A little thought about what you said. There is a talk by Elder Eyring I have always thought about but I am too lazy to find it right now. He makes the comment that his Dad taught him that when you meet someone, presume the are in trouble and have problems. If you do that, more than 50% of the time you will be right. I think that is true in life, and more particularly with religion. Even members of the church!
I believe it was President Kimball that said that while the mission of the church was broken down (he had recently broken the mission of the church into the current three fold mission of proclaiming, perfecting, and redeeming), they were still essentially the same thing, that of missionary work.
You made the comment about showing afterward an increase of love. I completely agree. But I think many people interpret that is the touchy feely aspect. Don’t forget, we will warn sharply and directly if it is true love. The more serious the nature of the offense, the more direct and clear my parents were on setting me on the proper course. Faithlessness is not to be tolerated. This is so much more the case when they are demeaning the case. An endowed member can be excommunicated for such action. While it seems harsh, that is entirely for the good of the person. By removing them from the covenant, it removes some of the punishment and provides them an opportunity to start afresh. Excommunication is out of love and only for that purpose. It is so sad that some wards used to ostracize members when they were excommunicated. That was not the purpose. It is part of the repentance process. Brad, obedience to the Spirit to be direct and what you perceive as harsh is a sign of love. But you are to back it up with confidence and up building after you have had to do a royal stripping. Love and charity is cleaning up the old wreck of a home, gutting everything that is worthless, and then doing the rebuilding. There is no sympathy is kicking out the rodents and ripping out the useless garbage and burning it on the pile. But then can the beautiful parts of the work begin. We can tear down and gut, but it is then our job to rebuild. It is not enough to break a leg so it can heal properly, but to set it and help it heal. Do you see my point? Some things do need gentle coaxing to correct. Some things need a good slam to help them. You grew up with cows. You know well my point. You don’t use the shocker if you don’t have to.
Your comments on D&C 112 were most fascinating. Thanks for pointing out the scripture on tribulation what would come upon the twelve. Even they were warned it was coming. Do you remember that as a missionary? I remember sometimes I even warned investigators and new converts to expect difficulty to come. They would be tried.