Relationships and Doughnuts

How many of you have seen the statue of Joseph and Emma outside the Visitor’s Center at the LA Temple? How many have seen the statue in the LDS Church Museum in Salt Lake City, of Joseph and Oliver being ordained by Peter, James, and John?

Go see either statue next time you get the chance. Try to notice the looks that pass between “Joseph” and “Emma” in Los Angeles and “Joseph” and “John” in Salt Lake City. Then try to imagine one figure without the other. You can’t.

In both statues the sculptor has shown a special chemistry passing between the two figures. The chemistry is not present with either figure standing alone, but can only been seen when both figures are present.

Another word for this “chemistry” is “relationship”. The essence of this relationship is not something inherent in either figure but is a certain something which passes between them. Therefore, to fully appreciate the full statue, you must not only look at each figure, but also at the air between them. In other words, sometimes we are so busy looking at the doughnut that we forget about the hole, which in reality, is what makes an ordinary bun into a doughnut.

So it is with us as people. When two or more persons are joined together in any kind of relationship (loving relationship, priesthood quorum, Church membership, teacher/student, or business partner), a third entity is created; and that entity is called a relationship.

If you stop and think about it, the Gospel of the Kingdom is really concerned with establishing relationships. We are taught that the “fullness of the Gospel” in contained in the ordinances, which embrace and further the “new and everlasting covenant”. What is a covenant if it is not an agreement or form of relationship between two or more people? For example, there is the “new and everlasting covenant of marriage” mentioned in D&C 132, and the covenant entered into by members of the School of the Prophets (D&C 88:133).

If seen in its proper perspective, the Gospel is nothing more than a system designed to develop and further eternal relationships: between man and God, between man and man, and between gods. This is something we need to teach in this Church. Think about this: the Godhead is composed of three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. If we understand the Gospel correctly, we should not only worship the three Beings and become like Them, but we should also worship the relationship that they have between them and seek to become one with one another even as They are One.

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