Restoration, a singularity.
When I was a missionary in Valladolid, Spain, my companion Elder Drake C. Barborka and I taught Mr. Arranz. This man lived in a central and stately flat in the heart of the capital. He received us with interest and kindness. His demeanor was aristocratic. His house oozed history and an elaborated taste in its decoration.
He often welcomed us in a housecoat. It was a quilted garment and embroidered with great detail, its workmanship was exquisite. His conversation was polite and enriched with the perfect Castilian of that land. I was impressed in that environment. We were young and inexperienced.
One afternoon at his house, Mr. Arranz’s convoluted reasoning disarranged our entire message. As much as we tried to highlight the restoration of the gospel, he brought it back into line with other religions. There was nothing new in what we taught. While he expressed himself politely and reasonably, however, I did not know how to get out of that stalled conversation.
Then, like a blast in my mind, I remembered something that taught us a seventy, Elder Paramore: Restoration comes with facts not opinions.
And facts can be of two kinds:
There’s no more.
A big difference
At that time all the pieces fitted together. I took this simple idea and grabbed it like a castaway on a floating board, I went to our host observing this premise and he agreed with it. Then I began to review the facts that the restoration proclaims. The first vision, The Book of Mormon, the restoration of the priesthood… We agreed that these events are a statement of facts not of doctrinal opinions. I invited him to introduce me to similar events in other beliefs. The three of us (I learned as we spoke) realized that our message had only two possibilities. It was either true or it was a lie. It did not enter into the subjective realm of the opinionable but into the “juridical” realm of establishing facts. There is a big difference.
The key lock
In order to better understand the life and growth of the restored church, it is useful to know this very same in cell life.
The chemical reactions that occur in our cells need to occur quickly to sustain life. The enzymes work on molecules called substrates. These are attached to the active site of the enzyme.
If the form of the active site is equal to that of the substrate the reaction is fast. Thanks to this mechanism called key-lock, for example, the digestion of food is achieved.
If, for example, we have a deficit of an enzyme called lactase, we will have lactose intolerance, that is, difficulties in digesting cow’s milk. This keylock mechanism shows that without the coincidence of both enzyme and substrate, in one place and at the same time, cellular life is not possible.
In the same way, the keys of the priesthood fit naturally into the substratum of the faith of the saints. From that union, which takes place in the space and time of restoration, comes all the variety of fruits that we observe.
These keys were handed over on April 3, 1836 at the Kirtland temple. On that day, three heavenly messengers, Moses, Elijah and Elijah the prophet, gave Joseph Smith the keys of the kingdom.
Until that time the church had the priesthood, and therefore “the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.” (D&C 84:19) but they did not yet have “the keys of this dispensation” (D&C 110:16) dispensation whose horizon of events always goes before the church.
The fruits of the key-lock model
When the Savior says “by their fruits ye shall know them,” He is pointing to their achievements. No church or group can perform these necessary operations for this life and for eternal life without those keys or “heavenly enzymes. These processes are… “things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.” (D&C 76:10). For to conceive the vicarious work or the ordinances of the temple two keys are necessary. That of knowledge to conceive, and those of the priesthood to accomplish. Does the reader know a single place where even such things have been conceived?
Those keys of knowledge, prior to those received in Kirtland, were not sufficient for the last and principal mission of this dispensation. The recollection of Israel, the power of sealing and vicarious work. They were necessary, the latter, to be able to act in new spaces… “For this ordinance belongeth to my house” (D&C 124:30).
The hole in the rock
“Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.” (Isa. 51:1)
Belonging to the House of Israel by covenant, the Lord invites us to appreciate the way we naturally fit into His plan. The relief of the gospel, in its keys, coincides with our intimate lacks and our longings. The fear of death, the uncertainty of the future, the meaning of life, our desire to transcend.
That intact lock of the soul was cut by his hand and fits impeccably with the keys of this dispensation. In the face of death and uncertainty, the relief of the vicarious work. Before life and its meaning, the prosperity sealed in the family beyond the visible. In the dissolution of cultures and of the investiture of ages, recollection in the House of Israel.
For many the “digestion” of this life sometimes becomes impossible. The necessary hope and faith (that indispensable enzyme) becomes difficult to find. Without the keys of this dispensation there would be no doctrine or knowledge to compensate for this universal lack. That is why the Gospel is here again “That faith also might increase in the earth” (D&C 1;21), but the world will reject it again.
It is facts like Kirtland’s that generate doctrine in restoration. It is the impeccable authority of the facts. Without that visit to Kirtland and the entrusted power, the church would have only keys of knowledge. That is why they came to Ohio in 1836 “To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse”
Let us remember the parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” (Matt. 13:33) That third key, given by Elijah the prophet, is leavening the whole mass of mankind, name by name, billions. The facts prove capable of surpassing what was imagined at the beginning.
The fractal gospel.
The geometry of the restored gospel is confused with the shape of its church. But this is only a narrow path and a visible support for “the Almighty from pouring down knowledgefrom heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.”(D&C 121:33) That is why the Church diminishes as it accompanies us to “shoe’s latchet… to unloose” (John 1:27).
Like every hierarchy, our view suggests the direction in which instructions circulate and guides you through his prophet. But even though the church is vital and coincides in its plan, nevertheless ” Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” (Matt. 6:25).
Thus, the saints as we understand the restoration and its keys, we see that, beyond the bar and the path, there is “a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.” (1 Nephi 8:10)
Under this tree we leave behind the broken lines of yesteryear and see the birds of the sky nest in each branch. Our geometry curves until it resembles that of their works. We see the restored keys bloom like Aaron’s rod. In each saint of the last days, the recollection of Israel, the promise of Abraham and the turned heart of his ancestors. We see the tree of God’s love in each branch, and in each leaf the image of its countenance. There is a mirror image of the power of the keys of this dispensation in each member, just as each branch resembles a tree.
And just as in the branch the tree is guessed, from the gifts and the keys received, the great landscape of the restoration is constructed. These keys attract action and imagination like pollen to bees.
The design of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is unique and singular. Mr. Arranz and we began to see it that afternoon. The keys of the priesthood expand their action into the past, present and future. And they knot in the temples, all the loose ends of previous dispensations. “And all things shall become new, that my knowledge and glory may dwell upon all the earth.” (D&C 101:25). Just as many Jews did not recognize the Christ in Jesus. Many do not recognize Christ in the restoration, because He, again, has made all things new. The Christianity of restoration has emerged from the former, closed and mute of words and deeds. Now at the forefront is “the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity” (D&C 38:1), uncontainable, closing an eternal turn.
The gospel that those keys bring us reproduces itself from any of their deeds. It is fractal. Its fullness can be built through the testimony of its members. It replicates and divides itself. With the new instructions we receive we take one foot out to walk like Christ on the waters. But perhaps many of us cling to the old boards.
The keys of knowledge
The keys of the priesthood are different from the keys of knowledge. Priesthood keys favor ordained action. The keys of knowledge reveal truths, not of immediate application, but they generate joy and vision.
The keys of knowledge do not authorize us to act in the name of God. Yet we have been made to feed also on knowledge “For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” (D&C 84:44)
On February 22, 2019, we were in the Institute Class, Barrio de Almeria, Spain. We read D&C 121:26
And then I asked my students:
— To whom will that knowledge never revealed be given?
And now I ask you, dear reader, as if you were in that kind of institute.
— To whom will you give that knowledge never revealed?
Dear reader… to the saints? …to our leaders…to the head of the church?
…To you… yes to you, to you! It’s you, you. Yes, you. You are my friend. Yes my friend you.
Treasures in the skies
We can develop deep truths from personal inspiration as we read the scriptures. But let’s keep one thing in mind: that won’t move a single tooth of the least of the restoration gears. The unfolding of restoration has its own transmission of energy for its development. It comes from the restored keys in Kirtland, currently held by the Quorum of Twelve and administered by Pte, Rusell M. Nelson.But you and I, we can enjoy the husband’s banquet in this last dispensation.and then note that the smallest we find will make us rich. The humblest pearl will be worth more than all our possessions. And we will notice that we will reserve the precious things for not debating. We will see how they are deposited in our mind like Dew from the sky.
That is to make treasures for ourselves in the heavens.
The keys to the priesthood
The administration of the restoration is governed by the authority of the priesthood. Its depth is less than its knowledge but its field of action is broad and affects everyone.
The religious world confuses these two keys. They think that authority comes from knowledge. And it is true in the field of science or business. But in the juridical, which is the nuance of their plan, the greater or lesser knowledge of a citizen or a believer does not give them more or less right. But the adjustment of his conduct to the laws for that reason “that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.” (D&C 88:34)
To supplant the lack of priesthood keys with a demonstration of knowledge is to subvert the principle of legal representation. Joseph Smith made it clear in a letter to the saints, section 128, “…Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the summum bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the Holy Priesthood. For him to whom these keys are given there is no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge…”(11)
El campo blanco del conocimiento
That other field which is that of the knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom, is white and ready for harvest. The Lord says to the saints, “will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom. Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know” For those who seek knowledge, the spirit pours out abundantly and he who gathers more joy will have. But salvation comes by another channel, the narrow path of administration through the keys of the priesthood. In this way all receive from the table for their sustenance.
There are many facts; it remains for the reader to establish their authenticity or falsity. Only the spirit can testify about this. But we declare, that that “power of attorney” endorsed by the facts to represent the Savior and His church has been given to this dispensation.