It is December 1847, and Brigham Young is throwing a temper tantrum in the company of the other members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. It has been three years since the murder of Joseph Smith, the first President of the Mormon Church, and Young believes it is high time the Quorum reconstitute the First Presidency with Young, to use his words, as “King” of the Quorum with the power to rule “perfectly untrammeled.”
Unsurprisingly, several members of the Quorum of the Twelve have reservations about Young’s proposal. They prefer to govern the church together, collectively holding the keys of the kingdom, while permitting Young to act as the church’s spokesman.
Mormons pride themselves on being “a temple-building” people. Yet we often miss, or fail to comprehend, numerous references to temples throughout the Old and New Testaments. Indeed, a compelling argument can be made that much of the Bible is one long meditation on the subject of sacred space. And it begins at the beginning.
Contrary to popular belief, the creation story in Genesis does not purport to explain the origins of the universe; nor is it a literal description of how our world came to be. Rather, it is an account of the transformation of the material cosmos, which had evolved over eons, into a place where God can interact with his children.
Human beings and virtually all animals possess exceptional navigation skills. Monarch butterflies, for example, fly south to Mexico for the winter and then return north in the spring, traversing some 2,500 miles. The travel time is so great it eclipses multiple lifespans. It is the great-grandchildren of these fragile, winged creatures who complete the journey. But how do the newborn know where they’re going? This is a mystery science has yet to unravel.