In my last post, “‘Go’ is enough”, I talked about the awesome “word of power” of Jesus Christ. The idea behind it is huge and I hope you’ll see the big picture with me.
In Mormonism, priesthood isn’t a product of God. Rather, God himself is a product of the priesthood.
In Mormonism, priesthood is bigger than God himself: it is the system under which the genealogy of the Gods are governed and ordered and enabled.
But if God is actually and absolutely ultimate, then it doesn’t make sense to think of him beholden to a priesthood system greater than himself. It makes more sense for God to show that he can operate with effortless, raw power. With ultimate authority. With the flick of a finger. Or with, as Hebrews puts it, the “word of his power.” (1:3)
God creates, sustains, heals, exorcises (casts out spirits), forgives, renames, resurrects, authorizes, and commissions ultimately by the effortless, raw “word of his power”. Always consistent with his own character, but never beholden to a system bigger than himself.
This has implications for how we view forgiveness, the work of the Holy Spirit, the work of the local church, the preaching of the gospel — everything. It also puts the focus rightly on belief: belief in the word of God himself. Belief in the power and the person and the promises of Jesus Christ.
The issue of grace can be understood as a set of dichotomies: Earning God’s favor vs. receiving God’s free favor. Us reaching up to God vs. God reaching down to us. Us working to please God vs. God working to save men. The need for man to atone for his own sins vs. the finished work of Jesus on the cross. These dichotomies are all powerful and proper. I think it’s also helpful to think about grace as a simple issue of authority:
Does Jesus Christ have the authority, with the words of his mouth, to immediately forgive your sins?
This is liberating. You have zero good reasons to be afraid of any religious system that would keep you from this freedom.