Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mysteries of the kingdom

I do not consider myself "old," but I have lived enough life to have seen a thing or two. In fact, I've seen enough to know and accept that I do not know everything. That does not mean it does not frustrate or needle me from time to time. I recently had a number of things happen which brought to the forefront some things I do not know.

In the context of my religion, things I do not know often fall under the realm of "mysteries of the kingdom." A lot of these things are really obscure and are often fodder for those who seek to discredit the church. When things fall into that category I might initially raise my eyebrows a bit, but in the end I find a way to make peace with it.

I feel the more interesting category surfaces only when an individual really understands and believes the gospel. As of right now I have three items in that category:

  1. Priesthood keys play a central role in the restoration, ministration, and administration of the LDS church, but what does that actually mean? What do keys give a person that the Priesthood or faith do not? Why don't all leadership roles in the church hold keys? Why do the ones that do hold keys need them? How does one exercise keys (as opposed to other forms of church leadership)?
  2. One of the recent triggering events I mentioned earlier was a blog post describing how Mormons don't understand the Atonement. I implies a very liberal and generous view, full of good feelings for everybody. That approach seems to get preached often in the church these days. How does that reconcile with the straight & narrow, gnashing of teeth, and all the other things which indicate a more narrow view?
  3. Elder Neal A Maxwell pointed out that the only thing we can really give God is our agency. That makes sense because He gives us everything. The problem then becomes one of destination. Consider the council in heaven. Heavenly Father presented a plan where we would come down to earth to learn how to be like him, and the way we would do that would be to subjugate the natural man and our will to the will of the Father. Then Satan got up and said that he'd take away our will and make us do the right thing. Success in either plan means giving up our will. A bit of a paradox.

At this point I don't really expect any satisfying answers for these three items. Then again, maybe something said in General Conference this weekend will address part of one of these.