The message of the Gospel of Christ could be encapsulated in a few adjectives, such as: love (Charity), repentance, forgiveness and service. But how should we forgive? Should we follow the example of God, who promises his saints that when they repent he will remember those sins no more (D&C 58:42). The Church as an institution does not seem to think so as it seems to have a pretty good memory when it comes to the sins of its members. Is this consistent with the Gospel message?
The reason I highlight this is because there are certain callings within the Church that make it impossible, or at least very unlikely, for you to have if you have been involved in certain activities. I am sure that these people do not seek for these types of callings. I highlight this as an apparent ‘inconsistency’ between scripture and practice. For example, over the years there has been some flip-flopping on the issue of Divorce and being a Bishop. It seems that with current levels of divorce so high that the Church can no longer not have those people as possible candidates, when in the past they have made that restriction.
Any records of Church disciplinary councils are kept at Church headquarters (they are destroyed after a short-time in the local areas) presumably so that callings that need to be ratified by the First Presidency or Quorum of the Twelve can check to see if there are any issues. Further if an individual commits some sins then these become annotated permantly on your membership record. An example here is being involved in child abuse or pornography. This means that you cannot have callings with children.
How far then does forgiveness go?
Are there cases when this type of policy is justifiable? If so which?
If we believe in true repentance why does the Church need to check their past, presumably because they want to see if they are likely to do something again in the future? Is this faulty reasoning?