September 7, 2009

On Milk and Meat

A classic response to each of my concerns about the Church's leaders and doctrine is that the answers are so far beyond our capability of understanding at this point, that... well, I'm not sure exactly. Will my brain explode if I hear the ultimate answer? That's never been very clear to me; why am I incapable of understanding principles of plural marriage, why God commanded The Bretheren to deny priesthood blessings to people of African descent, etc.? D&C 19:22 states that I would perish if I knew the answers. So does that mean I am wrong to ask? I shouldn't wonder about these things?

A phrase often used is that milk comes before meat (see 1 Cor. 3:2; Hebrews 5:12). I like this metaphor because it applies to so much. To understand complicated things, one must first understand the building blocks and fundamentals. In an introductory statistics class, one does not start out with multiple regression; it begins with some vocabulary and a few t-tests. Even before that, algebra is required: before that, simple math.

I suppose the red flag with the Church is that nobody seems to know. You don't get to the meat in this life. Whereas in that statistics class they tell you what week you're going to learn about multiple regression (it's printed right there on the syllabus, and if you have some pressing questions, you can read books on it or sit down with the professor until it slowly begins to make sense), in the Church, not even the prophet himself has answers (source). Members and investigators are never told by teachers and leaders that there was even a problem so complex that no one on Earth knows the answer. I suppose it's possible that Thomas Monson knows the answer now, but can't tell anyone else because it would blow our minds. I say, "Try me." If I perish because I know why God denied blessings to people based on skin color, I'll perish. If the alternative is to blindly accept such a huge flaw, I'll risk my life. But it seems to me that it would go the other way. If I understood why God would do such a thing and it would be justified, I think a whole lot of other things would fall into place with my understanding.

So how much milk does a person have to suck down before realizing that the meat probably isn't coming?

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