With all the bailout talks and people going into foreclosure I have noticed a negative view on Bankruptcy. While I am not endorsing it, and I am well aware of all the drawbacks that come from it, I started to wonder if there was a way of looking at bankruptcy in a positive light, or with some kind of spiritual parallel.
Bankruptcy either gives a person or entity the opportunity to restructure and realign what is obviously not going right financially, or there is the bankruptcy where the individual or entity can seek to wipe clean their slate regardless of what went wrong prior to filing. I am no lawyer, like our friend Iguana Montana of the Legally Bankrupt blog, so I can't say for sure, but Bankruptcy has the air of being a temporal repentance that perhaps we as Latter-Day Saints should be more understanding of.
With baptism, there is a wiping clean of our previous life and the starting of a new life. With regular repentance through priesthood authority or individually, we are able to take our mistakes and have them be 'forgotten' of the Lord and reform our lives appropriately. As with sin, it is of course better to not have need for such things as bankruptcy or repentance in the first place, but have we not all been commanded to be baptized? Has there always been a need for this kind of renewal in other aspects of our life? Why not in temporal matters?
I see repentance as part of our learning process. Some people need excommunication as a way of coming back into the fold in the right way. To deny someone repentance would be a serious abuse of the power of the atonement and the suffering of Christ. So to take away the chance for the auto industry, or the financial industry to go bankrupt, to learn from their mistakes, we are doing a serious disservice to the future of this country and to the industry itself. There will be other slow economic times, just like there will be times where we will sin. The need to suffer to some degree for mistakes of the past is healthy and part of God's plan; part of becoming perfect. Where there is no punishment, there is no reason to reform and improve. In fact taking away bankruptcy would be like taking away an individuals chance to repent or be baptized. In like manner you can't be excommunicated more than once and still be admitted back into the kingdom, so it should be with bankruptcy. In this way, such mercy would not be abused. We should not allow justice to rob mercy and vice versa even in temporal matter. In fact it was Christ who taught to forgive debts was it not?