I was asked to write today on the admirable open letter at nomorestrangers.org requesting the removal of The Miracle of Forgiveness from Church-owned store shelves in addition to asking the members themselves to no longer turn to it for counsel or use it to counsel others.
I concur with them that Spencer W. Kimball was a good man, and a Prophet of God. He just had some bad ideas, and this book was one of them. I agree with everything contained within the letter such as how badly damaging Miracle of Forgiveness is, how it tacitly endorses suicide if one does not fit a particular model, how it has erroneous conclusions regarding homosexuality and sexual assault which are no longer even in line with current Church teachings. I agree with them about everything—except for the most important thing. I do not think that Miracle of Forgiveness should be stricken from Church consciousness.
I am not one to argue that some things are not worth preserving even for the sake of history such as the confederate flag, etc… I don’t ask that Miracle of Forgiveness be preserved because I think it is something that we still need to be teaching, I think it needs to be preserved because when I testify of the damage it has done and people tell me that it does not say what I say it does I have my copy handy. No one will ever tell me what it does and does not say, and deny the pain and anguish that it has caused so many people because I have the proof in black and white. Who among us is dumb enough to argue against the truth?
Deleting the past allows it to fester in the memories of those who have been harmed by it. We must preserve something even so horrible so that we can show further generations that this is not how you treat people. This is not how Christ would have us be loved by one another.
I can definitely stand behind adding an additional foreword to the work that explains that it is not in line with current Church teachings, and that it is preserved for the sake of history, not as a teaching tool or to be used for ecclesiastic counsel. Simply doing away with it only pretends that it never happened though. All the soul-scarring words will be gone forever—swept under the rug like so much dirt.