly trust Him, we will find a way to allow Him to repay us whatever others owe us. Rather than expecting the Church to exact justice, which will only extend the misery this man has inflicted on your friend, taking advantage of the Atonement will free your friend from the shackles of this man’s sin. […]
If there are Church courts where justice is being exacted, I submit the men ministering those courts do not understand their purpose. Excommunication and disfellowshipping are not exacted under the law of justice, but of mercy. If people are not keeping the covenants they made, it is mercy which requires they be released from those covenants until and unless they have repented to the point where they are prepared to make them again.
Excommunication and disfellowshipping may feel like punishment (or justice, depending on perspective) but that is not their purpose. In my understanding, courts are instructed to refrain from exacting those consequences unless the Spirit confirms it is necessary for the individual to truly repent.
As far as watching an ex-spouse be sealed in the temple when an individual cannot, I can certainly understand the pain that would cause. But that loops back to trusting Jesus Christ, Alpha and Omega, to exact the amount of justice necessary and no more or no less. Demanding He judge in a certain way means that you do no[t] truly trust His wisdom and love for the perpetrator AND FOR YOU. I have full confidence that if my ex is ever welcomed back into the family of God, it will only be once he acknowledges the damage he has done and repented for it. Who can justly ask for more than that? My ex cannot undo the pain he has caused me, nor the damage he has done to my life. But that isn’t his job, even though he was the one who committed the sin in the first place. It is the Savior’s job, and I rely on Him to “pay” me what I am owed: to make it all right again.
Fortunately for us, the Savior rarely simply pays us back. In my experience, when He pays someone’s debts for them, it comes with more interest than I would have ever thought to ask for.
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: afterlife, Gay Marriage, gender, glory, judgment, justice, LDS, love and glory, Mormon, Mormonism, priesthood, Sex, SSM, three degrees of glory, traditional marriage
*Well, the language gets a bit rough at times. Be forewarned.
Filed under: Brilliantly Lit | Tags: justice, villains, walking a mile in the other guy's black armored carapace
In late December 2006, an eighty-five-year-old man left his favorite restaurant and headed for his parked car. (more…)
I’ve always believed this. 12 Angry Men is unwittingly a movie about how 12 jurors’ weak will and self-congratulatory image-making lets a murderer go free. Jury duty is not narrative, its not the enactment of a myth, its a civic job. Though to be fair, when actual criminal jurors fail to be tough-minded, it needn’t be in favor of the defendant.