Frodo wants to save Gollum. He empathizes with Gollum… Because Frodo struggles against a similar burden, Frodo wants to believe that Gollum can be redeemed, because if Gollum can be redeemed then Frodo can, if he slips into a similar state.
In this way we often want to save the broken around us, we want to believe they can be healed, because we want to believe we can be healed.
I want my mom to be healed. I know she suffered allot of the same abuses I suffered from my dad. Parts of my still feels imprisoned that my mother is not healed. I want to believe that she can be healed, because I feel connected to her, I feel connected to the abuse she suffers. If she can heal then it would be evidence that I can heal. I feel and understand her pain. I reflect myself onto her.
But sometimes we want the great villains to be healed. Not because we see the seed of becoming a great villain in ourselves, but because we want to believe in the right winning. In the LDS community there is a common statement that everyone can be healed by the atonement. But my question is will everyone choose to be healed? I feel the church states this in order to inspire those who want to be healed, to have faith in the atonement and the process of healing. I do not feel they state this in order to give credence to the goodness of the person that does not want to be healed.
Gollum did not want to be healed, he just wanted the ring. He was too far gone. Pedophiles that are too far gone challenge the feel-good phrases of “everyone can be healed.” But the facts are evil is evil, bad is bad.. and sometimes there are people who are so far gone, who are so bad, they don’t want to be healed. This is an easy enough concept to be understood when the ones who are being bad are being rebellious and staying as far away from good, and the signs of doing good. But what do we do, when someone so evil, someone who does not want to be good, pretends to be good. The scriptures speak all the time of the devil and his deceptions. They speak of the power evil has to look good. And yet, when we have evil amongst us parading as good, what do we do? Do we sympathizes with Gollum, all the while he is leading us into a trap? Or do we wake up, and see the lies for what they are, do we see the wolf in sheep’s clothing?
It would be easy to believe a person was evil, if they looked crumpled as Gollum does… But what if the evil you should be so afraid of, is standing next to you looking like any other honest John, actually looking better then your average honest John, actually looking like he is the most trustworthy? What do you do then? Do you admit that the calculating pedophile is deceiving you and everyone around you? Or do you follow Gollum as he leads you and everyone around into a trap?