Recently I had occasion to speak with an elder I hadn't seen in a while. (Although I've been out for twenty years now, my wife and some of my children are still locked within the org's tender embrace, which led to my happening to encounter him and our resultant conversation.) He's someone I consider a really good guy at heart, truly caring and sincerely working at being a good shepherd as he sees it.
In thinking about him afterwards, it occurred to me that since he is also wholly devoted to the organization, he would feel obliged to enforce the org's rule in the congregation without regard for any "collateral damage" or for what the average unaffiliated (i.e. "worldly") person would consider the justice of a situation. However, I found myself wondering if he would, nonetheless, ever be troubled by any suffering or injustice that resulted from some judicial action he felt compelled to take.
So my question is, how do good elders feel about enforcing shunning on people who merely want to leave with honor and maintain family relationships, or disfellowshiping and demonizing honest doubters as apostates, or telling victims they must remain with victimizing spouses or parents, or hushing up crimes they personally believe to have been committed but for which there are not the requisite two witnesses, and so forth? It seems to me that good people (and I believe from personal experience that many elders are good people) would feel very troubled in such circumstances. But perhaps I'm wrong -- never having been an elder myself. Does the organizational sanction and their devotion to "keeping the congregation clean" perhaps protect them from ever having troubled consciences?
(BTW, this is not of solely hypothetical interest as, depending upon how some things work out, I could possibly be on the receiving end of some unwelcome elderly attention in the not too distant future.)