Monday, August 15, 2011

Good, Sincere People Can and Do Exercise Unrighteous Dominion

I've said often that the thing I love most about the LDS Church is the amazing growth-producing structure for each and every member, but the fact that we deeply flawed mortals are the ones who are charged with administering that structure leads to some really bad implementation and too much unrighteous dominion. If all unrighteous dominion was imposed by "evil" or even "bad" people, that would be rather easy to handle. The problem, however, is that many good, sincere people end up exercising unrighteous dominion simply because they care and/or believe so much that they can't recognize their own actions that overstep righteous boundaries - or because they are thrust into leadership positions for which they are not prepared and are forced to learn on the job (much like a new parent who screws up with the first couple of kids before getting it right with the next two).

That's why I believe it is vital to strive to develop charity.

I know I am going to look back 40 years from now and be astounded about the ignorance of some of what I have said (and be mortified at some of what I have done), and I hope those who read what I have written publicly and know of what I have done incorrectly are charitable in their view of me despite my many mistakes. I desire that for myself, so I try very hard to give that same courtesy to others. I still have a ways to go with that effort, but I can say honestly that it has become a strength - largely because I have focused on it so carefully for so long.


Mormon Women: Who We Are said...

Great post, Ray. In fact, I think that it's because of this reality (that we are all prone to unrighteous dominion) that the Lord puts us in so many situations where we have opportunities to learn to watch for it and overcome it. But ironically, trying to force someone to not exercise unrighteous dominion is in its own right unrighteous dominion.

Hence the need for charity as we each try to do our best to overcome this natural tendency.

Patty said...

If you think about what you thought and how you viewed things as a child, then as a teenager, as a new parent and currently, and how your views morph and develop, it shouldn't come as a suprise to anyone that we say things that we truly believe but in ten years we may be on the opposite side of the spectrum on that same issue. It's part of life to change as we learn and grow.
The flip side of unrighteous dominion is that we often have the right to speak up for ourselves, to say "no" when it's appropriate, and to help people who are mistakenly applying it to understand better ways of handling situations. It just sucks when we have to be the ones to do it because I think most of us would rather not have confrontation.