By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet
Reintegrative Shaming has been a part of Mormonism almost from the beginning. I love when science eventually gets around to showing the gospel of Jesus Christ to be true!
“Reintegrative Shaming . . . works as follows. People central to the criminal’s immediate community – such as family members, employers and co-workers, and friends – are brought into court to state their condemnation of the offender’s behavior. At the same time, these people must accept responsibility for reintegrating the offender back into the community. The goal is to rebuild the social bonds of the individual to the community as a means of deterring future criminal conduct.
“. . . it is a familiar practice in other social institutions such as the family. Think of a child who misbehaves. The parent may express disapproval of the child’s behavior and try to make the child feel ashamed of her conduct, but the parent may also reassure the child that she is a loved member of the family.
“These social bonds could also be fostered to increase the power of shame and reintegrate offenders into local networks of community involvement.”
(Introduction to Sociology Sixth Edition by Anthony Giddens, et al. pp. 68)
I never stop being amazed at the wisdom of the Lord! I am also constantly impressed with the concise way that the Lord presents the truth (Such as in the law of tithing and the word of wisdom.) As we examine the words of the Lord to the prophet Joseph Smith, delivered in 1839, in the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Section 121 Verses 41 through 43. We find the Lords instruction to his church government for rehabilitating the offenders of his laws, as follows: “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile – Reproving betimes (or immediately) with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee as his enemy;” The disciplinary councils in the Church of Jesus Christ are very effective in this way and have been operating for many decades in this effective way. I do recognize the role of the government in situations where Reintegrative Shaming is not an option because of the lack of contrition, cooperation or willingness to change in the perpetrator of the crime. In these cases, the government is a necessary part of using the less effective and less ideal methods of incarceration and Stigmatizing shaming. Though necessary, these approaches often are the equivalent of sending the offender to “crime school” (Prison) and then trapping them in the cycle of the re-offender as he is unable to find employment because of his criminal record.
In the Church of Jesus Christ, Reintegrative Shaming is the Lord’s program and plan for reaching out in love to those who are accused of breaking the laws of God. Though this is the doctrine and the Ideal it is unfortunately not always realized in practice. Taken as a whole, however, there are many thousand of individuals who are confidentially (aside from their immediate family and closest church leaders) helped through the Lord’s process for becoming permanently free of guilt and shame.
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