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When I was chaplain at the University of Maryland, there was a religious group on campus which left no room for mistakes. If you didn’t measure up, out you went. We heard that one of the students had been sent out of that group for drinking. Then we heard that another one had been asked to leave because he had stolen some money. Still another was publicly humiliated because she was pregnant. The message this group sent out was, "One mistake, and you are finished."

Well, you can guess the outcome. After a while the group was down to a bare handful of people, all of whom professed absolute moral purity. But guess what else? They also all suspected each other! They mistrusted each other! Having had no trust in other sinners, they could not trust each other either.

(From a sermon by Joseph Smith, "Promises: Barnabas" 1/30/2009)

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