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Disciplinary Councils

In my Doctrine and Covenants class at BYU, my professor gave us the following talk by Elder Ballard to read when we got to section 102: "A Chance to Start Over: Church Disciplinary Councils and the Restoration of Blessings."

Not having ever been in an disciplinary hearing, I did not know much about them, and this address really enlightened me. Church disciplinary councils seemed scary, but not anymore (though the idea of confessing something to that many people is still scary). Having had to talk to bishops, though, I can imagine that the love and encouragment a truly repentant person may feel in a hearing is hundredfold.

Elder Ballard shared the following analogy in his talk:
I remember as a child occasionally coming unkempt to the dinner table. My mother wisely sent me to clean up and then return. My parents would have been pained if I had taken offense and had run off—and I would have been foolish to do so. In the same way, the servants of the Lord occasionally find that they must, in loving concern, send some of Heavenly Father’s children out the door so they can return clean once again. The Lord does not want us to “miss supper.” In fact, he has a great feast prepared for those who return clean and pure through the door. He is greatly saddened when anyone decides they prefer to be unclean and miss the meal, or when they find an excuse to take offense, or when they run away. He is pleased to extend the chance to start over.
We must realize how incredibly merciful the Lord is and how much He sincerely desires us to return to Him. If we understood how much that desire also dwells in the priesthood leaders in disciplinary councils, we would not run away from the Church. Furthermore, we should all be supportive and nonjudgmental toward each other. We should extend welcoming, loving arms to all who have strayed. Church should be a place where we feel safe and uplifted, not ashamed or shunned. That is not to say we won't experience punishment and pain, but the suffering we feel should be as a result of our own sinning and repentance process, not from how others are treating us. As Saints we covenanted at baptism to "bear one another's burdens . . . mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort" (Mosiah 18:8-9).

Discussion: Read Elder Ballard's talk. What did you learn?

Comments

DAD said…
they are courts of love-DAD

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