At Church yesterday Sunday School was on Priesthood and and Rs/Ph was on Charity. Juxtaposing these two made me realize that here we have two all-important doctrines. Nothing matters without the proper priesthood and without charity, you are nothing.
In many ways, these two facts seem contradictory.
As my favorite sociologist said in elders quorum in response to Peter ("And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."), the emphasis on charity shows that life is not a game of Operation with strict rules and if you touch the sides then BZZZZZT! you're out. That's not the way God rolls.
I agree with this. It's charity that matters. Charity burns away sins in the sense that when we have charity we are less likely to commit them, but in our continued imperfection, as Peter said, charity can also cover them up.
(Charity, it's worth mentioning, is the pure love of Christ). I suspect that as we develop it ourselves, we are able to tap more directly into the Atonement. But this is just a speculative aside.)
So back to priesthood, which seems more exclusive as we Mormon generally speak of it. But is that perspective correct? Yes. And no.
God loves all his children and wants them to have it all. And priesthood is God's power. And wouldn't he use his power to these ends?
And so while the god of Mormon belief is a bit strict on his ordinances, it's not BZZZT! you're out. This is why we're so big on proxy ordinances. It's about love and expansion of that love and giving the gifts of God to all. (Or, more accurately, offering the gifts of God to all. We're not big on making anyone do anything.)
Okay, I need to get on with my day. Please clarify my thoughts for me in the comments.