Monday, January 08, 2007


A few months ago I was sitting in a Sunday School class, I don't recall what the lesson was but the teacher made a comment that perked my ears up. He asked the class what guilt was. One person (who happened to be his wife leading me to think that this may or may have not been a prearranged answer) said that guilt was the Holy Ghost telling you that something wasn't right. I thought to myself that I was pretty familiar with what the fruits of the spirit were and have never heard that guilt was one of them. This answer went by with no comment, as if everybody agreed that Holy Ghost makes you feel guilty. I raised my hand and asked a question, namely that isn't the Holy Ghost suppose to be a comforter, telling you what things are good. I gave the example that an Amish person can be raised all their life thinking modern technologies are wrong, and then one day might drive a car and feel guilty, that cannot possibly be the Holy Ghost telling them that driving a car is bad could it? There are numerous examples where people might feel guilty for things that, according to Christian or Mormon theology have no eternal consequence, why would the Holy Ghost people that these things are bad. The Holy Ghost has been one of the most difficult things for me to understand but I find the belief that the Holy Ghost speaks to us through guilt as absurd and silly.


At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is absurde to think the Holy Ghost is administrating guilt.

Guilt is learned through behaviour like you said.

My two year old doesn't show guilt until he's been punished for that action.

Guilt is a very misunderstood factor in the Church and I'm afraid the cause of much member to member conflict of interest.

The principals of the church are taught and learned to guide in achieving a more Christlike life. Guilt in part, is a byproduct of chosing a life direction for oneself, then not adhereing to it.

If we chose differently with honest intent then the guilt goes away.

This might not necessarily mean the choice is the correct one in absolute terms.

But is justifiable in relative terms to the person making the choice.


At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guilt is when you recognize that your actions have been out of alignment with your values. To feel better, you either change your actions, or recognize that your values have changed, and acknowledge the new ones, and try to live by them. Easier said than done, of course.


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