Some want to know why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints behaves in the way it does and why it accepts some behaviors and not others. In the strange climate of belief that Christ covers all behavior in his never-ending shroud of love, it can be hard to see why a church that considers itself the only organization actually created and led by Christ acts in certain ways.
Actually, I think the actions of the Church of Jesus Christ can be readily understood and perhaps even predicted by an understanding of the "Agenda of God", which goes something like this:
- to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through Joseph Smith;
- to provide authoritative ordinances;
- to administer God's covenants; and
- to preach obedience and righteousness that lead people to exaltation.
The goal of Christ and his Church is exaltation, the life that God enjoys. The conditions of exaltation are readily known: entering and keeping the temple covenant sealing together of a man and a woman, alongside righteous living. Anything that detracts from the goal of exaltation is condemned and a change of heart and behavior toward exaltation (which is repentence) is enthroned.
God's agenda can be encapsulated like this, from Moses 1:39
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
When anyone is quick to question why Christ and his Church function as they do, I think it is useful to remember the individual exaltation ("eternal life" from the scripture above) that Christ is charged by his Father to make possible for us and toward which Christ commands us. To expect the Church to bend to cultural or societal demands that are counter to the "Agenda of God" is to expect Christ to abandon his mission and God to ignore his goal.
In coming articles, I will place some controversial topics against the Agenda of God and comment on what I expect will be Christ's likely attitude toward them.