Three men are sitting in a cell at KGB headquarters in Dzerzhinsky Square.
The first man asks the second why he has been imprisoned, who replies, "Because I criticized Karl Radek."
The first man responds, "But I am here because I spoke out in favor of Radek!"
They turn to the third man who has been sitting quietly in the back, and ask him why he is in jail.
He answers, "I'm Karl Radek."
"K" is for "Kremlin"
The Kremlin (or Кремль, for our Russian-speaking friends) lies at the center of Moscow.
What does the word "Kremlin" mean? "Fortress inside a city."
The Kremlin is a both a place and a symbol. It is the seat of power, sitting separate from the city, surrounded by a massive wall, from which the leaders rule.
It looks down upon the Red Square.
"K" is for "Krooked"
1968. Red Square, Russia.
1989. Tiananmen Square, China.
2015. Temple Square, United States.
In Masonry, the "square" is a symbol. It is the joining of two perfect "right angles."
Imagine constructing a building with defective tools, where the carpenter's square was actually not square. How would the building look? Would it stand securely?
And what would happen to the structure―or, in other words, to a civil government or church government―if we used squares that were not, in fact, square?
For example, what would happen if we took Jesus's gospel of liberty and agency and squished it into rules and legalism, administered to please the pride of Judaizers?
Now that's twisted.
Ezekiel warned the leaders of his day about twisting religion, using it for profit and vainglory. He reminded them:
The posts of the temple were squared, and [also] the face of the sanctuary.
"K" is for "Kompass"
The "compass" is also a symbol, representing direction and guidance.
In architecture, a compass allows one to draw a perfect circle.
God walks the Eternal Round:
The mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, [notice: not by leaders] as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.
(1 Nephi 10:19)
The straight and narrow path, when combined with the fourth dimension, represents the path walked by God, who is the same "yesterday, today, and forever."
"K" is for Kristian"
Authoritarian regimes repress freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and freedom to act. If you speak unkindly of Xi Jinging, for example, you are quietly "disappeared."
The goal of authoritarian regimes is to preserve the ideological orthodoxy of the current ruling class. (Notice that if the ruling class changes, so may the state-sanctioned views.)
Too bad: where is our anchor if we are tossed to and fro by the changing views of others above us, whose positions jump around as much as a fashionista's hemline?
Can there be an authentic orthodoxy when the orthodoxy du jour is subject to change based on the preferences of those who are in authority?
Why would Christians put up with this, when Christ is their anchor, and when Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever? Why do Christians permit a revolving political correctness when the gospel has not changed, and yet what was "safe" yesterday may lead to our shunning today?
The lesson? Experience shows the most important thing is to always stay in lockstep with the the current leadership.
Or else, to the gulag with 'ya.
Well, if we send some of our brightest, most faithful, loving members to the gulag (meaning, casting them out of our congregations), what are we left with?
An impoverished community of lackeys. (You know, because they "lack keys.")
In an authoritarian church, it seems to preclude people from authentic belief and expression of faith because they must virtue signal their support of the current leadership's views above all else.
Those who wish to be authentic―that is to say, unorthodox or heterodox―are viewed as being disloyal to the current regime, and risk marginalization or excommunication from the Party.
For example, Jesus was viewed by the Jewish leaders as an unorthodox teacher. His criticism of the hierarchy provoked them to arrest him, hoping to silence Him.
In Soviet Russia, Stalin made an artform of accusing his opponents of being "enemies of the people." Once labeled, Stalin was able to imprison them, expel them, confiscate their property, or even execute them.
Why do we submit to authoritarians? Why do we give them power over us when the Lord called us to love one other, not to love authority?
"K" is for Spiritual "Kommunism"
How could the Church, which was so vocal in its denouncement of communism, come to embrace its authoritarian aspects? Its centralization of power in a select few? How did the gospel come to be governed by an oligarchy?
Verily, verily, I say unto you, how could the Church, which was so vocal in its denouncement of communism, come to embrace its authoritarian aspects?
David O. McKay:
The position of this Church on the subject of Communism has never changed. We consider it the greatest satanical threat to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God's work among men that exists on the face of the earth.
(Improvement Era, June 1966)
When did the Church's position change?
Well, in the 1960s and 1970s.
"K" is for "Korrelation"
The King is dead! Long live the King!
Correlation killed common consent (which was already on life support).
1. What was Correlation supposed to accomplish?
Just ONE thing: David O. McKay wanted to improve and coordinate the Church's study material. Yes, that's right: Correlation was, originally, just a plan to write some class work.
2. What did Correlation become?
Correlation resulted in the creation of a Creedal Orthodoxy for the Church. Which had not existed before. (Think of the Correlation Committee as the Mormon version of a perpetually-convoked-Nicaean Council.)
3. Did Correlation overthrow the Government of God?
Hmmm. I think I'll defer to President David O. McKay to answer this question.
In President David O. McKay's personal diary, he recorded:
"Correlation work affects primarily the duplication of courses of study; and that it should not affect the organization of the Church."
Further, President McKay said that Correlation:
"should be handled very carefully or it will get out of hand . . . . The Correlation Program must be carefully checked."
[For these references and some fun reading about the history of Correlation, see, Dissertation of Daymon M. Smith, 2007, "The Last Shall Be First and the First Shall be Last: Discourse and Mormon History," pp. 433, 438; accessed at: https://bycommonconsent.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/daymon-smith-dissertation.pdf
So, was Correlation "checked?" Did Correlation "get out of hand?" Did Correlation "affect the organization of the Church?"
You be the judge.
"K" is for "Kommon Konsent"
There are three definitions of "litter." Which use of "litter" best describes the gospel plan?
1. Litter: A covered couch or seat carried by others.
[Did Christ call us to be carried about on the shoulders of servants like a Pharaoh?];
2. Litter: Trash or garbage left in a public place.
[Which may qualify for a good amount of our sermonizing]; or
3. Litter: The offspring of an animal.
[Are we the children of the Lion of Judah?]
If we call ourselves His people, why don't we live His commandment to do all things by "common consent?"
Why have we instead embraced authoritarianism and Creedal Orthodoxy?
The Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.