I would like to make a proposal.
Vicarious ordinance work is one of the central ideas around which our whole church revolves. All temple work is vicarious in one way or another. Prayer is vicarious. All priesthood work is vicarious. Some of the covenants that we discuss have an air of vicariousness about them (Abrahamic, for instance). And the Atonement is really vicarious.
Having now proven my point with a foundation of bedrock logic, I ask:
Why? Why doesn’t anybody do anything for themselves in the gospel? Does God always work this way or is it a mortality thing? How does all of this fit in with our developing a “personal” relationship with God?