Monday, October 30, 2017


Shame Going Back to the First People
(Bernward Doors)
Roy, UT—At a recent dinner, area man Daniel Glenn, after powerfully “offering the voice of warning” to a niece and two nephews, quietly congratulated himself on never committing any sexual sins, sins he believes are “next to murder.”

Glenn was invited to dinner at his sister’s house last Friday. It was there that Glenn found himself with his niece Candice (14) and nephews Eric (17) and Drew (15). Previously his sister had confidentially expressed her suspicions to Glenn that the children may have been viewing pornography and that her son Eric may have “gone a little too far” with his girlfriend Rachel. With his sister out of the room, Brother Glenn saw this as a good moment to “bear down in pure testimony” against his niece and nephews.

In no uncertain terms, Brother Glenn warned the three that sexual sins, even seemingly “harmless” ones, were “right there with murder” in their seriousness with God. He reminded them that God could “not look on sin with the least degree of allowance” and that “no unclean thing can be in God’s presence.” He made it clear that they “may as well kill someone as view pornography or fool around sexually!”

Brother Glenn’s idea that sexual sin is next to murder is based on Alma 39. Glenn seems completely unaware that what Alma might very well mean by a “sin next to murder” is actually the sin of leading the hearts of others to destruction. Alma, in chapter 36, sorrowfully reflects upon how he did that very thing when he sought to destroy the church. Read carefully, Alma’s strongest warning to his son is not against sexual sin in chapter 39; his warning is against doing things that lead to the destruction of others.

For her part, after hearing her uncle, Candice felt deep shame for her minor sexual sins, sins that resulted from a healthy, natural curiosity. Lacking a clear, loving context to understand and explore her healthy, natural curiosity, she “fell into sin.” Eric and Drew were also deeply impacted by their uncle’s words. Drew, who had always planned on a mission, after the discussion felt such deep shame and guilt that he quietly resolved that he could never be worthy to be God’s instrument. Eric, who had struggled with loving and sexual feelings for his girlfriend, decided that they must break up. His plan to break up was because he no longer believed he could match God’s exacting demands, and that he would be better off outside of the church and with a non-Mormon girlfriend, someone he “would not pollute” with sexual desires.

Later that evening, after “reproving” his niece and nephews “with sharpness,” Brother Glenn internally applauded his efforts to admonish and to be a good example by avoided all sexual sins. He fell asleep satisfied that he had done God’s work.

At the very moment when he was peacefully falling asleep, his niece and nephews were feeling so unworthy that, for the first time in their lives, they did not feel that God could ever listen to their bedtime prayers. 

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