My Top Two Favorite Aspects of Mormonism

1. Priesthood for all.  The idea that the power and authority to perform ordinances resides not only with clergy, but with all lay members of the church.  The ability of family members to perform ordinances for each other instead of only allowing clergy to perform the ordinances is very attractive.  Yes, my enthusiasm is tempered somewhat by past restrictions based on race and current restrictions based on gender, “worthiness,” and office.  Even so, the ability for ordinary members of the church to participate in symbolic rituals with each other without any special training, schooling, or abilities is truly marvelous.

2. Emphasis on personal revelation.  I consider this the founding principle of Mormonism and the most important teaching of the modern Church.  Before gold plates, before Moroni, before the Book of Mormon, before the titles of prophet, seer, & revelator, before starting a church, before priesthoods, before ordinances, was the basic tenet that God speaks to us as individuals.  Scriptures are a blessing, but receiveing inspiration directly from God is divine.  Nothing taught by any individual, institution, or book can trump what God reveals to us directly.

6 comments to My Top Two Favorite Aspects of Mormonism

  • I thought about it for a minute to see if I could think of a better top two, and I really can't. Those are pretty good.

  • Andy, thanks for the backup. WOOT.

  • I am in agreeance with Andy. Pretty good top two that cover some VERY important aspects of the gospel.

  • Ronald H.

    Gotta disagree. It's not an emphasis of personal revelation; it's an emphasis on personal revelation that agrees with what the church teaches.

    Any Bishop who has ever had a revelation for a counselor, or a teacher, to call, only to be denied because the Stake President had a higher revelation (that's what he called it) that the person should stay in a stake calling, knows what I'm talking about.

  • Ronald, I think your point is valid, but the example you've given was poor, I think. A Bishop choosing counselors or callings is not an example of personal revelation. By definition, that's revelation for the institutional church – revelation given (or not given as the case may be) based on a persons current position in the church, and that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about revelation for me & nobody else.

    But you are definitely correct that we tend to discount (if not outright reject) claims of personal revelation if they contradict common church teachings. This is a problem, for sure. But I like to separate those into two separate & distinct church teachings:
    1. members are encouraged to seek personal revelation & guidance.
    2. all personal revelation must conform with current church teachings.

    #1 is one of my favorite aspects of Mormonism. #2 is one of my least favorite aspects of Mormonism.