Brother Aspie had been feeling overwhelmed by buffeting trials. He decided that he needed to go to the Temple to seek some measure of peace. So he went to his church leaders for the two temple recommend interviews.
He made it past the bishopric-level interview just fine. Then he went to the stake president’s office for his final interview.
As it turned out, the second councilor, President Hard Nose, was there to interview Brother Aspie.
The result was an absolute disaster which drove Brother Aspie into psychotherapy. Brother Aspie did receive his recommend in a Pyrrhic victory sort of way.
Most of what happened during and after the interview is best left unsaid…
Among many problems was Brother Aspie’s scrupulous honesty. As President Hard Nose asked about church attendance, Brother Aspie remembered that one Sunday he had stayed home after making a Saturday night, 400 mile round-trip drive to a distant city to retrieve his wife’s cousin whose car had broken down.
Brother Aspie started to tell President Hard Nose that he missed the meetings the Sunday thereafter because he was too tired… But President Hard Nose’s verbal dagger swiftly pierced Aspie’s soul yet again… Aspie was shaken too much to explain the reason for his absence….
Two years later, Aspie finally regained composure to approach President Hard Nose and gently asked President why he had been so angry toward him. President Hard Nose had absolutely no recollection of the previous interview but nevertheless apologized.
The purpose of this entry is NOT to cast dispersions on priesthood leaders. They render countless hours of service in very demanding callings.
The purpose is to draw attention to the types of problems that church leaders and Aspies sometimes have one with another.
Aspies are often as lightning rods for the anger of others.
In addition, Brother Aspie learned that unless he has a grevious sin, he should simply answer the temple recommend interviews “yes” or “no” without reflection or commentary. (Aspies tend not to have grevious sins anyway because they care little for worldly pleasures.)
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To be presumed guilty until proven innocent is devastating to an Aspie.
Priesthood leaders would do well to treat Aspie Temple recommend interviewees as if they were primary children coming in for a baptismal interview.
But since leaders may be unfamilar with the autistic spectrum, they would do well to treat everyone with gentleness.
Every mortal has his share of soul wounds regardless of brain wiring. Thus we must treat one another with kindness.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. Luke 6:31
This teaching is the “Golden Rule.”