The first talk of the Priesthood session reminded me of a man I met on my mission. His wife had died and he told us of all the things he had done in worship and prayer to seek God’s help. He complained of how he had come up so empty. The list he gave us consisted of various forms of emotionalism.
He was Catholic, but obviously had gone somewhere else for comfort (and, bless his heart, seemed to be blaming his priest). I was struck by how he was substituting emotional processes for spiritual ones. I have seen that process many, many times since. I consider it a terrible mistake.
Too often I see a reach for Pathos (or even Bathos) as a substitute for the Spirit. It is a common thing (as are other reaches for emotional states) as a replacement for the Spirit of God. I have met people who thought they were the same thing. The terrible flaw is that the approach leads to shallow or non-existent roots and it fails people when they need God the most.
In grief, the Spirit brings comfort and faith brings healing. Emotionalism seems to do nothing positive for people, and as a substitute for the Spirit actually seems to harm them. It may seem harsh, but I think in general we should avoid bathos as we would any other false spirit. At least if we seek healing or to find God instead of a pale substitute.
I know, I went far afield from the speaker’s thoughts, but we came back together as he called for repentance, even if we thought of the need to repent of different things.