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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Used Gum Morality Analogy: Stop Using It!

Ever since Elizabeth Smart spoke out about how her morality lessons affected her ability to value herself after her kidnapping and rapes, I've been thinking about this issue. And, I keep getting angrier and angrier.

I had to endure the "used gum" analogy as well as the "mangled flower" and other similar analogies. These teachings occurred in church lessons and private conversations. I could see the problem in the analogy then. It bothered me. It bothered me a lot.

However, my 9th grade Seminary teacher countered all these flawed teachings. He told us that he didn't like those analogies. Because of the Atonement, we weren't forever altered, damaged or flawed by what we repented of or what was done to us. The gum was perfect, the flower was flawless and bored holes in the block of wood were pristine.

Any prior damage had been completely removed. We were whole. We were clean. We were without sin. It was as if nothing had happened. That was the Atonement's gift to us.

I was a youngster many years ago. What I want to know is why was this flawed teaching still being taught during Elizabeth Smart's childhood?

Why haven't thinking people countered this?

Why haven't people spoken up?

My Seminary teacher fixed the problem for me back in the 1970s. I'm grateful to him. He did me, and many others, a great service. Someone should have done the same for Elizabeth, or else not taught the flawed concept in the first place.

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