Here’s a partial response to the Association assignment. I was rereading parts of We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Volume II, and noticed Mrs. Eddy’s letter that’s quoted by Septimus Hanna. In this letter she refers to the idea of including notes on the history of the church in the Manual.
She writes (in part): “The idea pleased me, and I procured for you my vision of years bygone. This morning I am turned backward, and taught by God to let the dead bury the dead and have no resurrection until the last trumpet shall sound. By this I mean I have been led to see that now is not the time to recapitulate the Church history. The field is far from fit for this harvest. I was sensible the church history could not be given in full without doing much harm. ‘Blessed are the peace makers.’ Where no tale-bearer is, the strife ceaseth” (WKMBE, p. 253).
Later in this letter Mrs. Eddy says: “My present impressions are that Christian Scientists are making material history and evil altogether too real. The Science teaches that those have no reality whatever” (WKMBE, p. 254).
As someone who has been close to The Mother Church for the last three decades, this speaks to me. A lot has happened in the Movement during this time, and some feel that it’s important for members to be aware of the details of our recent history and learn from them. This seems logical at first, and apparently it did at first to Mrs. Eddy, too.
But Mrs. Eddy’s second thought has so much healing to it. There’s a sense of Love mothering the church—of divine government. I am so grateful for this.
This guidance gives me so much hope. It reassures me that our church doesn’t have to diligently sort through past limitations or mistakes or personalities. The church isn’t stuck in self. The decision to not pursue material history isn’t a decision in favor of ignorance, but for reality, and the alertness of spiritual sense. I love Mrs. Eddy’s leadership here.