The Shotgun Marriage of Psychological Therapy and the Gospel of Repentance

A. D. Sorensen introduces the topic and purpose of his article thusly: “When Elder Neal Maxwell gave the inaugural address that opened this Gospel and Behaviorial Science Conference, I thought he suggested that behavioral science might do well to court the gospel under, of course, the puritanical eyes of proper chaperones. Now I felt that it was about time someone should make this suggestion, since I had seen the two brought together at times quite compromisingly. But then, when Dr. Allen Bergin arose and praised Elder Maxwell’s remarks as he did, I received the distinct impression that the courtship had already occurred, that the gospel and behavioral science, or at least the gospel and psychology, had actually been married.

I would like to raise three questions about the union of psychology and the gospel and then discuss briefly why they concern me. The questions are (1) Can psychological therapies serve as means to gospel ends? (2) Can psychological and gospel concepts and principles be integrated to engineer a more effective process of personal growth? (3) Can a unique therapeutic psychology be built within a gospel framework?”

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