The simple doctrine of being kind

Nothing gets those hands flying in Relief Society like a question about apostasy. Our instructor is a lovely woman but she couldn't control the poisonous labels flung toward the chalkboard. Prideful! Materialistic. Angry. Bitter. Dark. Adulterous. Unfaithful!

I twisted anxiously in my seat, staunching the temptation to scan the faces around me, because who knew -- who could possibly know? -- whom among us is passing through their own personal wilderness of doubt.

"How could any of the Kirtland Saints leave the church?" shot an accusation from the back. "They witnessed the temple dedication -- they saw angels and miracles. Did their hearts turn to stone?"

Sometimes, I believe the apostasy of others instills a certain pride in faithful members. Mormonism is a fantastic way of life, but the many rules and standards can lead to a quiet competition of who keeps them best. And those who abandon the faith? Well clearly we can count ourselves as more worthy than they.

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