I was listening to the radio over the weekend and heard some scholarly pundit talking about reformations and how all major world religions go through them occasionally. As one example he suggested Jesus accomplished such a reformation with his central message that spirituality and peace come from the individual and not through an institution (i.e. the Pharisees). Apparently the Sermon on the Mount was a mere footnote to Jesus' larger aspirations to stick it to the man.
When people talk about the divinity of the LDS church, people align predictably according to their testimonies and interpret any measures of institutional success or failure in that context. The faults of the church are attributed to imperfect men (just as in the Book of Mormon) by faithful church members while opponents attribute problems to systemic flaws. Whether the structure, programs, or institutional practices of the church are divine is debatable even within a faithful paradigm. God, it seems to me, doesn't typically micromanage.
Regardless, the very common idea that no institution has a right to stand between me and my God only makes sense if my God agrees. Many Gods, being the invention of their respective believers, don't have any problem with an ad hoc connection and ad hoc salvation. The Mormon God, however, prefers a more orderly approach to salvation. Authority, ordinances, and structure are just a part of the deal, like it or not.
This all came to my mind with some immediacy recently when I attended the temple. I was thinking about prophets and having a church or other men or anything, really, between me and God. To my surprise, the words of the temple ceremony became surprisingly and pointedly relevant. The dialog reminded me of how much I don't know and how reliant I am on God to teach me in His own way according to His own wisdom. Although I'm a big fan of personal responsibility and a personal relationship with the Savior, I, for one, am grateful for the Lord's institutions and believe reformations should accomplish a balance rather than swinging too far in the opposite direction.