Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Letter to Sister Br----

Tuesday, Sept 9, 2014

Dear Sister Br-----,

Hi! Congrats on getting your visa! I hope things are going well and that you're liking your companion.

I just recently left Wicresoft to come back to Microsoft. As part of having joined a new company, I've been doing a bunch of corporate training, and when I was doing my Legal 101 Training, the section on contracts struck me. Paraphrasing, "If you are in a position to sign a contract for Microsoft, it is important to know what agreements you are authorized to make, and which entities within Microsoft you are authorized to sign for." It seems to me that these concepts correspond in interesting ways to priesthood keys and priesthood stewardships, respectively. (Although technically, stewardships are actually a part of keys--a stake president has the keys for his stake. But you know what I mean.) Additionally, there are those who fulfill contracts which have been signed on the company's behalf--priesthood assignments from those who hold keys. The analogy isn't perfect, but I really do think it is useful to think of ordinances and the priesthood as a form of contract law.

As an aside, can I share a personal opinion with you? It seems to me that the temple endowment is pretty blunt about whom a priestess speaks for, in eternity, and it isn't her father. One thing that blows my mind about the whole Ordain Women movement (which has largely gone quiescent) is that they are seeking ordination to the wrong priesthood. (Of course, seeking ordination to the "right" priesthoods wouldn't make any sense right now either because those don't exist yet.)

Have you ever noticed how the sacrament, when it's covered, looks a lot like a body under a burial shroud? I'm sure that's on purpose. What do you think the difference is between the bread and the water? Here's what I think: blood is associated with mortality (Lev 17:14, Deut 12:23, and the fact that resurrected being have no blood). When I take the sacrament, I think of different things on different days (sometimes by drinking to the dregs I am covenanting to finish all of mortality, even the parts I hate because Earth life is stupid--like ninety-plus years of middle school) but most commonly the water (BTW wine is red like blood) reminds me that there is a price for sin, but that price has been paid, and that I can move forward and leave the past behind. I also think it is symbolically important that this happens AFTER I have just covenanted to take upon me the nature of Christ (bread = flesh, and "you are what you eat") in a covenant which is NOT tied to the mortal flesh but to "always" and eternity. ("That they may always have his Spirit to be with them" is not in the blessing on the water. Maybe I'm reading too much into that omission but it fits doctrinally: in eternity there is no blood, only flesh and bone, so the covenant of the blood doesn't concern itself with always and forever, only now. "That they do always remember him" is therefore an "always" meaning "continually," not "of infinite duration.")

One of my favorite things about dying is going to be when I talk to someone who actually KNOWS everything and ask, "So, which of these things [i.e. doctrines] did I get right? At least partially?" I remember how pleased I was one day when I discovered that President Joseph F. Smith shared my aversion to raffles, on the same grounds that I dislike them: gambling is the hope of getting something for nothing, and also taking without giving. I remember one time in high school how a girl I know was selling raffles for the school volleyball team; I bought some to support the cause, but she was quite shocked when I told her to keep the tickets. I hope she got something nice out of them.

Hope you're doing well!


Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.
Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not Honor more.

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