… a key to a locked gate in a heavenly kingdom.

How about an inquiry into the degree revelations and theology connected to the LDS Church are perceived literally?

Although no theologian, no ancient or modern prophet or spiritual leader has established that the kingdom of God is anywhere but within, many, including Joseph Smith have prophetically expressed details about God and Heaven that in the 19th century came forth to hearers inclined to take such declarations literally and without question.

It is taken on faith in many more than just the Salt Lake Mormon Church that God is a detail-oriented monarch obsessed with record keeping and procedural liability regarding rituals and ordinances performed correctly and by authority.

It is taken on faith in most of these same organized religions that membership in and conformity with one’s particular organized unit of society is the freeway entrance of the express lane to God; or a key to a locked gate in a heavenly kingdom.

Fundamentalist Christians, including most Mormons, perceptually accept that there  is no difference between the Church and the above claims … and live their lives by that assumption.

What might the most important element of any religion be?

It can be whatever it needs be, Mormon, Catholic, Protestant, non-Christian, non-deistic, agnostic … so long as the yearning and labor bears fruit.

I suggest that the answer to that question is the element that informs and constantly nourishes the spirit … the life outlook that sustains a sense of connection and constant communion between soul and God.

The rest is two thousand years of theological speculation and guesswork.

Faith can be based on assumption rather than factual knowledge and still work … so long as one acts in honesty with an acknowledgment that one’s faith is assumption-based.

This idea comes to me often whenever I hear someone declare with total conviction that they “know” something that is not necessarily “knowable” nor needful as a significant reason for belief.

I would measure the truthfulness of a religion in how it creates a humanly perceivable physical and/or spiritual result that is consistent with what it claims, promises or declares to be absolute.